Sep
16

Thoughts prior to the World Cup

September 16, 2016, by
nhlpa.com

nhlpa.com

Happy Friday, BSB community. I’m going to go out of character and hit you with a short thoughts post today. I’ve been buried at work and we rescued a cat this week that was dumped in a park, so I’m a bit short on time. Either way, the World Cup starts this weekend, Traverse City does too, and before we know it, Rangers hockey returns. As you can imagine, I have some thoughts.

  1. I don’t blame those of you who think the World Cup is a cheap gimmick. Especially when you see the league use it as an excuse to introduce non-traditional elements; Adidas jerseys, uniform ads (albeit very small ones) and teams representing non-nationalities. However, I am a sucker for professional hockey being played during times I wouldn’t normally see it coughWinterClassiccough. So, I’ll be watching curiously, actively rooting against the USA’s Brooksian (Herb, not Larry) roster construction and laughably dated outlook on how to build a winning team.

  1. Just a quick FYI on that video circulating around showing “Hank” getting hurt in Sweden practice yesterday. That is Jacob Markstrom, not Hank. Side note, Bauer’s new; presumably Vapor goal pad line is brutally ugly.
  1. I think I am most excited to watch Team North America compete in the tournament. With the age curve skewing younger for forwards, they could ostensibly keep up with the firepower of Canada. I think the defense and goaltending could be lagging behind, but I think they will be incredibly fun to watch. A gimmicky addition? Sure, but an entertaining one, as well. Either way, hockey’s back.
  1. Moving on to Traverse City, as cool as it is that the Red Wings are streaming all the games, in this day of prospect watching it is unacceptable that there is no televised coverage of the games. Not everyone enjoys watching sports on their computer or phone. Millennials ruin everything.
  1. This is the strongest Rangers group at Traverse City that I can ever recall. There is some serious prospect stock on display, especially Vesey and Buchnevich, both of whom are expected to be everyday players in the Rangers lineup this season. Hopefully it equates to a little more success than the club has had at Traverse City in recent years.
  1. The logical side of my brain tells me that the Rangers need to make a trade to both deal with their glut of forward depth and strengthen a depleted blue line. However, the closer we get to the start of training camp proper, the less likely that looks. Sure Lindberg is starting the season on LTIR and Glass is eminently waivable, but there are still too many guys for the available roster spots.
  1. Continuing on that thought, even if the Rangers really value that type of forward depth and lineup flexibility, the blue line is definitely left wanting. It’s not like the depth is non-existent with seven top six options and Adam Clendening for depth, but I think most fans would prefer some higher quality alternatives to potentially take some Top 4 minutes away from Staal and Girardi. Maybe deals never materialized or the Rangers are focusing on deadline reinforcements if the bounce-back seasons from Girardi and Staal prove to be the wild fantasies that we believe they will be. Either way, strange roster construction at the moment.

That’s it for me this week. Enjoy the World Cup, for those watching and get excited hockey is about to return!

"Thoughts prior to the World Cup", 5 out of 5 based on 4 ratings.

17 comments

  1. amy says:

    The World Cup of Hockey is here it starts tomorrow I see Team Usa doing well in this tournament they have the goalies to do it in Quick and in Bishop and they have gritty forwards and it will be Canada as well the only other threat is team North America have a good weekend and enjoy

    • Bloomer says:

      The Canada US game will be treat to watch. All the talent on both teams and neither team wanting to lose.

  2. SalMerc says:

    I too think the North American team will be exciting to watch. As for the Traverse team, I think it shadows the big club, strong depth at forward and shallow depth on the blueline.

    As for putting a stud on the blueline on the big club, I am in agreement with you. Maybe a deal is not out there or maybe an allegiance to Staal and Girardi is stronger than we know. If McD gets hurt, we will be scrambling. Sometimes things drop into place. We can only hope that happens here.

  3. Johnny Red says:

    I think the Ranger owners are a disgrace! Once again like I’ve said before we get no coverage of our team in the off season. I have to go to other teams websites to get ranger information?

    Stop treating us fans, (who pay top dollar for everything Rangers) like we’re nobodies. You get top dollar from us, and we get pennies on the dollar from you.

    PLEASE EVERYONE EMAIL, CALL, AND COMPLAIN!! THE SQUEAKY WHEEL GETS THE OIL

    • Kevin says:

      Before we bash MSG… I know the year after they decided to air it on MSG, DET didn’t allow anyone to broadcast the games. I don’t know if that is still the case or not but before we jump the gun and blame MSG it may not be their choice.

      • Johnny Red says:

        It’s there choice to not have a single show on the Rangers for the draft, free agency, and trades right?Nothing on the team since April, that was their choice. Go look at all the coverage the other teams in the league have. We are one of the worst! We deserve better. What’s wrong with a show once a month in the off season?

