Just between us


That was great yesterday. I could not believe how fast you all were able to figure out who each one was. For today’s post, I’m going to do something a little different. Get out your hankies.

Before he left on “vacation,” Carp suggested I do a little something to reflect how much he and I really enjoyed covering the Rangers after Sam Weinman left, so here goes.

When the playoffs started I went down to the Garden to do a fan story, where I looked for local people to talk about how they had gotten tickets, what they thought the Rangers could do in the postseason, pretty basic. I ran into this woman who was soaking wet from riding the Rangers double decker bus. She had been sitting in the upper deck despite the rain just to scream her head off in Times Square before Game 1.

Carolyn Lawler was her name. Great to talk to, aspiring sportswriter. I wrap it up and she said, “Are you Jane?” She was a blog reader. I was there with Carp (the photo is from that game) and between us we had about dozen people come up to us to say hello, give us their screen names (What up cml, Raider, L.I. Joe) and talk about the Rangers. I guess then I realized that the blog was as much about give and take as the actual Rangers are with their fans. It’s a different kind of interaction than I’ve seen in other sports, more personal.

So this has been a really cool experience. When Sam left, we weren’t so sure we wouldn’t get booed out of the room. We had some typos in the beginning trying to get stuff out as fast as we could, and you guys were great about pointing it out without making us feel like total boneheads. (Boneheads?) Short story, Carp and I have loved doing this.

So I thought I’d take Warren Mason’s idea and call for your stories about the best and worst interactions you’ve had with a Ranger. I know I’ve seen some posts on this over the last few months, I think a lot around the time of Adam Graves’ night, but clearly you guys can tell a story as well as we can.

That, or free agent speculation or whatever else you want to add.

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  1. Jane, I love the fact, that when nothing is really going on in Rangerland, you and Carp still hang with us!!!! So thank you for all that you guys do for us!

  2. My fav. Ranger moment was at a preason game vs. the Isles a few seasons back at the Mausoleum, I want to say 06-07. Valli was playing in the game, and since the benches aren’t long enough for the backup goalies there, Hank was sitting in the tunnel. The building was basically empty, so me and my friend left our crappy seats and went and sat right next to Hank the whole game. Security kept telling us not to talk to him, but he’d tell them it was ok and continue talking with us. I wouldn’t say we had a long or life changing conversation, but it was cool he’d talk to us at all during a game

  3. In the mid 70’s, Bill chadwick (The Big Whistle/Rangers TV color guy) owned a skating rink on Long Island called Skateland. One day, me and my friends attempted to remain for the second public session, even though we only paid for the first. Chadwick caught me running across the lobby as I was going to meet me friends in the bathroom to hide until the 2nd session began.

    Chadwick caught me and uttered: “Your friends are over there, they’re leaving and you’re leaving too”


  4. That’s a nice story about Henrik. He seems like a pretty cool guy in general. But wasn’t Kevin Weeks our back-up goalie in 06-07? I could be wrong about that.

    Anyway, just off the top of my head, the only time I can remember actually interacting with a Ranger was when I was with my Mom and Brother a few years back and we were walking along Columbus Ave up by Lincoln Center. I think we had just had breakfast, and out of nowhere we see Petr Nedved walking down the street toward us. Not many people were around, so he was pretty hard to miss. My mom, who is a big Rangers fan, decided to lose her mind. My brother and I tried to play it cool, but as he passed us she pretty much shouted: “Oh my God. It’s Petr Nedved.”

    Naturally, after hearing a random woman on the street begin screaming his name, he sort of sped up his pace. As we kept walking I looked back and saw him step out into the street and hail a cab. As he got in he shot us a look, I guess to see if we were planning on following him all the way to his destination…

  5. And I echo your feelings, Jane, about how the fan interaction with this blog (and each other)seems more personal than the fan and the player!! I guess because we can never actually talk with our heros like you & Carp can. Then, you come to us and impart the stories, is just great stuff!!!! Thanks a lot for this.
    My personal story is with Rod Gilbert. Now, I know he isn’t a current Ranger but he was the star Ranger of my youth so meeting him later in my life was a thrill. I was at a game back in the mid 90’s and was on crutches. So, I go to find an elevator to get up to our seats when who steps off the elevator; none other than the Great Rod Gilbert. Well, he sees me in crutches, holds the eleveator door for me and says in his French Canadian/English “What happened to you? Did you get hit with a slapshot?” Friggin’ classic!! I was so thrilled to actually meet him that I didn’t have the “cogliones” to ask for his autograph. The other one, again, from yester-year, was with my fav at the time, Anders Hedberg. He was injured & I met him in Cosby’s B 4 the game, got him to sign my Hedberg jersey and he wound up in “the Blues” during the game. He saw me, remembered me and came and sat down next to me!! Real nice guy (with a gorgeous wife!) & never would have dreamed a player would actually sit down and talk to a fan like that!!!

  6. I guess about 4 years ago me and my buddy went to a meet and greet before a Sunday night game. We were at a bar all day long before hand so we were feeling no pain. As were walking to the M&G we see Rod Gilbert in the hallway. “Rod! Rod!” we yelled. He came over and took pics with us. He was at the event so we got more pics with him. After it’s over, we’re looking to get 1 more free beer so the place was empty. As we’re walking to the game we see Rod in the hallway again. “Rod! Rod!” and again he comes over and takes more pics. He had to catch a buzz from the beer breath being plastered all over him but he didn’t complain once and took about 50 pics with the same 2 drunks.

  7. About 10 yrs ago i knew a guy that worked in the garden. he moved my friends down to better seats. he sat us next to brian leetchs then girl friend. i was the one sitting next to her she was really hot. I was 14 at the time. She said she enjoyed sitting with us, as i did with her.

  8. I don’t have any Ranger run-ins. So I guess my contribution, since I’m good with understanding the CBA and the cap, will be buyout cap-hits for the two most talked about buyout victims. If you want details on the calculations, the link is in my name, but I figure most just want the end-result, so:

    Wade Redden: $2.067 million cap-hit for the next ten seasons if bought out, $6.5 million cap hit for the next five seasons if not. (My opinion: Might actually be worth it, considering the cap in 10 years will be around $65-$70 million, and I doubt he will be waived and buried in the minors.)

    Aaron Voros: $300,000 cap-hit for the next four seasons if bought out, compared to $1 million for two seasons if not. (My opinion: Not worth it. Just waive him and bury him in the minors, and call up Dane Byers to replace him.)

  9. EanHart, it was a preseason game, so it was still during training camp when they had more than 2 goalies with the team at the time, I think they had dressed Weekes and Al Montoya the game before

  10. Here is my worst player interaction and it is actually something that bothered me for a long time. I took my fiance’s 13 year old brother to skate on the ice at MSG before game 5 against Buffalo a few years back. This was a viewing party where we all watched the game on the jumbotron as it happened in Buffalo. It was amazing skating on the garden ice beforehand and meeting Graves and Glenn Anderson. We also met Rod Gilbert that night. My young and future brother in law was trying to get everyone to sign his Rangers hat that I just got for him that day. He already had two signatures on it and then we went to get Gilbert’s. Rod was signing the Alumni Association players cards that night and refused to sign the 13 year olds hat. When we asked Rod to, he didn’t even look up, he just kept shaking his head no while signing the players cards. I appreciate these guys taking their time to do events like this, but when one of them shoots down a young kid and doesn’t really acknowledge him it can really leave a bad taste. I have heard great things about Rod, but my only interaction with him does not match up with those stories.

  11. Earlier this season, I had the privilege to attend the MSG Skate Party and I met both Adam Graves and Glen Anderson. I didn’t get to spend too much time with either of them, since the lines to meet them were pretty long, but Graves really made the experience worthwhile.

    Graves took the time to talk to as many people as possible and always had a smile on his face. I noticed he was especially great with the young kids. He just seemed so genuine talking with everyone.

    Anderson didn’t seem too friendly and actually was a little intimidating at first. I don’t know if it was just me, but he didn’t seem like he wanted to be there. Then again, it’s hard to be compared with Graves.

  12. Doodie Machetto on

    Best interaction with a Ranger:

    I saw Eddie Giacomin on the street near Times Square. I recognized him and RAN across to talk to him, almost getting hit by a car along the way. He was so nice, insisting that we take a picture together, and then when I said I wish I had a pen and paper to get an autograph, he actually suggested that we find a store and buy them. Unreal.

    Worst experience with a Ranger:

    I met Mike Richter on Adam Graves night. He shook my hand but it was clear he was in no mood to stand around and chat/take a picture/sign autographs. Not necessarily a bad thing, but still, a WORLD away from Eddie.

  13. This was several years back, right after The Great One retired. My brother and I were at Rock Center and we bumped into Janet Jones. She noticed that my brother had a magazine with Gretzky on the cover. She said to him that Wayne was unable to attend today, but she can take the magazine and have him sign it. She asked for his name, mailing address and took the magazine.

    A few weeks went by and he received the magazine in the mail signed by the great one.

  14. A few years ago I made my pilgrimmage to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, wearing a Rangers jersey the whole time (natch). My buddy and I were walking around the Original Six exhibit, and who should walk by us but Doug Messier – Mark’s dad. He had an entourage of people around him, but I bided my time and waited for a moment when he was by himself. I came up to him, introduced myself, explained that his son is my all-time favorite player, and thanked the Messier family on behalf of myself and my Dad for all they had given to Rangers fans. He shook my hand, spent a few minutes with me, and could not have been nicer. A really cool moment all around.

  15. worst night for player interaction (note… I have had many really good player interactions these were the exceptions but it was in one night… and I am not using any names)

    It was in Nashville, now my sister and I were down there becuase visiting family (and conveniently timed it when the Rangers were there… I also had two friends who traveled down only for the Rangers. After the game (it ended up being a historic game for Hank… I don’t recall what it was now but it was huge) so we knew what hotel they were staying in (a local had told us) and we went to the hotel to wait for them to come in… we wanted Hank and one other player to sign our tickets and one other item… the others we were just going to congratulate.

    OK the one other item was a puck… it was my cousins first ever hockey game and I asked a certain player if he would throw it to her at warmups.. he did and that was awesome of him.

    ANyway after the game. Orr came in first and he walked right over to us and we congratulated him on the big win.. then he went inside…

    about an hour later Blair Betts came back to the hotel… now it was pretty cold but we were only waiting for two players (and Hank was supposedly sick at this time so how long was he really going to stay out right?) so we were still there. Blair walks up to us and asks “are you guys ok?” the four of us said yea, becuase we were stlll high form the excitement of the game. We congratulated him and he went inside…

    now the first of the bad stuff…

    a car pulled up slowly past us and then about fifty feet in fornt of us at the door of the hotle (the employees had told us we had to stand back a certain distance), and it looked fairly full. One player leaned out the window and called to us. He said Henrik was in the car and would sign for us if we just came over… we all hesitated (tells you how much we trusted that player I guess) One of my friends said “___ are you messing with us? DOn’t mess with us” and we slowly started going over to the car. The player continued laughing as we slowly went over. We all read the situation and didn’t fully trust it… anyway when we were finally kind of close the player turned into the car and it peeled rubber driving away… so we were right to not trust him obviously. We have no idea who else was in the car…

    about 15 minutes later another cab drove up and Callahan and Girardi got out looking pissed, but they still walked over to us. We just congratulated them and they went inside…

    I only had this one night to get that puck signed for my cousin since she lives in TN so we all decided we were going t stick it out.. (I mean by now it was almost 11 and we had already waited so long… how much later could Hank and the other player stay out??)

    we waited and eventually another couple of cars pulled up… in one car were three Rangers, but we didn’t call to them becuase in the other car was Korpikoski and the other player we had been waiting for… I called to the other player and asked him to sign the puck, for my cousin… the one he had thrown to her… he (and the other three) never looked at us. He kept his back to us and said “I don’t sign after midnight.” Korpi loked embarassed and came towards us.. my friends congratualted him but I was stunned… becuase that other Ranger was one of the guys who I had always used to defend the Rangers as good guys. They all went inside and my sister checked her watch… it was 12:05…

    It was cold and we went and sat in our car… we were waiting for jerk number one to come back to see who was in the car with him… sometime after 1 am supposedly sick Henrik came in (I don’t doubt that he was sick… I just don’t know how much he was helping the situation) the jerk number one wasn’t there and we were all cold and tired so we left… more than half the team was still out…

  16. Everyone has already heard my story about when I met a very Drunk and out of shape Darius Kasparitis at an Acoustic Foo Fighters show at Beacon Theater. That was a good time. It was good because nobody else knew who he was, which kind of surprised me, but he was very friendly and talke (slurred) a lot.

