Toughest New York Rangers with over 200 penalty minutes in a season

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Lou Capozzola-USA TODAY Sports

Whether an NHL team is an Original Six team or an expansion franchise, almost everyone has an unbreakable record. Considering the New York Rangers are approaching 100 seasons in the league, only 10 skaters have ever collected at least 200 penalty minutes (PIM) in a single season. Two of them did it twice.

Although most of these statistics occurred in different eras, it is a safe bet that there will be no new entries on this list. The last NHL player to crack the mark was Micheal Haley with the Florida Panthers (212 PIM) back in 2017-18.

Ultimately, Brendan Lemieux is the last Rangers’ player with over 100 PIM in a season, reaching 111 in 2019-20. So, as we look back at some of the toughest ever to wear the Blueshirt, here are the top regular season PIM holders in Rangers history. 

New York Rangers players with over 200 penalty minutes

Lou Fontinato – 206 PIM (1955-56)

At 24, in just his second season in the NHL, Lou Fontinato would set a Rangers record with 206 PIM in 1955-56. Statistically, he was the only player in the league to surpass 200 minutes that year, finishing 45 ahead of “Terrible” Ted Lindsay, who had 161. 

Interestingly, it wouldn’t be the only time Fontinato would lead the league in the category, accomplishing the feat again in 1957-58 and 1961-62 with the Montreal Canadiens. Furthermore, he tallied 18 points in 70 games in 1955-56, with three goals and 15 assists. 

Overall, during the season, he earned a penalty in 48 contests, with a season-high 17 minutes against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Jan. 14, 1956. During a 6-5 New York win, Fontinato received five for fighting, plus a ten-minute misconduct in the first period, followed by a boarding call in the third period. 

Ed Hospodar – 214 PIM (1980-81)

Ed Hospodar played nine seasons in the NHL, becoming the second player in New York history to collect more than 200 PIM in a single season, accomplishing the feat in 1980-81. Interestingly, it was the only time he spent that much time in the penalty box in his career. 

Statistically, the 1980-81 campaign was the best year of his career, with 19 points in 61 games, thanks to five goals and 14 assists. Furthermore, Hospodar earned a penalty in 36 contests, with two matches over 20 PIM and four over ten PIM. 

During a Rangers 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Oct. 22, 1980, he recorded 29 PIM with a five-minute fighting major in the first period, followed by two ten-minute misconduct penalties, a two-minute unsportsmanlike misconduct and roughing penalty in the third period. 

Theo Fleury – 216 PIM (2001-02)

NHL: USA TODAY Sports-Archive
Lou Capozzola-USA TODAY NETWORK

By the time Fleury made his way to Broadway for the start of the 1999-2000 season, he already had 854 points and 1,357 PIM. Despite a slow start to his Rangers career regarding penalty trouble, with a modest 68 PIM in his first year, he kept building up his total with a career-high 216 PIM in 2001-02, his last full season in the league.

Interestingly, Fleury is the only player on this list to surpass 200 PIM and contribute on the scoreboard with 63 points that year. He skated in all 82 games, collecting a point in 40 contests and a penalty in 41 games, securing at least double-digits PIM in eight matches. 

During a game against the Florida Panthers on Dec. 17, 2001, Fleury only played until the 7:28 mark of the first period before collecting a two-minute roughing penalty and a five-minute major for cross-checking. Additionally, he got served with two ten-minute misconducts, ending his night after just 1:43 of ice time. 

Jeff Beukeboom – 220 PIM (1995-96)

During his days with the Edmonton Oilers, where he won two Stanley Cup rings, Jeff Beukeboom was no stranger to the 200 PIM club, amassing 733 minutes in just six seasons. However, once he came to New York, he only finished below 122 PIM in just two of his eight seasons with the club. 

Just a season removed from winning another ring in 1994, Beukeboom earned 220 PIM in 1995-96, a personal best for a skater who retired with 1,890 PIM. Besides chipping in 19 points in 82 games, he spent time in the penalty box in 45 contests, with five games with double-digits PIM. 

In another battle with the Panthers on April 8, 1996, Beukeboom began his evening with a two-minute elbowing penalty in the first period, then a two-minute roughing infraction to start the third. However, a few minutes later, he got a ten-minute game misconduct, a five-minute major for fighting, and a two-minute instigator penalty, ending his night with 21 PIM.

Michel Petit – 223 PIM (1987-88)

Michel Petit was a well-traveled 16-year veteran who skated with the Rangers for two seasons. Statistically, during the 1987-88 season, when he transferred from Vancouver, he collected a career-high 258 PIM between the two clubs, with 223 minutes coming in 64 games with New York. 

Additionally, Petit contributed 33 points that year, the total he had the following year (1988-89), his last in the Big Apple. Statistically, he sat in the box for 54 games that year, with 46 coming in a Rangers uniform. Furthermore, he had six double-digit PIM contests, five with New York and one with Vancouver.

During a classic tilt between the Rangers and New Jersey Devils on Mar. 8, 1988, Petit collected three five-minute fighting majors and a ten-minute misconduct for a season-high 25 PIM. 

Chris Simon – 225 PIM (2003-04)

Chris Simon played in the NHL for 15 seasons and won the Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche in 1995-96. Interestingly, that was the same season he collected 250 PIM for the first time in his career. 

