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In Their Words: Quinn, Shattenkirk and Lundqvist on the '94 Championship

by Jess Isner

On Friday, Feb. 8, the Rangers will honor the 1994 Stanley Cup Champion New York Rangers with a celebration recognizing the 25th Anniversary of the 1994 Team, presented by Chase. 

Prior to Friday's festivities, Rangers players Henrik Lundqvist and Kevin Shattenkirk as well as Head Coach David Quinn talked about the impact that championship team has had on them in their hockey careers. 

"It probably had the greatest impact on my hockey career of anything - I think that really sparked my interest in hockey. It was when I really started to take hockey seriously and I think what it did for the entire area - the Westchester, New York City, Greater New York area - was amazing. I think the way that it inspired kids to go play hockey, like me at that age - you've seen the growth of youth hockey, and I think that was a huge part of it in my area growing up." - Kevin Shattenkirk on how the '94 Cup run helped to grow the game of hockey in New York 

"It's going to be a special night. For me, it was personal a little bit because of Leetchy and Mike Richter - guys that I played with and knew - so I certainly was rooting for them, but I was rooting for the Rangers because I thought it was great for hockey. When the Rangers are good, it's good for hockey. To have them win the Cup in '94, I thought it was good for the game. Obviously good for the city and for the franchise, but I thought it was great for the game of Hockey." - Head Coach David Quinn on watching the 1994 Stanley Cup run

"Anytime you get a chance to meet the alumni and rub elbows with them, it's amazing, but when a lot of them are your childhood idols and heroes, that doesn't lose its specialness to me. I think it's going to be just as fun for me [Friday] as it is for Rangers fans who are going to be attending." - Shattenkirk on growing up a Rangers fan 

"I remember the first time I met [Mike] Richter. I was just drafted and I came over. He didn't play that game, so I got to meet him in the lounge before one of the home games. Right away, I could tell he was a very classy, humble man. I was 18 at the time, and I was standing there with big eyes, trying to take it all in. That's a great memory for me - the first time I met him." - Lundqvist 

"Really, from afar, you're incredibly happy for him. You're proud of him. You feel good for him because not only is he a great player, he's a great guy. Everybody who knows him in this room knows there's no BS to him. He's as real as real can be. If you didn't know he was a Norris Trophy-winning, Hall-of-Fame defenseman, you'd think he was a plumber. You want good things to happen to good people, and he was a great guy, and great things were happening for him." - Quinn on his special bond with Brian Leetch 

"The mask from 1994 is very iconic. I see it a lot. It feels good to tribute not only him, but the team. But of course he was a big part of it as a goalie. I have a lot of respect for what he did. The mask itself, it's his design on one side and then we put Mike on the other side. I love it. I hope people love it as well. I think my plan is to use it for a game and then maybe auction it off for charity." - Lundqvist on his custom '94 Night mask 

"A lot of times, you look at the best players on the ice, and [Brian Leetch] was certainly one of them most of the time. He was a guy who always controlled the puck, seemed like he always had it on his stick, and was controlling the play and making plays, and for that reason, I think you're automatically drawn to him. I just remember when I was a kid and one of my coaches moved me back to defense. I asked him if I could still score goals if I played D. My homework assignment was to go home and watch Brian Leetch. Then tell me if you're allowed to score goals. He was a defenseman and he does it all over the ice. I think that was why I really started to idolize him and appreciate the game that he played and in many ways, the way that he played then could definitely translate to the game we have in place right now." - Shattenkirk on why he idolized Brian Leetch as a kid

"We're going to make sure that they understand. We're going to have a chance to get together with that team a little bit before tomorrow night's game. We've allotted a little bit of time for our players to kind of spend a little bit of time with them. I think it's important for our players to realize what it takes to achieve the ultimate goal - how meaningful it would be for them in their careers. They can't hear it enough. I think it's important that they hear it from the guys who experienced it here in New York." - Quinn on making sure the '94 team's message resonates with his younger players

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