The New York Rangers have had a lot of success in recent years. New York made it to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2012, then the Stanley Cup Final in 2014, and then back to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2015. 2016 was considered a down year as they made it to the playoffs, but lost in the first round to the eventual Stanley Cup champions. Still, in recent years the Rangers have relied on a slew of random players for small and large roles in aiding the team in making the strongest runs possible.
Sometimes their acquisitions are quiet contributors that fail to make a lot of noise then leave in free agency or trade, while other times they play major roles in limited time, being highly visible when they are there but not being highly visible once they leave. Regardless of the role or the amount of time they have played with the Rangers, there are certainly contributors that you do not remember from their tenures with the New York Rangers.
The National Hockey League is a busy league with teams constantly changing roles, so it's impossible to remember every player that served as valuable parts of teams that were able to make runs in their respective seasons. The Rangers are no different despite their runs going further than the majority of the teams in the league. Players have come and gone, but it's our job to make sure you don't forget about them all. Let's look at 15 players you've forgotten recently played for the Rangers.
15 Eric Staal
Eric Staal recently played his 1,000th game in the National Hockey League, a tremendous feat for any player. Nearly all of those games were played for the Carolina Hurricanes, though he currently holds a spot as a productive forward for the Western Conference contending Minnesota Wild. In fact, he recently scored a goal against the New York Rangers the game after facing his former team, the Hurricanes.
Staal was moved from the Hurricanes to the Rangers at the 2016 NHL Trade Deadline for a variety of assets, then went onto play a largely meaningless role for the Rangers as they went on to struggle through the remainder of the regular season and the playoffs. When all was done, Staal's tenure with the Rangers was extremely forgettable.
14 Roman Hamrlik
Roman Hamrlik played a huge role for the New York Islanders for a long stretch of time. Hamrlik was one of the top defensemen for the Islanders as they battled with the New York Rangers throughout the years, and even went onto play for the Washington Capitals to continue to try to terrorize the Rangers. Eventually, Hamrlik moved over to the dark side and joined the Rangers in their quest for the 2013 Stanley Cup Final. Hamrlik played 12 games down the stretch for the Rangers, playing in a largely meaningless role. He played in two postseason games as well, as the Rangers fell in the second round of the playoffs to the eventual Stanley Cup Final runner-up Boston Bruins. It was the last set of games in Hamrlik's NHL career.
13 Viktor Stalberg
It appeared as if Viktor Stalberg's National Hockey League career was nearing its end when he was waived by the Nashville Predators multiple times in the 2014-15 season. Yet the Rangers decided to sign Stalberg in hopes of infusing speed into their lineup and adding some depth to their lineup. Additionally, Stalberg gave the Rangers an additional option for the penalty kill, which was much needed at the time. Stalberg played a full season with the Rangers, being the recipient of a much talked about slash in the Rangers' first round playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Following his lone season with the Rangers, however, Stalberg signed with the Carolina Hurricanes and ended his short tenure with the Rangers for good. In short, he wasn't easy to recall.
12 Emerson Etem
We wouldn't be surprised if even Emerson Etem forgot that he played for the New York Rangers. Etem was the prize part of a package in return for Carl Hagelin back at the 2015 Draft. The Rangers traded their fan-favorite speedster in a deal for a package including Etem to try to make up for the loss on the depth chart. However, Etem never gelled with Rangers' coach Alain Vigneault, and earned a series of healthy scratches that led to him getting traded to the Vancouver Canucks in January of 2016 for Nicklas Jensen. Etem was expected to grow his game in the Big Apple, but instead failed to even score one goal in his time with the Rangers. Not quite what the Rangers were looking for.
11 Ryane Clowe
Ryane Clowe was part of one of the worst transactions in New York Rangers history. After scoring zero goals in the regular season for the San Jose Sharks, the Sharks earned a package of assets from the Rangers in a deal for the big-bodied winger. Clowe joined the Rangers and scored a pair of goals in his first game with the team, inspiring Rangers fans into thinking he could be a useful player for them for the short to even long term. Yet Clowe ended up playing fewer than 30 games for the Rangers, then failed to score a goal for New York in their short post-season run. he left as a free agent following the season, and his short and unmemorable Rangers career was over.
10 Arron Asham
One could argue that Arron Asham's New York Rangers career was actually memorable because he scored a few important playoff goals for the Rangers. One of those playoff goals was the game winning goal of the first round of the 2013 playoffs against the Washington Capitals. It was a Game 7 goal, the best kind of goal, and Asham wrote his name into the folklore of the Rangers with the shot past Capitals netminder Braden Holtby. Yet when push comes to shove, Asham's only notable contributions to the Rangers are a few goals here and there in the post-season. Asham will go down as a New York islander that happened to play a short stint with the New York Rangers for some time as well.
9 Benoit Pouliot
Much like Viktor Stalberg, Benoit Pouliot played one season with the New York Rangers. He was on the outskirts of his career, looking like he was going to lose his spot as a member of the National Hockey League. Yet Pouliot signed a make-good deal with the Rangers for one year, hoping to raise his stock back up. The move worked, as he joined a line with Mats Zuccarello and Derick Brassard, gelling from the beginning of the season to the end. He rode his success to a Stanley Cup Final goal, and then left the Rangers after they would not pony up for him for a new contract. He earned a nice chunk of change from the Edmonton Oilers in the ensuing offseason.
