Is Callahan earning his ice time?
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12-10-2008, 01:25 PM
Heart and Soul
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Look, I'm not going to speak for other people on this board who have been really upset with this team of late, but I can tell you what I have an issue with.
It isn't that we aren't growing home grown talent. We are, and to the team's credit, they've done a pretty good job with what they have. Callahan, Dubinsky, Staal, Girardi, are all very impressive and hopefully remain with this team for many, many years. I hope to own all their jerseys at some point.
But the problem is this is all that we got. This team's fanbase has suffered longer than most teams who rebuild the right way, and what did we get to show for it? Look at the Blackhawks. They were nearly as pathetic as the Rangers were, if not more so, for just about the same period. But they spent the last few years of their mediocrity actually doing the right thing. Rebuilding fully. Getting HIGH draft picks. Drafting franchise players. We have one "franchise" player, Henrik Lundqvist. The best teams in this league have more than one. Boston, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Washington, San Jose, Anaheim. Look at the teams that will be up there in 2-3 years, or less: Chicago, Los Angeles.
These teams are going to surpass the Rangers and leave them behind in the next few seasons because the Rangers, unless they can convince some dimwit to take on some of the worst contracts in this league, are not in a position to improve their team. They couldn't show any patience, they had to go out and get the first free agents they could get their hands on. This team's fans have been patient, with the hope that there is a pot of gold at the end of this long rainbow of disappointment. Instead, we've been taken to a pot of silver and told that it's just as good.
I find it mind boggling, truly mind boggling, that someone thought it was a good idea to give these kind of contracts to Scott Gomez, Chris Drury, Wade Redden, and to a lesser degree, Michal Rozsival. I can understand one of them, maybe even two. But all of them?
I have no problem with Dubinsky, Callahan, Girardi, Staal, Lundqvist, Betts, Sjostrom, Orr. Like all those guys, hope they're part of the core here for a long time. But I would have liked them just as much if we were losing games for a year or two while we finished rebuilding. The reason I like these players is because they all play hard. That's something that they brought to the table already, which means they would play that way even if the team wasn't winning.
The New York Rangers were terrible for nearly a decade. When the Jagr-Lundqvist tandem turned out better than anyone could have expected for a couple of years, I was okay with temporarily putting the rebuild on hold, but once the Jagr magic was gone, the right thing to do was be patient. Get the final piece of the puzzle. Get yourself a Patrick Kane or something like that. Then, we'd have a great young team with cap room to add the RIGHT free agents. That's the way smart teams build.
Where are we going now? Another 5 years of second round and out, if even that? A core of Gomez, Drury, Redden and Lundqvist is not going to get us further, nor does it leave us the flexibility to improve.
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