NHL: The best captain in each team’s history (Updated 2023)

NHL (Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images Studios/Getty Images)
NHL (Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images Studios/Getty Images) /
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New York Rangers, Mark Messier
New York Rangers, Mark Messier (Photo By Dave Sandford/Getty Images) /

Best NHL captain from each franchise: New York Rangers – Mark Messier

Just as big as the Islanders were during the 80s, the same can be said about the New York Rangers in the 90s and even early 00s. This was mostly due to the Rangers being laser-focused on making sure that their golden opportunity to finally win a Stanley Cup happened when captain Mark Messier was leading the way.

Not only was Messier doing what he did best on the Rangers, he delivered in what will forever go down as one of the greatest moments in sports history. In Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals back in 1994, Messier scored the game-winning goal over the Canucks to give the Rangers their first championship in over 50 years.

Even before he earned the love and admiration of Rangers fans across the globe, he was also a team captain back in the late 80s with those legendary Edmonton Oilers of back then. He did his part alongside another legendary hockey player (more on The Great One in a bit) to bring the Oilers four Stanley Cup championships.

Needless to say, Messier is simply a legend and absolutely a part of hockey royalty. So much so, the NHL created a special award given away every season in honor of players that exemplify incredible leadership. When you think of having a Mount Rushmore of NHL team captains, it’s hard to have one without Messier on it.