The top 50; and season previews


Happy October. We’ll do some season preview stuff  Thursday and Friday. Maybe you guys want to start out with your predictions for the Patrick Division (I’ll always call it that) standings, or where the Rangers will finish in the East, or who will win the other divisions.

I’m heading to practice for a second day in a row — hooray! — and hope to have some news in the afternoon. I want to make sure Marian Gaborik didn’t get hurt carrying Madonna on Letterman.  Then I have to write my preview for the paper, and will post some preview stuff here, too.

In the meantime, here’s the top 50 from the book “100 Ranger Greats” as promised:

50: Jeff Beukeboom.
49: Ron Duguay.
48: Gilles Villemure.
47: Walter (Babe) Pratt.
46: Sergei Nemchinov.
45: Butch Keeling.
44: James Patrick.
43: Bill Fairbairn.
42: Jim Neilson.
41: Rod Seiling.
40: Alexei Kovalev.
39: Murray Murdoch.
38: Buddy O’Connor.
37: Dean Prentice.
36: Anders Hedberg.
35: Clint Smith.
34: Dave Maloney.
33: Cecil Dill0n.
32: Don Raleigh.
31: John Vanbiesbrouck.
30: Art Coulter.
29: Bun Cook.
28: Ivan (Ching) Johnson.
27: Lynn Patrick.
26: Don Maloney.
25: Ott Heller.
24: Edgar Laprade.
23: Phil Esposito.
22: Neil Colville.
21: Camille Henry.
20: Vic Hadfield.
19: Davey Kerr.
18: Steve Vickers.
17: Lorne (Gump) Worsley.
16: Chuck Rayner.
15: Bryan Hextall Sr.
14: Walt Tkaczuk.
13: Adam Graves.
12: Ron Greschner.
11: Brad Park.
10: Harry Howell.
9: Frank Boucher.
8: Andy Bathgate.
7: Jean Ratelle.
6. Ed Giacomin.
5. Bill Cook.
4. Mark Messier.
3. Mike Richter.
2. Rod Gilbert.
1. Brian Leetch.

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  1. wow, lotta guys on the top 50 from the 20s-40s…did john halligan see them play?

    still trying to wrap my head around carol vadnais being ranked higher than jagr, lundqvist, gretzky and gartner

  2. I would have liked to have seen gravey higher, but i liked the fact that nemchinov made the top 50! Can’t believe ulfie didn’t make the list the other night!!!

  3. cook, ratelle and boucher the only ones in the top 10 without their numbers retired…it really is a shame that there’s not much in the garden that references the rangers’ early days, something involving lester patrick, davey kerr, john ross roach, the cooks, ching johnson, hextall, boucher, etc….

    people seem to forget the franchise got off to a great start in the pre-world war II era with three cups in the first twelve years and a few finals appearances to boot

  4. Not a fan of letterman already, but it’s set up on the DVR (it’s not on until like 0100hrs here)!!!

  5. why can’t we trade rozy and lisin to detroit for holmstrom…..sorry, pipe dream on my part!!!

  6. Cool. Brian Leetch did make it to #1. Somebody I actually remember watching play is the best, and well-deserved.

    East prediction:
    1. Capitals – solid forwards, Varlamov/Theodore tandem nice
    2. Penguins – can’t make it to the top in regular season
    3. Bruins – will start slow, Thomas falls back a bit
    4. Devils – How do they do it? Brodeur is back
    5. Rangers – Gaborik, Lundqvist, and Staal lead the crew
    6. Senators – rid of Heatley, counting on Leclaire and Kovalev
    7. Hurricanes – just have a feeling Ward will do well
    8. Panthers – young players are coming around
    9. Sabres – Miller not quite strong enough, but Olympics starter
    10. Lightning – still unproven in net and on defense
    11. Flyers – goaltending issues and too many “depth” players
    12. Canadiens – what a traveshamockery; midgets on top line
    13. Maple Leafs – just toughness won’t make the playoffs
    14. Islanders – more decent goalies than proven good forwards
    15. Thrashers – hope they play well early and Kovalchuk signs

  7. Carp makes the blog headlines on time, mussolini made the trains run on time! I’m not comparing…I’m just saying!!!!!

  8. i’d actually switch Richter and Leetch. Richter put several teams on his shoulders with his play. and if it wasn’t for that one-in-a-million shot off his noggin’ he probably would have done the same for several more seasons.

    as far as Leetch, as great as he was, his last couple of years he was trying to do too much and it was just not working for him or the team.

    don’t get me wrong, love ’em both, and i was not happy with how Brian got traded, but i think Richter really held it all down to the very end.

