Legends Bathgate, Howell to Join Rangers Elite

Former stars will be honored at Garden Sunday

Harry Howell and Andy Bathgate are the next two Rangers in line to have their jerseys retired.

Each will be enshrined before New York's game Sunday against Toronto at Madison Square Garden.

Bathgate said the younger generations might get just as much out of Sunday's ceremony as he will.

"This is the greatest sports complex in the world," he said. "To have a name like Bathgate up there is something that I will cherish as long as I live, but the grandchildren will enjoy it also very much because they don't believe I worked for a living."

And Howell said he might need to have some tissues on hand.

"It will be emotional, I'm sure of that," he said. "I'm honored to have it happen to me, as I think everybody else is who's going up there. There's been a lot of hockey players, and to be up there with a limited amount of people is really a thrill."

Bathgate sported a No. 9 jersey in 10 seasons for the Rangers, and never enjoyed much team success until he left New York for Toronto, whom he helped win a Stanley Cup in 1964. Howell wore No. 3 for the Rangers for 17 years, and was a stalwart blue-liner in a career of more than 1,400 NHL games in the pre-expansion era.

The Rangers raised Adam Graves' jersey -- also No. 9 -- to the rafters just a few weeks ago. After Sunday's event, only seven players in the team's history will have had their numbers retired.

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