Wednesday, January 20, 2021

All-Time Teams: Rangers

Well, friends, we made it. I know we've all been waiting a long, long time for this day - especially my fellow Americans - but it's finally here!

Here's the all-time roster for the New York Rangers:

The Rangers famously ended a 54-year Stanley Cup drought with their last championship in 1994. They were finalists 20 years later, losing a five-games series to the Los Angeles Kings in 2014.

1st Line

Left Wing - Vic Hadfield The first player to post a 50-goal season in Rangers history, Hadfield's career total of 262 goals for the Blueshirts is the fifth-highest in franchise history. He led the NHL with 151 penalty minutes in 1963-64 and his career total of 1,041 ranks him fifth in Rangers history on that list. Hadfield is ninth in team annals with 841 games played and 572 points.

- Jean Ratelle Hall of Famer played parts of 16 seasons for the Rangers before a blockbuster trade sent him to Boston in 1975. Two-time Lady Byng trophy winner was a point-a-game player over his 21-year career. Ratelle ranks second in Rangers history with 336 goals and his 817 total points for the team are third in franchise annals.

Right Wing - Rod Gilbert The Rangers' all-time leading scorer with 406 goals and 1,021 points, Rod Gilbert played his entire Hall of Fame career in New York. The eight-time All-Star set career highs with 43 goals and 97 points in 1971-72, leading the Rangers to the Stanley Cup final. He won the Masterton trophy after his fifth 30-goal season in 1976.

2nd Line

Left Wing
- Adam Graves Two-time Stanley Cup champion set the Rangers' single-season record (since broken) with 52 goals in 1993-94, a year in which he won the King Clancy trophy in addition to the Cup. Ranks third on New York's all-time list with 280 goals and fourth with 100 power play goals. Won the Masterton trophy in 2001, his final year with the Rangers.

Center - Frank Boucher An original Ranger, Hall of Famer Frank Boucher led the team to Stanley Cup victories in 1928 and 1933. The seven-time Lady Byng trophy winner for clean play rarely missed a game in his first eleven seasons with the team. Boucher led the NHL in assists three times and would be the Rangers' all-time leading scorer had he maintained his 0.78 points per game average over a modern 82-game schedule. He served as head coach of the Rangers for eleven seasons, directing the team to a Stanley Cup victory in 1940.

Right Wing - Bill Cook The first (and longest-serving) captain in Rangers history, Hall of Famer Bill Cook remains the Rangers' record-holder with nine hat tricks. The two-time Stanley Cup winner is tenth in franchise history with 228 goals, including a league-leading 33 (in 44 games) in 1926-27. Cook finished second in MVP voting that season and again in 1932-33, when he led the NHL in points and led the Rangers to their second Stanley Cup.

3rd Line

Left Wing - Steve Vickers The Rangers' first round pick in 1971, Steve Vickers won the Calder trophy in 1973 with 30 goals and a career-high +35 rating. He ranks ninth in franchise history with 340 assists, eighth in goals with 246, and eighth in points with 586. Steve's 19.2 shooting percentage is the fourth best in Blueshirts' annals.

- Walt Tkaczuk German-born Walt Tkaczuk played his entire 14-year career with the New York Rangers. A valuable two-way centerman for two Stanley Cup finalist squads, Walt is the Rangers' all-time leader in plus/minus with a +184 rating. He ranks fifth in franchise history with 945 games played and 451 assists, and his 678 points are sixth in team annals.

Right Wing - Andy Bathgate Durable forward spend the first twelve seasons of his Hall of Fame career in New York, where he won the Hart trophy in 1959 and led the NHL in assists and points in 1961-62. In 1964 Bathgate was traded to Toronto, where he would win a Stanley Cup that spring. His goals, assists, and points totals for the Rangers are all the fourth-highest in franchise history.

4th Line

Left Wing - Don Maloney A five-time 20+ goal-scorer early in his career, Don Maloney set a postseason rookie record with 20 points (including a league-leading 13 assists) en route to the 1979 Stanley Cup final. His 502 regular season points for the Rangers are eleventh in team annals, and only two players in the storied history of the Rangers have registered more short-handed goals.

