Leetch: “I believe it was the right time to stop playing.”

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And with that statement, Brian Leetch, the ever-quiet former Conn Smythe Trophy winner, announced his retirement today. “You can read the story from the Canadian Press here.”:http://www.thehockeynews.com/en/news/DetailNewsCP.asp?xml=h052406A

The questions to answer now:

A. Are you secretly happy the Rangers won’t be tempted to turn back the clock and sign Leetch for ’07-08?

B. Is he a Hall of Famer?

C. Do the Rangers retire his No. 2?

I assume the answer is “Yes” to all three, but let’s hear it.

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64 Comments

  1. I’m just glad I won’t have to see him in some other teams sweater again…that just wasn’t right him in the Bruins colors..

    I believe he belongs in the HOF, especially being one of the only US born players to win the Conn Symthe (if not the only).

    They will retire his number, and it is much deserved. Brian Leetch is the definition of a true Ranger. I never liked how his Rangers career ended, he deserved to be treated much better.

    Brian…thanks for everything during your great years here in NY…best of luck, and look foward to seeing your #2 being raised up to the rafters…

  2. A resounding YES to all 3 questions posed. Brian Leetch in my opinion is the BEST American to ever lace up his skates. I can’t stand the way Sather treated him when they traded him. Sather should be punched right in the mouth for what he did.
    As Jonas said above, Brian Leetch is the definition of a true Ranger. He will always be my favorite Ranger.

  3. Doodie Machetto on

    No doubt on all three. First ballot HoF. Who do you thnk the team would play the night that they retire his jersey? Boston perhaps? Or would they find a team loaded with former teammates, either on the team, bench, or front office?

  4. Doodie Machetto on

    Correction: I am not secretly happy. I am very openly and vocally happy. Great as he was, signing him would have been a disaster.

  5. They’ll probably play a team that isn’t a big draw when they send #2 to the rafters. It’s what they did with Richter (it was the Wild, iirc, and Dunham gave up some of the weakest goals of his career that night). Messier was a special case.

  6. Brian Leetch was the definition of class. He played with a fierce pride that embodied every quality of what each New York Ranger ought to be. The night his sweater goes up to the rafters will be a memorable one indeed.

  7. Definitely yes to all 3. And Beuk better be there the night Leetch’s #2 is retired. How about against Florida, so Keenan can be there too?

    My 2 favorite Leetch memories: watching him stare at the open net in Game 7 and calmly scoring that goal, and practically going coast to coast against NJ in Game 7 and scoring the first goal of that game with a nice spin move on Brodeur.

  8. And another thought: make sure Marc Staal is in attendance (playing or watching if he’s in Hartford and they are off that night) so he is there to witness it all.

  9. Yes to all 3. Not even questions that need to be debated. Unfortunately, Leetch’s treatment when he was traded was horrible (although the trade was, in fact, a good hockey move). Leetch is my favorite of all time. A true Ranger!!! How about Leetch for GM????? Much better than Messier, who has ego troubles.

  10. Brian Leetch was the best all-time Rangers draft choice by far. It was a sad day when Sather dumped him. He is a sure first ballot hall-of-famer and I’m looking forward to being there in Toronto the day he is inducted.
    Let’s hope the Rangers do the right thing and retire his number this coming season.

  11. your boy Malik on

    Leetch is the greatest Ranger – drafted by Blue – and if he had it his way he would have been a lifelong Ranger – gave up his no-trade and Sather screwed him. But I digress – thanks Brian – you are “simply the best”….and I’ll retire my #2 Jersey with his! His night will be great!

  12. Leetch is and always will be my most favorite hockey player ever. He is/was the reason why I am such a big NYR fan.

  13. I’m struggling with the first question. I was actually hoping that Sather would pull a Cashman and go after Leetch. I think the Rangers D could really use a veteran defenseman to help show them the ropes, and I cannot think of a better canidate than Brian to step in and lead our young guys. I have a special place in my heart for Leetch. I became a Ranger fan in 93 (I was 12, and i was able to love them on my own right, rather than love them because my father did) and from the get go I loved brian. He also went to Avon (which is my rival prep school) so I loved him even more. I have met him a few times and he is a wonderful player and person to emulate. I was sad that he did not have the oppertunity to retire as a Ranger; where he belongs. I remember when he went to Boston and I was trying to make my non hockey friends understand the magnitude of the deal by telling them it would be like Pedro wearing pinstripe…granted this is well before he went to the mets. He is absolutly going to the hall of fame, and could be 1 of the best americans to ever play d. His jersey should be retired as well. I am suprised how sad I am, but his legacy will live in the rafters of the Garden forever…

  14. yes to all three, but not as emphatically to the first one.

    you guys cant tell me the thought of seeing Brian in Ranger blue one more time isnt slightly appealing, for nostalgia at the least.