8 John Moore
John Moore actually played a nice chunk of games for the New York Rangers after being acquired alongside Derick Brassard and Derek Dorsett from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Marian Gaborik at the 2013 trade deadline. Much like Ryane Clowe, John Moore scored a goal in his first game with the Rangers, earning the respect of the Rangers faithful. Moore served as a third pair defenseman for the majority of the time he played for the Rangers, until they shipped him away. The Rangers moved Moore as part of the package for Keith Yandle, a major trade that the Rangers thought would be the last move to bring them to a Stanley Cup Final victory. In the end, Moore became a New Jersey Devil.
7 Anthony Duclair
For a while, Anthony Duclair was the top prospect of the New York Rangers' organization. Duclair lit up the New York Rangers' pre-season in 2015, eventually playing well enough to earn a spot on the Rangers' opening night roster. Duclair scored his first goal in the National Hockey League for the Rangers, scoring the game-tying goal in a thrilling affair against the Minnesota Wild in October of 2014. Much like John Moore, however, the Rangers eventually decided that Duclair was most valuable to them as trade-bait rather than as a player on their own team. Duclair was part of the package that brought Keith Yandle to the Rangers, and is now doing his best to make a career for himself with the Arizona Coyotes.
6 Ryan Malone
The 2015 New York Rangers won the Presidents Trophy, but that did not stop them from featuring a variety of random players throughout the season. One of those random players was Ryan Malone, fresh off a drug-related absence from the National Hockey League. The Rangers gave Malone a chance in the preseason, then promoted him to the NHlL during the regular season. Malone was given every chance to succeed with the Rangers, as he earned power play time on a team with a loaded power play already. Unfortunately for both sides Malone's tenure with the Rangers failed to work out, as Malone played limited time for New York before being waived from the team, and never reached the NHL again. Malone will go down as a former Tampa Bay Lightning player first and foremost when people think of him.
5 Lee Stempniak
One player that did work out for the 2015 New York Rangers was National Hockey League journeyman Lee Stempniak, who has bounced around the NHL more than nearly any player in the entire league, and the Rangers were no different. Stempniak signed with the Rangers late in the off-season, joining the club on a one year contract. However when the Rangers acquired James Sheppard at the 2015 NHL Trade Deadline, they decided they no longer needed Stempniak. Stempniak did not play the fourth line style of play that Alain Vigneault wanted him to, so the Rangers traded Stempniak to the Jets rather than icing a roster that the coach was not particularly a fan of. Stempniak played less than a full season with the Rangers.
4 John Mitchell
John Mitchell was one of the quietest acquisitions of the 2011 NHL trade deadline, being moved from the Toronto Maple Leafs to the New York Rangers for a minor asset. Mitchell was immediately moved down to the Connecticut Whale (now the Hartford Wolf Pack) by the Rangers, failing to even make the National Hockey League roster off the bat. However, the next year Mitchell moved up to the big league club and played over 50 games with the New York Rangers. Mitchell served as a bottom six center before leaving the Rangers in free agency, but his most important moment came in the playoffs against the Washington Capitals. His lone playoff point as a Ranger came when he won the face-off in game five against the Washington Capitals back to Marc Staal, who scored the overtime winner.
3 Daniel Carcillo
Daniel Carcillo scored some of the most important goals for the 2014 New York Rangers, but his Rangers tenure included under 50 games including both the regular season and the playoffs. Carcillo scored the game-winning goal for the Rangers in the Stadium Series game against the New York Islanders, then scored the game-winning goal against the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 7 of the first round playoff series. Carcillo did not return following the season, but Rangers fans will always remember him for his clutch goals, despite the rarity of them all. Carcillo also earned a major suspension in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Montreal Canadiens, making his name even more on the map at the time. Unfortunately, he's not quite that easy to remember anymore.
2 Stu Bickel
If you need one reason to believe why Stu Bickel is a highly forgettable former New York Ranger, consider this. Ryan McDonagh played over 50 minutes in the Rangers' triple overtime victory over the Washington Capitals in Game 3 of the second round of the 2012 playoffs. Stu Bickel, on the other hand, was tasked with playing just a bit over three minutes by John Tortorella. That means Bickel averaged under a minute per period while his players hustled throughout the contest to eventually win the game. If that doesn't wrap up Bickel's Rangers tenure properly, it's because you can't even remember that Bickel was on that roster at all. Be that as it may, Bickel did not have a role on the roster, but did own a spot.
1 Jarret Stoll
Jarret Stoll may be best for his relationship with Erin Andrews, or perhaps for winning a Stanley Cup during his tenure with the Los Angeles Kings. That Stanley Cup victory came against the New York Rangers, a team that would eventually give him his final chance in the National Hockey League. The Rangers gave Stoll a spot on the 2015-16 roster, letting him play 29 games on the team as a penalty-killing fourth liner. Unfortunately for Stoll and the Rangers, the center never worked out with the Rangers, scoring his lone goal for the Rangers against the Washington Capitals, then quietly being moved to the Minnesota Wild before never playing in the NHL again. Stoll's time with the Rangers is highly forgettable for even the biggest fans.