- Camille Henry A power play specialist for the Rangers in his dozen years with the team, Camille Henry is the franchise record holder with 116 man-advantage markers. The 1954 Calder trophy winner scored 20 of his 24 goals that season on the power play, the first of three times in which he led the league. Henry's 21.2 shooting percentage is second to Ulf Nilsson in franchise history, and he ranks sixth in Blueshirts' annals with 256 total goals. 

Right Wing - Bryan Hextall Hall of Famer Bryan Hextall Sr. posted seven 20+ goal seasons for the Rangers from 1939 to 1947, twice leading the league. The leading scorer of the 1940 Stanley Cup champs, Hextall is eighth in Rangers history with 160 even-strength goals and his 187 total goals rank 13th in team annals. Tomas Sandstrom and Anders Hedberg were also considered.


Spares - Derek Stepan
, Dean Prentice

Currently an Ottawa Senator, Derek Stepan is sixth in Rangers history with a career +109 plus/minus rating. Five of his six 50+ point seasons were registered with the Rangers, where he helped the club reach the 2014 Stanley Cup final. Prentice ranks 14th in goals and points among all Ranger players and eleventh among forwards. His 148 even-strength goals are tenth in team history.

Defense Pair 1

Brian Leetch - Harry Howell

Hall of Famer Brian Leetch won two Norris trophies, a Calder trophy, a Conn Smythe trophy, and a Stanley Cup in his 17 seasons on Broadway. The Rangers' all-time leader in assists, defensive point shares and offensive point shares, Leetch is second in Blueshirts' annals with 981 points. Howell is the franchise leader in games played and a close second to Leetch with 54.9 defensive point shares. The Hall of Fame rearguard played 24 professional seasons, earning seven All-Star nods and the Norris trophy in 1967. 

Defense Pair 2

Brad Park - Ron Greschner

Brad Park began his Hall of Fame career in New York, where he racked up 378 points in 465 games before being sent to Boston with Ratelle in the blockbuster Phil Esposito trade. While his 0.83 points per game as a Bruin was slightly better than his 0.81 PPG as a Ranger, there was no room for him in the Bruins' top two defense pairs. The seven-time Norris trophy runner-up won the Masterton trophy in 1984. Greschner ranks seventh in Rangers history with 431 assists, 610 points, and 45 defensive point shares. His 981 games played for New York are the fourth-highest total in team history.

Defense Pair 3

James Patrick - Ching Johnson

Patrick ranks third in Rangers history with 188 power play assists and his 363 total helpers are eighth in team annals. Despite posting five 50+ point seasons including a career-high 71 points in 1991-92, Patrick was never named an NHL All-Star. Hall of Famer Ching Johnson was the Blueshirts' top blueliner in the 1930s, winning two Stanley Cups with the team. He ranks eighth in franchise history with 826 penalty minutes. Jim Neilson and Ott Heller were also considered.


Spare - Ryan McDonagh

A first round pick of the Canadiens in 2007, Ryan McDonagh has been part of a playoff team in every one of his ten NHL seasons. The leading postseason scorer of the 2014 Stanley Cup finalists ranks fourth in Rangers history with a career plus/minus rating of +141. McDonagh was named captain of the Rangers the following year, and the team has not named a successor since his departure to Tampa in 2018.


Starter - Henrik Lundqvist

Backup - Mike Richter

New York's all-time leader in point shares with 173.3, Henrik Lundqvist is sixth in NHL history with 459 wins and holds Rangers' records for wins, shutouts, and games played in goal. "King" Henrik has been a Vezina finalist five times (including his rookie season) and won the award in 2012. A heart condition detected shortly after he signed with the Washington Capitals has put his future Hall of Famer career on pause. Richter is one of the most accomplished goaltenders in US history, backstopping the Rangers to a Stanley Cup victory 1994 and Team USA's victory over Canada in the 1996 World Cup. Ed Giacomin was strongly considered and the Hall of Famer's numbers compare favorably to Richter's. Perhaps I should follow my own advice and look at the numbers - what say you, Ranger fans?

