The Search for More Contributors: Rangers (again)

It turns out that, contrary to popular belief, there are in fact, more than 10 hockey fans. Thanks to an early announcement, we have been flooded by requests to join the MYFO ranks to represent their team. This all makes for great theatre and quality posts that involve little or no work, so Raskolnikov can stop punishing himself now, but I think he kind of likes it. All this week we here at MYFO will be bringing to you the best applications we have received, so let us know what you think: do these guys suck, should we keep them around for good, do you want to see more before making a decision, or do you think you can do better? If you want to give this thing a whirl, email me at LButler36@Gmail.com.

Today: Ethan Stanislawski – New York Rangers

The Rangers success in the last two years have ruined everything. It would have been so easy to pidgeonhole Glen Sather as the hockey Isaiah Thomas and Chuck Dolan as Satan’s New York affiliate. The team had turned from one of the biggest success stories in the mid-90s to the textbook example of organizational incompetence, refusing to rebuild while acquire washed up star after washed up star. Theo Fleury, Alexander Daigle, Eric Lindros, Bobby Holik, Pavel Bure (talk about being nostalgic for ’94), Darius Karsparitis—all stars of the 90s, the only problem is they’re playing 10 years later. By 2004 “Fire Sather” and “Sell the Team Dolan” chants became as frequent as “Potvin Sucks” (and more frequent than the Goal song), and the Rangers essentially played 82 road games a year.

Then after the lockout, out of nowhere, the Rangers were a shining light of the “new” NHL. That’s mainly because they had a goalie who didn’t have multiple knee surgeries or career-ending nerve injuries, and for once, their over 30 star actually played up to his potential, as only a late season slump kept Jagr from the Hart Trophy. Fact was, even with none of the trades of the 2004 fire sale panning out, the Rangers were the class of the Atlantic Division. Which meant that Sather was all of a sudden a genius again, and Dolan gave us hope that—dare I say it—the Knicks might do slightly better sometime in the next 10 years.

The post-lockout success may have actually been forced on us, as we couldn’t dump talent for vets like we once had. Because of the salary cap we got a 30 goal-scorer in Peter Prucha, a shutdown penalty killer in Blair Betts, and some of the brightest talent up in Hartford we’ve seen in decades. It’s hard to imagine players like Marc Staal, Al Montoya, Alex Bourret and Nigel Dawes still being in our system without the cap.

The problem is, Sather has still made his share of absolutely boneheaded moves. We traded away a key power play forward in Dominic Moore for dead weight (Jason Ward), signed an overrated defensemen who happened to be on a couple of Cup Winners (we ended up trading Aaron Ward for Paul Mara, our fourth player sure to get over 100 PIM next year), and Sather’s well on his way to fucking up his best move of the past year, saying Sean Avery was a detriment to the team (which is the equivalent of George Lucas saying ‘Empire’ was the worst Star Wars film).

But of course the Rangers are a leading cup contender this year. That’s because they probably overpaid for two centers, paying over $85 million to two players who combined have scored over 70 points in a season once in their careers. In the process, they got rid of Michael Nylander, the playmaker on the best line in the NHL last year, and traded Matt Cullen, another legitimate offensive center, for virtually nothing.lundqvist.jpeg

But there’s one, big reason to remain hopeful:

 

 

Henrik Lundqvist, the second coming of Mike Richter (who may be New Haven’s next Congressman) has given the Rangers the security in the net they have lacked basically since 94. To Rangers fans, he’s something of a Christ-like figure, King of the Blueshirts, and I’m certainly not alone in New York in saying I’d go gay for Henke. From out of virtually nowhere, Lundqvist has all the makings of one of the dominant netminders of his generation, already with two Vezina finalist votings under his belt. He makes Ranger fans feel safe in getting rid of Montoya, the most coveted prospect in their system right now (you wouldn’t hear that 10 years ago), and has essentially idiot-proofed the Rangers future.

No matter how lost hockey is on the youth of America, anyone who was in the second grade in New York City in 1994 was made a hockey fan for life. 10 years of utter embarrassment have given us a good sense of the 54 years of torture we were missing out on, and now we have a team built for the Cup unlike any year since the orgasmic ‘94 season (I’ve watched Richter’s save on Bure on YouTube probably 100 times at this point). Even if the season turns out to be a disappointment, we get to see Brain Leetch’s number 2 raised to the rafters (joining 35 and 11 to complete the essential numbers from the ’94 season), and we could go back to our normal bitching about Dolan and Sather. Either way, Potvin will still suck, Marty Brodeur will still be an adulterer, and, at the very least, we’ll still not be as poorly run as the Islanders.

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3 Comments

  1. Nice synopsis… Let’s go Rangers… have they announced a day for Leetch’s jersey raising yet?

  2. Enjoyed it.

  3. There’s another number yet to be retired that, if it’s not, would be criminal and that’s the #9 of Adam Graves. When he first came to the Rangers I had never seen anyone forecheck as effectively and haven’t since.


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