Lesser Known Rangers – Volume 17
The summer is in full effect, and ice doesn’t stand a chance being that it’s warm and ice is…..you get it. Anyways, just because there’s no ice games being played, doesn’t stop the Rangers from trying to improve the team. Singing Artemi Panarin, drafting Kaapo Kakko, bringing over Vitali Kravtsov, Yegor Rykov and Igor Shesterkin and trading for Jacob Trouba are just a few notable players who have been brought over for the Blueshirts this season.
Just like these names, there are other players who have donned the Rangers sweater that haven’t been as prominent. Grab your wine cooler, your beach chair and your sunglasses, as we go into a summer edition of Lesser Known Rangers.
Mike Eastwood, Center
Time with Rangers: 75 games, 6G, 12A over the span of two seasons
Once traded for Tie Domi, Mike Eastwood served as a large, big body presence for the Rangers in the mid 90’s. Eastwood was acquired by the Rangers, along with Dallas Eakins, from Phoenix for Jayson More. Totaling 75 games with six goals and 12 assists, Eastwood was your prototypical bottom-six center with size. He was dealt to the Blues a year later for Harry York.
All together in 13 seasons, Eastwood has appeared in 783 career NHL games while recording 87 goals and 149 assists. He also played in 97 playoff games, scoring eight goals and 11 assists for 19 points and 64 penalty minutes.
Kris Newbury, Center
Time with Rangers: 24 games over three seasons in New York, Wolf Pack/Whale mainstay.
For some reason, I thought Kris Newbury was going to be a bottom-six forward of the future. Don’t ask me why, but I thought that he was going to make an impact. A shorter man, Newbury always played a rugged style of game but his skill set could never really translate to the NHL.
After having stints with the Maple Leafs and Red Wings, Newbury was dealt to New York in 2010. In three seasons with the Whale/Wolf Pack, he was a 40+ point player in the three seasons he was in Hartford. In his 24 games for the Rangers, Newbury only registered two points and 68 penalty minutes. Clearly, he didn’t make a mark, as the Rangers promptly shipped him off to Philadelphia for Danny Syvret three seasons later.
Newbury would bounce around with Philly for one more season, then toil away in the lower leagues after all was said and done. He played for Adirondack, Charlotte, Bakersfield, Hershey and Ontario in the AHL, had a one season stint in Germany and is now currently in the ECHL with the Jacksonville IceMen.
Jussi Markkanen, Goaltender
Time with Rangers: 26 games in 2003-04
In the revolving door that was the Rangers goalie carousel that hit the Rangers before Henrik Lundqvist, this name certainly sticks out for me. Markkanen made his NHL debut with the Oilers during the 2001-02 season, posting a 6-4-2 record. He went on to play 22 games the next season before having his rights dealt to the New York Rangers in exchange for the rights of Brian Leetch, who would eventually re-sign with the Rangers.
Markkanen’s stay in New York would last not even one full season. He lasted only 26 games, as he was traded with Petr Nedved that sent both players to Edmonton. In Edmonton, he was the backup to Dwayne Roloson and filled in when needed during the 2006 Stanley Cup run for Edmonton. In Game Six of the 2006 Stanley Cup Final in Edmonton, Markkanen stopped all 16 Carolina shots to register his first career playoff shutout. This victory led the Oilers to Game 7, even though they ultimately fell to the Hurricanes 3-1 in the decisive game.
Markkanen would go on to finish his career overseas after the 06-07 season, playing for teams in the KHL, NLA in Switzerland and Liiga in Finland. Markkanen would call it quits after the 2017-18 Liiga season, playing in nine games for SaiPa. Upon retiring, Markkanen became the GM of the Liiga club.