As the Rangers Go, So Goes the NHL
I am not a Rangers fan. In fact I hate the Rangers and their free spending ways. I place part of the blame on the out of whack finances of the NHL on the Rangers.
They have had plenty of overpaid contracts which they have dealt out that has caused a domino effect to the rest of the teams in the League. signing Tim Taylor to a contract worth over 2 million a year raised the bar for all 4th liners. signing Stephane Quintal and Sylvain Lefebvre to contracts close to 3 million also raised the bar for 4th,5th and 6th defenceman. Even the deals to Mike Keane and Brian Skrudland were too much. so much so we now see many role players being paid like 30 goal scorers. And even after all of that, the Rangers continued to make things worse with the signings of Bobby Holik and Darius Kasparaitis. The Holik deal may be the worst in the sport.
But despite all of that, I really want the Rangers to win. It is them who drives the game in the US. Though places like Philly and Boston and Detroit are big too, none of those teams successes had as much of an impact as the rangers would have. And when there is success in the US, it makes good for the whole game. If you dont think so, see how popular the game got during the Rangers president trophy and stanley cup winning season of 1994. That terrific final, that terrific playoff with Messier guaranteeing a win against the Devils really brought the game to great heights. From that point on, Hockey was suppose to permanently join Football, Baseball and Basketball among the elite sports.
But as the Rangers faded so did the game. Messier moved to Canada and that hurt the game even more leaving the rangers faceless despite the presence of an aging Wayne Gretzky. All star after all star could not bring the blueshirts out of the doldrums of last place and for 7 years they have missed the playoffs. Instead of the exciting brand of hockey the rangers play showcasing the game, we find ourselves watching trap clutch and grab hockey.
This can no longer happen. The Rangers need to be successful as their success means greater things for the league. The 94 playoffs which they won was the last time we saw a playoff not filled with trap hockey. They play in the media centre of the US which drives ratings for US TV. When the team and players are doing well, everyone knows about it. seeing places like Carolina, Florida, Tampa and Anaheim put teams in the finals has really killed the game. Yes we want parity but we need the Rangers to be contenders every year. it is them make or break hockey in the US. their success mask the failures of the Nashvilles and Carolinas of the world. When the rangers are winning, the league and the big media outlets in NY make it known to all. We talk of how good the game is and not how dreadful things are. The voices of Peter Karmanos or Craig Leipold become drowned out because nobody cares since the Rangers are winning.
Certainly we can blame Goodenow and his greed driving salaries and pretty much killing franchises. certainly we can blame bettman for his horrible job he has done as commissioner. he is suppose to be the leader of the game and to grow it worldwide but all he cares about is money. but despite all that, we need the Rangers to win again.
Hopefully they are on their way. They are basically starting over and building from scratch and building from within. They have some of that young talent now like Montoya, Korpikoski and Tyutin, and more to come. Perhaps having a phenom like Sidney Crosby being part of the team as the new face of the franchise will bring the team and the league back to life. Whatever happens, we need the Rangers to be back on top again. So if you are a ranger fan or not, do yourself a favor and cheer for the blueshirts because if they are winning, it makes things good for everyone else.
This is very odd for me, a Leaf fan to say this but:
Lets Go Rangers!