With a busy off-season ahead, the Rangers brass, led by President and General Manager Glen Sather, Vice President of Player Personnel and Assistant General Manager Don Maloney and Director of Player Personnel Tom Renney, has gathered in Palm Springs, California for their annual spring scouting meetings this week. Topics of discussion will certainly touch upon the vacant head coaching position, the upcoming NHL Entry Draft, impending free agency, Blueshirt amateur prospects and other team-related items.
With the 2002 NHL Entry Draft quickly approaching (June 22-23 in Toronto), the amateur scouting staff is hard at work reviewing an entire season's worth of player information that has been collected from time spent in thousands of rinks across North America and Europe. The Rangers amateur scouting staff consists of Rich Brown, Ray Clearwater, Andre Beaulieu, Jan Gajdosik, Ernie Gare, Martin Madden, Jr., Christer Rockstrom, Bob Crocker and Jamie McDonald.
"The hope for the week is to identify prospective Rangers prospects," said Renney. "The desire is not to marry ourselves to the popular opinion, but instead to take a look at those players who exhibit the Rangers traits we had established prior to the 2001 NHL Draft. We know what we want to play with in three to five years and this year's draft will be another step in providing Rangers fans with a team that they will be extremely proud to support in the years to come. This week will see the amateur scouting staff going over every draft eligible player with a fine-toothed comb, to ensure we do not compromise these very important Rangers traits."
Meanwhile, the club's professional scouting staff, consisting of Dave Brown, Harry Howell, Gilles Leger, Brad Park and Shanon Sather, is reviewing their season's worth of player notes from countless hours spent in arenas across North America, spanning the National Hockey League, the American Hockey League and the East Coast Hockey League. The group will discuss the current Rangers roster as well as players who might be available via trade or free agency.
While the Entry Draft and impending free agency seem light years away, it is this type of planning and preparation that will arm the Rangers with the necessary information to move the organization successfully into the future.