Thoughts on the Lias Andersson interviews

There has been a lot of talk about the former 7th overall pick

Lias Andersson has made news lately. Following his request for a trade and subsequent suspension (standard protocol), he headed home to Sweden. Lias did an interview over the weekend, and there has been other news slowly leaking out. We shied away from covering it until everything was out, now that we think it is, there are some thoughts.

1. First things first – what was actually said? Andersson is nursing a lower body injury (both feet – can’t get them into skates), so he’s not training. He also mentioned some mental health issues, and it was more important for him to get home to get his mind right. Andersson also pointed out that there were “many incidents that disturbed him” that he can’t go into detail about yet. When asked specifically about bullying, he said “it’s been tough.” Swedish hockey reporter Johan Rylander noted this was the first time he’s seen Andersson hesitant in his answers.

2. With the interview pieces out of the way, let’s jump to the biggest item, and that’s the bullying. If there is a bullying issue in the organization, then that needs to be cut out and dealt with immediately. It doesn’t matter where the issue is – just get rid of it. There is no place in the game for that anymore. This not the 70s, this is not an old school “tough love” mentality. If this is an ongoing issue, then Andersson likely isn’t the first kid to be impacted and won’t be the last. There is no place for this. Period.

Disclaimer: Everything beyond points #1 and #2 is my take on the interview, and my educated guesses on things going on. This is not fact. Just my take on it. Take it with a grain of salt and not as gospel.

3. I think the mental health concerns, his hesitance to answer questions directly, and the trade request are all connected. Something is amiss here, and while you can certainly point to Andersson’s performance in the AHL as a justifiable reason that he wasn’t in the NHL, if your mind isn’t there then your game isn’t there. Every player reacts differently to different types of coaching, and the best coaches are the ones that change their style and approach for each player, knowing how to get through to each one. Communication is key.

4. Communication is key, but the Rangers have already been torched once for lack of communication with Vitali Kravtsov. That’s now twice, with two key prospects, that the Rangers have had these communication issues with. Luckily Kravtsov wanted to come back. Andersson is already done with the club, and that ship has sailed. Think what you want of Andersson the player, that’s irrelevant here. There is a communication problem in the Rangers organization, and it may have already expanded into a culture and bullying problem. This is now on John Davidson to fix the problem.

5. Now Andersson is not without fault – in the interview linked above he said he thought he had won the 2C role behind Mika Zibanejad. Based on preseason performance, he was the second best center in the preseason, but unfortunately that’s not how things work. Ryan Strome was clearly the 2C in everyone’s minds and they were right. Andersson, though, does have legitimate beef that he wasn’t the 3C to start the season. He earned that role over Brett Howden, who was an unmitigated disaster as a center and is, not surprisingly, no longer a center. We don’t know if Andersson would have succeeded in the 3C role because he was never given a chance. His expectations of being 2C were a little absurd, but he earned the 3C role and was arguably better than Howden and did far more –at least defensively– with far less.

6. David Quinn had the audacity to blame “social media and blogs” for Andersson’s inflated projections of himself. This is again a communication issue. We as bloggers and the beat writers as journalists simply ask questions and provide our opinions. If a player is reading this, then it is up to the coaching staff to sit and communicate with him about what he needs to do. Again that communication thing. Blaming bloggers and Twitter for your inability to temper expectations and change your approach with Andersson –that clearly wasn’t working– is not on us.

7. Let’s put #6 in a real world perspective. You’re a manager, and one of your employees has come to you asking for a promotion. Clearly this employee thinks they have earned it just by asking. They likely presented a case for it as well. If your response is “you didn’t earn it yet,” and don’t provide any examples, then that employee will become disgruntled and leave. Now if you were to reply with “your work is certainly not overlooked, however here is what you still need to work on for the next level,” and then list out those qualifications, the employee may not like it, but at least it is constructive feedback that provides a clear and concise goal. This is a very big difference and what makes the difference between a good manager and a poor manager.

8. Now if the coach is unable to communicate in such a manner, it is up to the leadership in the locker room. This is something that isn’t being talked about because we have no insight into this. Lack of communication between coach and player can be managed by the leaders – something we saw with Mark Messier managing whatever Mike Keenan said. Now if there is bullying, something that appears to be the case if you’re reading between the lines, and the leadership did nothing about it, then that is also a major problem. Either they didn’t know about it, which is bad, or they knew and did nothing, which is worse.

9. This is almost 1,000 words to say this: The Rangers, from John Davidson down to David Quinn down to the players in the locker room down to Lias Andersson himself, botched this. It is a total whiff by everyone in the organization. It is a whiff they need to learn from, especially as more big prospects come down to Hartford and the pros.

