The New York Rangers are professional finance executives from Manhattan, New York that also happen to play hockey. They are also known as the New York Rags despite the exorbitant amounts of money the Rangers pay to the players even though they don't quite deserve it. They exhibit a tendency to make average players larger-than-life stars off the ice or millionnaires out of third-rate hockey players.
“They waste an awful lot of money on overrated, motherfucking second-rate players.”
“I like playing for the Rags so I can always shop whatever I want”
~ Marian Gaborik
The New York Rangers was started by American hockey players that served in the Canadian army in World War I that were barely able to return to civilian life and, while under service to Canada in WWI, learned the rudiments of hockey. But, before their project came to fruition, most of the players involved were reaffected as rangers and the Rangers were born.
The origins of the New York Rags name
When the Rangers first started to play in the National Hockey League, the team started out to be so poor that they wore rags off the ice, hence their nickname of New York Rags. They also resorted to begging outside Madison Square Garden to make ends meet. They also were among the first male prostitutes because playing hockey didn't pay much by itself back in the Original Six era. During the Great Depression, the Rags were able to win again because their opponents were so cash-strapped that they either folded or they traded their star players away. To merely survive in that era, they became as miserly as it could get. Nevertheless, they still managed to win Stanley Cups on a minimal budget, around $50, because they had to pay off the mortgage on a new arena, as their previous owner demolished their arena to build a new office tower on the premises in order to create thousands of new jobs.
Amazingly, in these troubled economic times, the Rags have continued to gouge the money of the rabid hockey fans that wanted some distractions from the troubles of the Great Depression. And, since professional basketball was still in its infancy in the 1930s, the Rangers were the only show in town as far as winter entertainment was concerned.
All that money-pinching has finally worked in their favor, when, in 1940, their years of hard work and sacrifice allowed them to pay off the million-dollar loan they took just to be able to keep playing in these troubled times, while spending just $7,000 on players' salaries, winning a Stanley Goblet in the process. Unfortunately, World War II took its toll on the Rags and they were unable to win a Cup for so many years after. And the things just get worse after the war; their owners became even more greedy over time (perhaps even more than the Toronto Make-Me-Laffs today) and thus only paid league minimum on the rosters during the 1960s, leading the Rags to suck for so long until they finally realized that they had to pay more money in order to build a winning team, as their angry public demanded.
The Madoff era (1990-present)
In 1990, Bernard Madoff was hired as the Rags' GM. Under Madoff, the Rags started to overpay their way to a Stanley Cup by paying much more money for players than they would be paid elsewhere. In 1993 Madoff was able to purchase the entire 1990 Edmonton Oilers Stanley Cup Championship team, and in 1994 his Oilers... I mean Rangers managed to win its final Stanley Cup.
Descent into oblivion
Since they won their last Stanley Cup, the Rangers continued overpaying players in hopes of replicating their 1994 success, and also hoping to bring out the best in each player. However, that plan backfired as they overpaid many star players like Mike Richter, Pavel Bure, Bobby Holik and later, Henrik Lundqvist and Scott Gomez. This led many players, with their newfound wealth, to be more preoccupied with shopping on the 5th Avenue than with actually playing the game. For this reason, the Rangers are sometimes so lazy they rely on their goalie to bail them out the whole time. However, despite their extravagant expenditures, the Rags players managed to slip under the radar of the financial media as hockey plunged into oblivion in New York City.
The 2004-05 NHL lockout was decreed as a result of the Rangers' damage on the league's finances, in order to repair what was then left of the NHL's bank accounts. It forced the overpaid Rangers players to seek even more money in the European major hockey leagues. Also, they spent so much of the hard-earned money of the rest of the NHL that they brought several franchises to their knees, the most notable of which are the Phoenix Coyotes and the Atlanta Thrashers.
A legacy of overpayment
Nevertheless, with Bernard Madoff as their GM, the Rags continued to overpay their players as they did in the pre-cap era and, as a result, they wasted dozens of millions on second-rate players that were paid so much that their salaries combined would burn through all other NHL teams' payrolls of that era, like Wade Redden that is paid a fortune even though he played like a beer-league player.
In an attempt to correct the course of the team's inept management, they attempted to first trade the most overpaid of these players, before they buried these players in the minor leagues. Only the Montreal Canadiens were wealthy enough to take a crack at their overpaid players, getting a lazy Scott Gomez out of New York in 2009. They managed to sign Marian Gaborik the day after the Rags traded Gomez, paying him $7.5 million a year for an inconsistent player that has been injured and that would rather want to spend his days on Fifth Avenue shopping than to play in the playoffs, as Gaborik choked in every Rags playoff game since.
They used to have a rivalry with the Philadelphia Cheesepuffs but maintaining that rivalry proved to be too expensive for the penny-pinching Rangers (and later in order to pay the exorbitant salaries of its players), so that they maintain rivalries with only the New York Islanders and the New Jersey Devils being the cheapest rivalries to maintain, due to their close proximity. Due to the lack of money made available to market these rivalries, the rivalries are secrets closely guarded by the front office of the team and the players themselves.
MATTEAU! MATTEAU! MATTEAU!!!: Shut Up Howie Rose, go back to calling Mets games on the radio.
Sean Avery: The diving champion of the NHL, he also indulges in a lot of cheap shots and trash talking. Also the only bottom-six forward in the NHL with superstar status. Punched an LA Police Officer. Yea that wasn't a good idea. He was finally shipped off to New Haven, Connecticut, and eventually retired there in order to start his own 5th ave clothing line.
Marian Gaborik: A compulsive shopper, he was signed by the Rangers on the basis of one 40-goal season with his former team
Scott Gomez: The epitome of the Rangers' mismanagement of players, he was paid $7.35 million/year while scoring an average of 10 points a year
Brad Richards: Also known as Captain Hook while he was a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning. He was later traded to Dallas where he learned to hate country music. He decided to flee Dallas and follow the money train to NYC. Another example of Jim Dolan just throwing money at people.
Henrik Lundqvist: The only current Rags player to actually deserve his salary; without him, the Rangers would be sitting at the bottom of the NHL
Mark Messier: The player gave the Rags' fans the guarantee of winning a playoff series against the New Jersey Devils and accounted for almost 1/4 of the costs of winning the Rags' last Stanley Cup by himself and he is considered the best Rag ever.