Found August 09, 2012 on Blue Seat Blogs:

On the draft…

My excitement over the selection of Cristoval “Boo” Nieves in the second round of the June draft has been growing steadily.  Nieves has always been a great passer and skater; the reports that he was fully engaged and very physical at prospect development camp have only boosted his stock.  Nieves is going to the perfect place for his development, the University of Michigan.

Here’s why you can’t really trust what you hear about European prospects.  Calle Andersson, the Rangers’ fourth-round selection, has been called both a sublime skater and an awful skater by multiple credible scouting outlets.  So which is it?  I can’t say, I don’t get to watch much Swedish Elite League hockey, and neither do most scouting services.  We’ll just have to wait and see.

I’m not a fan of the Brady Skjei/Ryan McDonagh comparison.  I get it, they’re both great skaters and play defense.  But it’s not fair to compare the 28th pick to a guy that is going to be an All-Star in his second full professional season and may be a Norris Trophy candidate before long.  It’s extremely rare for a late first-round pick to make a McDonagh-like impact in the NHL and even though the Rangers have proven to be tremendous talent evaluators, they should be very pleased if Skjei turns into a solid second-pairing blueliner.

Other offseason thoughts…

Being greedy, but how much of a slam-dunk would this offseason be if the Rangers were able to ink Justin Schultz?

Minnesota dealt out a whopping $196 million to get Ryan Suter and Zach Parise signed on and though both players will draw most of the attention thanks to their contracts, there are bigger reasons to be excited for Wild fans.  Even before those two players were on board, Minnesota was poised to be a team on the rise.  Arguably the top prospect in the game, Mikael Granlund, who has been honing his game in Finland, will finally join the team in the NHL this season and appears poised for stardom.  Following him is a prospect pipeline that is the envy of the league including top-ranked youngsters Charlie Coyle and Jonas Brodin, who could be in the league in the next 18 months or so, as well as Matt Dumba, Johan Larsson, Zack Phillips and Mario Lucia.  The Wild are set in goal with Niklas Backstrom under contract for one more season and backup Josh Harding, who outperformed Backstrom last year, prepared to assume the starting role for the next three seasons after Backstrom leaves.  Minnesota’s rise will take time, but the additions of Suter and Parise provide an excellent backbone for the rest of the group to grow around.

Pat Leonard of the Daily News had a pretty good breakdown of the Shane Doan situation on Wednesday.  Leonard explained that the Rangers remain in the hunt thanks to Doan’s ties to the Rangers’ coaching staff, but that Pittsburgh and Vancouver also remain leading contenders to land Doan’s services.  Apparently Doan’s wife grew up near Vancouver, the couple already owns a summer home in British Columbia and Doan even owns a portion of the local WHL team, the Kamloops Blazers. If Doan is going to leave Phoenix, it seems to me like going somewhere for his family and personal interests would be in character.  I don’t doubt that teams have offered Doan four years and annual salaries above $7 million, but everything we’ve learned about Doan over the years suggests that the contract won’t be his biggest concern.  Obviously money talks, but I think Doan wants to play for a contender that offers him some level of comfort.  To me, that brings the sweepstakes down to Vancouver and New York, but I think the Canucks have the edge.

I’m unfortunately totally convinced that there will be an NHL lockout.  The owners have once again made a mess of things and need to be saved from themselves, so they’re asking for enormous concessions that the players don’t want to give up.  Eventually the players will cave in many areas as always happens, but I did find it encouraging that some media have mentioned that a lockout won’t last past the end of November or early December because the league wouldn’t want to risk losing the revenue stream of the magnitude of the Winter Classic.  If that’s true, I wonder if the players may come out of this better than expected by being patient for a couple of months.

I’m a little puzzled as to why there’s been so little news on the Bobby Ryan front lately.  A month ago it seemed like Ryan and the Anaheim Ducks were on the verge of a very messy divorce.  Ryan had publicly expressed his anger with the organization and announced his expectation to be traded, while the Ducks had made a point of listening to trade offers for the 25-year-old at two different junctions over the last 12 months.  But since the tension reached its peak, we really haven’t heard a word.  It makes sense that Anaheim would want to see the Rick Nash sweepstakes play out to drive Ryan’s price up, but the rumor mill has been surprisingly quiet lately after a silly period at the end of June.  Perhaps there’s more going on behind the scenes than we realize, but it now seems reasonably likely that Ryan will suit up for the Ducks to start the season, whenever that comes.

Make sure you read Columbus Dispatch Blue Jackets beat reporter Aaron Portzline’s “61 Thoughts” on the departed #61, Rick Nash.

One story from the draft that left TSN’s Pierre McGuire drooling but maybe didn’t get enough attention nationally was the stockpiling of stud defensive prospects by Pittsburgh.  The Penguins have long relied upon Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin while blatantly ignoring some lineup holes that might cripple other teams.  The emergence of James Neal has filled one of those gaps on the wing and Pittsburgh attempted to make sure the other, defensive depth, isn’t a problem for the next decade with a weekend that refilled its pipeline to the gills.  The Penguins added Olli Maatta, Derrick Pouliot and Brian Dumoulin to a group that already included Simon Despres, Scott Harrington and Joe Morrow.  Literally all six of those guys have excellent chances to be impact NHL defensemen.  Of course they’ve got a long way to go, but the Penguins could be poised to have a back end capable of matching their feared trio of forwards.

I’ve found it very amusing that in the wake of Nashville matching the Flyers’ offer sheet to Shea Weber, Philadelphia fans have been harassing the team’s beat writers on Twitter about the possibility of signing Michael Del Zotto to an offer sheet.  Inquiring fans are consistently assured that the Rangers would match any offer.

