Rangers Roundup: Mark Messier approves of Jacob Trouba as captain, plus WJC updates

jacob trouba
May 3, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba (8) takes the ice before the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in game one of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

New York Rangers great Mark Messier is affectionally known on Broadway as ‘The Captain’. The six-time Stanley Cup Champion wore the C on his chest for his entire career with the Blueshirts and slayed the dragon in 1994 to end a 54 year drought.

The man knows a thing or two about leading and even has an award named after him. Yes, the Mark Messier Leadership Award is presented annually “to the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice during the regular season.”

Yesterday, the Rangers named defenseman Jacob Trouba the 28th captain in franchise history and Messier weighed in.

Mark Messier approves of Jacob Trouba as captain

mark messier new york rangers
Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

In a text exchange with Larry Brooks and the NY Post, Messier thinks that Trouba is mature enough to take on the role.

“I think he is old enough and experienced enough not to allow [the captaincy to change him],” Messier texted. “You see that from players who are not ready for this position and don’t know themselves yet, let alone the people they are supposed to lead.

“From the outside, it seems that he has earned this honor on and off the ice. He just needs to be himself, be authentic and consistent. Seems like a great choice.”

NY Post

Trouba, 28, picked up 39 points in 81 games last season for the Blueshirts and added 5 points in 20 playoff contests. He is now entering his fourth season with the team after being acquired in a trade from the Winnipeg Jets in 2019.

During his press conference, Trouba mentioned that Messier had texted him to congratulate him.

Which brings me back to Ryan McDonagh and him being named captain in 2014. Several former Rangers captain like Vic Hadfield, Ron Greschner, and Dave Maloney were in attendance for his ceremony.

The absence of Messier was noticeable, as were some other former and more recent captains. According to a person with knowledge, an invite was sent to Messier but no response was received. Apparently there was still some fallout with the team’s decision to hire Alain Vigneault as head coach for the 2013-14 season.

On an appearance of the Up In The Blue Seats podcast last season, Messier revealed he was asked to coach the Rangers after John Tortorella was fired in 2013.

“I had been asked to coach after they let John Tortorella go but under one condition,” Messier began. That condition was that everybody within management was in total agreement that it was a good idea Mess would be the next coach.

Messier relayed the team opted to go in a different direction with AV, but he wasn’t pleased with how the process went.

“I wasn’t happy with the way it did go down and the way it was relayed to me, that they went a different direction, but things like that happen,” he said. “I have no ill feelings towards the Rangers whatsoever.”

When asked if he would still be interested in coaching, Messier said that’s behind him now and it’s not something he wants to do anymore.

Rangers at the World Junior Championship

Yesterday’s WJC results:

  • Brett Berard (Team USA) registered a SOG in a 5-1 win over Germany
  • Adam Sykora (Team Slovakia) was a -3 in a 5-4 loss to Czechia
  • Jaroslav Chmelař (Team Czechia) notched 3 SOG and +1 over Slovakia
  • Kalle Väisänen (Team Finland) picked up 1 SOG in a 6-1 win over Latvia

Today’s WJC schedule:

Brennan Othmann, Dylan Garand, Will Cuylle (Team Canada) face Latvia at 6 PM ET.

Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore