So I guess you might have heard the Rangers retired Mark Messier’s number 11.
Contrary to what the newspapers seem to think, not everyone in New York is a breathless Messier fan (Exhibit A and Exhibit B).
I mean, the guy left the team once and impeded the development of countless players with his incessant need for inappropriate ice time.
But whatever. A lot of people love him and I can respect that.
I did think that bringing out the Stanley Cup was a bit mean, though.
After the game, MSG, the Rangers’ local network, was talking to ex-goalie Mike Richter, and he spent a lot of time talking about how retirement is such a big deal for athletes. He mentioned that when he learned he couldn’t play hockey any more, he couldn’t even tell his wife, because to say it out loud would be too upsetting.
So it seemed like kind of a strange choice to wheel out the trophy Messier will never again win.
I guess they should have talked to Richter before planning the game.
In other New York-centric news, I’m sure everyone heard the Islanders fired their coach, Steve Stirling, with GM Mike Milbury also agreeing to step aside at the end of this season. The Post had an interesting detail on how things seem to be working out in Uniondale (login info.): “Stirling has been on the griddle all year, the target of an ownership that, according to several sources, has developed a Steinbrenner-like, hands-on approach to hockey operations, with Charles Wang making suggestions on everything from line combinations to coaching philosophy to the videos played on the scoreboard before games.”
That would explain just a few of the horrible moves made by Milbury over the course of something like 25 different Islander ownership groups.
FULL DISCLOSURE: Due to a clerical error, I owned the Islanders from July 18, 1999 to July 23, 1999.