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Musings: The unlocked edition

Does Kreider deserve to make the opening night roster?

Does Kreider deserve to make the opening night roster?

I’m writing a musings article. That can only mean one thing: The lockout is over. Who else thought the Gary Bettman ‘apology’ fell on deaf ears? Show of hands? Thought so. On to the musings.

TSN had an article earlier this week titled: “Leafs stand to benefit from new CBA”. Of course, this is presumptive from TSN. When you’re a franchise that’s been mismanaged for more than a decade, it’s dangerous to assume anything. More on that later.

Should we expect quick movement on the Del Zotto contract front?

I dislike uninformed journalism. This week THN’s Adam Proteau discussed the Rangers apparent future cap issues in part because of Wade Redden. He mentions cap commitments next year relating to Redden, but fails to acknowledge that a buyout after this season will mean Redden is gone after this year at the latest. He doesn’t note Drury’s cap hit coming off either, while several other cap ‘issues’ should also resolve themselves. The Rangers will of course need to carefully manage their cap, but it’s nowhere near as precarious as made out.

TSN had a poll on their website about the Rangers and Rick Nash, asking whether the acquisition of Nash pushes the Rangers to a cup win, over 65 percent of voters said it did. Let’s hope they were right. The Rangers on paper have certainly improved in the skill stakes.

My first prediction of the season: The East will be a three horse race for the top seed: Pens, Rangers and Caps. The Capitals could benefit from the Rangers and Penguins being in the uber-tough Atlantic, while I don’t see how Ovechkin can have a poorer season than last year.

The Toronto Maple Leafs: The very definition of dysfunctional sports franchise. The offseason was effectively eight months long and they wait until ten days before puck drop to relieve their GM? They let him make all the personnel decisions for this year and then let him go before they see whether he can ice a decent product? This reeks of a power struggle over a Luongo acquisition. Such an old, historic franchise but such a mess.

If Ilya Kovalchuk stays in the KHL, I will have mixed feelings. First I would be full of joy and happiness because the Devils will have taken a severe blow to their season’s ambitions, but then also full of anger and resentment because one of my fantasy teams will have suffered an equally severe blow to its ambitions.

I know many don’t agree with me but I don’t think Chris Kreider deserves a spot on the roster to begin the year. Of course, if he has a great minicamp then maybe he’ll have earned it. Credit to Kreider though, his mindset and approach are spot on. He knows he has to work hard. With a healthy work ethic he’ll get over his lacklustre period suffered in the AHL. We all know he has all the tools.

First question time of the season! Here we go:

  • Who will score more goals; Marian Gaborik or Rick Nash?
  • How many Rangers will break 20 goals?
  • What do you think is fair $ value (considering the looming reduction in cap next year) for MDZ?
  • With Jon Quick still having concussion symptoms; who do you see as the main rivals to Hank for the Vezina? (assuming our King maintains his usual high levels)
  • Who emerges as the top secondary offensive guy: Callahan, Stepan, Kreider, Hagelin or another?

Hockey season is here! Rejoice! 

30 Responses to “Musings: The unlocked edition”

  1. Lundqvist Leg Kick says:

    Nash will have more goals (Nash 23, Gaborik 20)
    Three Players will have 20 Goals (Nash, Gaborik, Callahan)
    MDZ deserves 1.25 mill a year
    Tuukka Rask finishes top 3 for Vezina
    Callahan will take major step in scoring this year, 80% of his goals will come from fighting for position in front of net.

    Send all your best Lundqvist Leg Kick to @LundqvistLegKic Celebrating best goalie in the NHL. #LGR

  2. ttabasco13 says:

    Great write up as usual. i have missed the discussions about hockey for too many months.

    1) i believe that Gabby will have more goals because he is a pure sniper and nash can dish it just as good. Id say they have very similar numbers at the end.
    2) i think 3-4 rangers will break 20g. Gabby Nash maybe Cally n Richie kreider as a dark horse
    3)MDZ deserves around 2.25-2.5 he is still young and is only one full season removed from being so brutal he got sent down to the Whale.
    4) (If louongo sits) Schiender,Cam Ward(much better Team now), Niemi ( short season poised for a big year)
    5) Stepan is my favorite to have the breakout season he is just due for it.

