New York Rangers No. 1 in merchandise sales; Vegas Golden Knights # 4

The Vegas Golden Knights have been NHL history this season as the expansion team has the best record in the Western Conference. They were history off the ice as well, as the Golden Knights’ equipment sold out quickly in Las Vegas and the rest of the hockey world.

But despite this craze surrounding brand new merchandise for a whole new franchise, the Golden Knights aren’t the best-selling team brand in the NHL this season.

This honor goes to a team 92 years older than Vegas.

According to Fanatics, which operates the NHL’s online store and produces its replica fan jerseys, the New York Rangers are the best-selling team this season for everything from jerseys and hats to jackets and other equipment.

The Pittsburgh Penguins, Stanley Cup champions last season, are second; the Chicago Blackhawks are third; followed by the Vegas Golden Knights in fourth place, followed by the Boston Bruins.

The Rangers’ participation in the 2018 Winter Classic was a factor, as the Winter Classic host teams traditionally see increased sales. (The Rangers were technically the team on the road, but the game was played in Queens, New York.) For example, Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko went well out of the top 10 at No.8 in overall ranking in 2017 after the St. Louis hosted the Classic.

The Winter Classic effect is also evident in sales of individual merchandise, which primarily includes player jerseys, but also items like T-shirts.

Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who held the fifth best-selling jersey last season, is the third-best-selling player in 2017-18. His teammate Mats Zuccarello, who did not finish in the top 20 best-selling jerseys last season, is currently fifth in player merchandise sales.

Sidney Crosby, who had the best-selling jersey last season, is first overall in individual player sales, followed by Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews, Lundqvist, Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid and Zuccarello.

Fanatics, the nation’s largest online licensed sportswear seller, signed an agreement in 2016 to operate Shop NHL and create fan apparel for the league. Sources told ESPN’s Darren Rovell that it was a 16-year deal.