As most of the regular visitors to Notinhalloffame.com are aware we are (very) slowly putting together our top 50 players of every franchise in the “Big 4” of North American sports. After that is completed we will take a look at how each organization honors their past players and executives.
As such, it is important to us that last night the New York Rangers retired the number 19 of Jean Ratelle.
From Lac St-Jean, Quebec, Ratelle debuted for the Rangers in 1960 and by the 67-68 season had emerged as one of the top playmakers in the NHL. He would famously center the Goal-A-Game Line (The GAG Line) with Vic Hadfield and Rod Gilbert and in the 1971-72 campaign would score 109 Points while being named a Second Team All Star and winning the Lady Byng and Lester B. Pearson Award. After sixteen years with the organization, he was traded to the Boston Bruins early in the 1975-76 season.
As a Ranger, Ratelle had seven 70 Point seasons and tallied 817 Points overall wearing blue and his 336 Goals are still good enough for second in franchise history.
Ratelle becomes the ninth player to have his number retried by New York following Ed Giacoin (1), Brian Leetch (2), Harry Howell (3), Rod Gilbert (7), Adam Graves (9), And Bathgate (9), Mark Messier (11) and Mike Richter (35). He would enter the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1985.
We here at Notinhalloffame.com would like to congratulate Jean Ratelle for earning this honor.