The more that was said about why Tom Renney was fired the more I realized that Ranger fans were being fed a giant line of garbage. Expecting Glen Sather to accept full responsibility for his actions would be asking for a miracle on the level of biblical proportions.
However this time it appears that Ranger fans are not buying the snake oil act. The growing majority of Ranger fans know that Sather is at fault here and even with Tortorella as coach little will change with Sather in charge.
Yes Tom Renney earned being removed as Ranger's coach as in my own eyes Renney had quit on those same players who had quit on him a month ago. Tom Renney was sent to his own version of Little Big Horn by Glen Sather with the players signed over the last couple of years.
Glen Sather wants Ranger fans to think that the team that he built is a good one not the flawed one that we have been watching all season long. Glen Sather wants no, he is praying that John Tortorella rescues him from his bad moves.
See by firing Renney on Monday Sather is already setting up for excuses to cover himself from the blame. Look at his words from Monday and realize that if the team still fails to make the playoffs then neither he or Tortorella were to blame.
"I still think we have a team that has played well and we can get back to that," he said this evening after announcing the coaching change via conference call. "We were a fast, puck possession team and we got away from that. Moving forward I'd like to think we have a chance to return to that."
Can we first acknowledge that the Ranger's record at the beginning of the season was built up on a schedule that was overloaded with the bottom of the NHL? That if you take away the month of October with it's 10-2-1 and the Rangers are barely a 500 team.
Yet Glen Sather wants you the Ranger fan to think this is a good team. Glen Sather and his management team wants you not to realize that 9 of those wins came via the Gary Bettman shoot out.
But wait now let us talk about the player moves
"You can always second guess my moves," he said. "Everyone has input -- both scouts and coaching staff. We do this as a collective group. Everyone has input on the coaching staff as well as management."
Really then how come Tom Renney had to beg to get that 7th defenseman he needed for most of the season? When can we ask did running the Rangers become a "team effort"? Does anyone remember that Renney said he was going to meet with Sather to try to get one?
Look at those works "try to get one" and when the defender was finally obtained it wasn't even one that Renney we bet wanted.
Sather talked about how the coaching staff had a say in player decisions but I have to ask how is it that over the previous 3 seasons that we saw Tom Renney at Hartford checking out the players but not this season? Glen Sather is doing a great job throwing Tom Renney off the cliff here and inviting Ranger fans to jump with him by hiring the people's choice.
Sather has his own inner circle that has been assembled over the last couple of years starting with his "advisor" Mike Barnett (Gretzky's former agent). Toss in professional scouts Jeff Gorton, Rick Kehoe, Gilles Leger, Kevin Maxwell, along with Peter Stephan and these are the ones who advised Sather about which free agents to sign this past season.
Yes Tortorella is going to be entertaining with his antics, he will be great for sound bytes in his post games but here is what he is not going to be able to do. Tortorella is not going to make Wade Redden a better player, he is not going to make Aaron Voros a better player and he is not going to be able to turn a team that is very suspect on defense any better.
There is another problem that people are willing to overlook because of their frustration with Tom Renney; why did he actually get fired by Tampa Bay?
Just as Tom Renney lost the Ranger locker room by failing to hold people accountable, John Tortorella lost the Tampa Bay locker room with his constant rants and tirades. A winning coach knows how to find a balance between being part Renney and part Tortorella.
Forget Vinnie and ask how a coach can lose the support of players like Martin St. Louis or Brad Richards? The only reason why Tortorella was not fired during the season last year was the pending sale of Tampa Bay.
Ask how come Tortorella could not win with what he was given in Tampa Bay the last couple of years?
Here is the part that Ranger fans really need to be worried about:
"We don't want to trade young players," he started out saying. "[But] if someone comes along with an opportunity to make our team better, I'd have to say yes, absolutely."
And which young players would that be? The Rangers do not have the quality or quantity among the prospects that they can afford to use them as bargaining chips for short term rentals. Sather can claim all he wants that he is willing to send players to Hartford but the odds of that happening are slim to none because that too would be acknowledging Sather signed the wrong person.
Not meaning to be critical of the beat reporters who covered the conference call but there is some questions that really should have been probed further like asking Schoenfeld himself why he would not want to coach the Rangers.
To be fair the Rangers make it almost impossible for the media to do their jobs by "hiding" Sather from them. Using conference calls like this one allows the Rangers to set the conditions and keep the media at bay.
At live press conferences, the media is together in the same room and some get chances to compare notes prior to the event. And even worse is that with a conference call the press does not get a chance to grab someone for a post conference follow up.
In the end, the snake oil salesman winds up losing and given the strength of schedule that the Rangers face this season's losing will be painful.
(Quotes courtesy of Dubi Silverstein and the Blueshirt Bulletin)
6 hours ago