Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Gretzky and Messier Are Reliving Old Times Together Again, Dynamic Duo Chases Another Cup

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Gretzky and Messier Are Reliving Old Times Together Again, Dynamic Duo Chases Another Cup

Article excerpt

They stand grinning side by side in living color on the cover of the New York Rangers media guide. In the background, a collage of black-and-white photos.

Click, they hold the Stanley Cup. Click, they hug. Click, they shake hands. The pictures capture different places, different times. In each, though, they stand side by side.

Mark Messier and Wayne Gretzky. Together again. Together always. The funny thing is for as often as they are linked, they have so little in common. Best buddies? Sure, the way Felix Unger and Oscar Madison are best buddies. In fact, the National Hockey League even produced a television commercial with the two Rangers assuming the roles of the Odd Couple. (Messier, of course, was Oscar.) Gretzky is Married with Children, enjoying life in suburbia. Messier is the Single Guy, a carousing bachelor who once dated Madonna. He lives in a penthouse above the bright lights of the big city. Even their hockey styles don't make a match. Gretzky is finesse. Messier is power. Gretzky prefers to pass. Messier would rather shoot. The demure Gretzky ducks and dekes his way around the ice, looking for an open spot. The hulking Messier just creates his own clearing by bowling over a defenseless defenseman. Gretzky. Messier. Oil. Water. "But," New York's Esa Tikkanen said, "they are the same in one area: they know how to win. When you are playing for something, when something is at stake, who do you want on your team? I want Mess and Gretz." Some revelation, huh? Barely more than kids, they steered the Edmonton Oilers into a dynasty with Cup victories in 1984, 1985, 1987 and 1988.While Gretzky was saving hockey in Southern California, Messier was winning two more Cups: in Edmonton in 1990 and New York in 1994. They have scored more goals than anyone else in Stanley Cup history. "What sets them apart is the experiences they have had," New York coach Colin Campbell said. …

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