A Captain Exposed


By Doug Civitelli
Special to Dan's Take

Let me first say, that I am a die hard New York Rangers fan. I will be forever grateful to Mark Messier for what he brought to the Ranger organization: It’s first Stanley Cup in 54 years.

On the ice and to the media, he embodied everything a captain should be. But it’s behind closed doors where his loyalty comes into question.

Yes, he did the "We will win tonight" guarantee, something that many athletes can offer, but few ever deliver on. Yeah, he called a timeout in the third period of game six down 2-0, demanded the puck and proceeded to score three straight goals. No question about, he was great.

But this is also the same great captain of my beloved rangers who kicked them to the curb after the shortened '95 season for money.

The “captain” went to Vancouver in a New York minute. True to his name, he left the Rangers in a mess. After lobbying for big name veterans -namely Wayne Gretzky- to be brought to New York so he could make one last run at a championship, the savior left for the cash.

This ruined the Rangers for years. The team was filled with players well past their primes, trying to hold on to their youth. I put the blame directly on Messier.

After his failing to rejuvenate his career in Vancouver, where he played on a line with Pavel Bure, the Canucks told him they know longer wanted his services. Who was there to catch him? Of course, it was the Rangers, who even after tonight will feel they are forever in debt to him.

He proceeded to come to the Rangers and continue in helping with there horrible demise. That same captain that was behind those great playoff heroics was now demanding that the team not practice on back to back days because he couldn’t keep up anymore. What a guy.

The same great captain who led the Rangers to the Cup in ‘94 finished his career with eight straight playoff-less seasons. It wasn’t so easy without the stars like Gretzky, Jarri Kurri, Paul Coffey, Grant Fuhr, Glenn Anderson around him.

My message to the fans of the New York Rangers is simple: Mark Messier did just as much bad to the organization as he did good. He set them back eight to ten years.

As a true fan, I know I will watch the game tonight.

But I’ll be watching when the puck is dropped, not when the jersey is raised and the speeches are made. This is about the 2006 Rangers, not the ‘94 team. I want to see Jagr, Lunquist, Straka, Nylander, Prucha, and the rest of the good young team they put out on the ice. It’s time for the Rangers to stop living in the past or else they can brace themselves for another 54 year drought.


Anonymous 4:39 PM, January 12, 2006  

Dear Dan,
Tell Doug to shut up and stop crying like a bitch. He's just mad that Messier wouldn't sign his constable shirt.

Anonymous 5:37 PM, January 12, 2006  

great read A+.. more of this civitelli genius !

Anonymous 5:56 PM, January 12, 2006  

Leave the blogging to Dan. You suck Civitelli.

Anonymous 6:09 PM, January 12, 2006  

Finaly someone says it!

Anonymous 2:56 PM, January 13, 2006  

2 things douglas civitelli is not good at: 1)blogging 2) making ziti...but he does have a thing for barbara-titty-o

Anonymous 11:20 AM, January 16, 2006  

on the contrary to most beliefs i believe this was a great article. Lets change the name of this site right now to dougy fresh's take. it sounds a lot better

sal 2:33 PM, January 19, 2006  

But this is also the same great captain of my beloved rangers who kicked them to the curb after the shortened '95 season for money.

ALL WRONG DOUG he left after the 96-97 season dont you remember what kind of ranger die hrad forgets thats they lost to philly in the eastern conf finals

second of all blame the rangers not messier for the way they treated him during that off season they fooled around too much and disrespected mess you cant blame him for leaving

and third no its not about the 94 team it was about messier the man who brought a new resepct the new york ranger logo and he is what the future rangers will look at when they put on the jersey

Anonymous 4:12 PM, January 19, 2006  

how did the rangers disrespect messier ? because they didnt want to pay an over the hill player a ridculous amount of money ? and what new respect did he bring to the team ? they were a laughing stock of the league for years. and by the way, if he was so great in bringing the cup, who won the most valuble player in the 94 playoffs ? Not Messier. Hes a joke and so are Ranger fans that overrate him like you- doug

sal 10:42 PM, January 23, 2006  

this is directed toward the anonymous person who left their comments after mine Mess was not an over the hill player when he left after the 96-97 season his stats for that season were as follows: goals 36 assist 48 points 84 +/- 84 and he played in the all star game over the hill players dont put up those numbers.

and what respect did he bring to the Rangers you ask? he brought them a stanley cup yes you are correct after the 96-97 season things went downhill for 9 years but thats the managements and owners faults not his. Since 99 after the knicks lost to the Spurs in the NBA finals both teams playing at MSG went to hell. When young players come to the team in the next few years and way down the road no matter if you like it or not are going to picture Mess in a Rangers sweater before they do Brian Leetch.

and also i would like to add it doesnt matter if Leetch won the Conn Smythe award if you ask Leetch yourself if not for Mess they would not have won. Mess made them believe and that is why he is the best captain in the history of all sports hands down. When Gretzky came to new york Mess offered the C to him but Gretz refused. Mess is in the top 5 greatest hockey players to ever player and in no paticular order they are Mess Grezt Orr Howe and Richard.

and for a little extra knowlegde for who ever reads this Mike Richter is the only player out of the four players to have his number retired play his whole career for the Rangers.

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