Because I am sticking to only trades, this tree is not as big as it could be. I mentioned the offer sheet exit, which I didn’t go down, but that could, in theory, be tied to players like Chris Pronger and Oscar Klefbom if you follow that path down the line, but hey, this looks better. It’s not as long as the Rick Nash trade tree you can find on this website, but there’s a lot to like about this.
We’re all aware of the success the Rangers had under the leadership of Messier. There are several hundred reasons that number eleven hangs from the rafters at Madison Square Garden. What Messier did for this organization and this city is something that very few players will have the ability to do throughout their careers. To get a hockey Hall of Famer for something like this is incredible.
That 1994 Stanley Cup is not won by the Blueshirts if this deal is not made. I know that this focuses a little bit on the Oilers and what they got back for Messier, but in comparison to what the Rangers got from him, it’s not close. Ultimately, you want to win the Stanley Cup when adding star talent. New York did that, and Messier was a big reason it was achieved. On top of that, everything else he did was just gravy.
This league is now very different than it was at the time of this deal. Star players do not get traded like they used to, and the core of a dynasty is rarely sold off as the Oilers did in the late 1980s and early 1990s. You won’t see many teams decide they don’t want this player who sits third all-time in their franchise records 30 years later. We’ll never see another deal like this again, so if I may quote Sam Rosen, the memory of this one will need to “last a lifetime”.