Rangers Retire the Jersey of Adam Graves
Adam Graves had his jersey retired by the New York Rangers on Tuesday night, before their game with the Atlanta Thrashers. Graves scored 329 goals in his career, which while a solid career number, is by no means record breaking or outstanding. His career was not about putting up great stat lines: Graves had more penalty minutes than points in all but three of his NHL seasons. But it was his best season that the Rangers won the Stanley Cup. He broke a Rangers record with 52 goals that year and finished that season with 79 points (and 127 penalty minutes).
Adam Graves left it all on the ice, and did everything he could to advance the team in all situations. If the team needed a fight, Adam Graves was there. If they needed a hard check, a big defensive play or a scoring opportunity, Graves rose to the occasion. If his fellow players needed somebody to follow, they could do worse than following his example. So despite career numbers that may not stand out, Graves found his rightful place in Rangers team history.
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He's probably the least recognized of the four leaders of that '93-'94 team which includes goaltender Mike Richter, defensemen Brian Leetch and captain Mark Messier. All of whom have had their nights of honor in Madison Square Garden already.
Graves was introduced to the Garden faithful and despite it being a night where everyone could thank Graves for what he did in his career and how he has helped the team and the city in his post-player life, Graves couldn't stop thanking everybody else. The names rang out one after another, including current Rangers players, members of the Rangers organization, and his buddies from the glory years, and of course the fans. Graves, always a selfless class act, continued to be even on a night designed to be just for him. Fitting, since that's the way Rangers fans want to remember him anyway.
Graves played in over 1,100 games in the NHL and scored over 600 points. He is second on the Rangers season goal scoring list, with 52. Jaromir Jagr broke his record with 54 goals in the 2005-2006 season. He is also third on the list for most goals scored as a Rangers player, with 280; 10 th on the list for total points as a Ranger with 507; and 9 th on the list for games played in a Rangers jersey, with 772.
ProHockey-fans.com NY Rangers Correspondent
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