Rangers set to begin new chapter of rivalry with Hurricanes


When the Hurricanes and Rangers meet at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, they’ll begin a new chapter in a ferocious division rivalry. The history between the two clubs turned full circle last Spring when the Rangers outlasted the division-champion Hurricanes in an enthralling second-round series in seven games, winning the decider 6-2 in Raleigh. The defeat was Carolina’s first at home that postseason.

Vincent Trocheck saw how much fun New York had that night and inked a seven-year deal with them over the Summer. That is one out of a plethora of ties connecting several players on both teams to the two organizations.

Adam Fox:
The Norris Trophy winner was once a Carolina Hurricane. They acquired him from Calgary in 2018 after he refused to sign with them, before dealing him to the Rangers in April 2019 after receiving an identical response from Fox’s camp.

Carolina acquired Dougie Hamilton(Now with New Jersey) and Micheal Ferland(Now with Vancouver) while sending Calgary Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin. Due to Fox’s desire to become a Ranger and the Hurricanes openly wanting to trade him, then GM Jeff Gorton(Now with the Canadians) had leverage and only had to give up two second-round picks in 2019(#37 – Mads Søgaard) and 2020(#41 – Noel Gunler).

It’s safe to say the Blueshirts have emerged victorious in this deal, with the fact it was Fox who scored the power play tally that opened the game seven, scoring put a bow on it.

Alexis Lafreniere:
Had New York not been eliminated in three games by Carolina in the 2020 Stanley Cup qualifying round, they wouldn’t have been a contestant in the Alexis Lafreniere sweepstakes. In the NHL’s initial draft lottery that season, a “placeholder” team drew the first pick. A second lottery was required.

The Blueshirts, along with the other ousted play-in groups; Panthers, Maple Leafs, Penguins, Jets, Wild, Predators, and Oilers, all had an equal shot at the teenage sensation, and it was the Rangers ping pong ball that shot out of the machine as the victor. Lafreniere then helped his team stick it to their rivals by being a part of their second-round triumph.

Braden Schneider(For Brady Skjei)
Schneider was selected 19th by the Blueshirts in 2020, using the pick they obtained from the Hurricanes in the Brady Skjei trade earlier that trade deadline. Schneider made his broadway debut late in the regular season last year and hasn’t left since then, appearing in all 20 postseason games and each of the first 38 games this season, proving himself as New York’s most consistent defenseman.
Skjei, 28, has fit in nicely with Carolina, as the defenseman has 64 points (18 goals
46 assists) One hundred seventy games since that deal, and he is set to become a free agent after the 2023-24 season.

Antti Raanta, Derek Stepan,(Tony DeAngelo):
These two fan favorites were traded away in a packaged deal to Arizona during the Summer of 2017 for Toney DeAngelo and the seventh pick in the subsequent draft, which turned into Lias Anderson, who’s now a Los Angeles King.

DeAngelo, now a Flyer, left his imprint on the rivalry, as he was picked up by Carolina during the 2021 season, shortly after New York GM Jeff Gorton suspended the defenseman following his infamous tunnel dust-up with Alexander Georgiev.

In their first regular season affair, DeAngelo netted revenge against Georgiev and had a three-point night (1 empty net goal, two assists) in a 6-3 Hurricanes victory. Since he departed from the Big Apple, DeAngelo has been booed every time he’s been back to MSG.

Rangerstown remembers Raanta as a serviceable backup to Henrik Lundqvist where he went 27-14-4 with a .921 save % and a 2.25 GAA over his two seasons in New York. Meanwhile, Stepan will forever be remembered for his game-seven overtime winner, propelling the Blueshirts to a 2-1 victory against the Washington Capitals at MSG in the second round of the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs.

Ironically, both signed with Carolina in the 2021 offseason, and due to a lower-body injury sustained by all-star goaltender Frederik Andersen, it was Raanta who got the nod to face his old team in his first playoffs last season.

Jesper Fast:
After a seven-year stint with the Rangers, Fast bolted for Carolina and signed a three-year deal with them in the 2019 offseason, which means he’ll become a free agent following the 2022-23 season. The winger and former alternate captain had 147 points (55g, 92a) in 422 games as a Blueshirt and has continued his fine play in Carolina, where he’s accumulated 67 points(25 goals, 42 assists) in 163 games.