  9. 4Generations and only 4Cups

    SSSR ha! i like the way you spelled it! The way it actually sounds in Russian.

    and I’m on both clocks… Carp and Rangers… working extra hard!

  10. The fact that Sergei Nemchinov and Alexei Kovalev are ranked higher than Jagr makes this list completely useless..

    I know they were both important players on the ’94 team, but Jagr did more in 3 and half years for the Rangers than Kovalev and Nemchinov combined..

  11. 10 Rangers appeared on Letterman last night to help with his Top 10 List.

    The jokes I thought were terrible but to see the guys struggling to utter them was great. Lets Go Rangers !

    Rangers Do Top 10 On David Letterman :

  12. Hey guys,

    Off topic but I run a hockey simulation league that has several rangers fans and many hockey fans.

    Use the waiting list to sign up if interested.

    When you need a hockey fix this does the trick. Year round hockey, full farm and pro team.

    LGR!!! 8)

  13. Dugauy and Patrick are waaay too high on this list. Murdoch shouldn’t even be in the top 100 and Esposito should be dropped like 50 spots for the horrible job he did as GM.

    Don’t diss the two Sergei’s and two Alexei’s; they all won the Cup.

    Rangers finish 6th overall and go to the second round of the playoffs which was their status quo in the early 90s.

    This year is all about the younger guys stepping up, and the rookies getting their feet wet.

  14. bull dog line on

    Patrick, and Hedberg should both be higher. Dave Maloney, and Don Maloney ranked 2 high. They were solid players, but were not as good as Patrick, and Hedberg.

  15. bull dog line on

    As far as Kovalev and Jagr, Kovalev actually came through in big spots. Jagr, not so much.

  16. onecupin69yearsand counting on

    I have to place Bathgate ahead of Gilbert, Bathgate was a complete player, passer, scorer and he could fight.

    leading a team in goals and assists doesn’t always define a players greatness.
    I would take Bathgate, Hadfield,Vickers and Ratelle ahead of Gilbert.

  17. Ugh. That was painful. Glad I didn’t stay up to watch it. How can Gaborik read English better than the North Americans on the team?!

  18. The fact that Graves is 13th is a joke! Hes by far at least top 10. Gaborik will be making the list when he breaks Jagr’s goal scoring record this year.

  19. Plenty of different opinions over the last few days, but most of us agreed that Leetch should be #1. Well, he is. Someone mentioned that Kovalev shouldn’t be higher than Jagr. Only if you started to follow the team after the lockout.
    Graves should’ve been a bit higher. Like #9, I think. But what makes Graves unique is that he probably doesn’t care.

  20. The only switch in the top 10 is I would put Mess 3rd ahead of Richter, not only for his play, but for the attitude he brought to the team. I think Espo deserves a higher ranking as he also brought a winning attitude to the Rangers, and I know the trade was not popular at the time. As for Richter being ahead of Leetch, you’ve got to be kidding!!! I love Ricky, but there were times when Ricky had his lapses, and I remember him being benched in ’95 for Heatly for awhile when he was playing badly. You can’t fault Leetch for doing too much his last 2 years when he was arguably the best defenseman overall in the league fro the 10 prior years. Those teams stunk the last couple of years he was there.

    Rangers are a funny team. If everyone stays healthy, this team could be as good as third, but if Gaborek and others get hurt (and Hank has post Olympic letdown), then this team could miss the playoffs. I’ll split the difference and say they finish 6th, but make it to the conference finals if they are healthy. Wash wins cup, beating SJ (who finally makes it to the finals)

  21. hey, i thought brash, gabby, and hank were the best. “what this team really needs is a skating kitty”!!! thats for you laurel!! cally really sounded like a robot and he had one of the shortest ones. damn he must be camera shy or something.
    wick- glad i made you laugh! semenov will be played against all the big tough teams so no worries for hank buddy. until rozy is on the ice. and redden better start hitting guys if hes not gonna score or skate hard. i agree with gatti. the list is kinda like, who gives a crap, but some people like that kinda stuff. im sure the book is a good read if u dont know the history of alot of the older generation players.

