NEW YORK -- Before the puck drops every night at Madison Square Garden, the fans hear a phrase so simple and yet so important to the men on the ice wearing blue.
"I am a Ranger."
As the franchise kicked off a week of celebrations for its 85th anniversary Friday night, players past and present reflected on what that statement meant to them as they gathered at the NHL Powered by Reebok Store on New York's Sixth Avenue and at the ice rink in Rockefeller Center a few blocks north to get the organization's birthday party underway. The highlight of Friday night's event was the unveiling and release of the Rangers' new Heritage Jersey, which will be worn for the first time when Original Six rival Boston comes to Madison Square Garden on Nov. 17.
As crowds bedecked in blueshirts packed both events, Rangers memorabilia on loan from the Hockey Hall of Fame, as well as game-used jerseys dating back more than six decades lined the walls, and the impact was not lost on the players who currently call the Garden home.
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