Doug Messier, father of Rangers legendary captain, Mark Messier, was named today as head coach for the PeeWee Rangers. The team is the Rangers sponsored representative at the annual Quebec International PeeWee Hockey Tournament, which is widely known as the top PeeWee Tournament in North America.
"I'm very excited by the challenge of bringing a diverse group of individuals together and working with them until they become one, unified by a common goal," stated Messier. "It is this process that allows each player to mature and reach their full potential as individuals."
Competing for the last 15 years, the PeeWee Rangers are a highly competitive select team, chosen from players that reside in the New York Metropolitan area. Tryouts for this years' team will be held at the Madison Square Garden Training Center on September 21st and 22nd, at 7:30 PM. All PeeWee aged hockey players, playing at the PeeWee AAA level, are eligible to participate in tryout sessions. Players will be selected based upon their on-ice skills, their dedication to the sport as well as exemplary off-ice conduct. Further details are available at newyorkrangers.com.
In addition to competing in Quebec City, the team will also compete in the Bell Challenge Cup held between December 26 and January 1 in Toronto. The team will also play a number of exhibition games vs. other NHL sponsored PeeWee clubs.
Mr. Messier, whose coaching career spans four decades, will oversee the selection process along with various members of the Rangers staff. Mr. Messier, played professional hockey for 10 years, and began his career with the Edmonton Flyers of the American Hockey League, in 1961. The Flyers were the top affiliate for the Detroit Red Wings. It was there that he captured his first professional championship. His final stop was with the Portland Buckaroos of the Western Hockey League where he donned the number 11 for seven seasons. Mark would go on to wear number 11 in honor of his father throughout his NHL career.
With vast experience in the coaching ranks, Mr. Messier first stepped behind the bench in the Canadian Hockey League with the Junior "A" Spruce Grove Mets in 1975, where the team captured the Junior "A" Canadian Championship. The organization was renamed the St.Albert Saints and Mr. Messier continued to guide them until 1982.
In 1982, Mr. Messier joined the professional ranks when he was named as the General Manager and Head Coach of the Edmonton Oilers top minor league affiliate, the Moncton Alpines of the American Hockey League. Following the two-year stint, Mr. Messier went on to experience coaching professionally in Germany's elite league.
A graduate of the University of Portland, with a Master's degree in Education, Mr. Messier has a strong background in motivating, communicating and building the character of young athletes.