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05-08-2004, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Barnaby
So you want LaBarbera to stay in Hartford and have Blackburn, and Lundqvist rot behind him? He's 3-4 years older, and has played in the AHL awhile of course he could be better at first. Plays the best? Do you want to see Mirinov play 20 min a game and Kondratiev go back to Russia? I'm not saying that they shouldn't bring in vets or give anyone a fair shake, but you don't play LaBarbera over Blackburn and Lundvquist because his 2nd-3rd season was very good. Ask any scout who the best goaltender will be out of those three, and I'm willing to bet that none say LaBarbera. I like the guy, but lets be realistic.

That said - Unless Lundqvist plays unbelievable I think he and Blackburn will be in Hartford. I don't think he either guy should start in the NHL. It could be said that there aren't enough games, but Blackburn obviously needs time in the minors, and I doubt Lundqvist will be ready immediately.
My post wasn't directed at you particularly. It was more directed at the rangers culture of playing whoever they feel should play as opposed who deserves to play. Every other team in the league plays the players that play well and sit/bench those that have sucked, not us!!! We play those with the largest paycheck, regardless of results.

If we are "rebuilding" next year, then they should consider BOTH performance and potential in playing time as errors and learning should be considered ok. However, lack of effort (aka Lundmark) should never be excused.

In regards to Labarbera, I can't comment on his potential I have only seen him play twice. As for Lundquist, I have never seen him play. Either way, I don't think it would hurt (given the fact that they are all young players) to play the player who performs the best (i.e. reward results, I know, a new concept for the rangers). And let the two others share a season in the AHL. I know Blackburn could definitely use another season (or a first for that matter) down there, and I'm sure lundquist would benefit as well. COnsequently, I don't think it would be a bad thing to reward Labarbera (assuming he plays well in camp) for being the MVP of the AHL by giving him a shot at sharing time with Dunham, Valiquette or whoever else is brought in. If he shows he is great, we can either trade him, or else keep him and trade lundquist or blackburn.

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