Mark Messier is returning to the New York Rangers and will serve as special assistant to president Glen Sather, the team announced on Sunday.
"I couldn't be more thrilled with the opportunity to move back to New York with my family, to learn from Glen and to work for the Rangers," Messier told the New York Post during a phone interview. "I'm going to come in and get my feet wet and get an overview of how the business runs and how the team runs and take it from there."
According to the Post, former Rangers head coach Tom Renney asked Messier about working with the team's coaching staff last season. The newspaper went on to say Messier interviewed for the Edmonton Oilers head coaching position earlier this summer. The Post was the first media outlet to report Messier was taking the position with the Rangers.
The 48-year-old is hoping to learn more about the front office side of hockey with his new position.
"I think I have a pretty good eye for talent, but really, there are so many things about the management and business side of the game that I've never been exposed to. So I'm going to soak it all in and learn as much as I can about what it takes on that end to build a champion."
For his part, Messier believes his playing career will provide valuable experience in his new position.
"I think I bring a little different perspective to the organization after and playing in the NHL for 25 years and playing in New York for 10 years," Messier told the Post. "I understand what a player needs to succeed in this environment that's riddled with pressure to win."
"The Moose" played 25 seasons in the NHL, scoring 694 goals with 1,193 assists. He won six Stanley Cups (EDM - 1984, 85, 87, 88, 90; NYR - 1994) and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007.