Friday, July 11, 2008
Sorting Out The Seven Spot
The Rangers defense is pretty much set for next season at this point with just some minor tinkering going on. The unit looks like this:
Redden - Girardi
Mara - Kalinin
The seventh defenseman spot, so capably handled by Rock Star and mustache aficionado Jason Strudwick last year, is now up for grabs as Struds has headed to Edmonton. Happy trails to Strudwick, who did his job well (if slowly). A hard worker, he did everything he could to help the team and it was sincerely appreciated, at least here at Scotty Hockey. Hopefully he will return someday as a coach.
But his departure for the great white north leaves the extra defenseman slot open and that seventh spot will be battled for by Thomas Pock (yes, he is still around), Corey Potter and the Rangers' newest signing, Vladimir Denisov. Denisov seems to specialize in getting beat up but looked good moving the puck according to several reports from the World Championships, although none were official. The one official WC game report that I found mentioned him getting hammered again. Not good.
I would like to see Potter get it for his hard work but he may be better off with the Pack where he will get a ton of ice time with Bobby Sanguinetti. Bobby's skills would be wasted in a limited role and a season where he will play a ton of minutes in all situations in Hartford will be good for his development. Mike Sauer won't have a chance at the seven spot as he lost most of last year due to injury.
So that leaves poor Pock, who was underutilized two seasons ago and came out and bitched about it, which doomed him to the AHL last season. Hopefully the Rangers' need of an experienced player in the extra defenseman spot will prove greater than Sather's hurt feelings and Pock will get another shot at the show.