Forwards

Addressing the hole in the top-six forwards

jesper fast

We’ve spent an incredible amount of time on the Rangers blue liners this season –from deployment to usage to ice time to lineup decisions– for good reason. There is a major issue there, but it is not the only issue plaguing this flawed club right now. Another major hole in the lineup is in the top-six forwards, where Jesper Fast continually plays, despite not having the appropriate skill set.

Don’t get me wrong, Fast is a solid player. He’s a great skater, solid defensively, and has a top-notch hockey IQ. But he’s not a scorer. The Rangers appear to lack that scorer in the top-six. Alain Vigneault has tried Fast, J.T. Miller, Kevin Hayes, and Oscar Lindberg at various times, and none have stuck. To be fair, none have really played consistently enough to warrant a permanent spot in the top-six.

When the season started it appeared to be a competition between Hayes and Miller, but both have struggled. Both have 17 points in 36 games though, which puts them on pace for about 39 points. That puts them both right in the middle of 2nd/3rd liners. Hayes has more skill, but he’s not the pure shooter the Rangers need in the top-six. There is certainly the argument that Hayes generates a ton of offense, and he does, but the way the team is currently constructed, he may not be the best answer today.

So the question then becomes: Do the Rangers need to address a hole at 2RW?

Since no one has been able to take a strangle hold on that position, I think the answer is an obvious “yes,” especially when you consider the lack of a pure shooter. None of Rick Nash, Chris Kreider, Derick Brassard, Mats Zuccarello, or Derek Stepan think shot first. Without that pure shooter we are left with too many fancy passes or players forced into roles that don’t fit them, like Fast.

The tough part is addressing that problem, since a problem is only a problem if you have a solution. Otherwise it’s just an observation. If the Canucks fall out of the race, someone like Radim Vrbata is someone that comes to mind. He has to be shoot-first since he plays with the Sedins. James van Riemsdyk comes to mind as well, but his cap hit is prohibitive given the Rangers cap situation.

The Rangers have a pretty large hole at 2RW, something that they hoped a kid would be able to fill with Martin St. Louis retiring. Limited cap space to address the issue compounds the situation. Fixing the blue line is an obvious priority, but finding a solution for 2RW is another hole that shouldn’t be overlooked.

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73 Comments

  1. hope everyone had a nice Xmas it seems one line is working it is the line with Nash, Zucc and Brass like they say if it isn’t broke don’t fix it. let’s see what happens on this roadtrip.

  2. Fast is a solid player. He’s a great skater, solid defensively, and has a top-notch hockey IQ. But he’s not a scorer. The Rangers appear to lack that scorer in the top-six. Alain Vigneault has tried Fast, J.T. Miller, Kevin Hayes, and Oscar Lindberg at various times, and none have stuck. To be fair, none have really played consistently enough to warrant a permanent spot in the top-six.

    The answer is simple, give one of the mentioned players playing time with a set line, and let them go at it. The consistant shuffle of player, after player, shift, after shift is the problem. No, the coach is the problem, he just can sit idle and let things be, the guy is out of his friggin mind!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I would go with Miller once, and for all. The kid did very well with Kreider, and Step in the PO’s, why screw with the kids mind? He can skate, hits, is a bit weak defensvily, but does a lot of things well, let them skate as a unit for 10 games, then say well he is the solution, or try someone else for 10 games. That is games, not friggin shifts !!!!!!!!!! AV please pull your head out of you butt end…..

  3. Jordon Eberle is the top 6 RW this team needs. But Edmonton doesn’t need another center (Stepan) so I am not sure what we can offer.

    I have no interest in Vrbata or other vets who may struggle at game 60 of next season.

    Acquiring a top 6 RW is all well and good. Yet, the biggest “need” for this team is to restructure the top end of our roster, as it is laden with players (Staal, Nash, Girardi) whose contributions are declining but which also consume a lion’s share of our salary cap. Without addressing this structural deficiency to our team construct, the club will likely suffer a multi-year trend of declining performance.

    1. again it gets back to my biggest beef of all, over paying, underperforming veterans, that more times than not cost us an arm, and a leg to aquire in the first place!!!!!!!!!!

      1. And the aternative is??????

        Keep your picks, draft in the 23-30 range every year, get more good but not great players like Kreider, Hayes and Miller (who are underachieving in their own right at the moment…..young guys underachieve just as much as old guys Walt), and then have a team of lots of young talent and lots of picks that never goes anywhere, who presumably you feel should be flipped once they are due for a long term deal. That’s a winning formula?

