Summer, summer, summertime. Summertime. Enough with the damned Fresh Prince. Give me 40 degrees with a chance of flurries any day. I don't fare too well in the heat and - as you can see from the title - am getting a bit delusional. So while I dwell in a fantasy world where I bring back Jean-Guy Talbot's track suit and take the reins of the Rangers, I figured I would follow in Goal Line Report and Puck Central's footsteps and fill out my lineup card. I did this right before free agency and certainly will do it again once Sather is done tinkering, but for now let's take a look:
Avery - Dubinsky - Gaborik
Callahan - Drury - Kotalik
Higgins - Anisimov - Byers
Brashear - Boyle - Lisin
My roster will have Voros, Rissmiller and Arnason all waived or just banished to Hartford and, as astute eyes noticed, no Zherdev. Z is seemingly assured of being kicked to the KHL after the Rangers get up from the table so do pobachennya Nikolai.
Avery played well when placed opposite of Jagr and should be just fine across from Gabby. Plus, seeing as he gets constant attention on the ice, it will get some more room for Gabby to work his magic. Cally has shown some chemistry with Dru, so let the two Americans hustle and dig alongside Kotalik. Higgins, Anisimov and Byers make for one helluva checking line as all three are willing to throw their bodies around. The fourth line, well, who cares as Torts won't use them much. Lisin can get some spot work on special teams, if he earns it.
Torts claimed that kids will get a chance in an interview with Brooksie yesterday and has said multiple times that veterans aren't guaranteed positions. Taking that into account, here is my blueline:
No Wade Redden, that goes without saying. I like Sauer but he could use another season in Hartford to repair the ego that Renney destroyed with his idiotic re-assignment last season. Potter is quick enough to cover for Rozy and smart enough to dish him the puck when in trouble. As for the third pairing, both Gilroy and Ilkka Heikkinen are older than your average rookies and enter with solid resumes. Andrew Gross had the Finn pegged for Hartford in his camp wrap but with the North American game so much more open, perhaps he can make a quick transition in September. If not, perhaps Bobby will show up in shape and seize the job. That would be a nice turn of events seeing as so many other draft picks are being dealt away. Not that I feel that losing Korp, Dawes or Monty was any big deal, but it is always good to see home grown players added to our ranks.
Now, much like the aforementioned lineup I made back on June 30th, this may all be rendered moot by something Sather has in the works. So back to reality for now ... and yep, it's still summer. Dammit.