I suggested yesterday that the “Jim Dolan piece in Sports Illustrated”:http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/writers/the_bonus/02/06/price.knicks0212/index.html might be of interest to Rangers fans. Having now chewed over every word, I say it’s a must-read if you’re looking for a better understanding of the Garden and the people who run it.
Much of it speaks to Dolan’s complex personality as a recovering addict—petulant and self-absorbed one moment, uncommonly generous the next. But it also offers a window into an overall paranoid Garden culture.
Some of that culture we as reporters are exposed to on a regular basis, most notably with P.R. staffers often standing nearby when we talk to players and coaches (although it should be noted that no one’s ever stopped me from asking a question or said word one about anything I’ve written). But the vast majority of Dolan’s “reign of fear,” as the story describes, seems to exist beyond closed doors.
What’s telling as well is that while none of the Rangers’ current brain trust—Glen Sather, Don Maloney or Tom Renney—are even mentioned in the story, Mark Messier is quoted at length heaping praise on Dolan as the ideal owner.
And that brings me to today’s next topic, the Captain himself appearing in New Jersey and “reiterating to John Dellapina”:http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/hockey/rangers/story/495673p-417694c.html his desire to be the Rangers’ next GM.
“Could I jump straight into that job? Yes. Would I be opposed to doing anything or apprenticing or anything like that? No. But I guess in a way, as you go through your career, you really are apprenticing with the coaches that have coached you and the people you’ve worked with,” Messier said. “So really, in absorbing from the discussions I’ve had with Glen (Sather) over the years and the advice people have given me, in a way it has been a 25-year apprenticeship.”
Of course, the one difference between the league Messier knew and the one he’d be stepping into now is that the salary cap makes everything that much more complicated. Gone are the days when a GM could identify talent and just plug players into certain holes, and that’s why you’re seeing a much quieter trade market this season than in seasons past.
That’s not to say it’s a position beyond Messier’s skill set. But it is to say there’s a lot more that goes into running an NHL team than people think.
And speaking of the NHL trade market, “here’s my story”:http://www.thejournalnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070208/SPORTS01/702080413/1046/SPORTS from today elaborating on what I touched on yesterday, that the next eight games before the trade deadline might dictate whether the team becomes buyers or sellers.
More from practice later….