True story. I went to the Rangers training camp a few years ago at Lake George, NY. As I was approaching the rink, some young guy runs accross the street in front of my car. Had to slam on the breaks not to hit him. The young guy happened to be Fedor Tyutin. Almost killed him by accident. I would say that was a pretty close call with a Ranger.
After practice, we went to the Rangers hotel to meet up with some of the Rangers. Met Hank, Jagr, Shanny etc...
The closest I can come is a former former co-worker whose wife was the niece of two Ranger hall of famers--the brothers Bill and Bun Cook. When Bun was posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame they all went up to Toronto and were part of the ceremony.
I lived next to Graves for a few months in 1994. He was super classy - my grandparents took us next door to meet him and he introduced himself and played some bubble hockey with us, which was the coolest thing ever at the time. Then, the day after they won the cup he came over to our apartment and gave my brother and me a bunch of signed stuff. Such a good guy. That experience made me the NYR fan that I am today.
While playing hockey in Fort McMurray several years ago I happened to notice a goalie playing before me on a team I knew a couple of players.
I noticed him because he had equipment very much, if not identical to Richter's.
Long story short (cuz I can't remember all the details now), I had made a comment about it after the game to him and he went on to tell me it was actually Mike Richter's old equipment. He got to meet him, had his old block, scoop, pads, and I think even the pants. I believe everything was signed too. Including a couple of goal sticks.
I coached Timbits last year (asst coach) and the head coach is still great friends with Darren Langdon. They played hockey together years ago. He still talks to him frequently apprently. Langdon owns a pub in Western Newfoundland called Langer's. (I'm a Newf myself)
Through Langdon, he also got to go to Gretzky's retirement party after his final game in New York.
However, nothing that is personal from me directly to NYR though other than the blue I bleed.
My family and extended family has some ties made over the years to random guys who played for the organization, through being fans dating back to the 50's and from being involved in playing the game through the generations in the tri-state blah blah...anyway, most notable story or tie I guess you can say I have is one about Eddie Olczyk.
When I was nine I got pretty sick with a bone infection in my foot. It became a pretty tricky situation and finally when they were able to cure it I had to be home schooled for about two months to finish off daily treatment, I couldn't play hockey for a while, etc.
Through a connection, my uncle asked if Eddie-O could sign some things, maybe have a few other guys on the team do the same, and he would give them to me. Instead of just signing some stuff, Eddie insisted that he come to my house and hang out for a bit. He came over with a bunch of stuff signed by some of the guys, took pictures, brought some sticks, and just hung out for maybe an hour. I think this was during the lockout in 94-95 so maybe he had some extra time, but it's still an awesome gesture that he would come by for a bit. I'll always think highly of Eddie for doing that, along with the other guys on the team who do this stuff. It's really awesome and I think not appreciated enough by the fan base how good the organization has been helping out kids, whether they're poor, have terminal illnesses or just a kid like me who was bummed out for a bit because I had to miss school for a couple months.
For a while I have thought about reaching out to Eddie-O, just not sure how to go about it.
My parents were friends with Ulf and Barbara Nilsson when I was in elementary and junior high school. He was my favorite player at the time. He moved a couple of miles away from our house. My mom was from Sweden so went over there to welcome them to the area, make them feel at home. One day she picked me up from school and was like "I have a surprise for you tonight." I thought I was finally getting that Atari I was asking for. Later than evening the doorbell rang, she asked me to answer the door. I opened it and standing there was Ulf and his wife. I almost passed out. Ends up my mom invited them over for dinner. I immediately called my friends and said "Holy crap! Ulf Nilsson is over at my house!!!" The next day everyone made fun of me, saying I made it up. My mom told me to invite over the kid who was being the biggest jerk the next time Ulf was coming over for dinner. I did. He almost passed out, as well. Then called all my friends yelling "He really is here! He really is!!!" It was great.
They stayed friends with my parents for a while, came over to eat or went out to dinner with them all the time. Met Hedberg, too, via Ulf. He didn't live too far away, either.
Also - I also used to practice at Rye Playland when I was a kid - sometimes in the studio rink which was upstairs. The Rangers used to practice downstairs and they'd flip up pucks to us and one time let a few of us get on the ice and skate with them. I took a shot on John Davidson and he let me score.