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  • This is the most ridiculous assessment I have ever read. Why can’t people see we are dealing with an emotional baby here. This is the same kid that threw is medal into the crowd.
    Load Anderson is an example of what’s wrong with the younger generation today. The grass is always greener, they are a snowflake and a rainbow and if they don’t get what they want they pout. This has absolutely nothing to do with bullying and mental health. That’s just plain stupid.

    • How do you know it does not have anything to do with mental health?
      And then, why, and what is exactly, plain stupid?

      And by whom was the younger generation shaped?

    • No, plain stupid is the obnoxious, get-off-my-lawn vibe of your post, Jason Borek. Save your fox news sloganeering for people who wanna talk politics via insult.

      Oh—your autocorrect changed “Lias” to “Load”—wonder where you spend your time online….

      • Hey, Faaa Queue. Why don’t you grow up and leave your sjw/liberal bs in your basement. This is a hockey blog, not twitter. If you disagree with a post, fine. State your reasons why. Be an adult for God’s sake. If you continue to be triggered and rail against everything that you’re socially opposed to then I suggest you go over to the other BSB blog. They’ll welcome you with open arms.

        • Dale—since you don’t read well, I’d like to point out that you’re defending a post that said Lias was “what’s wrong with the younger generation today”, among other get-off-my-lawn sentiments. Jason’s original post had nothing to do with hockey and was a personal attack on both the writer of the article and Lias. Save your cheap codewords for some other time.

          • No, mentioning fox news was…mentioning fox news. What it stands for is self-evident. Not a code word at all. Actual plain english.

    • Based on everything we know about lias he certainly isn’t of the self entitled generation of today. So he thinks he was a 2C, Quinn a 4C, where the truth probably lies that he deserved a legit shot at the 3C role. I have no doubt the way in which Quinn handled this in-house carried over in how he was treated in Hartford. Not every 18-20 year old is capable of handling or excepting things the same way (eg Chytil). As Dave said, it’s the Manager’s (Coach’s) job to provided constructive criticism in order them to aim for something rather than break someone down. The fact that Kratsov was also mishandled makes me think Rangers mgmt or Quinn directly owns this. There is a very obvious theme here: Buchnevich, Chytil, Kratsov, and Anderson. Quinn would make Bobby Clarke very proud!

      • Jrrangersdad

        And may I add that he talks from both sides of his face. DQ tells you one thing, and then does 180 degree differently, what can we take from this? The guy appears not to care for non-mucker type players, and given a chance he would probably want nothing by Pat Maroon type players. My friend we are on the same page this morning!!!!!!!!!!!

        • DQ is a very good college coach, but D1 teams are made of hard working and grinding Americans and an occasional Canadian with a much easier 40-50 game schedule. There is a very marginal drop in skill in the ‘next man up’ so every player knows his job is at risk each and every night out. You can’t play that way for 82 games and expect to hold up let alone make it through the grind of NHL playoffs. I really hope JD comes to his senses and realizes he needs to go in a different direction with the head coach.

          • I agree with you, and have stated on a few occasions that what works in the college ranks may not work in the pro’s. Bottom line, DQ had better give himself a true self assessment, and may have to change his ways if he wants to stay gainfully employed!!!!!!!!!!

      • You Absolutely Nailed it… This team need really change of the management and specialist in helping of understanding of youth psychology

  • BillA
    Great read on this subject if Quinn and Davidson played this right we would have a fourth line of krastov Anderson and Lemuiex getting playing time against the best players in the world instead of this fourth line that is gone next year there is no reason to play these guys 4 minutes a can’t even trade them for anything all because Quinn uses just 3 lines every game.its a long season if he used the rookies right 10 to 12 minutes a game the rookies would help get the experience they need it would be a win win all around.

    • Bill- punctuation would help. Look nobody on this board really knows what went on with this guy. Clearly it was decided he’d be better off in Hartford this season, and you’d like to think they sat him down and gave him the straight dope. We might never know; I’m not sure if everyone thought Anderson is the second coming of Wayne Gretzky, but I know some people in Hartford and they tell me he wasn’t putting out much of an effort. Every year, on every team, there are young guys who think they belong in the NHL, and are sent to the minors for whatever reason. The ones who are tough/realistic/mature/smart enough to handle it, take it for a positive and grow from it. The rest- well maybe they’re not going to be an NHL player anyway. I’m sure there are plenty of examples of that as well. As far as the bullying- really? What, somebody put shaving cream in his skates before practice? Awww…… grow up, son. Maybe playing on a junior team in Stockholm will toughen him up a bit. Sorry- press on. Just like every other NHL team, there are three guys to take his place.

