At number three, I have opted for the Messiah. Whether you want leadership, scoring, or a promise to capture the Stanley Cup, Mark Messier is the man for that task. A man that is still revered in this city as a sports icon, Messier takes his place at number three on this list. If this was the best Ranger of all time, he could be higher. Messier is one of the best players to ever grace an NHL ice surface.
During his 1756-game career, Messier recorded 694 goals and 1193 assists for 1887 points. If you want to go and look up where that sits all time, it’s third. Only two NHL players in the history of the game have more points than Mark Messier. However, if you think that this is even close to his best achievement in the NHL, you are mistaken. This was a man who could do anything.
In his 25-year NHL career, Messier won the Stanley Cup on six occasions. Five times as a member of the Edmonton Oilers, and of course, in 1994 here in New York. He won the Conn Smythe in 1983-84 as playoff MVP, he won the Hart Trophy twice as league MVP, and the Ted Lindsey twice as MVP selected by the players. Messier was a dominant force on the ice, showing it wherever he went.
Despite playing for three teams in his NHL career, everyone chooses to remember “Mess” as a member of the Rangers because it was his most impressive achievement in the league. He won the cup in 1990 with the Oilers after the Great One was traded, but he still had a whole cast of Hockey Hall of Fame talents around him. Whether that was Kurri or Coffey or anyone else, he was surrounded by giants of the games past.
In New York, he didn’t have those established talents. There were greats, like Mike Richter and Brian Leetch, but not at the same level as what he had in Edmonton. Despite that, before game six of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Ranger captain promised the best city in the world that he would deliver the Stanley Cup. His number 11 hangs from the rafters at MSG in large part due to his fulfillment of this promise.