I never get why Fleury always gets so much flak around here. Yes there were off-ice problems, but his on-ice play was good. Plus he was a UFA in the pre-cap era, how did the acquisition hurt the team in any way, shape, or form?
The Rangers were a decrepit offensive team and he signed a huge deal and promptly scored 15 goals.
He also took some pretty bad penalties and like most guys in the org at the time, didn't play with hustle or enthusiasm the overwhelming majority of the time. He was mostly a malcontent, we just forget now.
Mmh, I am not necessarily saying that this isn't correct, but Savard was a real special player still.
I remember his first pre-season here in NY, not all details but the broader picutre and I saw several of those pre-season games on tape. He was the type that looked to be waaaay in over his head in most areas, then he stepped of the ice with 2-3 pts.
He was definitely -- always -- compareable to like the Granlund kid in Minny, there was less room in the game for players like that, but he was still special.
Savard got a world stronger and faster from when he came up. But for every Savard or Riberio (Ribs was a legit 145 pounds when he was drafted, lol), there are 100 Corey Locke's and Jason Krog's who have the same skillset but wash out for a variety of reasons.
Duclair's attitude is good enough to go from being suspended his first season to being named an alternate captain in this season. The reports on his maturity and psychological development were all glowing.
The reports on Dareus were glowing before he screwed up again.
Not saying Duclair hasn't adjusted, but let's see what happens.
I am far more concerned with Miller figuring it out, because he looks good enough for the NHL now.
Savard was an ongoing locker room issue. By the time he was moved he'd pissed off practically everyone. It's funny--because really on ice if Savard compares to anyone it would be Stepan only a little bit slower than Stepan. Savard started to grow up after he left the Rangers. People **** about Stepan here all the time.
Kovalev was just a frustrating player here. A legit first line player but never really the guy--kind of like Rick Nash so far. Who could take a team and lead it. He was an inconsistent player and he played his best as a complimentary player to the likes of Messier, Leetch, Lemieux, Jagr.
Middleton got moved by Emile Francis. Esposito was lonely. Espo had come to New York with Carol Vadnais in the Park, Ratelle deal. Vadnais wasn't the most likable guy. The Rangers wanted their best player to be happy so they traded Middleton for Ken Hodge. Hodge had been Boston's first line right wing on Espo's line for years. Hodge if I remember right even had had. A 100+ point a year. A season or two. He **** the bed here. He was getting old. He wound up in the minors and then out of hockey altogether. Middleton went on to be a big star. To me Middleton is HOF worthy but he's not in the HOF as of yet anyway. The Rangers for the several years after would bring in ex-Bruins to keep Espo happy--like Dallas Smith or Don Awrey.
Hodge was a pretty big and strong guy for his time. He fit into that whole Big Bad Bruins style pretty well and which the Flyers modeled and improved on. How he played against the Flyers--honestly I don't remember. He played a season for us and then maybe 20 games the next season and down to the minors. His time as a Ranger would be pretty much forgettable if he hadn't cost us Middleton.
It was a horrible trade. Most knew it at the time. Middleton was just starting his career and was a really slick if a bit soft player with a lot of defensive issues. Don Cherry--I know he's a bit of an idiot--his coach in Boston worked a lot of the kinks out of his game and made him into a responsible player and then he became a great player. The Bruins best forward and the Bruins had a lot of really good teams in the 70's and 80's. If they had won a Cup I think Middleton would be an HOF'er today.
How he would have turned out as a Ranger is another question. Someone might have had to push him like Cherry did in Boston.
Hodge got "sick" a couple of times when they played at the Spectrum. An ex-Ranger told me that Hodge was afraid to play in Philly.
The Flyers intimidated a lot of guys. Dave Maloney alludes to it every now and again when he talks about the Rangers he played for in the 70's and 80's. The Flyers had Dave Schultz, Don Saleski, Bob Kelly, Andre Dupont--they could fall back on to guys like Jack McIlhargey. Bobby Clarke was one of the dirtiest hockey players I've ever seen. Ed Van Impe as well. Guys like Gary Dornhoeffer, Mel Bridgman, Bill Flett, Joe and Jimmy Watson, Barry Ashbee, Orest Kindrachuk were all very gritty. Paul Holmgren was another tough guy for them. Later on they'll add Behn Wilson, Dave Brown, Rick Tocchet, Eric Lindros. The two years the Flyers won the Cup the rest of the league went into WTF mode. Nobody was really ready to face a team that often dressed 4 or 5 enforcers the same game. Take a guy like Bill 'the Cowboy' Flett who was nothing really special but on the Flyers team he was going up to the Leafs Inge Hammarstrom (who along with Borje Salming were the first Swedes to play in the NHL since Ulf Sterner played 3 or 4 games for the Rangers in the 60's) to tell him if he touched the puck again that night he'd break his legs and then joke that Hammarstrom was two steps behind the rest of the night.
You'd expect more from Hodge though--a veteran and a guy who had been through some wars. Perhaps that was one of the reasons they stuck him in the minors.
The Flyers made the bench clearing brawl into a tactic and it would be usual business that the end of the year they'd have Schultz around 400 pm's--two or three others in the 200's and 300's and a dozen guys or even more over the 100 pm mark. And the Flyers targeted smaller, skilled players--guys who didn't fight or not very often with more of their players crowding in on the target as the fight progressed. A lot of those events were more like gang muggings.
