George Lewis "Tex" Rickard, president of Madison Square Garden, was awarded an NHL franchise for the 1926–27 season to compete with the now-defunct New York Americans, who had begun play at the Garden the previous season. The Americans (also known as the "Amerks") proved to be an even greater success than expected during their inaugural season, leading Rickard to pursue a second team for the Garden despite promising the Amerks that they would be the only hockey team to play there. The new team was quickly nicknamed "Tex's Rangers". Tex Rickard founded the Rangers in 1926.
Rickard's franchise began play in the 1926–27 season. The first team crest was a horse sketched in blue carrying a cowboy waving a hockey stick aloft, before being changed to the familiar R-A-N-G-E-R-S in diagonal. Rickard managed to get future legendary Toronto Maple Leafs owner Conn Smythe to assemble the team. However, Smythe had a falling-out with Rickard's hockey man, Col. John S. Hammond, and was fired as manager-coach on the eve of the first season—he was paid a then-hefty $2,500 to leave. Smythe was replaced by Pacific Coast Hockey Association co-founder Lester Patrick. The new team Smythe assembled turned out to be a winner. The Rangers won the American Division title their first year but lost to the Boston Bruins in the playoffs.
The team's early success led to players becoming minor celebrities and fixtures in New York City's Roaring 20's nightlife. It was also during this time, playing at the Garden on 48th Street, blocks away from Times Square, that the Rangers obtained their now-famous nickname "The Broadway Blueshirts". On December 13, 1929, the New York Rangers became the first team in the NHL to travel by plane when they hired the Curtiss-Wright Corporation to fly them to Toronto for a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs which they would lose 7–6. 1927–28 Stanley Cup
In only their second season, the Rangers won the Stanley Cup, defeating the Montreal Maroons three games to two. One of the most memorable stories that emerged from the Finals involved Patrick playing in goal at the age of 44. At the time, teams were not required to dress a backup goaltender so when the Rangers' regular goaltender, Lorne Chabot, left a game with an eye injury, Maroons head coach Eddie Gerard vetoed his original choice for a replacement (who was Alex Connell, another NHL goalie of the old Ottawa Senators who was in attendance for the game). An angry Patrick lined up between the pipes for two periods in game two of the Stanley Cup Finals, allowing one goal to Maroons center Nels Stewart. Frank Boucher would score the game-winning goal in overtime for New York.
After a loss to the Bruins in the 1928–29 finals and an early struggle in the early 1930s, the Rangers, led by brothers Bill and Bun Cook on the right and left wings, respectively, and Frank Boucher at center, would defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1932–33 best-of-five finals, three games to one, to win their second Stanley Cup, exacting revenge on the Leafs' "Kid line" of Busher Jackson, Joe Primeau, and Charlie Conacher. The Rangers would spend the rest of the 1930s playing close to 0.500 hockey until their next Cup win. Lester Patrick stepped down as head coach and was replaced by Frank Boucher. 1939–40 Stanley Cup
In 1939–40 NHL season, the Rangers finished the regular season in second place behind the Boston Bruins. The two teams would meet in the first round of the playoffs. The Bruins gained a two-games-to-one series lead from New York, but the Rangers recovered to win three straight games, defeating the first-place Bruins four games to two. The Rangers' first-round victory gave them a bye until the finals. The Detroit Red Wings defeated the New York Americans in their first round best-of-three series two games to one (even as the Americans had analytical and notorious ex-Bruins star Eddie Shore) and the Toronto Maple Leafs ousted the Chicago Black Hawks two games to none. The Maple Leafs and Red Wings would play a best-of-three series to determine who would go on to play the Rangers in the Cup Finals. The Maple Leafs swept the Red Wings and the Finals match-up was determined. The 1940 Stanley Cup Finals started in Madison Square Garden in New York. The first two games went to the Rangers. In game one the Rangers needed overtime to gain a 1–0 series lead, but they won game two more easily with a 6–2 victory. The series then headed to Toronto where the Maple Leafs won the next two games, tying the series 2–2. In games five and six, the Rangers won in overtime, taking the series four games to two to earn their third Stanley Cup.
