Don’t Call Us…
Larry Brooks spends most of his column this morning to promoting Mark Messier’s hockey management ambitions:
Coming up on five years after he played his last game, Messier is on the outside looking in while contemporaries such as Wayne Gretzky, Steve Yzerman, Al MacInnis and Ron Francis are making their marks in organizations around the league…
Understand. Messier is not campaigning for anyone’s job. He is not suggesting he should be the next GM. He is not suggesting he should be the next head coach. He is, however, suggesting he’s ready to get to work, and certainly would prefer to get to work for the Rangers.
“It’s hard to say what I would or would not do; to me, it’s a matter of finding the best way for me to contribute,” Messier said. “In the past, I’ve talked about what my wish list might be in establishing a vision for a franchise, but it’s a completely different discussion now that I’m ready to jump into the fray.”
This is no surprise to Glen Sather, for Slap Shots has learned the GM and Messier had a lengthy discussion on the topic last June in Ottawa before the Entry Draft. There’s been no job offer since.
I don’t think there is a hockey person in North America who is unaware of the Messier ambitions. That he has not received a job offer – even from the Rangers – after nearly five years probably says that nobody thinks much of Messier’s qualifications or potential. This may come as a surprise to Mark – and to Larry Brooks – but nobody owes him a job in hockey. I can’t see how giving Brooks a few quotes will change that.
I think it makes Messier look more than a little desperate. And it makes it less likely that the phone will ring.
Postscript: Brooks also drops in a tidbit from Bill Daly about the Phoenix Coyotes, “The Club has agreed to consult with us in connection with all significant financial transactions, including those relating to players.”
The league has now admitted that it is looking for new investors, that it is advancing the team money, and with this note, that it is afraid the team might need more cash than it can expect from central revenues if spending goes up. If there is one team Bettman is desperately hoping into the playoffs…