Mid-June Musings

Interesting debate on Twitter the other night:  who would you rather have: Gabriel Landeskog, Adam Henrique or Chris Kreider?  I think I’d take Henrique, but the Twitterverse seemed split between Landeskog and Kreider.  I may have a slightly biased audience…

This offseason was wacky even before it officially began.  Prior to the Kings victory on Monday: Nicklas Lidstrom retired, Tim Thomas decided to take a hiatus, Edmonton shockingly won the draft lottery (again) and Marian Gaborik was lost for six months.

It would be just like Detroit to replace Lidstrom, Brad Stuart and Brian Rafalski (a year later) with Ryan Suter, Justin Schultz and Brendan Smith.  That franchise reloads better than anyone.

It seems like many have soured on Derek Stepan after he failed to break out this season and was again a no-show in the playoffs.  It’s perhaps a little unfair to expect a kid to handle such a heavy offensive burden at the tender age of 21, but that’s the pressure Stepan faces in New York.  I still fully expect Stepan to blossom into a consistent 50-to-60-point player though.

Just like last year, Rangers fans have begun to discuss the possibility of bringing Jaromir Jagr back into the fold.  The 40-year-old is set to be an unrestricted free agent on July 1st and although it’s likely that he’ll re-sign with Philadelphia, it’s hard for many to resist imagining him back in blue especially with the gaping hole on the right side left by Marian Gaborik’s injury.  But the Blueshirts weren’t interested last year, so I see no reason why they would be 12 months later.

It pains me to say it, but Martin Brodeur was stellar in the playoffs.  He’s still obviously prone to giving up juicy rebounds and flopping around like a dead fish, but for the most part, he’s was pretty solid for the Devils. Writing that makes me want to smash my keyboard over my head, but it’s the truth.  Marty’s athleticism is still sensational and it certainly seems like he could play another couple of seasons at a reasonably high level.

The Rangers are currently scheduled to make four selections in the draft, I’ll bet they end up making six; GM Glen Sather is not shy about wheeling and dealing at the draft, especially in the middle rounds.  And I wouldn’t be surprised to see Andrew Yogan sent packing.

Heading into the playoffs you might have said that Philadelphia’s 2011 summer trades worked out pretty well.  Jakub Voracek, Sean Couturier, Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn were all integral parts of the Flyers, while Jeff Carter had been summarily dismissed by Columbus and had yet to make much of an impact with Los Angeles.  Mike Richards had played well, but it seemed as though the Flyers may have made some pretty savvy deals.  The four Flyers performed well in the playoffs, but Carter and Richards were both huge in capturing a Stanley Cup for the Kings.

Here’s how they produced in the regular season compared to the playoffs:

Regular season:

Voracek – 18g, 31a, 78gp

Couturier – 13g, 14a, 77gp

Simmonds – 28g, 21a, 82gp

Schenn – 12g, 6a, 54gp

Total – 81g, 120a, .69 ppg

 

Richards – 18g, 26a, 74gp

Carter – 21g, 13a, 55gp

Total – 39g, 39a, .60 ppg

 

Playoffs

Voracek- 2g, 8a, 11gp

Couturier – 3g, 1a, 11gp

Simmonds – 1g, 5a, 11gp

Schenn – 3g, 6a, 11gp

Total – 9g, 20a, .66 ppg

 

Richards – 4g, 11a, 20gp

Carter- 8g, 5a, 20gp

Total – 12g, 16a, .70 ppg

Of course, the Flyers would also contend that they are positioned well moving forward and that Claude Giroux might not have emerged without the dealing of Carter and Richards, so this isn’t cut and dry…

Incidentally, Richards, Carter and Simon Gagne are the bigger names, but the Kings have a fourth former Flyer who’s pretty good – Justin Williams.

These are the fop-four defensemen units I might rather have heading into next year than New York’s quartet of Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh, Marc Staal and Michael Del Zotto: Chicago’s (Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Nick Leddy) and I think that’s about it.

The Rangers – a team that is clearly ready to win now – don’t have a choice but to plan ahead thinking Michael Sauer won’t play again.  That’s a legitimate possibility, but the optimistic way of thinking is that Sauer could also have a Staal-like impact upon returning sometime late in the 2012-2013 season.  If Sauer is able to recover from his concussion, he could be a huge unexpected reinforcement.

