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Strong play signals Bickel sticking with Rangers

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01-10-2012, 05:51 AM
  #1
RangerBoy
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Strong play signals Bickel sticking with Rangers

Stu Bickel wanted to take advantage of his opportunity with the Rangers injuries on defense

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“That’s always your goal as a professional, to get into position to make it to the NHL and then stay,” Bickel said yesterday. “I should say that the focus since I’ve been here has been on doing what I can to help the team win, and we have been winning so that’s been a big help, but definitely my objective is stay here.”

Bickel will take a huge step in cementing a spot on an NHL roster for the remainder of the season when he skates against the Coyotes tonight at the Garden in his 10th game since making his big-league debut in New Jersey the night following his promotion.

Reaching that milestone means Bickel would have to clear waivers in order to be reassigned to the Blueshirts’ top farm club. And because right-handed defensemen who can play adequately are in as much need around the NHL as left-handed relief pitchers who can get a batter out are in Major League Baseball, it’s extremely unlikely Bickel would get through. That’s not to mention Bickel’s age, size (6-foot-4, 207), willingness to take the body, and contract situation ($600,000 as an impending restricted free agent).
Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/range...#ixzz1j3Sfu9Na

Bickel will be a group 6 UFA. He is 25 years old. This is his 4th year pro. Has played less than 80 NHL games. Unless the Rangers go on a deep playoff run with Bickel in the line-up for every game,he will be a group 6.

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(c) Group 6 Free Agents.

(i) Means any Player who is age 25 or older who has completed three
(3) or more professional seasons, whose SPC has expired and: (i)
in the case of a Player other than a goaltender, has played less than
80 NHL Games
, or (ii) in the case of a goaltender, has played less
than 28 NHL Games (for the purpose of this definition, a
goaltender must have played a minimum of thirty (30) minutes in
an NHL Game to register a game played). For the purposes of the
foregoing, the term professional season shall: (A) for a Player aged
18 or 19, mean any season in which such Player plays in eleven
(11) or more Professional Games (including NHL Regular Season
and Playoff Games, minor league regular season and playoff
games, and games played in any European professional league,
while under an SPC), and (B) for a Player aged 20 or older, mean
any season in which such Player plays in one or more Professional
Games (including NHL Regular Season and Playoff Games, minor
league regular season and playoff games, and games played in any
European professional league, while under an SPC).

(ii) Any Group 6 Player shall, at the expiration of his SPC, become an
Unrestricted Free Agent and shall be completely free to negotiate
and sign an SPC with any Club, and any Club shall be completely
free to negotiate and sign an SPC with such Player, without penalty
or restriction, or being subject to any Right of First Refusal, Draft
Choice Compensation or any other compensation or equalization
obligation of any kind.
Give the Rangers pro scouting staff credit for acquiring Bickel from Anaheim for Nigel Williams. Jeff Gorton ran the Rangers pro personnel last season. Gorton was promoted to AGM and Kevin Maxwell runs the pro scouting department now after being a pro scout.

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01-10-2012, 06:15 AM
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Bickel and stralman should be the guys that alternate. Bickel for toughness. Stralman for scoring

On specific nights

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01-10-2012, 06:30 AM
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keeping him up at that salary - could he be trade bait?

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01-10-2012, 06:32 AM
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I like Bickel but when Sauer's back it's a definitely battle between Bickel and Stralman. If a trading partner asks about either of those two, Sather should listen. I'd probably want to trade Stralman before Bickel. I like Bickel's physicality.

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01-10-2012, 06:37 AM
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Its a tough decision. But I would look to keep Bickel.

IMO, he's better than Woywitka and Eminger.

But its a hard decision, eitherway. Woywitka and Eminger are quality role guys.

I like Bickel's mean streak and size.

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01-10-2012, 06:39 AM
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Eminger is a quality 3rd pairing d-man. Woywitka filled his role well but IMO he's a step below those guys.

It's tough between Emi and Bickel for me...I like Eminger alot but Bickel is nasty.

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01-10-2012, 06:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wamsutta View Post
I like Bickel but when Sauer's back it's a definitely battle between Bickel and Stralman. If a trading partner asks about either of those two, Sather should listen. I'd probably want to trade Stralman before Bickel. I like Bickel's physicality.
When Sauer comes back, there's still room for both Bickel and Stralman on the roster, and room for one of them at a time in the lineup.

