Potvin Socks? Decades old Rangers chant gets a new twist

The “Potvin Sucks” chant has been in use by New York Rangers fans since 1979. Everyone knows the chant, but some of the younger fans are unaware of how or why it came to be.

On Feb. 25th, 1979 a very good Rangers team was firing on all cylinders. Ulf Nilsson, a young forward with a lot of promise was becoming an offensive force. Enter Denis Potvin. The hulking defenseman crushed the kid, resulting in a broken ankle. 

Nilsson was lost for the season and was never the same again. Rangers fans still ponder, if Ulf was healthy, would they have won the Cup that year against Montreal? It doesn’t matter, because on that night, the chant was born that still resonates today.

Potvin Socks?

new york rangers
May 1, 2021; Uniondale, New York, USA; New York Rangers left wing Artemi Panarin (10) plays the puck against New York Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield (24) during the first period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Well, the chant just got a new twist.

The New York Islanders and Denis Potvin will help raise some money for the Islanders Children’s Foundation by selling Potvin Socks!

“You’ve been chanting it for 43 years,” Potvin said. “Now you can wear it!”

Denis Potvin is still considered Public Enemy No. 1 in Rangerstown for his infamous body check Ulf Nilsson. (Sorry Tom Wilson, it isn’t you.)

The debate rages on about whether or not Potvin deliberately tried to hurt Nilsson. What cannot be debated is the reason why the Rangers still vilify the Hall of Fame defenseman.

It’s not just for the hit, but because he became the living embodiment of the great Islanders dynasty which won four consecutive Stanley Cups from 1980-1983 and defeated the Rangers in the playoffs each year between 1981-1984. 

“By the time we got to 2010 it was kind of fun,” Potvin said. “There’s a whole new generation so I’m taking it kind of like handing over an olive branch. It’s kind of saying, hey, this has been great, you’ve kept my name alive over these years. Potvin socks seems to make sense.”

New York Islanders

NHL News and Rumors

Grading all 32 Reverse Retro Jerseys. Read more.

NHL Recaps: Phil Kessel becomes new ironman. Read more.