Gordie Clark and company have earned our trust and should pick the best available player on their draft board next weekend, but it will be a little difficult to resist pulling for one of Stefan Matteau, Henrik Samuelsson, or Zachary Stepan to end up a Ranger.

I really hope Tuesday night wasn’t our last of hockey until 2013.

 

Question Time:

  • So who would you rather have: Landeskog, Henrique or Kreider?
  • If you were Edmonton, what would you do with the first pick?
  • Which top-four defensemen units would you prefer to New York’s?
  • Will Michael Sauer play next season?
  • Who is on your top-five draft wish list?
  • Are you expecting a lockout?

19 Responses to “Mid-June Musings”

  1. Mikeyyy says:

    So who would you rather have: Landeskog, Henrique or Kreider? Special K
    If you were Edmonton, what would you do with the first pick? Nail
    Which top-four defensemen units would you prefer to New York’s? I wouldn’t. I like our guys
    Will Michael Sauer play next season? No
    Who is on your top-five draft wish list? Anyone we can get.
    Are you expecting a lockout? Yes

  2. Leatherneckinlv says:

    Kreider
    Trade down and draft a defenseman
    I like our guys as well…especially the depth and hopeful signing of Schultz
    Yes Sauer will be back
    Tom Wilson, Colton Scissions, Mark Jankowski, Nicholas Kerdiles or Dalton Thrower or Henrik Samuelsson
    No lock out…The league would be insane to do such a thing with its growth and increase in popularity

    Kevin, really??? Henrique over Kreider…Do tell us your reasoning

    • Kevin says:

      I understand the argument against Henrique because he’s significantly older than the other two, but I’ve just been impressed with him since the preseason, when he knifed through our D and ripped a backhander under the bar. He kind of flew under the radar this year partially because of injury, but he actually finished with one less point than Landeskog in eight fewer games. Obviously he was a monster in the postseason with 3 game-winners and 2 series clinchers.
      I think all three will be future stars, but I love what I’ve seen from Henrique. Has more playmaking ability than either of the other two and though he may not be as much of a pure goal-scorer as Kreider, he has definitely shown the ability to put the puck in the net and get to the dirty areas.
      I think Henrique is kind of underrated because he didn’t get the hype playing on a loaded Windsor squad alongside Taylor Hall in juniors, but that may have been a mistake.
      To be honest, I think a pretty solid argument could be made for all three, but I love (or hate, if you will, as a Rangers fan) what I’ve seen from Henrique.

      • Rickyrants13 says:

        Henrique was by far put into the best situation out of the three to do well. Edmonton is awfull. And Krieds was put in during the Playoffs.

        I want to see Henrique play when he is the go to guy. Not some rookie playing alongside Kovy and Parise and Elias.

  3. The Suit says:

    So who would you rather have: Landeskog, Henrique or Kreider? I’d rather have Kreider. I think he is tailor made for what Johnny Boy is putting together here.

    If you were Edmonton, what would you do with the first pick? I’d probably try to trade it and get some experience on that roster.

    Which top-four defensemen units would you prefer to New York’s? None.

    Will Michael Sauer play next season? Sad to say, but probably not.

    Who is on your top-five draft wish list? I don’t really follow these kids until they’re in the system. I defer to Jess and people who actually watch these kids up-close for that stuff.

    Are you expecting a lockout? I could see the league losing a few weeks.

    • Leatherneckinlv says:

      Can Jess do a guest post on here in regards to the prospects and whom he thinks will be selected by the Rangers? Curious to hear his assesment of the prospects

      • Dave says:

        Jess did an interview with Suit a few days ago:

        http://bit.ly/LDCEac

      • Jess says:

        Leather

        I have an obligation to save my selected pick to the Blueshirt Bulletin magazine. Sorry but they pay me nice money for that info.

        As for the current prospects one of the most telling signs about how improved the Ranger’s player development program has come was seeing all 6 players in the 2010 draft class signed to contracts.

        It is not that I expect all 6 to become NHLers (4 will)but what a much better world the pipeline is these days.

