New York Rangers fans still approach Sam Rosen about his call at the end of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final in 1994.
While most cherish his “This one will last a lifetime!,” the longtime play-by-play announcer for MSG Networks admits there are some who, mostly in jest, wonder if he was unintentionally prophetic. After all, it’s been 25 years since that Cup win — a milestone anniversary that the Rangers and their partner network have been celebrating this week with special programming. The remembrances culminate Friday night with a ceremony honoring the members of that championship team prior to the Blueshirts’ game against the visiting Carolina Hurricanes.
“People will come up to me and say, ‘We don’t want that to be true, that it will last a lifetime,’ ” said the ever-personable Rosen, in jest. “And trust me, I want the Rangers to win five Cups in everyone’s lifetime. But, for me, that moment, in 1994, was so special because of the long wait and the years of frustration . . . Plus, the fact they won it at the Garden, in Game 7. Those are the things that contributed to that call.”
The call isn’t the only thing that connects Rosen to that Cup triumph. A Brooklyn native and lifelong fan of the Blueshirts, the 71-year-old is entering his 35th year as the voice of the team. He will play a key role in the anniversary festivities Friday night, introducing the surviving players and coaches of the 1994 team, along with longtime broadcast partner and current Columbus Blue Jackets president John Davidson.
The event will be the final stop on “Memory Lane” for Rangers fans. This week, MSG Networks has been re-airing classic games from the 1994 playoff run and an interview with Mike Richter, Brian Leetch and Adam Graves. The network will have live coverage of the tribute event Friday, starting at 6:30 p.m., with interviews with notable players between periods.
For Rosen, who has called multiple Cup Finals for NHL radio, in addition to NFL games, the Rangers’ triumph remains the highlight of his stellar career.
“I’ve covered a lot of great events, including numerous Stanley Cup Finals, but being there and covering the team that I grew up following as they win it, nothing can compare to that,” Rosen said. “As the years go by, you realize how special a year 1994 was and what those players accomplished.”
Friday’s MSG TV schedule
10 a.m.: 1994 Eastern Conference Finals Game 6, at Devils
12 p.m.: 1994 Eastern Conference Finals Game 7, vs. Devils
2 p.m.: 1994 Stanley Cup Finals Game 4, at Canucks
4 p.m.: 1994 Stanley Cup Finals Game 7, vs. Rangers
6 p.m.: “Connections” – Mike Richter, Brian Leetch & Adam Graves
6:30 p.m.: 25th Anniversary Stanley Cup Celebration