Monday, October 1, 2007

More to the Cuts than Meets the Eye

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.

Nigel Dawes

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.

Al Montoya

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

Artem Anisimov

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.


BackCheck said...

Jess, I have read and enjoyed your updates on BB. When I saw you were starting your own blog, your site was quickly bookmarked. I agree wholeheartedly with your assessments here. It is nice to see a level-headed argument about why some players were kept while others sent to Hartford.

It will take time, but I hope fans (and Sather and Renney) give Dubinsky and Staal time to grow into their roles in the NHL

Keep up the great work!

Brian said...

Aren't you contradicting yourself here? In your first paragraph you state: "While so many are wanting to believe that Dawe's path to the NHL was blocked by others I have to disagree." However, then you state: "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."

It seems like a contradiction here. Additionally, plenty of great teams have had 22-year-olds waiting for an injury or other opportunity to play, who are ready for the big show. It would be a mistake for the Rangers to view him as trade bait only, though if they can upgrade the team by trading him that would be good asset management.

Nice job keeping us updated on the prospects, thanks!

Brian said...

Also, don't forget Fedor Tyutin on the Rangers' roster ;)

Nat said...

Fedor Tyutin


Does Anisimov offer things Betts offers as well? +50% Face off skills. PK. Defensive lyresponsible?

Jess Rubenstein said...


Thanks for the confidence builders and the check is in the mail ;-)


No what I am saying is that so many believe Dawes got screwed out of his roster spot and my own belief was he never really had a chance that his ticket to Hartford was punched before training camp.

I believe that Renney did not want any more smallish forward on the roster since he already has Prucha and Cally.

Again I have to make it clear I really like Nigel as he is a solid player (and person) who deserves to be in the NHL but I just do not see it happening with the Rangers.

The last thing I really would like to see happening is to trade the kids.


Anisimov offers speed amd offense as his defense is first rate.

Bett's skill on faceoffs is now not that big a factor since the Rangers added both Gomez and Drury (who both finished ahead of Betts in faceoffs won/loss)

It is nothing against Betts because anyone who has read the Blueshirt Bulletin knows I have been a supporter of Betts.

He simply is going to be replaced by a more talented player who improves the Rangers