NYPD detective Steven McDonald has passed away at age 59 after suffering a heart attack.
The Rangers hev released the following statement, "We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Detective Steven McDonald, a cherished member of the Rangers family. Steven exemplified the true meaning of the word hero and also personified the "Blueshirt Faithful." He is an inspiration to us all and his legacy will continue to live on in our hearts and minds. Our thoughts and prayers are with Patti Ann and Conor and the entire McDonald family."
The Rangers have had an award named in his honor that is "presented annually to the Ranger who, as chosen by the fans, "goes above and beyond the call of duty."
The Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award, "which has been given annually since the 1987-88 season, bears the name of New York City Police Officer Steven McDonald, who was shot and injured in the line of duty on July 12, 1986."
From the NY Times on 4/6/07 when the Rangers clinched a playoff spot and the award was presented:
The Garden crowd was already fired up when Steven McDonald took the ice in his wheelchair and uniform to present the Extra Effort award named after him and given annually. McDonald announced forward Jed Ortmeyer as the winner, then described a night in a hospital room 20 years ago when several Rangers came to visit him after he had been shot. "They left me with a challenge: live," he said to a hushed crowd. "Tonight, I'm leaving them with a challenge: win."The ensuing roar took on a new feeling.
"I don't know if any human being on this planet could have inspired us any more than Steven McDonald," Rangers Coach Tom Renney said.
For more on previous winners of the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award, click HERE.
Rest In Peace Steven McDonald.- New York Rangers (@NYRangers) January 10, 2017
Our friend. Our hero. Above and beyond. pic.twitter.com/6xOHSGnlyO
The following current & former players and members of the organization tweeted:
- Ryan McDonagh: So sad to hear about the passing of a true hero Steven McDonald. He, Patti Ann and Conor are such a big part of the New York Rangers family. He leaves behind a legacy of incredible inspiration that will continue to live on.
- Brandon Dubinsky: So sad to hear about the passing of Steven McDonald today. Winning the award in his honor is one of my most proud accomplishments as a hockey player. I wanna send my condolences out to Patti Ann and Conor and let them know that their family always has a place in my heart. And lastly thanks to the
@NYRangers for continuing to honor his legacy.
- Ryan Callahan: My thoughts and prayers are with the McDonald family after the passing of Steve. He was a true hero to all of us.
- Cam Talbot: Very sad to hear of the passing of Steven McDonald. My condolences to his wife, son and their entire family! Winning this award was truly an honour and one of the greatest accomplishments of my career because of what he embodied and what the award stood for. His legacy will live on through the community and this prestigious award.
- John Giannone: Deepest condolences to PattiAnn, Conor & NYPD family on Steven McDonald's passing. A man of uncommon strength, passion & goodness who so loved his NY Rangers. Just last Tuesday, I saw Steven outside NYR dressing room, offering positive vibes as always. RIP good sir
- Mats Zuccarello: Very sad to hear about the passing of Steven McDonald. It was such a great honor for me to win the award given in his name. My thoughts and prayers go out to Patti Ann and Conor.#rip
- Derek Stepan: Rest In Peace Steven McDonald. Thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.
- Marian Gaborik: Rest in peace Mr Steven McDonald! Uve been an inspiration for many of us!
- Brad Richards: Sad day. Thinking of The McDonald family
- Dylan McIlrath: Rest In Peace Steven McDonald, legends live forever.
- Henrik Lundqvist: I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Steven McDonald. I'll never forget my first meeting with Mr McDonald almost 12 years ago. A great inspiration to me and so many others. My thoughts are with Patti Ann and Conor and the entire McDonald family.
- Marty St. Louis: Rest In Peace Steven McDonald
In 2013, John Tortorella said of McDonald "everybody loves listening to him. We have so much respect for him and what he has gone through. You see his son in the uniform, I've had conversations with him on the phone... he inspires me and I am always anxious to hear what he says before that game."