Some Rangers history as told through jersey cards I recieved for my birthday

9 05 2011

Back in 2007, this would have been quite a card.  On the same day, the ever struggling to rebuild Rangers signed Chris Drury and Scott Gomez to become the first and second line centers they badly needed.  Glen Sather hoped this would be the key to bringing the Stanley Cup back to New York, and most fans believed the same thing, too.  And they were locked up long-term, too – Gomez for seven years and $51 million, and Drury for five years and $35 million.  They were young, consistent seventy point scorers, had talent around them, and one of the leagues better young goaltenders behind them.  What could possibly go wrong?

Well, it is the New York Rangers, after all.

Things actually went pretty well in the 07-08 season.  The Rangers took fifth place in the conference, only seven points behind the first place Canadiens and two points behind the rival Devils, who the Rangers were able to dispose of in the first round 4-1.  The story ends there, however, as they would fall to the talented Penguins club in five games. Gomez was second on the team that year in scoring with 70 points.  Drury was third with 58.

This guy was their number one scorer in both the regular season and the playoffs.  And he left to play in Russia.  Brendan Shanahan left to play in New Jersey, and the Rangers were suddenly without star wingers to flank their two high-priced centers.  They hoped Marcus Naslund would replace some of the lost scoring, and traded for Nikolai Zherdev from the Columbus Blue Jackets. They struggled to make the playoffs, entering in seventh place. They would lose to the Washington Capitals in the first round, putting up a good fight but ultimately succumbing in seven games. Gomez would score just 58 points that year. Drury would put up a single point in the playoffs.

The off-season was full of stories about what the Rangers could do.  They were up against the salary cap and now needed to move one of their prized free agent signings from just two years prior.  For whatever reason, the Canadians would take Scott Go and free up some room for Sather and co. to then sign this guy:

In his first season with the Rangers, he did not disappoint, scoring a career high 86 points.  The only problem with his debut season was that it ended up with the Rangers outside the playoffs for the first time in five seasons.  his 2010-11 campaign was marred by injuries, and there’s no way to know what to expect in 2011-12.

This guy is also a question mark for the 2011-12 season.  He was injured for much of the past season, but returned in the final games that led the Rangers into the playoffs.  He managed a single point as the team lost in the opening round four games to one.  So does Drury stay, or will the Rangers find a way to remove his salary either by trade or buyout?

Luckily this guy is still under contract for a few more years.  An injury to him would be a major blow to playoff chances regardless of who gets signed and for how much.

The Rangers really need someone like this

to move the puck and man the blue line while helping lead the team.

They also need to avoid anymore signings like this

I wish looking ahead to next season weren’t the routine for Rangers fans this time of year.  There’s still two+ rounds of playoffs to get to first, but without the Predators being involved for much longer, I’m going to find it hard to care for any of the teams left.

So baring a Nashville comeback, who should I root for and why?  No Red Wings fans need apply.




2 responses

10 05 2011

I can tell you that if you root for the Bruins, you’re not going to get any more of those interesting birthday packages you keep blogging about.

10 05 2011

Also, I wish the Rangers had held onto Gomez. He may have been the most overpaid player in the league this year.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s