ESPN hires Mark Messier as NHL analyst
ESPN has signed Hall of Famer Mark Messier to a multi-year deal as an NHL studio analyst, the company announced Thursday.
His contract begins in 2021-22.
Messier is regarded as one of the best players of all time. During his 25-year playing career, which ended in 2003-04, he won six Stanley Cups, two Hart Trophies, and a Conn Smythe Award. He sits third on both the all-time games played list and all-time points list.
The 60-year-old spent 12 years with the Edmonton Oilers, where he won five of his rings. He also played 10 campaigns with the New York Rangers, bringing the Stanley Cup to the Big Apple for the first time in 54 years in 1994. Additionally, Messier had a three-year stint with the Vancouver Canucks.
ESPN signed a seven-year deal for half of the NHL's U.S. TV rights package, beginning in 2021-22. The company has already brought in Kevin Weekes, Ryan Callahan, Ray Ferraro, Brian Boucher, and AJ Mleczko Griswold as analysts. New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban is also doing analysis for ESPN for the remainder of the 2021 postseason.
The network reportedly targeted Wayne Gretzky for an analyst role before The Great One took his talents to TNT, which bought the other half of the NHL's U.S. TV rights package.