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Rangers Swing Big Trade with Leafs

Feb. 22, 1964 - The New York Rangers completed a deal today that had been simmering for some time. They traded their star right wing and playmaker, Andy Bathgate, and Don McKenney, a center, for more punch up front. Muzz Patrick, Ranger general manager, announced in Toronto that the club had obtained two forwards — Dick Duff and Bob Nevin — and three outstanding young prospects in the transaction with the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Pictured below, Bathgate receives the “most popular Ranger” trophy from Ranger Fan Club member Barbara Grace in 1962.)

The fifth-place Rangers, still hoping to gain the fourth and final Stanley Cup playoff spot, long had sought a deal involving Bathgate, the Ranger captain and a top star in the NHL. Neither Bathgate nor McKenney are checkers. The Rangers needed checking forwards and a few more defensemen to protect their goalie, Jacques Plante.

Said Patrick: “We got two established hard-checking forwards in Nevin and Duff plus three of the greatest prospects in Canada. We still think we can make the playoffs.” The three prospects are Arnie Brown, a defenseman from the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League; Bill Collins, a center from Denver of the Central Professional Hockey League; and a utility man, Rod Seiling of the Toronto Marlboros of the Ontario Hockey Association Junior A League.

The Rangers have been a huge success at the box office this season. But their play has been inconsistent. In keeping with his reconstruction plans, Patrick said he would bring Jean Ratelle from Baltimore of the American Hockey League to center for Duff, a left winger, and Nevin.

Today marked the second time within a year that Patrick had engineered a seven-player deal. Last summer, the Rangers got Jacques Plante, Don Marshall, and Phil Goyette in a trade that sent Gump Worsley and three forwards, including Dave Balon, to Montreal.

Tonight, McKenney and Bathgate, obtained by Toronto from the Rangers in the trade, helped the Maple Leafs gain a 5-2 triumph over their former club in Toronto. McKenney tallied a goal and made one assist against the Rangers and Bathgate set up a goal by Red Kelly.


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