Leetch Night Live Blog


OK, we’re off and running…

6:34 p.m.: Sam Rosen approaches center ice. A brief intro, followed by (presumably) the first of several video montages. I don’t know the song, but I’m pretty sure it’s not a Marcel Hossa techno favorite.
6:38 p.m.: The Stanley Cup hits the ice. No truth to the rumor Messier and Leetch were just swilling Jagermeister from it backstage.

6:40 p.m.: OK, first spine-tingling moment of the night: Shot of Leetch in the Rangers dressing room, where there’s a hanging Leetch No. 2 jersey at his old stall. Walks out to one of my personal favorites, Coldplay’s “Fix You.” Standing ovation ensues. Dellapina is a mess.

6:43 p.m.: The parade of players begins coming out of the Zamboni door right below me. Brian Mullen. Ron Greschner. Jan Erixon!! Man, if Jan Erixon is in the house, you know it’s a big night….

6:46 p.m.: Rosen begins an intro of the “greatest defensmen in franchise history.” Wait, so Malik is here after all?

6:49 p.m.: The retired jerseys come out wearing the home blue: First, Rod Gilbert, then Eddie Giacomin. Biggest cheer yet for Richter…which is only trumped by Messier moments later. Great stuff. I just thought it was a little awkward that Messier stopped to hand Glen Sather his resume for the G.M. job.

6:53 p.m.: The start of the presentation of gifts, beginning with a brand new Harley Davidson. Here’s hoping Leetch gets some use out of it. As a point of reference, the silver goal given to Richter on his jersey retirement night is still sitting in the lobby of the MSG Training Center.

6:57 p.m.: The 2007-08 Rangers are introduced. Blair Betts boldly proclaims “We’ll all meet back here for my No. 15 retirement ceremony in 2020!”

6:58 p.m. Oh boy, stap yourselves in. Messier approaches the podium. The over-under on the start of tears is at 15 seconds.

6:59 p.m. It’s the under. The faucets are officially on. The best cheer from the crowd, “Suck it up, Messier!”

7:02 p.m.: Messier introduces, “the greatest Ranger ever.” But I still don’t see Malik anywhere…

7:05 p.m.: The love-in is briefly interrupted. Leetch thanks Jim Dolan. Boos ensue. Dolan shuts off the lights and tells everyone to go home.

7:13 p.m.: Wow. Leetch announces the Rangers will retire Adam Graves’ number. Graves looks legitimately stunned. Huge ovation.

7:15 p.m.: Just a thought here, but why not just knock out that Graves ceremony right now? Quick, someone get a seamstress on the phone!

7:22 p.m. Leetch wraps up his remarks. Flash bulbs pop. Chants of “Brian Leetch!” And then they all walk to the other side of the arena for the banner-raising.

7:24 p.m. The ceremony comes to a close, as warm-ups are about to begin. The song of choice is Jon Bon Jovi’s “Who Says You Can’t Go Home?”

Actually, I’m pretty sure it was Glen Sather who said that….

About Author


  1. I am so dissapointed…It is like in the stone ages…No live screaming no pictures no sound here in Germany from the ceremonies…it is so frustrating only just to read the above updates… it is going on something special and I can´t be into it, which makes me crazy….

    Sam no offence to you, you are the only live source right now, and it is 1am in the morning but….

    Was ein Scheiß man…!!!

  2. Come on, Why don´t the Rangers have a link on their website that everybody can see the coverage from Garden…It is not the game so there are no special tv rights , or man…

    Why isn´ t that possible ????

  3. AHHH! I predicted it, that they probably wanted to get the *really good* and *more tenured* players out of the way first before they put Graves’s number up there. Too bad I didn’t write it here first, but my dad can vouch for me. That’s a nice gesture, and one for the fans I think. Kovalev next!! Nah, I’m just kidding on that one.

    I wonder why Keenan isn’t there because Calgary is one of the few teams not playing tonight; they last played on Tuesday, and this might have been scheduled to fit Keenan in. I’ve seen JD and Neil Smith shown on camera already in the stands.

  4. Did they happen to announce the date lol so I have a shot at tickets for my favorite player ever?

  5. Are you kidding about Gravy’s # 9 ???
    I’m at work, & I can only read this until I get home & watch on TIVO .
    Please tell me you’re not kidding !

  6. Tony – He’s not kidding…#9 will go up next year…and Graves looked as shocked as you sounded there lol

    Amazing ceremony…regardless of where this team goes in the future – this is the classiest organization in all of sports.

    Sam – priceless commentary.

    Thank you #2.

  7. Wow, Gretzky looked AWFUL in that video package after the ceremony, he almost had a Christopher Walken-esque wildman look about him

  8. On behalf of Rangers fans everywhere (who do not get MSG)I would like to extend my personal thanks to;
    The NHL
    NHL Center Ice Online
    NY rangers.com
    NY Rangers on demand
    MSG online


    It is these special things that make the NHL less attractive to public then Nascar, Strongest man competition and Billiards

  9. FYI…i got my ticket at 1 today on ticketmaster. i was checking every 30 min for two days now and they finally released a few for face value. good bloggng sam, from section 324 just behind you. i think i got a better seat then malik did!

  10. Zach, you lucky bastard !
    When will they announce the Graves game ?
    I live in AZ , I’m gonna have to start saving my money, but I’ll be there !

  11. I FOUND A WAY TO WATCH THE GAMES!!! go to myp2p.eu, you can watch all sorts of games, not just hockey games. To watch it you have to download a program called sopcast, and after you do so you can click a link from the myp2p.eu page and watch the games live.


  12. I hate to suck, but I’m a little iffy on Graves’ number going up. Not because he wasn’t sweet, but having your number retired should be really rare. Not sure he quite cuts it…

    Does that make me an awful person?

