You Wanted Dan Girardi, You Got Him...Don't Cry About Him Later!

Mr. ControversyCorrespondent IJuly 12, 2010

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 3: Alex Kovalev #27 of the Ottawa Senators is cross checked by Dan Girardi #5 of the New York Rangers while playing for position in front of the Rangers net during the first period at Madison Square Garden on October 3, 2009 in New York City.  (Photo by Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images)
Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images

Where do you begin when you look at this New York Rangers team? How about we start with the many interviews we have heard with someone from this organization saying we need to better our defense—or was it we need to be tougher? Or maybe it was the one on how we need to get Henrik Lundvist some help so he does not have to play every game. Maybe it was all of the above that made me think, "hey, they finally got the hint on what to do... NOT!"

Why is it that year after year, we, the fans, are told the same thing every season, but nothing is done to better the team. Why is it so easy for Sather to say we need to toughen up and get better defensively, but yet so hard to put in effect? Then we get some dummy that says we bitch to much, are you kidding me?

Is it that hard to find a solid defender? I mean we just blew $3.25 million on Dan Girardi, who has never been that good to begin with. If there is anyone that should bitch, that should scream bloody murder, it is all of you, the fans, who go and pay top dollar for a seat, $10 bucks for a damn beer, just to watch the damn Rangers and bum coach lose day after day.

Bitch, your damn straight I will bitch till I can not breathe any more, or until the management of the New York Rangers gets the job done correctly—that we all pay for. Which ever comes first!

I mean think about this for a second. I am not trying to beat a dead horse here, but hear me out! DO NOT THINK WITH YOUR HEART. Forget you like the guy and think hockey smart!

For $1 million more, we could have went after Anton Volchenkov... $1 million! There is no comparison between Girardi and Volchenkov. Not only is Anton a much better defender, but this guy is a physical, big time checker. Not only does he clear his own zone, but this guy shuts down top players. He controls the puck in his own zone and helps the goalie when needed.

Dan Girardi (haha), does none of the above. The only thing Girardi knows how to do is block shots with his face. But, Ranger fans, so does Volchenkov, who last year played 62 games and had 172 blocked shots with, 153 hits. Girardi played all 82 games and blocked eight more then Volchenkov and had 180 hits.

Now before you go and get real stupid on me here, you can not compare the love taps Dan Girardi calls a check compared to Volchenkovs hits. Anton just knocks players off their feet and sends them flying. There is no comparison between the two players. But, again, a solid defender, was not even considered or approached.

Now why is that? I mean, after all, the scouts all the way up to the Vice President himself said we need to better our defense. I guess resigning Dan Girardi to his fifth year as a Ranger was their answer to that prayer. Not a chance in hell is he the answer to any prayers.

I mean ,this is so hilarious, this one will just kill you. Not only did the Rangers think Girardi was the answer to their prayers, but they gave him a four-year contract. I do believe they gave Michal Rozsival a four-tearing-year contract as well a few years back and we all know how that worked out for us, huh?

But here is the punch line; they think Girardi is so good, that they went and acquired another player just like him. As far as Steve Eminger is concerned, one could say he was Dan Girardi’s clone or vice versa. That is how similar these two players playing style is to one another.

I want you all to remember this article the next time a player runs away with the puck on a break away with one of these players as the lone defenseman and scores a goal. Just like they did last year against Dan Girardi many times over! Remember it when the opposing team is entering the Ranger zone and the puck handler skates right by Girardi or Eminger and scores a goal. Remember it the next time a Ranger gets the living crap punched out of them and one of these guys is on the ice.

Remember it!

I guess trying to sign Zbynek Michalek for only $750,000 more was too much to ask for, because he was never approached either. Another physical, solid defender who takes care of his own zone and he has a very hard shot to boot. Just another defender whose skates Dan Girardi is not even good enough to clean after a game, not even approached.

