To Canucks fans, Mark Messier’s name is worse than an “F-bomb”. Despite being third all-time in NHL points, “He Who Shall Not Be Named” is only known in Vancouver for tearing the franchise apart.
Messier came to the Canucks in free agency as a 36-year-old, signing a six-year, $30 million contract. He was previously the Captain of the New York Rangers team that beat the Canucks in Game 7 of the 1994 Stanley Cup Final.
Among many other things, Messier is blamed in Vancouver for stealing the captaincy from Trevor Linden, the hiring of notoriously difficult coach Mike Keenan, and wearing the late Wayne Maki’s number 11, despite protests from his family.
His contract was bought out after three years, at which time he signed with the Rangers again. More than a decade later, Messier sued the Canucks for $6 million, and won.
Is Tyler Toffoli Like Messier?
Although Tyler Toffoli hasn’t reached Messier-level disrespect in Vancouver quite yet, he’s well on his way.
When Jim Benning acquired Toffoli at last year’s trade deadline, he intended to re-sign him. That’s why he paid such a high price in Tyler Madden, Tim Schaller, and a 2nd-round pick.
Toffoli wound up injured for most of his time in blue and green. Regular season and playoffs combined, the winger only played 17 games. He put up good numbers during those 17 games, with 8 goals and 14 points. He had Canucks fans hoping with all their might that he’d re-sign.
As we all know, Toffoli didn’t re-sign this year, and instead went to Montreal- for an amount of money that the Canucks would have gladly paid him.
Since his arrival in Montreal, Toffoli has played against his former team five times, scoring nine goals and 12 points in those five games. The two teams play each other four more times this season, which means Toffoli is on pace for 22 points against the Canucks this year.
If the “Canadian Division” lasts longer than just this year, Canucks fans will continue to see a lot of Tyler Toffoli. Perhaps even in the playoffs. If this continues, Canucks fans might hate Toffoli more than Duncan Keith, more than Brad Marchand, and more than Mark Messier.
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