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New York Rangers Mark Messier. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

The second-leading scorer in NHL history has decided to hang up his skates. Mark Messier announced his retirement from the New York Rangers after 25 years in the league.

Despite his incredible scoring prowess, Messier will forever be remembered for his fierce leadership and determination. Overshadowed by a talented Wayne Gretzky, it was Messier who led the Oilers to their first Stanley Cup in 1984, picking up the Conn Smythe trophy for playoff most valuable player.

A 20-time All-Star, Messier reached legendary status in 1994 with the New York Rangers. Facing elimination to the New Jersey Devils, he guaranteed a game six win, and came through personally with a natural hat-trick in the third period. The Rangers won the following game in double-overtime, and eventually their first Stanley Cup in 54 years, with Messier scoring the cup-winning goal.

Nicknamed "Moose", Messier was born in 1961 in Edmonton, Alta., and was selected 48th overall by the Oilers in the 1979 World Hockey Association draft. He was an integral part of the Oilers' dynasty, skating with Gretzky, Glenn Anderson, Paul Coffey, and others to five Stanley Cup wins before being traded to the Rangers in 1991. He played for the Vancouver Canucks for three seasons before returning to New York in 2000.

Career Highlights:

  • Stanley Cups: 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1994
  • Conn Smythe Award: 1984
  • Hart Memorial Award: 1990, 1992
  • Lester B. Pearson Award: 1990, 1992
  • Career Goals: 694
  • Career Assists: 1193
  • Career Points: 1887
  • Career Games Played: 1756
  • Career Penalty Minutes: 1910