It’s Thursdays folks and you know what that means…Thoughts & Musings time! Chris usually does these, so my apologies to his loyal admirers.
As always (more like every now and then), I try to put my sports insider/biznass spin on this blog of ours, so bare with me for a few before we get back to talking about the latest Rangers buzz.
Coming To A Hockey Arena Near You
For those of you who vacationed from the site this summer, I’ve been sporadically posting bits of information about what industry insiders are discussing in front offices and locker rooms around the country. We’ve talked about everything from dynamic ticket pricing to off season conditioning. Today I want to briefly discuss another topic that has caught my attention that I thought was interesting enough to share with all of you.
So what’s on the stove?
There is little bit of technology being tested at the NFL, NCAA, and the WWE and it may be making its way into hockey arenas. It’s called “Live Sports Radio.” Essentially it is an earpiece (think of a Bluetooth) that is distributed at sporting events and broadcasts the audio signal from your local sports TV telecast.
So if you’re at a Rangers game at MSG, you would be able to listen to Sam Rosen and Joe Micheletti’s analysis while you are sitting in the stands. The rumored cost for these things is suppose to be around $10-$20. Not a bad price if you’re looking to find out if the puck crossed the goal line before everybody else in your section or if you want to follow the action when you’re on line at a concession stand…
Back to the Rangers…
I keep reading these silly comments that Fedotenko, Wolski, etc. are somehow taking away roster spots from our young players. Look, those anti-veteran arguments worked in the 90’s and early 2000s when the aforementioned coaches opted to stick with their washed-up, overpaid veterans instead of up-and-coming players. Those days are long gone people. Torts is here.
If any young player, be it Christian Thomas, or Carl Hagelin, etc. outplays any veteran on this roster, that young player is going to get the job. That has been Torts philosophy his entire coaching career.
He pushed Redden, Drury, and Rozi down the depth chart and out the door because he believed in guys like Staal, Girardi, Dubinsky, Callahan, Stepan, etc. Don’t think for a minute he won’t do the same with this new crop of young players. When they are ready for it, they will get their chance.
Gaborik Can Play In Any System
Some people think that because we got Richards, Torts should just throw out his playbook, allow Gaborik to play however he wants, and not worry about sticking to the system. Their thinking is, that if he’s worrying about backchecking, then he won’t be scoring goals.
Gaborik scored 42 goals for a Minny team that played an ultra-conservative trap. He also scored over 40 goals playing in Torts’s 2-1-2 dump and chase. Gaborik can succeed in any system because he is an elite player.
Asking him to play a team game will not hurt his production, it will enhance it. In order to score a goal, you need to have the puck. Teams usually obtain the puck when they outnumber the opposition in the neutral or defensive zone. Gaborik needs to be apart of that equation.
Michael Del Zotto’s Future Has Yet To Be Written
I also don’t understand why people think Del Zotto should automatically go to Hartford or that he should automatically be placed on the roster. His spot, whether in Hartford, or on Broadway has to be earned.
Just because he had a bad year last season doesn’t mean he will have a bad camp or preseason. And just because the kid can hit or block shots, doesn’t mean he doesn’t need to work on his stickwork, gap control, or three zone coverage at the NHL level. His role can’t be decided in August, and his future is as incomplete as this sentence