      Regards- orange

  • I don’t think there’s enough info to make the speculative leaps many are doing regarding this kid and the circumstances surrounding his leaving the team. And if it is a case of bullying why are we assuming it’s the coaching or GM? Maybe it’s a fellow player, or trainer…or even JD? We just don’t have enough info. It’s an unfortunate scenario for everyone involved. Everyone in the Rangers org wanted him to succeed. It’s a disappointment all around. Another thing is we don’t know how this kid acts off the rink. We just assume he’s not a jack wagon…but maybe he is? We just don’t know at this point.

  • Fire Quinn before he ruins more European players, especially since our GM won’t stop drafting Europeans.

    • You keep on referring to some kind of North American bias regarding DQ. Last time I checked the Rangers have 10 players with Euro backgrounds on their roster. If he didn’t like Euro players I don’t think almost half the team would be comprised of European players. Most Europeans on this team are leaders on and/or off the ice. If there were bias issues I’m sure Hank, Fast, Zibby and Panarin would object. If you’re referring to his treatment of Chytil, Lias or Kakko I think you’d also have to look at how he uses Hajek and Georgie. The latter two would have to be considered 2 of his “favorites”. Many European players are playing very well or have upped their game under DQ such as Chytil, Georgie, Zibby and Panarin. There is plenty of justified criticism for DQ to go around, but being prejudiced toward European players is not one of them.

      • You’re right, I do keep mentioning the coach’s anti-Euro bias. I do this because this bias is self-evident.

        Young players—especially high draft picks—are important for so many reasons. When you consider that Quinn has severely alienated 2 of the 3 European players taken by NYR in the first round in the last couple of years, it’s time to call that a pattern.

        Chytil didn’t deserve to be sent down over Howden. Howden doesn’t deserve any NHL playing time, let alone over legit NHL center prospects like Chytil and Andersson. And Kravtsov left the country rather than deal with Quinn. Quinn’s talent evaluation appears to be bias-driven towards veterans and North Americans as well. I don’t know too many organizations that’d waste a roster spot on McKegg or Smith when talented youngsters who need playing time are lurking in the wings.

        I’m in favor of calling things what they are, not what they should be. Quinn’s whipping boys on the Rangers have almost exclusively been young, skilled European players. This coach and his so-called meritocracy to this team—what BS. If one really existed with Quinn that’d mean Staal/Smith/McKegg aren’t playing anymore. The fact that they still get regular shifts for the team halfway thru the season is a joke, and proof of some kind of bias on Quinn’s part, whether against Europeans, skilled players, or young players.

        • Are you gonna tell me Mckegg doesn’t deserve a spot. Night in and night out he grinds and drives when he plays. I didn’t like him at the beginning of the season but if you watch him he is everywhere. He doesn’t relent and in the nhl you’re going to play the guy who is giving it his all. Mckegg has earned every inch of ice he has skated on and Lias would do well to watch the type of effort he puts in every shift. I think there is more to this whole story than has come out still. Anderson made the team out of camp. He may not been in the role people wanted but he was in the team. He received little ice time and didn’t show enough effort when he got his chances. He is still young and has plenty to learn. Mckegg has earned his keep and is effective when he’s out there. Dominic Moore will never be in the Hall but a ton of players and executives wanted him on their team. Mckegg is earning that type of reputation.

          • Yes, I am saying Greg McKegg is a poor NHL player. Has been for his entire career, actually. 161 games played over 7 seasons, never playing more than 46 games in a season, on his 6th different team. I’d say he’s the living definition of a worthless NHL player. Glad to see that Quinn has McKegg on track for a career high in games played, more proof of what a schmuck Kid Chowder is.

            When I watch a sport, I watch it to see excellence, not mediocrity. And mediocrity isn’t made more interesting by greater effort. If you feel differently, go right ahead.

        • I think you’ve become hair triggered over the fact that some young highly touted players may have holes in their games that they need to work on. In most cases the players are under 21. Not many young players come into the league and deserve Connor McDavid minutes. It’s OK if you constructively criticize their game or send them to the minors to work on stuff. This is the NHL, not the international hop scotch league.

          If it were up to you, you would do what? Have every Euro rookie play in the top six whether they deserve it or not, because they’re entitled, due to their draft pick status or amateur reputation? Or have a 4th line consisting of Euro 18-20 yr olds getting 6 minutes a game and getting manhandled by other teams’ generally hard checking 4th lines?

          I get the Howden thing 100%. He stinks and should be in AHL. But saying the Kratsov kid deserved to be on roster and was mishandled in AHL is just not valid. The kid looks like a kid physically and isn’t ready for NHL yet. Instead of doing what Chytil (a young Euro btw) did he sulked, got scratched after 2 games and then left. Then he got demoted to minors over in Russia almost immediately. How is that on DQ?

          I’m not a big fan of DQ, but this anti-Euro bias claim is just silly.

          -Buch is a lazy hockey player. Has major holes in his game. Not mature enough either. A third round pick and he plays like one.

          -Chytil is becoming a force.

