From Derek Sanderson to Derek Jeter to Sean Avery
Derek Sanderson is in the news, again, like a blast from the past, and somehow or other he reminded me of another New York Ranger, namely Sean Avery.
Sanderson is in the news because he is involved in a DNA test claimed to predict the athletic success of young people.
Derek "The Turk" Sanderson better known for his time with the Boston Bruins than with the Rangers, and as a tough centre who had it all and then lost everything.
With the Rangers for the 1974-75 season, Sanderson had 25 goals and 25 assists, for 50 points.
The new DNA test promises to give parents a hint of that potential long before a baby can even walk. The test analyzes the ACTN-3 gene to see if a person is more likely to achieve Olympic greatness or at least earn a college scholarship.
Sanderson, who played 11 seasons in the NHL, said genetics is only a small factor for success.
Derek Sanderson Jeter was named after the famous hockey player while Sanderson played for the Rangers.
Baseball fans don't need to be told Derek Sanderson Jeter is a nine-time All-Star shortstop, the captain of the New York Yankees, and captain of captain of Team USA in the first ever World Baseball Classic.
Derek Sanderson was the NHL's 1968 Rookie of the Year and part of the Bruins team that won Stanley Cup championships in 1970 and 1972.
During the 1970 Stanley Cup finals, Sanderson laid a perfect pass on the stick of Bobby Orr that resulted in the goal that not won the Bruins first Stanley Cup in 29 years and became the most widely published photo in hockey history.
Sanderson was a fan favorite who received much publicity for his flamboyant "mod" lifestyle. He wore a mink coat and was named by Cosmopolitan Magazine as one of the sexiest men in America.
He was the subject of the gossip columns and was often photographed in the company of beautiful women.
After the 1972 season, Sanderson signed a contract with the Philadelphia Blazers of the newly-formed World Hockey Association.
His $2.6 million salary surpassed that of Brazilian soccer star, Pelé, making him the highest-paid athlete in the world at the time.
He was traded to the Rangers and opened a nightclub in New York with New England Patriots receiver Jim Colclough, and the New York Jets star football quarterback Joe Namath.
He lost millions of dollars in bad investments and with a substance abuse problems. He wound up penniless, in poor health, and crippled, but publicity about his situation brought a second chance from the goodwill of people in the city of Boston.
Sanderson beat his addictions and took a job as a professional sports broadcaster. He now invests for young athletes and other high net-worth people and is involved with a variety of charitable organizations.
How does that remind me of Sean Avery?
The Rangers, the gossip columns, the photographs with beautiful women, the big contracts, the clothes, being named one of the sexiest men alive, the celebrity status, the second chance, all link Avery to Sanderson.
When Rangers fans of a certain vintage or Rangers fans who know their team's history watch Avery on the ice in the Gardens, I'm certain they see a bit of Derek Sanderson down there.
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