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I have been a Ranger fan for a very, very long time. I have enjoyed the good times and struggled through the bad. Unfortunately there were more bad than good. But as a true fan, I stuck with my team through thick and thin. One of the most traumatic times for me was the eighteen year rein of Glen Sather as president & GM of the Rangers. His instance to trade 1st round picks for for players like Rick Nash who was missing from the playoff's while taking up space on the ice baffled me. I eventually figured out that a lot of these decisions were made by James Dolan. Owner & CEO of the Rangers. When Jeff Gorton was promoted to GM, I started to see hope again and it appears that the hope is getting stronger and stronger. The other positive in my opinion is bringing J.D. back as president. I now feel that the Rangers have people at the top who are not going to make rash decisions & who are actually going to stay the course. Lately, the Rangers have had a bit of luck in being able to draft Kakko, trade for Truba, sign Adam Fox, Sign the breadman and draft an assortment of what appears to be high end talent. At this point in time I am optimistic, but guarded with my expectations. They still have to find a way to sign for RFA's with just around 8 mil in cap space. They have to figure out a way to shed some salary while maintaining a respectable roster and for me, the jury is out on Lindy Ruff. I don't understand why he is there other than he has NHL head coaching experience and is probably there to mentor Quinn. Hopefully, the Rangers will let him go after this year. Time will tell. Anyway, I think this is going to be a fun summer and a productive one. I will sleep easier once Truba is under contract for a long term. Comments Welcome.
Going back a few weeks ago when the Rangers were on their famous winless streak, Dave Maloney was on an interview with NHL Radio on Sirius XM talking about the Rangers shortcomings. One of the things he said about the state of the Rangers was this (And not word for word) Basically he said " Unfortunately, the Rangers are a team that do not believe in building with youth. They are in the constant hunt for the cup using star players from other teams and ownership is more interested in having celebrities in the seats with a couple of stars on the team." Now , this is what he said (Not me) and like I said not word for word but you get the picture. Remember that movie from a long time ago called Field of Dreams with Kevin Kostner and James Earl Jones ? There was a scene where James Earl Jones said that famous line; "If you build it, they will come" Well for me that is the mindset of the Ranger organization; "If We Ice them, they will come." Now it is unlikely that Cablevision will sell MSG and everything associated with it anytime soon to include the Knicks, Rangers, Liberty and all the other holdings, but if James Dolan decided to sit back and allow management to do their jobs, the Rangers could have a shot at some point. But not the way they are going it now. So... I present my seven keys to Rangers Success 1. Allow Jeff Gorton to do his job without interference from ownership 2. Relieve Glen Sather of his duties 3. Fire Alain Vigneault 4. Send Henrick to a contender 5. Shed some salary (Nash, Stall) (* Resign Nash for less cash) 6. Amass assets through trades and draft 7. Play the kids so they can learn and build from within MSG makes money in spite of themselves. Unfortunately, when you have that much money to burn a sports franchise becomes more of a toy to play with rather than an asset you try to build on.
So the draft is over and free agency came and gone and where are the boys in blue? To be honest, I don't think they know at this point. What I do know is that I am ecstatic that Sather has given the reigns to Gorton. Right now the Rangers have a suspect defense corps because of the decline of Staal and Girardi. I just read a Twitter post not too long ago that said and I quote: " Yandle and Starlman are making a combined $10,850,000.00 While Stall and Girardi are making a combined $11,200,000.00 per a difference of $350,000.00 Per" Just think If the Rangers didn't extend those horrible contracts to Staal & Girardi, they could have had Yandle & Starlman for $350,000.00 less per year. Factor in that no team wants to spend the $7,800,000.00 per for Nash, nor give up anything good in return and as you can see there is a problem. But, perhaps not a problem but a blessing in disguise. OK, the Rangers have to put up with Nash for two more seasons then they can let him walk. That will clear up almost 8 mil in cap space. By that time, we should get a read on the newbies and be two years removed from Stall & Girardi's contracts. Then maybe it would be worth the while of the Rangers to buy these guys out. In a cap world, you have to rotate players and continue to bring in younger players so you can keep the cap down. As a matter of fact I read that anyone age 35 and older is finding it harder and harder to keep their jobs in the NHL unless they are of Star Status. At any rate, There is still time before October and who knows, maybe Gorton could pull off a deal or two. Just a thought, but with Eric Staal going to the Wild and the Wild in need of some defense, perhaps Gorton could go to Marc and see if he would consider a trade to the Wild so he could play with his brother. And of course, the Wild would have to buy into that. Probably won't happen but the 5.6 mil in cap space Stall is taking up might not be a back breaker for the Wild. Never Know. Then the Rangers could make a move or two. Time will tell....