When talking about the disastrous date of Sept. 11, 2001, it is easy to say that it hit close to home for the New York Rangers.
Later that very week in which the Twin Towers went down, the Rangers were suppossed to hold their training camp at Madison Square Garden for their fans. This was something that the team had not done in many, many years; so before 9-11 happened, it was something that many Rangers fans were looking forward to.
Obviously, the Blueshirts ended up nixing the whole camp at MSG due to the City's unfortunate events. Instead, the team held it at their then-practice facility: Rye Playland, in Rye, New York.
The event ended up impacting the Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers pre-season game back on Sept. 20, 2001. That night, the game was interrupted when President George W. Bush came on the screen at the then Wachovia Center and spoke about the events of 9-11. After his message, the game did not resume and it finished in a 2-2 tie.
It also impacted the team's opening night game against the Buffalo Sabres on Oct. 7, 2001. Prior to the game, New York City Policemen and Firemen were introduced in front of a sold out MSG. During the team introductions, team captain Mark Messier wore a fireman's hat to show his support for everything both the firemen and policemen had done during 9-11.
That night, the team also wore commerative jerseys that said "New York" on the front. The team was truly playing for all of New York and managed to come away with a 5-4 overtime victory, with the game-winning goal scored by U.S.-born defenseman Brian Leetch.
To this day, the team still does work with both the New York City Fire Department and Police Department. In fact, just four days ago, the team participated in their 9/11 Road Tour and Reception, visiting various New York City firehouses before going to reception at Tower 7, which overlooks Ground Zero.
There is no doubt that 9-11 impacted everyone in some way. With that said, it is really something that hits home for the New York Rangers.