3-D and Draft Day Dilemmas

Dick PantherContributor IMarch 24, 2010

NEW YORK - MARCH 16:  Chris Drury #23 of the New York Rangers skates off as Tomas Plekanec #14 of the Montreal Canadiens celebrates an empty net goal during their game on March 16, 2010 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Did everybody get their email from the Rangers announcing that there are more tickets available for tonight's viewing of the Rangers and Islanders in 3-D at the Theater at MSG?  I wonder how they can make a one-dimensional team look 3-D! Wukka wukka!  I would normally jump at the opportunity to spend $20 of money I don't have on the opportunity to see Rangers legends from across the room while watching the game in my free (I think? Probably not) pair of Drew Carey 3-D glasses, but I can't bring myself to monetarily supporting this team for the rest of this year.  Hell, I might even go as far as to watch this game on my computer illegally just to be certain they get nothing from me.

Tonight's game should have been one to be very excited about - storied New York rivalry with both teams fighting for a playoff spot and only separated by three points. Sadly, the luster of playoff-type hockey at MSG (and seeing Olli Jokinen look as realistic as his fellow Na'vi!) has disappeared with the Rangers playoff chances after their recent string of losses. Worse than that, I'm afraid they actually might win a few games! '

"But Rich: What kind of fan DOESN'T want to see their team win?  Why would you want to see them lose? ESPECIALLY to the hated Islanders?!?!"

I've held out for as long as I could, but I've jumped onto the current bandwagon of Rangers fans that hope they lose every game remaining to improve their draft lottery chances in June. As far as I'm concerned, tonight is the first night of the 2010/2011 New York Rangers season and the best thing possible is to start losing.  John Tortorella, though, will never lie down to anybody. He's a fighter, he expects the most of his team (including these bozos) and he expects them to win no matter the situation blah blah blah blah blah... but if we call up a bunch of Wolf Pack players and sit some of our players for rest or to heal injuries (i.e. Gaborik, Callahan, Avery, Lundqvist) and let some kids or long shots get a few games in, our tough guy coach won't really be able to win anything these last few games no matter what stunts he pulls.  Especially if he keeps playing Jokinen.

I know that the Rangers won't be able to move up to top 3 in the draft. I'm not THAT delusional of a fan. Taylor Hall, Tyler Seguin and Cam Fowler will not be around for the Rangers barring a failed drug test or a "sexting scandal" of Tiger Woods proportions.  And enough with the fan blogs clamoring for Nino Niedereiterereiterereiterereiter.  He's Swiss.  I'm sorry if that comes across as racist or xenophobic etc., but the Swiss don't make good NHLers.  Mark Streit is the exception, not the rule.  If the Rangers draft this kid with a top 7 or top 8 pick, it's going to be a disaster of Pavel Brendl proportions.  And Brendl had better numbers in the WHL.  But I digress.

They need to lose as many games as they can to get a good pick to get a goalscorer.  This team is hideously anemic offensively now, and with nothing to show for in their system.  Evgeny Grachev?  After a great rookie OHL campaign and looking like he could possibly make the big club out of training camp last September,  not only has his numbers been mediocre at best this past season, but his play has been horrendous.  Mitch Beck who covers the Wolf Pack on his blog Howlings was on Blueshirt Banter Radio last night and to paraphrase his description of Grachev's play: was the absolute worst athelete he's ever watched, no effort at all, plays no defense, easily knocked off the puck, closer to an ECHLer than an NHLer, has only two goals in the past 27 games, and (the real nail in the hearts of Rangers fans) his rookie AHL performance was worse than that of Hugh Jessiman. Ouch. With the next best goal scoring prospect in the Rangers system currently taking a dirt nap in outside Moscow, the future is looking mighty bleak.

I don't know who that guy can be in this draft. Maybe it is Swissy McSwisserson?  Maybe Taylor Hall does go on a bender with Kevin Stevens in outside St. Louis and slips to our spot?  I can't tell you who our savior will be yet (of course I'll have the answer by draft time, silly!) but he is not on the Rangers yet and if they put a winning streak together starting tonight against the Islanders and tomorrow night against Devils, then he probably won't be until he's 32 years old and available to be overpaid by our beloved Blueshirts.


I couldn't end this post without mentioning the rumor Rick Carpiniello posted on his blog at the Journal News website yesterday:

Heard this last night, checked around a little, didn’t find any evidence that it’s true: Glen Sather will retire after this season.
The source claims to have knowledge of this, from a better source. I’m not sure if I believe it, and I’m certainly not sure Sather would be sharing such info with some people, and not with the people I asked. So I’m very skeptical.
Aah, the beauty of a blog. You can just throw crap like this out there. It would never fly in the newspaper. But if it comes true, remember where you read it first.

Yes Rick, you can just throw crap like this out there. That's the beauty of the blogosphere, allowing a loud mouthed American with a computer like myself to have opinions!

The last two summers, rumors have been around that Sather would step down from his GM post while retaining his President position, allowing someone to take over the day-to-day operations of the club (including Brian Burke at one point).  Whether this will happen and who will replace Slats is to be seen, but seeing how Glen is no spring chicken and the hiring of Mark Messier and Doug Risebrough in the organization as possible indicators, perhaps this rumor has some legs.  I agree Sather probably wouldn't tell many people in the organization as he tends to play his cards close to his chest but an educated guess would say if he isn't going to step down after the season, he's definitely laying the groundwork for his possible successor(s) to step into the GM title in the near future.

So much for you Fire Sather folks.  Looks like all you needed to do was send him some AARP pamphlets and vacationing spots in Palm Springs.