A lot went down over the weekend while Papa was in Atlantic City playing in a Can/Am tourney with the boys. I so bad wanted to write all my initial thoughts right away. I’m glad I didn’t. Papa waited for the smoke to clear and everything to settle down as I give my takes about the New York Rangers.
Alain Vinshit Firing
If you’re a Rangers fan there is no way you are upset about the news. Everyone knew it was coming except for him. Crazy. I’m not surprised he thought his job was safe because he constantly had excuses, like the goaltending, anytime he was asked about the underperformance of his team. But the truth is that he is a bad coach that ended up in two great positions. He had an all star team in Vancouver and a very good team in New York that didn’t have the offense to win a cup. Hank couldn’t mask the problems throughout the whole playoffs. The problem is he doesn’t know how to adjust and shorten the bench the correct way. He’s stubborn and won’t change his game plan if it’s not working. For example, the playoff series against the Senators, he never shortened the defense at the end of games or in overtime. They set the record for most goals against while an opposing team has a pulled goalie. He just kept throwing the same bodies out there to get scored on. Also, he loved Staal and Holden. Playing them the minutes they had in regulation play and overtime is 75% the reason why they lost the playoffs. Those guys were out there way too much and he never adjusted the line up on the back end. Platoon those guys or just bench them and run 4 d-men. I could write pages on how many bad decisions he made, including Glass getting over ten minutes a night as a fourth liner with 10 career points!?!?!?
The guy is a stubborn loser and a piece of shit for blaming Hank this year. I agree Hank isn’t what he used to be, but goaltending doesn’t matter. He masked so much of AV’s shit coaching decisions and finally his time ran out now that Hank is a old man….You have to be able to score and not let your goalie win you 2-1 games. The Rangers offense was nonexistent in the playoffs for a long time, including the ghost play of players like Nash and Kreider. I don’t know how many times I have to say it, but offense wins yo cups. A great goalie can only do so much and come playoff time, it’s never the all-star goalie lifting the cup. Whatever though, he can’t hurt Papa anymore and I hope they bring a coach in that can mentor these young players and grow them into NHL studs. Papa’s pick for coach; Jim Montgomery from Denver. He was a stud at Maine and has grown Denver into a college hockey powerhouse, winning the NCAA championship in 2017.
Obviously nothing is official until July 1, 2018, but this is a huge step backwards. I know Ked loves the signing because it’s a “hey, we are rebuilding…what does it matter” approach. But Ked is a BILLION% wrong. Here’s why…
- Why would any NHL team sign a 35 year old player who hasn’t played in the league since 2012-13? The answer….a team that has no idea what they are doing. Let’s not pretend he going to mentor the Russian players. Give me a break. The guy was never a team player otherwise he would have still been in New Jersey. He gave up on this league and now that he’s older, he wants to quickly win a Stanley Cup and if the Rangers keep making decisions like this than that won’t ever happen.
- This is related to number 1, but what kind of role model is he going to be for these young guys? Kovalchuk left the NHL to go play in Russia in 2013 because he was interested in raising his family in Russia. Like so many European players, I question his loyalty to the Rangers and NHL. I have no problem with players having pride in their country and I totally understand why they might want to go home. Leaving the homeland isn’t an easy thing to do. But don’t tell me that a guy who is 35 and hasn’t played an NHL game in 5 years is a good idea. Especially after the track record we have in signing old men way beyond their prime. It just doesn’t work and could ruin a locker room. Everyone needs to be on the same page for this rebuild to work. These young kids are too valuable to screw up because we signed a washed up all-star. Also, the league is so different now. He won’t be anything special with the speed and ability of the young kids these days.
- It’s a move to rush a Stanley Cup. Don’t tell me it’s not, because it is. Hank has a few more years to win a cup and they will push as a much as they can so they get him a ring. Signing guys like this never works. What’s next? Sharp? Sedins? At least those guys have played in the NHL in the past 5 years. A rebuild takes a few bad years. Let the kids grow and let the more veteran guys like Kreider, Zucc, and Hayes learn to lose and learn to mentor the younger guys. Fill in the blanks with some character guys and maybe lock up one or two long term impact players that we will need down the line. Take a look at the free agent class for 2019. A lot of young guys that would love to play in the Big Apple. But now we can’t sign them because we will have Kovalchuk for three years at 6 million??? Crazytown!!!
All in all, no matter how you look at this signing, it’s not good for the future of the New York Rangers. There is no reason we need to be relevant next year. Let’s take the leashes off the pups and let the older players lead the way. Maybe trade Hank and get a bunch of picks and let’s rebuild like a normal team. Toronto drafted the right players, brought in the right coach, and brought in real leadership in Marleau at the right time. They did it right. But what can I say? It’s the same old Rangers.