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Evgeny Grachev traded to STL for pick #72

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Old
06-26-2011, 01:24 PM
  #376
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I don't think Kovalev gets in.
I agree. Partly because he's so inconsistent, and partly because I do think there is some bias against non-North American players. If his name was Smith, I think he'd get in.

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06-26-2011, 03:58 PM
  #377
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Bringing this back on topic, now that I've had 24 hours to digest and gather more information from Sather's interview as well as the commentary from observers like Leslie and the beat writers, here's where I come out:

I still don't like the trade. I don't like it because I think that Grachev will amount to a solid top 6 winger in the league and that St. Louis paid an awfully small price to get a prospect of his caliber - who, it needs to be repeated, JUST turned 21. However, I now UNDERSTAND the trade because I can completely buy that his camp would have requested it by now and, if it was known throughout the league, it's entirely possible that the 3rd rounder was the best return that the Rangers could get.

I do think that there's a fair amount of misinformation flying around. They've been trying to move him for a year? I find that very hard to credit. You mean to tell me you couldn't do better for him back in early February when he was coming off of a 9-5-14 in 14 games run? More likely they only floated his name a couple of times at various points when he wasn't doing as well and didn't get meaningful interest at those times. In the same way that people have written off the "he's ready to compete for a spot" comments from Clark/Gorton as company PR, I think Sather's spinning here - in neither case do I think they're lying per se, but rather exaggerating the truth.

In the end, I believe, as I've always believed, what you've got here is a player who was mishandled. I was saying it at the beginning of the year and I'm saying it again now. To be clear, I'm not referring to when he came out of juniors (which was entirely his camp's decision) and I'm not talking about his demotions from the Rangers (which were deserved based on his performance); I'm talking about the 95% of his Rangers career spent under the care of Gernander when he was supposedly being molded into the player he would be in the NHL. I honestly believe that Gernander demands that every player learn to play the game the way that he played it and that he does not have the flexibility to direct the progression of more skilled players. If you don't bang and grind, play straight north/south and think defense before offense, you will be forced to do so. That's fine for many players, including a rare group that has the ability to transition from that style into an offensively creative approach and back again, but it's not the approach that's appropriate for all. To take a parallel from baseball, if you're a coach and you get Mark Teixeira, you don't demand that he learn to play Brett Gardiner's game - forcing a power hitter to learn how to bat leadoff, drag bunt and steal a base is a waste of time.

Don't get me wrong, I believe there's some blame to go on Grachev's side as well. I think that he may not be getting the best advice from his agent and it is disappointing that he couldn't do more in his brief stints on Broadway. But, to me, the majority of it lies with the Rangers for trying to turn him into a player that he's not. If you read the article Doyle posted, you'll see that Mellanby and Armstrong are looking forward to working with him to bring out the player he should be. I think they're going to be successful and it's going to come back to bite us in the arse.

Regardless, it appears that the organization has committed to Gernander and perhaps the one track of coaching that he is able to bring is consistent with the overall organizational direction they're trying to achieve. Perhaps he even has orders to restrict himself to that style. If that's the case, then I'm glad they made the move before he lost even further value. If you believe in the concept of a "sunk cost" (and I do), then I am willing to accept that a 3rd rounder is the best they could do under the current circumstances and I'm glad they did.

However, if that's the case, then in judging the team's overall handling of this asset, you'd have to assign a failing grade. Either they should have drafted a different player at his spot or, since one of a similar quality was likely unavailable, they should have moved him earlier when he had more value (such as when he decided to leave juniors against their wishes). No matter how you slice it, Grachev's career with the Rangers should've ended differently - and better for the organization.



One last note: I've said it in every post regarding this trade, but I want to emphasize it again - my disappointment in the trade is no reflection on Fogarty who I'm very glad to have. No matter how he develops, remember that St. Louis didn't trade us that player - they traded us a 3rd round pick. If the player available made that pick more palatable to the staff, that's great... but it doesn't change the fact that in objectively analyzing value received, Grachev returned only a 3rd rounder. If the player picked with that pick goes on to become an all-star the staff deserves kudos, but it doesn't make the trade any better.

