Blueshirts By the Numbers: Number 4: Ron Greschner

I don't care that Michael Del Zotto is wearing it now, for me there will always be just one Number 4, and that's Gresch. As far as I am concerned, MDZ is just keeping it warm until it takes its rightful place in the rafters.

Ron Greschner spent sixteen seasons in the NHL, all of them with the New York Rangers. He was drafted by Emile Francis in the second round of the 1974 NHL Draft. (Francis drafted Dave Maloney in the first round, how's that for a first couple of picks?)

Gresch made his debut on Broadway in 1974, playing seventy games and registering 45 points. He would score twenty goals in four different seasons for the Blueshirts, and represented the Rangers in the 1980 All Star Game. Greschner was named Captain of the Rangers for the 1986-87 season, and retired as the Rangers all time leader in points, goals and assists by a defenseman, although those records were all broken by that Leetch guy.

I'm going to break from the usual career highlights to tell a personal story regarding Gresch. In 2007, my brother Jon was stationed at Nellis AFB in Las Vegas, and was being deployed to Iraq, and my entire family was flying to Vegas to see him before he left.

I was still living in Florida at the time, and my wife, my daughter and I were waiting to board our flight at West Palm Beach airport when Ron Greschner walked by us. I said to my wife, "That's Ron Greschner!". My wife, not being too hockey savvy, said "Who?" I proceeded to ramble off his achievements, Captain of the Rangers, played for so many years, etc. When I realized my wife wasn't grasping the magnitude of who was in our midst, I said "He was married to Carol Alt."

"Oh! Him!"

So I tell my wife I am going to go talk to him. I walk over to Ron, I introduce myself, and I ask him if he is going to Vegas. After he tells me he is, I tell him why we are going, and ask him if he would mind meeting my brother. I'll never forget Ron's response:

"Of course, anything for the troops, and anything for a Ranger fan."

When our plane got to Vegas, and after Ron had tried his hand at a few McCarran airport slot machines, he was true to his word, met with my brother Jon, and my other brother Russ who had flown out, posed for pictures, gave my brother his card, and told him to be sure and come home safe, and contact him when he returned. My brother lost the card, but did come home safe. We still have the pictures from the day, and a great memory of meeting a true Ranger Legend. Gresch will always have a special place in my family's heart for what he did that day.

Now, if we could just get him on Blueshirt Banter can help us by joining the movement on Facebook to Get Ron Greschner on Blueshirt Banter Radio.

Also, Ron has a foundation that is dedicated to raising money and awareness to children with autism. Please be sure and check out the Ron Greschner Foundation.

No poll today, sorry. For today it's a dictatorship.