Musings: Counting down to the inevitable lockout edition

Don’t get too caught up in various CBA proposals that show the Rangers as being way below a projected new salary cap or way above it.  These are all hypothetical situations and the truth is that New York’s position really could go either way.   Regardless, the new cap will surely be grandfathered in, giving the Rangers and every other team ample time to figure out a plan of attack.

Preliminary player ratings for EA Sports’ incredibly addicting NHL13 have leaked and as usual, there have been complaints from fans of every team, including Rangers fans who are aghast that Chris Kreider is rated just a 68 overall.  Speed alone should be enough to bump Kreider significantly higher, but it’s long been abundantly clear that EA Sports just does not devote enough energy to compiling accurate measurements of every NHL player.

This whole labor debacle worked out pretty well for Shane Doan.  The coveted 35-year-old has waited and waited and waited for the Coyotes to figure out their ownership situation and sure enough, it may be resolved by the time a new CBA is reached.  If nothing else, most teams seem disinterested in spending big money until the labor war is resolved, so the constant pressure that was on Doan in July and August to make a decision has dissipated.

I still find it tremendously ironic that the 11th-overall pick in the 2012 draft that originally belonged to Colorado but was sent to Washington last year for Semyon Varlamov was used to select a guy named Forsberg.

It’s become abundantly clear that J.T. Miller was dead serious when he announced his plans to turn pro after just one season last summer.  By all accounts, Miller has bulked up considerably and has improved just about every aspect of his game.  Whether Miller actually makes the jump or not isn’t entirely in his control – the Rangers’ decision could hinge on the CBA – but it’s very impressive to see that Miller means business.

Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch made waves earlier this week when he reported that as many as eight NHL owners might have been willing to accept the initial offer by the NHLPA.  Dave notes that this could be good news as it could mean that there’s some division among the ranks of the execs.  I’m curious: are these eight owners more likely to be in charge of small market teams, thrilled at the potentially huge influx of cash through the heavily emphasized revenue sharing portion of the players’ proposal?  Or are they more likely to be owners of the big market teams that are raking in millions of dollars in profit and don’t want to see any part of the season lost?

It seems like it was long ago that GM Glen Sather recklessly spent James Dolan’s money at every opportunity, but the new poster boy for silly spending in the NHL has become Philadelphia GM Paul Holmgren.  Holmgren earns praise for his boldness at times, but he has consistently ignored problems in goal and along the blueline have really hindered the Flyers in recent years.  Holmgren’s reputation has become what Sather used to be; everyone knows that he’ll be leading the bidding for every big name that hits the market, regardless of his team’s actual needs.

The Hockey News has been slowly releasing its predictions for where each time will finish in the standings this season.  The Rangers clocked in at #4, as THN reasoned that a full season of Sidney Crosby would be enough to help Pittsburgh hold off the Blueshirts for the Atlantic Division crown.  THN expects that Detroit will finish seventh in the Western Conference, which is mind boggling to think about.  The Red Wings appear to be substantially weaker without Nicklas Lidstrom and Brad Stuart so it makes sense that they will drop in the standings.  But it’s beyond bizarre to see Detroit listed on the playoff bubble, even if these are simply one magazine’s predictions.

After several recent encouraging reports of Michael Sauer’s improving status, Larry Brooks wrote on Sunday that there is “scant optimism” that Sauer will be cleared to return to action, not just for the start of the season, but possibly ever.  Brooks cites the concussion history of Sauer’s family and mentions the strong possibility that Sauer will be placed on LTIR.  Brooks’ report comes as a bit of a surprise considering the well-connected Jess Rubenstein and Dave Maloney both expressed significant optimism that Sauer could play a major role this season.

Is there a cooler tradition in sports than NHL players spending a day with the Stanley Cup during the summer after capturing hockey’s greatest prize?


Question Time:

If you use Twitter, who is your favorite Rangers’ player to follow?

Would a lockout affect your level of fandom?

Do you play the NHL video game, and if so, will your purchase be affected by the pending lockout?

Do any of EA’s ratings of other Blueshirts surprise you?

Who will be the Rangers’ sixth defenseman on opening night?

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  1. If you use Twitter, who is your favorite Rangers’ player to follow?

    Don’t follow any players on Twitter in any sport. Very rarely do they say anything that interests me. Just a personal preference, though.

    Would a lockout affect your level of fandom?

    Nothing. I will be a fan forever.

    Do you play the NHL video game, and if so, will your purchase be affected by the pending lockout?

    Will not be affected. In fact, I pre-ordered it on Amazon. Comes along with a $15 Amazon gift card, so basically got it for $45. So, if we miss a 1/4 of the season, consider that my trade off.

    Do any of EA’s ratings of other Blueshirts surprise you?

    As far as ratings go, I’d say Krieder is definitely a little low, while Rupp, Staal, and Boyle are a little too high.

    Who will be the Rangers’ sixth defenseman on opening night?

    I’d be shocked if it’s not Bickel/Eminger back and forth at the 6/7 defenseman with Erixon out of the mix now. Of course, this will only be if Michael Sauer is still not ready to return. Obviously, he’d be the guy in the event he is ready.

  2. I’ve stopped reading THN. I’ve been disgusted by their lack of professionalism and research in the teams they write about.

      1. I still read it, but the righteous attitude drives me nuts. Not an issue goes by without an insanely dramatic “concussions are killing the game” piece. Not to belittle the issue, but the way they approach it is over the top.

  3. Richards or Hank. Bickel can be pretty funny sometimes.

    Not a chance

    If there is no lockout, I’m getting it the day it comes out. If there is a lockout, I’m getting it the day it comes out.

    Kreider and Stepan. Took a look at some of the player ratings on other teams and they make you scratch your head a little in comparison to some of the Rangers. But I heard they have a new rating system this year.

    Bickel, unfortunatly, unless someone impresses in training camp.

    On a separate note, am I the only one that thinks Miller should go back to the OHL? He may be looking good and he had a pretty solid season in juniors, but he didn’t exactly light it up. I feel like it would be better for his development if he got first line minutes in Plymouth this year as opposed to 2nd or 3rd line minutes in Hartford. But what do I know I’m just a fan.

  4. Yes a lockout will be very damaging. As for youe comments on Sather. I think he always was this shrewed. But he had no choice when he first came here.

    One like he said the farm system was empty. And he would have to start building from the bottom up. And with the pressure from MSG to fill the seats I think he went after players that could do that for the time being. Other the time where they signed Drury, Redden and Gomez. He has done a very good job.

    And yes he did miss the boat on a few. But they all do that.

  5. what’s even funnier about kreider being rated a 68 in the game after he had a nice playoffs and at least played in an nhl game..schultz in edmonton is an 84 without ever playing an nhl game

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