Head Coach: Emile Francis  Captain: Bill Cook

Emile Francis has the highest winning percentage of any head coach in Rangers history and transformed the team from bottom feeder to Stanley Cup finalist over his ten years in New York. Lester Patrick won two Stanley Cups with the Rangers and has a trophy named after him, but I'm going with the Rangers' all-time leader in regular season and postseason wins behind the bench.


I hope you'll join us tomorrow for our next All-Time Team, the Ottawa Senators.


Thanks for reading!







  1. It's not easy being a Ranger fan sometimes. My father is 80 years old, he's been a Ranger fan his whole life, and in that time they've won ONE Cup. But we love them anyway.

    The whole top line, Tkaczuk, Park, and especially Vickers--these were the heroes of my youth. They never quite made it to the Cup finals, but they gave us some great times. It's weird that in comparison there are only three guys from the Cup team in 1994, but that shows how much that team featured guys who were already established elsewhere.

    As for Richter and Giacomin, it's strange not to have them both, but clearly the King needs to be first. I think I'd agree with your choice, because Richter was there for the Cup, and he was really key to it. I was in Madison Square Garden when he made the save on Pavel Bure's penalty shot in Game 4 of the Finals--it's not that exciting, the game was in Vancouver, but they opened the Garden for people to watch the big screen--and it was one of the great moments in team history, the one moment in that series that felt like the big turning point.

    1. That's awesome, I bet the Garden was a great place to be, even if the game wasn't right in front of you.

      Of the '94 cup winners, Messier was the hardest one to leave off the this roster. Zubov had to be a Star, Larmer had to be a 'hawk and Kovalev is somewhere in limbo at the moment, lol.

  2. I'm not impressed.

    Greschner was married to Carol Alt though.

  3. I wouldn't call myself a Rangers fan, but I did like that Leetch and Richter both played on Team USA... and seeing them wear red, white, and blue on the Rangers.

  4. The only New York-based team from baseball/football/hockey that I don't dislike in some fashion. I don't know why that is.

  5. During the short time I watched the NHL during the latter half of the 2016-17 season,they became my favorite team by a wide margin... unfortunately the team is run very poorly so I don't expect to see them win the Cup anytime soon, but I'll never stop hoping. The real early guys are missing from my collection - Boucher, Hextall and Johnson - but all the names are familiar to me. I just got my first Bill Cook card last week. I still don't have any of the 1965-66 set, which is a shame as it's my favorite design of the decade. Even worse, it's the only 60s set I don't have, although with an asterisk, and two of them are still in COMC's hands.

    1. After wasting way too much time searching I learned that there just aren't many Bryan Hextall cards to speak of.

      Hope you get your stuff from COMC soon.

  6. At the end of the 86-87 season I was pulling for the rangers - for marcel dionne's sake. Don't think I've rooted for them since.

  7. Living on Long Island but not really a hockey fan I kind of rooted for the Islanders, but my allegiances were so weak that I switched to the Rangers during their Stanley Cup run, which was the most fun I had watching hockey and the one time I really got into it. I got a Rangers Stanley Cup t-shirt that summer; to this day that shirt gets far more comments from strangers than any other shirt I own. I guess now they are halfway to another 54-year Cup drought.

  8. Wow, that first forward line and first defense pairing are super high quality. Made to play on Broadway, you might say. And with that goaltending tandem, this team is pretty solid.

    I still think the Islanders all-time team beats this team in a best-of-seven series, though ;-)

  9. It's interesting to me that this team is nearly all if not all players who are retired or no longer with the club. Makes me wonder if with the passage of time Zibanejad or Panarin could eventually earn a spot on this team...

  10. Enjoyed this. I'm a very casual, fair-weather Rangers fan, so I don't know a lot of these names.