Thoughts during the dog days
Happy Friday, BSB faithful. I hope your summer is treating you well. Personally, I’m happy that summer is the busiest time for me at work, because those dog days between the start of free agency and the beginning of training camp are just brutal from a sports perspective. All the interesting moves have mostly been completed and we count down the days until hockey returns. One cannot live on baseball alone. Here are some thoughts as we slog through the summer….
- This may seem like something of an obvious point, but I’m hoping that the organization can find a spot for some of the prospects who could step into support roles on the cheap. The more or less seamless integration of prospects over the past few years; Derek Stepan, Chris Krieder, Carl Hagelin, et al, has given me a tremendous amount of confidence that Oscar Lindberg, Brady Skjei and Ryan Bourque could help ease the cap squeeze a little with low-cost depth.
- My plan is to do an in-depth analysis of Antti Raanta prior to the season starting, so we can get to know our new backup goaltender. However, he only has played 39 career NHL games. I haven’t watched a ton of Chicago games over the past two years, so I have been unable to see Raanta live. I googled video and I can’t find much other than “Raanta makes great save on breakway” video, so if anyone knows where I could find some scouting material on the guy, it would be greatly appreciated.
- Not necessarily Rangers related, but a few weeks back, it was announced that Reebok was going to defer to CCM when it came to Adidas’ hockey line. All of the Reebok Premier goalie equipment will be re-branded CCM Premier for the 2015-2016 season. Cam Talbot was even part of their launch campaign. All of the equipment is designed by Michel Lefevbre anyway, so nothing is really changing. I just thought it was a little strange after spending all the time and resources to establish Reebok as a hockey brand, just to relegate it ten years later seems like kind of a waste to me.
- Considering the current team construction; the retirement of Marty St. Louis and the Carl Hagelin trade, do you think Pavel Buchnevich may have jumped the gun on staying in Europe this season? He would have probably at least started in the AHL, but considering the in-flux state of the middle six forwards, an opportunity may have presented itself.
- Speaking of the Hagelin trade, I know my gut reaction was an emotional one, because I really enjoy Hagelin as a person and a player. I understand why the move was made and I am happy that at least upside was given in return in the form of Emerson Etem. I still don’t like this trade. I think the downgrade in overall usefulness doesn’t really mesh with where the Rangers window is currently. If they wanted to move Hags for a true “prospect” or draft picks, I get it. But Etem, to me at least, is too much of a project.
- It could be that I don’t trust his roller hockey background, or that we have seen too many “all the skill in the world, but hasn’t put it together yet” players in New York (*cough Nik Zherdev cough*) who fail spectacularly. At this point, I don’t feel confident Etem will be an impact guy. I hope he proves me wrong.
- It makes too much sense to trade Kevin Klein for it not to happen, right? The Rangers have one and a half defensive prospects knocking at the door and Klein is their most moveable defensive asset. As much as I don’t really believe in McIlrath’s long-term NHL viability, losing him for nothing in deference to a $3 million dollar #6 is bad asset management.
- To the point of asset management, what a start for Jeff Gorton as General Manager. Those contracts he got the organization’s RFA’s to sign are highway robbery. Derek Stepan will be a whole different test, though. Let’s hope that gets done soon.
- I’m hoping to bring the chat back in the fall. As I mentioned, the summer a circus at the office and there isn’t a whole lot to talk about once the frenzy has passed, anyway. I’ll keep everyone posted because a lot of requests have come in for its return.
- Well, that’s all for me. I hope every one continues to have a great summer, and congrats once again to Hatrick Swayze for a tremendous off-season plan. You can look for a guest post from him very soon.