New York Rangers

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New York Rangers
File:NY Rangers.gif 100px
Logo Alternate logo
Founded 1926
Home ice Madison Square Garden
Based in New York
Colors Blue, red, white
League National Hockey League
Head coach Tom Renney
General manager Glen Sather
Owners Madison Square Garden
(Owned by Cablevision and Fox Sports)
AHL affiliate Hartford Wolf Pack
ECHL affiliate Charlotte Checkers

The New York Rangers (NYR) are a National Hockey League (NHL) team based in New York City, New York.

Founded: 1926-1927 (awarded May 15, 1926)
Arena: Madison Square Garden (capacity 18,200)
Uniform colors: blue, red, white
Logo design: a shield with "NEW YORK" across the top and "RANGERS" diagonally across the middle, creating a red triangle on the top right and a white one on the bottom left.
Stanley Cup final appearances: (4 won, 5 lost) (1928 (won), 1929 (lost), 1932 (lost), 1933 (won), 1940 (won), 1950 (lost), 1972 (lost), 1979 (lost), 1994 (won))
Team color jersey: Royal blue jersey with red and white stripes at elbows and bottom of jersey. "RANGERS" diagonally across chest from right shoulder in red with white trim.
White jersey: White jersey with red, white and blue stripes at elbows, across shoulders and at bottom of jersey. Blue stripe at cuff. "RANGERS" diagonally across chest from right shoulder in blue with red trim.
Third Jersey: Navy blue jersey with white and silver stripes at elbows with red forearm. Chest logo features silver Statue of Liberty head on navy blue background and the letters "NYR" in red and silver. Stylized original Rangers shield on top of each shoulder.
Note: The NHL no longer refers to jerseys as "home" or "away" with the advent of third jerseys.
One of the NHL's 'Original Six' franchises, along with the Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, and Toronto Maple Leafs.
Main Rival(s): New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia Flyers, Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, and Toronto Maple Leafs.

Franchise history

Early Years

Tex Rickard was awarded an NHL franchise in 1926 to compete with the now-long-forgotten New York Americans. The team was immediately dubbed "Tex's Rangers", and the nickname stuck. Rickard managed to get future legendary Toronto Maple Leafs coach Conn Smythe to assemble the team, but Smythe had a falling-out with management and was let go in favor of Lester Patrick before the first season. The new team turned out to be a winner--in their first season, the Rangers won the American Division, but lost to the Boston Bruins in the playoffs.

The Rangers won the Stanley Cup over the now long-defunct Montreal Maroons in only their second year in business, but it was not without some desperation: Coach Patrick had to be their goaltender for two periods of game two of the finals after regular goalie Lorne Chabot was injured.

After a finals loss in 1929 and a few mediocre seasons in the early 1930s, the Rangers defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs to win their second Stanley Cup in 1933, led by brothers Bill and Bun Cook on the wings, and Frank Boucher in centre. The Rangers would spend the rest of the 1930s playing mainly .500 hockey until they won the Cup again in 1940 (over the Maple Leafs), when Patrick stepped down and handed the reins to Frank Boucher.

File:Newyorkrangerslogo40s.gif
New York Rangers logo (used 1935-1948)

The Rangers would collapse by the mid-1940s, losing games by as much as 15-0 and having one goaltender with a 6.20 goals-against average. They would miss the playoffs for five consecutive seasons before squeaking into the fourth and final playoff spot in 1948. They lost the first round and would miss the playoffs again in 1949. In the 1950 finals the Rangers were forced to play all of their games of the road (home games in Toronto) while the circus was at the Garden. They would end up losing to the Detroit Red Wings in overtime of the seventh game.

The Post-Original Six Era

The Rangers remained a mark of futility in the NHL for the next 20 years, before rejuvenation in the late 1960s, symbolised by moving into a newly-rebuilt Madison Square Garden in 1967. They made the playoffs for the first time in five years on the strength of rookie goaltender Eddie Giacomin.

By 1972, the Rangers reached the Stanley Cup finals despite losing high-scoring center Jean Ratelle (who had been on track over Bruin Phil Esposito to become the only Ranger since Bryan Hextall in 1942 to lead the NHL in scoring) to injury during the stretch drive of the regular season. The strength of people like Brad Park, Vic Hadfield, and Rod Gilbert would still carry them through the playoffs. They would defeat the defending champion Montreal Canadiens in the first round and the Chicago Blackhawks in the second, but lost to the Boston Bruins in the finals.

