The Hartford Whalers were an American professional ice hockey team based for most of its existence in Hartford, Connecticut. The club played in the World Hockey Association from 1972 until 1979, in the National Hockey League from 1979 to 1997. Based in Boston, the team joined the WHA in the league's inaugural season, was known as the New England Whalers throughout its time in the WHA; the Whalers moved to Hartford in 1974 and joined the NHL in the NHL–WHA merger of 1979. In 1997, the Whalers franchise relocated to North Carolina; the Whalers franchise was created in November 1971 when the World Hockey Association awarded a franchise to New England businessmen Howard Baldwin, John Coburn, W. Godfrey Wood and William Edward Barnes to begin play in Boston; the team began auspiciously, signing former Detroit Red Wings star Tom Webster, hard rock Boston Bruins' defenseman Ted Green, Toronto Maple Leafs' defensemen Rick Ley, Jim Dorey and Brad Selwood, former Pittsburgh Penguins' goaltender Al Smith.
New England signed an unusually large number of American players, including Massachusetts natives and former U. S. Olympic hockey team members Kevin Ahearn, John Cunniff and Paul Hurley. Two other ex-U. S. Olympians on the Whalers' roster had spent a significant part of their careers in Boston with Boston College and the Bruins, respectively; the Whalers had the WHA's best regular season record in the 1972–73 season. Webster led the team through the playoffs. Behind legendary ex-Boston University head coach Jack Kelley, the team defeated the Winnipeg Jets to win the inaugural Avco World Trophy, the WHA championship; the club played its first season's home games at Boston Arena. However, the Garden was owned by the rival NHL Bruins, the Whalers found themselves fourth in priority for dates behind the Bruins, Boston Celtics and the American Hockey League's Boston Braves. Fed up with Baldwin decided to move elsewhere. Hartford was about to open a new, modern downtown arena and convention center, the Hartford Civic Center.
The city had hoped to get an American Basketball Association team as the main tenant, but when that fell through, city leaders got in touch with the Whalers. Aside from various minor league teams in New Haven, the area had been bereft of professional hockey until the Whalers' arrival; the Civic Center was still being finished when the 1974–75 season began, so the Whalers played the first part of the 1974–75 season at The Big E Coliseum in West Springfield, Massachusetts. On January 11, 1975, the team played its first game at the Hartford Civic Center in front of a sellout crowd; the franchise remained in Hartford until it relocated to North Carolina for the 1997–98 season, save for a temporary relocation to the nearby Springfield Civic Center in the late 1970s while their Hartford arena was being rebuilt after heavy snow followed by heavy rain caused the roof to collapse, which suffered from several engineering and construction shortcomings. Though they never again won the WHA championship, the New England Whalers were a successful team, never missing the playoffs in league history, finishing first in their division three times.
They had a more stable roster than most WHA teams: Ley, Selwood and Tommy Earl played over 350 games each with the club. The team scored a major coup when it signed legend Gordie Howe and his sons Mark and Marty from the Houston Aeros in 1977. While the first two full seasons in Hartford were not glittering, the final two WHA seasons saw more success, they went to the finals again in 1978, with a veteran team spearheaded by the Howes—50-year-old Gordie led the team in scoring—future NHL stars Gordie Roberts and Mike Rogers, All-Star defenseman Ron Plumb, forwards John McKenzie, Dave Keon and Mike Antonovich, possessed the league's best defense. The next season was not so fine, but while age caught up with Gordie Howe, the slack was picked up by Andre Lacroix, the WHA's all-time leading scorer, acquired from the Aeros; as the Whalers were one of the most stable WHA teams, the club was one of the four franchises admitted to the NHL when the rival leagues merged in 1979. Unlike the other former WHA teams, the Whalers were not stripped of most of their players.
The Howes, Ley, Smith and Lacroix are the New England Whalers players who stayed on the team as it made the transition to the NHL and became the Hartford Whalers. Only Selwood, George Lyle and Warren Miller were reclaimed by their former NHL teams; the Whalers were the only American-based WHA team to join the NHL. Since the NHL's Boston Bruins were located in New England and had opposed the NHL-WHA merger due to the Whalers' proximity to Boston, a compromise was made for the New England Whalers to become the Hartford Whalers when they joined the NHL. Connecticut-based graphic designer Peter Good was hired by the Jack Lardis Associates advertising agency to design a new logo for the team. Good first explained that a team named the Whalers should not have a whale for a mascot and harpoons in its logo because it implies killing your own mascot. Once the Whalers' owner and select members of team staff agreed that this was a problem, Good presented some preliminary sketches as a way to think about the logo, team founder and owner Howard Baldwin pointed to one, a "W"-shaped trident with an "H" in the middle and said, "We'll go with that one."
When Good asked him why he liked it, he said. This logo was quite similar to the famous logo the
Ice hockey is a contact team sport played on ice in a rink, in which two teams of skaters use their sticks to shoot a vulcanized rubber puck into their opponent's net to score points. The sport is known to be fast-paced and physical, with teams consisting of six players each: one goaltender, five players who skate up and down the ice trying to take the puck and score a goal against the opposing team. Ice hockey is most popular in Canada and eastern Europe, the Nordic countries and the United States. Ice hockey is the official national winter sport of Canada. In addition, ice hockey is the most popular winter sport in Belarus, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Slovakia and Switzerland. North America's National Hockey League is the highest level for men's ice hockey and the strongest professional ice hockey league in the world; the Kontinental Hockey League is much of Eastern Europe. The International Ice Hockey Federation is the formal governing body for international ice hockey, with the IIHF managing international tournaments and maintaining the IIHF World Ranking.
Worldwide, there are ice hockey federations in 76 countries. In Canada, the United States, Nordic countries, some other European countries the sport is known as hockey. Ice hockey is believed to have evolved from simple stick and ball games played in the 18th and 19th century United Kingdom and elsewhere; these games were brought to North America and several similar winter games using informal rules as they were developed, such as "shinny" and "ice polo". The contemporary sport of ice hockey was developed in Canada, most notably in Montreal, where the first indoor hockey game was played on March 3, 1875; some characteristics of that game, such as the length of the ice rink and the use of a puck, have been retained to this day. Amateur ice hockey leagues began in the 1880s, professional ice hockey originated around 1900; the Stanley Cup, emblematic of ice hockey club supremacy, was first awarded in 1893 to recognize the Canadian amateur champion and became the championship trophy of the NHL. In the early 1900s, the Canadian rules were adopted by the Ligue Internationale de Hockey sur Glace, the precursor of the IIHF and the sport was played for the first time at the Olympics during the 1920 Summer Olympics.
In international competitions, the national teams of six countries predominate: Canada, Czech Republic, Russia and the United States. Of the 69 medals awarded all-time in men's competition at the Olympics, only seven medals were not awarded to one of those countries. In the annual Ice Hockey World Championships, 177 of 201 medals have been awarded to the six nations. Teams outside the "Big Six" have won only five medals in either competition since 1953; the World Cup of Hockey is organized by the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players' Association, unlike the annual World Championships and quadrennial Olympic tournament, both run by the International Ice Hockey Federation. World Cup games are played under NHL rules and not those of the IIHF, the tournament occurs prior to the NHL pre-season, allowing for all NHL players to be available, unlike the World Championships, which overlaps with the NHL's Stanley Cup playoffs. Furthermore, all 12 Women's Olympic and 36 IIHF World Women's Championships medals were awarded to one of these six countries.
The Canadian national team or the United States national team have between them won every gold medal of either series. In England, field hockey has been called "hockey" and what was referenced by first appearances in print; the first known mention spelled as "hockey" occurred in the 1773 book Juvenile Sports and Pastimes, to Which Are Prefixed, Memoirs of the Author: Including a New Mode of Infant Education, by Richard Johnson, whose chapter XI was titled "New Improvements on the Game of Hockey". The 1573 Statute of Galway banned a sport called "'hokie'—the hurling of a little ball with sticks or staves". A form of this word was thus being used in the 16th century, though much removed from its current usage; the belief that hockey was mentioned in a 1363 proclamation by King Edward III of England is based on modern translations of the proclamation, in Latin and explicitly forbade the games "Pilam Manualem, Pedivam, & Bacularem: & ad Canibucam & Gallorum Pugnam". The English historian and biographer John Strype did not use the word "hockey" when he translated the proclamation in 1720, instead translating "Canibucam" as "Cambuck".
