Excellent article by Larry Brooks. Old timers will appreciate it. My dad told me all about this...how Eddie got waived only to return days later. The Rangers got boo'd...Eddie was cheered.
Then when Brad Park was traded to the Bruins, and that was the Rangers big rival at that moment, he quit following for 5 years.
Worst trade ever, Brad Park belonged on our rafters, he and Ratelle (and then Middleton) becoming Bruins...unthinkable.
There were eight days to that Halloween hockey week of 1975, nine days during which Emile Francis deconstructed a roster, a lineage and an identity "the Cat" himself painstakingly had built for the Blueshirts over the previous decade.
First, on Oct. 31, Eddie Giacomin was waived to Detroit. Then, on Nov. 2, Giacomin returned to the Garden as a Red Wing to the greatest spontaneous demonstration of support in New York sports history.
Then, on Nov. 7, the aftershock that ended an era and invited charges of sedition against Francis himself when the GM traded Brad Park and Jean Ratelle (plus Joe Zanussi) to the Bruins for Phil Esposito and Carol Vadnais.
If you didn't live through this, you can't imagine what a shock it was. Hockey was a much tighter world in 1975. Everbybody knew everybody else. Hockey would get far more local and national coverage when there was big news and this was big news. I was running the minor league team in Roanoke, VA and I couldn't believe it when I got the first call. That was followed by 15-20 more calls that day. I was interviewed by several newspapers and TV stations about my reaction to the trade. It was today as it was then -- absolute shock. I watched Ratelle play from the moment he came up and he and Gilbert were my favorite Rangers. Park was unquestionably the most popular Ranger. I remember calling my Dad and telling him and ther was complete silence at the end of the phone for 15-20 seconds. Giacomin move was stunning but Brooks is missing some of the color there -- Davidson was brought in to replace Giacomin and Eddie was at the end of his career. Shocking but predictable. The Espo-Park-Ratty-Vad trade was truly stunning. I couldn't construct a current day trade that would even begin to compare.
If you didn't live through this, you can't imagine what a shock it was. Hockey was a much tighter world in 1975. Everbybody knew everybody else. Hockey would get far more local and national coverage when there was big news and this was big news. I was running the minor league team in Roanoke, VA and I couldn't believe it when I got the first call. That was followed by 15-20 more calls that day. I was interviewed by several newspapers and TV stations about my reaction to the trade. It was today as it wass then -- absolute shock. I remember calling my Dad and telling him and ther was complete silence at the end of the phone for 15-20 seconds. Giacomin move was stunning but Brooks is missing some of the color there -- Davidson was brought in to replace EGiacomin and Eddie was at the end of his career. Shocking but predictable. The Espo-Park-Ratty-Vad trade was truly stunning.
I was there and live through it all but that doesn't change the fact that Brooks is a Ranger hating pr*** that can't run away fast enough when we tell him where we're going to shove that leather jacket of his.
The Espo-Park-Ratty-Vad was earth-shattering in the world of hockey.
People have to remember how strong the Rangers were back then. I never did get used to Vadnais as a Ranger, though I did warm up to Espo.
Park and Ratell becoming Bruins was just too weird.
Try to think of a trade like that happening in the NHL of today. Now, everybody sits around with a magnifying glass going over cap hits, scrutinizing to the last penny. Blockbuster trades like this one couldn't even happen, for good or for bad.
Some of the posters here would be well served to learn more about the history of the team and the passion that goes with it. The history of the Rangers didn't exactly start when you started following the team.
F***ing Brooks is always searching for negative stuff to write about the Rangers.
There's been a lot of negative history to the Rangers unfortunately...to look at things in another light. But he also has zero problem ripping the Isles...and right now he's likely compiling material to go after the Debbies.
Originally Posted by Fitzy Duke of NY
The rangers win, so lets write about something that sucked 35 years ago.
Another gem from Mr. "Telling it like it is"
This has nothing to do with Saturday nights' game or any other game from the week. This article was going to come up regardless of what the team was doing on the ice.
Like him or not, Brooks should get credit for at least being in-tune enough with Blueshirt history to bring attention to matters like this up. I see no other writers for the team who keep the pass alive like Brooks. Props to him.
