TORONTO, Ont. – Hockey Canada announced on Wednesday that Mark Messier will be Canada’s general manager for the 2010 IIHF World Championship in Germany from May 7-23, 2010.
While this will be Messier’s first time in a management role with Team Canada, the recently retired NHLer represented Canada on five occasions in international competition during his playing career.
“It is an honour for me to be given the opportunity to represent Canada once again and I am excited to be working with Hockey Canada in preparing for the 2010 IIHF World Championship in Germany,” said Messier. “Over the coming weeks and months, I will be looking to name a management staff, a coaching staff and then identify players that will give Canada the best chance at winning gold in May 2010.”
“Hockey Canada is very happy that Mark Messier has joined us for this great challenge,” said Bob Nicholson, president/CEO of Hockey Canada. “With his tremendous hockey background and his great leadership skills, we feel that Mark will be a great general manager for us as we strive to get Canada back on the top of the podium in Germany.”
Messier is currently a special assistant to the president/general manager with the NHL’s New York Rangers. The native of Edmonton, Alta., retired in September 2005 after an illustrious playing career.
On the international stage, Messier won three championships with Canada: the 1984, 19 Canada Cups. He also represented Canada at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey, finishing second, and at the 1989 IIHF World Championship, winning a silver medal.
Over his 25-year NHL career, Messier amassed 1,887 points, which ranks him second all-time behind only Wayne Gretzky. He won six Stanley Cups, including five with the Edmonton Oilers (1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1990) and one with the New York Rangers (1994). He is the only player in NHL history to captain two different organizations to Stanley Cup victories. His No. 11 is retired in both Edmonton and New York, and he was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007.
Messier captained all three teams he played for during in his NHL career – Edmonton, New York and Vancouver. He amassed numerous honours, including two Hart Trophies (1990, 1992), the Conn Smythe Trophy (1984) and two Lester B. Pearson Awards (1990, 1992).
He was named to the NHL First All-Star Team on four occasions (1982, 1983, 1990, 1992) and to the NHL Second All-Star Team once (1984), while playing in 15 NHL All-Star Games.
The NHL created an award in his honour in 2006, the Mark Messier Leadership Award, which is given to an individual who leads by example on the ice, motivates his teammates and is dedicated to community activities and charitable causes.
Messier will oversee Team Canada’s player evaluation and team selection prior to the start of the championship in May. He will also be responsible for the selection of Canada’s management and coaching staff, which will be named in the coming months.
Canada opens the 2010 IIHF World Championship on when it takes on Italy in Mannheim, Germany. All of Canada’s games will be broadcast live from Germany on TSN/RDS, the official broadcaster of Hockey Canada.
Canada has won a total of 24 IIHF World Championships (2007, 2004, 2003, 1997, 1994, 1961, 1959, 1958, 1955, 1952, 1951, 1950, 1948, 1939, 1938, 1937, 1935, 1934, 1932, 1931, 1930, 1928, 1924, 1920), a total which includes six Olympic gold medals, in a time when Olympic results also counted as world championships.