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Rangers Agree to Terms with Mark Messier

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers

New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has agreed to terms with unrestricted free agent center Mark Messier. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Messier, 41, appeared in 41 matches with the Rangers last season, registering seven goals and 16 assists for 23 points, along with 32 penalty minutes. He became just the third player in National Hockey League history to record 1,800 points, collecting a goal and an assist on December 15 vs. Buffalo. Messier joins Wayne Gretzky (2,857) and Gordie Howe (1,850) as the only NHL skaters to have accomplished the feat. He also recorded his 1,136 assist on November 3 at Florida, surpassing Paul Coffey for third place on the league’s all-time assists list. Messier missed 38 matches due to a shoulder injury, including the final 23 games of the season.

A veteran of 23 NHL seasons, Messier has appeared in 1,602 career NHL games with the Edmonton Oilers, Vancouver Canucks and the Rangers, registering 658 goals and 1,146 assists for 1,804 points, along with 1,838 penalty minutes. He currently ranks as the leading scorer among all active NHL players and third on the NHL’s all-time scoring list with 1,804 points. Messier also ranks third in assists (1,146), seventh in goals (658) and fourth in games played (1,602) in NHL history.

In the Stanley Cup playoffs, Messier ranks second only to Wayne Gretzky in all scoring categories, registering 109 goals and 186 assists for 295 points. He is the all-time leader with 236 playoff games played. He has been an integral member of six Stanley Cup championship teams (five in Edmonton and one in New York).

The 6-1, 210-pound center has been the recipient of the National Hockey League’s Hart Trophy (MVP) twice, the Lester B. Pearson Award (Outstanding Player) twice, and the Conn Smythe Trophy (Playoff MVP) once. Messier has also been selected to the NHL First All-Star Team four times, the Second All-Star Team once and participated in 14 NHL All-Star games (1982, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998 and 2000). During the 1997-98 season, The Hockey News named Messier the 12th greatest player in NHL history.

In his first tenure with the Rangers, Messier spent six seasons in New York from 1991-92 through 1996-97, after being acquired from the Edmonton Oilers on October 4, 1991. In 421 games over the span, Messier registered 183 goals and 335 assists for 518 points, along with 474 penalty minutes. Since rejoining New York on July 13, 2000, he has collected 31 goals and 59 assists for 90 points, along with 121 penalty minutes in 123 games. Messier currently ranks seventh in assists (394) and points (608) and 11th in goals (214) on the club’s all-time scoring list. Messier was named the franchise’s 22nd captain in team history on October 7, 1991 and then assumed the captaincy upon his return to the club on July 13, 2000.

In Stanley Cup Playoff action with New York, Messier registered 29 goals and 51 assists for 80 points, along with 69 penalty minutes in 70 post-season contests. He trails only Brian Leetch in assists (61) and points (89) and Hall of Famer Rod Gilbert in goals (34) on the team’s all-time playoff scoring chart. The highlight of Messier’s six-year tenure in New York came in 1994, as he led the club to its first Stanley Cup championship in 54 years.

The Edmonton, Alberta native was originally Edmonton’s second choice, 48th overall, in the 1979 NHL Entry Draft.
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