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Remembering the Messier-Odjick saga: What Mess said

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Now for the 2nd half of the Canucks Kerfuffle of '98.Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

After Odjick ripped Messier in the papers, blaming him for the Canucks' misfortunes, Messier fired back, blaming more than just Gino for the Canucks' ills.
"I think everyone was pretty comfortable here in Vancouver for a long time," Messier said. "I came here and not a lot of changes had taken place. I don't have anything against any of the players, but there were obviously a lot of problems."
Messier said the underachievement was swept under the rug by the improbable run to the 1994 Stanley Cup final.
"Not to take anything away from it, but you look at that season in 1994, they were a .500 team that beat Calgary in seven games because of Pavel Bure," Messier said. "They gained momentum and went to the finals."
Messier said Odjick's accusations that the Canuck captain was too close to management and that he didn't try were the work of other players.
"I like Gino a lot, he's one of the most giving, kindest men I've ever met," Messier said. "But I think theres a lot more to it than Gino Odjick. I think it's people who didn't have the courage or guts themselves to come out and say it, say it to my face or say it publicly themselves, but wanted to make it clear what they felt was going on in Vancouver, and they used Gino as the vehicle. Again, that just shows you the kind of people who were here and why it was important to make changes at that time."
Asked if he suspected former Canuck captain Trevor Linden, who plays with Odjick on the New York Islanders, Messier replied: "I'm not going to sit here and suspect anyone, but I think it's pretty obvious what's going on."
While Messier's image has taken a beating lately, he pulled no punches Thursday while giving his view of the Canucks problems over the years. He pointed to a tendency by some players to go to the media behind the backs of others.
"People haven't heard the other side of the story," Messier said. "There's a code amongst players and teammates that's much like the army: What happens in the dressing room should stay in the dressing room. I don't care to share some of the things that were hampering this or the individuals responsible for it. Obviously there were people who didn't share that feeling, and they've made it difficult on the other players by leaking things."
"Obviously that had been going on long before I got here. Fundamentally, internally there were a lot of problems here. Change is one of the most difficult things to endure, but this team needed changes."
"If Gino thinks I'm the responsible party for doing that, so be it. I think I have enough experience that I know what it takes to be successful, I know the structure, the inside of a locker room, what the energy has to be. That's the bottom line."
Messier said Odjick's allegation that the former Oilers and Rangers star sat in with coach Mike Keenan and the rest of the Canucks management consulting on trades is "ludicrous".
"As far as me wanting all the power, my sole purpose right now is winning," Messier said. "I enjoy helping people along the way reach their potential, I love the feeling of a team, trying to become a team."
"The term 'team' was thrown around loosely in this organization the last couple of years because when I got here it was anything but a team."
"Team in my dictionary stands for being together and achieving as one."
"The most important thing is we have finally become a team, which we weren't even close to at the start of the year. The record over the last 25 games speaks clearly of that."
Messier said he had no problems with Odjick's best pal Pavel Bure, and Bure added he gets along well with Messier.
Keenan said while he lauded Odjick as a person, he said the former Canuck should have kept his mouth shut.

Does anyone side with Messier and his story? Doesn't it seem like Odjick was traded away from his little buddy Pavel Bure and uncontrollably ran off his mouth to the media?