July 03, 2002

The Rangers pick up Kasparitis: and Holik. It's also looking more and more likely that they'll be able to sign Richter for less than he cost them last year. Is this the year that the New York Rangers are finally as good on the ice as they are on paper? Why shouldn't your favorite team be afraid of them?

posted by Samsonov14 to hockey at 06:48 PM - 7 comments

And yes, I know that this was sort of addressed in a previous post, but I'd like to bring up solely the issue of the Rangers vs. your team here. New York seems to be the most improved team so far, and I'm curious if everyone thinks they're a real threat this year or if they'll continue to be a waste of cash. Personally, I still think the Bruins will finish ahead of them. As much as I respect Messier, I don't think he has the abilty to manage the egos on this team. I'm guessing they barely make the playoffs this year, but I don't think they'll do much once they arrive. Of course, I'm the same guy that said that the Redwings were too old to make a real run at the cup last year, so what do I know?

posted by Samsonov14 at 06:56 PM on July 03, 2002

Missed a quote there in the second link. That's the second messed up link in two threads... 0 for 2... oops. Unlike Baseball, you can't quite go and outright buy a championship team. Hockey is much more of a team sport, and as such, chemistry and a 'for the team' attitude is definitely required. What works for the Yankees isn't guaranteed to work for the Rangers. The Rangers proved it last year, and the year before... and now they'll prove it again: a random mess of star players doesn't guarantee the Cup. Granted, it's what the Wings did too, to an extent... but 1) they already had a good core of star players, and young up-and-comers; 2) they had Bowman. Additionally, they had that grit that made them play while injured; that made them dive in front of opponent shots -- and that's something the Rangers haven't quite bought yet. Unless Bure starts diving in front of shots, I can't see the Rangers making it past the first round. One can also argue about their goal-tending ... but whenever I do that, I'm always proven wrong. So I won't.

posted by mkn at 07:47 PM on July 03, 2002

And now, they've re-signed Richter. At some point you have to wonder how much talent can be thrown at one team before it starts sticking. Still, the Rangers could use some help in the youth department. These free agents are all a little top-heavy on the age side of things. Personally, I hope they wallow in the depths of mediocrity until the end of time, but I think they'll at least make the playoffs this year.

posted by Succa at 07:19 PM on July 04, 2002

I agree with Succa (aside from being a sens fan, I find that I agree with a lot of what he says... btw, do you have your site hosted on a waterloo server or anything other than the hijacked domain?)... I wouldn't mind if they never made the playoffs again, but I have to think that this year they're at least spending their money wisely, and I think that they'll get into the top 8 and stay there this year. Now, I don't think Richter will still have enough to take them deep in the playoffs, but I think they're a solid bet to be a 6 or 7 seed. Now... what will the Isles do this off season to improve? They could definitely use a boost, although after years of sucking, last year was such a treat that I almost wouldn't mind them falling back off. I'm not even really sure what specific things they need, but it'd be nice to see em pick up a scorer or two. And the Canes lost Gelinas... that sucks. I hope they can make some additions to improve over last year. Yeah, they made the finals, but they still weren't that great a team. (Perfect example of the chemistry thing right there). I got the feeling from reading some articles in the Raleigh paper that they were content to stick with the team they've got... I don't think that's gonna get em back into the finals...

posted by Bernreuther at 02:31 AM on July 05, 2002

Dave, the site isn't being hosted anywhere. It's gone. But a new one should appear soon, I'm working on it. As for the Rangers, I don't think they're really spending wisely per se. They're just spending. Bobby Holik is a fine hockey player, but $9 mil/year for him is sheer lunacy. You've gotta wonder though, how much money can they throw around before they actually get a good team? Right now, the Rangers don't appear to be addressing specific needs. It's not "we need a two-way winger" or "we need an offensive-minded defenceman"...it's "oooh, look, big-name free agents! Get 'em get 'em get 'em!" That is a bad way to build a hockey team. Dave ain't a Sens fan but I'm sure he can at least respect a team that does well every year on less than half of the Rangers' budget, and they do that well each year by addressing the weaknesses of the team whenever they become apparent. As for the Isles, they definitely need someone to play alongside Yashin, and I'm quite surprised they didn't go after Shawn McEachern, considering what we ended up getting for him from Atlanta (nobody). My guess is that Ottawa didn't want to trade a good player to a conference rival. I'd say the Isles are going to sign Amonte, because they have the cash and they're willing to spend it (for the opposite style of team-building, look under "Leafs, Maple"). I still think Amonte is a highly overrated player, not worthy of being a high-cost free agent (same with Guerin), but paying him huge sums of cash is not my decision to make. I like Gelinas but he's had some pretty bad years. I'm impressed that Calgary actually signed SOMEONE...aren't they supposed to be pouring all their cash into Iginla? I hope the Flames can sign him. I like that franchise and the players on their team.

posted by Succa at 12:33 PM on July 05, 2002

A playoff team is only as good as its defense and goaltending. The Rangers are lacking in both departments (unless Richter has a few more good years, which I doubt). I think they are serious about winning, however, and I think now that they have unloaded the burden that is Theo Fleury, they might be able to assemble a cohesive team which could challenge for the Cup. They still need defense, though.

posted by insomnyuk at 02:15 PM on July 05, 2002

New York seems to be the most improved team so far Oh, I totally agree. But most improved from the trash heap that they were does not mean that any team around the league should be quakin' in their skates. Of course, I'm the same guy that said that the Redwings were too old to make a real run at the cup last year, so what do I know? Ha! Doubt us not! Unless Bure starts diving in front of shots I think that you have a better chance of seeing Don Cherry wearing a tutu and figure skating at the NHL 2003 All Star Game. By contrast, Kirk Maltby killed a St. Louis power play practically by himself in the Wester Semi finals. It was truly a sight to behold. He loses his stick, has it kicked to center ice by a Blues player, and proceeds to block 4 consecutive shots, not allowing the Blues to even get one shot through. Sure, a team full of Maltbys wouldn't make the playoffs, but he just exemplifies the kind of things that are necessary to win the Cup, and he understands what his role on the team is. I think it was the first time he has ever had his name chanted at Joe Louis Arena. Whatsmore, even after breaking his leg last year blocking a shot, Steve Yzerman didn't hesitate for a second to block a shot this year, despite the heavy damage to his knee. At least the Rangers are letting go of Fleury. But seriously contend? Holik is overrated, Bure lacks someone to feed him the puck, and Lindros...is Lindros. Beyond Leetch, what do they have on D? Ok, I'll shut up now. Can you tell I am itching for the season to start? Only a few more months!!!

posted by adampsyche at 03:26 PM on July 05, 2002

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