Messier: Rangers lack toughness required to 'win in the street'
Mark Messier is not impressed with how the New York Rangers have been assembled.
The former Rangers captain criticized the team for a perceived lack of toughness after club president John Davidson and general manager Jeff Gorton were let go Wednesday.
"In my opinion, if you're going to win, you got to be able to win in the street and the alley," Messier said, according to Molly Walker of the New York Post. "I, particularly, would not have built the team that didn't have answers in this regard."
Messier's comments come just two days after a melee between the Rangers and Washington Capitals. Washington enforcer Tom Wilson punched a defenseless Pavel Buchnevich in the back of the head before rag-dolling a helmet-less Artemi Panarin to the ice, which injured the star winger for the remainder of the season.
Wilson escaped with just a $5,000 fine. The Rangers later responded with a pointed statement calling for George Parros, the head of the NHL Department of Player Safety, to be removed from his position.
The Rangers replaced Gorton and Davidson with longtime Rangers forward Chris Drury. Messier, who captained the Blue Shirts to the Stanley Cup in 1994, says he's been waiting patiently to land a role with the organization.
"I've made it very clear that I've been standing by ready to help out in any way for many years," Messier said, according to Walker. "I don't really know what else to say."
New York has been eliminated from playoff contention but takes on the Capitals in a highly anticipated rematch Wednesday.