Never really had a strong influence that got me into it. I got into hockey around '98 or so when I was in 3rd grade. I started out rooting for the Bruins (I honestly have no idea way) but I was a Yankees fan and since we didn't get many Bruins games on in CT I ended up watching the Rangers, Devils, and Isles a lot and ended up becoming a Ranger fan and stayed loyal ever since.
I loved the 1986 playoff run.It's the first time I saw the Rangers win anything.VBK won the Vezina that season.He was great in the playoffs against Philly and Washington.Ted Sator assigned Glen Hanlon to the Red Wings AHL affiliate in Adoroindack before the season and gave the job to VBK. One of Sator's assistant coaches Reg Higgs coached in the Canadian College Hockey league and he recommended the Rangers give Mike Ridley an opportunity.Sator also assigned Pierre Larouche to the Flyers AHL team in Hershey before the season.The Rangers brought Pepi back and put him on the wing with Ridley and Kelly Miller.Craig Patrick swung a 3 way with LA and Minnesota trade for Brian MacLellan who scored the GWG OT goal in game 1 against the Caps.The Rangers gave up Grant Ledyard.That was a crazy week.The Rangers won game 5 in Philly on a Tuesday night and then won game 1 in Landover on Thursday night.In game 3 of the Philly series,George McPhee knocked the piss out of Rick Tocchet who at that time was like Milan Lucic is right on.He was more of a fighter than a goal scorer which he became later on in his career.
A few months later,the Rangers drafted Brian Leetch.Patrick wanted to trade up to LA's pick at #2 to select Jimmy Carson.Detroit was taking Joe Murphy and Craig Vague(which is what the Post writers called him)wanted a center.Patrick couldn't swing the deal and settled for Leetch at the urging of Rangers AGM Anders Herberg and amateur scout Ray Clearwater(still a Rangers scout).
Patrick could never swing that big deal as the Rangers GM.In Pittsburgh, he made big deal after big deal.You look at that 1990-91 Penguins team,Patrick so many good deals to win the Cup.Of course,he had Scotty Bowman working beside him.