Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Mark Douglas John Messier (born January 18, 1961, in Edmonton, Alberta) is an Ice Hockey center in the National Hockey League, who has spent a quarter of a century in the professional ranks to date (1979-2004) with the Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers, and Vancouver Canucks. He is one of the fiercest, most determined, and most emotional leaders the sports world has ever seen, establishing a larger-than-life persona for himself with jaw-dropping clutch performances. He holds the distinction of being the only man ever to captain two different franchises to Stanley Cup championships; he won 6 championships in total.
Messier (right) as an Edmonton Oiler. Courtesy of [www.neutralzonehockey.com]
Even though Messier ranks 2nd on the All-Time Scoring List with 1,887 points (694 goals + 1,193 assists), his greatness will always be measured in terms of playoff achievements (as opposed to regular season statistics). In Game 3 of the 1984 Finals, for example, with his Edmonton Oilers trailing the mighty New York Islanders by a goal, Messier ignited a comeback by beating an opposing defenseman one-on-one and then burning the goalie with a wicked wristshot to the short side. By series' end, it was he and not Wayne Gretzky who won Playoff MVP honors.
The birth of Mark Messier The Legend took place a decade later, as a member of the Rangers, in the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals. A game away from elimination, Messier confronted the New York media and publicly guaranteed a Game 6 victory. Knowing full well the implications of his remarks, he backed up his promise by scoring a natural hat trick (three consecutive goals) in the third period. The Rangers went on to win the series and the Stanley Cup (with Messier scoring the Cup winning goal in game 7)--their first in 54 years--and effectively put New Yorkers in a frenzy in the process. From that moment on, Messier was indelibly etched in sports history.
Hockey flowed in Messier's blood. Father Doug, who never made the NHL himself, was his coach and mentor in the early years. Mark's brother Paul was a center for the now-defunct Colorado Rockies; cousins Mitch and Joby also skated for NHL clubs.
Said former defenseman Ric Nattress, "Big. Strong. Fast. Great shot. Physical. Mean. Durable. Great leader. What else could you possibly ask for in any individual? Twenty years ago when he broke into this league, Mark Messier was the prototype for a franchise player. And he'll continue to be the prototype. Today, tomorrow and a hundred years from now."
- 1982- NHL First All-Star Team
- 1982- Played in NHL All-Star Game
- 1983- NHL First All-Star Team
- 1983- Played in NHL All-Star Game
- 1984- NHL Second All-Star Team
- 1984- Conn Smythe Trophy
- 1984- Played in NHL All-Star Game
- 1986- Played in NHL All-Star Game
- 1988- Played in NHL All-Star Game
- 1989- Played in NHL All-Star Game
- 1990- NHL First All-Star Team
- 1990- Lester B. Pearson Award
- 1990- Hart Trophy
- 1990- Played in NHL All-Star Game
- 1991- Played in NHL All-Star Game
- 1992- NHL First All-Star Team
- 1992- Lester B. Peason Award
- 1992- Hart Trophy
- 1992- Played in NHL All-Star Game
- 1994- Played in NHL All-Star Game
- 1996- Played in NHL All-Star Game
- 1997- Played in NHL All-Star Game
- 1998- Played in NHL All-Star Game
- 2000- Played in NHL All-Star Game
- 2004- Played in NHL All-Star Game
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