The Rangers would collapse by the mid-1940s, losing games by as much as 15–0 and having one goaltender with a 6.20 goals-against average. They would miss the playoffs for five consecutive seasons before they got the fourth and final playoff spot in 1948. They lost in the first round and would miss the playoffs again in 1948–49 NHL season. In the 1950 Stanley Cup Finals, the Rangers were forced to play all of their games on the road (home games in Toronto) while the circus was at the Garden. They would eventually lose to the Detroit Red Wings in overtime in the seventh game of the finals.
During this time, Red Wings owner James E. Norris became the largest stockholder in the Garden. However, he did not buy controlling interest in the arena, which would have violated the NHL's rule against one person owning more than one team. Nonetheless, he had enough support on the board to exercise de facto control. 1967–1993: The post-Original Six era.
The Rangers remained a mark of futility in the NHL for most of the remainder of the Original Six era, missing the playoffs in 12 of the next 16 years. However, the team was rejuvenated in the late 1960s, symbolized by moving into the fourth version of Madison Square Garden in 1968. A year earlier, they made the playoffs for the first time in five years on the strength of rookie goaltender Eddie Giacomin and acquired 1950s Montreal Canadiens star right wing Bernie "Boom Boom" Geoffrion.
The Rangers made the Finals twice in the 1970s, but lost both times to two '70s powerhouses; in six games to the Boston Bruins in 1972, who were led by such stars as Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, Ken Hodge, Johnny Bucyk, and Wayne Cashman; and in five games to the Canadiens in 1979, who had Bob Gainey, Guy Lafleur, Larry Robinson, Ken Dryden, Guy Lapointe, and Serge Savard. By 1971–72, the Rangers reached the Stanley Cup Finals despite losing high-scoring center Jean Ratelle (who had been on pace over Bruin Phil Esposito to become the first Ranger since Bryan Hextall in 1942 to lead the NHL in scoring) to injury during the stretch drive of the regular season. The strength of players like Brad Park, Jean Ratelle, Vic Hadfield and Rod Gilbert (the last three constructing the famed GAG line meaning "goal-a-game") would still carry them through the playoffs. They would defeat the defending-champion Canadiens in the first round and the Chicago Blackhawks in the second, but lost to the Bruins in the finals.
The Rangers played a legendary semifinal series against the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1973–74 playoffs, losing in 7 games and becoming the first of the "Original Six" to lose a playoff series to a 1967 expansion team. This series was noted for a game seven fight between Dale Rolfe of the Rangers and Dave Schultz of the Flyers. Their new rivals, the New York Islanders, who entered the league in 1972 after paying a huge territorial fee—some $4 million—to the Rangers, were their first-round opponent in 1975. After splitting the first two games, the Islanders defeated the more-established Rangers eleven seconds into overtime of the deciding game three, establishing a rivalry that continued to grow for years.
After some off years in the mid-to-late 1970s, they picked up Esposito and Carol Vadnais from the Bruins for Park, Ratelle, and Joe Zanussi in 1975. Swedish stars Anders Hedberg and Ulf Nilsson jumped to the Rangers from the maverick World Hockey Association. And in 1979 they defeated the surging Islanders in the semi-finals and would return to the finals again before bowing out to the Canadiens. The Islanders got their revenge, however, eliminating the Rangers in four consecutive playoff series starting in 1981 en route to their second of four consecutive Stanley Cup titles.
