Players

When will Emerson Etem get to play?

emerson-etem
Etem

When the Rangers traded Carl Hagelin for Emerson Etem this past summer, it was seen mostly as a cap move. The Rangers could not afford a $4 million third line player, and needed someone cheaper with more offensive upside. Etem is certainly cheaper and definitely more skilled, but it came at a cost of certainty. Etem has been a relative unknown for his short career, and his time in New York has continued that trend.

Josh touched on this yesterday, and I have to agree that the usage of Emerson Etem has been highly questionable. Before even getting into the numbers –which aren’t all that good, to be honest– you have to at least wonder why the team would target Etem and not use him. Hagelin had significant trade value, and the club targeted Etem for a reason. Trading for him, and then not playing him over some of the other players on the roster, deserves some questioning.

That said, while we’ve seen flashes of what Etem can do, the overall product has been a bit off. Only Jarret Stoll possesses a worse CF% (38.76%) than Etem (42.19%) , but Stoll plays significantly more time in the defensive zone, so that needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Comparatively to his teammates, only Stoll, Dominic Moore, and Jesper Fast have worse relative CF%, so it’s not like the team’s overall poor play is skewing his numbers. The chart below shows Etem’s usage.

Courtesy of war-on-ice
Courtesy of war-on-ice (click to enlarge)

Now this brings me to another point that some may be missing with Etem. The kid is obviously very skilled, but he struggles in the defensive zone. So I must ask why he is being deployed with less than 30% offensive zone starts. His most common linemates: Stoll and Moore. His most common defensemen: Marc Staal and Dan Girardi. That seems like poor usage of a very skilled asset.

Not only does it appear to be poor usage, that’s the definition of setting a kid up to fail. He’s out there primarily with four possession vacuums that –aside from Moore, who seems to be showing some age this season– can’t really move the puck well. We’ve all seen how miserable Girardi and Staal are at getting the puck out of their own end. Stoll is even worse. But yet Etem is supposed to score with this kind of usage? The table below, courtesy of hockeyanalysis.com, shows how bad the effect is on Etem.

Courtesy of stats.hockeyanalysis.com
Courtesy of stats.hockeyanalysis.com (click to enlarge)

It’s worth noting that Etem has just 114 minutes this season over ten games, so this has small sample size noise written all over it. Since these are small sample sizes, you can ignore the numbers if you wish, and just evaluate the situation as a whole. You have a skilled asset that falters in the defensive zone. Isn’t the most logical game situation for him to be in the offensive zone, with teammates that are also skilled? Isn’t that the best way to get the most out of this particular asset?

You can teach a kid how to play defense. You can’t teach skill. Just look at the progression of Mats Zuccarello as your best example. Even John Tortorella recognized that Zucc was pretty rough on the back check, so he was deployed in the offensive zone. He learned it. You can teach defense, but the player needs to be in a position to succeed before he can gain enough confidence to succeed. At some point, the kid needs to be given a legitimate chance to succeed. Not just for his sake, but for the sake of dressing the best possible roster.

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    • Etem for as big as he is has zero physical game. When they put Glass in the lineup (and Mcilrath) it made them a much tougher team. Something the Rangers absolutely need. I’d suggest trading him for a bag of pucks.

  • Typical catch-22 situation here. Play him to evaluate him on offense or find available time on the 3rd or 4th line. The Hags trade may well be more for 2017 depth than 2016 playing time.

    • Correct me if I’m mistaken but wasn’t the knock on the Ducks that he was misused on the 4th line. This kid should be a top six type player some day…………..

      • Who does he replace of our rotating top-six? Zucc? Nash? Kreider? Hayes? Oskar? JT? Maybe on a lesser team he is top-six, but not as our team is currently formed.

      • Right on, Walt. Let’s counsel patience here while hoping E-squared somehow gets slotted in some top six ice time.

        David’s analysis was thorough, per usual. By comparison, Zuke became an exemplary 200-ft player; and, at least from the view of my Roku-streamer JTM looks progressively better position wise.

        Now can EE pass waivers en route to a lengthy stint, and regular shifts in The A?

        Not that it’s any solace, but Hags look conspicuously lost, if not largely miscast on the heretofore rudderless Ducks.

        My sole suggestion, again: dangle Klein to a Western Conference team in pursuit of back line depth. The LAKs, for instance. Perhaps we can get a youthful banger, either Jordan Nolan or Dwight King to better prepare us for match ups with the Caps, et al.

        • I guess you misunderstood my post, so let me make myself clear.

          The knock was that he was misused by the Ducks because he was used as a 4th line player. Now does that sound like I’m saying that he should be a top six for us now, no, I’m saying that he should be a top six player some day.

          He couldn’t dislodge the top six we have at this time, maybe down the road, but not today. Well, knowing he was set up to fail as a 4th line guy, why play him there, if he can’t play top six, try him at top 9. Nowhere did I say play him at top six now. Wow, did a few feathers get ruffled today……..

