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What was the hype around the Rangers before the 93-94 season?

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01-19-2013, 07:23 AM
  #1
SnowblindNYR
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What was the hype around the Rangers before the 93-94 season?

I was wondering, what were the expectations for our cup team? They were obviously very talented. However they were coming off a playoff-less season in 92-93. However they just a PT winning team 2 years before. What were some of the additions (rookies, FA signings (if there was FA at the time), trades, players coming back from injury)? Were those Rangers a surprise?

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01-19-2013, 07:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowblindNYR View Post
I was wondering, what were the expectations for our cup team? They were obviously very talented. However they were coming off a playoff-less season in 92-93. However they just a PT winning team 2 years before. What were some of the additions (rookies, FA signings (if there was FA at the time), trades, players coming back from injury)? Were those Rangers a surprise?
I was only 12. But from what I can recall, the expectations were high, and there was a lot of buzz about the team, and hockey in general.

By the way, it looks like Nash is skiing in your avatar, lol.

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01-19-2013, 07:45 AM
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The 92-93 season was messed up because the team stopped playing for Roger Neilson, I remember that guy Mike Hurlbut who wasn't very good was used on D a lot due to injuries, and the team had some really bad injuries.

Prior to 93-94, they brought in Mike Keenan as was heavily rumored and everyone knew that he was going to work this very talented roster and get the best out of them so expectations where high. They went to London to plat the Maple Leafs in the Mustard Cup I think it was(?) beat them, and then expectations were even higher.

A big change early in the year was Sergei Zubov eventually being a full timer and getting PP time, while James Patrick's role was diminished.

The team got off to a bad start, Keenan flipped out, and ostracized longtime favorites James Patrick and Darren Turcotte who were shipped out for Steve Larmer and Nick Kypreos in the three way with Chicago/Hartford. Then the team picked up steam.

That was the big addition early in the year before the trade deadline.

What I remember most about that year was Keenan had some players he just really didn't like because he thought they weren't gritty enough; Patrick, Turcotte, Gartner, Amonte. All of these guys were shipped out for grittier players.

As far as this year, I'm not ready to even talk Cup until I see these guys on the ice. A lot of question marks. They'll be fine and I believe will make the playoffs, but I don't know if they're going to win the Division or finish higher than 6. I'm not being a pessimist but they lost quite a few guys who were very important to this team like Dubi, Artie, Prust, and I don't know how the chemistry will work. Also, I'm not sold on the PP or Gabby as a LW to start the year.

If they play well early and go on a winning streak, then I'll be sold.

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01-19-2013, 07:51 AM
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IIRC, Keenan also wanted to ship out Leetch, but Smith flat out refused. There were rumours of Leetch & Richter to Chicago for Chelios & Belfour.


Last edited by bmoak: 01-19-2013 at 08:00 AM.
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01-19-2013, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SupersonicMonkey View Post
I was only 12. But from what I can recall, the expectations were high, and there was a lot of buzz about the team, and hockey in general.

By the way, it looks like Nash is skiing in your avatar, lol.
I think he's blocking a shot. What sucks about avatars is that every time I put one up no matter how unique, I think I saw someone else have the same one. I just changed mine yesterday after putting it up and I think someone used this one too. Oh the horror.

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01-19-2013, 08:00 AM
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Yeah, Keenan and Smith fought fought fought. Smith didn't want to hire Keenan, Stanley Jaffe who was the Garden boss back then made the decision. Bob Gutkowski had to play mediator between those two.

And yes, Keenan wasn't thrilled with Leetch or Richter but learned to accept them.

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01-19-2013, 08:00 AM
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SnowblindNYR
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1) Expectations increased because of a preseason game?

2) Seems like Keenan was more worried about grit than skill. I'm glad Torts seems to value both.

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01-19-2013, 08:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmoak View Post
IIRC, Keenan also wanted to ship out Leetch, but Smith flat out refused. There were rumours of Leetch & Richter to Chicago for Chelios & Belfour.
man that was a power struggle. I was a Neil Smith guy

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01-19-2013, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by bmoak View Post
IIRC, Keenan also wanted to ship out Leetch, but Smith flat out refused. There were rumours of Leetch & Richter to Chicago for Chelios & Belfour.
That may actually not have been a bad trade for us when it comes to value. However, it's tough to argue with how well both played in the playoffs that year. Even if value-wise Chelios and Belfour were better, you don't know how they play in the playoffs.

BTW, why all the trades/potential with Chicago? Coincidence? Wasn't Matteau also a Chicago trade?

