Ravin’ Rangers – No. 18: Vic Hadfield
As one of the most popular New York Rangers players ever, Vic Hadfield is second to few when it comes to the history of the team.
Hadfield, who made his Rangers debut in 1961, spent 13 of his 16 NHL seasons in New York, and ranks near the top in almost every historical category for the franchise.
When he retired in 1978, Hadfield was the fourth-best scoring player for the Rangers, falling behind the likes of Jean Ratelle, Andy Bathgate, and Rod Gilbert.
Now, Hadfields 262 goals in a blueshirts uniform place him as fifth-best, adding long-time Rangers great Adam Graves ahead of him. His 130 assists name him as the 10th most in franchise history and his career point total in New York, 572, is good enough for ninth all-time.
During his time playing for the Rangers, Hadfield had several big years, but none was bigger than the 1971-1972 season, when he complied a career high 106 points and added an impressive 142 penalty minutes. That season was his first year as the Rangers captain and he became the first player in the history of the organization to register 50 goals in a season.
Hadfield continued his impressive marks into the post-season that year. In 16 games, he tallied 16 points and helped the Rangers make a run for a Stanley Cup.
Over his final 10 years in New York, Hadfield reached at least 30 points each season, including two years when he eclipsed the 60-point-mark.
During his younger days, Hadfield was considered and respected in the Rangers lineup as their enforcer, but over time, he became a solid goal-scorer as well.
In five of his 10 seasons as a Ranger, Hadfield nabbed the 100-minute mark for penalty minutes. Hadfield also helped New York reach the playoffs in eight of those seasons, although he never won a Stanley Cup with the Rangers.
After the Rangers, Hadfield spent the final three years of his career with the Pittsburgh Penguins, although by that time his best days were behind him.
In all, Hadfield finished with a 712-point career and spent 1,154 minutes in the penalty box.
Note: This column looks back at the 20 best players in the history of the New York Rangers, recapping each players role in the history of the team and their accomplishments in New York.