In the late 1960s the New York Rangers transformed from NHL also-rans to Stanley Cup contenders. Gilles Villemure was part of that transformation. The little goaltender had a long wait to make it to the National Hockey League, which had only six teams until after the middle of the decade. Eventually Villemure joined Eddie Giacomin to give the Rangers a strong 1-2 goaltending tandem. The Vezina Trophywinning twosome was a fixture for the Rangers, threatening to end the franchise’s long Stanley Cup drought, only to come up short. Now, forty years later, Villemure writes about his days with the Rangers in the newly updated Tales from the Rangers Locker Room. Villemure tells stories about old pals like Rod Gilbert, Vic Hadfield, Brad Park, Jean Ratelleand his boss, Emile The Cat” Francis.
The Rangers finally won that Stanley Cup in 1994, ending over fifty years of frustration, but it was those Francis-led teamsthe ones with Villemure and Giacomin in the goalthat brought New York’s Blueshirts, Madison Square Garden’s finest, to the top of the NHL. It is their influence that has continued to propel the Rangers forward even today, with a conference championship win in 2014 and the President’s Trophy in 2015. Fans young and old will want to hear Villemure’s stories come to life.
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