Lesser Known Rangers – Volume 12
Summer is winding down and training camp for the Rangers is not too far away! Ah, yes! I cannot wait for the sounds of sticks slapping pucks, skates cutting ice and the mute button on my TV whenever Pierre McGuire speaks. What a time to be alive! Teams are gearing up to build their rosters and are ready to battle for a chance to play for the Stanley Cup, the Rangers not being an exception. Normally, an organization ruffles through players to see who can be a good fit for the system they employ, some stick around longer than others. Here now are some players who didn’t really stick around long enough for the New York Rangers.
Jason Krog, Forward
Time with Rangers: 9 games during the 2006-07 season
As a kid, I would always say Krog rhymes with Frog (astute observation little JL) and made it a point to remember it. His time with the Rangers though, not so memorable.
After some time in Juniors and four years at the University of New Hampshire, Jason Krog bounced up and down from the majors to the minors, playing for organizations such as the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and the New York Islanders. During his time in Anaheim, he played in 67 games during the 2002–03 campaign and posted career highs of 10 goals, 15 assists, and 25 points. In the playoffs, Krog played in 21 games as the Mighty Ducks made their way to the Finals against the eventual Stanley Cup winners, the New Jersey Devils.
During the lockout of 2004-05, Krog went to Switzerland and stayed in Europe for another season, playing in Sweden. Krog returned to the NHL in an Atlanta Thrashers uniform. After 14 games, however, Atlanta placed him on waivers and was claimed by the New York Rangers on January 12th, 2007.
Krog played nine games for New York and registered two goals. That’s it. He was then placed on waivers again and reclaimed by the aforementioned Thrashers. He would then go on to play a few more years in the minors with Manitoba and Chicago, putting up decent numbers along with a Calder Cup win for the Wolves in 2008. After 2011, Krog would head back to Sweden and make a few more stops in Austria and France.
The only thing I can remember about Jason Krog, outside of his rad name, was he played on a line with Jaromir Jagr for a brief time. My memory is usually pretty good but I’m having trouble thinking of anything else to remember. C’mon brain, help me out here!
Brad Isbister, Forward
Time with Rangers: 19 games during the 2006-07 campaign
My brain isn’t working as well as I wanted to, so onto the next player! This player in particular is someone who I thought was here longer than he actually was. Also, if there was a name that I loved to hear Sam Rosen say, it was Brad Isbister.
Previously playing for the New York Islanders, Boston Bruins and Edmonton Oilers, Isbister was dealt to the New York Rangers just one month into the 2006 season by the Carolina Hurricanes, who signed him during the offseason.
Isbister spent the majority of this season with the Rangers’ AHL affiliate, the Hartford Wolf Pack, but did appear in 19 games for on the big club, tallying a goal and four assists. For some reason, I always noticed him on the ice and it seemed like he was a decent contributor for the bottom six when needed.
After his stint with the Rangers, Isbister went to Vancouver, and then to the Swiss league before retiring after the 2008-09 hockey season.
Nigel Dawes, Forward
Time with Rangers: 121 games for New York spread out through three seasons, with time in Hartford in between.
I’m a tad bit conflicted on this one. Although he didn’t produce much, Nigel Dawes certainly had the makings of a solid, bottom-line winger. Small in size, Dawes was a solid puck handler. He had flashes of what type of hockey hands he possessed, including a nice goal undressing Hall of Fame defenseman Chris Pronger.
He, along with Petr Prucha, were two of my favorites and loved seeing them play together (although Prucha should’ve been more, considering he tore it up his rookie season).
After lighting up the lamp for the Kootenay Ice in the WHL and for the Hartford Wolf Pack, Dawes was sent to be a bottom-line scoring winger for the Rangers. And in his first full season in New York, it seemed like it was going to be that way, by putting up 29 points in 61 games during the 2007-08 season. His next season saw his production drop, as he put up 19 points in 52 games. Looking for an extra playoff push that season, the Rangers traded Dawes, Petr Prucha and Dimitri Kalinin to Phoenix for Derek Morris. To me, I always felt the Rangers gave up on him, but I could see why he was dealt.
After bouncing around in Phoenix, Calgary, Atlanta and Montreal, Dawes headed to the KHL to play for Barys Astana. Well, what do you know, something seemed to have ignited inside of him to become a different player. In his seven years playing for Barys Astana, he put up more than 30 points in every season he played there, reached 40+ points five times, and even reached 60 plus points during his 2016-17 campaign. Dawes led the KHL in goals with 35 for the 2017-18 season and has been selected to four KHL All Star Games. Needless to say, Dawes is carving out a pretty solid career for himself in Russia.
I assume the Rangers weren’t going to wait six seasons for him, but it seems to me Nigel Dawes figured something out and is able to use the skill set he has to make a name for himself somewhere. Dawes is still going strong, as he signed a contract with HC Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg of the KHL.