Denis Potvin heads all on Mount Rushmore for Rangers Villains

We recently ran a piece on some of the biggest and baddest villains in Rangers history. While there have been many, such as Tom Wilson of the Caps and Brandon Prust of the Canadiens in recent years, they pale in comparison to these “gentlemen”. A poll was posted in the article with almost 400 votes and Denis Potvin won convincingly with 58% of fans naming him the biggest villain in Rangers history.


You all know the chant but some of you are clueless as to how it came to be. On Feb. 25th, 1979 a very good Rangers team was firing on all cylinders. Ulf Nilsson, was a key offensive forward for the club.. Enter Denis Potvin, with his brute strength crushing Ulf into the boards and breaking his ankle.

Denis Potvin (

Nilsson was lost for the season and was never the same again. Rangers fans still ponder, if Ulf was healthy, would they have won the Cup that year against Montreal? It doesn’t matter, because on that night, the greatest sports chant in history was born, “POTVIN SUCKS!” And by the way you voted, still resonates today.

#1 Rangers Villain

Denis Potvin earned his number one position on our “villains list” for infamous body check Ulf Nilsson. The debate rages on about whether or not Potvin deliberately tried to maim Nilsson. What cannot be debated is the true reason why, to this day, Rangerstown carries on the tradition of treating Denis Potvin like Public Enemy Number One and that is because the Hall of Fame defenseman was the embodiment of the great Islander dynasty which won four consecutive Stanley Cups from 1980-1983 and defeated the Rangers in the playoffs each year between 1981-1984. 

Author’s note: Assist to Jeff Weinstein on last paragraph

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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