Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Earn The Trust Back

It seems like we have to go though this every year now; the Ranger's ownership and management talks about the things they say they are going to do and Ranger fans go "where have we heard this before?"

Yet as we enter the 10th season under Glen Sather we find the Ranger franchise is still struggling to put together the right mix of players and even coaches to turn the team into a Cup Contender.

Yes there are some promising prospects now in the system but those who only follow the Rangers are not seeing all the positives that we might. They are only seeing bad contracts being given to players like Wade Redden (and now fans are including Scott Gomez too) as well as more disappointing finishes to the season.

Ranger fans see that the prices of their tickets (and odds are their cable/satellite bills, their merchandise and other Ranger related items) going up despite being in one of the worst recessions in decades.

So when the ticket price hikes were announced Ranger fans were treated to an open letter from Glen Sather that started off like this:

Five years ago, we made it our priority to build the New York Rangers team for long-term success by developing a core foundation of young players and adding key veterans as our youngsters matured. Our philosophy remains steadfast, and this past season, six young players whose NHL careers began here in New York played major roles in taking us to the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year.

So why not start the off-season with a couple of kind of important positive moves? What we are talking about is signing Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan to contracts as soon as the Cup Finals are over.

Walk that talk and show Ranger fans that these young homegrown players are very important parts of the core foundation as you say.
There is no doubt in the minds of Ranger fans that Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan are important parts of that core foundation.

Both are Restricted Free Agents so why make them wait for their contracts? Signing 2 unknown (to Rangers fans) European players is not going to inspire confidence but resigning 2 fan favorites will show that commitment that Glen Sather talks about.

There is no need for the Rangers to make either wait as the current CBA is going to limit how much both can be paid. The most that either Dubinsky (635,000) and Callahan (600,000) can make on their next contract will be 1 million in salary according to the CBA.

Both want to remain Rangers, neither are interested in looking at other teams so why not do a positive thing and take care of them now instead of waiting. The Rangers have to make the offer sheet by no later than the 29th so what is the difference going to make if you do it now?

The answer is that Ranger fans will see a positive first step towards the promises made by the Ranger's management. It helps bring excitement to the fans who see good news instead of leading off with salary dumping of contracts which everyone is expecting to see happen.

See the reason why we are making a big deal out of this is that when it comes to taking care of Restricted Free Agents, the Rangers have tended to show their bad side more than their good side.

Remember the Sean Avery arbitration? That could have been avoided if handled better and that is what we would like to see the Rangers do. The Rangers traditionally have made their RFAs wait until everyone else is taken care of and that is wrong.

Reward Dubinsky and Callahan for their hard work while showing Ranger fans that those words from above are not hollow.


Former Rangers in the News

Jeff Beukeboom who spent last season as an assistant coach with the Barrie Colts of the OHL has accepted the same position with the Sudbury Wolves of the same league.

Greg Gilbert who was let go as the coach of the AHL Toronto Marlies is one of the names being mentioned for the WHL Everett Silvertips. The Silvertips are run by another former Ranger Doug Soetart.

Colin Lidster 19, son of Doug Lidster was traded to the Trail Smoke Eaters of the BCHL. Young Lidster (6'4 225) is expected to play for Quinnipac in the 2010-11 season as a forward. Doug Lidster is an assistant coach with the Canadian National Women's Hockey team.

Jay Wells is an assistant coach with the Manitoba Moose of the AHL as they stayed alive in the AHL finals with a 3-2 win in game 5 to send the series back to Manitoba.

Former Hartford Coach Ryan McGill is expected to become an assistant coach with the Toronto Maple Leafs after spending the last as head coach of the AHL farm team of the Calgary Flames.


Note to Devil fans; if you think that Brent Sutter left the job with the Devils just so he could return to Red Deer think again. Most out west think that more likely that Sutter will become the replacement for Mike Keenan at Calgary under his brother Darryl.

The only question is how much of a deal will Lou want from the Flames to release Sutter from the 1 year remaining on his contract? If you see a deal between the 2 teams in the next couple of weeks bet on Brent's release being a part of the deal on the quiet side.

(Dubinsky and Callahan pictures courtesy of the New York Rangers)


mail4marg2003 said...

Dear Jess,

Oompa Lumpa doopity do, I got a Ranger Riddle for you:

Why is Glen Sather like Tina Turner singing "Proud Mary"?

Because Sather never, ever does nothing nice and...easy.

Perhaps if Cigar Boy did re-up at least Cally and Dubi he could assuage some of the anger the subscribers have about having to commit by June 22.

Wishful Thinking? Nah, Dolan and Sather just don't give a crap. To them, we're just assassins chanting "Fire Sather".

Ryan McFadden - The Manic Ranger said...

Ohh geeez the Sean Avery arbitration hearing, what a mess. I don't understand why they need to wait until the last minute to sign their RFA's. Everything logical is what you can expect Sather NOT to do. I wonder if he's even inquired about Heatley with Dean Lombardi.. or if he even plans to. Sather is an old breed, being a GM is a 24/7 job. Unfortunately for the Rangers, 12 of those hours are set aside to sleep and 5 is set aside for cigar sessions.

Brian said...

Jess, you mentioned in your post that Dubi and Cally can't make more than 1 million according to the CBA.

What part of the CBA are you referring to?

Jess Rubenstein said...


I an referring to Section 10.2 B ii

In order for the Rangers to retain their rights to the Group 2 free agents that is the section in which the Rangers need to follow.

It starts on page 29 of the CBA (sorry my adobe does not allow me to copy and paste)

Ron Boesgaard said...

Jess, I disagree with your statement that "There is no need for the Rangers to make either wait as the current CBA is going to limit how much both can be paid. The most that either Dubinsky (635,000) and Callahan (600,000) can make on their next contract will be 1 million in salary according to the CBA.

Salaries are not capped at a million for restricted free agents. Qualifying offers are.

In Cally's and Dubi's case, the maximum QUALIFYING offer can be no more than million dollars.

ANY team, including the Rangers, is free to offer whatever they want, up to the maximum NHL salary for Cally or Dubi after July 1.

The Rangers, as long they have the qualifying offer in place are free to match the offer of any team within the specified time frame and retain the rights to that player.

A perfect example of that was what happened with Dustin Penner a couple of years ago.

The Ducks made the qualifying offer and the Oilers gave the 23 year old Penner a 4.25 million offer sheet. The Ducks refused to match it. The subsequent signing of Penner by the Oilers cost the Oilers 2 first round, a second round and a third round pick as mandated by the compensation chart for that salary.

The Rangers will qualify Cally and Dubi and match any offer that comes along unless it is so ridiculous they can't afford it (cap trouble) which in that case will have no choice but to take the draft choice compensation award.

Brian said...

What Ron said :)