Ranking the 5 Most Beloved Figures in New York Rangers History

Jeremy Fuchs@@jaf78Correspondent IIIAugust 7, 2013

Ranking the 5 Most Beloved Figures in New York Rangers History

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    The New York Rangers have a storied history.

    It's been filled with tremendous players and moments, as well as downright bitter disappointments. Of course, only a few have really stood out, not only for their talent, but also for their contributions to the team.

    The players on this list have made remarkable, memorable contributions to the Rangers and are constantly mentioned amongst fans as the most beloved players in history. 

    There are many plausible candidates, but only five will make the list. 

    Who are the five most beloved figures in New York Rangers history? Read on to find out.

5. Adam Graves

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    Adam Graves represents the hard-working gritty attitude that New Yorkers love. A talented scorer on the ice as well as a major force in the community, Graves is beloved by all Rangers fans.

    He scored 329 goals in his career and was the alternate captain when the Rangers won the Stanley Cup in 1994.

    In addition, Graves serves as the special assistant with the Rangers' Prospect Development and Community Relations, where he plays a major role for the Garden of Dreams Foundation.

    He was honored in 2009 when his number was retired. It was well deserved. He was one of the most memorable players in Rangers history, and certainly one of the most beloved. 

4. Mike Richter

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    Mike Richter is one of the best Americans to ever play in net. He's also one of the best Rangers goalies of all time. 

    He had 301 wins and a career 2.89 goals-against average. 

    Richter backstopped the Rangers to their legendary and memorable 1994 Stanley Cup. In that postseason, he posted a remarkable 2.07 GAA.

    His number was retired in 2004, and he will forever be remembered for his remarkable saves. He's one of the best players in Rangers history. 

3. Henrik Lundqvist

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    The only current player on this list, Henrik Lundqvist has taken New York by storm.

    He has 276 career wins and a career 2.25 goals-against average. He helped take a mediocre team and turn them into perennial contenders. 

    Without Lundqvist's heroics, the Rangers would be just a pedestrian team. He constantly elevates the team, almost single-handedly beating the Washington Capitals in the first round of last year's playoffs.

    One day, his number will be retired. Until then, he will continue to hear chants of "Henrik! Henrik!" blasting down from the stands.

    When his career is over, he may wind up as the most beloved Ranger of all time. 

2. Brian Leetch

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    Brian Leetch is not only the best defenseman in Rangers history, but he is also one of the best to ever play in the NHL.

    He scored 240 goals with the Rangers, capturing two Norris Trophies. He was also the Conn Smythe winner in 1994.

    Leetch's number was retired in 2008, and he was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009.

    He was an offensive force from the blue line, and the Rangers have not been able to replace him since he retired.

    Leetch's skill on the power play is desperately needed. And while he won't be suiting up anytime soon, the memories of his play will continue to remain strong for Rangers fans. 

1. Mark Messier

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    Mark Messier is one of the best players in hockey history, and he is certainly the most beloved figure in Rangers history.

    Messier helped deliver a Stanley Cup to New York, inspiring the team with his play and leadership.

    He is one of the best captains in any sport, and his performance in the 1994 postseason was magical.

    Down 3-2 to the New Jersey Devils, Messier guaranteed a win in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Not only did they win, but he scored a hat trick as well.

    As the ultimate leader and one of the best players ever, Messier will continue to be the most beloved Ranger to ever lace up the skates.