It will be an emotional night at Madison Square Garden. There won’t be a dry eye in the building. On what’s been a roller coaster of emotions since the passing of heroic police officer Steven McDonald, the Rangers will honor his memory before the game.
For 30 years, the former NYPD detective exemplified what fighting was all about. Overcoming the obstacle of being shot three times and paralyzed which forced him into a wheelchair with a respirator due to becoming a quadriplegic, he never gave in. McDonald was very active in the community speaking out at functions and continuing to push his message across.
The New York Rangers organization have honored his name with the prestigious Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award since 1987-88. An award that goes to the one Ranger who goes above and beyond the call of duty. Mr. McDonald would always be on the ice to speak some influential words and present a check for $25,000 which went to his foundation. When he spoke, nobody said a word. There weren’t any whistles or silly chants. This was a man everyone in this city respected.
To be honest, whenever I was in the building for the award, I always got chills up and down my spine when McDonald spoke. He was special and shall remain that way forever. He may be gone from our lives but he will never ever be forgotten. His memory lives on. Today, the NYPD laid to rest McDonald before thousands who attended the ceremony at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan.
Before the puck is dropped for the first time in almost a week between Original Sixes Toronto and New York, there won’t be a dry eye in the house. Tears will be shed. Sticks will be tapped to honor a man who did so much despite his disabilities. He somehow made it until 59 demonstrating tremendous courage, heart and strength.
If you happen to be at MSG tonight, do New Yorkers proud. I know I’ll be emotional watching. Let’s remember someone who was a true hero. Cheer loudly and show what New York City has always been about.
As for the game, that’s secondary. You know both benches will be emotional. Rest In Peace Steven McDonald. You will never be forgotten. 😦 ❤