In the months after the Rangers won the Stanley Cup in 1994 a clause in Mark Messier’s contract was triggered where Mark Messier could renegotiate the $2.6 million that was owed him on his contract.
Messier wanted more than $5 million per season in a new contract and the new owners of Madison Square Garden ITT/Cablevision didn’t want to pay him more than $4 million per season. The new owners also fired the President of MSG Bob Gutowski because they offered Messier a contract worth more than $5 million.
Because of this stalemate, the NY Times reported on September 21, 1994 that there had been discussions of a potential swap of Mark Messier and Brett Hull.
Hull was supposedly offered as compensation to the Rangers when the Blues hired Mike Keenan. The compensation ended up with the Rangers acquiring Petr Nedved for Esa Tikkanen and Doug Lidster.
Hull, 30 at the time, had just come off of scoring 57 goals in the 1994 season and was under contract for the next four seasons.
For another story of Hull almost coming to the Rangers
In July 2001, Hull reportedly wanted to sign with the Rangers and play with Jaromir Jagr but didn’t want to sign with the Rangers if they couldn’t land Jagr in a trade.
The NY Times spoke to Hull and he said that he would have interest in playing for the Rangers, but for nothing less than two years and reportedly between $5 and $6 million.
He told the Times that his interest in signing with a team went beyond Jagr, “‘My sole interest is in Brett Hull and in helping the team he goes to toward winning the Stanley Cup. I definitely don’t hold anybody hostage in that way. But I’ll tell you this: that wouldn’t be too bad, playing with Jaromir Jagr.”
The times says that the Rangers could head into the 2001 season with a power play of Mark Messier, Brett Hull, Jaromir Jagr, Brian Leetch and Vladimir Malakhov.
In August of 2001, SI reported that Hull was about to be signed by the Rangers as soon as their trade for Eric Lindros was finalized. The deal is reportedly two years and worth a total of $10 million.
Five days after the SI article was published, Hull signed with the Detroit Red Wings because of their chance at contending for the Stanley Cup.