Although he would eventually go on to match that number during the 2003-04 season, he split his time between the Rangers and Calgary Flames that year. After amassing 225 PIM in 65 games, New York dealt him to Calgary, where he continued to pile up the numbers with 25 PIM in 13 games in Alberta. 

Statistically, Simon earned a penalty in 40 games, with six double-digits PIM contests, including a season-high 36 against the Maple Leafs on Dec. 12, 2003. During a 5-4 loss, he had seven infractions, including a fighting major and two ten-minute misconducts, while scoring a goal in just 4:38 of ice time. 

Barry Beck – 231 PIM (1980-81)

As mentioned earlier, Fontinato held the Rangers’ PIM record with 206 in a single season. However, 25 years later, Barrk Beck would break that mark by 25 PIM, finishing the 1980-81 campaign with 231 to establish a new milestone. 

The two-time All-Star was a runner-up in Calder Trophy voting in his first year before collecting at least 106 PIM in five straight seasons from 1979 to 1984. During his first full season in New York, 1980-81, he would compile 231 PIM in 75 games while scoring 34 points. Statistically, Beck spent time in the box in 37 contests, with nine double-digit PIM matches. 

Surprisingly, in a 7-3 loss to the Washington Capitals on Dec. 26, 1980, Beck collected a season-high 22 PIM; however, Hospodar had 27 that night. The duo combined for 49 PIM, each earning their second ten-minute misconduct penalty at 16:14 of the third period. 

Tie Domi – 246 PIM (1991-92)

Tie Domi will never be known for being a goal scorer, with just 104 during his 16-year career. Instead, he’ll sit in third place on the all-time list with 3,515 PIM, behind Dale Hunter (3,565) and Tiger Williams (3,791), marks that will remain unbroken in our lifetime. 

Interestingly, he played 82 games with the Rangers, amassing 526 PIM over three seasons. Ultimately, he didn’t take long to find his way into the penalty box with 185 minutes in 28 games in 1990-91 before earning 246 PIM in 42 games during the 1991-92 campaign. 

Despite playing only 42 games that year, he collected a penalty in 28 contests, with nine double-digit PIM games. During a 9-2 blowout win over the New York Islanders on Feb. 14, 1992, Domi picked up a goal and 27 PIM thanks to a five-minute fighting major and two ten-minute misconducts. 

Kris King – 286 PIM (1989-90) and 224 PIM (1991-92)

At the start of his career, King skated in 58 games with the Detroit Red Wings, collecting six points and 170 PIM. Interestingly, during his first season on Broadway, he nearly doubled his previous high, amassing 286 PIM in just 68 games in 1989-90. 

Statistically, King didn’t even finish as the Rangers’ top penalty guy, coming 19 minutes short of Mallette, who would pace the team with 305 PIM. Shockingly, King finished 12th overall in the NHL that year, one of 16 players to collect at least 250 PIM. 

Ultimately, King kept the referees busy that season with an infraction in 49 games, including 12 contests with double-digit PIM, including four where he registered 17 minutes in the box. However, his worst night came in a blowout loss (6-0) to the Pittsburgh Penguins, where he earned 19 PIM with two minor penalties, a five-minute fighting major, and a ten-minute misconduct. 

King loved to play a rough style of hockey, spending 2,030 minutes in the penalty box during his 849-game career that spanned 14 seasons.

Although King had more minutes in a Rangers uniform in previous seasons, the 1991-92 season ranks in the middle of the pack since he earned 224 PIM that year in 79 games. Besides adding 19 points, he collected a penalty in 43 contests, including five double-digits in PIM matches. 

Surprisingly, King had two games with 15 PIM (season-high), with the first coming against the Los Angeles Kings on Nov. 21, 1991, and another against the Devils on Feb. 16, 1992. 

Troy Mallette – 305 PIM (1989-90) and 252 PIM (1990-91)

Troy Mallette began his NHL career in 1989-90 with the Rangers, setting the franchise for PIM in a single season. However, before we get to that entry, we have to talk about his 252 PIM season in 1990-91. 

Although he already owned the team record, established a year earlier, Mallette kept racking up PIM, finishing his second season in the league with 557 minutes in 150 games as a 20-year-old. Surprisingly, he wasn’t just a goon; he had 51 career points too, with 22 coming in 1990-91.

Overall, Mallette had a penalty in 36 games, with eight double-digit PIM contests, registering a season-high 27 against the Minnesota North Stars on Nov. 19, 1990. During a 2-2 tie, he didn’t finish the second period, collecting a five-minute fighting major and two ten-minute misconduct penalties to bring his night to an end with 29 seconds left in the middle frame. 

Mallette set one of the Rangers’ most unbreakable records, 33 years ago, collecting an astounding 305 PIM in 79 games. As a 19-year-old in his first season, he also managed a career-high 29 points with 13 goals and 16 assists. 

Statistically, Mallette remains the only skater in New York history to collect over 300 PIM, with his 1989-90 campaign ranking 70th on the NHL all-time single-season list. Although he had an infraction in just 45 games, there were nine double-digit PIM games, including two 25 PIM and 15 PIM contests. 

However, in a 5-2 win over the Canucks on Mar. 18, 1990, Mallette collected a season-high 30 PIM and a powerplay goal. After a fighting major in the second period, he returned to the game only to rack up 25 minutes on one play, including a ten-minute misconduct, a ten-minute attempt to injure misconduct, and another fighting major. 

Single-season records were obtained from Quanthockey.com, with player statistics and game logs from HockeyReference.com.

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