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Rangers Announce All-Century Team

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
The New York Rangers have announced their All-Century Team, as voted by the fans. The selected players of the century per position is as follows:

Mike Richter (1989-90 to current)

Mike Richter has compiled a 252-205-65 record, along with a 2.85 goals against average and a .905 save percentage in 553 career NHL games with New York. Richter served as the backbone of the 1993-94 Stanley Cup champion Rangers squad. He has also made three NHL All-Star Game appearances and was named MVP of the event in 1993-94, at Madison Square Garden. Richter has was named MVP of the 1996 World Cup of Hockey and was named to the All-Time USA Hockey Team.

Richter ranks second on the Rangers all-time wins list (252), places second on the club’s all-time games played list by a goaltender (553) and ranks sixth on the team’s all-time regular season shutouts list (22). During the 1999-2000 season he became only the second goaltender in Rangers history and only the 30th netminder in NHL history to reach the 250 win plateau. Richter also owns the Blueshirts season records for most games (72), most wins (42), highest save percentage (.917), and has posted the most saves in one game by a Ranger netminder (59).

When he’s not stopping shots between the pipes at MSG, Richter does extensive work with many charitable organizations. He was given two prestigious awards in 1995, including the Thurman Munson Award for his considerable charity work and the Sloan Kettering Award of Courage for his hospital work. Richter also received the 1996-97 “Crumb Bum” Award for his service to New York youngsters. During the 1999-2000 season, Richter was honored with the Rangers’ Players’ Player Award as best “Team Player,” the Frank Boucher Trophy as the Most Popular Player on and off the ice and the Rangers MVP Award as voted by the media.

Brad Park (1968-69 to 1975-76)

Brad Park was five times named to the NHL's first All-Star team (1970, 1972, 1974, 1976 and 1978) and twice to the second (1971 and 1973). Park was drafted second overall by the New York Rangers in the 1966 NHL Entry Draft. He was always very effective on the power play and was able to play in 60 or more games in all but four of his 17 NHL seasons.

In a total of 1,113 NHL games, Park tallied 213 goals, assisted on another 683 for 896 points, and accumulated 1,429 penalty minutes. He also notched 125 points (35 goals, 90 assists) in 161 playoff contests. Park's dedication to the game was recognized in 1984 when he was awarded the Bill Masterton Trophy. He was also a valued member of the Team Canada defense corps in the 1972 Canada Cup. Park was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1988.

Brian Leetch (1987-88 to current)

Brian Leetch ranks among the club’s all-time leaders in numerous categories, including games played (sixth, 857), goals (tied for 13th, 184), assists (second, 597) and points (third, 781). He has been selected to participate in eight NHL All-Star Games and has been twice voted as a NHL First Team All-Star and three times as a NHL Second Team All-Star. During his rookie campaign in 1988-89, Leetch captured the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s Rookie of the Year, becoming the first Ranger to win the award since Steve Vickers in 1972-73. In the years to follow, Leetch would go on to win the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best defenseman in 1991-92 and again in 1996-97. He became only the fifth defenseman in NHL history to collect 100 points in a season, collecting 102 points during the 1991-92 campaign.

In 1993-94, Leetch provided the organization with on-ice skill and off-ice leadership during the club’s Stanley Cup championship run. He was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the “Most Valuable Player” for his post-season play, becoming the first American-born player in NHL history to capture the award.

The defenseman was honored as the 23rd captain of the New York Rangers prior to the start of the 1997-98 season. He has also served as captain of the Team USA squad at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey, helping lead the team to the tournament championship. Leetch served as an alternate captain on the 1998 U.S. Olympic Team.

Adam Graves (1991-92 to current)

Adam Graves has notched 481 points (270 goals, 211 assists) in 690 career matches with New York, becoming one of the most respected and admired athletes in New York Rangers history. In 1993-94 Graves established a team record by tallying 52 goals, surpassing Ranger legend Vic Hadfield’s 22 year-old mark of 50. Graves added 10 goals in the playoffs, including a power-play goal in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals that gave the Rangers a 2-0 lead and paved the way as the Blueshirts’ captured their first Stanley Cup Championship title since 1939-40.

The left wing has was selected to represent the Rangers in the 1994 NHL All-Star Game and was selected as a NHL Second Team All-Star during the same season. Graves is among the club leaders in games played (11th, 690), goals (fourth, 270), assists (27th, 211) and points (11th, 481).

Off the ice, Graves has represented himself and the entire Rangers organization with class and dignity since his arrival to the club at the start of the 1991-92 season. He serves as an active celebrity chairman for Family Dynamics, a New York City child abuse agency and makes several appearances with many charitable organizations, including the Ronald McDonald House and an annual Toys For Tots Christmas drive. He was the first Ranger to win the King Clancy Trophy for community service and was honored with USA Weekend’s “Most Caring Athlete” Award in 1994. He’s also been rewarded as the recipient of the Steven McDonald “Extra Effort” award on five occasions, awarded to the Rangers player who has gone “above and beyond the call of duty.” He has received four Players’ Player Awards as voted by the players and was also honored with the Ceil Saidel Memorial Award for the “Most Dedicated” to his team for the last six campaigns.

Mark Messier (1991-92 to 1996-97)

Mark Messier captained the New York Rangers for each of his six seasons with the Blueshirts, notching 183 goals and 335 assists for 518 points in 421 career matches with the club. In 1991-92, his first season with New York, Messier notched 107 points, two points shy of the team single-season record, while also becoming the first Ranger in 33 years to win the Hart Trophy as the League’s Most Valuable Player.

Between his off-ice leadership and his on-ice skills, Messier helped lead the club to two President’s Trophies (1991-92, 1993-94), as well as capturing the team’s first Stanley Cup championship in 54 years. He reached numerous milestones with the club, including his 500th NHL goal during the 1995-96 season.

Off the ice, Messier became one of the most admired and recognizable personalities in the Big Apple. His charitable contributions in the New York metropolitan area helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for his favorite charities, including the Tomorrow’s Children’s Fund. During the summer of 1996, Messier was reunited with long-time Edmonton teammate and friend Wayne Gretzky, giving the Rangers two of the most talented centers in hockey history.

Rod Gilbert (1960-61 to 1977-78)

Rod Gilbert’s accomplishments with the New York Rangers are nothing short of impressive. The right wing’s 16-year NHL career was spent entirely in the Big Apple, amassing club records in goals (406), assists (615) and points (1021). From 1960-61 to 1977-78, Gilbert set or equaled 20 team scoring records. When he retired in 1977, he trailed only one other right winger (Gordie Howe) in total points. The right wing also netted 34 goals and 33 assists in 79 playoff outings.

Skating on the “GAG” line (Goal-A-Game) with Jean Ratelle and Vic Hadfield in 1971-72, Gilbert tallied 43 goals and 54 assists for 97 points, earning NHL First Team All-Star honors. He had earlier been voted to the NHL Second All-Star Team in 1967-68. Gilbert represented the Rangers in eight NHL All-Star Games during his career. In 1976, Gilbert was awarded the Masterton Trophy, which is awarded annually to the player "who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey." He was elected to the Hockey Hall-of-Fame in 1982.
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