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An Open Letter To The New York Rangers (Debriefing the 2023/24 NHL Season)

Dear New York Rangers,

Why are you, you? Why do you keep tormenting us with your potential and talent all just to throw it all away? One of the best regular season performances that I have ever seen in franchise history and winning the President's Trophy, but they can't get the job done.

Why do you always fall apart at the worst possible time? Look at all of the talent that this team had this year. How the heck did this team choke in the third round and play down to competition? Heck, your Bottom 6 was outplaying the Top 6 through this entire series. This team was just checked out and it is not even a coaching problem, because Laviolette is a clear upgrade over Gerard Gallant.

What the heck happened to Mika Zibanejad and Artemi Panarin? Both had John Cena Syndrome because I could barely see them when there playing. They were invisible through this series which is unlike both of them. They were getting outplayed by Barclay Goodrow who looked cooked through most of the regular season. it was so frustrating to watch to the point where I had to spend money to put missing ads on milk cartons.

Dear Kappo Kakko, I hate to say this because I was a big fan of you when you were drafted here, but it is time for a change of scenery. This man will not work here long term as a NY Ranger with how inconsistent he has been throughout his tenure. Just look at how he has played in the playoffs and that is a clear-cut case. I always thought that coaching was the issue, but that has not been the case.

Dear Chris Kreider, sorry the Rangers couldn't get you a cup again. You deserve a lot more carrying this franchise past the Carolina Hurricanes in the playoffs and the Rangers coming up short every year.

Dear Igor Shesterkin you deserved a straight-up apology from your teammates and the coaching staff for wasting such amazing performances. Heck, you even kept carrying them to the same level that Henrik Lundqvist did when he was a Ranger. Shesterkin did everything he could to keep the Rangers from raising Lord Stanley, but he was heavily over-relied on.

Dear Jacob Trouba, What the heck happened to you? You were once one of the top and most reliable defensemen on this team and you have turned into one of the dirtiest players of the game. Constant stupid penalties as well as how much he has declined have not helped things either. He has been more of a liability than a benefit on this squad. The worst part is that Trouba has one of the worst contracts on this team and has a modified no-trade clause.

It's not just Trouba that I am pointing out issues with, but the entire defense was super sloppy. The only defenseman that was playing well was Adam Fox who was not even 100% this series. Why were the defensive lines not restructured, what killed this team was inconsistent defensive play.

Dear Blake Wheeler, I miss the Winnipeg Jets version of you, but I never want to see you as a Ranger ever again. This guy is cooked with a capital c, and I don't understand why the Rangers thought it was a good idea to give him more minutes than Matt Rempe in this series. Especially as it is clear the dude was nowhere near healthy enough to step back on the ice.

The funny part is I expected this the moment they won against the Hurricanes in the 2nd Round. They were about to blow that game up into a reverse sweep, but the Hurricanes choked it away. I knew it was not going to be an easy one against the Florida Panthers, but this team just did not have enough gas.

This feels like a tremendous, wasted opportunity and the best chance that this franchise has had in a while with this core.

Is this the full end of the New York Rangers? Nope. They still have plenty of prospects in their farm system they should be fine in the next few years. Many are hyping up Brennan Othmann, but I can't wait to see Gabriel Perrault eventually get called up because of how dominant he was in the NCAA.

While this season was flat I just want to end by thanking Chris Drury and Peter Laviolette. I know these men are going to be heavily tormented for this ending, but they have been important figures in building this team to have one of the best regular seasons I have seen in a while.

Drury did what he could during the deadline to build the team up, but it is tough trying to make a trade when your 1st round pick this season was labeled untradeable. That was mainly due to James Dolan owning the sphere and wanting his team on the sphere for round 1.

I still trust him to fix this team and improve upon it in the future. My advice to him is to play it smart, fix the defense, and bolster the depth of this team.

Sincerely, a fan of hockey


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