Forgotten Blueshirts: Jari Kurri’s brief Rangers stint

Jari Kurri (SI.com)

Today is the great Jari Kurri’s 60th birthday. I thought to myself, “What a player! Imagine if the Rangers had him?” Then I felt it. That creeping and sneaking suspicion that he may have played for the Blueshirts. Well, I got my fingers to tapping the keyboard to hockey-reference.com and there he was in all his glory. A Rangers for all of 14 regular season games and 11 more in the playoffs before signing with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in the summer of 96.

Kurri Trade

Well Big Deal Neil Smith just couldn’t help himself with trading for players that partook in those great Oilers teams that dominated to mid-late 80’s. Now when I tell you the full deal you will all let out a collective groan. Here it is via NHL TradeTracker.

Los Angeles Kings acquireDateNew York Rangers acquire

Ray Ferraro
Nathan Lafayette
Ian Laperriere
Mattias Norstrom
1997 4th round pick (#99-Sean Blanchard) 
March 14, 1996Shane Churla
Jari Kurri
Marty McSorley
via NHL Tradetracker

Yes, Kurri was acquired in the 7 player deal that saw the Rangers give up all-star defenseman Mattias Norstrom. To this day, Smith calls this the worst trade he ever made.

Brief Stint

Jari Kurri may have 601 NHL career goals, but only 1 of them came with the Blueshirts. That tally came on March 27th against the Panthers and he couldn’t score another. He finished his 14 game Rangers career with a total of 5 points. He did have a decent playoff run amassing 3 goals and 8 points in 11 games, but the Rangers were ousted by the Penguins 4 games to 1 in the 2nd round.

Happy Birthday Jari.

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