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Brian Leetch

7/17/15 | 5:31PM: On Leetch, Yandle added, "I loved watching him growing up, my dad was a huge fan and always had me watch him. I remember always watching him and seeing how good he was and how good he was with the puck and his skating. He was one of those guys that when he had the puck it was like everything stopped." (NYR)

7/4/15 | 12:34PM: Keith Yandle said that he looked up to Brian Leetch his whole life and that getting a text from Leetch before his first game with the Rangers was "pretty cool."

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Brian Leetch said that the Rangers are still in a position to win and contend for the Stanley Cup because of Henrik Lundqvist. (ESPN)

Leetch said that Lundqvist is still in his prime and that having a goalie like him always gives your team at legit chance. (ESPN)

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http://twitter.com/SNYRangers/status/617371314513387520

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Brian Leetch was asked about Derek Stepan during the playoffs and that everything about Stepan's game comes form "hockey sense." (NY Post)

Leetch said that Stepan has something that can't be taught and it's little things like head fakes and maneuvering the puck that make him the player he is. (NY Post)

He said that Stepan is a skilled player but it's his "hockey sense and anticipation" are what stand out the most. (NY Post)

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This season Ryan McDonagh became the first Rangers defenseman since Brian Leetch to become captain.

While on MSG in April, Leetch spoke about McDonagh's season as captain and said "I am happy for him and happy with how the season has went. I know that it's a big transition, certainly he is established in the room and as a top NHL defenseman and there is a lot of pride that goes into it."

For more on Leetch and McDonagh, click HERE.

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Brian Leetch told Steve Serby that he sees the Rangers winning the Stanley Cup this season. (NY Post)

Leetch said that how the Rangers have played the last four months have made him a believer and that there is "no question" that this team can win. (NY Post)

He said that things need to go well for a team in the playoffs but the Rangers keep finding ways to win and it's a group that trusts each other and just needs to continue to do what they are doing.

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On MSG last night, Brian Leetch was asked about how the current Rangers team compares to the Rangers of 1994 that won the Presidents' Trophy and the Stanley Cup.

Leetch said that this team has been together longer than the 94 team has, the core has been together for a few years and unlike 94, the Rangers didn't make a lot of moves at the deadline. Leetch added, " I like the experience of what they went through last year, the core group is back and ready to try and do it again."

Adam Graves has likened this team to the 1994 team because of their character and their depth.

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9/10/14 | 12:49PM: MSG has confirmed that Leetch will be a studio analyst for "select games."

8/21/14 | 1:11PM: Brian Leetch will return to the MSG Network as an analyst this season after spending last year as part of the NHL's department of player safety. (ESPN)

Leetch left the NHL's department of player safety earlier in the summer and cited that the time away from his family was a main reason why. (ESPN)

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3:03PM: McDonagh says that no matter who becomes the captain "the aura" in the room won't change. (Strang)

Henrik Lundqvist says that McDonagh is "definitely" a consideration as captain for the Rangers.? (Strang)

9/8/14 | 11:44AM: McDonagh says that the Rangers are a close team, he has grown into a leadership role and mentioned Marty St. Louis as a possible captain. (Cotsonika)

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Brian Leetch has decided not to return to the NHL's Department of Player Safety. (Larry Brooks)

Leetch joined the Department of Player Safety last year under Brendan Shanahan but Shanahan left that position to become President of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

He said during the season that he was happy with his position with the league.