I would not be so ticked off if an effort was made. Just send an offer, get the negotiations started. If the player is not interested in signing with the Rangers then fine, at least the effort was made. But to just go and throw millions away on an "eh, what ever" defender when there are players out there for a little more then what you signed Girardi for is not acceptable to me.

You can agree with me or not agree with me, that is your choice. But the Rangers just through away $3.25 million away for a guy who can not score, who can not protect his own zone, who can not even protect a player on his team, and is not physical. Can anyone see that this is the worst signing so far by this team or what?

Look, we have been stacked defensively in Hartford for some time now. Are you going to tell me that there is not one player down in Hartford that can not match anything Girardi can do? And they would have came cheaper. If not, then this team is in worse shape than we all think, and that is pretty damn bad!

We could have brought up at least three defenders for the price of one Girardi. How anyone can say that makes sense is beyond me. You cry cap, you cry for youth, you cry for toughness, you cry for defense, then you cheer for Girardi. Am I the only one who sees an issue here?

The only way the Rangers organization thought they can help Henrik is by going out and signing a goalie off the free agent list. Now there are plenty of fans out there that think this was a good signing. Martin Biron for two years at $1.75 million. Yes, it was a good deal!

But was there anything wrong with bringing up Chad Johnson? Saving the money for another use. Johnson did a very good job when he played. I mean after all, we need to get him ready for the future, when that time does come when Hank goes through his issues. Why not bring him up and play him. Yes Biron is a veteran goalie, but he has also shown plenty of flaws and inconsistency along with injuries.

Bringing up Chad Johnson would have also given the Rangers additional money to build up their defense, which in turn would have also helped Henrik. Seems like they want to do everything but the obvious. A better defense helps Hank and your back up goalie. But I guess the brains of the Rangers organization are just to stupid to see this. They say they are aware of it, but then turn around and do nothing to help the problem.

Say what you will, but for a team that has issues getting rid of overpaid players, one would think that this would have been the smarter move. Use what you have especially when the players in question are decent players who can get the job done. Why is this so complicated that we must see this issue year after year? Is this also not the reason why we have a minor league team? Save money, develop players, and build a solid team with what you have?

Marc Staal is holding out, and I would like to know what did this kid do last year that he deserves $4 million. I guess when you look at what they just paid Girardi, Staal is guaranteed to win his arbitration, which could be that much. Last year Staal was part of the problem instead of being the solution. So again, what should we do? Reward him with a raise because he was lucky enough to knock in a few goals more than last year? Give me a break!

Everyone wants to praise this kid. Well let me ask you this: If Staal and/or Girardi were playing so good last year, then why was Rozsival playing twenty plus minutes a game and they weren't? The answer is simple; the head coach felt he could not depend on them defensively or offensively so he went with the second worst player on the team.

Laugh my ass off, Ranger fans. I mean how can you not find this humorous. They were not playing better than Michal Rozsival but yet everyone wants them resigned no matter how much money it costs. Some how, you all think he is worth tying up the cap with a multi-year contract worth $4 million a year. Umm hello, haven’t we learned our lessons already, doing this with players who have had a bad season the previous year is not a good thing for us?

Again let him walk and let someone else try to teach him to become the next Brian Leetch. I mean we all know that is what he wants; he has said it many times over that he wants to be more involved in the offense. Well, we all saw what happen last year when he tried to do that. Again, for the money we will pay for him, we can bring up guys a teach them. I am all about rebuilding! Out with the old in with the new.

The Rangers went and signed Derek Boogard. I personally think this was a great signing for the Rangers. Yes I agree the price was a bit high, but you know something, you know that BOOGY will indeed do his job and do it well. You know what you will get from him, there are no secrets there. He is an enforcer and he has shut down top lines on other teams.

I want to see him against Crosby and Ovechkin. I want to see him rough them up the way he is paid to do. Some fans did not like this signing. I think it was needed—it added toughness and gave us a little bit of an edge when we play at home where we get last line change. Again their first line against our fourth line, there will be a lot of fights that is for sure!