  17. Not quite a player moment, but…I don’t remember the exact year, in the mid-1980’s. I was on a double date in the city, we were near MSG so we stopped by the box office, the Rangers were playing the Minnesota North Stars, we were able to get 4 ticket 2 ow behing the Rangers bench. The two girls we were with were going ga-ga over Pierre Larouche and George McPhee (who was wearing a leather suit). Well after the game we were walking out and I saw Carol Alt still sitting in her seat. I asked if I could get a picture with her, she said yes. After the shot my girlfriend said, “She’s a supermodel? She’s not that pretty. Right in front of Carol! I said “You should be that ugly”. Needless to say, the relationship didn’t last much longer.

  18. This goes way back, 10+ years or so… but I was a teenager caddying at Winged Foot and they used to host a golf event called “Hockey in Harlem” but we knew it as the “NHL outing” when lots of NHL guys came and played with people who threw down a lot of money towards the cause of providing kids in Harlem with gear and ice time. Well, Manny Malhotra was new on the scene that summer… and for some _strange_ reason he was a big hit with the Harlem kids. Anyway at the beginning of the day I approached him and said hey man, psyched to have you on the Rangers or something… he was like “Aww man! Thansk a lot!! What’s your name dude?” and we shot the shit for a minute…. and then I had to go caddy and he had to go golf.

    So about 5 hours later the day is done, (the group I caddied in had Adam Oates, guy is terrifiyng with those demon eyes) and I’d collected money from my golfer and then from my caddy master (Pat Collins, anyone familiar?) and I was walking around the back of the club and crossed paths with Malhotra again, who stopped me by name(after 5 hours of meeting kids), asked how my outing was, and proceeded to give me one of the new $100 bills that had recently come out and said “Thanks for coming out today, Salt”

    Probably the only good thing he ever did in NY. Nice guy though.

    I also:

    Told Mark Messier to put his pants on once before a game
    Saw Beuk at Applebee’s with his family
    My sisters piano teacher taught Kovalev sax and got me a signed puck

  19. In 1970, I spent the summer at Haliburton Hockey Haven, up in the Ontario lake country. They had a great roster of instructors from all levels of pro hockey; the place was owned by Jim Gregory and Wren Blair at that point (if memory serves). I was an aspiring Eddie Giacomin, so was thrilled to interact on the ice with two short-time Rangers.

    Peter McDuffe played a handfull of games with the club over a few years. He was with the Omaha Knights of the old CHL at that point. Fun guy, good teacher.

    Mike Robitaille was practically at the end of his short Ranger career that summer. Really nice guy; took a bunch of shots on the student goalies and gave us good tips.

  20. Agravaine,

    Let me guess: Avery was with Hank and did the car prank, and Gomez was the one who tossed up the puck?

  21. Best story was when I worked at a rink in Jersey about 10 years ago and Mess was there watching Lyon play. Lyon was playing for a team out of D.C. at the time. So I’m just walkin around the building on a busy Sunday, and these kids come up to me asking for a marker. Surely I think they’re just going to go write on the lockerroom walls, as they told me Mess was in the building. So playing the sucker, I go check out the stands where they said he was. And BAM! the messiah is standing there with his dad and limo driver.

    As everyone started to become aware of his presence, (we) the staff had to kind of ‘keep the peace’ until the game was over. So I ran to the proshop, grabbed a jersey off the rack, and he signed it on his way out amongst a crowd or unruly hockey fans. He was out with an elbow injury at the time…

    So the following season, I wear my newly signed messier jersey to a game and drop a nacho covered in cheese right down the front.


  22. This had to be around the beginning of training camp, and I was out at the facility watching the team practice. I was about to take a sip of my Snapple Raspberry iced tea when all of a sudden I was grabbed from behind and a cloth sack was put over my head. I didn’t have time to try and fight it or even do much of anything. I yelled for help, but all I could hear was heavy breathing and squealing noises. I then got hit over the head and I think I blacked out. Anyway, I woke up a few hours later and was still tied up with a sack over my head. I heard a voice say, “I’ll take the sack off, but you can’t scream. I agreed. When I could finally see something, I couldn’t really see, because it was dark in the room, except for some glow sticks and neon glowing body paints. I heard giggling and heavy breathing, and then a voice say, “I can trust you not to yell right?” I said, “Yes, just please turn the damn lights on.” So suddenly the lights came on, and I was in, what looked like a nice hotel room, but it was decorated like a cave. I was tied to a chair and Aaron Voros was wearing a toga and smeared with neon body paint. He told me that he was going to rub crisco all over his body and then untie me. I was so damn scared about this, because I didn’t know what he was going to do then. I was scanning the room for objects to strike him with. He pointed to the couch and I saw a bunch of sliced deli meats and a jar of mayonaise. He then started hysterically laughing and said, “Don’t worry, I have plans for that stuff.” It was so weird, I has no idea what was going to happen. I told him to just let me go, and he got really angry, and started to pound on his head. Then the door opened and Perry Pearn walked in to the room, and said, “Easy Aaron, remember what we talked about?” Voros controlled himself and then untied me. I looked at Perry, and he started to twitch and laugh. He then asked me to help him tie up Voros and help get him back in his cage. I agreed, but there was a catch. We had to sit there, and rub mayo on the deli meat and throw them to Voros. The whole thing was just surreal. Pearn gave me a lift to the train station and asked that I not go public with this. He apologized and promised me free tickets to a game of my choosing, and to fix the Power Play. Neither happened.

    That had to be my worst Ranger experience.

  23. Great story Nasty, but, speaking for all fans, you should have demanded Pearn resign as a condition of your not going to the press

  24. Hartford Whalerpack on

    Jane, could you post an answer key up in your post? I don’t want to sift through all these comments to find the correct answers to your fun quiz.

  25. NYR Examiner, that is a very good question. And one I am afraid that we will never get an answer to.

  26. J_Undisputed on

    Thinking back I ran into more than I thought I did.

    Tie Domi- He was in civis (a nicely cut mobster-esque suit) walking around the lounge area they used to have outside the play by play. He was real nice (which surprised me at the time). That guy has got a massive cranium. They must shave his head and spray paint the helmet on.

    Fleury Lindros York Line – at one of the toy drives one year. York was really quiet and seemed to be hiding under his baseball cap. Fleury was pretty cool and real easy to talk to. Lindros was super cool and really respectful. He had a knee injury at the time and still stood up when I extended a handshake, gave me an autograph and called me “sir” even though I was younger than he was. His fist swallowed my hand and like part of my forearm.

    Richter – Healing up from the last concussion. A bunch of us were riding up the escalator before a game and we saw Mike being escorted through the doorway toward the lockerooms. Someone screams MIKEY!!! and a bunch of us started cheering. He turned around for a second and gave use a smile to wave before going through the door. He was always humble, but you could tell he wasn’t good. It broke our hearts to see him like that.

    Nedved, Hlavac, Poti, Dan Lacotoure, Jamie Lundmark and Mike Dunham – while on line to get tickets one year.

    Hlavac – it was his second tour with us. I think and I had said “good to have you back”, he barely said anything and just nodded and shook hands.

    Nedved – looked like he just rolled out of bed. He did some promo interview with a lady and the camera crew then just came over shook hands and the obligatory “how’re you?” and moved down the line shaking hands before anyone could answer.

    Lacouture- was a big kid and I said “I hope youre with us for a few seasons, we could use you.” and he said “we’ll see… I’d like to be back…”

    Poti- I tried to give him some positive feedback. can’t remember what I said exactly. (yeah I know– it was Poti– but you try to be nice). Didn’t matter anyway he just has this blank stare like he didn’t want to be there and kept moving.

    Jamie Lundmark – I told him it looked like he practice his one timers a lot and he was getting better at shooting off the pass. He seemed impressed that anyone noticed and talked for a little bit.

    Mike Dunham – I think his wife just had a little girl and I congratulated him. He said thanks and chatted for a bit. I asked him if he hoped his daughter would play hockey or play goal. He said “man, I hope not..”

    I saw Chris Simon in the lobby while entering the garden. He was suspended for 2 games at the time (I forget for what). I almost didnt notice him except for the fact that he was big. He saw me headed toward him and had this paranoid look like “oh man, please dont draw any attention.” so I just extended a handshake, his hands were full so he handed me his cup of coffee so he could free up a hand for the handshake… Shook his hand and handed the coffee back and said “wish you were out there for us tonight..”. He smiled shrugged and said “i’ll be back in a game”.

    Avery – During the hand injury he had with us the first time, he showed up in the cheap, err least expensive seats (section 420) during a game. He was real cool. Shaking hands and signing autographs at the top of the section. A crowd and a line started forming and doing the Ave-ry chant so I didn’t bother going up. A minute later, theres the typical fan yelling to my right and I look over and it was Avery. He had been sitting about 3 feet away on the steps in between sections… Then he got up and said “lets go” to the attendants and the section started doing the Ave-ry Chant again as he left.

  27. Two for one:

    Last year after the playoffs me and my girlfriend went down to AC on a Sunday to do some gambling, and eat at Bobby Flay’s steak house that had recently opened up in the Borgata.

    So we get to the restaurant and were like one of 5 couples in the place. So we eat, and as were eating Bobby Flay comes out of the Kitchen and comes to all the tables asking about the food, etc. He was pretty cool and awesome to talk to. Tells us he goes there once a month to cook and check up on things.

    So as were finishing with our entree and in walks Hank and some UBER HOT blonde and they get seated two tables away from us.
    So I’m freaking out and really hoping to meet him.

    So we wait to get desert, chill and wait for them to get a drink, relax so Im not running up to him like a psycho fan.

    So we get up and go over, introduce ourselves, tell him Im a huge ranger fan, etc etc. He was super nice, very friendly, didnt mind giving me an autograph.

    Since I had nothing for him to sign, I took a napkin off an empty table next to them, and as he’s signing it, Bobby Flay comes back out and says “You guys stealing my napkins?” as a joke. Typical New Yorker!! we all laugh, I explain to Bobby who Hank is (He had no idea) they shake hands, bobby sends them a comp bottle of chapmagne as were still chatting with them. I thank hank for the autograph, shake hands and we sit back down.

