‘Moose On The Loose’: Hockey Legend Mark Messier Talks Business With Local Leaders

An Edmonton Oiler legend continues to deepen his roots in the RMWB.

Former Oilers’ captain and Hall of Famer Mark Messier was at Shell Place on Wednesday, as a special guest at the Northeastern Alberta Aboriginal Business Association breakfast meeting.

The hockey legend was part of a keynote speech with Nicole Bourque-Boucher – the CEO of the Boucher Group, to provide insight to local business figures and give advice as to what it means to be a successful leader.

Messier spoke about his time in the NHL as both captain of the Oilers and the New York Rangers, which he says helped him see the parallels between sport and business.

“I was in the hockey business for 26 years,” Messier told a packed Grand Ballroom. “But I recognized very quickly I was actually in the people business. Once you recognize you’re in the people business, whether it’s a sport, whether it’s oil, whatever the business is – it’s all the same. You have to be able to connect with people and inspire them – not motivate them.”

Messier’s connection to Fort McMurray stems back a few years.

In 2013, the six-time Stanley Cup Champion was the special guests for Keyano College’s One on One Banquet – which was in support of the Huskies Athletic Endowment.

Last year, he hosted the Mark Messier Foundation Charity Golf Tournament – which helped raise funds for the Regional Recreation Corporation of Wood Buffalo’s ‘WB Kids’ Program and he hosted a number of hockey camps through the region.

Speaking from a leadership standpoint, Messier notes it’s not about being liked or pleasing people.

“If you’re looking to win a popularity contest as a leader, sometimes it’s probably not the best position to be in but you have to be respectful of ‘you might not like me but you respect me because I have a job to do’. Because the team is more important than any individual.”

Messier also points out that in order to have success in life, it starts with resources for the youth.

“Access and opportunity are two words I keep using,” Messier said. “Because we’re all understanding that our youth are our most precious resource and so if you’re not committed to giving kids the opportunity and the education and the resources to be the next leaders in the community then what do you really stand for?”

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