  13. Oh, and Gravy deserves it in my opinion.
    52 goals that Stanley Cup year, great teammate…Good for him. That announcement was one of the best parts of the evening

  14. there is no doubt gravy deserves it. he has become the epitome of a ranger both in his playing days and in retirement. after gravy, there shouldnt be anyone else who cuts it from the last 20 years.

  15. that was inspiring!!!!!man they played with no oomph that period.. they need to pick it up else it will be a ugly ugly LLLLL.

  16. Sam, you didn’t mentiion leetch’s comments about how sitting on the VISITING teams bench wasn’t he favorite moment in MSG…an obvious shot at Sather. As a note from second 403…ceremony was great, but period 1 was crap. Garden Faithful not happy, but video replays of great Leetch moments are keeping us happy…for now.

  17. Dr. Ogrodnick bows to Leetch on

    I love Graves, classy guy and deserving of the honor. But Andy Bathgate is arguably just as deserving of having his #9 retired. With all of these ’94 players getting in, and so few from pre 94, it just seems like this team is doing its history and longstanding tradition an injustice. Besides, if Graves is deserving, isn’t Greschner just as deserving? What about gartner?

  18. Adam Graves deserves to have his # lifted to the rafters. He was an important part of the Stanley Cup team, he was a key cog in the Rangers teams of the 90’s and what he does for the organization and community is not comparable. To even question why his #9 will be retired goes to show who is a true Ranger fan and who isn’t.

    Adam Graves is a Ranger forever. And I can’t wait to see his #9 retired and lifted next to his friends.

    Great job tonight Sam!

  19. Dr. O

    Gartner? Only here for 3+ seasons?

    Greschner I think you can make a case for. I’m not sure he belongs up there, both because his teams never won, and he was a fine, but not a great player. But a legitimate argument can be made for him given his longevity as a NYR.

    Graves in my view was great when you consider the whole measure of the man. His sweater will be up there for a lot of reasons that transcend his actual achievements on the ice, but his character is so good and selfless that I’m all in favor.

    Bathgate should absolutely be honored in some way —- he was by far the best Ranger in the post-war era till the Emile Francis days.

    I know Leetch mentioned Park in his words, but I sorta wish he had made reference to Park having worn the same number 2 as well, and having been deserving in his own right.

  20. Dr. Ogrodnick bows to Leetch on

    I guess Gartner was a little ridiculous. But my point is, Graves wasn’t an elite player like the others, and probably wasn’t the best player to wear #9. It also bothers me a little that of the 6 numbers retired, 4 are from the 94 era, and only two represent the long history before that.

  21. Maybe it has something to do with the one Cup in 67 years. It’s like the Knicks and all their guys from the two championship teams. And the Yankees. Mattingly is the only guy with a retired number who didn’t win a title.
    But Graves was one of the MVPs of that team, and he is probably the most popular and beloved Ranger ever.
    As a player, he’s borderline. As a person, as a Ranger, as the whole package, on the ice, in the community, as a teammate, he deserves to be up there.
    “I wrote about it on my blog, and in The Journal News and LoHud.com tomorrow.”:http://carp.lohudblogs.com

  22. Well it wasn’t pretty but I will take two points however we can get them. At least we can go in to the All Star weekend with our heads a little higher. My prediction was almost right folks. We ended up getting 7 out of a possible 10 points in our last 5 games. I guess it could have been a lot worse at the end of this last 5 game stretch. Dubinsky is a player we need to hang on to. I am loving what I am seeing out of him lately. Sleep well tonight my fellow Ranger fans. I know I will. This is a start. A start.


    Big win tonight!

  24. czechthemout!!!!! on

    Another woefull performance!I thought after the effort last game it might start something,but I was wrong.

    very lucky to get anything tonight.Most played with zero emotion and zero passion.The fourth line was way overused again by Renney.EX;right after the tying goal,the building was alive and the team started to play with a little more intensity,instead of going with Gomez or Drury’s line,Renney put out the scrubs and promptly killed offensive any momentum the team worked so hard to build and sucked the life right out of the building again.This is why I’ve always maintained that Renney is a poor in-game coach and fails to recognize the course of a game.I know we won in the shootout but really,efforts like this arn’t going to take us very far,this is a team we dominated just two days ago and sleep walked tonight.

  25. Just returned from MSG – great night for a great player. I agree with Doodie. Dubinsky deserves to get a chance in the shootout. He can’t be worse than Jagr or Dreary.

  26. So Dolan decided to splurge this year and bought these nice scoreboards, or bars, or whatever you want to call them, behind the nets….too bad he forgot to pay someone on how to spell correctly when using them. Did anyone else notice the bars said “Welcome Home Bryan”? Geez, you would think after 15+ years with the team they would at least spell his name right

  27. I can’t believe it. My wife has done it again. She got me my season tickets 2 years ago and now I see Leetch and next year Graves.

    I know some feel Graves wasn’t the most famous Ranger to ever wear #9, but think about this, The 4 players from the 1994 season did more than just win a championship, they led a team that did what no other Rangers team could do for 54 years. Gravy deserves it.


    I saw the sign. I was actually telling my wife that someone was going to get fired. They had months to practice spelling Brian. HAHA!

  28. Sam – this was really amusing stuff. Keep it up!

    My first reaction is to assume the part about Dellapina being “a mess” was said tongue-in-cheek, but the more I think about it, the more I wonder…

  29. two of the songs played last night were “wrapped in my memory” by shawn smith and increadibly, the terminator theme song…

  30. Renney dosen’t want to embarras other team by scoring 2 goals in a minutes time thats why he puts out the 4th line after scoring a goal

Leave A Reply