Funny how now that the Ranger season opening roster has been announced that all us "experts" are coming out of the woodwork and taking credit for who made the team and who did not. It is as if we were the ones who did the off-season workouts and those grueling classes to make the Rangers.
I for one want to do things a bit different looking at why someone did not make the team instead of why those who did.
I have to start with Dawes mainly because why he did not make the team seems to be lost in other issues. While so many are wanting to believe that Dawe's path to the NHL was blocked by others I have to disagree.
Dawes did not make the Rangers because the Rangers already have 2 very smallish forwards in Petr Prucha and Ryan Callahan and I for one believe that Tom Renney (who always worries about Prucha getting hurt by the bigger players) was not wanting yet a third smallish forward.
Dawes had a decent preseason but truth be told he never really had a shot at making the Rangers unless Prucha or Callahan broke a leg. In fact I wonder if Dawes really has a future with the Rangers unless someone has a long term injury.
Please do not get me wrong I really do like Nigel and would love to see him in the NHL. I have been covering him for the Blueshirt Bulletin since 2004 when he scored 50 goals for Kootenay in the WHL. If being a great human being makes you an MVP then Nigel Dawes is a repeat winner as he is truly one great person despite his age.
However no matter how much I like Nigel the person I also have to say that if Dawes is to have any hope of an NHL career it will not be with the Rangers. If you have to wait for someone to get hurt, for the team to struggle or for someone's game to fall apart then you really should be hoping for a trade elsewhere.
Let us be honest folks it is not as if the Ranger prospect pipeline is running at full steam that they can simply stash a player like Dawes. Even if someone gets hurt then Dawes is a temp unless he sets the world on fire. No I see Dawes as tradebait which is what sadly might be his most important value to the Rangers.
The experts keep saying that is was the salary cap that is why Montoya is heading to Hartford. Sorry I disagree as well there too as in my eyes it was more about furthering Montoya's development by having him play as much as possible.
Keep Montoya as Henrik's backup and at the most Montoya is looking at playing 20 games. That does not help Montoya in his development as young goalies need to play as much as possible to not only get better but to stay sharp.
Keep Montoya at Hartford and he plays close to 60 games if he stays healthy. Really unless Henrik got hurt then Montoya would be spending too much time watching than playing. Let Stephen Valiquette be the door holder on the Ranger bench.
If something happens to Henrik that sends him to the IR then odds are it will be Montoya who will be the guy who replaces him not Valiquette. Valiquette is not a former first round pick with potential, he is a career minor leaguer who has all of 8 NHL games experience and that makes him ideal to allow Henrik to play 60 or more games
If I was Blair Betts I would start looking over my shoulder around mid-season because that is all I believe it is going to take for this very talented Russian player to get NHL ready. Nothing against Betts but here is a prospect who offers more speed, more skill and most of all some offense from the checking center position.
Anisimov already has NHL size and skill but lacks the experience of playing in the smaller rinks, the North American style and the daily grind of NHL.
Hello Darius Kaspararitis who is going to earn his Ranger salary by helping Anisimov adjust to life in North America. With the Rangers not having any Russian players on the roster this is the best way to develop Anisimov.
Anisimov is a fast learner and I do not think he is going to need much time adapting. The key to Anisimov's development is going to be how well he handles the travel but also all those games. Let him hit the "European Wall" in Hartford away from the NYC media glare.
When he is NHL ready then the Rangers will not hesitate to call him up. Until then let him play 20-25 minutes a night instead of 10-12 as a 4th liner.
Tomorrow a closer look at Brandon Dubinsky and Marc Staal and what they have to do to stay Rangers.
8 hours ago