Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Bet you never thought some kid from High River, Alberta would become the general manager of the most prestigious hockey organization in North America?........You did.
As a lifelong and loyal New York Rangers fan, I want to congratulate you on everything you've done through now. I am most impressed in how you've morphed our beloved team into a 'once again' true contender in the NHL post-lockout. You've surprised your critics with your ability to adapt to the new-NHL and ridding us with the moniker of "veterans come to the New York Rangers organization to die." The veterans you have added of recent have contributed and added much-needed depth to the team over the last couple of years.
Though, your biggest challenge is now.
Knowing who the free agents are this summer and as you sit in your little bungalow with NYR brass this week, you must find yourself in a bit of a pickle? Turns out the entire roster of Blueshirt free agents are declaring their love of New York, MSG, the fans and leaving it to you to decide their fate. You 'aint called the Big Cheese for nothing, because my future Stanley Cup team rests in your chubby and overfed hands, Herr Sather! Scotty Hockey has some great ideas to start.
Maybe we should start with the most obvious?
As a former hockey player with the Memphis Wings, the Oklahoma City Blazers (giggle) and soon after the Boston Bruins, you gained your own young reputation with a gritty style of play- others referring to you as 'Slats.' Even as a successful coach in Edmonton, you followed through with your antics and no one got in your way. Maybe this is the time for a change? For once in your career, 'we the people' are beginning to see that you are threatened by a similar thug -- one who has become the 'Bigger Man' than you dear Glen "Slats" Sather.
There are times in a career that you need to hire the guy that is more talented or visible than you - THAT is good management; hiring the people that make you look good. You may not like Sean Avery. He probably doesn't like you either. Despite how well you've done thus far, his record when playing for the Rangers speaks louder than yours playing "THE MAN" upstairs; with the big free-agent changes ahead, we need to at least hold onto our team attitude & troublemaker. Until you have found a 'real goon' on the squad that respects you, he's the best and most affordable even at $3.5-4 million per year, and no one can argue that with Sean Avery on the ice, we win games. Plain & simple. I know, I know, Glen - "it's the placebo effect when he plays and if you don't listen to him he has no effect"....yada, yada, yada. Stop your head from spinning, Glen, and do the right thing for the team. For the team. The team is first.
If you were to listen to some of your critics (here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here) you'd just sign the f**king guy! Sorry to get harsh, but you are beginning to annoy all of us and becoming a detriment to OUR TEAM. Soon we will be calling you 'The Malik of GM's.'
Back to good news, Brandon Dubinsky with a hat-trick in the worlds competition? Slatty baby, gotta hand it to you in the prospects department as we have more than a handful of young'ens that stepped up to the ice this season and provided much-needed support in some of our lazy veterans. We are all thrilled to watch the improvements of Dubie, Callahan, Girardi, Dawes, Staal and the risings of Bobby Sanguinetti and Cherapanov (we'll wait another year for the Russian).
Take care of our superstars Jaromir Jagr and Brendan Shanahan this summer. Respectfully decline their invitations and find some Gomez-supporting forward, another front-line mega-star and add two defensemen (one goon and one offensive-minded). Rozzy should walk, Malik is sawdust, and Valiquette deserves a potential starting position if needed on another team (otherwise, we should keep him).
I will not and cannot tell you who is appropriate for the team -- that is your job. Just be respectful in handling our franchise and, especially, the franchise players. They keep you in the holy-high office, so look no further than your own hockey family as a starting place in re-building the New York Rangers this off-season.
I feel privileged to be a Rangers fan and blogger. Others agree with me. We know you will make the 'right' decisions this week and pursue the 'right' path for our Blueshirts.
Good luck and "don't eat that third cheese danish"...
The Dark Ranger (a.k.a. 'tdr')
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