Nick Jehamy| January 7th, 2020
We have hit 2020 and with the turn of the new decade, we here at The Scorecrow are putting together our All-Decade teams for each franchise. So who made the All-Decade team for the New York Rangers? Let’s take a look.
The All-Decade team consists of a full team of skaters; four forward lines, three defensive lines, and two goaltenders. My criteria for choosing who made the team is a mixture of historical significance and statistical performance.
Derek Stepan, Center, 2010-2017
Stepan scored three goals in his first ever game and never looked back. Stepan was the franchise leader in points over the past decade with 360. He scored 128 goals and produced 232 assists during his seven seasons as a Ranger. He didn’t always produce the highest numbers in the league but he was one of the most consistent and vital to the Rangers through their 2010s playoff runs. Stepan produced at least 50 points in all but one season, that one season though was shortened by the lockout where he was actually on pace for his best season yet with 44 points through 48 games played.
Rick Nash, Left Wing, 2012-2018
Rick Nash came over from the Colombus Blue Jackets where he scored 30+ goals in his last five years there. He did not do the same for the Rangers only eclipsing 30 goals once but he was still one of the top players of the decade for them as he tied for the most goals by any player for the franchise over the decade. He wasn’t the offensive force that was expected but he still produced greatly for the organization and played magnificent defense as one of the best two-way forwards in the game.
Mats Zuccarello, Right Wing, 2010-2019
Zuccarello played the whole decade with the New York Rangers and was a few points off of Stepan for most through the decade, he did though have the most assists of any Rangers player through the decade with 239. Zuccarello was a fan favorite in New York who had a slow start to his career but once he picked it up during the 2013-2014 season he never looked back and became one of the most valuable forwards the Rangers have had.
Derrick Brassard, Center, 2012-2016
Brassard’s three full seasons with the Rangers were solid, producing 45, 60, and 58 points through 80 games each. His regular season numbers though were just the icing on the cake for why he is on the second line here for the Rangers. His value was irreplaceable when it came to the playoffs. Through 59 games played Brassard produced 44 points and a 13 plus-minus for the Rangers.
Chris Kreider, Left Wing, 2012-present
Kreider has played his whole professional career for the Rangers starting in 2012. He didn’t score in large numbers but he was consistent in producing offensively for the Rangers. After his first short season as a rookie was disappointing, Kreider went on to tally 20 assists and a minimum of 37 points in six straight seasons for the Rangers, currently on pace for 24 goals and 28 assists this season which would make it seven in a row. Kreider scored a goal this season in the Rangers New Year Eve match, the last game of the decade. That goal tied him with Nash for most goals over the past decade for the franchise with 145.
Marian Gaborik, Right Wing, 2009-2013
In a tough decision here between the second and third line, Gaborik took the edge at Right Wing. He may have only played three full seasons for the Rangers but unlike many on this list that were solid over a longer period of time, Gaborik was outstanding over his short period on the team. Aside from his slightly shortened season due to injury (where he put up 20+ goals and assists over 60 games), Gaborik produced two 40 goal seasons where he eclipsed 75 points and was named to the All-Star team. Those two seasons Gaborik placed in the top five in the league in goals and was the leading scorer for the Rangers.
Mika Zibanejad, Center, 2017-present
Right before the second line center on this list’s play began to decline, they traded him away, and in return received Zibanejad. Zibanejad started out his time with the Rangers slow but has become part of the present and future for the Rangers franchise. Last season he put up career best numbers, 30 goals and 44 assists while playing all 82 games for the Rangers. He may not have the greatest numbers and story but he became a beloved name for Rangers fans and will hopefully stay with them moving forward.
Carl Hagelin, Left Wing, 2011-2015
In Hagelin’s time with the Rangers, he put up 58 goals and 72 assists (130 points). He was scrappy, played two-way hockey, and was a penalty killing machine. I decided to not overreach like some people may think to do and put the next Left WInger on the third line as Hagelin was a warhorse for the Rangers and deserves to be here.
Ryan Callahan, Right Wing, 2006-2014
Once a captain for the Rangers, Callahan was a strong penalty killer like Hagelin as well as on the offensive side during power plays. He played in five playoffs for the Rangers, three were before the decade where he produced 9 points. The two during the decade though were where he shined, producing 15 points with eight of them being goals and average time on ice of 23.27 minutes. Callahan’s ending run with the Rangers was a great one, well deserving of being on the third line.
Brad Richards, Center, 2011-2014
The Rangers received Richards from Dallas later in his career, after two big seasons there was visible regression in play when coming to the Rangers. That being said Richards played his part for the Rangers in the time spent there and was an ironman through two big seasons with long playoff runs for the Rangers in 2011-2012 and 2013-214. Both seasons Richards played in all 82 games for the Rangers putting up 50+ points and appearing in 45 playoff games during those two seasons where he racked up 27 total points.
