Thread: Recalled/Assigned: Rangers recall Stu Bickel
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12-19-2011, 12:39 PM
NYR Sting
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Originally Posted by nyr2k2 View Post
I was never impressed by Kondratiev, but I was all about Immonen. I really thought he was going to be a player. Still to this day I believe that if he stayed in the States he'd be a productive NHL player. The foot speed was lacking, but he had decent enough size to compensate and had good offensive skills. The last guy that I remember being completely wrong about was Filip Novak.

Anyway, I just don't see it with Valentenko. He's big and strong and has a good shot, but the mobility is just too lacking to ever make an impact at the NHL level. I think he's done in the organization after this season.
But think about Immonen, who I also believe got screwed out of a legitimate potential NHL career. What was the big issue with him? Foot speed. In the 14 games he played, it never seemed like enough of an issue to keep him from playing well. Valentenko hasn't even gotten a shot. He played well in last year's pre-season, and this time, he got one game and was injured. His fault for not disclosing the injury, but that's not a good reason not to give him a real chance. How about they give him at least one call-up at the NHL level when healthy to really know for sure what his deal is? At this point, if they're calling up nobodies like Bickel, it's not going to happen, but that's a mistake in my book, and poor asset management. You don't have to be the fastest skater to be an effective bottom pairing defender.

EDIT: I was also wrong about Dan Girardi. Big time. I remember saying, "David Liffiton (or was it Lampman?) has no business in the NHL, nor does Dan Girardi."
I never though Girardi would be as good as he has been this season, either (although I still think his play is being a little overhyped in traditional Rangers "he's ****ing awesome because we say so" style like they've done with plenty of other players in the past through incessant MSG rhetoric).

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