Fans’ treatment of waived Glass was sad


Glass Half Full: Tanner Glass celebrates his first goal with Kevin Hayes and Matt Hunwick. AP Photo by Adrian Wyld of The Canadian Press

Glass Half Full: Tanner Glass celebrate a goal last season with teammates Kevin Hayes and Matt Hunwick.
AP Photo by Adrian Wyld of The Canadian Press

Earlier today, the Rangers put forward Tanner Glass on waivers. It was a move expected due to the team boasting more depth. Unlike last season when the 31-year old Glass got into 66 games and participated in all 19 postseason contests, he only appeared in two of the team’s first seven games. He was a healthy scratch the past three.

The writing was on the wall. Even with coach Alain Vigneault opting to keep Glass on the roster following preseason, it was a numbers game. The Rangers weren’t going to keep 14 forwards forever. Especially with Glass carrying a expensive $1.45 million cap hit that squeezed the team’s cap.

When former GM Glen Sather signed him to a three-year contract in the summer of 2014, it was a mistake. One which he made before overpaying for Mike Rupp and Donald Brashear. I’ll refrain from discussing Derek Boogaard. A person gone too soon due to personal demons. There’s a lawsuit from former players against the NHL pertaining to their knowledge on the damage concussions cause. A serious issue the league faces moving forward.

As for Glass, he’s spent nearly a decade playing for five different teams. That includes the Panthers, Canucks who were coached by Vigneault, Jets, Pens and Rangers. He wasn’t a classic tough guy never amassing more than 115 penalty minutes in a season. That coming under Vigneault in ’09-10. He also was part of the team that lost in the Stanley Cup Final to Boston.

As soon as he signed with the Rangers, Twitter exploded. The negative responses to the Glass signing never stopped. I critiqued the move too. I couldn’t understand signing him for three years. But that’s what Sather did. When Glass played most of last season, it was due to the coach. Vigneault used Glass on the fourth line and in a penalty killing role. The same way he was used by Pittsburgh in ’13-14. He played 67 games for them and participated in eight during the postseason. Pens captain Sidney Crosby raved about him. That’s all you need to know about Glass.

Every time Vigneault dressed him, it resulted in ugliness from Ranger fans. Despicable behavior that was child like. In particular, a faction of bloggers who emphasize Corsi. These bloggers push their agenda. The latest target is Dan Girardi, who has struggled thus far. So have Ryan McDonagh and possession favorite Dan Boyle. So much for consistency or emphasizing a consistent body of work over a decade for the Rangers iron man. Granted, Girardi is breaking down from the taxing style he plays. One which unappreciative Corsi bloggers can’t stand. As if he hasn’t been a integral part of the team’s success.

Unfortunately, this is how ugly social media has become. Where we frequently resort to bashing players who sacrifice every day for the good of the team. We’re all guilty of it. That doesn’t make the fans’ treatment of Glass right. He was unfairly blamed for everything. Whenever the Rangers lost last year, the easy target was a “fourth liner” who played a small role.

In the final two home losses to the Lightning in the Eastern Conference Final, the Rangers scored no goals. They were shutout twice. Bigger stars Rick Nash, Martin St. Louis, Chris Kreider, Derek Stepan and Derick Brassard failed to perform. The power play was a disaster. So too was Vigneault’s offensive system that never adjusted to loathsome Tampa coach Jon Cooper’s defensive system that took away the stretch pass and stood up at the blue line.

Henrik Lundqvist also allowed a tough goal to Alex Killorn in the third period. Ondrej Palat added a insurance marker which allowed the Lightning to make history defeating the Rangers at MSG in Game 7.

What’s often forgotten by fan bloggers is that you win and lose as a team. In sports, too often we look for scapegoats. The fact Glass was on the ice for a goal against didn’t make it any easier. In hockey, coaches dictate match-ups. Well, Vigneault was supposed to with the last change at home. In truth, he got out-coached. Something that’s happened to him before in big games.

Just don’t expect fan bloggers to pin it on a successful coach who’s taken the team to a Stanley Cup Final and the Final Four his first two years. This isn’t a knock on Vigneault. He’s a good coach who’s had success in Vancouver and New York. After coming close to winning the Cup twice, he wants to flip the script. It remains to be seen if he’ll get over the hump here on Broadway.

Now, the same faction who are celebrating Glass’ demise won’t have him to kick around anymore. They’ve already moved on to Girardi. A player that lays it on the line nightly. It’s understood that his contract along with Staal’s are albatrosses. They’re getting older and their bodies are breaking down. Along with McDonagh, all three are coming off injuries. Staal and Girardi had surgery. McDonagh a broken foot. It could explain their slow starts.

The Rangers have played seven games. They’re 4-2-1 which is good enough for first place in the Metro Division. There’s 75 remaining. It’s a long season. It would be nice for every person who calls themselves a fan to support every player. It might be time for less Twitter.

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About Derek Felix

Derek Felix is sports blogger whose previous experience included two stints at ESPN as a stat researcher for NHL and WNBA telecasts. The Staten Island native also worked behind the scenes for MSG as a production assistant on New Jersey Devil games. An avid New York sports fan who enjoys covering events, writing, concerts, movies and the outdoors, Derek has scored Berkeley Carroll basketball games since 2006 and provided an outlet for the Park Slope school's student athletes. Hitting Back gives them the publicity they deserve. From players, coaches to administrators, it's a first class program. In his free time, he also attends Ranger games and is a loyal St. John's alum with a sports management degree.
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