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Sam Rosen elated about induction into NY State Hockey Hall of Fame



Sam Rosen elated about induction into NY State Hockey Hall of Fame

Sam Rosen’s honors already include the Hockey Hall of Fame’s Foster Hewitt Award, four Sports Emmys and an upcoming 40th anniversary season as the Rangers’ play-by-play announcer.

His upcoming induction to the New York State Hockey Hall of Fame, though, is another that will last even longer than a lifetime.

“It’s a great honor because of the length of my career, being a New Yorker my entire life, it’s something that’s special,” Rosen told The Post ahead of the induction this weekend in Troy, N.Y. “And when you say Hall of Fame, it’s something to me that connotes forever. There’s no greater honor than knowing that a legacy will be left after my career is over. My kids and my grandkids and their kids will be able to recognize the fact that I made a contribution to our sport and to our state.”

Sam Rosen talks with the media in 2019 during the introductory press conference of John Davidson, his former broadcast partner, who was being introduced as the team’s president at that time. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

Rosen will go into the state Hall of Fame alongside a class that includes a trio of Islanders legends — Denis Potvin, Ken Morrow and Ed Westfall — along with 1980 Team USA captain Mike Eruzione.

“I’m just kind of a person that’s there, [I’m] fortunate that I’ve had the career that I’ve had and been around the greatest players in the world,” Rosen said. “Those are the guys that to me deserve the honors. They come from all over the world, great stories and they’re great athletes and great people, and I’ve been fortunate enough to be around them for a long period of time.

“Yes it’s a bit surreal when I think about it, but my entire career has been that way. Being around, especially being a part of the New York Rangers and being able to do their games. Again, being able to watch and broadcast and meet the greatest players in the world. Hall of Famers to the nth degree, we’ve had them as Rangers — whether it’s Mark Messier or Wayne Gretzky or Marcel Dionne, I don’t want to forget Brian Leetch. There’s so many that have come through the Rangers organization.”

He joins a stable of broadcasters in the Hall that also includes longtime Islanders voice Howie Rose and Al Michaels, who called the Miracle on Ice.

Currently the longest-tenured active broadcaster in the NHL, Rosen has been the soundtrack of the franchise for two generations, spanning coach Herb Brooks and captain Barry Beck through coach Peter Laviolette and captain Jacob Trouba.

Sam Rosen with his former broadcaster partner John Davidson in 2002 George Kalinsky

“I think the times that I reflect on it is when fans come up to me outside the Garden, sometimes inside the Garden, in arenas around the league — whether it’s older fans, younger fans, their kids and they’re passing along the spirit and the greatness of the sport,” Rosen said. “And I think when I step away, people come up and it used to be, in my early days, it was all about autographs and would I pose for a picture on camera? Now it’s all about selfies.

“And the people are really terrific, and it means a lot to them. And that’s the time when I walk away and I sit in my car and I say, wow, it’s really something special that, number one, they say nice things about me, to me, and number two, that they passed on the love of the game, the love of the sport to their kids and sometimes their grandkids, and I’ve been part of that. That makes it extra special.”

Kenny Albert and Sam Rosen watching the Rangers practice at the New York Rangers training facility in 2013. Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

As things stand, there are no plans for him to back off at age 76.

“For me, the love is still there, the excitement is still there,” he said. “But there are a lot of other considerations. Always travel considerations, health considerations, family considerations. All those things come into play, and basically kind of just go year-to-year and see how it goes. It’s been a great ride, and I love it. And I’m looking forward to next season.”

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