Rangers Cut Ties With Grachev; Traded for Third Round Pick
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06-27-2011, 12:39 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Sorry in advance for the long post. Grachev was a prospect I had a lot of hopes for, so I felt a need to get this out.
I don't know if I am correct on this, but I thought I read some where that Grachev had some family issues that were behind his decision to go pro when the Rangers tried to convince him to go back to junior. If that is true, I could see why he made that decision. Tough to go against your family. Tough to go against the Original Six team that just drafted you. Tough way to start a business relationship. Tough situation all around.
That decision definitely hurt him. He was clearly over whelmed in the AHL his first season and a half. He finished last season w/some improvement so hopefully that helps things moving forward. But if he had listened to the advice the Rangers had given him to start with, he would have been more prepared for the rigors of the pro game, IMO.
Some folks want to blame Gernander and the guys at Hartford, I don't buy that. Gernander and the staff there have one mission: Get these guys prepared to play in the NHL under a very demanding John Tortorella. We all have some idea of how demanding Tort's would have been on Grachev. If he was having problems playing the way Gernander wanted him to, he would have a tough time even getting a call up. When he did get that call up he made no impact. The minutes he got reflected that again he was not ready. People can say what they want about Tort's, but when a guy does the right thing out on the ice, he'll get his chances. I can't say if Grachev resisted or refused what he was being told to do - but it's clear he was less than effective.
Out side of the last half of this past season, did it seem as if his head was getting into the right place. Prior to that, it seemed to me that Grachev was trying to adjust to the realities of not having the talent around him that could feed him the puck the way he liked to get it. When he played briefly with Stepan, it was clear how much he missed having that sort of talent on a line with him. I think he now gets that being effective in the NHL means being able to generate your own chances. But I think he also probably knew that he had made a negative impression with the organization. He understands that you only get one chance to make an impression on Torts. Good or bad that's the way it is. Maybe sometime after he came back from New York, he decided he needed to make a change and asked for the trade
Any way, that ship has sailed. He got what he asked for and we have a new prospect highly regarded by two of the more respected guys in hockey. I can live with that.
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