Mark Messier spoke with the Edmonton media on Tuesday and talked about some of his memories of the Oilers 1984 Stanley Cup winning season. One of the things Messier talked about was the Battle of Alberta and how the rivalry with the Calgary Flames unfolded during that era.
Messier went as far as to say the Flames were a big reason for the Oilers success as they challenged them to become the team they could be, and eventually became.
“Any great fighter, any great boxer had someone who made him better,” Messier said.
“I think Calgary forced us to be better. I don’t think we would have become the team that we did without them.”
Messier says the Flames put together a team that could challenge the Oilers and they did. Messier knew about the rivalry between the two cities but it hit a different level at that time.
“Without them, I don’t think the Edmonton Oilers would have been who they (became).”