New York Rangers, Mats Zuccarello
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The New York Rangers are still mourning the loss of former star and Hall of Famer Andy Bathgate, who passed away on Friday.

New York Rangers (35-20-6, 76 points, 2nd in NHL Metropolitan Division)
Dallas Stars (38-18-6, 82 points, 1st in NHL Central Division)
Today, 4:00 PM on NHLN-US, MSG
American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

By Jay Travers

The New York Rangers received quite a shock yesterday upon hearing that former NHLer Andy Bathgate had passed away at the age of 83.

Bathgate will forever be know as a New York Ranger with a career that spanned 12 seasons in the Big Apple.

RELATED: Interview: Former New York Islander And Ranger Defenceman Darius Kasparaitis (Audio)

During his time with the New York Bathgate laced up his skates in 719 games and tallied 272 goals and 457 assists. Bathgate became a dominate player for the Rangers and always gave the team a chance to win.

His NHL career totals include 349 goals and 624 assists for 973 points, not too shabby.

The Winnipeg native was a 6’0 right wing who had a knack for passing the puck at the right time as his assist totals show.

Bathgate finished eighth, third, second, and first for the Hart trophy between 1955-56 and 1958-59, and fifth in 1961-62. He was voted as a first and second team All-Star twice and donned the Blueshirt on both occasions.

It is never easy seeing a former player pass, especially one who had such an impact on the franchise.

And that is why Andy Bathgate’s number nine will forever hang in the MSG rafters next to some other Ranger greats.

Another Rangers’ icon, Rod Gilbert, had a few words to say about Bathgate’s passing:

Not many people know that former Montreal Canadien Jacques Plante‘s donned a goalie mask as a result of Andy Bathgate.

On Nov.1st 1959, the Canadiens battled the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden in a game that would go down in infamy.

Bathgate took a shot that hit Plante in the face, a problem many players encountered at the time because goalies did not yet wear masks, until that night.

Plante went to the locker room and recieved seven stitches to repair his face. The net minder would eventually return to the game, this time with a mask.

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Montreal won that night and Andy Bathgate changed the game forever.

A player, especially a goalie, wouldn’t even think of stepping on the ice without a helmet these days. Facing a slap shot without a mask sounds downright ludicrous these days.

Bathgate was inducted into the NHL Hall of Fame in 1978 and is sure to be missed by the NHL community.

All of the Rangers’ players will wear a decal on their helmets to pay homage to Bathgate when they play the Dallas Stars at 4PM today.

RIP to Andy Bathgate, who will forever be a Ranger. EliteSportsNY expresses their condolences to the Bathgate family.

NEXT: Interview with Former New York Ranger and Islander Darius Kasparaitis

I love watching sports, specifically teams in New York. I'll root for all New York teams, but the New York Rangers and hockey are my number one. I am an avid hockey fan and enjoy expressing my opinion on the Blueshirts, when they are playing good and bad.