I've had enough of this. I can't take it anymore. It has become ever so painful over the last few months to watch this New York Rangers club "play."
I see a lot of standing around or skating around in circles, leaving the best player on the team, goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, out to dry. The acquisitions Rangers General Manager Glen Sather has brought to Manhattan just simply have not produced. Sather needs to pack his bags and leave town immediately.
I can sum up hits tenure as GM with two words: Wade Redden. Toward the end of last season and into the offseason, rumors were floating around that the Rangers were very interested in signing the veteran defenseman from Ottawa.
I, however, was not.
His numbers over his last few seasons with the Senators clearly had dropped off from the solid production he put up earlier this decade. He was clearly on the decline (actually, he still is).
However, Sather refused to believe this and offered Redden a six-year, $39 million contract in early July, which obviously Redden signed.
Six years and $39 million for a guy that was booed every time he touched the puck by his hometown fans last season in Ottawa (I was at Scotiabank Place for the last game of the regular season last year and witnessed it). I had to slap myself in the face a couple times as I saw it cross my computer to see if it was for real.
Sather chose to sign Redden instead of Mark Streit, who had produced very well in Montreal in the two full seasons he played with the team (98 points). Redden had put up 74 points in his two seasons prior to this current one and he was on the decline.
This season, Redden is on pace for his worst season of his career. He has 19 points through 57 games and is a -10. But Sather signed him to just over $6 million per season.
How's Streit doing? He has 38 points in 51 games with the New York Islanders and is a +2. All of this and he's on the worst team in the NHL. Streit signed with the Isles for five years and $20.5 million.
Redden over Streit? That's an idiotic move.
A year prior to the Redden signing, there was another player the Rangers were rumored to have interest in—Scott Gomez. He has been the second-biggest bust of the "big" signings Sather has made in the past two offseasons.
Sather signed the long-time New Jersey Devil to a five-year contract worth a whopping $51.5 million. Sather gives a guy who scored 30 goals just once in his eight prior NHL seasons more than $7 million per season. Although Gomez is not generally known for his scoring, I don't see the point in giving a guy that is there to move the puck that much money.
Gomez is on well on his way to having his worst season since 2001-02, which was only his second in the league. Through 53 games this season, Gomez has only 10 goals and 29 assists and is an eye-opening -11.
According to hockeybuzz.com, there have been rumors floating that the Vancouver Canucks have shown interest in trading for Gomez. Please, take him.
The third "big" signing Sather has made over the last two years is Chris Drury, who inked a five-year, $35.25 million contract in the summer of 2007. I was extremely excited to when the news broke the Rangers had signed him. This was clearly a guy who could add a tremendous amount of leadership to a locker room (I guess he thought the same for Gomez as well, but I never looked at him as a leader).
Last season, Drury scored 25 goals and had 33 assists. His numbers were slightly off from his last two seasons in Buffalo, but I gave it a pass as he was trying to acclimate to a new team for most of the season.
However, this year, Drury has been a disappointment with only 15 goals and 19 assists through 58 games. I still try to hold out hope for the Rangers captain as he shows glimpses of promise every so often, but there's no doubt that he's struggling.
Sather has done nothing but put a very bad team together If you want to blame coach Tom Renney for this season as well, go ahead. But let's not forget that it was Sather who assembled this club.
It's not Renney's fault Wade Redden and Michal Rozsival are terrible. It's not Renney's fault Sather is relying heavily on a heap of young and unproven talent. But it is Renney's fault the team looks totally lifeless.
Something needs to be done. Fast.