Hockey and the Circus seem to have an affinity for each other. The Circus in 1950 caused the Rangers to lose the Stanley Cup. Over the years watching the Rangers management team in action you would swear that the Circus was back in town and a series of clowns was running the Rangers.
Folks, the Circus is back in town and is playing on Long Island. Led by ringmaster Charles Wang, the Islanders have created a circus like spectacle in their offseason handling of their management structure. Wang started out with the unthinkable by hiring a coach, Ted Nolan, before hiring a GM. Knowing Nolan's long love affairs with GM's Wang's move was probably calculated. Nolan has now accumulated two GM's scalps. Maybe there was a reason that no GM wanted to touch Nolan with a ten foot pole.
Commissar Wang decided that he needed a corporate matrix management system and not the traditional top down from President to GM to Coach. The team would be run by committee. How could Neil Smith agree to this? Why would Neil Smith agree to this? How could a guy who was so smart on OLN be so stupid in front of a con man? Pat LaFontaine who was hired as special advisor, promptly resigned, cutting the group of four, Bryan Trottier is executive director of player development, to two. LaFontaine had suggested to The Commissar that he hold off on firing Smith. Wang ignored LaFontaine. Pat then suggested that Wang hold off on naming a new GM. Wang ignored LaFontaine. LaFontaine then figured it out that special advisor to the Commissar was only for decisions like, "where do we do lunch?"
So now the group of four, minus two and plus one, Garth Snow is the new GM (?), will continue to entertain themselves and embarrass their fans and the hockey world with their antics. Wait til Ted Nolan who is a tough coach gets into it with the habitual complainers in the locker room. That should be fun. But if it happens, Wang's Warriors will be ready. Yashin will be the coach and Trottier will center the first line. Who knows, Wang could be special advisor to Garth Snow.
The Rangers traded good guy Dominic Moore to Nashville for right wing Adam Hall. Nashville then traded Moore to Pittsburgh for a draft pick. It was inevitable for Moore who centered the fourth line also known as the HMO line. It was probably the fans most favorite line. The Rangers have Blair Betts, their best faceoff man, who basically does what Moore does but has a little more offensive skills. The move opens up a spot for a guy like Jarkko Immonen who could center a third line with wings Prucha and Hossa.
Adam Hall, who will be 26 years old in August, is 6'3", 205 pounds and was 14-15-29 last season. In his rookie year, 2002-03, he led all rookies with 8 power play goals. He is young and gives the Rangers some much needed size. The question is how much ice time will he get. We shall see. The Rangers also resigned Jed Ortmeyer who with Hollweg were the wingers for Moore.
Brian Leetch remains unsigned as a free agent. I believe there is too much bitterness in Brian to sign with the Rangers. It is also questionable whether Sather would bring him back. While he would be an asset on the power play where would he fit in the defensive set? The Rangers do seem to have a surplus of good defensemen, but the fans would love to have him back. Don't you think?
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Posted by mike at 7:30 PM