If everyone here agrees I would like to start this thread and after March 9th, print it out and send it to Brian in care of the Maple Leafs. This would be one way that us Ranger Fans could show the appreciation that we have for him. If anyone has any objections please state it but I think everyone here would like to show Brian what he has meant to the fans all these years.
If the spelling and grammar is off please excuse it as I am trying to type through tears.
Since 1988 you have been the consummate professional. Through the good and the bad you have bled Ranger Blue. Even as a young kid just starting out, you showed everyone of us what it meant to be a New York Ranger. From your end to end rushes to the time you have spent with local charities, you have been nothing but excellent. I have watched you grow from that young single kid, who never strayed from the straight and narrow to the mature husband and father who loves New York as if he was born here. You are a shining example to all the young professional sports players. If they follow in just a few of your footsteps, they will learn how to be a true professional.
Good Luck with the Maple Leafs. May you wear their blue as proudly as you wore the Rangers and hoist another Stanley Cup over your head. But remember that you are a Ranger first and foremost and the Leafs are just borrowing you for a short time. When the time is right, come back to New York and see your jersey raised to the rafters with the rest of the Ranger greats.
We will miss you Brian Leetch #2 All Time Ranger Great.
It's been an honor to see one of the best defensman in the NHL skate for the Rangers the past 17 years. We all appreciate what you've brought to the Rangers and you can't be thanked enough. Good luck in Toronto.
My guess is it must have felt similar to when Clarke and Gilmour were dealt from Toronto. Even though we gave up a nice package I a quite excited now. Looks like Leetch has picked up his job as Islanders killer already, 2 assists 7 minutes in...
i cant put into words how much respect i have for this man... leetch is a hero to many ny hockey fans myself included... i will never forget the golden days when leetchie was at his best along with his ranger brothers, richter, mess and gravey... i am already reserving seats for his come back day and will proudly wear my blue red and white... nyr #2 forever!!!! GO LEETCH
Here's one of the best compliments I can pay to Brian Leetch: I know of no NYI fan who has ever said a bad word about him. And in a sports world with a lot of lunatic blind homers who would curse God were he an opposing player, that's says a lot.
In his prime, as dominating an offensive force as any defenseman short of Robert Orr.
Calder Trophy winner, multiple Norris Trophy winner prior to '94. That year, however, thanks in great part to the tough love of Mike Keenan, became a great, complete PLAYER, a leader, and paved his road to the Hall of Fame.
I seriously believe the Leafs will win the conference this spring, and while some NYR fans understandably are miffed at #2's departure, you should be happy for him. Nearly fell off my chair when reminded that this great player has not played in the post-season for seven years! This spring, he will be on a very hungry, veteran team. Belief here is that he will, in fact, be the final piece of the puzzle to get them over the hump.
In closing, will say that it bothered me to periodically read posts on this board with some misguided folks fervently advocating the trading of this icon. But I chalked it up to some not having had the pleasure of seeing this guy for the bulk of his 17 seasons in Manhattan. (That thought - 17 years - is amazing/frightening, as well. Seems like yesterday when he joined NYR from the winter Olympics in Calgary. None of us are getting younger. )
Despite all the BS in sports, the great players - the truly great players - still deserve our utmost respect. They are a rare breed and transcend any of the cynicism and biases that goes hand-in-hand with fandom.
Brian Leetch is one of those players.
From Alan Hahn's Newsday article, 3-5-04:
"[Leetch] said he was 'proud to be a New York Ranger'..... 'It's done with now,' he said. 'I'm a Toronto Maple Leaf and I'm lucky to be here.' "
Here's a guy who could have found a reason to be bitter at Sather, and act the primma donna upon his arrival in Toronto. He chose to do neither. Instead respectful words for both his former and present employer.
Wanted to thank the Rangers for Leetch. Hopefully he'll be able to do for the Leafs what he was able to do for the Rangers in '94.
FYI - During his press conference tonight, he stated how tired and uncomfortable he felt..."had a whirlwind day, very hectic". He got three assists and looked great. Was named first star of the game. I can't wait to see how he'll play after being rested!!!
Also, I think the Rangers have just become my second favourite team.
Simply the greatest Ranger ever. It's all been said the past 2 days. I cannot wait for the day to see #2 up in the rafters, I will be there cheering louder than I ever have since 1994. No one, not Messier, Graves, Gilbert, Giacomin, and even Richter (my 2nd favorite player ever), comes close to what Leetch means to me as a Ranger fan. When I am old and hopefully with kids of my own, I will watch Ranger games with them at MSG, and think back to the 90's and think fondly of Leetch as I gaze up to his #2 in the rafters. Leetch, the Greatest Ranger Ever!
Here's to Leetch. One of the best defensemen, period. Always a Ranger at heart. Good luck, Brian !
Always a threat on the ice, always a hard worker, always a Ranger.
He was definitely the most exciting player to watch over the years. It makes me a little unhappy, in the way the Graves was dealt, and Richter had to retire, but I want to see Brian hold a cup again before hegoes out, and he has a helluva better chance in Toronto then here. Best wishes.
1) the more i think about it (and I liked the "return" on the trade from the beginning) the more I think the trade is a mistake ... he should never have worn another jersey. I don't care rebuilding no rebuilding ... he is the only ranger I've ever seen to care so much. Watching his press conference after the game where he basically admitted he was CRUSHED to be traded from the Ranger ... where have you ever heard of a player being CRUSHED to leave a team as godawful as we are. HE was the one, if not ONLY ONE, who cared, and we should have kept him even if it meant hurting our rebuilding slightly - and who are we kidding, with Sather running this thing its not going to come out well anyway.
2) Sather is the BIGGEST *&^&*(#%@(**&($&*)#*& ever!!!! If you saw some of the things going on, he showed Leetch absolutely no courtesy and no respect for someone who has done nothing but live and die for the Rangers .... I was never a big proponent of calling for someone's head ... but based on this alone I believe he should strung-up and shot (or fired if thats more politically correct).
God it pained me to watch the TO game last night ... and the press conference was much worse.