It always hurts when you can't land the big free agent... Just ask Islander Fans! For years they have been suffering while big free agents sign somewhere else. The only thing more frustrating is being a Florida Marlins fan! They not only can't land free agents, they lose all of theirs to other teams! Enter the New York Rangers, who to begin with are in rare territory. After openly admitting to their fans that they were going to start a lengthy rebuild, (Which I admired and praised and couldn't understand why people criticized them... Like the Rangers can't rebuild ever... They're eternally supposed to just buy their team? That makes no sense!) they were in the position of being patient and not tempted by the glitz and glamour of grabbing the big headlines by landing the big fish free agent! But they did it anyway! Why?
Its coming to light that the Knicks absolute and utter failure to land a big name free agent led to ownership putting pressure on the Rangers front office to land Panarin! Now, our feeling on Panarin was that because of his wife, the big apple was always the apple of his eye. The Islanders offer was tempting... The last minute Columbus offer was flattering... But when you get down to it... You know where you want to live and work and for the Panarin family that was midtown Manhattan. But, you can't deny that the Knicks embarrassment of losing out on Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving triggered James Dolan and the MSG company to the fact that they couldn't lose out on a 3rd free agent in Panarin!
The Knicks' inability to land Durant, or anyone for that matter, sent shares of the team's parent company sliding as much as 3.4% on Monday. That wiped out as much as $229 million of market value from the stock. Thats a lot.
Needless to say this company could not afford to lose out on another free agent... Let alone to their crosstown rival Islanders. Could you imagine what those headlines would have said?
So its not like James Dolan forced Jeff Gorton to sign Panarin... In fact Panarin took less money (reportedly) than what the Isles and Blue Jackets were offering! So kudos to Gorton for not only getting the deal done, but for making a good deal! But I'm sure, at some point, through some communication, James told the Rangers brass to make sure this gets done. "MSG lose third straight free agent to crosstown rivals," is not the headline MSG stock holders wanted to wake up to... I can't imagine how much more market share they would have lost.
But what is the Knicks misfortune is the Rangers gain. In this short off season they've brought back John Davidson to steer this ship. They made a value trade for Jacob Trouba, bolstering their defense. They landed the big free agent, drafted Kaapo Kakko and trimmed their fat by getting rid of Jimmy Vescey. Plain and simple the Rangers are off to a great start this off season, despite their roommates utter failure!