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Entries with the tag: brian leetch

Lundqvist Belongs with the Rangers’ Greats

When looking at the New York Rangers since the 1997-98 season, it is easy to see that for close to decade, there were some rough seasons.

The team went seven straight years without making the postseason, had a lot of failed free-agent signings and ended up losing the likes of Brian Leetch, Mark Messier, Mike Richter, and Adam Graves to retirement or trade. For Blueshirt fans, it was a dark period.

The names mentioned above, however, all had terrific careers despite the bad times. As a result, each went down in Rangers' lore and ended up having their number retired and hung to rafters at Madison Square Garden.

This got to me thinking on the next Ranger that will have his number hanging from the rafters at the World's Most Famous Arena. As it turned out, it did not take me too long to come up with a player.

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  Tags: adam+graves, brian+leetch, henrik+lundqvist, mark+messier, mike+richter, new+york+rangers

Ryan McDonagh: Rangers’ Best Defenseman?

When it comes to great New York Rangers' defensemen, one thinks of Brian Leetch, Brad Park, Harry Howell, Ron Greschner, as well as a few others.

Nowadays, the Blueshirts have several terrific defensemen. Last season, along with the great play of netminder Henrik Lundqvist, the team's defensive corps finished third in the league in goals allowed and helped Lundqvist win his first Vezina Trophy as the NHL's top goaltender.

With that said, there is one defenseman on the Blueshirts that stands just above the rest. Believe it or not, it is not Dan Girardi or Marc Staal.

Rather, it is 23-year-old Ryan McDonagh. Looking back at the deal that brought McDonagh to the Blueshirts, it appears that Glen Sather absolutely robbed the Montreal Canadiens

In his first season on Broadway in 2010-11, McDonagh scored 1 goal and added 8 assists for 9 points in 40 games. While that is not a lot of offense, it was his strong defensive plays that opened up the eyes of the organization and its fans.

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  Tags: brad+park, brian+leetch, dan+girardi, harry+howell, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, marc+staal, new+york+rangers, ron+greschner, ryan+mcdonagh

Brian Leetch: Poetry On Ice

As most New York Ranger fans know, there was no better defenseman in the team’s history than No. 2, Brian Leetch.

Bob Birge, a long-time sports writer in Connecticut and currently the Fairfield County Sports Editor for Patch.com (A site I contribute sports articles to), wrote a poem about Leetch the night he retired.

With hockey season right around the corner and Rangers’ pucks dancing in our heads, I figured now was as good a time as ever to feature Birge’s outstanding poem on No. 2, Brian Leetch.

Enjoy by going below for the poem:

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  Tags: brian+leetch, new+york+rangers

Way to Go Leetchy

From NewYorkRangers.com:

It’s official. Rangers great Brian Leetch is in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

In a conference call on Tuesday afternoon, the Hall of Fame Selection Committee announced that Leetch would be part of the 2009 Hall induction class, along with Brett Hull, Luc Robitaille and Steve Yzerman, who were all inducted in the player category.

Also entering the Hall is New Jersey Devils President and General Manager Lou Lamoriello, who was added in the Builder’s Category.

Leetch, who grew up in Cheshire, Conn., becomes the only Rangers draft pick other than Brad Park to earn hockey’s highest honor. He is also the first U.S.-born defenseman in the Hall and only the second with American citizenship, following Rod Langway.

Leetch, whose No. 2 was retired by the Rangers organization on Jan. 24, 2008, is now a member of both the Hockey Hall of Fame and the United States Hockey Hall of Fame, which he entered last year. He is the 45th former Ranger to be selected to the Hall, while Robitaille, who spent two years as Leetch’s teammate in the mid-1990s, is the 46th.

Click here for more. Well deserved!!

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  Tags: brian+leetch, new+york+rangers

Where’s the Spark?

Things certainly started right last night at Madison Square Garden when the New York Rangers raised Adam Graves’s No.9 to the rafters. It was a night filled with Ranger stars such as Mark Messier, Mike Richter, Brian Leetch, Rod Gilbert, Eddie Giacomin, Mike Gartner, as well as guys like Glenn Healy, Sergei Nemchinov, Tie Domi, Darren Langdon and Jeff Beukeboom, all there to give praise to one of their greatest mates, Adam Graves.

It was unfortunate that the current Ranger squad had to play afterwards because they put on a dismal performance against the lowly Atlanta Thrashers and lost 2-1 in a shootout. Yes, the team peppered Thrashers’ netminder Kari Lehtonen. Yes, Nikolai Zherdev played a tremendous game by generating many scoring chances. The team also got a good look at Artem Anisimov, who played well but needs more playing time to be effective. And yes, the team got a solid performance, with the exception of the shootout, from their goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.

However, it still wasn’t enough to be the second worst team in the NHL while also being a game in which they could have gained some ground on the New Jersey Devils as they lost to the Washington Capitals 5-2 last night.

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  Tags: adam+graves, artem+anisimov, atlanta+thrashers, brian+leetch, chris+drury, darren+langdon, eddie+giacomin, glenn+healy, henrik+lundqvist, ilya+kovalchuk, jeff+beukeboom, mark+messier, markus+naslund, mike+gartner, mike+richter, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, nikolai+zherdev, patrick+roy, rod+gilbert, scott+gomez, sergei+nemchinov, tie+domi, tom+renney, washington+capitals

Honoring a Man More than a Player

As I am sure most of you are aware of by now, the New York Rangers will honor Adam Graves by retiring his No. 9 to the Garden rafters. Compared to the other Blueshirt retirees (Rod Gilbert, Eddie Giacomin, Mike Richter, Mark Messier and Brian Leetch), Graves did not produce as much statistically (280 goals, 227 assists, and 507 points in 772 games) but he certainly bled red, white and blue like no other Blueshirt for 10 seasons.

On the ice, Graves was a hard-nosed player who drove to the net to put in rebounds, deflect shots, create havoc for opposing netminders and generate many scoring opportunities. In 1993-94, Graves became one the league’s premier left wingers when he notched 52 goals, braking previous record-holder Vic Hadfield’s 50 goals. Five seasons later, he actually fired in 38 goals, proving that even though he was getting older, he could still play hard, do all the little things right and produce. He may not have been a Gilbert, Messier or Leetch but nevertheless, he did what he had to do to be an impact player.

“Gravey” was also a tough player. He stood up for his teammates, protected his linemates and when something needed to get done, he led by example. In a piece on the team’s web site, Messier called Graves the ultimate lieutenant. He also persevered through many obstacles and was able to capture the league’s King Clancy Trophy (1994) and Bill Masterton Trophy (2001).

With all that said, this still doesn’t show who Graves really is.

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  Tags: adam+graves, brian+leetch, eddie+giacomin, mark+messier, mike+richter, new+york+rangers, rod+gilbert

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