NEW YORK – The New York Rangers and New York Islanders rivalry is among the most hated rivalries in all of sports. The fans buy into it just as much, if not more than the players who have been apart of the historic rivalry. If you are apart of the more recent generation of fans, then you may not know much of how this rivalry got off to it’s less than friendly relationship. There is a new book that will take you through it all, Ice Wars: The Complete Story of New York’s Greatest Modern Sports Rivalry.
The book is written by Gil Martin who, like many hockey historians have lived through the bad blood between the two New York hockey teams. In his introduction, Martin sums up what this rivalry means to the city, “The Rangers vs. Islanders always consisted of many different things: the city vs. the suburbs; the Original Six vs. an expansion team; the rapid rise of the Islanders vs. the long championship drought of the Rangers and so much more”.
I can tell you, being part of the “newer” generation of this rivalry it certainly has made me even more fascinated with rivalry thanks to Martin’s historic overview. You can sense the Rangers were out to make sure the Islanders knew who the big brother was in New York. Martin, gives you every detail down to the moment the Islanders came into existence to the present day of this blood-filled battle of two teams that genuinely hated each other.
The book is laid out perfectly to give you a year by year review of both teams and how their season faired and what significant moves were made within that season. You get a year by year statistics page that breaks down the division standings along with player stats and playoff details. Within each season, Martin lays out the game by game matchup throughout the year giving you the highlights of the game and what stood out. The chapter then concludes with a player profile that intertwines with the year being talked about. It’s a hockey historians dream and a must read for all fans, not just the Islanders and Rangers.