    After desert a bottle of champagne comes to our table and the waitress says compliments of the couple over there. Points to Hank and his lady, they raise there glasses and he says “You got me a free bottle so I wanted to return the favor.” we thanked him, and her laughed and enjoyed the bubbly. (Cant remember her name for the life of me though)

    So we get the bill, and I guess Bobby Flay was in a good mood that night, the bill says (drinks on house per BF = Bobby Flay) we were so excited.

    As were leaving we go back over to Hank, thank him again, tell him I hope to see him out on the Casino floor later on. Tells us there staying over the night, then he’s heading back to Sweden in a few days. Some more chit chat, then we left to go gamble since we had more cash to spend having not paid for the $150 liquor bill we ran up.

    Saw themlater on, but they were in the high roller section, and there aint n way I can afford to even step into that area.

    Pretty much the best night I ever had in AC.AND the onyl time in my life I have ever met any kind of celebrity (Sports, Tv, etc)
    Still have the napkin, framed in my house, but the girlfriend, now wife, made me move it out of the living room, into the spare bedroom.

    And THATS why I wear a #30 NY Rangers Jersey

  28. Nasty, that was hilarious.

    Two seasons ago, my girlfriend and I were in the blue seats for a regular season game. We noticed a commotion two sections over, and it turned out to be Sean Avery, who was injured at the time and hanging out with the fans during the game. My girlfriend and I ran over to him (as just about everyone else was). I sent her to get his autograph, because I figured she’d have a better shot than me. He signed her ticket and then posed with her for a photo. I clicked the shutter, and nothing happened. Suddenly, their posing became quite awkward waiting for my camera to work. I started to sweat, fearing that Avery would come over and kick my ass. Finally the camera took the photo, but not before Avery turned his head away. So, we have this awesome pic of my girlfriend posing while Sean has already turned away to sign someone else’s autograph. Funny stuff.

  29. I met “Captain Clutch” Chris Drury after the Rangers blew a 4 goal lead and lost to the Caps 5-4 in OT on Dec 23rd. I saw him on the street as I was walking towards Grand Central. He noticed that I was looking pretty down about the loss, put his hand on my shoulder and said “Kid, it’s only a game. I won’t let this ruin my Christmas vacation!” He then got in the clutchmobile and sped away! What a clutch way to meet a former little league world series winner!

  30. I also saw Betts at the mall a few days before Christmas last year. They had just played in Colorado the night before, and I remember Blair had contributed in killing a HUGE 5 on 3 for the win…

    Anyway I’m on my way down the escalator and I see him getting on to come up… as we got close I reached over to shake his hand and said “Blair… last night….awesome job” he shook back and said thanks.

    He looked *genuinely* surprised to be recognized, as he probably should be, I’d bet a lot that I was the only one who recognized him in the mall that day. I hope I made him feel good about what he’d done the night before.

    In retrospect, I should have followed him around the rest of the day and see what kind of a gift giver he is.

  31. Best – Marc Staal. It was in the playoffs, and he was still jolly, he was shaking hands and signing things, even though he was clearly in a rush.

    Worst – Same game. Scott Gomez. What an asshole. Wouldn’t stop for anything. Brendan Shanahan shot us all a look like “I’m sorry”.

  32. I’m sure anyone else who has had the absolute “pleasure” of meeting Slats has the same story.

    He’s a prick. Shoney and him take an elevator in tower A at msg. Right outside the (old) All-Star Bar. I always forget the new name of that place… O’Somethings…

    Was lucky enough to go to casino night a few years back. Met everyone. Orts was sick at the time and talked for .. forever it seemed. Nice guy. Jags was the only douche behind a velvet rope that only took pics with blondes and people in wheelchairs.

  33. Anybody see Miss California’s topless pics ? They’re censored, but she’s pretty fuggin hot !!

    Anyway, hopefully the Craps beat Sidney Crybaby’s Pissburgh Penis’ tonight. Im dying to see a Hawks vs Craps Cup Finals.

    And go Ducks too !!

  34. Ok, well you all know about the Eric Cairns Escapade on my daughters birthday, and me sharing an escalator trip and small talk with Colin Campbell and Dick Todd. There are a few more:

    After winning the Cup, that summer & fall, and for about another year or two afterwards, we used to go to a lot of card shows on Long Island when Rangers were going to appear. We met (aka paid to meet lol) a bunch of guys. First was Stephane Matteau, followed by Joey Kocur ( who got a kick outta my daughter because at 7, she told him she had the same name as his wife but spelled with an I and not an E). Over the next 2 years, we met Kevin Lowe, Pat Verbeek, Bruce Driver, Ulf Samuelsson, Niklas Sundstrom, Shane Churla.

    We didnt have enough money to get Kevin Lowes autograph, and after Verbeek signing for my daughter, Kevin Lowe was really sweet with her. She told him we didnt have enough money that day and she knew he couldnt sign anything for her, so he tells her to come around the table, gave her a big hug, and sat her on his lap for a picture. She was sooooooooo excited! All the guys treated her like a princess! Niklas Sundstrom made a big deal over her too, and we got a nice pic of her and him. They all told me that it was so great to see a little girl in all her Rangers gear, beaming and so excited to meet them!

    I have another one, but the boss is coming out with someone so i better post!!!

  35. Thanks guys!

    My only ever meeting of a celebrity.

    And I dont think I made too much of a fool out of myself considering I was quite hammered.

    But I’ve heard from other friends, and stories on this board, how can you possibly be an a hole to a fan if your a celebrity? All you do is get free stuff, date super hot ladies and get paid tons of cash.
    If that were me, I dont care what kin dof bad mood I was in, I’d sign and say high to anyone who asked.

    Exactly like what Hank did, which to me was totally first class.

  36. Two Gibert Sightings-First was at the World Financial Center in the late 80’s. Signed a seat cushion…Davy Goals…from Rod and the second was on teh elevator up to the suites at the Garden. He of course had on a huge fur coat….

    Henrik Sighting- His first year with the team, I remember telling my buddy that this guy looks good after the pre-season. That week I was heading to Cafe 31 and there was Hank waiting for the light on the corner. I said hello, he seemed surprised that I’d recognized him. He looked like a rock star more than a hockey player…

  37. I met Orts after a game once. I didn’t see him right away, but my sister was hanging back a little bit, and I guess he was waiting for someone, so my sister starts flirting with him a little bit, calling me a crazy Rangers fan, and she doesn’t understand my fascination with hockey, calling it a stupid sport (this was after a Superskate). He wasn’t saying anything, just kinda smiling. When I turned around, and saw who my sister was talking to and what she was saying, I got so embarrassed, and so did she. But he was really sweet about it, laughed it off, said his mom used to say the same thing. Then, he took a few pictures, and I asked him to sign ym calculus notes. It was the only thing I had, since I didn’t know I was going. He laughed at it, said it’s probably the most complex thing he’s ever been asked to sign.

  38. Dave

    sorry wrong players… and we don’t think Hank was actually in the car with jerk number one… because when Hank showed up jerk number one was not with him… we did pretend that Girardi and Cally were in the car, and the reason why they looked angry when they got out of the cab was becuase they were pissed at jerk number one…

    my friends told Derek Morris about what had happened and Morris was disgusted… jerk number one was way drunk (part of why we hesitated in the first place)

  39. I have a good story about interacting with Flyers players on March 25 at the Garden.

    I was sitting right behind the Flyers box, so I had a good chance to heckle and taunt and interact. Well first up, Scott Hartnell; I had plenty of fun making fun of his hair etc…anyways he enjoyed it too and asked me for a beer and a hotdog because he was hungry.

    He takes another penalty about a few minutes later and on his way to the box i start yelling at him again “good job scott, welcome back” so he took a bow and said “Thanks, but i am still waiting for my beer and hot dog”

    Next up: Riley Cote. He took a 10 minute misconduct after he refused to fight ORR then tried to start up with someone else. I had a FULL TEN MINUTES TO HECKLE HIM, and boy did I ever. He wouldn’t answer me but he just kept shaking his head. At one point, Aron Asham was in there with him, and thats where my zinger of a line came, which got Asham to start cracking up and even turned around and gave me a small round of applause; “Hey Cote, who taught you how to fight? Clay Aiken?” It was great.

    Anyways after his ten minutes of abuse he left the box, turned around and pointed his stick at me as if to say he wanted to kill me.

    Anyways, about a week later they are in DC and are out at a bar the night before their game and my buddy was there with his GF (her best friend was dating Upshall at the time) and he asked them all about me and apparently they were all talking about me after the game.

    It was funny.

  40. I have a good Hollweg story, didn’t happen to me though

    A kid was posted as security at the 8 Penn entrance and Hollweg came in carrying a couple of coffees. The kid joked where is my coffee” Hollweg looked at him and then went back out after a few moments. WHen he came back he had a coffees cup and a couple of packets of different sugars, creamer and milk. He said to the kid he didn’t know how he liked it.

  41. MikeyNJ….cool story with Henke @ Bobby Flay’s…I was at Borgata the first week the steakhouse opened (went to Andrew Dice Clay show) and met Bobby as well…..

    As far as NY Rangers…..my buddy up in Toronto grew up best friends with Shayne Corson, who is Darcy Tucker’s bro-in-law…Darcy is married to Shayne’s sister….So when the Leafs were in town a few yeara, and my buddy got us tix for MSG as well as a pass to go towards locker room area after the game. So we waited for the players to clean up, and come out…took pics with most of them…..Ville Nieminem was pretty standoff’ish….Nylander was with his wife and a few of his 100 kids…him and his wife were arguing with one another….his boys have the craziest blonde hair and Nylander is a bald eagle…pretty funny….and Kevin Weakes, who is a well spoke, really nice guy…

    To exit from locker room area @ MSG, you walk down a concrete ramp that leads to the outside where the Rangers bus is located after game….So we came out and saw all the fans waiting for the players….it was pretty cool because people were trying to figure out who the heck we were….

  42. you guys have great stories! Agravaine, thats a cool Hollweg story, almost makes me feel bad for calling him the hockey calamity!

  43. Josh Thomson on

    I have a story to tell. It is sort of a personal story.
    My name is Josh. I am a native of Carmel and a Boston University graduate in 2002. After graduation the following March I started to work for The Journal News.

    Oh and btw, I am 26.

  44. No Country For Old Rangers on

    Gilbert signed my NYR hat at a NHL Breakout at Rye playland when I was a teenager, it was like 11 am and he seemed kinda drunk

    I was lucky enough to go to Gretzky’s last game April 18, 1998 and hung out afterwards for some autographs from the likes of Malhottra, Nedved and some other scrubs. They were all decent enough guys it seemed like

    The highlight was when Rosen came out with his wife and the crowd started an impromptu “Mrs. Rosen..Mrs.Rosen…Mrs.Rosen” chant

  45. lol, linda, just becuase he was a cool guy doesn’t mean he had any business being on ice…

    hmmm one time at the toy drive I wanted Girardi to sign a picture (it was one I had taken during a game, those are what I am often getting signed) the employees wouldn’t let them sign anything form fans, and I pleaded… (it was Dan and Z actually and the pic I had for Z was of him scoring a goal) Dan turned to me and said “WHy don’t you just come to NJ tomorrow?” The next day they were playing in Jersey.. and I was waiting for them. Dan walked right over and signed for me and Z did as well…

    later Jo (my twin) asked Z to sign somtheing and he refused saying he had already signed for her… I wlaked over and we both tried to explain that we were twins but Z kept walking. He was with Kalinin and Kal looked back and forth between the two of us and then started talking to Z again… after the game when Z came out he went right over to Jo to sign for her (but the picture actually belonged to another person (we were getting his things signed becuase he very nicely gave us tickets, so we didn’t have to wait on the day of line for hours) so she didn’t have the picture any more. So Z signed for the people around her, which included the guy whose picture she had earlier… so he got it signed anyway…

    there was another time in Jersey where I got Rozy to sign somethign for me and then after practice Jo asked him to sign her picture. He started saying no but I went over and we said we were twins… he did a couple of double takes and then signed for her.

