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08-09-2008, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by HockeyBasedNYC View Post
Still think the Rangers are short one good forward, whether they get that some time before the season starts or at the trade deadline remains to be seen, but if they are indeed a playoff team they'll need that top 6 winger to really generate the offense they need to go deep. The forward lines are deep from the 3rd line down, but those top two are fragmented and need to be balanced by the emergence of someone, either on the roster already or elsewhere.

I think they'll be an entertaining bunch, but its kind of scary to be honest because theres a LOT hinging on the "change of scenery" scenario with Zherdev, Naslund, Redden and Kalinin. Maybe too much to be honest. If all breaks right this team could be at the top of conference, but if only half if these guys click into gear or all of them fail it could be a long, tumultuous season trying to patch it together and battling inconsistency all along the way.

I expect all of these guys to show up, in fact i'll go as far to say that theyll all have better years than their previous ones if they stay healthy. But there's a huge determining factor in all of this.

To me the single most important thing going into this year is DIRECTION, and because of that its going to come down to one thing, faith in Tom Renney.

All these new faces, along with the returning players are in a rebirth phase with the absence of last years core, Jagr in particular. Renney has stated that he wants to change the brand of hockey from a less exciting defense first approach to a more open speed game with skill and attention to detail. Forget about the big names coming in and having to adjust - how will guys like Girardi, a guy who succeeded so well in the old system fare in the new one?

Will the new style be THAT different from the old one considering they still have one of the top goaltenders in the NHL? Has Renney come up with a decisively formatted plan already which is why he helped hand-pick the incoming pieces to compliment it? Or is he coming in with the idea to be flexible and "see what happens". I suspect he has a plan - but I would be very surprised if it materializes itself quickly - meaning prior to the completion of the first third of the season.

During the past three seasons, none of the Rangers squads have gotten off to great starts and the common theme was the bouncing around of players from line to line and more importantly - the powerplay was disjointed as well. Theres no indication that this new squad will come out guns blazing, especially when it seem like half of the roster has been turned over.

So IMO this season really rests on Renneys shoulders and the fans and players patience and acceptance to this new style, drastically different or not.

Renney has the players he wants, its his team so its on him to make it work IMO.
Good post, definitely agree. This is Renneys team, lets see how he does w/o the Jagr crutch to lean on.

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