Michael Nylander’s exceptional skill and speed made him a key player for the Rangers during two of their best seasons post-lockout. Primarily a center, Nylander provided strong play down the middle with his speed and playmaking abilities.

Nylander joined the New York Rangers for the 2005-06 season, frequently playing alongside right-winger Jaromir Jagr and Martin Straka. He centered the first line and led the first power play unit. Statistically, Nylander had his best season, helping the Rangers reach 100 points for the first time since 1994.

Over his two seasons in New York, Nylander amassed 49 goals and 113 assists, totaling 162 points with Jágr and Straka by his side. The Nylander-Jágr-Straka line proved to be one of the most productive and offensively potent lines in recent Rangers history.

On April 8, 2006, following a 4-3 overtime victory against the Boston Bruins, Nylander was interviewed by NBC’s Pierre McGuire. During the interview, he inadvertently used profanity while discussing his past relationship with McGuire in Hartford.

Despite the lack of a 5-second delay, NBC’s Bill Clement and the crew issued an immediate apology. Nylander had scored the game-winning goal in overtime. The incident did not lead to any action from the National Hockey League or the Federal Communications Commission.

Nylander left New York after the 2006-07 season and signed with the Washington Capitals, where he played until 2009 before retiring shortly thereafter. Albeit short, Nylander’s tenure here is notable as it coincided with not only the unification of one of the better lines in team history but also the franchise’s emergence back into the postseason after a huge drought.

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