Since there has been nothing but negative energy running rampant through the Garden faithful this season, I figured I would continue with that trend and pour salt into some old wounds.
It's no secret that, we, as Ranger fans, LOVE our own home-grown talent. Most of the time, we hold them so high up on the talent pedestal, that we are blind to the fact that, maybe they just aren't that good—or as good as we tout them to be.
Jarkko Immonem? Jed Ortmeyer? Lauri Korpikoski? Jamie Lundmark? Dominic Moore? Even Petr Prucha?
But then, there's this group. The players who management, for whatever reason, simply mis-evaluated. Over the last two decades or so, some electric players have slipped through the cracks of the Rangers system. It's not that hard either, considering how many cracks and holes the Rangers have in their organization.
I've compiled a list of players that hopefully will make us even more bitter, and have our blood boil just a little more than it already is right now.
5.) Mikael Samuelsson
Now this might not seem as such a big deal to many. Hell, most fans probably remember Samuelsson as "that guy we traded Graves for." Make no mistake—Samuelsson would have helped the Rangers dearly the last few years—had Slats not tried Alex Kovalev v.2.
Now, technically Sameulsson was given up on by the Sharks first, but he only played four games for San Jose, so that doesn't really count.
Had the Rangers NOT given up on Samuelsson, they might have been able to experience what Detroit was able to—a solid two-way player who is very aware in his own zone and can score. Sure, he wasn't lighting up the lamp like Zetterberg and Datsyuk, but Samuelsson was just as important to the Wings' offense.
4.) Mike York
Now, of course, York hasn't been doing much of all lately, but I still miss him. York was another young player that was sent away by Sather in search for our power-play savior...Tom Poti.
York, much like Samuelsson was a very good two-way player. He was excellent on faceoffs and was very quick. He wasn't too bad mixing in grit either. Another thing York was very good at was setting players up around him. He was your proto-typical second-line center. Wasn't flashy, just did what he had to do—and did it well.
Good like, Mike, I hop you soon find the NHL again.
3.) Now these next two will occupy the "3" slot together—Doug Weight and Tony Amonte.
Both Weight and Amonte were two, highly thought of youngsters by the Rangers. Unfortunately, both were victims of Neil Smith selling his soul—and the Rangers next 15 years—for the Cup in '94.
Now I'm sure none of us are going to complain over winning the Cup in '94, but it did come at a very steep price.
Both Weight and Amonte went on to have very successful NHL careers—and it's not as if the Rangers didn't see this coming.
Amonte, through his first three seasons as a Blueshirt scored 84 goals and 183 points. After being traded to Chicago, Amonte would have six-consecutive 30-plus-goal seasons and make five All-Star teams. Not bad.
Weight, who was traded the season before, for Esa Tikkanen, wound up having a very similar career to his American counterpart, and castaway, Amonte.
Both Amonte and Weight have scored over 900 points throughout their career.
2.) Marc Savard
Despite everything good that Neil Smith did for this team, one of his later moves left one of the most bitter tastes in my mouth for years to come. Thank you for trading the most dynamic playmaker—outside of Joe Thornton—away from the Rangers.
How exactly did the Rangers drop the ball on Savard? Every time I watch him play, something inside of me dies. I mean, it's not like they didn't know his potential. Savard AVERAGED 80 assists for three years in the OHL.
Okay, that's the OHL, plenty of people can do that. Granted, how about his 53 assists in 53 games his first year with the Wolfpack? Okay, fine, that's the AHL, plenty of people can succeed in the AHL. Alright, how about the 36 assists and 45 points he put up during his rookie year in 70 games!
How about this, Savard put up five more points, in 12 less games than Brandon Dubinsky in his rookie year—someone who is seen as untouchable almost, right?
There's no reason to further this pain. We are all aware of what Savard has done, and continues to do every single season. PERFORM!
And now, finally, the most heart-breaking, dumbest, worst, moronic, I-want-to-drink-myself-to-sleep trade the Rangers have made in the last 20 years...
1.) Sergei Zubov
You know how year-in-and-year-out we hope for that power-play quarterback we so desperately need. Well, we had him.
And in another attempt at bringing in aging stars—we lost him.
Zubov could have changed this franchise. Simple as that.
Having Zubov on this team would have brought completely different results, every, single, year.
Ever look back at the '94 Cup team? Do you know who led that team in points?
The Captain? Nope.
Adam Graves and his record-setting season? Nah, not him.
Surely it had to be Brian Leetch, then, right? Not a chance.
I'm sure if 90 percent of Ranger fans were asked that question, they would all get it wrong.
It was Zubov. That's right, good ol' Sergei. Since the Rangers gave up on him, he has done nothing but play in over 1000 games, score 771 points, and be as consistent as they come.
Zubov, for Ranger fans will forever be, the one that slipped away.
There, now that should get us nice and angry.