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Nagging injuries to Miller and Kreider cause for concern

J.T. Miller says his wrist injury hasn’t disrupted his offseason, but….

With 12 NHL forwards already under contract and Derek Stepan and Mats Zuccarello still to re-sign, it’s been difficult to figure out where youngsters like Chris Kreider, J.T. Miller, Danny Kristo, Oscar Lindberg and Jesper Fast might fit in next season.  Injuries to Carl Hagelin and Ryan Callahan could loosen the rotation for the first few weeks of the season, but there will still be a glut of forwards fighting for playing time.

Miller and Kreider are presumed to be the two prospects most likely to secure top-12 roles given that both already have some NHL experience and have had at least a little success.  However, recent comments by both players could indicate that this might not really be the case.

Miller played his last game with the Rangers on April 1st and though he finished the season with the CT Whale, Gordie Clark admitted that if not for Miller’s nagging wrist injury he would have been with the Rangers during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  Despite over three full months to recover, Miller told Blueshirts United last week that his wrist still isn’t 100% healed.  Miller pooh-poohed his current condition and told Jim Cerny that the injury hasn’t affected his offseason training regimen or prevented him from playing five rounds of golf a week this summer, but Miller also admitted that the injury got so bad last spring that it, “got to the point I was making more mistakes than normal (because of the wrist).”

Kreider began the 2012-2013 campaign with the CT Whale and struggled to find his rhythm, partially due to a painful bone chip in his ankle suffered from blocking a shot that caused Kreider to miss a week of action early on and plagued him all year.  Like Miller, Kreider also recently told Cerny that his ankle still isn’t 100%.

Both players claimed that their injuries are improving and that they expect to be ready to go come training camp, but we’re now only six weeks away and both Miller and Kreider remain bothered by the same injuries that hindered their performances last spring.

Those aren’t the greatest circumstances for either player to be dealing with heading into what is set to be an ultra competitive roster battle at camp.  Ideally for players as young as Miller and Kreider, the offseason should be used to continue gaining strength and growing into their bodies on the ice.  With physical obstacles standing in the way of that, perhaps it’d be best for both Miller and Kreider to start the season in the American League.  It’s not that Miller and Kreider won’t be able to help the Blueshirts this season or should be overlooked in favor of veterans, but it might be the best short-term solution to the roster logjam and the right decision for the long-term development of two prized prospects.

20 Responses to “Nagging injuries to Miller and Kreider cause for concern”

  1. Walt says:

    Hate to read this about these kids, but maybe they should let their bodies heal, and stop working out for a little bit.

    The Miller injury doesn’t bother me as much as the Kreider kid’s injury. Time and again I said you don’t turn a fleet footed guy into a plow horse, and that is what Torts tried to do with this kid. He made him go down and block shots, now he is still not healed from a shot he took on his ankle. Look at what the effing moron did to this kid.

    • Kevin says:

      Except that the injury occurred from blocking a shot in Connecticut at the beginning of the year…

      • Spozo says:

        God I hope this kid really works, for no other reason than that people will blame Tortz for “ruining” him in the 30 games he played under the guy.

      • Walt says:

        Kevin

        You didn’t mention that he was hurt in Hartford. He still was learning the Torts system, so disagree with me if you want, but the system sucked, and Torts wanted it, so Torts he has to be blamed for this injuey as well.

      • Vinnie says:

        Same system.

    • Randy says:

      Even if he had gotten hurt in an NHL game, I don’t really see how you can blame Torts for Kreider’s injury. Players are taught to block shots from every coach, not just Torts, especially in the NHL. I would much rather see Kreider sacrificing for the team when he is out there then prancing around and hiding from any sort of contact. Guys get hurt playing hockey…it is unfortunate that the injuries are lingering, but neither of the players seem to worried about it, so I won’t yet either.

  2. Centerman21 says:

    If both are not 100% recovered from their injuries, is playing in the AHL gonna allow those injuries to heal any faster than if they were getting NHL ice time? If those 2 aren’t ready physically to play NHL hockey they should not play anywhere. They should continue to heal. If that means not playing then so be it. Both are young but Miller is still physically maturing and shouldn’t play injured all season long.For 2 kids with NHL aspirations, the AHL is no less demanding than the NHL. I hope both are OK tho. I hope both make the team this year at some point. Kristo as well.

  3. Ray says:

    The attitude puzzles me. He was truly awful last year and would seem at least a full year away from NHL ready. He is young and talented, but I hope the increased depth leads to more patience — and that the Rangers stop trying to prove that burning a year of his ELC wasn’t dumb.

    Except for Kreider, I see Lindberg as the kid closest to ready, though Kristo may surprise.

  4. Chris F says:

    Zuccarello is signed.

  5. Mikeyyy says:

    Good posts everyone. Only one question from me. When they say its not 100% do they mean 50 or 90 or 95.

    Many players play with nagging injuries. The real question is, how hurt. Wrist and bone chip injuries take a LONG time to heal. I was whacked on the wrist when I was younger and it took a whole year to feel right again.

  6. paulronty says:

    Seems like blocking shots results in a significant number of injuries. Any stata on that?

  7. If your wrist hurts, why are you playing five rounds of golf a week?

    I guess Miller doesn’t use his wrists when he swings the golf club.

    There were questions about both Kreider and Miller prior to their draft.

    Why didn’t Kreider have surgery on the bone chip in the off season. Kreider is in the 3rd year of his ELC and still acts as if he is brain dead.

  8. Bitter Zen says:

    5 rounds of golf a week, I wish my wrist hurt that much. Man up Miller.

  9. bernmeister says:

    Let them fully heal ASAP
    get them both up to big club, no AHL

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