Ray Ferraro enjoyed an 18-year career that saw him make stops with six different franchises. Ferraro began this journey with the Hartford Whalers in 1984. During his first full year with the Whale Ferraro posted 77 points in 76 games, which was good for second on the team. In all, Ferraro spent six and a half seasons in Hartford which included a personal-best 41-goals in 1988-89. 15 games into the 1990-91 campaign the Whalers traded Ferraro to the New York Islanders in exchange for defenseman Doug Crossman.
With his new team, Ferraro struggled to fit in and wasn't receiving the same kind of ice time he was accustomed to in Hartford with Pat LaFontaine and Brent Sutter logging the minutes on the first two lines. When Lafontaine and Sutter were both traded away during the following season, Ferraro eased into the second line role behind newly acquired Pierre Turgeon and he delivered with 40 goals and 80 points. Ferraro was unable to follow up on this success, however, when injuries limited him to just 46 games and 27 points in 1992-93. He proved his worth that spring, though, when he and the Islanders surprised many with a major upset. The Islanders knocked off the two-time defending Cup champions from Pittsburgh and advance to the Semi-Finals for the first time since 1984. The Islanders were eliminated by the eventual champs, the Montreal Canadiens, but not before Ferraro posted a team-best 20 points in 18 games.
Ferraro posted back-to-back 20-goal seasons for the Isles the next two years despite the lock-out shortened 1994-95 campaign. As unrestricted free-agent that summer, Ferraro explored his options and decided to sign with the New York Rangers, who were one year removed from their Cup win, in an attempt to add a championship to his resume.
Ferraro assumed the second line center duties behind Mark Messier and through 65 games he chipped in 54 points before he was packaged up and traded to the Los Angeles Kings. The trade shocked Ferraro, who had carefully selected the Rangers and was disappointed to be traded to a team that was just about to undertake a rebuilding process.
He only managed one healthy season with L.A. over the next three years and even then he wasn't able to approach the scoring numbers from earlier in his career. When his contract expired in 1999 it seemed like it might be the end of the line for the veteran center.
The expansion Atlanta Thrashers offered him a contract and along with fellow signing Nelson Emerson he was expected to provide veteran leadership and some scorng punch to the young team. Ferraro managed to stay healthy and play 81 games for Atlanta and his 44-points was good for second on the team, though well off his best years. The following season Ferraro staged a remarkable resurgence. Paired with Andrew Brunette and the shifty Donald Audette, Ferraro potted 29-goals, his most in nine years and set up his linemates 47 times, his best assist total since 1986. The line was among the league's best, though Audette was traded away late that season, and Brunette defected to Minnesota as a free agent in the summer. Ferraro was unable to follow up his incredible performance in 2001-02 without his linemates. The wily veteran scored just 8 goals and 27 points in 61 games for Atlanta before a late season trade sent him to St. Louis.
The deal to the Blues was completed in order to give Ferraro one last chance to win the Stanley Cup. With their number one center Doug Weight side-lined by a pelvis injury Ferraro was a key player down the stretch and he chipped in six goals and 10 points in 15 games, proving he still had it when paired with quality line mates. Ferraro was able to assist on three goals in the playoffs but the Blues were unable to bring Ferraro to the finals for a shot at the Cup during his final season.