According to the Austin Hockey Association, the word "puck" derives from the Scottish Gaelic puc or the Irish poc. "... The blow given by a hurler to the ball with his camán or hurley is always called a puck." Stick-and-ball games date back to pre-Christian times. In Europe, these games included the Irish game of hurling, the related Scottish game of shinty and versions of field hockey. IJscolf, a game resembling colf on an ice-covered surface, was popular in the Low Countries between the Middle Ages and the Dutch Golden Age, it was played with a wooden curved bat, a wooden or leather ball and two poles, with t
The Springfield Indians were a minor professional ice hockey franchise based in West Springfield and Springfield, Massachusetts. The Indians were founding members of the American Hockey League, they were in existence for a total of 60 seasons with three interruptions. The Indians had two brief hiatuses from 1933 to 1935, from 1942 to 1946; the team was known as the Syracuse Warriors from 1951 to 1954. The Indians won seven Calder Cup championships, one while known as the Kings in 1971; the Indians had their start in the Canadian-American Hockey League in 1926. The "Can-Am", as it was called, was founded in Springfield and the Indians were one of the five initial franchises, it was run at the time by Lester Patrick and the National Hockey League's New York Rangers, future NHL stars such as Charlie Rayner, Earl Seibert, Cecil Dillon and Ott Heller saw their start in Springfield uniforms. The Indians played in the Can-Am League until the 1932–33 season, having to fold thirteen games into the season.
In 1935–36, Lucien Garneau transferred his Quebec Beavers franchise to Springfield, resurrecting the Indians name. The Great Depression caused cutbacks all around, the Can-Am merged with the International Hockey League to form the International-American Hockey League, which changed its name to the American Hockey League, having lost its last Canadian franchises, in 1941, but before that time, the man who cast his shadow over the team for four decades, Boston Bruins superstar defenseman Eddie Shore, purchased the team in 1939. Industriously, he split games between the Bruins and the Indians going so far as to provoke a trade to the Amerks to make the train commute easier, he played for Springfield for two more seasons. Shore's often-controversial but ever-colorful management style would permeate the team for the next 36 years and provide generations of hockey players and fans with anecdotes. Despite early stars like Shore, Fred Thurier, Frank Beisler and Pete Kelly, success eluded the Indians on the ice.
However, in the 1941–42 season, the Indians finished in first place. Disaster struck in the following season. With World War II, the United States army requisitioned the Eastern States Coliseum, Springfield's home arena, for the war effort, leaving the Indians homeless. Shore loaned Indians players to the Buffalo Bisons for the duration, returning the players to Springfield for the 1946–47 season. However, on ice success continued to elude the team, despite the presence of stars such as Harry Pidhirny and Jim Anderson the franchise failed to have a winning record for over a decade more, including a temporary franchise relocation as the Syracuse Warriors from 1951–54. During those three seasons, Shore fielded a Springfield team in the low-minor Eastern Amateur Hockey League and the Quebec Hockey League using the Indians name. Led by future Boston Bruins goaltender Don Simmons, scoring leader Vern Pachal, player–coach Doug McMurdy, the EAHL Indians finished 3rd and 1st their two seasons in the loop, but finished in last place in 1954 in the QHL, the only team in the loop located outside of the province of Quebec.
Meanwhile, disappointed with attendance in Syracuse, Shore moved the AHL franchise back to Springfield – disbanding the QHL team – for good for the 1955 season. The team's few superlatives for the rest of the decade included the 1955 season – during which Ross Lowe won the only league MVP award in franchise history and Anderson was named rookie of the year – and All-Star Team citations to Eldie Kobussen at center in 1948, Billy Gooden in 1951, Gordon Tottle and Don Simmons in 1955, Gerry Ehman and Cal Gardner in 1958, Pidhirny in 1959. Matters turned around in dramatic fashion for the 1959–60 season. Behind an affiliation with the Rangers bringing stars Bill Sweeney and goaltender Marcel Paille over from Providence, an immensely deep team with star forwards Pidhirny, Ken Schinkel, Bruce Cline, Brian Kilrea, defensemen Ted Harris, Kent Douglas, Noel Price and Bob McCord, the Indians led the league in the regular season three straight years and won three straight Calder Cups, losing only five playoff games in that span.
