Last night during the game, Marc called me up and said, “If the Rangers lose this game, Tom Renney will be fired. Especially if they get shut out.” I tend to disagree. If Glen Sather were to fire Renney now, or make any changes, he would be admitting that he failed. He’s not going to do that because his ego is far too fragile.
I ‘m going to put this one to a vote. I’m not asking if he should be fired but if he will be fired.
I spent a little more time on NHLnumbers.com (my new favorite website)… And you know what I realized? Glen Sather loves to overpay for defense.
Take a look at the Rangers defense from this past season (in reverse order of suckitude):
Michal Rozsival – $2.4 mil
Marc Staal – 850K
Dan Girardi – 550K
Fedor Tyutin – $1.025 mil
Jason Strudwick – 500K
Christian Backman – $2.2 mil
Paul Mara – $3 mil
Marek Malik – $2.5 mil
Darius Kasparaitis – $3.116 mil
How can you justify paying Backman, Mara, Malik, and Kasparaitis a combined $10.8 million? That’s inane/insane. And, in case you were wondering, Christian Backman is set to make $3.4 million next season! So, the Rangers traded a 4th round pick for a guy who A) might dress as the team’s 6th defenseman or more likely will spend the season riding the pine; and B) is going to make $3.4 million while doing that.
I’d really love to see Ryan Hollweg back in the lineup. I’d have him take Orr’s place. With Hollweg on the 4th line instead of Orr, I feel it makes the line an actual threat to score a goal once (maybe twice) in a while. By swapping Orr for Hollweg, you make that line much faster.
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen the 4th line go out and think to myself, “The crowd is back in it, the Rangers are back in this, the momentum has swung back to our side.” And I say it’s because you don’t see Hollweg flying around the ice making the opposition pay for touching the puck. Sure he takes a couple penalties but I’d be willing to turn a blind eye on that (unless the other team scores of course) just to see some God damned ENERGY!
Speaking of energy, where the hell is Petr Prucha when you need him? When I watch the line of Straka-Drury-Callahan on the ice, I see a line that has the potential to succeed but then I hear Sam and Joe go on about how they all want the other to score. It’s not all three of them. It’s just Straka! Petr may be only a buck 85 but he’ll play his little heart out no matter what. We saw him play on a line earlier in the season with dubi and cally. They clicked. If you put him back with one of them and add Drury into the mix (who can really play with anyone) That line, I feel, will succeed.
Slats needs to think long and hard about re-signing Martin Straka for next season. I mean, how does a player go from scoring 29 goals and 41 assists in one season to scoring a measly 12 goals and 20 assists in the next? To even match last year’s pace, he’d have to score 12 goals and 15 more assists in the final ten games. And that’s assuming that he’s gonna play all of those games. If his arm and shoulder are giving him trouble when it comes to shooting, he needs to realize that if he’s not going to shoot, and he can’t even put up more than 20 assists he shouldn’t be playing, let alone playing the point on the PP.
What Martin and Glen and even Tom have to realize is that their decisions are possibly hurting this team. So what they have to keep in mind over the remainder of the season and beyond is this:
According to Sam Weinman of the The Journal News, Stephen Valiquette would love nothing more than to be a New York Ranger next season. Sam recently asked Valley about it:
Just how much does Valiquette like being a Ranger? This is how he described it to me:
The staff is the best in the league. It’s the best facility. The best plane. The best food on the plane. The best workout facilities. The best coaches. There isn’t one negative aspect of being a New York Ranger. The quality of life is great here.
In other words, he’s pretty miserable.
I wonder where Valiquette ranks on Slats’ list of players to re-sign.