I don't understand it when people throw forwards on a line like they are interchangeable parts, without regard to the positions they can and do play.
Which positions can Gaborik and Higgins play? It is my understanding that Gaborik is a RW and Higgins a LW, but can they play well on the other wings? Brashear is known to be a LW, but can he play RW?
Callahan is a RW, though he has played C in the lower leagues. For our purposes, he is only a RW. Dubinsky can play C/LW. Zherdev is a RW. Korpikoski LW/C. Drury C/RW. Avery LW (with a little C thrown in).
Boyle and Anisimov are centers, correct?
So as of now, here are the players who actually play each position, rather than the NHL 09 style of swapping forwards like they're trading cards.
Given that, here are the likely lines based on which position each player can actually play. Feel free to move them up and down the columns, but swapping them back and forth is an exercise in fan fantasy:
Is it too early to start looking at our possible lineups for the upcoming NHL season? Its certainly possible that we could have more signings or trades upcoming this offseason, but I always like to take a look at what our possible lineups could look like, so let's see:
Not a bad lineup as of right now. It has two superstars, some homegrown talent, some defensive stopping power and the best goaltending in the East. I am a bit worried about forward depth, especialy with a couple band aid boys like Gabby and Higgins coming in this year.
I would say there is still one GAPING hole that we have yet to fill. We still have no quarterback for our power play. Redden and Rozy are both second unit guys right now. We need a first unit quarterback and I don't see Sangs or DZ being ready yet.
So we have given up a great deal of our elite penalty killing talent in Betts and Sjostrom and gotten better on the power play (adding Gabby and Higgins). I still worry that without a true 1st unit QB though our power play is medoicre at best.
Oh, and one more thing. Brashear as a Ranger makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit every time I think about it.
Hell no. That is crazy. You do not throw that many young players on defense at once, and there is NO reason to at all.
I dont thinkk you read my post correctly fly.
I said what if God forbid Stall and Girardi go down...
That will HAVE to be your defense, unless you are at the mercy of other teams and pick up their scrubs in the process.
The Rangers have to sign another serviceable defensman, and if they flip Rozy for a center as others are suggesting - they still would be in the same position. I dont think people are really adding up the bucks here.
I think we should not do anything else at this point. Sign the RFAs and fill the remaining spots with kids. That roster will be good enough to compete for a playoff spot. If money is too tight, then maybe we trade Rozy for a cheaper dman and a pick.
Then at the trade deadline, we can re-evaluate where we are and see what pieces we want to add.
All that being said, if there's any way you can get rid of Redden's contract, you do it.
All of these defense combination, where you drop Mara and Morris and add all these young guys, who many are saying aren't ready to be a sixth D-man yet, yet alone a fourth or fifth, are very scary. Hank fell off the Vezina ballot last season, looks like he may be falling off the all-star team this year too.
Gaborik better score well over 50 goals to make up for the fact that:
1) Tortorella is going to stress offense, not defense
2) Two of the best penalty killers in the league, Betts and Sjostrom, won't be back
3) Defense looks like it may be trial by error, with all these kids who may not be ready
Come to think of it, Higgin better add 30 goals of his own...
I'd hate to burst some bubbles, but at 19, those no way in hell Evgeny Grachev will be on the roster next season.
If you want to examine the perils of rushing a kid into the NHL as a teenager, look no further than our old friend Nik Antropov.
IF he manages to display dominance at the AHL level then I can see the Rangers at least giving him a cup of coffee just to see where he stands. Penciling him in the lineup from the get go is premature though.