With training camp upon us, we enter the Final Four of the offseason tournament for the Best Ranger since the 2005 lockout. As we enter the final days, we want to thank Matt Josephs of Blue Line Station (Twitter: 11Matt_Josephs8) for pitching this idea to us. It was a great success and we hope you had as much fun voting as we did posting and seeing the results. The first Final Four matchup pits the King against the Captain: Hank vs. Cally.
Henrik Lundqvist (Acquired – 2000 draft, round 7)
Hank is Hank. He’s a five-time Vezina Finalist, he’s won the award once. He’s been the backbone of the team, and the best goalie in the world. Not really much else to say here.
To get to this point, Hank beat #16 Olli Jokinen, #9 Martin Rucinsky, #4 Artem Anisimov, and #3 Ryan McDonagh. Hank is also the tournament favorite, so he gets the higher #1 seed here.
Ryan Callahan (acquired – 2004 draft, 4th round)
The Rangers actually acquired the draft pick used to select Cally from San Jose in exchange for the negotiating rights to Mark Messier. It’s funny how the Rangers traded the rights to their captain, and used that draft pick to draft a future captain. Cally saw his first NHL action in 2006-2007, playing 14 games with the Rangers. He played 52 games with the club the following season, which included an 11 game stint in Hartford. After that Cally stuck with the club and has been an all-round beast for the Rangers since. In his full Ranger career to date, Cally has put together a line of 121-108-229 in 405 games, and has slowly climbed from averaging 40 points per season to averaging close to 60 points over a full season. Cally has been the captain of the team since 2011, and was an alternate captain from 2009.
To get to the Final Four, Cally took out #16 Donald Brashear, #8 Ruslan Fedotenko, #4 Carl Hagelin, and #3 Marian Gaborik. Cally will be the lower #1 seed in this post. Let’s consider him #1A.
So who do you think has been the better Ranger: Hank or Cally? Vote thumbs up for the higher seed (Hank), or thumbs down for the lower seed (Cally). Voting ends at midnight tonight.