Messier ready for Jagr to take over second on all-time list

Fri Dec 16, 2016 1:03pm EST
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By Steve Keating

(Reuters) - Mark Messier gave no quarter during his Hall of Fame National Hockey League career, but he said on Thursday that he is ready to happily surrender second place on the all-time scoring list to Jaromir Jagr.

With Jagr sitting on 1,884 points and just four away from moving into the number two slot behind the 'Great One' Wayne Gretzky, Messier is surprised he was able to hold onto the spot for so long.

Gretzky's mark of 2,857 points, however, is unlikely ever to be challenged.

Indeed, the 44-year-old Jagr might have leap-frogged Messier many years ago if the Czech had not interrupted his NHL career and spent three seasons from 2008 to 2011 playing for Avangard Omsk in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League before returning to continue his climb up the scoring chart.

"I guess in my own mind he surpassed me a long time ago," said Messier during a conference call.

"This is kind of anti-climatic for me because I understand the amount of time he put in overseas when he left the NHL."

Messier retired in 2005 after 1,756 NHL games and while he does not include himself among the game's elite scorers, statistics say otherwise, the 'Moose' having produced 694 goals and 1,193 assists over 25 seasons while leading his teams to six Stanley Cups.

"For me I was the most surprised person of anybody that I have been sitting at number two for this amount of time," said Messier.   Continued...

Jun 22, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; New York Rangers general manager Mark Messier walks the red carpet during the 2016 NHL Awards at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports