Monday, March 22, 2010


Don MaloneyFor those who read this column on February 12th, you will recall that I went on record that the season was over and the Rangers would not make the playoffs. I went so far as to say it would be either Boston or Tampa Bay that made the last spot. I wish I were wrong. I was right.

Where did we fail? How could a team that took the Caps to seven games last year fall so far? Was it the expensive contracts to Redden, Rossy and Drury? That is what I thought, but that is not all that is wrong.

What is wrong is that we let Glen Sather kill the teams soul. He has taken the teams heart. This is not a team. They do not play like a team.

How did it happen? Was it trading Petr Prucha? Was it letting Jagr go? Maybe. But I think that the last straw was getting rid of Blair Betts - after he bled for us on the ice and then hiring Donald Brashear. He turned playing for the Rangers from playing on a team into having a job.

The Rangers have a handful of talented players. A core of players worth keeping. They have youth in the system. Players who are the Rangers future because a man who is not here put them here. It is time to put the heart back into this team and it starts by firing Glen Sather.

There is one man who can fix this. One man with the talent and experience to bring the Ranger's heart back. No, it is not Mark Messier. We need Don Maloney.

For those who do not know, on May 29, 2007, the Coyotes announced that Don Maloney had agreed to a multi-year contract to become General Manager. In three years he has taken them from 4th in the Pacific to 1st. From 31-46-5 before he was hired to 42-26-5 today. And, he was the reason we have the home grown talent on the ice now. The fact is, he made Sather look good, and we now see Sather for what he is because Don is gone.

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  • Down by the Seaside said...

    Don Maloney? Really Pundit?! I don't know. I think I'd like to see the return of Craig Patrick. Or maybe Keenan. Or both. One upstairs, one on the bench.

  • Section 335 said...

    Look at what he is doing as the GM of Phoenix. Look at young players - all players he picked. He is the future.

  • Tony V said...

    You covered it all. Don't forget the departure of Shanahan -- I think he was the voice of reason and discipline in the locker room -- there is not one vet there who can command attention.

    Do you think Gomez tanks on the team and gets Renney fired if Shanny was around? His signing was the first grenade hurled by Sather -- obnoxious, arrogant, self-serving, empty-souled -- he's perfect in Montreal -- he's a mirror of their fans.

  • Section 335 said...

    You are right. I did forget that. Great point.

  • jb said...

    Sec. 335,
    Since the Coyotes are now owned by the NHL. Maloney therefore works for Gary Bettman. Would Bettman let Maloney get away? Maloney's work in turning the Coyotes into a playoff team have helped the NHL perhaps finding a way out, by finding a buyer. I don't see how Maloney gets away from Phoenix/Bettman.

  • Section 335 said...

    Odds are good that he had a three year deal, that ends at the end of the season.

  • The Ranger Pundit said...

    Far be it for me to be a fly in the ointment but I don't agree that Don Maloney is the answer. Did he not draft Jessiman, the all time dud, as a number one, plus a few others I can't recall.

    Sorry but I also remember the debacle with the Islanders. Not my vote.

  • jb said...

    Gary Bettman just had Don Maloney on his radio show, NHL Hour, on March 18th. You can listen here:

  • blow-me-down said...

    Lots of good points here Mike, and others. I also think about how The Great One might have had some pretty valuable input on the personnel acquired, even if a great bench coach he did not appear to be.

    I'm a bit shy about Keenan, as my view is that he is less flexible than NYR would require.

    I think the management in Phoenix has had a nice combination of patience and agreement on what the goal is. So far, the parts they have acquired sure fit together nicely.
    Wouldn't that be a treat to see? Think what the Rangers could do with that working for them.

  • jb said...

    Maloney told Bettman (interview starts around the 26min mark) that his template for how to run a franchise is the NJ Devils. He's studied them for years he said. He also learned from the mistakes the Rangers made, that is bringing in high priced talent never seemed to work. Most important is getting a "galvanizing" coach like Tippett, who was the key to pulling it all together. Maloney sounds like he's learned a lot, but as he said Bettman is now his boss.

