Matt Loughran never played for the New York Rangers. Yet, if you ask any of the members of that team, he was an important piece of the 1994 Stanley Cup as operations manager.
“Matty managed all of us and invested a lot of time and energy, and was certainly a tremendous part of our success,” said Mike Keenan. “He personally spent a lot of time with me, and I had the great opportunity to be with an individual who was completely committed to the New York Rangers…He brought to life the essence of our team…He connected all the dots for us.”
Loughran has been battling cancer and now the ’94 Rangers are stepping up their efforts to help him with his treatments with the “Rangers Helping Rangers” online auction. It runs through June 22 and includes items such as signed pucks from Brian Leetch, Alex Kovalev, Mike Richter, a signed team celebration photo, and meet and greets with New York athletes.
The Hockey News was notified about this auction by John Cirillo, who was VP of public relations for the New York Knicks in 1994. He shared this wonderful story about the night the Rangers won the Stanley Cup and how Loughran got him into the dressing room for an unforgettable evening:
“While I was Knicks VP of PR in ’94 during a just-miss run at the NBA title, our MSG counterparts the Rangers were on their own magical ride to history and the Stanley Cup championship. Good fortune on the schedule allowed me to be at the Garden for the Rangers’ crowning. Almost an hour after the victory, I made my way to the locker room area, just to be a fly on the wall, observe part of the celebration, and congratulate friends. The first person I saw was Matty Loughran. After a hug, he grabbed me by the arm and said ‘Come on with me, I want to take you into the locker room.’
I protested, saying: “This is the Rangers night.” Matt insisted, took me in, and there was Lord Stanley’s Cup. I touched it, felt the engravings of all the famous names of past winners. He poured in a few beers, and together we had a sip from the most famous trophy in sports. That’s Matt Loughran, one of sports nicest guys. He gave me a moment that I will NEVER forget.”