Rangers fans - Thanks for the many thoughts, memories and well wishes that you sent to Mark Messier! Here are a few of our favorites:
God Bless you, MESS! You came to New York, to the Rangers. You brought with you everything it took to win, everything instilled in you from your family. You led a team that made all Rangers fans proud. You made us a family, and gave us all memories to last a lifetime. It is hard not to see you on the ice. If anyone ever deserved their number retired it's you -- the man who defined captain, leadership, winning and team (family with your team and your fans) I will never forget watching you accept the Cup on the Rangers behalf. My whole family celebrated it together and rejoiced with a huge smile, just like you had some laughs and some tears. Thank you for being you the best hockey player I ever had the honor to watch. Thanks for the memories and what you did for my city, for my team, for my family, and for my life. You gave me something I always hoped to see and might never see again. You raised the Cup in the Garden. You did it all!
Jason Rosselli, Brooklyn, N.Y.
I first would like to thank Mark on the many on and off ice memories and leading the Rangers to the Stanley Cup in 1994. When I graduated high school, I was the captain of the hockey team, and Mark was one of the Rangers I looked up to. Just before I graduated, my coach had called up the Rangers and told them about my dedication and leadership that I never missed a game and they soon connected my coach with the Mess. I received a large frame that said 'Leadership' on it with a few descriptive words and an 8x10 photo of Mark, personalizing the picture to me. That is one thing I haven't been able to thank him for and will always treasure ... thanks, Mess!
Mike Pescatore, Roslyn Hts, N.Y.
Mark, the years you have spent with the Rangers have truly inspired me to become the Ranger fan that I am today. You have been, and still are the face of the Rangers organization, giving us (the fans) more memories than we could ever ask for. THANK YOU!!
Joe LoRe, Manhasset, NY
We just want you to know what an honor it has been to see you play in New York as a Ranger. We will NEVER forget the first night back to the Garden after you went to Vancouver. We cried with you, and cried again when you came back. You bought the Cup to New York, and we will never forget you. Love to your wife and children. My husband and I wish you nothing but happiness and health to you and your family. God Bless.
Sue and Paul Furey, Mahwah, N.J.
Congratulations on this momentous occasion! You are our hero, we'll see you on the 12th!
Rebecca Buffin, Middletown, NJ
Mark, thanks for all the memories! I was so glad you came back to the team in 2000! I'll never forget that home opener! Also seeing you and Gretz together in Ranger blue was an awesome sight! I hope to see you in the Ranger organization one day. Cheers!
Matt P., Boston
Thank you for bringing the cup to NYC in my lifetime. As a season ticket holder I got to see a lot of grown men cry. June 14, 1994 was the best day of my entire life!
Best wishes in your future endeavors. I hope to see you behind the Ranger bench real soon as our coach. You will be missed dearly!
Thanks for the memories.
Susan Chudy, Myrtle Beach, S.C.
You were and always be The Captain ... Thanks for all the memories and the CUP.
Bill Ritter Jr., Brooklyn, N.Y.
You showed me what leadership is all about.
Darren Fishman, Montreal
No one will ever compare to the Messiah! The Rangers are a large part of my life and you will always be my favorite player and always welcome in the Garden.
Jason, Bronx, N.Y.
Congratulations on a great career. You are the greatest Ranger of all time. 1994 was a dream come true for all Ranger fans. No more 1940!! Now its 1983 … 1 9 8 3 …
Bob, Merrick, N.Y.
Thanks Mark for all you did to make the New York Rangers reach the promised land in 1994. It will never be forgotten by all of us. Best wishes ALWAYS!!!
Phil Cerafice, Elmhurst Queens, N.Y.
Bless this Mess. Thanks for all the memories and for bringing the Cup back to New York. I wish you played one more season. Good luck.
Mario Pacifico, Millburn, N.J.
We have a dog that was named after you. He was born in 1995 and is the absolutely best dog we've ever owned. Wish we could send a picture.
You've been an inspiration to me always ... thanks
Rich and Peg Ellsworth, Roxbury, N.Y.