          -Andersson May have deserved more minutes with big club, but we don’t have all the info yet on that.

          -Kravstov isn’t ready for NHL yet.

          -Kakko is still very young and developing his game at NHL level. It isn’t easy.

          -Hajek getting major minutes even though he may not deserve them.

          -Georgie- getting half the workload up until now.

          -Fast- playing on top lines even though he isn’t a top 6 forward.

          -Panarin and Zibby flourishing on their way to career years.

          There’s plenty to of reasons criticize DQ, but your Anti-Euro bias against young Euros is off base.

          • You’re wrong. Name a young European who’s been a rookie under Quinn who got better treatment than Howden. Howden gets better treatment from Quinn than every single young Euro the Rangers have brought in since Quinn’s been here.

            And in the case of Buch it’s even more apparent what this coach feels about him. With Marc Staal making mistakes on every 2nd shift, or Greg McKegg producing nothing night after night, Quinn does nothing to their ice time. And don’t give me the “he benched Staal” line—Staal was injured when Quinn sat him.

          • FQ-there was no “response” button under your latest post, so forgive me if this response ends up somewhere else.
            So because you don’t like the way DQ favors Howden you’re making the leap that he’s prejudiced against young Euro players? That’s quite an accusation. I could understand a well justified gripe about Howden getting ANY preferential treatment over ANYONE, or even being on the Rangers’ roster at all. On that I’d be with you 100%. You don’t like how 2 coaches aren’t enamored with Buch’s erratic peripheral play and have sent him ‘messages’ regarding it (He’s on the top line btw)? Making Quinn out to be prejudiced against Euro players is just ridiculous. Just because you’re hung up on Howden and/or some 4th liners and don’t like the way Lias, Chytil (who is Howden’s center) or Buch are deployed doesn’t make the coach prejudiced. I’ve stated facts that contradict your accusation previously today. But you seem to be willing to die on this sword.
            So what insider info do you have that the rest of us are missing? Are you a Rangers/MSG employee? Do you know DQ personally? You come across as a very arrogant curmudgeon on these Ranger posts. What’s your deal?

          • Stoobie—my insight comes from when I watch the games, read the box scores, count shifts, watch how differently Quinn treats his players with ice time/scratches etc. I’ve determined thru all of these public and quantifiable actions that Quinn prefers North American players to Europeans, especially when the player is young. Throwing Jesper Fast and Lundqvist out as some sort of counter to my opinion is meaningless, as each player is a veteran.

            Here’s my speculative take: Quinn is a short-tempered, culturally lazy, dishonest, and uncreative hockey coach with a poor eye for talent and roster cohesion. That clear things up for you?

        • Maybe Quinn is really Trump.

          How about when you drafted kids and didn’t see them for 3-4 years as they worked on and developed their game and strength.

          Lias wasn’t ready mentally, he fooled himself and the Rangers. whatever he thought he deserved…he thought incorrectly. Everyone in the organization thought he wasn’t ready…yet he did and he couldn’t handle reality.

          You can ask and even demand a trade….but he picked up and quit on his teammates. Maybe his teammates didn’t like him…so, to recap, he thought he won 2c or 3c job, when everyone in system thought he didn’t and then either alienated himself from his teammates or just quit on them. Seems like a player I want on my team.

      • DQ has a big and obvious chip on his shoulder and it results in an inability to understand, appreciate, and relate to young, confident, and in many cases naive European players. I mean for goodness sake some of these kids still think Abercrombie & Fitch are still in style for young successful athletes. He continually mistakes these kids as arrogant, lazy, and defiant. I am sure he is right once in a while but he is starting to look like he is wrong all of the time (add Namestnikov to the list). Much harder for a coach to determine work ethic in goalies (eg Gorg) or for a goalie to rebel when your partner is the “the King” and using Hajek as an example isn’t fair either as his style of play fits the DQ mold.

  • “There is a communication problem in the Rangers organization, and it may have already expanded into a culture and bullying problem. This is now on John Davidson to fix the problem.”

    I don’t know what’s going on, and I won’t defend the behavior of Lias, but I will state that we had three young kids from Europe, Lias, Kratsov, and to a certain extent Kakko, have had issues with the coaching staff. The problem, whatever it was , was tended to with Kakko, and luckily Kravs came back to prove himself, but Lias was indeed jerked around by DQ.

    Let’s see now, Lias was told to work on his skating, he came back much better after the off season. He was told to work on his defense, and he did. He out played Howden, yet was relegated to the shit heap on the fourth line. On numerous occasions DQ stated unequivocally that Andersson played a good game, only to play him less the very next game, and or get splinters from the pine bench.

