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January 19, 1996

Mark Messier



MARK MESSIER: For me it has always been enjoyable. I have always played my best going to the rink, happy going to the rink, and I look forward to the games. And for me, I have as much fun playing the game now as I have. And I said, you know, New York has been more than I dreamt it would be on and off the ice. I am enjoying going to Madison Square Garden and The City. I think everything combined has been great.

Q. Do you put yourself in the category of Wayne and other players that are like....

MARK MESSIER: I have never felt comfortable about any talk like that about myself, but I do feel an obligation. I think it comes with experience and age; to try to do some things for the league in order to promote the game and help the NHL and everybody you can. After all, the NHL is my life. It has been my life for the last 20 years, so in order to try to pay something back is -- I think is important, and I feel a little bit obligated trying to help out in any way I can.


MARK MESSIER: It's something that I just kind of don't think about anymore. I think that there is a certain way you try to approach the game on and off the ice; certain things that you get used to and certain things you expect of yourself and from your teammates, and I think that it is not a conscious effort to be one thing or being the other, it just is...

Q. As a kid playing hockey -- (INAUDIBLE.)

MARK MESSIER: I think that is something you develop, for sure. I have had the opportunity to play with great leaders as players and coaches and managers and presidents, there has been a lot of people along the way that have been extremely important in that area.


MARK MESSIER: I have not had a chance to see it, but I am looking forward to it. I love the idea. The idea -- people that really know the game of hockey, it is easy to watch hockey on TV because you know where the puck should be, who is -- who is carrying it by the way he is skating. But for somebody that is a new fan that really doesn't know the game as well, it is really hard to decipher what is going on. So that might be one element which can help out in being able to see the puck, and maybe it will create more interest.

End of FastScripts....

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