Thursday, September 18, 2008

Getting Caught Up

Now that Traverse City is over and the Ranger prospects are heading to the Ranger training camp, we thought it was time for a breather and share our thoughts about what we got from Traverse City.

While we have thought that the play of 2008 4th round pick Dale Weise has been pretty solid at Traverse City and our pick for best player, we would like to offer some words of caution to the good folks of Swift Current who believe they have lost Weise for good.

The main training camp has just begun and even if the Rangers sign Weise to a professional contract it is not automatic that you folks in Swift Current have lost him. The Rangers have traditionally returned first year draft picks back to their junior teams in order to give them a chance to continue improvement on their game.

Weise wound up with 3 goals and an assist a Traverse City to lead the Ranger prospects in scoring but we see that Weise might be better off returning to Swift Current than remaining with the Rangers.

When we look at the Hartford roster then we just too many forwards in the way of Weise despite his impressive Travis City performance. Want a list? Try forwards Justin Soryal, Tom Pyatt, David Skokan, Tomas Zaborsky, Joe Barnes, Mike Taylor, Mike Ouellette, Ryan Hillier, Brodie Dupont, Dane Byers, Hugh Jessiman and Jordan Owens.

Of and we left out the names of at least 4 other forwards who are expected to be on the Hartford roster for this season. Please Swift Current fans do not get us wrong, we really like Dale Weise and we believe he has an excellent future ahead of him.

We just think that Dale Weise getting 20+ minutes a night as a Swift Current Bronco is much better for his development than 3rd or 4th line duty in Hartford OR even worse time in the ECHL with Charlotte. Of course we do not think you will not mind getting your captain back either.

Let us see how training camp goes before you folks in Swift Current say good bye to Dale OK?

Other Prospect Notes From Traverse City

Now that the camp is done, we hope you at the very least got to see the one game that the NHL Network televised of the Rangers. We also hope that you are asking the Rangers and MSG Network exactly why they could not show more games instead of well showing nothing?

We are not trying to trash the Rangers but why they fail to give their fans a good look at some of the future makes no sense at all. Even if MSG shows it on a same day tape delay, we are betting that Ranger fans will give you much better ratings than showing for the 1,000,000 time some repeat of a great moment in MSG history.

We also really truly hope that those who were harping about Michael Del Zotto's -6 caught his feed to Artem Anisimov during the Tampa Bay game. While we wanted to see someone else selected with the first round pick this past June, we can not help but like Del Zotto's vision and hockey sense especially on offense.

90% of the time, the point guy takes the shot but Del Zotto saw a wide open Anisimov with a wide open net and made the great pass. That folks is why the Rangers drafted Del Zotto not because he is going to be a shut down defender.

Del Zotto will get better on the defensive end just like Sanguinetti has and again as we said yesterday no offense to his defensive partners in Traverse City but Michael Sauer would have made a huge difference as a partner for Del Zotto if Sauer had been healthy.

Speaking of Sanguinetti; how about an 8 shots on goal performance against St Louis? Not good enough then how about 17 shots over the 4 games then? Think back to the Ranger blueline last season and how many times that blueline would pass up shots while you do.

For us as we said the short term results do not matter as much as what we can see for the long term and one thing really stood out. At one point the Rangers had a 5 man unit on the ice of Stich/Sanguinetti/Dupont/Anisimov/Weise and not one of them was shorter than 6'2.

Go ahead and sub either Marc Staal or Michael Sauer for Stich and that unit gets even bigger. Can anyone remember the last time the Rangers could ever send a 5 man unit of that size that was not made up of just fighters on the ice? We know that we can not and that is one of the things we are looking forward to.

Goaltending is however a concern as while we will not fault either Zaba or Lafleur for why the Baby Rangers finished 1-3. It is hard for goalies to just jump right in and be in game shape when you have not had a training camp.

Instead of possibly cementing a future for themselves, both Zaba and Lafleur are going to need to show some progress otherwise come the 2009 draft we will have goaltending depth at the top of our list.

With our Deepest of Condolences

8 Days ago Tomas Kundratek's junior team, the Medicine Hat Tigers played an exhibition game against the Prince Albert Raiders. It was a fundraiser for the family of Prince Albert Forward Ryan Aasman who's father Tony was battling cancer.

Tony Aasman was a fixture among the Medicine Hat youth hockey scene and the Tigers allowed Tony to get a chance to appear as a coach against his 16 yr old son who was wearing the "C" for the Raiders.

It was a touching heartfelt moment that showed the best of the hockey world. Close to 28,000 was raised to help the Aasman family by the fans of the Medicine Hat Tigers.

It is with deep sadness that we have to report that the Prince Albert Raiders reported that Tony Aasman lost his fight with cancer at 12:20 AM yesterday morning in Medicine Hat. In addition to his son Ryan, Tony Aasman leaves behind his wife Jaylene and his daughter Jayna.

Please join us in expressing our deepest of condolences to the Aasman family

(Dale Wiese: Swift Current Broncos, Bobby Sanguinetti: Blueshirt Bulletin, Tony/Ryan Aasman: Prince Albert Raiders/WHL)

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