Published on:

14th Jun 2024

Special Series Ep 4 This One Will Last a Lifetime with Mark Messier, Brian Leetch & Adam Graves

Adam Graves, Brian Leetch, and Mark Messier join Hosts Neil Smith and Vic Morren, commemorating the 30th anniversary of the New York Rangers' 1994 Stanley Cup Championship. The conversation covers key moments leading to the final, including the expectation playing upstart Vancouver coming off the epic Eastern Conference Final against the New Jersey Devils.

Personal anecdotes and reflections highlight the importance of confidence, experience, and the bond between the team and its fans. 

The episode vividly recounts the historic championship parade, noting the unity and joy it brought to the city. Concluding with reflections on the lasting impact of the victory, this episode encapsulates the enduring legacy of the Rangers' historic win.


  • [01:08] Commemorating the 1994 Stanley Cup Championship
  • [01:32] Special Guests: Adam Graves, Brian Leetch, and Mark Messier
  • [02:59] Reflecting on the New Jersey Series
  • [05:26] Adam Graves on Learning from Past Finals
  • [08:43] Brian Leetch's First Stanley Cup Final
  • [10:11] Neil Smith's Confidence in the Team
  • [11:29] Game 1 and 2 of the Stanley Cup Final
  • [12:12] Turning Point: Game 3 and Pavel Bure's High Stick
  • [15:01] Penalty Shot Drama in Game 4
  • [19:27] Facing the Pressure of Game 5
  • [28:18] Preparing for Game 7
  • [31:01] Returning to New York for Game 7
  • [31:06] The Energy in New York City
  • [33:54] Building a Winning Team
  • [35:28] Game 7: The Ultimate Test
  • [38:23] Mindset and Belief in 1987 and 1994
  • [40:02] Overcoming Challenges and Staying Focused
  • [43:51] Key Moments and Goals in Game Seven
  • [47:32] The Emotional Rollercoaster of the Final Period
  • [57:15] Winning the Stanley Cup and Its Impact
  • [01:09:59] The Parade and Celebrations



  • The journey to the Stanley Cup required overcoming significant physical and mental challenges, with every player contributing to the team's success.
  • Key plays, such as Mike Richter's penalty shot save against Pavel Bure, were crucial in maintaining the team's momentum.
  • The close-knit nature of the team and their ability to support each other played a significant role in their success.
  • The energy and support from the New York fans were a constant source of motivation for the team.
  • The victory ended a 54-year championship drought for the Rangers, creating lasting memories and a legacy that still resonates with fans today


Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgBj1LV0-DMfBhcRPSJZLjA

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Guest Bio:

Mark Messier is a Canadian former professional ice hockey centre. His playing career in the National Hockey League (NHL) lasted 25 years (1979–2004) with the Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers, and Vancouver Canucks.

Adam Graves is a Canadian former professional hockey player. He is best known for his ten-year tenure with the New York Rangers Hockey Team of the National Hockey League (NHL). He also played in the NHL for the Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers and San Jose Sharks, and is a two-time Stanley cup winner.

Brian Leetch is an American former professional ice hockey defenseman who played 18 National Hockey League (NHL) seasons with the New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Boston Bruins. He has been called one of the top defensemen in NHL history. Corpus Christi, Texas, U.S.

 #NHL #Hockey #Podcast #Sports #Broadcasting #StanleyCup #Coaching #Media #Management #ESPN #TNT #Playoffs #Championships #NeilSmith #VicMorren #NYR1994 #StanleyCup #NewYorkRangers #HockeyHistory #StanleyCupChampions #1994StanleyCup #RangersFans #NHLPlayoffs #HockeyLegends #BrianLeetch #MarkMessier #AdamGraves #GameSevenGroup #MeiGray #NYRangers #VictoryCelebration #HockeyHeroes #NHLChampions #RangersVictory #HistoricWin

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About the Podcast

NHL Wraparound Podcast
Neil Smith & Vic Morren
Breadth and depth.
Contemporary and historical.
Straight-forward and experienced.
The NHL Wraparound podcast features Neil Smith, President-General Manager of the 1994 Stanley Cup Champion New York Rangers and longtime ESPN/NHL veteran Vic Morren sharing no-nonsense opinions on news and issues around the National Hockey League.

Bringing decades of experience from their respective fields, Smith and Morren create a unique partnership that examines the NHL from multiple perspectives. Additionally, as hockey historians, the pair can delve into any topic in today’s game and enlighten the audience with connections to events from previous years. To truly appreciate where hockey stands today, one needs to understand its past.

With 2024 marking the 30th anniversary of the Rangers last championship season, a special five-part series is planned to commemorate that magical run. Expect fascinating behind-the-scenes stories and special guests with particular focus on the GM who pushed all of his chips into the middle of the table amidst the most pressurized environments – and came out on top.

Whether you’re new to the game or a seasoned fan, each episode of NHL Wraparound will leave you entertained and informed.

Neil S. Smith, highly regarded NHL executive, served as the President and General Manager of the 1994 Stanley Cup Champion New York Rangers. During his eleven years with the team, they achieved significant success, including three division titles, two Presidents’ Trophies, one Eastern Conference Championship, and a historic Stanley Cup victory—the franchise’s first in 54 years.

Known for his expertise in professional sports franchise economics, Smith played a pivotal role in management decisions under four different Rangers owners.. His tenure saw iconic trades and acquisitions, including Hall of Famers Mark Messier and Wayne Gretzky, as well as successful drafts and free-agent signings.

Starting as a pro scout, Smith's career highlights include the impactful 1989 draft for the Detroit Red Wings and bold trades that shaped NHL history. He briefly served as GM for the New York Islanders in 2006, later working as a consultant for the Dallas Stars, Pittsburgh Penguins, and the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.

A Toronto native, Smith's hockey journey began in junior leagues before a distinguished college career at Western Michigan University. He has received numerous awards and distinctions, including induction into the University's Sports Hall of Fame in 1991.

Vic Morren: Born in New York City close to the Old Madison Square Garden, Vic Morren has had hockey in his blood his entire life as a fan, player and television production manager.

A graduate of William Paterson University, Morren skated for three seasons with the Pioneers hockey club and became the first statistical analyst to apply his craft to telecasts working New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils games from 1984-87. He co-authored two NHL-based statistics books within that span before moving to ESPN in 1987 and working the final season of the original deal the network had with the NHL.
After departing in 1990, Morren worked as a studio producer for SportsChannel America’s NHL coverage and the 1992 Barcelona Olympics before returning to ESPN that fall where he worked all 12 seasons on the second ESPN/NHL deal and the first season of the most recent contract in 2021-22. Morren has also earned a Sports Emmy for his work on Sunday Night Football coverage in 2003.

His relationship with Neil Smith dates back 33 years through their mutual friendship with the late ESPN/ABC commentator John Saunders. Morren looks forward to NHL Wraparound and collaborating with Smith with the goal to provide an experience of contemporary viewpoints, historical spin and an overall enriching podcast experience.