        Now, if you want to hang onto picks and go into the tank for a few years like Edmonton did, ok, then your picks have a far better chance of paying off. But as we’ve seen even in that case, the development has been very, very slow.

        How would that strategy play in NYC?

        We’ve debated this before. Bottom line is, no team in the modern era wins solely with young talent, and no team can afford to load up with high priced veterans either. There has to be a balance. The Rangers have a blend of youth and veterans, just like every other contending team. They need to find a way to fortify a badly underachieving second line. That’s not going to happen through the farm system at the moment.

  4. Is Buchnevich a RW? I know it doesn’t sort out the issue this season but the way he’s playing in the KHL he could slot right into a top six role next. I agree with Walt, AV needs to decide which one he deems to be best suited and give him a run of games, maybe not ten but certainly at least five.

    1. I agree, but that decision doesn’t necessarily have to be made today. The regular season to some extent is for tinkering and experimenting. Eventually, and probably sooner rather than later, yes. But right now, shuffling lines is hardly unusual for this coach or for most coaches, especially when the team is struggling.

      1. Well put, Eddie. I think your response should resonate with the majority of the hockey community. Shuffling, experimenting, thinkering…. all good and necessary. You never want to be stuck as a one trick pony when the POs roll around.

    2. My guess is AV will give him a 3RW spot initially, assuming he makes it, to ease him in. But eventually he’s a 2RW borderline 1RW.

  5. I 100% agree with this Dave. Craig Custance is reporting that NHL GMs are saying, “watch out for the Rangers”. Sounds like a roster shakeup is coming.

    I saw a report on another blog from a guy who claims to have inside sources in the Rangers lockerrom (and even he admitted he wasn’t sure if it was a reliable report or not), that said Kreider is a mess, is not liked or respected by his teammates, and is just an “odd guy”, whatever that means.

    I take those reports with a grain of salt. However, dove tail that with E.J. Hradek’s report from a few weeks ago about how many scouts warned that despite his skill set, Kreider just might not have the burning desire to be a great player, and there may well be a picture developing that says it is time to move on from this guy. The question of course is, is there a GM out there that believes a change of scenery helps Kreider achieve his upside, and most importantly, can the Rangers get a return back that makes them better in the here and now? Will be interesting to see.

    Another report, in yesterday’s NY Post, on Pavel Buchnevich’s development. While everyone is very high on him, the word is that he is much more of a playmaker than a pure scorer. If that’s true, then are we going to have yet another guy who’s thinks pass first and foremost? My goodness, we have enough of these guys.

    You are so right Dave, we desperately need guys who no how to put the puck in the net.

    1. My guess is they recognize what’s going on with the defense and the forwards, but the question is how they address it. They lack the picks and prospects to make a big splash. They also don’t have cap space.

      1. True, Gorton will have to be very creative. But, I can see a “Yandle-esque” kind of deal, only this time involving young, cost controlled talent for an established veteran or two. So team X (a non contender in rebuild mode) says, give me let’s say Kreider or Hayes, and a number two pick, or a Tambellini. We will trade you our second line scoring winger, and maybe another defenseman (which would mean possibly dealing Yandle or Klein in a separate deal that helps to restock the future a bit). To make the cap hit fit, team X agrees to pick up 75% of the cap hit for the balance of this season, and let’s say 50% for the balance of the contract.

        I have no idea if that can or will happen, but if Custance’s report is true (“watch out for the Rangers”), then that’s about the only way something big could get done, in my view.

    2. I meant to say “know how” in that last sentence. Bad job on grammar there! πŸ™‚

  6. I get that the defense has not been good this year but you cant expect to compete with a team like wash with 5.25 top 6 fwds. I think the third line as it stands is fine.

    1. I wanted to give it more time before saying it’s a hole. I know you’ve been harping on it all year. Good eyes.

  7. Stepan for Johansen is a “stepan” the right direction and retains our strength/depth down the middle. Perfect fit for both teams.

    1. Columbus laughs and hangs up. The Rangers need to add to get Johansen, especially since they are in the same division now.

      1. Maybe Dave but I don’t think you are valuing the different contract profiles appropriately. Stepan is locked up for years; Johansen walks for very little at the end of next season. His trade value declines with each passing day.

        1. Fair enough. An in division trade of that magnitude won’t happen though. My expectation is he goes to Nashville.

          1. we traded with CBJ on several occasions involving big players, too. CBJ is so far down in the standings I don’t think it matters to either club.

