Today marks the 17th anniversary of “The Guarantee.” The Rangers were down 3-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals against the New Jersey Devils in 1994, and Messier of course guaranteed the Rangers would win.
There are guarantees, and then there’s “The Guarantee.” It’s one thing to state your team will win and for you to be right. But it’s a completely different thing – something only Mark Messier could do – to back up your statement by literally willing your team to victory. Messier is not the best player of all time. There have been better skates, better goal scorers, better defensive players, and better passers, although only the truly special can claim that. However, there is no hockey player who had more determination than Mark Messier. He literally gave his team no other choice but to win the Stanley Cup in 1994, despite all of the craziness. Losing was not an option. Baseball had Bob Gibson. Basketball saw Michael Jordan carry his team like nobody ever had. In hockey, it’s Mark Messier.