As a New York Rangers fan, I love my team but I am also a realist and with realism comes facts. Fact is that the Rangers have only won one Stanley Cup since the end of World War II. With the Chicago Blackhawks one win away from wrapping up their fifth Stanley Cup (or four 1/2 if you believe there should be an asterisk for this years’ winner due to the strike shortened season), and their second in the last three years, they will pass the Rangers total of four Stanley Cups and make The Blueshirts alone in last out of all of the Original Six teams. But overall does this make them the worst Original Six NHL franchise?
When looking back at the full history of the NHL, overall the Montreal Canadiens are the New York Yankees of hockey with their league leading 24 Stanley Cups. Second is the Toronto Maple Leafs with 13 with the Detroit Red Wings right on their tail with 11. Fourth is the Boston Bruins with six and then the bottom two being the Rangers tied for last, but not for long, with the Blackhawks at four Stanley Cups. So if one would look at overall history, the Rangers would make a strong argument at being the worst Original Six team.
With the Blackhawks and Bruins in this year’s Cup finals, their second Stanley Cup finals appearance for each in the last three seasons, regardless of who wins the cup this year between the two, both the Bruins and the Blackhawks both have won championships recently. Something that one cannot say about the Rangers, unless you consider 20 years to be recent.
But if you look at recent history however, the Rangers would not be the worst Original Six team as they have had a way better go at things in the playoffs than the Canadiens and Maple Leafs. The Canadiens haven’t won a Stanley Cup since 1993, and really have not made a strong dent in the postseason since that year. The Maple Leafs on the other hand have the longest Stanley Cup drought in the NHL with their last Stanley Cup victory coming all the way back in 1967. The Leafs who finally made the playoffs this season, but choked in epic fashion in Game 7 of the first round against the Bruins, were the only NHL franchise who did not make the playoffs in between both NHL lockouts of 2005 and 2012.
The Red Wings, Bruins and Blackhawks however have all had better recent histories than the Rangers with the Red Wings capturing four Stanley Cups since 1997, the Bruins ending their long drought of not winning a Stanley Cup since 1972, which was of course against the Rangers, by beating the Vancouver Canucks in an epic seven-game series in 2011, and the Blackhawks ending their long drought of not winning a Stanley Cup since 1961, by beating the Philadelphia Flyers in a great six-game series in 2010.
The Rangers have not only won one Stanley Cup since the end of World War II but have not even been to one since their last Stanley Cup victory in 1994. However, the Rangers did make it to the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2011-2012 season before losing in six games to the New Jersey Devils, and have been consistently in the playoffs since 2006, as the Rangers have only missed the playoffs once in that span, which is something you can not say for the Canadiens and Maple Leafs, as both franchises have struggled mightily to even make the playoffs in the last two decades.
All in all, it can be argued and debated if the Rangers are the worst Original Six team when looked at the entire league history. However, when looked at just the recent years, that is simply not the case. I believe the Rangers really need to change up their strategies, and change them fast. If nothing is done, then us fans will be the only ones that suffer. The franchise will keep making millions of dollars every season, while we, the fans and paying customers, spend our money to watch this team and in return see the same mediocrity and lackluster offense year after year. If this ridiculously bad pattern doesn’t stop soon, then sadly the Rangers could be known as the Chicago Cubs of the NHL, in which then the Rangers would definitely be known as the worst Original Six franchise.