ESPN hires Rangers legend Mark Messier as NHL analyst

Campaigning for a job with the Rangers right after they fired John Davidson and Jeff Gorton didn’t work out. So Mark Messier found another line of work.

The Rangers legend has been hired by ESPN as an NHL studio analyst on a multiyear deal, the network announced Thursday.

“The game of hockey, and the NHL, have afforded me enormous opportunity, success and experiences on the ice and in my life,” Messier said in a release. “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.”

Messier, 60, has previously made guest appearances on Versus and NBC’s NHL coverage.

The six-time Stanley Cup champion — who led the Rangers to their 1994 Stanley Cup win, ending the franchise’s 54-year title drought — made waves last month during an interview on ESPN New York’s “The Michael Kay Show” just hours after Jim Dolan dumped his president and general manager.

ESPN Mark Messier NHL Rangers
ESPN has hired Rangers legend Mark Messier as an NHL studio analyst.
Paul J. Bereswill

“I’ve made it very clear that I’ve been standing by ready to help out in any way for many years,” Messier said on May 5. “I don’t really know what else to say.”

The former Rangers captain said he could “one thousand percent” coach without any prior experience; this was a week before new president-GM Chris Drury fired David Quinn.

Messier, who previously was a special assistant to former general manager Glen Sather, was considered for the Blueshirts’ head-coaching job in 2013 before they hired Alain Vigneault.

ESPN has already added former Rangers goalie Kevin Weekes as well as Ray Ferraro and Brian Boucher as analysts. Leah Hextall was hired to do play-by-play and other roles. Messier’s former teammate, NHL legend Wayne Gretzky, recently joined TNT as an analyst.

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