Mark Messier

A Messy Situation

by Matt Pennino

( – It’s now August and so far there has been no word on whether or not “The Messiah” will return for another season. All that has been read has concerned him going on fishing trips, and most recently a wedding. While we ponder about what’s going through his head, there are a couple scenarios of why we haven’t heard a yes or a no.

The main reason going around is because that he might not like Bryan Trottier as the new head coach. Back in the 1980’s he and Trottier had some vicious meetings. Messier with Edmonton, and Trottier with the Islanders. In 1983 the Islanders easily knocked off the Oilers in the Stanley Cup Finals. Sweeping away Messier, Gretzky and the gang in four games. In the following year the Oilers got revenge and won their first Stanley Cup in franchise history and ending the Islanders “Drive for Five” in the process. So is it possible that Messier, deep down really hates Trottier? In my opinion that’s a very good possibility. Professional athletes can have grudges that last a very long time, or have moments where they will never forget a glorifying or humiliating point in their career that sticks out the most. Some examples would be a former Philadelphia Flyer player whose name escapes me at the moment, can no longer watch the Stanley Cup Finals because he was on the losing end of the Oilers dynasty. In the 1986 World Series, Red Sox first baseman Bill Bucker misplayed a ground ball, costing the Sox the World Series. Because of the abuse he had taken, he was forced to move out of state.

We all know what Messier is a like as a player, seeing him in a Rangers sweater for many seasons now. He is gritty, hard-nosed and has the title of one of the dirtiest players to ever put on a pair of skates. With all of this in mind, think about it. Is this whole fiasco of not having him resigned because of a grudge? It’s very, very possible.

Another reason for this long wait is that maybe he’s just taking his time thinking about what he’s going to do next season. All these long vacations could mean he’s relaxing and deciding on retiring or playing for another year. We’d all like to think that anyway. It sounds good doesn’t it? I bet all of you have that pictured in your heads right now. Messier sitting on a boat, soaking up the rays and drinking a nice glass of Margarita‚Ķthen you woke up.

If Messier does decide to come back I will be disappointed if one thing does not occur. That will be if he is willing to take a reduced role on the team. If he won’t, and continues to be the center on either the first or second lines, then I will take this as a very selfish move. He needs to realize that he can’t play the way he once did. You won’t be seeing him score 40 goals a season for the Blueshirts anymore. So Mess, know your role and take a reduced one to help the better of the team.

Messier retiring has never crossed my mind. I know he’ll be back and captaining the Rangers for yet another season. In his mind he would rather go out in the playoffs or on a Stanley Cup winner than be on the Injured Reserve.

I guarantee it.

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