TheNew York Rangers announced today that the organization will retire jersey No. 9 in honor of Rangers great Adam Graves in an on-ice ceremony during the 2008-09 season.
The announcement was made by long-time teammate and friend, Brian Leetch, during a pre-game ceremony when Leetch's No. 2 was raised to the rafters of Madison Square Garden. This will be the last number retired from the Rangers' 1994 Stanley Cup Championship team.
"Adam Graves is quite simply one of the most beloved players to ever don a New York Rangers sweater," stated Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather. "Off the ice, there is quite simply no finer person. His effort and production as a hockey player was nothing short of triumphant and, even today, his dedication to the community is incomparable. We are proud to have Adam join his fellow 1994 Stanley Cup Champion teammates Mike Richter, Mark Messier and Brian Leetch, as well as legends Rod Gilbert and Eddie Giacomin, as his number is raised to the rafters of Madison Square Garden."
Graves, who retired from professional hockey following the 2002-03 season after a memorable 17-year career now serves in the Rangers Hockey and Business Operations departments. Graves set the franchise record for most goals in a season with his 52-goal campaign in 1993-94 (since broken by Jaromir Jagr in 2005-06), and ranks third in career goals (280) and 10th in points (507). Graves has also won several Rangers' awards in recognition of his contribution to the community, including the Steven McDonald Award (1992, 1993, 1994, 1999, and 2000), the Rangers Fan Club Ceil Saidel Memorial Award (1996, 1997 and 2000) and the Crumb Bum Award (1993).
Graves appeared in 1,152 career games with the Rangers, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, and San Jose Sharks, registering 329 goals and 287 assists for 616 points, along with 1,224 penalty minutes. Graves was selected to participate in the 1994 NHL All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden, and was honored with the King Clancy Memorial Trophy (1994), the NHL Foundation Award (2000) and the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy (2001).
Graves is also a two-time, Stanley Cup Champion in 1989-90 with Edmonton and in 1993-94 with the Rangers. He was an integral part of the Rangers' magical run to the 1994 Stanley Cup Championship, registering 10 goals and seven assists for 17 points in 23 matches. The Toronto, Ontario native has represented Canada in several international tournaments, including the gold-medal winning Canadian Junior team at the World Junior Championships in 1988 and later served as Captain of Team Canada at the 1993 World Championships in Munich, Germany.
The two-time Rangers' MVP (1993 and 1994) will join Rod Gilbert (7), Eddie Giacomin (1), Mike Richter (35), Mark Messier (11), and Brian Leetch (2) as the only Rangers players to have their jersey numbers retired. Gilbert's No. 7 was first to ascend to The Garden rafters on Oct. 14, 1979; Giacomin's No. 1 on March 15, 1989; Richter's No. 35 on February 4, 2004; Messier's No. 11 on January 12, 2006; and most recently Leetch's No. 2 earlier this evening.
In addition, Graves' jersey number will be among nine New York Knickerbockers that have been remembered in the ceiling of The World's Most Famous Arena. Former Knicks players Walt Frazier (10), Dick Barnett (12), Earl Monroe (15), Dick McGuire (15), Willis Reed (19), Dave DeBusschere (22), Bill Bradley (24) and most recently Patrick Ewing (33) have all had their numbers honored by the team, along with Hall-of-Fame coach Red Holzman (613).