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Musings: “Thank You Fans”, the bottom pairing, Kreider, and more

November 20, 2012, by

Today is one of those days where I have way too many thoughts about the Rangers in my head, so you are getting them in bullet point form. It’s a musings, but more of a disjointed musings from a very tired Dave.

  • It’s going to be really interesting to see how fans react if and when the season resumes. I, like many others, refuse to attend a game with my own money –I’ll go if someone buys me a ticket– because of the way the league and the players have ignored the fans. Yes, both sides have ignored the fans. While I largely believe the owners –mainly Jeremy Jacobs– are the main reason for the lockout, both sides have lied to the fans. Fans come first? Yea, right.
  • One more lockout note: For the fans that do attend games, if there isn’t a “Fire Bettman” chant in every single arena on opening night, then I will be incredibly disappointed. There comes a time when someone needs to go, and now is that time.
  • Ok, I lied, one more lockout quip. If the NHL thinks they can lure fans back with a stupid image on the ice that says “Thank You Fans!” like they did in 2005, then they are sorely mistaken. They will need to give us something. Free NHL Center Ice for this season –and maybe next season– is a start.
  • Now on to the Rangers. It’s going to be interesting to see how the Rangers piece together their bottom defense pairing. Stu Bickel is a lock for a spot. Steve Eminger and Anton Stralman are as well. Add in the usual players (MDZ, Staal, Girardi, McDonagh), and that’s already seven guys. Matt Gilroy is in Connecticut on an AHL contract. Will he sign an NHL deal? Will he play for the Whale, knowing he’s #8 on the depth chart? What if someone like Logan Pyett or Sean Collins gets a call up first? It’s going to be very interesting to see how Slats and Torts play this out.

  • Chris Kreider is the Rangers super prospect, and many already have him pegged to win the Calder Trophy. But Torts generally plays his rookies on the third line to ease them into NHL playing time, which severely limits their ice time and scoring potential. Conventional wisdom suggests that Kreider would follow suit, but he’s already played top line minutes in the playoffs.
  • If Kreider does make the top-six, who gets sent to the third line? It’s a choice between Carl Hagelin or Ryan Callahan. The super trio of Rick Nash, Brad Richards, and Marian Gaborik –who will be healed by the time the season starts– are guaranteed top six spots, as is Derek Stepan. In actuality, the Rangers have seven players capable of playing on the top six. That’s not exactly a bad problem to have.
  • This is actually the first time the Rangers have multiple options for their top six forwards. For every season since the lockout, the question has always been about rounding out the bottom six forwards. Those are actually set (Hagelin/Cally, Boyle, Pyatt, Asham, Rupp, Halpern, Haley). For those that have been begging for depth, here is your depth. It’s pretty solid.

Ok, maybe this wasn’t disjointed at all.

Categories : Musings


  1. meshuggah says:

    I agree with you, if the season is cancelled I will not be going to a game or spending one cent on anything NHL related for a long time.

  2. Walt says:

    If Torts does indeed put Kreider on the third line I wouldn’t be too upset!

    Lets face it, the kid will have way too much pressure to perform, and that just isn’t right. By playing on the 3rd line he will be eased into the NHL game, get his feet wet slowly, and develope the way he should. It’s not like we need him at this very minute with the existing line up. When he, and the coaching staff feel comfortable, then he could be moved to the second line, and bring Hags down, where I believe his game is better suited.

    The 3 main lines would be as follows:

    Richards, Nash, Hags
    Step, Gabby, Cally
    Boyle, Kreider, Pyatt
    with the 4th being
    Halpern, Aasham, Rupp

    With this line up we get decent scoring from three lines, and some additional help from the 4th. This is a solid team, with the potential of a JT Miller being an additional forward, I could settle here if the season started without fear!!!!

  3. Matt J says:

    I don’t really know what the players can do. They’re not caving into the owners because of the fans and nor should they. I don’t think there’s a single player who doesn’t want to be playing hockey today. You can’t say the same for all the owners. I’m sure the majority of them can’t be in favor of this lockout, but hey if Bettman only needs 7 votes (It’s not really 8 because the NHL owns the Coyotes) let the lockout continue for everyone!

    Speaking of owners, people the last time around blamed the Rangers for the lockout due to ridiculous contracts like Bobbi Holik. Well let’s all just blame Boston this time around.

  4. Greg says:

    I can’t decide if I think a shorter season will make Torts switch the lines more or less throughout the season than usual. We have seen him change up the lines in the past many times during the season.

    I really liked the all American, Kreider-Step-Cally line from the playoffs, but i like Walt’s lines and could see those being the lines to start the season. Hagelin is very good and has proved he can play on the top line- his speed always keeps opponents off balance and opens up room for our goal-scorers.

    Definitely upset the lockout has gone this long. I really want to see this team play because I think it could be a special year after what we saw last year and our amazing centerpiece (Hank)

  5. Chris.C says:

    Lets give Bettman a break here, he turned a $400 million into a 3.3 Billion. I think many of us fans would very much like to blame both sides equally, but we can’t given the fact that the players deliberately ignored requests to start negotiations last November. Secondly, by the time players started to finally negotiate this November (better late than never I suppose), their agenda clearly appears to be more about bashing Bettman than making a deal. So in essence, they haven’t even started to negotiate yet. 50/50 is a no brainer and not a concession. Nevertheless, fans are starting to realize which side is trying to get a deal done and which side is not. Maybe you should too, because the more you play devils advocate the longer we will go without hockey. On a lighter note – these’s 3rd and 4th line players need to stop pooping off at the mouth cause in the preCBA they wouldn’t be making 4mil a year.

    ** Bickel is not a lock. Hes the 7th man. If he hasn’t improved on his skating hes back in the A league. Bottom pairing is Stralman and Eminger, with Stralman flipping for MDZ. Gilroy will find his way back into the line-up.

    ** Cally will fall to 3rd line, Kreider will get top six mins. Not a big Boyle or Asham fan.
    My lines if the season starts.

    Richards – Nash – Hags
    Gabby – Steph – Kreider
    Pyatt – Halpren – Cally
    Asham – Boyle – Rupp

    Girardi – McD
    Staal – MDZ / Stralman
    Emminger – Stralman / MDZ

    7th Bickel

  6. SalMerc says:

    In any review of the sides of the negotiating table, the fans are NOT being considered. While we, the consumers, complain, they (owners and players) know we will be back. While I miss hockey, I can’t help but feel abused by both sides.

    As far as Kreider, he may even need more time on the farm before he gets a spot on the roster. 12 games is not enough to annoint him a star.

  7. Rickyrants13 says:

    No money from me at all

  8. Mark says:

    I think we roll out that super line and let Nash do some things with a lethal sniper. Richards will reach 100 points from assists and our first unit can match anyones first line. We also have the depth to support it.

    Nash – Richards – Gabby
    Kreider – Stepan – Cally
    Haglin – Boyle – Pyatt
    Halpern centering a rotation of Asham, Rupp and Haley

    Girardi McD
    Staal Del Zotto
    Stralman Bickel/Eminger… Gilroy in case of injury

    LUNDQUIVST…another Vezina…