John Halligan (ice hockey)
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Halligan was a lifelong NHL contributor who received the Lester Patrick Trophy in 2007, an award he helped to create.
News of his death quickly swept through the NHL to the people who had crossed his path during his long career.
"He loved the stories of the game and, over his decades in hockey, told those stories with an abiding respect for the history -and humour - so that future generations of fans could enjoy them as much as he did," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said. "The NHL has lost a dear friend."
Halligan graduated from Fordham Preparatory School in 1959 and Fordham University in 1963 and joined the Rangers organization shortly thereafter receiving his degree. With a shoestring staff, he tried to get as many stories on the team as possible into city newspapers.
His job eventually got easier as the Rangers got better and eventually made the Stanley Cup finals. They lost to Bobby Orr and the Boston Bruins in 1972, though.
Halligan left the Rangers to work for the league in 1983, but returned to spend 1986-1990 with the Rangers before returning to the NHL until his retirement in 2006.
He also wrote numerous books on hockey, including "Game of My Life: New York Rangers," "New York Rangers: Seventy-Five Years," and most recently "100 Ranger Greats: Superstars, Unsung Heroes and Colorful Characters."
"I was just a rookie when I got to meet John Halligan," former Rangers star Brian Leetch said. "When John asked me to do something, he always had a reference to a player who had been in that situation before. He would always guide you in the right direction."
Halligan is survived by wife Janet.
Halligan has authored several books on hockey:
- New York Rangers: Seventy-Five Years (Barnes & Noble, 2000)
- The New York Rangers (Images of Sports) (Arcadia Publishing, 2003)
- Game of My Life: New York Rangers (Sports Publishing, 2006)
- 100 Ranger Greats (John Wiley & Sons, 2009) (co-authored with Russ Cohen and Adam Raider)
- "Patrick Trophy winner Halligan passes away," New York Rangers, Wednesday, January 20, 2010.
- Fischler, Stan. "Remembering John Halligan," MSG.com, Wednesday, January 20, 2010.
- Hackel, Stu. "The Mourning Skate: Blues for John Halligan," Slap Shot (The New York Times hockey blog), Thursday, January 21, 2010.
- Klein, Jeff Z. & Hackel, Stu. "Remembering Two Storytellers From the N.H.L.," The New York Times, Sunday, January 24, 2010.