Now that Mark Messier was passed over for the Rangers head coaching position, you've got to wonder what's next for "The Captain."
There's been no word whether Messier intends to remain in his position as special assistant to general manager Glen Sather.
Larry Brooks at the New York Post feels that if he's serious about coaching in the NHL, the Rangers should get him experience by making him the head man down in Hartford, while Elliotte Friedman at CBC Sports doesn't think Messier would be a good candidate to replace Glen Sather as it wouldn't be ideal for Alain Vigneault to report to the man who wanted his job.
Andrew Gross has noted that Jeff Gorton is likely next in line for Rangers GM.
…i think Messier can pretty much decide what avenue he wants to take and Sather will do everything in his power to make it happen. If he ultimately wants to become a coach in the NHL, I don't see how Sather doesn't offer him the job in Hartford as Brooks suggests. I know Gernander has paid his dues, but does anyone really think his future includes being the Rangers head coach? The question is whether someone of Messier's stature is willing to ride the bus to gain the proper experience in the AHL. Maybe they can offer him Avery's old seat. Although, he could hold out for the Edmonton job next summer when they'll automatically fire their head coach for the fourth season in a row.
…now if Messier's goal is to stay in the owner's box, then, despite what Friedman and Gross are saying, I think it's a slam dunk he's the heir apparent to Sather with Gorton playing the role as Gernander. Sorry Jeff, we appreciate your service but Sather has a relationship with Mess that you just don't have. And unlike coaching, Messier has front office experience as GM of Team Canada for the 2010 World Championships (7th place finish) as well as Sather's sidekick since 2009.