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06-26-2011, 04:05 PM
  #378
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Originally Posted by BrooklynRangersFan View Post
I still don't like the trade. I don't like it because I think that Grachev will amount to a solid top 6 winger in the league and that St. Louis paid an awfully small price to get a prospect of his caliber - who, it needs to be repeated, JUST turned 21. However, I now UNDERSTAND the trade because I can completely buy that his camp would have requested it by now and, if it was known throughout the league, it's entirely possible that the 3rd rounder was the best return that the Rangers could get.
While there is nothing to say that couldn't happen, his current level of play the last 2 years would suggest that is more of a long-shot at this point. He has not adapted very quickly to the professional game coming out of Juniors. He looks like more of a project at this point than a solid, sure-fire prospect.

I'm content with this trade. I like the selection we made with the pick and I think both Grachev and the Rangers needed to move on their separate ways.

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06-26-2011, 04:12 PM
  #379
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While there is nothing to say that couldn't happen, his current level of play the last 2 years would suggest that is more of a long-shot at this point. He has not adapted very quickly to the professional game coming out of Juniors. He looks like more of a project at this point than a solid, sure-fire prospect.

I'm content with this trade. I like the selection we made with the pick and I think both Grachev and the Rangers needed to move on their separate ways.
Ah, but my point is that his current level of play is significantly due to the coaching he's received. Regardless, I can wholeheartedly and unreservedly agree with your last comment.

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06-26-2011, 04:40 PM
  #380
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AA adjusted to this staff real well. 'Orpi did too. I,m suprised Grachev didn't give it more of a chance. I think most NHL teams play a similar linear style. In whatever organiztion he is in, it is time for Grachev to look in th mirror. Evgny, it is time to put up or shut up. What happens when Grachev gets 14 goals for the Blues AHL team next season. Is Grachev going to ask for another trade?

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06-26-2011, 05:07 PM
  #381
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Originally Posted by BrooklynRangersFan View Post
Ah, but my point is that his current level of play is significantly due to the coaching he's received. Regardless, I can wholeheartedly and unreservedly agree with your last comment.
Brooklyn
I don't think Grachev will ever be a top 6 winger in the NHL, he looks like a 3rd liner to me and needs the perfect line mates and system for him to succeed.

With that being said, this system is not a good fit for him. He likes to float, which is one reason why I never saw him as a center, but more of a winger who can disappear and show up at the side of the net to bang in a goal (Gaborik or Bure style). He is not the type of player who is going to hit everything he sees and grind along the boards even though he has plenty of size. He needs to be playing with creative players and be allowed freedom. He is a player who could do good things with the Wings or Nucks (but really who couldn't).

If he is ever to be a top 6 NHL player on a nightly basis it was not meant to be with this organization with Torts and our current coaching philosophy, makes sense he wanted out. Everything needs to fall into place for him such as the organization, the team philosophy, and especially his line mates.

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06-26-2011, 05:15 PM
  #382
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Brooklyn
I don't think Grachev will ever be a top 6 winger in the NHL, he looks like a 3rd liner to me and needs the perfect line mates and system for him to succeed.

With that being said, this system is not a good fit for him. He likes to float, which is one reason why I never saw him as a center, but more of a winger who can disappear and show up at the side of the net to bang in a goal (Gaborik or Bure style). He is not the type of player who is going to hit everything he sees and grind along the boards even though he has plenty of size. He needs to be playing with creative players and be allowed freedom. He is a player who could do good things with the Wings or Nucks (but really who couldn't).

If he is ever to be a top 6 NHL player on a nightly basis it was not meant to be with this organization with Torts and our current coaching philosophy, makes sense he wanted out. Everything needs to fall into place for him such as the organization, the team philosophy, and especially his line mates.
Jan, I don't disagree with a single word you said, other than your view on his upside. (And maybe your comment on him being a floater - I won't deny that part of his game is to be an opportunistic goalscorer, but he does really good board work and "floating" has a negative connotation of not trying.)

But if all of that's true, we should've had the insight to recognize the lack of a fit and traded him earlier when he had more value.

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06-26-2011, 05:25 PM
  #383
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Originally Posted by BrooklynRangersFan View Post
Jan, I don't disagree with a single word you said, other than your view on his upside. (And maybe your comment on him being a floater - I won't deny that part of his game is to be an opportunistic goalscorer, but he does really good board work and "floating" has a negative connotation of not trying.) Which is why we should've traded him earlier.
By floater I don't mean lazy or undisciplined... I mean a guy like Bure/Bondra who would be out of the zone waiting for an outlet pass leading to a breakaway. Bure was one of the best floaters in the game, the fact a player as dynamic as him could get lost by the entire other team in the offensive zone was a thing of beauty.

