Beginning of the End

The Rangers have not played a single game with a full healthy roster. In fact, now the Rangers have played above 85% of the season with a team that is close to $45M in payroll. Now, it has currently dropped to roughly$37M after losing Mike Dunham and Vladimir Malakhov.Mathematically, the Rangers are not out of the playoffs at all. Actually, with the Bolts only winning a point (thank you Leafs), Canadiens losing, and Penguins losing, the Rangers are still hanging on by some luck. Last night’s tie against a top team in the West, St. Louis Blues, showed some life and proved to Rangers management (especially ownership) that even with a bunch of young guns in Samuelsson, Lintner, Blackburn, Fata, Petrovicky, Bouchard, Lundmark, Poti, and a young goon in Dwyer, they can still hold on to the playoffs.

Question is, should the Rangers pull back?

Yes and No.

Yes as in I think they should improve the team by landing a player; no big name.

No as in there is no reason to trade a player like Samuelsson or Lundmark.

If the Rangers continue to hang close to 8th seed, then they should not trade their deadline players, such as Leetch. I say they should battle without any trade that means “quit” through the whole month of February.

If the Rangers lose the next few games with the Canadiens, Lightning, and Penguins winning, then I would start to call it quits, trade guys like Leetch, Mironov, Malakhov (when back healthy), possibly Nedved may end up some where else. I think it would be interesting to see other young players from Hartford getting a call and a taste of NHL experience. However, most of those players have been injured.

Short-term, Slats has been failing to get this team in the playoffs, even if I think this has been an unfair season with injuries….as it was for other teams [i.e. LA, Coyotes, Avs (Sakic)]. But, long-term the Rangers actually have a future.

When was the last time the Rangers had a future? When Tony Amonte and Doug Weight were traded. Sather has drafted quality prospects, not just Hobey Baker Award winners in Mike Mottau (bust), or 3rd line players in Pavel Brendl and Manny Malhotra. Drafting Blackburn and Gold Medalist Fedor Tjutin is a solid way to start a young nuclei. Next would most likely be a top notch forward in this year’s rich draft.

I am eager to see next season’s system in Hartford, as it gets richer with young blood.

Yes, Sather should be fired after 3 seasons (almost official) of non-playoff hockey, though the 1st season is arguably excusable. Neil Smith got fired after 3 seasons, and he should have. He insisted on not re-signing Mark Messier, but after a full season he acquired Fleury, Kamensky, Kirk McLean, Stephane Quintal, and Sylvain Lefebvre, as well as Mike Keane and Brian Skrudland. He spent 3 years of non-playoff hockey, BUT….NO FUTURE. Sather 3 years of non-playoff hockey, BUT THERE IS A FUTURE.

I want Sather to stay since he is building a good young core of players in the minors, however, there are no good excuses for missing the playoffs the past two seasons. Then again, I would rather make the playoffs on a consistent basis with the Rangers own players, rather than one or two seasons of playoffs with mercenaries, and then no playoffs again.

11 Responses to Beginning of the End

  1. nskerr says:

    Too bad. They are down to only 37 million? The league average payroll is 40 million. SO they are in line with everyone else. And they still suck. No sympathy here. Dismantle, build with youth and make smart free agent acquistions. That’s the winning formula.

    I can’t wait for the end of the year when the guarantee of making the playoffs by both Dolan and Sather is spit back in their face.

  2. titans says:

    Peroni you been hitting the Jack Daniels again?

  3. mikster says:

    Just to be a pain in the ass, the league average is around $45M!

    They are not in line with everyone else, money wise yes, but they are missing their top players.

    Name any team that would do well without their top goalie (as well as the next #1 goalie who is injured), top d-man, 3 other d-men, top scorer, top forechecker for 85% of the season.

    I agree to dismantle the team, and keep it up with the youth, it’s going well so far. However, Holik has been very good to say the least when he first got back from the injury, he should be captain!

  4. mikster says:


    ….you got breath mints?

  5. aaron says:

    I was wondering when someone was going to point out that most of the season, the Rangers have had 30 million dollars worth of players injured.

  6. beckfan says:

    Im sorry to say but the rangers should be better right now than what they are regardless of the injuries. How can you explain the losses to Atlanta twice and getting schalacked by Washington last week and a half. I know Bure and Leetch are out, but what about Dvorakl, where the hell has he been all season? What does he have, four goals? Lindors’ scoreing is down. The fourth line isint playing all that much. The power play blows. I mean common! This team with who they have on the ice each night should be in probably about sixth place. And as for the Messier thing w/ Neil Smith, thats false. Messier and Patrick Ewing were both free agents that same year and Checketts decided to give the money to the neanderthal insted of the messiah. Who bought a title to the Garden? I think we all know the answer. So who deserved the money?

  7. mikster says:

    Because Trottier lost ocntrol of the team and the players basically gave up on him.

    Dvorak’s career is done, unless he finds the balls to drive to the net again.

    Lindros needs scoring wingers that fit his style.

    I just remembered that it was Checkett’s fault too, but Neil Smith should not have done all that spending on those nothings.

  8. habsoverserver says:

    Beset move would be Malakov to Detroit. NY gets picks or a second line wing.

    I’ve written this before once, but it still bothers me. I’ve been going to Rangers games for 15 years and MSG has never been so apathetic. They played the Sens this week and there was not one play that got the crowd off their feet. No one cheered no one booed. None of the paying fans seem to care. At $100 or more per ticket I understand why many true fans can’t be there. But the majority of people who go to the games do not seem to care. Heck, I don’t think they even know who is on the ice most of the time. And I used to consider Ranger fans to be among the more knowledgeable in the league. Until the paying fans care, why should Sather do anything?

    Final commant – Messier played 23 min last game. That’s too much for him. They need Holik and Lindross to lead the team. Messier needs to step aside. Andrechuk in tampa only gets to play 11 min a game even though he could play 18-20 b/c the coach wants to get teh team ready for life without him. Time to limit Messier to 10-14 min/game.

  9. MattNJD says:

    Ranger$ are a total joke. How can anyone agrue it? They don’t understand that in order to be good they need developed youth, and draft well. From time to time, you trade away that youth for the final piece of the puzzle (like they did in 94). Otherwise you hold onto it! You only sign big name free agent for the final peice of the puzzle (Detroit). They just don’t get it. And they never will with all those dollar signs around in NY. They will throw $73823723 zillion at some ego in the offseason and it isn’t going to help them. Fata, Lundmark, Blackburn, and Samuelsson will NOT be Ranger$ within 3 years. MARK MY WORD. All you Ranger fans do yourself a favor and go read the artile I wrote before the season entitled, “Rangers nothing more than an extreally expensive question mark”. All of you bashed it and laughed at it. Look who laughing now.

  10. DaMick says:

    Id say and have said it…..TEAR up this current team…The Chemistry isnt there….

    They have made moves to help that..[mironov,dunham] & obviousily nothing is working.

    Trade bure….lindros…leetch…& build on the young guys…

    In due time they might be worth the 100 dollars they charge for tickets…..or maybe not 🙂


  11. DaMick says:

    Id say and have said it…..TEAR up this current team…The Chemistry isnt there….

    They have made moves to help that..[mironov,dunham] & obviousily nothing is working.

    Trade bure….lindros…leetch…& build on the young guys…

    In due time they might be worth the 100 dollars they charge for tickets…..or maybe not 🙂


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