It's been a tumultuous season to say the least Rangers faithful. Saddest of all is that we finally found a scoring replacement for Jaromir Jagr, but still can't put the bisquit in the basket. Gaborik might be a show-stopper, but even he's gone cold on us since teams know he is realistically the only player on the team to key on. So, where do we go from here?
It's really a simple equation. Rangers – minus GM Sather – Plus a bona fide top line center, or even complementary winger to play with Gabby.
How do we accomplish this, or realistically, when?
1 – Artem Anisimov has shown that he has all the potential to become a top 2 center. The kid simply plays well, anywhere on the ice. He doesn't exactly have a supporting cast to work with and that has ensured he won't be in talks when Calder Trophy talks are underway. I like this kid a lot, but figure he'd be more of an ideal fit as a second-line center, provided we can find someone competent enough to chip in offensively alongside him.
2 – If and when the Rangers miss the playoffs or get eliminated in the first round, firing Glen Sather is of the utmost importance. I won't go as far as to say every move he has made has been bad, but most of his UFA signings have left the Rags' faithful in a bit of a rage. Kotalik for $3M per season AND a no-trade clause? Really Glen??? Whatever he was smoking that day, I not only want a toke, but I want a lot of it to re-sell later, as clearly this would become the next version of what cocaine was in the 70s and there is plenty of money to be made… Sather has bound and gagged this team with his ludicrous signings. See: Redden, Wade – Brashear, Donald – Drury, Chris – Rozsival, Michal – Kotalik, Ales.
His signings are one thing, but as most Rangers' fans will tell you, we thought possibly he had accidentally stumbled onto a good thing when he found someone equally incompetent in Bob Gainey, to take Scott Gomez's contract off of our hands. Well, reality quickly set in when we realized that Chris Higgins, the main player in the deal coming to New York, couldn't hit an open net even if there was nobody else on the ice. Dammit, another epic failure by Slats…
Finally, knowing how things work in the Big Apple, one can be sure that Slats will attempt to pull off a deadline deal to ensure another playoff appearance. Sadly, this will likely prolong his tenure with the team. His tenure has been a decade long, and at best the Rangers have been a middling team. It's time to accept reality and go for a rebuild. The pieces to build around – Gaborik, Lundqvist, Del Zotto, Anisimov, Staal – are all there, but Sather simply doesn't seem like a guy who could put the rest of the puzzle into place.
3 – If there is a trade to make at the deadline, it's a simple one, and one that most would consider secondary. In fact, two ideas come to mind. First, try to find another idiot like Gainey to take one of the BIG THREE off our hands (Redden, Rozsival, Drury). We need cap space, especially if there will be a change of GMs. Nobody should be forced to work under the cap constraints Sather has created. The second move would be to bring in someone with a reasonable price tag and good work ethic, like Shane Doan, for example. I don't think bringing in another star, like Kovalchuk, would do much else than keep Sather alive for another season. We truly need to consider a massive overhaul, but it starts at the top. I'd love Brenden Morrow or Doan, or even Milan Hejduk from the Avs, but I am only throwing out names. There is no evidence that any of those players would be available to us via trade…
The bottom line about this team, and keep in mind I'm an optimistic person, is that we're good. We're just not THAT good. There's a few moves to be made, and I think I've clearly outlined which move is most important. Sather must go!!!!
I'll be posting up another blog within the next few days, to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of our beloved Blueshirts.
About the Author
Written by Dan Rakusan
A huge Rangers (NHL), Falcons (NFL), PGA Tour and soccer fan, I have been writing semi-professionally for about 7 years now. I try to impart information with some degree of humour, and always have an opinion. PSB is another feather in my cap, and am really proud of the team assembled here, and look forward to the long-term journey PSB is embarking on in terms of establishing itself as the best sports blogging collective on the net! Look for articles such as 4-Play, Rangers blogs and PGA Tour updates, along with my NFL handicapping service!