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7/191/14: 4:27PM: On his official Team Canada bio, Dan Boyle lists his hockey idols growing up to be Rick Tocchet and former Ranger Brian Leetch. (Olympics)

Boyle said, "my favorite player growing up was Rick Tocchet, hence the 22, but my favorite D Man was Brian Leetch. He was kind of the guy that I emulated growing up and to be sort of associated with him and the Rangers has always been in the back of my mind." (Rangers)

He adds, "I was a Flyers fan growing up but Brian Leetch was the guy that to this day... people will talk about Ray Bourque or Phl Housley or other defenseman but Leetch is the best defenseman that I have ever seen play." (Rangers)

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Brian Leetch said during the playoffs that when he watches Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh he is reminded of Scott Niedermayer because of how he skates and is able to close in on people. ?(Daily News)In talking about his skating, Leetch says that McDonagh has a lot of power and speed and that Niedermayer was the same. (NHL.com)

Leetch said that McDonagh has realized that he has the kind of skating ability where you can take chances and then recover which has helped his offense. ?(Daily News)

Leetch says McDonagh has gone to another level because he has started to take chances and that he can do that because the coaches are okay living with the mistakes and because he has a goalie in Henrik Lundqvist who can help almost any mistake that is made. (NHL.com)

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At NHL.com, Dan Rosen caught up with former Ranger Brian Leetch and talked about his new role in the NHL Department of Player Safety.

Leetch said that he likes this job and that he is staying involved with hockey on a day to day basis. He added that it's easy to pick out which hits deserve suspensions but its hard to determine what the next step is.

Brendan Shanahan called Leetch after Alain Vigneault was hired as coach of the Rangers and Shanahan said that there was an opening in the Department of Player Safety and he was hoping Leetch would take it.

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2/10/14: 6:35PM:In October, NHL.com, Dan Rosen caught up with Brian Leetch and spoke about how Leetch was going to join Mark Messier's coaching staff if Messier had become coach of the Rangers.

Leetch said that he talked it over with his wife and kids and said that he was prepared to move his family from Boston to New York and re-join the Rangers and Messier's staff.

Coaching was not something Leetch had considered before being asked by Messier. Leetch said that he thought it would have been a great opportunity for him to work with an develop some of the Rangers young players. (Syracuse.com)

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Brian Leetch of the Department of Player Safety joined Bryan Hayes on TSN Radio:

  • On being a former Leaf, "I do have pictures that I sign in a Leafs jersey. There are photos and cards that I keep signing. It was a great experience. I hadn't wanted to be moved and I didn't think I would be. I remember seeing my jersey in the Leafs locker room the first time. I was surprised and excited to be on another original six team. We had a pretty good team and I enjoyed living in the city. I thought it would be a longer run, I had high expectations once I was into being a Maple Leaf. It was a good experience that I didn't expect at the time."
  • On what he does at the NHL, "I help out Brendan Shanahan and myself and Patrick Burke and Stephane Quintal are the main group. We look at all the clips and go over them by ourselves. If Shanny wants tour opinions we give them to him. It's up to us as a group if there is a hearing or discipline. We must look at between 10 and 20 clips every night. It's very interesting."
  • On player safety now, "the game keeps changing. The players, the speed and there was hooking and holding and cheap back then and it's continuing to evolve. From the first lockout that eliminated the hooking and allowing more forechecking, the impacts and injuries have been more sever. It's put an emphasis on player safety and I think it keeps happening."
  • On how hard his job is, "For us there is some gray area when you see something immediately. We are here to enforce rules that the PA, GMs and competition committee and put forth. We want to make sure that no one crosses a line. We have the luxury of slow motion and breaking each hit down frame by frame and it helps a lot. You can see if a player is targeting the head or if they leave their feet before contact. It becomes easier because we have more eyes on it before we render a decision. We aren't making the rules we are just trying to enforce them."
  • Is there a way to make fighting safer, "I think there was one idea that the helmets stay on so that it won't be an issue if they lose balance or get their bell rung. If you get punched in the face there is no way to protect you from that unless you take it out. IF you are keeping fighting in then keeping your helmet on is a big thing and prevents you from cracking your head on the ice."
  • On George Parros, "that is no different than a player having his face hit the boards and falling to the ice. That wasn't from a punch it was from being off balance and falling face down. To see his reaction on the ice, it's one that makes your stomach turn. I've seen different situations like that int he past from a body check and falls on their face. There is damage that can come from it. It made my stomach turn."
  • On the early part of his career and being defensive, "For one, I had it easier than the players do now. The scoring that went on in the 80s through the late 90s, the scoring was up and the opportunities was up. I was allowed to make mistakes out there because I could make up for it offensively. You might be out for a play that the coach shakes his head, you go over it on the bench and in practice. Now with scoring so tight and the goalies being so good, it's hard to put complete faith in a rookie defenseman because mistakes are so costly.? You need to live with those mistakes because it accelerates the learning curve. I tell everyone that I came into the right situation with the Rangers where they needed a player to carry the puck from the back line and I was allowed to make mistakes and it helped accelerate the learning curve.
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2:05PM: The NHL has announced that Leetch and former Flyers scout Patrick Burke have joined the Department of Player Safety.

