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THE DAY JIM DOLAN ACKNOWLEDGED US - The Epic Story of How Ranger Fans' Hopes For a Better Future, Were Crushed With One, Single Sentence

By Tony "I'm Crying For Your Attention Jimmy Pooh!!" Grater
February 5, 2010

It’s such an epic sounding title, isn’t it? Similar to “The Day the Earth Stood Still”, or “The Thing That Should Not Be". I never saw the former, which was a 1951 film (and actually remade in 2008), but the latter, a song by Metallica, I have heard. The titles of both the movie and the song alone, draw you in. Just hearing them, you get the sense that you’re going to see or hear some incredible story, one that will fill you with many different emotions, or at the very least, just make you think.

Unfortunately, for Rangers fans, the only thing the title of this article will do is depress you, and probably make you very angry.

But yes, there was a time, a day, a moment, when James L. Dolan, CEO of Cablevision, Owner and Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler of Madison Square Garden, and all its dwellers, acknowledged the existence of the New York Rangers. It was the one and only time, that I have any knowledge of this Master of Destruction, this ruiner of lives, doing such a thing.

And it went something like this:

"I'm not firing Glen Sather," Dolan said. "I fully expect Glen will remain the general manager beyond this season."

This was back in the 2003-2004 season, when the Rangers were on their way to a seventh straight season, without making the Stanley Cup playoffs, and the Garden Faithful were screaming "Fire Sather!" at the top of their lungs, game in, game out. Painful loss, after painful loss. According to the article I found on the internet, "Dolan felt the need to back Sather after the chants became regular features at home games".

Well gee, thanks Jim. For acknowledging we exist, that is. Up until then, I didn't think you even realized you owned a hockey team.

Thanks for destroying the franchise, right then and there, also.

So, here we are 6 years later, and Glen Sather is still the General Manager of this hockey team. And what has he accomplished? Well, since Master Dolan made that proclamation in the last season before the lockout, the Rangers have managed to make the playoffs 4 seasons in a row. Even went to the 2nd round twice, and have now have a young nucleus of Henrik Lundqvist, Marc Staal, Michael Del Zotto, Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan, plus a super star scorer, in Marian Gaborik. And with a salary cap in place because of that lockout, the Rangers cannot spend over a certain amount each season. Everything sounds great in Rangerland, doesn’t it? Clearly, the dicta...I mean owner, made the right choice during that one and only time he acknowledged our existence, in maintaining the beleaguered General Manager, right?

RIGHT??

Oh wait, I'm sorry…here comes the reality truck barreling down the highway of "Think Again Suckers!"...LOOKOUT!!

*SCREEEEEEECHH* *CRASH!!!*

Anyone with even a shred of knowledge on the Rangers, knows this is not even close to being true. The Rangers struggle almost every season to make the playoffs, have brutal stretches during the season where they can’t score, can’t stop the opposition from scoring, and display no toughness, no team chemistry, and NO effort game in, game out. Only when it becomes desperation time, do they start playing like a team, and usually have to have a fantastic finish just to sneak as the bottom 2 or 3 playoff seeds. I suppose one could look at the glass half full, and say, “Hey back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, the Rangers didn’t even do THAT.” And indeed, this much is true. Back in those days, when it became desperation time, the Rangers would fold like the cheapest of cheap suits, and miss the playoffs. So yeah, they haven't done that since the lockout..yet.

Big freaking deal.

Is that a reason to retain a GM, who clearly has no interest in the long term future of this team? That STILL continues to give out one bad contract, after the next? Wade Redden, Michael Rosival, Chris Drury, Scott Gomez (who thankfully, is no longer a problem)...need I go on? 3 of these 4 contracts have basically put this team in salary cap hell and, despite the young nucleus I mentioned, has put this team in a position to where they cannot make themselves better. Marian Gaborik and Henrik Lundqvist are the only ones making a high salary right now that deserve it. The rest of them? Please. My dead grandmother could play better defense then Rosival and Redden, and Drury is clearly past his prime. And what about Brashear? That joke of an enforcer, making $1.5 million, and who has to be benched every night, for the simple fact that I have NEVER seen him win a fight! Avery is not the same spark plug that he was when the Rangers first traded for him, and Dubinsky and Callahan, have been maddeningly inconsistent at times. How much can Gaborik, Lundqvist and Vinny Prospal do?

And as far as Tortorella goes, he has not energized this team the way everyone hoped he would when he replaced Tom Renney, late last season. Maybe he doesn’t have the right players, but for the love of humanity, he doesn’t have an AHL team out there! And everyone can say what they want about Renney, but for almost 4 seasons, he found ways to get this team to respond, when it WAS desperation time. Does anyone have any hope that Tortorella will be able to do that in the last few games before the Olympic break, and last month of the season, following it?

The bottom line is this organization is not much better off then they were 6 years ago, when Dolan actually acknowledged, for the one and only time that I’ve ever seen, that he owns a hockey team here in New York. And in that one brutal sentence, he set them back even more then he did, when Sather was first brought on board to “fix” Neil Smith’s mess. And if I may ask, what exactly has he fixed? He's been here, 10 years, and has won TWO playoff rounds. What, because he was forced after the lockout to finally allow some talent to develop, that gives him a pass for the way he almost single-handedly drove the franchise into the ground before it?? And from the way he’s trying to do it now?? When is this fat, goateed, guitar playing douche bag of an owner going to finally open up his eyes and realize that Glen Sather needs to be FIRED?? IMMEDIATELY!!!!

It is time for Rangers fans to have their voices heard. And to get the attention of the man who owns this franchise, but hasn’t acknowledged it for 6 years. So join us Ranger fans, on March 7th at 5 pm, on the steps outside Madison Square Garden, for the “FIRE SATHER RALLY”. Details can be found on the Facebook page. Sign the petition, buy a T-shirt, and most importantly, TELL YOUR FRIENDS!

And who knows? If we’re lucky, we might actually get our clueless owner to acknowledge the fact that New York Rangers exist, for the second time ever! I'm getting goosebumps just thinking of it!

Well, not really.

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