The Rangers stayed competitive through the 1980s and early 1990s, making the playoffs each year. In the 1985–1986 NHL playoffs, the Rangers, behind rookie goaltender John Vanbiesbrouck, upended the Patrick Division-winning Flyers in five games followed by a six-game win over the Washington Capitals in the Patrick Division Finals. Montreal disposed of the Rangers in the Wales Conference Finals behind a rookie goaltender of their own, Patrick Roy. The next year, the Rangers acquired superstar center Marcel Dionne after almost 12 years as a Los Angeles King. In 1988, Dionne moved into third place in career goals scored (since bettered by Brett Hull). "Because you love the game so much, you think it will never end", said Dionne, who spent nine games in the minors before retiring in 1989. He would only play 49 playoff games in 17 seasons with the Rangers, Kings, and Detroit Red Wings.
Frustration was at its peak when the 1991–92 squad captured the Presidents' Trophy. They took a 2–1 series lead on the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins and then faltered in three straight (some observers note a Ron Francis slapshot from the blue line that eluded Mike Richter as the series' turning point). The following year, injuries and a 1–11 finish landed the Rangers at the bottom of the Patrick Division after being in a playoff position for much of the season. Coach Roger Neilson did not finish the season.
During this period, the Rangers were owned by Gulf+Western, which was renamed to Paramount Communications in 1989, and sold to Viacom in 1994. Viacom then sold the team to ITT Corporation and Cablevision, and a couple of years later, ITT sold their ownership stake to Cablevision, who owned the team until 2010, when they spun off the MSG properties as their own company. 1993–94 Stanley Cup: the ending of the curse.
The 1993–94 season was a successful one for Rangers fans, as Mike Keenan led the Rangers to their first Stanley Cup championship in 54 years. Two years prior, they picked up center Mark Messier, a part of the Edmonton Oilers' Cup-winning teams. Other ex-Oilers on the Rangers included Adam Graves, Kevin Lowe, Jeff Beukeboom, Esa Tikkanen, Craig MacTavish and Glenn Anderson. Graves would set a team record with 52 goals, breaking the old record of 50 held by Vic Hadfield.
The Rangers clinched the Presidents' Trophy by finishing with the best record in the NHL at 52–24–8, setting a franchise record with 112 points.
The Rangers successfully made it past the first two rounds of the playoffs, sweeping the New York Islanders, and then defeating the Washington Capitals in five. However, in the Conference Finals against the third-seeded New Jersey Devils, the Rangers lost the series opener at home in double overtime, but won the next two games before the Devils defeated them 3–1 and 4–1. The series headed back to the Meadowlands for the sixth game, in which Messier scored three times in the final period to lead the Rangers to a 4–2 win and set up a seventh game back at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers won game seven 2–1, when Stephane Matteau scored a goal in double overtime, leading the team to the finals for the first time since 1979.
Up against the Vancouver Canucks, the Rangers again lost the series opener at home in overtime. The Rangers bounced back and they won the next three games, allowing the Canucks just four goals. However, the Canucks won the next two 6–3 and 4–1 to set up a seventh game, for the second consecutive series, at home.
In the seventh game, the Rangers took a 2–0 first period lead, with Messier scoring later to put the Rangers up 3–1, the eventual Cup winning goal as the home team won 3–2, becoming the first (and to this date, the only) player to captain two teams to the Stanley Cup. Brian Leetch became the first American-born player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy. Alexander Karpovtsev, Alexei Kovalev, Sergei Nemchinov, and Sergei Zubov became the first Russians to have their names engraved on the Stanley Cup.
Despite having coached the Rangers to a regular season first-place finish and the Stanley Cup, head coach Mike Keenan left after a dispute with General Manager Neil Smith. During the 1994–95 lockout-shortened season, the Rangers won their first-round series with the Quebec Nordiques, but lost in the second round of the playoffs to the Philadelphia Flyers in 4 games with succeeding head coach Colin Campbell. General Manager Neil Smith orchestrated a deal that sent Sergei Zubov and center Petr Nedved to Pittsburgh in exchange for defenseman Ulf Samuelsson and left winger Luc Robitaille in the summer of 1995. The next season, the Rangers defeated the Canadiens in six games but lost their second-round series to the Penguins in five games.