    I can’t defend, nor do I want to defend Lais’ behavior, but there is plenty of blame to go around for people to share. If he felt the way he seems to feel, he should have sat down with DQ, and had a man to man. If he couldn’t get any satisfaction, the request a sit down with JG. After that, and no re results were to anyone’s satisfaction, he should have requested a trade, and continue to play at the AHL level. Both sides made mistakes, but I’m trying to be objective with this statement, DQ seems to not be flexible, and may well be a piss-poor communicator, one of these my way, or the highway type of guys.
    Now I’ll state my opinion on the person, DQ, I believe is a phony, and a liar, and should be shown the door. If we see this happen again next season with the addition of more young European kids, then JD has to get rid of the man!!!!!!!!!!

  • I had said a few weeks ago that I thought it was possible that Lias would end up back in Sweden. It didn’t come about the way I thought it might, but, from the interviews it appears that it might be the best thing for him at this point. I hope that things get set right for him. He might never make it in the NHL, but, he probably can play hockey in Sweden for many years if he chooses that route. The adjustment to the North American game and culture has apparently been quite difficult for him. He is a young man, I hope that things get better for him.

  • All we know are Andersson’s FEELINGS about what happened. Judgment should be reserved until we know the facts.

    • Rod

      You are right, but there seems to be a pattern with this coach that stinks to high heaven. I reserve judgement, but tend to side with the young kids!!!!!!!!

      • Walt: We simply don’t know why Andersson feels the way he does and fled, why Kravtsov had problems early on and came back, and why other young Europeans appear to be just fine. Powder should be kept dry until we know more facts, that’s all.

  • My 2 cents
    Thinking there are 3 sides to this story
    1. Andersson feels mistreated
    2. Ranger Management expected more from the 7th pick in the draft
    3. Something else is also going on
    While we do not know what goes on in the lockeroom, or behind closed doors, clearly the way younger players are being treated and the way they expect to be treated is not equal. JD, Gorton and Quinn need to assess and reassess this situation.

    The Andersson / Howden situation seems to point to some sort of poor assessment or prejudice. It is unclear to me if this is similar to the Vitali Kraftsov situation. I do know that both Gorton and Quinn were involved in both situations.

    While I feel that both Kraftsov & Andersson could have probably worked a little harder, it is also true that both players probably needed to adjust to a new club, leadership and a new country. Lots of blame to be divided up here, but the NYR management should look in the mirror more.

  • I am sick and tired of the Liam stories…..Enough already and let us all move on from this terrible draftpick by Clark..and yes Clark is as much to blame as Gorton, who gets fried, even thought the picks flow through Clark.

    Was Lias given a fair shot? No, but IMO, I didn’t see anything special from Lias, unlike Chytil, who after one professional shift was impressive…

  • Why not just let him stay in Sweden for the year? Let him heal up physically and mentally and see where his head is at next season. I say this because, while most people are all too happy to label him a bust / entitled kid and throw him in the garbage, I would hope that the FO would not want to disregard a 7th overall pick so easily. Just my opinion – Go Rangers ! 🙂

  • If Lias is having some personal health issues and the Rangers were not supportive, then this becomes a different story, but throughout the years, the Rangers have always been extremely supportive of players with personal issues…..This is a FACT….so I really do not know what happened behind the scenes, but for all involved, including Lias, this should be kept on the sidelines…

  • A significant part of the article was whether or not the interpretation of Lias’ statements indicated he was bullied in some manner. I positively believe he was NOT bullied by his teammates. However, Lias’ perceptions of the way the coach, whether in Hartford or here, used (misled) him may have led him to think he was treated very unfairly. And whether this ‘unfair” treatment is believable or not, Lias felt, in his mind, that he had enough. I don’t think “bullying”, in its true sense, was an issue here IMHO.

  • I think Lias entire argument is weak and all of this will blow over to the narrative of that Lias just couldn’t hang in the NHL.

    I thought what he said about being the next man up after Zib was a weak argument on his part. His pre season didn’t look superior to a trending down Howden or a mediocre to low Chytil. I knew this cat was going to be a problem ever since his first pre season when he had his towel wrapped around his neck like 1994 Mess.

    I think it’s a healthy bowl of mix things that lead to Lias departure. He probably felt like he had to play on his “injured” foot in order to remain in rotation at the time. That and along with probably some minor stuff like in the AHL of not fitting in. I always thought that the random scratch in Detroit 2 months ago was a bit personal. What young Swede doesn’t want to try and share the same ice that Franzen, Holmstro, Lidstrom, Kronwall and Zetterberg were on?

    If Lias wants to bring the empire down of what the league makes you do than it better be some legit evidence. I thiought it was a bit fishy for how he talked about mental breakdown but yet still had time to talk himself up… He still found time to talk about how in fact he’s not a cry baby, teams still want him and how his resume should include “pre season”. He already got caught looking a fool about the whole buying of new equipment.

