Campbell writes that the lack of experience both men have would lead to a bad situation, "coaching is a craft that is learned over years of hard work and experimentation. You spend years learning which buttons to push and you pick up intricacies of the game that none but the most trained eye can see. You get a feel for your players and your bench and you learn what it takes to gain an advantage over the opposition during the frenetic pace of a game."
Campbell says that the only way hiring Messier or Gretzky would work is if they were figurehead coaches and the Rangers paid an exorbitant amount for an associate coach to do the actual coaching.
Former Rangers assistant GM Don Maloney told Craig Custance at ESPN Insider that coaching is a very hard job and there is a lot more to it than just changing lines. On Messier specifically, Maloney said "look at Mark, his leadership and just his strength of his personality. You could get good people around him to do the technical work. I know he has very firm ideas about how the game is played and how you win. There's nobody better at how you win. That would probably give him a leg up on everybody."
Rangers Director of Player Personnel Gordie Clark told Custance that Messier often talks about the old Oiler teams he played on and how they played the game.
Former teammate Bobby Holik told Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants that great players do things on the ice without knowing how they do it and that it's hard to translate those kinds of things to players who aren't as gifted.
On Hockey Night Live over the weekend, Dave Maloney was asked about the idea of Mark Messier becoming coach of the Rangers and talked about the patience that coaches need to have and how sometimes when star players become coaches, they become frustrated that things aren't moving as quickly as they should.
Mike Johnson of TSN played for Wayne Gretzky when he was in Phoenix and Johnson told Darren Dreger that when they were in meetings the players would just stare at Wayne Gretzky in disbelief because Wayne Gretzky was standing there and talking with them. Dreger says that when the awe of playing for a great player wears off and you realize that he is your coach, there needs to be something else there.