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New York Rangers Fan Club

Outside The Garden
by Toby Ivey

Wednesday, July 10 2002


2001-02 Ex Ranger All Stars

Outside The Garden will be a year old next week and it will also be a year since we released the line-up for the first Ex-Rangers All Stars.  Last year as the debut article for the site, I put together a roster of former Rangers who had played in the previous season.

This year made it a more democratic approach and gave you, the readers of Outside The Garden the opportunity to select the line-up and as you will see the results weren't totally predictable.  So without further ado, here is the 2001-02 Ex-Rangers All Stars.

First Line

Adam Graves (SJ) Doug Weight (STL) Tony Amonte (CHI)

None of the three top liners had a particularly impressive season in 2001-02, but that's if you're comparing them to their own past endeavors.  Anchoring the first line is fan favorite Adam Graves who got off to a slow start with his new club before finding some touch later in the season and helping his Sharks to clinch the Pacific division title.  Graves gained his selection with his work both on and off the ice and is a key man on the power play with his play in and around the net.

The first line pivot also found himself on a new team for the 2001-02 season.  After spending a little over 8 seasons with Edmonton, Doug Weight cashed in on his UFA status and left for St Louis.  A strong start was cut short when he suffered a leg injury that limited him to just 61 games and 15 goals.  Weight's 49 points were a far cry from the career best 90 he racked up the previous season, but when it comes to playmaking centers, there's few better than he.

Rounding out the line is perennial all-star and fellow silver medalist on the US Olympic team, Tony Amonte.  Amonte too had a down year by his standards, missing the 30 goal plateau for the first time since the lockout season of 94-95.  The speedy right winger augments the line nicely and will look to return to form in this is first year after Unrestricted Free Agency.
 

Second Line

Luc Robitaille (DET) Mike York (EDM) Alexei Kovalev (PIT)


"Lucky" Luc made the most of his luck this season past after signing on with the Detroit Red Wings and finally fulfilling his dream to touch the Stanley Cup.  The sharp shooting left wing reached the 30 goal platform for the fourth straight season and for the twelfth straight time in his career, but his overall production suffered on a club that puts the team before the player.

A new addition to the Ex-Ranger ranks centers the second line, and deservedly so.  Mike York had his best season of his short career, collecting 20 goals and 61 points with New York and Edmonton.  Another fan favorite, many Rangers faithful were disappointed to see one of the best utility forwards in the league move on.  York looks to be in the line-up for some time...good news for Ex-Rangers fans.

The key to the second line though is their right winger in Alexei Kovalev.  The highest scorer on this team, Kovalev managed 76 points in just 67 games, including a team high 32 goals.  Kovalev has blossomed since leaving the Rangers and is arguably the most productive former Ranger in the league today.  Expect to see him on the point of the first power play unit as well as killing penalties...this guy is for real.

Third Line

Jan Hlavac (PHI/VAN) Marc Savard (CGY) Niklas Sundstrom (SJ)


Back in August of 2001, Blueshirts fans were stunned to hear that the Rangers were trading away a core component of the "Czechmates" to the arch-rival Philadelphia Flyers.  As it turned out the move impacted all three of the former line-mates who each turned in disappointing seasons.  A December trade saw Hlavac move once again, this time to Vancouver and perhaps here he'll be able to regain some of his 2000-01 form.

Centering the third line is yet another former Ranger who turned in a disappointing performance.  Held back by injuries the Calgary pivot managed just 14 goals and 33 points in his worst season since leaving the Rangers.  Too long a weak point in the Rangers past, it's hardly surprising that Savard won the third line selection.

The same can't be said for Niklas Sundstrom this year's third line Right Winger.  Sundstrom continued his solid play at both ends of the ice and was part of an effective third line for the San Jose Sharks along with Ricci and Thornton and will provide a boost to the Ex-Rangers defense and penalty killing.

Fourth Line

Manny Malhotra (DAL) Ray Ferraro (ATL/STL) Todd Harvey (SJ)


Many Ranger fans had believed for some time that Manny Malhotra's future lay outside of the Rangers organization.  In March of 2002, that belief became fact when Malhotra was traded to the Dallas Stars with Barrett Heisten in exchange for Roman Lyashenko and Martin Rucinsky.  The young forward adds size to this relatively small line-up, but perhaps earned his spot more on his promise than his accomplishments.  Malhotra did have his best offensive output since his rookie season, but his 14 points is certainly more suited to the 4th line than the type of role his former GM had in mind.

Centering the 4th line is soon to be retiree Ray Ferraro.  "Chicken Parm" had a less than impressive season on a very young Atlanta Thrashers team, but was given a last opportunity at glory when he was traded to St Louis at the deadline.  In what is expected to be his last season as a professional hockey player, Ferraro totalled 14 goals and 37 points, but was amongst the worst in the league in +/-.

