Messier would have signed himself!

TERRY JONES -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 1:53 PM ET

Now that Mark Messier has gone public with the idea that he wishes to become a general manager, it was an interesting question.

If he was GM of the Edmonton Oilers back in 1979, would he have drafted Mark Messier?

For some reason after all these years Messier had come to believe he'd been taken in the fourth round after 100 other players had been chosen.

In fact, it had been the third round and he was No. 48 overall.

The Oilers were allowed to protect Wayne Gretzky under the terms of the merger with the WHA but Messier, who had played as a 17-year-old with the Cincinnati Stingers, wasn't a protected player.

"Everybody else went back into the draft," he explained at a press conference yesterday following his public ceremony at Sir Winston Churchill Square.

"I didn't have the credentials to go higher than that.

"I think to get picked that high, it was probably because there was a relationship with some people in the Oilers' organization and my family. My dad and I'd played junior hockey here in St. Albert so there was a bit of knowledge of me.

"To take me in the fourth round, maybe it was something like, 'Let's take a shot. You never know.'

"It was a gamble, probably.

"When you are drafting that late, you're picking on character and size.

"I hadn't been scoring 200 and 300 goals since peewee," he said, making obvious reference to Wayne Gretzky.

"But I'd been playing with kids older than I was. I was 15 in my first year of junior.

"I don't think I warranted going any higher. But I think I warranted going where I went on the intangibles thing.

"I came from a hockey background. My dad played pro. There were hockey players on my mother's side. I had something.

"I was the kind of guy you are probably looking for in those rounds.

"So sure, I would have taken me."


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