Midterm grades: Goaltending, front office, and coaching

After reviewing the defense and the bottom-six forwards, it’s time to move on to the trio of goaltending, front office, and coaching. We pack these three together because there’s only two goalies and one GM to grade, so bunching them with the coaching staff as a whole seems to work. There’s no real parameters here, like we had with the bottom-six forwards. So let’s jump right into it.

Henrik Lundqvist (15-12-7, 3.01 GAA, .908 SV%)

At first glance, Lundqvist’s numbers are pedestrian. And let’s face it, they are, at least at first glance. Lundqvist is no longer able to keep the Rangers in games and steal games for them as often as he used to. Part of me knows it may have to do with his age, but the majority of me wants to blame it all on the poor team in front of me and that’s what I’m going to do.

In all seriousness, Lundqvist is the only reason why the Rangers went on that crazy stretch in October/November. He’s obviously come back down to Earth in a major way.

This top chart from Sean Tierney (starting goalies) is reflective of Lundqvist’s season-long impact, and for the first time in his career, he’s actually on the negative side of goals saved above expectation (GSAA). It’s worth noting two things: First is that the entire league has seen poor goaltending all year. Second is that Lundqvist is in the upper echelon in terms of pure shots faced. The Rangers are horribad defensively, and hemorrhage shots left and right. I was a goalie, so I always say you never blame the goalie. I stick by it, but can’t give Hank an A anymore. Grade: B+

Alex Georgiev (6-8-0, 3.43 GAA, .895 SV%)

Georgiev’s numbers are pretty rough, and he’s either been brilliant or bad, with no real middle ground. Georgiev has allowed 4+ goals in seven games this year. He’s also allowed two or fewer in five of his starts. He allowed three goals in one start. So you never really know which Georgiev you’re going to get this season. When he’s relieved Lundqvist (three times), he’s been somewhat decent, if that means anything.

Based on Tierney’s bottom chart from the tweets above, Georgiev also sees more than his fair share of shots. He’s also on the wrong side of GSAA. It’s been a rough year for him. It’s very difficult to judge backup goalies on a bad team. I’m going to play it safe with this grade. Grade: C

Jeff Gorton and the front office

I’m going to judge Gorton based on his moves from camp/preseason through now. We spoke enough about his offseason moves, and I don’t want to re-hash that here. Gorton has made two moves of significance since September. The first was sending Steven Kampfer, a 4th rounder this year, and a conditional 7th rounder this year to Boston for Adam McQuaid. The second was exchanging Ryan’s with Edmonton, sending Spooner and salary to the Oilers for Strome.

The first deal was a head scratcher then, and is still a head scratcher. The only saving grace will be if McQuaid gets a third round pick at the deadline. If that happens, then great. If not, then that’s a bad trade.

The Spooner/Strome swap was a great trade, even if Strome doesn’t continue his surprisingly good play. Spooner is now in the AHL. Strome has solidified a bottom-six role with the Blueshirts. That’s a major win. Grade: B, but an A- if McQuaid gets a 3rd or more.

David Quinn and the coaching staff

I’m sure you’re expecting a rant on lineup decisions. But you know what, I’m not going to get into that. I’m discouraged by Pavel Buchnevich’s usage. Neal Pionk is getting way too much playing time. I’d like to see Kevin Shattenkirk back on PP1. But honestly, that’s all I really have a gripe about. And they aren’t even extreme gripes, more preferences for either growth, sheltering, or trade value.

The biggest concern for me is the system, specifically the defensive zone system, that Quinn uses. The in-zone coverage is fine, if a bit more on the passive side than we are used to. Quinn runs a 2-1-2 in-zone, but there’s been some issues in execution lately. The system is simple and goes back to Hockey 101, so the execution part is on the players. I’ve come to live with that until the blue line gets more agile.

It’s the zone entry defense that gets me. The Rangers, in an attempt to limit the quality chances against, give up the blue line regularly. It works, in the sense that the Rangers are limiting the majority of the chances to the outside. However it doesn’t work because they concede the zone entry and wind up on their heels while the puck is still in the neutral zone. This leads to long times in the defensive zone. It’s by design, and I’m hoping that with more agile defensemen comes a better blue line tactic. Hoping.

Compounding the issue is that the Rangers still can’t generate any sustained offense. They generate quality chances, but it’s one-and-done in the offensive zone. More of the same there. Grade: C+

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  1. Goalies: A, even Georgiev, who has played well while giving up 4 or more goals. Some fans don’t get the constant pressure these goalies are under. You know when Dave posts the game by game shot chart and you see the opponents having the best shots of the game regularly? That’s what these goalies face. Look at how the goals are scored, not that goals are scored on the goalies. Cause and effect, you know?

    Front office: Incomplete, talk to me next October when we go through this trade deadline and this offseason.

    Coach: Way incomplete. How can anyone judge this guy now? But that being said, DeAngelo sat too many games, Pionk plays too many games and minutes, Buch plays on the wrong line for half the games this season, and McLeod should never get in the line up, and play less than 9 minutes anyway. And stop with the line up deployment changes. The last coach did that too and preached “chemistry.” Do these coaches actually listen to what they say?

    1. Agree Richter, especially on the coaching staff. Just way too early to start judging them. As for Hank and Georgi they just don’t stand much of a chance night after night, but Hank’s 3 bad outings (Pitt, Yotes, Islanders) skewed his overall numbers drastically. Those games were outliers imo. Georg is a work in progress but he’s been absolutely blown out of a couple of games giving up 5 or 6 goals when he actually played well. Likewise Hank’s had a few 4 goals against games where he was brilliant. Their stats aren’t indicative of their overall play.

    2. Agree with you again Richter, most of the time I do (except with our opinion on Hayes:). If I had to grade though, I would give Quinn a very good grade thus far – he has kept the locker room and he does need to deploy different lineups and the despite all the moving parts and “tryouts” – he has been a breath of fresh air to a team that all thought was going to tank – aside from keeping the locker room , the guys are on board with him, so I believe as you say, the grade is incomplete. The trades are beginning…..

      1. I agree on Quinn to a certain extent, but his obsession to get players to do things the way he wants them to does not work for all players. You can’t expect the same methods to produce the same production for every player.

        It worked for Names but does not work for Buch. Buch is weak, mentally, we all see that. Quinn needs to know when to lighten up and let the player make or break his Ranger career here.

        What about Hayes do you not agree with?

        1. Your comment about Buch says it all. Two coaches now have tried to get him to keep his head in the game, and he still doesn’t seem to get it. I think it’s time to cut the cord with him. Dangle him as a sweetener in a trade deal, or move him for the best pick we can get (maybe a third rounder).

          1. I have to agree Joe. I like Buch a lot, but now this is 2 coaches with the same issues with him.

            It’s hard to defend Buch but the bottom line is productivity on the ice. Allen Iverson hated practice but was a clutch player on the court.

            What SHOULD have been done is play Buch up until the trade deadline, in the top 6, and then his play would determine his fate. There’s no excuses then. So now, can we really say who the player Buch is? I think I know, very good, but may not.

        2. Back in October, we went back and forth. I said I wanted him to stay a Ranger, you thought it best get rid of him – and for logical reasons I might add and I did see your point., especially if you aren’t willing to sign him. Anyway he is much more tradable now, right? 🙂 A big (6’5) body, who can skate, 26 and will no doubt continue to progress, if not with us…then some other team come February.

    3. So way incomplete but you’re giving him a grade of WTF.

      Georgiev had two bad games and that skews his numbers — and when I say had two bad games I mean the team totally hung him out to dry. He deserves a B IMO.

      1. I’m not giving Quinn a grade but we can point out “flaws’ that need to be corrected. Nothing wrong with that.

        I like Georgiev a lot. He may be traded when Shesty comes next year.

        1. I was kind of kidding Richter, I think a WTF is the perfect grade for Quinn because most of us wonder what the hell he’s doing sometimes. lol

          Depending on what transpires next season we might want to keep Georgiev around in the AHL for a full season. My only fear was that he would be taken in the Expansion draft, but I’m not sure he’ll be attractive enough given his numbers. Then again Shesty might need a little NA seasoning and start in Hartford — or should I say he may need a crash course in how to handle 30+ shots a night instead of the 20-25 he’s getting now in the KHL.

          1. I definitely have my issues with Quinn. But he also has to pee in the living room to mark his territory.

            I have heard that the Rangers think that Shesty can be as good as Hank. That’s thinking a lot.

          2. Rangers leadership better be on point with Igor and Kratsov…If those two tank….Look out….Ranger nation will be in Godzilla mode….r

          3. Well at least you can rest in the knowledge that the rest of the NHL is now viewing both pretty much that way, it isn’t just our FO.

    4. I agree Richter….My beef with Quinn is also that he sat Tony D way too many games…also these next 4-6 months will be ultra-important as we try and evolve from a mediocre and transitioning team to a competitive team and beyond….Leadership will soon be on the clock…

      1. I think that Quinn gets better evaluated, by everyone, after the roster is more stable.

        That being said, he’s been very AV-like in some ways, which is not good, considering the Rangers ate a lot of contract to get rid of that mentality.

    5. I disagree across the board. I rate Dave’s post nearly flawless.

      Hank was brilliant for a stretch, struggled in December and early January (more than Sittoo’s three games), seems better of late (kudos for winning the All-Star game). B+ is spot on. Sadly Georgiev has not done terribly well in Hartford and whether he is an NHL goalie going forward remains unclear. I am disappointed. Do we give up on Georgiev? Of course not. If I were convinced at the beginning of the season that Hank is still an elite goalie, I would not regard this half season as demonstration that he is not. But the goalie ratings do accurately reflect this half season.

      And likewise for the front office and coach. Dave’s purpose is to assess what we have seen so far – not to take action. This is not about firing Quinn or about giving him a contract extension. This is a simple “How does he look so far?” And I think it is a fair question to ask. And Dave does a good job of answering it.

      Incidentally, with Quinn, there are a number of important questions. Is he a good coach to develop young talent? (which the Rangers need now). Is he a good coach to actually win the Cup if he has the talent? (a very different question). And finally, how will he evolve as a coach? Will he grow into the coach that is needed with more experience?


      One last note on Hank. This weekend we saw that when is just having fun, Hank is a damn good goalie, maybe even the best. He needs to lighten up, enjoy himself and stop coaching. As a coach, he isn’t a good goaltender. He needs to trust his teammates, root for them, but let the chips fall where they may.

      1. Ray I didn’t mean to imply that Hank was terrific in all of his games except for the first 3 of 2019. He certainly had some average games (the Florida games come to mind), but those 3 were his only truly crappy games which is why I called them outliers. As far as your comment about Hank and the Allstar game, no player is in “happy go lucky” mode during the season. And why in heavens name would he “trust his teammates?” He’s doing the best he can do under the circumstances and is mentoring (not coaching) the young guys and showing them what it means to be a consummate pro. The idea that if he just “lightened up” he and the team would somehow benefit doesn’t make much sense to me.

  2. Like Tony stated above, the coach leaves plenty to be desired. My goodness, he is almost the second coming of AV with the juggling act. Give guys a bit of time to skate together, to feel each other out, and stop with the favorites. Pionk doesn’t walk on water, don’t treat him like he does. The silly game he’s been playing with ADA is beyond my comprehension. Staal not sitting a game out, well maybe one, is telling to me. The man is shot, but gets top pairing, mind boggling! Grade C-, or D for doing a piss poor job of developing the kids.

    As for the tenders, to be fair, they are sitting in a shooting gallery, with minimal help from the defense, and the forwards for that matter, what do you expect magic????????????? Grade C, or B-.

    JG is doing a decent job, even though he made some moves that weren’t very popular. I give him credit for recognizing the team had to be re-build, and made moves even if they were unpopular. Grade B-, or C.

  3. Former L.A. King Jake Muzzin says he’s “very excited” to join the Leafs and skate on their top blueline pairing with Morgan Rielly in a trade that bolsters Toronto’s defensive corps in the short term while the team gives up two prospects and a 2019 first-round pick in return.

    This was announced this morning on, so the trading has begun, let’s not find ourselves on the outside looking in!!!!!!!!!

    1. LA got some good prospects and a first round pick for Muzzin. That would be a similar bounty for someone like Krieder, whose contract also expires next year. Depending on the prospects, I might be inclined to make a deal like that.

      Hayes may only command a first rounder by himself. Zucc may bring something similar. I think we need to packages up Hayes and Vesey for a first rounder and great prospects. Hey Gorton! The time to get on the phone is NOW.

      1. It all depends on what is offered, if the return is very good, everyone should be considered for a move. To be honest with you, I would even put Buch out there to see what he can get in return, he hasn’t been too impressive under two coaches. The guy seems disinterested most of the time, especially when on the 4th line. The kid never seems to be happy, maybe he needs a girl friend to relieve his frustrations???

        1. You mean find a girlfriend experience — we don’t want him distracted all the time. 😉

          It’s easy to say suck it up Buch, but I can understand his frustration. Of all the forwards he seems to get singled out more often than anyone else.

          1. He deserves it. He has flashes of talent, but has never put in a full game. That’s one thing DQ insists on, and I commend him for it. If you’re going to play in the NHL, you damn well should be expected to compete on every shift, not just when you feel like it. Buch has more pure talent than Zucc, but which one would you rather have on your team?

          2. Buch is the future, Zucc is the past. It’s hard to put in a full game as you suggest when you get bumped to the 4th line (Cody McLeod) because you made one mistake. Meanwhile Zucc played like HORSECRAP the first 30 games of the season and never saw the bench, the press box or the 4th line.

          3. Tanto

            I agree 100%, but it may be that he at times looks to be skating with his head up his ass, just lost. Given a shot at top six for a month, not jerked around, then we have a better understanding of what we have. He could be a very good player, or an absolute dud, but leave him on a line for some time. I may be dead wrong, won’t be the first time, but at least if we give up on him, he proved not worthy on wearing the blue jersey!!!!!!!!!!!

      2. Which unpopular moves would you be talking about? McD move was a bummer but the rest of roster decisions besides Stralman had to happen.

      3. We can finish out of the playoffs with Krieder or plan on making a run with him next year if we add some elite player. If the plan is to just gather picks and prospects, and not go out and buy 2 superstars, you might as well get as much as you can from anyone on the roster who is 25 or older. Lord knows this is looking like a 2021 team

    2. All the Leafs need is to trade for Hank and then I would say they are a top threat….If I’m a maple syrup fan, I’m not feeling so confident in leaf goaltending.

    3. He is not playing a silly game with ADA, as a matter of fact, ADA has been more consistent under Quinn, than ANY other year in his playing career – there is a reason for that – the guy knows what he is doing.
      Coaching young talent and coaching a Stanley Cup team are not different things – ask Al Arbour – enough said. NHL teams are made of pros supposedly, if you can’t play, you sit or you go home. Pens won multiple SCs and I can tell you that locker room was not exactly a lovefest, but they were pros and they got it done, regardless of their opinions of how the game is supposed to be played.
      A task was given this fall 2018, and the team is rolling with ups and downs as expected – we can’t make it more than it is, and trading everyone isn’t the answer – if we find ourselves from the outside looking in – well, fine, we stay the course and have to trust who we have and our decision making – because for real—-heads will roll if things don’t start progressing, but right now, its a total incomplete grade because we are building.

  4. Goaltenders: Hank has had a couple of rough outings and been outstanding several times. He faces a barrage of shots: Overall B+. Georgiev does not get enough steady work to stay sharp. I think that is unfair to the kid. He faces the same shot barrage but doesn’t play enough to get used to it.. Giving him an INC for incomplete.

    Front office: I will point to Adam McQuaid and Ryan Strome as the same polar opposites on trades, and then say ask me after the trade deadline how Gorton is doing. Incomplete.

    Coaching: Obviously an incomplete. I have the same concerns as Dave does with the defensive scheme. Earlier in the season I thought what I saw was because of the forwards and blue liners giving up the blue line. Then I learned it was planned that way. Doh! I don’t like the scheme much. I also don’t think it is smart to play Pionk like he is Ryan McDonough and Tony DeAngelo like he is Adam Clendenen. I am glad to see Smith sit. Now sit McQuaid and ship them both out (on you Gorton) and spread the minutes around so Pionk doesn’t play 24 minutes a game, and put Shattenkirk on the power play again dammit. Overall, an incomplete also.

    1. ” I thought what I saw was because of the forwards and blue liners giving up the blue line.” What? Lol

      “Then I learned it was planned that way. Doh! ” Yeah I’m not sure why you and other’s are getting all emotional over this system? What did you expected when you heard that the zone defense would be the scheme here? Just like in basketball and football, it’s all about the pressure points within the DZ. You’re going have to give up certain area’s as long as the other play flows to go along with it. This scheme can work with D men who can read the correct angles with fancy stick work and rub their player’s off the puck. Forwards need to put the pressure to force them into the trap. Two J Moore’s types would have been perfect for this kind of system.

      If the zone could be done correctly than it would have a suffocating feeling to it. Kind of like the 2012-14 LA Kings, they played a basic NZ trap style and some zone in their end. Often confused with a in your style brand of hockey due to how well they could swarm the puck carrier.

      Bottom line: It’s not the system. It’s basic, I think it actually gives more time for player’s to respond on what to do next. I think some high school hockey programs run more strict systems than this. My friend just got picked up by the Solar Bears a few months ago. The stuff that he told me and showed me through a phone call and text seem 5× more difficult to perform than this stuff.

      1. You’re ignoring the reality of the defensive system, Mint. Quinn’s defensive system won’t work at the NHL level unless there’s talent enough to play it. You cited the Kings as an example of how to succeed with this system, but in their Cup years LA had a solid defensive group (Doughty, Muzzin, Martinez, Voynov were a great top 4 who could skate and hit and carry the puck out of the zone in transition) that was light-years better than the current Ranger group of defensemen. Consider also that the LA Kings were across-the-board bigger, meaner, and nastier physically than the Rangers—they’d give up the blue line to force things outside, and hammer opponents in the corners and along the boards.

        Giving NHL players lots of space to enter the offensive zone is going to result in a lot of shots on goal. Which means that Quinn’s zone D may be different from Vigneault’s man-to-man/overload system, but the results are the same: too many shots against and an over-reliance on the goaltenders to bail the team out.

        In a division with players like Ovechkin, Crosby, Malkin, Giroux, and Panarin, constantly giving up the blue line isn’t the smartest way to approach defense for the Rangers.

        1. To Mancunian Candidate- I’m not sure why you’re talking about the LA Kings identity that they had on the blue line? There was so much more to the Kings defense rather than those cliche names of “nasty” and “tough”. First off it was a team game for them, they had tremendous bottom 6 role player’s who often backchecked and helped out. Muzzin is a lot more than being known as gritty, the combo with his skating, size and reach made him a tough defender. Yes his physical presence was there but his shutdown game within his quadrant was a work of art. Martinez and Voynov weren’t mean dudes, they were positionally sound with active sticks. Doughty had temper tantrums but he’s not all that tough, again, he was apart of a defensively sound blue line. Btw you probably left out their tougher player’s who were apart of that top 4. I’m pretty sure Willie Mitchell and Andy Greene were up in there.

          I brought up the Kings because of the system that they ran in the NZ/DZ. Fans often called it in your face hockey but in reality it was a trap/zone style, not this man to man let’s see everyone down on the forecheck. The way you described them is a bit basic. The 2011 Bruins was 10× more tough than they were. I think the 2011 Nucs would have actually won a street fight vs the 2012 Kings. The system was what made that team so tough to play against. Kopitar and Carter aren’t physical dudes but they will suffocate you along with Stoll, Williams, Lewis, King and Hunter near the boards. Hence why I brought up that this team could use a J Moore or two for the blueline. I’m very aware of the identity crisis of this team.. That doesn’t change the topic that this NYR system is fine and can show results as long as there’s a mini overhaul and player’s buy in.

          1. I mentioned the Kings because you did, Mint, in your initial post. Do you even read what you write?

      2. What? LOL?

        Your response can only make one scratch one’s head. Quinn’s system is not the only way to play a zone defense and I was discussing the collapse he likes to use to try to direct shots to the outside. I don’t think it is very effective the way he sets it up. I have no idea what you are trying to say.

        1. What do you mean that it’s not effective? Please share than what you think they should do. I feel like you’re one of those folks who can bring up a definition from a back of a book to a tee. Yet when it’s time to speak your mind, you’ll fail. Come on dude, how many more ways are there to collapse? It’s not like they’re doing it to protect the house in the final moments of a game on purpose.

          There’s a technique with this system and it’s pretty basic stuff. If you’re a winger than you don’t have to worry about the points unless if the puck went parallel to you. Other than that the wingers have a sliver of a quadrant to worry about. Do you know how easy that is? Just to show you, in AV’s man to man scheme he wouldn’t allow his wingers to help the D in the corners. It involved different situations on when and where to be due to his counter system. Under Quinn, it’s make none traditional fort and once the defensive play is made up than everyone can help move the puck up as a unit. It’s not the system that’s failing, it’s the player’s who tend to cause a Butterfly effect.

          1. I have a feeling that trying to decipher your deranged syntax and vapid analogies requires time better spent on activities such as clipping one’s toe nails or counting the number of angels that might dance on the head of a pin. You can’t even describe they system you are trying to talk about. There are at least two main low zone collapses and many slight variations. I don’t like the way I’ve seen the Rangers trying to execute Quinn’s system, especially when the older defenders are on the ice. How many times do I need to repeat that?

            Now, go back to doing whatever you do when you are not here posting drivel.

  5. With some commenters taking a wait and see approach with David Quinn, I’d be curious to see who supports Quinn’s latest bit of lineup ridiculousness. Brooks is reporting today that Zuccarello has a foot infection and won’t dress. Somehow our genius coach has decided that Brett Howden (3 points in the last 2 months of this season) is worthy of a promotion into the top 6. Not only that, but Howden is gonna play RW instead of C. All the while right wing Pavel Buchnevich stays on the 4th line despite outplaying Howden of late.

    I’m already thinking Quinn is a stubborn Boston chowderhead with a real disdain for European players. I don’t see how it’s even justifiable to keep Howden at the NHL level given how bad he’s been for the last 25 games. Luckily Quinn thinks that sort of ineffective play deserves a spot in the top 6. Give me a break.

    And as far as Gorton is concerned: take a look at yesterday’s Jake Muzzin trade, and tell me McDonagh shouldn’t have returned more from Tampa. Ridiculous again—McDonagh was our best asset and Gorton got housed on that deal by Yzerman.

    1. I think he moves Howden up to 2nd line wing because he represents the future and Buch’s time on this team is dwindling. I am sure Buch is being shopped, but I still can’t get passed the stubborn Boston Chowderhead comment. Classic line. Holds true for all the NE Patriot fans too!

    2. How dare you MC! “… Quinn is a stubborn Boston chowderhead …”. Don’t you know that the word stubborn in that phrase is redundant? lol

        1. So Smith is in tonight as 7 D men…No Buch….Quinn again benching Buch..This is going to get ugly with Buch…

    3. MC

      That line of: Quinn is a stubborn Boston chowderhead may be spot on, and a funny line. More importantly you may of hit onto something that we all may have over looked????????

  6. Buch doesn’t have the talent to play in the NHL

    Get off Stall’s back. Everyone he plays with improves.

    The coach is doing a fine job. Who among you thought we would have a five hundred record
    at this time of the year?

    1. You’re wrong on point 1, misspelled Staal’s name in point 2, which is also incorrect. DeAngelo has looked good with Staal, Pionk has been awful with Staal. Point 3 is debatable at best. And I think most sports fans wouldn’t call a team that’s lost 27 of 48 games a .500 team.

  7. Do you want to make the playoffs so you can get drilled by Tampa? If so, the GM is a B+, coaching is a D

    Do you want to be competitive, yet lose enough to try and get a crack at Hughes/Kappo/Dach/Cozens? Then the GM is a C-, coaching is a B+

    I’m in the latter camp, want McLeod on the 1st line, Pionk playing 30 a night and Halverson starting, with Hank giving a break once in a while.

    This is why I have no problem with Buch being a scratch. They want him to play a certain way and he simply won’t do it. At this point, the only way he plays top 6while still making bonehead plays is if they’re showcasing him.

  8. A real concern for me, which has not been mentioned here, is the situation in Hartford. This will be, I believe, the third straight season the Pack miss the playoffs, the second under the current coaching regime. Consider the team. With NHL vets Mazanec and Tokarski, supplemented by Georgiev, they ought to be fine in goal. On defense, they have NHL cusp players Gilmour, Bigras, and O’Gara together with vaunted prospects Hajek, Lindgren, and Day. Seems like what should be a good defense. A number of the forwards such as Holland, Beleskey, Fogarty can play in the NHL and there are some good prospects like Andersson. It just sounds to me like good coaching should make something of this team.

    From a development perspective, they seem to have done a good job with Lindgren and perhaps Meskanen, but otherwise I am not impressed. Guys like Andersson and Hajek have not moved forward and on balance the results have been poor.

    1. Spot on, Ray, regarding AHL development. Even the 2 players doing well in the AHL that you mentioned—Lindgren and Meskanen—their development arguably was enhanced more by Lindgren’s time at U. of Minnesota, and Meskanen’s time spent in the Finnish pro league.

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