Buzz: The Idea Of Mark Messier as Head Coach Of The New York Rangers

5:36PM: Bob McKenzie said on TSN Radio earlier today “There is the Messier route, he has no experience but he is Mark Messier. I don’t know if Mess wants to do it. I know a year ago, after the Oilers fired Tom Renney and didn’t name Ralph Kruger as head coach, that they investigated that possibility of Messier coming home to Edmonton as a coach. I don’t think Messier was either a) up for coaching at the time or b)going back to the Oilers. I think he is intrigued by the notion of doing something more than he is doing. Does he want the whole enchilada, jump in with two feet. Does he want to dive in head first?”

5:18PM: Katie Strang of ESPN NY sent out a tweet saying that the Rangers will definitely not overlook the idea of making Mark Messier the head coach.

The only head coaching experience that Messier has is for Team Canada at the Spengler Cup in 2011 for Team Canada.

Darren Dreger tweets “Let’s not forget Messier had extensive talks with the Oilers about coaching a year or so ago. He shouldn’t be discounted as a NYR candidate.”

Larry Brooks reported in 2009 that prior to Messier returning to the Rangers as a Special Assistant to Glen Sather, Messier had interviewed with the Oilers for the job that ended up going to Pat Quinn.

Messier denied that he interviewed for the Oilers job and instead was talking with his friend and former teammate Kevin Lowe about the idea of returning to work in the Oilers organization in some regard.

Glen Sather asked Messier to become coach of the Rangers following the firing of Ron Low in 2002.

THIS SECTION is all about Messier and his current role with the Rangers.


Adam Rotter: I have thought that Messier would step into a larger role with the Rangers when Glen Sather steps away. He would assume a role similar to the ones that Cam Neely, Joe Sakic, Ron Francis have, high level player personnel/President type roles, and be a big voice in the front office.

Sather has asked Messier to coach before and I would bet it’s a conversation that comes up again. If Messier is interested it would certainly take the organization in a different direction but put them behind a familiar leader, one who is one of the most popular and important players in team history. My gut feeling is that Messier will stay where he is in the organization and that the Rangers will hire a more experienced coach. That being said, I really didn’t see them firing Tortorella.

Quote: Mark Messier Is Optimistic

We like the direction the team has gone in the last couple of years. We added some strong pieces to the group. And of course, when you have a goalie likeHenrik Lundqvist, you’re always in the game. We feel pretty good.

NY Times

READ: Mark Messier Is Excited About His Future

“I entered into this position I am right now to try to gain as much experience in as many different areas of the game, to learn as much as I can about as many different aspects of the management side. So, basically, I’m just trying to gather as much information as I can right now. I think it’s also important, going through the process, to get an understanding of what I really like about that management side, where I really feel comfortable and how I can help the most, and what my real expertise is.

Daily News

I think that Messier’s future is within the organization and that he won’t do what Steve Yzerman did and leave to take a GM job somewhere else. In time, Messier will have a big role with the Rangers either as GM, President or possibly even coach. All of this seems to be down the line though as John Tortorella is signed up with a three-year extension and Glen Sather may never leave.


It has been reported that
there is no plan of succession to follow Glen Sather

QUOTE: Mark Messier Talks About “The Process”

You have to be willing and patient to let these kids grow and mature and make mistakes, and not try to accelerate the process, because if you do, you wind up making mistakes that can cost you for years down the road. We’ve done well, we made the playoffs this year with a tremendous amount of adversity and injury, and unfortunately lost in the first round, but I think the Rangers are definitely going the right way as far as building a team.”

Messier before Game Three In Boston

I am guessing that John Tortorella has made his vision known of how the team should be developed and he has Mark Messier on his team. I am as well and we have seen in the past on how rushing players can be detrimental to their development. I trust the Rangers management and coaches to make the right decisions with players and develop them accordingly.

Note: Mark Messier Is In Slovakia For The World Championships

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/reporterchris/status/68279450676109312"]

Messier was the GM of Team Canada at last years World Championships.

I am sure that he is also checking in on Derek Stepan and Ryan McDonagh. I wouldn’t be surprised if he also has had some conversations with Chris Kreider.

Read: Getting Mark Messier and Wayne Gretzky Back Into The Spotlight

At MSG.com, Stan Fischler writes that Mark Messier and Wayne Gretzky both need to be back on the NHL’s “center stage” after being away for some time.

Messier is a special assistant to GM Glen Sather while Gretzky has been out of the league since he stepped down as coach of the Phoenix Coyotes.

I don’t think Mess is going anywhere and will continue to work with Glen Sather, most likely with the idea that he will take over as Rangers GM at some point. Gretzky is interesting and there has been a lot written about him being out of hockey, but I don’t see him taking on any sort of hockey role in the near future. At some point Gretzky will be back in the game, but he will do it on his terms and at his pace.

Watch a classic Messier and Gretzky commercial HERE.

Quote: Mark Messier Is A Tomas Kundratek Fan

At Howlings, Bruce Bertlet writes in his regular column about Rangers assistant to GM Glen Sather, Mark Messier, attending Whale practice.

Bertlet quotes Messier as saying that Tomas Kundratek has a nice career ahead of him:

“He really looks like he’s going to be a NHL player.”

Kundratek was the Rangers third round pick in 2008, 15 picks after Evgeny Grachev.

He has two goals and one assist in 27 games this season.

CLICK HERE for a lot more on Kundratek

…For some reason I never think of Kundratek when I think of Rangers defense prospects. It’s always Ryan McDonagh, Pavel Valentenko, Dylan McIlrath and before he made the team, Michael Sauer. But Kundratek has turned a lot of heads according to reports from Hartford and certainly seems like one to keep an eye on.

Quote: Mark Messier Is Taking Charge Of The Faceoff Problem

“Mess has really taken a hold of it,” said coach John Tortorella. “This is the second day with tape; he’s taking centers one by one. It’s probably one of the weakest parts of our game. We talk about puck possession, that’s puck possession, winning faceoffs.”

John Tortorella to Steve Zipay of Newsday

…That is so cool. One on video work with Mark Messier. I love, LOVE the idea of Derek Stepan learning directly from Mark Messier. I have to think that Messier will be a help, especially with video, in fixing the faceoff problem. It will take time but it seems like it’s going in the right direction
More on Stepan at the Daily News