This is becoming a fun story and even more now that Mike Keenan has
done a little talking about it. He would love to have him in Florida,
but the money would never be to Messier's liking.
In fact, Messier wants 6 million dollars, he wants to be paid for who
he is and what he has done. He sees the money Chelios and Francis got
for other teams but Messier got that money two years ago.
Francis and Chelios produced and had success and numbers, Messier did
It's no secret he can be a destructive force in a room, he has gotten
a slew a coaches/players fired or traded. It's no secret he wants to
get his scoring numbers and refused to sit two years ago to get those
numbers, despite Sather, Low asking for him to take a rest. He got
his points but his plus/minus was the standout number.
The media wants him at any price and is on his side.
And there is rookie coach Trottier, already with two former head
coaches on his staff. He has to play the party line and be supportive
of Messier's return, but Trotts is on the record as saying he wants
him as a fourth line player, he wants to use him in the roles he was
used in with Pittsburgh when he was part of the Pens cup winning
If Messier's past is any indication, he will absolutely resist being
used in that way, which puts the coach under pressure immediately, if
he is here he will be captain and that makes it even harder on
And a smaller part will be how high can the Rangers payroll go. It
stands at seventy million, still has to pay Radek Dvorak, still has
not replaced Rucinski, still has to pay Messier. May have to pay a
Jamie Lundmark his NHL salary.
To give him what he wants means an eighty million dollar payroll for
2002-03, they may not care about the criticism, but it will be there.