  8. Seems like the shoot first guys go early in draft. A good reason why we don’t get them.

    Re kreider … He lacks finesse and fnishing ability which leads to his inconsistent production. Not the kind of player who will stick handle through 5 players.

    1. He’s the kind of guy that needs to use his speed to get behind flat footed D or park himself in front. Very strong/fast, a rare combo that creates matchup problems. Hands of stone though, as you alluded to.

      1. I’m starting believe he may never be THE guy. He may be fine as a component piece on a team with more A list talent. AV challenged him to become THE guy at the end of last season, and he’s unraveled with the added expectation and burden.

        A change of scenery may simply be in order here.

          1. And I give you credit Dave. I was harping on this last year saying we need much more from Kreider. You said then his “hands of stone” may limit that upside. So far, sadly, you are being proven correct.

  9. KREIDER IS THE LAST GUY THAT NEEDS TO BE TRADED. IF and when the playoffs comes, you need a player like Kreider. History shows how important he is! If you want to get rid of a player, get rid of someone that can’t score in the playoffs like Nash. Keep the proven playoff scorer. He can dominate the game. Get rid of Glass.The coach is not putting him in a position to succeed. With Fast as a winger, there is something wrong.
    So you put a 4th line player with the 2nd line and you put a 4th line player with the 3rd line and those 2 lines do not produce and you question the players?
    The Question and comments should be directed at the coach. He is the one trying to lose.

    1. Yes,,,,the winningest coach in the NHL over the past decade is trying to lose. The latest report from the Bizarro world where up is down, down is up. You have a winning record and you suck…..on it goes.

      When a team is struggling, every player that doesn’t have an NMC can and should be vulnerable. Kreider is due a significant raise and extension next year. Scouts have questioned his heart. Of course you kick the tires on what you can get for him and anyone else. A GM would be fired if he didn’t do that.

      Now, as for what he yields in return, I have no idea. I wouldn’t give up on his upside for little return. But for the right deal? Everything needs to be looked at right now.

      Nash I believe has a NMC or a limited NTC…would be hard to deal and his contract would be scary. Dealing Glass doesn’t meaningfully address the issues. He’s played well but of course you simply can’t acknowledge that because it’s destroys your single-minded narrative. He may yet be dealt, but that would be part of a bigger strategy to free up some cap space.

      Something is going to happen. I have no idea what. But to suggest Kreidef can’t or shouldn’t be traded is silly and would severely limit the team’s options to improve.

      1. Yes the winning-est coach does not fit this team and I can’t wait for him to be fired! There is nothing I could say to open your eyes. The stupid moves does not disturb you and you defend it. I am not the one putting stupid lines that make no sense. I only comment on it. I don’t put 4th line players on the 2nd and 3rd lines. I only comment on it. I am doing what the media should be doing. And you defend the un-defense-able and say the world is upside down.
        Your hatred is going to the wrong place. The coach is making the mistakes. I am not. I call it as I see it. and I am seldomly wrong.
        And Glass has a lot of hustle with no talent. He is playing with his stick up side down.
        Your defense of stupidity does not make me look bad but, you.

        1. You are seldom wrong. Of course! I forgot who I was dealing with here. You’re the guy who nearly went nuclear when James Sheppard wasn’t playing over Glass last year, and then said the reason we lost Game 7 was because he wasn’t in the game. The same guy who is now in the Swiss League. Good call.

          Oh, and you’re also the guy who insists we would have gone deeper with Cam Talbot in goal in last year’s playoffs and incredibly still believes he’s a better option that Hank. This, despite the fact that he’s never played a pressure, must win game in his NHL career. And of course, even more significantly, despite the fact that he is now the BACK UP goalie on the Edmonton Oilers?! Of course he’d be a better choice than Hank. We’d be so much better now.

          Do you actually believe, that if you had a chance to give your theories to a room full of NHL GMs and scouts, that they wouldn’t simply laugh you out of that room with notions like that?

          As I said….always enjoyable to hear a report from the Rangers Bizarro World. Now, back to our regularly scheduled conversations from the real world.

      2. what raise, he hasn’t done shit…….

        that’s the problem, we should reward results, and this kind of talk, he is due a raise is crap….

        1. But that’s the problem Walt, and perhaps why he should be dealt. I’m no cap expert but whether he deserves one or not, I think he likley gets a nice bump.

