Looking back at the Highs and (Ron) Lows of the Ranger Decade

As we close the first decade of the 2000's, let's take a look at some of the highs and lows for the Rangers over the past ten years, and excuse the shameless self-promotion:

The Lows:

2002: Bobby Holik signs with Rangers for 5 years, $45M. The Rangers would buy out his contract after two failed seasons on Broadway.

2002: Bryan Trottier named head coach of the Rangers. To me, this is not only the lowest point of the decade, but maybe in the franchise's history.

February 10, 2003: Rangers reacquire Alexei Kovalev for a second stint on Broadway. Kovalev would be traded to Montreal a year later after scoring only 13 goals in 66 games.

2003: Rangers draft Hugh Jessiman in the first round of the 2003 draft, passing up on players such as Zach Parise, Ryan Getzlaf, Brent Seabrook, and Mike Richards. Jessiman never plays a game as a Ranger.

March 3rd, 2004: The heart and soul of the Rangers is ripped out when Brian Leetch is traded to Toronto. Without looking, I dare you to name who he was traded for. Exactly.

July 1st, 2008: The Rangers sign D Wade Redden to a 6 year, $39M contract, entire league laughs.

October 13th, 2008: 2007 First Round draft pick Alexei Cherepanov collapses and dies during a KHL game.  He was only 19.

April 24th, 2009: Rangers coach John Tortorella throws a water bottle at Captial fans sitting behind the Ranger bench at the Verizon Center during Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. Tortorella would be suspended for Game 6.

The Highs:

2000: Rangers draft Henrik Lundqvist in the 7th round of the NHL Draft.

January 23, 2004: Rangers acquire Jaromir Jagr from the Washington Capitals for Anson Carter. Jagr would help the Rangers return to the playoffs after a seven year drought, and restore respectability to the franchise.

2005-2006: After a 7 year drought, the Rangers return to the playoffs in the first season after the NHL lockout. Led by rookie goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, Jaromir Jagr, and an influx of European players, the Rangers finish with 100 points.

March 19th, 2009: Blueshirt Banter debuts on SBNation.

June 24th, 2009: Blueshirt Banter Radio debuts

July 1st, 2009: The Rangers sign Marian Gaborik to a 5 year contract.

2009: Jersey retirement ceremonies for Andy Bathgate and Harry Howell. Well deserved, and long overdue.

2006-09: Jersey retirement ceremonies for Mark Messier, Adam Graves, Mike Richter, Brian Leetch. Ok, so that wraps it up for 1994. What say they go win another Cup someday, huh?

Feel free to chime in with your own in the comments.....