NY Rangers: Time for Messier Behind the Bench

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NY Rangers: Time for Messier Behind the Bench
Alex Trautwig/Getty Images

This was supposed to be a big year for the New York Rangers. It was anticipated that they would be able to use the largely successful 2011-2012 campaign and playoff run as a springboard to bigger things, and there were many pundits that predicted a Stanley Cup championship to boot.

Offseason acquisition Rick Nash was the missing piece up front, and with a roster of returning young talent on offense and defense the high expectations for the 2012-2013 season were justified. The next step, in other words, was supposed to be the final step towards a Cup win.

Well, a funny thing happened on the way to the Stanley Cup win. In fact, if truth be told, a whole host of funny things happened. Within the walls of the Rangers' executive suites, however, nobody is laughing. They're not laughing about the lockout, the play of Brad Richards, the relentlessly stubborn and grossly disrespectful behavior of their coach or, in general, about the wasted season that began with such promise.

Change is necessary, far more change than anyone would have anticipated when the season began and even more now that the playoffs are over for the team. Holes were exposed, critical weaknesses proved devastating and, in large part, the culture appears to have been corrupted.

While there are hundreds, if not thousands, of decisions to be made by Glen Sather and the remainder of the Rangers' executive team between now and the beginning of camp in September, the following five decisions should simply be automatic.

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