Darren Langdon

2000-01 All Ex-Ranger Team

There’s no doubt that summer is far too long for many Blueshirts fans.  Far too long over the last four years, where we’ve gone almost six months a year without a game to allay our thirst for Rangers hockey.

The NHL Entry draft (In late June) and the various free agent signings provoke some discussion, but after the merits of signing the latest and greatest Free Agents have died down we inevitably come back to those past trades and what could have been if we’d kept a few of those same said players on Broadway.

With that in mind OutsideTheGarden.com presents the inaugural Ex-Rangers All Star Team.  We’ve gone through last year’s performances and have selected the 20 best former Blueshirts with at least one NHL game in the Red, White and Blue.

Left Wing

Luc Robitaille – Los Angeles Kings
Why he never performed well in Rangers Blue is a question many have asked since his departure, but there has been no question about his scoring ability in Los Angeles.His 88 Points were the best total he had had since the 92-93 season while his 37 Goals were second only to Palffy on the Kings Roster.Let go as a UFA the Detroit Red Wings quickly signed him, though it remains to be seen if he can have success outside of Los Angeles.
Niklas Sundstrom – San Jose Sharks
Maybe second line is a bit of a stretch for Sundstrom, but with the overall lack of depth on the Left Wing we were forced to choose the best option.The Swede did manage to put up a career high in Assists (39) while falling just short of his career high in points (49).  Niklas also managed to improve his powerplay effectiveness on a team with little offensive depth, and for that he gets the #2 Left Wing spot. The defensive aspect of his game is what we looked for in this position.  A steadying influence to the second line, plus Penalty Kill ability makes Sundstrom the best choice.
Rob Zamuner – Ottawa Senators
Yet another Free Agent at the end of the year, Zamuner put up the kind of numbers that have been associated with “Contract Years”.With 19 Goals, the former Ranger winger topped his career high, while his +7 rating was the best since 95-96 when he played for the Lightning in Tampa Bay.There were some rumors about a possible return to MSG, but Zamuner has chosen to sign with the Boston Bruins, who’ve been active in the Free Agent market this off-season.
Darren Langdon – Carolina Hurricanes
While he was with the Rangers, Langdon was consistently voted the Players Player.  It would seem remiss of us to leave him off this year’s team, so the enforcer role is his.Langdon had a quiet year in Carolina playing 54 Games and totaling 94 Penalty Minutes, but once again he played his role well.


Doug Weight – Edmonton Oilers
Going into the season there was much speculation about whether the Oilers captain would return to Edmonton.  As it turned out he would play his last game for the Oil in the first round of the playoffs, as they lost their series to the Dallas Stars on home ice.Along the way Weight established career highs for Penalty Minutes (91) and +/- (+12) while attaining his second best totals in Goals (25), Assists (65) and Points (90).Who better to have as your first line center?  Weight has improved his defensive play, making him one of the league’s premiere two-way centermen.
Ray Ferraro – Atlanta Thrashers
There was some thought that Ferraro might retire at the end of the season, but after the year he had Atlanta was quick to give their leading scorer a new contract.Ferraro who centered a small line with Audette and BrLighte, had close to a career year.  His 29 Goals were the best since he was traded by the Rangers in 1996 while his points total was the best in a decade.  Add to that his effectiveness on the powerplay (11-17-28) and there was no doubt that Ray would be on the team.Our center position is a little on the small side, but Ferraro did manage to put up these numbers while facing the East.
Marc Savard – Calgary Flames
Another smallish center gets the #3 spot.  Marc Savard left the Rangers in a 1999 draft day trade that brought Hlavac and Lundmark to the team.After an early season hold-out, Savard returned to the Flames line-up to give them some added punch to the offense.  With career best in Goals (23), Assists (42), Points (65), Powerplay Goals (10) and Powerplay Points (25), Savard is establishing himself as one of the more exciting young players in the NHL.Savard’s creativity lends itself to more than the 3rd line center role, but with Weight and Ferraro in front of him, he’ll have to wait until next season to move up.
Todd Marchant – Edmonton Oilers
He played only one game for the Blueshirts before moving on to the Oilers, but he’s established himself as one of the better checking centers in the game.Marchant may not add a lot of offense (13-26-39) but he finished in the positive column in +/- for his 5th straight year while adding 4 short-handed goals.Penalty Killing was a definite need, and Marchant fills that role admirably.

