Valeri Kamensky

Fans Should Be Skeptical

by Matt Pennino

Hey everybody, the Rangers are rebuilding! Or are they? I for one am not a firm believer in this “rebuild”. While I give credit to the organization for being bringing in a lot of youth (whether it is because of the massive movement at the trade deadline or by signing free agents) I still don’t buy the rebuild.

Since Glen Sather came to this organization, things have gone from bad to worse. The franchise has been at a stand still, doing everything possible to not make the playoffs.

Let’s say it’s around the trade deadline next season and the Rangers are three points out of a playoff spot. The scenario I am afraid of is Glen Sather making another panic trade, one more in the long line of panic trades over the last seven years that has prolonged the false hope that the Rangers could make the postseason. Out go a couple young, promising players, in comes an aging veteran with hopes that the last few shifts of his career can get the Rangers into the postseason.

Did you hear that? Yes, that’s a collective sigh from Rangers fans all over who have heard the beat from this drum before…a drum whose surface is wearing thin.

That alone is reason for Rangers fans to be skeptical, and I’ll gladly write another article and eat my words if the opposite proves to be true.

Since the infamous “Summer of ’99” under Neil Smith, the Rangers have been known for their overpaying of useless veterans. (See: Valeri Kamensky and Stephane Quintal among many, many others)…since that summer, the Rangers have not been the same as an organization.

This off-season, Sather has only signed a couple of “high profile” free agents, centerman Michael Nylander and goaltender Kevin Weekes. While I have no problems with these signings, some might also see this as two veterans coming in and taking spots away from younger players.

Is Mark Messier coming back? If that is so, there goes another spot. With Holik, Nylander, Kasparaitis, and Jagr among some other of the team’s veterans, slowly but surely the spots will dissapear. No, you cannot have a lineup strictly of young players and I understand that, but a trade here, a couple of signings here, and you might have the Rangers of old yet again.

I think I hear that drum…

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