As I am still coming to grips with the mighty Mirtle's
There are five guys attempting to get on that line and, being as Chris Drury is the captain and all, there are two roster spots for four players. I know, I know; the lines have been all jumbled up of late and I would move Cally alongside Gomez so 'third line' is an arbitrary designation but the key numbers remain: two roster spots, four players. Sounds like the makings of a reality show ... sooooooo come on down and let's meet the contestants on
Survivor: NYR Third Line Edition
5'9" 193 lbs, 23 years old
Nigel is the only one of the four to have scored a point this season. Including playoffs, Dawes has played in 85 NHL games and put up just 35 points. He is also the smallest in stature on a team that made a conscious decision to get bigger. He is pretty hard to knock off of the puck but has yet to show much skill without it. Doesn't seem to have been able to create chemistry with anyone in particular and yet has still played in six of the eight games. Are the Rangers showing patience or showing him off as trade bait?
6'1" 204 lbs, 23 years old
Dan has played in just two games, took four shots and has no points or PIM. Fritsche has good size and has shown some flashes of skill but it is still hard to judge him. His prior experience in Columbus frankly shouldn't count because they were just a terrible excuse for a hockey team and he is a complimentary player, not a star. After dealing away the ill-fated (incompetent) Christian Backman for him, you have to imagine the Rangers will give him more time and more opportunities.
6'1" 195 lbs, 22 years old
The Ranger first round pick in 2003, Lauri made a splash in his first game by scoring a playoff goal against the Penguins. Korpikoski spent two full seasons in Hartford but seems to still be learning how to play with the big boys. In seven games so far this season, he has taken just one official shot on goal and has been caught out of position on several occasions, which is odd considering he has shown versatility in playing both wing and center. Maybe some stability could help? He is almost certain to keep one of the two spots unless the Rangers make a move to bring someone else in - they have invested too much in his development.
6'0" 175 lbs, 26 years old
Petr is the lightest Ranger but he doesn't let that stop him from throwing his weight around. Timex has considered sponsoring Prucha because he embodies their old catch phrase - takes a licking, keeps on ticking. But for all of the abuse he has absorbed, Pru has seen things go considerably downhill since his rookie season. He has trouble getting into good scoring positions and when he does, grips his stick too tight and blows it. He has added some defensive responsibility to his repertoire but there are many better on the Blueshirts than he in their own zone. At 26 years old, you have to wonder when he stops being a prospect.
I am sure you can tell who I am endorsing from my scoring reports but I wouldn't be unhappy if Sather and Renney go off this board to fill the slots - especially if their mediocre play continues. Artem Anisimov, PA Paranteau (if he can pass waivers), Dane Byers or Greg Moore are all down on the farm and capable of seeing some NHL shifts. And I honestly wouldn't mind seeing them give Petr Nedved a call in the Czech Republic. Yes he is much older than these four candidates, and is under contract back home, but he would add some credibility and accountability to the locker room.
What do you think?