        If it was me I would trade the pick down to say Colorado who doesn’t have a 1st rd pick.

        Get me a couple of extra picks in the 2nd or 3rd and I would find a solid defender and goalie there

        • Leatherneckinlv says:

          I have a feeling we will have to solid picks in the 1st 2 rounds Jess. I would keep the 1st and trade up in the 2nd. Any thoughts on Mark Jankowski,,,,Jess?

          • Jess says:

            Leather

            Mark Jankowski makes me a bit nervous because he has giant stats against substandard competition.

            People want to call him a late bloomer but he should have been playing Junior “A” this past season (slightly lower than the big 3 junior leagues but still good quality) while he decided his career path.

            In your draft year you should be looking to play against the best possible talent to enhance your status.

            I take it you are thinking 2nd rd here but really at 59 I would be seriously considering a Tanner Richard of Barrie who’s stock is dropping (and I think people are wrong too), Calle Andersson of Sweden and Mitchell Moroz of Edmonton.

            They offer value for the spot they are in OR if I am the NYR I still think trade down and Andrey Markov (goalie) of Saskatoon.

            Markov is going to have a breakout season next year and will be playing in the Memorial Cup. Under rated goalie who is only going to get better

  4. freewheeler says:

    Stepan was a 50-60 point player this year.

    • Kevin says:

      Caught me :) I’ll amend to saying a consistent 50-60 point guy.

    • Alex says:

      why are people bashing Stepan? Yea so he had a bad playoffs. So did half the team. Maybe he didnt have a “breakout” year, but I wouldnt call 51 pts as a second year player a step in the wrong direction. this kid has a very bright future ahead of him.

  5. howiehockey says:

    Did i miss something (a scouting report) on Andrew Yogan…what’s the rationale behind your comment about Slats possibly sending him packing…

    • Kevin says:

      Commitment has long been in question. Questions about character. He’s got a power forward game, but those issues don’t fit the NYR mold, he’s been pushed farther down the depth chart again and again.

  6. evan says:

    Was broduer good in the finals? Yes, but honestly if the Rangers had any form of offense, we would have potted 3 per game against him with those outrageous rebounds he was giving up. He was also beyond dreadful vs philadelphia and let in some softies vs Florida. Again i was surprised by how awesome he was in the finals, but Deboer isnt an idiot and he tailored his team to be an all out forecheck squad that keeps teams out of the middle to protect broduer.

    Broduer will probably go down as the best goalie ever, but honestly i feel no one talks about the incredible situation he came into from 1994-2003. I have looked into the statistics and he faced either the lowest or second lowest shots per game for most if not all of those 10 years. Then you had the disgusting trap the devils played and the absurd clutch and grabbing. Finally, scott stevens, nidermeyer just clearing everything. All of those factors are what have allowed broduer to be healthy for this long. I would have liked to have seen what broduer would have done on the rangers squad from 1997-2004. His career would be like richters right now, over.

    On the other side without Henrik prior to this year, I can safely say the Rangers would have finished in the bottom 5 in the nhl each year. That is how many games he steals for us

  7. Rickyrants13 says:

    There are only 5Core players that anyone should be down on at this point in their carears. Thats Lundy, Dubi, Cally, Staal and Girardi. All others are way to young to give up on.

    And out of all those players Dubi is the only player that let us down this year.

    As for Who I would want Ide say its Krieder Why you ask? Because the other players had great rookie seasons yes. But Krieder came in under the the most trying conditions you can come in under. And did very well. With that being said you need to ask yourself this. Would you feel the way you do about your choice if Krieder had played a whole season? At 6’4 230 I will stick by my pick.

  8. Jess says:

    Kevin

    When Carter and Richards were traded; it was strongly hinted that they were cancer’s in the locker room. Truthfully the Flyers gave both 2 very bad contracts and moved them out of panic.

    It doesn’t matter what those 4 players did, the duo when reunited won the Stanley Cup and that is what really matters

  9. paulronty says:

    Kreider,hands down–he’s going to be a star.
    Edmonton-Draft Matt Dumba
    I like no D better than the Rangers.
    Sauer will return at about the 55 game mark.
    Dumba & no Russians
    Lockout-probably