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Mark Messier Hints He Should Be Running the New York Rangers

Mark Messier was critical of the New York Rangers team toughness and hinted he’s standing by ready to build the team in the right way.

He didn’t come right out and say it, but it sounds an awful lot like Mark Messier would be happy to step in, take control of this “soft” New York Rangers team and build it in the image that owner James Dolan would like. While Wednesday’s drama involving the hockey club unfolded — drama that saw John Davidson and Jeff Gorton removed from their positions as President and GM — Messier offered himself up to help.

One of the criticisms that has come out of this mess with Artemi Panarin, Tom Wilson, Davidson, Gorton, Dolan and the Rangers players is that they’re not a tough enough team. Six fights in four minutes of action on Wednesday suggest they tried to prove that theory wrong, but two people seemingly lost their jobs over the way this current roster was built and their refusal to do things differently when called out by the owner. When Wilson basically punked the entire roster on Monday, Messier was watching.

Related: New York Rangers Fire GM Jeff Gorton and Pres. John Davidson, Hire Drury

Perhaps the most famous New York Ranger in history, he was critical of the team and said:

In my opinion, if you’re going to win, you got to be able to win in the street and the alley. I, particularly, would not have built the team that didn’t have answers in this regard. I’ve made it very clear that I’ve been standing by ready to help out in any way for many years. I don’t really know what else to say.

Chris Drury has been handed the reigns as President and GM and Dolan was kind in his praise of the executive, but Messier saying he is “standing by ready to help out” suggests he’s looking for a phone call. Perhaps he doesn’t get one, or if he does, it’s to help Drury out.

Team Isn’t Built Yet

What will be interesting is which direction this team goes in now. Part of the shock of yesterday’s choice (a hasty one) to let Davidson and Gorton go is that this team wasn’t done being constructed. They’ve got some good young pieces, some high-end skill and they’re working through some major salary cap issues, but they are a long way from being contenders. The two men who were key to the potential turnaround are now gone.

Mark Messier New York Rangers

Does that mean the Rangers are abandoning their plan? Many had targeted this summer as the turning point for the club and now it seems fair to question what happens and if Dolan is frustrated enough to throw plans out the window.

At the same time, toughness matters in the NHL, even if your team doesn’t have legit heavyweights. Messier’s NHL doesn’t exist any longer and the league should have stepped in and done something about Wilson’s actions on Monday. Had they, none of Wednesday’s craziness would have been necessary.

Next: Rangers Call For NHL To Fire George Parros After Failing to Suspend Wilson



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