Established in 1926, the New York Rangers hold the distinction of being one of the NHL’s original six teams. Over nine hundred players have dawned the iconic blue sweater since their inception and it’s pretty safe to say you can’t recall all of them, right?
Number 5- Mike Knuble
Mike Knuble started his career in 1991 when he was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings 76th overall. Once he finished his college career at the University of Michigan, he was assigned to the Adirondack Red Wings of the AHL, where he spent most of his Detroit tenure. In October of 1998, after just 62 games in Detroit, he was traded to the New York Rangers in exchange for a 2000 second round pick. Knuble played all of the 1998-99 season with the Rangers and most of the 1999-00 season as well before he was dealt to the Boston Bruins at the 2000 trade deadline for forward Rob DiMaio. He finished his 141 game stint in New York with 24 goals and 49 points.
Number 4- Lou Angotti
After a successful career with Michigan Tech in the early 1960’s, Angotti was signed by the New York Rangers in 1963. He was assigned to the Rochester Americans where he spent the first two seasons of his career. Angotti made the Rangers out of camp in 1964 and made an immediate impression with his speed, though failed to make an impact on the scoreboard, putting up just 17 points in 70 games. Half way through the the 1965-66 season, he was dealt to the Chicago Blackhawks for cash. Angotti later made history as the first ever captain of the Philadelphia Flyers.
Number 3- Donald Brashear
Brashear is known as one of the best and longest tenured enforcers in NHL history. He made his NHL debut in 1993 with the Canadiens and suited up for 1,025 games over the next 17 years. In the summer of 2009, the Washington Capitals opted to not re-sign the 37-year-old Brashear. After originally fielding offers from the KHL, Brashear signed a two-year deal with the New York Rangers. His time with the Rangers was unimpressive, racking up just a single assist and 73 penalty minutes in 36 games. After a month of being healthy scratched, he was demoted to the AHL where he would finish out the season with the Hartford Wolfpack. In the summer of 2010 he was traded from the Rangers to the Thrashers where he was bought out of the last year of his deal. He played a few more seasons in low-level leagues before finally calling it a career in 2014.
Number 2- Steve Rucchin
Best known for his decade-long stint with the Anaheim Ducks from 1994 to 2004, Steve Rucchin was traded for the first time as a result of the lockout. After the Ducks failed to follow up their run to the Stanley Cup in 2003, they were looking to shed some salary and veteran players after the Ducks were on course to miss the playoffs entirely. When the 2004-05 lockout ended, Rucchin was traded to the New York Rangers on August 23, 2005 in exchange for Trevor Gillies and a 2007 fourth round pick. He was named an alternate captain of the young Rangers roster and helped the blueshirts to a playoff berth in 2006. After the season, the Rangers opted to not re-sign Rucchin and he instead signed with the Atlanta Thrashers.
Number 1- Jari Kurri
Jari Kurri was the running mate of Wayne Gretzky during the Oilers dynasty of the 1980’s, where he won five Stanley Cups. After a contract dispute with the Oilers in 1990, he spent the season in Europe before being traded to the Kings the following season. He enjoyed four-and-a-half seasons in LA before he was traded to the New York Rangers on March 14, 1996 as part of a seven-man deal. Kurri played 14 regular season games and 11 playoff games with the Rangers, recording 13 points total, eight of those points coming in the playoffs. Kurri opted to not re-sign with the Rangers for the 1996-97 season, instead signing with the Anaheim Ducks to play alongside Teemu Selanne and Paul Kariya.
Known for his record setting tenure with the Flyers throughout the 1980’s, Tim Kerr finally parted ways with the city of Philadelphia in 1991. After a shoulder injury in 1987, Kerr was unable to re-find his early success and was left exposed at the 1991 expansion draft. San Jose selected Kerr ninth overall, though he was quickly dealt to the New York Rangers in exchange for Brian Mullen. He spent the 1991-92 season with the Rangers, though he only dressed for 32 games scoring 18 points.
Auld is best known for his early tenure with the Vancouver Canucks, though became a journeyman goaltender midway though his career, suiting up for seven different teams in five years. In the summer of 2009 he was traded from the Ottawa Senators to the Dallas Stars. Even though Auld started the season with the Stars, he was demoted to the AHL, but was claimed on re-entry waivers by the New York Rangers on February 27, 2010. He became one of four backup goalies to dress for the Rangers that season, though Henrik Lundqvist started 73 games that season. Auld dressed for just three games for the Rangers for the rest of the season, recording a 2.52 goals against average and .904 save percentage. The Rangers opted to not re-sign Auld in the summer and instead he signed a one year deal with the Canadiens.
by: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: newsday.com