New York Rangers

▪ American hockey team
      American professional ice hockey team based in New York City. One of the oldest teams in the National Hockey League (NHL), the Rangers play in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. The team has won the Stanley Cup, the NHL's championship trophy, four times (1928, 1933, 1940, 1994).

      Founded in New York by Tex Rickard (Rickard, Tex) in 1926 as an expansion franchise, the team was given its name by the New York press, which nicknamed it “Tex's Rangers” (a play on the phrase “Texas Rangers”). Rangers' home games have been played in Madison Square Garden (a new arena of the same name opened in 1968) since the team's founding. The Rangers were part of the “Original Six” (along with the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, and Chicago Blackhawks) that made up the NHL from 1942 until expansion in 1967.

 Assembled by the legendary Conn Smythe (Smythe, Conn) (whose name is associated with the trophy awarded to the best player in the Stanley Cup play-offs), the first Rangers teams were filled with future stars, such as Frank Boucher, Murray Murdoch, and the Cook brothers (Bun and Bill), and the team found early success under its first coach, Lester Patrick (see Patrick family), who on the eve of the team's first season replaced Smythe as manager-coach. The Rangers finished first in its division in its first season, and in its second year (1927–28) the team won the league championship by defeating the Montreal Maroons in a series in which coach (and former defenseman) Patrick replaced Lorne Chabot as the goalie midway through Game 2 when the latter suffered an eye injury; the Rangers thus became the first U.S.-based hockey team in the NHL to win the Stanley Cup. They would reach the Stanley Cup finals four more times by 1940, winning it twice (1932–33, 1939–40).

      The team had less success from the 1940s to the 1960s, when it often finished last in the six-team league and frequently missed the play-offs, despite the fact that four of the six teams made the play-offs each year. Beginning in the late 1960s the team experienced a resurgence, regularly making it into the postseason. In 1971–72 and 1978–79 the Rangers made the Stanley Cup finals, though it lost both times (in six games to the Boston Bruins in 1972 and in five games to the Montreal Canadiens in 1979). During the 1993–94 season, led by perennial all-star centre Mark Messier, defenseman Brian Leetch, left-winger Adam Graves, and goaltender Mike Richter, the Rangers captured its first Stanley Cup since 1940, defeating the Vancouver Canucks in seven games in the finals. Despite numerous expensive acquisitions and trades, including those of Wayne Gretzky (Gretzky, Wayne), Alexei Kovalev, and Jaromir Jagr (Jagr, Jaromir), the team has been unable to duplicate its Stanley Cup success since the 1994 season.

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Universalium. 2010.

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