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01-19-2013, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by SnowblindNYR View Post
That may actually not have been a bad trade for us when it comes to value. However, it's tough to argue with how well both played in the playoffs that year. Even if value-wise Chelios and Belfour were better, you don't know how they play in the playoffs.

BTW, why all the trades/potential with Chicago? Coincidence? Wasn't Matteau also a Chicago trade?
Keenan was the coach of the Blackhawks before he was the coach of the Rangers.

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01-19-2013, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by jeff spicoli View Post
Keenan was the coach of the Blackhawks before he was the coach of the Rangers.
Makes sense. I didn't know/forgot that.

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01-19-2013, 08:20 AM
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I was only a kid at the time but there wasn't a lot of hype, IIRC.

As a poster mentioned above, the Rangers had an up-and-down start to the decade. After winning the President's Trophy in 1991-1992, they were ousted by Lemieux and the Cup-winning Penguins in the Conference Finals. The following season was a disappointing one. Finished under .500 and missed the Playoffs. In 1993-1994, they didn't have any big free-agent signings coming into the season. Though they were never shutout the entire regular season, they didn't have any notable offensive stars. Zubov led the team in scoring. They were very balanced, went about their business, had good leadership, and made some successful deadline deals. They won the President's Trophy, but we had heard that song-and-dance already in 1991-1992. I don't think people really thought it was going to be a special season until the Conference Finals.


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01-19-2013, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Crease View Post
I was only a kid at the time but there wasn't a lot of hype, IIRC.

As a poster mentioned above, the Rangers had an up-and-down start to the decade. After winning the President's Trophy in 1991-1992, they were ousted by Lemieux and the Cup-winning Penguins in the Conference Finals. The following season was a disappointing one. Finished under .500 and missed the Playoffs. In 1993-1994, they didn't have any big free-agent signings coming into the season. Though they were never shutout the entire regular season, they didn't have any notably offensive stars. Zubov lead the team in scoring. They were very balanced, went about their business, had good leadership, and made some successful deadline deals. They won the President's Trophy, but we had heard that song-and-dance already in 1991-1992. I don't think people really thought it was going to be a special season until the Conference Finals.
You mean literally there were no games where they were shutout? I wonder how many times that happened to a team in history.

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01-19-2013, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by SnowblindNYR View Post
I think he's blocking a shot. What sucks about avatars is that every time I put one up no matter how unique, I think I saw someone else have the same one. I just changed mine yesterday after putting it up and I think someone used this one too. Oh the horror.
Lol. I guess its bound to happen with so many folks on the boards.

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01-19-2013, 09:04 AM
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The previous season had left everyone disappointed and "deflated." If the boards had existed then, we would have all been ballistic.

I believe that was the season Brian Leetch got out of a taxi cab in NYC, slipped on the ice in a snow storm and broke his ankle (could be wrong on the year, it did happen but perhaps not that year). That was the only time I sort of believed in the "Ranger curse." A world class skater breaks his ankle on street ice? Really?

The mood after the the season was one of determination by management: they went after Keenan, who may have had other offers, quickly. He was brought in to add focus, discipline, and instill a sense of hard work in the team.

In training camp he began talking about the Cup right away, made up a famous video of what the Canyon of Heroes parade would be like for the team if they won.

Yes, the trophy they won in London was called the Mustard Cup (sponsored by a mustard company? French's?)

My own expectations was we'll wait and see. There were still lots of questions. Ironically, Mike Richter, who later got the reputation as a big game goalie, got lots of criticism for not being able to win the big game, perhaps because of his fiasco a few years earlier in the playoffs against the Pens. Some thought Glen Healy should get more playing time.

They got off to a slow start and in a practice on a game day, I think in Tampa, Keenan went nuts, broke his stick against the crossbar, and may have briefly sent the team off of the ice.

Rangers than went on a roll, winning I think 17 of 23. I remember them going into Toronto on a Saturday night and demolishing the Leafs. After the game, Leafs writers were effusive in the praise of the Rangers and their speed and skill. It was that point when I began to believe.

Trading for Larmer was such a key. His presence allowed everyone to slot into their correct line positions and he was such a classy player. Messier called him the smartest player he ever played with.

Can't believe Kovalev is still playing, the last active player from the Cup team. Seems so long ago.

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01-19-2013, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by bmoak View Post
IIRC, Keenan also wanted to ship out Leetch, but Smith flat out refused. There were rumours of Leetch & Richter to Chicago for Chelios & Belfour.
I still didnt like the Amonte trade. yes i understand mattaeu was great in the devils series with 2 OT goals but i still believe we would have won with Amonte and possibly won another stanley cup

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01-19-2013, 09:33 AM
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I believe that incident where Keenan broke the stick over the crossbar was also on his birthday.

