For the first time in five years, 51-year-old former New York Rangers great Ron Duguay, is set to strap on the skates professionally, signing a two day contract with the Eastern Professional League.
A 12-year NHL veteran, Duguay is expected to play for the Brooklyn Aces before a home crowd at the Aviator Sports and Recreation Center on March 21 against the Jersey Rockhoppers and will suit up for the Rockhoppers the following day to take on the Danbury Mad Hatters.
Duguay is teaming up with the EPHL as part of his contract to promote The Garden of Dreams – Madison Square Garden’s charitable organization. To help the fund, hockey memorabilia will be auctioned off during both games.
Drafted 13th overall in the first round of the 1977 NHL draft by the Rangers, Duguay is the second former New York Rangers player to assist the Brooklyn Aces organization this season. Nick Fotiu served as an assistant coach for one game earlier this year.
Duguay played his best professional season in 1981-82, totaling 40 goals and 36 assists in 72 games with the Rangers and played against the Montreal Canadiens in the 1978-79 Stanley Cup final.
Duguay, who tallied 274 goals in 860 games, played his last NHL contest during the 1988-89 season for the Los Angeles Kings. He continued to play professionally until his last game with the Jacksonville Barracudas in the 2002-03.
At 51, Duguay is the second oldest player to take part in a professional hockey game. Gordie Howe is first after playing for the Detroit Vipers of the International League at the ripe age of 69. Howe played his last season with the Hartford Whalers at 52.
Consisting of four teams, the EPHL is in the midst of its 50-game season, with the playoffs set to begin in Brooklyn on March 26.