  4. Bloomer says:

    The World Cup has always been great hockey. I remember taking my kids to a USA/Canada game. Richter was in goal, Leetch was dangling, Team Canada was stacked with players like Mess and Gretzky on it, awesome hockey. And who could forget the 1980 Olympic Miracle on ice or the Summit series in 72, when Canada showed them Ruskies what they were made of.

    Looking forward to some exciting games, as the competition should be fierce. Players representing their countries, playing with pride as they don’t want to disappoint their fans. Putting hockey on the world stage promotes the game, it spreads the outbreak of hockeyism. May the best team win.

  5. Matt says:

    Where can I watch the World Cup of Hockey? This event has been so poorly marketed.

    • Randy says:

      It’s all on ESPN and ESPN2

      • Randy says:

        I agree it has been poorly marketed, the only commercials I saw for them were atrocious. I guess ESPN forgot what it is like to show hockey.

        Anyone else been underwhelmed with the commentating on the exhibition games? I love Buccigross, Melrose, and Levy for doing their best to represent hockey on ESPN these days, which is a near impossible feat, but they just don’t cut it with commentary.

        Bring back Gary Thorne!

        • Matt says:

          Yeah, just that Kane commercial where he doesn’t want to talk. I can’t even remember if they said it was on espn or not…I mean, they must have, but if it didn’t ‘stick’ they weren’t doing their job.

        • Jon says:

          They put these games on the back burner. It’s on like ESPN 7 or something like that. Behind “the Herd” and some British Premeir league Soccer.

          This is World Cup. Why wouldn’t the NHL make a TV deal to ensure sports fans would see the games? Wether they’re hockey fans or a prospective fan who doesn’t often watch hockey. This is how you gain fans of the sport. They should also have been on prime time TV instead of at 3:00 pm EST.
          lame IMO.
          I think the one mistake they made was unifying Europe. Those Slovaks, and Slovenians are proud. Maybe you join those 2 smaller programs to maximize NHL firepower.

          Team Europe should have been like team North America. Under 23 or 25 year old players from all countries except ones that have their own team.

          Just my opinion in that matter. Maybe no one gets it or agrees but that’s the issue I have with the teams. If Europe wins, who really won? France can’t claim they did.

  6. Centerman says:

    I totally agree with you on team North America. I think they’re going to be in every game and I can see them winning the whole thing. If Matt Murray plays like he did in the Playoffs last season, they’ll be very hard to beat.

    As far as USA roster. It’s a “made for Torts” lineup. Why is Dubinsky on that team? Isn’t there a more skilled player that could have come in? Torts wants guys that forecheck hard and make that hit to cause a turnover. Most coaches would probably have Stepan as a bottom 6 center or a RW on the middle 6 somewhere. He’s one of Torts guys from his time in NY. Step was on ice for 90% of the big zone starts when Torts was here. Winning or trailing. Maybe data could lean that one way or the other but Stepan as 2C is a Torts move too. That’s not roster construction per se’ but I bet Torts had 50/50 say with the GM of the team.

  7. Reenavipul says:

    Sean Day does not look overweight at all.

  8. Reenavipul says:

    Here are the roster numbers for TC, you can read a lot into it.

    Forwards
    26 Jimmy Vesey
    51 Steven Fogarty
    57 Brad Morrison
    59 Ty Ronning
    65 Michael Joly
    67 Boo Nieves
    71 Robin Kovacs
    72 Nick Betz
    78 Ryan Gropp
    79 Reid Duke
    84 Malte Stromwall
    89 Pavel Buchnevich
    91 Zach Zborosky
    97 Tim Gettinger

    Defencemen

    58 John Gilmore
    62 Zach Malatesta
    64 Serge Zborovsky
    74 Dylan Di Perna
    83 Turner Ottenbreit
    85 Sean Day
    92 Calle Andersson
    95 Colton Bobyk

    Goal
    75 Brandon Halverson
    98 Joseph Raaymakers

  9. paulronty says:

    Baby Rangers started out well but faded. Couldn’t score on a two man advantage, yuk!! Kovacs & Nieves have great wheels, stood out for me. No flow to the attack yet.

  10. Pootie Tang Jr. says:

    John Tortarella is a pathetic joke of a coach. Team USA will be lucky to win 1 game, they are gonna get broomed out of contention. Nice games from Dubinsky, E Johnson, J Johnson, Stepan…they all sucked today. Terrible roster picked by a terrible coach and terrible front office. What a disgrace. All in a year when this tournament should’ve been very winnable, given the talent level of Americans throughout the NHL. Too bad this collection of scabrous, blame-happy imbeciles that make up the “brain trust” of US hockey are so blind to the way the game is played in the 21st century. Dear Torts: retire immediately, you’re a buffoon….