Established in 1926, the Big Apple's NHL franchise has generated a storied past and a timeline that entails all-time great hockey players donning that of a New York Rangers sweater.
Hockey Hall Of Fame players such as Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier and Brian Leetch are just a few examples of skaters among a list of all-time greats who dressed for the Broadway Blueshirts.
Still, there are plenty of notable mistakes that the Garden faithful can point its finger towards on that same historic timeline and list of forgettable players who once called Madison Square Garden "home." Playing a professional sport and working for a team's front office in the world's biggest market involves tremendous amounts of pressure to not only achieve personal success, but to construct a championship caliber organization too; which can lead to impulsive decisions.
A majority of the mistakes referred to above are in relation to overpaid unrestricted-free-agents and skaters who were acquired undoubtedly out of their prime playing days on the ice. Yet, some New York fans may be able to recall a few players who more than likely couldn't handle that pressure of playing hockey in the city that never sleeps.
Here are the top 15 worst New York Rangers players of all time.
15 Chris Drury
Sure, there was never a moment NHL or New York fans could question forward Chris Drury's passion for the game of hockey, but sadly his time playing for the New York Rangers was one that could be labeled as underachieving.
14 Tom Poti
Defenseman Tom Poti was acquired from the Edmonton Oilers by the New York Rangers at the 2002 NHL Trade Deadline in exchange for forward Mike York. There was hope that Poti would end up being half as good as Hockey Hall Of Famer Brian Leetch was, but that dream never came true for New York.
13 Donald Brashear
Every NHL fan remembers the enforcer and forward Donald Brashear, but not everyone may be able to recall that Brashear wore a New York Rangers sweater at one point. The 6-foot-3 fighter was signed in 2009-10 to a two-year-contract, which was worth almost $3 million.
12 Mikael Samuelsson
Yes, believe it or not, forward Mikael Samuelsson was once a New York Ranger. After being drafted by the San Jose Sharks during the fifth round of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, the Swedish forward was acquired by the New York Rangers in 2001-02.
11 Dan Girardi
Dan Girardi burst onto the scene as a fan favorite when the defenseman entered the league in 2006-07. The American born d-man went onto have a string of six more good years with the club, which included a run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2014. General manager Glenn Sather later signed his cherished defenseman to six-year contract-extension worth $33 million during the spring of 2014. Did I mention Girardi was already portraying signs of slowing down, and was also 30 years old when he received his gift from Sather?
10 Darius Kasparaitis
During the summer of 2002, the New York Rangers inked an arch-nemesis of theirs when the club signed forward Darius Kasparaitis. The Czech Republic native had been an enforcer and grinder for the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins prior to joining the Blueshirts.
9 Matt Cullen
Center Matt Cullen was signed by the New York Rangers to a four-year-contract during the 2006 offseason, after the veteran had just won a Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes. The Rangers and general manager Glen Sather were hoping Cullen could establish an admirable leadership role with the team, and also see an increase in his production on the stat sheet.
8 Valeri Kamensky
Valeri Kamensky had established a solid NHL career while skating for both the Quebec Nordiques and Colorado Avalanche from 1991-1999. However, the Russian born forward was then acquired by the New York Rangers in 1999-00, and Kamensky was clearly not a fit for the Big Apple.
7 Mike Dunham
After New York Rangers starting netminder Mike Richter was sidelined with a season ending injury during the early stages of the 2002-03 regular season the Rangers acquired goaltender Mike Dunham from the Nashville Predators. The former New Jersey Devils masked man proved to be one of the more positive highlights of the team for the remainder of that season, but Dunham's second season with New York was a different story.
6 Alex Kovalev
Yes, Alex Kovalev is one of the best Russian goal scorers to skate in the NHL, but his two tenures with the New York Rangers are sub-par in comparison to the Russian's play with other clubs such as the Pittsburgh Penguins and Montreal Canadiens.
In Kovalev's first six NHL seasons with the Rangers, the sniper typically averaged around 50 points. Yet, when the original Kovy was traded to the Penguins in exchange for Petr Nedved in 1999, his number noticeably increased. The former first-round draft-pick, 15th overall, never lived up to his All-Star caliber potential while playing in the Big Apple with the Rangers.
5 Jamie Lundmark
In parts of three seasons, while dressing in over 100 games for the New York Rangers, Jamie Lundmark totaled just 30 points with the Rangers. Lundmark was drafted during the first-round and ninth-overall during the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, and after an impressive stint with the AHL's Hartford Wolf Pack the Edmonton native quickly flirted with the term "bust" during his rookie NHL season in 2002-03.
4 Wade Redden
New York Rangers fans always smile and shake their heads when they hear or see the name "Wade Redden," and the grin isn't for a good reason either. Defenseman Wade Redden had a solid career NHL career with the Ottawa Senators prior to being acquired by New York in 2008. And, at the age of 31, Redden's career clearly took a toll for the worse when he donned an Original Six sweater in New York.
3 Eric Lindros
A 2016 Hockey Hall Of Fame inductee, Eric Lindros was traded from the Philadelphia Flyers to the New York Rangers during the 2001 offseason, and it would have seemed that Lindros would turn out to be a productive player for New York -- if he could stay healthy.
After an impressive first season with the Broadway Blueshirts, while recording 73 points in 72 games played, Lindros failed to replicate his success in year two of a four-year contract extension worth $37-plus million. The former Hart Memorial Trophy winner (1995) played in his first injury-free season in 2002-03 with the Rangers, but managed to only post 53 points in 81 games.
2 Bobby Holik
July 1, 2002 marked a day in which New York Rangers fans rejoiced, as former New Jersey Devils center and two-time Stanley Cup champion Bobby Holik crossed the Hudson River to sign a long-term deal with the Broadway Blue Shirts. The days of Holik haunting the Garden faithful appeared to be over...that was until Holik continued to haunt the club by not living up to his five-year contract, which was worth $45 million.
1 Manny Malhotra
Drafted by the New York Rangers in the first round and seventh overall at the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, center Manny Malhotra had both high praise and expectations entering his rookie season in the Big Apple (1998-99). Yet, Malhotra goes down as the worst New York Rangers player of all time.
The Mississauga, Ontario native was supposed to be an offensive powerhouse for the Broadway Blueshirts and help jump start the Rangers back to the promise land. However, the polar opposite outcome took place. During Malhotra's three seasons the former first-round-pick only produced a total of 28 points in 150 games played. The center panned out to be nothing more than a third or fourth line center, but Malhotra found a way to stick around in the NHL as he officially retired in early September of 2016.
He managed to play parts of four seasons with New York, and went onto to play for the Dallas Stars, Columbus Blue Jackets, Vancouver Canucks, Carolina Hurricanes and Montreal Canadiens.
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