 

Question Time: 

  • Any prospect you’ve grown more and more excited about this summer?
  • Where will Shane Doan sign?
  • More points next year: Chris Kreider or Derek Stepan?
  • What would Philadelphia have to offer Michael Del Zotto for you to not match if you were Glen Sather?
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Three Rangers Prospects Shooting for Team USA Junior Roster Spots

It was announced yesterday that New York Rangers prospects J.T. Miller (2011 1st round pick), Brady Skjei (2012 1st round pick) and Steven Fogarty (2011 3rd round pick) have all been selected for Team USA’s final 2012 National Junior Evaluation Camp roster. Team USA will be going up against Sweden and Finland in a duo of exhibition matches this week in Lake Placid, and it is in...

Rangers prospects showing promise

Despite it being the dog days of the summer for the pros there has still been some important hockey played by some of the Rangers most prized prospects. Steve Fogarty, Brady Skjei and JT Miller have been attending the initial US world juniors’ evaluation camp over the last week and all three have performed well. Chris Peters of the excellent United States of Hockey website (a blog...

Rangers, Del Zotto Having Contract Disagreements

As we get closer to hopefully the beginning of the 2012-13 NHL season, Rangers fans are growing more and more worried by the day about RFA Michael Del Zotto mysteriously not being re-signed by the Blueshirts yet.And now, Andrew Gross at the Bergen Record says there's obvious disagreement between the two sides on the terms of a new contract.Gross does add that he's confident...

Rangers Seeking Second Pairing Defenseman?

Rangers beat writer Jim Cerny hosts weekly chats on Blueshirts United and of course the topic of defense came up. With Erixon's departure and Michael Sauer's status still up in the air, the Rangers are still lacking a defenseman (unless Tortorella is happy to play Stu Bickel 3 minutes per game for the entire season). Per Cerny, the Rangers are attempting to solve that issue...

NHL.com's 30 in 30 Looks at the New York Rangers Today

In line with analyzing each NHL team in their offseason series, NHL.com has the New York Rangers today with staff writer Dave Lozo taking a look at a team with fresh faces coming off a 109-point season last year.Lozo believes adding Rick Nash will provide the Blueshirts with a new dimension on offense and he'll embrace the challenge of bringing a Stanley Cup to Broadway."...

Chris Kreider to Win the Calder Trophy Next Season?

Just Bourne of Backhand Shelf has a piece giving five reasons why he believes Rangers rookie Chris Kreider will win the Calder next season for best NHL rookie, citing age, experience, size, linemates and draft class. This year’s draft saw defensemen selected with eight of the first 10 picks. While defensemen are certainly capable of winning the Calder Trophy, the position just...

Another Look at Possible Ranger Lines Next Season

Corey Masisak of NHL.com took his best shot at predicting the New York Rangers' forward lines and defense pairings for the 2012-2013 season. In his predicitions, he leaves out Marian Gaborik, who will be recovering from offseason shoulder surgery and Mike Sauer, still recovering from a concussion.Forwards:Hagelin-Richards-NashKreider-Stepan-CallahanPyatt-Boyle-ThomasRupp-Halpern...

New York Rangers Rumors: Rangers a Favorite to Land Shane Doan

According to Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News, the New York Rangers are a favorite to land Phoenix Coyotes’ Shane Doan. “The Rangers’ strengths include their formidable roster but also Doan’s connections with their coaching staff: Assistant GM/assistant coach Jim Schoenfeld coached Doan for two seasons in Phoenix (1997-98 and 1998-99), with John [...] [[ This is a...

Talking Rangers Prospects With Brock Otten

A few weeks ago I talked to Cody Nickolet of WHL From Above about NYR prospects in the WHL, and it went very well. So, I decided to get in touch with Brock Otten, who closely follows the Ontario Hockey League and writes a blog aptly called OHL Prospects. He is reviewing how each NHL team's prospects did in the OHL the previous season, and while his Rangers review is very good...

Rangers Would Match an Offer Sheet for Del Zotto

Yesterday, I wrote about whether or not Ranger fans should be worried about Michael Del Zotto still being unsigned and the threat of an offer sheet by Philadelphia in the wake of losing Andrej Meszaros.Sam Carchidi, Flyers beat writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer, answered a tweet on this very subject and should ease any worries fans may have.“@8mjm8: @broadstbull offer sheet...

Rangers Prospects Continue to Impress at USA National Junior Evaluation Camp

Since Tuesday's roster cut, Team USA's National Junior team has cruised passed Finland 5-2 and Sweden 10-2 the last two days, with Rangers prospects impressing along the way.After going scoreless in the victory over Finland on Wednesday, J.T. Miller (2011 - 1st) had a standout performance yesterday vs. Sweden with 1g, 1a...Absolutely. He's been solid much of camp. #NJEC...

Henrik Lundqvist about to get a marketing push

One of my biggest complaints about the business of hockey is that the game’s biggest superstars receive very little notoriety away from the rink. Part of the problem lies with the league for not doing enough to market its stars beyond the Crosbys and Ovechkins of the world, but part of the problem also falls back on the players and their agents for not seeking more off ice opportunities...

The Lost Gomez "Thank You" To Rangers Fans

Rick Nash's class was on full display last week as he took out a full page ad thanking Blue Jackets fans for their support over the years, now Down Goes Brown unearths Scott Gomez's "thank you" to Rangers fans that for some reason wasn't printed in any of the New York papers......bravo DGB, bravo....assuming Canadiens fans didn't find this as funny as I...

The Unlikely Hero?

(MSG.com) Really now who here among the New York Ranger or New York Islander fans was surprised to hear Gary Bettman say that without a new collective bargaining agreement that on September 15; the NHL will once again lock out their players? Third time under Gary Bettman's leadership that the NHL will experience a work stoppage and for the second time quite possibly lose...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.