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New York Rangers to retire Brian Leetch's No. 2 in January @NHLdotcom

NEW YORK (CP) - No player will ever wear No. 2 for the New York Rangers again.

The NHL team announced Thursday that it will retire former captain Brian Leetch's number in a ceremony on Jan. 24. Leetch officially retired earlier this summer. He holds the Rangers franchise record with 741 career assists and ranks second in career points (981) and games played (1,129).

"When we talk about what it means to be a New York Ranger, Brian Leetch is the player who exemplifies that model," said Rangers president Glen Sather. "He is simply the greatest defenceman in the history of the franchise and gave the same effort when it came to helping the community off the ice.

"There is no higher honour to grant Brian then to have his number raised to the rafters of Madison Square Garden."

Leetch appeared in 1,205 career games with the Rangers, Toronto and Boston. He registered 247 goals and 781 assists for 1,028 points.

He won a Stanley Cup with the Rangers in 1994 and was given the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP that year.

Leetch will join Rod Gilbert (7), Eddie Giacomin (1), Mike Richter (35) and Mark Messier (11) as the only players to have a jersey retired by the Original Six team.

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