Yesterday, Stan Fischler, sent out a bunch of tweets saying that in 1994 the Rangers offered former Islanders captain Denis Potvin a contract.
Fischler’s tweets were:
- Thanks to pal Phil Czochanski, we have the “inside” on Potvin nearly becoming a Ranger. Phil got it straight from Denis. It happened in 1994
- Phil says,”Denis had been retired for 5 seasons” when Rangers made the offer: “They offered him a $5 mil bonus for a Cup win; and $2 mil for the rest of that season and $5 mil for the following season.”
- Phil, who worked with Denis on Panthers telecasts asked Potvin why he turned down the Rangers offer. “Denis told me that he was flattered,” says Phil, “but worried about injuries, not being on top of his game.
- “Denis wondered about the reception he’d get from Rangers fans in his first game at MSG; and his reception from Isles fans at Nassau….
- “Potvin rejected the offer because he was happy with his life at that point. He was flattered but politely declined.” Still, hard to imagine
According to George Vescey in the New York Times, Mike Keenan was unhappy with his team prior to the 1994 trade deadline and made a comment saying that he wished he had Denis Potvin on his team. Potvin retired after the 1987-88 season and was a broadcaster with the Panthers at the time.
Vescey writes “Potvin was flattered. Potvin was also smart. He said thanks but no thanks. The damage, however, was done. The players and the fans could see that Mike Keenan was so uncomfortable with his team that he would banter the name of the suave, slap shot-firing, ankle-snapping, hope-breaking symbol of that half-a-century-plus of frustration.”