The New York Rangers have been busy during the NHL pause due to the COVID-19 virus. Here are some of the great things they’ve been doing with extra time on their hands.
Celebration of Service
The Rangers organization and Northwell Health have been shining a spotlight on frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. They’ve put together a campaign called “Celebration of Service,” which showcases individuals who work at hospitals and healthcare facilities, law enforcement and fire rescue, along with emergency electricians and technicians. Not to mention, the public workers who’ve helped keep “The City” going in general.
These frontline workers include people like Amanda McNiff. She’s an RN on the med-surg floor at Northwell-Phelps Hospital in New Jersey who’s been tirelessly helping during the pandemic, and she’s pregnant.
Then there’s Salvatore Aquino, an NYPD detective and Rangers fan. Aquino has moved into the basement of his home so he doesn’t infect his diabetic and pregnant wife.
Marie Frasca Ginnobi is a Facility Administrator Registered Nurse. She has been giving patients medicine and dialysis at an “only positive” COVID-19 center. Only positive means the only patients there have already tested positive for the virus. You can learn about many other frontline workers the Rangers and Northwell Health are highlighting during these uncertain and dangerous times.
Virtual Youth Hockey Camps
The Rangers are partnering with Chase Bank to host virtual summer hockey camps for players of all levels. Whether they’re a beginner or at the AAA level hoping to perfect their craft, offseason camps are invaluable to all. In the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important for players to do whatever they can to keep up with their game and not lose precious skills while staying safe.
Current and former Rangers and some coaching staff will be teaching from remote locations. Also, the NY Girls Hockey Ambassadors will be helping out. The camps run from July 13 to Aug. 28, 2020, and ages range from 7 to 14 years old.
Fanatics ALL IN Challenge
The Rangers have accepted the Fanatics’ ALL IN Challenge which is urging the sports industry to help raise $100 million for COVID-19 relief and to help feed those in need. The challenge is working with partners such as Meals on Wheels, No Kid Hungry, World Central Kitchen and Feeding America.
For their contribution, the Rangers are auctioning off a chance to play against the 1994 Stanley Cup Championship team. One lucky team will get to go head-to-head with Mark Messier, Brian Leetch, Adam Graves and Mike Richter. Even former head coach Mike Keenan will be involved in the game to be held at Madison Square Garden. The game will be broadcast on MSG’s Network.
As a bonus, Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist also agreed to auction off the mask he wore during the 2010-11 season when he had 11 shutouts and 36 wins.
Pride Month Jersey Auction
June was Pride Month, and the Rangers, along with three grassroots partners, auctioned off a Mika Zibanejad jersey, which was pride-themed with rainbow lettering over the Rangers’ blue. The three organizations are The Ali Forney Center, Harlem Pride and The Center who have offered their resources to promote equality in the LGBTQ+ community. Services provided include a 24-hour drop-in center, physical and mental health services, substance abuse support, transitional housing, online arts and culture, and economic health and wellness.
Also involved is the NYCGHA (New York City Gay Hockey Association) who provides a discrimination-free environment for those in the LGBT community to play hockey in a friendly harassment-free arena.
Adam Fox held a raffle to raise money for ALS research which ended on June 30, and several winners will be announced.
The Rangers organization is a family and a community. Giving back has always been an important part of the team’s makeup, and during this time, it’s even more important to lend a hand.
Hopefully, the playoffs. As the world starts to re-open and the two hub cities are about to be named, rumored to be Edmonton and Toronto, players are almost back in “training camp” mode. Once the green light is given, the NHL will be in full swing for a couple of weeks before we see the best-of-five series and what kind of Rangers team will take the ice.
Scott Blair is an author and journalist from Los Angeles, Ca by way of Detroit, Mi. Scott’s life has been shaped by uniquely diverse experiences in both of those places he calls home. He is now traveling the world learning and growing as a human and a writer. He was a professional hockey player and then turned to the arts becoming an actor for about 15 years. His passions turned to poetry, prose, politics, and journalism when he got tired of the Hollywood machine and what it represents.