Artemi Panarin, Left Wing, 2019-present
I had to do it. He may have only been a part of the Rangers franchise for a few months but these past few months have been electric and Panarin has become a household name. Out of the players left for this position, there were some depth players that played at least a full season that could have been placed here to finish out the fourth line, but Panarin’s impact this season was enough to take the leap and put him here as our final left winger.
Jesper Fast, Right Wing, 2013-present
At right wing, Jesper Fast squeaks into the final spot on our fourth line. Fast started his career for the Rangers and has stayed with the New York organization ever since. Through the decade Fast produced 49 goals and 83 assists for the Rangers. He plays all around the ice and has been a solid asset to the Rangers near the end of the decade deserving enough to fit on to back end lest.
Ryan McDonagh, 2010-2018
No other skater is more deserving to be on this list than McDonagh. McDonagh started his career in 2010 with the Rangers and was with them through a majority of the decade, including being captain of the Rangers through his final four seasons with the franchise. Top 10 in defensive shares four different seasons within the decade, two all-star game appearances, almost 100 playoff games played with 41 points produced and average time on ice over 25 minutes. Must I say more?
Dan Girardi, 2006-2017
Girardi has been a staple to the Rangers franchise for over a decade. A hard-hitting defenseman who remained on the ice for long periods of time. Averaging around 23 minutes of ice time through the decade, even multiple seasons above 25 minutes and playing a minimum of 80 games in all but one season. A staple to the Rangers defense throughout the decade Girardi was another no brainer for the first line defense.
Marc Staal, 2007-present
Staal has played for the Rangers since the 2007 season, making the all-star game in 2011. Staal was an alternate captain and one of only two players that played for the Rangers throughout the whole decade. Staal produced 36 goals and 116 assists during the decade and even though his play has slowly declined as of late he still was a shoo-in to make the all-decade team.
Kevin Klein, 2014-2017
Klein played for the Rangers for three and a half seasons at the end of his career. Klein produced two of his best offensive seasons with the Rangers hitting career high’s in goals and total points. Klein had one of the best plus-minus statistics by a defender during the decade with +49. He wasn’t with the organization long but was a strong addition to the squad for the time being.
Anton Stralman, 2011-2014
Stralman does not have the normal statistics to show how truly great his performance was with the Rangers. Instead, you’d have to look at advanced metrics and use the eye test to really see the value he brought to the team. The Rangers could have used his play in later years of the decade but split ties with him early.
Brady Skjei, 2015-present
The final choice at defenseman was a tough one. Two players, one with a longer tenure than the other, I decided to go with the longer tenure and choose Skjei who played five seasons for the Rangers. In his rookie season, Skjei made the All-Rookie team and has been a solid asset to the Rangers defensively and pushing offensively as well as he has produced 106 points through the latter half of the decade.
Henrik Lundqvist, 2006-present
I don’t need to give much of an explanation here so let’s just list out some achievements. The franchise leader in games played, saves, wins, and he has 25 assists. Four time all-star this decade and Vezina Trophy winner in 2012. Top five single-season wins three times this decade including one season leading the league. Top five single-season saves five times this decade with one season leading the league. Top five single-season shutouts three times this decade with one season leading the league. Two time league leader in goaltender point shares and top eight in GAA five times throughout the decade.
Cam Talbot, 2013-2015
Fourth in GAA and save percentage through the 2014 season while he was with the Rangers, Talbot has the highest save percentage of any Rangers goaltender with more than two games played with a .931 through 57 games played and a solid GAA of 2.00. His time with the Rangers was short but he statistically was one of the best to play for the Rangers.
Here are a few honorable mentions of players at each position group that just missed out on making the Rangers All-Decade team.
Alexander Georgiev, Goaltender, 2018-present
After Lundqvist, Georgiev has the second-most games played by a goaltender dating back to 2004. He isn’t the greatest of goaltenders but does well as a backup, he could have been considered as the number two goaltender in our list but Talbot was just statistically too good to look over.
Kevin Hayes, Center, 2014-2019
Hayes tallied 216 points for the Rangers during his time with the organization. More than some of the Rangers we placed above him at the Center position like Brad Richards. Richards average season though was better than Hayes as well as Hayes just not producing for the franchise in the playoffs so he just missed out on making the cut.
Keith Yandle, Defenseman, 2015-2016
Another tough scratch, the choice between Yandle and Skjei was not the easiest one but I gave it to Skjei on length of tenure and scoring production. Yandle was honestly mismanaged by the Rangers and could have been a solid asset to the organization if they held on to him but they got rid of him quickly.
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Main Image Credit:Embed from Getty Images