Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier Reportedly Interested in Rangers Coaching Job

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent IMay 31, 2013

Two hockey legends are reportedly interested in the New York Rangers' vacant head-coaching position, according to Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos.

New York fired head coach John Tortorella on Wednesday, four days after the Rangers were eliminated from the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs.

Gretzky played for the Rangers from 1996 to 1999 before he retired from the NHL. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame not long after. The 52-year-old Gretzky, who remains the NHL's all-time leading goal scorer, coached the Phoenix Coyotes from 2005 to 2009. 

Messier, also 52, starred for the Rangers from 1991-1997 and from 2000-2004 following a brief stint with the Vancouver Canucks. He played one season with Gretzky in New York in 1996-97 after winning four championships alongside him in Edmonton.

Messier, who helped the Rangers hoist the Stanley Cup in 1994, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007, three years after hanging up his skates for good.

Both Gretzky and Messier began their NHL careers with the Edmonton Oilers in 1979. Both stars also played for the Canadian national team, and each would be under intense scrutiny and pressure to perform in New York.

Tortorella, who led the Tampa Bay Lightning to a Stanley Cup title in 2004, took over head-coaching duties for the Rangers in early 2009, missing the postseason in his first full season before leading the Rangers to the Eastern Conference Final for the first time since 1997 in 2011-12.

The Rangers beat the Washington Capitals in seven games in the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs this spring before being bounced in five games by the Boston Bruins in the conference semifinals.

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

Follow _Pat_Clarke on Twitter

Related

    Bruins and Blues have shattered idea of Stanley Cup blueprint

    New York Rangers logo
    New York Rangers

    Bruins and Blues have shattered idea of Stanley Cup blueprint

    New York Post
    via New York Post

    The Stanley Cup Final by the Numbers 📊

    How do the Blues, Bruins stack up against each other?

    NHL logo
    NHL

    The Stanley Cup Final by the Numbers 📊

    How do the Blues, Bruins stack up against each other?

    Ben Arledge
    via ESPN.com

    Joe Buck Very Hyped for Blues Cup Run

    NHL logo
    NHL

    Joe Buck Very Hyped for Blues Cup Run

    NHL.com
    via NHL.com

    New York Rangers on this day: Mark Messier’s guarantee vs. Devils (Video)

    New York Rangers logo
    New York Rangers

    New York Rangers on this day: Mark Messier’s guarantee vs. Devils (Video)

    Robby Sabo
    via Elite Sports NY