Mark Messier leaving Rangers

Updated: June 27, 2013, 5:57 PM ET
By Katie Strang | ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- Mark Messier, who was recently 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. He lost out to former Vancouver Canucks coach Alain Vigneault, who was introduced last Friday as John Tortorella's replacement.

"I am resigning my position with the team to pursue an opportunity to expand the game of hockey ...

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