Thursday, July 28, 2005

Free Agency-Key to the Future

The most expansive, extensive free agency in the history of the NHL is about to commence with ramifications for at least the next five years which will decide the fates of many a franchise for a long time in the foreseeable future. How will the Rangers handle it? Will they be bold enough and go after Forsberg and Khalibulin and bring Brian Leetch back? Khalibulin will be key. He is the best goalie in the game and what with the offenses opening up and a shootout in OT what better way to shore up the defences with the best goalie in the game. Forsberg is probably the number one power winger in the game. How exciting to bring him to NY. If he stays healthy he is about as dominating a winger there is. Then there is Brian Leetch. A wide open offense minded game needs the most offensive defensive in the game. No red line? Life was just made easier and greater for Leetch. So there you have it. The best goalie, the toughest winger and the best offensive defensman in the game add in Jagr and some fine young players and the Rangers can make some noise in 05-06. There is however a fly in the ointment. In fact its more than a fly its a swarm. Its called Ranger Management, both behind the bench and up in the Tower. The bench might be the biggest problem. Tom Renney does not inspire confidence, either as a coach or a motivator. Lets face it. The NHL is trying to open up the game and Tom Renney is a trapping coach. He has no record as a coach for inspiring teams. In fact he doesn't have a winning record. Then there is Sather. The Rangers have not made the playoffs under his tenure. At times he was no better than Neil Smith. In retrospect his bargain sale of players at the end of last season smelled like he knew what was coming with the salary cap. He can wipe the past clean with some great signings during this period. Right now he has the best player in the NHL with Jagr. Give him and The Rangers a strong supporting cast and maybe it will be fun to go to the Garden again.

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