    Another time in Jersey it was rainign after the game and Rozi came out and waved at all of us. He said “Go home its raining” and then he signed for everyone there…

    thats it for now…

  46. Ag, you have to post names of all the players that did you wrong!

    Didn’t Gomez call you a gimp or something because of your bad foot?

  47. I’ve been luck enough to meet a bunch of the guys over the past few years, but I’ll share a couple.

    Rangers-Devils game 4 last year, my buddy got us passes to the Rangers green room (connection to Tyutin). After the game, we’re hanging out in there waiting for all the players to come up. The first few people we met were Nigel Dawes (really nice guy, posed for pictures, chatted for a couple of minutes, signed autographs) and Henrik (really nice, also chatted and signed our jerseys even though he had a group of people-including Jeff Gordon-waiting for him). Then while we were waiting for Fedor, Jags comes up the stairs in a hurry to leave but was waiting for his girl. So he was just standing on the stairs and we chatted him up about his facial hair at the time…that stripe of sorts…anyhow, he was very friendly and we shared some laughs. We got to chat with Fedor for a while…really really nice guy…we congratulated him on a good game, but he clearly wasn’t happy with his play despite the win…and he thanked us for coming and was just overall great…really wish we still had #51.

  48. Gomez's Agent on

    I’ve met a lot of players out and have had some good times recently but one of my favorites is (and this was about 2 years after his Rangers years were over):

    I went to a Roger Neilson’s hockey school in southern Ontario for a week. I was a goalie who just entered HS and wanted to play against better competition than from what I had played. They had a few pro’s there (don’t remember who anymore) but I figured it’d be good, it had Roger Neilson’s name on it after all.

    Well, not only did Roger lend his name to the camp, he ran it and also stayed on the grounds with us. Two a day video sessions breaking down NHL games with us, skating with and coaching us, running other activities other than hockey, and just taking time out of his day to have 1 on 1 talks with us.

    I was amazed and still am of his work ethic. Going above and beyond what he really needed to do for a bunch of 14 and 15 year olds. It’s one of those things that stays with you for a while.

  49. No Country For Old Rangers on

    I also wish we still had Toots because that would mean no Z and possibly no Wade “the blade” Redden

  50. No Country For Old Rangers on

    and F hollweg, i’ll never forgive him for that penalty against the Penguins last year

  51. My best ranger interaction with a ranger was by far Adam Graves up in glens falls, ny when they held training camps there (mid to lat ’90’s maybe?). Adam walked out of the arena with glen featherstone. I was in a group of about 100 other people waiting for autographs. when adam comes out, the crowd goes nuts for him. They both start walking past the group and adam stops to sign some stuff. Glen turns around and states very loudly “come on adam, we’ll be here forever” meaning he did not want to stand around all day signing stuff. adam looked up at him and without a moments hesitation said “you go on, i’ll catch up in a bit”. Glen shook his head and walked off, adam stayed for what seemed like at least an hour. Adam was always one of my favs, but after that he was the best ranger ever…so all those “nice guy” comments you hear about adam are 100% true. I am not ashamed to admit that i cried like a baby when #9 went to the rafters.

    Kovalev was also a really cool guy. I wanted his autograph but my marker died out just as he started to sign…there was this older guy who was shoving his marker right in alex’s face and screaming for alex to sign his stuff. alex grabbed his marker, signed my card and handed me the other guys marker and walked off with a smirk on his face having not only not signed for that guy, but also giving me a fresh marker for other autographs. i have other stories from thse days but those are the best two.

  52. Best memories: Either meeting Mike Richter two days after the Rangers won it in 94 as a 9 year old and having him sign my tickets from game 7…. or watching Brendan Shanahan make out with Katherine Keener (the milf from 40 year old virgin) at Beatrice Inn last year haha.

  53. This story is called “too stupid to have taken a picture.” I think I told it on here when it happened. Not my best or worst Ranger story but a funny one. I was at the US Open (tennis) last year and if you leave to get a drink they make you wait for the next changeover to get back in. While I’m waiting there, I turn around and notice these 3 huge redheaded dudes standing behind me and immediately do a double take. “Are you three guys, the Staal brothers?”
    Marc looks at me and says “We are.” I’ve now turned around and am just sort of in awe looking up at these 3 guys (all big, cut-up dudes) and trying to figure out who’s who, I only know Marc, and say “Wow. And you’re Marc Staal?” “I am.” I tell him I’m a huge Ranger fan and seadson ticket holder and start to tell him “You’re a … well, actually, all three of you guys are amazing hockey players.” Smiles all around, they shake my hand, thanks, etc. And then, smiling back, I point at Marc and say “But I hope HE has the best season this year.” They loved that one. In retrospect I really wished I’d had someone take a picture of me with Marc, Jordan and Eric Staal. Hell, I’ll bet even their parents don’t have many recent photos with all 3 of them in there.

  54. wesleysniper on

    Back when Gretzky was playing for the rangers i went to a practice and brunch with the players. During the brunch there was a specific time to get autographs from players when they were lined up behind tables. However, while eating some young children went up to Wayne Gretzky and asked for autographs…the security told the children to leave but Gretzky told then, “no, let them come and i’ll sigh anything they want, i can eat anytime, this is for them”…Pretty classy move, i whip that anecdote out every once in a while when some football/baseball fan is talking about how much of an ass their players are.

  55. No Country For Old Rangers on


    I hear ya man. I hate 90 percent of this team too.

    Drury is a joke.

  56. I met Vally before this season at this weird ‘Devon Day’ (Milford, CT!) thing our local government hosted. Very few people actually showed up, so I got to talk to him for a little while. He was super nice (and it’s incredible how tall he is, I’m 6’0″ and I felt like a little kid) and answered every question I had, including one about Sean Avery.
    Me: Was Avery just an asshole and that’s why Glen didn’t want to re-sign him?
    Vally: Yeah, there were some problems with him. He wasn’t always the best teammate.

    I really wonder what went on in the room after Avery came back.

    Also, my cousin married Brian Leech’s brother, so me and my dad both got autographed pictures from him. (We’re both named Mark so we just have two different To Mark, all the best, Brian Leech)

  57. Mikey NJ- Nice story. You know, when I was single, I had all of my trophies and NYR stuff all over the house. Now that I’m married, everything is in a box till I build my office.

  58. Jsut read something on the bleacher report about the debbie fans complaining how Elias and Gionta have had no center since Gomex left and how Gionta may not want to resign even if old Lou makes him an offer.

    My question to everyone is this:
    would you want Gionta on our team with Gomer centering the second line for say like 2.5-3 mil a year for 2 or 3 years?

    Jsut a thought as we have to either find gomer scoring wings ( and we know they work well together) or get rid of Gomer all together

  59. When Gomez plays to his potential I love the guy, but when he plays like a jack ass and tries to force plays, he makes me want to put my head through a pane of glass.

  60. Salty

    I don’t want to give their names but niether was Gomez.. my GOmez story is

    I have a bad leg and it causes me too limp (one of the reasons we were mad at jerk number one was becuase we called that I had a bad leg and I was limping badly fomr being in the cold so long, so as long as he wasn’t to drunk he saw that I was limping) anyway one of the first times we were getting autographs Scott GOmez started coming down the street Now I had already gotten auts form Hank, Rozi, Straka, Tyutin, Betts, Malik and several others… they all walked, but stopped when they got to people… I gave Gomez my puck and pen and asked him to sign it. He took them and just kept walking (and he walks fast) I called to him that I had a bad leg and was trying to keep up with him… but he laughed and said “really” (I didn’t hear this, my sister did becuase she was next to him, I had already fallen behind… He looked back and saw that I really was falling behind and he slowed down but still kept walking… and I coulldn’t catch up… so my sister said to him “What are you going to do, throw it at her?” and he stared at Jo and then waited for me to catch up. Ever since then he has given me nice autos when I asked and given Jo really crappy ones

    As coparison… I was trying to get Marek Malik’s auto one time and he was about half way down the block. I called to him and he waved for me to come over, but he kept walking. I told him I had a bad leg (I think at this point (and the Gomez story) I still had a brace on my knee as well… and it was a big one, my whole leg basically and I had to wear it over my pants becuase it was too big to wear under so it was clearly obvious) anyway he looked back and saw I was limping and he stopped and waited for me to catch up. He may have taken a lot of crud from fans but I have no complaints about Malik, he was always nice to anyone who came over…

  61. I have been lucky to have meet a lot of Rangers and Jane you are right Hockey players and Hockey fans are the most down to earth and least pretentious people in the world.

    As far as the Rangers go the Big Whistle Bil Chadwick in 1983 invited me to watch a NYR/Canuck game with him after I attended a taping of his Cablevison show. We watched the game in the studio after everyone left. This had been only a couple years after he had been replaced by Phil Esposito in the Booth. We were watching the gsme and I turned to him and said “I liked you better as color man Whistle” and he said ” So did I kid, Esposito doesn’t know hos A$$ from a whole in the wall”


  62. not a ranger story, but on the morning of the kentucky derby i ran into ken hitchcock (the Blue Jackets coach) at a track in columbus, oh. i was there placing a bet for the race and he was doing the same.

    all i can say is that he is a BIG man, not tall, but round. the shots on TV do not do him justice. he also doesnt move around very well. he kind of waddles or moves as if he has had numerous injuries and they have slowed him down.

    i was content to know that i was the only degenerate hockey fan placing a bet on horses that morning. ken hitchcock was there too!

  63. wesley,

    I think I was at that practice/brunch. It was around Jan (maybe) of 97, Gretzky’s first season as a Ranger?

  64. I told this one during last season. I get on the LIRR after a loss with my 2-24oz Bud Lights. I’m at the back of the car and I see Gilles Villemure get on with a young girl, daughter? I look around and nobody notices him. The train was filled with alot of 20 yr olds who probably never heard of him. So I stand up and yell,” ladies and gentlemen, Gilles Villemure, Vezina trophy winning goaltender of the New York Rangers!” You know the crickets sound after a bad joke? That’s what it was like on the train. Everybody looking at me like an a-hole. Gilles was visibly embarressed. I walked over to him, with big bud in hand, and shake his hand and thanked him. I already had a pic with him so I left it at that. He thanked me back and settled in like every other LIRR passenger.

  65. Mouth, I always watched the Big Whistle’s show on Suffolk Cable ch. 6, long before they were gobbled up by Charles Dolan’s Cablevision monster. I remember Islanders fans used to call in with goofy jokes.

