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Thread: My Road Map for Becoming a Contender

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    My Road Map for Becoming a Contender

    The Rangers have been a contender really for three periods during my 51 years following them: late-sixties through early seventies; early nineties through mid nineties; and early 2010s through mid 2010s. How did they get to be a contender in these three periods? Each time it came [I]largely[I]as a function of two or three incredibly fortuitous and perhaps downright lucky player moves that even the best GM may not be able to replicate:

    First contender period: It was a different world and the Rangers had a number of good players from the pre-draft world, but there were three moves that put them over the top. The first was the Cat's masterpiece trade of a star immediately before he started declining (Bathgate) for Seiling, Nevin and Brown. The second was trading a used puck bag for a veteran minor league goalie, Giacomin, and having him become an HOFer. The third was snatching an 18 year old 5-8 undersized defenseman, Brad Park, who Toronto did not see fit to even put on the protected list for their junior team, the Toronto Marlboros. Park grew 4 inches after age 18. Talk about luck. It was the equivalent of getting an HOFer off the waiver wire today.

    Second contender period. First, have a GM's last act before being fired be drafting a future HOFer in Leetch 9th overall, which was then a mid round pick. Then buy a superstar in Messier who is coming off an injury riddled year and is thought to have a lot of wear at 30, but turns out to have gas in the tank. Then sign a fee agent fourth line grinder in Graves for $500,000 and have his name end up in the rafters.

    Third contender period. First, draft a future HOF goalie in the 7th round as an afterthought. Second, hoodwink a GM into taking an unmoveable player in Gomez and give up his top rated prospect in the process. The prospect becomes a star, and the cap space turns into Gaborik and then Brassard.

    I guess my point is sobering. In a thirty-two team league, you sort of need a lot of luck in addition to an astute GM to contend, and even then, you may not win a cup. So I suppose I don't have a road map to becoming a contender!
    Last edited by Sod16; 01-05-2019 at 11:19 PM.

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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o..._Cup_champions

    Stanley Cup Finals appearances by original 6 franchises. I added red to Stanley Cup winners, any mistakes are my fault.

    Apps Team Wins Losses Win % Years of appearance (in Stanley Cup Finals)
    34 Montreal Canadiens 24 9 .727 1916, 1917, 1919 [a], 1924, 1925, 1930, 1931, 1944, 1946, 1947, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1986, 1989, 1993
    24 Detroit Red Wings 11 13 .458 1934, 1936, 1937, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1945, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1966, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2008, 2009
    21 Toronto Maple Leafs 13 8 .619 1918, 1922, 1932, 1933, 1935, 1936, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1942, 1945, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1951, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1967
    19 Boston Bruins 6 13 .316 1927, 1929, 1930, 1939, 1941, 1943, 1946, 1953, 1957, 1958, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1977, 1978, 1988, 1990, 2011, 2013
    13 Chicago Blackhawks 6 7 .462 1931, 1934, 1938, 1944, 1961, 1962, 1965, 1971, 1973, 1992, 2010, 2013, 2015
    11 New York Rangers 4 7 .364 1928, 1929, 1932, 1933, 1937, 1940, 1950, 1972, 1979, 1994, 2014

    New York is one of the great destination cities of not only the U.S., but the world. Contrasting the Rangers to the other Original 6 franchises, it's stunning how poorly we compare. Every other original 6 team had at least one period of dominance (multiple stanley cup final appearances and/or championships).

    I have to point the finger at the management/ownership of the team, for failing to build a consistent contender during any era since the 1930s.

    We should be stealing management people from other successful organizations, or otherwise figure out what ingredients we have been missing to build a consistent contender. Patience, identifying talented young players, and developing young players are key to building a consistent contender. Acquiring players past their prime is a recipe for short term success (it pushed us to the Cup in 1994)... but in today's NHL you probably get a 4-5 year window when you have a great team and have a chance to win Cups. After 4-5 years, key players age, or want to have a bigger role in a different team, etc.

    So this year, I'm rooting for Toronto to win Canada's first Stanley Cup since 1993. And I'm hoping that Rangers management has a 5 year plan to build a consistent contender. Rebuilding on the fly simply doesn't work... you are hoping for a 'lucky' year where everything goes right and you win the Cup. We need a consistent Stanley Cup contender. We've been waiting since the Rangers were born.
    "We're all f*cked. It helps to remember that." - George Carlin

    "How many Cups you've got?" - Esa Tikkanen

    "Hatred can keep you warm when you run out of liquor" - Ray Ratto, Dan Patrick show 1/20/2017

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    I don't see a roadmap in the OP though...A roadmap is a future plan...What's the plan?

    My plan is simple, doesn't mean they can do it, but it's simple.

    Draft well.
    Jettison dead weight.
    Don't commit long term contracts to anyone 28+ (6 years, max)
    Make smart UFA signings to support/supplement, not to be key players.
    Coach well.

