Mike Rogers, the forgotten 100 point player for the Rangers
Jaromir Jagr, during his first full season with the Rangers in 2005-06, shattered the team’s single season scoring record. That year he tallyed 123 points becoming just the sixth Blueshirt to eclipse the 100 point plateau.
Mark Messier and Brian Leetch, on their way to capturing the Hart Trophy and Norris Trophy respectively, became the fourth and fifth members of the New York Rangers 100 point club. In 1991-92 Messier topped out at 107 points and Leetch finishied with 102.
The 1971-72 season saw Jean Ratelle and Vic Hadfield, two thirds of the famed “GAG Line” put on a show. Not only did they help lead their Ranger team to the Stanley Cup Finals, they also became the first two Blueshirts to notch 100 points in a season. Ratelle’s 109 points and Hadfield’s 106 stood first and second in the team’s media guide under single season scoring leaders for an astounding 20 years!
Mike Rogers the Rangers forgotten 100 point player
The New York Rangers, whose history dates all the way back to 1926, have had just six different players score 100 points or more in a single season. The aforementioned five prolific scorers are well known to the Garden Faithful and are unquestioned Ranger royalty. However, the third player to hit that magical 100 point mark in team history is a bit on the obscure side.
Amazingly, the franchise’s all time leading scorer, Rod Gilbert, is not a member of this illustrious club. Nor is the incomparable former league MVP Andy Bathgate. Neither are Hall of Famers and NHL legends Mike Gartner, Wayne Gretzky, Marcel Dionne or Phil Esposito.
In the 1981-82 season, a diminutive center-man, acquired from the Hartford Whalers, named Mike Rogers, finished the campaign with 103 points. He joined Ratelle and Hadfield in that rarefied air of scoring 100 points while wearing the red, while and blue colors of Broadway’s hockey team.
Why has Mike Rogers been forgotten?
Rogers combination of skating ability, skill and scoring touch were a perfect fit for Olympic legend and head coach Herb Brook’s style of play on those early 1980’s Ranger squads. Rogers would follow up his eye-popping 81-82 season with three consistently impressive campaigns averaging 89 points-per-season from 1983 through 1985 before being jettisoned the following year.
With so few members of the Ranger 100 point club, one has to wonder why Mike Rogers has fell into relative anonymity. Let’s be honest, there is probably a large sect of Rangerstown that has likely never heard of this player.
Attaching perspective to this piece, the 1983-84 Edmonton Oilers and the 1992-93 Penguins each had four different 100 point scorers on a single roster in a single season. Glenn Anderson was one point shy from giving the Oilers a fifth 100 point man by the way. With so few players reaching triple digits and with a scant few 100 point seasons in their almost 95 year history, I am dumbfounded as to why Mike Rogers does not receive even a modicum of the adulation that Jagr, Messier, Leetch, Ratelle and Hadfield do.
The Rangers should recognize Mike Rogers
It would certainly behoove the powers-that-be who run Madison Square Garden and the Rangers to bring Rogers back to the World’s Most Famous Arena. They should have him join the other five members of the New York Rangers 100 point club in an on-ice ceremony.
In the coming years, the Garden Faithful would love to see the likes of Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad and Kaapo Kakko join this exclusive and elusive group. Until the list of 100 point Rangers expands, let’s give Mike Rogers the props and respect that he deserves. Let’s hope the organization realizes and recognizes his accomplishments during the 1981-82 season when the next Ranger eventually breaks the century mark.