does anyone have any memories to share (either watching him play, or have been lucky to met him) from the greatest goalie in Rangers history?? i still cant believe he retired 10 years ago today. it seems like yesterday he was playing for the Rangers.. lets celebrate this day as Mike Richter day....
I idolized him as a kid growing up. I remember watching a bit on TV about his insane training regimen and seeing him repeatedly jump side-to-side over a bench while holding a medicine ball in his hands. I immediately went into the yard and tried it and damn near killed myself. I was lucky enough to meet him a couple years ago and he couldn't have been nicer. It's a cool experience to know your childhood heroes are just like you pictured them to be.
I think Hank will certainly surpass him in the Rangers record books, but I'll never forget how he pulled me out of my seat with some of the saves he made. His athleticism was unreal. Truly one of the most spectacular acrobatic goalies of his era.
One of my favorite players of all time (as if you couldn't tell from the username) -- not only because he was a great goalie, but because of who he was as a person. I had the privilege of meeting him a few times. Beyond the amazing talent, he was just a great guy. One of the nicest and classiest people (not just player) I've ever met; was probably the hardest working player I've seen; and no slouch intellectually either -- probably one of the brighter guys to play in the NHL (graduated from Yale after his playing career).
Two stories to demonstrate the above (both from training camps):
- As a kid, I was lucky enough to go to some of NYR's training camps throughout the years. We accidentally arrived a day early one year and went up to the facility only to find it empty and locked up for the most part. Ended up running into a guard(?) who told us we were a day early; but was nice enough to mention that the players were arriving that day and told us what hotel they were staying in (pretty amazing he gave us that information -- I'm sure that would never happen now). Thrilled, we went to the hotel and staked out the lobby waiting for players to arrive. Richter was one of the first to arrive in a sort of players' mini-bus. He was grabbing his luggage, hockey bag, pads, and one by one throwing them over his shoulder. I was younger, excited out of my mind, and totally oblivious to the fact that he had just finished positioning somewhere around 3 or 4 fairly large bags and his goalie pads on his shoulders to head inside. Ran up to him beaming, and asked him to autograph a card or two that I had with me. Instead of showing any sort of frustration or annoyance at the situation, he kind of chuckled, sighed slightly (as if to say/think "Really? I gotta take all these bags off now?"), and started to take each bag off of his shoulders one by one. He signed his autograph, took a photo, and took the time to chat for longer than I would have ever expected a player would with a younger kid. Not to mention a player who was undoubtedly wanting to check in and prepare for the day instead of be harassed by a kid.
- He was a workhorse. At camp they would do hours of suicides, drills, and scrimmages on the ice. And before and after the ice-time, players would do weight training and additional cardio - whether on treadmills or a stationary bike. There was one part of the facility where they had bikes set up in front of windows and roped off a section just outside the windows for fans to watch the players do their workout. Every single day, Richter was the first one in there before practice and the absolute last one out after -- and it wasn't just by a couple minutes. The guy would stay on the stationary bike for over an hour after every other player had left. And then to top it all off; after a grueling day of camp, he would come out and sign some autographs and chat at a point in an exhausting day when not a single other player wanted anything to do with the fans.
By the way, Richter is probably the only player I'd lose my **** over if I ever had the opportunity to meet. Idolized him growing up, wore his number for 20 years, and as an undersized goalie mimicked his style of play (aggressive above the crease, quickness to compensate).
I couldn't remember what season it was in; but the fact it was the Wild narrows it down a lot, so I just looked for the game(s) in which the Rangers had a 5 on 3 against and Richter played -- only one of them, so simple enough.
Depending upon how bad you want better quality video -- would the NHL Vault have it on NHL.com? Or does anyone on here have access to NHL Vault and know whether it is one of the games they have available?
On an aside, it's interesting to think how different Richter's legacy would be if he doesn't stop Bure in Game 4. If Vancouver ties the game at that point, it's not inconceivable they go on to win. The series takes on a whole new feel. If he doesn't win the Cup, does he become starter for the '96 World Cup, where he solidified his reputation as a big game goalie?
I echo the sentiments posted thus far - he was my idol growing up and definitely the nicest athlete I have met in person. He is humble and really takes his time to talk to his fans. Many athletes/celebrities are dismissive and uninterested when it comes to their fans and Richter is the total opposite.
Of course, when it comes to Richter, many will think of '94, but his performance in the '97 ECF run will always stand out to me. He was dominant against the Devils and played some of the best hockey of his career.
I haven't met Richter but I do know firsthand that he is a really nice guy. Not sure if anyone remembers me talking about it, but for my 30th birthday my then gf now wife decided to get me autographed pictures of the 8 Rangers who have had their numbers retired (she was a bit upset when they announced Howell, Bathgate and Graves because it made her task harder). She bought an 8x10 of Richter, got an address and mailed it to him with a letter explaining what she was doing. Not only did he send it back but he also wrote her a small good luck note on her letter and signed that as well.
One of my earliest hockey memories of being at a Ranger game when I was a little girl was a regular season game when Richter made save after save while killing off a penalty, the crowd was going crazy, then Darren Turcotte came out of the box, immediately received a head man pass, and scored on the breakaway.
The roar was deafening...I remember looking up and being amazed that the roof didn't blow right off the top of the building! Then came the Richter chant...I still get chills thinking about it.
My favorite ranger growing up by a mile.... and it so happens right now on MSG they are playing Richter's solid performance against Montreal in the 96 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals for any one interested
anyone remember this?? this was one of the better commercials on ESPN at that time....
My favorite Richter commercial was for ESPN. I think it was for a game against Boston. A closeup of Richter opens the commercial. He says to the camera, "The Bruins are a good team, but there aren't going to get anything behind me."
The camera pans out, and you see him in the crease, with his sweater stuffed with pillows for more blocking area. Then a Little Caesar's delivery guy brings him a pizza, and Mike belts out, "You call that a large?! And where's my crazy bread!!!" And Richter throws the pizza on the ice.
Another one was run during the Cup Run. Also on ESPN. Played to Mambo No. 3 or something. Highlights of Richter making great saves... Pause to see Richter take his towel, then clean a sheet of glass placed in front on the goal mouth...