Brian Leetch, one of the greatest defenseman in N.H.L. history, is the only American-born player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the playoffs when he helped lead the Rangers to the Stanley Cup in 1994. He was awarded the Norris Trophy twice as the league’s top defenseman and was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009.
Leetch, who had his No. 2 retired by the Rangers in 2008, was in Manhattan recently to attend the 25th annual Great Sports Legends Dinner to benefit the Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis.
Q. What have you been doing since you retired?
A. My kids, Jack 10, Riley, 7, and Sean, 5, have kept me very busy. At the end of my career, I would come home from the rink and be so tired I would not be able to be as involved as I would have liked to be. So it’s been fun to be able to spend so much time with them and be able to help coach their teams.
Last year I started doing a few Ranger games on MSG — the pre- and post-game shows and commentary between periods. I’ll do a few games this year as well. I’m also doing a some TV on NESN in Boston.
I watch hockey all the time anyway, so I don’t mind talking about it. At some point, as the kids get older, it would be great to get back into hockey in some capacity .
Q. How do you think the Rangers will do this year?
A. I think the Rangers, if they stay healthy — specifically Gaborik and Lundqvist — can finish anywhere between fifth and 10th in the division.
I believe the division will be similar to last year with not many points separating five teams.