A belated nod to the three Rangers' greats, who they will honor in February: Adam Graves Night on Feb. 3; Andy Bathgate and Harry Howell Night on Feb. 22.
Bathgate, played 12 seasons with the New York Rangers from 1952-53 to 1963-64 and served as Captain from 1961 to 1964, established himself as one of the most prolific scorers to don the Rangers sweater...
Graves, was the two-time Rangers’ MVP (1993 and 1994) 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...
Howell, played 17 seasons with the New York Rangers from 1952-53 to 1968-69 and served as Captain from 1955 to 1957, established the benchmark for consistency and durability in the Rangers organization...
The Rangers management must have been listening to Mike, the Ranger Pundit, who back on October 31st said:
... when an Adam Graves number 9 goes up I would like to see an Andy Bathgate number 9 go up. . .You see Mike, sometimes they listen. Maybe we'll get the Bun hoisted someday.
[and] what about [honoring] guys like Bill and Bun Cook, Frankie Boucher, Chuck Rayner, Lynn Patrick, Harry Howell . . .
Legends of Hockey:
Bathgate could play the physical game and was known as a fierce fighter when the occasion warranted it, perhaps an attribute from his youth in a tough Winnipeg neighborhood known for its boxers. . .Stan Fischler, 'The Maven,' over at MSG.com also had a nice tribute to all three. Bathgate the Consummate Performer --
Class and artistry intertwined in a pirouette..The Maven:
Considered by some who saw him play as the best Rangers right wing of all time, Andy Bathgate reeked of class and artistry. He played the game cleanly, but was also an excellent fighter when the occasion demanded the rough stuff. . .
Graves the Ultimate Fan Favorite --
If a popularity contest was held that included every Ranger whoever donned the Blueshirt, Adam Graves would be at or near the top.The Maven:
It was hard not to like Adam; a player who extended himself to the public, whether the object of his interest was the mayor or a garbage collector. The peripatetic forward was also a splendid player and goal scorer, par excellence. . .
Howell Coming Home to Rafters --
Harry Howell ranks among the most underrated defensemen of all time; except for one area: He ranks in the Hall of Fame. Howell spent 22 years in the NHL. Seventeen of those years were spent with the Rangers, for whom Howell played 1,160 games, a team record. For his 1,000th game, the Rangers honored him with a memorable Harry Howell Night at Madison Square Garden.
If Harry had a problem, it was that he lacked the fire and brimstone style of his defensive teammate Lou (Louie the Leaper) Fontinato. Harry played a methodical, clever, and tough game when he had to . . .
A gratuitous Olympic wrap-up.
Wasn't everyone naked in the original Greek version of the games? So there was no problem when U.S. swimmer Amanda Beard posed nude for Playboy in 2007.
Beard won a gold and two silvers at Athens in 2004.
Beard, along with Dara Torres and Natalie Coughlin, was elected a co-captain of the 2008 US Olympic women’s swimming team. However, in Beijing at her fourth Olympics, Beard failed to reach the semifinals in the 200 meter breaststroke, placing 18th in the preliminaries.
The French Olympic swimmer, Laure Manaudou, also posed nude. But it was for her ex-boyfriend, Italian swimmer Luca Marin, who was accused of posting the pictures on the internet. These days how does that hurt someone's career prospects?
Even if most of the athletes kept their clothes on, and you watched any of the Beijing games, would you agree that they were the best Olympics ever?
By the way, why did they ever retire old Peking?
Espn :: Olympics Best & Worst list:
American Olympians. Three Yanks who ennobled the Games by their actions:
- Gold: David Neville (22). His headfirst dive to the finish line for bronze in the 400-meter track final was the living symbol of how badly someone can want a medal. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, and it completed an American sweep of the event -- a rare triumphant moment for the U.S. at the track venue.
- Silver: Brendan Hansen (23). America's best breaststroker had a brutal summer -- he failed to make the Olympic team in the 200 breast and failed to win a medal in the 100, an event in which he held the world record. After finishing fourth and watching bitter rival Kosuke Kitajima of Japan win the gold and take his world record, Hansen could have quickly exited the pool and left the painful scene. Instead, he crossed two lanes to congratulate Kitajima. That's class.
- Bronze: Jessica Mendoza (24). The softball left fielder was crushed when the U.S. was stunned by Japan in the gold-medal game, but she overcame it for the greater cause of Olympic softball. She quickly organized the Japanese and bronze medalist Australia to place softballs in the shape of the numbers "2016" in the infield, then had the teams pose behind them. The point: to bring back softball, which is being booted from the Olympics in part because of -- oops -- American dominance.
You can be pretty sure you will not see a country spending $40+ billion to host the games again. The Prime Minister of the UK, Gordon Brown, and the Mayor of London, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, must have come away knowing they will have a tough act to follow. But the Brits kept a stiff upper lip, Boris Johnson said:
"We have been dazzled, we have been impressed, we have been blown away by these games but we have not been intimidated. . . I am absolutely convinced that we can do the same without blowing the £9.3bn ($17bn) budget."And how the heck does a guy named Boris, who was born in New York City, end up being the Mayor of London?
Cheap seats in London.
So some corners will need to be cut. For example, there will be no $543 million Bird's Nest built in London. Instead they will erect a temporary circle of bleachers that will then be dismantled after the games. That's basically what London Olympic Stadium sounds like:
The stadium's design will be revolutionary as it will largely be a temporary structure, which will be reduced from 80,000 to 25,000 seats after the games, leaving what organisers hope will be a sustainable living community stadium...They can call it "Cheap Seat Park" after the games. Maybe the NHL will want to pick up those discarded 55,000 seats at a bargain price and use them every year for their now annual outdoor "Winter Classic." They could then hold it on just about any frozen pond, they'd save big on the stadium rental.