It’s a musings day folks. With little Ranger specific news let’s just get into it and talk about anything and everything, ok?
What side of the CBA war do you side with? It’s hard to link arms with the owners and the league, a league that has come across as incredibly greedy through the media. Are they greedy? Was the last CBA that bad that they had to resort to extreme measures?
Is there a public figure or leader – in sports or entertainment – with as negative a public reputation as Gary Bettman? He’s actually done a solid job over the years. Despite stretching it too far, expansion has been a relative (and necessary) success for the league; he has grown the sport immeasurably and has proven a strong leader in the face of challenges such as the KHL and on matters such as the Olympics. That said, if his reign ended tomorrow he’d be considered greedy, too stubborn and arrogant.
Do you think the public appearance of players such as Crosby, Ovechkin or Lundqvist influences the NHLPA’s position or media and fan bias in the CBA talks?
We discussed how the Flyers may be a competitor for the Rangers for blueliners going forward. Right now the Canadiens cannot get PK Subban to ink a new deal. Well, is there anyone more suited to the Flyers mould than? Cocky yet talented, considered a pretty dirty player but an offensive threat Subban may be more of a target for Flyers than Michael Del Zotto would be.
Will the Shane Doan scenario just get settled already? Clearly his preference is to stay in Arizona and I’m starting to think that if I was a suitor in the Doan stakes would I really want to invest x million in a player that has to sign on my dotted line with the upmost of gritted teeth? Its one thing to have priorities its quite another to be so publicly opposed to the prospect of change.
If you follow labour negotiations and the politics side of sport, you’ll have noticed the controversy around the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL and how it has yet to fully play out. Our friend Chris Peters has an interesting article on how the NHL is involved in that too. Check it out.
Who do you think will be the Rangers biggest surprise when the league eventually kicks off next season? I have thought long and hard about it and depending on your expectations it also depends on what qualifies as a surprise. For me, I think Derek Stepan has a chance to come close to 70 points in the right setting.
More favourable match ups, more experience, consistent line mates and the benefit of playing in the shadow of Brad Richards and his line. With the fan fare around Chris Kreider and Rick Nash’s debut season the pressure on Stepan may be the least he has experienced since bursting on to the season as a rookie.
One to ponder: has Dan Girardi peaked?
Very quietly, with all the forward prospects coming along, next season is actually a pretty damn crucial one for Brian Boyle. Boyle has been an excellent acquisition for the Rangers and despite the drop in production he still had a solid season things all considered last year. BUT, roll the prospects off the tongue; Fast, Lindberg, Fogarty, Miller, Bourque, Yogan etc, etc.
Without even considering more offensively focussed prospects such as Thomas and St Croix Boyle has a huge amount of competition for his role coming in the near future and with cap maths always an issue, he has a fight to keep hold of his Rangers future. Of course, competition for places breeds success.
- Who are you most intrigued about seeing in camp?
- Would you rather JT Miller dominates in the OHL or learns on the fly in the AHL?
- Who becomes a (North American) pro first: Jesper Fast or Oscar Lindberg?
- Prospect depth: what position is of greatest need to the Rangers?
- How many 20 goal scorers will the Rangers have assuming the season starts on time?
- (food for thought) Will Marc Staal be a Ranger long term?
Also, tomorrow The Suit will be posting a reader Q&A, so feel free to drop a question for him in the comments section.