New ESPN E60 with Jeremy Schaap Looks Back at 1994 New York Rangers on 30th Anniversary of Stanley Cup Win

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New ESPN E60 with Jeremy Schaap Looks Back at 1994 New York Rangers on 30th Anniversary of Stanley Cup Win

Steven McDonald, the NYPD Patrolman Who was Shot and Paralyzed in 1986 was Inspirational and Galvanizing Force as Rangers Tried to Break 1940 Curse

No Easy Victories: The 1994 New York Rangers Debuts Tuesday, June 4, at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN+

After 54 years without a Stanley Cup, the city of New York and the New York Rangers found inspiration in one of their own: an NYPD officer who was shot and paralyzed in the line of duty, who then helped galvanize a team and lift a curse.

In its newest episode, ESPN E60 remembers the remarkable 1994 New York Rangers and how the team’s Stanley Cup victory created memories to last a lifetime for the city and for the family of the NYPD officer.

No Easy Victories: The 1994 New York Rangers debuts on Tuesday, June 4, at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN, streaming afterward on ESPN+.

While the Rangers are currently in a battle in the NHL Eastern Conference Final with a chance to return to the Stanley Cup Final (Game 6 vs. Florida airs Thursday, May 30, on ESPN and ESPN+), it’s been 30 years since the 1994 Rangers fashioned one of the most memorable playoff runs in hockey history. The Blueshirts had gone 54 years without a title and many of their fans had come to believe the franchise was cursed. Along the way they would be pushed to the limit in the conference and Stanley Cup finals. Among the Blueshirt faithful in attendance to witness the Rangers’ triumph, with Mark Messier leading the way, was NYPD officer Steven McDonald, along with his wife Patti Ann and their seven-year-old son, Conor.

In 1986, McDonald was shot in the line of duty in Central Park. He was paralyzed from the neck down and respiratory dependent for the rest of his life. In the years that followed, McDonald became an inspiration to the city for his message of forgiveness towards his assailant. He also became synonymous with the hockey team that he loved. McDonald’s passion for the Rangers, which he shared with Conor, now an NYPD captain, underscored their unbreakable family bond and helped galvanize the franchise, which presents an annual award in his name.

In E60’s No Easy Victories, Jeremy Schaap chronicles the story of the ‘94 Rangers through the eyes of the McDonald family. In addition to members of the family, interviews include Rangers greats Mark Messier, Brian Leetch, Adam Graves, and Mike Richter, as well as GM Neil Smith and coach Mike Keenan.  NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, former Rangers broadcaster Howie Rose and former beat writer John Dellapina are also part of the story.

No Easy Victories was produced and directed by Michael Sciallo.

The ESPN multiplatform presentation will include excerpts from No Easy Victories featured in segments on Outside the Lines in SportsCenter and The Point. The story also will be featured in an edition of the ESPN Daily Podcast.

NHL Backstory recognizes 1994 New York Rangers

To commemorate the 30th anniversary of the 1994 Rangers and their Stanley Cup win, NHL Studios is releasing Garden Party, the newest episode of NHL Backstory – the audio series that aspires to relive unique stories and significant milestones from the NHL’s 100-plus year history.

Dropping on June 4 and narrated by ESPN personality Arda Öcal, Garden Party digs into the archives to share stories from an unlikely cast of characters – including Rangers players (Mark Messier, Brian Leetch, Adam Graves and Nick Kypreos), Club executives (Dave Checketts, Neil Smith and Mike Keenan) and support staff, sportswriters who covered the series, and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.

Additional Hockey-Related ESPN Original Content to Debut in June

With the Stanley Cup Final airing on ESPN and ABC this year, ESPN will bring viewers more hockey-related original content in June.

The debut of No Easy Victories on June 4 will be the second half of a night of hockey-related original content premiering on ESPN. At 7:30 p.m., the new ESPN 30 for 30 film I’m Just Here for the Riot debuts on ESPN, streaming afterward on ESPN+.

On June 15, 2011, the Canucks’ Game 7 Stanley Cup Final loss to the Boston Bruins sparks a massive riot in downtown Vancouver. Police cars are overturned and burned, windows are shattered, stores are looted, and waves of young people are caught up in the mayhem. I’m Just Here For The Riot chronicles the aftermath of an event captured on hundreds of cell phone cameras; the rioters are outed, shamed, and see their lives altered forever. From the mob mentality in the streets to similar vengeance in the online hunting of those responsible, it is a dark moment in the city’s history – one that raises deeper questions about fandom, violence, and the shocking power of an angry crowd.

Also coming from ESPN 30 for 30 Podcasts is a new three-episode podcast series Searching for Hobey Bakerwhich chronicles the enigmatic life of collegiate athlete, Hobey Baker, who many consider the first ice hockey star in America. Premiering June 12, the podcast is narrated by award-winning actor, writer, director, New York Times best-selling author, and singer-songwriter David Duchovny, who like Baker, is an alumnus of Princeton University.

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Media contact: [email protected]

Andy Hall

My main responsibility is PR/Communications for ESPN’s news platforms including the Enterprise/Investigative Unit, the E60 program and SportsCenter. In addition, I’m the PR contact for ESPN’s Formula 1 coverage, golf majors (the Masters and PGA Championship) and TGL golf. I’m based in Daytona Beach, Fla., and have been with ESPN since 2006.
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