Musings: CBA strife and life in Richards shadow

It’s a musings day folks. With little Ranger specific news let’s just get into it and talk about anything and everything, ok?

What side of the CBA war do you side with? It’s hard to link arms with the owners and the league, a league that has come across as incredibly greedy through the media. Are they greedy? Was the last CBA that bad that they had to resort to extreme measures?

Is there a public figure or leader – in sports or entertainment – with as negative a public reputation as Gary Bettman? He’s actually done a solid job over the years. Despite stretching it too far, expansion has been a relative (and necessary) success for the league; he has grown the sport immeasurably and has proven a strong leader in the face of challenges such as the KHL and on matters such as the Olympics. That said, if his reign ended tomorrow he’d be considered greedy, too stubborn and arrogant.

Do you think the public appearance of players such as Crosby, Ovechkin or Lundqvist influences the NHLPA’s position or media and fan bias in the CBA talks?

We discussed how the Flyers may be a competitor for the Rangers for blueliners going forward. Right now the Canadiens cannot get PK Subban to ink a new deal. Well, is there anyone more suited to the Flyers mould than? Cocky yet talented, considered a pretty dirty player but an offensive threat Subban may be more of a target for Flyers than Michael Del Zotto would be.

Will the Shane Doan scenario just get settled already? Clearly his preference is to stay in Arizona and I’m starting to think that if I was a suitor in the Doan stakes would I really want to invest x million in a player that has to sign on my dotted line with the upmost of gritted teeth? Its one thing to have priorities its quite another to be so publicly opposed to the prospect of change.

If you follow labour negotiations and the politics side of sport, you’ll have noticed the controversy around the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL and how it has yet to fully play out. Our friend Chris Peters has an interesting article on how the NHL is involved in that too. Check it out.

Who do you think will be the Rangers biggest surprise when the league eventually kicks off next season? I have thought long and hard about it and depending on your expectations it also depends on what qualifies as a surprise. For me, I think Derek Stepan has a chance to come close to 70 points in the right setting.

More favourable match ups, more experience, consistent line mates and the benefit of playing in the shadow of Brad Richards and his line. With the fan fare around Chris Kreider and Rick Nash’s debut season the pressure on Stepan may be the least he has experienced since bursting on to the season as a rookie.

One to ponder: has Dan Girardi peaked?

Very quietly, with all the forward prospects coming along, next season is actually a pretty damn crucial one for Brian Boyle. Boyle has been an excellent acquisition for the Rangers and despite the drop in production he still had a solid season things all considered last year. BUT, roll the prospects off the tongue; Fast, Lindberg, Fogarty, Miller, Bourque, Yogan etc, etc.

Without even considering more offensively focussed prospects such as Thomas and St Croix Boyle has a huge amount of competition for his role coming in the near future and with cap maths always an issue, he has a fight to keep hold of his Rangers future. Of course, competition for places breeds success.

Question Time:

  • Who are you most intrigued about seeing in camp?
  • Would you rather JT Miller dominates in the OHL or learns on the fly in the AHL?
  • Who becomes a (North American) pro first: Jesper Fast or Oscar Lindberg?
  • Prospect depth: what position is of greatest need to the Rangers?
  • How many 20 goal scorers will the Rangers have assuming the season starts on time?
  • (food for thought) Will Marc Staal be a Ranger long term?

Also, tomorrow The Suit will be posting a reader Q&A, so feel free to drop a question for him in the comments section.

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  • Nash
    Miller in AHL
    3rd power forward
    No-will go to Carolina

    Buttman, AKA Napolian, is the worst thing that ever happened to the NHL!

    I’ve got to side with the players, they took a major hit the last go round, and the owners have got to meet these guys half way this time. As for the likes of Crosby being at the press confrence, all he does is make my blood boil, that dirty little wimp!

