The All-Time Greatest New York Rangers at Every Position
In their 87 year history, the New York Rangers have had some remarkable players, including some of the best players in hockey history.
However, which players were the best at their respective position?
We'll break down the all-time greatest Rangers at every position.
Left Wing: Adam Graves
Adam Graves was a crucial player in the 1994 Stanley Cup season.
He scored 52 goals and had 27 assists in the regular season, then followed it up with 10 goals and seven assists in 23 postseason games.
Graves has the third-most goals in Rangers history with 280. He's 10th in points with 507.
Graves doesn't get the credit he deserves, and his career is often lost in the shadows of Mark Messier and Brian Leetch. But Graves was a key cog in the Cup victory and the best left wing in Rangers history.
Center: Mark Messier
The best captain in Rangers history, Mark Messier is one of the best players in hockey history.
He won a remarkable six Stanley Cups and is the only professional athlete to captain two different teams to victory.
He scored 694 goals in his illustrious career and had 1,993 assists, for a total of 1,887 points.
It's hard to put into words just how good he was. He had great speed, excellent size, was responsible in both ends and could deliver punishing hits.
Messier might be the best center in history (although I'm sure Mario Lemieux would beg to differ). Regardless, he is probably the most important Ranger ever. He took a team that had a 54-year curse and transformed them into a Cup winner. He scored important goal after important goal and willed the team to victory.
The Rangers have had some great captains in their history, and Ryan Callahan, their current captain, is a fine one. But it's hard to top Messier. He brought home a Stanley Cup in dramatic fashion. What more could you want?
Right Wing: Rod Gilbert
Rod Gilbert is not only the best right wing in Rangers history, he is also one of the best right wings in hockey history.
The Hall-of-Famer amassed 1,021 points in his career, a Rangers record. He scored 406 goals, the most in team history, and added 615 assists.
It's hard for younger fans to realize just how good he was. A member of the famous "GAG" line, Gilbert was simply unstoppable.
His number is retired in the rafters, and he's still involved with the organization.
Defense: Brian Leetch
Brian Leetch is one of the best defenseman to ever lace up the skates.
He scored 240 goals and added 741 assists, totaling 981 points, the second-most in Rangers history.
A measure of his talent and skill is revealed in the fact that the Rangers have not been able to replace him on the point since he left.
Leetch was a remarkable passer, with incredible vision and a bomb of a shot. He was the complete package, and his Conn Smythe victory in 1994 showed what he could do.
Goaltender: Henrik Lundqvist
Henrik Lundqvist will soon own every record for a goaltender in Rangers history.
He is 23 wins away from tying Mike Richter as the winningest goaltender in Rangers history and is three shutouts away from tying Eddie Giacomin for most shutouts in Rangers history.
Lundqvist has revitalized the Rangers after the first lockout, putting up a career 2.27 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage.
He does not have a Stanley Cup on his resume, and that's something that guys like Mike Richter do have.
But Lundqvist, for so many years, has carried the team on his back. He is the best goaltender in the world, early season struggles notwithstanding, and he, quite simply, made this team relevant again.
He will one day hold all the records and, hopefully for Rangers fans, will bring home a Stanley Cup. Regardless, he will end his career as the best Rangers goaltender in history.
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