  66. My friend’s uncle owns a Connecticut Minor League baseball team that plays at Yale. It was going to be “hockey night” and Brian Leetch, Richter, Ulf Samulsen and Sam Rosen were all going to be in our box. I’m a huge Leetchy fan- once we got into the suite we had a bunch of beers (FREE!) and then in walks Leetch. My friends uncle knew I was a gigantic fan and had Brian come over and say hi to me- I told him that my favorite moment was in 2002 in a game against the isles where he went coast to coast in a 1-0 game to tie up the score and send it into overtime. He said he didn’t remember that (ha). Then a waitress came over and asked what he wanted (Bud Light) and I stopped her before she got to the refrigerator, got the Bud Light myself and gave it to Brian. I think this creeped him out a bit. Then my friend came in and said to Leetchy “have you met my friend Tom?” and Leetch says “I’ve met Tom about 10 times already…”

    Ended up being a great night and we talked shop with Sam about the team and JD’s golf game- AWESOME

  67. And 1 more I sat next to Gomez at the Home Run Derby last year at Yankee Stadium. I asked what kind of beer he wanted and he gave me one of his instead. He was bringing his dad as a fathers day present. He was awesome, was excited about “The young Russian kid” Zherdev and told me that he thought that we might miss Avery but the “room” could be better without him. He was a cool guy-

  68. I got a story. It was a season right after lockout. First 1000 people get two free tickets for any game (300 level tickets as I remember.) In order to claim two free tickets people had to wait on line till 12 midnight. So, I get to MSG that day @ 11 am. I get there and there are at least 100-150 people in line already.
    When there is a bunch of people in one line for 11-12 hours you know something is going to happen.
    There was a homeless guy in line in front of me that had different people come up to him a take place in line next to him or in front of him. Obviously the homeless guy was not a fan but a dude holding spot for scalpers. Bunch of people got upset and someone called the cops lol. When cops came they threw all of them out and told them to take a spot at the end of the line which by that time was more than half filled. The homeless guy was in line from the beginning and didn’t want to leave. So one of the cops gave him an option, he said that the homeless guy has to answer one question about the NYR, if he gets it right he could stay, if not then buh-bye. The homeless guy agreed and the cop asked him if he knew who was number “11”… There was a minute of silence and then the homeless guy said: “there is no number 11”
    “Buh-bye dude” said the cop and pulled the homeless guy out of the line. The crowed was laughing really hard. I stood in line for 11 hours just to get two tickets!!(At that time I was working at NBC Universal on W 49th, I was still on the clock and gone for the rest of the day and nobody even noticed it lol ) I was so hungry for Rangers hockey that I didn’t care. My fiancé brought a home cooked dinner for me and bunch of other Rangers fans. Bunch of my friends came to the city (none hockey friends) just to make fun of me standing in line.
    So, its midnight and we are about to get the tickets. WRONG! They gave us bracelets and told us to come back next day @9 am to claim the tickets at the window. Bunch of people were pissed, but I didn’t care. Next day 8:30 I am by the MSG again! There is a line and same people AGAIN!
    There were a lot of Rangers players at MSG that morning. Dominic Moore, the kid named Kozak (anyone remembers him?) I think Dubi was there as well. Also, Sam and JD were there too, signing their photos for the fans. Anyway, this is where the funny Rangers story happened. So I got the tickets, I got signed photos from Sam and JD… I’m on the way out. I see Rod Gilbert in the lobby taking pictures with fans. I asked if I could get a picture with him and he said no problem. So, we about to take a picture, Rod gently put his arm around my shoulder to pose for the picture. I am happy; I’m smiling, life is great… Rod turns to me and says: “Dude, check out that girl in the skirt! Wow, great legs… what a babe… I’d like me some of that” I couldn’t stop laughing! He was so serious talking about her! It was hilarious to hear that from Rod, especially since that was the first time I actually met the guy.
    This was a great experience. I met few kids from the line that I keep in touch today and attend games with periodically.

  69. Speed Ranger on

    Agravaine – Did you hear you got a shout-out from Jane on the last live post? I mean, I know you didn’t hear it b/c you were trying to get tix that day – I told yer sis (via Facebook)

  70. Warren Mason on

    Thanks for running with this thread, Jane. I am really enjoying these great stories. My wife has a couple of great ones that I will ask for her to post a bit later, but one of my good Rangers encounters is below:

    Flashback to an open practice at Rye Playland in 1987. Ron Duguay had a priceless reaction when I asked him to sign his rookie card (the one with the crew cut). Though I now know he has seen the card a million times and has a great reaction every time, the event was a treasured childhood memory.

    Unfortunately, a few years later a box of my favorite cards, which included the autographed Duguay card, was stolen (I believe by a close friend). Out of all of the things in that box, the Duguay card stood out because of the memories associated with it. A couple of years ago, when he started working for MSG Network, I bought a new Duguay rookie card and kept it in the car just in case….

    A couple of months ago, Pat LaFontaine (who is on the same level as Adam Graves) and his wonderful Companions in Courage Foundation organization (http://www.cic16.org/lionsden.asp) brought the Stanley Cup to the hospital I work at to share with the kids. I knew the cup and Pat LaFontaine would be there, but I was surprised to see Ron Duguay standing in the room when I arrived. Both Pat and Ron were wonderful with the kids, parents and various hospital workers.

    When there were a couple of down minutes, I told Ron about my great open Rangers practice memories, meeting him and the autographed card being stolen. He thought I was joking about the card being in the glove compartment of my car. When I told him that it was really there, he told me that I had better go to get the card. He said that he would hang out there and wait for me and he did!

    Add Pat and Ron to the long list of hockey players who are great to the fans.


  71. Also, I can’t believe that little prick Drury gave you a hard time, Jane. I simply cannot for the life of me believe that man had the nerve to question you. He, of ALL ATHLETES, should bow down to the media at EVERY OPPORTUNITY that he is afforded.

    The MEDIA has made him what he is. The New York media especailly, has been SO DAMN LENIENT on this hack hockey player.

    WOW. Seriously, if he said that to me “You called me out here for that?” I would have said something like _“Well maybe you’d rather comment on how piss poor your numbers have been since you’ve been in NY, how you are clearly not the leader we the media have gereously painted you to be, how you seem to have lost a few steps on the ice and gained a few pounds in the face, and how the team appeared to play with more heart when you are NOT IN THE LINE UP?”_

    I swear man, I seriously hate that guy and EVERYTHING about him and surrounding him.

    He is LUCKY the NY media has been so easy on him. He’s had 2 seasons to settle in and he has only gone from bad to worse.


  72. Warren,

    I’ve met Pat a few times, the first being at a signing at a Nobody Beats the Wiz out on Long Island for my 9th birthday, I’ll never forget it. I was thrilled that my favorite player was able to play with my favorite team, sadly it only lasted half a season. It’s sad what happened to him, he was a great player but he is one of those special people like you said.

  73. My experience has to do with an ex-Ranger. I met Matthew Barnaby about a month ago at the airport in Washington, DC. I recognized him immediately and told him that I was a life-long Rangers fan. This was at a point in time when the Rangers were up 3-1 in their series with the caps. Matthew’s first comment to me after I told him I was a life-long fan was, “the Rangers have a really great goalie.” I then went on to tell him that I appreciated his time with the Rangers. He seemed sincerely appreciative of my comment and thanked me very much.

  74. Z – Rod Gilbert doesn’t sign hats/jerseys/etc because he thinks people will sell them. He only signs things on paper. I met him after a game once and he wouldn’t sign my jersey for that reason but signed my ticket stub

  75. Matteauonov on

    Years ago, I was at a bachelor party at a Club in Nyack and Theo and Mike York walked in and sat at the bar. This was late after they lost a home game. We didn’t want to bother them, as they were occupied, but they did chat with anyone who approached them, until they were swept away to some private room.

  76. worst experience and best experience, simultaneously: i took my 12 year old brother to the czech beer gardens to watch the first game of the season. it was a great atmosphere and a lot of fun. they gave out free posters. he saw ron duguay from a distance, and wanted to get his poster autographed. he’s shy about that kind of stuff so i went with him (i stood back a little bit and watched the interaction since i don’t care for autographs that much). so my scrawny little 12 year old brother who’s voice hasn’t dropped yet, goes up to ron and says “mr. duguay, i was just wondering if i could have your autograph?” now keep in mind, ron duguay wasn’t doing anything important, he was just standing around. then he said something like “no i’m busy” (which he most certainly was not). my brother was shocked, naturally, at being snubbed, much less by a hockey player who have a reputation of being down to earth. he stood there for a few seconds, not knowing what to do. then ron looked at him and said “wha??” in an attempt to shoe him off. i started making my way over to him to get my brother an autograph, when i hear an adult with the thickest of new york accents yell “EY! RON BON-JOVI! SIGN THE F***IN’ KIDS AUTOGRAPH!” ron duguay turned, looked at the guy and the guy, in the same thick accent, said “DOOO ITTTT!!!” ron signed my brothers autograph. my brother remained polite and said “thank you mr. duguay,” and we thanked the helpful fan. it was the worst because ron was a jerk, but it was the best because it was funny.

  77. Jane,

    This is not much of an story concerning interaction with a Ranger but just merely illustrates the personal respect we have for the organization’s personnel, regardless of whether we disagree or abhor their decisions.

    Two years ago, at a about 8 a.m., I exited the NJ Transit Train at Penn Station and headed for the escaltor leading to Seventh Avenue for a meeting with a client. As I was walking through the hallway, who do I see frantically looking in different cafes for a cup of coffee? Glen Sather.

    Multiple thoughts just entered my mind: Breaking up the Czech line; trading Manny Malhotra and Mike York; signing Igor Ulanov, Vladhimir Malakhov, Eric Lindros, Mark Messier Part II, Zdeno Ciger; believing Bryan Trottier could coach after a nine page essay; Hiring Ron Low when John Tortorella was available; drafting busts like Hugh Jessiman. I just wanted to let out seven years of frustration right at him.

    Alas, Glen Sather that morning didn’t look like an incomptent GM of an original six franchise. He just looked like a regular guy looking for coffee, while possibly running late for a meeting. Just a guy doing a job as best he can. Just like me.

    So I kept walking without disturbing him. As a long suffering fan, I’m entitled to express my frustrations at the Rangers GM. Yet, it was not right to make an ordinary guy’s day more stressful then needed.

  78. Years ago I used to wait for autographs outside the media entrance. Beuke came out and literally moved little kids aside to get across the street to his car. Dunno if he was having a bad night or whatever, but it was definitely the douchiest moment I’ve ever seen. Fast forward to the Messier jersey retirement night. Beuke’s signing stuff in the Garden near one of the concession stands. I figured I’ll give him another chance and go ask him for a picture. Well he was in super-autograph mode and didn’t hear me. And proceeded to use his Sharpie to sign the front of my pristine authentic jersey that I had no intention of ever getting signed. So Beuke ruined it. LOL

    I have a few other stories.
    This one during Avery’s first stint with us, when he hurt his shoulder — We met him at Local (the bar across from the Garden) after the game. Couldn’t have been a nicer guy. Took a picture with my brother and I, and even waited while our buddy tried figuring out the camera. (Even gave our buddy a gentle ribbing about hurrying up.) Also met Hollweg. Bought him a beer. Sorry, but I still think he was okay for us.

    Another time in Local, we met Scott Gomez’ parents. The dad was pretty quiet, but his mom was hilarious. Gave us some great stories about Alaska, explained why the eff they moved there in the first place, and invited our little group to dinner if we’re ever up there. (Yeah, like she’ll remember me.)

