Monday, November 20, 2006

Leadership Award Tears Open Wound?

1) ) The recent awarding of the silly 'Messier Leadership Award' to Brenden Shanahan has apparently made the simmering feud between Jagr and the European contingent on the Rangers, and Shanny and the North Americans, a bit more out in the open.
2) Last season,despite not being the official captain, there was little doubt who the leader was. JJ was the defacto captain both on and off the ice. Being that there was no North American with any significant profile, and the line up was dominated by Czechs/Europeans, there was little apparent problem.
3) With the inking of Brendan Shanahan, along with Cullen and Ward the Rangers changed the make up of their team to an apparent small degree, but with the addition of Shanahan, they also added someone who was used to/comfortable being a leader.
4) Our sources close to the team tells FAUXRUMORS that there was almost instant resentment from Jagr. Players(even many Euros) naturally gravitated towards the affable former Red Wing. The Ranger brass sensing this decided to try to assuage their cranky Czech by making him the captain. Were told this didn't do the trick.
5) Though the two seem to have decent on ice chemistry; working well on the PP unit together, we're told that they almost never converse in the locker room, and never away from the rink. There was almost an uneasy feeling among many teammates. Then last week when the inane award was given to Shanahan, despite JJ leading the league in points. Jagr was enraged. Not directly to Brendan, or management, but one of our sources who speaks Czech said he over heard JJ say some very unflattering things about his fellow 600 goal club team mate.
6) How this will all play out remains to be seen. Its any one's guess if this is partly responsible for the slower start to the Ranger's season. What is likely is that Jagr will be more likely to threaten retirement after this season if Shanahan(on a one year deal) is brought back next season As always we will stay on top of this an all other developments as they occur

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