Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Remembering A Legend

Yesterday, the Edmonton Oilers faced the Phoenix Coyotes at Rexall Place. The game began a 4 game home stand for the Oilers, and they had some inspiration for their 1st game.

Legendary player and leader Mark Messier had his NO.11 raised to the rafters in Edmonton last night. This was the 2nd time Messier's number has been retired as the NY Rangers retired the number 11 last year. Phoenix Head Coach Wayne Gretzky was caught being very emotional during the ceremony as he was a teammate and friend to Messier.

Messier played 12 years in Edmonton racking up 5 Stanley Cups (he captained 1 of them), 392 goals, 642 assists and 1034 points overall during the time he played for the Oilers. He is now the 6th Oiler to have his number retired
(Al Hamilton, Jari Kurri, Grant Fuhr and Paul Coffey).

"I want to thank the Oiler organization for putting this date on the calendar when Phoenix was going to be in town because the night wouldn't have been the same without Wayne being here," Messier said. "Wayne was our leader. He was our inspiration. He was a guy that we leaned on and he never let us down and he never put himself above anybody. I certainly learned a lot from Wayne.Nobody could stand here in a team sport, nobody could do it by themselves, it's good to be back home. Coming back after a long time, one of things I'm most proud of is that the Edmonton Oilers organization remains today so intact as it was when we left," Messier said.

The celebrations were short lived as the Oilers lost again after they traded away Ryan Smyth yesterday. The Oilers seemed flat-footed all night, which led to a 3-0 Phoenix lead by the start of the 3rd. The Oilers are all but out of the playoff picture.


Wheels said...

Mess was always my favourite...He could score and he was physical, nasty and mean. It must have been horrific to play against him. His number retirement was well earned...Congrats!

Alfie The Senator said...

I recall Messier single handly booming the Russians out of the Edmonton rink. He was a force to reckon with where ever or when ever he played. He was a fierce competitor and a great team mate.