The Rise And Fall Of Mark Messier, After Years Of Substance Abuse, The Former Star Faces Financial Ruin
Mark Messier is widely regarded as the greatest leader in all of sports, a hockey legend winning a total of 6 Stanley Cups. Messier was the team captain of both the Edmonton Oilers and the New York Rangers championship teams. He is the only player (who's name isn't Wayne Gretzky), to win the league MVP with more than one team. Messier will always be remembered for guaranteeing victory in game 6 of the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals, the Rangers would go on to defeat the Devils and eventually edge out the Vancouver Canucks in a tightly contested 7 game series in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Throughout his career, "The Moose" was known to play just as hard off the ice as he did on the ice. During the 1980s, it was well known in the city of Edmonton that a core group of Oilers had developed a serious cocaine habit. An article in Sports Illustrated at the time quoted a source close to the Oilers, stating "at least five team members have had "substantial" cocaine problems." The most notable of those 5 players were Mark Messier and Grant Fuhr, the Oiler's goalie had such a problem that coach Glen Sather apparently had to pay his utility bills at his residence to avoid disconnection. There were also reports of heavy alcohol abuse, drinking and driving and getting arrested on Jasper Avenue in the Oiler's hayday, getting exactly what Hugh Grant was getting from Divine Brown, and they covered it up because he was Mark Messier.
Despite his addiction to alcohol and drugs, Messier managed to dominate as a hockey player, with the exception of the few seasons he played in Vancouver, where he failed to make an impact despite signing a contract for 6 million USD per season. After a disappointing 3 seasons in Vancouver, Messier triumphantly returned to New York, and in his first season back he scored 67 points, more than he managed in any of the 3 seasons as a Canuck.
Theo Fluery admitted struggling with serious cocaine addiction is his autobiography, stating that things were "out of control" during his time in New York, when he and Messier were teammates. Fluery didn't mention any other player's drug use in his book, he has far too much class for that, however most people suspect that Messier was one of his partners in crime. Since retiring in 2004, Messier seems to have squandered his millions on drugs, booze and women.
Now Messier is apparently suing the Vancouver Canucks, citing an outrageous claim that he believes a clause in his contract with Vancouver entitles him to additional money from the team. Despite the team failing to make the playoffs during the entire time Messier was a Canuck, and his overall scoring numbers were far below his career average, Messier believes that because the franchise has increased in value over the past decade, he should be financially compensated for his role as a player.
Most hockey fans would feel that after collecting almost 20 million USD in salary, based on his poor performance during his time in Vancouver he was grossly overpaid. The disgraced former superstar appears to be desperate, and his legacy as a winner in fading away. Messier is an addict, and this desperate ploy to extort a few more million from Vancouver is perhaps the first sign of the demise of a hockey hero.