The 5 Most Painful Seasons in New York Rangers History

Jeremy Fuchs@@jaf78Correspondent IIIOctober 21, 2013

The 5 Most Painful Seasons in New York Rangers History

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    Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

    The New York Rangers have been in operation since 1926 and there have been plenty of memorable moments.

    Of course, in that time span, there have also been a number of painful seasons that fans want to forget. What are the five most painful seasons in New York Rangers history?

    Read on to find out.

1. 1943-44

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    Lester Patrick.
    Lester Patrick.

    In the 1943-44 season, the New York Rangers recorded just 17 points. That's right, 17 points.

    The Rangers had six wins and five ties in 50 games. They scored just 162 goals while allowing a whopping 310.

    Bryan Hextall was the leading scorer with 21 goals and 54 points, but he was about the only bright spot on this team.

    17 points remains the lowest total in franchise history. 

2. 2003-04

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    Dave Sandford/Getty Images

    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.

3. 1959-60

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    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    The Rangers had 49 points and finished in last place in this lowly season. 

    They had just 17 wins and conceded 247 goals. They were coached by three different men in an attempt to get something going. They failed.

    Andy Bathgate led the team in scoring with 74 points and Dean Prentice was an All-Star. Prentice scored 32 goals and had 34 assists.

    Those were the two only bright spots on this team, which was painful to watch.

4. 1975-76

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    Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

    The Rangers finished with 67 points this season, giving up a dreadful 333 goals.

    Rod Gilbert had a terrific season, putting up 86 points.

    However, the team went through two coaches as well as general managers and traded away legends Jean Ratelle and Brad Park to the hated Boston Bruins, which didn't really work out too well.

    The player sent to the Rangers in exchange was Phil Esposito, who put up good numbers but was not the same player he was in Boston. 

    It would be one thing if the trade had worked out, but giving away such legendary players and still finishing with 67 points is not what the team had in mind. 

5. 1997-98

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    Denis Brodeur/Getty Images

    This was the first time the Rangers failed to qualify for the postseason since winning the Stanley Cup in 1994.

    Led by Wayne Gretzky, the team amassed 68 points and allowed 231 goals.

    Gretzky was tied for the lead in goals with 23a number he shared with Brian Leetch, Alexei Kovalev and Pat LaFontaine.

    Mike Richter had an abnormally high 2.66 goals-against average and Colin Campbell was replaced by John Muckler behind the bench.

    This was the beginning of an era in which the Rangers overpaid for aging players. They didn't return to the postseason until 2005-06.