I have been a die-hard Rangers fan for about 18 of my 24 years of life. One of my greatest memories is my dad waking me up when I was 8 to watch the end of game 7 of the stanley cup finals. I never in a million years thought that this would the the high point in my entire sports life...but being a mets, jets, knicks fan...it should have been predictable.
The deficiencies in the Rangers go back to 1994, where they mortgaged a great deal of their future in order to contend for the cup. The biggest blow being Amonte (who apparently, Keenan in one of his greatest coaching moments, broke him down to the point of being unusable). But it goes even deeper than that. Quick. Name who the Rangers got for Beezer in the offseason before this. It must have been solid draft picks...i mean this was a top quality goaltender who would later lead the hapless Panthers organization to a Stanley Cup. Okay, I gave you a minute to think, do you remember now? It was Doug Lidster. Yes, he played a part in the Rangers winning the stanley cup. He scored two important goals in the series. But...world class goaltender...for Doug Lidster. Okay. I can forgive this, Beezer was being shoved out of the door. But, this move started a trend for the Rangers that has continued until this very day. An inability to collect prospects to enable the farm system to move forward while keeping the team on the MSG ice watchable. I would have to write a book to explain every trade the rangers made and EVERY time they failed to collect picks or when they actually had picks, picking the wrong player (York, Malholtra, Jessiman, Lundmark, Montoya...wow this is making me angry...). Even when the Rangers traded off their ENTIRE "worlds worst team money can buy" (yes, I'm stealing it from the Mets). Look at the players they got back. (Josef Balej, Lauri Kopikofski, Sauer, i won't bother to list the rest because 90% of them never even suited up for the team).
So now I ask you. How can we take this team seriously now? I know many of us (myself included) want this team to tank so we can get solid draft picks and actually compete. But the team already started down the wrong path about a month ago when they failed to trade any talent for picks. The Rangers had several players they could have traded to ensure the farm system would continue to move up, all the while ensuring that their pick in the 2010 draft would be higher. However, they refused to do anything at the trade deadline. And now, we are looking towards the 2010 draft in anticipation of two things. First, we are hoping that they drop far enough to get a pick that makes it worth not making the playoffs. Second, we are hoping that they actually use the pick they receive to pick a good player who will make an eventual impact. Even if #1 happens, I am thoroughly confident that 2 never will (how good would Parise look in Broadway blue). And, also, spare me the hindsight is 20/20 rant. I saw Jessiman play at Cornell countless times and he was nothing special then. He couldn't even throw college kids around. So, yeah, tank, but prove to me you can actually do something with the draft. Also, for the argument that the team has learned how to draft, just look at MDZ, Grachev, Anisimov. New York Rangers: where Jarko Immonen happens. Yeah.
It hurts me to say it, but how can I take this team seriously? I am sick of being the punchline to every hockey joke. Ready for one? What do you get when you cross a GM who had one lucky year and an owner who is too rich to care about the product being put on the ice? The New York Rangers.
Also, they need to bring back baby I'm ready to go as the opening song. I'm just saying.