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Nine Years Ago Today, Messier Signed With Vancouver

July 29, 2006, 8:42 AM ET [ Comments]
Kevin Gibson
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Mark Messier thought he was going to Vancouver to finish his career. It was really just a pit stop. On July 29th, 1997 Messier signed a 3 year, $21 million contract with Vancouver after the Rangers offered him $4 million per season. The deal with the Canucks also had option years for a 4th and 5th season which Vancouver never exercised. It's interesting that the 1997 playoffs would be the last of Messier's career. The Rangers lost in five games to Philly in the conference final. Messier never made the playoffs in three years in Vancouver nor did he in his last four seasons with New York. First 18 years of his career he missed the playoffs just once (92-93). Mark Messier was one of the greatest players of all time, but was he one of the worst UFA signings of all time? considering what he cost Vancouver in terms of dollars and the team not making the playoffs during his stay.

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