Grachev obviously does not have wheels like Bure/Bondra, but has size and I think thats where our coaching staff tried to make him into something he is not, an powerfoward.

I have read his defensive game and board work got better down the stretch for the Whale, but he really needs to be on a team that isn't defense first with a dump and chase attitude, but more of a puck possession team with talented teammates who can make plays and feed him.

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06-26-2011, 05:53 PM
  #384
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Originally Posted by Janerixon View Post
Brooklyn
I don't think Grachev will ever be a top 6 winger in the NHL, he looks like a 3rd liner to me and needs the perfect line mates and system for him to succeed.

With that being said, this system is not a good fit for him. He likes to float, which is one reason why I never saw him as a center, but more of a winger who can disappear and show up at the side of the net to bang in a goal (Gaborik or Bure style). He is not the type of player who is going to hit everything he sees and grind along the boards even though he has plenty of size. He needs to be playing with creative players and be allowed freedom. He is a player who could do good things with the Wings or Nucks (but really who couldn't).

If he is ever to be a top 6 NHL player on a nightly basis it was not meant to be with this organization with Torts and our current coaching philosophy, makes sense he wanted out. Everything needs to fall into place for him such as the organization, the team philosophy, and especially his line mates.
I'm with Brooklyn with assessment of this trade. Grachev has size, skating, shot and he was not a liability defensively when he was called up. Majority here subscribes to the notion that it takes longer for big guys to develop their offensive game. That's why I'm upset that the organization was not patient with him. Sangs was used as a comparable example but we got a second pick for him in a stronger draft while he spent two more years with the organization, if I'm not mistaken. I think there were two factors that made the Rangers do this. First, Thomas is very likely to earn a spot next year and Hagelin was also ranked higher to make it and more content to get sent back to Hartford if that was the case. Second, there was too big of risk to lose Grachev to KHL if he would not make it this year. Personally I'm very disappointed.


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06-26-2011, 06:31 PM
  #385
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I'm with Brooklyn with assessment of this trade. Grachev has size, skating, shot and he was not a liability defensively when he was called up. Majority here subscribes to the notion that it takes longer for big guys to develop their offensive game. That's why I'm upset that the organization was not patient with him. Sangs was used as a comparable example but we got a second pick for him in a stronger draft while he spent two more years with the organization, if I'm not mistaken. I think there were two factors that made the Rangers do this. First, Thomas is very likely to earn a spot next year and Hagelin was also ranked higher to make it and more content to get sent back to Hartford if that was the case. Second, there was too big of risk to lose Grachev to KHL if he would not make it this year. Personally I'm very disappointed.
Grachev asked to be traded, you can't be upset with the organization, he wanted this. They got a 3rd for a 3rd round pick that NO OTHER team wanted. Yes they had been shopping him for the past year, but he has been bypassed on the depth charts by Thomas, Hagelin, Zucc and we have Kreider on the way sooner than later hopefully.

Grachev may have size, but he certainly is not standing in front of the net like a Franzen or Holmstrom. His board work has improved from what I have read but he is no bull there either. He certainly doesn't have blazing speed. I have said it all throughout this thread, he is like Marcel Hossa. He has a good shot, some offensive capability, and doesn't mind scoring garbage goals. The fact his defensive game has shown improvement is a positive, but they keep flip flopping him from center to winger back to center... he should be a winger. The organization wants him to buy into our style of play and throw his body around, that isn't his game. They ask Gaborik to throw his body around too, he does when he can but that just isn't his game.

It is best for him to get a fresh start in a different organization, hopefully it works out for him but he didn't impress in the little amount of time he got on the 4th line here and the team philosophy doesn't mesh with his style of play IMO. He needs to play with some real skilled playmakers for him to become a top 6 NHL forward and that is even a stretch, I see him as a 3rd liner at best.


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06-26-2011, 07:33 PM
  #386
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Ah, but my point is that his current level of play is significantly due to the coaching he's received. Regardless, I can wholeheartedly and unreservedly agree with your last comment.
Well, I guess we'll see if your thoughts come true fairly soon if he excels in the Blue's organization.

