Is Mark Messier the Greatest Leader in Hockey History?

The narrative is that Mark Messier is the Greatest Leader/Captain in NHL history, probably hockey history and (depending upon who you talk to) maybe even in pro sports history.

So the question isn’t whether or not he belongs in the Hall of Fame, but how good he was. And do his “intangibles” make up for never being a top offensive player ever during the course of his career?

Listen to us talk bout Mark Messier:

Career:

  • NHL:
    • 1979-2004; 25 seasons, 23 quality
    • Totals: 
      • 694G (9th All Time, 7th at his retirement)
      • 1193A (3rd) for
      • 1887P (3rd, 2nd at his retirement)
      • +211 in 
      • 1756 Games (2nd)
      • 160.4 PS (14th All Time at his retirement)
      • 19:20 ATOI (only last 6 seasons)
    • Messier is 11th All Time in Offensive Point Shares (7th at his retirement)
    • At his retirement, Messier was tied for 24th All Time in APG
    • Draft: Drafted 48th overall in the 1979 Entry Draft, Messier is
      • 2nd in Goals
      • 1st in Assists
      • 1st in Points
      • 5th in Plus/Minus
      • 2nd in Point Shares
      • 1st in Games (by well over a season)
    • Era: Of the 6 players to play in at least 1,558 games (19 seasons) between 1979 and 2004, Messier is
      • 1st in Goals
      • 1st in GPG (nearly tied for 1st)
      • 2nd in Assists
      • 3rd in APG
      • 1st in Points
      • 1st in PPG
      • 3rd in in Plus/Minus
      • 1st in Offensive Point Shares
      • 4th in Point Shares
    • 82-game average: 33G, 56A for 88P, +10
    • 3-year peak (1987-’90): 80-game average of 40G, 77A for 117P, +6
    • Possession numbers not available
    • Playoffs: 
      • 109G (2nd All Time)
      • 186A (2nd) for
      • 295P (2nd),
      • +51 (14th) in
      • 236 Games (4th)
      • Messier is 5th All Time in APG and 4th Time in PPG
      • Messier was tied for 25th All Time in Playoff GPG at his retirement
    • Adjusted:
      • Hockey Reference:
        • 628G (16th All Time)
        • 1104A (6th All Time) for
        • 1732P (4th All Time)
        • 82-game average: 29G, 42A for 81P
        • If the qualifier is set to 1,230 games (15 seasons), Messier is 16th All Time in Adjusted APG and 17th in PPG
      • VsX:
        • 21st All time in Goals
        • 8th All time in Assists
        • 4th All Time in Points
        • If the qualifier is set to 1,230 games (15 seasons), Messier is 22nd in APG and 21st in PPG
    • Trades:
      • Traded at 30 with future considerations (Jeff Beukeboom, 26, and David Shaw, 27) for Bernie Nicholls (30), Steven Rice (20) and Louie DeBrusk (20)
      • Traded at 42 for a 4th round pick (Ryan Callahan)
  • WHA:
    • 1978-79, 1 season
    • 1G, 10A for 11P, -10 in 52 games
    • No playoffs.

Accomplishments:

  • NHL:
    • Hart (‘90, ‘92), Top 5 in Hart voting one other time
    • Lindsay (‘90, ‘92)
    • Top 10 Player (by PS) once (‘90)
    • Top 5 Offensive Player (by OPS) once (‘90), Top 10 six times (‘83, ‘87, ‘92, ‘96)
    • Goals:
      • Top 10 in Goals four times
      • Top 10 in GPG twice
      • Total seasons:
        • 50 goals once
        • 45 goals four times
        • 35 goals ten times (1 of only 10 players)
        • 30 goals eleven times (1 of only 19 players)
        • 25 goals thirteen times (1 of only 24 players)
        • 20 goals seventeen times (1 of only 14 players)
      • Assists:
      • Top 5 in Assists three times, Top 10 six times
      • Top 5 in APG three times, Top 10 eight times
      • Total seasons:
        • 80 assists once,
        • 70 assists four times (1 of only 12 players)
        • 60 assists seven times (1 of only 15 players)
        • 50 assists eleven times (1 of only 12 players)
        • 40 assists fifteen times (1 of only 13 players)
    • Points:
      • Top 5 in Points four times, Top 10 six times
      • Top 5 in PPG twice, Top 10 nine times
      • Total seasons:
        • 120 points once
        • 110 points twice
        • 100 points six times (1 of only 15 players)
        • 90 points nine times (1 of only 8 players)
        • 80 points thirteen times (1 of only 4 players: Gretzky, Dionne, Hawerchuk)
        • 70 points thirteen times (1 of only 13 players)
        • 60 points seventeen times (1 of only 7 players)
        • 50 points twenty times (1 of only 5 players: Francis, Howe, Bourque, Jagr)
    • Top 10 in Plus/Minus once
    • All Star:
      • 1st Team four times
      • 2nd Team once
      • 15 All Star Game appearances.
    • VsX Adjustment:
      • Best 7 Seasons:
        • Goals: 111th
        • Assists: 42nd
        • Points: 40th
      • Best 10 Seasons:
        • Goals: 86th
        • Assists: 35th
        • Points: 32nd
  • WHA: none

Great Teams:

  • NHL:
    • MVP* (4th in Goals, 2nd in Assists, 3rd in Points) on one Champion (‘84 Oilers)
    • Best Forward (by points) on one Champion (‘94 Rangers)
    • Best Skater? (led playoffs in Assists, tied for lead in Points) on one Champion (‘90 Oilers)
    • Top 3 Forward (by points) on two Champions (‘87, ‘88 Oilers), one Runner Up (‘83 Oilers) and two Final Fours (‘91 Oilers, ‘97 Rangers)
    • Top 6 Forward (by points) on one Champion (‘85 Oilers)
  • WHA: None
  • Canada/World Cup:
    • Top 3 Forward (by points) on one Champion (‘91)
    • Top 6? Forward (by points) on one Champion (‘87 Canada) and one Runner Up (‘96 Canada)
    • Top 9? Forward (by points) on one Champion (‘84 Canada)
  • World Championships:
    • Top 9? Forward (by points) on one Runner Up (‘89 Canada)

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