NEW YORK -- Actor Michael J. Fox has become a fixture at area sporting events since moving to New York in the early 90s, just in time to see the New York Rangers defeat his hometown Vancouver Canucks in the 1994 Stanley Cup Final. And with Madison Square Garden located near his Manhattan home, he's long been a regular on celebrity row for Rangers and New York Knicks games.
But in all those years frequenting major sporting events, he'd never seen anything quite like the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game between the Rangers and New York Islanders on Wednesday night, the second and final game at Yankee Stadium in the series.
"When I heard about this, I knew I had to go. Of the two games, I thought the Islanders game was more of a rivalry," Fox told NHL.com while attending the game in the Bronx, which the Rangers won 2-1. "It's great. What's cool about it is it shows the League doing new and interesting things. It just ties into the history of the game. It speaks to all the people who love hockey and watched it. The feeling of the cold, it's just great."
Through the years, Fox has been unabashed about his love for hockey. As a child growing up in British Columbia, he idolized Bobby Orr and has been a Bruins fan most of his life. That love for the Bruins turned awkward when the Canucks and Bruins faced off in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, with Boston winning the Cup in seven games. But every chance he's had, he's looked to combine his twin loves of acting and hockey.
"I had a chance with my new show ("The Michael J. Fox Show") where we did an episode about hockey. On 'Spin City,' we did an episode about hockey with a couple of Rangers on it," Fox said. "It's great to work hockey into anything I do. Hockey is just such a big part of my life."
Perhaps nothing took him back to his childhood quite like his experience at Yankee Stadium. While he grew up primarily in B.C., Fox spent some time living in Ontario, where his love for the outdoor game first began to take shape.
"I lived for three years in North Bay, Ontario. If you hit the pond streaming the right way, you could skate all the way to school," Fox said. "You would drop off your bike and do that from October to April."
Fox got to revisit those childhood memories at Yankee Stadium. And it probably won't be long before he's back at Madison Square Garden taking in a Rangers game.
"It's great to have Madison Square Garden in the neighborhood," he said. "It's so amazing."