NEW YORK – The Captain was in the house for the first Stanley Cup Final game at the Garden since the night he lifted it over his head on June 14, 1994.
Mark Messier, no longer a Rangers employee, was surrounded by family and here to promote the leadership award that bears his name -- Los Angeles captain Dustin Brown, Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf and Chicago's Jonathan Toews are the finalists.
"It's exciting," Messier said. "Exciting for everybody. I know my three nephews are excited. I had one (sitting) in the Cup in 1994 and now he's a young man. So it's been a while. It doesn't seem like 20 years but here we are 20 years later with a great opportunity for the Rangers to win another Stanley Cup."
He was asked if he'd be doing any guaranteeing if he was the captain of the current team, and laughed, "No no no."
"If you really look, realistically, at the first two games from a Rangers standpoint, they should be really encouraged by what they accomplished. They haven't gotten the results but they've been right there both games.
"I would say (to them), 'Trust the process.' Any big game, any must-win situation or Game 7 you really kind of rely on the execution. That's what they've got to concentrate on (in Game 3) and not look too far past that."
Messier was asked if he's paid for a drink in the city since 1994.
He thought about it.
"A few," he said. "But not many."
2013-2014 STANLEY CUP FINAL