Sweeney won the league scoring title three years in a row, Paille the best goaltending record two years running, Springfield defensemen won the best defenseman award two years running. The 1959–1962 Indians were the most dominant team the AHL has seen; the stands in the old Coliseum were filled night after night. The Indians of that time were so dominant that it was said they could have made a good account of themselves in the NHL. 1959–60: Sweeney finished second in league scoring behind Fred Glover of Cleveland with 96 points, Floyd Smith finished third and Bruce Cline ninth. The Indians led the league with a 43–23–6 record, defeated Rochester four games to one in the finals for the franchise's first Calder Cup. Sweeney was named to the First All-Star Team at center, Paille to the Second Team at goal, McCord to the Second Team at defense, Smith to the Second Team at left wing, Parker MacDonald to the Second Team at right wing. 1960–61: Indians led the league with a 49–22–1 record, a mark unsurpassed until the 1973 season.
The magnificent offense scored 344 goals, nearly a hundred more than any other team. Sweeney led the league in scoring, while Cline placed third, Kilrea fourth, Bill McCreary Sr. fifth and Anderson seventh in a show of offensive dominan
United States Army
The United States Army is the land warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States, is designated as the Army of the United States in the United States Constitution; as the oldest and most senior branch of the U. S. military in order of precedence, the modern U. S. Army has its roots in the Continental Army, formed to fight the American Revolutionary War —before the United States of America was established as a country. After the Revolutionary War, the Congress of the Confederation created the United States Army on 3 June 1784 to replace the disbanded Continental Army; the United States Army considers itself descended from the Continental Army, dates its institutional inception from the origin of that armed force in 1775. As a uniformed military service, the U. S. Army is part of the Department of the Army, one of the three military departments of the Department of Defense; the U. S. Army is headed by a civilian senior appointed civil servant, the Secretary of the Army and by a chief military officer, the Chief of Staff of the Army, a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
It is the largest military branch, in the fiscal year 2017, the projected end strength for the Regular Army was 476,000 soldiers. S. Army was 1,018,000 soldiers; as a branch of the armed forces, the mission of the U. S. Army is "to fight and win our Nation's wars, by providing prompt, land dominance, across the full range of military operations and the spectrum of conflict, in support of combatant commanders"; the branch participates in conflicts worldwide and is the major ground-based offensive and defensive force of the United States. The United States Army serves as the land-based branch of the U. S. Armed Forces. Section 3062 of Title 10, U. S. Code defines the purpose of the army as: Preserving the peace and security and providing for the defense of the United States, the Commonwealths and possessions and any areas occupied by the United States Supporting the national policies Implementing the national objectives Overcoming any nations responsible for aggressive acts that imperil the peace and security of the United StatesIn 2018, the Army Strategy 2018 articulated an eight-point addendum to the Army Vision for 2028.
While the Army Mission remains constant, the Army Strategy builds upon the Army's Brigade Modernization by adding focus to Corps and Division-level echelons. Modernization, reform for high-intensity conflict, Joint multi-domain operations are added to the strategy, to be completed by 2028; the Continental Army was created on 14 June 1775 by the Second Continental Congress as a unified army for the colonies to fight Great Britain, with George Washington appointed as its commander. The army was led by men who had served in the British Army or colonial militias and who brought much of British military heritage with them; as the Revolutionary War progressed, French aid and military thinking helped shape the new army. A number of European soldiers came on their own to help, such as Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, who taught Prussian Army tactics and organizational skills; the army fought numerous pitched battles and in the South in 1780–1781, at times using the Fabian strategy and hit-and-run tactics, under the leadership of Major General Nathanael Greene, hit where the British were weakest to wear down their forces.
