Fuss about Fogarty?
2011 third-round pick Steven Fogarty didn’t get a whole lot of attention this year because of the rise of Chris Kreider and stunning point total of Michael St. Croix, but the Penticton Vee had a monster season in his own right. Fogarty will attend the University of Notre Dame next year where he’ll be more in the spotlight. I’ll bet he’s the surprise prospect we’re all discussing this time next year and there will be brief discussion of his chances of making the team in 2013. He still needs a couple more seasons of development, but Fogarty may put himself on the fast track sooner than we were led to believe.
Lightning acquire Lindback
I don’t think Tampa Bay’s acquisition of goalie Anders Lindback got enough attention last week. Remember, the Lightning were one win away from the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals before falling apart this season, in large part due to lackluster goaltending. Lindback is relatively unproven, but in a small sample size he has shown the potential to be a solid starter. He could be the difference between a lottery pick and a playoff berth for Tampa.
Nashville will undoubtedly unearth a couple of All-Stars with the draft picks they received from Tampa, but the Lightning did well to hold on to their two first-rounders (#10 and #19 overall). I think the trade also marks the end of Dwayne Roloson’s NHL career and it opens the door for Toronto to get Roberto Luongo.
Rangers shouldn’t draft a goalie in the 1st round
I continue to be baffled by the number of people that are suggesting the Rangers should draft a goalie in the first round. Not only is there a ton of evidence that suggests that’s a foolish move for any team, but the Blueshirts have a 30-year-old that just won the Vezina Trophy. It’s not like Lundqvist is Martin Brodeur, deflecting retirement into his 40s (and incidentally, the Devils don’t have a contingency plan for Brodeur either). Sure, anything can happen, but you’ve got to assume that Lundqvist has at least another solid half-decade. Why in the world are we planning that far ahead?
This team is clearly built to win now, so the priority should be stockpiling talented reinforcements that can join the big club a couple years down the road to aid what is hopefully an annual Stanley Cup contender. Burning an invaluable first-rounder on someone that won’t help the franchise for five years, by which point the window may have temporarily closed – depending on the development of young players, because Lundqvist, Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik will all be old – is just nonsensical to me. The Rangers should draft a project goalie pretty much every year, but using a first-rounder on a netminder when the team has other short-term needs would be foolish.
Dealing Getzlaf or Ryan
Many have suggested that Anaheim might be wiser to deal center Ryan Getzlaf than left wing Bobby Ryan. Getzlaf, 27, is set to be an unrestricted free agent next summer while Ryan, 25, is locked up at a very reasonable contract for three more seasons. I have to admit, if I were Ducks GM Bob Murray, I’d probably try to move Getzlaf before Ryan. However, Getzlaf is coming off an abysmal season and would be just a rental, so he may hold a bit less trade value than Ryan. Still, I’m sure teams are inquiring about the 6’4″, 221-pounder and I wouldn’t be shocked if Getzlaf is dealt instead of Ryan.
Prust to test the open market
I can’t fault Brandon Prust for planning to test the open market on July 1st. He’s not a premier scorer, so this is his best chance to cash in with a big payday. The Rangers are playing hardball with a player they really want to keep, which could burn them. While I expect that Prust will get lucrative offers on the open market, I think GM Glen Sather will match.
Keep Carl off the block
I’d be very, very reluctant to trade Carl Hagelin. He’s one of the young guys that every team will ask about, but the Rangers don’t want give him up. In the right deal, I suppose you’d have to include him, but I think he’s an extremely valuable piece to the Blueshirts moving forward. If I was Sather, I can assure you that I’d consider him worth more than other teams would deem reasonable. I’d deal Hagelin, Christian Thomas and a first-rounder for Bobby Ryan, for example, but if Hagelin is part of the deal, I wouldn’t be willing to include Tim Erixon too. That pared down package wouldn’t be enough for Anaheim, but my point is that I’d probably be unwilling to meet realistic trade demands should Hagelin be part of a deal.
The game is changing and Hagelin’s speed is an incredible asset. Many don’t think he’s a true top-six forward, but Hagelin posted 14 goals and 38 points last year. Not every club has six 20-goal guys and 15 to 20 goals is actually pretty reasonable for a second-liner. Hagelin far exceeded my expectations in his rookie season and I see no reason why he can’t consistently post 45 points or more going forward.
Lessons from Traverse City
I hope we all learned an important lesson from the 2011 Traverse City Tournament – don’t put a ton of stock in what you see at the annual prospects tournament. Some guys looked terrific and had impressive seasons to follow, like Jonathan Audy-Marchessault, but some guys looked awful and had monster years, like Michael St. Croix. Ryan Bourque was probably the best Ranger at that tournament leading many to believe he was NHL read, but then we didn’t hear a positive word about him until the AHL playoffs. Hagelin was noticeable, but he certainly didn’t stand out. A few months later he was the team’s top left wing. Keep that in mind this September (assuming there is a tournament this year).
More on Na$h
It’s no secret that the Rangers need to add offense and that they’re making every effort to do so. But with the asking prices of rival general managers sky high, it might be better to wait. Understandably many fans are in a panic since Marian Gaborik won’t play for the first couple of months of the year and the team couldn’t score in the playoffs to begin with, but is it worth overpaying for a guy with an awful contract like Rick Nash?
To get Nash, or one of the other big names available, the Blueshirts will have to part with significant young talent. If you’re convinced that adding a star will bring a Stanley Cup to New York, you make the trade. But if you aren’t so sure, would you really want to give up a potential #2 defenseman in Tim Erixon, a potential top-six forward in Christian Thomas, an established top-four D-man in Michael Del Zotto, etc. Granted, the prospects are just potentials right now, but it’s very possible that we could end up looking back in two years and really regretting a deal. Sexy names are fun to talk about, but they aren’t always worth the money or players.
Who is this one guy you DON’T want the Rangers to draft?
Will the Rangers make a major trade in the next 24 hours?
Would you draft a goalie in the first round?
Would you rather have Bobby Ryan or Ryan Getzlaf?
Do you think Brandon Prust will re-sign with the Blueshirts?