It is very rare that we hear from New York Rangers general manager Glen Sather. But this year, he came out and spoke the words that I personally have been waiting to here for years now.
As proven by his actions last year, we have all learned not to listen or believe anything that head coach John Tortorella says. Again, I personally think he is a joke, and I totally believe he is not the right guy for the job.
But when Sather announced that the Rangers will be looking to promote from within their own organization, I believed him. And why not? He did bring up Artem Anisimov who played very well last year. He also brought up Ryan Callahan, Brandon Dubinsky, Matt Gilroy, and Mike Del Zotto—and all have played pretty decently.
Last year, we had the chance to see some of Dane Byers' game. He was physical and most definitely showed he wanted to play, and ultimately stay on the Rangers roster. He played in five games last year, scored a goal, and looked good. But as of right now, he is a restricted free agent who has not yet been signed by the Rangers. He also totaled 25 goals and 27 assists while down in Hartford. He is 6’3" and 204 lbs, and at age 24, he is still young and quite ready to play at the NHL level.
I remember reading all the hype on the Rangers page about Corey Locke. Last year, Locke was called up but he was never really given a fair chance to play. He was the best player they had down in Hartford, scoring 31 goals and 54 assists. With all the praise he was getting, the Rangers let him go to Ottawa.
The Rangers then turn around and sign a nobody. At 28 years old, Kris Newbury is 5’10" and 200 lbs. You let a kid like Locke go just to sign a nobody.
I do not want to here anything about Locke’s size. Theo Fleury and Patrick Kane, both 5’ 10"/5’9",tore the NHL up. Locke should have been given the chance to do the same.
Last year, we also had a good look at P.A Parenteau. He gets called up, scores three goals and has five assists. He looked great when was allowed to play. Well, he is an Islander now.
Corey Potter, who I am sure every fan out there was expected to be called up last year, was not. A young defenseman who not only scores goals, but plays a solid defensive game, is still unsigned.
The Rangers' second-round draft pick in 2005, the big defenseman, Mike Sauer, is unsigned as well—another player that looked good last year whom I expected to see in the NHL this year.
The Rangers first-round pick in 2006, Booby Sanguinetti, was traded to North Carolina. He was another promising defender who was expected to get a shot in the Garden. Gone!
Now the Rangers go and resign Dan Girardi to four-year deal worth $13 million,and Rangers fans are happy about it. Are you kidding me? This deal has done nothing but hurt this team. How anyone can sit there and honestly say that Girardi is worth $3.25 million a year is off their rocker.
What has this guy done to make this team better, either offensively and defensively? Nothing! He made just as many mistakes as Wade Redden did last year, if not more. He is not a hard hitter, nor is he a threat when it comes to offense. His defense was atrocious last year, and it showed big time when they played the Devils and he let Zach Parise skate right by him with the puck and score on Lundqvist. This is the guy that just stood there and watched Marion Gaborik get beat up and said he was afraid to get a penalty. Are you serious? If you are happy with this signing, I know a good shrink I can send you to.
Never mind the fact that Sather is going to fill the cap signing Marc Staal, another guy they should just walk away from. Staals’ arbitration, if he wins, can raise his contract to $4 million a year. If that happens, I guess you all will say "Oh, thank God they signed him."
There comes a time when you have to move on. This is that time. For the past four years, we have Girardi and Staal. For the past four years, we have gone nowhere. Sure, Staal is still young, sure he can turn it around, but at four million dollars a year, it is not worth taking the chance. He was not that good last year. Sure you can say well he was the best Rangers defenseman last year, and you will be right. But if you look at their defense, that in itself is not saying too much about Marc Staal!
So Sather said the younger guys will play, get the chance to prove themselves. Well some have been traded, others signed by other teams, and some are not resigned yet. Yes, there is time to sign them, but what’s the point now?
The Rangers signed Steve Eminger. So now we will have two Dan Girardis on the team instead of one. Both similar in size, neither of the two are big time checkers, and neither one of them is a threat when it comes to offense.
At this point in time, Rangers fans have nothing to be happy about. It is the same team as it was last year with the exception of two players. And now, there is only one spot left open for a Hartford player.
Right now I am pretty ticked off! I really though Sather had some kind of awakening where he realized what needs to be done. He went out and signed some tough guys, which was indeed needed, but they let the same young player go that should have been given the chance.
Sather has done nothing to improve the defense which is in dire need. He filled the roster leaving no chance for the younger players to get a fair chance. Overall, he is full of it, even more then Tortorella. Never BS the fans. If you can not get rid of the bums signed, then be man enough to admit it. After all, it is his mistakes that put them into this situation.
However, this is not hard to fix. You say the hell with it and place these guys on waivers. If they are picked up, then who cares? Would you rather pay seven million dollars a year for Chris Drury, or pay $3.5 million and be rid of him? Same goes for Michal Rozsival and Wade Redden. These guys are a major damper to this team, and they are taking away money and spots that can filled with better players.
Rozsival nor Redden have been placed on waivers, and if we need to count on these guys yet again, then this Ranger team might as well not even show up for the games.
Even if they were to rebuild, this is in no way a good start in that department. We have the wrong coach. This is a guy who has no clue on what he is doing. I mean hell, it only took him 75 games to find one line that was any good. He does not believe in letting players build chemistry, and he is quick to change a game plan that was working in the beginning of the season and never once go back to it. Players that should have been benched were rewarded with more ice time, and players that should have been given leeway were sent down, never to be seen again.
I should have seen this coming, and I should have known better looking at who our head coach is. But, I believed Sather and so far he has proven nothing except that he is full of it too.
The roster is full. Do we really believe that these young guys are going to see any real time playing? I think they made up their minds on one player and that is who they were going to bring up. One player. And if he fails, then what?
It is not definite that Evgeny Grachev will be good enough. As we all seen last year, if he does not score goals, he will be sent back down. He is the player they are looking to bring up. Sure it’s a good thing, but at the same time, Sather is claiming that they rushed Matt Gilroy, which I find hilarious. Gilroy did fine. It was the coach that was all messed up. but if he feels they rushed Gilroy, how will he bring anyone up this year?
Bottom line is this, Rangers fans—you have nothing to be happy about. Overall, we have the same team as we did last year. The defense will probably be worse than last year, as well with the addition of Girardi number two. Tortorella will go back in trying to rush the defenders, and when they start losing again because there will be no one to stop the breakaways, he will abandon it again like last year.
Wal-Mart has tissues on sale, 89 cents a box. Might as well start to stack up, because it is going to be a very long, losing season for the Rangers—unless Gabby can score 100 goals and Henrik can stop everything tossed at him. He will not be able to depend on the defense yet again.