Hall of Famer preparing for 25th season

Sentimentality favors Mark Messier finishing his career with either the New York Rangers or Edmonton Oilers.

Updated: July 30, 2003, 11:41 AM ET
By By Jim Wilkie | NHL Insider
Mark Messier has certainly earned the right to go out on his own terms, but his desire to play one more season is in conflict with hockey fans' notions of a fitting exit for the certain Hall of Famer.

We like our heroes to go out on top or at least with dignity, but Messier's inability to sign a new contract as a free agent this summer indicates the 42-year-old forward might not achieve either. Retirement remains an option, though indications are that he's training for another season. His 1,844 points are six behind Gordie Howe for second on the NHL's all-time scoring list. If the former Hart Trophy and Conn Smythe Trophy winner was quitting, he probably would have done it by now.

So let's consider his options for a 25th NHL season. Sentimentality favors Messier finishing his marvelous career with either the New York Rangers or Edmonton Oilers.