The NHL lockout has been in effect for two months now, and so, with no actual games to report on, we’re going to link to a different hockey video every day until a new CBA is reached. Today: Gretzky and Messier are the Odd Couple.
Mark Messier and Wayne Gretzky played just one season together in New York, but the reunion of two men who won four Stanley Cups together in Edmonton got loads of attention. The two landed on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and Rangers promoted it plenty themselves.
There also exist at least two commercials from the era that play off of the duo’s contrasting styles. In one of them, an ad for the league itself, the two stars are playing chess: Gretzky is portrayed as the thinking man, while Messier relies more on strength and intimidation. (“I bet a knight could beat the [bleep] out of a bishop.”)
The other, an NHL on Fox commercial embedded below, is a shot-by-shot remake of the part of The Odd Couple’s opening credits. And so on Day 62, we remember the one year in which Messier and Gretzky skated together in New York — a season that ended with a surprise trip to the 1997 Eastern Conference Finals. Enjoy.