I n front of thousands of cheering Rangers and Crunch fans, Brian Leetch stepped out onto the ice.
"We got to meet some fans right when the doors opened so we had a good hour ahead of time and come out on the ice and see the guys again and you forget how big everybody is nowadays especially me in my dress shoes and they're in their skates," says Leetch.
He dropped the puck to start the Syracuse Crunch game, but the former Olympian and New York Ranger is already anticipating the start of another hockey game on the other side of the world in Sochi, Russia.
"I'm looking forward to the hockey starting, I think it's gonna be another great tournament. It seems to be the skill level is so high, even though the rink is bigger you can't tell anymore that it's a wider ice surface cuz everyone skates so well and passes the puck so well," says Leetch.
Hundreds of fans lined up before the game even started to wait in line for an autograph.
Tom Crosier and Richard Roberts are excited to see Leetch at the War Memorial. " I've been a Ranger fan all my life and I remember Leetch played back in the glory days of the Rangers , back in the 80's , early 90's . E xcellent defenseman ," says Crosier.
"I t lets young people in this area know that if you work hard you and you play hard you can get to the goals you want to accomplish. To give back to the commun it y , that's an excellent thing ," says Roberts.
"For Leetch he's happy he can give back to the community and send a positive message to younger athletes," says Leetch.
"W ell yea I have three young kids that are active in sports and the biggest thing I always say is you gotta have fun and you gotta listen to your coaches, so that's your first step ," says Leetch.