On June 8 in NYR history: A rare trade with the Islanders

What happened on June 8 in the history of the New York Rangers

On this date in 1972 something unusual happened, something that has occurred only three times in Rangers’ franchise history.  The New York Rangers actually made a trade with the New York Islanders.

The deal was for the Islanders not to take certain Ranger players in the 1972 expansion draft, held two days earlier on June 6.  In exchange, the Rangers gave the Islanders a seventh and eighth round pick in the 1973 Amateur Draft.   The deal was announced officially on June 8, but had been made before the expansion draft when the Islanders took defenseman Brian Lefley from the Rangers. Lefley had been signed by the Rangers and spent two seasons in their farm sister playing for their Omaha Knights farm team.

Lefley did play 70 games for the Islanders over two seasons.

The Rangers made on more trade with the Islanders in November 1972, trading winger Ron Stewart to the Isles in exchange for cash.   That was the last trade between the two teams until May 2010 when the Blueshirts sent a sixth round pick to the Islanders in exchange for Finnish defenseman Jyri Niemi.   That trade had no impact as the draft pick nor Niemi made it to the NHL.

Today’s birthdays

25 NHL players have been born on June 8 including three former Rangers.

Phil Bourque was a left winger, born on this date in 1962 in Chelmsford, Massachusetts.  He won two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins before coming to the Rangers as a free agnt in 1992. He played almost two seasons in New York and was the epitome of bad luck, being traded to the Ottawa Senators in March 1994, just missing out on the Stanley Cup run that spring.   Phil is no relation to Bruins great Ray Bourque.

Bryan McCabe was born on this date in 1975 in St. Catherines Ontario.  A defenseman, he was drafted by the Islanders in 1993 and after debuting with them, he eventually played 15 years in the NHL for seven different teams.  His Rangers career lasted all of 19 regular season and five playoff games after being acquired from Ottawa at the deadline in 2011.  New York City was the final stop in McCabe’s career.

Jim Pavese was born on this date in 1962 in New York City and learned how to play hockey on Long Island.  Drafted by the Blues in 1980, the defenseman spent seven years in St. Louis before the Rangers acquired the New York native in 1988.  He spent most of the season in New Haven in the AHL, getting into 14 games with the Rangers.  The Rangers eventually traded him to Detroit. He wasn’t the first Manhattanite to play for the Rangers as he was preceded by Brian Mullen who grew up in Hell’s Kitchen.