I recently had a few minutes to chat with Mike Richter at the 82nd Annual CYO Club of Champions Tribute in Manhattan.
Richter, the goalie for the 1994 Stanley Cup champion New York Rangers, received the John V. Mara Sportsman of the Year Award from New York Giants co-owner John Mara.
A story on the CYO Club of Champions Tribute, including the impact of playing CYO football on Richter, will be in the June 21 Catholic New York.
Here is a little more of what Richter said.
On the direction the New York Rangers are heading
They are great in goal and have great fundamentals in their organization. They have smart people at the helm and I think it was out of strength that you view that. You say how can we be great? Can we just continue along here or do we need to revamp? You want to be the first to recognize you need to reshuffle the deck rather than the last, and they did that. They did it proactively and I think it’s a courageous move. The new coach is fantastic. I love (Alain) Vigneault and he did a great job while he was here. It’s a different era and Dave Quinn comes in. He’s a great teacher coming from (Boston University) and I think they’re really steady hands in terms of management and coaching and great young players. Look at Las Vegas, nobody thought they could come out of the chute and do what they did. Look how exciting Toronto is. I don’t think the Rangers are going to stand still for long.
On winning the Stanley Cup in New York
It’s an incredible thing. You look at what’s going on in Las Vegas (with a first-year franchise getting to the final). They started out with that tragedy at the beginning of the year and sports can (help a city heal). We see a lot of the bad sides of it, you forget the fundamental struggle day-to-day is a real human struggle just overcoming obstacles and everything else. You have to do that every day. It’s a part of life.
And that’s why sports can teach you so much not about winning but also about challenges, obstacles and failure even and how you react to those hardships in life. That’s where sports is at its best. That what a lot of the volunteers I met in CYO helped me with, and that’s what Las Vegas is helping (the city) with right now.
You become the identity of a town a bit, So many of the guys that I played with were kind of scared of coming to New York They met the people here, loved it and this became their home. It’s an honor to represent such an amazing town. It was meaningful to the city we won. I wish we could do it every year.
Following his NHL career, Richter enrolled and graduated from Yale University with a degree in ethics, politics and economics with a concentration in environmental policy. He considered running for Congress and is now president of Brightcore Energy in Armonk.
I’ve always been motivated by the opportunity to be less wasteful and more efficient with our resources. one way or another in a way, it all comes together. My mom didn’t think of the word sustainability. She grew up in the depression. It was a moral issue for her. You don’t leave a light on. You don’t waste food. You don’t waste things that you have because some people don’t have it,
The world is getting smaller and smaller. There are more and more people and less and less opportunity in some ways but also less resources. Pope Francis has been very clear about that. It’s something he cares deeply about and I do too. I always have and I always thought on a practical level there was an opportunity to marry finance and efficiency. We’re doing that with the lighting right now. You get better lighting, you pay less money. It’s win-win.