Just after the New Year, we relayed to you the story out of Philadelphia where a Rangers fan was badly beaten by some Flyers fans outside of Geno's Steaks following New York's 3-2 win in the Winter Classic.
The victim is 30-year-old Neal Auricchio, a police officer in New Jersey and former purple heart honoree from his service in Iraq as a marine. He is also a life-long Rangers fan who was on leave from his duty with the police after his wife gave birth the week before Christmas.
While the police investigation to find the men responsible for beating Auricchio and damaging his eye socket to the point of requiring surgery, the Rangers have set into motion a day for Auricchio to come to Madison Square Garden for a game on them. He'll be on hand Feb. 27 when the Rangers host the New Jersey Devils
Rangers coach John Tortorella was the one who called to give Auricchio the news.
“It absolutely lifted his spirits,” his wife Maria Auricchio told the New York Post. “He’s, and we’re all, such big Rangers fans. It was great [to get Tortorella’s call].”
I tell ya, between this and his relationship with Liam Trainer, Tortorella is going to win over some more fans.