Best post-lockout Ranger: Round 1, Blair Betts (7) vs. Marcel Hossa (10)

Ryan McDonagh won by a blowout yesterday.
Ryan McDonagh won by a blowout yesterday.

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. Yesterday we saw #3 Ryan McDonagh blow out #14 Mike Rupp. Today’s matchup is #7 Blair Betts vs. #10 Marcel Hossa:

Blair Betts (acquired – 2004 trade with Flames)

Betts became a Ranger during the 2004 fire sale, when the Rangers sent Chris Simon and a 7th round pick to Calgary for Betts, Greg Moore, and Jaime McLennan. Betts made the team outright in 2005-2006, and was one of the more steady players in the Tom Renney regime. All told, Betts missed just 23 games over four seasons with the Rangers, playing solid fourth line minutes while being a key penalty killer. Not known for his offense, Betts put together a line of 25-15-40 over those four years (305 games). Betts’ Ranger career came to an end with this cheap shot from Donald Brashear in the 2009 playoffs. To add insult to injury, the Rangers signed Brashear to a two-year contract that offseason.

Betts was one of those guys who fit under the less-aggressive Tom Renney, but didn’t have the footspeed to stick with a John Tortorella club. It is worth noting that Betts didn’t get a pro contract from any team during the offseason, and had to earn his place with the Flyers on a PTO. However, the Rangers have yet to find a fourth line center that could eat minutes since Betts wasn’t re-signed.

Marcel Hossa (acquired – 2005 trade with Canadiens)

The Rangers acquired the other Hossa from Montreal in exchange for Garth Murray, and Hossa’s career was defined by inconsistency. In his two full seasons with the Rangers, Hossa put together two ten goal seasons, with six and eight assists each. Hossa was one of those guys that bounced from the fourth line to the top line –with Jaromir Jagr– while the Rangers struggled to find offensive chemistry. The pairing with Jagr and Brandon Dubinsky was actually partially successful, as the line generally showed creativity, but it was short-lived as Renney’s line juggling to find offense continued. In the end, Hossa finished his two-and-a-half year Ranger career with a line of 21-21-42 in 164 games.

Hossa was eventually sent to Phoenix –with Al Montoya– for a package of Frederick Sjostrom, David LeNeveu, Josh Gratton, and a 5th round draft choice (Roman Horak). We all know Horak as the guy that got sent to Calgary in a deal for Tim Erixon. Erixon was later sent to Columbus in the Rick Nash trade. So in a way, acquiring Hossa led to landing Rick Nash. Scary, right?

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

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  • I liked Hossa and thought that had he been given more time on the top line with Jagr he could have found decent chemistry. With that being said…

    Betts wins this in a landslide. Even when Torts took over and he cut Betts’ minutes significantly, you could tell in interviews that Torts wished he didn’t feel like he needed too. Betts was a solid glue guy and a high-character locker room presence. Also, he is part of that bottom tier of character guys with the Jason Wards and Jason Strudwicks that helped turn the franchise around after the lockout. It’s one of the big reasons why fans have a warm spot for Betts.

    • He went to the Filadelphia Flyers, played well. I saw him alot with Danny Briere on the ice but i dont think they were linemates. Suffered an injury and (idk might be concussion), missed a year and a half. And wasnt given a contract last offseason. Its sad really. He was injured in the playoffs twice with the Rangers (once with Pittsburgh when puck bounced on the ice and cane up an hit him in the orbital bone breaking it) and the other against Washington (late hit by Brashear which be suffered another broken orbital bone and i think a concussion. He got hit too many times in the head area. Bad way to end a career. Ian Lapierrierre (if only i knew the spelling) was also a great defensive forward who blocked shots etc. He has permanent PCS from concussions due to the fact that he got hit in the face by too many pucks. But its part of hockey that i dont like.

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