Very few players in the history of North American sports have led teams to championships in both Canada and the United States. Mark Messier is one of those rare athletes.
The Edmonton native was the second best player (behind Wayne Gretzky) on four Stanley Cup winning Oiler teams, before serving as the undisputed leader of a fifth Edmonton title team, which took place after Gretzky had taken his talents to Southern California.
In 1994, Messier was the heart and soul of the New York Rangers first Stanley Cup victory since 1940. His “guarantee,” prior to Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals, remains one of the signature moments in New York sports history.
Remarkably, Messier is the only hockey player ever to have captained championship teams with two different organizations.
In recognition of his uncanny leadership abilities, the NHL created the Mark Messier Leadership Award, given to the player who bests exemplifies the now 51-year-old’s dedication to his craft, both on and off the ice.
Monday, shortly before the opening faceoff of Game 3 of the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals, Messier was seen making his way towards the entrance to Staples Center, just after the conclusion of an appearance on the NHL Network’s outdoor set.
The scene was chronicled courtesy of the above iFolloSports.com original video.
As can be ascertained by this footage, Messier clearly keeps himself in excellent shape. In fact, the Hall of Famer successfully completed last fall’s New York Marathon, where he produced a respectable time of 4:14:21.
Messier watched the Kings 4-0 victory with former Edmonton teammate Wayne Gretzky, who was also chronicled via iFolloSports.com original video, from earlier in the day.