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Jean Ratelle    

Member of the NHL Hall of Fame

Few players in New York Rangers history have had as dramatic an impact on the franchise as Hall of Famer Jean Ratelle.

First recommended to the organization by childhood friend and longtime teammate Rod Gilbert, Ratelle joined the Rangers` junior team in Guelph, Ontario as a 17-year-old in 1958. He would spent the next 17 years as a member of the organization and by the time he left, he held numerous single season and career records.

Ratelle got his first crack at the NHL on March 4, 1961, and he wasted little time making an impression. He scored the go-ahead goal to put the Rangers up 4-3 with 10:28 remaining in Toronto. Although the Blueshirts went on to lose the game 5-4, Ratelle had already shown how serious he was about an NHL career. He also scored in his second game as a Ranger, played the following night at Madison Square Garden.

It took awhile before Ratelle earned a regular job with the Rangers in 1964. Once he arrived for good, he began lighting up NHL scoresheets. He broke 30 goals in all three seasons from 1967-68 to 1969-70 and had 70 or more points in six seasons between 1967-68 and 1972-73.

But it was in 1971-72 that Ratelle truly made his mark, becoming the first Rangers player to score 100 points in a season. Centering the famous GAG (Goal-A-Game) Line with Gilbert on his right and Vic Hadfield at left wing, Ratelle finished the season with 109 points despite missing the final 15 games with a broken ankle. His single-season points record stood for the next 34 years until it was broken by Jaromir Jagr in 2005-06.

In the two-season stretch from 1972 to 1974, Ratelle scored 87 goals and 203 points in 151 games. In the four-season stretch from 1972 to 1976, he scored 151 goals and 361 points in 298 games.

By the time he left the team in a November 1975 trade, Ratelle had represented the Rangers in four NHL All-Star Games and led the Blueshirts in scoring four times. He is also one of only two players in Rangers' history to win the Players' Player Award in four consecutive seasons-- ensuring his legacy as one of the team`s greatest ever.

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