Hockey star Mark Messier is a man with a big heart.

Dreamscapes Travel & Lifestyle Magazine - - Table Of Contents - BY BRUCE SACH

For­mer hockey su­per­star and Hockey Hall of Famer Mark Messier re­tired from hockey in 2004. He had led the New York Rangers to their first Stan­ley Cup win in 54 years and was a huge part of the five Stan­ley Cups won in Ed­mon­ton dur­ing the Oil­ers’ glory years. Hav­ing grown up just north of Ed­mon­ton in a well-known Western Cana­dian hockey fam­ily, he was a story-come-true home­town boy. He fa­mously pre­dicted the Rangers would win game six in a must-win sit­u­a­tion and went on to score a third pe­riod hat trick that en­sured his team’s win.

He be­came the only player in the NHL to cap­tain two dif­fer­ent teams to Stan­ley Cup vic­to­ries and ranks third in all-time NHL scor­ing and sec­ond in play­off scor­ing. “The Moose” Messier was uni­ver­sally rec­og­nized as a great team leader who gar­nered a new nick­name, The Mes­siah, af­ter sav­ing the Rangers.

How­ever, Mark Messier did not see his Or­der of Canada up­graded to Of­fi­cer of the Or­der of Canada by merely sit­ting on his lau­rels. No, it was his char­ity work that caught the eye of Rideau Hall.

Although he is in­volved in many char­i­ties that in­clude hos­pi­tals and hockey, it is prob­a­bly his First Shift op­er­a­tion that gar­ners the most at­ten­tion, as it sup­plies ba­sic hockey equip­ment to chil­dren who oth­er­wise might not be able to start the sport.

I spoke to this big-hearted Cana­dian af­ter the Or­der of Canada cer­e­monies in Ot­tawa in May, 2018.

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