Monday, May 27, 2013

Some Monday Musings

Some random stuff while I struggle with the fact that the Rangers aren't playing tonight:

*Just making it to the playoffs is simply not good enough, and should not be the bar for the Rangers. We are not the Islanders. John Tortorella's heavy-on-the-whip, short-on-the-temper, playing favourites coaching style and his safe-is-life philosophy have done just enough to take this team to mediocrity. Maybe a bit above mediocrity, but not to the upper echelon, not to Cup Contender. And that's not good enough.

*But that's fine for our ownership, as they keep raking in the money as the Pundit pointed out in his spot-on postmortem.

*The worst part about the Richard$ escapade is that Torts killed all of his trade value, along with his confidence. But Brad will be better next season - he can't be much worse - so buying him out may not be the best of ideas. Yes, his cap hit hurts but having him in the lineup, with something to prove is better than carrying completely dead space ...

*Nice of Brian Boyle to admit that he "sucked this year." Didn't mention that he also was atrocious the previous year and a half too ...

*Del Zaster has got to go, but who will take him? And who will we get back? The organization has no depth at the blueline, and no prospects ready to jump right in. Dylan McIlrath is still a season away, 2011 picks Sam Noreau and Peter Ceresnak are not NHL prospects (yet, if at all) and 2012 picks Brady Skjei and Calle Andersson have at least two, if not three more seasons before even thinking of stepping on Broadway. The pending UFAs aren't a particularly impressive bunch with the steadiest being likely to re-sign with their 2013 teams - Mark Streit, Rob Scuderi, Andrew Ference, and Douglas Murray. There are some top tier RFAs but they will be quite costly (i.e. Alex Pietrangelo, Kevin Shattenkirk, Nick Leddy and Roman Josi) and the Rangers shouldn't cast away their draft picks so casually.

*It will be interesting to see if Sather pulls something at the draft. Remember: this summer's first round pick went to Columbus for Nash and the second to San Jose for Clowe but there are four third round selections - Florida's (Wolski), Nashville's (last year's third rounder), Columbus' (part of the Nash deal) and our own. Then the Rangers have a fourth rounder, no fifth (another pick swap with Nashville last year), a sixth and no seventh (to Minnesota, the cost of ridding ourselves of Erik Christensen).

*A full season without any Michael Sauer news. No news is bad news, as his brother Kurt faded away in the same manner. So sad.

*The Blueshirts will be back in the beginning of September, as the Red Wings revived the Traverse City prospects tournament. The preseason slate for the full squad is set to include Vegas, which will be nice. And the '13-14 regular season will start on the road with rumours floating around of L.A. or Edmonton as the opener.

*Programming note: my Ranger report card will be out in the next few days (tomorrow, maybe), but it's unlikely I will revive the Facts of Life series.

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