Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Time to Say it Aloud

The Rangers would rather not see this being said since they would prefer that the focus be placed on Brian Leetch Night on Thursday. However after watching the Bruin's game and reading all that has been said it can no longer be ignored by anyone who covers the Rangers.

Before I do though, I want to make this really clear because there are those who will twist and distort what I say. I do not like the idea of seeing Tom Renney possibly losing his job but I do understand the politics that might force it.

Tom Renney is more than likely going to have to pay for the failures of the Ranger players with his job. It is not about losing control over the locker room, it is not about what Renney has done wrong and it is not about trying to salvage the season.

It is about Tom Renney being sacrificed to take the heat off the Ranger players. It stinks because Tom Renney has done more to fix the Ranger franchise than he ever will receive credit for. It stinks because key players have under performed and someone has to pay for it.

Yes Tom Renney made his own share of mistakes as Ranger coach and one can say that his biggest mistake was being too loyal to his players. However the truth is that this Ranger franchise and even this team is better positioned for the future because of Tom Renney.

Yes that is right because Tom Renney worked Dubinsky, Prucha, Girardi, Staal, Callahan, Dawes, and even some guy named Lundqvist into regular roles there is a future for the Rangers.

Because of Tom Renney the Rangers have 14 scouts covering the world, they have a program for developing the kids on the ice with improving their skills and off the ice working on developing their bodies so they can speed up their development. Tom Renney never gets credit for his role in doing all this and he deserves it.

Because Tom Renney took a very active role during the lockout season on player development, on scouting and on teaching that there is a game plan for developing future Rangers. Tom Renney did more to mold the future for the Rangers so it royally stinks that he just might have to fall on the sword and lose his job.

You can not fire players without eating their salary, and the long term future of the Rangers means you have to keep several of the prospects in Hartford so they can develop their skills instead of force feeding them to the NHL.

Because of that you do not want to waive a Malik to Hartford taking up a roster space down there and you can not afford to take the cap hit by simply releasing him. You are stuck with Malik and a Hossa and even a Mara. You really do not think another NHL team would want them did you?

Thus Tom Renney takes the heat, Tom Renney takes the blame and Tom Renney has to suffer the public embarrassment of being relieved of his duties. Tom Renney deserved better than this.

Renney might have to pay because nobody expected Jagr to lose his goal scoring skills this season. That just is not right but it is the sad reality of the NHL under the salary cap. Jagr with his contract has zero trade value unless the Rangers give up a key prospect.

Renney might have to pay because Shanahan and Avery keep getting hurt rendering then just about totally ineffective. Shanny's bonus money and Avery's mouth will not attract any serious buyers. It is not right but that is the reality of the NHL under the salary cap.

Renney it is not fair or just that he might have to pay because Chris Drury is nothing like the same player who scored 43 goals for the Sabres last year. It was not Renney's fault but he might have to pay for Drury.

Renney just might have to pay because the marketing people sold the Ranger fans on this being a season of a run for the Stanley Cup. It never was because this Ranger team for all it's supposed firepower on offense remained shooting blanks on defense.

Tom Renney has tried his best to hide the weaknesses of several of his key players but instead he got trashed by supposed Ranger fans who think they know better. Because instead of calling them the checking line, they made the mistake of calling them the 4th line and the online experts whined to the heavens about their ice time.

Tom Renney got this team to play team defense which was totally opposite the system that Glen Sather and his other coaches tried to use. Yet the supposed message board experts who think they know better are going to be so happy that Tom Renney is gone.

Never mind that Tom Renney turned a sad sick franchise into a legit competitive team while rebuilding it at the same time. Tom Renney did a lot for the Rangers and now it seems he just might have to do one more thing for the team.

Tom Renney will have to pay for the player's failures with his job. Oh sure the players will all say those "It is all our fault" statements and talk about how bad they felt. They will owe Tom Renney for taking their blame for them.

I have a lot of respect for Tom Renney, even though I work for the tiny Blueshirt Bulletin. Tom Renney always made time to talk to me about the prospects. As busy as he was and with other issues he had to deal with I was treated with the same courtesy that Renney gave the beat guys.

While others will be celebrating his removal I will not because now it would mean that the franchise will have to go back to the drawing board and start over.

It stinks but that sadly is the nature of the beast.

(Picture courtesy of Blueshirt Bulletin)


Marcus said...

Great post Jess. I'd hate to see him go. He has been great for the organization.

poploser said...

A few comments to a good post, Jess.

First, he doesn't HAVE to be the scapegoat if the team fails to turn it around. There's another guy in management, I won't say his name, who brought these players to NY, and gave them the contracts that in some cases make disposing of them difficult. I'm not saying its likely that HE would go before Renney, but I'm saying he shouldn't be absolved of fault.

Second, anyone who thinks Chris Drury was going to be a 40 goal scorer in this league has not watched Chris Drury play. And I don't believe he was brought here on his cumulative goal scoring ability. He was brought here because he scores "clutch" goals. He was brought he because he plays well in all situations and adds 2nd/3rd line depth. But if anyone in the NYR organization or the fans expected him to be a large offensive contributor, they were foolish - he is a guy who scores 20+ goals a year, and score 60 or so points a year. Always has been, always will be. He is on pace for 51 points, so yes, he will be at the lower end of his career average, but it is nothing unexpected.

Anonymous said...

Great post!

So true that if you look at the players who are not performing they were brought in by slats. This organization is just a year or two away from having a roster full of players that renney has seen when they were hardly in junior hockey and knows what to expect from them. Instead a sulking Jagr and an overpaid D-corp may cost him his job.

Jess Rubenstein said...


Yes you are right Sather has done a great job of hiding behind other people by no longer being the public face of the Rangers. Other than press releases and talking to European reporters, Sather is never there to talk.

As for Drury, you may be right about him but he took the big bucks so he had best produce.


I should have said what you did as you are right another year maybe 2 and the Ranger core would have been all home grown instead of Jagr/Shanny.


Thanks for the kind words

The Dark Ranger said...

Whatever he said before yesterday's game seemed to work. A great defense of Tom Renney -- though, I am not such the fan -- but you make a good point that with players locked in to these contracts, there is only one place to point the finger. Coach Clueless.

Great post Jess.