"We have to re-sign Shanahan!"
"We must go after Sundin!"
These are the only two things I have heard from the Rangers' fan in these last few weeks, and all I have to say is that I'm disgusted.
Why must we bring in players that are way past their prime for us to be happy? Fans forget that we signed Naslund and traded for Zherdev this offseason, and they only care about signing one or both of the aforementioned players.
People tell me, "Oh, it's not our fault that everyone wants to finish their career in New York." To which I always respond, "Maybe so, but it is our fault for letting them."
When the team let Jagr walk, it was clear that the franchise would be headed in a different direction; a team of no superstars, just good players. It's like a hive full of all worker bees and no queen.
For once, there will be a Rangers team with no overpaid forward. This is a team that I've been waiting to see for quite some time.
But instead of being happy, fans complain about what we haven't done. They don't appreciate the excellent work Glen Sather has done in putting this team together.
Jagr is gone, so we no longer have to cater to his needs and worry about whom he can and can't play with. We can just roll lines and forget about matchups. The team will be much faster, something so important in this new NHL era.
So now, after Sather has built a solid team made for speed, should we re-sign Shanahan or go after Sundin? It makes no sense. Any Rangers fan that even casually watched any hockey in the second half of last season must have seen how brutal it was to see Shanahan play.
Yes, he still has a great shot, but in this new era of hockey, one needs speed to go with it. Shanny doesn't, his tank is empty.
I love the player, and I've been more than delighted to have watched him play on Broadway for two seasons, but it's time to call it quits. He wants to stay a Ranger, or so he says, and if he really loves the team that much, then why not return as a part of the coaching staff?
Yes, that's right; I believe he will be more valuable from behind the bench then on it. He's a player that has been through it all, and he will be someone the other players will surely listen to. He can provide all that help without slowing down his team.
Next comes Sundin, and to anyone that wants this guy, let's remember one thing: He's one of the reasons why Jagr was not signed. The Rangers were very close to bringing back the Captain, but they were waiting on one person, Sundin.
If they had signed him, he would have definitely been Jagr's center, so Sather waited and Sundin did nothing. It was then that Sather realized they were not going to get him, so they told Jagr goodbye. Now, all of a sudden, it's three weeks later and Sundin has not signed with anyone. Rumor has it he still wants to come to New York.
Why should we give him the pleasure? The guy couldn't make up his mind on July 1, so to hell with him, and that's exactly what I would say to his face if I had the chance.
With all that said, and our lineup hopefully complete, our lines on opening night should look something like this, providing no injuries:
Line 1: Dawes-Gomez-Zherdev
Line 2: Naslund-Drury-Prucha
Line 3: Fritsche-Dubinsky-Sjostrom
Line 4: Callahan-Betts/Korpikoski-Voros/Orr
Each line has a good balance of scoring and defensive responsibility, with the exception of the fourth line. The first line could very well be the fastest in the league, as Gomez finally has two speedy wingers that can keep up with him.
Center Chris Drury now has two wingers that can play his style of play: crashing to the net, firing shots, and creating chances.
The third line is a good checking line that has offensive ability and even some toughness with Dan Fritsche, who apparently is a fighter.
As for the fourth line, there are really an endless amount of combinations that can be used. Callahan is basically the most expendable player on the team because he really hasn't much offensive ability, but he can check, and that's what makes him valuable.
So, after reading this article, you may hate me for blasting the New York Rangers' fanbase, because basically, I'm calling the majority of the hockey fans in the U.S. a bunch of whining, complaining, ungrateful fans, which is something we've shown the hockey world these last few weeks with our constant wish of signing aging former superstars.
It's time for a new era, with no looking back to the old ways of operation for this franchise, and I hope you will soon realize that and see it as it is.