The New York Rangers last won the Stanley Cup in 1994. That feels like a long, long time ago. Since then, the Yankees have won five World Series, the Giants have won two Super Bowls and the Devils have won (exasperated sigh) three Stanley Cups.
While it's not quite as bad as the 54 year drought that followed from 1940, it's not good. Fortunately, 1994 isn't easily chant-able.
But this Rangers team is different from the glorious 1994 version that marched to a Stanley Cup title behind Messier, Leetch, Richter and Matteau-Matteau-Matteau. This Rangers team is a different model than what has come before.
Instead of signing aging, ineffective veterans like Luc Robitaille, Wayne Gretzky, Eric Lindros, Theo Fleury, Pavel Bure, Bobby Holik or Brendan Shanahan, this team has been stocked with young, talented, hard-nosed players imbued with a team-first dynamic.
These Rangers look prepared to compete at the top of the NHL for years to come. But they're going to start by bringing home a Stanley Cup this year. Aside from rookie sensation Chris Kreider, whom I wrote about yesterday, here's the top five reasons why will be champs.