  • blow-me-down said...

    Thanks JB, I'm going to listen to that interview.

  • mhurley said...

    I once congratulated Tom Renney on the success of the Rangers after the lockout. Tom, being the self=effacing gentleman that he is responded that he couldn't have done it without the help and support of Donny Maloney. It's a shame that they are both gone.

    It's an impossible dream but if there is a God maybe we'll get the both of them back and continue the rebuild.

  • jb said...

    I don't want Renney back. But The Hockey Rodent had a very nice compare & contrast between Tom Renney & Torts:

    Put another way... I watch the Blueshirts despite that prick on the bench. He sours the entertainment value of the on-ice product. Therefore, the other actors on the stage had better deliver fortified performances, otherwise I'll find my entertainment somewhere else.

    There's also the matter of pride in whom I root for. I was irritated with technical aspects of the Gotham defense with Tom Renney on the bench. But I was never ashamed to be a Ranger fan. The organ-eye-zation had my heart and soul... and posthensile tail.

    Tortorella has had the opposite effect. I find my self making excuses, trying to justify loyalty to the franchise whose figurehead routinely and repeatedly makes me ashamed to be a fan.

    So within that context, it had better be about the results when John is coaching.

    No results?

    No more attention from me.

    F*** you, Torts.

  • blow-me-down said...

    NYR already has what many teams drool over, a star goaltender.

    Obviously, a team should build on that. But, so far they just look clueless, and actually going backwards.

    Being willing to wait a couple of years is one thing, but thinking that management could screw that up again is not an attractive thought.

  • GillesGratton said...

    Forget Don Maloney, AZ would want a player or a draft pick (and no we would not be able to sent Redden)

  • GillesGratton said...

    Wed's Game is in 3D, I think that is awesome since I am a fan of movies in 3D...One question...
    Will the Rangers still suck in 3D

  • jb said...

    Do you remember the first televised hockey game? The Rangers beat the Canadiens 6-2, Feb 25, 1940? (;-)

    Channel W2XBS-TV New York.

  • Iron Man said...

    I think you hit the nail on the head regarding Sather.
    But sadly, if the Rangers were the Mets or Rangers, Sather would be gone long ago. When the Rangers play poorly, they simply fall well below the radar.
    So the status quo remains. Add to that the fact that we have an imbecile as an owner and the future looks bleak.

    I attended my first game vs the North Stars in 1968 ( a 5-1 Rangers win).

    If Sather stays, I seriously thinking about ending my Rangers loyalty once and for all.

  • Iron Man said...

    By the way, what is the status with JD in St. Louis.
    While the Blues have been anything but spectacular,
    I'm confident he has at the very least gotten some management experience and is certainly far more attuned to the modern game than the dinosaur we currently have in place.

  • Scotty Hockey said...

    What will it take for us to finally say "that's it, I'm done" ??? I honestly think that management is seeking to find that very answer right now. The diehard fans, the real True Blue, are the ones that gave the Garden it's formerly fearsome reputation. Dolan wants money. Corporations have money. Corporations don't like fear. Corporations don't care about the on-ice product - they show up late, leave early and talk on their blackberries. They like open, clean, cool and easy. And thus the Garden is getting a sterile renovation and the escalating prices and poor on-ice product get the 'fearsome' fans out of the building.

    The Dark Ranger said "It's like break-up sex without an emotional connection." But I think it is more like a ex who keeps stringing you along for a booty call every now and again. She gives a little ass and even if it is awful, you still love her so you will keep on goin' back, paying the emotional toll.

    She gets what she wants, and you just get f--ked.

  • Section 335 said...

    I have to agree with both Iron Man and Scotty.

    Absent a real change, I am likely to end my Rangers relationship after 45 years. I too started in the 60's - the Rangers lived in Long Beach and I would ride on the LIRR back from the games with Eddie Giacomin and other. I have loved this team for years, but not THIS team.

    In the words of B. B. King "the thrill is gone"

  • blow-me-down said...

    Cool story Section.
    Riding the train with Eddie Giacomin, that must have felt pretty special.