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Oct. 5, 1991 (Rangers at Montreal Canadiens)
FINAL GAME WITH RANGERS
March 31, 2004 (Rangers vs. Buffalo Sabres)
Oct. 7, 1991, to May 25, 1997, and July 13, 2000, to April 3, 2004
MAJOR NHL AWARDS/ACHIEVEMENTS WITH RANGERS
Hockey Hall of Fame — Inducted 2007
Hart Trophy — 1991-92
Lester B. Pearson Award — 1991-92
NHL First All-Star Team — 1991-92
NHL All-Star Game — 1992, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2004
RANGERS TEAM AWARDS
Rangers MVP — 1991-92, 1994-95, 1995-96
Players` Player Award — 1995-96
Boucher Trophy (Most Popular) — 1991-92, 1994-95, 1995-96, 1996-97
Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award — 1994-95, 1995-96
Rangers Fan Club Ceil Saidel Award (Dedication) — 2003-04
Rangers Good Guy Award — 1991-92
"Crumb Bum" Award (Community Service) — 1994-95
Most assists by a center in one season — 72 in 1991-92
Most power-play goals in one game — 3 vs. New Jersey on March 22, 1992
Most goals in one playoff year — 12 in 1994
Most shorthanded goals in one playoff game — 2 vs. New Jersey on April 21, 1992 (NHL record)
INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENTS WHILE IN RANGERS ORGANIZATION
1996 World Cup of Hockey
RANGERS TEAM LEADER
Most points — 1991-92, 1992-93, 1994-95, 1995-96
Most goals — 1995-96, 1996-97
Most assists — 1992-93, 1994-95
Most playoff points — 1996
Most playoff goals — 1994
Most playoff assists — 1995, 1996 (tie)
Most playoff penalty minutes — 1996 (tie)
RANGERS ORGANIZATION STATISTICS
Minor-league games: 0
Minor-league teams: None.
Nicknames: Mess, Moose
Uniform Numbers: 11
Stanley Cup Champion: 1994
Retired from NHL: Sept. 12, 2005
On Jan. 12, 2006, as the New York Rangers organization honored Mark Messier by retiring his No. 11, it was clear that the man called "The Captain" was perhaps the most important figure in franchise history.
It was Messier, after all, who broke the so-called "Curse" that had prevented the Rangers from winning the Stanley Cup for 54 years from 1940 to 1994. It is almost impossible to imagine that streak of bad luck having ended without Messier leading the way. His force of will and determination seemed to define that entire 1994 playoff run, which ended with a Game 7 win over Vancouver.
The Messier era lasted exactly 10 seasons, spread over two stints of six and four years. It began in early October of 1991, when then general manager Neil Smith pulled the trigger on a trade that would change the face of New York hockey.
On Oct. 4, 1991, Bernie Nicholls, Steven Rice and Louie DeBrusk were traded to Edmonton for Messier and future considerations (which turned out to be Jeff Beukeboom). The trade sent shockwaves through the hockey world, as Smith openly — and prophetically — declared it the biggest day in the Rangers` 66-year history.
The following night, at the historic Montreal Forum, Messier took the ice for the first time in a Rangers jersey and offered a glimpse of what lay in store. With the Canadiens leading 1-0 in the third period, Messier set up Doug Weight for a tying goal with only 5:55 remaining. That goal gave the Rangers a tremendous lift, which they carried into overtime. Rookie Sergei Nemchinov finished it off at 1:42 of the OT, giving the Rangers a 2-1 win.
Messier`s first season just kept getting better from there. Before the home opener against Boston, Messier was named the Rangers` captain in a special pregame ceremony. As team leader he did not disappoint — racking up 107 points in 1991-92 to help the Rangers win the Presidents` Trophy as the top regular-season team. His performance earned him a second Hart Trophy as the league MVP.
After a rough 1992-93 season in which the Blueshirts missed the playoffs despite 91 points from Messier, The Captain came back determined to drive the Rangers to a Stanley Cup in 1993-94.
The Rangers dominated the regular season that year, setting franchise records for wins and points. They then breezed through the first two playoff rounds before running into the New Jersey Devils in the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals. Trailing the series 3-2 after five games, Messier guaranteed a win in Game 6 in New Jersey. He delivered on his promise with a dramatic hat trick and then helped the Rangers win Game 7 at home.
The 1994 Stanley Cup Finals played out over an unforgettable two-week period and ended with the Rangers winning the championship in Game 7. In true Messier form, The Captain accepted the Stanley Cup and immediately skated over to the fans, whom he called the "Garden Faithful" to share the prize with them.
Messier remained with the Rangers for three more seasons after the Stanley Cup win. At age 35, he turned in a remarkable 47-goal and 99-point performance in 1995-96, and the following year, he teamed with Wayne Gretzky to take the Blueshirts back to the conference finals.
In 1997, Messier left the Rangers to sign with Vancouver and for the next three years, Madison Square Garden just wasn`t the same. During the time he played for Vancouver, Messier made three trips back to MSG in a Canucks uniform — on Nov. 25, 1997, Feb. 4, 1999 and Oct. 24, 1999. At each of those games, Rangers fans made it clear how much they missed him — with signs, with cheers, and with tears.
Messier also returned to The Garden to take part in Wayne Gretzky`s retirement ceremony on April 18, 1999. It would hardly be his last visit. One year later, in one of his first acts as president and general manager of the Rangers, Glen Sather reached out to the charismatic man who helped him win five Stanley Cup titles in Edmonton. On Thursday, July 13, 2000, he signed Messier to a two-year contract.
Back in New York, Messier spent another four seasons with the Rangers before retiring from NHL at the ripe age of 44. Four months to the day after Messier retired, his jersey was raised to the MSG rafters in the emotional "Celebration of the Captain" ceremony that gave him one more chance to raise the Stanley Cup in front of the Garden Faithful.
º Messier Tribute Section — Photos, Videos and More
º Rangers Fans Share Messier Memories
º Retired Numbers
º Alumni Profile
º A History of the New York Rangers
º Rangers Captains
º Rangers NHL Award Winners
º Rangers MVP Winners
º Players` Player Award Winners
º Boucher Trophy Winners
º Steven McDonald Award Winners
º Rangers Good Guy Award Winners
º "Crumb Bum" Award Winners
º Rangers Fan Club Ceil Saidel Award Winners
º Rangers Single-Season Leaders
º Rangers All-Time Scoring Leaders
º Rangers Career Leaders
º Photos of Stanley Cup Champions