    Speaking of Gomez, here’s a funny story. Met him right after he got signed by the Rangers. I was working for one of the NYC TV stations and helped set up a segment about Gomer. He was coming in for an interview and to do a little stickhandling/shooting demonstration with our anchor. Well it was given to one of the more aesthetically-pleasing anchorwomen, and afterwards she was gushing about how cute she thought Gomer was. After one of the first preseason games, I saw Gomer at Local, and he recognized me from the station. When I told him about what our anchor said, he got interested and gave me his email address to give to her. I figured, no way she’ll email him. But lo and behold, she did, and he contacted her and set up a date. Here’s where the fun begins. He has her picked up in a limo, and they have a relatively nice date. But towards the end of it, Gomer gets a call from a bunch of other Rangers who are partying it up at a nearby club. Gomer puts her back in the limo and sends her home. Now this anchor is by far one of the nicest and sweetest women I’ve ever worked with. And when it comes to TV news, that’s saying a LOT. Needless to say, she was pissed. But to Gomer’s credit, he called her back 2 days later and apologized. He wanted to set up another date. She responded in the negative.

  79. In 2003, I was extinguishing a cigarette before catching a train home outside Penn Statoin. And Brian Leetch limped right past me, on his way to players entrance to garden. He was in bad shape (ankle), but playing, and apparently an easy target for autograph hounds. Easily caught. He was graceful about it. I felt bad for him.
    I am a year younger than leetch and use to play against him as a teen. I was going to say hello but thought I’d just be bugging him. Especially after all the autographs he put up with.
    As I was walking back towards Penn station, I was stopped and hounded by the father/son duo who last got leetch’s autograph. They said they KNEW I was a dallas star and though I protested vigorously (but not too rudely, as the kid was a 10 year old) so they INSISTED I sign their whatever it was -program or paper. Now, they couldn’t quite name “me” but I was definitely a star they said. I kept trying to walk away. But the father was about to make a scene, and I had a trin to catch so I signed their stuff, which was not the same stuff leetch signed. Then a crowd gathered around me. It was ridiculous. I signed a few things as fast as I could …and got on the train.

    I don’t remember what I signed -probably my real signature, which is unreadable, and maybe my old number. It was just bizarre. Surreal.

    But it made me realize, autograph seekers can be really annoying and rude. So when you read these stories of the players, keep in mind not everyone they meet is polite. Why not ask the players, Jane, for THEIR nightmare encounters with fans…that would be some good reading, and might explain the players behavior a little.

    The one and only autograph I ever got: Dan Newman’s autograph in 1978 or 9. He was thrilled I recognized him but pissed not to be playing. I was 8 or so, and had no pen, which made the whole thing awkward, so that led me to the realization that a handshake and a kind word was much more enjoyable for everyone…

    And, btw, my nephew has a great richter story. They met by chance and Mike was incredibly cool and gracious. I guess the graves nite was an emotional one…

  80. 22 Figure8 I’m so glad you remembered that show !

    That show was taped like 15 minutes from my house and yes Bill fielded a lot of prank calls and would scramble to his call taking machine to cut off the pranksters as he took calls live and unscreened. However, the majority of those pranksters were err. Ranger fans and me lol. I will be airing one soon on Ranger Crisis.

    Chadwick’s co host at the time was a young John Gianome. he was the replacement for a guy named Mike Farrel. I will be airing the Chadwick show where we prank Daily news reporter Phil Pepe and maybe possibly Gillles Villemeure. The Villemeure one is brutal language wise.

    We were just goofy kids at the time. I kinda feel bad in retrospect that we pranked Chadwick and his guests every show mercilessly. They never caught on and to make things worse encored the telecasts unedited on Wednesday’s so we could tell all our H.S friends to watch

    One other thing.. I remember Dave Shultz being on the show and he refused in person to answer my question because I had a Ranger cap on. He despised Ranger fans. But damn I was only a kid lol.


  81. salty- that last post on the last thread about drury was awesome!!. i agree 100%. he also likes to comment on how they get booed at home alot. well, maybe if he stopped to think about why were booing and tried to do something about it besides complain. he doesnt like ny fans. he will continue to suck for the rest of his contract until torts starts makin him a healthy scratch when he pulls his invisibility act.

  82. oh just thought of another one. a good one.

    a couple of seasons after mark messier retired, i was in boston, visiting my uncle. he’s an extremely successful investment banker, and makes a ton of money. he took me out to a really fancy restaurant. so we’re sitting, talking, enjoying our meal, when all of the sudden, who should sit down a table away, but mark messier and his wife (or girlfriend? wife, right?)

    anyway, my uncle strikes up a conversation with him as he’s getting settled! “hey mark how’s it going?”
    “hey pretty good! what should i order?”
    the conversation went on like that for a couple of minutes. after my uncle congratulated him on his career, i whispered “HOW DO YOU KNOW MARK MESSIER?!?!”

    and my uncle replied “i don’t.”

    mark was just that courteous and gentlemanly.

  83. Jane McManus on

    See, I told you were story tellers. Love MikeyNJ’s about Hank. In all my interactions with him he has been very considerate, answering every question from even the least experienced reporter from a campus paper or weekly, the kind of reporter who doesn’t always get a ton of respect. Also, he parks in the LR after games while some guys get out pretty quickly. But then Hank has more stuff to contend with as well.

    But he doesn’t usually supply the champagne!

  84. Some on this blog might find this amusing, not my story but I like it –

    The guy I sit next to at games is a certified Rangers fanatic. He has a single ticket, hasn’t missed a home game in years, drives to Montreal for games – stuff like that.

    When he went to pick up his playoff tickets this year he ran into Adam Graves right outside MSG. He said hello to him, Graves being the nice guy that he is asked what he was doing at the Garden and he replied that he was picking up his tickets.

    Graves asked to see them and commented on how they looked pretty good this year. He then wondered why the players on the tickets didn’t have their names shown above their numbers even though it was obvious who the depictions were.

    The guy said “They should have at least put “Gomez” on the #19 depicted on the ticket as he’s going to be here another five years”.

    Graves apparently rolled his eyes and replied “Tell me about it”……

  85. my best ranger experience came a a few weeks ago when i hopped a flight to ny and crashed reddens cinco de mayo party and stole all wades powder and then slashed the tires on the clutchmobile!!

  86. Lafontaine was a total gentleman. I met him when he was an islander (90-91?) and he was at a charity event (I was a waiter). He was at the podium speaking when dinner was served so he was going to go without eating -he never complained. We just noticed when clearing plates that he had no plate. He was really thankful we got him a plate and he left a huge tip, even though it was a banquet.
    I saw Nystrom and some other Dynasty era Islanders with the Maloney brothers all hanging out together and it broke my heart. I wanted to see a fight.

  87. dont have a bad Rangers story, but a bad Islanders one!

    Back in the day, I used to do the March Of Dimes “SuperWalk” and raise money for babies. So this one year I get there and NONE of my friends showed up for the walk. I’m there in one of those Plaza Sporting Goods ‘baseball’ 3/4 sleeved white shirts with red sleeves and the Rangers shield ironed on it. All of a sudden these 2 guys came over to me and asked if they could walk with me. They were from North Babylon, and HUGE Islander fans, and it just so happened that the Rangers and Islanders had a game that night. Now, at this particular walk, if you got done in time, you could possibly get an autograph from Bobby Nystrom. I hated the guy, but my brother was a HUGE islanders fan, so I figured if i got done early enough and had the chance, I’d get an autograph for him. So yup, we get done early enough, and here I am waiting on line, in my Rangers t shirt, a cute 15 year old girl (teehee) with 2 islander fans. I go up and ask him to sign this piece of paper, he looks at my shirt ( or my boobs whatever lol) and snears and snidely says “I DONT SIGN FOR RANGERS FANS” i said it would have been for my brother a huge Islanders fan and that I wouldnt wipe my butt with his signature, and then said I hoped Nick Fotiu would kick the crap outta him. The 2 guys I was with started talkin trash to him for being so rude to me. If I remember correctly, that night, him and Nick mixed it up.

  88. no actually the real best expereience was back in the 01-02 season, i think, maybe the season before that. but me, my sister, and our 2 friends came to a game against the caps, we lost and i was pissed, so i was already almost drunk and after the game i went down to penn station, bought me a big nasty 24 oz fosters, continued to get rippin drunk, then my sis calls me on my cell and says, ” mike where are you, i saw graves on the street, and told him you were a huge fan of his and you wanted your jersey signed”. so, i let out a big nasty burp with bubbles floating out ofmy mouth, ran up the escalator, did a few laps around the garden until i found them, i said, “how long have you been waiting for me?” my sis was pissed and said about 10 minutees and adam was nice enough to wait here and talk with us waiting for you. anyway, he signe my jersey and chatted with us for a few and took pics. it was funny, he knew i was wasted too, i look shot to hell in the pic its funny, my sis never lets me live that one down. he was cool though and i was like, hey gravy!!!! you rule!!!! he laughed, my sis and friends apologized to him, and he smiled and said something like its ok, and you make sure he gets home safe@!=. it was embarrassing but fun!!

  89. I have lots of Ranger stories, but this is the closest to my heart.
    Back in the 70’s ,my son & I would go to many Ranger games. My son’s favorite player (& hero) was always Nick Fotiu. Back then there was a place in MSG called “Charlie O’s” where we would go to after the games. Players used to stop in after games & we had many opportunities to meet Nick & chat with him. He was always the most friendly & the nicest of all the players we would meet. Nick was simply a good guy .
    Well. now my little boy is 40 years old. He’s made some really bad decisions in his life mostly concerning drugs, he was addicted for years & was ruining his life I tried helping him anyway I could. I remembered how he looked up to Nick Fotiu as not only a tough hockey player but a role model.
    When Nick was a Assistant coach with the WolfPack I contacted him through the organization and asked for his help. This is what he e mailed my son.

    Dear Chris:
    I’m taking time out to drop you a note because your dad Tony wrote me an
    e-mail saying he’s concerned about you. He tells me years ago, you and he
    used to attend Rangers games together and were loyal fans.

    I don’t know your life circumstances, but I can see your family is concerned
    about your well being. Your dad obviously loves you so much, he’s seeking
    out people like me in hopes of providing you with some small bit of support
    or encouragement.
    One lesson I’ve learned in life, and in hockey, is that determination and
    honesty with yourself are key in making it in this life, no matter what path
    you choose. Know that although things may be tough right now, you have a
    team behind you, starting with your dad, who is there to help.

    My best wishes to you Chris.
    Nick Fotiu

    The best part is 6 months later Nick e mailed me to follow up on Chris & asked if he could be of any other help.
    I’m happy to say my boy is OK today , with the support of his family & after years in rehab
    That e mail from Nick Fotiu made really touched him & reminded him of the better days in his life.
    Nick Fotiu was, is & always will be a classy guy

  90. wow really linda? thats pathetic for a grown man to be immature like that. so what if your a ranger fan, if i was there id have been arrested that day. and nystrom would never have played that night either. well, if i was the age i am now! lol. if you were 15 i probably was a 2 month old lol. its ok i wouldve thrown my poopy diaper at him

  91. Staal Wart

    Nice link man. Although i think the #1 reason to fire Buttman should be the lockout and not being able to get a contract with ESPN. Two for the price of one.

  92. Tony, your story brought tears to my eyes! What a great gesture by Nicky, and what love on your part! What a wonderful dad you are!! Glad to see that your son is doing well, and I wish him ( and you) continued success!

    Yea Mike, it was kinda weird! Stranger is that when they had the grand opening for the Dime Savings Bank on nesconset highway, they had Bryan Trottier, Shep Messing and Gerry Cooney there. Met all 3, all awesome guys (actually have a pic of Messing HONESTLY starin at the chest!) but Trottier was AWESOME!! One of THE nicest people I had ever met! So I was thinking all hockey players would be the same way! HELL TIGER WILLIAMS was really nice to me, and got Rick Vaive to come over so I could get his pic at a Toronto Islanders playoff game!!
    Freakin bobby nystrom! I hope enzyte doesnt work for him… the punk!!!!

