The 2013 New York Rangers: How The Team Was Built

As the Blueshirts prepare to take to the ice for this lockout-shortened 2013 season, it’s the perfect time to look back and see how the players currently on the roster became New York Rangers. Find out how Mark Messier turned into Ryan Callahan, how Brian Leetch led to Michael Sauer, and how former Ranger Tony Amonte helped land current Ranger Rick Nash.

Rangers Draft Picks

  • Ryan Callahan – 2004, 4th round (#127 overall).  In 2003, the CBA awarded a compensatory draft pick to teams who had an unrestricted free agent sign elsewhere. Planning to re-sign pending UFA Mark Messier, the Rangers traded him to the San Jose Sharks for a fourth round draft pick (#127).  The next day, Messier became a free agent and re-signed with the Rangers.  The Sharks received a fourth round pick (#91) from the league, and the Rangers ended up with the draft pick that would eventually become Ryan Callahan.
  • Carl Hagelin
    Carl Hagelin (Michael Tureski/Icon SMI)

    Michael Del Zotto – 2008, 1st round (#20 overall)

  • Carl Hagelin  2007, 6th round (#168 overall)
  • Chris Kreider – 2009, 1st round (#19 overall)
  • Henrik Lundqvist – 2000, 7th round (#205 overall)
  • Michael Sauer – 2005, 2nd round (#40 overall).  Cleaning house after a disappointing 2003-04 season, the Rangers had already parted ways with Petr Nedved and Alexei Kovalev when they sent Brian Leetch and a conditional draft pick to the Maple Leafs for Maxim Kondratiev, Jarkko Immonen, a 2004 first round pick, and a 2005 second round pick.  Kondratiev would later be traded to the Ducks in the deal that brought Petr Sykora to Broadway, Immonen would play two seasons with the Rangers’ AHL affiliate Hartford Wolf Pack and a handful of games with Rangers before heading back to Europe, and that 2005 second round pick would eventually turn into Michael Sauer.
  • Marc Staal – 2005, 1st round (#12 overall). With the Sharks very interested in Devon Setoguchi, they traded up to get the #8 pick from the Atlanta Thrashers, sending the #12, a second round pick (#49), and a seventh round pick (#207) to Atlanta.  When Staal was still available at #12, the Rangers sent their first round pick (#16) and one of their three second round picks (#41) to Atlanta to be able to select him.  With those two picks, the Thrashers picked up Alex Bourret (who would eventually become a Ranger, though very briefly) and goaltender Ondrej Pavelec.
  • Derek Stepan – 2008, 2nd round (#51 overall)

Free Agent Signings

  • Arron Asham – The Rangers signed the former Devil, Flyer, Islander, and Penguin to a two-year deal in June 2012.
  • Martin Biron – Biron originally joined the Rangers as a free agent in 2010.  He re-signed with the team prior to the season, guaranteeing his services for another two years, through the end of 2013-14.
  • Marian Gaborik – Once Glen Sather cleared up a ton of cap space by dealing the struggling Scott Gomez to Montreal in the summer of 2009, he immediately spent that savings to bring in talented winger Marian Gaborik.  He’s signed through 2013-14.
  • Dan Girardi Rangers
    Dan Girardi (Icon SMI)

    Dan Girardi – Girardi was twice draft-eligible but went unselected through both the 2002 and 2003 Entry Drafts. The Rangers continued scouting him in the Ontario Hockey League (where he won the 2005 Memorial Cup with former teammate Brandon Prust) and offered him a contract with the ECHL Charlotte Checkers for the 2005-06 season.

    After only seven games, Girardi was called up to the Rangers’ AHL affiliate, the Hartford Wolf Pack. Midway through the following season, Girardi was called up again, this time to the Rangers.  In 2010, he was re-signed to a four-year deal with the club.

