#35 To Be Retired – Time To Reflect

With Mike Richter’s retirement only a day away I feel as though it is time to reflect on the career of Richter. The greatest American born goalie (I dare say?) and more so the greatest Rangers’s goalie of all-time.For me, Richter was the first Rangers’s goalie I ever knew. That alone makes tomorrow night a very special night, however, #35 will be only the third number in Rangers’s history to be retired. When you think of all the great players that have played on the Rangers that makes the honor so much more. In a time of free agency and looking for profits it is quite marvellous to play on one team your entire career over a span of fifteen seasons.

Perhaps the greatest breakaway goalie of all-time (look at the career stats). Perhaps the most athletic and quickest goalie (definitely out of the goalies I’ve seen). Richter was a three time all-star, a stanley cup champion, All-Star Game MVP, and MVP of the 1996 World Cup of Hockey to name some of his accolades. Will probably most be remembered for “The Save,” of the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals. Although Brian Leetch took the Conn Smythe Richter was a close second. Richter was never really thought of as a franchise player, playing behind Messier and Leetch, but he definitely was the heart and soul of the team. Just when you thought the Rangers were done Richter always dug in and stood fast. Just when you thought Richter was done he always seemed to step up. A great goalie, a great man, and a true blue: Mike the Man of Steel…

I’m sure he’ll be working in the Rangers organization sooner or later, you’ll see.

While on the subject of retiring numbers I’d just like to bring up a discussion. Who do you think deserves to be honored by retiring his number (of former Rangers already retired)?

Leetch’s number will surely be retired and deservedly so, but do you think Messier deserves the same honor? I personally do, but I’m sure there are still some people who remember the Vancouver incident. What do you think?

One last question:

Is Richter a Hall of Famer?

Talk amongst yourselves.