Skip to main content
This Date in NHL History

Sept. 12: Mark Messier retires after 25 seasons

Plus: Bobby Orr, 31, becomes youngest member inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor


2005: Mark Messier announces his retirement after 25 seasons in the NHL.

Though Messier is a key to the Edmonton Oilers' dynasty, which wins the Stanley Cup five times in seven seasons from 1983-90, he makes a bigger splash with the New York Rangers after being acquired in a trade in October 1991. Messier wins the Hart Trophy as MVP in his first season with the Rangers; two years later, he scores the winning goal in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Vancouver Canucks to give New York its first championship since 1940.

Messier finishes his NHL career with 1,887 points (694 goals) in 1,756 games. Only Wayne Gretzky has more points, and only Gordie Howe has played in more games.

"It's been a long career and I've achieved a lot," the 44-year-old says. "There was nothing really left of me to achieve."

The Rangers announce that they will retire his jersey on Jan. 12, 2006, prior to a game against the Oilers.

Video: Mark Messier plays in final game of his NHL career



1941: The New York Americans officially change the designation of their home city to Brooklyn for the 1941-42 season. The Americans practice in Brooklyn and have their offices there, though they continue to play their home games at Madison Square Garden. The franchise hopes to build a new arena in Brooklyn, but World War II forces the Americans to postpone those plans. In their one season as the Brooklyn Americans, the team goes 16-29-3, last in the seven-team NHL. However, the Americans suspend operations in 1942 and later fold, leaving the League with what became known as the Original Six.

1979: At age 31, Bobby Orr becomes the youngest member to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. The honor comes less than a year after Orr plays his final NHL game on Nov. 8, 1978, before being forced to retire because of knee injuries. Ironically, one of the other inductees is longtime NHL defenseman Harry Howell, the last player to win the Norris Trophy before Orr wins it eight years in a row from 1967-75. Also inducted are Montreal Canadiens center Henri Richard and Gordon Juckes, who's honored as a builder.

View More