Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Tread Carefully With Stepan

If Brooksie is right and the Rangers have signed Derek Stepan, let's hope he doesn't make the team. Let him spend a year in the W as the leap from the NCAA is too much ... just look at what happened with Hobey. Matt Gilroy came out of the gates well but clearly ran out of steam by Christmastime, resulting in first the demotion and then the end-of-season benching. It is one thing to star playing against kids two, three years younger than you while playing 40 games and it is another to face professionals over a grinding 82 game schedule.

As we saw in the World Juniors and the Frozen Four, Stepan has skill and it is easy to dream of him centering the first line of the Blueshirts. But let's face it, with few exceptions, making the NHL is a process and the Rangers would be well served not rushing him through it. As always - to our dismay - they will not be rebuilding and will attempt to challenge for a playoff spot. Burdening this kid with that is simply not worth it in the long run.


Dennis said...

Scotty, the problem is not with these young kids being NHL ready. The problem is that the Rangers organization doesn't have the patience to let these kids learn on the job. But let's face it, Stepan and Kreider and Borque and all the other highly skilled prospects are better off getting tossed into the NHL like Del Zotto than they are playing for the Pack like Grachev because the same rules apply down there where if you don't put up 60 points you're not going to get Sather's attention and they'll just look outside the organization at free agents instead.

Heck, the Captain of the new Stanley Cup champs is 22 years old and Kane is 22 as well. Maybe I'm naive in thinking Kreider could be like Kane but what if Kane played a few years in the minors and never made the Hawks.

I'm more excited to see these kids play and grow and, yes fail some, but at the end of the day give 100% and give us a taste of an actual future.

Mike K said...

Total agree with you Dennis. I'd much rather have the young guns up in the NHL proving themselves or learning. Now I would say its not worth it if they are going to sit as healthy scratches or only get 5 mins of playing time.

Anonymous said...

The problem is Tortarella is the wrong coach for this team. He is a veteran team coach it seems. He only held young players and Kotalik accountable throughout the year. He didn't give Lisin a fair shake, seemed to give Anisimov a different role almost every game, and seemed to alienate other young players. He needs to go, just an awful coach and his ego is too big for the team.

Dennis said...

I totally agree on Torts. Imagine if he was your boss, getting in your face every day and yelling at you and not treating other employees with equal scrutiny. Now imagine this is your first job and you are 22 years old. It can't be a big confidence builder.

I also don't think he's a very good technical coach. That's why the Rangers keep talking about the locker room. Between his fury and Drury's, well non-fury, it's like a sailboat without a keel.