New York Rangers fans at Madison Square Gardens are among the most colorful in all of professional sports. Some of the chants they come up with are as unforgiving as they are funny.
A few chants have lived on to be passed on from generation to generation. Perhaps the most famous chant has been around for 30 years now, even though many of the younger and newer fans may not even understand why they are yelling it out.
The chant dates back to hey day of the Islanders/Rangers rivalry in the late 1970s and the early 1980s, when the Islanders were the top team in all of hockey, yet somehow the Rangers were always number one in New York City.
The one Isles player the Rangers hated more than any other was Denis Potvin, who famously hip checked Ulf Nilsson, breaking his ankle on the play. Nilsson was a key player for the Rangers, and they were a strong team that year, making it all the way to the Stanley Cup finals. Without Nilsson the Rangers were no match for the Montreal Canadiens.
Rangers fans have never forgiven Denis Potvin, and to this day chant Potvin Sucks, especially when the Islanders and Florida Panthers come to town. The Panthers? Denis Potvin is the color commentator for the Panthers since 1993.
Peter Schrager of Fox Sports has a great piece on the chant, with Wednesday being the 30 year anniversary of the Potvin/Nilsson hit.
Though the serenade has made him immortal, the chant has outgrown Potvin himself. As Potvin says himself, "I don't think it has anything to do with me anymore."
Let's see what else is going involving former hockey players in this week's Catching Up With The Past:
There is a new website out there showing some early promise for us hockey fans. It is oddly named HockeyBarn.com. Here's hoping they can come up with unique hockey content that is easier to find than a needle in a haystack.
They are off to a great start. Senior writer Stephanie Bagley has an awesome interview with Brian Leetch, the great New York Rangers defenseman. Glenn Anderson is also blogging for them.
The Stanley Cup was first awarded in 1893. The first Stanley Cup championship ring came shortly thereafter, as every member of the victorious Montreal Amateur Athletic Association was given a commemorative ring.
George Lowe was on that team. His ring just sold at auction for over $55,000. Puck Daddy's Sean Leahy has all the details.
Mike Mastovich remembers November 20th, 1951, the night Rocket Richard and the Montreal Canadiens came to Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The Habs played the EHL Johnston Jets in an exhibition game at Cambria County War Memorial Arena.
Miracle goalie Jim Craig has made a living on motivational speaking tour. Now he's making the rounds talking about abdominal aortic aneurysms. I'm not making that up.
Bruce Andriatch remembers the night Tim Horton died.
Shayne Corson has his own clothing line. Moose Knuckles promises to dress us like the most extreme Canadian stereotype - like a lumberjack!
Reggie Leach and Lanny McDonald recently made trips to Canada's far north.
Wayne Gretzky somehow found time to go backstage at a Nickelback concert in Nashville. It seems Gretzky also has captured wrestling fans interest. He was recently photographed wearing a Wrestlemania 26 t-shirt. Could wrestling's biggest day be heading to Phoenix next year? Here's the photo.
Gretzky and wrestling? Even armed with a steal chair I am not so sure Dave Semenko or Marty McSorley are much of a match for those guys. #99 better befriend Canadian Adam Copeland, better known as the heavyweight champion Edge, a noted hockey fan.