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!