I wanted to celebrate my 10,000 posts by boring you with another fanpost from me. I just took a look at the 2001/02 New York Rangers. Here was the core group of players back then: Eric Lindross, Theo Fleury, Mike York, Brian Leetch, Petr Nedved, Radek Dvorak, Vlad Malakhov, Pavel Bure (for only 12 games), Mark Messier (for only 41 games), Tom Poti, Mike Richter, and Dan Blackburn. The "prospects" at that time were the mostly infamous Pavel Brendl (already traded to Philly before the 2001/02 season), Jamie Lundmark, DOMINIC MOORE (lol), Filip Novak, Dan Blackburn, and Fedor Tyutin. Oy.
The Rangers finished 36-38-4-4 that season and did not make the playoffs. You all remember, from 1998 until after the lockout, the Rangers and us fans experienced the "dark years" where they did not make the playoffs for approximately 7 seasons (inclusive of the lockout year). It was so bad during those seasons, I remember going to games and seeing fans literally fall asleep. Just awful, like the team at that time. For while there were a lot of big names on the team, most of them were all aging and over the hill, or getting to that point for sure. This was a season that epitomized the thinking back then of getting "named" (and mostly old) players as opposed to fielding and building a competitive team for then and going forward. Not good times at all.
Fast forward to 2011/12. Eastern Conference finalists. Potential Cup contenders for 2012/13 and at least for a few years to come. A current roster that can match up with anyone in the league. And the deepest prospect pool I can ever remember the Rangers having. And that goes back to 1967 boys and girls. Other than the early 70s when we were a true Cup contender and the 1994 season of course, I have never been happier to be a Ranger fan. It's very exciting so enjoy it while we can (you go for the Cup when you can).
Thank you all for allowing me to participate on this site. It has made me an even bigger fan.