Rangers recall Arron Asham; Return J.T. Miller to Hartford

December 9, 2013, by

In a relatively unsurprising move, considering the discussions today about a need for some grit, the Rangers recalled winger Arron Asham from the Hartford Wolf Pack today, and returned rookie J.T. Miller back to Hartford. Asham is someone who can be a viable replacement while Derek Dorsett nurses his wrist injury, bringing some necessary grit and anti-vanilla to the lineup that this team desperately needs. He will make this team tougher to play against.

As for Miller, his time will come. He still needs work, as his game away from the puck leaves much to be desired.


  1. Hatrick Swayze says:

    It’s a start. Provided his play hasn’t deteriorated from last year, I’d prefer him in the line-up to some of our bottom 6 wingers (i.e. Pouliot).

    He brings physicality and has proven that he can contribute even in the post season. He ain’t gonna save us but maybe he can help effect some type of change in culture.

  2. TxRanger says:

    I hope he stays. I always liked Asham.

  3. AD says:

    And the Glen Sather/AV player-go-round continues.

    I am astonished at the different standards set for this coach vs Tortorella. Whenever Kreider was sent down or Del Zotto did not play for a period, Tortorella was lynched by an unfriendly media.

    With AV, playing yo-yo with Miller is acceptable with no critique at all.

    Sather and AV both make me want to puke. Nobody ever stated Miller is a clear NHL’er; not many people would say that of Pyatt or Pouliot either. It’s called player development; unfortunately, reports out of Vancouver that AV is poor with prospects are proving true very early into his tenure here.

    • Spozo says:

      I’m astonished that you can completely disregard Kreider in order to further justify your hatred of AV. You hated the guy before he ever coached a Ranger game and now you focus Miller to cast a broad definition of how he develops rookies.

      There are two rookies on this team. One has become a top line winger and has emerged as a threat to the Calder Trophy. So please explain to me how this makes him so terrible at player development? Because he feel Miller needs more seasoning in the minors? And please don brim up Puatt and Pouliot. If they weren’t on this team that still wouldn’t make Miller ready for quality NHL minutes. Isn’t Kreider proof you can’t force feed players minutes?

      • AD says:

        Well in the games I’ve seen MIller play, it’s almost always been 4th line minutes, whereas the two meatheads you don’t want me to mention have been predominantly 3rd line minutes, or higher, except the past 10 days. During this time period, I’ve been of the view Miller has brought more to the team than either of the two meatheads. I’ve yet to see a rational discussion on this matter where someone makes a case that Miller is playing below these guys.

        As for Kreider, I think that illustrates my point further, to be honest. Since when does a rookie have to justify top line minutes in order to make the club? With Kreider, under AV, it was either 1st line or AHL. Fact is, he should have never been put on the top line during pre-season or to start the season; the 3rd line would have been more than sufficient.

        You should check his record in Vancouver. Unless a rookie forces his way onto a team with a solid role, he doesn’t get included on the team. There is no player development; AV could care less about that — he was spoiled with the Sedin twins and had little time or patience for prospects.

        I do not hate AV — that is silly; I simply do not think highly of him as a coach. At the very least, I don’t believe the team he inherited is consistent with the type of coach he is; and AV’s record with prospects is inconsistent with how the Rangers organization has successfully integrated prospects the past 3-5 years.

        I thought hiring AV, over other alternatives at the time, was a poor decision by Sather and the preseason and first 30+ games are proving that assessment insightful. Fans with rose-colored glasses on screamed for everyone to give the guy the first 20 games. Why a seasoned NHL veteran coach needs that long to get his team playing well (see Vancouver) is beyond me, but now that we are well past 20+ games it is becoming obvious we have a coaching/player conundrum on our hands.

        The next phase if this grand Sather experiment will be for a wholesale personnel restructuring — after all, why give a new coach a 5yr contract if you are not willing to give him his type of players.

        Like I said, this is the Sather/AV player-go-round; I hope you enjoy the show.

        • Spozo says:

          Well this is where our opinions differ. I also think the two meatheads haven’t worked out but I don’t think that means Miller deserves more ice time or that bein sent back down is a bad thing. The problem is Pyatt and Poulliot playing like crap, not miller getting shafted when it comes to ice time. In my opinion he has played well in his minor role but he needs more seasoning and getting sent back down is to his benefit. But Pyatt and Poulliot are seperate matters that need to be addressed.

    • @Centerman21 says:

      I don’t think Pouliot or Pyatt belong in the lineup either but can you tell me that Miller is ready for the NHL yet? He still hasn’t played a full 80 games if pro hockey yet. Young players like Miller with little or no pro experience play on teams like Calgary, Buffalo, or Florida. Not a team in NY that expects to make the playoffs and make noise once they get there. Miller will develop best in Hartford where it’s good to learn from mistakes. In NY mistakes get you in the papers for the wrong reasons.
      Remember Kreider went through it and is a better player now because of it. AV plays the players he thinks can help win a game. I don’t always agree but I’m no NHL coach.