    Guys like Zucc, MSL, Gerbe and even Johnnny hockey stories don’t exist if they never stuck with it. Andersson was already rich, he definitely comes off as spoiled here. Do you think any basketball G leaguer’s can run back home and cut their minor league check in half? These Euro player’s tend to be on the wealthy and sheltered side which creates for weak character.

    • How’s Hayes? I thought he was going to be a Ranger for life? What do you have to say for yourself after being so consistently wrong?

  • Nobody here is privy to what goes on in a practice or in the lockeroom. Bullying accusations sound to me like an attempt to cover up for the players ineptness. I could be totally wrong, and if I am, it needs to be dealt with. Severely! But I’m not ready to join the chorus of those willing to put all this on Quinn, just because I don’t care for him as a coach. These same people will have a problem with whoever is behind the bench, until somebody like a Messier takes the reins. Quinn is an easy target here, for the childish name callers and haters. I’m not ready to throw him under the bus just yet.

      • I don’t get the reference. Even with all the punctuation. But at least you got another chance to use a cute nickname, I guess.

  • I respectfully disagree with this article. Lias Andersson has some issues going on within himself and one clear indicator on Lias Character is he has not handled adversity very well. Just from speaking through my knowledge through a close friend of mine who was in the NHL for 18 years, some players who are either highly drafted to highly skill does not always transfer to the ice.

    They’re many adjustments, especially for young international players have to go through to adjust which includes: workout regiments, travel schedule, increase in games played, work assignments on the ice, learning new systems, etc….

    If you look at a player like Chytil who is younger than Andersson, took his demotion in stride, put his head down and worked hard once again on his overall game ( especially working on his game without the puck), and you see Chytil worked really hard to get stronger in the off-season. We are seeing the results.

    A little tip-bit info on Kravstov- it was a mutual decision for Vital to go back to the KHL, However, he is in the future plans, when a few players are moved, we will Kravstov recalled and given an opportunity. My personal feeling things will work out with Kravstov, Andersson is looking like a bust which is unfortunate.

  • The biggest mistake here was made DRAFTING A FOURTH ROUND TALENT seventh overall. This is all the natural fallout that I predicted 2 years ago.

  • What a nonsense article. There is zero Anti Euro bias. Zero!

    Lias is an entitled punk who will never play in the NHL as a regular because he isn’t good enough. Plain and simple. He should take responsibility for not being good enough and stop looking for excuses

    Clark once again struck out on a high draft pick. Kravtsov is still to be determined but so far not looking great either.

  • Just a reminder that, while Andersson is not going to be worth the #7 pick, of all the picks taken after him (the players passed on), the top goal scorer and number 2 point producer is …..Filip Chytil. It’s looking like it was a pretty lousy draft year.

  • First off, you are wrong on point 5. What Lias said was he thought he had played well enough for a center dpot behind Zibanejad, he never said he thought he was the second best C. I dont know if this mistake was made because of bad translation or whatever, but that is a pretty big mistake nonetheless.

    Other then this i think your post is pretty well written and gives a good perspektive from Lias and the teams point of view.

  • I’m curious to hear what the incidents that Lias said happened were and if there is any legitimacy to them. Until then, I can’t really form an opinion. I’m not totally against some hazing, but I can see how it can go too far. Having working in a number of restaurant kitchens, it’s just part of how guys bond, but it also can alienate some. My gut tells me Lias is entitled and soft, but it seems like he was the victim of some really disturbing things. Either way, this is a shame.

  • If Andersson was being mistreated in any way, why didn’t he talk to Lundquist, or Zibanejad, or Fast? Why didn’t Kravstov talk tp Panarin or Buchnevich? Why didn’t any of those players see anything that was out of line happening with the kids? I really believe that if Hank or Artemiy saw one of their younger countrymen being abused in any way, they would have spoken up about it. They both have the reputation for being willing to speak their minds on subjects that concern them, and the stature to be get people to pay attention. We’re giving Andersson all the benefit of the doubt, when maybe we should have paid more attention to his temper tantrum with the silver medal.

    • I see a few things wrong with this assumption. 1) I think the word “abused” is an over exaggeration of the situation: I would describe it more as ‘communication was not constructive and contradicting’ (see Howden) 2) Rangers don’t have what I would describe as traditional captains to either compensate on their own (eg good cop) or approach the coach on his behalf, 2) also, Hank , Zib, etc weren’t in the NHL at the age of 19 (more like 23) so far less fragile than teenagers trying to break in and away from family these days. Hard fro them to appreciate what it would be like for a 19yo dealing with DQ and not living up to 1st round expectations. As for the silver medal, I leave you this quote from Ricky Bobby “If you ain’t first, you’re last”. Nothing wrong with Lias’ reaction considering the only silver medal I have ever heard anyone remember or talk about is the one in 1980.

