The Rangers were not the first hockey team to represent New York City in the NHL, but they do owe their inception to
the long defunct New York Americans. In 1925, the entire Hamilton Tigers roster was sold to "Big Bill" Dwyer, a notorious bootlegger
during prohibition, who promptly dubbed his new team the New York Americans and set up shop in Madison Square Garden.
The star-spangled Americans drew the attention of one very important fan, Tex Rickard a boxing promoter who had been
responsible for building Madison Square Garden and was said to be attracted by the speed of the game of hockey. Rickard quickly secured a
franchise that would begin playing in the 1926-27 season, all for the price of $50,000. The move upset Dwyer and the Americans, who had thought
they had an agreement in place to be the lone hockey tenant of the newly opened Garden.
The new team was in search of a moniker of their own, and initially were knicknamed "Tex's Rangers", before
switching over to the name that is still with the team today: the New York Rangers. Aside from some questionable naming, Rickard knew what he
had to do, and brought in Conn Smythe to build his new team for a total of just $32,000, but Smythe was never to see how is team would look on the
ice. The strong willed Toronto native butted heads one too many times and Garden President, Colonel John S. Hammond eventually bought out the
remainder of the Smythe's contract and turned to hockey legend Lester Patrick to pick up where the his predecessor had left off.
That initial team was built primarily from the ashes of the West Coast Hockey League. Murray Murdoch, Taffey
Abel, Ching Johnson, Frank Boucher, Lorne Chabot and the Cook brothers were all established hockey entities looking for a league to play in. The
team was coached and managed by Lester Patrick, who had himself played in and managed the forerunner to the WCHL.
The team in the ice in November of 1926 and immediately found success. Playing in front of a sell out crowd, the Rangers scored the only goal in
a 1-0 victory, backstopped by Hal Winkler with the shut-out. Lorne Chabot however, would see the most time in nets with a 22-9-5 record in 36
appearances, including 10 shutouts. The team was so good that they had just one three game losing streak, and only one other time did they lose
back to back games. The result was a first place finish in the American Division and a date with Boston in the playoffs.
After playing out a scoreless tie in Boston, the Rangers managed just one goal in their own building to the Bruins
three. The resulting loss ended the Rangers first season in the league...an impressive debut.
November 16th, 1926
The New York Rangers make their debut against the Montreal Maroons. The home team wins 1-0 and Frank Boucher has the only fight of his NHL
Bill Cook scores the first goal in franchise history at 18:37 of the second period.
November 25th, 1926
The Rangers suffer their first loss and shutout at the hands of the Pittsburgh Pirates, a 2-0 loss.
March 5th - March 25th, 1927
The team goes on a seven game unbeaten streak (5-0-2), before finishing the season with a loss, but nine points clear of the second placed Bruins.
April 2nd, 1927
New York debuts in the playoffs with a 0-0 tie in Boston.