The New York Rangers have been around for 96 years. In their history, the Rangers have only had four 50 goal scorers. Vic Hadfield did it first during the 1971-72 season, Adam Graves did it 22 years later during the 1993-94 season, and then Jaromir Jagr did it during the 2005-06 season. And now Chris Kreider has joined the 50 goal club.
Jaromir Jagr scored 54 when he joined the 50 goal club for the Rangers. Jagr was an all time great NHL player but he will never be thought of as a Ranger. So as the former radio voice of the Rangers, Howie Rose brought up at the end of March does it mean more if Kreider breaks the record?
The stakes have changed a bit here. Kreider scored his 51st of the season Thursday night, inching closer to the record, but he still need three goals in four games to tie, and a goal a game to break Jagr’s record. As Rose points out, Chris Kreider will most likely be a career Ranger. He has five more years left on his deal and will be 35 when the deal ends.
Kreider unlike the others in the club, was a Rangers draft pick. Hadfield was claimed by the Rangers in the intra-league draft from the Black Hawks organization. Kreider was taken 19th overall by the Rangers in 2009. He made his debut during the 2012 playoff run making his impact instanttly, scoring five goals and seven points.
This season Kreider has made a case for himself as one of the best Rangers first round draft picks ever. He definitely deserves to be talked about as the best first round pick by Glen Sather whether he breaks the record or not.
I think that Kreider breaking the record gives the record significance among the fans. The record isn’t held by a beloved Ranger. If Vic Hadfield had the record, it would hold a special place with most fans because even though he was traded and ended his career with Pittsburgh, he did spend 13 years with the Rangers, and was the first to crack 50 goals. Same with Adam Graves. Even though he didn’t spend his entire career with the Rangers he is thought of as a Ranger. Both Hadfield and Graves are players whose numbers hang from the Garden rafters.
Jagr was loved by many fans as he and Lundqvist are seen as bringing the team back into relevancy. But Kreider has a different love from the fans. Kreider has become the player he is now, in front of the fans’ eyes. Someone like J.T Miller who’s top 10 in points this year, was a completely different player with the Rangers then
nal six teams and have a career player atop the record books. Montreal has Guy Lafleur, Toronto has Auston Matthews, Chicago has Bobby Hull, Detroit has Steve Yzerman, and Boston has Phil Esposito. While Kreider isn’t an all-time great like some of those names he will be in the conversation for all time Ranger when he retires. If Kreider breaks the record, the record will hold significantly more weight given that it held by a career Ranger.