Thursday, July 23, 2009

At the Center of All Our Troubles

If there is one over-arching irony to this Ranger offseason it is this:

(Editor - what is an over-arching irony? Come on Dave Pucks, speak regular for the people)

Sorry. Over-arching means, like, a big common theme. And Irony, of course, means a double-back twist of fate.

So here's what I meant:

The Rangers did a great thing in getting rid of Scott Gomez. Scotty basically did one thing - and did it very very well. As a Centerman he would gain possession of the puck - keep possession of the puck - get the puck in the offensive zone and then deliver it to a shooter. In that way he was almost like a point guard. It's a big deal.

Unless you're last year's Rangers. Because on last year's Rangers - there were no shooters. And so Gomez' talents were wasted. After getting the puck into enemy ice - he had no one to pass to.
Scotty's gifts were completely wasted here. And at nearly 7.5 million a year he was a huge lump of our salary cap. So getting rid of him was a master stroke for Sather. And dumping Gomez feed up enough fund for our second great offseason move: getting Marian Gaborik.

When he's healthy, Gaborik scores more than a goal every two games. He's a huge boost for our anemic scoring - and in one move changes the Rangers from "can't score" to "yes we can".

But here's the thing:

To be effective Gaborik needs to roam around the offensive zone and get himself open. And that requires a center who can gain possession, bring the puck into the enemy zone, and find the open man.

Do the Rangers have anyone like that?

We used to. A guy named Scott Gomez.

So that's the over arching irony. We had to give up the possession-passing guy to get the shooter. And now we need someone to get our shooter the puck.

Getting Gaborik the puck is at the center of our difficulties right now. And tomorrow we'll talk about how the Rangers are trying to solve it.

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