Monday, July 14, 2008

No More Blaming Others

Is it possible for the Rangers to make a move these days without someone trashing the player who is being moved or left the team? There is no denying that Ryan Hollweg took a bad penalty in Game 3 against the Pens in the playoffs but Hollweg himself did not lose the series.

Yes Hollweg was a goner once he took that penalty but it is old and boring to see this constant kick the guy in the rear as he leaves town that has been going on deserved or not.

It is as if the Rangers have to make sure that Ranger fans know that they (Ranger's management) are getting rid of every problem that led to yet another second round failure from the team.

So then the question is how much of a leash should Ranger fans give the current coaching staff next season? The answer is not one inch as the table being set by the Rangers themselves is that they have finally given Tom Renney "his team".

With all of those who have left no longer around to be blamed and these new additions all being "Tom's kinds of guys" then the coach had better produce from the get go. No excuses for the team developing a chemistry they have to have it right from the start.

No struggling on the power play, no taking bad penalties, no failing to play a full 60 minutes of hard work and effort. Next year's team according to the Rangers themselves is supposed to be able to get past the second round.

Next season's Ranger team had best contend for the division championship, for one of the best records in the conference and there will be no excuses for anything but winning. After all those who held the Ranger's back are gone.

The way the Rangers have handled things does bother us as it is a return to the pre-lockout days where money was tossed in questionable ways and players brought in with some heavy duty question marks about themselves and their game.

But the biggest question has to be how much faith can Ranger fans have in Tom Renney when even one of their spokesmen Stan Fischler called the Rangers of the last 3 seasons the "Jagr Monarchy"?

We are supposed to believe that now after all this time Tom Renney has his players but if I was a Renney critic I would be having a very large field day with all these moves because they will either make Tom Renney as a coach or they will break him and his staff.

The margin for error that Team Renney has is none thanks to this foolish "kick them in the rear on their way out of town" being done by the team and most in the media. The impression is now this is a team that will play Tom Renney hockey and they will be a better team for it.

If Brendan Shanahan decides to sign elsewhere then will we see how Shanny was a problem in the Ranger's locker room, how Tom Renney could never get him to sit out a game when Shanny was hurt unless Shanny himself agreed to it?

See that is the kind of stuff one has been going on since July 1 and never was needed by the Rangers. If not for the efforts of those departed then the bar for winning would not be as high.

Say what you want about any of them from Jagr to Avery to even Hollweg but each played their own roles in helping the Rangers escape from 7 years of self induced hell. We have asked this question repeatedly "Why not just thank them and move on?"

If anything the Rangers have started the fire, pour gas all over Renney and all that is left is to push him into the fire because now Tom Renney has to really produce as a coach with no safety net at all.

Giving Out the Letters

It seems as if the Ranger fans have already decided who the next Captain of the Rangers along with who will be his assistants so can we toss in our 2 cents on this subject please? It seems that while people are so quick to say Drury as Captain, Gomez as one of the "A's" and then it gets interesting.

To be honest while Gomez and Drury are the 2 with the biggest of contracts to be blunt neither showed any real leadership skills last season. Forget the "Deferring to Jagr" nonsense as leadership does not start when you have a letter on your jersey, it starts way sooner than that.

A leader has to be the one who will step up in the locker room and rally the team, the leader has to be the guy that when the team is stuck in the mud has to be the one who jumpstarts them or the leader has to be the guy who will also chew some rear when people are not giving their best.

The worst part of being Captain of the Rangers is that Ranger fans will always compare you to the 1990's version of Mark Messier and that is a comparsion only an extreme few will ever compare to.

For next season, if it was our choice then Gomez has done more to earn the "C" than Drury did based on last season's efforts. How many times did we use the word "invisible" in the same sentence as Drury when talking about game efforts?

The locker room politics will wind up giving one "A" to Drury and the other expected to be Naslund based upon his career. However while people are talking about Dubinsky or Staal there is one name that in our eyes is more deserving at this time than either of them.

Who was the Ranger's most consistent defender last season? Which defenseman did Ranger fans notice as the one who quietly went about his job without any real fanfare but performed solidly?

Ask anyone who ever served in the armed forces and they would say that Dan Girardi would make one hell of an NCO. Girardi game in and game out was always there, you rarely ever saw him take a night off, a bad penalty or even a bad play.

Name a Ranger who has had to come from his background to earn his "stripes"? When you talk about a leader by example then Dan Girardi in our eyes is the best pick to earn that letter.

(Hollweg and Girardi pictures courtesy of the Rangers/

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