Dog days of summer. . . .
Draft day and July 1st always make for great blog banter. We all critique the NYR draft strategy. Ponder which useless, overpaid UFA will be signed by the NYR. We try to put the line combinations, and defensive pairings together. To resolve obvious roster flaws, we bury millions of dollars in Hartford, because it is so easy to burn other people’s millions. Some of the most vitriolic messages are posted this time of year by die-hard Ranger fans who miss their favorite sport.
Here we are again speculating the future of the world’s most dysfunctional tenants, be it the Knicks or in our case the Rangers. The passing of George Steinbrenner last week really put things into perspective for me, and it has been obvious to most of us for a very long time:
The biggest problem the Rangers have is James Dolan.
George Steinbrenner and James Dolan took two completely different tracks to becoming owners. George eagerly sought out investors, recruited a junior partner, and used some of his very own money to buy a floundering New York Yankee franchise. Dolan inherited the Rangers. George had a dream, a vision, and a plan to build the most successful sports franchise in the history of pro sports. Dolan, not so much. George refused to accept complacency. Dolan took guitar lessons. George had a sign on his desk that read, “Lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way!” Dolan hired incompetents to lifetime jobs that could only be terminated by sexual harassment lawsuits. I could go on and on. . . . .
The saddest part of this story is that it will never change. The culture around this organization is so poor and so permanent, that unless the team is sold, we will be discussing the same summertime topics year after year. It is a culture that not even Mark Messier can change. The Rangers have an owner that has mandatory attendance to his stupid little concerts, but holds no one’s feet to the fire regarding the sports teams.
It’s amazing the difference in philosophies, huh? When you earn something, and work hard to make it a success. George Steinbrenner’s legacy will be that of a champion. When you inherit a team, show no passion or interest in it, and sacrificed nothing to own it, you don’t seem to care so much.
Rest in peace Mr. Steinbrenner. All Yankee fans owe you thanks for your passion and commitment.
Afternoon update: Blogmama here all. I promised Carp I’d update posts if news breaks while he’s meeting Mr. T, and I guess this qualifies. As I’m sure you all know by now, Kovalchuk has decided to say goodbye to Hollywood and continue his ride on the Jersey side. Can’t wait to learn the terms of this deal.
I, for one, am glad the saga is over. And I thank CW for breaking the logjam. I think his guest post did it.
Update 2: If you’re interested in the second biggest news of the day. This from the Rangers:
New York, July 19, 2010: New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the Rangers have acquired defenseman Matt McCue from the Anaheim Ducks, in exchange for forward Tomas Zaborsky.
McCue, 22, split the 2009-10 season between the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League (AHL) and the Bakersfield Condors of the ECHL. He began the campaign with Manitoba, registering one goal and 24 penalty minutes in 10 games. McCue made his professional debut with the Moose on October 3. He notched his first professional point with a goal on November 2 vs. Norfolk, tallying Manitoba?s only goal in a 3-1 defeat. McCue made his ECHL debut with Bakersfield on January 13 at Ontario following his assignment on January 7, and recorded two assists and 68 penalty minutes in 19 contests with the Condors. He registered an assist in back-to-back contests on March 20 vs. Victoria and March 26 at Utah. His assist on March 20 was his first professional assist.
Prior to turning professional, the 6-5, 220-pounder skated in 247 games with the Spokane Chiefs, Chilliwack Bruins, Brandon Wheat Kings and Medicine Hat Tigers of the Western Hockey League (WHL), registering 15 goals and 48 assists for 63 points, along with 625 penalty minutes. McCue established career-highs in goals (six), assists (19), points (25) and penalty minutes (195) in 2008-09 with Brandon and Medicine Hat. He also recorded two goals and two assists for four points, along with 38 penalty minutes in 20 career WHL playoff contests with Chilliwack, Brandon and Medicine Hat.
The Cochrane, Alberta native was originally signed by Anaheim as a free agent on December 30, 2008.
Zaborsky skated in 41 games this season with Assat Pori of the Finnish Elite League, registering nine goals and 17 assists for 26 points, along with 67 penalty minutes. He was originally selected as the Rangers? fifth round choice, 137th overall, in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.