Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 01/12/06 at 03:50 PM ET
Could the Rangers have engineered this Prague-on-the-Hudson success story if Messier had decided to stay on; or if Brian Leetch had returned as a free agent? It's doubtful, even if both players still had something to give. Sometimes, the hardest part of playing professional sport is learning when to cede your place to the next player in line. It also illustrates, in a round-about-way, the problems facing one of the Rangers' divisional rivals, the Pittsburgh Penguins. In much the same way that Messier's departure helped the Rangers turn the page, it may have been necessary for Mario Lemieux to step away in order for the Penguins to allow Generation Next to come to the fore.read on
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