Rangers making a last ditch effort before 2004 armageddon?

Kovalev, Bure, Nedved, Leetch, Messier, Carter, Holik and now possibly Leclair, Jagr, and Bowman? All this with one year before the much prophesized “Armageddon” in relation to the end of the current CBA? Are the Rangers making a late last ditch effort to win the cup with their current team before the CBA expires?

In what began as a few whispers two years ago, September 2004 is drawing more and more attention from all sides, especially Gary Bettman and the fans who truly make or break the NHL. With de facto gag orders on both sides of the table (NHL owners and NHLPA), the GM’s of certain high payroll teams, like Dallas, Toronto, Detroit, and Philadelphia, are beginning to show their concern over a likely work stoppage by toning down any new contracts. Many GM’s have been extremely weary of new deals that run past the current CBA. If in fact there is a work stoppage, there will almost certainly be some sort of a cap on team salaries or a luxury tax. This means that the few high payroll teams that don’t reduce payroll before next September may be forced to move either their big name players or depth, both of which may hinter any shot at the Stanley Cup.

However, The New York Rangers seem to be one team that is willing to take on a lot of salary. With only one season left before the CBA runs out, it’s a risky move. While most teams are toning down in order to keep their squads together, the Rangers are making one last thrust towards the Cup. Its almost a certainty that they will run over any new cap or luxury tax that is implemented next year, and when that time comes there will be a fire sale in New York. And they won’t be in a good position afterword. Players like Holik and Kasperitis, who the Rangers overpaid for, won’t bring the return they will desire, and trading these players to keep the team afloat will also mean swallowing some of their salaries on the Rangers part.

In my opinion, the pressure to “win now” has come from above Glen Sather in the organization and that all invovled in the running of the team have decided to let the CBA fight happen and just try to make something next year. They went in over their heads in too many deals, brought in too many players at wrong positions, and overpaid for a handfull of players. The organization is concious of what may very well happen next summer and are prepared to deal with the consequences. As much as myself, as well as many others, dislike the workings of the Rangers front office, I say let them do what they will over the next year. Let them go and get Fedorov and Hatchter, Jagr and Leclair, and see if Bowman can control all those egos. Because after September 2004, any chance for the future will depend on their ability to draft and make smart, cost effective trades that bring depth, not Superstars, to the team.

I don’t know if a payroll of 80 million will bring the Rangers the cup next year, or even get them in the playoffs, but in their current situation, they might as well go for it. And hell, if they finish 9th again, it sure would be a good laugh.

15 Responses to Rangers making a last ditch effort before 2004 armageddon?

  1. mikster says:

    Well, it’s a good article, i liked it. However, you may have never written this article if the latest trade rumors were not reported.

    “Let them go and get Fedorov and Hatchter, Jagr and Leclair, and see if Bowman”

    Well, as far as i am concerned, the Rangers are not interested in LeClair, they have not contacted Bowman, not much at all about Fedorov, as well as Hatcher, and the Jagr rumor….two sources reported it but who knows if that is true? McPhee and Slats do not like each other that much.

    Rangers are owned by Cablevision, which could even own another team. If the Rangers hold a firesale, it’d be great because they’ll end up with many draft picks where they can rebuild. Obviously the only negative is that they’ll have to eat up salaries or they won’t get rid of players. Just because the Rangers got Holik and Kaspar, it gets mentioned a lot that they are overpaid players. Both those players got equal offers from other teams, period.

    I think they should got for the best. They want to win, let them try to win, whether they make it or not.

  2. defenestrate says:

    Isn’t EVERY year a “last-ditch effort” for these guys?

    If this team is dismantled due to a salary cap their fans may find out something interesting – when you stop banging your head against the wall, it actually feels good!

    SCTP – “Blaming it all on the nights on Broadway” (Damn those Bee Gees!)

  3. RangerSteve says:

    We can’t win. We already tried buyin everyone else adn its up to 80million bucks..to hell with it all, just get whoever you can in here to get a cup. I’m sick of waiting and all the hype. Who gives a rats ass, let everyone cry about our overhyped team. Lets see what happens if tehy actually play as a TEAM or get to the playoffs.

  4. bruinfan37 says:

    if the rangers pick up one superstar this summer, then I’m going out on a limb and saying the Rangers finish 2 in the east…

  5. dickfitzwell says:

    its not money that gets the cup its chemistry,thats what the rangers should work on.

  6. MantaRay says:

    First off, all the names you rattled off don’t scare anyone. Just because they are overpaid doesn’t mean they are very good.

    Kovalev (doesn’t fit on the Rangers-he needs a Straka type of talent to allow him to be a scorer), Bure (one dimensional and may have to retire), Nedved (third line player at best), Leetch (one dimensional player), Messier (should have retired long ago), Carter (no help at center), Holik (ha, ha, ha, ha $9 million dollar 4th line player) and now possibly Leclair (injury prone), Jagr (headcase), and Bowman (will not tarnish his reputation).

    Your grasping at straws.

    The Rangers are not in a great financial situation and applying the same losing philosophy of going for expensive over the hill players and the UFA route doesn’t make sense.

    I hope they do get all those players, because it just means the younger talent will rot in the minors and they won’t make the playoffs again!!!


  7. big_booty says:

    It never ceases to amaze me how every single top name, “available” or not, is either headed to New York or Toronto.

    I have often compared the New York Rangers and MSG as a recipe gone awry in a disorganized kitchen, and Chef Sather continually trying to fix it by adding more spices to the stew. Never has that been more applicable than now.

    The wrong ingredients have been added in the wrong proportions, yet the chef can’t seem to tell because he has lost his sense of taste. I can see it now:

    “Hmmmm….needs a Jagr demi-glace with Federov reduction to cut back on the bitterness from the Bure beurre blanc. Probably could also use some Bowman oil for flair, and some Hatcher pepper for a kick.”

    It’s not a stew you want to taste. It’s been rancid since 1997.

    SCTP – You kill it, we grill it.

  8. DaMick says:

    Hmmm…can you say SEVERE salary cap penalty boys & girls?

    heh…ill enjoy watching Cablevision try to wriggle out of those excessive contracts.

    ill bring the Beer..


  9. MantaRay says:

    Pardon my ignorance: SCTP????

  10. MantaRay says:

    I’ll bring the chips and some nice Cuban cigars (straight from Havana).

  11. big_booty says:

    Forgive me, but you’ll have to ask defenestrate. He’ll explain everything.

  12. defenestrate says:


  13. TML51 says:

    I have to agree. Even though I’m a Leafs fan…gets a little obnoxious when every palyer and thier grandma is coming to TO. (Although I gotta admit I had to eat my words on the Nolan deal). But now it seems that every free agent (and retired coach) is rumored to be going to NYR.

    Pardon my ignorance as well, but just what does SCTP mean? Love the sayings after it!

  14. big_booty says:

    Don’t get me started…..

  15. defenestrate says:

    I will bring former child stars, an inflatable pool, and warm lubricants…..

    SCTP – Needing a Shirley Hemphill fix….

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