Like the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks, the New York Rangers are part of the original six teams that makes up the start of the NHL. The other American based team is the Boston Bruins. There are two Canadian based teams as well. They are the Montreal Canadians and Toronto Maple Leafs. Like all those teams and many of the others, the Rangers have had talented players and Hall of Famers. All of which could be on their Mount Rushmore.
The Rangers share the state of New York with New York Islanders. Just like many cities that have two teams that are close to each other they do not like each other. While I was at a Tampa Bay Lightning vs New York Islanders game the Islanders fans said everything negative about the Rangers. I have also attended a game at Madison Square Garden between the Rangers and Islanders. Madison Square Garden is by far one of the best sporting venues on planet earth.
Messier is one of the most beloved New York Rangers players in their franchise. He was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in the 1979 NHL Draft. Messier played 10 years in a New York Ranger uniform. One of the major reasons he is so beloved is he was part of the last Stanley Cup the Rangers won in 1994. It had been 54 years in between the last time they won a Cup. Messier played 698 games with 691 points. He had 250 goals and 441 assists. Messier wore the captains C and was one of the best Rangers captains.
Leetch was drafted by the New York Rangers in 1986 in round one. He was drafted ninth overall in the NHL Entry Draft. Leetch played 17 seasons with the New York Rangers. It totaled out to be 1,129 games in New York. In all of those games, he totaled 981 points he had 240 goals and 741 assists. He finished his career at a plus 24 as a Ranger. Leetch was part of the great 1994 Stanley Cup win for New York which ended a long drought. He went down as one of the best defensemen in New York Rangers history.
Gilbert started his career with the New York Rangers in 1960. He was of those special players that played for one team his entire NHL career. Gilbert played 18 years for the Rangers. In those 18 years, he played 1,065 games totaling 1,021 points. Gilbert had 406 goals and 615 assists. He played his butt off but never helped the Rangers to a Stanley Cup. There were only four seasons that he didn’t play 70 or more games. He finished with a plus 38 rating. Gilbert was one of the better right-wingers for the New York Rangers.
Richter was drafted by the New York Rangers in 1985 in the second round. He was picked 28th overall. Richter was not only a top goaltender for the Rangers but in the NHL overall. He was part of many team USA hockey teams in the Olympics. Like Rod Gilbert Richter played his career in New York. Richter finished his career with a .904 saves average and 2.89 goals-against average. Like Leetch and Messier, Richter was also part of the 1994 Stanley Cup win. Many Rangers fans believe that Richter was one of the best goalies in their history.
The New York Rangers were part of the original six. The franchise has a great history. It also has many great players that I did not list. I believe in the end these four belong on their Mount Rushmore. Three of them helped end their long Stanley Cup drought. Gilbert was one that helps put the Rangers on the map. The organization is starting over and many believe they are not far away from being back in the run for a Stanley Cup.
Did I get the four players for the New York Rangers Mount Rushmore right? Leave a comment below.
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