McDonagh. Girardi
Del Zotto. Sauer
Staal. Stralman/Bickel

The real decision is who really stays. Bickel, Eminger, Woywitka.

Id chose Bickel. But that's just me.

Maybe Eminger and Woywitka can get a decent return. Like a faceoff/PK/defensive depth forward.

I trust management to make the right decision.

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01-10-2012, 06:44 AM
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Bt MDZ, Stral, Bickel, Sauer, Eminger, Erixon thats a lot of pretty decent guys up for the last D pair. (Included MDZ b/c we have McD, Girardi, Staal and 2 of them are LD. Dunno if I should really include Sauer he comes back to be 2nd pair prob.)

That's a damn good problem to have.

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01-10-2012, 06:44 AM
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Stu Pickles for the win!

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01-10-2012, 07:43 AM
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The Canucks last year showed that defensive depth is critical for a long playoff run. With the emergence of Bickel and Stralman the Rangers have the kind of NHL-ready depth you need.

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01-10-2012, 07:49 AM
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Honestly, he should stay and he should play. I like what I have seen in the relatively small sample size. He has done nothing to play himself out of the lineup. When Sauer comes back, he plays. Period. Stralman and Stu can fight it out. When Eminger comes back, best man plays. If Bickel does more than the other two, from a third pairing prespective, then he should stick and play.

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01-10-2012, 08:14 AM
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Bickel was really noticeable for me while I was at Consol on Friday. The guy is constantly moving every shift and making one quality play after another. He's definitely earned the right to stick around, so we'll see what happens when Sauer and Eminger are back.

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01-10-2012, 08:37 AM
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Torts can get Stralman to up his level and play a very passable top 4 role. Ditto for Eminger though I think Stralman's the better player. Bickel adds toughness that no one else on our D quite matches. Woywitka is the first to go.

1. Staal
2. Girardi
3. McDonagh
4. Del Zotto
5. Sauer
6. Stralman
-----------------
7. Bickel or Eminger
-----------------
9.Woywitka

We still have more time to figure it out and in the meantime other injuries could occur. Woywitka would definitely have the best chance of clearing waivers if someone had to go down. Barring that we could make a trade.

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01-10-2012, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueshirtBlitz View Post
Eminger is a quality 3rd pairing d-man. Woywitka filled his role well but IMO he's a step below those guys.

It's tough between Emi and Bickel for me...I like Eminger alot but Bickel is nasty.
according to Brooks article, Eminger is still 8 weeks away. If Brooks is to be believed(no reason why not)Eminger will be ready 1st wk March. By that time much can happen, both good and bad. I like Bickel and Stralman, Em will be a very good fallback if injuries happen and Woywitka unfortunately seems destined for pressbox.

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01-10-2012, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SupersonicMonkey View Post
The real decision is who really stays. Bickel, Eminger, Woywitka.
Seems like Woywitka is the odd man out, but that assumes Eminger and Sauer eventually get healthy, no one else gets hurt and you don't make any acquisitions. A lot could change in a very short time.



Still not sure why Stralman get's so little respect around here. 1-5-6 in 16 games with almost no time on the PP. +11 and on the ice for only 2 goals against as a Ranger. Upwards of 22 minutes on most nights, a # Sauer hasn't topped all season. This is the guy that people want to rotate in and out of the lineup?

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01-10-2012, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Melrose_Jr. View Post
Still not sure why Stralman get's so little respect around here. 1-5-6 in 16 games with almost no time on the PP. +11 and on the ice for only 2 goals against as a Ranger. Upwards of 22 minutes on most nights, a # Sauer hasn't topped all season. This is the guy that people want to rotate in and out of the lineup?
Stralman has been solid. And will continue to get his chances. He has another month or two before any decisions need to be made. But honestly, when Sauer is back, Stralman slides out of the top 4 role. And then, it becomes a question of who MDZ is better paired with on the 3rd pairing, Bickel or Stralman. Best man should win, but the fact is that it very well may be a rotation between Bickel, Stralman & Eminger. One of them gets to be the #6 defenseman.

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01-10-2012, 09:22 AM
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The Rangers said Eminger was out 8-10 weeks when he was hurt on December 17. It will be 4 weeks this Saturday. Eminger had his sling removed 2 weeks after the injury. He didn't have shoulder surgery. Going by the timetable,Eminger is 4-6 weeks away which has him returning before the Feb. 27 trading deadline.

