It's all about timing.

Of the recent greats to retire, some have retired with their capabilities intact; some while still credible players; some as an embarassment.

The first group includes Scott Stevens and Patrick Roy. Patrick Roy retired after one of his best seasons statistically and shortly after a championship. Scott Stevens was still knocking players silly and winning Cups when he bowed out.

In the second group, I think mostly of Wayne Gretzky. He wasn’t scoring 100 points anymore, and he was noticably slower, but he was still a credible player. He picked his spot probably just at the right time. Al Macinnis fits here too. He wasn’t the dominant force that turned around a 3-1 series against Phoenix in the Blues favor in 1999, but his departure wasn’t addition by subtraction either.

In the last group, you find Grant Fuhr, who, I believe, was ironically a Calgary Flame when he left. You find Paul Coffey, who went from being the best to being a journeyman player. And, most recently, Mark Messier.

If not for the ass washings he received every game from Sam Rosen, he would have appeared to be a dud player in each game. Press rumors had him demanding second or first line minutes, which, on the Rangers, may have been proper–but, he wasn’t that caliber of a player anymore.

One thought on “It's all about timing.”

  1. The final analysis on Mess: In three years with the Canucks they did not make the playoffs. He leaves and they become an entertaining sub-elite team. He goes to the Rag$ supposedly to motivate their lazy talent and they do not come close to making the playoffs.Messthusalah’s leadership was all about putting pressure on himself and performing. Perhaps he absorbed the pressure and thereby allowed others to excel as well, but he clearly failed to lead by example when he couldn’t put the whole onus on himself.At the end of the day Stevens was a better captain.Messier has reflected Gretzky glory in Canada and New York City hero status, so he will be sung and celebrated. All told, he is oddly great yet overrated.

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