Also, wasn't Larmer holding out at the time of the trade?

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01-19-2013, 09:59 AM
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It was toxic in Ranger land in 1993. Imagine a team that won the President's trophy the season before completely missing the playoffs.

Specifically, I remember a lot of Ranger fan venom being aimed at Messier after he ran Nielsen out of town. The 5 cups he won in Edmonton meant absolutely nothing at that time.

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01-19-2013, 10:04 AM
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prior to camp, the hype was all over the place.

Winning the Presidents trophy in 91-92, then missing the PO's in 92-93 had everyone guessing what would happen with the new coach

It was clear that they were a good team, but no one knew what to expect heading into the 93-94 season

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01-19-2013, 10:06 AM
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I still didnt like the Amonte trade. yes i understand mattaeu was great in the devils series with 2 OT goals but i still believe we would have won with Amonte and possibly won another stanley cup
Good thing we didnt have the opportunity to find out.

The Amonte trade and other transactions during the 93-94 season were a direct result of what happened in the '92 playoffs. The Rangers, while talented, were soft.

Tony Amonte, great goal scorer that he was, was also a soft player. Same goes for Mike Gartner.

Guys like Matteau, Noonan, Anderson, Tikkanen fortified the Rangers as a deep and complete team.

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01-19-2013, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Bleed Ranger Blue View Post
It was toxic in Ranger land in 1993. Imagine a team that won the President's trophy the season before completely missing the playoffs.

Specifically, I remember a lot of Ranger fan venom being aimed at Messier after he ran Nielsen out of town. The 5 cups he won in Edmonton meant absolutely nothing at that time.
agreed. Roger was loved as a coach for the Rangers.

Lots of fans were questioning the Messier acquisition.

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01-19-2013, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Bleed Ranger Blue View Post
Good thing we didnt have the opportunity to find out.

The Amonte trade and other transactions during the 93-94 season were a direct result of what happened in the '92 playoffs. The Rangers, while talented, were soft.

Tony Amonte, great goal scorer that he was, was also a soft player. Same goes for Mike Gartner.

Guys like Matteau, Noonan, Anderson, Tikkanen fortified the Rangers as a deep and complete team.
fortified them as a playoff team, but I would think that team with the guys listed above do not generate home ice advantage in the PO's if they played as a team for a full season.

They were slow, plodding and predictable. Not nearly enough scoring.

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01-19-2013, 10:19 AM
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The Rangers were coming off missing the playoffs in 1992-93. The Garden bosses led by Stan Jaffe hired Mike Keenan. Jaffe had hired Pat Riley. Jaffe was a movie producer who liked the big names and stars. Mark Messier and Eric Lindros. Jaffe pushed for them. Jaffe hired Dave Checketts. Jaffe gave Neil Smith an extension and named him team president. Mike Brophy was writing for the Hockey News at the time. He picked the Rangers to win the Cup in 93-94 in the THN Yearbook.

The Rangers blew the Pittsburgh series in 1992. Up 2-1 in the series. Up 4-2 in the 3rd period of game 4. They lost 3 straight. The Rangers blew the Jersey series last spring. The Pittsburgh series was worse.

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01-19-2013, 10:23 AM
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That may actually not have been a bad trade for us when it comes to value. However, it's tough to argue with how well both played in the playoffs that year. Even if value-wise Chelios and Belfour were better, you don't know how they play in the playoffs.

BTW, why all the trades/potential with Chicago? Coincidence? Wasn't Matteau also a Chicago trade?
Not coincidence at all, Keenan wanted "his guys".

Re: Chelios, As great as he was I don't think he could have done anything in that years playoffs to match the impact of Brian Leetch playing the best hockey of his life on both ends and dominating games.

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01-19-2013, 10:31 AM
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The Rangers were coming off missing the playoffs in 1992-93. The Garden bosses led by Stan Jaffe hired Mike Keenan. Jaffe had hired Pat Riley. Jaffe was a movie producer who liked the big names and stars. Mark Messier and Eric Lindros. Jaffe pushed for them. Jaffe hired Dave Checketts. Jaffe gave Neil Smith an extension and named him team president. Mike Brophy was writing for the Hockey News at the time. He picked the Rangers to win the Cup in 93-94 in the THN Yearbook.

The Rangers blew the Pittsburgh series in 1992. Up 2-1 in the series. Up 4-2 in the 3rd period of game 4. They lost 3 straight. The Rangers blew the Jersey series last spring. The Pittsburgh series was worse.
That Ron Francis goal from beyond the blue line in game 4 is probably the most crushing blow in my years as a Ranger fan.

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