Mark Messier has released a statement announcing that he is leaving the Rangers organization to to develop the Kingsbridge National Ice Center in the Bronx.
He has spent the past four seasons as a Special Assistant to President Glen Sather. The Rangers media guide said that Messier “assists President and General Manager, Glen Sather, in various on and off-ice team activities.”
Messier says that this decision had nothing to do with not being chosen as head coach and that he has no hard feelings towards Glen Sather or the Rangers organization.
His statement, along with Glen Sather’s is below:
To read more of this story, click here
In the NY Post, Larry Brooks writes that the Rangers should make Mark Messier the head coach of the Wolf Pack and allow him to gain experience running and managing his own bench so that he could one day be a more formidable candidate to become a head coach at the NHL level.
Brooks says that the team could make Ken Gernander an associate coach but he doesn’t specify whether that would be with the Rangers or the Wolf Pack.
By coaching in the AHL Messier would allow himself to expand the pool of potential teams that would hire him as the two teams who have had interest in him coaching are the teams that he has deep rooted history with and long term connections.
Brooks writes that Messier needs to understand that it wasn’t he who was passed over for the job, but that it was his lack of experience and resume in coaching that was.
Elliotte Friedman wonders at CBC what the future holds for Messier and if he will take over for Sather as GM when Sather retires. Friedman says that it would be tough for Alain Vigneault to report to Messier since Messier wanted his job.
Adam Rotter: If Mark Messier truly wants to be a head coach the then this is the route he should take. The question is if Messier wants to be a head coach at the NHL level or if he wanted to coach the Rangers at this point in time. Messier can continue to work in management, eventually become the President of the team and in essence control the direction of the organization.
In the NY Post, Larry Brooks writes that there is not yet any indication of what Mark Messier will do and whether he will stay in his position as Special Assistant to Glen Sather.
Mark Messier is in Chicago today to present the Mark Messier leadership award and while speaking with reporters, Messier said that he has interviewed for the Rangers head coaching position.
THIS SECTION is all about the idea of Messier becoming head coach.
Messier told Pat Leonard that he spoke with Glen Sather on a few different occasions and told him of his interest and belief in his ability to coach the Rangers.
He added that Sather is interviewing many more people and going through the process, “which he should.’
Messier told Dan Rosen at NHL.com that he wanted to go through the process like any other candidate would and allow Glen Sather to make a choice that he feels will be the best for the team.
Rosen writes that Messier expressed his interest in the position to Glen Sather, they had discussions and “that’s where it stands right mow.”
Messier said that it was too premature to speculate on things and that he is just one of many candidates being interviewed.
6.14.13/9:40AM: At Rangers Report, Carp writes that he spoke with Brian Leetch last week and that he isn’t sure he wants to leave his family to be a full-time assistant coach at this point.
Carp said that the did get a sense that Leetch would like to be involved in some way with the Rangers coaching staff, especially if Mark Messier becomes coach.
6.13.13/7:03AM: According to Larry Brooks in the NY Post, Brian Leetch is likely to become an assistant coach with the Rangers if Mark Messier becomes the head coach.
Brooks adds that in addition to Leetch the Rangers would need to add a veteran coach to Mark Messier’s staff, one with previous head coaching experience and a focus on the technical aspects of the game.
Leetch has spoken before about his desire to one-day return to hockey, whether it be in coaching or management.
In the NY Post, Larry Brooks writes that if the Rangers were to hire Mark Messier to be their head coach there would be an immediate level of respect from the players.
Brooks writes that the challenge will be keeping that respect while doing the job.
Adam Rotter: The players just need to have their eyes open as they walk around MSG or the Training Center to see what kind of impact Mark Messier has had with this team and in this city. He has won in NY and that appeals to this group which thinks it’s in a position to do the same. That being said, that respect could go out the window quickly in training camp if Messier doesn’t have an understanding of what to do. I still think Messier’s best role is as a consultant. Someone who does a few different things with the players but has a presence with the team and is in 100% agreement with the coaching staff.
Pierre McGuire was a guest on Mike Francesa today and said that Alain Vigneault and Lindy Ruff are both outstanding coaches and candidates for the Rangers.
McGuire said he is very familiar with both coaches bodies of work and that he worked with Vigneault when both were assistants in Florida and he coached against Lindy Ruff when Ruff was an assistant with the Panthers.
He added that he would love to be inside the room when Mark Messier gets interviewed because he wants to see what Messier would say when asked about his approach to coaching.
Francesa asked if he would be concerned with having a superstar as a coach and McGuire said that it wouldn’t matter as long as Messier was surrounded by veteran coaches who have a good grasp on Special Teams, “special teams are such a critical part of the NHL today and it’s far more structured than when Mark played.”
According to Larry Brooks in the NY Post, Mark Messier is in La Quinta, California for the Rangers organizational meetings in his role as Special Assistant to Glen Sather.
Messier though is recusing himself from taking part in the interviews with coaching candidates.
THIS SECTION is about Messier wanting to become head coach of the Rangers.