ESPN today announced that Mark Messier, six-time Stanley Cup Champion and 15-time NHL All-Star, will join ESPN under a new multi-year agreement to be a signature part of its NHL coverage, beginning with the 2021-22 season. Messier will serve as a studio analyst when the NHL returns to ABC, ESPN, ESPN+ and Hulu this fall.
“The game of hockey, and the NHL, have afforded me enormous opportunity, success and experiences on the ice and in my life,” said Messier. “My passion for the game is as strong as it has ever been and I am looking forward to sharing that passion, plus my insights and analysis with the sport’s incredible fans. The NHL is beginning a new era with ESPN and The Walt Disney Company — with an exciting, evolving game and phenomenally talented players — and I am thrilled to be a part of the team.”
Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president and executive editor, production said, “Mark has been one of the NHL’s biggest and most iconic stars, and we are ecstatic to have him be a large part of our upcoming hockey coverage. As a six-time Stanley Cup Champion, he will bring incredible insight, knowledge and analysis to ESPN and The Walt Disney Company that will both resonate with fans, and connect more and more of them to the game and to the league.”
The only player in history to captain two teams to Stanley Cup titles, Messier is one of the most well-known hockey players in the world and is widely considered one of the NHL’s greatest-ever players. Messier skated 25 seasons in the NHL, and the 15-time NHL All-Star is the third-most prolific points scorer in regular season NHL history and second-highest in playoff points. He was awarded the Hart Memorial Trophy in 1990 and 1992 as the league’s most valuable player, and won the Conn Smythe trophy in 1984 as the most valuable player during the NHL Playoffs. Messier was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007.
Prior to joining ESPN, Messier appeared occasionally as a studio analyst on Versus’ coverage of the NHL, as well as serving as an in-game analyst for the NHL All-Star Game. Messier also made occasional guest commentator appearances for NHL on NBC, and in 2014 joined Rogers Communications as a spokesperson and occasional analyst for Rogers’ national NHL coverage in Canada.
The Walt Disney Company, ESPN and the National Hockey League announced a historic and innovative seven-year television, streaming and media rights deal this past March, taking its new partnership from the beginning of the 2021-22 season through the 2027-28 season.
Additional live game and studio coverage details, along with programming plans, will be announced in the months ahead of the 2021-22 season.
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