Found April 24, 2013 on
Blue Seat Blogs:
This is not how the Rangers have successfully developed prospects in recent years
The Rangers’ recent success has made Chris Kreider a forgotten man, but the handling of Kreider has been the most disappointing aspect of the 2013 season.
You can’t blame the 21-year-old for hitting a bump in the road, but the organization’s treatment of its prized winger has been a mess since the season-opener. Kreider got off to a miserable start with the Connecticut Whale Hartford Wolf Pack, where Kreider was asked to begin learning the Rangers’ system at the sacrifice of his offense. He posted just five goals and seven assists in 34 games and was struggling on both ends of the ice.
But Kreider was still handed a job out of training camp because the Rangers were very short on forwards and because, in case you forgot, he scored five goals right out of college for the Blueshirts in the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs. This raised so many eyebrows that Chad Kolarik was rumored to have requested a trade due to this decision.
Keeping Kreider with the big club was understandable, but the constant cycle of demotion/recall throughout the season has not been. It was very clear after just a few games that Kreider wasn’t ready for New York this spring. He wasn’t a confident guy after a difficult first half in the AHL and he was playing through painful bone spurs in his ankle. So, when the Rangers finally demoted Kreider on February 15th, that should have been the end of it. He should have spent the duration of the season getting big minutes with the Whale and learning what it takes to be successful at the next level before securing a full-time spot on Broadway in the fall. Instead, Kreider was shuttled back and forth to Connecticut seemingly every few days.
So whose fault was this mess?
Coach John Tortorella made it very clear that he didn’t trust the rookie and didn’t want Kreider up with the big club. That’s the coach’s prerogative and all of the statistical and on-ice evidence points to Tortorella being right. The Florida Panthers can afford to endure the mistakes of raw players at the NHL level because they have nothing to lose, but a team that was expected to compete for the Stanley Cup does not have that luxury. Don’t forget, Tortorella has shown a ton of trust in other young players in recent years (J.T. Miller, Carl Hagelin, Michael Del Zotto, etc.), but only once they proved that were ready for big minutes. Kreider never did.
The majority of the blame lies with the front office.
Part of the problem was due to the early-season lack of depth. Up until the trade deadline, the Rangers were struggling mightily to score – an issue that everyone thought Kreider could help with – and just didn’t have other viable options. To its credit, Glen Sather and company did attempt to rectify the team’s forward depth issue several times until they seemingly solved the problem for good at the deadline.
Despite that valid excuse, it’s a major mistake to mishandle a prospect as badly as the Rangers have. It would have served Kreider’s development far better this season if he was the a go-to guy with the Whale rather than playing fewer than 10 minutes a night with the Blueshirts. And don’t underestimate how badly Kreider’s confidence has been damaged; everything we know suggests that Kreider has the mental makeup to handle all of this, but many other prospects have been ruined this way.
For all the brilliance of Sather at retooling this team on the fly, the front office’s continued mistreating Kreider has been a black mark on the season. Let’s hope Kreider is able to put this all behind him and get back on the track to stardom next season.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Still control their own fate.
The Rangers lost last night. It happens. They dominated the game, but still fell short to an inferior team. It happens. The Blackhawks had their record streak broken by the 29th best team in the league this season. The Rangers lost to the worst team in the league. A team that has still won 13 games this season. It happens.
What is more important is...
When the lockout concluded, John Tortorella‘s New York Rangers certainly didn’t expect to be fighting for their playoff lives in the final week of the regular season. The Rangers were picked by many as a favorite to reach the Stanley Cup Final out of the Eastern Conference, but Tortorella’s club has not been able to meet those lofty expectations.
But with 52 points, the Blueshirts...
Yesterday at practice in Florida, Andrew Gross at the Bergen Record observed that Brian Boyle (right knee) appeared to still be limping and it looked like he was still wearing a brace under his suit pants.
John Tortorella said there were no updates on Boyle, who remains out indefinitely.
...if Boyle is still limping around I find it hard to believe that he'll be back...