I just wanted to thank Mark for giving me his hockey stick at his second to last home game of his career. That was close to being one of the most exciting moments for me as well as being at MSG when the Rangers won the Stanley Cup! I have been a Ranger fan for over 20 years. I have met Mark at charity events and had pictures taken with him, and he even autographed many items for me, especially my Messier jersey which I will wear proudly on Messier Night at the garden. I have a lot of respect for him on and off the ice. I want to wish him all the best. Enjoy your special night!
Jen Bovasso, Wayne, N.J.
I wanted to wish you an early happy birthday, and thank you for everything that you have done for this great city on and off the ice. I was only 2 years old when you brought home the Stanley Cup on June 14, 1994, so I can't say that I was waiting since 1940 for the Stanley Cup to be brought to MSG. However, while becoming a Rangers season ticket holder, serious hockey player, and most importantly a Rangers fan and your No. 1 fan, I can truly realize about why you are so revered as the greatest player to lace up the skates for the Blueshirts. In your 10 seasons that you played on Broadway, I can honestly say that I came to the rink on game night to watch the person that the fans call "The Captain." I can proudly say that I was there in the locker room after the game against Buffalo on March 31, 2004 to congratulate you on your tremendous career, and missed receiving your jersey by one locker. While you had a tremendous NHL career with the Oilers, Rangers, and Canucks, I still appreciated all the work that you did, especially here with the Mark Messier Skyway, and Canuck Place up in Vancouver. In closing, I would like to thank you for being one of the all-time greats to ever play in the great NHL, to have passed through the New York Rangers organization, and to have me call you my idol. Best of luck in retirement, and I hope to see you behind the Rangers bench someday!
Mike Rappaport, Woodside, N.Y.
I never got to see you play, since I am only 20 months old, but my daddy says you were the greatest to ever lace 'em up and don a Rangers sweater. I wish you the best of luck and thank you for giving my daddy the best memories of his life (besides meeting my mommy).
Christian, Matawan, N.J.
My favorite moment was when you brought the Stanley Cup to New York in 1994. That is my top moment of all time. Thank You.
Richard Miller, Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.
I just wanted to wish you all the best and say thanks for the memories. I paid a small fortune to make sure I would be there on 1/12. I am a poor teacher, but my family and students contributed to help me get a seat. I was in the Meadowlands for Game 6 against the Devils in 1994, and that will always be my greatest LIVE sports memory Mickey Mantle was my childhood hero, but you are a hero for all New York. I will always remember you holding the Cup. Thanks again and God bless you always.
Vern Smith, Cross River, N.Y.
Every time I see the video of Mark taking the Stanley Cup from Bettman with the huge smile, I get chills. Thanks for all the great memories!
Marc Bartels, Arlington, Va.
Thank you for all the great memories. The 1994 Cup will be one that my son Taylor and I will never forget. Taylor was 5 at the time, and he would watch all the Ranger games with me. After the Rangers won the Cup he asked me for a Rangers jersey and I said sure "Would you like to put your name on it?" He said "No, daddy, I want to put Mark Messier's number and name on it." To this day, we watch all televised Ranger games together and he still remembers the joy and happiness that you helped bring the Rangers fans.
John Scarpino, West Long Branch, N.J.
Congratulations on your retirement and best wishes to you and your family. All the Best.
Michael and Desiree Messier, SW BAHAMAS
I just wanted to let you know I am entering to be a contestant on "Deal or No Deal," and I said I am picking suitcase number 11 for the greatest Ranger ever. Also my wife and son were born in November, the 11th month.
Scott Matalevich, Levittown, N.Y.
I can always recall coming to the Madison Square Garden to see you. No. 11 was worn by both my brother and I in respect to you. You will always be a Ranger and you are the ultimate captain. Every time I walk into my room I see your poster and I miss seeing you on the ice.
Joseph Luzzi, Hamden, CT
Mark, It has been a pleasure being a fan of yours, you are already missed. For as long as I could remember I have been a Messier fan. For longer still I have been a New York Ranger fan. Thank you for 1993-1994. The Stanley Cup meant more to us fans than any words can truly describe thank you.
