Lesser Known Rangers: Volume Two
We’re back for round two of, “Wait, he played for the Rangers?” “Seriously?” Check out part one, where it will really make your head spin!
This was my reaction when I found out that Alexandre Daigle donned a Rangers uniform. I had no idea how I missed it, but I did! Lesser Known Rangers dives into this topic by looking into players to whom you had no idea donned a Blueshirt. So strap yourselves in and prepare to take a trip down obscure hockey player avenue! Let’s begin!
Patrick Rissmiller, Left Wing
Time with Rangers: 2 games in the 2008-09 season.
Known for being a strong, two way forward for the College of The Holy Cross, Rissmiller signed as an Undrafted Free Agent with the San Jose Sharks. After putting up solid numbers for the AHL’s Cleveland Barons and a brief stint with the Sharks, Rissmiller was called up a second time for the 06-07 season. In this run, Rissmiller tallied 22 points for the Sharks including seven goals and fifteen assists. On April 27, 2006 Rissmiller scored his first career playoff goal off a deflection against the Nashville Predators.
Rissmiller signed with the Rangers as a Free Agent on July 1st, 2008 and made the opening day roster out of training camp. Unfortunately for Rissmiller, after winning in his debut as a Ranger, he was injured and after just 2 games then was demoted to the AHL. Even though putting up decent numbers (54 points in 64 games), Rissmiller was never able to find his way back to the big club on Broadway.
Rissmiller’s tenure with the Rangers officially ended as he was dealt to the Atlanta Thrashers, along with Donald Brashear for center Todd White. Rissmiller only made it back to the NHL for one game with the Thrashers before being sent back down to the AHL. Rissmiller bounced around signing minor league contracts with the Avalanche and Sharks but was never able to crack the NHL and eventually; after a two year stint with Ritten-Renon with the Italian Serie A, Rissmiller retired from professional hockey.
Rissmiller is working as a development coach for the New Jersey Devils.
Nikolai Antropov, Center
Time with Rangers: 18 games in 2008-09, 7 playoff games.
The 2008-09 campaign was an interesting season to say the least. They began the season in Switzerland, Adam Graves’ number was raised to the rafters, Tom Renney was fired, John Tortorella was brought in and all the while, the roster was shuffled to save the team from falling out of playoff contention. One of these moves was acquiring Nik Antropov from the Maple Leafs for a second rounder and a conditional draft pick. Antropov helped the Rangers keep the ship afloat to a 7th seed in the old conference playoff alignment.
In his stint as a Ranger, Antropov was effective in his 18 regular season by tallying 13 points (7 goals, 6 assists) and in the first round versus the Washington Capitals, in seven games, Antropov scored 2 goals and 1 assist. Unfortunately, the Rangers were eliminated in that first round on a late goal by Sergei Fedorov.
Antropov did not re-sign with the Rangers after that season, opting to sign a four-year, $16.25 million deal with the Atlanta Thrashers, who then became the Winnipeg Jets. Antropov scored the first goal for the new Winnipeg Jets in a game against the Montreal Canadiens. After his contract with Winnipeg ended, Antropov went to play in the KHL before ending his professional career in 2015.
Personally, Antropov was one of my favorite Rangers. A large center with good hands stood out on a team that wasn’t physical at all. I wanted the organization to bring him back but his age and potential contract demands weren’t going to hurry the Rangers into giving him an offer.
Emerson Etem, Right Wing
Time with Rangers: 19 Games in 2015-16
This has the potential to be a future Lesser Known Ranger, so might as well get right to it. The summer after the Rangers lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Rangers were coming out with their heads held high, considering the injuries they were playing with. They had just won the Presidents Trophy and boasted a core of players that was primed for consistent playoff runs. There’s only one problem with all of that: the salary cap. Many of the Ranger core players were due for a raise and one of those players was fan favorite Carl Hagelin.
Hagelin was traded, along with two draft picks, to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Emerson Etem and a second round draft pick. On paper, this trade made sense for the Rangers, as they acquired a younger, faster, and cheaper player who had a high ceiling. The Rangers were hoping that Etem’s speed could contribute to AV’s fast paced system just like Carl Hagelin did, unfortunately, that didn’t happen.
Even though Etem made the team out of training camp, he failed to make in impact. Only tallying 3 assists in 19 games, Etem was a non factor. Sometimes, you didn’t even know he was on the ice at times. Touted as a high talent draft pick and being selected 29th overall by the Anaheim Ducks in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, none of what was shown by Etem in his junior days came out in his time as a Ranger. This prompted him to be dealt by a second team, as the Rangers traded him on January 8th, 2016 to Vancouver for Forward Nicklas Jensen and a 6th round pick.
After failing to stick with Vancouver, Etem is currently playing for the Arizona Coyotes while Carl Hagelin has lifted two Stanley Cups with Pittsburgh.