Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Never Say Never

There are some serious disadvantages to being a New York Ranger fan living on the west coast. The biggest is of course the different time zones as well as the fear of missing out on something really important happening.

The first thing I do when I wake up is check my phone for messages but I have yet to learn how to change fonts so I have to start remembering to leave my glasses where I can reach them. So in looking at my messages I saw the words "Callahan" and "traded" which of course got me to do a time honored Ranger fan tradition; jumped to the wrong conclusion (this comes in handy later).

All I knew at the time was that Ryan Callahan and his agent had done one of the few things that a player should never do with Glen Sather. Demand something from him as in his heyday, that was an automatic "I will show you who is boss" trade to someplace Sather thought you would not like.

So as I sat down to the computer and this time having my glasses on it was a very strange day for emails. There were 4 different emails asking why people thought that (insert name here) was all that special and could not be traded.

My answer to all of them was there is no such thing as a player who could not be traded (disclaimer except those with no-trade or no-movement clauses) in today's world. With free agency and salary caps, the odds are slimmer that any player is going to be able to spend his entire career with the same team that drafted him.

Seriously we are kidding ourselves if we think that there is any player who for the right offer would not be traded. Brian Leetch did not want to be traded but Sather traded him.

Adam Graves was traded and nobody was happy about that but one day it is possible that Ranger fans will see "Henrik Lundqvist" and "traded" used in the same sentence. And given the glut of young promising defensemen that the Rangers have built up it is not impossible to see either Marc Staal or Dan Girardi traded.

Never say never is the best way to look at things as while we each have our own preferences as to which player is our favorites; that does not mean they too can not be traded.

One day I expect to see Brandon Dubinsky traded or leave the team as a free agent because in the end; the NHL is a business and like it or not your favorite player is an asset.

And on that day there will be those Ranger fans who will swear that because "So and So" was traded that it was the last time they will ever root for the Rangers. I think I have sworn that I have had it with the Rangers at least 5 times but here I am still a fan.

In the end, we root for the team not the individual player and yes there are going to be some very painful moments when you see someone you really rooted for no longer a Ranger.  My first was Eddie Giacomin and I can tell you if you have a player today who is as big a hero to you as Eddie was for me then it will be painful.

It is funny as I get accused at times of wanting to see the Rangers lose to improve their draft standing. Nope not going to happen as I had my "I hate the Rangers" moment when they waived Eddie and he came back as a Red Wing.

Like everyone else in the house that night I cheered not for the Red Wings but for Eddie. I tried to root for the Red Wings but it never lasted even with Eddie on the time. In time I was rooting for JD and the Rangers but Eddie even today remains my favorite all-time Ranger.

If they could waive Eddie, if they could let Messier walk as a free agent and if they could trade Leetch and Graves then sorry folks there is not a single player (Henrik Lundqvist included) who Glen Sather or whoever is the Ranger GM would not trade.

Nobody is "untouchable" and it is not a mean response but a unfortunate fact of life that the NHL is a business first, a game second.

Everybody Leap

It must have been a really slow day other than Brad Richards making his first appearance in New York for people to be making a big deal out of which uniform number a player will wear. As I said earlier, Ranger fans (heck any sports team fan) will jump to a conclusion about anything.

I did it when I thought Ryan Callahan was traded and today a lot of people did it because of all the uniform number swapping. It was kind of fun to watch even friends who I really like call the swap "the beginning of the end for Erik Christensen."

Not one person gave Christensen the benefit of the doubt when he said it did not matter what number he wore. It was gloom and doom for the late Erik Christensen's time as a Ranger.

Personally I won't cry if it was true as I really do not think much of Christensen as a player but people forget that Christensen is not afraid to say what is on his mind (ask Avery when EC threw him under the bus).

Here is an idea that I would like to toss out; is it possible that Christensen was trying to show Sather and Tortorella that he was a "team first" guy? Christensen knows that he will be fighting to keep his job with the Rangers so he has to do all these little things.

Before we sign his "Sorry to See you go" card; maybe we might want to wait until training camp starts.

Sometimes the internet era is as much a curse as it is a blessing as one can go from zero to hot rumor in no time. Ranger fans are used to the worse happening to them so it is nothing new to see them waving good bye to Christensen.

And we all will do it again down the road, as one has to wonder what will happen with the arbitration hearings.

That should be good for at least 2 leaps.


Kmp said...

Losing Eddie was tough, for me the worst was moving Brad Park (my favorite at the time) and missing the playoff the next 2 years.

Jess Rubenstein said...

Yea I remember that deal too, never forgave the Cat for trading for Esposito. There was a person who did not deserve to wear a Ranger uniform

Leatherneck said...

yeah..and the follow up trade of Middleton...gwahhh...those were bad days..then we had to endure espo in that silly Sasson commercial...a cause in effect...which I now wonder...what ill the Richards signing do?

Kmp said...

Yeah who was it Espo, Dugie, Hedberg and I think Maloney right. OOO La La Awful!

Jess Rubenstein said...

To this day I have never forgiven Francis for bringing in Esposito as I could not stand the guy more so when he got power.

I could live with Derek Sanderson who actually worked hard but Espo and Hodge always left me feeling like they did not care.

I have heard some of the kids sing and I think I will pass on them doing a new version of the Sassoon ads.

I miss the Big Whistle as he never would have lasted in the Dolan era.

Chadwick he called it like he saw it. Trying to imagine him doing the Sam Rosen postgame questions of Tortorella

John what were you thinking putting Del Zotto out there you know he has no defense

The Big Whistle and Jim Gordon man they were great guys

Sioux-per-man said...

Great Story Jess.
Growing up in North Dakota and attending UND, where hockey is a Religion. I tend to follow all the Fighting Sioux Hockey players that graduate to the NHL. This will be a special year, now that the Rangers Finally have a draft pick playing for the Sioux.
I've never been so excited for both teams to start the year. It could be a very good year for the Fighting Sioux and the RANGERS.
My favorite player to leave the Rangers was Matt Cullen. Nothing like watching a friend of the family play for your favorite team. If only he could have played for Torts, unstead of Renny.
I don't think I've ever been this excited for the year to begin. Miller playing for the Sioux, and Richards coming to New York. It should be a Very good year don't you think?
Keep up the great work!!!!

Kmp said...

Jess the one thing I liked about Espo when he was GM, was his ability to promote the sport, he was on FAN all the time. Nobody talks about hockey on the radio in NY anymore.

Then again he sent Ridley and Miller to the Caps for Carpenter, horrible.

Hockey Prospectus did a nice article on the Park/Ratelle-Espo/Vadnais trade

Jess Rubenstein said...


Thanks I got a taste of North Dakota hockey last year thanks to the Islander prospect. The kid is in great hands.


I never cared much for Brad Park when he was a Ranger but I never could accept Espo or Hodge.

Carol Vadnais LOL boy it has been a long time since I heard that name.

I was OK with Giles Marotte mainly because of his "Captain Crunch" nickname