We were fortunate to be part of a very special night at Madison Square Garden this evening as the New York Rangers honored and remembered longtime friend and fan Steven McDonald, who passed away on Tuesday. RGTV worked with the New York Rangers to produce a video tribute that was shown in-arena on Gardenvision and on the MSG Network broadcast of the game.
A TRUE HERO
In 1986, McDonald was just 29 years old when he was shot three times while on patrol as a New York Police Department Detective. Despite the fact that the shooting left him paralyzed from the neck down, McDonald consciously decided to look beyond the heartbreaking turn in his life's journey: he forgave the teenager who shot him and went on to focus on using his unfortunate circumstance to do as much good as possible. In the process, he inspired countless across the world and in New York, including many generations of the New York Rangers, a team of which he was an avid fan.
Knowing of his devotion and incredible story, McDonald's beloved Blueshirts created the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award in his honor at the end of the 1987-88 season. Each year since, the New York Rangers have presented it to the player that "goes above and beyond the normal call of duty."
Tonight's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs was the New York Rangers' first since McDonald's passing, and the organization put together a first-class tribute for him.
McDonald's widow Patty and his son Conor, who is now a Sargent in the NYPD, were accompanied by Rangers legends Mark Messier and Adam Graves as they dropped the ceremonial first puck.
Then, during the first television timeout, the video tribute was shown.
The video was also posted on the New York Rangers Twitter and Facebook feeds, where it received an overwhelmingly positive reaction.