After some off years in the mid-to-late 1970s, they picked up Phil Esposito from the Bruins in 1976. Swedish Anders Hedberg would defect to the Rangers from the maverick World Hockey Association and would lead the team in scoring his first season. In 1979, they would return to the finals again before bowing out to the Canadiens.

The Rangers stayed the course through the 1980s and early 1990s, making the playoffs each year except for one but never going very far. An exception was the 1985-86 NHL season, when the Rangers, behind rookie goaltender John Vanbiesbrouck, upended the Patrick Division winner Philadelphia Flyers in a decisive fifth game followed by a six game win over the Washington Capitals in the Patrick Division Finals. The Montreal Canadiens disposed of the Rangers in the Wales Conference Finals, behind a rookie of their own named Patrick Roy.

Still, the many playoff failures convinced Rangers fans that this was a manifestation of the Curse of 1940, which is said to have begun when the Rangers' management burnt the mortgage to Madison Square Garden in the bowl of the Stanley Cup after the 1940 victory, or to have been cast by Red Dutton following the folding of the New York Americans. Frustration was at its peak when the 1991-92 squad captured the President's Trophy, took a 2-1 series lead on the Pittsburgh Penguins, and then faltered in three straight (most observers note a Ron Francis slapshot from the blue line that eluded Mike Richter as the series' turning point) to the eventual Cup winners. The following year a 1-11 finish landed the Rangers in the Patrick Division cellar. Coach Roger Neilson did not finish out the season. The offseason hiring of controversial head coach Mike Keenan was criticized by many who pointed out Keenan's 0-3 record in the Finals.

The 1993-94 Season

1994 was a magical year for Rangers fans. Two years previous, they picked up center Mark Messier, an integral part of the Edmonton Oilers' Cup-winning teams in the 1980s. Adam Graves also defected from the Oilers to the Rangers. Brian Leetch and rookie Sergei Zubov were solid on defense. In fact, Zubov led the team in scoring with 89 points. Graves would set a new team record with 52 goals, breaking the old record held by Hadfield.

File:NYR 145.gif
Main logo for third alternate jersey, 1997 - current

After clinching the President's Trophy for the best regular season record in the league, the Rangers were pitted against their archrivals, the 8th seeded New York Islanders in the first round of the playoffs. The Isles proved to be no match, as they were swept in four games by an aggregate score of 22-3. In the second round, the Washington Capitals were dismissed in five games, and set the stage for a matchup with the New Jersey Devils in the Conference Finals.

Despite a 6-0 regular season record against New Jersey, the Devils took the Rangers to the limit before bowing out in seven games. The series was highlighted by three multiple overtime games, of which the Rangers won two. Stephane Matteau scored both of those overtime goals, one of which ended Game 3 at 6:13 of the second overtime. Still, after the fifth game the Rangers trailed in the series 3-2 and faced elimination, prompting captain Mark Messier to boldly guarantee a victory in Game 6 at New Jersey. Halfway through the game, the Rangers trailed 2-0 before Messier setup Alexei Kovalev late in the second period. In what is now considered one of the greatest individual performances in sports history, Messier delivered a hat trick in the third period to give the Rangers a 4-2 win and send the series to a decisive seventh game. In that seventh game, a Brian Leetch goal midway through the second period stood until Valeri Zelepukin tied the game for the Devils by stuffing the puck under goaltender Mike Richter's pads with 7.7 seconds remaining in regulation. Matteau's second overtime winner would clinch the series for the Blueshirts, coming at 4:24 of the second overtime of Game 7.

The Stanley Cup Finals pitted the Rangers against the upstart Vancouver Canucks, who were the seventh seed in the Western Conference. After dropping Game 1, largely due to Canucks' goaltender Kirk McLean's 52 save performance, the Rangers won the next three games to take a commanding 3-1 series lead. The Rangers lost Game 5 in New York and then Game 6 in Vancouver forcing another seventh game at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers did not disappoint, using goals from Leetch, Graves, and Messier to seal a 3-2 victory and the Rangers first Cup in 54 years. Brian Leetch became the first American to win the Conn Smythe Trophy and Mark Messier became the first Rangers captain to hoist the Cup on Garden ice.

Recent Years

File:NYRteamphoto99.jpg
The 1998-99 Rangers pose with Gretzky after his last game.

The Rangers continued to be Cup favorites in the mid-to-late 1990s, even landing an aging Wayne Gretzky, but they would fizzle out. Their 1994 stars were aging and many retired or dropped off in performance. After General Manager Neil Smith ran Messier out of town in the summer of 1997 and failed in a bid to replace him with Avalanche superstar Joe Sakic, the Rangers began a streak of seven seasons (and counting) without making the playoffs.

In March 2000, Smith was fired along with head coach John Muckler, and that summer James Dolan hired Glen Sather to replace him. By 2001, the Rangers had landed a lot of star power. Theoren Fleury joined the Rangers after spending most of his career with the Calgary Flames. Eric Lindros joined the Rangers from the Philadelphia Flyers. They got Pavel Bure late in the 2001-02 season from the Florida Panthers. However, the Rangers still finished out of the playoffs despite having the league's highest payroll. Later years saw other stars such as Alexei Kovalev, Jaromir Jagr, Anson Carter and Bobby Holik added, but in 2002-03 and 2003-04, the team again missed the playoffs. Owners of the highest team payroll with numerous star players coupled with their consistent failure to make the post-season (7 seasons and counting) has earned the Rangers the honor of being the NHL's poster child for underachievers.

Towards the end of the 2003-04 season, Sather finally gave in to a rebuilding process, and traded away Leetch, Kovalev, and eight others for numerous prospects and draft picks. Bure is now an unrestricted free agent, while Lindros signed with the Maple Leafs prior to the 2005-06 season. Entering the post-lockout NHL, the Rangers have 6 players under contract, of whom only Jagr is expected to remain on the team.


The post lock-out Rangers, under new head coach Tom Renney, have seen the team move away from the high priced veterans for recent years towards a group of young talented players such as Petr Prucha, Dominic Moore and Blair Betts but the focus of the team remains superstar Jaromir Jagr. The Rangers were largely expected to struggle during 2005/06 but behind stellar performances by rookie goalie Henrick Lundqvist, the Rangers ended the first month on top of the Atlantic Division.

Notable players

Current squad

As of October 31, 2005 [1]

Goaltenders
Number Player Catches Acquired Place of Birth
30 Template:Flagicon Henrik Lundqvist L 2000 Åre, Sweden
80 Template:Flagicon Kevin Weekes L 2004 Toronto, Ontario
Defensemen
Number Player Shoots Acquired Place of Birth
3 Template:Flagicon Michal Rozsival R 2005 Vlašim, Czechoslovakia
6 Template:Flagicon Darius Kasparaitis - A L 2002 Elektrenai, U.S.S.R.
8 Template:Flagicon Marek Malik L 2005 Ostrava, Czechoslovakia
16 Template:Flagicon Tom Poti L 2002 Worcester, Massachusetts
24 Template:Flagicon Maxim Kondratiev L 2004 Tolyatti, U.S.S.R.
34 Template:Flagicon Jason Strudwick L 2004 Edmonton, Alberta
51 Template:Flagicon Fyodor Tyutin L 2001 Izhevsk, U.S.S.R.
Forwards
Number Player Shoots Positon Acquired Place of Birth
10 Template:Flagicon Ville Nieminen L RW/LW 2004 Tampere, Finland
14 Template:Flagicon Jason Ward R LW/RW 2005 Chapleau, Ontario
15 Template:Flagicon Jeff Taffe L C 2005 Hastings, Minnesota
17 Template:Flagicon Fedor Federov L LW 2005 Appatity, Russia
18 Template:Flagicon Dominic Moore L C 2000 Thornhill, Ontario
19 Template:Flagicon Blair Betts L C 2004 Edmonton, Alberta
20 Template:Flagicon Steve Rucchin - A L C 2005 Thunder Bay, Ontario
25 Template:Flagicon Petr Průcha R C 2005 Chrudim, Czechoslovakia
26 Template:Flagicon Martin Rucinsky L LW 2003 Most, Czechoslovakia
41 Template:Flagicon Jed Ortmeyer R RW/LW 2003 Omaha, Nebraska
68 Template:Flagicon Jaromir Jagr - A L RW 2004 Kladno, Czechoslovakia
81 Template:Flagicon Marcel Hossa L LW/RW 2005 Ilava, Czechoslovakia
82 Template:Flagicon Martin Straka L LW/RW 2005 Plzeň, Czechoslovakia
92 Template:Flagicon Michael Nylander L C 2004 Stockholm, Sweden

Hall of Famers


  • More than 20 others also played part of careers with Rangers

Team captains


Not to be forgotten


Retired Numbers

See also

References

McFarlane, Brian. (1997) The Rangers. Stoddart Publishing Co. Limited

External links

Template:NHL

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