Friday, June 25, 2004

Ranger Draft Day (Another Deep Freeze?)

First of all congratulations to the Tampa Bay Lightning and their fine young coach, John Tortorella, Ranger reject among other notables. So the Rangers go into draft day without a coach so the resident genius, Glen Sather, can style the team in his image and then criticize the coach for not making it work. The Rangers go into draft day with the 6th and 24th picks. The prize seems to be Alexander Ovechkin the Russian phenom. But there may be a surprise in store for those of us attending draft day at Madison Square Garden. A few years ago Neil Smith, then Ranger GM pulled off a blockbuster by nailing Pavel Brendl and Jamie Lundmark for an assortment of players and picks. Unfortunately that didn't work out as Brendl is floundering around the league and Lundmark plays infrequently despite the Ranger's futility. I believe that both will make it yet as both have too much talent. Brendl in goal scoring and Lundmark in playmaking. Which brings us to tomorrow's draft. The Rangers could put together a package of their two first round picks with defenseman Tom Poti and forward Jamie Lundmark, include some bucks and pry Ovechkin from the Capitals. As for the coach, the Rangers should look no further than Hartford and their own McGill and stay away from the name coaches. Sather has already lost some 'big name' coaches and still has eyes on Larry Robinson in New Jersey. No sale on that one. NJ will not let him go with Pat Burn's illness. So stay with the young guy, McGill, and get out of his way and let him coach. Sather also lost Martin to Florida as he signed with his good friend Mike Keenan. Now how many of you really believe that Keenan has a good friend? Wait til 'Iron Mike' imposes his will on his friend and watch that relationship go poop and Mike will take over as the coach. For Sather it could be a winner. Pull off the deal, stay with the young coach from Hartford and go back to Edmonton and watch the games on TV.



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