    2. Coach is not putting Glass in a position to succeed? WTH does that mean? He is doing exactly what AV wants IMHO, he does what he always does, brings energy, hits and as solid as any defensively. Does he score enough? Well, does Nash score enough? For awhile this season Glass had more goals than Nash over the same time period. In the past 5 games, Nash has one more goal than Glass. How about this, what matters first and foremost is getting to the playoffs, second is winning the first round, and so on. Play your best hockey in the playoffs, gear up for the playoffs, for now just make the playoffs. AV knows what he is doing on the ice, and with the roster. IMHO anyway … Dave your thoughts on my thoughts?

  10. Does AV ask the players questions like –

    Who do you feel most chemistry with?

    Who do you have an understanding with

    Etc.

    Or does he just keep tinkering on his own?

    You’ll see from my name that I don’t have the hockey knowledge that you guys have , I’m just asking questions.

    1. I will make an attempt to answer your questions tho I am not a professional, I just play one on this blogsite.
      NO AV watches how players interact and tries to ruin the players he does not like.
      Sorry I don’t think he(AV) talks to players like friends. I don’t think he asks who do you want to play with?
      Do you think the Boss would trust someone else’s eyes. Not this Coach. He knows best even while he is placing cube into a circle.

      1. Why would a coach try to ruin a player(s)? It’s not a case of talking to players like friends. A good coach will speak to players and ask what gets the best out of them and if he’s smart he will at on it.

        1. Don’t try and figure it out Charlie…it’s only in a bizarre, delusional world that someone actually believes that a professional head coach would intentionally try and ruin a player.

          I think your points have merit. Some coaches I’ve covered bring the players (especially the veteran leaders) into the process and allow them to help craft the lineup. If you have a guy like Messier, for example, then obviously you do. But many more coaches I think tend to keep the players a bit at arms length in that regard. I’m sure AV gets some input from the players, but it’s his job to coach and create a lineup that works best and he probably relies greatly on his assistants for that kind of collaboration more so than the players.

          1. Thanks Eddie. My sport is football (soccer) here in Scotland and believe me reverse psychology is very important.

            The first time I watched an NHL game was in 1989 and I was stunned to see two guys fighting and still stay in the game. One was Lyndon Byers.

            Anyway, I fell in love with hockey and have followed NYR ever since. 15 years ago we got one game a week – now we get 8-12 live games a week and more recorder games if you have Premier Sports.

            My wife threatened to leave me if I continued.

            Tough choice.

            1. Charlie

              Stick with us, you can replace your wife the next draft !!!!!!

              On a serious note, welcome aboard mate …..

          2. Ed

            A line that works, what for a shift?????

            I don’t dislike AV, but we have played what 36-7 games, and he still doesn’t know which players work well with each other? He still doesn’t know what defensvie pair work best together? Look, your a very smart man, know your stuff, but please, stop defending this bozo, enough with the tinkering, and mind games !!!! I don’t give a hoot about his record, has he won a cup yet?? Not no, but hell no, so until he does, well he is just a good coach who can’t seem to take a team over the top !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            1. Walt, the team is floundering. When it is, it’s perfectly reasonable to try different things to shake it up. I don’t have time to track what other teams do, but I hardly see this as an “AV thing”. Torts tinkered. Keenan tinkered. Every coach tinkers for one reason or another.

              I actually agree with you though, I’d like to see more stability. I think AV would too, but the players untilmately need to produce regardless, and right now, they’re not. Perfectly reasonable to keep tweaking until you find something that works.

              And I’ll ask again….how good is the talent on this team? Does he have generational players like Toews and Kane to work with? Or Ovechkin? Is the problem the coach or the players? I feel strongly that for the most part, this has been an overachieving effort the past two seasons, not the reverse.

              This year, not so much. But there’s a long way to go yet.

              1. Tweaking is one thing, but whole sale shuffling is another.

                Putting players in a position to have success is what it’s all about, and AV has failed at that. Fast is no second liner, why is he there? Etem is no 4th liner, why is he there? See where I’m coming from, the man drives me crazy with his moves.

                Find guys who seem to work well together, and stick with them, that’s all I ask, but that isn’t in his DNA it seems !!!

              2. Please reply to the above question.

                Putting players in a position to have success is what it’s all about, and AV has failed at that. Fast is no second liner, why is he there? Etem is no 4th liner, why is he there? See where I’m coming from, the man drives me crazy with his moves.

                No answers Me Ed?

