The New York Rangers Arena - Madison Square Garden
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The New York Rangers Arena - Madison Square Garden

The National Hockey League's New York Rangers have played their home games out of an arena named Madison Square Garden since they entered the league in 1926. The first version of MSG closed in 1968 with the second version opening the same year.

The New York Rangers arena has always been called Madison Square Garden. The current home of the National Hockey League team is the fourth incarnation of Madison Square Garden. NHL hockey was first played in New York City in 1925. It wasn’t the New York Rangers that played out of the MSG arena first, though. The New York Americans began play a season before the Rangers.

madison square garden new york rangers arenaFrom 1925 to 1968, the New York Rangers home arena was the third version of Madison Square Garden. The New York Americans also called that version of MSG home for the entire length of their existence which came to an end in 1942. The end of the Americans was supposed to be a temporary measure due to World War II. The Americans never returned and a second team didn’t come back to the New York City area until the New York Islanders arrived in 1972.

For the record, there was, of course, a Madison Square Garden I and II. However, NHL hockey was not played in these arenas. The third version sat 15,925 as the New York Rangers arena and 18,496 when it housed the NBA’s New York Knicks. MSG IV seats 18,200 for hockey and 19,763 for basketball.

Under the roof of the third version of Madison Square Garden, the New York Rangers won three Stanley Cups. In only their second season, 1927-28, the Rangers won their first Stanley Cup with a three games to two victory over the Montreal Maroons. The Rangers clinched the victory at the home of the Maroons, the Montreal Forum.

In 1933, the Rangers won their second Stanley Cup over the Toronto Maple Leafs, three games to one. Because the circus was in town, the Rangers could only play the first game at their home arena. The final three games were played at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens.

The Rangers final Stanley Cup victory as a tenant at MSG III came in 1940. New York yet again played the Maple Leafs and beat them four games to two. Once again, the circus trumped NHL hockey in New York and games 3, 4, 5 and 6 were played at Maple Leaf Gardens. It would be 54 years before the Rangers would hoist the Stanley Cup again. It is believed the reason for this was a curse put on the team for their part in eliminating the Americans from the league.

It was in the latest version of Madison Square Garden where the Rangers ended the 54 year drought. New York met the Vancouver Canucks in game seven of the series at MSG IV and won 3-2. That was the last time the New York Rangers won the Stanley Cup. The Rangers still play out of Madison Square Garden IV which is currently the oldest arena in the NHL.

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Comments (2)

I hope to make it here one day. I usually go to San Jose to see the Sharks.

Ranked #1 in Hockey

I've walked through the lobby but have never seen an event there. I did see a game at Nassau Cty. Coliseum, home of the Islanders.