My dad has been a New York Rangers’ season ticket holder since the 1989-90 season and because of that, I’ve been to an absolute ton of their games.
I love going to Madison Square Garden. I love the team, the arena, the sights, the sounds, and all the history that comes with MSG. In fact, I like to call the Garden my home away from home.
With all of that said, however, there is one thing that I absolutely despise when it comes to Blueshirt games at the Garden. I may be in the minority with what I am about to say, but I really don’t care because this has gone on for far too long.
You may call me a trader, but folks, the “Potvin sucks” chant needs to go. Yes, it has to do with the New York Islanders, our hated rivals, and yes, what he did to one of our players back in the late 70’s was awful. I understand both of these things.
However, the time has come for this chant to stop. Yes, it’s been a part of Ranger games for decades, but like most things in life, all things come to an end at some point.
Let’s start with the fact that what Potvin did to earn this chant happened almost 30 years ago. On February 25, 1979, Potvin absolutely crushed Rangers’ forward Ulf Nilsson into the boards.
At the time, Nilsson was expected to be a key cog in the Blueshirts’ offense. Instead Potvin’s hit caused Nilsson to break his ankle and forced him to rest of the regular season.
Folks, I understand that it was a hard hit to one of our favorite team’s best players and that it caused him to miss the rest of the season. With that said, it was actually a clean hit and was simply a hockey play.
That’s the first reason. Secondly, Ranger fans need to stop chanting at every single game because there is really one team to chant it against and that’s the Florida Panthers.
That’s right folks. If you’ve been paying attention for awhile now, you would realize that Potvin is part of the Panthers’ broadcast team.
As such, Blueshirt fans should chant it when the Panthers come to MSG instead of chanting it when every other team comes to their building. This way, you are actually chanting it when he is in your presence rather then chanting it when he’s not even around.
Lastly, the chant simply does not make sense anymore. I think a lot of Ranger fans forget that in the year Potvin crushed Nilsson, their team went onto to defeat them in the playoffs that year to get the Cup Final in which they lost to the Montreal Canadiens.
It also does not make sense because since then, the Rangers have won a Cup. Yes, I understand that the Islanders won more Cups than the Rangers did since that hit, but nevertheless, Blueshirt fans should think of their magical run in 1994 and realize that in order to to capture hockey’s holy grail, they actually beat the Isles in the first round.
Lastly, it is time to move on. Thirty years is a long time to hold onto any kind of grudge, especially one that again, was a clean hit.
I’m sure many of you will disagree with me, which I completely understand. I just think that the chant had a great run and now it’s time to retire it and figure some other grudge to yell and scream about.
*Photo: New York Daily News