Son of 9/11 first responder plays his first NHL game for the New York Rangers.

Son of 9/11 first responder plays his first NHL game for the New York Rangers.

What a moment.

Jonathan Larivee

It doesn't matter how old you get or how much life you've lived, you will always be you parent's child.

On Friday night New York Rangers forward Anthony Greco played in just the second game of his National Hockey League career and it was an extra special moment for the 28 year old veteran because it was his first game as a member of the New York Rangers. Anthony, who was born in Queens, New York, grew up as a diehard fan of the New York Rangers thanks in large part to his dad who also loved cheering for his local hockey team.

Sadly for the Greco family, Anthony's father Paul Greco never got the chance to see his son play for their beloved franchise. Paul was a long time firefighter for the city of New York and as part of his over 20 year career as a first responder he was one of the many who responded to the tragic events that occurred on the 11th of September in 2001. When the Twin Towers fell in New York city Paul Greco was one of the men who worked tirelessly to try and save as many of his fellow citizens as he could, but as we now know that was a death sentence for many of those brave first responders.

Paul passed away when he was only 54 years old as a result of a long battle with several illnesses that stemmed from breathing in the toxic air around Ground Zero following the fall of the towers, a story that has become far too common over the last several years. According to Mollie Walker of the New York Post however it sounds like Paul managed to fight his battle long enough to learn that his son had drawn the attention of the Rangers during the Covid pandemic, a time when several teams in the National Hockey League were in need of additional bodies due to players winding up on the Covid protocol list or needing extended periods of absence due to illness.

While Paul may not have had the chance to see his son play for his beloved team, he probably had a good idea that he was going to be doing just that before he passed away, and on Friday night Anthony made both of their dreams come true.

For those wondering how Anthony did in his Rangers' debut, he played 14 shifts for a total of 9:44 in ice time and had 5 shots, no goals, no assists and finished with an even plus minus rating of 0.

Unsurprisingly the Rangers have already announced that Anthony is headed back to the taxi squad and it may very well be that playing for the Rangers was a once in a lifetime opportunity for him. We sincerely hope that he, his friends and his family relished every moment of it. We're confident his father would be very proud.