ESPN has announced that Mark Messier is joining the network, on a multi-year deal, as part of their NHL coverage beginning next season.
Messier said in a statement, “My passion for the game is as strong as it has ever been and I am looking forward to sharing that passion, plus my insights and analysis with the sport’s incredible fans. The NHL is beginning a new era with ESPN and The Walt Disney Company — with an exciting, evolving game and phenomenally talented players — and I am thrilled to be a part of the team.”
In early May, Messier was asked on the radio about re-joining the Rangers and said “I’ve made it very clear that I’m standing by and ready to help out in any way, for many years. Other than that I really don’t know what else to say.”
It was previously announced that Wayne Gretzky was joining TNT’s coverage of the NHL.
Adam Rotter: This makes sense for Messier, especially after TNT won the bidding to get Gretzky. For whatever reason it just doesn’t seem like Messier returning to the Rangers in some way is in the cards. I’m not sure if the issue lies with Messier and the kind of role he thinks he should have, with the Rangers or some combination of both. He was an advisor to Glen Sather for a few years and then left after he was passed over when the Rangers chose Alain Vigneault to replace John Tortorella. I don’t see it happening with Chris Drury in charge and so Messier will instead try his hand at TV and have free reign to critique the Rangers as he sees fit.