With the expansion draft coming up on June 18th through the 21st, let’s take a look at the players the New York Rangers lost in the previous three expansion drafts.
For hockey fans who started to follow the sport in the 21st century, the Expansion Draft is uncharted territory. We haven’t seen this storied event in any other sport since the NHL did it in 2000 so we really don’t know what to expect.
Back in 1998, 1999 and again in 2000, the NHL posted three Expansion Drafts for four teams (Predators, Thrashers, Blue Jackets and Wild). Now with the league adding it’s 31st team in June, the Las Vegas Golden Knights, let’s take a look back at how the other drafts went for the New York Rangers.
The Predators, the league’s 27th team, had to select one player from each of the 26 other teams. Instead of how the rules are this year, where each team can protect one goalie, seven forwards and three defensemen or one goalie and eight skaters, each franchise in this draft was allowed to protect one goalie, five defensemen and nine forwards or two goaltenders, three defensemen and seven forwards.
With that said, it was easier to keep a bigger portion of your lineup. Another big rule was that the Predators were able to draft unrestricted free agents. If a player they drafted signed with another team, then they would receive a compensatory draft pick.
This was the case with the man they took from the Rangers, goaltender Mike Richter. Richter was set to become a free agent on July 1st and ended up re-signing with the Rangers, allowing Nashville to obtain a compensatory draft pick.
1999 Expansion Draft- Atlanta Thrashers
For this expansion draft, the same rules applied as they did for the previous one. The Nashville Predators organization was exempt from participating since they were a brand new team.
Atlanta selected defenseman Chris Tamer from the New York Rangers’ roster. The veteran Tamer had played a majority of his career in Pittsburgh with the Penguins. He was traded to the Rangers in 98-99 and played 52 games with the team, scoring one goal and five assists to go along with 92 penalty minutes.
Tamer went on to play five seasons for the Thrashers. His best season with the club came in 2000-2001 when he tallied four goals, 13 assists and 128 penalty minutes. He retired after 05-06 when he spent his season down in the AHL with the Chicago Wolves.
2000 Expansion- Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild
The same rules applied in this draft as they did in the previous two, with the Atlanta Thrashers and Nashville Predators exempt from the draft. The Blue Jackets selected defenseman Matthieu Schneider and the Wild selected forward Dimitry Subbotin from the Rangers.
Let’s start with Matthieu Schneider, who had a very long NHL career spanning 20 seasons with 10 different teams. The New York, New York native was drafted in the third round of the 1987 draft. Schneider had played only two seasons with the Rangers. He tallied a combined 20 goals and 44 assists to go along with 149 penalty minutes in 155 games for the Blueshirts.
Schneider never played a game with the Blue Jackets. He signed with the Los Angeles Kings as a free agent, so the Jackets were awarded a compensatory pick for his services.
Subbotin was a different story. The former third-round pick of the Rangers never ended up playing a game in the NHL. The Russian stayed in his home country his entire hockey career.