  • Based on some comments made yesterday, we had better play this guy to improve our return potential of either a cheesecake, or Trojans!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I would like to see him get a shot at a few games to see if this kid is for real, the way I was pulling for DM. We will never know what talent he has, or doesn’t have until he gets in for several games in a row.

    Everyone is down on Glass, but I believe Ed said it best, the team likes the guy, they are comfortable with his presence, hence he plays, and we win. Now isn’t that he objective in the first place, to win ??????//

    • We’re and 7-3 with Etem and 2-2-1 with Glass.

      Now’s the time to find out about Etem since Stepan is hurt. If he doesn’t produce playing in a more sheltered role, then the team can make a somewhat informed decision (still unfair to Etem without significant time to develop, but it is what it is).

      Fast should be on the 4th line. Etem should play on the 2nd line with Hayes and Kreider or the 3rd line with Lindberg and Stalberg.

      Glass should be playing for the Greenville Swamp Rabbits.

      • The Rangers also played arguably their two best games of the season in these last three since Glass was in the lineup. He might have played the best game he played as a Ranger vs the Islanders.

        • And I hit send to soon….he was, in some of the writers opinions who cover the team, one of the three best Rangers vs the Avs.

          It’s easy to hate on Glass, I get it. But sorry, he has provided a spark to the lineup, at least for now. This isn’t the time to sit him. Not yet anyway.

          • Glass has played much better than last year, but calling his play a spark is probably overstating it. A couple of months in Ho-ford will get a vet to move his legs faster. The reality is he has no hands whatsoever.

          • I groan every time Yandle (or anyone) serves him up a juicy pass right on his stick and he flubs it.

          • LOL!! Good one. You know who also has hands of stone. Jarret Stoll who has 1 goal.

          • Right on, Eddie. Sure Tanner Glass is no Rod Gilbert. Not even Louie DeBrusk.

            But yea, first: he seems to player’s player. Foremost, I sure feel far more comfortable seeing him on the bench when Matt Martin or Tom Wilson’s having a blast, taking runs at our smurfs.

            I’ll forever rue the day we let Dubi go. Not on his shift did a Blueshirt get obliterated without an appropriate answer.

    • What line wants to play less? What line wants to be less offensive? Who wants to play on his line? Its a big lie to say his team loves him. Nobody wants to pass to him.

      • You are once again distorting the truth. It’s undeniable how much his teammates love him.

        You have no ability whatsoever to be objective. You are just a hater.

        • Sorry you are eating a lie and I hope it doesn’t give you heart-burn! I’m sure you want to play on his line.

        • No, seriously, Eddie, I’ve seen it too, a bunch of times. Moore stopped passing to him last season.

          • I respect your opinion Mythdoc, but I’ve never noticed that. Maybe he wasn’t passing to him in certain situations when he wasn’t open, or there were better options. I cant answer that.

            But to me, there are four undeniable facts in play…..

            1) If his teammates felt he was an albatross, the guys covering the team would be clued into this. Obviously, no one is going to be quoted as such. But having been there myself, you find things out as much by what ISNT said as much if not more than what is. Again, on the live chat today, a veteran Ranger reporter could have quickly jumped in and said his teammates sure would prefer him not playing. Instead, he was quick to say Glass should play. Why would he do that if he was perceived as a liability? I’ve never heard anyone but bloggers and fancy stat folks jumping down the throats of Glass or AV for playing him.

            2) it’s been widely reported that Glass is very popular in the room. By multiple reporters in fact. So unless that’s the biggest reported lie of all time, I consider that fact.

            3) The Rangers won at an historic level WITH Glass playing last year on the 4th line. That’s fact.

            4) The Rangers, in a small sample, have played two of their better games recently WITH Glass in the lineup. One of the reporters even named him one of three stars in the Avs game. That’s fact.

            Look, I’m no fan of Glass. I don’t care if he plays or not really. What I am a fan of is the coach putting out a lineup that wins. If he was playing Glass and let’s say sitting Stepan, ok, I’m all in with you on the criticism. But we are talking about Emerson Etem here, who hasn’t proved a thing yet. And to play Etem, it means shuffling lines. Why shuffle the lines when you got such a strong performance from everyone on Sunday?

            To me, you ride with what’s working for now, you continue to evaluate, and when the time comes, I’m sure an opportunity to play Etem will come up.

            And as I said, the better Glass plays, the more likely Gorton finds a trade partner to pick up his salary. Either way, he’s not sticking for long. We are too tight up against the cap at the moment.

