I say that because as much as the Rangers’ promotion of Dan Girardi is significant, even more noteworthy are the remarks made by Jaromir Jagr just now.
The message? This is all on him.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I think when your top guy and your captain does well, the team does well,Ã¢â‚¬? Jagr said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I understand itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a team game but when the gameÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s on the line, the individuals have to make a difference. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s what I truly believe. If you want to be the special guy, you have to have those special moments. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s what I play for, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s what I live for.Ã¢â‚¬?
While the Rangers’ captain still made it clear that he didn’t consider himself above the team, he also emphasized that it’s up to him to to get the Rangers out of their current rut (in fact, Jagr was so concerned about making sure that message came across correctly he actually turned back to us after our interview just to clarify. “Did I answer everything right?” he said. “I don’t want to sound like the team isn’t important.”)
Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not going to sit here and talk about how the team should do. I have to be the first guy to do it. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t play good, the team donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t play good. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s how it is. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not saying IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m the team….But I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m going to help anybody by talking about how the team should play if I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t play good,Ã¢â‚¬? he said.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s why I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t go to the All-Star game. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s why I want to make the playoffs and do something in the playoffs. These people in New York deserve it. Our team deserves it. I live for it. ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s no better place to play. ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s no better organization to play for. We get everything we need. Now we have to do it.Ã¢â‚¬?
It was fairly dramatic stuff, and dare I say, Jagr’s most convincing moment as a captain.
“I went down there to be sure, to confirm in my own mind what I thought and what I had been told. It was a worthwhile trip because there are some kids who certainly, I think, are in a position to play here and help us,” Renney said. “We have to make some provisions in order for that to happen, so whether we choose to do that remains to be seen.”
Here’s again where the question about who is actually making these decisions arises, because Renney, in reference to Glen Sather’s office, then said, “That’s something that’s happening down the hall there.”
When I then asked the coach if he’s not involved in those sort of decisions, he said that he was, but that at some point in time, he leaves the room before the final verdict is delivered. Then Renney said, “I feel very comfortable I have a voice here.”
Maybe I’m overanalyzing it, but it struck me as interesting.
OK, more later…