      • AD says:

        I honestly believe Miller is ready to develop as a 3rd line player in the NHL, like many rookies do. He played ~24 games during the Rangers best season when they went as far as one game away from the Stanley Cup, so I see no reason why he cannot play/develop with this team. I honestly believe that partly because Pyatt and Pouliot are not outplaying him, despie Miller’s mistakes.

        This is the same philosophy of years past, when the Rangers rarely developed or played their prospects. It is the very same reason Dominic Moore left the organization and publicly criticized the organization.

        I am by far an NHL coach as well; so maybe I am wrong in this assessment. But the “tie goes to youth” policy served this organization very well the past 4-5 seasons; I simply cannot see Pyatt or Pouliot ranking ahead of Miller on the depth chart based purely on performance. I just don’t see it.

  4. Walt says:

    I would have prefered that Pyatt, or Pouliot were shipped out rather than Miller, but like Centerman 21 said, I’m not a NHL coach either!!

    As for Asham, he is undersized, and will get smacked around just like Dorsett does. Both have big hearts, but as much as they won’t back away from droping the gloves, they both are LIGHT weights. Why not bring in the kid that came over from Chicago, he is bigger, younger, and nasty, with a certain amount of skill. Again, I’m no NHL coach!!

    Slats, make a move already will you..

  5. Randy says:

    I have liked the way that Miller has played in the last few games so I am sad to see this move. He is skating much harder, getting in on the forecheck, and seems like he is getting close to finding that edge that we have seen Kreider playing with this season. With that being said, that Washington game was hard to watch, and the team had no energy whatsoever. However, I do not really think Asham is the answer. I like the guy, and he has actually scored some big goals for us before, but calling up a goon from the minors is not how you add grit to your team. It helps, but the only way the Rangers start streaking and become a contender is if the guys already on the roster start playing with grit and make us a hard team to play against.

  6. paulronty says:

    Ugg. Asham is done, had 2 assists in Hartford. Moving Miller up & down like this is an act of stupid desparation. I’d rather have seen Ryan Bourque come up & play on the fourth line.

    • Walt says:

      The problem we have is size, and grit. Bourque does nothing to help in this area. He is too small, and gets man handeled at the AHL level, what really makes anyone think that would change in the NHL. I’m not trying to insult anyone, but the post makes very little sense as far as addressing our needs. Sorry!!

  7. joe719 says:

    Asham—been there done that! So I guess we can expect him to start a fight on the opening faceoff, and hear Joe and Sam talk about how he’s such a great team player; and is trying to light a fire under the club. Meanwhile, we’ll still have trouble getting out of our own zone and we’ll still be unable to put the puck in the ocean. This is just shuffling chairs on the Titanic!

  8. Chris F says:

    While I appreciate the addition of Asham to the lineup, I don’t see why Miller was even brought up if they’re sending him right back down. I mean he played pretty damn well, I think. Does it send the right message to not reward that very noticeable improvement? Was he just brought up to use as leverage with Pouliot? That’s not smart asset managent.

    Surely Asham could have filled the slot of Moore, Pyatt, Pouliot, etc. no?

    • AD says:

      Imagine the pressure McIlrath will be under if he is called up this season and starts at MSG. Fan expectations are already high; the team is desperate for a heavyweight fighter; and the kid will think of how many times Miller’s locker in Hartford was emptied, then filled; emptied, then filled again.

      Sather/AV combination is ugly. This team is heading south fast, sadly. I hope I am wrong.

  9. Bloomer says:

    I rather see JT sent down, then sit in the press box. Bringing up Asham gives the Rangers some toughness, but it is looking more and more like this team has some structural deficiencies that can not be resolved by tweaking the roster.

    This home stand gives the team a chance to catapult up in the standings, they need to get their shit together and take advantage of it. Where is the urgency in their play?

  10. Craig says:

    I can’t understand why they wont give Kristo a chance with the big club. He is an offensive player, talented, older and may be a better option for scoring right now then Miller. We wont know if he doesn’t get a chance Also what happened to Oscar Lindberg who was tearing up the Swedish League? Can they be any worse then Pyatt or Pouliet. Also, anybody notice how crappy Callahan has been playing lately? Wonder if he is hurting. Girardi should be traded in a package deal now! Sadly, I believe Marc Staal may be on a downward spiral because of being susceptible to injurys. Right now Chris Neil would look great in Ranger Blue. Asham alone is not enough.