Rangers rookie makes impact in historic NHL debut

New York Rangers center Matt Rempe (73) and New York Islanders left wing Matt Martin (17) fight during the first period of a Stadium Series ice hockey game at MetLife Stadium
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers recently took down the New York Islanders in the 2024 Stadium Series, a game that fans have deemed one of, if not the best outdoor NHL game of all time. It was a historic matchup in many fashions, including the first-ever three-goal comeback in an outdoor game, the highest attendance in Rangers’ history, and earning the Blueshirts the most outdoor victories in NHL history.

One final piece of history that was made at this year’s Stadium Series came in the form of Matt Rempe being the first NHL player in history to make his rookie debut during an outdoor matchup. He may not have recorded his first point, but the massive 6’7 forward surely made his presence known.

Rempe dropped the gloves for the Ranges during the first shift of his NHL career

Just a handful of seconds into his NHL debut, Rempe earned the spotlight for the first time as he and Islanders enforcer Matt Martin opted to drop the gloves and fight. It was later revealed that Martin had asked Rempe if he wanted to scrap before the game had begun, and the two decided it would be the best way to start off his career.

It was obvious based on the fight that there was no bad blood between the two, but it served as an exciting start to what became an instant classic matchup.

Rempe’s future with the Rangers

Rempe is set to play in his second career game Tuesday night against the Dallas Stars, this time indoors at Madison Square Garden. This is another opportunity for the current fourth-line forward to record his first career point, but it will be a challenge against a strong Dallas team.

Right now, Rempe’s future with the Rangers is a bit unclear. He was called up to the NHL following the decision to place Tyler Pitlick on waivers, and there is no indication of any long-term plan Chris Drury has for replacing him. For now, Rempe should provide some solid grit and enforcement in the bottom six — and if he continues to impress, his NHL career may continue longer than anyone expected.

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