Brian Leetch was honored on January 24, 2008, as the fifth Ranger and first defenseman to join the team's all-time legends when his No. 2 was retired at Madison Square Garden.
Simply the best defenseman to ever wear the Blueshirt, Brian Leetch was drafted by the Rangers as their first round selection, ninth overall, on June 21, 1986. After a sparkling 18-year career, 17 of which were with the Rangers, Leetch finished with 247 goals and 781 assists for 1,028 points while skating in 1,205 games. As a Ranger, Leetch re-wrote every scoring record by a defenseman with 240 goals, 741 assists and 981 points. Additionally, his 741 assists rank first all-time amongst all skaters and only fellow Ranger great, Rod Gilbert, sits ahead of him on the Blueshirts all-time scoring list. In 1989, he capped off an impressive rookie season by winning the Calder Memorial Trophy as the league's top rookie, the first Ranger to win the award since Steve Vickers in 1973. In his playoff career, the defenseman ranks first all-time in assists (61) and points (89) in 82 post-season contests with the Rangers. During the storied 1993-94 season, Leetch helped the Rangers capture the team's second President's Trophy in three seasons and was honored with the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player during the playoffs on his way to leading the Rangers to their first Stanley Cup Championship in 54 years. The Corpus Christi, Texas native is written into the NHL record books as one of the greatest American-born players ever to lace up the skates, placing second only to Phil Housley on the all-time defenseman scoring list. A two-time Norris Trophy winner as the league's top defenseman and a two-time NHL First Team All-Star (92, 97), Leetch also enjoyed international success capturing a silver medal with Team USA at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. In June of 1997, he was honored as one of 12 players voted to the All-Time USA Hockey Team.