Saturday, May 20, 2006

Envy For The Devils

The New Jersey Devils. Oh, if only the New York Rangers had their success the last 11 years. Yes, I know the Devs went out without a whimper against the Carolina Hurricanes. But I am talking about overall. This is an organization that is dwarfed by the Broadway Blueshirts in public attention, yet on-ice performance is not even comparable.

I am and always will be a die-hard fan of the New York Rangers. However, I can't help but marvel at how New Jersey has been able to build an organization into a perennial contender winning three Stanley Cups in the process.

The Devs have always done things the right way. Building from within through the draft while adding a couple of key ingredients en route to their success. General manager Lou Lamoriello has always stressed the importance of team and that has translated onto the ice more times than not a team that works hard and is never embarrassed by its performance.

The New York Rangers have started to model themselves after the Devils by purging themselves of their overpriced athletes at the 2004 trade deadline. The Rangers have now drafted well and made key trades for some pretty good young talent. Time will tell if the New York brass intends to follow this model or fall back into their old habits of buying players who make New York their retirement home.

No I am hoping that Hendrik Lundqvist will become Martin Brodeur, that Marc Staal will become like Scott Stevens, that Fedor Tyutin will be the next Scott Neidermayer, that Dominic Moore and Ryan Hollweg will be the next John Madden and Jay Pandolfo. I can only hope.

Otherwise I will have to be stuck looking across the Hudson at more Cups being raised while in New York only more memories of 1994 are played out incessantly.

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