Leetch will replace Rob Blake as "manager of player safety." Burke will take on the newly created role of Director of Player Safety.

In the statement, Shanahan said "As one of the greatest defensemen in NHL history, Brian displayed a rare sense of the game and its nuances that will be a tremendous asset to our department's efforts to make the game safer for our players while maintaining its physicality and passion.

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6.14.13/9:40AM: At Rangers Report, Carp writes that he spoke with Brian Leetch last week and that he isn't sure he wants to leave his family to be a full-time assistant coach at this point.

Carp said that the did get a sense that Leetch would like to be involved in some way with the Rangers coaching staff, especially if Mark Messier becomes coach.

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Darren Pang took to twitter earlier today and said that this lockout reminded up of the roller coaster that was the 1994-95 lockout that ended with a 48 game season that started in January.

This emotional roller coaster reminding me more of 94/95. Players and owners got together, felt good, then left table, not as good it dragged on, players got antsy, vote seemed to happen quick. Are players feeling same way now? They just want to play by now I'm sure.
In the NY Post, Brian Leetch spoke out about how the owners and how upsetting the current situation is, ?I was involved in the last one, where basically the owners broke the union and were able to get a deal they believed was fair, changed the whole structure of the system. And now to be in this again, where they are basically trying to redo it again and hammer the union, it?s disappointing.

When asked about whether he thought a deal would get made, Mike Richter told The Post "I think they have to and I think they will." He added that he understands the owners position and how the teams that are losing money need to have the system changed. He added "part of getting a deal is compromise. Both sides have to bite the bullet, probably accept things they normally wouldn't want anf figure it out,"

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In the Columbus Dispatch, Aaron Portzline spoke with Brian Leetch about new Blue Jackets President of Hockey Operations John Davidson.

Leetch spoke about the kind of presence JD will bring to Columbus and how they both have the same feeling on team building.

?It starts with having everybody ? management, coaches, players, trainers ? on the same page. You can?t have a team doctor or an equipment guy in the training room talking about how the GM is making wrong decisions, or saying the coach doesn?t know what he?s talking about. You?re all on board, all together. You take pride in that, and it grows from there."

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In 1997, Brian Leetch was named captain of the Rangers after Mark Messier left to go to Vancouver.

Leetch was Rangers captain for three seasons until Messier returned to the Rangers for the 2000-01 season.

In an interview with USA Hockey Leetch said that Messier gave him some valuable advice about being a captain.

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In the NY Post, Larry Brooks writes that with the Rangers constant struggles on the PP, the Rangers should look to bring in legendary defenseman Brian Leetch to work as a PP coach and with the young defensemen.

?It is impossible to think of anyone who would be better in teaching gifted, young defensemen Ryan McDonagh and Michael Del Zotto the art of playing the point than Leetch, truly one of the most accomplished power-play quarterbacks of his time.
Brooks writes that Leetch and Glen Sather would need to patch some things up for this to be possible after Sather traded Leetch in 2004.

In the NY Times in 2010, Brian Leetch said, "At some point, I would like to get back involved in hockey. I would be interested in just about every aspect within an organization ? coaching, management, player development ? if the situation was right. By that I mean, if I felt like I was working again within a team atmosphere, where our goals were the same and our beliefs in how to achieve them were similar. Right now, the situation would have to be ideal for me to give up time with my kids. "

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...It's really a MUST WATCH video
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