About those meaningless points the Rangers picked up in April
Our very own contributor, James is a passionate Rangers fan. Heck, at times he’s the most passionate fan I have ever come across. From the moment he joined our staff he has had one wish, tanking. It’s easy to understand the outrage of fans seeing their team lose in overtime. It just simply continues to be the incorrect way to rebuild and run an organization.
I fancy a good conversation as much as the next person. However, I am one that is very strong in their opinions. Rewind the clock a year and I have echoed a sentiment since. It’s not the players or coaches responsibility to tank. It literally is the opposite of their job description. Just like it’s against my belief to not bring up the fact that I was right after the Rangers moved up to the second overall pick.
The New York Rangers lost an astounding 14 games in overtime/shootout. The negatives about these 14 games should have been about the lack of talent, a missed call, a shot off the post etc. Instead in a whirlwind of raw emotion, it quickly became about draft position.
There was legitimate belief that when the dust settled the New York Rangers would feel the effect of fighting until the last game. There was a general consensus that these loser points would set the rebuild back YEARS. Being a fan is hard enough to explain, being a fan but then wanting to fail? The loser point, especially in the Rangers case, signifies a team that fought hard for 60 minutes and fell short. Their reward? A meaningless point.
The entire season the Rangers played hard for their new coach. Between the lack of success on the ice, the deadline subtractions and a fan base begging to see better lottery odds; David Quinn was faced with an uphill battle. Quinn was darned if he did and if he didn’t. Yet, every game the coach and his players were in it to win. That culture is what changes a franchise. Instead of fans thinking “imagine if we had an elite talent” it was instead shunned for being a meaningless point.
Another Meaningless Point
As the minutes go by since the lottery drawing, the excitement grows. The belief is that Finnish stud Kaapo Kakko will be the second pick. Should things change by June, then the Rangers could end up with Jack Hughes (unlikely). However, it would be a huge contradiction to not build on another belief. You never know.
The hope is that whomever the Rangers pick, will be the best player in the draft. Hell, the best player of all time. However, we’ve seen high picks not pan out as planned and we’ve seen players that fell drastically become superstars, Nikita Kucherov & Johnny Gadreau to name a few. The key is not always where you select, but making sure you hit on the selection. Granted the second pick in this two player draft definitely has a better ring than last year. Yet the (meaningless) point still remains.
All Signs Point to the End
During break up day Jeff Gorton mentioned the prospect of accelerating the rebuild. With this extremely unlikely bump in draft spots, the team can absolutely look to make impactful moves this summer. Does this mean that JG and Co. would have turned a blind eye if they were drafting later? Not necessarily, but it definitely shows that things are going according to plan for the rebuild. This might be meaningless to point out, but the acceleration can begin.
Points to Remember
Sometimes losing is actually better for the future. Anyone who is pro-tank might be cheering to read that opening line. However picking second is the best case scenario for the Rangers. Losing stinks (usually) however it seems to have been just what the doctor ordered.
For the first time in recent memory there was pure euphoria on the old twitter dot com. Of course that will change shortly once things unfold with other potential Rangers picks. Which will then lead to the undoubtable hostility that will bring many more evergreen tweets.
As meaningless as each point may seem. You get rewarded, not punished for doing the right thing. That Kakko-Zibanejad-Fast first line about to win the 2020 (fake year) Cup and I am ready for it! Start the parade folks. MEANINGLESS POINTS IN APRIL BUILD CHAMPIONSHIPS.