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Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life

Honoured Member

MARK MESSIER

Inducted in 2009

Member Details

Date of Birth: January 18, 1961
Place of Birth: Edmonton, Alberta
Sport: Ice Hockey
Member Category: Athlete

Career Highlights

1984

Conn Smythe Trophy (Most Valuable Player in the Stanley Cup playoffs)

1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1990

Stanley Cup with the Edmonton Oilers

1990, 1992

Hart Trophy (Most Valuable Player in the NHL)

1994

Stanley Cup with the New York Rangers

2007

Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame

2009

Inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Honoured Member MARK MESSIER
Inspire

Story

Mark Messier was born to play hockey. In a career that spanned a quarter century Messier utilized his size, strength, power, speed and talent to become one of the most accomplished players ever to don a jersey in the NHL. Yet it was not even these considerable athletic attributes that truly set the Edmonton-born centre above his peers. Desire, tenacity, passion for the game - these are but well-worn labels used to describe the critical element Messier brought to the rink. Players and fans alike bore witness to his unwavering ability to inspire teammates, intimidate rivals and turn momentum tides to win games. So it was that when Messier retired from hockey in the fall of 2005 he was lauded as much for his leadership as his career stats and awards. And so it is that Messier remains the only player to captain two different Stanley Cup-winning teams - leading the Edmonton Oilers to drink from the Cup in 1990 and the New York Rangers to victory in 1994. Messier joined the Oilers in 1979 after brief stints with the World Hockey Association's Cincinnati and Indianapolis franchises. By the 1981-82 season he had earned the first of 15 all-star nods while scoring 50 goals. With mercurial Messier and wunderkind Wayne Gretzky on the roster, it was only a matter of time before Edmonton would join the ranks of Stanley Cup champions. Messier was an integral member of the Oilers dynasty that won four Stanley Cup championships in the five seasons from 1984 to 1988. In 1990, with Gretzky having been traded to Los Angeles, captain Messier led Edmonton to a fifth Cup win. Four years later, as captain of the New York Rangers, he put a sixth Stanley Cup on his resume while leading the team to its first championship in 54 years. He also garnered many individual honours, including two Lester B. Pearson awards, two Hart Memorial trophies and the 1984 Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. He played for Canada at three Canada Cup tournaments, one World Cup and one world championship. The numbers? When Messier retired in 2005 his 1,887 career points (694 goals, 1,193 assists) and 1,756 games played ranked him second on the respective NHL history lists. But he is revered as much for his incalculable qualities - heart, soul and will to win. In 2006 the NHL saluted Messier in creating a monthly leadership award. Mark Messier was inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007. (Wendy Long is currently a freelance writer based in North Delta, B.C. and is the author of the book Celebrating Excellence: Canadian Women Athletes.)


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