      • Talladega Nights was satire. If you are using a quote from Ricky Bobby to justify an attitude, you are missing the point. The reality is that second place is an accomplishment. Sure, the Cup in 2014 would have been nice, but the Rangers team was simply not a bunch of losers and they should not be disparaged.

        When Lias tossed that medal, he said three things. He said “This is not good enough for me. I am not proud of what I have done because I want more.” (OK so far). “I am not proud of my team and what it has accomplished.” And to quote above, “If you ain’t first, you’re last”.

        We can partially excuse Lias because he was young (sort of young though I would imagine most parents of an eight year old would be striving to correct this behavior) and should outgrow many character flaws, BUT we should acknowledge it as a character flaw.

  • Lots of good points Dave.

    Concerning 1-4, there is one other player worth mentioning and that is Ryan Graves. Graves fared well in Hartford and yet never got a look and was eventually traded for a player the Rangers showed interest in after they got him (Bigras). While we don’t know how Andersson or Kravtsov would have fared elsewhere and their ultimate abilities, we do know what Graves has done and it looks bad for the organizational decision making.

    5. It is a common misconception here that Lias earned the 3 Center slot in camp. Certainly almost all of us – likely every single one of us – does not know what happened in camp. We know what went on in a handful of exhibition games and that is far from the same thing. In fact, even in the games, we don’t know how the players fared relatively to the targets assigned to them. We do know that Lias was truly awful last year both in the NHL and in the AHL and had a lot to prove to get a major role.

    And in his limited responsibility this year he failed defensively. He was on the ice for eleven ES goals in a shade over two hours ice time. The defensive black hole Marc Staal has only been on the ice for 13 all year.

    6. Bloggers don’t get a free pass on this one. Whether or not Lias is in the group, there are players who are deluded about what role they are entitled to and it serves the interest of the team and its fans for them to wake up. One is simply less likely to wake up if they hear voices saying they are it – and the louder the voices, the more significant. Surely you are aware of many good players on numerous teams that were driven out of town by the fans.


    But I agree with your major point. All this needs to be attended to because it not about Lias Andersson. This is just the tip of an iceberg. I don’t understand why Sean Day, with far more innate talent than Lias, is playing in the AHL while LoVerde, Geersten, Raddysh, Ebert play in Hartford. It appears Day is a washout but all that really means is a washout in this organization. We don’t know whose fault, but maybe development is more important than what Gordie Clark does.

  • Given the prior experience with players like Michael Lundkvist, Meskanen, Kravtsov, etc. it appears obvious that there’s an issue here. This isn’t to absolve Andersson of all blame, but something has clearly bothered all these players. Plus I find it curious that Andersson produced and was fine in Hartford before this season — I suspect Knob and DQ are similar in philosophy (good or bad).

    Also I don’t believe Andersson said specifically that he thought he won the 2C, but that he won a spot behind Zib — he might be referencing the fact he was in Hartford instead of New York. Let’s face it, these translations tend to be sketchy often times as I’ve already seen at least 3 different versions of what he supposedly said.

    Bottom line is that each player has to be treated fairly — and each player’s psychological makeup is different so what works with one may not work with the other. Andersson was considered a tough kid (mentally) and despite any flaws he may have presented as a player, there were a lot of outlets that suggested he possessed qualities that might lend themselves to a Captaincy — so the way this all unfolded seems odd.

    Let the kid play in Sweden and revisit the issue next season or the one after that … there’s no rush to decide his fate now and he might increase his value overseas. If a decent deal presents itself, trade him.

    • Last year he was-24 in 36 games at Hartford. Only thirteen AHL players were in the -24 — -31 range (-31 was the worst) and Lias played fewer games than any of the others. Eleven played 50+ games.

      That performance, on a bad team, was certainly better than -9 in 13 games for a GOOD team, but no, he was not fine last year.

    • Meskanen & M Lindqvist were borderline AHL players,who were given a chance and did not pan out,not sure how that translates into bias.

