Best post-lockout Ranger: Round 1, Nigel Dawes (8) vs. Martin Rucinsky (9)

July 16, 2013, by
Offseason tournament bracket.

Offseason tournament bracket.

As the offseason wears on, us and Matt Josephs of Blue Line Station (Twitter: 11Matt_Josephs8) will be running a tournament for the Best Ranger since the 2005 lockout. Today’s matchup is #8 Nigel Dawes vs. #9 Martin Rucinsky:

Nigel Dawes (Acquired – 2003 draft, round five)

Dawes has a special place in the hearts of Ranger fans. He was one of the first post-lockout homegrown players to make the team, getting his first cuppa in the 2006-2007 season before sticking with the big club for the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 seasons. In 121 games, Dawes put together a line of 25-24-49. Perhaps his most remembered goal is when he completely undressed Chris Pronger, then with the Ducks. Dawes’ days as a Ranger came to an end at the 2009 trade deadline, when he was shipped to Phoenix –along with Dmitri Kalinin and Petr Prucha– for defenseman Derek Morris.

Martin Rucinsky (Acquired – 2005 unrestricted free agent)

Rucinsky’s acquisition is a little bit tricky, as he had a few stints with the Rangers. In 2002, the Rangers acquired him and Roman Lyashenko from Dallas for Manny Malhotra and Barrett Heisten. After letting him go in free agency, the Rangers again traded for him in 2004, sending Martin Grenier and RJ Umberger to Vancouver. His contract expired after the lockout season, but Rucinsky re-signed for the one year after the lockout.

For the sake of this tournament, we are only going to focus on Rucinsky’s one season with the Rangers following the 2004-2005 lockout. In that 2005-2006 season, Rucinsky played in 52 games with the Rangers, putting up a line of 16-39-55. Rucinsky’s shining moment came when he flipped off Donald Brashear, which is still one of my favorite post-lockout moments.

So who do you think is the better Ranger, Dawes or Rucinsky? Vote thumbs up for the higher seed (Dawes), or thumbs down for the lower seed (Rucinsky). Voting ends at midnight tonight.

Categories : Offseason


  1. Dave says:

    Interesting voting pattern so far.

  2. Tim B says:

    Dawes was young. Also another stupid trade. Would love to see him on blue. Morris wasnt that good to me. he wasnt a Stralman or Moore. Whats does Dawes do now? Well he scores 4 goals a game in KHL. I see why Kalinin was traded. They needed to work with Prucha more. He could have been scoring 40-50 goals a season. Think about it. If Prucha were still here, would Gaborik and Nash ever have come to broadway? Would we have won a cup? He did lose consistency and wasnt scoring but with a playmaker (Richards) like Jagr and Straka feeding him the puck, he could be scoring like crazy. Imagine another sniper on the LW who needs a playmaker like Richards. It could be a deadly line. It was too soon to see Dawes go. Rucinsky was good though.

    • Dave says:

      Don’t quite see how you can call a trade stupid when none of the guys are in the NHL anymore.

      And 4 goals a game in the KHL? Where did you pull that from exactly? He has 36 goals in 103 games with Astana Barys.

      If Prucha was a 40-50 goal scorer, then he would be a 40-50 goal scorer. He scores less than Dawes in the KHL.

      Dude, separate emotions from facts.

      • Chris F says:

        Certainly, Prucha was never going to make Gaborik or Nash unnecessary acquisitions. However, I can see the point behind questioining dumping young talent like Prucha and Dawes for Morris. However, as you note, Dave, in retrospect neither of these talents ever really panned out to their potential. Perhaps, they were never properly developed by the Rangers organization. Maybe they were just over-hyped. They were certainly fan favorites during their time in NY. I didn’t like seeing them go at the time. Nevertheless, I vote Rucinsky.

        • Dave says:

          Perhaps they were both undersized and not strong enough to compete at this level.

          If you’re undersized, you need strength. St. Louis has it by the boatload. Try knocking him off the puck, it’s impossible.

      • Tim B says:

        Dawes set a KHL record in February of this year. It was in the playoffs. Fastest to score 4 in a row. And its the playoffs where there is alot of talent. Also Dawes played good with Dubi & Cally. The vid is on youtube.

        • Dave says:

          Yes, he scored 7 goals in 7 games in the playoffs. I’ll take the 36 over 103 games as a better reflection of how he’s performing.

  3. Brendan says:

    Lundqvist vs Girardi FTW

    • Dave says:

      You have him beating out Jagr? Interesting.

      • Chris F says:

        The way the brackets are structured, I don’t see how we can get a Final Four other than Lundqvist, Callahan, Jagr and Stepan.

        • Spozo says:

          I agree with your final 4. It will be interesting to see if that’s how it ends up

          I feel that Jagr has even greatly under appreciated for his play as a Ranger at this point in his career. The guy helped bring the organization back to respectability after the lockout.

          I was at the game last year at the Garden which was his first game back in New York since he left for Russia. I was really disappointed in the Garden crowd that they booed him every time he touched the puck.

        • Dave says:

          Wouldn’t shock me to see Girardi beat Jagr or Dubi beat Stepan/Staal. Avery/Prust could beat Jagr too. Kreider/Hagelin will be interesting too if Kreider beats Ortmeyer.

          • Chris F says:

            Wait… is this supposed to be a popularity contest?

            • Dave says:

              Isn’t voting always a popularity contest?

              It’s a contest for who you think the best Ranger is, based on the matchup.

      • Brendan says:

        I have Dan G over Jags because he is homegrown, played more games for NYR and is still on the team. I still give Jagr tons of credit for what he did, but my prediction for this contest stays the same.