By: John Carroll Jr.
New York hockey is about to get interesting as the Rangers prepare to search for a coach and the Islanders, well, that is the issue. With the Stanley Cup playoffs starting this week, it’s not ideal the Rangers are showing more direction than the Islanders.
I understand it is quite petty to always compare the Islanders and Rangers. They are different teams, ran by different people, and their origins are even different markets. But in order to be successful, they must beat each other so the comparison is needed.
As if the Islanders could not alienate their fanbase even more, as if the GM, ownership, and fanbase could not be any further apart, the Rangers are already showing more direction than their fellow New York brethren.
In case you missed it, the Rangers parted ways with their now former head coach, Alain Vigneault. The move is just the beginning of what the Rangers claim to be a full-on rebuild.
They also traded all their aging and expensive veterans during the deadline. Rebuilding is not even the ideal part I am talking about here. That is not even how the Rangers are winning the offseason already. The way the Rangers are winning the offseason over the Islanders is because they are not only showing direction, they are admitting it.
The Rangers sent an open letter to fans saying they were sick of losing in the playoffs and not winning championships and asked the fans to bear with them essentially.
“As you know, since the 2005-06 season, we have been a highly competitive team. We have played 129 playoff games… we didn’t reach our ultimate goal of bringing the Stanley Cup…
As we approach the trade deadline later this month and into the summer, we will be focused on adding young, competitive players that combine speed, skill and character. This may mean we lose some familiar faces, guys we all care about and respect. While this is part of the game, it’s never easy. Our promise to you is that our plans will be guided by our singular commitment: ensuring we are building the foundation for our next Stanley Cup contender”
Above is an excerpt of that letter from February and courtesy of NHL.com. Writing it is a pretty nice thing to do for their fanbase. The Islanders did send one out too. It was after the season and did not answer any questions or even acknowledge any of the teams most glaring questions.
Read the letter, shared through Twitter here.
If you don’t want to read the full thing let me fill you in. The ownership basically said they did not reach their goal of making the Stanley Cup playoffs, which is obvious. They then said they will fix it (which is also obviously what they should do). They continued to talk about the only positive thing they have done which is the new Belmont arena.
However, there is one good thing in the statement. But it is not even what the fans care about right now.
So, yes, by admitting to rebuild and acting on it and informing fans of the process is actually a classy move by the organization. The Islanders just keep saying the cliche things that every bad team does every year. They solved no problems and did not actually tell the fans anything at all.
If both Garth Snow and Doug Weight keep their job this offseason, I’ll be irate. The Rangers were bad and are fixing it. The Islanders were really bad and seem content.
It is not even the offseason yet for 16 teams and the Rangers are miles ahead in progress already.
It is ridiculous but the life of an Islanders fan.