What happened on January 30 in the history of the New York Rangers
One year ago, on this date in 2021, defenseman Tony DeAngelo and goalie Alexandar Georgiev got into an altercation that led to DeAngelo’s premature departure from the Rangers organization. While the details have never been revealed, DeAngelo apparently said something to Georgiev after he allowed the game winning overtime goal to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Georgiev didn’t take kindly to the remark and the story is he cold cocked DeAngelo
While teammates are not expected to be the best of friends, this is a little extreme and apparently DeAngelo was on a short leash. Coach David Quinn dumped the situation in General Manager Jeff Gorton’s lap and he put DeAngelo on waivers, saying that he had played his last game as a Ranger.
The offshoot was that DeAngelo sat out the rest of the season and the Blueshirts had to buy him out of the last year of his $4.8 million contract. He subsequently signed with the Carolina Hurricanes and is their top scoring defenseman.
It’s a sad story and Ranger fans still question how the team totally devalued a young, talented player and were forced to pay him to leave, getting nothing in return. To make matters worse, in his first game against the Rangers, DeAngelo had a goal and two assists and was named the first star of the game as the Hurricanes beat New York, 6-3.
Good bye to the worst coach ever
On this date in 2003, New York Rangers General Manager Glen Sather undid what was probably the worst decision he made while running the team. He fired head coach Bryan Trottier whose tenure as coach was one of the worst in team history.
First off, why Glen Sather thought it would be appropriate to hire a former Islanders star to coach the team is anyone’s guess. When Sather said one reason he hired him was that he was impressed by Trottier’s 90 page handwritten job application, that was another indication that a mistake was being made.
Trottier coached 54 games with a record of 21-26-6 before being let go. Sather ultimately took over behind the bench for the rest of the season as the team missed the playoffs for the sixth straight year.
The Chief sets a record
It took 40 years to do it, but finally, on this date in 1966, Jim Neilson became the first defenseman in franchise history to notch four points in one game. He did it by scoring one goal and assisting on three other in an 8-4 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs at Madison Square Garden.
That number was equaled many times over the subsequent years, until Brian Leetch totaled five points in a game in 1989. Leetch did it again in 1995, Tony DeAngelo had five points in a game in 2020 and current Ranger Adam Fox had a five points night last March against Philadelphia.
The NHL record of eight points was set by Tom Bladon of the Flyers in 1977 and equaled by Paul Coffery of the Edmonton Oilers in 1986. 68 NHL defenseman had notched four or more points in a game by the time Neilson did it, so this Rangers record was a long time coming.
A memorable win over Montreal (and a horrible record)
On January 30, 1954 the Rangers did something that they wouldn’t do for another three years. They won a game at the Montreal Forum, beating the Canadiens 2-1. They would go on to lose their next 21 games in Montreal. Their next win was another 2-1 win, on February 16, 1957 meaning that they went over three years without a win in Montreal.
Not only that, the Rangers had lost or tied their previous 25 games at the Forum going 0-21-4 with the past win dating back to January 7, 1950 when they won 3-1. That means that for seven years from January, 1950, to February, 1957 the Rangers made 47 trips to Montreal and won once.
In the days of the Original Six, the teams played each other 14 times a season, seven at home and seven on the road.
35 NHL players have been born on January 30 with three Rangers alumni in that mix.
Center Ryan Spooner was born on this date in 1992 in Ottawa, Ontario. Spooner has played a key role in the current Rangers squad as he was traded to the Edmonton Oilers for current Blueshirt Ryan Strome. Spooner was acquired in the trade of Rick Nash to the Boston Bruins and he played 36 games in New York over parts of two seasons.
Chris Simon was a left winger who was born on January 30, 1972 in Wawa, Ontario. He was a physical player who totaled over 100 penalty minutes in a season nine times. Signed as a free agent in 2003, he played 65 games for the Rangers before being traded to Calgary as part of the purge of March 2004 that saw the Blueshirts deal Brian Leetch, Alex Kovalev and others. In those 65 games, Simon took 225 minutes in penalties, the sixth highest total in franchise history. No Ranger has come close to that total in the last 16 years
Bill Sweeney was a center who played four games in the NHL, all with the Rangers. He was born on this date in 1937 in Guelph, Ontario . He played 10 years in the AHL, making it to New York in 1959-60 for the four games, scoring one goal.
The Rangers have played 34 times on January 30 with a mediocre .456 points percentage and only 14 wins.
Regulation wins: 14
Regulation losses: 17
Overtime losses: 1
Points percentage: .456