Kind of funny. I don't think Espo ever got over being traded to the Rangers--even after they made him captain. Every year they'd interview and he'd say something like 'I finally feel like I'm a Ranger'--every time. He was a big reason why the Rangers made maybe the worst trade in their history sending Rick Middleton to the Bruins the following season for Ken Hodge. Espo needed a pal and Hodge had been his right winger. Vadnais was always kind of the morose type. Espo was still a good player but his production never was the same with us that it was in Boston. Ratelle did fine--so did Park. Boston won that deal. Anyway for the next few years other Bruins would from time to time show up on our roster--Derek Sanderson, Dallas Smith, Don Awrey.
Giacomin didn't last very long after he got moved. He was getting up there in age. He was a legend for us but his time was coming. It seems like Gilles Villemure got moved around that time as well.
This deal went down a little before my time but while Boston got the better players in the deal, didn't the Rangers go further in the playoffs in the grand scheme with that deal? Once to the Finals in 1979 and then once to the Semi Finals in 1981? Vadnais was still on the later team.
Trying to observe it from someone who was born a few years later; it looks like The Cat realized that the window for that group to win a Championship was over once the dirty Flyers were in their prime and after the loss to the Islanders that prior spring and a horrible start, he had to blow it up. Still, it was shocking and he was in a no-win situation.
Do you all think if he remained GM instead of Ferguson that they go to the Finals in 1979 or even win it in the late 70s?
Also, a pretty crazy time in Rangers history was 2004 when the rumored firesale actually went down.
I don't know what Francis was thinking about but it was like a kick in the stomach to all Ranger fans, especially trading Park and Ratelle for Espo and Vadinais who came here and did next to nothing.
Only recently did Park come back into the fold. I saw him at a Ranger event and told him he should come back more often. There are still many fans who revere him (us old ones ). Ratelle is semi-estranged and bitter.
Thank God they retired Giacomin's number first and brought him back.
I am in my mid thirties so I haven't had the opportunity to feel the emotions of the Giacommin waive and Ratelle, Brad Park trades. I saw all the films and read about it. A bit off topic here but when Tie Domi and Kris King were traded for Olcyzk. I always thought Domi would get a very similar reaction due to his popularity. I was in high school and thought Domi was popular enough to warrant it. I know, I know....
Slats brought Park back to the Rangers organization as a pro scout. Park didn't scout long for the Rangers. Guess he didn't like it very much. It wasn't his first time in hockey management.
My father took me to Park's first(and only)game at the Garden as head coach of the Red Wings. I had no idea who Park was. I was more interested in seeing Ron Duguay. The crowd gave Park a standing ovation when the MSG public address announcer made mention of Park behind the Wings bench. He gave the crowd a wave.
Park didn't coach very long and wasn't in hockey management very long either even though he had signed a contract to run the Wings operation.
The former Ranger and Bruin defenseman, Brad Park, was named head coach yesterday of the struggling Detroit Red Wings, replacing Harry Neale, who had been on the job only six months. Their 8-23-4 record is the worst in the National Hockey League, and the Red Wings have lost 10 of their last 11 games, provoking speculation about the dismissal of Neale or General Manager Jimmy Devellano. Yesterday the club extended Devellano's contract for two years, through 1988, and gave him the title of vice president, but also announced that the two-and-a-half-year contract signed by Park makes him the director of player personnel as well as coach.
''He is in total control of our hockey team on and off the ice,'' Devellano said, acknowledging that Park will assume some of Devellano's authority, particularly in making trades. Park's debut will come against the Islanders at Joe Louis Arena tonight.
In Larry Sloman's A season in Hell book about a late 70's Ranger team Vadnais is the most unpopular player in the locker room--though Mike Nykoluk an ambitious assistant coach under Shero is disliked even more. I never had a huge problem with Vadnais as a player but he wasn't nearly as good as Park. Carol though had some offensive skill and a very nasty on ice demeanor at times--would not have been fun to play against--he was very liberal with working other players over with his stick and I can remember him walloping Bobby Clarke in the face with it one time which pretty much caused a riot and it was a deliberate act--of course Clarke was as bad if not worse--he was just surrounded by a team full of goons who were always saving him from retribution.
Do Brad Park and Jean Ratelle consider themselves Rangers, Bruins, both, or confused?
I thought Park held a grudge, and I've seen him on NESN, but I also thought he attended Ranger viewing parties.
If you ask me, he never should have been traded, and his number should've been retired, he should have been up there as one of the best Rangers ever.
I hate how his legacy with us was short changed.