They are arguably two of the best players in the history of the NHL. They both have great relationships with New York Rangers general manager Glen Sather. But both Mark Messier and Wayne Gretzky are not the best candidates for the vacant Rangers’ coaching job.
Messier has served as the special assistant to Sather for the past couple years. While every Ranger fan will always love Messier for what he did in 1994, they should realize that he has no professional coaching experience. He is an avid pee-wee coach but has never coached juniors or any type of pro hockey. Everyone knows Messier is one of the best players to play the game. He is also one of the best leaders in the history of pro sports. This gives people a reason to believe that he can become a good coach. But the Rangers have no time for a learning curve as Henrik Lundqvist only has so many years left as the best goalie in the NHL. The Rangers would be taking a big gamble if they hire him.
Gretzky is a completely different animal. Everyone knows he is the best to ever lace up the skates. He does have coaching experience but was not very good. In four years as the coach of the Phoenix Coyotes, he missed the playoffs every time; the Coyotes were never in contention for even making the playoffs. Sather would be making a huge mistake if he hires the Great One.
The Rangers have a bunch of options for their head coaching job. But Messier and Gretzky should not be considered for the job.