    That should net you a solid team in a parity league.

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    The point of the PP is to illustrate that you need an immense amount of luck to rebuild. Successfully and I think he's bang on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dunny View Post
    The point of the PP is to illustrate that you need an immense amount of luck to rebuild. Successfully and I think he's bang on.
    The premises are non-starter when you are comparing three different eras of hockey.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dunny View Post
    The point of the PP is to illustrate that you need an immense amount of luck to rebuild. Successfully and I think he's bang on.
    I mean, kind of. The ears are completely different, but I'd imagine there's a common thread among Cup-winners over the vast span he covered. My guess is most, if not all, drafted a superstar near the top of the draft, or acquired one taken there.
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    Problem is always going to be whether MSG and a fan base in a big market can tolerate being bad for a few seasons, likely followed by some missteps. \

    Not sure what ever building an NHL team was in the 6 team 1930s has any application today.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bugg View Post
    Problem is always going to be whether MSG and a fan base in a big market can tolerate being bad for a few seasons, likely followed by some missteps. \

    Not sure what ever building an NHL team was in the 6 team 1930s has any application today.
    And this forum is a shining example of why there'll never be a true rebuild.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bugg View Post
    Problem is always going to be whether MSG and a fan base in a big market can tolerate being bad for a few seasons, likely followed by some missteps. \

    Not sure what ever building an NHL team was in the 6 team 1930s has any application today.
    I think Toronto tolerated it just fine. *

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    Roadmap has to begin with drafting well. In the cap era, you need to suck (which we do) but you need to follow that up with good drafting. Your star players need to be drafted, not purchased. It's the only way you'll have any window of cap flexibility.

    So they need to have another 3-4 1st round picks this year and they need to finish low enough to draft a player who you can build around (Hughes / Kakko). It has to start there. You can't build around Kevin Hayes because by the time the team is decent, he's already on the decline. You need to do what the Avs are currently doing. What the Pens have done. What the Hawks have done. What the Caps have done: DRAFT WELL AND BUILD AROUND A HOME GROWN STAR.

    Oh, and don't pay your goalie 7 million dollars. Mediocre goaltending is fine.
    GORTON 2020

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    I doubt we pay a goalie that kind of dough going forward. It’s apparent that $$$ alone won’t save your way to a Cup.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fletch View Post

    I have to point the finger at the management/ownership of the team, for failing to build a consistent contender during any era since the 1930s.
    EXACTLY and I'll go one further. I don't think management/ownership truly cares about winning a championship. Why put in the work building a championship team when the team makes money hand over fist in spite of themselves.
    A very willful boy. A rather.......naughty boy, if I may be so bold.

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    Like it or not they are going to be bad for some time. Might as well build it right through the draft and wait in signing big ufas when the core is in place. The fan base really has no choice now. The team is bad, quick fixes only extends the time it takes takes to establish a consistent contender.

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    I suppose the good news is that Gorton seems to have the right idea about doing it properly.
    Whether he has the skill, smarts and right people around him to make it work remains to be seen.
    But at least, for the first time in forever, there’s a GM on broadway who is committed to an actual rebuild.

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    Let’s hope the smarts have improved. They don’t need to draft ‘NHL Ready’ prospects who 18 months later aren’t ‘NHL ready’.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by JOHN View Post
    I think Toronto tolerated it just fine. *
    So did Chicago

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    Quote Originally Posted by Costa View Post
    EXACTLY and I'll go one further. I don't think management/ownership truly cares about winning a championship. Why put in the work building a championship team when the team makes money hand over fist in spite of themselves.
    Glossing over the fact that this team was a contender for basically 5 straight seasons...

    ...no management/ownership group cares about winning in professional sports. Franchise owners care about winning insofar as it means more revenue. That's it. None of them would willingly go into the Red to win a championship.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Costa View Post
    EXACTLY and I'll go one further. I don't think management/ownership truly cares about winning a championship. Why put in the work building a championship team when the team makes money hand over fist in spite of themselves.
    Stop.

    The team makes a ton of money on playoff revenue, and it’s been a consistent contender for most of the “new” NHL. This isn’t even tin foil hat, it’s just plain not factual.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Costa View Post
    EXACTLY and I'll go one further. I don't think management/ownership truly cares about winning a championship. Why put in the work building a championship team when the team makes money hand over fist in spite of themselves.
    Championships bring notoriety. Notoriety brings money. Look at the Pats. Or the Yankees. Or Manchester United. Every owner/management group dreams of that scenario.
    GORTON 2020

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    Imperative they draft well especially in this upcoming draft. If Tampa keeps on playing the way they are 15-1-1 in the last 17, Cup favorites as of now, the Rangers get their 1st round pick. Could potentially have another 3+ 1st rounders in this draft (assuming they can grab a 1st rounder for Hayes, Zucc + package).

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