        • Frankly I don’t give a rats’s *** if his teamates love him. For me it’s how he plays and if he’s out there finishing his checks and banging people, that’s what I want to see. You can wear a team down by playing physically, there is no doubt abt that. Speed & physicality along the boards is what wins. That epiphany came to me in the 70’s when the Rangers took on the Russian Selects at MSG. In preparation for a great game I smoked a doobie and settled back to watch the Russians annhiliate the Rangers 7-2. And what impressed me was how tough they were on the boards & cycling the puck. The Rangers couldn’t get it away from them. It was a masterful show of power hockey from the Russians who had the speed but I saw that they learned from Canada & knew to win they had to dominate the boards, which was not as much a factor back home in their bigger rinks.

          • That’s fair. Can’t argue with that! (btw, I was at the game at MSG….it was brutal! And I remember commentmg that someone was smoking a joint. Maybe it was you! :)).

            Hockey is a chemistry game more than any other. It’s pretty much impossible to succeed unless the players have a brotherhood on and off the ice. The 78 Yankees couldn’t have played hockey! 🙂

  • I think this site has always grossly overstated / overestimated Etem’s value. The Hagelin trade turned out to be:

    Hagelin, Julius Nättinen (#59 selection in 2015), and Garrett Metcalf (#179 in 2015) for Etem and Ryan Gropp (#41 in 2015). Gropp had 30 goals last year for Seattle (WHL) and 15 goals in 22 games so far this year. Here’s what Hockey’s Future says about him: (http://www.hockeysfuture.com/prospects/ryan-gropp/)

    “At 6-foot-2, Gropp projects to be a power forward in the NHL. He has incredible skating speed and a very quick release. In addition, the Rangers are very impressed with his strength. With his size, speed and shot, Gropp is expected to be an offensive force in the NHL, but prior to getting to the show, the Rangers are looking for greater consistency in Gropp’s play.”

    Sounds like he’ll fit right in with this team when he’s ready. Etem has the skill set to play with the Rangers if he ever develops the hockey sense / intelligence he seems to be lacking, but the chance to draft Gropp might have been the reason the deal was made with Anaheim instead of some other team who would have given a better NHL-ready player in return.

    • Agree that the pick, losing Hags salary and then Etem were the reasons for the trade. Gropp may be a player in the future, time will tell but could not afford Hags anymore, as much as he gave this team.

    • Agree with you completely. The prize is Gropp, not Etem & I’ve learned that people can second guess Ranger selections all they want but Rangers have the best scouting staff in the NHL. Look at Buchnevich & Shestyorkin who are absolute gems. And there was so much complaining abt Zoberovskiy(?) but I saw him play a couple of games against the WHL All-Stars with Proverov, a first rounder & he looked just as good to me. These scouts are wizards.

  • By what measures are we saying that he’s “skilled”? I mean, very occasionally, he’s shown to make a good move with the puck, and he might have a good shot, but every NHLer has that capacity. What makes him special? What gives him the moniker of” very skilled”?

    • Let me digress a moment a talk about skill. Many years ago I used to go to NY Ranger practices in Rye. Often times, a few players would play a game where they competed in a fun drill. the drill was to hit the crossbar. They started in the slot and moved around the rink – essentially playing a hockey version of H-O-R-S-E. On more than one occasion I saw the same Ranger win this “skill” competition. That Ranger was none other than Darren Langdon. There are many versions and colors to “skill” and how it translates to the in-game experience.

    • He scored 60 goals in juniors. That may not translate to the NHL level, but it’s worth giving him a legitimate chance instead of sticking him on the 4th line and expecting him to score or else he sits for the worst player in the league.

      AV has gone from just a bad personnel manager to a shady one, as well. Etem had a stomach bug or something, and AV used it as an excuse to bench him for, I repeat, the worst player in the NHL.

      • Total nonsense.

        Etem was sick. Glass played and played well vs the Islanders. He was one of the only guys who bothered to show up vs the Avs. He was fine vs the Sens.

        With a team struggling, why would a coach pull out a guy who seemed to provide some energy to a lineup that was lacking it?

        It’s a long season. Etem will get his chance. Be patient.

  • Another reason why AV is a hyprocrite who’s terrible at player management. On Emerson Etem, from September 28th:

    “He’s taking strides. He’s a young player. It’s our job to develop him and that’s what we’re going to do.”

    Except not that at all…

    • Boy, are you on a roll….down the wrong side of the hill!

      How does that quote prove he’s a hypocrite at all? Did he say he was going to play him a certain amount of games? No.

      NHL head coaches aren’t required to prove to us fans how development is going. Undoubtedly, that process happens in practice. AV’s job is to win games, period. When and if Etem proves he’s ready to do contribute in a meaningful way in a game, then I’m sure he will get his chance.

      • How is a guy who’s supposed to be a scorer going to prove it on the 4th line or from the press box?

        AV’s process is not to be trusted because he thinks Glass should be in the lineup and Girardi should still be getting the most even strength ice time of any defenseman.

        • So you’re the coach….you’ve been trying to get your out of sync team back in a groove. Etem comes up sick. Glass plays, and plays well vs the Isles. He earns another start. He’s one of the few players who bothers to show up vs the Avs. AV scrambles the lines to get something going. They get great results vs the Sens.