    All feedback is always welcomed LETS GO RANGERS

    • Chris says:

      Thanks dude.

      I think MDZ will get more, he’ll get more because he’ll sign for multiple years.

      I like Schneider too but don’t think he’s on the Hank, Rinne, Quick, Miller level.If anyone joins them I think it will be Rask. Really like him.

      Would love to see Stepan have a big year.

  3. Dave says:

    Proteau has become a bit of a whipping boy around here, which might explain why he blocks us all on Twitter.

    To answer the questions:
    1) Gaborik, he’s used to the system already.
    2) 2 – Gabby/Nash
    3) I’d expect MDZ to get $2-$2.5 million annually.
    4) If Quick is indeed out, I’d assume Rinne will be Hank’s biggest competition. Dark horse: Tuuka Rask.
    5) I’d go with Stepan. One of Cally/Hagelin will be on the third line, and Kreider is too new.

    • Chris says:

      Proteau is a whipping boy for good reason, no loss to us anyway!

      I think MDZ gets closer to around 3.

      • Dave says:

        Not with the new cap coming down in the next two years. Slats is notoriously frugal with second year deals.

  4. Walt says:

    Nash, and Gabby have over 20 each, a nod to Gabby for team high!

    Three Rangers score at least 20, Nash, Gabby, and Step!

    MDZ should get no more than 1.75 mil per year, and then prove he is the real Mc Coy!

    Cam Ward is a quality goalie, with an improved team, he will shine again like the cup year.

    Cally comes up big as a secondary scorer, with some additional help from the Kreider kid!

    Here is my gut feeling, Hags also lights things up this year, because the attention will be on the big guns, Nash, Gabby, Kreider, Callie, and Step!

    The 3rd line will come in and do it’s fair share of scoreing as well, Boyle with 10, Pyatt with 10 also.

  5. The Suit says:

    The Rangers defy Proteau’s predictions every year. One year he said the Rangers didn’t have any young up and comers they could count on, another year he said the Rangers would go nowhere if Gaborik got injured and now this. The guy just doesn’t do his homework before writing these season previews. Not sure why calling out facts is a blockable offense, but whatever…

    Any way…

    1) Who will score more goals; Marian Gaborik or Rick Nash? Gabby

    2) How many Rangers will break 20 goals? Nash and Gabby

    3) What do you think is fair $ value (considering the looming reduction in cap next year) for MDZ?
    $2.5M per

    3) With Jon Quick still having concussion symptoms; who do you see as the main rivals to Hank for the Vezina? Rinne

    4) Who emerges as the top secondary offensive guy: Stepan

  6. Jack says:

    1) I think that Gaborik will score more goals than Nash, but Nash will finish with more points

    2) Three guys finish with 20+…Gaborik, Nash, Callahan

    3) MDZ should get 2.5M/yr and will have a big offensive season (as long as he hits the net)

    4) Henrik repeats and takes the Vezina again, other finalists will be Rinne and Fleury

    5) Stepan and Kreider will take the bulk of the secondary scoring, but I think a possible 3rd line combination of Pyatt/Boyle/Hagelin could do some serious damage with size and speed

    Anyone think JT Miller has a realistic shot of making the team? I would love to see him out there…don’t really see the need to dress both Rupp and Asham

    • Chris says:

      I’d have liked to see Miller at least have gotten a look in camp but it doesn’t look that way. He’ll have to bide his time, work hard with the Whale and force his way into the reckoning for either a mid season call up or for next year. Bright future though.

    • Dave says:

      I don’t think he will have a shot right away, but injuries have forced call ups before (McDonagh, Bickel).

