Celebrity Slapshot: CNBC’s Fast Money Host, Guy Adami’s Rangers musings

Guy Adami

Forever Blueshirts presents a new series where high profile fans contribute their Rangers recollections and musings on their favorite hockey team. Guy Adami is a member of CNBC’s Fast Money and a huge supporter of this website. The following is his guest column.

Guy Adami’s Rangers Musings

Hockey has always been my favorite sport. I played both football and
basketball and was decent in both, but something about hockey captured my interest and imagination at a very young age. On December
27th, 1970 my father took my brother Chris and I to Madison Square
Garden to watch the N.Y. Rangers play the St. Louis Blues. It was one
of our Christmas presents and I remember how excited my father was as
neither my brother nor I had ever seen a game in person. It was a
Sunday night game and we took Metro North from our hometown of Croton
on Hudson to Grand Central Station. From there, my dad hailed a cab
and off we went to 7th avenue and 32nd street.

The city was obviously still decorated for Christmas and everything about the trip there was unforgettable. Our seats were in the old yellows behind the net. We arrived early enough for warmups – I can still here the sound of pucks hitting the glass. The place had a very distinct smell, and later I
figured it out to be a combination of beer and cigar smoke. The Rangers were in their home whites and to this day, I think it’s the most majestic jersey in professional sports. Bob Nevin wore the Captains “C” but for some reason, I was immediately impressed by how #19 carried himself on the ice.

Ratelle(NHL)

To this day, Jean Ratelle is my all time favorite Ranger. It’s a travesty that it took the Ranger organization so long to give him his just do and retire his number. Obviously the same holds true for Vic Hadfield and hopefully Brad
Park. The trains back to Croton ran every hour on the 20 minutes after
8 p.m. so we had to be mindful of time. Back then, the games didn’t end until either side of 10:00 p.m. Around 9:30 or so, my dad said we
had to leave precisely at 10:00 if we were to catch the 10:20 train
back home regardless of whether the game was over or not. Needless to
say, I wasn’t happy about that, but those were the rules. Although we
wound up leaving before the game was over, I will never forget my
first Ranger game. For those interested, the game ended tied at 4. If
memory serves, Billy Fairburn scored one of the goals. I didn’t know
the outcome until the next morning when John Kennelly did his sports
report on WNEW 1130 AM.

Fast forward to today and hockey is still my favorite sport. Although
I can barely stand on a pair of skates, the game still has the same
appeal today as it did 49 years ago. Hockey is a game of sacrifice and
I think that’s what resonates. There are multiple situations in every
hockey game where a player has to give up his body to make the proper
play. Obviously, this holds true in football as well, but in football
there are 22 guys on the field and quite frankly there are countless
times where players “hide”. One can not hide on a hockey rink. The
courage and resilience of hockey players has been written about
countless times by far superior writers than I, but suffice to say,
they all respect the sport. As I mentioned, to this day Jean Ratelle
is my favorite player of all time. However, if I were to fill out the
rest of the list it would look something like this:
2. Vic Hadfield
3. Brad Park
4. Joe Kocur
5. Mike Gartner
6. Steve Larmer
7. George McPhee
8. Eddie Giacomin
9. Adam Graves
10. James Patrick

Joey Kocur doing what he does best (NYR)

Rather eclectic group I know, and before you @ me, I know the players
that are not on my list. For whatever reason, those were my guys. I
actually met Joe Kocur and his wife at a restaurant in Port Chester
during the summer after the 1994 season and he could not have been
nicer. Over the years I’ve come to learn that the tougher guys were on
the ice, the nicer they were off. To this day, if there is a Ranger
game, I will be watching.

I don’t get to The Garden nearly as much as
I would like, but my appreciation for the team and the sport has never
wavered. Back in the early 70’s only the road games were televised.
WOR Channel 9 – Bill Chadwick and Jim Gordon. For the home games I
would listen to Marv Albert on the radio. A couple of times a year, we
were lucky enough to catch a Ranger home game on television for the
NHL Game of the Week. Peter Puck and “Showdown” would be the between
periods entertainment.

This current Ranger team has me as excited as I’ve been in many years.
There have and will be nights that all you can do is shake your head
in disbelief, until you realize that 25% of the team should either be
in high school or college. For what it’s worth, although I think that
Kreider, Strome, and Georgiev will be moved by the deadline, this
could be a very dangerous team in the spring. I still think Hank may
be able to dial it up for one more playoff run and the talent is there
to make some noise. Regardless, these are wonderful days to be a
Ranger fan.

Thanks Guy for giving fans a trip down memory lane with you and your thoughts on the team. You can follow Guy on Twitter and watch him on CNBC’s Fast Money at 5PM EST Monday through Friday.

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