Mike Richter’s ultimate showing of his Rangers professionalism


You ask, we answer. The Post is fielding questions from readers about New York’s biggest pro sports teams and getting our beat writers to answer them in a series of regularly published mailbags. In today’s installment: the Rangers.

Since working the hockey beat for the Devils and Rangers, who have been your favorite players to cover/interview by position? — Matt Ring

I’ve been fortunate enough to cover a veritable Who’s Who of Hall of Fame writer-friendly goaltenders, starting with Chico Resch and John Davidson, followed by Martin Brodeur, Mike Richter and Henrik Lundqvist. All insightful and willing to share as much time as I (or any colleague) ever needed.

The all-time story features Richter, who, after tearing his right knee ACL in the first period of the 2001 Presidents Day match against Chicago, returned to the Garden from the hospital on crutches following the game for the sole purpose of being available to the media.

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Denis Potvin and Scott Stevens on defense, available and quotable, as for years and years were Dan Girardi and Marc Staal, game after game, and Dave Maloney from way back when. We can put Sean Avery on left wing with Bobby Bourne, Clark Gillies and Adam Graves; Bobby Holik, about whom I have probably written more words in my career than any player other than Lundqvist and perhaps Brodeur, with Wayne Gretzky, Eric Lindros, Mark Messier and Derek Stepan in the middle, and how could I omit the always interesting Phil Esposito; and Mike Bossy, Jaromir Jagr and Anders Hedberg on the right.

If the rebuilding Rangers do not make major strides during the next two seasons, is there a very real danger that David Quinn’s approach may grow stale or be “tuned out” by the players? — Reg Lansberry

If the Rangers do not make major strides during the next two seasons, chances are that someone else will be behind the bench by that point. But the team has surely responded to this coach.

Interested in the practical differences between JD and Sather. How have things changed for the better or worse? — Josh

I believe there is more structure within the organization with a greater emphasis placed on development. But one should never overlook the fact that The Letter and subsequent decisions were authorized by Sather.

Do you think the Rangers would consider offering Henrik a position as a goaltending coach/consultant alongside of Benoit [Allaire], after he retires as a player? — Ken Mahns

I’m confident that if he so chooses, Lundqvist will have a front office job with the Rangers the moment he retires, but I’m not so sure being a goaltending coach is his calling.

What is the NHL gonna do about free agency which starts on July 1 if the league is still running a playoff system at that time. When will free agency be moved to? — Bob

The league and NHLPA will have to negotiate a change in all critical offseason dates if 2019-20 remains in abeyance. Contracts would have to be extended. Free agency could not take place until completion of the playoffs.

Sean Day is still just 22 and was picking up a little bit of steam prior to the Rangers drafting (K’Andre) Miller and Nils (Lundkvist) and trading for (Yegor) Rykov and (Ryan) Lindgren. Do you think he still stands a chance of cracking the Rangers roster? — Morris Grazi

I’m told that Day made progress throughout this season. With one year to go on his contract and the Rangers in need of help on the left side, he’s likely looking at his last shot. Miller could, of course, change people’s minds at camp, but it would be a surprise if he’s ready for the NHL at the start of next season (whenever that will be).

Assuming Jacob Trouba isn’t traded, and Nils Lundkvist and/or K’Andre Miller make the NHL roster at some point next season, would the Rangers attempt to re-sign Tony D’Angelo with the intention of converting him to a forward (at least at even strength)? — Chris Wenzel

I’ve not heard that discussed as an option. There is a far better chance that they move the righty to the left side than try to transform him into a part-time forward.

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