February 14, 2011

Big Brother: Paul Messier

Despite 13 professional seasons of hockey in North America and Europe, Paul's claim to fame is simple. He's Mark Messier's older brother. (Mitch, Joby and Eric Messier are not related to Mark and Paul).

You can see the familiar Messier stare in this photo to the right. By the way, I love those Binghamton Whalers jerseys. They were of course the farm team of the Hartford Whalers at the time. By simply flipping the Whalers' "HW" logo, they ended up with a "B" logo. Great stuff!

Paul, who was actually born in Nottingham, England in 1958, played for the University of Denver from 1976 through 1978. The NHL's Colorado Rockies wanted to capitalize on the rare opportunity to draft a prospect with ties to the Denver area. The Rockies drafted Paul 41st overall in 1978. By comparison Mark, who was drafted the following year by Edmonton, was chosen 48th overall.

Paul, like Mark, was a great skater but wasn't nearly as big. He also didn't have that physical edge or nastiness in his game. As a result, Paul only played 9 NHL games, all in his rookie pro season of 1978-79 with the Rockies. He would end up spending much of the next 4 years bouncing around with 6 minor pro teams in 2 different leagues. Paul struggled immensely in the CHL but when he was moved up to the AHL he began to find his game, scoring at a point-per-game rate for 2 seasons.

In 1983 Paul decided to leave North America and signed with Isserlohn of the German league. The following season he jumped to ERC Mannheim, also of the German league, for the next 6 years. He became a dominant scoring force while playing in Germany, scoring 198 goals and 397 points in 281 games.

1 comment:

Derek O'Brien said...

Though Mitch and Joby aren't brothers of Paul and Mark, they actually are related. Mitch and Joby are brothers, and are cousins of Paul and Mark. Eric is totally unrelated to the other 4, though.