  15. your boy Malik on

    Inferno – I agree – I always secretly hoped he’d come back as a Ranger and retire.

  16. No statement from Sather yet…maybe he’s going to tell the media that we’re retiring Leetch’s number before he tells Brian.

  17. Hey all —

    Working on a story on No. 2 retiring. If any of you reside in The Journal News coverage area (Westchester, Rockland, or Putnam counties) and want to be quoted on his legacy, e-mail me your contact information at sweinman@LoHud.com.
    Best,
    Sam

  18. Yes to B and C …

    NO TO A …. Rangers PP still needs help … Their point men are average at best ……… Rosival should be on second PP …… If Rangers had a good QB on the point it would mean so much.

  19. I’m with Erin on the first question. One more year in a Blueshirt teaching the young guys the ropes… Then retiring with the team he should have always been with would have been my choice, but I understand.

    I’m also with NJMark on the game 7 goal. The poise he showed was truely impressive. I rememeber everyone within earshot of me yelling “SHOOT! SHOOT!” It seemed like it took an eternity :)

    A sad day… but the memories will “LAST A LIFETIME”

    An emphatic “YES” to the last two questions.

  20. I would have loved for the Rangers to do what many NFL teams have done over the past few years – sign a legacy player to a one-day deal – so that he can say that he retired a Ranger! I understand why the Rangers traded him away, the business end of sports sucks some times, but there was something special abot seeing #2 head up ice with the puck on his stick. I live up near Buffalo now, have remained true to the Rangers and bleed Blueshirt blue and will definitely take my son, who wears #2 in hockey & baseball because of Brian Leetch down to MSG for the retirement of his number! Brian, thanks for wearing the Rangers colors with dignity and allowing us the opportunity to root for you!

  21. ORR kicks Ying Yang on

    Obviously its a Yes to B and C…But A…i dont really know…But im happy its over…Toughest part was seeing him as a leaf and a Bruin…He never diserved to be traded and shoulda ended his career as a Ranger.

    Thats like trading Sakic or Yzerman…I understand the whole rebuild thing…but why him…

    But anyway…I am semi happy its over…i hated to think of this day…but what can you do..

    Hopefully 07 – 08 holds 2 games…One with Number 2 and one with Number 9…

    Messiers game was great…Remember the previous game Weekes gave up a goal to Gagne like 10 seconds in the OT.

    I remember Sam and JD talking about it then outta no where Jagr scores about 10 seconds in….That was one of my favorite games all last season.

  22. AngelusMortis on

    I’d say yes to all 3. Don’t get me wrong, it would be awesome to see Leetch skating in blue again, but he just wouldn’t have helped that much. His age caught up to him, just like it does to everyone, even Wayne Gretzky. It’s a total bummer to see him retire as a member of no team, and for the last team for him to have played for been the Bruins. But his legacy will always be remembered at MSG. Do you think he’d want to come back as early as next season for a retirement ceremony? I read in an interview with him earlier this season, around trade deadline time, that he was still bitter about the way he was ousted by Slats and Co. He and Graves definitely need to be up there.

  23. the only american con smythe winner, 2 time norris winner, stanley cup, 1000 points.. hall of fame 1st ballot end of story..

    i wish he was never traded.. he never looked right in the leafs or bruins jersey.. only bright side atleast he stayed with the original 6..

    the rangers better go above and beyond to make the ceremony incredible..

  24. Richtersgirl on

    i dont think they are going to retire #9. Dont you think they would have done it already?

  25. When the retire #2 it has to be double retired as most fans not around in the 70s tend to forget that the guy who suffered most from Bobby Orr awards wise a.k.a. Brad Park also wore #2.

  26. Doodie Machetto on

    They’ve retired 4 numbers in history. I can think of at least ten guys that would come ahead of Park.

  27. No question that his number 2 is retired, he is a hall of famer, and very glad he will not be back with us next year because we have plenty of young defenseman MARC STAAL who are ready to play.

  28. Doodie Machetto on

    As for Graves, I think he’s getting the shaft. I don’t even think he deserves it to be retired honestly, other than that he was a loved player at a special time. His numbers aren’t eve that good, with the exception of 94.

  29. #9 ought to be retired, for Graves and for Bathgate. Two huge names in the history of the franchise.

  30. czechthemout!!!!! on

    brian leetch is the greatest ranger of all time drafted or traded for.first ballot hof for sure.also was the most underrated dman in the nhl.

  31. OH YEA, #2 belongs in the rafters with our other greats.

    BUT, they better retire #9, what a guy, on & OFF the ice.

  32. Yes to all 3, no doubt. I was at the game vs. the Bruins when he finally returned to the Garden, and I almost cried seeing him in a Boston sweater. I would have loved to see him retire as a Ranger, but like others have pointed out, it would have been a disaster for the Rangers to sign him with an already-weak blueline. The Leetch of the past few years was not the Leetch we knew as a Ranger.

