Three questions for this week’s mailbag. Just a note, I got these questions about 2-3 weeks ago, but held on to them so I could queue up content while I was away. As always, use the widget on the right to submit your questions for the mailbag.
Tim asks: If the Rangers don’t make the playoffs but Hartford does, which prospects from the NHL club can be sent down to play for Hartford?
It’s been a while since this has happened since Hartford has been so bad for so long, but yes the Rangers can send any player that doesn’t require waivers down to Hartford for their run. Any prospect that has not played 160 NHL games (assuming the contract was signed at 18 years of age) can be sent down without waivers. That list will include Brett Howden, Lias Andersson, Filip Chytil, Kaapo Kakko, Ryan Lindgren, and Libor Hajek. Alex Georgiev will hit the games limit this year, so he won’t be eligible to play for Hartford. If Adam Fox hits 80 games this year, he won’t be able to play with Hartford. He’s at 14 right now, and considering how he’s played, unless he gets hurt, he won’t be eligible either.
Steffen asks: I read somewhere that a hockey team changed their training philosophy recently, specifically that after mistakes were made on the ice that player was immediately sent back out to learn, instead of benching him. Do you know what team that was?
I did some googling and couldn’t find anything on this and couldn’t find anything, but the idea piqued my interest. This mindset is similar to getting into a car accident and forcing yourself to drive again right away. The thought process is that the faster you do it, the less you think about it and the quicker you just go about your business again. The same can be applied to hockey (and life). If you make a mistake, and you know it, get back out there and just do your thing. It’s why teams hate bad losses right before long breaks. The more time you have to think, the better. Instead of punishing mistakes, you get back out there and just move on. I like it, I wish more teams adopted this philosophy.
While we have certainly written a lot about Quinn’s concerns this year, I don’t think any of us think he is overmatched, at least not yet. I personally think it’s too soon to fully judge a coach, but I have my concerns about his systems and about his lineup choices. I’ve verbalized that and made my points, as have Rob and Justin and the other folks here. As for Ulfie, he was the head coach in Charlotte for a season after leaving the Rangers, and is now an assistant with the Chicago Blackhawks.