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The New York Rangers are a professional ice hockey team based in New York City. They compete in the National Hockey League (NHL) as a member of the MetropolitanThe New York Rangers are a professional ice hockey team based in New York City. They compete in the National Hockey League (NHL) as a member of the Metropolitan Division in the Eastern Conference. The team plays its home games at Madison Square Garden in the borough of Manhattan, an arena they share with the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). They are one of three NHL teams located in the New York metropolitan area; the others being the New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders. Founded in 1926 by Tex Rickard, the Rangers are one of the Original Six teams that competed in the NHL before its 1967 expansion, along with the Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs. The team attained success early on under the guidance of Lester Patrick, who coached a team containing Frank Boucher, Murray Murdoch, and Bun and Bill Cook to Stanley Cup glory in 1928, making them the first NHL franchise in the United States to win the trophy. The team would then go onto win two additional Stanley Cups in 1933 and 1940. Following this initial grace period, the franchise struggled between the 1940s and 1960s, whereby playoff appearances and success were infrequent. The team enjoyed a mini-renaissance in the 1970s, where they made the Stanley Cup finals twice, albeit, losing to the Bruins in 1972 and the Canadiens in 1979. The Rangers subsequently embraced a rebuild for much of the 1980s and early 1990s, which eventually paid dividends, where the team, led by Mark Messier, Brian Leetch, Adam Graves, and Mike Richter, captured their fourth Stanley Cup in 1994. The team was unable to duplicate that success in the years that followed, and entered into another period of mediocrity. They endured a franchise-record seven-year postseason drought from 1998 to 2005, and languished for the majority of the 2000s before enjoying another period of prosperity after the 2004–05 NHL Lockout. Upon the arrival of goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, the Rangers thrived, missing the playoffs just once between 2006 and 2017. They reached the Stanley Cup Finals in 2014, falling to the Los Angeles Kings in five games. They have since entered into another period of rebuilding.Several former members of the Rangers have been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, four of whom—Buddy O'Connor, Chuck Rayner, Andy Bathgate, and Messier—have won the Hart Memorial Trophy while playing for the team.
The Colorado Avalanche (colloquially known as the Avs) are a professional ice hockey team based in Denver. They compete in the National Hockey League (NHL)The Colorado Avalanche (colloquially known as the Avs) are a professional ice hockey team based in Denver. They compete in the National Hockey League (NHL) as a member of the Central Division in the Western Conference, and play their home games at Ball Arena, which they share with the Denver Nuggets of the National Basketball Association. Their general manager is Joe Sakic. The Avalanche were founded in 1972 as the Quebec Nordiques, and were one of the charter franchises of the World Hockey Association. The franchise joined the NHL in 1979 as a result of the NHL–WHA merger. Following the 1994–95 season, they were sold to the COMSAT Entertainment Group and relocated to Denver. During their first season in Denver, the Avalanche won the Pacific Division and went on to sweep the Florida Panthers in the 1996 Stanley Cup Finals, becoming the first relocated NHL team to win the Stanley Cup. Among teams in the major North American professional sports leagues, only the National Football League (NFL)'s 1937 Washington Redskins have also accomplished the feat. This was also the first major professional sports championship a Denver-based team brought to the city. In the 2001 Stanley Cup Finals, the Avalanche defeated the New Jersey Devils 4–3 to win their second and most recent championship. As a result, they are the only active NHL team that has won all of its Stanley Cup Finals appearances. The Avalanche have won ten division titles since relocating to Denver (and set the league record for most consecutive division titles at nine in a row from 1995 to 2003; one in Quebec, and the rest in Colorado), and qualified for the playoffs in each of their first ten seasons after relocation; this streak ended in 2007.