Before the New York Rangers season started I began a love affair with their newest rookie, Derek Stepan. Not THAT kind of love affair, but the kind of love affair where I appreciate what he does on the ice. He worked hard during the preseason and fought to make the opening night roster (in which he became the first American and Ranger player to score a hattrick in his first NHL game). Earlier this year he was the Captain of the USA team that won the Gold Medal at the IIHF World Junior Championships. Oh…and he also played two years at the University of Wisconsin. If you follow my Twitter account you know I’m a huge Wisconsin Athletics fan as my brother is an alumnus.
Before the season started I decided I would purchase a Stepan Wisconsin hockey jersey. Unfortunately, the school does not sell player jerseys, so I bought a blank jersey and had letters and numbers added thanks to Gerry Cosby & Co., Inc. Sporting Goods on West 31st Street a block from Madison Square Garden.
Now for the really exciting story:
Then, on November 17th, ,while watching the Rangers take on the Bruins, I noticed others on Twitter were using the hashtag #amexsports. A few minutes later some followers won tickets to a Rangers game or the brand new “heritage” 85th Anniversary/ 3rd jersey. So I began to send tweets about the Rangers and included #amexsports. Next thing I knew…I received this tweet:
The numbers above are the Rangers retired jerseys:
1- Eddie Giacomin
2- Brian Leetch
3- Harry Howell
7- Rod Gilbert
9- Andy Bathgate
9- Adam Graves
11- Mark Messier
35- Mike Ritcher
I would again like to thank American Express for the jersey, although I will never wear it I will treasure it as it is my first official Rangers jersey…my Lundqvist jersey is a replica.