I recently started a new job and in my 3rd week at the firm, one of my first clients offered me a ticket to a charity event/dinner they run. This event happens to be at MSG and involves several past and present New York Rangers spending time with under privileged kids. It was quite the scene and after pushing many kids out of the way I got my chance to spend some time with some of the Rangers including Dan Girardi, Michael Del Zotto and the Half of Famer, Adam Graves. The first thing I want to mention is what amazing people these guys were. Dan Girardi is a fantastic guy and was amazing with the kids, I would let him watch my kids any day. I chatted with Girardi for a little bit and he is just an unbelievable guy. I also spent a solid 15 minutes chatting with the only #9 I knew growing up, Adam Graves. Other than the fact that he is one of the most charitable and community active NY athletes, Graves is the man. He was super nice and talked about everything from the ’94 team, Winter Classic, Gretzky, Messier, Shanahan (or Shanny as he called him), the current team, John Tortorella, and Lundqvist. He made a few fascinating points. Firstly, he could not say enough about how Messier was the greatest leader he has ever played with or seen. He also mentioned that this is the best team since ’94 and he himself has never been so excited. He then pointed out how John Tortorella has created such an amazing locker room. He is a no nonsense guy who tells it like it is and earns the respect of his team. With Tororella earning this respect the locker room has a confidence to it. He also mentioned that King Lundqvist is the best goalie he has ever seen.
I have to be honest, I most enjoyed talking to Del Zotto. Del Zotto is really just the nicest young man. He felt like he was my buddy from school or home who I could hang out with any day of the week. The young defenseman is a tough guy as he sported a nice shiner on his right eye. We spoke about the whole season and how he has tried so hard to just get wins and he views the +/- stat as a great indicator of how well rounded he and the entire team has played. We spoke about the Winter Classic and more importantly how there is just a confidence on the team right now that he has never been a part of. It was actually quite interesting that he pointed out that the team is playing so well right now and want to keep it going that the team and players actually can’t wait for the next game. They want to play every night. This is a team I want to root for. This is a team I want to succeed and from the looks of it, I think come April time, they will.