Bobby Holik (above, left) returned to MSG last night and had a pair of late goals, including the OT game-winner in Atlanta’s 5-4 decision over the Rangers last night. The New York Daily News’ John Dellapina, perhaps ignoring the fact Holik is wearing another team’s sweater, wonders “what, exactly, did Bobby Holik do to deserve Garden booing?”
He signed a ridiculous contract (five years, $45 million). But nobody forced the Rangers to offer him that kind of money. And do New Yorkers really resent somebody hitting the lottery — or at least being fortunate enough to hit the open market at precisely the right time — the way folks in other NHL outposts seem to? I never thought so, but apparently we do.
Was he outspoken and critical of the team? Absolutely. But he had always been precisely that as a Devil. So the Rangers knew exactly what they were getting. Besides, he was usually right on in his criticisms — the Rangers WERE œfundamentally, the worst team in hockey when he made that proclamation following the absurd 9-1 thumping at Ottawa in Jaromir Jagr™s Rangers debut on Jan. 24, 2004.
And his reaction that astounding morning when Jim Dolan and Steve Mills wobbled onto the ice in Anaheim during a Rangers practice — he disgustedly stormed to the other end of the ice to pound a puck against the boards in embarrassed frustration — was perfectly appropriate.
Bobby Holik was the least of the Rangers™ problems while he was here and could well have been part of the solution had he been deployed properly. Alas, he was just one more player whose talents were wasted during the Reign of Error from 1998-2004. And now, he gets booed for it as well.