New York Rangers President Glen Sather announced today that the organization will retire jersey No. 11 in honor of Rangers great Vic Hadfield in an on-ice ceremony prior to the Rangers' game against the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday, December 2, 2018 as part of Vic Hadfield Night presented by Budweiser.
"As a player, Vic Hadfield embodied the heart, soul, and determination of a New York Ranger," Sather said. "His willingness to contribute in any way necessary to help the Rangers win earned the respect and admiration of his teammates and fans alike. It is only fitting that Vic takes his rightful place alongside the Rangers legends in the rafters of Madison Square Garden."
Hadfield played parts of 13 seasons with the Rangers (1961-62 - 1973-74), registering 262 goals and 310 assists for 572 points, along with 1,041 penalty minutes in 841 games. He ranks fifth in franchise history in goals, power play goals (83), game-winning goals (40), and penalty minutes, ranks seventh in games played, ranks ninth in points, ranks 10th in assists, and ranks third in shots on goal (2,414). At the time of his departure from the Rangers following the 1973-74 season, Hadfield ranked second in franchise history in games played and penalty minutes (trailing only Harry Howell in both categories), and ranked fourth in goals, assists, and points (trailing only Andy Bathgate, Rod Gilbert, and Jean Ratelle in all three categories). One of the premier power forwards of his era, Hadfield is the only player who has recorded at least 200 goals and 1,000 or more penalty minutes as a member of the Rangers in franchise history.
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Hadfield was named the 14th captain in franchise history on June 9, 1971, and he served as the team's captain for the final three seasons of his tenure with the Rangers (1971-72 - 1973-74). Hadfield's best season as a Ranger was his first as the team's captain in 1971-72. He registered 50 goals and 56 assists for 106 points, along with a plus-60 rating and 142 penalty minutes in 78 games during the 1971-72 season, becoming the first Ranger to tally 50 goals in a season in franchise history. Hadfield reached the 50-goal plateau on the final day of the regular season, recording the goal at the 14:46 mark of the third period on April 2, 1972 against Montreal at MSG. Hadfield, along with his linemates on the Rangers' Goal-A-Game Line (G-A-G Line), center Jean Ratelle and right wing Rod Gilbert, became the first linemates to all register 40 or more goals in the same season in NHL history. Ratelle, Hadfield, and Gilbert ranked third, fourth, and fifth, respectively, in the NHL in points during the 1971-72 season, and the Rangers advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals. Hadfield was selected to the NHL's Second All-Star Team at Left Wing, and he finished fifth in voting for the Hart Trophy as the league's Most Valuable Player.
Hadfield skated in 62 career Stanley Cup Playoff games with the Rangers, registering 22 goals and 19 assists for 41 points, along with a plus-eight rating and 106 penalty minutes. He led the Rangers in goals (eight) and points (13) in 13 games during the 1971 Stanley Cup Playoffs while helping the team advance to the Game 7 of the Semifinals against Chicago. In addition, Hadfield tied for the team lead in goals (seven) and registered 16 points (seven goals, nine assists) in 16 games during the Rangers' run to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1971-72. He tallied a hat trick in Game 3 of the Semifinals against Chicago on April 22, 1971.
During his tenure with the Rangers, Hadfield represented the team in the NHL All-Star Game twice (1965 and 1972). In addition to becoming the first player to score 50 goals in a season in franchise history, he also established single-season franchise records for power play goals (23 - 1971-72), power play points (34 - 1971-72), and shots on goal (321 - 1968-69). Hadfield held the Rangers single-season record for goals until 1993-94, when Adam Graves tallied 52 goals. Hadfield remains one of only three Rangers who have tallied 50 or more goals in a season in franchise history (along with Graves in 1993-94 and Jaromir Jagr in 2005-06). In 1963-64, Hadfield tied for first in the NHL with 151 penalty minutes during the season. In 1971-72, Hadfield was named the recipient of the Players' Player Award, which is given annually to the Ranger who, as selected by his teammates, "best exemplifies what it means to be a team player".
The Oakville, Ontario native played parts of 16 NHL seasons with the Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins (1961-62 - 1976-77), registering 323 goals and 389 assists for 712 points, along with a plus-22 rating and 1,159 penalty minutes in 1,004 career games. Hadfield was originally claimed by the Rangers from Chicago in the Intraleague Draft on June 14, 1961. Hadfield will join Rod Gilbert (7), Ed Giacomin (1), Mike Richter (35), Mark Messier (11), Brian Leetch (2), Adam Graves (9), Andy Bathgate (9), Harry Howell (3), and Jean Ratelle (19) as the only Rangers whose jersey numbers have been retired by the organization. Gilbert was the first Ranger to have his number retired on Oct. 14, 1979, and was joined by Giacomin's No. 1 on Mar. 15, 1989, Richter's No. 35 on Feb. 4, 2004, Messier's No. 11 on Jan. 12, 2006, Leetch's No. 2 on Jan. 24, 2008, Graves' No. 9 on Feb. 3, 2009, Bathgate's No. 9 and Howell's No. 3 on Feb. 22, 2009, and most recently, Ratelle's No. 19 on Feb. 25, 2018. In addition, Hadfield's 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).
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