From the desk of: RAISE GRESCH WITH THE GREATS
2014 STADIUM CLASSIC
Wednesday Night Final:
New York Rangers 2
New York Islanders 1
Friday Night Final at the Garden
New York Islanders 1
New York Rangers 4
New York Rangers: The Captain Now At The Core Of The GM's Latest Folly.
Does anyone foresee a visit to the Stanley Cup Finals this year? A friend of mine, who's hockey opinion I respect very much, believes it more than possible. He noted scoring is up, the power play is functional, and that Alain Vigneault's system is finally sinking in. He also believes the acquisition of another physical defenseman and a 20-goal type scorer at the trade deadline, could be enough to propel the Rangers, at least into the conference finals.
With all sarcasm intended - is that all?
Flat out - I do not share his optimism. One of the reasons why I was such a staunch supporter of John Tortorella was because he altered Sather's way of operating. Tort's affect on the GM, and the results on the ice spoke for themselves. I understand why Torts no longer coaches off-Broadway, but without him, I'm afraid the organization has once again lost its philosophical discipline and long range focus.
At the heart of the matter, is Glen Sather's continued (decade long) mismanagement, and deconstruction of a team (and spirit) that went to the conference finals two seasons ago.
Trading Michael Dell Zotto for Kevin Klein was actually a good move. Del Zotto earned the ire of two different coaches, so there was justified cause. He started out so promisingly, but then devolved as a defenseman.
Want to trade someone? Trade Marc Staal while we still can. You heard me right.
If you know me, I tend to lash out more when the team is doing well. On that note, the Rangers are 10-5 in the new year. I've been relatively silent since Christmas, but no more. My mid-winter break is over, and I'm pissed. So let's get on with this.
I would have traded Henrik Lundqvist...! Ryan Callahan and Dan Girardi are now tentatively on the trading block because the team can not afford to fit them (or anyone else for that matter) under the cap. After Rick Nash, Brad Richards, and now Lundqvist, there's little room left to sign or retain depth and quality.
On Lundqvist - how dare I even suggest trading The King? The short reason is, I'm tired of being a .500 team in perpetuity. As long as the Rangers continue to operate like a .500 team, the longer they will draft in the middle of the pack. It is that simple. Mediocrity breeds more mediocrity. Prior to signing Lundqvist to a long term deal, the number of teams that would have lined-up with offers would have been considerable. Especially in hockey, with a top selection, the odds of drafting a franchise player increase exponentially. Trading Lundqvist would have potentially netted the Rangers two high draft picks. Believe me, the only reason such a notion even crossed my mind had/has nothing to do with Henrik's off-season thus far. This had everything to do with the play of Cam Talbot. Now that Glen Sather made Lundqvist the highest paid goalie in the NHL, this possibility is all but squashed. The King's new contract practically makes him immovable.
Free agents to be Ryan Callahan and Dan Girardi are the first potential casualties. The latest word is the club wants Ryan Callahan's matter resolved by the start of the Olympics, which means by Thursday.
If you remember, John Tortorella initially identified Ryan Callahan, Dan Girardi, Marc Staal, Brandon Dubinsky, and of course, Henrik Lundqvist as his core.
Two seasons ago are fast becoming "the good old days".... So, f_*k it - humor me Glen Sather. Trade them all..!