Killin' Time is the title for my random observations/news posts at this point of the year. There is some hockey news but no hockey games ... and that sucks. So, onto this evening's edition:
*As the Rangers have yet to come out and make a public decision with Brendan Shanahan, and he clearly wants to come back (via Puck Daddy), here is an idea: make him a player/coach. The player/coach position disappeared from the NHL for several decades, but why not bring it back? It was a role I suggested for Jason Strudwick a number of times and Shanny would be even better at it. He could easily supplant Perry Pearn in working with the power play and would be more-than-capable filling in when the injury big hits ... on any line. Admittedly, I am grasping at straws at this point because Sather loaded the roster with third and fourth line guys and what is where Shanny would be best considering he isn't the fastest of skaters anymore. But to lose Shanny to retirement or, even worse, the Devils would be a huge loss to the team and the sport of hockey.
*With Marty Straka back in Czech Republic and Jaromir Jagr in Siberia, I can't help but wonder what is happening with Marek Malik. Is it possible that no one, in the entire world, wants him??? As mentioned in our sponsorship of his Hockey Reference page, we do wish him the best ... as long as it is not on Broadway.
*Speaking of people heading far, far away: Do svidaniya to Sergei Brylin. Fire & Ice, probably the best of the Devil blogs - even if it is MSM - spoke to him and he confirmed that he will play next season in Russia. Brylin was always a good soldier for the Devils and one of those opposing players you can respect (unlike Mmmmaaaarrrrtttyyyy). Happy trails.
*Am I the only one enjoying the blogging by Colton Orr? The Rangers tough guy is teaching kids hockey but seems obsessed with lunch. I think he should keep this up throughout the season to give fans an inside look at the team and at restaurants around the NHL cities.
*Scotty Hockey favourite and fantasy hockey stud Dan Carcillo re-signed with Phoenix. He made a huge impact in the few games he played two seasons ago when he was called up so I drafted him in late rounds of fantasy drafts and was truly awarded. While I appreciated all of the PIMs, I honestly think that a good number of the penalties that Carcillo got - game misconducts primarily - were unwarranted. He got himself a bad reputation and the refs were looking to call something (Ryan Hollweg anyone?). I honestly think that if Carcillo calms down a bit, his upside is in the neighborhood of Cam Neely - who was a bit of a tough guy himself when he broke in with Vancouver. Carcillo showed that scoring touch and nose for the net and the Coyotes are putting him in a good position to go that way by bringing in Grats and Fedoruk to take the burden of defending teammates off of him. He will definitely be a player to watch this coming season.
*This coming season will start in Sweden (with the Pens and the Sens) and in the Czech Republic with the Rangers and Lightning. The Lightning are still offering their travel package while the Rangers still have details pending. Of course, I don't see packages offered for Pens or Sens fans to go to Stockholm, but who cares about them anyway?
*As for the preseason, the Rangers still haven't released their schedule. They are playing eight games for sure, six here (three home, three away) and two in Switzerland. Here is a great thread on HockeyFights where people are posting schedules as they are announced. It has the Rangers playing Tampa Bay twice in preseason (Tuesday Sept. 23 in Tampa and Thursday, Sept. 25 at the Garden) ... for some reason I can't fathom, as the two teams will come together in Prague to start the year. As mentioned, the two games in Switzerland are set - against Bern and Metallurg. With some random searching (hey, I'm bored), I found that there will be a home and home with Ottawa on the 20th and 22nd (the latter being at MSG). So what's taking so long for the last two games of the preseason schedule? We are less than two months away! My guess is a pair against the Isles or Pens but who knows.
*Even closer is the Traverse City prospects tournament that the Rangers' kids will be taking part in again at Center Ice Arena in Traverse City, Michigan. The tournament is scheduled for Sept. 13 to 17, will feature entries from the Atlanta Thrashers, Columbus Blue Jackets, Minnesota Wild, St. Louis Blues and host Detroit Red Wings. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if the Rangers win again.