Personally, I think you'll never hear from him again when it comes to the NHL. Another disappointing season in the AHL, and then off to the KHL.

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06-26-2011, 08:02 PM
  #387
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Well, I guess we'll see if your thoughts come true fairly soon if he excels in the Blue's organization.

Personally, I think you'll never hear from him again when it comes to the NHL. Another disappointing season in the AHL, and then off to the KHL.
Absolutely fair.

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06-26-2011, 08:08 PM
  #388
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Absolutely fair.
I wouldnt be surprised either way. But sometimes, a kid with all the physical tools in the world comes along, and just cant get it together when it comes to the details of the game.

Put Stepan's brain in Grachev's head and you have a perennial all-star.

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06-26-2011, 09:03 PM
  #389
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one "good" thing out of this. well two.

first, we drafted Fogarty whom our scouting staff had as a late 1st rounder they were hoping would fall to their 2nd round picks so Gordie Clark was quite happy to have landed him.

second, this takes pressure off of our fan expectations of how our lineup will look at the start/end of camp. I kind of felt it was Grachev's make or break year and he was realistically just playing for the 3rd line LW spot anyways. If he didn't make it out of camp, his value would really be called into question at that point. I'm fine with not rushing Hagelin as he seems like the most NHL ready of prospects who would fit nicely on the bottom 6.

if we are able to sign Richards and there are no major roster changes (yes we want some but that's a different topic!), next season we'll have something like...

Wolski-Richards(pls)-Gaborik
Dubinsky-Anisimov-Callahan
Fedotenko-Stepan-MZA
Avery-Boyle-Prust
Christensen

Avery, EC, Wolski, Prust all UFA after this season so lots of openings for either UFAs or rookies like Hagelin, Thomas, Kreider, etc.

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06-26-2011, 09:51 PM
  #390
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one "good" thing out of this. well two.

first, we drafted Fogarty whom our scouting staff had as a late 1st rounder they were hoping would fall to their 2nd round picks so Gordie Clark was quite happy to have landed him.

second, this takes pressure off of our fan expectations of how our lineup will look at the start/end of camp. I kind of felt it was Grachev's make or break year and he was realistically just playing for the 3rd line LW spot anyways. If he didn't make it out of camp, his value would really be called into question at that point. I'm fine with not rushing Hagelin as he seems like the most NHL ready of prospects who would fit nicely on the bottom 6.

if we are able to sign Richards and there are no major roster changes (yes we want some but that's a different topic!), next season we'll have something like...

Wolski-Richards(pls)-Gaborik
Dubinsky-Anisimov-Callahan
Fedotenko-Stepan-MZA
Avery-Boyle-Prust
Christensen

Avery, EC, Wolski, Prust all UFA after this season so lots of openings for either UFAs or rookies like Hagelin, Thomas, Kreider, etc.
I think of those 4 Prust is pretty much a guarantee to earn another contract.
Then I think its between Wolski and avery for that 2nd contract as I see the rangers bringing back 2 of those 4.

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06-26-2011, 11:26 PM
  #391
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I think when player asks to be traded that is as much organization failure as player's fault. Sather knows that. He, therefore, wants American prospects from now on. He wants them all to go through Genarder school to become a solders for him, a ponds he would move at will. Plumbers are much easier to manage than talent. One of the reason we are missing top notch talent in this organization is just that. It is much easier to spend Dolan's money on elite star then deal with that kid when he develops into one. Euros and esp. Russians cannot be cornered like Cali and Dubi who do not have much of the choice but to follow Slats orders. They have KHL as a viable option.

I am not saying that Grachev is elite player in making. More likely than not he will have an ordinary career. Yet, player asking out is a stain on Sather's tenure here, a sign of inability of the club to do right thing at right time to avoid that conflict.

It may not be a bad trade, but it was a bad event for the Rangers. There is nothing to cheer about here.

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06-26-2011, 11:35 PM
  #392
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I think when player asks to be traded that is as much organization failure as player's fault. Sather knows that. He, therefore, wants American prospects from now on. He wants them all to go through Genarder school to become a solders for him, a ponds he would move at will. Plumbers are much easier to manage than talent. One of the reason we are missing top notch talent in this organization is just that. It is much easier to spend Dolan's money on elite star then deal with that kid when he develops into one. Euros and esp. Russians cannot be cornered like Cali and Dubi who do not have much of the choice but to follow Slats orders. They have KHL as a viable option.

