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Messier returns to the Big Apple
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Old 05 Sep 2003, 06:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Messier returns to the Big Apple

ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers forward Mark Messier has agreed to terms with the New York Rangers and will return for a 25th NHL season.

Rangers president/GM/coach Glen Sather announced Friday afternoon that the club reached an agreement with Messier. No terms were disclosed. The New York Post reported that Messier wanted the team to match his $3.9 million salary of last season.

"Mark's Hall of Fame career speaks for itself, but it is the intangible characteristics he brings that are such a positive for our hockey club," Sather said in a news release. "He is a champion, a leader and a warrior who's only priority is to see the Rangers regain their position among the NHL's top clubs."

On Thursday, Messier announced that he wanted to return.

"For me, I had to ask myself the hard question all summer," Messier said. "July came through and August came around and it just got down to the time that I really had to decide for the team. And I told [Rangers GM and coach Glen Sather] that I'd like to play.

"So I'm going to be showing up again one more time."

The Rangers have already lost one veteran this week in goalie Mike Richter, who announced his retirement nearly 10 months after playing his last game.

The 42-year-old Messier, who attended Thursday's news conference where Richter announced his retirement, stopped short of declaring that the upcoming season would be his last.

"No, I'm not saying that,'' he said.

Messier's 1,844 career points are third best in league history, just six behind second-place Gordie Howe. He is eighth all-time with 676 career goals, and second all-time with 295 playoff points.

A two-time winner of the Hart Trophy as league MVP, Messier is the only player in league history to be the captain of Stanley Cup championship teams with two different franchises -- the 1994 Rangers and the 1990 Edmonton Oilers. He won a total of five Cups in his 12 seasons in Edmonton, and was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP in 1984.

Messier, who also played with the Vancouver Canucks during 1997-2000, would be entering his 10th year with the Rangers.
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Old 05 Sep 2003, 08:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Messier is way way past his prime..
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Old 06 Sep 2003, 11:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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^I agree...I think he should've just retired..
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Old 06 Sep 2003, 11:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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pfft..not like the rangers are going anywhere anyway.
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