The Rangers acquired Wayne Gretzky in 1996. Gretzky's greatest accomplishment with the Rangers was leading them to the 1997 Eastern Conference finals, where they lost 4–1 to the Flyers, who were then led by Eric Lindros. Messier, a former Oiler teammate of Gretzky's, left in the summer of 1997 and the team failed in a bid to replace him with Colorado Avalanche superstar Joe Sakic. The Rangers would go on to miss the playoffs for seven consecutive seasons, finishing no higher than fourth in their division. This section may contain an excessive amount of intricate detail that may only interest a specific audience. Please help relocate any relevant information, and remove excessive detail that may be against Wikipedia inclusion policy.
Towards the end of the 2003–04 season Sather finally gave in to a rebuilding process by trading away Leetch, Kovalev, and eight others for numerous prospects and draft picks. With the retirements of Bure and Messier as well as Lindros signing with the Maple Leafs, the post-lockout Rangers, under new head coach Tom Renney, moved away from high-priced veterans towards a group of talented young players, such as Petr Prucha, Dominic Moore, and Blair Betts. However, the focus of the team remained on veteran superstar Jaromir Jagr. The Rangers were expected to struggle during the 2005–06 season for their eighth consecutive season out of the postseason. For example, Sports Illustrated declared them the worst team in the league in their season preview, but behind stellar performances by Swedish rookie goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, Martin Straka, Prucha, and Jagr, the Rangers finished the season with their best record since 1993–94 (44–26–12).
Jaromir Jagr broke the Rangers' single-season points record with a first-period assist in a 5–1 win against the New York Islanders on March 29, 2006. The assist gave him 110 points on the season, breaking Jean Ratelle's record. Less than two weeks later, on April 8, Jagr scored his 53rd goal of the season against the Boston Bruins, breaking the club record previously held by Adam Graves.Two games prior, on April 4, the Rangers defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 3–2, in a shootout, to clinch a playoff spot for the first time since the 1996–97 season. On April 18, the Rangers lost to the Ottawa Senators 5–1, and, due to wins by division rivals New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Flyers, the Rangers fell back to third place in the Atlantic Division and sixth in the Eastern Conference to end the season. In the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals the Rangers drew a matchup with the Devils and were defeated in a four-game sweep. In the process they were outscored 17–4, as New Jersey net-minder Martin Brodeur took two shutouts and a 1.00 goals-against average to Lundqvist's 4.25. In the first game of the series Jagr suffered an undisclosed injury to his left shoulder, diminishing his usefulness as the series went on. Jagr missed game two of the series and was back in the lineup for game three. He was held to one shot on goal. On his first shift of game four, Jagr re-injured his shoulder and was unable to return.
Jagr fell two points short of winning his sixth Art Ross Trophy as scoring champion in 2005–06 (the San Jose Sharks' Joe Thornton claimed the award, his first, with 125 points), but Jagr did win his third Pearson Award as the players' choice for the most outstanding player. On opening night of the 2006–07 season, Jagr was named the first team captain since Messier's retirement.
With the Rangers doing so well in 2005–06, expectations were raised for the 2006–07 season, evidenced by Sports Illustrated then predicting the Rangers would finish first in their division. Realizing that the team had trouble scoring goals in the 2005–06 campaign, the Rangers went out and signed long-time Red Wing Brendan Shanahan to a one-year contract. However, the organization remained committed to its rebuilding program despite the signing of the 37-year-old left winger.
Though the Rangers started a bit slow in the first half of the 2006–07 season, the second half was dominated by the stellar goaltending of Henrik Lundqvist. The acquisition of Sean Avery brought new life to the team, and the Rangers finished ahead of Tampa Bay and the Islanders to face Atlanta in the first round of the playoffs. The Rangers swept the series thanks to play from all around the ice. However, the Rangers lost the next round to Buffalo four games to two.
