Are the Rangers Now an Example To Others?

August 4, 2011, by

This off-season we’ve seen the Flyers essentially turn their team over (at least offensively) to the kids as they jettisoned their captain, Mike Richards and goal scorer Jeff Carter out West. Young forwards James Van Riemsdyk and Claude Giroux are now in possession of the keys to the Flyers future. The Flyers will be hoping that sooner, rather than later, Brayden Schenn will be joining them to form an imposing young trio of skilled leaders.

I can’t help wondering if the Flyers management saw how the Rangers were developing in the right direction as the Rangers were being lead from the front by home grown kids in Dubinsky, Callahan and on the back end Marc Staal. Both clubs have often sought expensive big name forwards, and to their credit, the Flyers have had more success down that path than the Rangers. However, the Rangers have recently had more joy with a better blend of home grown prospects and external recruits which have resulted in a promising future, underpinned by excellent team chemistry.

The Flyers were in a sticky position in that their dressing room was a mess and they needed to make a conscious decision who to entrust their future with. They went with their kids. Other clubs are doing the same as well. As the Canadiens try to re-build on the fly, central to their hopes will be their own drafted center Tomas Plekanec as well as young studs PK Subban and Max Pacioretty.

The Habs had a choice to make this off-season. Try and re-sign James Wisniewski or stick with Subban and oft-injured but uber talented Markov. They went home-grown. More and more clubs are placing greater emphasis on a home grown core because of it helps build chemistry and an identity. They also retained Josh Gorges, known as a good character player.

That focussing on a home grown core doesn’t always work you just need to look at the St Louis Blues who seem to be stuck in neutral despite having quite a few promising young forwards in TJ Oshie, David Perron, David Backes and Patrick Berglund. St Louis’ scenario shows that you need to get the balance right and make the right personnel choices. Clearly the team lacked leadership last year hence they recruited aging veteran leaders, Jamie Langenbrunner and Jason Arnott.

The Rangers are lucky. The players they have placed their hopes in provide them with skill, character and leadership. Callahan, Dubinsky, Marc Staal and kids such as Ryan McDonagh and Derek Stepan show that you can find both skill and leadership in youth. The Flyers will be hoping for the same kind of balance in their new leaders.


  1. Zen says:

    I’m not sure I make the same connection that you do with the Flyers. Before they jettisoned Richards & Carter, I would have thought that Philly’s GM was the most brilliant GM in the league the way he built that team. Maybe Sather and Holmgren switched bodies overnight… like in some of those silly movies.

    But I do agree that the Rangers are fortunate to have a solid core of skill, character, AND leadership. It is just too bad that none of those players are elite. BR should fill that roll well this year.

    • Mikeyyyy says:

      Problem is we haven’t tanked enough seasons to get a top 5 pick during a good draft year.

      Every year I sit and hope that one of our players get it and become elite.

  2. Walt says:

    This team is made up of lunch pail type of players, and for that as a fan I appreciate their efforts. They are indeed developing into a fine young team, and will be a force to be facing on the ice.

    As for the Filthadelphia Flyers, not miss spelled for your info, they have historically gone after grit, and more grit, at the expense of skill to a certain extent. I see them on the tv because I live in PA, and I just hate everything they stand for. From Bobby Clarke, to Snyder their owner, to the city that has a mental issue when it comes to New York. They play their hearts out during the regular season, but are duds in the play-offs. With the move to bring in a so called quality goalie, the fans are sky high with the team. I would love to see them miss the play-offs, and make those clowns that follow them eat their hearts out.

    This is going to be a fun year for hockey, and I can’t wait to see the Rangers in Philly this season, I love when they win there, their fans are such sore loosers.

  3. The Suit says:

    I think the Rangers are following Chicago’s template of building around youth.

    I don’t know if a full youth revolution is under way in Philly. Seemingly on offense, but their leadership is def being led by an aging defense and goaltender.

  4. Matt J says:

    I hate thinking about this because it’s about time the Rangers draft an absolute superstar who just can tear it up in the league. We need a Patrick Kane, a Logan Couture, a Jeff Skinner, type player. How are we always unfortunate in getting one of these guys?

    I’m really hoping Kreider can be the one to turn this team into a powerhouse. Him and Christian Thomas putting up solid numbers in the near future could put us over the top.

    • The Suit says:

      Draft position kido. That upper-echelon cant miss talent aint outside of the top 8 picks. Everyone else who scores a Parise just got lucky.

      • Chris says:

        I dont see why Kreider can’t have the same impact a Skinner has. Same goes for Thomas. Not every elite player has to be a lottery pick (Swedish goalies anyone?)

  5. Richter1994 says:

    I see Thomas as our Skinner. Both are smaller in stature but fearless around the net. You listen to Thomas and you can just hear the confidence that oozes out of him. I still say he will be better than Kreider. Thomas is a potential 30 goal sniper for us, much in the same mold as Skinner. My disappointment is that we didn’t draft Armia who appears to have world class skill. The kid is 17 and playing against men in the Finnish Elite League. Not as good as Sweden’s but still pretty damned good. I agree with Suit. Comparisons to Philly are off base because Holmgren “solved a problem.” There is no way he “planned” to get rid of Richards and Carter. No way. His hand was forced. I predict the Flyers may not even make the playoffs. Too much of a turnover and you don’t replace 60+ goals overnight. Schenn will be great but not this year and Bryz will not be the superstar Philly thinks he will be. It’s a long way playing in Philly than in Arizona. That contract was laughable especially when they could have had Vokoun for under $3M per and is better than Bryz, IMO.