          Since we all agree that Etem is probably not a good option for the 4th line, doesn’t putting Etem into the lineup tonight force AV to juggle his lineup yet again? Is playing Etem so important that you are willing to disrupt chemistry and maybe cost yourself points, all to find out if he can play?

          Coach O, is that what you would do? Because I doubt any NHL-level coach would agree with you unless they were in full rebuild mode. Not at this moment when the Rangers are trying to find their game again.

          You seem to have little use for Glass and AV. That’s fine and we all have our opinions. But remember, in a year following a trip to SCF, the Rangers had the best record not only in the league but in their long history. In the modern era of the game, how many coaches have been able to do that? Not many. AV got a Jack Adams nomination because of that, that’s how impressive that was.

          And the fact is, Glass played 10 min a game on the 4th line of that team that did so well.

          So, either AV is a genius coach because he accomplished this with only 11 legit NHL forwards while carrying the worst player in the NHL. Or maybe, just maybe, Glass wasn’t quite as horrible as everyone made him out to be, given his role and the limited minutes he played.

          Seems to me you can’t have it both ways.

      • Eddie please stop saying this happens in practice. It doesn’t because practice is WAY different than games. These days with the crazy schedule teams actually don’t get much time for practice.

        • That’s fair. But the “black aces” practice more and get more individual attention to stay sharp. It’s clearly not the same as it once was, and it’s not easy I agree. But I simply contend that when Etem has played to this point, he hasn’t really demonstrated he’s better than anyone on the top 9, and he’s not really a 4th line guy. So it’s understandable right now why it might be an odd fit.

          The Rangers have been struggling. They need points. They got their best efforts in two out of the last three games with Glass playing. To me, tonight’s not the night to change things. Maybe Friday, maybe Saturday. Just depends. But tonight, AV trying to ride a little momentum makes sense.

          • Ya I agree that Etem is not a fourth liner and Glass is. I’m not a Glass fan but he did add a missing dimension in those games, that’s for sure.

  • Which other head coach of a winning team around the league are you all hankering to have….the one who aggressively inserts very young players into the top six??

    Oh…there is that coach by the name of Alain Vigneault. I think he did it with a rookie by the name of Oscar Lindberg.

    Who else. Maybe Laviolette? Do we want him instead?

      • WOW! The “Fire AV” movement has started.

        Yeah, ask Vancouver how that turned out.

        I can’t believe we’re directing such wrath at AV over a first round bust. Maybe Etem….isn’t very good?

      • Stop it. AV didn’t play the Canucks kids, because those kids stunk. The two kids from that blog post you linked to are, in hindsight, awful. Zach Kassian is a garbage player that’s almost out of the league, if he isn’t already. Cody Hodgson is on his third NHL franchise and he’s only 25. AV is not playing Etem because Etem has to commit to playing sound defensive hockey first.

        The same thing happened with JT Miller. The same thing happened with Kevin Hayes. Hayes picked it up quickly and got quality ice time. JT is taking longer to figure it out and his ice time suffers because of that.

        Young players, like Fast and Lindberg came to N. America with a ready made defensive game. Guess what, they get regular shifts. There isn’t one NHL coach of a contending team that allows slack defensive effort from their kids.

        • Exactly right Andy and Chris.

          Obviously, unless a coach wins the Cup, every team is eventually going to tune out their coach after seven seasons, so the decision to fire that coach is understandable. I’m an AV fan, but even here, eventually, he has to win it all or he will have to move on. That’s pro sports.

          But I wonder what Omgrodnick’s blogger would be saying today? The Canucks have imploded and unraveled since AV’s departure. I’ll bet there are more fans wishing AV were still around than the reverse. It’s always the same deal. Fans tend to hate on their own and covet those on other teams. But as the Canucks and their fans might tell you, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

          Perhaps you ought to read the column in today’s Vancouver Sun. Very, very different perspective than what was posted back in 2013.

          • You know Eddie you always say hey wait we need to see what so & so can bring, well that applies to AV as well. I sincerely hope he & the Rangers win the Cup this year. I would never Q him again. But you mention Keenan losing in the finals & critcized him but AV has lost twice in the finals too, so where is the consistency there. I’m not for firing him but I still have doubts and until he coaches that Cup winner I’m not giving him a free ride.

          • That’s fair.

            But all you can really ask a coach to do is get the most out of his team, and then some. I really believe he has done an outstanding job in these two years. The Rangers are a very good team. No doubt. But beyond Hank, any future HOF players? Compare that to what Keenan had in Philly, Chicago and certainly in NY. The ’94 Rangers were loaded. They were expected to win. I’m not saying Keenan doesn’t get credit….of course he does. He was the coach. But you and I simply differ on the level of difference he made that season.

