The New York Rangers have enjoyed their finest regular season since the 1993-94 season, and hope that this season will finish like ’94, with a Stanley Cup championship.
What could be the reason for their success? Their hard nosed coach who demands the best from them? Their emphasis on defense and team play? Or is it the “Broadway Hat”?
The Broadway Hat originated before the regular season in Prague. The players picked the hat up at a shop by the Astronomical Clock in Old Town.
The hat is given out after every Rangers victory to the player who scores the game winning goal, has a big offensive game, makes a key defensive play in the game, or makes a big save to help the Rangers win. The Rangers have handed out the hat 57 times so far this season, and it has been on a number of different heads.
The first recipient of the hat was All-Star net minder Henrik Lundqvist on October 18, 2011 against the defending Western Conference Champion Vancouver Canucks. Lundqvist made 26 saves and posted his first shutout of the season. The hat has also been handed out to role players like tough guy Mike Rupp, who was the hero of the 2012 Winter Classic, and new rookie Chris Kreider, who was called up during the playoff series against Ottawa, and already has two game winning goals.
The hat has become the trademark of this New York Rangers team, and their play on the ice. The Rangers willingness to give up their bodies, block shots, and put the team ahead of themselves reflects the tight bond the players have created between each other. The hat is just a symbol of the players appreciation for each other when it gets handed out after each win.
With the Rangers in the middle of what they hope to be a long playoff run, the now beat up hat is in the team’s locker room every night waiting to be put on a players head.
At thebroadwayhat.com fans can purchase the “Broadway Hat” for $21.99, and the fill the Garden with them for the remainder of the Playoffs!
The Rangers next home game will be Game 5 against the Capitals on Monday night at 7:30 pm.