Former standout players Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier are interested in the New York Rangers’ vacant head coaching position, Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos reported Friday.
The Rangers fired John Tortorella following the team’s second-round Stanley Cup playoff loss to the Boston Bruins. It’s unclear whether the Rangers would be interested in hiring either Gretzky or Messier, both of whom played for the Rangers.
Messier, 52, has no NHL head coaching experience, but he did coach Team Canada at the 2010 Deutschland Cup and at the Spengler Cup. He is currently serving as a special assistant to Rangers president and general manager Glen Sather.
Messier was the captain of the last Rangers team to win the Stanley Cup championship, in 1994.
Gretzky, 52, was head coach of the Phoenix Coyotes from 2005-09, but did not get to the playoffs in any of those four seasons. In only one season did the Coyotes finish above .500.
Gretzky also was the Coyotes head of hockey operations and had a piece of the team’s ownership.