Friday, June 26, 2009
NHL Draft '09 First Round Reaction
Much like the NBA on Thursday evening, the biggest news to come out of the night of the NHL's draft came in the form of a big trade. The Philadelphia Flyers dealt their future for Chris Pronger. Lupul, Sbisa and a host of top picks for Pronger, who is perfect for Philly. He is mean, he hits hard, he cheats and he isn't very bright. To quote Slap Shot, as I so love to do, "for the sake of the game, they oughta throw him in San Quentin. He is a criminal element!" Pronger is as much as a goon as Chris Simon ever was and has skated off virtually scot-free because he is one helluva hockey player.
And now he is in the Atlantic Division with us.
As my buddy Eric said, now we have to keep Colton Orr. Orrsie has always been huge in keeping the Flyers in check and always stepped up his play against them. And now they have a monster on defense. Not good, not good at all.
Speaking of not good at all, my loathing for the Isles knows no bounds. Forget Tavares, hearing them make deal after deal and then select an idiot who can't even put a hat on his head properly made my night. Calvin De Haan? Really? Terrible pick for a terrible franchise.
Then again, De Haan will actually get a shot at the NHL in the next two, three years. The kid the Rangers picked should make the team right around the time that Wade Redden's contract comes up. Chris Kreider may be the top skater in the draft but it has to be mentioned that he has looked so good skating for Andover - a U.S. high school - against kids two, three years younger and while playing just 26 games. Bring up Brian Leetch all you like, Leetchie dominated averaging three, four points a game and played in three World Juniors. He then played a year in college and a year against top competition with Team USA before getting an Olympics under his belt. This Kreider kid will not see anything remotely close to professional-quality play for a long time.
Maybe he will turn into a NHL star, maybe he won't - we all know this is a crap-shoot and I am not going to bet against him. My biggest issue with the decision to pick Kreider is that it shows that the Ranger organization has no feasible plan. No direction. Are they looking to win right now? Are they looking to win a few years with Callahan and Dubinsky? Is Sather just killing time until retirement? Which should come right around the time this project player is ready for the NHL (hopefully, then again Iron Maiden sang that 'evil seems to live forever').
The prevailing thought is that the Garden brass doesn't believe in rebuilding, they want a winner. If that was the case, then the Rangers should have dealt the pick. If Tortorella is to be believed in that they have to build a winner (and thus justifying his decision to bench Avery), then they draft to fill a need and a power forward like Caron or Ashton would have been ideal. If they have no clue, then they throw a dart at the wall and hope that it sticks. Tonight they went that way and the dart landed on a virtually-unknown quantity that is a American high school player.
As someone who bent over and took the MSG ticket increase right in the wrong spot, I am disappointed by the decision to pick Kreider. By the time he makes the team I will almost certainly be priced out of the building and will be that much more sore for having gone through the experience. Perhaps Sather and the Rangers will pull something off tomorrow or next Wednesday to provide some lotion heading into this season. Man do I hope, cause this hurts ...