Messier was not a mercenary. From what I understand of the situation, he left the Rangers for Vancouver because he disliked management. Not that he didn't want to be a Ranger.
Mess is a Ranger/New Yorker. Definitely. Even if he is remembered mostly as an Oiler.
He sticks around here for a reason. Because he loves NY and he loves the Rangers.
He's a great man, he really is. I remember walking through his sky walk thing at the Hackensack hospital that he funded, thinking how cool it was that he funded it (can't recall why I was there, though, wasn't anything serious).
I look forward to seeing what he can/will do in the Rangers front office. He's a smart hockey guy and a business man, too. He wears his emotions on his sleeves which is also a unique quality.
Just don't think its right to call Messier, of all people, a mercenary.
monkey I worked for the foundation for 10 yrs and had a lot to do with the design of the place. the place is amazing and truly a great place for the poor kids that are there sick. Messier 100% left for the money and thats a fact. Messier is a amazing hockey player and the greatest leader ever in sports but he is known to be a money lover and thats why he left NYC
When I think life long, true blue Ranger, I think Rod Gilbert. Small in stature, huge in heart, played during the bully era and went up against the likes of Dave Shultz every time he was on the ice. All class, no quit, even today.
I hate superlative contests but I have to go with Gilbert too. His was the first number ever retired by the New York Rangers. He has been the face of the franchise since he stepped on the ice of two Madison Square Gardens. He has remained constant all these years. My top ten:
Leetch and Park
The Maloney Brothers
Messier isn't really a Ranger to me. He and Gretzsky inhabit a universe all their own.
P.S. The day Park and Ratelle were traded to Boston the hockey world stood still in New York. It was akin to the Kennedy assasination for Ranger fans.
Hey guys, new here. I've been reading the threads for a while, I like the place, so i decided to post!
Anyways, back on topic, I'd say Leetch, because, like what most of you guys stated, his skills were just amazing. This guy could start a rush up the ice as well, maybe even better than some of the forwards in his time. I was only four when the Rangers won it all, but i caught him when he played with Gretzky, and his latter years, and i'll tell ya, what a player.
Mike Siklenka could have been the greatest had he played more than 2 shifts during one game for us.
Who remembers Mess more as an Oiler than a Ranger except for the people in Alberta?
I'd wager its a ton of non-Ranger fans. The guy won 5 cups in Edmonton, and one without Gretzky.
Messier had a nice 5 year run here (his 2nd tenure was a bit sad and embarassing)...he taught this team how to win, and the fans of the Rangers will never forget him for it. But lets not re-write history, Messier made his bones with the Oilers.