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While many Rangers fans are celebrating today’s news of DeAngelo being placed on waivers, this issue goes to a much larger problem with the team. The Rangers struggles so far in this young season are evident, defensive woes, poor goaltending, and some of the key vets not showing up.
The Rangers decided to open this season without naming a captain to the chagrin of many fans but it was a move that I didn’t mind. If you don’t believe that you have “the guy” then it is never a bad idea to have a leadership by committee which is the approach the organization went with.
The most glaring issue here is that there really doesn’t seem to be a lot of leadership right now on the Rangers. This whole debacle with DeAngelo highlights this more than ever.
The whole situation with DeAngelo and Georgiev that transpired after the Rangers Saturday night OT loss against the Pens. With the rumor circulating that Chris Kreider stepped in to set DeAngelo straight after the issue with Georgie, it’s still a situation that should not have occurred in the first place. Players are naturally frustrated with how the season has started and DeAngelo most notably is frustrated with how his play has suffered to start the year and a loss last night will definitely cause players to be annoyed.
But to have players fighting each other after a loss is absolutely inexcusable. With that said, this does not appear to be a singular incident that blows up in the heat of the moment. It feels more like a final outburst in a potential series of issues more than what is known that finally culminated in the scrum last night.
This is something that would be unfathomable with players like Dan Girardi, Brad Richards, Ryan Callahan, Marc Staal, Rick Nash, Marty St. Louis etc…While this incident is certainly on the current leadership core it also falls right in the laps of the coaches and front office.
David Quinn and his staff most certainly share a big part of blame in this situation that has unfolded. As a coach how do you not have the pulse of your locker room that there are frustrations that are about to boil over? While many fans criticized Alain Vigneault, and rightfully so, we never saw anything like this unfold with him at the helm. This is the kind of situation that coupled with the play of the team on the ice that can get start getting the temperature up on Quinn’s coaching future in New York.
This is just one of those situations that a team doesn’t need especially when they’re struggling to perform on the ice. You do not need or want to have your players having to sit after practice and answer questions about a stupid off the ice incident. This is also not the kind of culture that you want to have your young players having to develop in. While the Rangers took the necessary first step in waiving DeAngelo, the organization now needs to follow up by setting the tone, pardon the pun, that this kind of stuff will not be allowed by this organization. One of the members of this leadership council need to take this negative and turn it into a positive moving forward. If situations like this continue to go unchecked it’s you turn into the Edmonton Oilers or Buffalo Sabres.
With everything leading up to this moment, there appears to be a burning house around the Rangers and its up to the front office to get this straightened out.