Sunday, March 30, 2008

They are Coming to the Wolfpack

We thought we were going to get the day off but that guy over at the Hartford Courant Bruce Berlet, had to ruin it by reporting that Bobby Sanguinetti of Brampton and Tomas Zaborsky of Saginaw are heading to Hartford some time this week here.

Actually we knew this was going to happen as soon as the Battalion and Spirit were eliminated but Bruce is one of our favorite writers so he deserves some props for the way he covers Hartford. Not to mention that we actually wanted to see these 2 in Hartford during the regular season so they could get a decent look by the Rangers.

Sanguinetti who had signed a Ranger contract last April but to play for Hartford, we expect that the Rangers will want Sanguinetti to sign an ATO (Amateur Tryout Contract). the reason to do that is to not have this season count as towards when Sanguinetti could become a free agent and it is a very common practice.

Now regular readers here already know about Sanguinetti but for those of you looking to learn let us tell about this 6'2 200 lb native of New Jersey? By the numbers Sanguinetti was excellent; 29-41-70, +10, 38 PIMs, 17 PPG, 3 GWG, 4 First Goals, 1 SHG, and 4 insurance goals. Yes that was 17 power play goals.

For starters, Sanguinetti is the offensive weapon from the blueline that the Rangers have really lacked since Leetch left. We are talking about a player who will get his shot on net, a player who will not turn down a shot when it is presented to him. A player who can generate his own offense along with for others.

I am sure people are going to worry that Sanguinetti is going to be a liability on defense but sorry over the last couple of years it has been an area that Sanguinetti has worked very hard to improve himself at. During the last World Junior Championship, Sanguinetti was used as a defensive defender so that alone should remove some of the concerns one has.

If not then that Sanguinetti just spent the last season playing for Stan Butler who is one of the best coaches/teachers at the junior level. Sanguinetti will do fine as long as the expectations placed upon him are measured with sanity.

Sanguinetti is not going to show up and set the world on fire, he will need time to adjust and adapt to the speed of the AHL level. What we hope that he does not do is defer to others who have been there longer. That has been one area that concerns us as we want to see him step up and play.

We also believe Sanguinetti does not get enough credit for is his own common sense. Sanguinetti grew up as a Ranger fan so he knows the expectations that will be placed upon his shoulders by Ranger fans and media. We also know that the key for Sanguinetti to develop into the player we believe he can become is to not rush things, to remain patient and focused on his learning curve.

This is also Sanguinetti's 2nd time with Hartford so he will have an understanding as to what he is getting himself into. Our own selfish wish is to see Sanguinetti paired up with Micheal Sauer but that might be asking too much for now.

For now we will be happy if Sanguinetti gets his feet wet with a couple of games here and there. We have no doubts that within a 2 seasons Sanguinetti will join the Rangers and help to form the foundation of one heck of a blueline corp along with Staal, Girardi, Tyutin, Sauer and Baranka.

At the same time, Tomas Zaborsky of the Saginaw Spirit faces an uphill battle as the 5'11 185 forward from Slovakia joins the crowd of forwards that are already in the system.

The difference we see from Zaborsky is that he is a solid 2 way forward who surprised a lot of folks the last couple of seasons as the Rangers sold him as a goal scoring machine and it turned out that Zaborsky is a responsible 2 way forward. The other difference is that Zaborsky can play any of the forward positions but is best when used as a left wing.

Zaborsky looks small when you see action pictures of him but really he is a lot tougher than he looks. We are talking about a player who can skate and make smart decisions with the puck.

Zaborsky will not hurt you if you use in pressure situations as he is well schooled in the fundamentals. We also like how after January 1st he only got called for 5 minors (16 in the first half of the season) which we saw as a sign of Zaborsky understanding that he helps his team more by staying out of the penalty box.

We can do the numbers thing which is 31-39-70 +16 42 PIMS, 6 PPG, 6 GWG, 1 SHG, 5 first goals and 1 insurance goal. One number we have to mention is 4 which is for the number of times Zaborsky has scoring streaks of 6 games or more.

OK we also have to admit that we have some concerns about Zaborsky when he heads to Hartford. Of course we have to start with the size issue as the 5'11 number is very generous but his smaller frame leads us to also be concerned when Zaborsky has to deal with the bump and grind of the AHL.

We know that Zaborsky will have protectors on the ice but how will he handle the puck wars with those who are bigger and stronger? We also have to wonder how Zaborsky will do when he faces traffic on the ice when he is trying to create?

If it was use deciding how to use Zaborsky we would like to see him spotted with Anisimov and Jessiman as we believe there is good reason to believe that Zaborsky will mesh with Anisimov since both are responsible 2 way forwards and Jessiman will be the protector.

We are still hoping that the Rangers will bring in Jordan Foote for an ATO because we really believe that Foote has some serious potential as an energy player.

(Pictures: Sanguinetti/Dubi Silverstein (Blueshirt Bulletin), Zaborsky/Saginaw Spirit)

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