by Jess Rubenstein
In watching the events of the last 48 hours, I can’t help but to wonder if someone had listened to Frank Brown back in 1997 that we would not have suffered though 7 years of a crappy hockey team. Frank Brown was the beat reporter for the Daily News who suggested in January of 1997 that the Rangers needed to rebuild. He said this even before Mark Messier left the Rangers for the Canucks and little did Brown realize how right he was back then.
In my book it is a sad day when we watch Brian Leetch wearing the uniform of the Leafs. While one can understand that it had to happen because of the past seven seasons, had the Dolans allowed a rebuilding in 97 then Leetch could have finished his career as a Ranger. Rebuild in 97 and there was no need for what happened to Leetch. I blame the Dolans for this and it won’t be easy to forgive.
It angers me to see Leetch sent packing when the resident clown in charge, Glen Sather is allowed to continue to screw up the Ranger franchise. If you look at what the Rangers have gotten in return for Leetch, Nedved, Kovalev and Markkanen, then none of those players are worth getting excited about. To me I see 4 players traded for a total of 1 first round draft pick and 3 second rounders.
The players or rights to those that the Rangers got are not going to be worth remembering except when Sather is finally fired and those names too can be added to the list of useless players. Sorry folks but Balej is a player I know all too well from his days with the Winterhawks. Put it this way if you disliked Brendl then boy you will really think Balej is a bust. A smallish strictly one way offensive player who is going to score a ton at the AHL level but he couldn’t crack the Habs lineup.
As for the others, well outside of the college kid, how many of them were on their team’s roster at the time of the trade? Yea I thought so which is why I for one am discounting everyone but the draft picks.
However the person who is currently in charge of the housecleaning, Glen Sather needs to include Glen Sather as well when he finishes moving whichever Rangers he plans on moving. If Sather is allowed to continue this reign of error of his, then I fear that we fans are going to wind up even more frustrated than we ever dreamed.
After Sather once again blamed the Ranger fans for his own failures as he stepped down as coach, it was his use of the term “character assassination” in describing the way he has been treated that should have broken the camel’s back. If yours truly is one of the “assassins” then I ought to apologize for my failing to do a good enough job, after all Sather is still here.
Since Sather has stooped to such garbage (made even worse by the rather cowardly use of a Vancouver radio station), then what the heck…I think it is time to stop pulling punches with Sather and show him what real “character assassination” is all about.
Four years of failures, Four coaches who didn’t get the job done, lord knows how many players who have come and gone, who also didn’t get the job done, all add up to one thing. Glen Sather is not only a joke of a President / General Manager / Coach, but he also is the biggest liar to hold those roles. How he keeps is job is due to one simple reason, he works for a guy who has to be the only person in the New York area stupid enough to not fire him, James Dolan.
Many of you are too young to recall the words of Reggie Jackson in which he described George Steinbrenner and the late Billy Martin as “one is a born liar (Martin) the other a convicted one (Steinbrenner)”. In my book “one is a born failure (Dolan) and the other an overpaid one (Sather)”.
The Rangers have yet to have even one winning season since the Dolan family took full control over the Rangers. As President of MSG it has gotten even worse under his leadership, as the Rangers have become nothing more than a sad joke to the rest of the hockey world. I mean if not for his father’s wealth there is no single possible way that James Dolan would have ever earned his position on his own merits.
The crude part in me tells folks that once upon a time all of the Ranger problems could have been avoided if Charles Dolan had worn a condom. To think had Daddy Dolan practiced safe sex then odds are good that seven years without playoffs (with more to come no less) could have been avoided.
Something else to consider is that while Sather is supposedly cleaning out the Ranger roster, we Ranger fans have not heard a single word from Junior. Recall when Scott Layden was fired and Thomas hired as his replacement, that Junior was right there making sure people knew there was not going to be a Knick rebuilding.
If I were you the reader I would take a very cautious view that a Ranger rebuild is actually going to happen. Given that the expected lockout of the NHL is not supposed to happen until AFTER the World Cup this summer, then who is to say that Sather will not go on a buying spree come July 1?
Can anyone say that they have heard from either Sather or Junior that a total rebuild is going to happen? That is right, we the Ranger fans have heard just one single sentence on the subject directly from either one so until such time don’t hold your breath that it will actually happen.
As for Sather himself, can anyone here truly feel all that comfortable with the same person who now is claiming that he wanted to rebuild all along (only he said it to his Vancouver radio buddy and never to a NYC area reporter)? How many times have we fans been lied to and/or blamed for his stupidity? I know I have lost count given how many times it has happened over the last 4 years.
Does anyone think for a second that Sather who has screwed up each and every coaching choice he has made could get it right on the 5th try? You did notice that Tom Renney wasn’t named head coach just the interim one. Be warned, if come next season Sather doesn’t decide to return behind the bench.
If anyone is foolish enough to believe that Glen Sather or James Dolan can be trusted then you will deserve what I expect to happen. I expect that come this summer that you will see the Rangers out there checkbook in hand going after many a free agent given how many will be on the market.
Given the uncertainty of the next CBA you will see a ton of players on the free agent market. I for one know that there is no way the NHL owners will be able to agree on a hard salary cap but will settle for a soft one with a luxury tax. James Dolan had no problem paying a Knick tax bill of 40 million so what should that tell you?
Perhaps the best bit of evidence one should have noticed is how fast Balej was sent directly to Hartford without a stop with the Rangers? How is it that the 3rd leading scorer in the AHL and the key to the Kovalev deal wasn’t even given a game to be looked at by the Rangers? Instead it was 36 year old Ken Germander the career minor leaguer called up for his 11th total NHL game.
(Editor’s note: As it turned out, Balej was held up in immigration so wouldn’t have been able to play anyway)
Can someone explain why to me, outside of the window dressing of rewarding a loyal player (who by the way has been repeatedly screwed over by Sather) was called up instead? How about how much ice time the under 25 players got against the Bruins?
A team that is rebuilding can find 20 plus minutes for Mark Messier but barely 12 minutes for Lundmark, 8 minutes each for Murray and Dusablon, and 10 minutes for Ortmeyer. Sorry Slats but in my book it isn’t “obvious that we are rebuilding” but rather being set up for another round of UFA spending come this off-season.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you folks.