by John DavidsonExcerpts taken from '1994 - The Official Book of the New York Rangers Championship,' published shortly after the Rangers' 1994 Stanley Cup championship
If you're a winner in New York, you're a winner forever. Win in New York and you become part of New York folklore, not just part of sports history. Your victory never dies. And now that the Rangers are the 1994 Stanley Cup Champions, this city will never let these guys forget it.
This Stanley Cup proves the greatness of Mark Messier. It proves that Michael Keenan can win the Stanley Cup. It proves that Neil Smith made the right moves. It proves that the organization above the Rangers, through their cooperation, their ability to hire good people, their ability to listen to good people, and their professional approach, made a lot of correct decisions. And the players proved that a hockey team can win in New York. They have finally defeated the past.
The past had always haunted the Rangers. It was brought up by kids, adults, opposition fans, Rangers fans, and the media. It was a favorite way to mock the hockey club. In previous years, the very thought of '1940' would send shudders through the team. But this year's Rangers took '1940,' looked at the '94' in the middle and gassed the '1' and the '0.'
I'm from Calgary but I live here now. As a player and broadcaster, I've been identified with the Rangers for almost two decades, and during that time, the organization has been terrific to me. But sports franchises have their ups and downs and you have to go through both the good and the bad. And when the Rangers have struggled, New Yorkers can be pretty vocal - whether they are Rangers fans or not. I've certainly heard a lot over the years. But now that the Rangers are finally the Stanley Cup Champions, even though I'm a little farther from the ice than I was when I played, I'm still very, very proud to be a part of it. It makes me want to light up a cigar and puff my chest up a little bit.
From all the former Rangers, to the Rangers of 1994 - thank you!