  7. Mike B says:

    So, I’ve heard on a couple sites that the Oilers might make a push for MDZ, and that they might be willing to move a talented player with an entry level contract for him. That said, and I’m purely speculating for fun here, but if the Oilers threw Eberle or Hall (they’re not moving RNH, no way) at the Rangers for MDZ, would you do it? I think it would have to be give strong consideration. A line of Stepan, one of the two Oiler forwards and Kreider for the next 10 years would be kind of scary.

    • Dave says:

      Where did you hear that?

      I don’t think the Rangers and the Oilers make good trading partners. The Rangers are thin on D as is after their top four.

      • Mike B says:

        Saw it on Hockey trade rumors and of course Eklund mentioned it, so, you know, saw it on Hockey trade rumors.

  8. Chris.C says:

    Another great Musing Chris. The Hockey News is the National Enquirer of Hockey related info. Bunch of idiots lead by Ken Campbell.
    I will agree with you as Kreider doesn’t deserve a spot yet on the roster. Newberry and Kolarik should get the nod first there ripping it up for Hartford.
    1) Who will score more goals; Marian Gaborik or Rick Nash? Gabby

    2) How many Rangers will break 20 goals? Nash, Gabby, Steph, and Hags

    3) What do you think is fair $ value (considering the looming reduction in cap next year) for MDZ? 1.5 – 2 million still has to prove alot.

    4) With Jon Quick still having concussion symptoms; who do you see as the main rivals to Hank for the Vezina? Rinne, Rask

    5) Who emerges as the top secondary offensive guy: Callahan, Stepan, Kreider, Hagelin or another? Tie between Steph and Hags both will have a Break out year.

  9. Jeff P says:

    1. Gaborik
    2. 2 – Gaborik and Nash
    3. 4.5Mil. 2 for this year, 2.5 next
    4. A dark horse emerges every year. Nobody had Quick (or Mike Smith) having the year they had. I would go with Schneider (or Rask).
    5. Stepan takes another step forward.

  10. Ray says:

    I don’t think we know that Kreider will start the season with the Rangers. I think the reason the Rangers only called up two players is because the players are better off in Connecticut, playing actual games – at least through Jan 15. I suspect Gilroy was promised quick action and not calling up Kreider would have been an insult, else we might not have even seen those.

    I expect at least one of Haley, Segal, Newbury, Kolarik, Miller to be on the opening day roster.

    • Dave says:

      Well one of them absolutely has to be on the roster. Asham is suspended for one game still.

      • Ray says:

        Thanks for this reminder, but it isn’t a guarantee. Torts might end up viewing Bickel as his 13th forward – especially for one game. Would be wiser to get a look at someone else though, I think.

  11. MBN says:

    1. Gabby.

    2. Only 1 – Gabby. But Nash, Steph, Cally, Richards and maybe 1 or 2 others hit the 15-19 area. 20 goals in 48 games is the same as roughly 35 in a full season. I think only Gabby gets there. Nash struggles a little with the whole “New York” illness that almost all new stars seems to have in year 1 upon coming here.

    3. Roughly 4-4.5 over 2 years.

    4. Rinne, or Miller. i really like Miller’s game.

    5. Steph, although I really think Haglein will surprise with his scoring this year.

  12. rickyrants13 says:

    First off the only ones that think Bettman is sorry are the same ones that believe Obama will do a better job this time around.

    Nash takes home the goal scoring title this year. The guy is a beast and if he can put up big numbers on a club with no other stars He has got to do the same if not better on this team.

    In 48 games and if the lines are put tohether right Only Nash and Gaby will more then likely score 20.

    Keep an eye on Boyle or Pyatt

  13. Bobby G says:

    1) A healthy Gaborik will score more than a healthy Rick Nash. If Gabby misses a few games though, I could easily see it going the other way.
    2)4 (Callahan, Kreider, Nash, Gaborik)
    3)I would be willing to pay up to 3m for MDZ but I would much prefer to keep it closer to 2.5m.
    4) I might go a little off the board here an pick Jimmy Howard to have a Vezina nominated season.
    5) I really think/hope this is the season Stepan takes the next step forward.