According to an official team release, the New York Rangers have announced that Mark Messier has left their front office in order to pursue an opportunity to grow the game of hockey in New York City. In the release, Messier states that he will be helping develop the brand new Kingsbridge National Ice Center in the Bronx. Although, many still believe that Messier is sour about not getting the nod for the head coaching gig earlier on in the month.
Messier did acknowledge that his decision had nothing to do with him not getting denied the head coach position, but Glen Sather stated otherwise. While departing the Board of Governors meeting in New York City, Glen Sather told Chris Johnston that not getting the coaching job was "part" of Messier's decision to step down. Sather finished off by saying the both of them departed on "good terms", and there is no further "friction" lingering around.
The final piece of information that we received from Sather was that a decision on Brad Richards will be coming "shortly", according to Dan Rosen of NHL.com. Whether that means later today, or sometime during the week is still unknown at this point, but, it's definitely coming sooner rather than later.
The official press release regarding Messier leaving will be posted below.
MARK MESSIER LEAVES RANGERS
New York, June 27, 2013 – Mark Messier issued the following statement today regarding his future:
"I would like to thank the New York Rangers and particularly Glen Sather for giving me the opportunity over the last four years to work with the Rangers. I am resigning my position with the Team to pursue an opportunity to expand the game of hockey in the New York area by developing the Kingsbridge National Ice Center. Although some will perceive this as a reaction to the coaching decision, nothing could be further from the truth. I completely respect the decision that was made and for all the reasons it was made. I harbor no hard feelings toward Glen or the Rangers. This is a personal choice I am making to create a program in the New York area that will give our children more choices and opportunities in the future. I wish the Rangers nothing but the best in the future."
New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather statement:
"Mark Messier will always be a part of the New York Rangers family. As a player and then as part of the management team, he brought incomparable passion and dedication to the organization. We wish him well in his future endeavors."