NHL in New York: MSG’s First National Hockey League Team

4 Jun 1994: NEW YORK RANGER''S ALEXEI KOVALEV SLIDES PAST CANUCKS GOALTENDER KIRK MCLEAN AFTER SCORING IN THE THIRD PERIOD TO PUT THE RANGERS UP 5-1 DURING GAME THREE OF THE STANLEY CUP FINALS IN VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA. THE RANGERS LEAD THE CANUCKS, T
4 Jun 1994: NEW YORK RANGER''S ALEXEI KOVALEV SLIDES PAST CANUCKS GOALTENDER KIRK MCLEAN AFTER SCORING IN THE THIRD PERIOD TO PUT THE RANGERS UP 5-1 DURING GAME THREE OF THE STANLEY CUP FINALS IN VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA. THE RANGERS LEAD THE CANUCKS, T /
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4 Jun 1994: NEW YORK RANGERS ALEXEI KOVALEV SLIDES PAST CANUCKS GOALTENDER KIRK MCLEAN AFTER SCORING IN THE THIRD PERIOD TO PUT THE RANGERS UP 5-1 DURING GAME THREE OF THE STANLEY CUP FINALS IN VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA. THE RANGERS LEAD THE CANUCKS, T
4 Jun 1994: NEW YORK RANGERS ALEXEI KOVALEV SLIDES PAST CANUCKS GOALTENDER KIRK MCLEAN AFTER SCORING IN THE THIRD PERIOD TO PUT THE RANGERS UP 5-1 DURING GAME THREE OF THE STANLEY CUP FINALS IN VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA. THE RANGERS LEAD THE CANUCKS, T /

The Curse and Legacy

Dutton was enraged by Madison Square Garden putting that pressure on the league to not reinstate the Americans, he swore that the New York Rangers would never win another championship in his lifetime. While this curse isn’t as well known as one such as the Curse of the Bambino in the MLB, this was a very real curse itself.

Red Dutton passed away on March 15th, 1987 and the Rangers did not win another Stanley Cup in his lifetime. It would not be until Mark Messier’s promise in 1994 that the New York Rangers would reach the summit of the hockey world once again, 52 years after the New York Americans’ final season in the league and 7 years after Dutton’s death. For a franchise that had once rapid success year after year to have just one cup since 1940 isn’t a lot, but to some “this one will last a lifetime.”

After the Americans left the NHL, the league would not expand again until the infamous expansion of 1967. This gave birth to what we know today as the original six-era. Six teams made up the NHL. Your New York Rangers, Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks, and Detroit Red Wings. Six teams with a unique and storied history, and it’s where the term “Original Six” comes from for those new to hockey.

New York would not see a second team in the city until 1972-73 when the Islanders came into existence in Uniondale. But, unlike the Americans, the Islanders would eventually actually find themselves in Brooklyn for a couple of years as they sorted out their new and current home at Belmont Park.

While the Americans didn’t bring much to the league, there is something they did. In a game against the Bruins, the Americans dumped the puck the length of the ice 67 times. That annoyed the Bruins owner so much that the next time the two teams met, the Bruins dumped the puck the length of the rink 81 times. These two games are where we get the icing rule that is still used today.

With that, the chapter of the NHL on the New York Americans came to an end. It’s somewhat insane to think that a team that came to be almost 100 years ago is the reason why the great city of New York has one of the most iconic franchises in the hockey world. While they are not on the ice anymore, there is no denying that the Americans continue to affect the league to this day.