  93. Best was Feb. with Skate with the Greats @ Rockefeller Plaza. Met guys like Dubi (who took a pic with me and gave me a hug.) Along with Paul Mara & Lauri Korpikoski (the three of us shared a laugh when I told Paulie “I’m the tallest in my family, but you guys just blow me outta the water.”) And Voros and Reitz signed my Rangers book aswell. Also, Sam Rosen and I chatted for about 10 minutes about my persuit in journalism.

    Also last season as a Christmas present, my dad got us tickets for the Rangers game the next day. We ended up going in early to go to the NHL store, and stopped at the Ruby Tuesdays/TGI Friday’s in Penn Station. As we left we got on the escalator, and infront of me was a tallish guy in a nice suit, who I swore was Brendan Shanahan. I whispered “Dad, it’s Shanny.” Of course my dad didn’t believe me, so I asked in a kind of low tone, “Are you Brendan Shanahan?” He turned around and smiled at me, it was Shanny. Like an idiot, again, I turned around to my dad and said “HA! In your face! It is Shanny!” Then my father and Brendan started to laugh at me. We then got off the escalator, and he took a few minutes to shake hands with us and have some breif conversation. He was so gracious. The Rangers won that game, 4-2.

    Worst memory was again at the Skate with the Greats. My mother, decided to show off her uncoordination I have unfortunately inherited, and she fell, literally, into Rod Gilbert. My mother was then so apologetic, but Rod was a gentleman and shook our hands. So even my worst Rangers moment wasn’t all that bad.

  94. Staal, awesome link! Bettman should be fired just for lookin like the Count from Sesame Street! Don’t they have a trademark or copyright on that image? Damned rat-faced weasel!!

  95. ok, a little off topic but, i just love that gas-x commercial where the guys says “Your son Rip is on line toot”!

  96. Scott Gomez hooked up with my sister in a club in NYC when he was a Devil.


  97. haha kph scott gomez banged your sister.

    -i met lindros when he was with NYR. I also shared an elevator with thomas kloucek and sandy mccarthy.

  98. after the rangers won the cup i waited in line at a wiz or something to meet mike richter and get his autograph. i was really young. i had an old rangers jersey on with a leather rangers cap that was my dads. richter was awesome. signed all my stuff even though the dudes kept saying only one. talked to me about hockey for about ten minutes haha holding up the line. things like that are not that much for someone like him, but to me it was the greatest thing in the world.

  99. I went to a game at the Igloo in the 07/08 season and during warmups, Recchi gave me a weird stare for a few seconds.

    That’s all I got.

  100. worst ranger moment is hearing redden was signed.

    best ranger moment matteau.

    I am with you i hate this whole team except dubi and cally

  101. Warren Mason on

    It seems almost every story I hear about Gomez involves his “romantic” side….

  102. i met barnaby years ago in houston when he was with Tampa Bay. Tamba Bay was playing the Caps in a preseason game and Barnaby was scratched and just sitting in stands. I was wearing a Ranger jersey, went up to him, took a pic and talked to him for a few minutes.
    good dude…

  103. haha doobs is awesome!! they got an interview with him on nhl.com. check it out, its on nhl network online

  104. Tony, I just checked back in tonight and read the story you wrote about Nick Fotiu. That was an amazing story and you are a great father man. My father died when I was in the second grade, and I can’t stand when I hear about what pricks some fathers can be to their kids and vice versa. You my friend are a class act too. You got to your son the only way you knew how, and could have very well saved his life. Excellent post my friend.

  105. gomez is the latin lover. but hes goofy as hell. i guess his money outweighs his goofy personality

  106. yea thats great tony. i remember having a convo with you few days ago about my best friend dying from heroin and we were talking about some deep stuff. but yea i have a father like you too. hes a great dad and has done alot for me when my mom pretty much abandoned me.

  107. was it just me or did i see mario lemeux and gary bettman celebrating those goals when they went to commercial?

    i missed most of the game and walked up front to the tv time out so i could be wrong.

  108. wow some great saves by varlamov. hes gonna be a good goalie for the caps

  109. i hate the pens so much. the thought of cindy hoisting a cup makes me sick. as rangers fans we cannot be ok with that.

    the pens are on a mission. i hope i am DEAD WRONG

  110. Agravaine,

    I wish you’d tell us who the players were! Considering it was one of the “good guys”, might it be Drury? If he was with Korpikoski, could it have been Sjostrom? Interesting…

  111. wow doc and the other guy on vs sound so damn depressed that the caps are losin 4-0. when the caps were kickin our ass they were so happy. varlamov choked bigtime. bad goals on 3 of the 4.

  112. eric- i hate the pens and the caps. but i hate the caps coach, ovechkin and their classless fans worse than cindy. cindy is annoying and hes a little sissy, but at least he didnt disrespect the rangers or their fans. but dont worry, they wont win it. they gotta beat boston first, which isnt as hard as it looked like a few weeks ago, but then after the bruins, if they make it that far, they gotta go through either the ducks, the hawks, or the wings. all great teams. if they face the hawks i have to give the pens the edge. wow 5-0 pens. caps arent playing d at all. and turnover after turnover

  113. This game proves what a “one-hit wonder” Varlamov is.. when he has to face an offense with some actual goal-scorers, he showed his true side. The Caps should be embarassed with this display. At least the Rangers went down fighting. It’s only a matter of time before these moronic fans start throwing their “Rock the Red” towels on the ice. See you on the golf courses, Ovie!

  114. wow Bruce Boudreau isn’t jumping anymore the way he was jumping after game 6 win as if he just won a Stanley Cup.

  115. if the rangers had any offense we would have won. this annoys me more now then ever.



  116. I just got back from the supermarket and saw Mike Green… on a milk carton.

    Yes, I’ll be here all week, folks!

  117. Jane, two great threads!! Keep it going girl!!!!!!
    And I gotta say it again, the people who keep this blog going are the absolute best fans in the world, and i’d venture to say all are pretty awesome people too! OF course, they are Rangers fans!!

  118. I can’t stop laughing! 6:1 Pens

    And that call on Crosby was a BS call. Cindy wasn’t even bleeding and Washington got 4 min. But then again, no surprises there.

  119. What an epic meltdown in DC. Who would you guys rather see, Bruins Pens or Canes Pens?

  120. I’ll take Bruins-Penguins to go please! The Hurricanes look like they’re ready to go on vacation.

  121. No Country For Old Rangers on

    That was great seeing VarLAmov let in 4 on like 8 shots.

    Semin can now focus on his real career as a male model

  122. This makes Nyr’s loss even more embarrassing in my opinion.

    I wanted the Craps to make the Cup Finals just cause they beat the Rangers, i was dying to see the Hawks go against them.

    Oh well, hopefully we see a Hawks vs Bruins Cup Finals, that would be amazing.

  123. ZzZz 13 ZzZz once Ruled!! says Greg L. on

    Washington’s out , ahhhhh feels better!!! Valarmanov or what ever choked in game 7 , I knew if we peppered him more …

  124. i dont think pepering *Varlamov* would’ve helped us. I think we should’ve sauté him first with garlic… then dry him out under the sun… after that I would grilled him a little…just to get grilled taste… then salt him and serve him with kosher pickles! :P

  125. Thanks for the shout-out Jane!! =]
    It was a pleasure to meet you that day, and I apologize for looking like a wet rodent.

    Wow. I must say I have met quite a few New York Rangers.
    I think everyone and their mother have met Adam Graves and Mike Richter because they chat with the fans, and sign autographs with the people until everyone who wanted an autograph got one. They are some of the nicest people you will ever meet.

    Former/Current Rangers I have met: Adam Graves, Mike Richter, Brian Leetch, Mark Messier, Eddie Giacomin, Glen Anderson, Ron Duguay, Stephan Matteau, Ron Greshner, Jaromir Jagr, Sean Avery, Steve Valliquette, Freddie Sjostrom, Rod Gilbert, Petr Prucha, Henrik Lundqvist, Jed Ortmeyer, Jeff Beukeboom, Darius Kasparitus, Ryan Callahan, Colin Campbell, Don Maloney.

    Do Stan Fischler and Al Trautwig count?

    BEST: Steve Valiquette. He came to my Manhattanville College to give an inspirational speech to the students last November. It was quite lovely; he set a very comfortable atmosphere and made it feel like we were just having a group discussion rather than him giving a long-winded speech. Through the basis of his own life experiences, Valiquette expressed the importance of setting your goals on the journey of life, achieving your dreams and giving back to the community. After his speech he gave us an open Q & A session in which I had an absolute ball with by asking questions about Benoit Allaire, pregame routines, and quite a bit of other things. I told him that I was writing an article for our school newspaper on the event and he was very helpful with answering all of my questions. He was a very down-to-earth guy, and just an absolute gentleman. He even signed a picture of me with him at a Last Licks signing that he had with Avery and told me the real reason he was late during that singing… aka, Avery being a jackass and ditching him at practice. Vally truely is a sweetie.

    WORST: Messier and Leetch. When I was a lot younger, the Rangers used to play at Rye Playland. As most of you know, they had open skates in which the fans could join and the platyers would throw sticks and pucks to the crowd and after the practice the fans would wait outside and all of the players would sign autographs. So my brother and his best friend really wanted Messier’s autograph. Mess was their idol. So a group of people go up to Mess and ask for an autograph. He says for them to wait a little bit but points to a car in the parking lot and says it is his and that they should wait there for him to come out. So a group of people are waiting by this car and then fairly soon you hear the sound of tires screeching. Here comes a black jeep tear assing out of the parking lot. It is Brian Leetch’s jeep, with Mess in the front passanger’s seat. Mess lied to the kids. What a great guy.

    …Jane & Carp: You both do so well on this blog, there is a reason why this website is on my homepage, and why there is so much feedback every day from everyone in the comments section.
    Keep up the good work!!

  126. ZzZz 13 ZzZz once Ruled!! says Greg L. on

    mmmmm saute’d mushrooms , seasoned with garlic …on a shishkabob Vlarmov!!

  127. Summer of 96, skating up in Stamford on weekends. One Saturday 1 goalie was out and one of the players got Richter to come up and play just prior to them going to play in the World Cup. Prior to us skating their happened to be a kids goalie camp on the ice. As we were getting dressed, a couple of the kids walked into our locker by mistake and got a look at mike getting dressed. A minute later, several more walked in and took a look. Finally one of them asked for his autograph. Mike asked his name, how his skate was, and signed his jersey. In a minute their was a conga line out of the room with all of the kids. Mike asked each their name, and how practice went. He finally cut it short to go play, but told the kids if they waited he would sign after the scrimmage. After the scrimmage ( I think he gave up 1 goal in 80 minutes) he went back to signing for the kids- who had called all of their friends while we were on the ice. We were showered dressed and finishing our post game cooler and he was still signing.
    One of the most genuinely nice guys you will ever meet.

  128. One of my buddies interned in PR for the Rangers two summer ago. He made friends with a guy who was interning there because his parents were friends with Brendan Shanahan. So one night this guy asked my buddy if he wanted to go out to dinner with him and Shanahan. When Shanahan showed up to take them out to dinner, he hit this guy right in the nuts and started cracking up. Then said to my friend, “No matter how old you get, it’s still funny to hit someone in the nuts.”

