More than any other sport hockey players have their fair share of superstitions and good luck charms. Two seasons after his NHL playing career ended Andrew Peters still has an impact on his former teammates with the New Jersey Devils.
It actually makes allot of sense that a player of Andrew Peters pugilistic skillset is the basis for a tradition in a series that is sure to be a rough one. The Devils and Rangers inter-state rivalry is one of the best in the NHL and if the rest of North America is not fully aware of it. The Rangers cup run in 1994 ended in dramatic fashion with a game seven win that was guaranteed by then Rangers Captain Mark Messier. The rivalry has been there ever since and reached new heights earlier this season when Devils head coach Peter DeBoer and Rangers head coach John Tortorella put their fighters on the ice for the opening faceoff afterwhich to nobody’s surprise no fewer than five fights broke out.
A veteran of just 229 games in the NHL, Peters did amass 650 penalty minutes to go along with his whopping four goals and three assists. Peters is no stranger to current New York Ranger fighter Brandon Prust several times and even faced off against goaltender Ray Emery during a fight filled game between the Ottawa Senators and Buffalo Sabres in 2007. Peters explained how the tradition got started with the Devils:
“I was so excited to have a bunch of my cards one day when I was with the Devils but I left a stack of them on the dashboard or Marty’s car. The next day he and David Clarkson started the tradition of hiding one of my rookie cards in the others equipment to see who would come across it first. With the Devils travelling to New York to start the Eastern Conference finals vs. the rival New York Rangers the ever clever Brodeur had one of Peters’ cards sent to Clarkson at the team hotel via Federal Express requiring Clarkson (to wake up early) to sign for the package thus ensuring that Marty won this round of the tradition.
“Hopefully my card can get it’s picture with the Stanley Cup this year, come to think of it maybe I should ask Lou (Lamoriello) for a ring if the Devils win it all. I think my hockey card even made it to the Olympics but it’s a pretty good joke, that’s good to hear that I haven’t been forgotten.”
Larry Berman is a Hockey History Correspondent for TheHockeyWriters.com. His work has also been featured in The Hockey Hall of Fame Legends Program, The Hockey News, Beckett Hockey Monthly, Canadianhockeyonline.ca and Canadian Sports Magazine. He was inspired to follow the Ottawa Senators by his Grandfather who grew up in Montreal and was a fan of the original Senators franchise. He is also an avid hockey card and memorabilia collector.