Rangers Sign Messier

Archived from 2000-01 season.

NHL teams

Mark Messier returned to New York after three-year absence as the Rangers signed the 39-year old center to a two-year deal repertedly worth $11 million.

"I knew what it meant to be a Ranger before and how tough it was leaving," said an emotional Messier. "To be able to come back is exciting for me and my family. I'm proud to be a Ranger."

Messier played with the Rangers 1991-97 and helped the team to end a 54-year drought when they won the Stanley Cup in 1994. Since Messier left in 1997, the Rangers have not made the playoffs.

"I'll guarantee you we'll make the playoffs," Messier said. "I don't think anybody will be disappointed in the next two years."

Brian Leetch handed Messier his jersey with the captain's 'C' that Leetch wore last season.

"I feel a little bit strange wearing the sweater right now with the captain's 'C' on it," Messier said. "I think people know what I feel about Brian. For him to turn the captaincy over and for me to accept it from Brian is truly an honor."

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