NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s been almost 30 years since the New York Rangers beat the Vancouver Canucks in the 1994 Stanley Cup and goaltender Mike Richter is still a legend on the streets of New York. Richter, Mark Messier and the rest of the Rangers took New York City by storm with the franchise’s first Stanley Cup victory since the 1939-1940 season.
CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith caught up with Richter to discuss his hockey career, his favorite memories from the run to the Stanley Cup in 1994 and life after hockey.READ MORE: Claremont Residents Say Overflowing Garbage Is Leading To Major Rat Problem In Community
“We were a really tight group and that’s why we had success,” said Richter. “Like any team that tastes success, you end up being a family. You experience these ups and downs of the year. You put yourself on the line not just physically, but emotionally. The whole organization becomes very tight and I’m still in touch with everyone from the organization from the trainers to the security guards at MSG. They went through all this stuff with us. I don’t think you can have that level of success with having that important understanding of having that friendship and having that family support network.”
Richter is one of the many ex-athletes working with sports marketer Brandon Steiner on his new venture Athlete Direct. The New York goalie’s prized memorabilia from his career is now available for fans to purchase. The former NHL star has even offered up maple syrup that he has invested in as something you can buy on the site. While Richter had many great teammates during his career, there was no one quite like Messier.READ MORE: 'A Good Step In The Right Direction': New Yorkers Optimistic As President Joe Biden Makes Juneteenth A Federal Holiday
“This is a guy that people say is a born leader and I think that is true,” said Richter. “We are friends with his family and his father was a great influence on him and a really great mentor to a lot of the guys. His mom and brothers and sisters were all a part of it, but Mark worked on it too. He was a big, strong guy from Western Canada who knew the game and it was in his blood, but he also was a student of the game. He was a student of leadership and still is to this day. He read a lot of books on it and wanted to constantly improve himself. He was a walking example of it. Mark was a peer, but he was a mentor for a lot of guys.”
The former Rangers goalie played his entire career in New York, made three appearances in the NHL All-Star Game and was named MVP of the 1994 NHL All-Star game. He also won a silver medal with the United State Olympic team in 2002. After experiencing what it is like to win in New York with the 1994 Stanley Cup, Richter says there is nothing quite like it.MORE NEWS: New Jersey Transit Lifts Mask Mandate For Outdoor Train Platforms, Bus Stops
“It’s overwhelming and humbling with the ticker tape and the size of the crowd and the roars. It was crazy that a city would embrace it that much,” said Richter. “You think back to the beginning of training camp and it was what you hoped you would achieve. It was bigger and better than I ever would’ve imaged.”