The 5 Best New York Rangers of the 1990s

Jeremy Fuchs@@jaf78Correspondent IIINovember 6, 2013

The 5 Best New York Rangers of the 1990s

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    The New York Rangers had an up-and-down 1990s.

    They won the Stanley Cup in 1994, but the latter half of the decade saw expensive acquisitions and few results.

    There were a number of fantastic players, including Hall of Famers, who put on the Rangers blue in this decade. Only five of them, however, can be considered the best. To be considered the best of the decade, they not only have to put up big numbers, but they also have to provide significant contributions to the team.

    Which players made the cut? Read on to find out. 

5. Mike Gartner

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    Mike Gartner put up huge numbers for the Rangers in the '90s.

    Gartner played parts of five seasons for the Rangers in the '90s, amassing 179 goals in 322 games. And while he did not win a Stanley Cup with the Rangers or in his career, there are few wingers with his pure speed.

    He was traded in 1994 to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Glenn Anderson, who scored three goals in the Stanley Cup run. 

    Despite that, Gartner's contributions to the Rangers cannot go unnoticed. He was a star and put on great performances for the team. 

4. Adam Graves

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    Adam Graves was essential to the Rangers in the '90s.

    He scored 270 goals for the team in the decade, including 52 in 1993-94. In their Stanley Cup run of 1994, he scored 10 goals and added seven assists.

    Without him, the Rangers may have not won their Stanley Cup. 

    Quite simply, Graves is one of the best players in Rangers history. He is third in team history in goals scored and 10th in points.

    He remains an integral part of the organization, serving as the special assistant with Prospect Development and Community Relations. 

3. Mike Richter

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    Mike Richter is one of the best goaltenders in Rangers history.

    Richter had 206 wins in the decade, but he really shone bright in the 1994 postseason. He had four shutouts, a 2.07 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage.

    His best moment was, of course, stopping Pavel Bure's penalty shot in the Stanley Cup. 

    Richter's number is retired in the rafters. He battled injuries, but he was still vital to the team's success. 

2. Mark Messier

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    Mark Messier is the captain. Not much more needs to be said.

    He willed the team to a Stanley Cup victory in 1994, guaranteeing triumph and posting a remarkable 30 points in 23 postseason games. 

    Messier scored 183 goals in the decade, and his play makes him a legendary Ranger. He helped to end the curse. He was, without a doubt, one of the most important players in Rangers history. 

1. Brian Leetch

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    Mark Messier may have been the most important Ranger in the '90s, but Brian Leetch was by far the best.

    He scored 158 goals in the decade, which is fantastic for a defenseman, and had an outstanding 489 assists.

    Leetch was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1994 and won the Norris Trophy in 1992. 

    He may actually be the best player in Rangers history. Few players in league history have been able to match his combination of offensive wizardry and defensive prowess.