It’s rather a sombre beginning to a Musings post today as the unfortunate news of Glen Sather receiving treatment for prostate cancer reached us all. Whether you’re a Sather fan or not, I’m sure everyone joins me in repeating the wishes from this morning’s post here at the site in wishing a full and quick recovery.
One more thing regarding Sather; following an abysmal start as Rangers general manager he’s done a terrific job over the past several seasons. Wherever you look the Rangers have a bright future. Prospects dominating in Europe, a young farm team full of prospects and a young, growing contender in New York. Eventually, Sather has restocked the franchise and fleeced several of his colleagues along the way. It’s that last aspect why I’m not nervous heading toward the trade deadline.
Derek Stepan and Ryan McDonagh have truly developed into integral parts of this roster. That isn’t going to be a cheap summer for Sather and co. Further down the line I can see problems for the Rangers; with the cap coming down after this year and Del Zotto, Girardi and Stralman with expiring contracts after the 13/14 season the management may have to part with one or several players for financial reasons.
The above point emphasises another point: the development of Dylan McIlrath, Brady Skjei and even Calle Andersson is fast becoming critical. At least one of those three is going to be needed as a full tim NHL’er soon.
Speaking of Calle Andersson, he’s a little discussed prospect since being drafted but has been playing for Farjestads in the Swedish Elite League and managed 2 points in 34 games. Getting in to 34 games as an 18 year old defenseman in a league that is notorious for not rushing kids is no mean feat. It appears Andersson hasn’t been in the line up during the playoffs however.
Rookie watch: Cristobal Nieves has 29 points in 38 games for Michigan Wolverines in the NCAA. As a college freshman those numbers are hugely impressive. Appears the Rangers may have themselves another college bred center on the way.
Rookie watch II: recently acquired Josh Nicholls is three goals from 50 for the season. Impressive feat if he gets there.
For me, Derek Stepan aside the best New York Ranger in the past two-three weeks has been Ryan Callahan. He’s willed his team on, led impressively and produced offense showing a still improving skill level. Scarily, I don’t think Callahan has reached his ceiling offensively. He’s growing in confidence which is hard to believe.
What’s happened to Taylor Pyatt? He’s not been bad but he’s pretty invisible lately.