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Posts tagged: Mark Messier

Rosen: Leetch almost returned to Rangers

Dan Rosen at NHL.com had an interesting nugget of information this morning, noting that “Brian Leetch was prepared to move back to New York to join Mark Messier on the New York Rangers’ coaching staff” should Messier win the head coaching job in New York. Leetch would have been one of Messier’s assistants, likely –my assumption– working with the defensemen and the powerplay.

Instead, Alain Vigneault was named head coach, and Leetch wound up working in Brendan Shanahan’s Department of Player Safety office.

Messier leaves Rangers organization

Fresh off the decision to hire Alain Vigneault as head coach, Rangers legend Mark Messier has left the organization to assist in the development of the Kingsbridge Armory Ice Rink in the Bronx. Messier issued a statement to the media:

“I would like to thank the New York Rangers and particularly Glen Sather for giving me the opportunity over the last four years to work with the Rangers. I am resigning my position with the Team to pursue an opportunity to expand the game of hockey in the New York area by developing the Kingsbridge National Ice Center. Although some will perceive this as a reaction to the coaching decision, nothing could be further from the truth. I completely respect the decision that was made and for all the reasons it was made. I harbor no hard feelings toward Glen or the Rangers. This is a personal choice I am making to create a program in the New York area that will give our children more choices and opportunities in the future. I wish the Rangers nothing but the best in the future.“

It is a shame to see Messier leave the organization, but it is tough to believe he wasn’t stung by the decision to go with AV over himself as the coach. Messier is still in New York though, and unlike in 1997, it appears there are no hard feelings. The Kingsbridge project is a great project and it will need someone like Messier to help with youth hockey in New York. Kudos to Mess for getting involved in a project like this.

5 key questions in the wake of the Vigneault hiring

The Rangers have yet to schedule a formal announcement, but it’s all but official that Alain Vigneault will succeed John Tortorella as head coach.  The Suit will have more on the pros and cons of the hiring tomorrow, but let’s take a look at some key questions in the immediate aftermath of today’s news.

How does this affect Mark Messier’s future with the organization?

GM Glen Sather deserves credit for using his head, not his heart, in choosing Vigneault over Messier as coach.  Many surmised that Sather would be unable to reject Messier given their long history, but in the end Sather made the right decision for the team, perhaps at the expense of his relationship with The Captain.  The Fourth Period reported that Messier might join Vigneault as an assistant, but it’d be a little surprising to see Messier agree to play second fiddle to the man that was chosen over him.  Not only that, but it would be very unfair to Vigneault to have an apparent coach in waiting, beloved by the New York fanbase, looking over his shoulder.  Messier could remain in his current post as special assistant to the president and general manager, but that obviously depends on how stung he feels by Sather’s decision.  It’s possible that Messier could be so angry that he chooses to leave the franchise altogether. Read more »

With Vigneault in, could Messier be an option as assistant?

Image Credit: Mark Messier Project

Image Credit: Mark Messier Project

While Mark Messier has revealed he has already interviewed for the Rangers head coaching job, the likelihood all points to Alain Vigneault being awarded the job. In all honesty this would be not only the less risky option, but the right option. First time coaches rarely succeed in major markets such as New York, even if you’re a Mark Messier type character, but especially when you have little to no coaching experience.

That said, could Messier be an option for the Rangers long term? Absolutely. The Rangers could look at an alternative plan. The potential is there for Messier to be an assistant coach. He could learn the coaching side of the game while the incoming head coach could benefit from the leadership, demanding personality, and likely face-off coaching skills Messier could bring. Could Messier be groomed toward a head coaching role? The potential is there.

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Who replaces Tortorella? the Blue Seat Blogs take

Who will replace the temperamental Tortorella?

Who will replace the temperamental Tortorella?

Here at Blue Seat Blogs we feel that when we bring you Rangers information, particularly our own analysis, you guys benefit from well, our differing of opinions. As a group Dave, Justin, Kevin, the Suit and myself don’t always agree and that can lead to fresh ideas and interesting perspectives. The Rangers vacant head coaching role is no different.

With news of the Rangers approaching Alain Vigneault and Dallas Eakins as they begin their search to replace John Tortorella we have varied opinions on the HC role. We thought we’d share what we think with you.

Dave:

For me, it is either Vigneault or Eakins. Vigneault has run some very offensive minded schemes in Vancouver, and his personality is the exact opposite of Torts. You don’t follow up Torts with Lindy Ruff. They are the same personality, and you will get the same result. If the Rangers are set on being more creative and less north-south, then Vigneault is their man.

Justin:

Read more »

Messier/Gretzky interested in coaching the Rangers

If you missed it yesterday, the whole Twitter/blog-o-sphere was talking about how Mark Messier was interested in coaching the Rangers, and was on Glen Sather’s short list of potential candidates. About two minutes after that was reported, Wayne Gretzky’s name was thrown out there as well. It was, well, interesting to see those names mentioned, because neither really make sense for the Rangers given their current state.

The Rangers are a team that is right in their window to win. They have the best goalie in the world, they have a young core that is entering their prime, and they have a game breaker in Rick Nash. This is a team that is constructed to win a Cup in the next few years, and they need the proper coach to do that. The proper coach does not mean someone who didn’t have success previously (Gretzky) or has not coached at any level in his career (Messier).

