A list of all 11 players to suit up for the Rangers, Islanders, and Devils
When the number 11 is mentioned to a card-carrying member of the Garden Faithful, the first thought that would pop into one’s mind is likely Mark Messier. Perhaps, Vic Hadfield for the previous generation of Ranger fans.
After all, both number 11’s were benevolent captains of Broadway’s one and only hockey team. For the purposes of this piece, the number 11 has a different significance. 11 does not represent the number on the back of a player’s sweater. Instead it amounts to all the NHLers to suit up for the Rangers, Islanders and Devils. Let’s rank and reveal them.
11: Pat Conacher
The diminutive centerman has the distinction of being the first player to wear Rangers blue, Devils red and Islanders orange. Conacher was a Ranger for parts of two seasons in the 1980’s and did not register a goal in his 22 games. Though his brief stint on Broadway was non-descript, the Edmonton native can tell his grand kids with pride that he was the first player to call Manhattan, Uniondale and East Rutherford home.
10: Joel Bouchard
The slick-skating defeseman just barely qualified for our list as he played just one game on the wrong side of the Hudson, suiting up for the Devils for a lone contest in the 2001-02 season. The Montreal native had a decent stint playing parts of two seasons for the Rangers from 2002-2004 tallying 20 points in 55 games.
9: Arron Asham
The fierce and fiery Asham made a name for himself on the early 2000’s Islander teams providing toughness, grit and occasional offense. Asham played in 33 regular seasons games for the Rangers in 2013 and 2014 scoring two goals. However, his claim to fame in his short Ranger stint was scoring the ice-breaking goal in game 7 of the 2013 first round series in Washington to propel his team to a 5-0 elimination of the Capitals.
8: Mike Mottau
The 2000 Hobey Baker Award winner was signed right out of Boston College giving Ranger fans a glimmer of hope for young talent. The Massachusetts native could never find a home on the corner of 33rd Street and 7th Avenue and off he went to make his way around the Metropolitan area playing the bulk of his career in New Jersey.
7: Kevin Weekes
The first of three goalies on our list, Weeks has carved out quite a nice post-playing career taking his eloquence, class and hockey knowledge to the broadcasting studio. Weekes’ Ranger career, unfortunately for him, can be summed up as a stop-gap until a young goalie from Sweden named Henrik Lundqvist was ready to assume his throne and grab the keys to the castle.
6: Michael Grabner
You Devils fans ain’t gonna like this one…
Grabner electrified Ranger and Islander fans alike with his explosive speed and breathtaking breakaway opportunities. In my 40+ of years watching hockey folks, I have never seen a player with rocket propelled skates like the Austrian native. Grabner was traded from the Rangers to the Devils and, well, let’s just say his short stint in Newark did not live up to the billing nor the compensation Ranger general manager Jeff Gorton was able to swindle from his Hudson River counterpart
5: PA Parenteau
Parenteau was an enigma of sorts putting up eye-popping numbers on every level except the NHL level. When the Hull, Quebec native made his debut for the Blueshirts in the 2009-10 season, Ranger fans could see a modicum of talent especially when it came to the shootout. Parenteau became a trusted shootout candidate for former coach John Tortorella as was witnessed in the final regular season game against the Flyers with the playoffs on the line. Parenteau would move on to Long Island and eventually New Jersey before calling it a career in 2017
4: Mike Dunham
Our second goalie to make the rounds across the New York Metro area, Dunham was looked upon as being one of the best young goalies in the NHL when he was traded from New Jersey to Nashville. Dunham would be acquired by the Rangers in 2002-03 and darn near carried his underachieving team to the playoffs.
Dunham’s impressive 2003 stretch run forced your’s truly to run out and buy his #30 jersey which I then had the nameplate replaced three seasons later when a certain other franchise goalie made his Madison Square Garden debut.
3: Vladimir Malakhov
There are a few scant topics that Ranger, Islander and Devil fans could all agree on. One of the few unanimous agreements would be the tantalization of the towering Russian blue-liner, Vladimir Malakhov. The 6’4 230lbs Malakhov had all the tools to be a perennial All Star and consistent Norris Trophy candidate.
For reasons known only to “Vladdy” his desire never matched his immense talent leaving all three indigenous fan bases to wonder “what if?” Malakhov was unceremoniously traded away at the 2004 trade deadline as part of a Ranger roster purge.
2: Sergei Nemchinov
“Sarge” played all but six of his 761 NHL games for either the Rangers, Isles or Devils, A vital member of the 1994 Rangers Stanley Cup championship team, Nemchinov was also a champion as a role player with New Jersey in 2000 and was well-respected by his teammates and respective fan-bases around the New York area.
1: John Vanbiesbrouck
“The Beezer” as he was affectionately known by the Garden Faithful, played the majority of his 882 total games backstopping the Rangers, capturing the 1986 Vezina Trophy and earning the full-throated admiration and adulation of Rangerstown.
Vanbiesbrouck finished up his lengthy and successful NHL career with the Isles and Devils respectively before calling it quits in 2002. Before Henrik Lundqvist, there was Mike Richter and before Richter, there was the Beezer, Ranger fans certainly love their home grown franchise goaltenders and Vanbiesbrouck was no different.
Grab yourself a Rangers jersey on Sale Now!
Fanatics is having a major sale of UP TO 65% SITEWIDE. So gear up for the playoffs with a hot Rangers jersey today.