Washington led victories against the British at Trenton and Princeton, but lost a series of battles in the New York and New Jersey campaign in 1776 and the Philadelphia campaign in 1777. With a decisive victory at Yorktown and the help of the French, the Continental Army prevailed against the British. After the war, the Continental Army was given land certificates and disbanded in a reflection of the republican distrust of standing armies. State militias became the new nation's sole ground army, with the exception of a regiment to guard the Western Frontier and one battery of artillery guarding West Point's arsenal. However, because of continuing conflict with Native Americans, it was soon realized that it was necessary to field a trained standing army; the Regular Army was at first small and after General St. Clair's defeat at the Battle of the Wabash, the Regular Army was reorganized as the Legion of the United States, established in 1791 and renamed the United States Army in 1796; the War of 1812, the second and last war between the United States and Great Britain, had mixed results.
The U. S. Army did not conquer Canada but it did destroy Native American resistance to expansion in the Old Northwest and it validated its independence by stopping two major British invasions in 1814 and 1815. After taking control of Lake Erie in 1813, the U. S. Army seized parts of western Upper Canada, burned York and defeated Tecumseh, which caused his Western Confederacy to collapse. Following U. S. victories in the Canadian province of Upper Canada, British troops who had dubbed the U. S. Army "Regulars, by God!", were able to capture and burn Washington, defended by militia, in 1814. The regular army, however proved they were professional and capable of defeating the British army during the invasions of Plattsburgh and Baltimore, prompting British agreement on the rejected terms of a status quo ante bellum. Two weeks after a treaty was signed, Andrew Jackson defeated the British in the Battle of New Orleans and Siege of Fort St. Philip, became a national hero. U. S. troops and sailors captured HMS Cyane and Penguin in the final engagements of the war.
Per the treaty, both sides (the United S
The Providence Reds were a hockey team that played in the Canadian-American Hockey League between 1926 and 1936 and the American Hockey League from 1936 to 1977, the last season of which they played as the Rhode Island Reds. The team won the Calder Cup in 1938, 1940, 1949, 1956; the Reds played at the Rhode Island Auditorium, located on North Main Street in Providence, Rhode Island, from 1926 through 1972, when the team affiliated with the New York Rangers and moved into the newly built Providence Civic Center. The team name came from the breed of chicken known as the Rhode Island Red; when the North American Hockey League folded in 1977, the Broome Dusters acquired the Reds franchise and moved them to Binghamton, New York, where they were known as the Binghamton Dusters, Binghamton Whalers, Binghamton Rangers. In 1997 the franchise was sold to Madison Square Garden and moved to become the Hartford Wolf Pack. On November 27, 2010, they were renamed the Connecticut Whale to honor the NHL's Hartford Whalers.
It is the oldest continuously operating minor-league hockey franchise in North America, having fielded a team in one form or another since 1926 in the CAHL. It is the only AHL franchise to have never missed a season; the AHL returned to Providence in 1992 in the form of the Providence Bruins. Formed in 2001, The Rhode Island Reds Heritage Society commemorates the existence of the franchise and keeps the memory alive, their pinnacle event is an annual reunion. Billy Coutu Albert "Battleship" Leduc Frederick "Bun" Cook Johnny Mitchell Irwin Boyd Terry Reardon Pat Egan Jack Crawford Phil Watson Fern Flaman Ivan Irwin Dave Creighton Larry Wilson Larry Popein John Muckler Providence Reds 1926–1936 Providence Reds 1936–1976 Rhode Island Reds 1976–1977 Per HockeyDB: Boston Bruins California Seals Chicago Black Hawks Colorado Rockies New England Whalers New York Rangers St. Louis Blues Toronto Maple Leafs
American Hockey League
The American Hockey League is a professional ice hockey league based in the United States and Canada that serves as the primary developmental league for the National Hockey League. Since the 2010–11 season, every team in the league has an affiliation agreement with one NHL team; when NHL teams do not have an AHL affiliate, players are assigned to AHL teams affiliated with other NHL teams. Twenty-seven AHL teams are located in the United States and the remaining four are in Canada; the league offices are located in Springfield and its current president is David Andrews. In general, a player must be at least 18 years of age to play in the AHL or not be beholden to a junior ice hockey team; the league limits the number of experienced professional players on a team's active roster during any given game. The AHL allows for practice squad contracts; the annual playoff champion is awarded the Calder Cup, named for Frank Calder, the first President of the NHL. The reigning champions are the Toronto Marlies.
