With the hockey trade deadline fast approaching, a few things have happened in the land of the Blueshirts, and Yinzer is here to tell you about them.
Wait... what? Yinzer?
Yes, Yinzer, cause apparently the New Yorkers on the New York blog dont want to talk about the team, be it out of anger, spite, laziness, life getting in the way, or quite possibly the fact that none of them are actually Rangers fans. And it has some how fallen to the Pittsburgh fan, living in Pittsburgh, to talk about the Rangers, playing in New York. Ain't this a funny place?
Rangers Fire Renney
A week ago the Rangers fired Tom Renney, making him the scapegoat for their recent slide in the standings. I'm not going to say Renney was a great coach or anything, but there are two main points I want to make.
First is what we all know: he got the short end of the stick. The real problem of this team has been the same problem for the past decade: GM Glenn Sather. How this man continues to have a job is beyond anyone. When given money to spend the man just doesnt know how to do it wisely. In the past two years he has spent over $14mm to get Drury and Gomez, paying them elite player money when they are only good players. To put it in perspective, Sidney Crosby makes only million and a half more and currently sits #3 in scoring while on a borderline playoff team and having a bad year. The next year he outdid himself by spending over $11mm on two defensemen: Wade Redden and Michal Roszival. After losing out on the bidding for prized free agent dman Brian Campbell, Sather panicked and gave in to Roszival's demands, paying him twice his actually worth. Not to be satisfied with a singular blunder he signed Redden to a 6 year deal for $6.5mm a year, despite the fact for two years he had regressed and Ottawa was happy to let him go.
Plus, Redden is the only person to ever get the crapped kick out of them by Ryan Whitney. Imagine if you will you are challenged to an ass kicking contest by a guy with one leg. And its a wooden peg leg. You'd think "Man, I got this one easy!" Then you got destroyed by peg leg and fell to the ground crying like a little girl. If you can picture that feeling, that's about what it's like to get beat up by Whitney.
So basically through free agent blunders, and just in general incompetence, Sather has kept the Ranger at a lowly level. But hey, why fire yourself when you can fire the coach? And that's exactly what happened.
Second, is despite the many complaints of Rangers fans you have to look Renney's tenure in a certain way: he kept a team sorely lacking in talent and leadership a contender. He did pretty good what he had to work with. Could the Rangers have done better? Yeah. But the team is filled with overpaid players who, if paid what they are worth, would leave room for much more depth, hence creating a better team.
Rangers Claim Mark Bell...
...and promptly re-assign to the minors. Toronto put the troubled forward on re-entry waivers so a team could take him at half price, and the Rangers bit, looking for a cheap boost before the deadline. Bell had a few good years in Chicago, but hasnt done well anywhere else. In the past few years he has found himself in legal trouble due to personal problems, and his on ice game has suffered for it. He has the talent to succeed, but his mind just isnt there. He was assigned to the minors only days after being acquired in order to clear cap space because...
Sean Avery placed on Re-Entry Waivers
And everyone thinks the Rangers will claim him. At $1.9mm a year for three more years, the same amount he was paid his last year as a Ranger, the chances of Sather putting a claim in is somewhere near 100%. Avery brought life to a team that was floundering and managed to get even more limelight as a superpest on Broadway. The Ranger shave floundered again this year, and Sather and Ranger fans are banking on reclaiming Avery will help get them in gear again.
Of course there is a problem, namely that there are about a dozen teams who, due to worse records, can claim Avery before the Rangers can. At less than $2mm a team that is desperate may be willing to take a chance. Oddly, I can actually see the Islanders going for him. They have a ton of cap room and with failing attendance, may think Avery could put a few butts into the seats (probably not though). But at the very least if they do claim Avery, they'll piss of the Rangers, and it's always fun to piss off your rival.