Friday, May 30, 2008
Too often in sports, we - as players and fans - easily forget the past’s fortunes of teams or players. How and why this happens, I don’t really know the answer - but it happens. Maybe the lack of hardware (championships) or league acknowledgments (MVP) - your guess is as good as mine.
The New York Rangers are, in my estimation, the finest NHL franchise of all-time. Next season, the Rangers will honor the well deserving Adam Graves by retiring his jersey and hanging it up with the Ranger Elites: Rod Gilbert, Eddie Giacomin, Mike Richter, Mark Messier, and Brian Leetch. All of these players have left an indelible mark on the Ranger fans, franchise, and the city of New York. I believe that there is one more Ranger truly deserving of this honor. His name: Ron Greschner.
I broke into the NHL with him as a rookie way back in 1980-81. Although my stay in New York was short (1 season), Ron left a great impression on me. He was, and I’m sure his former teammates will agree, just a perfect teammate to play with or to just be around. He did not have a huge ego and he made you feel good about yourself at all times. Although, these reasons alone do not warrant such a great honor...
- 982 Games Played
- 610 Points; 431 Assists, 179 Goals
- 1226 Penalty Minutes
- 84 Games Played
- 49 Points; 32 Assists, 17 Goals
- 106 Penalty Minutes
- Retired as the Rangers All-Time Pts, Goals, Assists leader for a defenseman
- # 7 on the Rangers All-Time Scoring List
- # 7 on the Rangers All-Time Post-Season Scoring List
- # 4 on the Rangers All-Time Games Played List
- # 1 on the Rangers All-Time Penalty Minutes List
- 2nd Round Draft Pick in the 1974 NHL Draft (#32 Overall)
- 16 years straight with one team (Rangers of course)
- 1-Time Ranger Captain (1986-1987)
- Played Forward as well as Defense
- Started from 1974 - 1990 (16 years)
The people of New York who were fortunate enough to watch him play knew they had witnessed a very talented and special player. I've seen the reaction that Ron gets from the fans in and around Madison Square Garden first hand. The New York Rangers and Ron Greschner were seemingly made for each other. I think someday in the near future the New York Rangers will show the ultimate respect by putting Ron Greschner’s jersey up where it belongs.