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06-09-2004, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by True Blue
there's a BIG difference between saying that this is a rebuilding year and throwing ALL caution to the wind by throwing young players on the ice, wether they are ready or not and playing only 4 vets in a lineup and rebuilding the right way.
To me, the goal is to play hard, develop a system, and develop players. Playoffs are gravy. However, I do not think that the proper way to develop players is to just throw them all into the fire and hope and pray that things work out. You can't just had a top line spot to Prucha. The kid has MAJOR size issues. There's a reason that there is only one St. Loius and only one Gionta. Add to that the fact that he has yet to step a toe onto North American ice. You can't enter a season with Jagr & Holik as the only vets amongst forwards.
You cannot just throw youngsters who are not ready onto the ice at the NHL level. And assigning a top line spot to a Prucha may be just that. NO ONE knows if the kid can handle the league. Personally, I have my doubts and I think that his size will be a major issue. He is TINY. Now, that is not to say that I cannot be wrong. However, not to resign a Rucinsky becuase you are praying that Prucha is can step right into first line duties, is incredibly short-sighted.
There WILL be vets signed. But to me, if the kids ouplay the vets in camp, then let said kids play the top lines and said vets play lower lines. However, if the kids prove not to be ready, then you have viable options to play on your top lines.
On your first point, I never meant to imply that you go with just 4 veterans (and I don't know what I said to give that impression)...if you read one of my previous posts in this thread you'll note that I said the Rangers are almost obligated to sign some UFA's because they wouldn't be able to ice a team.

I also don't think I ever said throw them to the fire, in fact I said the opposite in providing veterans who can providing help by making it easier to succeed. As to throwing players who aren't ready on the ice...again you're putting words in my mouth, there always needs to be some assessment made of whether a player is ready for the big time. As for Prucha getting the top line spot, it may be the right thing it may not...I don't know, I doubt if anyone knows...yet, but I'm not discounting it out of hand.

You have some doubts yourself about whether he'll ever be an NHLer, I do too...but I'm not ready to assign his (or Moore, Wiseman etc) to the AHL in favor of a veteran yet. I'm more inclined to start off with a Prucha or similar near prospect if he shows in camp and preseason that he has something to offer and then worry about back filling later on if I have to.

The problem with the 23 man roster (well one of them anyway) is that it is very difficult to keep veterans on it. It is much easier to move waiver ineligible players up and down and by signing veterans that makes it more likely they'll get the ice time over the prospects.

Fish is offline