Ted Biele, Tomball, Texas
No other words describe you other than that you were "Simply The Best, Better Than ALL The Rest." As you change careers, I am positive you will be just as successful. Thanks forever for your years as a Ranger. I will never forget you receiving that Stanley Cup in 1994. You made it seem as though it was your first. The game of hockey and your fans, miss you already.
Keri Parker, Toronto
Thanks for all the memories.
Tim Brown, Australia
I am 20 years old and grew up with the love of the Rangers instilled by my father. It was when you came to the Rangers that I started watching, and you have been the standard to which I measure great players to in the NHL. I will never forgot 1994, and I will never forget number 11. You are the Messiah, the second coming of the Great One.
Nicholas Thompson, New York, N.Y.
Passion. Yeah, passion is the right word to describe the way you played hockey. I will never forget your performances during the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 1994. The Rangers fans can be proud to have your number under the roof of the Madison Square Garden. Enjoy this night, you deserve it.
Matthias Neumann, Halle, Germany
I am a Flames fan and as such, watched you closely early in your career and from time to time since you went to New York, Vancouver and back. You have had a remarkable career and left your imprint on the game and engineered some of hockey's greatest moments. I will also, as a Canadian, never forget what you did in wearing our country's flag proudly, especially during Canada Cups '87 and '91. Congratulations on an amazing career and best of luck in the future.
Matt Burns, Hong Kong
Just want to say thanks for many years of great hockey. I'll never forget a sign I saw in the stands the night you won the Cup for the Rangers. "Now I can die in peace." My dad wasn't around much longer after that, but he's still watching from up above. Thanks again
Doug Houska, Shokan, N.Y.
You are a pro's pro,thanks for the memories.
Frank Puleri, Lee, Mass.
Thank you for the memories. There will be no one to replace you as a Captain of the Rangers. Best of luck in whatever you do. Thanks again. I will be at the Game next Thursday!
Timothy Sheehan, Westbury, NY
You are without a doubt one of the greatest of all time in all of sports! A true living legend! Thank you so much for all the memories!
I was there for your first game as a Ranger. I was there for your first game after returning to the Rangers. I was there on June 14, 1994, when you raised The Stanley Cup. I was there when you made "The Guarentee." I was able to watch the greatest player ever to don the Ranger sweater in some of his greatest moments. Thanks for all these great memories that I will be sure tell my kids and grandkids about the greatest Ranger ... ever.
Thanks for the leadership, the effort, the caring, the skill, the stare, the Guarantee, the Cup and for being TRUE BLUE !!!
Brian Forberg, Huntington, NY
I send best wishes from Austria! I am sad that you ending this great career and I believe that you will one day come back as a coach.
Anton Maric, Spittal, Austria
Joseph, Poznan, Poland
Growing up, it was often difficult to root for the Blueshirts among a sea of New Jersey Devil fans. However, upon the mention of Mark Messier, Devil fans were silenced, and your talent, leadership, and overall presence in the game stood strong against a flood of opposition. Mr. Messier, you made it a pleasure to be a Ranger fan for many years, even during a painful playoff drought. I am currently 20 years old, and I can remember when your name was first announced as Ranger captain when I was just 6! Your contributions to the organization will not soon be forgotten, and your dedication to helping others off the ice is a testament to your character. Congratulations on having your number 11 immortalized, it is well deserved, and a long time coming. Thank you!
Laura Colacurcio, Sayreville, N.J.
It has been an honor to watch you play throughout your career, especially while with the Rangers. Your character and leadership have led you to be one of the greatest captains in all of professional sports. You wore the Red, White, and Blue like no other and carried all of New York on your back while bringing the coveted Stanley Cup back home to a place where it had become a distant memory. I wish you the best of luck in future endeavors and look forward to seeing the big No. 11 hang from the Garden rafters.
Paul Levy, Oakland, N.J.
I just want to wish you luck on your retirement. January 12 is my birthday, so while you are retiring your jersey, I will be watching and having a toast to you for all that you have done for the Rangers. Good Luck! You will be missed! No. 11 will live on. Thanks again,
Melanie Macartney, Kearny, N.J.