The AHL traces its origins directly to two predecessor professional leagues: the Canadian-American Hockey League, founded in 1926, the first International Hockey League, established in 1929. Although the Can-Am League never operated with more than six teams, the departure of the Boston Bruin Cubs after the 1935–36 season reduced it down to just four member clubs – the Springfield Indians, Philadelphia Ramblers, Providence Reds, New Haven Eagles – for the first time in its history. At the same time, the then-rival IHL lost half of its eight members after the 1935–36 season leaving it with just four member teams: the Buffalo Bisons, Syracuse Stars, Pittsburgh Hornets, Cleveland Falcons. With both leagues down to the bare minimum in membership, the governors of each recognized the need for action to assure their member clubs' long-term survival, their solution was to play an interlocking schedule. While the Can-Am League was based in the Northeast and the IHL in the Great Lakes, their footprints were close enough for this to be a viable option.
The two older leagues' eight surviving clubs began joint play in November 1936 as a new two-division "circuit of mutual convenience" known as the International-American Hockey League. The four Can-Am teams became the I-AHL East Division, with the IHL quartet playing as the West Division; the IHL contributed its former championship trophy, the F. G. "Teddy" Oke Trophy, which would go to the regular-season winners of the merged league's West Division until 1952. The Oke Trophy is now awarded to the regular-season winners of the AHL's Northeast Division. A little more than a month into that first season, the balance and symmetry of the new combined circuit suffered a setback when its membership unexpectedly fell to seven teams; the West's Buffalo Bisons were forced to cease operations on December 6, 1936, after playing just 11 games, because of what proved to be insurmountable financial problems and lack of access to a suitable arena. The makeshift new I-AHL played out the rest of its first season with just seven teams.
At the end of the 1936–37 season, a modified three-round playoff format was devised and a new championship trophy, the Calder Cup, was established. The Syracuse Stars defeated the Philadelphia Ramblers in the final, three-games-to-one, to win the first-ever Calder Cup championship; the Calder Cup continues on today as the AHL's playoff championship trophy. After two seasons of interlocking play, the governors of the two leagues' seven active teams met in New York City on June 28, 1938, agreed that it was time to formally consolidate. Maurice Podoloff of New Haven, the former head of the Can-Am League, was elected the I-AHL's first president; the former IHL president, John Chick of Windsor, became vice-president in charge of officials. The new I-AHL added an eighth franchise at the 1938 meeting to fill the void in its membership left by the loss of Buffalo two years earlier with the admission of the two-time defending Eastern Amateur Hockey League champion Hershey Bears; the Bears remain the only one of these eight original I-AHL/AHL franchises to have been represented in the league without interruption since the 1938–39 season.
The newly merged circuit increased its regular-season schedule for each team by six games from 48 to 54. After the 1939–40 season the I-AHL renamed itself the American Hockey League, it enjoyed both consistent success on the ice and relative financial stability over its first three decades of operation. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the cost of doing business in professional ice hockey began to rise with NHL expansion and relocation and the 1972 formation of the World Hockey Association, which forced the relocation and subsequent folding of the Cleveland Barons, Baltimore Clippers, Quebec Aces; the number of major-league teams competing for players rose from six to thirty in just seven years. Player salaries at all levels shot up with the increased demand and competition for their services; this did not seem to affect the AHL at first, as it expanded to 12 teams by 1970. However, to help compensate for the rise in player salaries, many NHL clubs cut back on the number of p
New York Rangers
The New York Rangers are a professional ice hockey team based in New York City. They are members of the Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League; the team plays its home games at Madison Square Garden in the borough of Manhattan, an arena they share with the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association. They are one of three NHL teams located in the New York metropolitan area; the Rangers are one of the Original Six, along with the Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs, to compete in the NHL until the league's expansion in 1967, after the team was founded in 1926 by Tex Rickard. The team attained success early on under the guidance of Lester Patrick, who coached a vibrant team containing Frank Boucher, Murray Murdoch, Bun and Bill Cook to Stanley Cup glory in 1928, making them the first NHL franchise in the United States to win the trophy; the team would go onto win two additional Stanley Cups in 1933 and 1940.
