Monday, July 23, 2012

Another Savior Arrives

Well that old cunning, riverboat gambler, hustler, Stealth GM has done it again. He has brought another savior to New York and most of the blogs and the press are going gaga over it. I haven't read the press release yet and the news conference is just days away but you needn't read it or watch it because you have seen it before.

Remember, the architect of this deal is the man who came to the Big Apple thirteen years ago after declaring, "If I had the Rangers payroll, I'd win the Cup every year," or words to that effect. Well 13 years later he has not even been close, but he is still spending money like it's going out of style and he is still nowhere closer to that elusive Cup.

If he has not been successful it's not for a lack of trying. Prior to Nash is was Brad Richards. Brad played for our coach in Tampa and had won a Cup with him so naturally he would be a great fit. However, he piled up his worst point total in three years and at best was streaky and not the consistent Brad we all followed. Before that it was Marian Gaborik, who actually had a great year, considering he played hurt and was berated and benched by Sir Torts. Forty-one goals, thirty-five assists and he even blocked a shot now and then.

Then there was the great Jaromir Jagr, who tried valiantly, set a Ranger goal scoring record and last year toiled for the Flyers. Then, not necessary in order of appearance, we had Lindros, Fleury, Bure, Nedved, Gretzky and even Mark Messier came back for an encore. I probably forgot a few, but they all came to deliver and they all left leaving the team well short of making the Cup finals.

But this one is different. That's also a familiar phrase. This is Rick Nash. The great Rick Nash who has played mightily for a very bad team and is now coming to do his thing on Broadway. But we can't call him Broadway Nash because we have Broadway Brad. Maybe we can call him 'No Frills' Nash. Last year was his lowest goal scoring year in the last four with 30 and his lowest point scoring in the last four, 59. So are we getting this superstar on the way down?

Rick is only 28 years old and in his second year won the Maurice "The Rocket" Richards trophy. Also, he was the acknowledged star of a weak team and is coming to a team that does not have an offensive bent to its game. Rick, at 6'4" and weighing 218 lbs, will have to learn how to block shots. He'll have to get dirty in the corners. he'll have to get back on defense. After all that's what killed Gretzky. Could you imagine Gretzky playing for this stiff?

So there we have it. Remember, hope springs eternal. However, hope couldn't block shots either and gave up trying. Knowing Rick Nash, he won't give up so easily but the question remains. Could a player of Rick Nash's talents fit in with a team that has no concept of how to play offense and no idea of what a power play is supposed to look like? The men who run the Garden are going to ask you to cough up a lot of cannolis to see if the great experiment is going to work. To see if offensive players like Gaborik, Richards and Nash can turn into stone like defensive rocks. This coach would have killed players like Gretzky and the Great Rocket. Or maybe the Rocket would have killed him.

The Savior Cometh!

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  • jb said...

    Some Slats quotes:

    On signing Vladimir Malakhov:

    "If you look through the NHL, there aren't many players with his type of ability; he has superstar ability."

    On trading for Lindros:

    "No. I don't think it's very risky. You can be a lion maybe once in your life. If you don't make this deal, you're a
    mouse forever….Wouldn't you rather be a lion for one day than a mouse for life?"

    After signing Dave Karpa and Igor Ulanov as free agents:

    "I just want to make sure that these are the kind of guys that we were going to get. I've talked a lot about Karpa
    with other people, and I know that both of them wanted to come here. So I was very happy to get both of them."

    On trading for Tom Poti:

    "I think he'll be one of the top players in the league."

    Blueshirt Banter: Sather's greatest hits
    Another Slats quote:

    “There are GMs who will sign contracts—- and it doesn’t matter how big they are or how long they are— because they think that at the same time they are protecting their own skin. [A GM] has got to make sure that he isn’t signing guys for the wrong reasons. That’s when it can get complicated because you can get into a long-term contract with a guy who is a hell of a player but he just can’t play in your environment. He gets a big contract and he gets a lot of money and now his goals have changed. He thinks he has got a retirement contract and now he doesn’t want to get hurt, so he doesn’t play as aggressively as he did before, so his skills deteriorate and you are stuck with this guy. What do you do with him’?