  129. okay,
    i’m from Ohio. became a Rangers back in ’79 thanks to WOR being on my cable system. (same thing happened to me with the Mets…)
    although it’s a closer drive i refuse to go to pittsburgh and give any money to the pens.
    so, the extra driving time to buffalo is normally worth it.
    (besides, one gets the chance to go to the Anchor Bar after the game to either celebrate with beer and the birthplace of wings or drown my sorrows in the suds and chicken pieces)

    unlike the new glass corporate un-fan friendly structure that now houses the sabres, the old Aud was a grand old building. and what was even better for a Ranger fan was that you could stand outside in an area between the locker room door and the team bus. except for a superstar, the players were usually available to fans who were waiting outside in the cold, rain and snow…..

    i remember one particular time in the season after we won the Cup. my friend had his Rangers yearbook with him and was having the players sign on their respective pages. he comes up to Alex Kovalev and just couldn’t kind the page. he’s looking and looking….finally, out of frustration and, i don’t know, cojones as big as a zamboni, he hands the yearbook to Kovy and says, “Here. You find it.” Kovy did and signed.

    shortly after this, JD comes out the door. my sister is just a couple inches above 5 feet. JD, a foot taller. still, all excited she walks over and asks if he would take his picture with her. at this time a mist-like rain is falling but JD happily obliges and bends down to reach her level.
    i’ll always be touched by him doing this not only in the rain but making the effort to get in the frame with her.

  130. okay Jane and Carp,
    this one’s for you….

    same game at the Aud but earlier in the night.
    i have a pass to go to the locker rooms because i was writing for my friend’s regional hockey fanzine.
    first off, it’s a post-game media conference with coach campbell. so, i give it a shot and ask a question. can’t remember it now. probably have it on tape somewhere but i do recall the reaction i received. could see it in his eyes.
    p***ed off and surprised. my question was more blunt than what else was being put forth and also it was from someone he wasn’t used to seeing.

    job done. i move on.
    i head to the locker room area and notice Adam Graves in the hallway. already dressed and talking to someone about Ontario. i think it was someone he knew. i hang around just in case. as soon as they’re done, i give it a shot and ask him if i can do a quick interview. i sensed that he was about to head out but he obliged. most gracious about the matter.
    also, recall some guy from ESPN radio sticking his microphone in on the proceedings and how i wanted to smack it away and tell him to ask his own questions.

    afterwards, i walked in the Rangers locker room without a clue as to what i was supposed to do. immediately, ran into (figuratively not literally!) Jeff Beukaboom wearing nothing but a towel. tall guy. in my head i’m thinking, ‘Wow! It’s Buke!’ in reality i hear him bark at me, “It’s next door!”
    cobwebs leave my mind and i go to the next room where Messier is standing on milk crate so that the media can all get their mikes in there and take their photos. i move in and record some more. don’t think i had it in me to ask another question.

    when that concluded i see Glenn Healey and figure why not. asked him if it’s more difficult to play a game where the team is up by only a goal and he has the pressure of keeping the other team from getting back into it or if it was more difficult focusing during a blowout. He said something to the effect that it’s more difficult when his butt hurts when he doesn’t play for so long and he’s forced to sit on the bench forever. (paraphrasing here.)

    all done, i’m heading out the building and i happen to be walking alongside Neil Smith. although, i know it was “unprofessional” i tell Neil, just as i did Graves, “Thanks for the Cup last year.” Like Gravy, Neil seemed humbled, almost embarassed by the congratulations.

    whatta night!

  131. mike green played terrible D during the series.. he will never be a superstar unless he get’s better in his own zone….

  132. after reading some of the other posts i was reminded of two incidents.

    Rangers are playing a pre-season game in the old Richfield Coliseum (20 miles south of Cleveland). i’m so excited to get there and see the team during pre-game warm ups that i rush down towards the ice, leaving my girlfriend and her friend back in the mezzanine area. Pierre Larouche is standing near the glass and some young kid asks for a puck. Pierre throws it perfectly over the glass and instinct takes over. my height and longer arms grab it before it reaches the kid.

    so now i have a decision. have a puck but be a **** or give it to the kid and not be a **** but without a team puck. i go for the latter. maybe i was hoping karma would work itself out………which it did!! i yell, “Pierre! how about one for me?” immediately, he grabs another puck and tosses another one perfectly over the glass, which i catch and keep.

    i’m a young adult at this time but i’m feeling like a kid at Christmas. and as i head back to join my girlfriend i’m holding the puck and i’m about to tell her what happens when she rips into me because i had the ticket for her friend’s boyfriend and he was standing outside the gate waiting. of course, i tell him what happens and he completely understands/is happy for me.

    second story — Messier’s son is playing some tournament nearby. i read that he had attended a game in the local paper. make a decision to head there for that night’s game and possibly meet the Messiah. running a bit late and i’m driving around trying to find a parking spot when i see, of all things Messier walking from the lot towards the front of the building. i swing the car around and shout his name, probably some other gibberish that i don’t recall, and he comes over to say, “Hello.” explain about being Ranger fans from Ohio. show some pics from games and our Stanley Cup party with a cake that had the Rangers logo and Cup on it. he’s all smiles. get a handshake then and later an autograph. couldn’t have worked out better.

  133. Many fond memories of talking to Graves and Richter at Playland back in the day…will never forget being about 11 years old and standing on the side of the parking lot by myself before a crowd formed and Gravey stopping his car for me and giving me my first Ranger autograph ever.

    Also, it was a total pleasure and a real privelage to meet Cam Hope. I needed to interview someone from the business for a paper I was writing for school and after my email hit the desk of the right intern Mr. Hope was emailing me and telling me to come up to Penn Plaza. I sat with him in his office for an hour later that week interviewing him, looking through arbitration reports and even got to step into “big Glen’s” office for a look around..To my suprise no cigars on the desk ; )

  134. Broadway Roe on

    I love meeting the Rangers. I don’t particularly even care about autographs. I much rather shake their hands, talk to them for a minute and take a photo. Hands down the nicest guy (not even just hockey player) in the world- Adam Graves.

    One of the coolest days of my life: It was the last day of the regular season in 2000. My Aunt and future Uncle (both huge Rangers fans and season ticket holders) got tickets to the hottest play in town, Copenhagen. They asked me if I wanted to go see the play with them. Normally, I would want to go to the Rangers game, but honestly, I couldn’t watch my favorite team, with no chance of making the playoffs play their final game at the Garden.

    So we went to Copenhagen. WOW what a bore! It was two people standing on a stage with only a chair and talking about nuclear weapons. Everyone was sleeping, including my Uncle! At the end of the first act, he said, let’s go get dinner at ESPN Zone and play a few games.

    While I was playing air hockey with my uncle, I look over and Eric Lacroix is next to me playing against his girlfriend. I frantically whisper to my uncle who it was. I didn’t bother him for his autograph but I said “Hi Eric” and was very pleased. As I’m calling my mom from my uncle’s phone to tell her about it, I see Mike York playing arcade basketball. Now I knew it had to be more than a coincidence that two Rangers are in ESPN Zone at once. As I go over to tell my Aunt, she frantically waves at me to come over. We look down into the glass room below the arcade floor and the ENTIRE New York Rangers team was there.

    Needless to say, I stole a bunch of ESPN paper from the podium and proceeded to get the autographs of the entire team. Richter came over and chatted with me for a few minutes.

    But here’s a story I’ll never forget. My soon-to-be uncle just lost his brother tragically to cancer. He was young, and a huge Rangers fan. A few months before the ESPN Zone meet, Adam Graves went to meet his brother in the hospital and stayed for three and half hours talking hockey with him. He passed away shortly after, but he always kept his Adam Graves memorabilia by his bedside.

    When Adam came by that day at ESPN Zone, my uncle and aunt were sitting at a table nearby while I waited for autographs. My uncle called Adam over and thanked him for visiting his brother. Adam sat down at the table with them, put his arm on my uncle’s shoulder while he was telling him the story and stayed with them for about 45 minutes. Class act doesn’t even begin to describe the man.

    Awesome day. I’ll never ever forget it.

  135. When I was a kid my team’s home ice was Playland and on a few occasions some Rangers would be around and watch and even hop on the ice with us. I distinctly remember Graves sitting in on one of our practices, then going back to the locker room and coming out with a stack of media guides which he proceeded to sign for everyone on the team. Couldn’t have been nicer. I also have a Rangers puck signed by then rookie Tony Amonte that I got at Playland after practice.

    There was usually one time a year when we’d have a game immediately preceding a Rangers open practice so for our 3rd period there would be a 10,000% increase in attendance to our bantam game.

  136. I went to a world cup of hockey game in 95 in providence, RI. I was 12 at the time and was getting players autographs outside. Bill Guerin was a real nice guy, he was escorting two blondes to his hotel but stopped to sign an autograph for me.

    I then saw Brian Leetch and asked if I could have him sign my card. He was with security or someone, a man in his 40’s pushed ahead of me and put out a sheet of 6 cards for Leetch to sign. He signed all of them and I was next when Leetch said sorry that’s it, I’m done and walked away. That always pissed me off.

    Anyway I got to meet Richter in Lake Placid while he was on IR with the concussion. Nicest guy ever, I delivered firewood to his cabin, he was staying at a hotel I worked at and had requested a delivery. Gave me a $10 bill and talked to me for about 15 minutes on the state of the Rangers at the time. We talked about a lot of different topics and it was an experience I will always remember.

  137. thanks for the shout out and remembering meeting me before one of the playoff games Jane. i am just as surprised as you probably were at Mara remembering you.

    Tony – great story class act by you as a father

    LI Joe

  138. Adam Graves calling me while I was in Sloane Kettering Hospital. I was in the ICU after surgery and wasn’t sure if it was real or maybe I was dreaming or hallucinating. A few weeks later he called to see if I was home from the hospital and ok. I have met many Rangers over the years but this was the best Ranger experience for me.

  139. Blueshirt in Paris on

    MY best story is not about a Ranger but about Al Iafrate when he was playing with the Caps. They were in town, it was right after the Was v. Ranger game when Kovelev slew-footed someone (or was it the other way around, I forget). Anyway, I was walking around Roosevelt Field when I recognize this guy walking out of a store. Al had that strange balding mullet that you could not miss. So I walked up to him, said hi and asked for an autograph…he was cool with it.

    So about 20 min later I leave and as I am walking out I see him standing them. I say hi again and ask if everything is ok he says he hsa been waiting for a cab to bring him back to the hotel but there were none. So I offered to drive him and he accepted.

    It was quite amusing to see him try to fit into my car but he was a spot about it. He was extremely cool, saying how he hates playing for Washington, that the fans suck. Talked about his Harley, tatoos, etc…

    So get him to the hotel and he tells me come by the Collosium and pick up tickets he will leave form me for their game with the Islanders. Wasnt really excited about going to the Islanders game but figured when an all-star gives you tickets, you should go.

    So go to the game, good seat. Im standing by the glass during warm-up, Al skates by, sees me. Stops and starts talking to me, how are the seats, I ask him to lay out Turgeon, he says he will try but that he never goes nears the boards…lol. all in all pretty cool.

    Best story about the Rangers would be either sitting with Jeff Beukeboom in the Green room (he had hurt his leg), watching the game on TV with him and him telling me about all the people he didn’t like…or the time I was in the green room after a game, on line to get a drink and look behind me to see Gretzky behind me. I could not believe I was in linein front of the Great one so i offered him my spot and he laughs and says it was ok.

    A bit silly those stories but memories I will never forget.

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