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The season before the 2004-05 lockout was one of the worst in Rangers history.
They had the highest payroll in the league, but finished with just 69 points, which was good for 13th in the Eastern Conference.
This led to one of the biggest firesales in team history, as New York traded away Brian Leetch, Petr Nedved and Martin Rucinsky, among others.
It is true that this season laid the foundation for the post-lockout success the Rangers enjoyed. The club traded for Jaromir Jagr before the season was out and the draft picks it acquired in the trades paid dividends later on.
During the season, however, fans were not thinking that way. Instead, they saw the miserable on-ice play and trade of a legend in Leetch. Those are not fun things to witness.