  • mhurley said...

    Ha ha Mike, we feel the same way. I call it old and jaded. But seriously, I refuse to get excited until we see how Ricky fits in. While I loved Dubi and liked the enigma that was Anisimov, I feel the Wizard at least didn't mortgage the future the get Nash. That's an improvement.

    I'm a native New Yorker but anyone would think I was from Missouri, ya gotta show me.

  • Jen9400 said...

    I haven't been a supporter of getting Nash although I can say with a heavy heart (Dubi was one of my all time favs) that Sather made a pretty good deal without giving up our future stars. Having said that, I have been reading so many positive reactions from media and twitter friends and then I start questioning myself: why am i not over the moon about this? Then I click on the Pundit and read Mike's headline and immediately I start thinking oh this is going to be good. I read on and I laugh out loud at each dig. So much so I was crying. Oh to be a Ranger fan. Why do we insist on this torture?

    So Nash eh? Jeanine just told me that Andrew Gross said today that Nash is excited to come to NY and he looks forward to playing for disagreeable. Good luck Rick. Vinny Prospal told Ricky boy that he loves playing for coach, easy for Vinny to say since he's on the favorites list. Good luck Rick. Rick says he's good friends with Brad Richards, maybe he thinks that will earn him a spot on the good list but it didn't work for Broadway Brad's good friend Sean Avery. Andrew Gross asked Rick if he is ready for camp Torts he replied that he heard about it and he will start practicing. My reaction: you mean he hasn't started? Good Luck Rick. So needless to say I can second mhurlley 's comment "I'm a native New Yorker but anyone would think I was from Missouri, ya gotta show me" -Show me too.

  • Jen9400 said...

    JB - That last Sather quote you posted is unreal. Was he looking in a mirror when he said it?

  • jb said...

    Given that Bettman and the owners are brimming with confidence and are full of themselves, I would not be surprised if we see a lockout that keeps our new Nash off the ice.

    The Most Disgraceful Act Ever Committed By The NHL

  • Section 335 said...

    When everyone thought the Rangers would make the playoffs, I said no months earlier. I was right.

    When everyone said they would not make the playoffs again, I said they would get 105 points. I was a right, and they got 4 more on top of that.

    Now, some people sharpening their skates early so they can carry the Cup around Garden ice, and others are saying the Coach will turn Nash into a checking forward. Neither is entirely right or wrong. Nash will be more defensive, but the Rangers will be more offense minded. We will win a few games by the end of the second period that we did not win till the final buzzer. But, this team is not a clear favorite for the Cup.

    Until we prove otherwise, if we can, Pittsburgh is still the most talented team and the team to beat. With Sid playing a full year (unless hurt), we are looking at a 4th place finish and a harder path to the Cup than a 1st place finish.

    The Rangers are a good team, and a better team today then they have been in years. They may even be a top four team. But, it is a little early to put the bubbly on ice.

  • mike said...

    Section-335-This time of the year the ice would surely melt.

  • mbernold said...

    couldn't agree more
    torts will destroy him

  • Section 335 said...

    I guess I am the lone voice of dissent. I both agree and disagree.

    Where I agree is that Torts brings a lot I do not like to the table. He could not control Avery or learn how to use him. What a huge failure on Torts' part. We were all the worse for that.

    Where I disagree is that he is a bad coach. He has huge flaws, but he is a good coach. Getting last year's team to the conference finals was an achievement - he motivated the players and put the right guys on the ice. Unlike a Tom Renney, he played youth - particularly Kreider. Unlike a Tom Renney, he played a young defense and picked the right pairs.

    I also disagree with what is being said about the team next year and how the Coach will play them. Yes, he will keep the basic defense first system in place for the third and forth lines. However, I expect we will break out of the box defense with a single forward high and play two forwards high. With Nash at the outset, and Kreider as he learns the game better, we have big boys with reach who can pressure and hurry the opposing defense with the speed to cover huge chunks of ice.

    Torts may be an ass, but he is not an idiot.