As time passes, and we avidly follow our favorite sports teams, a multitude of players come and go. While we may recall them during their time with the team, some slip through the crevices of our memory, only to resurface through a nostalgic memory or an old piece of media, causing us to reconnect their faces and names with the iconic Rangers uniform.
Among the hallowed names like Messier, Leetch, Giacomin, Lundqvist, and others, there are those more unknown Rangers, such as Andrew Yogan, Chris Holt, Al Montoya, and others who may have faded from our recollection. As we traverse the regular season, we’ll delve into a few of these “Forgotten Rangers” On this edition, we feature a goalie who went to a Cup final but not with New York and a defenseman who you probably couldn’t pull from a crowd of people.
Jussi Markkanen, Goaltender
Time with Rangers: 26 games in 2003-04
In the ever-changing landscape of Rangers’ goaltenders before Henrik Lundqvist’s era, one name that stands out for me is Jussi Markkanen. He made his NHL debut with the Oilers in the 2001-02 season, netting a 6-4-2 record. The following season, he played 22 games before his rights were traded to the New York Rangers in exchange for the rights to Brian Leetch, who would ultimately re-sign with the Rangers.
However, Markkanen’s tenure in New York was brief, lasting less than a full season. He participated in just 26 games before being traded, along with Petr Nedved, back to Edmonton. There, he served as the backup to Dwayne Roloson and made key contributions during the 2006 Stanley Cup run for the Oilers. In Game Six of the 2006 Stanley Cup Final in Edmonton, Markkanen delivered a memorable performance by stopping all 16 shots from the Carolina Hurricanes, securing his first career playoff shutout. Although this victory propelled the Oilers to Game 7, they ultimately fell to the Hurricanes by a score of 3-1 in the decisive game.
Markkanen eventually concluded his career overseas after the 2006-07 season, playing for teams in the KHL, NLA in Switzerland, and Liiga in Finland. His playing career came to a close after the 2017-18 Liiga season, with him appearing in nine games for SaiPa. Upon retiring, Markkanen took on the role of the General Manager for the Liiga club.
Bryce Lampman, Defenseman
Time with Rangers: 10 games over 3 seasons (03-07), 5 seasons with Hartford
My recollection of the Rangers’ obscure players from the “Dark Ages” era is usually quite sharp, but this particular individual had me second-guessing myself. This player is the definition of obscure. He did indeed wear the Rangers jersey, making him a technically eligible addition to this list of players.
Lampman, the 113th overall pick in the 2001 Entry Draft by the Rangers, spent most of his professional career with the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, despite getting a taste of the NHL with ten games under his belt. Across these ten games, his contributions amounted to a mere two penalty minutes and zero points on the scoreboard.
Following a journey that took him from tryouts to St. Louis, stints in the AHL, a detour to Russia, and even a stint in Germany, Lampman made his way to the Florida Everblades shortly after. Following an eight-game stint with the Everblades during the 2013–14 season, Lampman made his way back to Europe, wrapping up his 12-year professional hockey career by joining the Norwegian club, Lørenskog IK, in the GET-ligaen.