Rangers had guys who would fight like Vickers or Ron Harris but these were guys who really didn't go out looking for trouble. The Rangers really started to get their own back when Nick Fotiu came on board. It's funny that Schultz later said that Fotiu was the one guy in all his time as an NHL'er that he was absolutely afraid of. Nicky wanted to go and Schultz didn't want any part of him.
Last edited by eco's bones: 06-23-2014 at 08:12 AM.
Should be a good tournament this year. Very excited to see where some of our guys are.
Can the Hartford kids play?
Typically only 1-3 guys with 1 year pro experisnce are sent, usually guys who did not play a full season at AHL level due to injury, or demotion.
I suspect we wont send StCroix or Nicholls or Noreau again, so the only '13-'14 pro to go might be Kantor.
Tricky question is whether guys who might play next year in Europe are available to play at TC - I believe last year only Spelling could come over. Euro seasons start sooner.
So Bucnevic is very likely a no, while Andersson or Zamorsky would maybe play there if still in consideration to play in NA.
Pencil in DuClair, Tambellini, Haggerty, McCarthy at F, Graves, Bodie and Donnay on D, and Skapski in net.
Add Most of the guys we draft this year, who are not on NCAA path.
(also some guys here (not me) suspect Skjei might turn pro, if so, he'd be there too)
and then a cast of try-out longshots.
I'd rather they invite some UDFA players to do some further scouting than give big minutes to fringe guys like Nicholls and St. Croix.
All the half-decent UDFA prospects will be long gone before September. They are being signed as we speak, and most have already gotten themselves a contract.
The unsigned prospects that remain in September won't even be able to hack it in the ECHL for the most part. Some may suddenly get better in the coming years, but I doubt it will show in the preseason, it will take them a long time to improve enough to be legit prospects.
I'd rather have guys like Noreau and St. Croix there than someone who's one level above playing against me in a beer league.
Gross with some notes on our prospects from Clark.
Defenseman Brady Skjei, the 28th overall pick in 2012, is ready to turn pro, in Clark’s estimation. Clark cautioned, though, it’s up to Skjei and his advisers to decide when the time is right. He had six goals and eight assists in 40 games as a sophomore this season at Minnesota.
“He went in as a freshman able to play,” Clark said of Skjei’s one-goal, two-assists in 36 games effort in his first collegiate season. “He had a strong year as a sophomore and he made the world junior team. That’s the experience we want for them. He went to the Frozen Four. That mirrors (Chris) Kreider) and (Ryan) McDonagh and (Derek) Stepan. They don’t have a long season so the more they play, it shows what they can do when they go further in the season.
“Brady, he’s ready to turn pro but that decision is up to them, the family and his agent,” Clark added.
Boo, Skap and Tambellini
That year’s second round pick, Cristoval “Boo” Nieves - selected at No. 59 - had three goals and 19 assists in 34 games as a Michigan sophomore after compiling eight goals and 21 assists in 40 games as a freshman.
The sense is that Nieves, a forward, needs another season of college hockey to further his development.
Last year, the Rangers had five picks from rounds 3-6. Sixth-round pick goalie Mackenzie Skapski is poised to join the organization after four junior seasons with Kootenay (Western Hockey League).
The Rangers’ first of three third-round picks, center Adam Tambellini, left the University of North Dakota to play junior hockey with Calgary (WHL), compiling two goals and two assists in 16 games for the Hitmen.
“He left North Dakota, he wasn’t playing much,” Clark said. “He just stepped into Calgary in mid-January. We told him we support him as an organization. He had a great second half of the year.”
Left wing Pavel Buchnevich, selected No. 75, had seven goals and 11 assists in 40 games for Cherepovets of the KHL and has come to New Jersey to train. Clark sounded high on his prospects.
Duclair and Graves
Clark’s hope for both Duclair and defenseman Ryan Graves, selected in the fourth round (No. 110), is the same. Both will play another season of junior hockey, though Graves will be out for the start of the season after shoulder surgery.
“We want Duclair to have a healthy year,” Clark said. “Graves will be out (at the start) but it will be another year of experience.”
Graves had three goals and nine assists in 39 games for Charlottetown (QMJHL) before being traded to Val d’Or, where he compiled two goals and eight assists in 26 games.
“(Duclair’s) team is the big team in his area so that’s still experience,” Clark said. “Quebec has the Memorial Cup next year so whether they win or not, they’re in it. We’re looking at that run. Ryan Graves just went through that when he got traded to Val d’Or. He had a bad shoulder and he was playing 30 minutes a night.”
Skjei hasn't made any decision. Mike Reilly announced his decision to stay for his junior year 5-6 weeks ago. The Rangers are holding prospects camp next week. Skjei is attending summer school classes at Minnesota. I believe the first session of summer school ends in early July. You're usually allowed to miss 2-3 days of summer school. Next Friday is the 4th. Skjei should be able to attend a few days. He sits down with the Rangers and a decision can be made. Whether its this summer or next April,Skjei will be turning pro in the near future.
Buchnevich is training in New Jersey. Mark Gandler and Todd Diamond are based in New Jersey. Buchnevich is probably their client.