Fan confidence in Jeff Gorton is now sky high!

Gorton works the phone at the 2016 draft (NYR)

Gorton works the phone at the 2016 draft (NYR)

Since the Rangers were ousted by the eventual Stanley Cup Champions, Pittsburgh Penguins, fans have been crushing Jeff Gorton. They weren’t wrong for doing so, but it was getting to the point where some wanted him fired.

Let’s face it, he got virtually nothing when he traded Cam Talbot and Carl Hagelin last year at the draft. He traded prospects and picks for a beat up and unproductive Eric Staal at the deadline. And finally he opted to hold onto Keith Yandle although he knew that re-signing him was unlikely. Eventually he traded his rights away to Florida for a measly 6th round pick. Had he moved him at the deadline to a contender, he would’ve gotten a lot more.

Fans Show Lack of Confidence

The Hockey News ran a piece back on July 12th, which showed fan confidence in Gorton and his front office were ranked 26th out of 30. This prompted me to run my own opinion poll the next day, in which 375 NYR fans weighed in and the results were abysmal.

A staggering 53% felt little to no confidence in Jeff Gorton and his front office to get things done. Only 26% felt confident in his abilities to get this team on track. The undecided amount was 21%.

With numbers like that you would think he is running for President.

Then He Made His Moves
NYR sign RFA's (Getty)

NYR sign RFA’s (Getty)

Since that poll ran, the Rangers signed J.T. Miller and Kevin Hayes to bridge deals. Retained Dylan McIlrath for one more year and locked up young power forward, Chris Kreider for 4 years. They also signed Josh Jooris to a 1 year deal to help with 4th line depth and the PK.

In a shocking move, Derick Brassard was traded to Ottawa for Mika Zibanejad who is 6 years younger, makes almost 3M less and produced similar numbers. It certainly wasn’t a popular move, but it completely made sense.

So in less than two weeks time, Gorton retained all 4 RFA’s, added more bottom six depth and got younger at center with more cap space for future moves. This prompted me to run another poll and the change in opinion was seismic.

How Confident Are Fans Now?

On July 25th, I posed the question again and in 2 days nearly 500 people replied. The results are represented in below:

Fan Confidence 7.27.16

Fan Confidence 7.27.16

Initially, fans were only 26% confident in Gorton’s ability to get things done (only 3% were very confident). After 2 weeks and all those moves, 84% of fans now feel confident in Jeff Gorton to improve this team. Fans who are very confident soared to 25.9%, a 22 point jump.

Gorton (NYR)

Gorton (NYR)

So how can opinions change so drastically in less than 2 weeks? What does this tell us? Easy, that sports fans and people in general have NO PATIENCE. We live in an instant gratification society where everyone stomps their feet whenever they don’t get their way.

This is reflected in how we look at our favorite sport’s teams, which is great microcosm view of our society today. It’s okay to get angry or upset when things don’t go well, but sometimes we need to allow time for things to play out. In this case, we needed to give Jeff Gorton some time to make whatever moves were available to him.

I’ve given this advice a few times before as it has aided me tremendously. If you are dealing with a situation that is unpleasant or making you angry, don’t react immediately. Stop. Take a breath. And sit on your hands.

You need to take the emotional factor out of the equation so you can formulate the most effective and appropriate response. Trust me, if you can master it you will go a long way to being successful in business and in life.


Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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