    The Flyers should go after Subban, then the entire NHL would go after their RFA in the future. Lets not forget that Ed Snyder, crying poverty, is on the NHL negotiating team, what a laugh.

    As for Step, and 70 points, with a healthy Gabby, and the Kreider kid skating with him he could exceed that total!

    Lets get the season started already.

  • Asham (I kid, I kid)
    AHL (with NHL call up to follow)
    4 out 5 possibilities (Gabby, Richards, Nash, Krieder, Callahan), one is going to fall short
    Lindberg (because he’s a center)
    Depends – I see either Staal or Girardi gone in two years.

  • Christian Thomas

    JT Miller in the AHL


    Scoring Center and Goalie equally

    7 (Gaborik, Nash, Kreider, Callahan, Richards, Stepan and Hagelin) if Thomas makes it, the 8

    No, I think he will want to go to Carolina and play with his brothers, I hope I am wrong. That being said the Rangers should seriously consider a trade involving Staal.

  • JT Miller,AHL,a rushing scoring defenseman,six,No, trade him to Carolina for Ryan Murphy+ brotherly love.

  • Regarding Girardi, not sure he’s “peaked” as much as he is in his prime. He was an all-star at age 27, and it’s his brains more than anything that have made him one of the premier shut-down defensemen in the game (plays so well positionally.) The only real concern is getting worn down/injured from the shot-blocking, but otherwise he has the skillset to remain an elite defensive defenseman into his thirties. Maybe he’s reached his ceiling, but it’s a pretty damned high ceiling.

    The questions:
    Miller in Hartford
    Agree w/ Walt, power forward

  • JT Miller
    Im with Leather, scoring Center and Goalie
    6 (Nash, Gabby, Kreider, Hagelin, Richards and out on limb Stephan)
    No – And Harlemblues called it: Ryan Murphy for Staal
    Girardi is perfect the way he is wouldn’t change a thing in his regards (just his ice time a bit less). He is IMO the best positional D in the league. Another All-star year for him.

  • Questions:
    1) Miller / McIlrath
    2) Miller in the AHL, OHL is a waste of time. If he thinks he is ready for the Pro’s get him ready for the Rangers.
    3) Fast – He will become the next Hagelin.
    4) 7 – Gaborik, Nash, Kreider, Callahan,Richards, Stepan and Hagelin.
    5) Yes. I spoke to Eric Staal about that a month ago. He says he loves being a Ranger, doesn’t think it would be possible talking him into a move out of New York. He laughed when I asked him.

    I’m ok with the players not coming to terms with Bettman. Even if they sit out the whole season. Bettman didn’t fix the problem the first time, now the league has the same problem with $3.3 Billion dollars, this problem won’t go away with large market vs small hockey market teams. He shouldn’t have put these teams in this position to fail. Cut or move the 4 bottom teams into a hockey market that can survive. Any time a College team pulls more than a Pro team it is NOT going to make it, in the Market it is in.

    The Question I have for the Suit.

    What Ranger Players with 2-way contracts can play for the Whale, if the NHL season doesn’t start on time?

  • Thomas
    Oscar Lindberg
    Goalie or defense
    Staal retires a Ranger?

    Question for Suit – do you think league will be locked out this season and if what do you think of Bettman and Snider crying poverty yet being the faces of negotiation?

  • Thomas
    NHL but if I had to choose between those 2 then AHL
    I say they both come over the same year
    Defensive depth. One injury and everything seems to fall apart.
    No idea. But I don’t get why everyone thinks Staal’s guarenteed to leave and go play with his brothers in THREE YEARS! A lot can change in that time guys, just ask the Blue Jackets and Flyers. Plus, he might not want to play with his brothers. You don’t know what he’s thinking.

  • SOLID JOB??? Are you kidding Me??? Listen I dont come down on you guys at all. But this one has got to be called out. Im sorry but he has not done a solid or a good job at all. Hockey was in its hay day when he took over. He has almost driven it into the ground since.

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