There has been a lot of talk about what the New York Rangers organization should do to make this team better this season and have the talent to be play-off contenders.
To be honest with you, so far, I have not read one thing that makes any sense at all.
From trade rumors, to rumors of the Rangers in negotiations with a player. The rumors themselves are a contradiction to what the Rangers said they would be trying to do this off season as well as what is truly needed.
But that is nothing new!
For the past decade and a half, the New York Rangers have been plagued with signing players that have been on a downward spiral. One would think that they would have learned from past experiences and stay away from players that fit the description.
Players like Alexander Frolov!
During the 2006/07 season, Frolov, at age 24, peaked. He totaled 35 goals with 36 assists for a total of 71 points.
From that point on, Frolov’s point numbers have declined, from 71 at the end of the 2006/07 season, all the way to 51 last season.
How or why the Rangers organization would think this would be a good move to sign Frolov is baffling. If the rumors are accurate, that is exactly what the Rangers are trying to do.
It is even more baffling that there are fans that are all for this move. Why in the world would any of you want to see the Rangers fill yet another spot with Alexander Frolov?
Has anyone learned from the mistakes that have been made for the past decade and a half?
The now 28-year-old left winger from Russia is not the answer. Signing him does not make this troubled team play-off contenders, nor does it better the team for the future.
The same can be said about Maxim Afinogenov, Lee Stempniak, Marc Savard and Sheldon Souray.
I happen to like Afinogenov.
When I lived up state New York I saw him play a lot when he was in Buffalo and I personally think he is an extremely good player that brings a lot of offense to any team, as well as playing a solid defensive game.
However, he is 30-years-old. With the exception of last year where he managed to play the entire season, the prior six seasons were injury-filled.
At this point in time, he is not the answer for the Rangers if they are truly looking to rebuild.
Lee Stempniak has been inconsistent in his five years as a NHL player. Last year he had his second best season, but, if we follow his pattern, that means next year he'll score fifteen goals if we are lucky!
Why would the Rangers want to take such a chance in signing him? He does not help the team in terms of the future, and who really knows which Stempniak will show up and help them this year? This would be another bad move by the Rangers.
A month ago, I said, "The hell with it, go after Lee." I was thinking that really anything he does will help this team.
Lets be real, last year, the Rangers stunk!
But if the Rangers are truly looking to rebuild, then they need to stay away from him.
At the beginning of last season, the Rangers had seven players that they thought were guaranteed to score 20 plus goals.
This did not happen!
In fact the Rangers had only three players who scored 20 or more goals.
For the longest time, the Rangers have had rosters filled with second rate players like Frolov and Stempniak, and it is even more troubling that Ranger fans are hoping they get signed or pursued.
Why is it so hard to get on the same page?
I for one am all for rebuilding the team. That means stay away from players like Frolov, Stempniak, Afinogenov and older players like Souray.
I want the Rangers to look for young players that have progressed, either through the Rangers system or on other teams. I do not want to hear or see the Rangers talking to Frolov or any player that I mentioned or players that fit their description.
I want to see effort in improving the troubled defense, as well as searching for young players that can score goals. If they are restricted free agents, then I want to hear about how the Rangers sent that player an offer and the team that they are with gave a counter offer.
At least that would be an effort in the right direction!
If it is toughness you seek, HARD-CHECKING, GLOVE-DROPPING bad asses, you need to look no further than Steve Downie, and he can score goals too!
Steve Downie is a 23-year-old right winger for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Right now, he is a RFA, unsigned. Last year he played in 79 games, his first full season and he tallied 22 goals with 24 assists for 46 points.
Compare Downie to Brandon Dubinsky who is going into his fourth year, Dubs had 20 goals and 24 assists for 44 points last year, his best year yet!
I’ll take Downie! He is the TOTAL PACKAGE!
23-year-old right winger Blake Wheeler is another RFA in Boston that is still unsigned, with 18 goals and 20 assists last year. At 6’3", he would be a very good addition to the Rangers.
Another player is Patric Hornqvist from Nashville. Last year the 23-year-old scored 30 goals with 21 assists.
Bryan Little, who is a decent center had some problems last year in Atlanta, but he is 22-years-old and is worth taking the chance on a short-term contract.
22-year-old Erik Johnson has not been signed yet and would definitely help the Rangers defense.
The players we need are there. The Rangers need to take the chance and send the offers!
Put pressure on these teams to either sign these players or give them up!
Look at the players you hope the Rangers would sign, and look at the players I want them to make an attempt to sign. All young, very decent players that should be on the way up in their careers, not on the way down. Lets get on the same page here! Stop settling for the crap on the bottom of the litter box!
It is troublesome that we do not hear Ranger fans calling for Bobby Ryan. Forget about resigning Marc Staal and throw everything we can at Ryan. He is young, only 23-years-old, and the kid is awesome.
He is a tough, rugged player who has improved every year.
Bobby Ryan scored 35 goals last year with 29 assists.
This kid will just get better next year. He is the type of player the Rangers need, young and improving, not old and declining like what the Rangers usually go after.
As of right now, all negotiations between Ryan and the Anaheim Ducks have come to a halt. This is the perfect time for the Rangers to move in and make him an offer he wont refuse. They would still be following the plan to rebuild with younger players, but with Ryan we already know this kid will be great.
Making an effort is really all we can ask for.
Whatever happens. so be it.
But at least a true effort was there to better this team.
A signing like this would be another reason why the Rangers should send Wade Redden down to Hartford. It would open up $6 million dollars to send Bobby Ryan an decent, respectable offer.
Here is the problem!
The Ranger fans would not mind if the team rebuilds, but at the same time, demand that they are playoff contenders.
This is where the mistakes come from, bad signings will happen just to try to make the playoffs. In the long run, this move hurts the team.
Looking for veterans or players like Lee Stampnoak and Alex Frolov who want a longer contract will come back and kill this team like it has so many times before.
If the Rangers want to rebuild and you are all for it, then stop worrying about the playoffs.
Who cares if they make the eighth seed or not?
They will definitely not be able to beat Washington, Pittsburgh, Buffalo and if Kovy signs with New Jersey then you can add the Devils to that list. Not by adding Frolov or Stemp to the line up.
You can forget it!
You are looking to hurt this team with players you hope will score 20 goals, second line players. What is wrong with that picture?
If the Rangers are truly looking to rebuild then they need to develop players from within, or find youth through trades. We do not need a 20 goal scorer, we need a 50 goal scorer. If they can not sign a true superstar then they need to sign no one over the age of 23 who has shown improvement.
It is one or the other, you can not have both, not with out huge consequences.
Chris Drury is not going any where. We have Gabby for four more years. We will have Girardi for four years. We have veterans and experienced players, so why add more bums to the mix?
If the Rangers want to be playoff contenders, and rebuild, than they need to go after Bobby Ryan, Patric Hornqvist and players like them that will keep the Rangers on their game plan to rebuild with toughness and youth.
There also has been talk about Wade Redden being sent down to Hartford. As of right now, there has not been one word from Sather or Tortorella that confirms this.
We can only wish that this will be the case,
But, as of right now, you will be seeing Redden on the ice, with the Rangers.
This is all speculation, and the Rangers have not made a move to send Redden down yet, nor have they announced any defender from Hartford that will be coming up.
So, at this point in time, you can count on Wade "The Bum" Redden in Blue again this season!