Mark Messier

Messier ‘very disappointed,’ future with Rangers unclear


Retired Hall of Fame forward Mark Messier has been serving as Rangers GM Glen Sather’s special assistant for years, but when head coach John Tortorella was fired, Messier was hoping to take his place.

That didn’t happen and the job will instead go to former Vancouver Canucks bench boss Alain Vigneault. The question now is what will Messier’s next step be.

“I don’t really know what Mark is going to do,” Sather told the New York Post. “He was very disappointed when I called to tell him that we were going to hire Alain.

“He said he wanted to take a few days and would call me, but we haven’t spoken since.”

Vigneault reportedly inked a five-year, $10 million deal with the Rangers and is expected to be officially introduced on Friday.

It’s not surprising that the Rangers ultimately went with Vigneault instead of Messier. As great of a player as he was and as much as he’s done for the franchise, Messier doesn’t have much in the way of coaching experience. That’s critical because, as we’ve seen before, success on the ice doesn’t always translate to success behind the bench.

Perhaps he’ll put himself in a position where he starts to get more coaching experience in the hopes of someday becoming an NHL head coach or maybe he’ll continue in his existing role and eventually become an NHL general manager. Time will tell.

Derek Roy signs in Swiss league

Derek Roy, Jeremy Smith, Chris Kelly
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Derek Roy has finally found work — but it’s not in the NHL.

Roy, who spent the entire preseason in Washington’s camp on a PTO, has signed with SC Bern of Switzerland’s National League A, the club announced on Friday.

The news comes after Roy narrowly missed out on making the Caps roster, and just one year after he had something of a bounce-back campaign in Edmonton, scoring 22 points in 46 games while developing chemistry with young winger Nail Yakupov.

A 12-year NHL veteran, Roy is one of the more prominent names to be squeezed out of work this season, and head overseas. The 31-year-old has scored over 500 points in 738 career contests, and has twice represented Canada at the World Hockey Championships.

With Bern, Roy will play on one of Switzerland’s stronger teams, alongside a trio of ex-NHLers: Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett and Cory Conacher.

Lehner’s injury ‘doesn’t look like it’s short term’

Robin Lehner
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Robin Lehner might not be back anytime soon.

Making his debut with the Buffalo Sabres, the 24-year-old goaltender couldn’t complete Thursday’s game against his former squad, the Ottawa Senators, due to what has now been revealed to be a right leg injury.

When he left the arena, he was wearing a walking boot on that nearly went up to his knee.

“It doesn’t look like it’s short term,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News. “It’s more than day-to-day at this point, but we need to evaluate further.”

It’s a rocky start to what’s an important campaign for Lehner. He has been given an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender after being acquired by the Sabres over the summer, but it looks like that will have to be postponed.

While he’s sidelined, Chad Johnson is likely to be leaned on heavily.