Messier by Jeff Z. Klein
New York Times editor and hockey expert Jeff Z. Klein looks at the career of one of hockey's most commanding and intriguing personalities.
We all know the larger-than-life Messier, the steely-eyed gladiator surrounded by an aura of near-magical charisma and menace, the Bad Cop to Gretzky's Good Cop in Edmonton, the captain who promised -- and delivered -- a game 6 victory over the New Jersey Devils in the '94 Eastern Conference finals, the centre of the “My Canada includes Messier” controversy before the '98 Olympics. He has the third-highest points total in NHL history and the highest points and goals totals among current players.
But Jeff Z. Klein takes us beyond the headlines and the statistics. We meet a Messier who is not only a leader and a warrior, but a contemplative student of philosophy, a generous contributor to children's hospitals, and a man who has a complex emotional life.
Drawing on his incisive understanding of the game of hockey, his contacts within the NHL, and his familiarity with the New York Rangers, Klein gives us an intimate look at the man who just may be the most fascinating player in hockey and the greatest leader in all sport.