I awoke this morning to some voicemails that I needed catch up on while I have been bed-ridden the past few days.
The first was a friendly and familiar voice seeking confirmation that I received his article for our January issue. John Halligan, in the short time I was privileged to work with him, told me he had a complex about whether his articles were received.
They, of course, were always received (much earlier than the deadline) and his monthly "Around the Rink with the Rangers" was a bright and vibrant column that readers enjoyed reading almost as much as I enjoyed receiving.
Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to tell John that I received his article as the voicemails following his were of Halligan's recent co-author on 100 Ranger Greats, Russ Cohen and long-time friend Stan Fischler notifying me that John had passed away in his sleep early this morning.
It is a sad day across the hockey media, especially within the New York Rangers community.
Many are paying tribute to a great friend, such as Fischlers tribute here: http://www.msg.com/rangers/remembering-john-halligan.html
In my short time as Editor and Publisher of the Bulletin, John has been one of the most reliable and steadfast contributors. Throughout the Bulletins history, he has been a tremendous supporter and advocate of the independent coverage that we provide and offered his assistance countless times.
His insight melded quick wit and humor with historical anecdotes and fan-friendly commentary that any level of hockey fan could appreciate.
Personally, he offered guidance through our transition and welcomed me with open arms as both a professional and media-equal. In this intimidating industry, John made it seem less invasive and always told me to enjoy it because, it's just hockey.
Blueshirt Bulletin will be publishing John's final column in this months January issue, scheduled to be printed and mailed in the next 10 days.
We would like to extend our deepest condolences to John's family and friends during this difficult time and offer our profound gratitude for what John has provided the Blueshirt Bulletin and New York Rangers fan community for the past several years.
As always John, we received your article and, as always, it was terrific. Thank you for all your support and everything you have done to further this small publication and the entire hockey community.