At the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, the Rangers chose Alexei Cherepanov 17th overall. Cherepanov had been ranked by Central Scouting as the number one European skater and was considered to be a top five pick leading up to the draft, but fell due to teams being unsure whether he would ever come to the NHL from Russia. The 2007 free agency season started with a bang for the Rangers signing two high profile centerman, Scott Gomez from the New Jersey Devils for a seven-year, $51.5 million contract as well as Chris Drury from the Buffalo Sabres for a five-year deal worth $32.25 million. The moves, along with retaining most other key players, have been met favorably as the Rangers appeared to be strong Stanley Cup contenders, making the playoffs for the third consecutive season and the second round for the second season in a row. Despite these streaks, the Rangers failed to meet expectations as they lost their second round series 4–1 to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The New York Rangers were one of four NHL teams to open their 2008–09 season in Europe, being featured in the Victoria Cup final, defeating the European Champions Cup winner Metallurg Magnitogorsk, in Bern, Switzerland. The Rangers followed by playing two NHL regular-season games against the Tampa Bay Lightning team in Prague on October 4 and 5, winning both games 2–1. A successful early start was tempered with the news of the death of 2007 first round draft choice Alexei Cherepanov on October 13, 2008. After a disappointing 2nd half of the season, coach Tom Renney was fired and John Tortorella named as his replacement.The Rangers made the playoffs, but lost their opening round series to the Washington Capitals four games to three after having a 3–1 lead and a chance to close the series.
In the 2009–2010 season, the Rangers failed to make the playoffs for the first time in 5 years. There was some criticism that the off-season acquisition of superstar Marian Gaborik amongst other top tier players had not paid off. Gaborik, however, scored 42 goals in the season. In spite of an impressive start (8–2), the Rangers appeared to play inconsistently with numerous losing streaks. By March 2010, the Rangers were in danger of falling out of the playoff race entirely, but they registered a respectable 7–1–2 record to finish the season. The final 2 games of the season were a home and home versus the Philadelphia Flyers. The first was April 9, 2010 in New York. The Rangers skated away with the victory keeping their hopes alive. The final game of the season would become the deciding game to see who would make the playoffs. The Flyers peppered the Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist with 47 shots, but only scored once. The game would then go into a shootout seeing the Flyers prevail to move on to the post season, despite a strong finish to the season by the Rangers.
For the 2010–2011 season, the Rangers waived Wade Redden and brought in several players to get more balanced scoring. They wore a third jersey for the first time in several years. On Friday, November 12 the Rangers unveiled the new Heritage Jersey for the first time at the rink at Rockefeller Center in a special ceremony. The event featured Rangers alumni and current players discussing the history of the storied franchise. The club wore the jersey for the first time on Wednesday, November 17 when they played the Boston Bruins at Madison Square Garden. The jersey will be worn every time the Rangers play an Original Six team or on a Sunday afternoon game at home. The Rangers' fate of making or missing the playoffs would come down to the final day of the regular season for the second straight year. The Rangers defeated the New Jersey Devils on the final day of the season to finish with 93 points. In order to qualify for the playoffs, they would need the Carolina Hurricanes to lose their final game of the season as Carolina owned the tiebreaker had both teams finished with the same number of points. Carolina lost its final game to Tampa Bay by a 6–2 score, putting the Rangers in the playoffs after missing them in 2010. The Rangers would go on to face the Washington Capitals in the first round of the playoffs. After blowing a 3–0 third period lead in game 4 with Washington ahead in the best of seven series 2–1, the Rangers would go on to lose the series in 5 games. It was the second time in three years that the Capitals eliminated the Rangers from the playoffs.
On May 13, 2011, Derek Boogaard, a player whom the Rangers signed for four years, was found dead in his Minnesota apartment. On July 2, 2011, Brad Richards, a free agent who had played with the Dallas Stars during the prior season, signed a nine-year, $60 million contract to play for the Rangers.
