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Messier backs hockey complex plan in Bronx

Sep 2, 2012, 12:55 PM EDT

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Former NHL players Mark Messier and Wayne Gretzky look on during Game Three of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final between the New Jersey Devils and the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on June 4, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.
(June 3, 2012 - Source: Harry How/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

Mark Messier and 2002 Winter Olympic gold medalist in figure skating Sarah Hughes are among those throwing their support behind constructing a massive hockey and ice-skating complex in the Bronx, according to the Riverdale Press.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. thinks this plan will “realize the potential” of the vacant Kingsbridge Armory. It would involve the creation of 50,000 square feet of community space as well as nine indoor and an outdoor rink.

The complex would also have an educational program, which Messier hopes will provide youths with leadership skills. It will draw inspiration from the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation.

“That’s what interested me about this project, lending our hand to the kids in the community, using hockey as a metaphor for life, and providing these kids with skills for life, that no matter what they do, no matter where they go, they can take these lessons with them,” Messier said.

As NHL.com’s Brian Compton pointed out, the Bronx is scheduled to see the opening of its first public skating rink this fall.

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