New York Rangers legends that deserve to have their jersey number retired
The current New York Rangers roster is loaded with dynamic young talent and a deep prospect. One has to ponder, if these neophytes realize their potential, how many of these players could see their jersey hanging from the iconic Garden roof in the distant future?
My inquisitive hypothetical, along with the flurry of jersey retirement ceremonies in recent years, got me thinking which former Rangers are deserving of Madison Square Garden immortalization. I have complied a list of five members of the Rangers alumni that could be in the jersey retirement conversation.
Camille Henry #21
Henry, who played for the Rangers for 12 seasons during the 1950s and 1960s, was a true Garden legend while playing for some horrendous Ranger teams. The diminutive forward was a Calder Trophy winner and Lady Byng trophy recipient, was nicknamed “The Eel” for his uncanny ability to snake his way through opposing defenses.
Henry’s 478 points in 637 games is quite an impressive feat considering the limited talent around him. His chances for enshrinement in the Rangers Retired Jersey Club are hampered by a lack of team success.
John Vanbiesbrouck #34
“The Beezer” spent parts of eleven seasons between the pipes for the Rangers. The U.S. born goalie played in 449 games and captured not only the 1986 Vezina Trophy, but also the hearts of the Garden Faithful during his run on Broadway.
Vanbiesbrouck’s stellar 1986 playoffs, carrying his underdog quad to the Wales Conference Finals, earned his place in Ranger’s lore. His tutelage of Mike Richter helped to turn #35 into a bonafide All Star and Stanley Cup champion as well.
Ron Greschner #4
The man affectionately known as “Gresch” was a career Ranger playing all 16 seasons and 981 games in that beautiful red, white and blue sweater. Greschner’s 610 points and 1226 penalty minutes were clear indicators that the Saskatchewan native could do it all.
You need a big goal, Gresch could score it. Needed a big hit, Gresch could deliver it. You needed teammate protection, Gresch would be front and center.
Greschner was a time-honored fan-favorite, was truly one of the best all-around defenseman in team history. It really is quite a dome scratcher as to why his number 4 is not dangling from the Garden rafters.
Brad Park #2
If not for Bobby Orr, Brad Park would have an entire shelf of Norris Trophy’s to call his own. In the early-to-mid 1970’s the blue line royalty in the NHL started with Orr and Park and then there was everyone else.
Brad Park was as good as any defenseman to ever don the Broadway Blue during his eight year stint on the corner of 7th Avenue and 33rd Street. Park was dynamic, tough, clutch and was vital to the great Emile “The Cat” Francis era that came oh so close to capturing Lord Stanley’s Cup.
Rangers fans of that time period are vociferous and steadfast about their belief that Park’s number 2 deserves to hang next to another dynamic blue line legend, Brian Leetch.
Henrik Lundqvist #30
Lundqvist is the sole member of this list that will definitely, unequivocally have his sweater retired.
Since having the final year of his contract bought out over the summer, “The King” will take his talents to “Our Nation’s Capital” signing a one-year contract with division rival, Washington and continuing his NHL career.
When Lundqvist finally decides to hang up his goalie pads for good, one would expect the Rangers all-time leader in everything for net-minders and the Garden management to begin the process of setting up a date to retire his jersey. And yours truly will need an entire package of Kleenex during the Lundqvist ceremony.
There you have it folks! Which former Ranger would you like to see have their number retired?