Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Hello Does Anyone Really Know Ranger Needs?

OK we know that in the big scheme of things called the New York sports world that the whole situation regarding the firing of Willie Randolph is the bigger story than the upcoming NHL Entry Draft. To be honest we have our own feelings regarding Omar Minaya that color our perspective and judgment so we will only say that we are ashamed to be Met fans today.

However people do not come here to talk about other sports especially when we are now 2 days away from the first pick in the draft come Friday evening in Ottawa. For us the focus remains the same but now we wonder how things are really going to shake out.

Normally we are not fans of Bob McKenzie over at TSN as we still wonder who proclaimed him as the leading media expert on the draft but this year we have to give both him and TSN some credit for putting together a well structured draft preview starting here. While we disagree with many of how the folks at TSN think the draft will shake out it still offers some very good information that will help you while watching the draft.

We do have to scratch our heads when we keep seeing folks saying the Rangers are going to make this move or make that move. Wonder if we can start a rumor or 2 ourselves by suggesting possible trades that we would think the Rangers should make.

If you want a possible rumor scorecard then the Rangers are expected to trade for Patrick Marleau or Jonathan Cheechoo or Ollie Jokinen or Ed Jovanoski or Travis Moen or Rick Middleton (just seeing if you paying attention). We hate to say this but when it comes to a good rumor; it seems the Rangers find themselves becoming a part of it.

We have heard that the Rangers are trying to move up to the Top 5, to the Top 10, the Top 15 and even out of the first round. When we see people posting up their mock drafts we find it interesting that few people among the national "experts" have bothered to really look at what just about every Ranger fan sees as the REAL team needs.

Why is that we just have to ask as we see the Rangers as needing a punishing stay at home defenseman or a forward with size. Yet TSN has Erik Karlsson a 5"11 offensive minded defender, ESPN has Mattias Tedenby a 5'9 forward from Sweden as does NBC.

Hockey's Future has the Rangers taking the very soft Colby Robak who makes Tom "I never met a body check in my life" Poti look like the greatest defensive defender of all time but our favorite has to be the one from The Hockey News where they have the Rangers taking Jared Staal who at best is a second round pick at 20.

Why is it that nobody asks those who follow the Rangers, those who cover the Rangers or even take a real hard look at the Rangers when doing these mock drafts? Didn't these experts take a long look at what killed the Rangers all season and doomed them in the playoffs?


Did we make that clear enough for the rest of the hockey world or should we fire off more flares, hire a reader board? It is almost pathetic to look at these mock drafts and not see any of the supposedly expert sites actually giving the Rangers what they need.

Maybe when people do their mock drafts they look strictly at the Ranger past and do not realize that there are new people running the Rangers draft table. They do not realize that Gordie Clark and Jim Schoenfeld have been around the block with the NHL and realize what it takes to win at this level.

We are seeing the Rangers use their first round picks to address NEEDS like Staal for defense Sanguinetti for offense and Cherepanov for a skilled forward. It is not important right now whether or not those prospects make it what does matter is that the current Ranger draft trend is to address NEEDS.

We do not see any evidence to show us that the Rangers are going to go away from that trend which is why we are keying our own focus on those very needs. What good will it do the Rangers to draft a 5'9 forward when they lack someone who can set up shop in the crease and not be moved?

Why add another offensive minded defender when the Rangers have huge needs for a punishing stopper that this franchise has lacked since the days of Beukeboom? Where is the common sense in having the Rangers select in such a manner.

Our answer is a defiant one; we believe that people are too much stuck in the past, that it is a lot easier to think that the Rangers are not learning from past mistakes or that quite frankly they do not take the time to see what Ranger fans are seeing which is what it will take to turn the franchise into a future cup contender.

Thankfully for Ranger fans Gordie Clark and Jim Schoenfeld do know and they have spent the last year studying who best will help the Rangers. We believe that if the Rangers keep the pick at 20 that they will in fact address one of the 2 key needs or they will trade down and still address said needs.

We at the very least know they spend time watching the Rangers too bad others are not.


Me said...

Jeff: There's one huge reason why you don't draft for position with your early picks - you take the best player available: Because you're drafting a kid who likely won't have an impact for the club for at least 2 and as much as 5 years. Your hole now could easily be filled via trade, UFA signings or other drafted kids by that time. I totally concur that if, when selecting 20th, you cannot decide between player 1 and player 2 in terms of potential, but 1 of those kids brings to the table something the organization lacks, you take that kid. Otherwise, draft the kid you think has the most potential. It's with the latter round picks I agree you consider drafting for position because it's so difficult to project potential in those rounds.

steve said...

Hi Jess,
It seems that Hockey Futures have been reading your Blog. I just read their article about the Rangers draft needs and they wrote everything you have been saying four the last couple of weeks, the strenghts, (that we should draft out of the first round etc..)except for who the Rangers are going to pick and they have little confidence in Byers ever succeeding.
Also I'll throw my two cents in how can people vote for a clone or even compare Jeff Beukeboom to Brian Leetch a two-time Norris Trophy winner as the NHL's best defenseman (1992, 1997) and remains the only American-born winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy as Playoff MVP....I dont see Jeff's number on the rafters at just boggles my mind....

Jess Rubenstein said...


Ah but the Rangers have been doing that in the mid teens mark as I pointed out with the picks of Staal Sanguinetti and Cherepanov.

See the point I was trying to make is that the Rangers are finding ways to in fact use their first round picks to cover holes.

You can use those other methods to fill those holes but in most cases they are short term fixes.


If HF is following my lead then good for them. The posters at HF for the most part very level headed but there are times when I question the writings of their staff.

I set up that poll as my choice of clone was more about wanting to see the Rangers draft who's style of play recalled those players.

Beuk: punishing defender

Mess: a rugged forward who played on the edge

Gravy: the power forward slot presence.

Leetch and Mikey: no need to explain