              3. Rock, believe it or not I do have other things to do then immediately answer your posts. πŸ™‚

                Walt, to say AV has “failed” is a gross overstatement. The record says something very different.

                Now, as to these points about line combos. The 4th line with Etem on it has been reasonably good during this rough stretch. I’m a little surprised to see him come out in favor of Stalberg, but I get it. Homecoming for Stalberg, maybe it gets him going. In Etem’s case, sometimes guys you are trying to teach some defensive discipline to need to spend a little time on the 4th line, then get promoted.

                But I can’t disagree. We’d be better served with Fast on the 4th line–eventually.

                But this whole discussion is like saying I want the two slices of cheese on my sandwich to overlap in a certain way, and since it doesn’t, the sandwich sucks. Maybe the sandwich sucks because the meat and bread need to be better. πŸ™‚

                The line combos are a valid discussion, but there’s far more wrong with the team than that. Last year AV tweaked and tinkered plenty and they still won.

        2. Coaches have Politics. This coach has taken players and not given them a chance and put inferior player in just because he likes someone.
          All sports is a cut throat world and Hockey is no different. Old Ed thinks I am wrong. Right now good players are sitting because the coach prefers the bad to the good. And you think he is not trying to ruin a player? The prof is there thou some prefer not to see it because how could such a great coach do such a thing.
          Great coaches gets the best out of everybody. Bad coaches cause players to shut them off and not play well. Players could see, like anybody else that if you don’t play your best players then there is something wrong with the coach. You are as strong as your weakest link. Glass is not the weakest link. Its the coach.

          1. Yup….good coaches get the best out of everyone…..just as AV did last year when he delivered the best record in Rangers history. How would it have happened otherwise?

            I know you think this a pee wee hockey and every player should play the same lest their mommies and daddies get upset with the coach, but in the NHL you earn the coach’s trust, and every player is treated DIFFERENTLY, not the same, based on what motivation is needed to get the most out of him.

            1. Ed

              Not to be a horses butt, but any coach has a given shelf life, can it be that they are tuneing this guy out??????????

              It happends to the best of them, it may be the case here as well !!!!!!!!

              Just a thought……………

              1. I agree with that. Absolutely. But it’s highly improbable that after two years of such great success, that they’ve already tuned him out. The NY media would be on this and we’d be hearing rumors.

                If the losing continues and he can’t find the answers? Then absolutely. But that would be a somewhat unusual fall from grace.

                And remember, this group ran Torts out of town less than three years ago. At some point, it will be on those players more so than the coach.

              1. You’re overrating the quality. Who other than Hank (who you’d bench for the back up in Edmonton), is an “A list player”.

                This team has been very well coached to get the most out of a team that in my view is not as talented as the Kings were, as the Hawks are, as Washington has been, or the Pens a few years ago, on and on. Show me the stars on this team?

                It’s a good team that has overachieved due to strong coaching. With guys in a malaise now, the talent isn’t there right now to compensate.

            2. Everybody except Glass!
              Kreider Strength, speed, could change any game.
              Zuc what can you say he is great.
              Brasard has a great shot.
              Nash, DRIVE TO THE NET.
              Miller. talented
              Stepan, smart
              Hays Size and skill.
              Lindburg Better than Glass
              Entem Played great anainst the Ducks, has potential.
              Moore great 4th line player
              Fast great 4th line player.
              If the stupid coach gave them a chance
              Kreider, Stepan, Miller for years to come
              Nash, Brassard, Zuc
              lindberg, Hays, Entem
              Stalberg, Moore, Fast.
              Period.
              They can beat anyone.
              Stupid Coach will not let it be.
              Stupid Coach! Stupid Coach! Stupid Coach!
              Dam you AV!

              1. Of course, you forgot about Hank, the only true star on this team. It’s ironic that the two guys you’d either bench or get rid of is one sure fire future HOFer (Hank) and one likley HOFer (AV).

                The other guys are good. They haven’t come close yet to proving they are great. Greatness is sustained excellence. Who’s done that other than Hank?

                And again, if you had a free agent draft of every player and coach out there right now, every GM would select Hank and AV in their top 3-5. You’d be waiting a long time before any of the rest of our guys would be picked. Compare this team talent wise to most of the other SC contenders these last few years. In my view, there were and are more talented teams.

                You are overrating them. They are good. The coach turned an average team under Torts into a terrific team because the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. That’s coaching, much more than it was elite talent–other than Hank.

