Aug 21, 2000
The New York Rangers made a big mistake when they traded away their long time resident enforcer Darren Langdon to the Carolina Hurricanes. The former Ranger and native of Newfoundland had spent his entire career up to date in New York offering to the Blue Shirts a wealth of toughness, leadership, and team play. Langer had always been greatly admired by his teammates who appreciated his protection and work ethic that he shared with them every game. Twice in his six year stint with the Rangers, Langdon won the team's Players' Player Award thus proving his importance to the organization, a fact that General Manager Glen Sather was obviously not aware of. Langdon was traded along with gritty veteran Rob Dimaio in exchange for heavyweight Sandy McCarthy and a future fourth round draft pick.
Don't get me wrong, Sandy McCarthy is no slouch when it comes to the fighting aspect of hockey. McCarthy who is currently involved in a tight race with Edmonton's monster Georges Laraque for the heavyweight title in hockey also possesses more hockey skills than Langdon. However Big Sandy will not be half the presence that Darren Langdon was in the Rangers dressing room. With all due respect to Glen Sather, he has blindly gone oblivious to New York's primary weakness. No it is certainly not talent that is missing on the club, its a simple thing called chemistry, something that Langdon helped give to what little was on the team.
After completing the deal, Sather went on to say that McCarthy would help the Rangers fix the club's problem, which is a lack of team toughness. This made me realize how much the new GM of New York must have underrated the fighting capability of Darren Langdon. You think he would have learnt on the opening game of last season when Langdon fought Edmonton Oiler heavyweight Laraque to a draw, a feat that not many fighters can claim to. Darren has been underrated as a fighter his entire career, most likely due to the fact that he does not score many knock out's. However this guy has fought and defeated the best in the business including Bob Probert, Chris Simon, Donald Brashear, and Gino Odjick (knock out). Darren Langdon is the smartest fighter in the National Hockey League. He is outsized in almost every fight but uses his intelligence to come out on top. His stamina is also amazing; ask Marty McSorley who was involved in one of the longest scraps of the decade with Darren.
Although the New York Rangers might have obtained the league's heavyweight Champion in Sandy McCarthy on August the fourth, I still think that Glen Sather made his first mistake as General Manager of the club. However the Ranger's loss is the Hurricane's gain.
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