The New York Americans are a long gone -- but not forgotten -- franchise from the early days of professional hockey. They started play in 1925 at Madison Square Garden, a year before the Rangers started play at the Garden. In 1927, they wore names on the back of their jerseys, becoming the first professional sports team to do so. They are also credited with being the catalyst for the introduction of icing as a rule after angering Bruins coach Jack Adams when they iced the puck 61 times in a single game.
The Americans would play for 17 years, reaching the finals twice. Their last season was in 1941-42, as the team suspended operations during WWII. The team tried to re-enter the NHL for 1946, but the NHL denied them and cancelled the franchise. Owner Red Dutton believed the Rangers were behind this move. He was so angered by it that he cursed the Rangers, saying they would never win a title in his lifetime. They wouldn't. Not until 1994, seven years after his passing.