What happened on April 9 in the history of the New York Rangers
On this date in 2019, something good finally happened for the New York Rangers at the NHL Draft Lottery. As a national television audience looked on, the Rangers jumped from sixth place in the draft to second, gaining their highest overall pick since they drafted Brad Park second overall in 1966.
Jeff Gorton attributed the win partially to a good luck charm, P.O. Steven McDonald’s detective shield, lent to him by McDonald’s wife, Patti Ann. Gorton had the shield with him in Toronto, where the lottery was held.
The New Jersey Devils won the lottery, moving from third overall to first and ultimately drafting center Jack Hughes, the consensus top pick. The Rangers drafted Finnish winger Kaapo Kakko.
This helped make up for the most heartbreaking lottery result, from 2005. In that lottery, due to the lockout, all 30 teams were entered, but four teams including the Rangers had the best choice of winning. Of course, it was Pittsburgh that won the right to draft Sidney Crosby.
Losing in the Final
On this date in 1932, the New York Rangers were defeated 6-4 in Toronto by the Maple Leafs finishing off a sweep of the best-of-five Stanley Cup Final. It was a one-sided series with the Leafs scoring 18 goals in the three games while the Blueshirts scored 10 times. Toronto won the first two games on Madison Square Garden ice.
Frank Boucher registered a hat trick, the first by a Ranger in the Stanley Cup Playoffs,but it wasn’t enough. It was third trip to the Final in the team’s first six seasons and their second loss. The Rangers would return to the Final the next season, winning their second Stanley Cup.
On the receiving end of a record
On this date in 1993, the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Rangers 10-4 at Madison Square Garden, led by Mario Lemieux’s five goals. It was the 16th straight win for the Penguins, setting a new NHL record.
The Penguins extended their record streak to 17 games, a mark that still stands. The 2016-17 Columbus Blue Jackets came close, winning 16 games. The Rangers’ record for consecutive wins is 10 games, set in 1939-40 and matched in 1972-73.
23 NHL players have been born on April 9 with two former Rangers among them.
Frank Waite was a center, born in 1905 on this date in Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan. He played 17 games in the NHL with the Rangers in the 1930-31 season. He spent most of his decade long hockey career in the minor leagues and was acquired twice by the Rangers organization.
Drew Bannister was born on this date in 1974. Signed as a free agent in October 1999, the defenseman played two seasons with the Hartford Wolf Pack, making it to New York for three games in 2000. He played 164 NHL games with four teams, the most with Tampa.
The Rangers have done better in the regular season on April 9 than they have in the playoffs.
Regulation wins: 7
Regulation losses: 6
Points percentage: .538
Playoffs games: 14
Overtime losses: 1
Winning percentage: 43%