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01-10-2012, 09:24 AM
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Not sure that Sauer is a top 4 guy with us anymore. Probably on most every other NHL team but MDZ has certainly moved up so in my mind our top 4 are Staal, Girardi, McDonagh and Del Zotto.

Considering Erixon is close and McIlrath probably a couple years away--the Rangers could easily do a trade. Kind of wondering what kind of return we could get for Mike Sauer. Tuomu Ruuttu came up the other day. I'm not sure what Ruuttu's contract situation is but he's got good size and a scoring touch, can play a gritty and nasty game.

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01-10-2012, 09:30 AM
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I honestly think Sauer's worth more than T Ruutu

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01-10-2012, 09:47 AM
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Sauer's injury history is a bit concerning.

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01-10-2012, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SupersonicMonkey View Post
When Sauer comes back, there's still room for both Bickel and Stralman on the roster, and room for one of them at a time in the lineup.

McDonagh. Girardi
Del Zotto. Sauer
Staal. Stralman/Bickel

The real decision is who really stays. Bickel, Eminger, Woywitka.

Id chose Bickel. But that's just me.

Maybe Eminger and Woywitka can get a decent return. Like a faceoff/PK/defensive depth forward.

I trust management to make the right decision.
I'm curious. Now why is Staal in the 3rd pairing? Our all star defenseman

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01-10-2012, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by True Blue View Post
Stralman has been solid. And will continue to get his chances. He has another month or two before any decisions need to be made. But honestly, when Sauer is back, Stralman slides out of the top 4 role.
I think that's a question mark now that McDonagh has taken it up.

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Originally Posted by eco's bones View Post
Not sure that Sauer is a top 4 guy with us anymore. Probably on most every other NHL team but MDZ has certainly moved up so in my mind our top 4 are Staal, Girardi, McDonagh and Del Zotto.
A 3rd pairing with Sauer on it is a deep defensive corps. It's probably something you'd hope to achieve with a deadline deal. I don't think there's any shame in keeping him in an 18 minute role until the time that there's a vacancy in the top 4.

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01-10-2012, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eco's bones View Post
Not sure that Sauer is a top 4 guy with us anymore. Probably on most every other NHL team but MDZ has certainly moved up so in my mind our top 4 are Staal, Girardi, McDonagh and Del Zotto.

Considering Erixon is close and McIlrath probably a couple years away--the Rangers could easily do a trade. Kind of wondering what kind of return we could get for Mike Sauer. Tuomu Ruuttu came up the other day. I'm not sure what Ruuttu's contract situation is but he's got good size and a scoring touch, can play a gritty and nasty game.
Those are three left defensemen. I know you CAN switch the sides of a defenseman, but I'd rather leave these guys where they're more comfortable. When everyone is healthy, I say we get a rotation going where Staal and Girardi play 22-24 minutes, McD and Sauer play 20-ish minutes, and MDZ gets the rest. Have him play the full 2 minutes on the PP to get him the time he needs.

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01-10-2012, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by eco's bones View Post
Considering Erixon is close and McIlrath probably a couple years away--the Rangers could easily do a trade. Kind of wondering what kind of return we could get for Mike Sauer. Tuomu Ruuttu came up the other day. I'm not sure what Ruuttu's contract situation is but he's got good size and a scoring touch, can play a gritty and nasty game.
Ruuti's contract is not cheap. And to be honest, am in no hurry to trade away someone, who at a very early point in career, has proven themselves to be a top-4 defenseman. Erixon has to show that he can unseat Sauer before this can be a discussion.

Sauer may have had an injury history, but one cannot underestimate what he has been able to step up and do at such an early age. The strength of this team has been goaltending and defense. I am loathe to mess with that. And, as a whole, am not hot on idea of trading defensemen for forwards.

As for Erixon, until he actually shows that he is ready to step in, I am not simply giving a spot to him. Let him first make more of an impact than a Stu Bickel, and then we an start to consider whether or not he deserves a shot.

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01-10-2012, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melrose_Jr. View Post
A 3rd pairing with Sauer on it is a deep defensive corps. It's probably something you'd hope to achieve with a deadline deal. I don't think there's any shame in keeping him in an 18 minute role until the time that there's a vacancy in the top 4.
I would worry about relying on him in the top 4 only because of his injury concerns. There is nothing worse than penciling a guy in for big minutes only to see him get hurt time and time again. Radek Martinek syndrome.

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