  33. Yes to all 3.

    Sam, please tell Dellapina that THIS finally, hopefully, stops his ranting about them trying to resign Leetch.

  34. Should we have signed him: No—-Sitting a year of hockey at his age, and his skills had diminished, let’s face it…signing him would not have been good…

    Should we have trraded him away in the first place?…No—I’ll always be ashamed for the rangers for trading him away…we go Kondratiev, who traded for I think Skyora, nil and nil as far as I’m concerned, and Imonen who’s treading water in Hartford…was it worth losing a franchise player?…if it wasn’t for the recent rangers turn around there’d be a death sentence on Slats’ had…think about, Slats has barely spoke a word since those deadline deals….for a GM of the biggest franchise in the NHL, that’s absurd!

    Retire his number— Absolutely and without hesitation…I was always pissed that they gave Pavel Bure Graves’ 9…for one, why would they allow him to do that, and why would Bure think that’s ok even if they did?

  35. I’m not sold on Graves, but Leetch obviously deserves to have his number retired.

    Sam, heard anything substantive on Ryan Smyth or Sheldon Souray?

  36. sad how pathetically he chose to end it, instead of signing somewhere last summer for less money. He just sat and waited like an idiot for his phone to ring.

  37. ORR kicks Ying Yang on

    PORK

    Just keep talking buddy….Ever since your last post everyone here and probably every ranger fan in the world thinks your the biggest dumbass of all time.

    Anything you keep saying will just add insult to injury.

    And as for Graves…He deserves to get his Number 9 retired…Those4 players were the core 4 of 94…I think there numbers should all be reunited in the rafters…its only right.

  38. graves, hands down, needs to have his number retired. the 4 of them are the only guys i can see having their number retired over the course of the next 15-20 years

  39. pork anus is not far from wrong on Captain Vallium and his awakening before the finals to finally retire. What did he think he was all season long, Rocky VII? Retire #2 & 9 for 94 and move on already. This is turning into a real tear jerker. You would think the guy died. Messier must be crying wherever he is today.

  40. onecupin67years on

    Yes to all three in Ranger land BUT he and richter were 2 fat cats satisfied with winning 1 cup in NY ,I dont understand how a competive player would stand for that crap,staying with NY while they missed the playoofs every year for 5,6,7 years,Absolutely satified with the NY adulation and money while other players won cups with other teams,IE Claude Lemieux and Mike Keene come to mind. So retire his number and let him get into the HOF ,he and richter SOLD OUT.

  41. onecupin67years on

    He and richter should have been traded before their peak ,its B.S.to be a Ranger for life if you dont win ,one cup so what.Look at NJ.They dont wait and over pay ,devil for life ? ONLY if you win!

  42. “Messier cuts in, still with the puck – nice pass to Zubov – Zubov feeds Leetch – LEETCH… [eternity of time here] …SCOOOOORRRRESSS!!!”

    That call is ingrained in my mind even more than “Matteau Matteau”

    Thanks for the privelege of watching you in Ranger blue all those years!

  43. DanTheRangerFan on

    #9 Wont be retired and in my opinion shouldnt be. I loved ADAM great team guy, and had a great year in 94 but if you really look at his seasons he wasen’t banner hanging worthy. If you hung every players Jersey that you like the roof of the garden would be made of cloth. Im not taking away from him, cause he was one of my favorite players but I wouldnt argue with the fact of not hanging his Jersey….

  44. Sold who out? Themselves? Certainly not the team. They gave it their all every year. And it’s not like they didn’t make runs in the years after (efforts to which they both contributed as much as they did in ’94). In the latter years Richter and leetch still contributed everything they could, but the rest of the team failed them.

  45. Hey One Cup,
    Stay on your own blog where you and the the other 5,000 Devils fans can discuss the trap and what to do next April when you are watching NYR.

  46. If Leetch’s number isn’t retired… whose is? If Leetch isn’t a hall of famer… who is? The number goes right to the roof, leetch goes right into the hall.

  47. Yes to all 3, although for nostalgic purposes, seeing him in a Rangers jersey for one last time would be the cherry on top of the cake.
    I believe the trade of him was for the good of the team, but boy, Sather just went about it in the wrongest way possible…but call me biased – i think Sather is just heartless anyway.
    #2 to the rafters! Boy, i cant wait for that day.

  48. robbybonfire on

    Number nine all-time Ranger is Andy Bathgate, only about 10 times the hockey player Rod Gilbert was (yes Gilbert wore #7), and an Adam Graves comparison with Bathgate in Ranger historical perspective is a joke. But since Bathgate is a distant memory for just a few, the club chooses to insult one the truly great players of his or any other generation, with indifference.

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