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ESPN adds Hockey Hall of Famer Mark Messier as NHL analyst

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When the National Hockey League returns to ESPN and ABC this fall, former NHL great Mark Messier will be behind the microphone to offer his expert analysis.

Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007, Messier has previously worked as a studio analyst on Versus' coverage of the NHL and has also appeared as part of Rogers Communications' national coverage in Canada.

“My passion for the game is as strong as it has ever been and I am looking forward to sharing that passion, plus my insights and analysis with the sport’s incredible fans," Messier, 60, said in an ESPN news release announcing his hire.

In April, ESPN reached a seven-year deal for broadcast and media rights to NHL games, which it will split with Turner Sports, beginning with the 2021-22 season.

Rangers center Mark Messier celebrates a game-winning overtime goal in front of Capitals goalie Olaf Kolzig in the 2003 NHL playoffs.
Rangers center Mark Messier celebrates a game-winning overtime goal in front of Capitals goalie Olaf Kolzig in the 2003 NHL playoffs.

One of the most decorated players in NHL history, Messier is the only player to captain two teams to Stanley Cup titles (Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers). He won a total of six Stanley Cups in his 25 NHL seasons and was a 15-time All-Star.

He retired at the end of the 2003-04 season with a total of 1,887 career points -- which rank third on the NHL's all-time list. He's also third in assists with 1,193 and ninth in goals with 694.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Mark Messier joins ESPN as NHL analyst, starting this fall