Right Wing

Alexei Kovalev – Pittsburgh Penguins
Much was expected of Alex in New York, and in the end the expectations were too high.  When he was traded to the Penguins, it gave him the opportunity to play without the pressure that he had in New York.In his contract year, the former Stanley Cup winger made good on his promise and turned in a career year.  Obliterating his former career highs, the Russian winger set new records for Goals (44), Assists (51), Points (95), Powerplay Goals (12), Powerplay Points (37) and Shots on Goal (307).  This truly has been an exciting year for Kovalev, and with a new contract now due to him the only question is how many points will he put up next season.
Tony Amonte – Chicago Blackhawks
The Chicago captain had anything but a career year, but a bad year for #10 is a good year for most players.  With much off-ice commotion surrounding the team, Amonte can perhaps be forgiven for the reduced production.Amonte finished with 35 Goals for the 5th time in his career, but was a career worst -22 (only the second time he has been a minus player).A UFA at the end of next season, this may prove to be the last full year that he’ll play in Chicago.
Todd Harvey – San Jose Sharks
As a New York Ranger, Harvey quickly endeared himself to the fans.  The kind of player who wears his heart on his sleeve, the exciting winger put his body on the line against much larger opponents time and again.Todd was a career high +6 and managed 10 goals, one less than his best total.
Tie Domi – Toronto Maple Leafs
A post season incident put a black mark on what was otherwise very successful for the Toronto tough guy.A career high 13 Goals and a not too shabby 214 Penalty minutes bring an edge to the 4th line.  Domi is trying to branch out beyond his enforcer role, but he’s not on this team for his offense.


Sergei Zubov – Dallas Stars
It’s hard to believe that Zubov and Leetch were once both on the same team.  Since his departure, the Russian defenseman has done nothing but pile up the points.In 2000-2001 he reached double figures in Goals for the seventh time in his career, and was an impressive +22.Sergei’s ability to play the point on the Power Play and his all round offensive skills make him an essential component of the team
Mattias Norstrom – Los Angeles Kings
A solid Defensive Defenseman, Mattias was added to strengthen a weak blueline corps.Not known for his stats, Norstrom does the things on the ice that are hard to measure.  In helping the Kings to Game 7 of the second round of the playoffs, the Los Angeles defenseman brought attention to his everyday work ethic.
Mathieu Schneider
The New York native wanted very much to stay in his home town, but a change of management and rumors about his work habits sent him out on to the Free Agency market..While compiling an impressive 51 points (including 27 points on the power play), Schneider along with a couple of other former Rangers were there in the post season when their former team was not.Another good Power Play performer, Schneider plays a nasty game at times that will keep opponents honest in the defensive end.
Chris Tamer
Tamer had a career best year with the Thrasher in 2000-2001.  Playing all 82 games for Atlanta, Tamer was a reliable Defenseman on a team who struggled at times.His -1 was a testament to his ability, as the Thrashers let in the second most goals in the league.  The 6’2″ 205lb frame adds some size in back.
Kevin Hatcher – Carolina Hurricanes
No doubt there will be some questioning of this selection.  Hatcher was one of the least liked players in his Rangers tenure, but a new scene helped him revive his game.His numbers were down due to an injury plagued year, but as a 5th/6th Defenseman he could be quite effective.
Jeff Finley – St Louis Blues
The Rangers pretty much gave Finley to the Blues, and considering the cost it seemed a fair trade at the time.  In his 2 1/2 seasons with the St Louis franchise, Finley has been an impressive +45 in that time.Although he’ll never be mistaken for an offensive or physical defenseman, but his solid play has earned him a spot on the squad.


John Vanbiesbrouck – New York Islanders/New Jersey Devils
At 37 and playing on an expansion team, the Beezer showed he still had something left.  Although he played on a young team, the old man was able to steal a game and three for his club.  A late season trade to the Devils gave him one last shot at getting the Stanley Cup, alas it wasn’t to be and he retired having never one the final game of the post-season.Although his 14 wins and his .910 save percentage were not near his best, they were sufficient to get him the starting slot on the team..
Dan Cloutier – Tampa Bay Lightning / Vancouver Canucks
It looked like Cloutier’s career was hitting the skids down in Tampa before a trade to Western Canada seemed to get him back on track.  He still has some way to go, as proven by his performance in the playoffs, but it looks like the starting job is his to lose.Dan managed an even 3.00 Goals Against Average, but was only a 2.43 in his 16 game stint with the Canucks.  He still has to work on that Save Percentage, but he did earn his first NHL career Shut-out with a win in Tampa before the trade

So there you have it, the 2000-2001 team probably contains few surprises.  Like the current Rangers team, there’s some weakness in Goal and on Defense, but the offense looks pretty healthy.

The question remains, could this team that we’ve selected beat the Rangers today?

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