Rounding out the forwards is yet another fan favorite and the third Shark on the team, Todd Harvey.  The feisty right winger has had to tone his game down in order to prolong his longevity, but he still manages to tap in the odd goal and get the odd penalty minute.  Harvey is the agitator on the team and will be the guy the Ex-Rangers send out to get the blood flowing.

 

First Defensive Pairing

Sergei Zubov (DAL) Kim Johnsson (PHI)

Perhaps the term "defensemen" is an inappropriate term to describe the first pairing of this year's Ex-Rangers all-stars.  Zubov once had 89 points with the Rangers on the blueline and is still noted more for his offensive play than any defense he provides.  A key man on the point for the power play, "Zubie" has a good shot and is adept at keeping the puck in the zone...pairing him with Johnsson will keep fans on the edge of their seats at both ends of the ice.

Johnsson on the other hand finally broke free from the shadow of Brian Leetch and joined a team just waiting for a player with his skills.  On a Rangers team that already had too many puck carrying defensemen, Johnsson found himself missing out on opportunities to improve his game.  With Philadelphia Johnsson reached double figures in goals for the first time (11) and added a career best 30 assists.

Second Defensive Pairing

Mathieu Schneider (LA) Mattias Norstrom (LA)

More than a few Blueshirt fans wanted the Rangers to keep Mathieu Schneider, and looking at his performance since you can understand why.  Since leaving the Rangers, Schneider has totaled 23 goals and 58 points in 128 games.  His 4 power play goals in an injury shortened season equaled the entire output of the Rangers defense with the man advantage.

Joining him on the blueline his team mate Mattias Norstrom who provides the muscle to Schneider's creativity.  Former GM Neil Smith admitted recently that trading Norstrom was perhaps his worst trade and you'll find plenty of Rangers faithful who;ll agree.  Norstrom is a steady defenseman who will be tasked with protecting the front of the net.

Third Defensive Pairing

Alexander Karpovtsev (CHI) Aaron Miller (LA)

Rounding out the defense for the 2001-02 season is a pair of players who turned in pretty strong seasons.  Aaron Miller gained selection to the US Olympic team, while Karpovtsev helped lead the Blackhawks back to the playoffs after a four year hiatus.  Miller is one of a growing breed of two way defensemen who can play both ends of the ice and aren't afraid to use the body.  His partner is more of a stay at home type who uses angles and his body to steer the opponents away from his net.

Both players will be called upon to back up a forward group who have offense on their mind first and protecting their own end of the ice a distant second.

Goaltenders

Dan Cloutier (VAN) John Vanbiesbrouck (NJ)

Perhaps it was the absence of competition that gave Cloutier the #1 spot, but it looks as if he has finally got a chance at being the top goalie on an NHL club.  While Cloutier didn't finish the season well, he has shown marked improvement.

Vanbiesbrouck came out of retirement to aid the New Jersey Devils in their time of need, but quickly returned after the season ended at the hands of Carolina.  The Beezer still showed however that he can play the game and was almost unbeatable in his first game back.  Somewhat of a surprising selection as the number one goalie, Vanbiesbrouck was a pick from the heart and perhaps a tribute to one of the Rangers best ever goalies.

Reserves

Eric Cairns (NYI), Todd Marchant (EDM) and Ulf Dahlen (WAS)

Rounding out the roster this year are defenseman Eric Cairns who provides the muscles when needed, Todd Marchant one of the league's premier defensive forwards and Ulf Dahlen who turned the clock back a few years playing with Jagr on the power play


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September 29th, 2017

How many rostered players were on the ice for opening night 2016-17

Answer...
  STANDINGS
  Team GP W L OT Pts  
  Penguins 69 40 23 6 86  
  Blue Jackets 70 33 22 15 81  
  Rangers 70 37 28 5 79  
  Panthers 69 35 26 8 78  
  Sabres 69 30 31 8 68  
  Flyers 2 2 0 0 4  
  Red Wings 71 17 49 5 39  
  Lightning 2 2 0 0 4  
  Capitals 2 2 0 0 4  
  Senators 1 1 0 0 2  
  Islanders 1 1 0 0 2  
  Bruins 1 1 0 1 2  
  Hurricanes 1 1 0 0 2  
  Maple Leafs 2 1 1 0 2  
  Canadiens 1 0 0 0 1  
  Devils 1 0 0 0 1  
FULL STANDINGS
  RANDOM RANGER

DEAN TALAFOUS
(1978-1982)
  Born: Aug 25 - 1953  
  Pos: Right Wing  
  GP: 202  
  G: 42  
  A: 60  
  Pts: 102  
  PIMs: 91  

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