Monday, June 7, 2010

Same Tired Song

To read the Larry Brooks interview with Glen Sather yesterday; I could not help but to wonder the Rangers even bother with this now annual announcement about how things will be different next season. Only the most blindly loyal of New York Ranger fans will believe that the Ranger franchise will change their ways.

“We just weren’t quite good enough over the course of the season. But if we had won that final game, would we have been tough enough to compete in the playoffs the way the Flyers have? Could we be where they are now?

“I think so.”

At first glance it was worthy of a chuckle but what is scary is the possibility that Sather and the Ranger management really believed this then they are truly out of touch with reality. Sorry Glen but even if you had earned a spot in the playoffs to think that the Rangers would be in the Stanley Cup Finals is sad to think.

“We have to get better,” Sather acknowledged. “And the way we’re going to get better is by staying within our organization and giving our prospects the time to grow and the opportunity to play in New York.

Sorry Glen but nobody believes this anymore because you have been saying this same old tired song for over a decade. Every year we heard how the Rangers need to get better; how they need to build from within and how young players will get the opportunity to make the Rangers.

It has not happened in the now 11 years on Sather's watch and it is not going to change. Last year it was in a letter to season ticket holders, this year it is in an interview with Larry Brooks and next year it will be smoke signals from the top of Madison Square Garden. 

“This has been a long process, and it’s ongoing, but as we go into this summer, our plan is to keep our own players. I can tell you one thing — we are certainly not going to overpay for free agents. If we can improve with a signing that makes sense, we’ll look into it, but we want to give our guys the first shot.”

Here is the thing that shows where Glen Sather is lacking in credibility as if keeping their players then how come the Rangers do not already have Marc Staal under contract? Dan Girardi?  How about Erik Christensen or even Jody Shelley?

The smartly run teams make the effort to get their core players under contract first before they make any other moves so they know exactly what their needs would be come July 1. You can tell us that Donald Brashear is not coming back but that is not groundbreaking news as everyone knew that.

Tell us that Wade Redden is gone or at the very least that you are going to do something about the problem his contract has created. That is the kind of news that would hopefully show that things would be different for the Rangers. 

Sather said that he would like to sign Wisconsin senior defenseman Ryan McDonagh and junior center Derek Stepan. The GM told The Post both players would attend the Blueshirts’ prospects camp the first week of July.

Glen you can not sign players that you have not made any effort to talk to about leaving school for. Instead saying you want to and then not making a serious effort to sign just makes the kids look bad.
You also know Glen that Stepan is not ready for the NHL, maybe McDonagh is (congrats Larry for getting his name right this week) but the truth is that Ethan Werek is more ready for the NHL then both Badgers. Yet no effort has been made to get Werek (last season's 2nd round pick) under contract.
This part is even better as it is a true case of "smoke and mirrors:

“We’d like to get them in and have them earn jobs,” Sather said of the two young Americans. “We’re excited to see whether [Evgeny] Grachev and [Dale] Weise and some of our other kids can earn jobs.

Anyone who watched Hartford last season will tell you that Grachev is not even close to being ready for the NHL. Grachev struggled big time in trying to adjust to the AHL game going without a goal over his last 27 games.

Dale Weise is the only one who one has to believe remains a serious prospect for the Rangers. What should be interesting is that Sather did not mention any of the other prospects by name like Dane Byers or Bobby Sanguinetti or even Brody Dupont.

Remember the splash that the Rangers made in announcing the signing of Ilkka Heikkinen last season? You remember how the Rangers touted him as a legit prospect? Last week Heikkinen signed to play in the KHL for next season after telling people as far back as March that there was no way he was going to come back.

But Glen Sather saves his best material for last:

“But we’re looking forward. And we’re excited about it. We’re building an organization where we’re going to have serious competition for jobs at training camp. There are 23 spots and they’re going to the best 23. 

“A player’s contract isn’t going to get him a spot on the team if he doesn’t earn it, and that goes for everyone.

“Everyone is fighting for a job. They all know that. If they don’t, they should.”

OK all of you who believe this one can also earn free rides on the 42nd St Bridge. 11 years Glen Sather has said this and not once has it rang true. All one has to do is look at the roster and see Wade Redden on it.

Come talk to us when the Rangers stop adding the Brashears or the Kotaliks every year and maybe just maybe then the Rangers will be taken seriously. But for now the it will remain the same old song with the bad lyrics and the poorly constructed chorus.


June 1st was the deadline to sign picks from the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. We already knew that Mitch Gaulton was not signed but now we have to add 5th round pick Chris Doyle to the list as well. We are sorry to see Doyle not get a deal and wonder how much his off-ice issues hurt his chances.

At the same time for Chris who we really got to like over the past year; we hope he uses this to work that much harder next season as we think there is no reason why he cannot have a career somewhere as a professional hockey player. 

This has to be the wake up call for Chris to realize that he has to give 125% every night and if he does then one day he will realize his dream of becoming a professional player.

(Sather courtesy of the New York Rangers)


Anonymous said...

As far as Grachev goes, I doubt he makes the Rangers this year unless he has a apiphany(hope I spelled it right) this summer. I really do hope McD and Stepan get signed as I think Grachev needs to play with a real Playmaker like Stepan. How much of Grachevs success is because he played with Matt Duchene @ Brampton.

Anonymous said...

I agree that Grachev wont make the team. I hope Stepan signs and plays with him @ Hartford. I think Grachev needs to play with a playmaking center just like he did in Brampton. (Grachev's center in Brampton was Matt Duchene)

atlwirelesstr said...

I have been looking over the available prospects for the upcoming draft and came across one that I would love to hear your take on, Emerson Etem. This kid sounds like he is the real deal and has a huge upside. If the Rangers can improve his skating which isn't terrible he could be a big time player. The report on him is he has a lethal wrist shot that is very accurate and is a very good stick handler. His WHL and USNDT numbers look very intreging not to mention he went to Shattuck - St. Mary. I would love to hear your thoughts on him. Might be a great move if they can trade back 2 spots or so to pick up that 3rd rounder we lost to Brian Boyle.

Goon said...

According to Larry Brooks Derek Stepan has signed with the Rangers.

Mitch Beck said...


I've been told by some key people that Grachev is closer to being an ECHL player than an NHL'er.

Weise will make the Rangers this can make book on that.

Last but not least, I'm not at all surprised that Gaulton didn't get a signing...The organziation has some sort of hangup about the name, "Mitch"

Mitch Beck said...


I've been told by sound sources within the organziation that Grachev is closer to being an ECHL plaer than he is to an NHL'er. Having seen him play in all 80 games plus pre-season, I happen to agree.

Weise will make the Rangers. You can make book on that.

I agree fully with what you've written here. I would just add that I'm not surprised in the least that Gaulton wasn't signed by the organziation. This group has some sort of issue in extending themselves to anyone named, "Mitch." :)