On September 12, 2011, Ryan Callahan was named the 26th Captain in New York Rangers history. He was the 5th youngest captain in team history.Brad Richards and Marc Staal were named alternate captains on the same day.
In the 2011–12 season, the Rangers finished as the 1st seed in the Eastern Conference. Recording 51 wins, 24 regulation losses and 7 overtime losses, the Rangers finished with 109 points for the regular season. Their leading goal-scorer for the regular season was Marian Gaborik, who finished the season with 41 goals while playing all 82 games. The Rangers lost the President's Trophy on the final day of the regular season to the Vancouver Canucks after a 4–1 loss to the Washington Capitals. In the 1st round of the playoffs, the Rangers faced the 8th-seeded Ottawa Senators. After falling behind 3–2 in the series, the Rangers bounced back to win game 6 in Ottawa, as well as the pivotal game 7 at home, propelling them to the Eastern Conference Semi-finals. In the Semi-finals, the Rangers faced the Washington Capitals. In game 3, Marian Gaborik received a pass from Brad Richards to seal a victory 14:41 into the third overtime, giving the Rangers a 2–1 lead in the series. Washington then came back to tie the series 2–2 in game 4. The Rangers avoided going down 3–2 in the series when Brad Richards tied game 5, 2–2 with just 6.6 seconds left in the 3rd period. The goal was scored on a power-play as a result of a high-sticking double-minor committed by Washington's Joel Ward on Rangers' forward Carl Hagelin. Then in overtime, Rangers' defenseman Marc Staal scored on the second penalty of the double-minor just 1:35 into overtime, giving the Rangers a 3–2 series lead. The Rangers went on to win the series 4–3, sending them to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 1997. In the Eastern Conference finals, they faced the New Jersey Devils, a major divisional rival. The Rangers lost game 6 in New Jersey, giving the Devils a 4–2 series win and ending the Rangers' season. 2013–2014: Return to the Final.
After the 2011–12 season and during the 2013 season, the Rangers signed Aaron Asham, Matt Gilroy, Micheal Haley, Jeff Halpern, Darroll Powe, and Roman Hamrlik. During that offseason, they also traded Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, Tim Erixon and a 2013 first round draft pick to the Columbus Blue Jackets for All-Star Rick Nash, Steven Delisle, and a 2013 conditional third round pick. At the trade deadline, the Rangers traded Marian Gaborik to Columbus for Derick Brassard, Derek Dorsett, and John Moore. After the Rangers were eliminated from the second round of the playoffs by the Boston Bruins, they fired head coach John Tortorella, and on June 21, 2013, Glen Sather formally introduced ex-Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault as the replacement to John Tortorella, becoming the 35th head coach in franchise history.On March 5, 2014, the Rangers traded their captain Ryan Callahan, a 1st round draft pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, and a 2nd rounder in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft for the Tampa Bay Lightning's captain Martin St. Louis. This happened after the Rangers and Callahan were unable to reach a contract extension in the days leading up to the deadline. During the regular season, the Rangers won twenty five road games, setting a new franchise best. In the first round of the 2013–14 playoffs, the Rangers defeated the Philadelphia Flyers in seven games. In the next round, the Rangers rallied from a 3–1 series deficit for the first time in their history, defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins in seven games. They defeated the Montreal Canadiens in 6 games to become the Eastern Conference champions and moved on to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in 20 years. They faced the Los Angeles Kings, the Western Conference champions. The Rangers led the first 2 games by 2 goals and eventually fell in OT. They had another lead in game 5 but the Rangers lost the game, 3-2 in a second overtime. They lost the series 4 games to 1 to the Los Angeles Kings.
On June 20, 2014, a week after their season ended, the Rangers bought out the remaining six years of Brad Richards' contract in order to free up salary cap space. This move left Marc Staal and Dan Girardi as the remaining alternate captains.