            This Rangers team? No way you can say they are loaded. The Blackhawks are as close as you can be to being “loaded” in the cap era. there is much more coaching “brilliance” now required in my view. To win now with so much competitive balance, to have consistent success like this in such a fine line league, I do think it is much, much harder than what Keenan had to deal with.

          • Don’t know what your point is because the only reason 94 Rangers were loaded was because Keenan told Gutkowski that they could not win the Cup with the personnel at the time(watch video BOBBY recommended). And AV’s Canucks team was without doubt the best in hockey but lost to a Bruins team they should have beat & many opined AV was outcoached in that series. His team was ultra fast & skilled but Boston physically overpowered them in Game 7 right in Vancouver where they should have won. So it’s not like he’s worked with chopped liver. Same thing happened against L.A. We were up two goals in the first two games before being overpowered in the last two periods. AV has done well with Rangers, no doubt, but he’s not great till the team wins the prize, injuries aside because I’ll cut him slack for last year.

          • Well, I don’t full agree. The Rangers team Keenan inherited was already loaded. Messier (one of the greatest players of all time), Leetch (HOF defenseman), Richter (US Hockey HOF), Gartner (Although he didn’t last, he still was a future HOF who was later swapped for another future HOF in Anderson). Then veteran leaders with massive Cup resumes who were not only key contributors on the ice, but in the lockeroom (Beuke, Lowe, Tikkanen and Graves). Up and coming talented players who went on to have good to very good careers (Kovalev, Zubov, Amonte, the latter of which was swapped to get some of the pieces Keenan wanted in Noonan and Matteau), and then solid Ranger vets like Nemchinov and Patrick, the latter of which brought Larmer).

            So yes, all props to Keenan for pushing for the players he felt he needed. But he already had an amazing nucleus that was assembled by Smith, and those trades can’t happen if he didn’t develop or previously acquire those pieces. As I said the other day, the ultimate weird science experiment that worked!

            The roster AV inherited was good, but not nearly as good relative to the eras they played in.

            In the 2011 SC Finals, I know many suggested the Bruins physical game was a factor, and/or AV was out coached. I agree about the former. Not so sure about the latter. Seems to me the difference was that a somewhat flawed Bruins team had Tim Thomas playing out of his mind in that series, while Luongo was mostly horrible and pulled a few times in place of Schneider. I think the goaltending was the biggest factor in who ultimately won, not so much the coaching.

        • I respect your depth, if not the insightful perspective you exhibit with your posts, Chris. There’s also an air of fairness about them.

          My worry, though, is an obvious mental vacuousness amongst certain regulars.

          Perhaps the preseason/regular season/postseason grind, especially given our successive deep runs is simply too brutal. Too mentally taxing. Reflexively, I see a handful of our top forwards content to take shifts, if not entire games off. Kreider, for one. Hayes, as well.

          Our D is increasingly shaky. McDonagh looks progressively more average with each game.

          I’m not posting to lay this at AV, nor his system. But at a certain point players tune out. Great a coach as Mike Babcock might be, word was The Wings eventually just and tired of him.

          The coaching staff has to assert themselves. Now.

          Start benching regulars. Start assigning players. Like yesterday.

          To wit, Edmonton’s Chiarelli waived a top-six D-man, Fayne; and I believe he sent their captain Ference either to the minors, or McClellan benched him.

          The team looks disinterested. Going through the motions. I don’t see a Messier, Kevin Lowe, a Prust or Dubinsky-type persona in our locker room, holding anyone responsible.

          Sure, defensive/responsible hockey needs to be instilled as much as adhered to. So does mental prep, fire or passion. Or simple freaking purpose.

      • You’re right…he never learns. He just wins. Coming up on 1000 NHL games coached with more wins in that time frame than any cave in history not named Scotty Bowman.

        But forget about that. He’s not playing Etem. Fire him!

          • Right….of course. Let’s ignore the entire column based solely on the fact the columnist thought it would be smart to interview the only player on the roster who played for the coach in both cities. What kind of columnist would possibly choose to do that? :).

            All AV does is win. Hard to argue with the results.

  • A couple of thoughts on this….

    1) “why would the team target Etem and not use him?”–well, couldn’t you make that case for anyone? Why did they bother signing Diaz and then dispatch him to Hartford? If Stalberg was the 13F, wouldn’t we be asking why we bothered to sign him if we aren’t going to use him? Right now, he’s a depth player who is somewhat of an unknown who has upside. Nothing wrong with that.

    2) “Hagelin had significant trade value”–Unless you are aware of some potential deals that weren’t widely reported, I’d have to respectfully disagree. Hags is a 35 point a year player who’s major strengths are his speed and PK ability. The Rangers had no cap space to sign him, and every one in the league knew it. And given the kind of “specialty player” Hags is, it seems to me the only teams that would have been interested would be contending teams with substantial available cap space that were close last season and who felt were just one or two players away from winning it all. My recollection is that the Ducks were the only team that really fit the profile.