Yesterday, I posted that with the Whale season ending without a playoff birth, the Rangers will, similar to last season, be recalling some prospects as taxi squad players for the final week and into the playoffs.
Brett Cyrgalis at the New Yor Post says the likely players recalled include J.T. Miller, Brandon Segal, Brandon Mashinter, Benn Ferriero, Dylan McIlrath and Mike Vernace...
The Rangers have a few avenues to clinch a playoff spot, but from the players' reaction there's only one way they want to get in...
Rick Nash (via Daily News)...
"We’re not scoreboard watching. It’s in our hands, so we want to win and get in."
Steve Eminger (via Blueshirts United)...
"We control our own destiny, which is all you can ask...
When it comes to New York Rangers' fans and the way they view their favorite hockey club, it is always an extreme point of view.
Either fans are in love and ecstatic about their hockey club or they absolutely despise and are fed up with their so called favorite NHL team. There is never a middle ground.
With two games remaining and just one win needed to clinch a postseason...
A bit of deja vu tonight. Markstrom stood strong and the Panthers held on long enough to get their two necessary goals. Give credit to them for doing what they had to.
Nonetheless, frustrating result for the Rangers. With the Jets losing in regulation, the Rangers had the ability to clinch a playoff spot. And with the Islanders losing in overtime, they had the ability to move...
That is what New York Rangers' fans must be wondering after watching their favorite team lost to the Florida Panthers by a score of 3-2.
After scoring 18 goals in three games, the Rangers' offense came up one short tonight in Florida. Panthers' goaltender Jacob Markstrom was solid in making 36 saves and him and the rest of his team was able to survive a late Rangers...
Jason Szenes for The New York Times
The Rangers are in Miami tonight to take on the Panthers, and can clinch a spot in the playoffs in the process. If the Rangers win tonight and the Jets lose in regulation to Washington, then the Rangers clinch at least the eighth seed. If the Rangers win tonight and the Islanders lose to Carolina, then the Rangers jump to the sixth seed, one point...
With Winnipeg losing tonight in regulation to the Capitals, the Rangers had a chance to clinch tonight. Unfortunately, the Rangers just couldn’t cash it in despite dominating puck possession (+25 team corsi), out hitting the Panthers and forcing more turnovers.
The Rangers have 52 points with two games left to garner the 2 points needed to solidify a playoff spot. Winterpeg has...
The New York Rangers failed to clinch a playoff birth with a 3-2 loss to the Florida Panthers last night. With Winnipeg losing to the Capitals in regulation yesterday, the Rangers can make the playoffs with 2 points in any … Continue reading →
Bruce Bennett — Getty Images
Tonight the Rangers are in Carolina in an attempt to clinch a playoff berth. The magic number is at two, meaning any combination of the Rangers getting or the Winnipeg Jets losing two points seals it for the Rangers. That means any Ranger win and they are in. A Jets regulation loss and the Rangers clinch. A Rangers and Jets OTL/SOL and the Rangers are...
The Rangers continued their playoff push, looking for their fourth straight win, in the Sunshine State taking on the league worst Florida Panthers, the same team they walloped 6-1 at Madison Square Garden last Thursday. A win and a Winnipeg Jets loss in regulation at Washington would clinch a playoff berth for the Blueshirts. Despite [...]
The New York Rangers (24-17-4) visit the Florida Panthers (13-26-6) at at BB&T Center starting at 7:30 p.m. For a preview go to Yahoo! Sports.
Rangers Game Notes
TV: MSG Plus; Radio: AM 970 The Apple, XM 215
Live Stream (Don't click on ads in stream, may download virus):
The New York Rangers (24-18-4) visit the Carolina Hurricanes (19-24-3) at PNC Arena starting at 7:00 p.m. For a preview go to Yahoo! Sports.
Rangers Game Notes
TV: MSG; Radio: ESPN Radio 98.7FM, XM 213
Live Stream (Don't click on ads in stream, may download virus):