Leetchy wins! He’s in…

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Oh happy day! Congrats Brian. An honour (as they say up north) well earned and deserved!

Here’s the first quick story from the Rangers. Jane will also have audio (we hope) from Rangers press conference taking place. Hey, something to celebrate this year, right?

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

In a conference call on Tuesday afternoon, the Hall of Fame Selection Committee announced that Leetch would be part of the 2009 Hall induction class.

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

Leetch, whose No. 2 was retired by the Rangers organization on Jan. 24, 2008, is now a member of both the Hockey Hall of Fame and the United States Hockey Hall of Fame, which he entered last year. He is the 45th former Ranger to be selected to the Hall.

The 2009 Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held on Nov. 9 at the Hall’s home in Toronto.

(Oh yeah, and the other 3: Hull, Robitaille and Yzerman )

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Here is the Rangers’ release:

BRIAN LEETCH SELECTED TO HOCKEY HALL OF FAME
Becomes the 45th Player in Rangers History To Be Selected to Hall of Fame 

            New York, June 23, 2009 – The Hockey Hall of Fame today announced that Brian Leetch has been selected as one of its four player inductees for 2009.  Leetch will be officially inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on November 9 in Toronto.

Leetch, who retired from professional hockey after a memorable 18-year career, established himself as the most prolific defenseman to don the Rangers sweater and one of the most successful American born players in NHL history.  Originally selected ninth overall by the Rangers in the 1986 NHL Entry Draft, he holds the franchise record with 741 career assists and ranks second in career points (981) and games played (1,129).  Leetch also holds the Rangers record for goals by a defenseman with 240.  On January 24, 2008, the Corpus Christi, Texas native became the fifth player and first defenseman in Rangers history to have his number retired.

Leetch appeared in 1,205 career games with the Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Boston Bruins, registering 247 goals and 781 assists for 1,028 points, along with 571 penalty minutes.  He was selected to participate in eleven NHL All-Star games (1990-1998 and 2001-2002) and was honored with the Norris Trophy twice  (1992 and 1997), the Conn Smythe Trophy (1994) and the Calder Trophy (1989).  In 1991-92, Leetch became the fifth defenseman in NHL history to break the 100-point mark in a season, registering 22 goals and 80 assists for 102 points.  He also holds the NHL record for most goals by a rookie defenseman with 23 in 1989.  Leetch was a catalyst during the Rangers’ run to the 1994 Stanley Cup Championship, in which  he led the NHL with 11 goals and 23 assists for 34 points (second highest total by a defenseman in playoff history) in 23 matches and became the first American born player to capture the Conn Smythe Trophy.  The three-time Olympian helped lead Team USA to a silver medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics while being named to the All-Tournament Team.  Leetch became the 11th Ranger inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2008.

Leetch’s selection marks the third consecutive year that a member of the Rangers’ 1994 Stanley Cup Championship winning team will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, joining Mark Messier (2007) and Glenn Anderson (2008).

Joining Leetch as the Hockey Hall of Fame’s player inductees for 2009 are former Rangers teammate, Luc Robitaille, Steve Yzerman and Brett Hull.  Robitaille was a member of the Rangers for two seasons, registering 47 goals and 70 assists for 117 points in 146 games from 1995-96 to 1996-97.  He also recorded five goals and 12 assists for 17 points in 26 postseason contests as a Blueshirt.  In addition, former Rangers goaltender and broadcaster, John Davidson, has been selected as the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award recipient for outstanding contributions as a hockey broadcaster.  Davidson served as the team’s color analyst for more than 20 years following his playing career.  Davidson and New Jersey Devils President and General Manager, Lou Lamoriello, who has been selected as a builder, will be officially inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on November 9 in Toronto.

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28 Comments

  1. Dr. Ogrodnick on

    Congrats Brian, well deserved. Thank god the NHL didn’t screw this one up.

  2. Where's Pavelich? on

    Wooo! Woooo! So much deserved, he made watching the Rangers a joy, esp when compared to the drudge we struggle through now…

    ..does this mean he’s not coming back to help the Power Play?

  3. Where's Pavelich? on

    good point Dr. we can only hope..I heard Chelios wants another year and Leetch is like 30 years younger

  4. Congrats to Leetch, total class act, well deserved. I wish i could have gotten into the game sooner to really appreciate his game, unfortunately i got into hockey when Slats screwed him over and sent him to Toronto.

    Hopefully one of Nyr’s young d-men will be half the player he is. We could really fuggin use that !!!

    And Ivonavic won !!! Off to the next round, along with Sharapova !! Hotness !

  5. Congrats to Brian! Well deserved honor!

    Chelios just needs to retire already! Isn’t he like 60 years old?

    we should get rid of Redden and go after Scott Niedermayer.

