Chris Kreider wins first ever Rod Gilbert ‘Mr. Ranger’ Award

chris kreider
Apr 26, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) celebrates after scoring a goal against Carolina Hurricanes during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Tom Horak-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Kreider is the first-ever winner of the Rod Gilbert Mr Ranger Award!

New York Rangers legendary player and icon Rod Gilbert passed away at the age of 80 this past August. His trademark number 7 was retired on October 14, 1979 and will forever stand as a testament to one of the greatest Blueshirts in franchise history.

Gilbert was the epitome of a Ranger from the moment he put on the sweater. For 18 seasons from 1960-61 to 1977-78, he was Broadway’s brightest star and the face of the franchise. The kid from Montreal became a New Yorker and loved every second of it.

Eventually, Gilbert became synonymous with the Blueshirts and earned the nickname Mr. Ranger.

At the start of the season the Rangers announced they would honor his memory with a #7 patch on their sweater. In addition, the organization created a special new award to be given out annually at the end of the season.

Chris Kreider first ever winner of the Mr. Ranger Award

mr. ranger award
Jan 15, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) celebrates his goal with right wing Kaapo Kakko (24) against the Philadelphia Flyers during the third period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Krieder is now the first ever recipient of The Rod Gilbert “Mr. Ranger” Award, which recognizes the Rangers player “who best honors Rod’s legacy by exemplifying leadership qualities both on and off the ice, and making a significant humanitarian contribution to his community.”

He was presented the award by Adam Graves and the late Rod Gibert’s wife, Judy.

“I’d like to congratulate Chris on being the inaugural winner of the Rod Gilbert “Mr. Ranger” Award,” Rangers President and General Manager Chris Drury said in a statement. “Since he made his debut with the Rangers a decade ago, Chris has consistently and willingly devoted his time and efforts to charitable endeavors, especially through the Garden of Dreams Foundation. Chris’ contributions in the community exemplify the kindness and generosity that Rod demonstrated throughout his life. The leadership qualities Chris has shown in the community have translated into him becoming a leader for our team in the locker room through the example he sets on a daily basis. Therefore, it is only fitting that Chris is the first annual recipient of this award, which he has rightly earned.”

Kreider was also named the winner of the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award on Tuesday Night and was nominated for the Bill Masterton Trophy.

This season he has recorded 52 goals and 25 assists for 77 points in 80. Kreider also broke the team’s single-season records for the most power play goals (26) and game-winning goals (11).

Why Kreider deserved to win

Leadership: The 30 year-old winger is in his 10th season on Broadway. He’s always been charismatic but over time has taken young players under his wing. “I wouldn’t view myself as a huge rah-rah cheerleader, I’m definitely not quiet on the bench or in the locker room, I like to work with people one-on-one,” he said about his leadership style. “I’m grateful and appreciative to be here, and if I can help direct people towards that, I’ve done my job.”

Charity: Of all the Rangers, he’s currently the most giving. Since Henrik Lundqvist has moved on and retired, Kreider picked up the torch. Last season, he was the team’s nominee for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, awarded to the player that best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice for humanitarian contributions in their community. Kreider’s work with sick children and the Garden of Dreams embodies what Rod was all about.  He also works with the Southern Connecticut Storm Special Hockey program where he make appearances at their team practices.

Congrats Chris!

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