Where Are They Now ... Ed HospodarEd “Boxcar” Hospodar skated three seasons with the Rangers from 1979-1982. A 1979 second-round draft pick at No. 34 overall, Hospodar made his NHL debut on Nov. 21, 1979, against Winnipeg at The Garden, and he quickly emerged as an intimidating presence on the ice. Hospodar, who scored his first NHL goal in the 1980 playoff series against the Atlanta Flames, still holds the Rangers' record for most penalty minutes in a playoff year with 93 PIM in 12 games of the 1981 playoffs. In addition to his years with the Blueshirts, Hospodar also played in the NHL with Hartford, Philadelphia, Minnesota and Buffalo and played in the 1985 Stanley Cup Finals as a member of the Flyers.
|Ed Hospodar led the Rangers with 152 PIM in 1981-82 after finishing second behind team captain Barry Beck with 214 PIM in the previous season.|
When I got out of the game I retired and stayed in Philadelphia. My wife was from there and my father ended up transferring back to Canada. From there I got into some sales positions and to this day my wife and I have been in residential real estate in the main line of Philadelphia.
Looking back on your Rangers career, is there one moment that stands out as one of your favorites?
Just getting on the ice. It has to be the first game. Bobby Hull happened to get on at the same time and I thought they were giving me a standing ovation. And I looked across the way and I saw Bobby Hull waving to everybody at the TV timeout. And I think Vickers and Esposito got me on that one; they said they were cheering for me. But I was kind of embarrassed.
Did you meet any other famous individuals while playing at MSG? For example, did you meet any famous musical artists, or public figures? Who is the most memorable person?
I met Joe Klecko. Joe and I, when we see each other today, we still get together and cozy right up. That was pretty cool. Joe Klecko was awesome.
Do you have a special item or piece of memorabilia that you collected while with the Rangers that you cherish the most?
I’ve got the old Rangers sweatsuits we used to wear with the big bell-bottoms. For many years, when I went out on the ice with kids, I would come out with a different stick. Some from the 1960s or 1970s or that said Team USA on them and different guys names on them like Bobby Hull. They all wanted to see these sticks. And even if they were left-handed, I’d bring them out on the ice. Or I would always wear an old jersey that I didn’t have framed. I have Rangers and a Team USA one. I’d put those on and the kids would all get a big chuckle out of it. I’ve got a nice stash of stuff that’s mine. It’s pretty cool.