I know I said I was going to take a few days off from writing because I have been preoccupied with a few things and my stress level has gone through the roof. However, after a conversation I just had with a person who I believed was an intelligent Ranger fan, I couldn't resist holding back.
The player who I have chosen to receive the first annual "Biggest Waste of an NHL Roster Spot" award goes to New York Rangers' forward and so-called tough guy Ryan Hollweg.
My friend is a Rangers fan and when I suggested that Hollweg should be traded (maybe for a bag of pucks, or a good wooden stick), he laughed at me and gave this big long-winded speech about how Hollweg is key for the Rangers success. I was stunned, because I've known this friend for years and always respected his hockey sense.
Not any more. In fact, it infuriated me so much that I decided to write this article, even with the constant pain I've had in my chest for the last four days (who knows, this could be the last one I write if I kick the bucket tomorrow).
So here we go, why is Ryan Hollweg valuable to the team?
Can he score goals?
The answer is simply...no. Other then poor, poor Patrik Stefan, I believe Hollweg is the only player in the league that could miss an empty net on a breakaway with no one guarding him. He has a shot that couldn't break glass and in 200 NHL games, he has a whopping 5 goals and 7 assists.
His only two goals this season came in the same game against the Philadelphia Flyers. The second of those goals bounced off his face and the goalie's shoulder before barely sliding across the line.
This argument is settled.
Okay, so he can check right?
If there were no referees or penalty calls made in the sport of hockey then the answer would be yes, but unfortunately it's no again. Hollweg, who does have decent speed, constantly lines up opponents only to be a step too late and then plasters only himself into the glass.
It seems the only time he does check someone, it's when the player has his back to him and he gets a boarding call. In fact, I single-handedly blame him for the second round loss to the Penguins this season: just as the Rangers tied Game Three and took momentum, he got whistled for checking a player who was fifteen feet from the puck.
Well then, he must be a fighter?
Because the definition of fighter is "someone who fights" and isn't "someone who fights and is good at it" then yes, Ryan Hollweg would be considered a fighter. But I really don't remember ever seeing him win a fight.
He usually starts out well but very shortly gets tired and ends up having his face pummeled. Whenever the Rangers needed momentum with a fight, Hollweg would then give that momentum to the other team, by getting his ass handed to him by some of the worst fighters in the NHL (cough, Todd Fedoruk, cough).
If he can't score, check or fight, why does he have an NHL roster spot?
I honestly can't tell you because it's something that other Rangers fans and I have been trying to figure out for years. My explanation is he must have pictures of Tom Renney and Glen Sather doing something dirty together.
So you've read the arguments and by now, you must know my stance. Some will agree and some will disagree, and that's fine. But at least back up your opinion as I have.
My message to Glen Sather is, "get this worthless piece of garbage out of Ranger blue and send him to the minors where he belongs!"
Oh and one more thing, Congratulations Ryan!