- Height: 6' 2"
- Weight: 205 lbs.
- Date Of Birth: January 18, 1961
- Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
- Position: Center
- Shoots: Left
- Draft: 48th overall, Edmonton Oilers, 1979.
Mark Messier was a complete and excellent all-around hockey player. He could play both ways, offense and defense, and he was known as a fierce competitor with an endless amount of determination. However, Messier had one non-physical quality that tended to stick out above all the others: leadership. Messier's leadership on and off the ice was, and is, respected and admired by many. The NHL recognized his leadership abilities in 2006 when they created the Mark Messier Trophy, a leadership award handed out monthly.
Messier was born on January 18, 1961 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He had a childhood full of playing hockey, helping with teams, and attending his father's practices. By age 17, he had signed a contract with the Indianapolis Racers of the World Hockey Association (WHA). He only stayed five games then moved on to the Cincinnati Stingers (also of the WHA) shortly before the Racers folded. He played 47 games for the Stingers in 1978-79, scoring eleven points. The following year Messier entered the NHL with the Edmonton Oilers.
The Oilers selected Messier with their second pick, 48th overall, of the 1979 NHL Draft. He spent the first couple of years of his career developing and sharpening his game. In his third year, 1981-82, he scored 50 goals and 88 total points, and was named to his first All-Star Game. This was the first of what would be 15 All-Star Games Messier played in. He, along with Wayne Gretzky, helped lead the Oilers to the Stanley Cup title in 1984. Messier was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff’s MVP. The Oilers would go on to win four more Stanley Cups while Messier was with them.
Messier was traded to the New York Rangers prior to the 1991-92 season. Even though his offensive numbers were declining (his 107 points his first year with the Rangers was his last year with 100 points), he never lost his competitiveness or his desire to win. In 1994 he led the Rangers to their first Stanley Cup title in 54 years, making him the only player to be the captain of two different championship teams (Oilers and Rangers). He also became a part of sports history lore when he guaranteed that the Rangers would win Game 6 of the series. The 1994 title was the sixth, and last, of Messier's career.
Messier then made a brief stop with the Vancouver Canucks from 1997 to 2000. His stay was not very productive, and Messier ended up not being very popular with the Vancouver fans. He returned to the Rangers before the 2000-01 season and finished his career with the club in 2004. He became the NHL's second all-time leading scorer in 2003, trailing only Wayne Gretzky, his former teammate. He finished his career with 1,887 points, 1,756 games played (second all-time), a 15-time All-Star, and a six-time Stanley Cup champion. He won two Hart Memorial Trophies as the NHL's MVP, and two Lester B. Pearson Awards. He represented Canada at three Canada Cup Tournaments, one World Cup, and one World Championship. His number has been retired by both the Oilers and the Rangers, and he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007.
Career Highlights, Awards, and Accolades:
- Six-time Stanley Cup champion: 1984-85, 1987-88, 1990, and 1994.
- Fifteen-time NHL All-Star: 1982-84, 1986, 1988-92, 1994, 1996-98, 2000, and 2004.
- Four-time First Team All-Star.
- Two-time Hart Memorial Trophy winner: 1989-90 and 1991-92.
- Two-time Lester B. Pearson Award winner: 1989-90 and 1991-92.
- 1983-84 winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy.
- Ranks second all-time in NHL history with 1,887 career points.
- Ranks second all-time in NHL history with 1,756 games played.
- Scored the most regular season points (1,887) in NHL history without winning a scoring title.
- Only player in history to captain two different Stanley Cup champions.
- In 2006 the NHL created the Mark Messier Trophy, given monthly as a leadership award.
- 2007 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee.