Thoughts on yo-yoing Lias Andersson
Sorry – no recap from last night’s game. I’m sure you can all understand that on New Year’s Eve, hockey games are rarely on the TV.
While I was in Aruba, I got the alert that Lias Andersson was sent down to Hartford. I didn’t really look at Twitter to see the reactions, but I’m assuming there was a lot of outrage as a player like Cody McLeod continues to dress when healthy. That’s a reasonable reaction. As usual, I have some thoughts.
1. Let’s get the obvious out of the way. Andersson needs to spend time playing 20 minutes a night, not 8 minutes a night. He was not getting the ice time in New York. It is better for his development. A case can be made for putting him on the third line, but that didn’t happen.
2. It didn’t happen because Boo Nieves outplayed him and won that third line role. He was on the third line last night, a promotion that wouldn’t have happened had he not outplayed Lias. Lias is only 19 years old, Nieves is 24, so while Lias has the higher potential and will eventually be better than Nieves, at the current moment Lias needs more time. It happens.
3. Repeat after me: This does not mean Lias is a bust.
4. I’d expect to see him back with the Rangers after the trade deadline. There will be moves that open roster spots, and Lias will be the first call up. Also, injuries happen.
5. Multiple players received the yo-yo treatment in the past while developing, and they turned out pretty good. Chris Kreider got the treatment. Ditto JT Miller. Those worked out fine. Lias is also a first round pick, like Miller and Kreider. There are no worries here.
6. This does not mean Lias is a bust. Say it with me, folks!