Following this initial grace period, the franchise struggled between the 1940s and 1960s, whereby playoff appearances and success was infrequent. The team enjoyed a mini renaissance in the 1970s, where they made the Stanley Cup finals twice, losing to the Bruins in 1972 and the Canadiens in 1979; the Rangers subsequently embraced a rebuild for much of the 1980s and early 1990s, which paid dividends, where the team, led by Mark Messier, Brian Leetch, Adam Graves, Mike Richter, captured their fourth Stanley Cup in 1994. The team was unable to duplicate that success in the years that followed, entered into another period of mediocrity, enduring a franchise-record seven-year postseason drought from 1998 to 2005, languished for the majority of the 2000s, but reached another Stanley Cup finals in 2014, being led by Martin St. Louis. However, they have since entered into another period of rebuilding. Several former members of the Rangers have been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, four of whom—Buddy O'Connor, Chuck Rayner, Andy Bathgate, Messier—have won the Hart Memorial Trophy while playing for the team.
George Lewis "Tex" Rickard, president of Madison Square Garden, was awarded an NHL franchise for the 1926–27 season to compete with the now-defunct New York Americans, who had begun play at the Garden the previous season. The Americans proved to be an greater success than expected during their inaugural season, leading Rickard to pursue a second team for the Garden despite promising the Amerks that they were going to be the only hockey team to play there; the new team was nicknamed "Tex's Rangers". Rickard's franchise began play in the 1926–27 season; the first team crest was a horse sketched in blue carrying a cowboy waving a hockey stick aloft, before being changed to the familiar R-A-N-G-E-R-S in diagonal. Rickard managed to get future legendary Toronto Maple Leafs owner Conn Smythe to assemble the team. However, Smythe had a falling-out with Rickard's hockey man, Col. John S. Hammond, was fired as manager-coach on the eve of the first season—he was paid a then-hefty $2,500 to leave. Smythe was replaced by Pacific Coast Hockey Association co-founder Lester Patrick.
The new team Smythe assembled turned out to be a winner. The Rangers won the American Division title their first year but lost to the Boston Bruins in the playoffs; the team's early success led to players becoming minor celebrities and fixtures in New York City's Roaring Twenties' nightlife. It was during this time, playing at the Garden on 48th Street, blocks away from Times Square, that the Rangers obtained their now-famous nickname "The Broadway Blueshirts". On December 13, 1929, the New York Rangers became the first team in the NHL to travel by plane when they hired the Curtiss-Wright Corporation to fly them to Toronto for a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, which they lost 7–6. In only their second season, the Rangers won the Stanley Cup, defeating the Montreal Maroons three games to two. One of the most memorable stories that emerged from the finals involved Patrick playing in goal at the age of 44. At the time, teams were not required to dress a backup goaltender, so when the Rangers' starting goaltender, Lorne Chabot, left a game with an eye injury, Maroons head coach Eddie Gerard vetoed his original choice for a replacement.
An angry Patrick lined up between the pipes for two periods in Game 2 of the finals, allowing one goal to Maroons center Nels Stewart. Frank Boucher scored the game-winning goal in overtime for New York. After a loss to the Bruins in the 1928–29 finals and an early struggle in the early 1930s, the Rangers, led by brothers Bill and Bun Cook on the right and left wings and Frank Boucher at center, defeated the Maple Leafs in the 1932–33 best-of-five finals three games to one to win their second Stanley Cup, exacting revenge on the Leafs' "Kid line" of Busher Jackson, Joe Primeau and Charlie Conacher; the Rangers spent the rest of the 1930s playing close to 0.500 hockey. Lester Patrick was replaced by Frank Boucher. In 1939–40 season, the Rangers finished the regular season in second place behind Boston; the two teams met in the first round of the playoffs. The Bruins gained a two-games-to-one series lead from New York, but the Rangers recovered to win three-straight games, defeating the first-place Bruins four games to two.
The Rangers' first round victory gave them a bye until the finals. The Detroit Red Wings defeated the New York Americans in their first round best-of-three series two games to one (even as the Americans had analytical a