You Decide Vote: Best Rangers All Star MVP Performance
In the history of the All-Star Game, the New York Rangers have had 5 MVP performances. Today Rick Nash will be representing the Blueshirts and the Garden Faithful are hoping for another MVP show.
Here’s the list of 5 MVP performance starting with Don Maloney in 1984 and ending with Marian Gaborik’s stellar showing in 2012. FYI: He’s still the reigning MVP thanks to the lockout and Olympics in the following 2 years.
1984 Don Maloney 1G – 3A – 4PTS
The Wales Conference edged the Campbell Conference 7-6 in East Rutherford, NJ. This All Star game was played at the old Brendan Byrne Arena and saw cross river rival Don Maloney of the NY Rangers win the game’s top honor with a 4 point performance.
This performance is over 30 years old and finding video and or photos of this game was difficult. The best I could come up with was this photo found on an Ebay auction!
Even though it’s literally considered ancient to the hi-tech generation, Don Maloney is the first ever Ranger to earn this honor.
1993 Mike Gartner, 4G – 1A – 5PTS
Mike Gartner opened the scoring with a deflection goal in front of Ed Belfour and the Wales Conference would go on to route the Campbell Conference 16-6 at the Forum in Montreal.
This would be the last All-Star Game in which the format was Wales versus Campbell. Gartner went on to score 3 more goals using his speed and blistering shot that were trademarks for his career.
1994 Mike Richter, 19 Saves 2GA
Ok, for the record Richter played only the second period and in normal circumstances we wouldn’t be screaming MVP in a regular season game. However, this was the All-Star Game and it took place at Madison Square Garden. Possible hometown favoritism aside, goalies are normally left out to dry in these games. Making Richter’s performance really jaw dropping.
The East beat the West 9-8 thanks to the stellar goaltending of Mike Richter who made incredible save after incredible save. The most popular was stopping Pavel Bure on a breakaway. Why was that so important? Because in the 1994 Stanley Cup Final, Bure was awarded a penalty shot and tried the same move that Richter stopped.
Mike Richter won game honors surrounded by teammates, Mark Messier, Brian Leetch and Adam Graves. For two years in a row a Ranger took home the MVP and car.
1999 Wayne Gretzky, 1G – 2A – 3PTS
As many were anticipating, 1999 was likely going to be the last for #99. Wayne Gretzky played very well notching 3 points at the Ice Palace in Tampa Bay. This was also the second year where the format was changed to North America vs. the World.
Gretzky’s 3 points helped NA come out on top 8-6. In the 5 years this format was done, NA topped the World All Stars 3 times. It was a shining moment for the Great One in the twilight of his career.
In 18 All-Star Game appearances, Gretzky has 3 MVP awards, 25 points (13G-12A). Apparently, 1999 is considered ages ago as the only highlights I can find are in Russian.
2012 MARIAN GABORIK, 3G – 1A – 4PTS
Marian Gaborik playing for Team Chara (sorry folks, I don’t get this new format) scored a hat-trick in Ottawa. It was Gaborik’s shining moment as a Ranger and also sad foreshadowing for the 2014 Stanley Cup Final. Gaborik would score twice on fellow Ranger, Henrik Lundqvist.
“I was just fortunate to get lucky against him. I think he’s one of the best, if not the best, goalies in the League. I tried to get into his mind the whole weekend. It was a pretty good challenge against him.”
Gaborik’s performance against Lundqvist was a scene we would see often for him as a member of the L.A. Kings. He would help them march to the 2014 Stanley Cup at the expense of his good friend, Henrik Lundqvist.