Kasparaitis Stripped of the "A"
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09-30-2006, 03:59 PM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Sin City
Originally Posted by
Truer words never spoken. The examples are countless (Adam Graves, Mike Peca, etc.) Which is why a player either has to adjust his game (pick his physical spots more carefully than he did at say age 23) or perish.
The best example, IMO, is Scott Stevens. Hit everything that moved through his 20s. Changed his game significantly - especially in the regular season - and continued to have a great career through his 30s....
and continued to have the same impact/presence on the ice
, despite counting down on the
of highlight hits.
Is Kasparaitus capable of same? (I'm gathering that your answer is "no".) Will Renney allow him to?
Personally I'm inclined to believe no for several reasons.
Stevens to me was just a far superior defenseman. Even as he aged, he was talented enough to bring more to the table. People remember the nasty checks but what gets overlooked was that the guy also was talented enough to put up 800 some odd NHL points. Same with a guy like Chelios.
I like Kaspar but he's nowhere near that level.
Secondly, I think at some point his size does work against him at this point. Built like a tank, but still just 5'11, Kasparaitis' body has taken a lot of beatings.
Which brings me to my last point and that's injuries. Maybe if he wasn't coming off surgery and there wasn't some injuries the last few years you could say maybe, but at this point I just have to wonder how much all this has taken its toll.
The last two seasons have seen 44 and 67 games respectively and with the style Darius HAS to play to be effective, those totals aren't likely to go up as he gets older. If he averages 56 games at the ages of 31/33 than what does it say following surgery and fastly approaching 34?
Maybe under the right circumstances but at this point you might argue that Baranka's the better defenseman now or at the very least will be by the end of the season. You might even say Pock, with what he brings, gives the Rangers something more from the #7 spot.
What hurts Darius in this situation is WHO the Rangers have in their system. You've got Pock (who my own personal feelings aside has shown he deserves a lookas a #7 defenseman) and you've got a solid camp from Baranka. Factor in that you've got Staal in the system, Sauer, Sanguinetti and others and you can understand the thought process that now might be the last chance to really get "something" by trading Kasparitis. I don't think he's done, but my gut tells me he is entering the home stretch of his career.
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