What happened on March 10 in the history of the New York Rangers
On this date in 1987, the New York Rangers traded Bobby Carpenter to the Los Angeles Kings for future Hall of Famer Marcel Dionne. Phil Esposito made the deal less than ten weeks after acquiring Carpenter from the Washington Capitals. Why make the trade? It was a misguided attempt to fix a mistake.
On New Year’s Day, Esposito traded for Carpenter, sending the Caps forwards Mike Ridley, Kelly Miller and Bob Crawford in exchange for Carpenter and a second round draft pick. Carpenter was a scoring whiz who had been the first U.S. born player to score 50 goals in a season in 1984-85. That season was an aberration as he didn’t score more than 32 goals in his other five seasons in Washington. He didn’t get along with coach Bryan Murray and the team was looking to trade him, especially after he scored only five goals in 22 games.
Esposito leaped at the chance to get him and sent two of his more promising young players to Washington in Ridley and Miller. Once in New York Carpenter was a bust, scoring only two goals and 10 points in 28 games. With the boos starting to rain down on Carpenter whenever he touched the puck, Esposito sent him to L.A. for the 35-year-old Dionne, one of the great goal scorers in NHL history, but way past his prime.
Dionne played one full season in New York, scoring 31 goals and averaging a point a game. His play deteriorated the next season as he scored only seven goals in 37 games and he was repeatedly a healthy scratch. In the ultimate blow, he was sent to Denver in the minor leagues for “conditioning.” He came back from Denver, had one assist and decided to retire.
So, how did those deals work out overall for all teams involved?
The Rangers got 44 goals and 108 points in 146 games. Carpenter scored two goals and 10 points in 28 games for the Rangers. Dionne scored 42 goals and 98 points in 118 games for the Rangers. The player drafted in the second round, Jason Prosofsky, never made it to the NHL.
The Capitals got 380 goals and 953 points in 1,540 games. Ridley scored 218 goals and 547 points in 588 games for Washington. Miller scored 162 goals and 408 points in 940 games as a defensive specialist for the Capitals. Crawford was scoreless in 12 games for Washington.
The Kings got 67 goals and 180 points in 293 games. Carpenter scored 32 goals and 83 point in 120 games before being traded for Steve Kasper. Kasper scored 35 goals and 97 points in 173 games.
Ranger fans can bemoan trading Rick Middleton to Boston for one season of Ken Hodge, but when it comes to bad deals, the Bob Carpenter trades have to be close. As for Carpenter, he never achieved the scoring heights he had reached in Washington, but he did play another 13 years in the NHL as a defensive forward for Boston and New Jersey after coming back from serious knee injury in 1990-91.
The last win of the season
On this date in 2020, the Rangers registered a road win over the Dallas Stars 4-2. Kaapo Kakko scored twice, Mika Zibanejad got his 40th goal and Igor Shesterkin made 31 saves in his first win back from his car accident.
It was the first game of a three-game road trip that would never be completed. As stories about a global pandemic circulated, raising uncertainty about concluding the season, the team won in Dallas before heading to Colorado.
That this would be the last win of the 2019-20 season was the last thing in anyone’s mind as the team continued to play well and raise hopes for a playoff berth.
Only 21 NHL players have been born on March 10 and one of them was a Ranger for all of three games.
Stu Kulak was born on this date in 1963 in Edmonton, Alberta. He played 90 games in the NHL for five different teams including the Rangers for three games in 1987. Acquired in a late season trade from Edmonton in March 1987, he was claimed on waivers by Quebec before the next season started, ending his time in New York.
The Rangers have played 38 games and have gotten exactly half of the possible 76 points.
Regulation wins: 12
Regulation losses: 14
Overtime wins: 1
Overtime losses: 1
Shootout wins: 1
Shootout losses: 1
Points percentage: .500