  6. congrats to leetch. will always be my fav ranger. cried for hours when he was dealt.

    onto heatley if he comes i am taking responsilbility.

    was first to trade rozy z sags and 19th pick for heatley.

    i am an xm 204 caller and have mentioned this trade on all shows sicne ej hardek broke it during game 6 of finals.

    go get heatley

  7. CONGRATS BRIAN !!!!
    WELL DESERVED, GREATEST RANGER DEFENSEMAN EVER!!!!

    Honestly, (and i know im in the minority on this ) but if there is 1 thing Sather is good at … it is MAKING TRADES. In the last 5 years he traded Carter for Jagr (steal of the Century), traded up to get Staal on draft day, made up for the Jessiman blunder by trading Tyutin and a salary dump to grab the # 4 that year in Zherdev, traded a 2nd round pick to address a organizational need in Antropov (who should be resigned !!!!), and traded Montoya out to get Sjostrom who has turned out to be 1 of the best PK’ers in the League.

    I believe Sather’s promise to build this team with youth, and i dont expect him to sell the farm to obtain a guy like Heatley, especially when Gaborik and Hossa will be available anyways.

    This team under Gordie Clark has done a very good job drafting, and has done a good job restocking the cupboard left bare by Neil Smith.

    If it wasnt for a couple of Draft blunders and bad Free Agent signings all in all Sather and now Gordie Clark have done very well for this team.

    MY 2 WISHES OVER THE NEXT 2 WEEKS WOULD BE:

    1. TRADE DOWN and grab 2-3 more draft picks (esp 2nd rounders due to this deep draft)

    2. Trade a bad contract and some of those extra picks from above to get Heatley without giving up any pf pur current prospects.

    Im thinking Zherdev, Rozi, Korpi/Sjostrom and a 2nd rounder this year for Heatley

  8. Laurel Babcock on

    Classy, as always: Here’s what the Hall quotes Leetch as saying…

    “I am humbled and excited by this honor, particularly since for me it is difficult to think of myself as a member of the Hall of Fame,” said Leetch. “My hockey career has been a long and enjoyable process. I am appreciative of all those who have helped me. From my father as my youth coach, to Mark Messier who helped me out so much — both on and off the ice surface.”

  9. SOMER

    You can even argue the Avery trade was pretty brilliant, since he helped us so much that year. And the Tyutin deal was a bit of a steal, but at the same time Tyutin had a career year, and Nicky Z had a bit of a disappointing year. I have to disagree on the Jessiwoman draft, he might have replaced him with Z, but he could have had Perry. Getzlaf, Carter, Richards, Brown, Parise, and all the other stars in that draft, along with Z, so it’s still kind of a slap in the face. The Jagr trade was a steal, but nobody knew it would be, and everyone thought Jags was on the downside of his career. As for the Monty trade, supposedly there was a time where teams were willing to give a top prospect for Monty, and supposedly the Flyers were interested in him, and Slats for what ever retarded reason waited till the bitter end, even though he knew Hank was going to be the future of this team, he let him rot and turn into a backup AHL goalie, and got nothing for him. Shoes is a good PK’er but we could have gotten more at one point. And to tell you the truth, i think we might have get raped on that deal, Monty looked pretty damn good in his few games in the NHL. He got a shutout in his first game, and even got a win over the Sharks i think. He was good, so who knows, if he turns out to be a worthy first rounder, then Slats screwed up yet again

    As for Heater, he is still young, he’s a game changer. Slats might go a little overboard to acquire him.

    I hope he doesn’t give too much, but i do hope they get him. It’s like i said, go for it, or start from scratch, that’s all there is to it. The team we have is not going to do sh*t, so you have to do one or the other. I just hope what ever prospects are given up, turn out to be major busts, cause it would seriously suck if we dumped Grachev who grows up to be a Malkin, or an Anisimov who turns out to be a Datsyuk, or a Del Zotto who turns out to be a Neidermeyer, and so on. That would be really depressing.

  10. Where's Pavelich? on

    Crud! Gordie Clark just said that “Slats” has last call on the draft pick: I hope Jessiman doesn’t have a brother

  11. ORR …

    Very true on the Avery trade as well. I stand by the fact that Zherdev has been on Slats radar for awhile now, esp since Jessiman was such a bust. Its like he was thinking “well i can make it up to the fans by taking the 4th overall pick that year and it’s like i never wasted that 1st rounder when all is said and done”

    Sure Tyutin had a career year, but we have very good D depth and i’d still do that trade over again the same way. Obviously Columbus wanted to stockpile D-men and Im glad he decided to keep Girardi instead.

  12. Where's Pavelich? on

    Orr – Good point on Montoya..he was a #6 overall and had more trade value on potential, esp with LQ already in place and his confidence probably lacking (realizing their was little room to move up on the depth chart) – I thgt he would have been part of a package to bring in a scorer.

  13. ZzZz 13 ZzZz saga continues... says Greg L. on

    Way to go Brian!!! Just speaking the truth “buddy”(Laurel)

  14. BRIAN LEETCH BRIAN LEETCH-CONGRATS CLASS ACT, HOPEFULLY HE WILL COME BACK AND WORK IN THIS ORGANIZATION

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