Interview With "The Captain", Mark Messier

Metro HockeyCorrespondent IJanuary 16, 2010

In late December, I got into contact with The Messier Project, to find out a little more information on what new technology they are offering, by way of their groundbreaking helmet design, that was made to help lessen the gastronomic amounts of concussions that are sweeping through the National Hockey League. They were more than accommodating, and sent me several press releases full of interesting facts that I relayed to the readers here at Metro in this article.

They also promised me the opportunity to interview Mark Messier, the driving force behind the Messier Project section of Cascade Sports, the company that is producing these helmets. I was excited for this chance, but also realized that due to Mark's busy schedule, that this interview may not ever come to fruition. But over the last several weeks of being in contact with their public relations department, this interview has finally been realized. The questions I asked have been answered. Mark and I discussed his new helmet technology, injuries in the NHL, his career in hockey, and more, in our interview below.

But before I get to the interview itself, I just want to thank Mark for taking the time out of his busy schedule to answer my questions, and also to Audra Silverman, the public relations specialist for TMP, who helped set this up.

GC: This year, more than any other, we have seen so many injuries, including many concussion problems. Can you tell our readers how your helmet will help to decrease the number of head injuries in the sport?

MM: Concussions have crept into the game of hockey and I strongly believe we need to find a way to address the issue, which has become an epidemic. For me, the mission of The Messier Project is very much about changing priorities. The fact that we are still basically using the same technology in our helmets that we have used over the last three decades is horrifying. Every single piece of equipment has evolved except for the helmet.

I joined forces with Cascade Sports to create The Messier Project, a product development and public awareness campaign that aims to address the issue of concussions in the sport of hockey.

Cascade Sports have been leaders in head protection for more than twenty years. It was their history of innovation and the company's revolutionary Seven Technology that brought me to the table. I knew that I could work together with Cascade Sports to bring a player's perspective to the design and development of the new M11 hockey helmet, the first product offering of The Messier Project.

Seven Technology is a cutting-edge liner system utilizing a ground-breaking impact attenuation system to more effectively manage energy transfer from direct impact. On impact, Seven Technology compresses to laterally displace energy, and within seconds, it completely resets to be ready for the next impact. Hockey is a multiple impact sport and Seven Technology's "total material reset" makes it the first "true" multiple impact technology.

The M11's Seven Technology, new Mono90 Shell Design, and Pro-Fit System contribute to the protection and performance that drew NHL stars including Chris Phillips, Aaron Ward, Matt Bradley, Stephane Veilleux, Jesse Winchester, and Garnet Excelby along with the Harvard Men's Ice Hockey Team, and more than a hundred elite and recreational hockey teams from junior to youth across the Unites States and Canada, to join The Messier Project.

The M11 helmet, with its Seven Technology liner system that more effectively manages multiple impacts, is the first step in moving our sport in the right direction. But we need to go beyond product development alone.

To read the rest of the interview, click here.