I am not saying that Grachev is elite player in making. More likely than not he will have an ordinary career. Yet, player asking out is a stain on Sather's tenure here, a sign of inability of the club to do right thing at right time to avoid that conflict.

It may not be a bad trade, but it was a bad event for the Rangers. There is nothing to cheer about here.
i don't necessarily agree with this being a stain on sathers tenure here. this screams to me that grachevs camp wants a guarantee at nhl ice team and the rangers feel it would be detrimental to the team to do so. sather saw the potential for another radulov situation and figured that he was gain an asset out of this rather than the risk of seeing him leave with no asset returned for the rangers. personally i had really high hopes for grachev, but i think sather handled this situation properly.

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06-27-2011, 12:36 AM
  #393
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When did Grachev have more value? After his first year, when he was 19 and dominating young boys with his physical tools?

He slipped to round three due to fears that he wouldn't come state side. He was arguably a first round talent. We obviously wouldn't trade him after year one, as he had a very good debut in the OHL. After or during year two, what would people expect us to receive in return? I think a third was a good return for him, and would think that's a good return were we to move him last year.

What were people expecting him to fetch in a trade?

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06-27-2011, 01:05 AM
  #394
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I can't help but feel this is yet another example of people getting overly excited about a player who excels when having a distinct physical advantage over the majority of his competition. When Grachev tore up the O, it was exciting. People fell in love with him because he was dominant, but is it really that surprising to people that he has failed to impress?

This is why I continue to harbor the belief that drafting players of large stature and strength who have spent much of their youth dominating against weaker, smaller kids is, in most cases, a huge mistake. These players dominate by playing the game in a way that is impossible if the competition isn't much smaller and weaker. They develop habits of playing the game this way, while failing to master the parts of the game that become infinitely more important once your competition can't be trampled over. Hockey is such an instinctual game. Once habits like that are developed, it becomes quite difficult to break them and replace them with a different set of habits that require a lot more thought, a lot more patience, and usually a lot more skill. Much of the time, you'll find that these players can never fully make this transition.

Over the past couple of years, Grachev has come to resemble Marcel Hossa, IMO. With time and space, there's a lot he can do. But time and space is very hard to find in the NHL, and without, all he seemed capable of going was holding on to the puck for long periods of time, like Marcel. I really don't expect that much will become of him in St. Louis, but I hope I'm wrong. Both because he seems like a great kid, and because I always root for StL and JD.

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06-27-2011, 01:18 AM
  #395
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Marcel Hossa is looking like an unfortunate, but potentially accurate, comparison for Grachev at this point. Nothing set in stone, obviously, but the comparison seems realistic.

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06-27-2011, 06:52 AM
  #396
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I can't help but feel this is yet another example of people getting overly excited about a player who excels when having a distinct physical advantage over the majority of his competition. When Grachev tore up the O, it was exciting. People fell in love with him because he was dominant, but is it really that surprising to people that he has failed to impress?

This is why I continue to harbor the belief that drafting players of large stature and strength who have spent much of their youth dominating against weaker, smaller kids is, in most cases, a huge mistake. These players dominate by playing the game in a way that is impossible if the competition isn't much smaller and weaker. They develop habits of playing the game this way, while failing to master the parts of the game that become infinitely more important once your competition can't be trampled over. Hockey is such an instinctual game. Once habits like that are developed, it becomes quite difficult to break them and replace them with a different set of habits that require a lot more thought, a lot more patience, and usually a lot more skill. Much of the time, you'll find that these players can never fully make this transition.

Over the past couple of years, Grachev has come to resemble Marcel Hossa, IMO. With time and space, there's a lot he can do. But time and space is very hard to find in the NHL, and without, all he seemed capable of going was holding on to the puck for long periods of time, like Marcel. I really don't expect that much will become of him in St. Louis, but I hope I'm wrong. Both because he seems like a great kid, and because I always root for StL and JD.
Even though it turned out in the manner it did, I still think it was worth expending a 3rd round pick on Grachev. A player like that is worth taking a risk when they did. This is not a Jessiman situation where you cannot afford to miss on the player, as it will end up setting you back years. All that was lost here was two years of time and effort. At the end of the day, IMO, he still had important value, because the Rangers were able to move him and use the pick they received to draft another young player with boom potential. Again, they didn't move him for future considerations, and lose all value he ever had. He had equivalent value to a former top ten pick (Filatov). And, in the collective minds of Ranger brass, he brought back the equivalent of a 2nd round pick. Even though Grachev did not ultimately succeed as a Ranger, spending a 3rd round pick on him was worth the time and effort.

