The Forgotten Hockey Players Of Broadway Podcast-Reijo Ruotsalainen- Episode # 41

The Forgotten Hockey Players of Broadway Podcast

29-10-2020 • 31 min

A nostalgic look back at our favorite hockey hero's who wore the red, white and blue for the Rangers during the 1960's,70's and 80's.

*In episode number 41 Tom, Rob and Mike discuss the results of the Stanley Cup Finals and former Rangers Ryan McDonagh and Kevin Shattenkirk celebrating their first Cup win. Then the guys reflect back on the career of one of the most dynamic and electric players in Rangers history, number 29 defenseman Reijo "Rexi' Ruotsalainen.

*  Ruotsalainen was drafted by the Rangers in the 6th round of the 1980 Draft.

*Reijo was one of the fan favorites at MSG while he played for the Rangers and also for the Edmonton Oilers and Devils during his 7 year career in the NHL.

* Ruotsalainen was an electric, skilled and incredibly fast skater with tremendous lateral movement and athleticism. known for his dominant slap and wrist shot, hockey IQ , passing ability and breath taking end to end rushes.

* Scored 18,16,20,28 and 17 goals respectively during his 5 years with the Rangers. Led the club in scoring with 73 points during the 1984-85 season where Herb Brooks installed him at left wing on the Mark Pavelich line for 32 games.

* Ruotsalainen earned NHL All-Star honors in 1986.

* One of Tom's fondest memories as a Rangers season ticket holder during the early 80's was watching Ruotsalainen beat the Islanders in March of 1983 (in a playoff like atmosphere at MSG) 2-1 with the game winning goal with only minutes to play. Rexi utilized his explosive speed and superior agility to skate around defenseman Tomas Jonsson and with his incredible wrist shot beat Goalie Kelly Hrudey over his left shoulder that ignited an ovation that almost blew the roof off at MSG.

* Traded by the Rangers in a lopsided deal in favor of Glen Sather and the Edmonton Oilers prior to the start of the 1986-87 season.

* He went on to win Two Stanley Cups with the Oilers despite only playing in a limited number of regular season games while playing in all of the Oilers playoff games during those two Stanley Cup wins.

* He is a member of the Finnish Ice Hockey Hall Of Fame after a distinguished International Hockey Career as a player and coach.

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