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Opposing Teams Perspective: A History of the New York Rangers

I probably know the history of hockey better than anyone else, so strap in and enjoy your stay in Cardwell's classroom.

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The New York Rangers were founded in 1905 by Stuffy McTiggs, a steel worker with $17 and a big dream. McTiggs enrolled the team in a local mens Senior B league from 1905 to 1922. The Rangers won the New York Senior B championship 5 times during this span.

In 1923, the Rangers changed their logo from a intergalactic robot with broom for a hand to a picture of an Italian-American man named Dino eating spaghetti with a wooden spoon. The logo was symbolic of the Rangers transition from the New York Senior B League to the newly founded New York-New Jersey Mafia Hockey League. In their inaugural NYNJHL season, the Rangers, behind first-year center Tufts Parker and goaltender "Two-Hands" Tuvella, were crowned league champions after amassing a league-record 12,345 penalty minutes.

In 1924, after just one season in the NYNJHL, businessman Tex Rickard bought the Rangers for $7 and made them train on a secluded farm in Flin Flon, Manitoba until the 1926-1927 NHL season. The Rangers first NHL season was one of great success, as the teams captain, Marcel Nigelman, single-handedly constructed Madison Square Garden after drinking heavily one Tuesday afternoon. With MSG now complete, the Rangers no longer had to play on a frozen puddle in front of the original Sbarro's on 23rd street.

The Rangers would win the Stanley Cup in 1927-1928, 1932-1933 and 1939-1940 before someone stole their skates and replaced them with banana peels and a copy of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle. Some fifty-years passed before Mark Messier, a Canadian freelance captain suffering from a bad case of balding, found the Rangers skates. In their first year back in the NHL, the Rangers captured 1993-1994 Stanley Cup glory. Their Stanley Cup victory is largely attributed to Messier standing atop Madison Square Garden during a thunderstorm, holding a metal rod toward the sky and proclaiming "I don't care what Debra says god dammit. By the power of greyskull, I declare that I am Thor." Messier later described his iconic moment as "fun for the whole family."

The Rangers head coach at the time, Mike Keenan, had been cryogenically frozen in 1861 during the Battle of Aquia Creek. Keenan's Union commanders felt the soldier's abrasive personality and Stalin-esque mustache would be better suited in another generation. Keenan was unfrozen, taught the game of hockey and named head coach of the Rangers during a two week period in July of 1993.

The Rangers haven't won a Stanley Cup since Keenan left the Rangers following their championship season to pursue a career as a professional bear wrestler in Chelyabinsk, Russia.  Keenan's son, John Tortorella, briefly served as the Rangers head coach, but was never able to repeat his father's legacy despite genetically-engineered goaltender Henrik Lundqvist being gifted to the Rangers by a laboratory in Goteborg, Sweden. Lundqvist, who is 94 in dog years, has been with the Rangers since 2005-2006. Despite his on-ice successes, however, Henrik is allergic to microwaves.

This season, the Rangers are in second-place in the Metropolitan division, trailing the Washington D.C. White Houses by 10 wins.

I hope this has been an informative, brief and factually correct synopsis of the Rangers long and storied history. The Rangers have always been a tough opponent for the Bruins, and I deeply respect the only organization that New York fans seem to support.

Fin.