  • Michael Haley – The former Islander was hauled aboard in the summer of 2012, when he agreed to a two-year contract with his former cross-town rival Rangers.
  • Jeff Halpern – The Rangers shored up their fourth-line center slot with the addition of veteran center Halpern, who agreed to a one-year contract in July of 2012.
  • Taylor Pyatt  With the departures of Brandon Prust and Ruslan Fedotenko following the 2011-12 season, the Rangers picked up some more size on the wing by signing the  6-4, 228-pounder from Thunder Bay, Ontario, to a two-year deal.
Brad Richards Rangers
Brad Richards (Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE)
  • Wade Redden – Signed to a six-year contract in the summer of 2008, Redden only suited up with the Rangers for two seasons before being assigned to the Hartford Wolf Pack/Connecticut Whale. Given the terms of the new CBA, which prevents the burying of contracts in the AHL, there’s a chance he could be back in New York this year.
  • Brad Richards – The marquee free agent in the summer of 2011, Richards inked a nine-year deal with the Rangers.
  • Mike Rupp – The gritty Ohio native signed a three-year pact with New York in the summer of 2011.
  • Anton Stralman – Stralman was a part of Devils training camp prior to the 2010-11 season, but failed to make the team.  With defensemen Marc Staal and Michael Sauer injured, the Rangers grabbed the Swedish blueliner and signed him to a one-year deal.  He’s signed on for an additional two years that will carry through the 2013-14 season.


  • Stu Bickel – The Rangers picked up Bickel from Anaheim in return for AHL defenseman Nigel Williams in November 2010.  Williams was originally obtained in 2009 from the Colorado Avalanche for Brian Fahey; Fahey was signed as a free agent by the Rangers in 2008.  Bickel signed a two-year extension in the summer of 2012.
Brian Boyle
Brian Boyle (Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE)
  • Brian Boyle  Obtained from Los Angeles in 2009 for a 2010 third round draft pick.  He re-upped with the Rangers in 2011 and is signed through 2013-2014.
  • Steve Eminger  Eminger came over from Anaheim for Aaron Voros and Ryan Hillier.  Voros was signed as a free agent in 2008.  Hillier, a career minor-leaguer, was a 2006 third round Rangers draft pick. Eminger is on a one-year contract with the Rangers.
  • Ryan McDonagh  Acquired with Chris Higgins, Pavel Valentenko, and Doug Janik from Montreal for Scott Gomez, Tom Pyatt, and Michael Busto.  Gomez and Busto were signed as free agents in 2007. Pyatt was the Rangers’ fourth round pick (#107) in 2005. McDonagh’s entry-level deal runs through the end of the 2013 season.
  • Rick Nash   Long-rumored to be Broadway bound, Nash finally found his way to Manahattan in July of 2012.  Headed to Columbus were Artem Anisimov, Brandon Dubinsky, Tim Erixon, and the Rangers’ 2013 first-round draft pick.

    Artem Anisimov was a second round pick of the Rangers in 2006 (#54 overall).

    Brandon Dubinsky was also a second-rounder, selected in 2004 (#60 overall).  In 2001, the Rangers traded forward Zdeno Ciger, previously signed as a free agent earlier in the year, to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Matthew Barnaby; Barnaby would later be traded, with a 2004 third round pick, to Colorado for Chris McAllister, David Liffiton, and a 2004 second round pick (#37). That draft pick would be traded, at the draft, to the Florida Panthers for their second and third-round picks (#50 and #73).  The Panthers originally acquired that #50 pick in the trade that sent Valeri Bure from the Panthers to the Stars.In 2003, the Flyers picked up Tony Amonte from the Coyotes in return for prospect Guillaume Lefebvre and draft picks.  Looking to trade down at the 2004 Entry Draft, the Rangers sent their second round pick (#50) to the Coyotes for the second round pick they’d acquired from Philadelphia (#60) and a third-round pick (#89).  The Coyotes used that #50 to draft future Ranger (briefly) Enver Lisin; with the #60 pick, the Rangers selected Brandon Dubinsky.

    Tim Erixon was a 2009 first round draft pick of the Calgary Flames. By 2011, the defenseman still refused to agree to a deal with the Flames.   Rather than risk losing his rights, Calgary traded the highly-touted prospect to the Rangers, along with a 2011 fifth-round draft pick that would become Shane McColgan, for prospect Roman Horak and two second round draft picks that ended up being Markus Granlund and Tyler Wotherspoon. Horak was drafted by the Rangers in 2009, with a fifth-round pick that came over as part of the deal that sent Marcel Hossa and Al Montoya to Coyotes for Fredrik Sjostrom, David LeNeveu, and Josh Gratton. Hossa came to the Rangers in 2005, when he was traded from the Canadiens for Rangers’ 2001 draftee Garth Murray.  Montoya was drafted sixth overall by the Rangers in the 2004 Entry Draft.