I’m fairly certain that in our many discussions over the past few months on this site, the most popular subject matter has to do with the opportunities—or the lack thereof—provided young players in the Rangers organization (with my wrinkled clothes and assortment of hockey injuries ranking not far behind).
With that in mind, I’m assuming these remarks from Tom Renney will be of interest. The question had to with personnel changes, specifically bringing players up from Hartford, and why the Rangers have been reluctant to make many.
Bear with me, because it’s a long answer:
“The kids were sent down because we felt they weren’t ready, and by the nature of the start to their season, they weren’t. They are becoming closer to being ready but that’s the growing pains, and I’d rather they learn that dynamic there as opposed to here where the stakes, quite honestly, are higher.
“I’m probably guilty of giving guys another chance to get it right, and I assume responsibility for what is in front of me as a team. I’m not one of those guys that goes to management and says, ‘We need players. Get me better.’ I take the responsibility seriously. This is what I have. I’ve agreed to participate in this process, and this is my job. So Renney, do your job.
“So if Glen (Sather) and Donnie (Maloney) come to me—and they do—and they say, ‘Tom, what do you think of so and so?’ I tell them what I think. But I also tell them, ‘This is our team, guys. I believe we can win with this group. I believe we can get better. I believe we can do what’s required of us, and if you feel strongly about a change from what you see from your management, convince me. I’m OK with that.’”
One other part: I asked Renney how the dynamic works with Jim Schoenfeld, whether the Hartford GM and coach is in his ear about bringing players up. Renney said that Schoenfeld never makes a case for a player unless Renney and others in New York ask first. I asked Renney how often the team makes those inquiries. The coach said pretty much every day, and that while the usual suspects have been invoked—i.e. Jarkko Immonen, Ryan Callahan—that some new names have cropped up as well.
I would imagine that Dane Byers is one of them, and maybe the resurgent Nigel Dawes, or even a defenseman like Dan Girardi.
Anyway, it’s a lot to process, but to be honest, fairly revealing to me since I’ve never completely grasped how the dynamic works.
Some other updates:
Anyway, somehow the conversation turned to Rangers fans on internet message boards, as well as on this blog.
Ward said he doesn’t read them, but “I understand they hate me.”
I shrugged my shoulders.
“Not really,” I said. “Although everyone’s targeted at one time or another.”
Which is true, of course. Myself included.
Anyway, more from the Garden later….