First, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Carp for allowing me to write this guest post, and for cultivating a family atmosphere on this blog which has created so many lifetime friendships.
This post concerns both life and hockey. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, a special person will come into your life and change the way you see the world, and yourself. I have been so lucky to have ilb2001 and his wife come into my life. My father was a great man, of the same ilk as ilb2001 and the mrs. Unfortunately, I never really got the opportunity to learn much from him. So, since these amazing people came into my life, I have been soaking in all I can from them about how to be a better and more complete person. One of the primary lessons I’ve learned is that failures are a part of the road to success. It is not a person’s failures that define them. Rather, it is how the person learns and grows from those failures.
Now hockey: In a salary-capped league, a win-now philosophy can backfire, while patience is of the utmost importance. I understand that New York generally has a win-now philosophy, but the Rangers have been rebuilding the past few years and have been developing a strong, young nucleus to go with their all-world goalie and marquee free-agent signings. The current collection of talent the Rangers have assembled should be legitimate Stanley Cup contenders for the foreseeable future.
This past season was a vast improvement over 2010-11, and many seasons prior. However, it was a failure. I understand that the past season signaled significant progress, but ultimately, when a team does not reach its ultimate goal of hoisting the Stanley Cup, then the season ended unsuccessfully. The lesson to be learned here is the same lesson I have learned. On the road to the Stanley Cup, there will likely be adversity and failures. It will be up to the core of this team to learn from their ECF loss to the Devils and grow from that experience.
The goaltending situation will once again be solid and relatively cheap. Callahan will be in his second season as captain, while Richards will be in his second season on the world’s biggest stage. I believe they both will grow from their experiences this past season. The young defense and forwards will have one more full season, along with the experience of a deep playoffs run, under their belts. With the only losses being Prust and Fedotenko, and the addition of a full season of Kreider, a kid that stepped right out of college into the Stanley Cup playoffs without missing a step, I think the Rangers are poised to once again be among the top teams in the NHL next season.
Also, congratulations to Tony and Rose from AZ for getting the big man back home. A few more months of hard work and you’ll be back to 100 percent. Good luck to Puck and Gavel and wife on their imminent arrival. Lastly, congratulations to my dear friends ilb2001 and wife on the birth of their perfect little girl. Your little baby is the luckiest girl in the world to have two parents with such strength, courage, humility and inner beauty.
LGR! We want the Cup!