New York Rangers: Letter to fans signals the end of an era

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 06: Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist
GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 06: Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist /

The New York Rangers organization released a letter to fans declaring they will be looking to the future and are preparing for a full rebuild.

After 129 playoff games accompanied by the mornings of waking up with no voice, the nights of shedding tears of joy and sadness and hearing the old saying “there’s always next year”, the time has come and our window is being shut by the hand of the front office.

The word is now official in that the days of dreaming for spring are over. The goal of achieving a Stanley Cup that has been a work in progress for over a decade has been postponed and the focus has turned to tomorrow’s era in the New York Rangers timeline.

General Manager Jeff Gorton and President Glen Sather released a letter to fans informing them that they will be looking to the team’s future rather than the state of this season.

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The letter seemed to essentially serve the purpose of softening the blow to fans and give them a heads up to be ready for anything come the February 26. trade deadline.

For this to be released and for them to hold a press conference with both Gorton and Sather, it means that big moves are coming and names that we cherish will be packing it up.

The letter even mentions that “familiar faces” will be lost. As I mentioned in a past article, the Rangers have always found a way to keep their structure each off-season while having to shed one key player in doing so.

For this letter to be released it means brace yourselves for multiple big goodbyes.

"As a member of the Blueshirt Faithful, we consider you a part of the New York Rangers family, and always want to ensure we share important news about the organization directly with you. Today, we want to talk to you about the future. As you know, since the 2005-06 season, we have been a highly competitive team. We have played 129 playoff games, won the Presidents’ Trophy, reached the Conference Finals three times, as well as the Stanley Cup Final. While we’re proud of all those accomplishments – we didn’t reach our ultimate goal of bringing the Stanley Cup back to New York.So as we do every season, we have been continuously evaluating our team, looking for areas that can be improved to enhance our chances of winning. We began the process of reshaping our team this past summer, when we traded for assets that we believe will help us in the years to come. 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 & 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’re building the foundation for our next Stanley Cup contender.There are no fans like Rangers fans. You are passionate, loyal and true. You fill The Garden every night, and we always know there will be a strong showing from RangersTown in every building across the League. We do not take your support for granted. We appreciate that you have always stood by us, and we ask you to remain by our side as we undertake this exciting new chapter filled with promise and change.We will keep you informed as this process takes shape. Thank you for the incredible loyalty, pride and respect you show to the New York Rangers, each and every day."

The real tear-jerker in here is how they reference the team being competitive since the 2005-06 season. Anyone want to guess who’s rookie year that was?

Yup. Henrik Lundqvist has been devoting everything he has in him for that long. The Rangers have made the playoffs every single season since then other than one.

2009-10 was the only season in this era that the Rangers have missed the playoffs and that was on game 82 when they lost in a shootout to the Philadelphia Flyers and missed the cut by one point.

Other than that, it has been quite some time since Rangers fans have seen these circumstances. 129 playoff games later and it’s time to throw in the towel.

As much as I would love to see them hold on just for the rest of the season just to give it one last shot before the demolition, this display cannot continue.

This team has scored a total of four goals in the four games since the All-Star break. There is just no offense existent.

The defense has been equally as abysmal while the team has allowed 17 goals in that same span and you can’t blame Lundqvist for any of it. Even if he has been getting pulled it’s because he’s being left to dry.

Gorton began the fire sale with the first move that certainly needed to be made in placing defenseman Brendan Smith on waivers. Smith has been awful this season and the Rangers did everything they could do help him but the time just ran out.

Smith signed a four-year deal worth $17.4 million this offseason and that really came back to bite the Rangers in the behind.

This is an original six franchise with a reputation to protect and we are in New York no less which is no place to be a laughing-stock team. The fans and media will just eat you alive if they haven’t already started.

The Rangers have now dropped seven of their last eight and after the utterly mortifying performance on Wednesday in the 6-1 loss to the Boston Bruins, I can understand why something needed to be said.

It is excruciating as a fan to stand by and watch a tailspin like this because we wish we could do something. However we must remind ourselves that there is nothing we can do to help, all we can do is wait and watch.

Next: Time to say goodbye to the King

So that is just it. We must wait to see what steps will be made in the coming weeks and hope there are better days ahead.

Hey who knows, for those of you that have a “glass half-full” attitude, with 28 games left and still only being three points out, although the playoffs is no longer the focus, like Sather said, it is not out of the question.