RYE, N.Y. – On the same day that the NHL All-Stars showcased their skills in Columbus, some New York Ranger legends returned to their roots for a day of fun on the ice at Rye Playland.
It was a sea of Ranger red, white and blue at the Playland Ice Casino on Sunday, as sports fans got to rub elbows with some Stanley Cup champions for a charitable afternoon benefitting the New York Rangers Assist program, which is designed to improve youth hockey experience locally.
As part of the program, Rangers officials donated $25,000, as well as proceeds from the event, to help continue the restoration of the Ice Casino, which was severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
In addition, the Rangers also sent several fan favorite players to host a “Try Hockey” clinic for kids, sign autographs during a free family skate session and participated in an alumni exhibition game alongside several county volunteers, teachers, parents and hockey coaches on the very ice the 1994 team practiced on.
Forward, not goalkeeper Mike Richter, joined teammates Adam Graves, Stephane Matteau, Alexi Kovalev, Glenn Anderson and Mike Hartman in Rye for the day, much to the delight of a capacity crowd.
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, who dropped a ceremonial first puck to the NHL legends before the game, noted that while the Ice Casino is functional and looks better than it did when it was sporting fish and sand on the ice following the storm, there are still countless strides that need to be taken to completely restore the facility.
“We’re happy to have the building back to where it was after Sandy devastated the roof,” he said. “We’re happy and proud to have some of the members of the 1994 team that practiced on this very ice back.”