Brian Leetch and the 12 Best Defensemen in New York Rangers History

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Brian Leetch and the 12 Best Defensemen in New York Rangers History
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

The New York Rangers, one of the Original Six franchises of the NHL, have had their fair share of legendary skaters and goaltenders grace their lineup throughout the decades. Rod Gilbert, Phil Esposito, Mark Messier, Ed Giacomin, Vic Hadfield, Mike Richter, Jaromir Jagr, the list is truly long and distinguished.

Among these greats, of course, have been defensemen that have stood apart for their talents as either stay-at-home specialists or as masters of the two-way game. They have been captains of their teams, Conn Smythe trophy winners and, in some cases, true legends for their exploits on the ice.

We are taking a moment today to honor these defensemen to remind fans of the team and of hockey in general of their accomplishments and the talents they were and are.

To provide some context, it should be noted that tenure with the team or in the league as a whole is not a consideration for inclusion on this list. Talent, pedigree and production, both demonstrated and projected, are the primary considerations. We are recognizing special players, the kind that will and should be remembered beyond their active professional careers.

Here then, is our list.

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