With lockout hangover still in full effect, I figured it’s a good day for a “did you know” type of post. Below are all of the current NHL players who grew up in the Metropolitan Area. Like most of us fans, these guys started playing hockey as kids and worked their way up through the high school and local junior ranks before heading off to top-tier junior leagues, college and beyond.
Side note- I only picked kids who grew up in the area. People born here, but raised elsewhere (e.g., Bobby Ryan, Brandon Sutter, Tim Erixon, etc.) were not included.
Here is a breakdown by team:
Anaheim Ducks -Kyle Palmieri who grew up a Rangers fan in Montvale, NJ, cracked the Ducks lineup last year after dominating the AHL. The 21-year-old got his start in organized hockey at Sport-O-Rama in Rockland County, N.Y. and later played for the Devils’ under-16 junior team. Palmieri attended St. Peter’s Prep in Jersey City, where he led the team to the Non-Public State championship game as a sophomore. After that, he moved on to the U.S. National Team Development Program and later played for the Fighting Irish.
Dallas Stars –Eric Nystrom, a 6 year veteran forward, grew up in Syosset and attended Portledge School. He played for the New York Apple Core, a local tier III junior team based in Long Beach that competes in the EJHL. After a stint with the NYAC he left for the U.S. National Program and later played for the University of Michigan. Eric is the son of former NHLer Bob Nystrom who helped bring the Islanders their first Stanley Cup in 1980.
12/12/2001: Rangers trade Zdeno Ciger to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for Matthew Barnaby.
3/8/2004: Rangers trade Matthew Barnaby and a 3rd round pick in 2004 to the Colorado Avalanche for Chris McAllister, David Liffiton, and the #37 pick in 2004 (The #37 pick was initially Florida’s, and was traded to Colorado in 2003 with Peter Worrell for Eric Messier and Vaclav Nedorost).
6/26/2004: New York Rangers draft Al Montoya with the sixth overall pick.
6/26/2004: Rangers trade the #37 pick in 2004 to the Florida Panthers for the #50 pick and the #73 pick (the #50 pick was originally Dallas’ pick for compensation for not signing free agent Derian Hatcher, and was traded to Florida in a deal for Valeri Bure) Read more »
After all the Rick Nash hullabaloo has now calmed down, here’s the final part of the greatest European Rangers series. It’s subjective and meant for debate and how much one man’s opinion truly matters is really open for debate. Some players like Ulf Samuelsson and Radek Dvorak don’t make the debate, some people may disagree but that’s the beauty of lists like this. Anyway, enjoy. (part one and part two are here).
The hugely popular Jan Erixon was a one club man in the NHL, representing the Rangers over 550 times during his ten season stop in New York. Unfortunately for Erixon he went back to Sweden before the Rangers cup season. Although not offensively outstanding (just 216 points and 57 goals) Erixon was known as a character player and a defensive specialist.
While some of the Ranger clubs Erixon played on boasted Mark Messier, Amonte, Gartner, Graves, Zubov and of course Brian Leetch Erixon was still a key player that did the dirty work for the offensive stars to thrive. If the Rangers win the cup in the 2012/13 season the Erixon family will have an unfortunate claim to fame with recently traded Tim and Jan both leaving the organisation directly before cup winning seasons.
Having arrived in New York after the lock out following an underwhelming (at best) season with the Kings and Penguins, Straka became a great free agent find for the Rangers. Straka, along with Michael Nylander and Jaromir Jagr was a key part of the Rangers return to competitiveness after the lock out. Like some of the other Europeans we’ve discussed Straka wasn’t the longest tenured of Rangers’ but with 187 points in 224 games and two seasons where he averaged a point per game in the playoffs with New York, Straka’s impact was both unexpected and undeniable.
This info was sent to me last week. Since I was moving this past weekend, I could not get to posting it until now. Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist is hosting a new youth instructional hockey camp in the New York area, and it sounds like a great event.
Join New York Rangers goaltender and 2012 Vezina Trophy winner Henrik Lundqvist for hockey instruction and fun at the 2012 Henrik Lundqvist Hockey ProCamp.
Open to boys and girls ages 7-15, the two-day event is August 25-26 with two sessions split by age: 8:30 AM-12:00 PM for ages 7-10 and 1:00 PM – 4:30 PM for ages 11-15 at Brewster Ice Arena.
Lundqvist will be on site the entire camp to direct camp activities, provide instruction and give daily talks highlighting the finer points of the game of hockey and beyond. He will be joined by a selection of the top prep and collegiate coaches from the New York area.
During the first post discussing the best European Rangers of all time we discussed a couple of Scandinavian wingers, and the great Jaromir Jagr. We also discussed a certain Swedish goalie that may well end up as the greatest Ranger ever, period. Let’s take a look at a few more great Europeans who lit up Broadway.
I’m old enough to remember Zubov traded and for many Rangers fans it’s still a painful memory. Zubov won a Cup in New York – as a home grown Ranger – and was a dynamic offensive weapon and for those reasons Zubov’s Ranger tenure should be fondly remembered. People forget that during the cup winning season of 1994 Zubov led the Rangers in scoring during the regular season with 89 points, an unthinkable total for a blueliner today. An in-his-prime Zubov would command obscene amounts of dollars from clubs in the current NHL era.
You could make a valid argument that 165 games as a Ranger isn’t enough to be in this discussion but when you average almost a point/game as a blueliner (156 points/165 games) in the regular season and grab 30 in 32 playoff games, including 19 in 22 during the Cup season, the impact is undeniable. Another draft steal (5th round, 1990), his trade to Pittsburgh still hurts.
When Kevin wrote his review of I’d Trade Him Again, it got me thinking about the time I spent reading Barry Meisel’s book Losing the Edge: The Rise and Fall of the Stanley Cup Champion New York Rangers, which takes a behind the scenes look at how the 1994 Stanley Cup Champion Rangers were built and destroyed in a little over one calendar year.
The book begins with how the Rangers came to hire Mike Keenan, and how then-GM Neil Smith knew that Keenan was the only man that could bring the Rangers to the Promised Land. Meisel has some great quotes and detailed stories of the behind the scenes of how Smith convinced his bosses that Keenan was the only man for the job, despite numerous other qualified coaches that were available.
Meisel then details how the Steve Larmer trade came to fruition, and how Smith realized the trade was a big win for his team. He was able to nab Larmer for what Smith said were “spare parts that wouldn’t be part of a championship run, a late first round pick, and a prospect with no future with the organization.” That quote there really illustrates how GMs view trades when they are made, and really struck me as interesting. Think of how many fans were in love with James Patrick and Darren Turcotte.