Musings: Counting down to the inevitable lockout editionAugust 23, 2012, by
Don’t get too caught up in various CBA proposals that show the Rangers as being way below a projected new salary cap or way above it. These are all hypothetical situations and the truth is that New York’s position really could go either way. Regardless, the new cap will surely be grandfathered in, giving the Rangers and every other team ample time to figure out a plan of attack.
Preliminary player ratings for EA Sports’ incredibly addicting NHL13 have leaked and as usual, there have been complaints from fans of every team, including Rangers fans who are aghast that Chris Kreider is rated just a 68 overall. Speed alone should be enough to bump Kreider significantly higher, but it’s long been abundantly clear that EA Sports just does not devote enough energy to compiling accurate measurements of every NHL player.
This whole labor debacle worked out pretty well for Shane Doan. The coveted 35-year-old has waited and waited and waited for the Coyotes to figure out their ownership situation and sure enough, it may be resolved by the time a new CBA is reached. If nothing else, most teams seem disinterested in spending big money until the labor war is resolved, so the constant pressure that was on Doan in July and August to make a decision has dissipated.
I still find it tremendously ironic that the 11th-overall pick in the 2012 draft that originally belonged to Colorado but was sent to Washington last year for Semyon Varlamov was used to select a guy named Forsberg.
It’s become abundantly clear that J.T. Miller was dead serious when he announced his plans to turn pro after just one season last summer. By all accounts, Miller has bulked up considerably and has improved just about every aspect of his game. Whether Miller actually makes the jump or not isn’t entirely in his control – the Rangers’ decision could hinge on the CBA – but it’s very impressive to see that Miller means business.
Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch made waves earlier this week when he reported that as many as eight NHL owners might have been willing to accept the initial offer by the NHLPA. Dave notes that this could be good news as it could mean that there’s some division among the ranks of the execs. I’m curious: are these eight owners more likely to be in charge of small market teams, thrilled at the potentially huge influx of cash through the heavily emphasized revenue sharing portion of the players’ proposal? Or are they more likely to be owners of the big market teams that are raking in millions of dollars in profit and don’t want to see any part of the season lost?
It seems like it was long ago that GM Glen Sather recklessly spent James Dolan’s money at every opportunity, but the new poster boy for silly spending in the NHL has become Philadelphia GM Paul Holmgren. Holmgren earns praise for his boldness at times, but he has consistently ignored problems in goal and along the blueline have really hindered the Flyers in recent years. Holmgren’s reputation has become what Sather used to be; everyone knows that he’ll be leading the bidding for every big name that hits the market, regardless of his team’s actual needs.
The Hockey News has been slowly releasing its predictions for where each time will finish in the standings this season. The Rangers clocked in at #4, as THN reasoned that a full season of Sidney Crosby would be enough to help Pittsburgh hold off the Blueshirts for the Atlantic Division crown. THN expects that Detroit will finish seventh in the Western Conference, which is mind boggling to think about. The Red Wings appear to be substantially weaker without Nicklas Lidstrom and Brad Stuart so it makes sense that they will drop in the standings. But it’s beyond bizarre to see Detroit listed on the playoff bubble, even if these are simply one magazine’s predictions.
After several recent encouraging reports of Michael Sauer’s improving status, Larry Brooks wrote on Sunday that there is “scant optimism” that Sauer will be cleared to return to action, not just for the start of the season, but possibly ever. Brooks cites the concussion history of Sauer’s family and mentions the strong possibility that Sauer will be placed on LTIR. Brooks’ report comes as a bit of a surprise considering the well-connected Jess Rubenstein and Dave Maloney both expressed significant optimism that Sauer could play a major role this season.
Is there a cooler tradition in sports than NHL players spending a day with the Stanley Cup during the summer after capturing hockey’s greatest prize?
If you use Twitter, who is your favorite Rangers’ player to follow?
Would a lockout affect your level of fandom?
Do you play the NHL video game, and if so, will your purchase be affected by the pending lockout?
Do any of EA’s ratings of other Blueshirts surprise you?
Who will be the Rangers’ sixth defenseman on opening night?