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Blueshirts By the Numbers: Number 18: Walt Tkaczuk

Walt Tkaczuk
Walt Tkaczuk

In the dictionary under the word "underrated" there should just be a picture of Walt Tkaczuk.

Tkaczuk joined the Rangers for the 1968-69 season, and soon found himself paired with Bill Fairbairn and Dave Ballon on the Rangers "Bulldog" line, playing a tough two-way game that helped take the heat off the Rangers top scoring "GAG" line of Jean Ratelle, Rod Gilbert and Vic Hadfield.

Walt was a terrific face-off man and defensive forward, but scored more than his fair share of goals, including a career high twenty seven in 1972-73, five straight twenty goal seasons from 69-70 to 73-74, and an amazing seven goals in ten playoff games in 1973.

Tkaczuk has a laundry list of accomplishments, Rangers team MVP in 1970, All-Star Game appearance in 1970, and served as Rangers team captain during the 1980-81 season.

A severe eye injury in 1981 forced Walt into a premature retirement at the age of 33. Tkaczuk is fifth on the Rangers all-time list for games played, and played his entire career for the Blueshirts.

Does anyone else remember as a kid getting the Rangers yearbook and there always being a pronunciation listed for Walt's name? (It's pronounced Ka-chuck). Also, how about that picture? Any chance I get to use a pic with the old "pajama" jerseys, I'm taking it.

Honorable Mention at 18: Wally Hergesheimer