  • I occasionally drop in here to see what Ranger fans are thinking and, as usual, the majority who type away are screaming to fire the coach, a refrain that frustrated Ranger fans have bellowed from time immemorial, given that I’ve been following the Rangers — should I admit? — since the late 1940s. And most of those commenting are, as usual, speaking on the basis of few if any facts, assumptions of coaches’ bias, perceived incompetence, heavy handedness, lack of sympathy, etc. etc. David Quinn is the current whipping boy because a disgruntled first round pick gave an interview in which he alluded to mental health issues, perceived “bullying”, (whatever that means in a rough and tumble hockey world), unfairness, etc. etc. He allegedly discriminates against European hockey players despite the fact that almost half the team is made up of them, his best player is a Russian, his second best is a Swede, all his goaltenders, including one just brought up, are European, but because he plays a defenseman they hate (Stahl) and a forward they condemn (Howden), he must be biased or worse. Such is the nonsense displayed by so many fans on this blog, groaning because their ideas and views are not shared by those in authority, the coaches, managers, presidents of the hockey club the fans are emotionally devoted to. It doesn’t matter that the coaches, managers, presidents are all people who have played hockey for a living, live hockey every day of their lives, have expertise galore. What do they know? We fans, they seem to say, know better, since we attend the games, watch them on TV, read about them in the newspapers and on blogs, and thus realize how dumb and out of touch the professionals are. We know that Anderson has been treated badly because he implies so to a Swedish reporter. Quinn, though a highly regarded college coach, long admired by the youngsters he dealt with in college, must have been mean to Anderson because Anderson implies something unmentionable happened in Hartford and, anyway, he played so well, so he feels, in training camp but wasn’t adequately rewarded in turn. So, according to some fans on this blog, Quinn should be fired before he ruins others on the team. As I’ve said, I’ve heard this refrain from frustrated fans for decades. All I can add is to ask frustrated fans to calm down and relax and to remember that firing the coach has rarely changed things around quickly — though, to be fair — it did work in St. Louis last year. And please, stick to the facts. Your knowledge of what is really going on in this instance, as very often in the past, is virtually zero.

  • Agreed. We dont know exactly what Lias was referring to in regards to the “bullying”. Heck he could be reading all kinds of things people say on different formats of social media (there is plenty to choose from). We can say “well he should be more mentally tough”…ok probably. But it does seem odd because he surely isnt the first player to receive negative comments on social media if that is in fact the case. So I’m going to go out on a short limb and say theres more to this…

    But what we cant ignore is that this sort of incident (young players leaving) isnt isolated. What other team has had not one, but two 1st round draft picks leave their organizations within months in recent memory? I’ve read much criticism of DQ on blogs but have refrained from joining. Now I’m not so hesitant. It doesnt matter if Lias is a baby or was never going to be an NHLer. A pattern has now developed and I’m interested to see how our FO responds. While it is outstanding to have career production out of Panarin, Strome, Zib…we still have tons of talented prospects that not only need ice time but real mentoring and I’m certainly not confident our current coaching staff can provide either.

    We are rebuilding. Playing predominantly 3 lines and a 4th line carousel of the law offices of Haley, Smith and McKegg is not what people envisioned our rebuild to be especially considering the kids we have in our pipeline. DQ is supposed to facilitate, if not directly develop our kids. He isnt doing that.

    Can anyone honestly name any of our draft picks that have flourished? Fox and DeAngelo dont count..we didnt draft them.

    Flashes of brilliance not withstanding…the answer is none. Time for the FO to do their job because frankly our coaches arent.

  • Lias’ comments came across as a little immature and overly sensitive to me. There is a very clear and consistent theme of miscommunication with the management and young prospects here, and that is a very big issue. Three of our top prospects have had some issues, and two of them essentially quit. That’s a huge disappointment for a staff whose headline is around communication and development of young players.

    But Lias playing the victim here and trying to gain sympathy was a little much for me. He was coy with the potential bullying stuff, but had no issue bringing up playing time. That seemed to he his driving issue. He assumed he did enough to earn that 2C role, and was happy with his game. There’s a big disconnect there… He played *decent* in camp, but it’s crazy that he thought he locked up that spot. I don’t think he was ever in the conversation for 2C during camp, and certainly didn’t outright earn it. He seemed to forget that camp was a very long time ago, and he did NOTHING to produce points since then (both in NY and Hartford). I think DQ brought up social media because that was really the ONLY place where some fans thought he was a capable 2C.

    At the end of the day though, he probably did us a favor. They were stuck with 3 young centers, with really only 1 of them having top-6 potential. And they were buying time to see where this all went. But at the same time, they were not pursuing options or strengthening the center position either. There’s very little reason to spend the time developing a 3rd line center, and no reason at all for a 4th liner. You can find more than enough options thru waivers, try-out contracts, and just free agency. So this move just accelerated the eventual decision that would’ve had to be made there anyway. And if they had to pick one to move eventually, it was going to be Lias.

    • I don’t disagree but I think the basic premise of Dave’s article is right, that this is cause for concern. Lias Andersson is a Ranger asset with at least some hockey talent. A successful organization manages its assets and gets the most out of what they have. Let’s assume for the sake of argument (and I am not saying this is true) that Lias is a jerk and deserves nothing. It sort of doesn’t matter. The question for the Rangers becomes how do you get as much as possible out of that jerk. If his character needs fixing, you try to fix it – not because you owe it to him because you own the right to his talent. Sure, if he is truly a cancer you get rid of him to preserve your other assets, but otherwise you try to manage the situation no matter how bad it is.

  • As a blogger, you need to true and be real, and objective. Otherwise, you lost your credibility with your readers.

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