As the New York Rangers get ready for opening night at Madison Square Garden, Rangers defensemen Kevin Shattenkirk lets fans understand what it is like to become a New York Ranger.
— The Players' Tribune (@PlayersTribune) October 5, 2017
“I want to be a Ranger.” – Kevin Shattenkirk, July 1, 2017
Kevin Shattenkirk has added another job title to his already full resume. That would be as an author, as Shattenkirk penned a story for The Players Tribune. Shattenkirk has been an NHL player for seven seasons and begins his first in a Rangers sweater tonight. The story he wrote discusses how the first day of free agency made all of Shattenkirk’s dreams as a kid possible.
Shattenkirk talks about the day of free agency when his phone started to blow up congratulating him on becoming a Ranger, though he had yet to make a decision.
It’s a life-changing decision. It was so tense that my parents didn’t even want to talk to me. They’d barely make eye contact because they didn’t want to sway me. It’s funny — you spend your whole career thinking how awesome it’ll be when you finally get to be a free agent and you can choose where you want to go, and then the day finally comes and you’re sweating and pacing around trying not to look at Twitter.” Shattenkirk wrote. He couldn’t believe how fast rumors started to fly that he had indeed signed with the Rangers, though to this point is was all just that – rumors.
Shattenkirk admits what we’ve all known—that the Rangers weren’t the only team trying to sign him. “But some other teams had made great offers, too. Some of the deals had longer terms, some were a little more money. If I thought about any of the options for long enough, I could convince myself it was the best fit. I wanted to be 100% sure.
But what helped him make his final decision was his heart. He knew he had always wanted to be a ranger like his hero, Brian Leetch. Shattenkirk touched on this topic as well, “From the time I was five years old tearing around the little studio rink at Rye Playland, I dreamed about wearing a New York Rangers sweater with SHATTENKIRK on the back. I watched the ’94 Stanley Cup Parade in awe. Brian Leetch was my hero.”
He had worked so hard to get to this one day, the day he was able to fulfill his lifelong dream and sign with the team he grew up watching. The kid from New Rochelle, NY signed with the New York Rangers that July afternoon.
Now, wearing his familiar #22, Shattenkirk, with over 100 friends and family watching from the Chase Bridge, will try to be like his hero again. He will try to lead the Rangers back to being a Stanley Cup-winning team like Brian Leetch did in 1994.