I do. It is the topic of one of my favorite posts of mine, "With Apologies in Advance to One of Hockey's Greats."
For those who missed it, I pretty much went on a long tangent (I know, what else is new) about how I didn't want Shanahan on the team this season because:
a) He was asking for a limited role but I feared they would play him first and second line minutes and use him on the powerplay because he was Brendan Shanahan and that is how it had been in New York.
b) In doing this, he would take away spots from the young guys, like Prucha, or Korpikoski, or other players from Hartford.
In retrospect, I could not have been more wrong, eh?
But how could I have known this. In a normal world of rebuilding a team after key departures, one would think that the coach would look to a player who had been there before and had success with the team before to fill in the blanks. One would think.
But we all know Rangerland is anything but a place where normalcy lives. Prucha does not play - hardly at all this year and certainly not anymore. Other young guys stay in Hartford and have great seasons, only to come up, get a sniff, and get sent back down as soon as their regular/overpaid/ineffective/lazy/horrific/blunder-ridden replacements are ready to come back into the lineup.
So if my reason for not wanting the Rangers to sign Brendan Shanahan truly was to protect the chances of the youth on this team - and please believe me that it was - I owe Brendan Shanahan one heck of an apology. I should have known better than to assume that the Rangers coaching staff and management would do anything that made sense. Do anything that was the logical or the right thing to do.
Brendan, I am sincerely sorry.
You have no idea how much I wish you were on this team instead of [fill in blank with name of one of the Rangers random overpaid underachievers]. NO IDEA!
I must admit though, it brings me a sense of satisfaction that I did not know it could to see Brendan have immediate succcess with his new team, even if that team is New Jersey. Good for him. Sincerely. Good for him. A class act; I never did or would deny him that, for it's the truth.
As for those Rangers, they did indeed get shutout by New Jersey tonight. Their 2nd time being shutout in their last four games. [And we aren't even counting the almost being shutout against Atlanta on Graves night].
Start raising your hands if you are shocked?
*For the record, my hands have not left the keyboard and will not for next five minutes or so. No hand raising going on here.*
Look, I had no intention of watching the game tonight, and for the most part I didn't. I had on the first period while I ate dinner and checked back from time to time. But I did not "watch" any of it. I didn't need to, which should make me sad, but I am beyond feeling guilty for not enjoying this team and am not going to begin trying to make apologies for them.
I mean, sure, this team might have accidentally scored a goal. Anything is possible. But Renney called it a "watershed" game. [Gosh how I hate that term.]. Some players were quoted as saying they were ready to come out, put the game in Dallas behind them, play hard, play committed, get the job done or whatever other crap one says when they don't know what to say and they are programed, like robots, to say whatever PC thing they've been spewing all year.
I didn't believe it for a second.
I'm still - still - of the belief this will not magically get better. This team is not good enough. The last half dozen games should have done nothing if not raise that fact in 3D lights. They don't have it in them. They never did.
This team is not a playoff team. Hell, at this rate of decline they might not even make the playoffs.
Which brings me back, for a moment to the man of the hour [day, week, month?]
Does Sean Avery change that? Make this team a team. Make them better? I am not sure. I certainly do not think he alone can do that. I repeat again - he has no one to help him score goals. He has no one to help him do anything really.
I will also stop and say that I heard a few player interviews while I was in the car Friday night. One by Blair Betts saying stuff like, I'm happy with the team as is; we have a great group as is. Another one by Marc Staal, pretty much saying, he liked Avery, don't know what happened in Dallas, but liked him when he was with the Rangers and would welcome him back if he came. [I'm summarizing, but I was driving and didn't have a pen.]
Two very different opinions. And yes, we are all entitled to opinions - players too.
But after yet another loss - another SHUTOUT loss - these players do not get to say what they want or who they don't want.
We tried it their way. The team led by Captain Drury the quiet and Gomez the vacuous. The one that opened up an impressive lead in the conference playing low scoring hockey, then transitioned down the path of boredom and lifelessness, that currently finds themselves falling, slowly and painfully, into a heartless and scoreless level of despair.
That team? I say blow it up.
Now we do it Sean's way.
It might not work at all. It might be a monumental failure. But at least I know someone on the ice will be truly caring about his team. And, who am I kidding, it should be entertaining as hell.