Ronald “Ron” Greschner
Goodsoil, Sask., is where Ron Greschner began skating at age three and learned about his love for the game of hockey. He still fondly cherishes meeting future SHHOF inductee Gordie Howe at a youth hockey camp in Saskatoon before playing against “Mr. Hockey” years later in Howe’s final NHL season.
Before reaching that milestone, Greschner was a member of the Goodsoil Minor Hockey system and wound up being drafted by the Junior A Chilliwack Bruins of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) at age 16. He played for the Bruins during the 1970-71 season.
For the next three seasons, he suited up for the New Westminster Bruins of the Western Canadian Hockey League (WCHL). On Dec. 10, 1972, Greschner scored four goals against the Edmonton Oil Kings, which was a single-game record for most goals by a defenceman.
Greschner was drafted 32nd overall in the second round of the 1974 NHL amateur draft by the New York Rangers, whose head coach at the time was future SHHOF inductee Emile Francis.
During his NHL debut in the 1974-75 season, Greschner broke the team’s single-season assists record for rookies with 37. He quickly established himself as one of the team's top defencemen, known for his strong defensive play and offensive capabilities. He spent time on left wing and was also a key member of the Rangers team that reached the Stanley Cup final in 1979.
While spending his entire 16-year NHL career with the Rangers, he became one of the franchise's all-time greats and captained the Blueshirts for a short stretch. Today, Greschner sits in third place on the Rangers' all-time list of games played by a blueliner and still leads the franchise with the most penalty minutes.
Upon his retirement in 1990, Greschner skated in over 1,065 NHL games, collecting 196 goals and 659 points. To this day, he still serves in an ambassador capacity for the Rangers organization and helps kids learn how to skate at Madison Square Garden.
In 2001, he founded the Ron Greschner Foundation to help raise money and awareness for children with autism.
Greschner's outstanding career as a professional hockey player, his contributions to the game, and his dedication to the sport make him a deserving inductee to the Ted Knight Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame.