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New York Rangers: Post Expansion Era MVRP


Vanflyer
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New York Rangers: Post Expansion Era MVRP  

10 members have voted

  1. 1. Select the the top 5 players:

    • Vic Hadfield
    • Mike Richter
    • Brian Leetch
    • Mark Messier
    • Tony Granato
      0
    • Wayne Gretzky
    • Tony Amonte
    • Doug Weight
    • Eric Lindros
    • Adam Graves
    • Petr' Nedved
    • Mike York
      0


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New York Rangers Team History:

Incepted in 1926, the Rangers are one of the original six teams in the NHL. The team experienced mixed success in the early years- having mediocre seasons and somewhat successful post seasons. From the inception to the expansion, the Rangers garnered 3 Stanley Cups and many playoff births. During that era, the at the time coach (Patrick Lester), had to play goal because of injuries in the net.

In the early era, Dave Kerr, Buddy O'Connor and Chuck Reyneyr were their superstars.

Dave Kerr: Goalie Dave Kerr becomes just the second hockey player to grace the cover of Time Magazine. The Rangers post a solid 27-15-6 record to finish in second place in the American Division.

Buddy O'Connor: With Buddy O'Connor capturing the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP the Rangers end a five year playoff drought by finishing in fourth Place with a 21-26-13 record.

Chuck Ryneyr: Riding the back of goalie Chuck Rayner who won the Hart Trophy with an impressive 2.62 GAA the Rangers get back into the playoffs by finishing in fourth place with a 28-31-11 record. In the playoffs the Rangers reached the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in ten years by dispatching the Montreal Canadiens in five games.

The post expansion era did not see the Rangers win a cup until 93-94.

In the post expansion era, there were some stand out players:

1) Vic Hadfield- Hadfield's best season was 1971–72. Named the team's captain after the trade of longtime captain Bob Nevin, he became the first Ranger - and only the sixth NHL player - to score 50 goals in a season, nearly doubling his previous best marks; with his linemates Ratelle and Gilbert, the GAG Line totalled 139 goals and 325 points en route to leading the team to the Stanley Cup Finals.

2) Mike Richter- The Rangers traded Vanbiesbrouck to the Vancouver Canucks before the 1993–94 season, and Richter had his first campaign as the team's number-one goaltender. He posted a career-best 42 wins and 2.57 goals-against average as the Rangers won the Presidents' Trophy as the league's top regular-season team for the second time in three years. He was also named Most Valuable Player of the NHL All-Star Game, which the Rangers hosted at Madison Square Garden that year. In the playoffs, he ramped up his play, becoming the eighth goaltender to post four shutouts in one playoff season. The Rangers reached the Stanley Cup Finals against the Canucks, and Richter earned a career highlight in Game 4, stopping Vancouver sniper Pavel Bure on a penalty shot. The Rangers defeated the Canucks in seven games to win their first Stanley Cup since 1940.

Over the next few years, Richter would be consistently ranked among the world's top goaltenders. He led the United States to victory in the 1996 World Cup of Hockey, with his efforts earning him tournament Most Valuable Player honors. Injuries plagued much of his career with everything from MCL sprains, ACL sprains and concussions. At some points they occurred together, but he worked hard to rehabilitate his injuries to always make the return to the ice.

3) Brian Leetch- As the Rangers slowly developed into a championship-caliber team, Leetch won increasing respect from fans for his quiet demeanor and entertaining, offensive-minded play. In 1992 he became the fifth defenseman in history, and the only American defenseman, to record 100 points in a season and was awarded the Norris Trophy. Leetch was the last NHL defenseman to record 100 points in a season. In 1994 he again matched his career high of 23 goals in the regular season as the Rangers won the Presidents Trophy. That year the Rangers' 54-year championship drought ended with a 7-game Stanley Cup victory over the Vancouver Canucks; Leetch became the first non-Canadian to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy, remaining the only American to win the award until the Boston Bruins' Tim Thomas in 2011 and the Los Angeles Kings' Jonathan Quick in 2012. He is only the second player in league history, the first and only non-Canadian, to win the Calder Trophy, the Norris Trophy and the Conn Smythe in their career. The only other player to do so was Bobby Orr.

4) Mark Messier- In his first season with the Rangers, Messier won his second Hart Trophy and guided the Rangers to the best record in the NHL. However, they were ousted in six games in the second round by the eventual champions Pittsburgh Penguins led by Mario Lemieux.

In 1992–93, the Rangers missed the playoffs and was the first time in Messier's career that he did not play in the postseason. After the season, Mike Keenan was hired as head coach.

In the 1993–94 NHL season, the Rangers rebounded to once again finish first overall, and this time were expected to win the Cup. After easily ousting the Islanders and Capitals in the first two rounds, the Rangers road to the Cup would get a lot harder.

Down 3–2 in the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals against the rival New Jersey Devils, Messier confronted the New York media and publicly guaranteed a Game 6 victory. With fans and players on both sides reading the news headline, it then became a feat comparable to Babe Ruth's called shot and Joe Namath's Super Bowl III guarantee, and backed it up by scoring a natural hat trick in the third period on an empty net goal with ESPN commentator Gary Thorne boasting, "Do you believe it?! Do you believe it?! He said we will win game six and he has just picked up the hat trick!" It helped the Rangers erase a two-goal deficit. The Rangers went on to win the series in a thrilling seventh game double overtime nail biter.

Then, in the Stanley Cup Finals, Messier scored the Cup winning goal in Game 7 at Madison Square Garden, giving the Rangers their first Stanley Cup in 54 years. He became the first (and to this date, the only) player to captain two different teams to the Stanley Cup, something his former teammate Wayne Gretzky couldn't do the year before, and provided two of the most memorable images of that Stanley Cup Finals. First, when the buzzer sounded he was jumping up and down with overwhelming emotion as ticker tape fell; fireworks burst and fans and teammates celebrated. The other, which would become an iconic image to the Rangers and their fans, taken by George Kalinsky, photographer at Madison Square Garden, showing incredible emotion as he accepted the Stanley Cup from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.[12][13][14] Finally, during the ticker-tape parade celebrating the Rangers' win, Rudy Giuliani, witnessing his first New York sports team championship victory just five months after becoming mayor, dubbed Messier "Mr. June," conjuring Reggie Jackson's "Mr. October" nickname.[15]

4) Tony Granato- In his first season in the NHL, the feisty right-winger scored 36 goals for the Rangers in 1988-89 and was named to the NHL all-rookie team. Halfway through the next season Granato was sent to the Los Angeles Kings along with Tomas Sandstrom for star centre Bernie Nicholls. As a King, Granato topped the 30-goal mark three times and helped the Kings reach the Stanley Cup final for the first time in franchise history in 1993. A member of Team USA at the 1991 Canada Cup tournament, Granato played five seasons with the Kings before signing as a free agent with the San Jose Sharks in the summer of 1996.

5) Wayne Gretzky- Gretzky ended his professional playing career with the New York Rangers, where he played his final three seasons and helped the team reach the Eastern Conference Finals in 1997.[93] The Rangers were defeated in the Conference Finals in five games by the Philadelphia Flyers, despite Gretzky leading the Rangers in the playoffs with 10 goals and 10 assists.[61] For the first time in his NHL career, Gretzky was not named captain,[94] although he briefly wore the captain's 'C' in 1998 when captain Brian Leetch was injured and out of the lineup.[95] After the 1996–97 season, Mark Messier signed a free agent contract with the Vancouver Canucks, ending the brief reunion of Messier and Gretzky after just one season.[96] The Rangers did not return to the playoffs during the remainder of Gretzky's career.[97]

6) Tony Amonte- Tony Amonte’s outstanding NHL career started on Broadway with the Rangers. The Blueshirts’ 4th round pick in the 1988 NHL Draft, Amonte made the Rangers in the 1991-92 season and quickly ended up on Mark Messier’s right wing. Amonte finished the season with 35 goals (one shy of the Rangers’ rookie record) and was nominated for the Calder Trophy. The Hingham, Massachusetts native followed his rookie year up with 33 goals and 76 points in the 1992-93 season. After struggling through the 1993-94 season, Amonte was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks at the trade deadline for Brian Noonan and Stephane Matteau.

7) Doug Weight- Doug Weight spent the first two seasons of his distinguished nineteen-year career with the Rangers. The Blueshirts’ second-round pick in the 1990 NHL Draft, Weight scored eight goals and totaled 30 points in 53 games during his rookie year in 1991-92. The next season, the 22-year-old was traded on March 17 to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for one of the key members of the 1994 Stanley Cup team, Esa Tikkanen.

8) Eric Lindros- Flyers GM Bobby Clarke eventually traded Lindros to the New York Rangers on August 20, 2001 for Jan Hlavac, Kim Johnsson, Pavel Brendl, and a 2003 3rd-round draft choice (Stefan Ruzicka). He would play the next three seasons in New York.

In 2001–02, Lindros averaged a little over a point a game with 37 goals and 36 assists for 73 points in 72 games. His impressive start also led to his seventh and final All-Star selection, but due to an injury he was unable to participate and was replaced by teammate Mike York. Though 2002–03 was the first injury-free season of his career, he struggled to match his previous season, only collecting 53 points in 81 games. In 2003–04, Lindros' eighth concussion limited him to just 39 games, though he did collect 32 points. He again became an unrestricted free agent after the season.

9) Adam Graves- That spring he cemented his popularity with the New York fans by playing a vital role in the team's first Stanley Cup championship in 54 years. That year he was also awarded the King Clancy Memorial Trophy for his work with charities. Although the Rangers' fortunes would wane over the next few years as they sank into mediocrity after the 1997–1998 NHL season, he remained one of the most popular players. In June 2001, after winning the Bill Masterton Trophy, he was traded to San Jose, where he finished his career.

Graves is now an instructor at the New York Rangers youth hockey camp.

Adam Graves won the NHL's most prized trophy and championship, The Stanley Cup, twice; in 1989–90 with the Edmonton Oilers and in 1993–94 with the New York Rangers. Graves also won a championship on the international level for his native Canada. In 1988 he was a member of the winning Canadian Junior team at the World Championships. In the tournament Graves recorded 5 goals in 7 games. He was also given the honor to captain the 1993 World Championships in Munich, Germany.

10) Petr Nedved'- Nedvěd's second stint in New York would be more successful than the first, and the six seasons he would spend with the Rangers would represent the most stable portion of his career. Although the team would struggle and miss the playoffs every year through this stretch, Nedvěd would be a consistent offensive performer, leading the Rangers in scoring twice and finishing second on another occasion. In 2000–01, playing with Jan Hlaváč and Radek Dvořák - a trio dubbed the 'Czech Mates' - he had the second-best season of his career, finishing with 32 goals and 78 points.

Honorable mention, Terry Sawchuk.

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Very nice work van...I could not vote for Gretzky as a Ranger, just could not bring myself to do it...it seems like he was not there long enough...BUT Messier is kinda in the same boat and I voted for him. Why? They were both part of long sustained cup drives, but Mess won it, and GUARANTEED it on top of it. Mess was the guy most responible for the 54 year drought ending...so I went with him. Adam Graves (Spitfire biased aside, lol) was very underrated during his career. In his hey day, probably the best two way playing scoring center of his time (Federov being excluded, although MUCH more physical than Sergi could ever dream of). Most forget he topped out at 50 goals in the cup winning season of 94-95, but also topped 30 4 other times, all this while playing killer defense.

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I agree with some of @jammer2's points there is no doubt some greats players on that list, but I wouldn't say their successes were in N.Y. Amonte's career was largely spent in Chicago, Lindros will go down as one of the greatest Flyers of all time, Gretzky I would say had his greatest years in Edmonton and merely finished his career in New York, and once again Weight's best years came after he was traded to Edmonton and not in New York. All great names, but I would be hard pressed to say great Rangers. So, for me my votes go to Brian Leetch a great leader and one of the greatest Americans and defensemen to ever play the game. I would also cast my vote to Messier who although, put up a lot of high numbers in Edmonton brought a glimmer of hope when he came New York and eventually a Stanley Cup. And he will forever be known for promising victory over the New Jersey Devils in '94 and delivery with a hat-trick.

Edited by It's a Canadian Game
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I'd have to second the notions of @jammer2 and @It's a Canadian Game (and it looks like my votes show it, too!). I might add Mike York to that list. He didn't have ridiculously high numbers, but he was a hard worker and and a HUGE penalty killer. Eddie Giacomin was a stud in net too! It's a little tricky to find post-expansion Rangers who didn't have more success elsewhere. So I doff my derby to you @Vanflyer for toughing it out! Nice job!

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They were both part of long sustained cup drives, but Mess won it, and GUARANTEED it on top of it.

Mess is one of my favorite hockey players. Skilled, nasty at the same time. Very Clarke-esque, but bigger and stonger.