Besides, after drafting Kreider, seeing Dubinsky develop successfully as a LW, and the steady rise of Hagelin in the system, always made Grachev more likely to become trade fodder in my mind. Yes, it would have been nice to see him as part of a deal for a big time player, but, from what has now been determined, his value was a 3rd round pick.


Last edited by jas: 06-27-2011 at 09:24 AM.
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06-27-2011, 07:49 AM
  #397
offdacrossbar
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I can't help but feel this is yet another example of people getting overly excited about a player who excels when having a distinct physical advantage over the majority of his competition. When Grachev tore up the O, it was exciting. People fell in love with him because he was dominant, but is it really that surprising to people that he has failed to impress?

This is why I continue to harbor the belief that drafting players of large stature and strength who have spent much of their youth dominating against weaker, smaller kids is, in most cases, a huge mistake. These players dominate by playing the game in a way that is impossible if the competition isn't much smaller and weaker. They develop habits of playing the game this way, while failing to master the parts of the game that become infinitely more important once your competition can't be trampled over. Hockey is such an instinctual game. Once habits like that are developed, it becomes quite difficult to break them and replace them with a different set of habits that require a lot more thought, a lot more patience, and usually a lot more skill. Much of the time, you'll find that these players can never fully make this transition.

Over the past couple of years, Grachev has come to resemble Marcel Hossa, IMO. With time and space, there's a lot he can do. But time and space is very hard to find in the NHL, and without, all he seemed capable of going was holding on to the puck for long periods of time, like Marcel. I really don't expect that much will become of him in St. Louis, but I hope I'm wrong. Both because he seems like a great kid, and because I always root for StL and JD.
i mostly agree with this take.

while not a big grachev fan from a development perspective, he seemed like a cool cat and with that size, it was easy to see him dominating. problem is, he simply cannot think the game at a high enough level.

i agree also on the big man theory. he physically was so much bigger and stronger he simply out muscled smaller weaker players. he usedto come out from the wall or behind the net and score with brampton. not so much in hartford against bigger, stronger, faster, smarter players.

while being big works against you sometimes, being 5'10 and 175 and playing as a 17 yr old first year player and scoring like koko did last season impresses me even more.

jealous that boston grabbed him.

same with tampa, names and niki together is terrific.

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06-27-2011, 07:54 AM
  #398
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It may not be a bad trade, but it was a bad event for the Rangers. There is nothing to cheer about here.
Good post. Grachev did disappoint as he was hyped up since his great season in the OHL. This had to put undue pressure on him. Many fans had him penciled in as the next great forward prospect for this team. It is time to not fall in love with shiny prospects and instead let them develop and see what happens.

However, trust has to be with Sather and crew as they did get a 3rd round pick for him with good value. They are building a real solid young team.

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06-27-2011, 08:42 AM
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I love when teams who know what they are doing draft-wise go out of their way to pluck a kid from the HS ranks. It makes me think that this trade will end up being quite the steal for the Rangers when we all look back at it in several years. Pure optimism, but hoping for the best.

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06-27-2011, 09:14 AM
  #400
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Now that I have had time to think about this, I am starting to not hate this trade. Grachev fell from the graces here, and he was being passed on the depth chart by some of our other prospects. Also if he wanted a trade, then why keep someone that doesnt want to be here?

Grachev was one of my favorite prospects in the system, but he was not ready to contribute at an NHL level. I still think that he is going to be a top-6 forward in the future, but not the 30 goal threat we all thought he was going to be when we drafted him.

Also the return was not bad at all, and I really like Fogarty. I think that he may develop in to a vital piece of our team in the future (2-3 years). All in all, it is not as bad as I thought that it was when it was announced, and I feel like we got a good deal, even though I thought he was worth a lot more to our franchise.

Also Grachev was a 75th overall pick, and we got a 72nd overall pick in the trade, so we obviously got a better deal

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