This is no slight to the greatest player ever and the greatest captain ever, it’s just in the professional world you need to be qualified for the job. Gretzky is more qualified than Messier, but Gretzky didn’t really do much with a Phoenix team that saw great improvements under Dave Tippet. The best players don’t necessarily make the best coaches, and it’s something that should be kept in mind as the Rangers look for a coach that will take them to a Cup.

Messier’s Impact as GM

With the Olympic break in full swing, and me on vacation (Note: This post was scheduled a while ago, I’m not magically posting from my cruise. I can’t. And even if I could, I wouldn’t.), there were some volunteers to help keep the content here at BSB in full swing until the NHL returns to action. Over the course of the week, you will be seeing posts from readers here. This post is courtesy of Ben, the lead writer at Bettman’s Nightmare, who analyzes the impact Mark Messier would have if he were GM of the Rangers. If you don’t feel like reading, thats ok, it’s a picture post.

At Bettman’s Nightmare, we have nothing but respect for the Moose. He breathes life into our sorry existence, paralyzes our enemies with icy stares (I know, I know, it should be “glare” but it’s called the “Messier Stare” and I didn’t want to blaspheme), and will never turn down Gary Coleman.

But can he deliver us from Slats?

The recent Jokinen trade has certainly spit-shined Glen Sather’s reputation around the Garden, but as George Carlin once said, “You can’t polish a turd,” and this is one GM that still has a funk.

So in a little stretch of imagination, let’s fantasize about what the Messiah can do for the home team…

– Mark Messier will bring back Cooperalls and Winnwell helmets.

Ron is excited about this.

DO NOT look directly into his eyes.

– Mark Messier will teach Marian Gaborik to fight.

“Maybe it would be better if you started with Brian Gionta.”

– Mark Messier will discover the Missing Link at MSG’s center ice dot.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, Gorilla Hartnell, or goaltenderus interferus.”

And finally:

– Mark Messier will re-sign Wade Redden to a 5-year deal worth 50…cents.

Of course I am confident in Moose’s abilities; this is a man who delivered the Cup after 40 years of futility. On the flip side, perhaps a dose of realism is in order:

– Mark Messier will not live up to expectations as a GM.

Hate to be a buzzkill, but I can live with that one. Let’s be reasonable

Messier Named Team Canada GM For World Championships

According to Andrew Gross, Mark Messier has been named Team Canada GM for the World Championship. First of all, good for Mess. Second, and perhaps most important, this will serve as valuable GM experience for Messier. If he wants to be a NHL GM, this will only help.

Messier, Richter Win Lester Patrick Award

Ranger greats Mark Messier and Mike Richter are the 2009 recipients of the Lester Patrick Award, which is awarded for outstanding service to hockey in the US. The third recipient this year is Red Wings Senior Vice President Jim Devellano.

Comparing HOF Classes: 2009 vs. 2007 (New Poll Added)

With the induction of possibly the best HOF class ever yesterday, it sparked some debate on which class is better: the 2009 class of Yzerman, Hull, Leetch and Robitaille, or the 2007 class of Messier, MacInnis, Stevens and Francis. It’s a tough call, and there probably is no wrong answer here. But let’s run through the NHL regular season numbers:

2009 Class:

  • Goals: 2,348 (Yzerman-692, Hull-741, Leetch-247, Robitaille-668)
  • Assists: 3,220 (Yzerman-1,063, Hull-650, Leetch-781, Robitaille-726)
  • Points: 5,568 (Yzerman-1,755, Hull-1,391, Leetch-1,028, Robitaille-1,394)
  • Stanley Cups: 7 (Yzerman-3, Hull-2, Leetch-1, Robitaille-1)
  • Awards: 1 Hart (Hull), 2 Pearson (Yzerman, Hull), 2 Conn Smythe (Yzerman, Leetch), 1 Selke (Yzerman), 1 Masterson (Yzerman), 1 Byng (Hull), 2 Norris (Leetch), 2 Calder (Leetch, Robitaille)
  • All-Star Appearances: 36 (Yzerman-10, Hull-8, Leetch-10, Robitaille-8)

2007 Class:

  • Goals: 1,779 (Messier-694, MacInnis-340, Stevens-196, Francis-549)
  • Assists: 4,088 (Messier-1,193, MacInnis-934, Stevens-712, Francis-1,249)
  • Points: 5,867 (Messier-1,887, MacInnis-1,274, Stevens-908, Francis-1,798)
  • Stanley Cups: 12 (Messier-6, MacInnis-1, Stevens-3, Francis-2)
  • Awards: 2 Harts (Messier), 3 Conn Smythes (Messier, MacInnis, Stevens), 2 Pearsons (Messier), 1 Norris (MacInnis), 1 Selke (Francis), 3 Byngs (Francis), 1 Clancy (Francis)
  • All-Star Appearances: 47 (Messier-15, MacInnis-15, Stevens-13, Francis-4)

It really is a toss up. There is no wrong answer here, cases can be made for both, and these are just the raw numbers. There was much more to each of these players than just statistics, especially with Scott Stevens.

The only surprise here is that Ron Francis was only voted to the All-Star Game four times. That’s an absolute travesty.

Update 4:00pm: Actually, let’s make a poll out of this. It’s mid-page, on the right hand side.