Monday, June 28, 2010

Why I'll Hurt Glen Sather if Marc Staal Is Not In Ranger Blue Next Year. . .

Where to begin? Well, I think I'll begin with the following quote from the comments area on the Puck Daddy post I just read:

"How much did Sather give Redden and Rosival? The only chasm is between Sather's ears." (Tony)

It made me laugh really hard...until I stopped because it made me want to cry instead.

Oh Glennie Fisher Price Sather - what ARE you thinking?


Look, no secret here, I'm a huge Marc Staal fan. (See, the photo!). And not just because he's a Staal, or I've always had appreciation for defensemen. And actually not just because he's one of the best players on this team and arguably one of the best defensmen the Rangers have seen since...

Anyway, not just because that. Because the kid is good. The kid has gotten better and will continue to get better. The kid does what he's told. The kid takes direction well. The kid goes into any given season wanting to get better, wanting to add new facets to his game. The kid promises to work hard to play well, learn, and improve his game. And the kid keeps his promises - to himself and to his team.

(Which, sadly, in contrast, we know all too many players do not.)

I wouldn't want to see this player go anywhere for any reason. He's vital to our team now and I believe he'll be vital for the next decade plus.

But to know the reason he's a) having problems with negotiations, b) potentially being low-balled in his offer is because a) the GM is an idiot and b) the GM has given all the team's money to other idiots - well, that will drive me crazy to no end.

The Redden and Rozsival contracts suck and they suck the life from this team. Sather may be the only one who didn't know what when he extended them 2 summers ago. (Cause goodness knows myself and the rest of the hockey world did). And they sucked, not just for the money, but for the length of term.

It was said, if those contracts didn't screw the Rangers in 2008-2009, they'd come back to haunt them in a year and for years to come.

Well, welcome to the future here.


Sather has made dumb moves (see above and add Drury, Gomez, etc, etc, to the list) over the years. But the only thing dumber than him making another pointless, crazy high-priced free agent signing, - would be his not properly taking care of the guys already playing on his team.

The guys that want to be Rangers.
The guys that deserve to be Rangers.
The guys that play like they get what those two things mean.

The guys like Marc Staal.

He may not be perfect, and he may still have room to grow, but the kid, at 23, looks like the best defenseman this team has had in...forever.

Rangers fans know - know! - this team can't afford to screw over the few, precious players that "get it" and play like they "get it."

Some players, who will remain nameless, - (I'll let you think of your own examples here) - never got it. They accepted the money, continued to accept the money, but never played well here because they a) couldn't handle New York or b) didn't even bother to try so long as they were getting paid.

It's been too precious few that have gotten what it means to Be A Ranger!, to play in New York, to earn the right to wear the jersey and to realize that it was (or at least it damn well should be) a priviledge. Too few.

And unless Sather can swallow his pride on the Redden thing, stop making stupid moronic, mathmatically incompetent decisons, and keep the few players on the Rangers who are worth their money around - we'll be forced to watch the same thing over and over, season after long season.

Marc Staal was and is an example of refreshing, home-grown change. I hope - I hope! - Sather realizes he can't be a) moronic, b) cheap, c) insulting, here.

I hope - I hope! - he ponies up to pay one of our best players, umm, like he's one of our best players.

Hmm. What a novel concept.


Anonymous said...

Kels-- I just need to ask you, because I know you won't laugh or physically hurt me:

Can you please explain what the big deal with Marc Staal is? I'm just a tiny bit confused that nobody's said anything over the course of the year, but suddenly, when there's a possibility of him signing elsewhere, he's our Golden Boy.

I do love Marc Staal as a homegrown Ranger and all (and I do appreciate his attitude and desire to Be A Ranger!), but as one of his biggest fans, could you explain to me exactly what makes him so great??

kels said...

haha, me physically hurt you! never! ;)

I think the truth is, he's the type of player that unlike a Prucha, with his enthusiam, or a Gaborik, with his 40+ goals, people find it hard to go "wow" about. Good defensemen are sometimes like that. I mean Leetch made you go wow! with his ability to do what he could do, at many times, but on any given night, you kinda just took for granted that he'd just get the job done. Fancy or not.

Staal is not fancy (or Leetch for that matter, but that's another story). He's a physical force that will knock guys away from the puck. They focus the on the Ovechkin/Staal matchup during those games because (well they like to talk about the same thing over and over) it is impressive to be able to do that. Take a great player off his game. (You'll notice how the Czech line in Phoenix is always out against the Heatlys, Thorntons, continuously because they, not in a flashy way, get the job done). And that's what Staal does.

He hits. He is responsible. He's durable, playing 80+ games the last three seasons, including all 82 the last 2. Bonus - on this year's at times horrific defensive team, he was a +11.

Like I said, Staal's not perfect, but he's the closest thing to a stay at home, steady, dependable, defenseman this team has seen in a very, very long time. And it's painful if they'd let that get away. (Especially if it's really only because of the crap they do have that they can't/won't get rid of!) I think he can be more offensive, and he may very well be, but at worse, you have a guy that can play against the top offense guys in the league. And do it very cleanly, and without taking too many penalties either. You can't argue with that.

Why you may not have seen an outpouring of talk over him...because, in my opinion this is, he does everything so well, but without the flash. You don't realize how good some players are because they just do things and you come to expect them. Or, perhaps, people just like other guys so much more. And that's fine. I had other favorites (umm, #25 blue, #16 maroon), but I guess what I see in Staal is this guy who is really smart in hockey, and good beyond his years, who I only imagine will be even better every year, and who I don't want to be someone else's super success story. We have too many of those.

This link is a little confusing because I don't think it exactly suggests he's the #1 best in the league, but it says he does a damn good job.

Luke said...

Well said Kels.

It's been interesting to sit back and watch/read/listen to the goings on these past few weeks. I can see why The Rangers would think twice about Prospal or Christensen. Personally I'd snap them up, but I can at least understand the other point of view.

I can't for the life of me see why they would let Staal go. If Staal goes why don't they just put 5 forwards on the ice the whole time? If we don't want good D then why have any D at all?!?!

Hopefully they make the right decision....

Roll on winter, it's hot and there is no sport to watch! Although, it does mean I'm getting a lot of study done.


Anonymous said...

Hmmm, that's very interesting. It makes a lot of sense, too, to say that the most effective defenseman are the ones we rarely talk about, because they're so consistent that we take their solid defensive play for granted.

Thanks for the answer and the article-- love seeing Staal up there at #1!

Now let's hope he stays up there as a New York Ranger...

PS, if Christensen doesn't come back...Oooooooh, bad news for my tenuous allegiance to this team!

kels said...

I am with you. Am actually a fan of all our middle of the ground steals/good deals who performed well for the team. I'd keep them both if it made sense.

Let's hope the Staal thing irons itself out! Because seriously...don't want to know the alternative here.

I hear you too on the season...summer is nice...but there aren't hockey games so it automatically goes down a peg in my book.

Allyson -
A fun link, no? You're very welcome. I hope it all gets worked out! And SOON!!!