When someone says “New York”, what comes to your mind? Is it amazing Broadway shows? That iconic ball drop on New Year’s Eve? Classic NYC neighborhoods? Extremely high rent? There are literally thousands of New York related things that you could think of, but I doubt one of them was “Rangers”. And yet, Rangers happens to be the name of New York City’s NHL hockey team. So why are they called the New York Rangers, and not something more…more…New York-y? Well, to figure that out we have to go back about a hundred years.
History of the New York Rangers
The history of the New York Rangers begins with a boxing promoter and ex-gold prospector named Tex Rickard. This incredibly rich man built and owned the original Madison Square Garden, where the New York Americans hockey team (also known as the “Amerks”) played their home games. Despite telling Amerks they would be the only hockey team to play in the Garden, Rickard was inspired by the initial success of their squad. In 1926, he decided that it was time for him to get his own professional hockey team.
Rickard hired Conn Smythe to put his new hockey team together, and it included future legends such as Frank Boucher, Murray Murdoch, and brothers Bun and Bill Cook. The team would go on to win the American Division in just their first year, but lost to the Boston Bruins in the playoffs. The next year however, in just their second season, Rickard’s team won the Stanley Cup, beating the Montreal Maroons three games to two. The early success of the team would lead to the players becoming minor celebrities in New York. And many became staples of the city’s Roaring Twenties’ nightlife.
Meanwhile, those original New York Americans would struggle throughout the next couple decades, eventually folding in 1942.
Why Are They Called the New York Rangers?
How did the New York Rangers get their name? Well, we have the New York press to thank. And it’s actually a pretty simple story.
Basically, the press used Tex Rickard’s name as the basis for a pun. Almost from the start, the media dubbed this new hockey team Tex’s Rangers. Say it out loud, and you of course hear that it is a play on the famous Texas Rangers (think Walker, Texas Ranger, not the baseball team). A lot of other people thought the name was clever and funny as well. And eventually, the name just sort of stuck.
The New York Rangers Today
The New York Rangers would become part of the “Original Six”, the group of six hockey teams that made up the NHL for the 25 seasons between 1942 and 1967. These six teams were the Boston Bruins, Chicago Black Hawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, and the Toronto Maple Leafs, all of which are still active in the NHL.
The New York Rangers have won the Stanley Cup four times throughout their history, in 1928, 1933, 1940, and 1994. During their run, the Rangers have ingrained themselves as part of New York culture and the team is a beloved icon in not only the entire state, but country, and internationally as well.
Think you know your New York Rangers trivia? Test your luck in the quiz below, or visit Sporcle to find many more NHL quizzes.
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