Thanks for everything that you have done for the Rangers and their fans. Your legacy will last a lifetime.
Evan Cohen, Westbury, N.Y.
All the best wishes from Switzerland! I still remember the four great assists you had at MSG in April 1995 in a 5-3 victory over the bruins. That was the only one game I ever saw live at MSG and it's a moment I will never forget. Thanks for everything!
Kimplayer, Basel, Switzerland
I'm so glad that this honor is being bestowed to you. The goals you set for yourself and achieved in your NHL career can never be matched by anyone else, ever. As a New York Ranger you helped fulfill a dream for all of us die-hard fans that words cannot describe. During Game 6 in New Jersey, you allowed my father, a 74-year fan suffering from the early stages of Alzheimers disease, to have a reason to rejoice as you led us to our first cup in 54 years. That night was one of the fondest memories I had with my father and I thank you for that. Congratulations, Mark, and God bless you.
Ron Ketchum, Syracuse , N.Y.
First, from my family to yours, may you always find Joy and Happiness. We also want to thank you for your professionalism and leadership skills you brought to my New York Rangers. It was a great honor having "The Captain" for those memorable years. We hope you decide to stay in the game and stay with us the New York Ranger organization.
Dante Dano and family, River Vale, N.J.
I've got a guarantee for you, Mark. You're a sure shot to always remain in the hearts and memories of all Ranger fans. Thank you for being in mine.
Peter Panagakis, Newport, N.H.
I'm just going to state the obvious and say that words can't express what you've meant to the fans and the team. It will without a doubt be one of the most memorable moments for me as a Rangers fan to see your No. 11 raised to the rafters at the Garden. Best wishes to you and your family in all your future pursuits.
Mark Barone, Bridgewater, N.J.
Simply put, you are a godsend to us Rangers fans. You are the defenition of what a leader is. From Day 1 of your career to the last day, you played the game like a kid playing on his driveway. Your courage, grace, and legend will never be matched as far as I am concerned. 1994 was such a special year for me, and I owe it all to the '94 Rangers, the entire team for sure. But everyone knows you brought us The Cup. We will never forget you and you will always be OUR CAPTAIN!!
David Pepe, Stony Point, N.Y.
My son Sean's first hockey jersey was Mark's white Ranger jersey with the C on the chest. He wore it almost every day. He was a four and a half year old mite when Mark went to the Canucks for those three awful years. Mark was his idol, and he was heartbroken. I didn't realize how heartbroken he was until recently. Our home was being renovated and I was packing up our belongings. In one of my drawers I found an envelope addressed (by a 4-year-old hand) to Mark Messier, Vancouver Cannucks. Sean had given it to me years earlier to mail and I guess I had stuck it in a drawer. I opened it and inside I found a note that read, "Dear Mark, I miss you. I hope you make friends on the Canucks then come home. Love, Sean" along with a crumpled one dollar bill. Mark never got Sean's note or his dollar (I guess I owe him that!) but he did come home. Sean will turn 14 on January 12, 2006 and he will be sitting in section 326 Row A Seat #2 watching his hero say good-bye for the last time and having the best birthday of his life. Thank you for the memories Mark. You will always be our Captain!
Sally McCabe-McArdle, Bronx, NY
I want you to know how you have touched my life in the most positive of ways. I became a hockey fan during the 92-93 season when I was 10 years old. I began playing the game at that time and have since grown to love it in indescribable wayss. Your style of play not only inspires me while playing the game but in life as well. Grace, leadership, strength, toughness, and the ability to battle through adversity are all things I try to display in all of my daily activities. You displayed those traits every time you stepped on the ice and I thank you for that. A lot has changed in my life since the 93-94 season when you led the Rangers to the Stanley Cup Championship and I consider that year to be one of the best times in my life. My fondest memory was watching game 7 against the Canucks with my father at home and even now as I think about it, I get tears in my eyes. ... I will be at MSG on January 12 the pay respect to you and I want to thank you again for everything you have done throughout your career to inspire people in life, not just hockey.
Charlie Panoff, New York, N.Y.