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01-20-2012, 11:59 AM
  #60
Giacomin
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I love the fans who talk about the 70,s Rangers teams without ever experiencing them and act like they have a good handle on those teams.
In 1970 and 1972 the Rangers just couldn,t get over the hump. Then they lost a 7 game series to the Flyers who were Stanley Cup champs and had overtaken the Rangers in the East. On top of that you had the Islanders getting much better and eventually becoming a dynasty. Rangers management decided that if they were going to win the Cup they were not going to win it with Park and Ratelle along with a rapidly decling Hadfield,Seling and Giacomin. They made the Esposito trade because they figured he was there best chance to move forward and break from the early 70,s Rangers and challenge the Islanders and the Flyers. The Rangers had the Maloneys, Duguay,Greschner Murdoch and Davidson in there pipeline and were planning on making a bid to sign the 2 big Swedes from Winnipeg. The Middleton trade was a disaster and Vadnais was a disapointment but many knowledgable fans agree that the fabric of the team had to be changed if they were going to compete for the Cup going against the Flyers and the Islanders.
They made it to the finals in 1979 and were the toast of the town. Sometimes you have to make trades just to change the team. The 1972 Rangers will always be my favorite team but I don,t think Ratelle and Park would have won a Cup here(they never won one on a very good Boston team). Esposito get unfairly criticized but he was the leader of those late 70,s teams that went to a final. The Rangers in the 70,s got sandwiched between the Great Boston Bruins and a very good Blackhawk team early on then hit the Flyers, Canadiens and Islanders and still competed strongly with less talent.
As someone who lived with those Rangers teams I knew that they were never the best team but would be a contender for the Cup every year and I would sign right now for a 10 year run like that with 3 finals appeareances. A lucky bounce here or there and we could have won a Cup or two.
These teams are underated and I think Emile Francis did a great job transitioning from the early 70,s to the late 70,s. Park and Ratelle put up great numbers after they were traded but if you had the pulse of the team back them the team had to go forward. The 70,s were an awesome time to be a fan of the Blueshirts as every spring you new they had a chance to win it all even though they did not have the best talent.
Lets hope we have another 10 year run like that but win a cup or two!

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