Friday, June 01, 2007

Backlash Against Messier...

It appears to me that their is a bit of a backlash going on right now, and it's aimed right at Mark Messier. Don Maloney left his Assistant General Manager post with the New York Rangers to take over as the Phoenix GM. The whole idea of wanting to go work for the 'Yotes definitely brings out belly laughs from everyone. Why, the Coyotes have taken the art of pie-throwing to such great heights that they would indeed make P.T. Barnum proud. So who's a Mickey Mouse organization now, Wayne?

But let's get back to reality.

Everyone seems to be ready to give the Rangers' job to Messier. What this all stems from was Mess indicating he would love to be Rangers' GM some day after current GM Glen Sather leaves. But by doing this Messier pulled a bit of a "Phil Jackson" by lobbying for a job when there were other folks who may be more entitled to it, namely Don Maloney. Now it appears that many fans are ticked off at Mess, because they feel that Maloney left the Blueshirts because he realized he would never be the Rangers' GM. That's because Glen isn't going anywhere and if he does Mark Messier is the heir apparent.

Maloney, some fans claim, was responsible for the youth movement and now Sather will just go back to signing unrestricted free agents and abandon any player in the Rangers' organization under the age of 25. I have no idea what fans are basing this on. First off, Maloney has been the Assistant GM since 1997, taking over for Larry Pleau who went on to be the GM for St. Louis. If you will recall Neil Smith was the GM until the end of the 2000 season and he spent money like nobody's business on free agents. As far as drafting goes, remember Smith wasted two 1999 first round picks on busts, when he selected Pavel Brendl and Jamie Lundmark. Both guys were supposed to be Trottier and Bossy; however, in reality both players are journeymen who may be out of the league altogether quite soon.

Was Maloney not a part of all that? If you look at the record, Maloney was Assistant GM from 1997-2007, two of those years the Rangers made the playoffs. Two for ten isn't good folks, those are Johnny Damon-type numbers. Maloney was a part of Sather's first few years when he spent like crazy, that was before The Savior was forced to curtail his spending due to the NHL's salary cap.

As far as Messier lobbying for a job and not really caring about who else might be in line? Hey, isn't that what many of these guys do? They are definitely out for number one, from Pat Riley to Bill Parcells to Tiki Barber. They are opportunists, when opportunity knocks they answer.

Look Garth Snow was named GM of the Islanders so why can't Messier be the GM of the Rangers. But Messier is starting to irritate a lot of the fans. His image was definitely tarnished when he left New York for Vancouver and then when he returned and Captained the Rangers to nowheresville.

Granted, Maloney's legacy with the Rangers is incomplete. We'll have to see how many of these young guys pan out, if at all. But it seems to me as though Maloney gets credit for anything good with the Rangers, while Sather takes the hit for all the bad. I wish Maloney well, and I wish Messier would get some experience first before jumping into a pretty complex job.

Mark Messier has such a great legacy on the ice, but I'm afraid it is being darkened by his selfishness off the ice. Again, I hope he takes a step back because otherwise he'll get run out of this town quicker than James Dolan can say, "Duh, um, um, I want to, duh, um buy the duh, um, Yankees."

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