Mark Messier reached a multiyear agreement Thursday to join ESPN as an NHL studio analyst beginning next season.
“The game of hockey, and the NHL, have afforded me enormous opportunity, success and experiences on the ice and in my life,” Messier said. “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.”
Messier will appear on ABC, ESPN, ESPN+ and Hulu. The NHL, ESPN and The Walt Disney Company agreed to a seven-year television, streaming and media rights deal March 10 that begins with the 2021-22 season.
“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,” Messier said.
Messier won the Stanley Cup six times in his 25-season NHL career, and is the only player to captain two teams to the Cup, the Edmonton Oilers in 1990 and New York Rangers in 1994. He also won the Cup with the Oilers in 1984, 1985, 1987 and 1988. His 1,887 points (694 goals, 1,193 assists) are third in NHL history, after Wayne Gretzky (2,857 points) and Jaromir Jagr (1,921), and he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007.
“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,” ESPN executive vice president and executive editor, production Norby Williamson said. “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.”
Gretzky reached a multiyear agreement to join Turner Sports as an NHL studio analyst for next season May 26. The NHL and Turner Sports announced a seven-year media rights agreement April 27 that will have regular-season and postseason games televised on TNT and TBS.