The six words “Now I can die in peace” are among the most famous in hockey history and the father and sons who hoisted a sign proclaiming that sentiment 20 years ago, when the Rangers ended a 54-year Stanley Cup drought, are still very much alive.
“Maybe I can die in peace again,” said 71-year old Dave Zaretsky of Tappan, New York. Zaretsky, his twin sons Steven and Michael and their cousin Gary Morris carried the sign hand-printed by Michael to their seats at Madison Square Garden on that memory-filled night just waiting for the buzzer to sound, the confetti to fall and history to be made.
“We were just hugging each other and we kept the sign up the whole time,” Steven told us. The sign captured the euphoria of the Ranger’s long-awaited win and was photographed, broadcast, and referenced in books becoming part of hockey lore. Fans attending Ranger home games today frequently see it in old footage shown on the garden’s Jumbotron.
“I think the sign was for everybody,” said Michael Zaretsky, who along with his dad and twin older by five-minutes is anticipating an exciting series, now with two sons of his own and his brother's two sons.
The family says they are even trying to come up with a new sign --, though the original will be hard to beat.