Boogy was a good addition in another way as well. Picture this if you can. We all saw how Brandon Prust played last year. By no means is this kid just a fourth line player. Boogy’s signing opened op the opportunity to move Prust around to second or third line which also adds some grit and toughness around the lines.

We all liked Jody Shelley, and the Rangers did try to sign him. Did Shelley jump on the first offer he received from Philly instead of waiting and trying to work something out with the Rangers? I do not know, but I do know the last word we received was that they were still talking. So with that we can not blame Sather for not resigning Shelley if Shelley jumped ship the first chance he had.

The Rangers drafted some decent players, and they looked like they were heading in the right direction for next year or the year after that. HOPEFULLY! However it is hard to look at what they are doing and say this is a rebuilding process. So far this is in no way looking like that is what they are trying to do.

We had, and still have, what looks like a decent team. Competitively speaking! Are there issues/problems, yes, but every team has the same issues or problems—whether it is goal scoring, defense or goalie issues. Here is where I get ticked off just thinking about it.

We have a GM that turned a losing team into the greatest team that ever played in Edmonton. Glen Sather was once considered a genius when it came to drafts, free agents, and trades. Why in the world did he change his style when he came to New York. Why? Because he had more money to spend!

Spending tons of money does not guarantee a Cup win, as we all have seen first hand many times over. In fact we went seven years straight without making it to the playoffs and at the same time, spent millions on players. Yes most were out of their prime, injuries end careers early, so forth and so forth. The last thing we need is more veterans, and many fans want to see Marc Savard in Blue.

Marc Savard is 33 years old, and is more of a passer then goal scorer. His awareness in the offensive zone is by far, one of the best. Without question! I will give you that. But once again, he is older, had a serious injury last year, only played 41 games, why even entertain going that route.

Not only that, but with only one spot open for a rookie, where does that leave bring up the youth for the future of this team? It would be a bad move all around. I would think after all the injury prone, over the hill players we have signed in the past, you people would have learned by now. But I guess not!

Moving on! One of my favorite and most respected writers on bleacher, is Michael Stein. The other day he commented on my last article, and it was a great point that he made. I wanted to get your thoughts on this topic.

He mentioned the future of this team, and how he is looking forward to the next few years. He mentioned how we have a solid core down in Hartford. He mentioned Stepan, Kreider, Werek, and Horak. Grachev and McDonagh were mentioned as well. Along with the young Callahan and Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov looked superb last year and seems to be improving. Also, the likes of Del Zotto and Gilroy, Mcllrath and Dale Weise—and yes, even Marc Staal.

I personally could not agree with him more. It is indeed a solid looking line up. My question is this: how many players will be here in two or three years? How many players, no matter how good they do down in Hartford will actually get called up, or will they just rot away.?

I look at the track record of this Ranger team and 99.9 percent of the players do not see the light of day. Not for the Rangers at least. Sather has traded away top draft picks and quality players from the minors every year. We always end up scratching our heads asking why him, and in return we always received nada. Nothing even close to what their talents are.

Every year the Rangers sniff through the free agency list looking for missing pieces to the puzzle. Meanwhile they are right there under his nose, down in Hartford. This year it was limited, but what about next year or the year after that, what will the free agency have to offer? What then?

As I said before, his point is valid and most definitely correct! Everyone has great expectations for all these players mentioned. But hasn’t that been said before with other players?

My problem is that I am totally at wits end with the way the minor league teams have been passed up for the likes of a Wade Redden, Michal Rozsival, and even a Dan Girardi. I have lost hope when it comes to them seeing a real chance to play for this Rangers team. I admit it, but am I so wrong for it, when you really look at what has been done in the past.

Where I have my doubts, he has his hopes. We both want to see this team broken down and rebuilt with youthful players and the best players we can get for the right amount of money. This is a topic we don’t share or talk about that often, and I am looking forward to hearing your views on this.



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