    So, with limited options, and clearly with the Rangers not holding the best hand in this card game, there were probably limited options here. The Ducks said sure, we’ll do this, but you need to take our RFA off our hands to make this happen.

    This deal was not about Etem. It was simply about the Rangers clearing a salary off the books, and hopefully landing a quality draft pick in the process. To me, that’s “Mission Accompished”. Whatever they get from Etem, either as a player or a trade chip going forward, is gravy.

    As for when he should play? No idea. The goal is to win games right now. As Walt said, Etem is not a 4th line player. And as SalMerc said, who is he going to displace in the lineup at the moment? Both are 100% correct.

    There’s another factor to consider. We have no idea what’s going on in practice. How do we know that Etem is showing the coaches anything that suggests he should be in there? Remember last season when Sather dealt for James Sheppard? 3/4 of this blog were screaming to get him into the lineup. When he did play, he was hardly impressive. Where is he now? Playing for the Kloten Flyers in the Swiss A League. So maybe AV and the coaches realized the guy just wasn’t all that good, and he was there for depth reasons and that was it. Could that be happening here with Etem? Do we know for sure that he will be in the NHL next season?

    He’ll play eventually. But he needs to take full advatntage of the opportunity when he gets it, and so far he really hasn’t. That’s what McIlrath did and now it’s going to be really tough to move him out of the lineup once Klein comes back. It’s up to Etem to impress in practice and then shine in games if he wants to get an extended look.

    • I basically agree with you as you will see from my comment later. However, the trade was somewhat about Etem. The fact is that the Rangers did not have to make a qualifying offer to Hagelin. They could have just let him walk. So Hags was an asset, not a liability. The Rangers sought to get as much as they could for him and they clearly wanted Etem.

      Of course, we do probably overestimate Hagelin’s trade value.

    • If Etem had a 2-way contract, I doubt he would be in the NHL. At least not before Stepan got hurt. Don’t know why the Rangers didn’t sign him to a 2-way deal with an AHL salary but we may never know.
      They have him in the NHL right now and there’s not much they can do about it. We will find out soon enough what the Rangers think of this kid. If they don’t think he’s going to succeed in NY, they may trade him near the trade deadline. Or they can resign him. We will see between now and March by the trade deadline.

      • It doesn’t matter that he has a one way contract. The reason he wasn’t sent to the AHL was because the Rangers would have had to expose him to waivers – and likely would have lost him. This has nothing to do with the contract. In fact, if anything, the one way contract makes him a less valuable acquisition for another team and might actually discourage a waiver claim.

  • When the season began, I thought with what they gave up to get Etem, they’d at least use him in the right end of the ice. The Ducks played a lot of 1-goal games last season. I think that’s why he was used so sparingly.
    He belongs in the top 6, if not top 9 at least. AV uses 3rd line predominantly in the offensive zone. Etem has been playing 4th line minutes where he plays 75% of ES shifts in the Rangers end of the ice. Put Etem in Top 9 and he will be better.

  • My feeling is he never seized the opportunities when he got into the line up to separate himself from fact vs fiction regarding himself. He played exactly how he was advertised.

  • Didn’t Oscar Lindberg start the year in the bottom 6 and play his way up to the top 6?

    If had this great upside or skill he would show something, sometimes on the ice. What has he done to deserve a top 6 spot?

    We don’t watch practice, is he non-existent on the practice ice also? Think it is time to give AV the benefit of the doubt on Emerson Etem, show something on the ice before “earning” a top 6 role. Seems logical move to me.

    • What can Etem show playing the odd game here & there. If the team wants to see what he’s got play him on third line 5-6 games, put Fast on 4th & send Stalberg to the press box. We know what he can do, which is why he goes from team to team. Look at how McIlrath has progressed playing every night instead of a game here & there.

      • What if, in the coaching staff’s opinion, (and call me crazy, but somehow I think they probably have a better handle on their team then we do), Etem just isn’t ready, and playing him now in their judgment costs the team points more so than Stalberg? What if it’s true that Etem came to camp out of shape, as has been suggested?

        Maybe the coaching staff wants to see if Stalberg can get going to justify the signing. Maybe Etem needs more time.

        It isn’t the coaching staff’s job to justify their personnel moves to the fans. Their only responsibility is to win. They’re doing that. I trust that they will weave in Etem when and if he shows he ready.

        It’s a long season with many twists and turns. He’ll get his chance.

  • Agree Etem needs top 6 or top 9 minutes as AV would prefer to play with 3 scoring lines placing pressure on the opponents to match up. His hunchback skating form seems very disjointed and can get lost in Dzone. Would have been interesting to have him play with Lindberg and Haze or Miller for a couple of games to better assess his potential.
    Only 23 and mostly a project that can take time to develop. If he had options, he would be in Hartford now.
    BTW Hags is 28 GP, 2-7 -8 @$4MM/yr – ouch!

