Well, ain’t this intriguing. According to Nathan Gonzales of the Rothenberg Political Report, Connecticut Democrats are weighing the possibility of running former NHL superstar Mike Richter against the last Republican House member left standing in New England: the battle-hardened Chris Shays. As a longtime hockey fan, the idea certainly leaves me feeling a little giddy. Richter was a career-long member of the New York Rangers, carrying them alongside Mark Messier, Adam Graves and Brian Leetch to a historical Stanley Cup victory in 1994. His Rangers jersey is only one of four to hang retired in the rafters of the Madison Square Garden. That’s got to carry at least a little bit of resonance in the NYC metro area, even if hockey hasn’t exactly been the taste du jour of the area in the past few years.
As for his connection to the district, Richter is a recent graduate of Yale, where he obtained a degree in Ethics, Politics & Economics in 2006. According to Gonzales, he also found the time to campaign for Democrat John Hall in his upset victory over Sue Kelly in NY-19. Makes you like him even more, doesn’t it?
However, a Shays-Richter matchup isn’t a sure bet:
But Richter […] apparently is looking at a number of districts in more than one state before he makes a final decision.
According to Wikipedia, Richter was born in Abington, Pennsylvania. There are two Abingtons: a small township in Lackawanna County (PA-11, held by Democrat Paul Kanjorski), and a larger township in Montgomery County (shared between PA-13 and PA-08, both Democrat-held seats). Perhaps he could be eyeballing a nearby tossup district like PA-06 or PA-15.
He also went to school in Lake Placid, but I believe that that area falls under freshman Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand’s NY-20, although Republican John McHugh’s 23rd district is right next door…
In any case, the idea of having Mike Richter in our arsenal is exciting. I’d certainly take a fresh face over a third kick at the can by Diane Farrell. And if there has ever been a more effective American-born goalie at shutting down right-wingers, I’d like you to name one.