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I agree with some of @jammer2's points there is no doubt some greats players on that list, but I wouldn't say their successes were in N.Y. Amonte's career was largely spent in Chicago, Lindros will go down as one of the greatest Flyers of all time, Gretzky I would say had his greatest years in Edmonton and merely finished his career in New York, and once again Weight's best years came after he was traded to Edmonton and not in New York. All great names, but I would be hard pressed to say great Rangers. So, for me my votes go to Brian Leetch a great leader and one of the greatest Americans and defensemen to ever play the game. I would also cast my vote to Messier who although, put up a lot of high numbers in Edmonton brought a glimmer of hope when he came New York and eventually a Stanley Cup. And he will forever be known for promising victory over the New Jersey Devils in '94 and delivery with a hat-trick.

I agree with everything you said- and was a bit lazy. But it is post-era and I think I listed the players post era there were the best of the best to put on a blue shirt regardless of duration. That said, who else would you put on the list. Under the rules, we can list 10 players, post era. I can not change it now, but it is good for the dialogue. Truthfully, I wanted to write more about the early guys- as it was much more intriguing. Also, I never knew the Rangers have only won 3 cups since inception (as an original 6 team). This is a pretty cool thing to do- as I learned more about the Rangers than before. I of course only authored a small portion, but I researched allot.

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Very nice work van...I could not vote for Gretzky as a Ranger, just could not bring myself to do it...it seems like he was not there long enough...BUT Messier is kinda in the same boat and I voted for him. Why? They were both part of long sustained cup drives, but Mess won it, and GUARANTEED it on top of it. Mess was the guy most responible for the 54 year drought ending...so I went with him. Adam Graves (Spitfire biased aside, lol) was very underrated during his career. In his hey day, probably the best two way playing scoring center of his time (Federov being excluded, although MUCH more physical than Sergi could ever dream of). Most forget he topped out at 50 goals in the cup winning season of 94-95, but also topped 30 4 other times, all this while playing killer defense.

It is an interesting thing to do, because it is Most Valuable Retired Player- by team.Maybe Idaho could post the contest rules the same as HF did for the summer contest. Post Era, I would have voted either Leetch or Richter. Messier play was great, but without Leetch or Richter it would have never have happened (maybe). Even as I write this, I am torn. Maybe we can figure a way for portable players in the contest. Ie. Messier was GREAT with the Oiliers and Lindros was GREAT with the Flyers, but Leetch and Richter were great with the Rangers as was Vic.

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I might add Mike York to that list.

For me it is hard to add a 3rd liner to the list. I respect the lunch pale guys, but I could not put York on my top list for the vote (aside from the Flyer fandom ccynicism about nachos). I am hoping you were making a joke, if not....say so! :-)

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@Vanflyer No it wasn't really a joke. A guy like York (nachos aside) was very much a workhorse, and, frankly, a "Valuable" players. Truthfully, I didn't research it too much myself, however, because of the mentions that other guys perhaps might be better on other teams' lists, I began to think about the question you asked Canadian Game....who else would I put up there?

York represents a class of guys that never give up. Too much heart and love for the game. Again, his numbers weren't topping any lists, but I suppose I'm biased to the "lunch pail" crowd simply because they AREN'T the superstars.

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@WingNut722 " York represents a class of guys that never give up. Too much heart and love for the game. Again, his numbers weren't topping any lists, but I suppose I'm biased to the "lunch pail" crowd simply because they AREN'T the superstars."

Really? I don't know about Mike with other teams, but when he was with the Flyers, he was widely critized for being lazy, out of shape and playing an overall lacklustrer game. First time I have ever heard him associated with hard work...lol.

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@Vanflyer yea man its nothing against you I was looking back and really besides the guys you mentioned, it doesn't seem like there have been tons of stars who had great careers playing in New York. Theyre a team that has had great players play in their organization, but never for very long. Enough to be known for their contributions to New York.

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York represents a class of guys that never give up. Too much heart and love for the game. Again, his numbers weren't topping any lists, but I suppose I'm biased to the "lunch pail" crowd simply because they AREN'T the superstars.

Interesting perspective. With York, I just can not get over my tainted perception of him in philly

@idahophilly is it reasonable to modify the poll after it has started as long as we are under the 15 player max??

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Theyre a team that has had great players play in their organization, but never for very long. Enough to be known for their contributions to New York.

I found that very interesting as well. I thought for sure they would have many more stars to choose from with longevity on the team. The other interesting fact that I did not know is that they only have one 3 stanley cups. That is very poor for an original 6 team.

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