On October 6, 2014, Ryan McDonagh was named the 27th captain in team history, with Derek Stepan, Dan Girardi, Marc Staal, and Martin St. Louis serving as the alternate captains. Uniforms. The classic Rangers sweater has been in use since the franchise's foundation, with several alterations along the way. The current blue uniform has the serifed word 'Rangers' in red and white drop shadow arranged diagonally, with red and white stripes on the sleeves and tail. Originally the uniform was light blue, before it switched to a darker classic Rangers "Broadway Blue" in 1929. In addition, the original versions neither had a drop shadow nor were serifed. During the 1946–47 NHL season, the word 'Rangers' was arranged in an arch form above the sweater number. It adopted its current form the next season, along with dropshadowed numbers, except for a brief period where the city name was used, a tie-down collar was not used, and the tail and sleeve stripes were separated by thin blue stripes. Red pants have been used with the uniform since the 1929–30 season.
The white jerseys were first unveiled in the 1951–52 season, as part of a mandate that regulated NHL teams to have a dark home jersey and a light away jersey. The serifed word 'Rangers' is also arranged diagonally, but in blue with red drop shadow. A quinticolor of blue, white and red stripes accentuate the tail and sleeves, while a blue shoulder yoke with white and red stripes completes the look. The white sweaters, with minor changes such as a tie-down collar and arched player names, have remained virtually unchanged since.
During the tenure of general manager John Ferguson, Sr., he sought to modernize the Rangers sweater by featuring rounded numbers, a darker shade of blue, and the shield logo, which was unveiled in the 1976–77 season. A blue and red stripe (white and red stripe in the blue sweaters) extend from the yoke to the sleeves, while blue pants were used. However, it proved unpopular with the fans, and following the 1977–78 season it was replaced by an updated version of their classic uniforms. Ferguson used this similar design when he became GM of the original Winnipeg Jets. The modernized classic uniforms introduced in 1978 featured some subtle changes. Both jerseys featured a V-neck collar in a red-white-red pattern, and bolder stripes on the sleeves and waistline. On the blue jersey, the red and white stripes were separated by thin blue stripes, and the waistline stripes were raised above the hemline, so that the patterns on both jerseys matched. From 1978 to 1987, the blue jersey (then the road jersey) featured "NEW YORK" diagonally across the front instead of the traditional "RANGERS" wordmark, similar to their current heritage alternate jerseys. In 1997, the Rangers reverted the blue jersey's design, restoring the old striping pattern, and becoming the first team to re-introduce lace-up collars. The white jerseys followed suit in 1999, and the design was carried over to the Reebok Edge template in 2007. The Rangers currently use a heritage blue alternate jersey, which was unveiled in the 2010–11 season. The front of the sweater features the city name in a sans-serif block lettering and in red with cream trim. The inside of the collar features the franchise's foundation year while retired player numbers are added inside the sweater below the back stripes. Unlike in their regular jerseys, the script is not dropshadowed, while the player name is in cream and in a different, almost horizontal, arch form. These third jerseys are currently worn when the Rangers play home games on Saturdays or against Original Six teams. The Rangers previously had a navy alternate jersey featuring the head of the Statue of Liberty with the team abbreviation (NYR) below in a futuristic script. Silver was used as an accent color, but the player names and numbers retain the same color schemes as the regular jerseys, except for a darker shade of blue. With the exception of a white version used in the 1998–99 season, this jersey was used from 1996–2007, and proved to be highly popular with fans. In the 2012 NHL Winter Classic, the Rangers wore a cream jersey combining classic and current styles. A different version of the shield logo was used, while the player names were arranged in a straight line. The stripes were also lessened, giving it a minimalist, vintage look, as most Classic jerseys are. For the 2014 NHL Stadium Series, the Rangers used white jerseys with the city name in navy, silver, and red. In addition, they feature diagonal stripes and sleeve numbers, and enlarged numbers on the back to make them more readable to spectators. The chrome version of the shield logo is placed in the left shoulder. Like the Winter Classic sweaters, player names are in a straight position