October 8, 2009

100 Rangers Greats by Cohen, Halligan, and Raider

Who is the greatest player in New York Rangers history? That is the subject of the new book 100 Ranger Greats: Superstars, Unsung Heroes and Colorful Characters. The book is written by three New York Rangers experts in Russ Cohen, John Halligan and Adam Raider, and is published by Wiley.

Buy The Book: Amazon.ca - Chapters - Amazon.com

The unmistakable iconic image of Rangers greatness has to be Mark Messier lifting the Stanley Cup over his head in 1994. That may have been the greatest moment in Rangers' hockey history, and it may have been the moment Messier became the "Messiah," but does it make him the greatest player in Rangers history?

No, not according to this book. In fact, he's only #4!

Which is good, because I always thought the title should be reserved for Rod Gilbert, the previous iconic Ranger who still leads the franchise in goals and points.

But he's not number 1 either!

I'll let you find out who is #1 on your own. Right now I just want to rave about this book.

Right from the moment you set eyes on the book you know it is a special title. The cover is beautiful, and the book even just feels good in your hands. With the promise of Cohen, Halligan and Raider's expertise expectations quickly rise. The authors are noted as exhaustive Rangers researchers, with Halligan specializing in days long gone by.

The hopes are met. Wiley did a great job with the layout and spared no expense with photos to fill the glossy pages. Halligan and the Rangers provide many more photos, some rarely seen. First impressions count, and the team does a fantastic job.

Sam Rosen gives us the perfect foreword, followed by a 100 to 1 countdown of the greatest Rangers of all time. For those, like me, who insist on working my way to the top, the ranking system conveniently captures the fans attention quickly. 100 is Nick Fotiu, New York's own Ranger, and then the flashy but tragic story of Don "Murder" Murdoch at 99.

The authors do a great job detailing the careers of 100 Rangers greats. With 8 decades of history to delve through, the authors do a great job including the older generations. You will learn tons about the older players, and even the newer generation of stars. Cecil Dillon is given as much consideration as Adam Graves.

All Rangers fans simply must have this book. The book is full of proud memories, vivid photography and new interviews. I think fans of Original Six hockey, even if you weren't necessarily a Rangers fan, will find abundant memories in this book too.

Of course, any ranking of great players like this is sure to stir debate amongst the fans. My only complaint is the authors do not reveal more about their formula for deciding the top 100 players and their ultimate order. They briefly touch on that, stating that players "were graded according to their contributions to the overall success of the teams on which they played, plus individual achievements such as points scored, awards won, popularity and length of service." Apparently there was some sort of mathematical formula, but we will never know exactly how it was all determined.

The authors have their own website, RangerGreats.com. Tune in there for news about author signings and other promotions.


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