I was looking for something to talk about today when I noticed that Oilers legend and former captain, Mark Messier, was invested into the Order of Canada last week.
It’s no secret that Mark Messier was highly thought of for his leadership abilities and is often known as one of the best leaders in NHL history. Hell, he even has an award named after him because of it. And in a ceremony on Thursday afternoon, Mark Messier was formally recognized by Governor General Julie Payette for his achievements and contributions to Canadian communities and culture.
What is the Order of Canada, you ask? That’s a good question. The answer:
Created in 1967, the Order of Canada, one of our country’s highest civilian honours, recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. Close to 7 000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order. Their contributions are varied, yet they have all enriched the lives of others and have taken to heart the motto of the Order: DESIDERANTES MELIOREM PATRIAM (“They desire a better country”).
Now that we’re all on the same page with what we’re talking about, why did our man get the call? From the official release:
“Known for his leadership skills both on and off the ice, hockey legend Mark Messier is considered one of the greatest players of all time. A 26-year NHL veteran, six-time Stanley Cup winner and the only player to lead two different teams to league championships, he is renowned for his perseverance and for his ability to bring people together in pursuit of a common goal.”
Sounds like Moose alright.
In total, Mark Messier played in 851 games with the Edmonton Oilers, amassing 392 goals and 642 assists for 1034 points to go along with five Stanley Cups. That in itself is amazing enough and a career well played, but then the Moose went on to add 853 more points with Rangers and Canucks. And even with all those points and Cups, Messier now gets to add the Order of Canada to his resume, which is a fitting honour for one of the best that ever was.
Congrats, Mr. Messier. You’ve earned it.