  • I think Sherrane hit the nail on the head, aside from us under/overstating him.

    Don’t beleve anyone on this site believed it was an equal trade if you ONLY put the Hags and Etem chips lined up against one another, but if you put the whole package up, then what you get is that the money saved under the cap hit plus the draft pick which is Gropp, makes this turn out to be a pretty decent trade.

    I guess, the Gropp and Money saved “chips” being more valuable then the “Etem” chip.

    Unfortunately, it didnt help our immediate needs, especially at the state that this club is in now, and thats to win now.

    Hey look at the bright side. If this scenario is correct, and if Etem ends up coming out of his shell, (regardless if it’s the coach using him properly or not) it’s a pretty decent trade after all.

  • I want to defend AV here. As fans, we lose sight of what is important. We want Etem to play so we can see what we have in him. Well, guess what. It doesn’t really matter if we can see what Etem has to offer. What is needed is for Gorton and Vigneault to figure it out – AND JUST MAYBE they don’t need to see him play in a game to figure it out.

    Secondly, setting him up to fail. Well, in principle that is a good thing because the worse a player does, the lower his salary is. As for his confidence level, well, players have two problems – too much confidence and too little confidence. Due to my strong personal connection to Etem, I know which it is — kidding of course. I don’t and neither does anyone else. Personally though, I don’t see the problem with making someone who perhaps doesn’t pay enough attention to the defensive part of the game play a primarily defensive role.

    Finally, I view Etem differently than many here. I don’t think the Rangers were getting a replacement for Hagelin. Etem is a kid who looks to have top six talent but has never quite panned out. He is a lottery ticket (except with better odds). The Rangers believe you can get players like Stalberg and Stoll to fill the bottom six as needed and it was worth giving up Hagelin for someone who might be a star – even if that guy is a potential washout.

    What some here want to do is to treat Etem like a star and see if he measures up. AV knows that Etem is not capable of playing at the star level today and is not about to give him a central role on the 2015-16 Rangers. The Rangers make a lot of bets and some work out well, others poorly. One key to a bad organization is trying to justify the bets that fail.

    Personally, I think Etem was a bad bet but I understand it. I don’t know what Ranger management thinks today, but i do have a very strong feeling that, even if they regret getting Etem, they will watch developments carefully and give him a chance to pay dividends. Hopefully, he will develop the defensive responsibility and consistency needed to complement his talent.

    • Poor old Dave goes into wonderful job trying to show you some facts about how Entems stats indicate he’s a much better player than Tanner glass and how does the coach is using him in properly. It’s funny how certain people defend the indefensible.
      It’s a sad world we’re sad people make sad decisions and sad people defend the sad decisions. And we’re not talking White House.

      • Nope, not the White House. Just the NHL where sad old AV is about to become second behind Scotty Bowman as the coach with the most wins at the 1000 game mark….and he’s doing it despite being clueless. Incredible!!!!

        It’s a mad, mad world Rock!

        (Interesting….just observed Rick Carpiniello’s live chat….someone asked about why Glass over Etem….he said it’s simple….Glass is the better player at this point….period. From a guy who covers the team every day, just some food for thought).

          • thats true. Just opinion.

            Here’s a stat for you, and really it’s the only stat that matters–Glass was the 12F and AV the HC on the Rangers team with the best record in its history.

            Case closed.

        • Seriously Eddie who gives a **** if AV is second all time in wins if he can’t bring us a Cup. Bring home the bacon & then you are a GREAT coach. To be seen.

          • You can’t be “great” without a Cup?

            So then individual accomplishments should not be celebrated? Then from now on, no more hats on the ice after a hat trick. No more stars of the game. No non-Cup winners can play in the All-Star Game or win any regular season award.

            Ok, let’s take down Eddie’s number. (No…NO! Blasphemy!). Gilbert’s too. What did he win? How about Harry Howell and Andy Bathgate? What the hell did they ever accomplish other than taking up space all those years at the old Garden?

            Was Keenan not a “great” coach before he came to a loaded Rangers team? Did he remain “great” after he bolted the Rangers and only won one more playoff series in his unraveling career? Was Joel Quennevile not a great coach prior to coming to Chicago with all those years of falling short elsewhere?

            I get that the ultimate goal is the Cup. But look at what has happened in both cities. Vancouver has unraveled since AV left. The Rangers have gotten better and are now consistent SC contenders in an era where staying at that elite level is tougher than it ever was.

            In my view, that’s great coaching. And his accomplishment on Friday will and should be celebrated.

            You can’t win the Cup in Decemeber.

      • This is really simpler than we are making it. Here is how the Rangers win. AV installs a system and tells the Rangers what to do. The Rangers have a roster of players capable of carrying out his instructions effectively and they follow his directions.

