Hockey Hall of Fame member Mark Messier received the Order of Canada on Friday. It's one of the nation's highest civilian honors and recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to Canada.
The announcement came one day before Canada's 150th anniversary.
The honor was bestowed on Messier, 56, for his "contributions to hockey as an outstanding player and captain, and for his leadership in encouraging children to take up the sport."
Messier won the Stanley Cup six times in 25 seasons with the Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks. He is the only player to captain two teams to the Cup: the Oilers in 1990, when they won it for the fifth time, and the Rangers in 1994, ending a 54-year drought.
His 1,756 NHL games played are second all-time to Gordie Howe (1,767), and his 1,887 points are third behind Wayne Gretzky (2,857) and Jaromir Jagr (1,914). His 694 goals are eighth.
Messier was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007, and in January was named to the 100 Greatest NHL Players presented by Molson Canadian.
Video: Mark Messier was one of NHL's greatest leaders
Joining Messier among those being honored are comedian and actor Mike Myers and television game-show host Alex Trebek.
"I am delighted to recognize these new recipients of the Order of Canada on the eve of the 150th anniversary of Confederation," said David Johnston, Governor General of Canada. "This July 1 also marks 50 years since the creation of the Order of Canada and the first-ever list of appointments, which was released a few days later. The individuals on today's list, just like those appointed half a century ago, are truly inspiring as they have helped to build the smarter, more caring nation that we, as Canadians, are all so proud to call 'home.' Let us celebrate these remarkable individuals today and every day."