|Mark Messier, who had his No. 11 retired by the Rangers on Jan. 12, 2006, recently addressed fans at MSG during his Feb. 3, 2009, speech on Adam Graves Night event. |
"Mark is one of the greatest players in the history of the National Hockey League. I have witnessed him grow throughout his career and am looking forward to him joining the organization and learning a whole new part of the hockey business.," stated Sather.
"I am looking forward to joining the Rangers organization and having the opportunity to learn a new part of the business, working closely with Glen," stated Messier. "I have felt a strong connection to the Rangers, Madison Square Garden and the city of New York from the moment I arrived in 1991. I am honored to begin this new chapter of my career here."
The 16-time NHL All-Star joined the Rangers on October 4, 1991 in one of the most significant transactions in the history of the organization. Messier was acquired from Edmonton in exchange for Bernie Nicholls, Steven Rice and Louie DeBrusk. He was named captain in his first home game as a Ranger on October 7, 1991 following his Rangers debut in Montreal, on October 5. In his first season with the club, Messier guided the team to the President's Trophy, leading the team in scoring with 107 points and capturing his second Hart Trophy. He set a Rangers record for most assists by a center, with 72, while becoming the fifth player in franchise history to reach the 100-point plateau.
In 1993-94, Messier led the Rangers to the team's second President's Trophy in three seasons and carried the Rangers to its first Stanley Cup Championship in 54 years. He set a Rangers playoff record with 12 post-season goals, including the Stanley Cup winning tally on June 14, 1994, as the Rangers defeated Vancouver, 3-2, to win Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Finals. Messier, who ranks seventh all-time with four career playoff hat tricks, recorded his most memorable three or more goal game on May 25, 1994, at New Jersey in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals, netting three goals, including the game-tying and game-winning tallies. He ranks second on the Rangers all-time playoff scoring list with 80 points, placing second in goals (29) and assists (51).
Messier played his final game with the Rangers on March 31, 2004, against the Buffalo Sabres, scoring the 694th goal of his career. He officially announced his retirement on September 12, 2005. Messier's number 11 was retired by the Rangers and raised to the Madison Square Garden rafter's on Thursday, January 12, 2006.
The Edmonton, Alberta native was a four-time NHL First Team All-Star and two-time winner of the Lester B. Pearson Award as the league MVP as voted by the players. Messier ranks fifth on the Rangers all-time scoring list with 691 points. Named the club's MVP in 1992, 1995 and 1996, he places seventh all-time in goals with 250 and sixth in assists with 441. Messier holds Rangers club records for Most Game Winning Goals, Playoff Year (four, '94), Most Points, Playoff Series (11, '94 Conference Finals), Most Shorthanded Goals, Single Game (two, Apr. 21, 1992 vs. New Jersey) and Most Goals, One Period (three, May 25, 1994 at New Jersey).
Messier ranks second on the NHL's all-time scoring list with 1,887 points. In addition, he places seventh in goals with 694, third in assists with 1,193 and second in games played with 1,756. He is a two-time recipient of the Hart Trophy, as the league?s Most Valuable Player ('90, '92), has appeared in the second most playoff contests in National Hockey League history (236) and also ranks second in goals (109), assists (186) and points (295). The winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1984 as the Most Valuable Player in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Messier is a six-time Stanley Cup Champion, captaining the 1990 Edmonton Oilers and the 1994 New York Rangers. Messier is the first player to have served as captain for two different teams winning the Stanley Cup.