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Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to attend Smashfest for a third year in a row. For those unfamiliar with Smashfest, it is a questionably named fundraiser that (former?) Ranger Dominic Moore throws every year in Toronto. The event raises money for rare cancers and concussion charities, which both have personal ties to Moore.
Several NHL players attend to show their support for the cause, which elevates a ping pong tournament, paired with silent auctions, to raise over half a million dollars for charity. NHL players compete for ping pong supremacy in the friendly confines of the Steamwhistle Brewery, just beneath the CN Tower.
It’s the middle of the summer and there’s not a lot going on, so naturally I’m missing hockey. The longing for our beloved sport has got me ruminating lately about favorite hockey memories, lessons learned from being a fan of this team, and what hockey means to me. Along those lines I’d like to share a story as a kind of conversation starter, and because I realize that while I do spend a lot of time reflecting on statistics there’s more to the game than just numbers.
I’ll start by providing some background – I’ve always been a fan of the Rangers but throughout my young life my interest waxed and waned. In high school I was so wrapped up in academics and my dedication at the time to music that I wasn’t always as dedicated of a fan as I should’ve been. That began to change in the latter days of high school as I began to move on from things that had previously taken up most of my time. This was also the start of the Torts era – it felt like the Rangers had turned a new leaf and that this was a team you could believe in.
Last week, I proposed a somewhat scandalous suggestion, in that it doesn’t rely on either the eye test or on advanced statistics. It called upon the Rangers’ lack of enthusiasm and other intangibles that often make stats people a little upset. It’s worth a quick read prior to this post.
The majority of comments cited a need for change, that the Rangers have outrun their window to win. However, does this necessarily mean blowing up the team? From Gorton’s moves this week, it certainly looks like he’s trying to create a team to win, with prudent signings this week which will hopefully ameliorate the current core.
The draft is a great time to assess the needs of a team, to see where the front office is focusing and to guess how the team will utilize what they have and leverage their way to higher picks. It’s also a really great time to play make believe.
On Thursday, I posed a fun question to Rangers twitter: who is your dream Ranger? The one factor I threw out there is that it has to be a current player. Otherwise, we’re in total fantasy land: no cap hit, no trade issues, no restrictions. Your responses were pretty fantastic.
This week on the Blue Seat Blogs-cast we discuss the recent Yandle deal, asset management, and forecast the draft with Josh. As always you can find us right here, on iTunes, and on Soundcloud. Thanks for listening!
Happy Father’s Day, BSB nation! Before we dive into Rangers chat, I’d like to thank my dad for being a great role model and for being so supportive. Without him, I wouldn’t have a borderline corny-dad sense of humor. I would also like to wish all the dads who read us a happy Father’s Day and thanks for checking in here on your day.
Since it’s summer and, as an tax accountant, I use 110% of my brainpower from January-April, today will be a pre-draft musings. We went over this in last week’s podcast, but focused on who we think will be traded. How about focusing on not trading?
This past Thursday I had the pleasure of attending a promo event for Bauer Hockey where they showed off some stuff made with a fabric that’s apparently scientifically proven to keep athletes cooler and drier. Like a good nerd blogger I don’t actually play the game myself, but for all you beer league folks out there Bauer’s the way to go I guess. While I was there I had the opportunity to speak briefly with Chris Kreider; the transcript of our conversation can be found below.
PK: Obviously the season didn’t end the way a lot of us hoped for it to end – what’s your mindset heading into the offseason ad preparing for next season?
CK: It can kind of be a blessing in disguise, lot of time off, more than we’re used to, so we’ve got opportunity for guys to get healthy and to work on some stuff they need to work on.
This week on the Blue Seat Blogs-cast we unpack the recent Stanley Cup Final, discuss front office philosophy, and do a little trade talk. As always you can find us right here, on Soundcloud, and on iTunes.
With the playoffs potentially ending tonight, the focus will shift to the draft, free agency, and the World Cup. Rosters were finalized about two weeks ago, and can be found courtesy of Sports Illustrated here.
Since there is really no cohesive way to jump from team to team, I’ve assembled my thoughts in lazy summer Sunday bulletpoints: Read More→
A short while back I had a discussion on twitter with a few people regarding the way Chris Kreider played this past season. Following a decent bit of conversation regarding perceptions of Kreider I was linked to a chart by Ian Fleming that showed Kreider’s meaningful production and decided to do more of a deep dive into how number 20 played this past season, and how that does or does not fit with perceptions of how he played last season.
Below you can find the aforementioned chart, where although his name is not visible, Fleming reports that Kreider is the only Ranger in the top right quadrant also in the top 100 primary points/60 in the league (I’m taking him at his word). What this indicates is that not only does Kreider at or above the league median in terms of individual shot attempts per 60 minutes, he’s also at or above the league median in terms of high danger scoring chances per 60 minutes.