        Tanner Glass does what he is told to the best of his ability. Emerson Etem apparently does not. Would an Etem who played hockey the way AV wants him to play be better than Glass. Yes he would. But that is just a hypothetical. You can win with a team player as bad as Glass is. You can’t win with players you can’t rely on, even if they are much better than Etem.

        • This system stuff is overrated. Did you see what Kreider said today? He was thinking too much. Play instinctively! It’s like golf, practice & then just hit the damn ball. This year I hit the ball better than ever. I learned a system & then just went out & played instinctively. I was thinking too much. And I said that was what the Rangers were doing when playing badly. They played like Oh I should be here, no over there….all running around. When the game is on STOP thinking abt the system or the right way to play or will the coach shit on me for making a mistake. As Mess used to say sometimes you have to go with the high risk-high reward play & sometimes it doesn’t work. That’s why Zuccie is so good, he’s playing not thinking, and he makes those great passes instinctively and always says he was lucky.

          • I certainly agree with that in Kreider’s case. He is thinking too much. He’s copping to it and that’s a good sign.

            And agree with Walt, man, you are on a roll. I feel like I’ve just been splattered by McIlrath! Good stuff! Always enjoy a great debate!

  • Any player who can score 60 goals in the juniors has potential and ability. Etem seems to have all the right stuff to take it to the next level. Being on a team that has established talent to the max, makes it impossible for him to show his skills night in, night out. No playing time .He may have to wait for a major injury or a trade of another forward to get his shot??

    • Or, simply enough, a line needs shaking up, or a Stalberg or someone like that has a minor upper body injury, Etem gets his chance, and lo and behold, like McIlrath has done, he actually plays well enough to earn more time. What a concept! 🙂

    • He’s played 10 games. If he were really good, AV would have noticed. The Rangers have often had twelve forwards they were comfortable playing and no need for a replacement. Every single time, if a Jonathan Toews or a Mark Messier walked in the door (with no resume), the coach would have found a way to get him in the lineup. Maybe a guy who is a tiny bit better than the weakest link might have a problem breaking in, but then, what difference does it make?

  • One other point on Etem from Carp’s blog…he indicated that it has been rumored that part of the issue MAY be that he came to camp out of shape, incredible as that may sound. Goes back to the point made earlier. None of us have any idea what goes on behind the scenes. Just like those who blasted AV about his use of Miller last year. Turned out it was justified, since he apparently had issues giving a great effort on a consistent basis. AV had to do the “tough love” thing with him. Now, the kid is earning more of AV’s trust.

    And long range, no way Glass stays on this roster anyway. His cap hit is too cumbersome and the Rangers may well be playing him now to see if they could get someone to take him off their hands.

    Either way, it’s the usual overreaction to a 12F player who plays 10 min/gm last season on the team with the best record in Rangers history. In the end of the day, it worked last year, and if he plays now a few games, BFD!

    Just think Rock, if they had taken your advice, we’d currently being starting the backup goalie for the Edmonton Oilers and a forward from the Kloten Flyers. Now THAT would have been a REAL problem, not the make believe problems you never seem to let go of.

    • “Either way, it’s the usual overreaction to a 12F player who plays 10 min/gm last season ”
      I think the 4th like thinks your wrong. I think they want to play more. Your logic is lacking:)

      • One thing that is pretty much indisputable is that, despite whatever one may think of Glass the player, Glass the person is BELOVED on this team. He’s arguably their most favorite teammate.

        So other than the possible exception of Etem, I’d bet every single Ranger is happy he’s back on the 4th line. They like him personally and they won with him last year.

        So on that, no question you are wrong.

      • Exactly. That’s the point. He’s not a fan. He’s not biased in a “fanboy” kind of way. He just sees what he sees. He’s been doing this for like 25 years now. He doesn’t keep his job if he doesn’t cover them well. Doesn’t mean he’s always right, but for him to be so quick to say Etem over Glass is a slam dunk shows me that there is at least a debate to be had–that the Glass haters might be just a tad over the top in their certitude that Etem MUST play.

        • Ever gone on Carp’s tweetathon with Fans. Man, it was sooooo bed I was laughing & Carp didn’t help matters. Actually I think he’s one of the worst Ranger beat writers.

          • I’m a big fan of his blog. Very informative, even if I don’t always agree with him.

  • Clearly Etem hasn’t proven to his coach that he deserves to be permanently in the lineup and on a scoring line. AV knows what he’s doing, he knows what Etem is and isn’t doing, and he knows who needs to be in his lineup.

    I’d trade Etem, but his return will be either a project player, or just totally abysmal.

  • Dave, you didn’t mention Glass in your article but the crowd seems pretty sure you are talking about him. Are they right? Could we be having this same conversation about virtually any healthy scratch who is sitting in order to play TG? Is Glass the “worst player in the NHL” as described by one poster?

    Therefore: is AV’s choosing to play Glass the litmus test that proves he is not a good coach?

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