Redrafting the New York Rangers part 3: Rebuilding a contender

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Redrafting the New York Rangers, year by year

This is the third of a three part series looking at the New York Rangers NHL Entry Draft selections from 2003 to 2019.  Did the Blueshirts make the right selection or would they do it differently? In our third installment, we’ll look at 2014-19 when the Rangers were knocking on the doors to Stanley Cup glory, but ultimately found themselves in playoff purgatory. All of this resulted with the front office penning ‘The Letter.’ 

If you missed part one of this series you can find it – here.

If you missed part two of this series you can find it – here.

As of 2019, in the past fifty years, the losers of the Stanley Cup Finals have gone on to do the following:

  • 6 out of 49 (12%) missed playoffs.
  • 17 out of 49 (35%) made playoffs but failed to win a round.
  • 3 out of 49 (6%) made the Cup Final but lost.
  • 2 out of 49 (4%) won the Cup.

Going into the 2014 Stanley Cup Finals, the losers of the prior five Finals went on to do the following in the next season:

  • 2014: Bruins – Lost second round, 4-3 to Canadiens
  • 2013: Devils – Missed playoffs
  • 2012: Canucks – Lost first round, 4-1 to Kings
  • 2011: Flyers – Lost second round, 4-0 to Bruins
  • 2010: Red Wings- Lost second round, 4-1 to Sharks

The majority of these teams went on to do some form of a rebuild. The New York Rangers followed suit and did the same.

The only two teams to bounce back after losing in the Finals and win the next year were the 1984 Edmonton Oilers and the 2009 Pittsburgh Penguins. The New York Rangers didn’t buck the trend, losing the 2015 Conference Finals to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Side Note:

For those that remember, Marian Hossa played for the Penguins when they lost to the Detroit Red Wings in 2008. Hossa then joined the Red Wings the following season when they lost to the Penguins in 2009. Luckily, Hossa would then go to Chicago to win in 2010, 2013 and 2015, but 2008 and 2009 were tough on Hossa.

Historical Context

We’re continuing on with our historical slideshow. It’s 2013 (prior to Stanley Cup loss) and John Tortorella has lost the respect of his players. In an unusual move, the Vancouver Canucks (after they failed to return to the Stanley Cup after losing in Game 7 to the Boston Bruins in 2011) and the New York Rangers swap coaches. John Tortorella goes to Vancouver and the New York Rangers bring in Alain Vigneault. The two men are seemingly foils to one another. Everything about them is different from their coaching styles to their vocal presence.

In his first year as the New York Rangers’ head coach, Alain Vigneault brought the franchise back to the Stanley Cup Finals. However, the Los Angeles Kings took down the Rangers in just five games.

The team made several trades that have bolstered the club’s chances of winning now, but it was all for naught. Contracts and assets were dealt with caution to the wind and the New York Rangers would go 2013-2016 without a first-round draft pick.

Here is a reexamination of what they dealt and who they ended up with.

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