New York Rangers Stanley Cup Champion Adam Graves is as important to the organization today as he was when he wore the No. 9.
A hard-working forward who defended his teammates against the biggest and nastiest players he opposed in the National Hockey League, Graves was a fan favorite blue-collar player, winning the Stanley Cup in 1994.
When he retired from the NHL in following the 2002-03 season, then a member of the San Jose Sharks, Graves knew he wanted to stay involved in hockey in some capacity. Lucky for the fans in New York, he chose to come back to the city he loved.
Adam works in hockey and business operations for the Rangers. In his current role with the Rangers, Graves supports fan development, community relations, hockey development, the Garden of Dreams, the New York Rangers Alumni Association and grassroots junior Rangers programs including the Learn to Play Hockey Program, where he works with fellow alum Brian Mullen.
He has been involved in the development of veteran NHL players such as Marc Staal, Dan Girardi, and Ryan Callahan. Graves, speaking to Stan Fischler of MSG Networks, mentioned his time with these players.
“Dan and Marc developed into excellent defensemen. Cally, I saw grow from when he was just a rookie.”
He works alongside Jed Ortmeyer, the Rangers director of Player Development, a role in which he gets to step on the ice to work with the players in the organization today.
Graves appreciates the opportunity when he gets to share his knowledge of the game with the young players in the organization. He has been very impressed so far with the development of last year’s first-round draft pick Lias Andersson. He told Fischler of Andersson,
“This is one center who’s as competitive as any there is. Lias is a character guy as well.”
One of Adam’s favorite players is center Brett Howden who was acquired by the Rangers in the trade with Tampa Bay that sent Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller to the Lightning. Graves said of Howden,
“He’s the kind of player you win with and part of it is that he’s got great character and captain’s potential.”
Graves know a thing or two about captain’s potential as he skated alongside one of the best in Mark Messier.
The two time Stanley Cup Champion also had some good things to say about the Rangers first round draft pick this year, Vladislav Kravtsov.
“Some skaters have the knack of making plays out of nothing and he’s one of them.”Graves told Fischler.
Graves also looks forward to the development of Filip Chytil, Libor Hajek, and Ryan Lindgren.
The man is a workaholic. If he is not on the ice working with the players, he is working with different charities throughout the tri-state area. You will see him often on game days, always with a smile walking around Madison Square Garden, talking with fans, taking pictures and always making sure the kids are having a good time.
Graves is more than an ambassador of the New York Rangers, he is the New York Rangers. In fact, his role to the organization is as important today as it was in June 1994 when he hoisted the Stanley Cup. He celebrated with the fans then as he does so often today.
The New York Rangers are lucky to have a person like Adam Graves and Adam feels lucky to continue to be a part of the place where he had the most success in his professional career.