Mark Messier Biography - Drafted By Edmonton, Chronology, Traded To New York, Won Cup In New York, Signed With Vancouver - Began Professional Career
Canadian hockey player
Mark Messier is considered by many to be one of the greatest leaders in sports. He served as the captain of three National Hockey League (NHL) teams: the Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers, and Vancouver Canucks. Messier won Stanley Cups with both Edmonton and New York. The centerman had a long-lived career, playing into his forties.
Messier was born on January 18, 1961, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, the son of Douglas and Mary-Jean Messier. His father was a minor league hockey player who later was a coach. Messier had an older brother Paul who was also a hockey player who played professionally with the Colorado Rockies.
Messier began playing hockey when he was five years old, and served as stick boy for his father's junior tier II team as a kid. Messier himself began playing junior hockey when he was fifteen, and became serious about hockey soon after. He quit high school in 12th grade to concentrate on the sport.
Began Professional Career
In 1978, Messier began his professional career with a five-game tryout with the Indianapolis Racers in the World Hockey Association, the upstart league that was competing with the NHL. The Racers folded, so Messier joined the WHA's Cincinnati Stingers in the 1978-79 season. He played in forty-seven games, garnering more penalty minutes (58) than points (11—only one was a goal).
Sketch by A. Petruso
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