Messier leaves Rangers organization

Mark Messier, who was passed over for the New York Rangers' coaching job, issued a statement Thursday saying he's leaving the organization.

Messier denied his decision was based on not being hired as the club's coach. Former Vancouver Canucks coach Alain Vigneault was hired to replace John Tortorella.

"I am resigning my position with the team to pursue an opportunity to expand the game of hockey in the New York area by developing the Kingsbridge National Ice Center," Messier said. "Although some will perceive this as a reaction to the coaching decision, nothing could be further from the truth."

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