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Oct. 12, 1978 (Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers)
FINAL GAME WITH RANGERS
Dec. 8, 1982 (Rangers at Chicago Black Hawks)
RANGERS TEAM AWARDS
Players` Player Award — 1978-79
INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENTS WHILE WITH RANGERS
1979 Challenge Cup — NHL All-Stars vs. USSR
1981 Canada Cup
RANGERS TEAM LEADER
Most playoff goals — 1981 (tie)
RANGERS ORGANIZATION STATISTICS
Minor-league games: 5
Minor-league teams: Springfield (AHL) 1981-82; Tulsa (CHL) 1982-83
Full Name: Ulf Gosta Nilsson
Uniform Numbers: 11, 19
Retired from NHL: 1983
Big things were projected for center Ulf Nilsson when he joined the New York Rangers in 1978, and if it weren`t for injuries, the talented Swede would likely have lived up to all expectations.
Nilsson came to New York with an impressive resume, built up over four seasons with the Winnipeg Jets of the World Hockey Association. Playing on a line with countryman Anders Hedberg and the legendary Bobby Hull, Nilsson led the WHA in assists in both 1976-77 and 1977-78.
When Nilsson and Hedberg left Winnipeg for the Rangers in June 1978, they lifted the hopes of Blueshirts fans everywhere. Nilsson, then 28, showed no problem adjusting to the NHL, and he led the Rangers with 27 goals and 66 points through the 1978-79 season`s first 59 games.
On Jan. 27, 1979, Nilsson`s season took a bad turn when he broke his ankle after being checked by Islanders defenseman Denis Potvin. The hit from Potvin sidelined Nilsson for many games, and he never seemed to recover fully from the broken ankle. As a result, he was unable to help the Rangers during their run to the 1979 Stanley Cup Finals.
Although Nilsson played just over half of the 1979-80 and 1980-81 seasons, he was only a shadow of his 1978-79 self. He scored 14 goals in each of those seasons, although he did make up for the scoring drop with 69 assists over the 101-game span.
A major knee injury suffered during the 1981 Canada Cup kept Nilsson completely out of NHL action in 1981-82, and he managed to play only 10 more Rangers games before retiring in 1983. Over 170 total NHL games, he compiled 169 points —- a nearly point-per-game average that offers a glimpse of how great he might have been had it not been for injuries.
º A History of the New York Rangers
º Players` Player Award Winners
º Photographic Memory: 1979 Stanley Cup Playoffs