Here in New York, there’s an interesting undercurrent to the New York Rangers. The papers are hinting at a bit of a revolt in the organization, with Brendan Shanahan expressing some displeasure at the team’s lack of grit and straightforward hockey. Interestingly, in most of the newspaper blogs, Shanahan’s anger is a lot more explicit (here, too).
Basically, coach Tom Renney has continued to defer to Jaromir Jagr, even when Jagr’s preferences don’t seem to be working. For instance, the Rangers haven’t really used Matt Cullen on the point of their powerplay (or even on the first unit), despite the fact he was so effective in that role for Carolina. As Shanahan implies, Cullen may night be on the first unit because that first unit is only looking to get Jagr the puck along the halfboards, not shoot it and look for rebounds.
Another reason for Shanahan’s comments is that he’s never really had a center who could get him the puck, and rather than try and develop someone into that role, the Rangers have just given Shanahan a parade of centers (and might even bring in Peter Forsberg for him; this after trying to claim Petr Nedved from the Flyers).
So while it might not be obvious to casual NHL fans, the wheels definitely seem to be coming off the Rangers bus. One effective line plus one increasingly angry superstar equals big trouble.