                If the talent was as “great” as you say, which Sather and Gorton brought it in, then why wasn’t AV fired after last season? Or fired now? Because they know it’s a good, but not great, group. The coach has made them a better team than they probably are.

      2. Coaches and friends … very tough mix … you cannot get so attached that you are not going to make a good deal simply because a players is a friend … most coaches would be more of a Like or Dislike situation, not friends in the sense we have friends … remember the coaches job depends on how well the team does, there are tough decisions. No doubt there are coaches who have players they coach who are friends, but the would be lines drawn in the sand that each understands could be crossed.

  11. Thanks Walt – As I said I’ve been reading this blog for about two years, never played the game but I can still see whats right and whats wrong. The game has changed quite dramitically since 1995 with the rule changes and the red line going. It’s all skill and speed now rather than toughness.

    I would swap Stepan For Johansen but are Columbus that daft?

  12. Losing Kreider would be a disaster… He has never been a regular season monster but come playoff time he turns it on. Hasn’t he been our best playoff scorer since he came up prior to the 2012 run? He is one of the players that plays there best hockey in the spring, and that is where his value is.

  13. I love all this. Everyone has their own opinion and it’s respected whether they agrees or disagree.

    Hopefully Gorton will go the opposite way of Sather and bring the youngsters through rather than 30+ free agents who don’t live up to expectations .

    1. I love you Charlie with this post, I hate bringing in retreads, and you can see it as well from Scotland. Well done, and have a glass of Glenlevet on me !!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Also, no responding from you on replacing your wife next draft???? Just having some fun…..nothing personal……

  14. Walt

    It’s Glenlivet – sorry to ne pedantic.The wife got me a bottle of “Isle of Jura” – I’m enjoying it now:)).
    But as for the Rangers I won’t mind if Kreider leaves as long as tgherer’s a eturn.

    Stepan/ Kreider – Johanssen/fourth round pick.

    I think Columbus would deal,

    1. sounds like a good deal, but it won’t fly, the Bluejackets won’t make that deal……….

      as for the weather, getting colder, winter is coming…….

  15. THE hole? How about hole(S)? As in the gaping one currently being occupied by Chris Kreider. How CK has not plummeted his way to the bottom 6, let alone the press box is beyond me. Other than the reputation that long ago preceded him and the expectations that continually are not being met, Chris has done very little to actually earn his apparent “given” spot in the lineup.

    Now I know, Fast is no Bossy in the making, nor is JT. But at least I actually notice those two out there on a semi nightly basis, and lo and behold, Sam and Joe call their names fairly regularly in a positive sense. Can’t say the same for Kreids, that’s for sure. Not saying we should give up on him already. Far from it. But to constantly “reward” him for his sub-par performance over an extended period of time helps no one. The time has come to hold Kreider’s feet to the proverbial fire and demote him in some way, at least during the regular season. It worked for players like Zubov and Kovalev early on in their careers. Not to mention it rewards those who actually have displayed some fire by giving them his spot.

    1. I think it’s a great, great point.

      The only thing I can say is, we’re not in the room. We don’t know the kid. In Kovalev and Zubov’s case, (and more recently Miller’s case), there were attitude and/or work ethic issues. That doesn’t appear to be the case. By all accounts, he’s working hard. He apparently studies and over analyzes everything,

      And there are some reports that he’s a bit of an odd duck, maybe a loner. Who knows? My point is, maybe that approach sets him back further. Maybe AV is trying to show faith in him, especially after challenging him this summer to step up.

      I agree though that can’t go on forever. Something has to give here.

  16. What’s the deal with Etem? Can he or can’t he play? I’m tired of the arrogance of Alain, just like Sather and Tort’s. You traded away Hagelin for Etem and the rights to draft Gropp. Can they play? And you traded away our only true sniper prospect, with none on the horizon. No, you need to admit to your mistakes and finally make a deal that makes sense. You dump giraldi, staal, and or yandle. You also add Etem, Lindberg, Hayes, and possibly a goalie prospect like Halverson. You trade for a stamkos, Johansson, Ryan Nugent Hopkins, etc. Snipers, ie scoring wingers, are hard to find in their prime. The Penguins have been searching for that guy, via free agency or trades for years, with no success. Now days you must draft these players early in the draft process. Something the rangers haven’t done since probably Tony Armonte! Face it, its time to reevaluate our evaluators! Its also time to look at moving Lundquist, Nash, Stepan, and Zuch’s for high draft picks!

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