  22. Glad I didn’t stay up for that….That list sucked…Only 2 funny ones.
    Dancing kitty? work for an insurance company? for luck I lick the puck?



  23. I was too sick, slept all night, to see Letterman. The top 10 list really blows and he should have dropped it years ago. I guess I’ll look for it on youtube.

  24. Carp –

    Very interesting having Leetch as 1 – I am sure more will comment on that particular order of 1 to 5. I out Richter as 1 – – –

    I want to continue the thread on Brash for a moment – if and when he is actually accepted by the Ranger faithful ( and that is a big IF) do you really think that Torts will put up with his first boneheaded hit that will cost the Rangers points? Seriously, if some people think that Broudeau told Brash to hit Betts, then you have to believe that he is merely a foot-soldier for the team. That logic is faulty – time after time, Brash has proven that he in fact acts on his own instincts – regardless of what it will cost his team. He in fact has stated that several times over his career (whether he is told to say that or not is another matter)

    He has lasted 15 years in the NHL – that says something. For me, having him on this team is still a mistake – I dont like the fit, I have not seen anything in pre-season that would change my mind – and when he hits the ice, I will boo if he is the same old Brash –

  25. I think Richter above Mess makes total sense. I wish Graves was Higher, but considering who he is behind, it makes sense.

    In a side note, I am out in Phoenix for work (which is why i haven’t been around for a few days) and The judge denied both Balsillie’s and the NHL’s bids to buy the Coyotes.

    However, I only know that from THE INTERNET – Local news didn’t carry it at 5PM OR at 11pm.
    I spoke to 50+ people who live here and they have NEVER seen a Coyotes game. About thirty of those 50 have lived here their whole lives.

    The Rink is in Glendale – a 45 minute drive (in good traffic) outside Phoenix in Glendale.
    I cannot believe the NHL is trying to keep this team here.
    They sell out the Arena for the WNBA Mercury games which is in Downtown Phoenix – which is in an area like wall street – everything shuts down at night – and they sell out all the time I’m told.

    People here just hate hockey, didn’t know Gretzky was the coach or that he stepped down OR the rigamarole with the team.

    I’m gonna have to watch the opening nite game on the internet because NONE of the bars here even carry NHL Center Ice.

    I CANNNOT wait to get back to NYC where people love hockey and can’t wait for the season to start like I do.


  26. Sweet my boy JP got in the top 50. along with Nemchinov my favorite russian player of all time

  27. THE REAL MikeyNJ on

    Jsut saw last night on the free NHl package comcast has before the season starts, these were interesting facts

    -12 teams have never won the stanley cup

    -The Blackhwaks havent won a cup in 47 years

    -Flyers havent won a cup in 34 years

    -Boston hasnt won a cup in I think they said 30 years

    All these stats really made me feel alot better!

    LEts go Rangers!!

  28. onecupin69yearsand counting on

    Instead of being on Letterman, they should have been working on their power play.

  29. Happy New Year everyone!!!! This is such an exciting time in New York sports. Yankees win he east, jets and giants undefeated, and the Rangers are back!!!! Fall time is the best. The rangers are def getting the 5th or 6h seed and will have to play Boston in the first round. Then we will advance to the second round and most likely have to play the caps or penguins. I don’t think we win either of those games. But IFFFF we do were going to the cup. Trust that.

  30. Mikey, Boston’s last was 1972.

    Good morning, Sally!

    Tyree, I agree about James Patrick. Very underrated. Too bad Keenan didn’t want him around … and probably didn’t need him with Leetch and Zubov. And I think Espo, based on his six seasons, was way too high.

    Seriously, could you imagine if one of the Rangers slipped and twisted an ankle or worse carrying Madonna around? Imagine if it was Gaborik?!

  31. morning all! haven’t been around for a couple days due to moving to a new house. Missed everyone. Can’t wait for tomorrow night, however, no cable yet at the new place… gotta listen on the radio.

  32. Seriously, could you imagine if one of the Rangers slipped and twisted an ankle or worse carrying Madonna around?


    I was worried about an eye getting poked out…

  33. The way she’s built, Madonna could be our crease clearing hard hitting physical d man. Oh and Carp, thanks alot, I’m still trying to get over 1972.

  34. where;s Jagr? I know he wasnt here long but the best single season goals and points has to count for something.

  35. where;s Jagr? I know he wasnt here long but the best single season goals and points has to count for something.



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