by Chris Ruddick
I might be in the minority here, but I am glad the Rangers did not come up winners in the recent Tony Amonte sweepstakes. Sure it would have been nice to see Tony back on Broadway, but he was not needed. Let me clarify: HE, himself was not needed. Another scorer on the wing is desperately needed right now, but Amonte would not have been a good fit.
There are a lot of high priced stars on this team right now which creates for a lot of egos in the locker room. Amonte would have been just another ego in a locker room full of stars, that is going to have to be handled by a first-time coach. Even with the “Greatest Team Leader in North American Sports”, Mark Messier, there might have been problems.
So that leaves the Rangers with a gaping hole on who will play alongside Bobby Holik and presumably Radek Dvorak. I am not in the belief that a bulked up Petr Nedved is the answer, plus it is highly unlikely he will even be with the team once camp rolls around. Providing of course Glen Sather can find a sucker, I mean taker.
I have a suggestion. How about bringing back Theo Fleury?
He has been a part of this mess for the past couple of seasons and is the perfect fit for this team right now. He will come cheaper than Amonte and if you believed his statements towards the end of last season he wants to be here.
Believe me I know signing Theo has its drawbacks, but I think it is worth the risk.
Last season he displayed something that this team has missed for a long time. Heart. That little firecracker left everything he had on the ice night in and night out. How many of the Rangers from last season or the past few seasons can you say that about? Maybe a handful.
He took stupid penalties night in and night out that left you scratching your head, but so did Eric “The Great”. He claims referees were targeting him. Were they? Probably. But that is because he has gained a reputation over the years. Maybe Bryan Trottier can control him. Maybe he does not need to be controlled. Last year was frustrating for everyone. Perhaps he blew his lid and who knows what he is, and hopefully WAS, dealing with.
All I am saying is that in my opinion Theo Fleury is the absolute best fit for this team right now.
When people would take a run at our best players last season, who was the first one to stand up to them. It was Theo, the smallest guy on the ice a majority of the time. He does not have to do that anymore with the people Glen Sather has brought in.
Who wants to mess with this team right now with some of the agitators here? Bringing the 5-foot-6, 180 pound Oxbow, Saskatchewan native back into the fold just adds to this team that Sather is putting together.
So Rangers fans join me in shouting BRING BACK THEO!!