Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Limited Options

It was interesting to have read the words of Gordie Clark the New York Rangers Director of Player Personnel last week as he talked about the Ranger's intentions regarding the draft among other issues. Actually it was very disappointing because you have to take what Clark said with less than a grain of salt.

Right off the bat one has to acknowledge that nobody is going to disclose their true plans for either the entry draft or free agency nor should you expect them to. The problem though is that few believe that the Rangers have the cap space to sign a high end free agent or to make any kind of serious impact trade unless they give up a few of the top prospects the Rangers have so few of.

In starting with the draft; the Rangers may want to try to move up but at what cost? It is very doubtful that the Rangers have the ability to make a serious jump into the top end of the draft so expect the Rangers to either stay at 19.

This will be a very deep draft so if the Rangers would actually do themselves some good if they went in the other direction and traded down to either the end of the first round or just out of it. We are projecting this to be a 3 round deep draft and the Rangers could find the help they need while being able to add still more talent to bolster the talent pool.

Do not laugh but the Rangers might want to talk to the Islanders about a trade as the Islanders want to get a higher second pick in the first round than 26th. The Islanders have picks at 31, 36, 57 and 62 (3rd rd) while the Rangers only have 19th, 47 and 80 (3rd rd).

It would be perhaps the safest as well as most cost effective way for the Rangers to make the transition to the John Tortorella era. The Rangers in brutal honesty do not have many players either on the Rangers, on Hartford or among the prospects who's game is suited for the Tortorella system.

There are other reasons why the Rangers need to seriously consider stockpiling draft picks rather than trying to move up. Talent gaps in first Hartford and as well as what appears a drop in draft quality upcoming years like 2011.

In the second to third round area the Rangers could get themselves prospects like a Alex Chiasson (6'4 190) who is a hidden gem who will grow into his body while he attends Boston University. Chiasson wants to be like Vincent LeCavalier needs work on his skating but his overall game for a big man is impressive.

Another is Chris Brown a 6'2 center who we think his future is at wing, Brown is a tough kid who plays a 2 way game and will be joining Carl Hagelin at Michigan next season. Jimmy Bubnick (6'2 195) gets mixed reviews from the scouts mainly because his skating needs a lot of work but he might be a sleeper pick worth a 3rd rounder on.

Gordie Clark may tell the beat media that this year's crop of goalies is weak but boy his voice is in the minority. We expect the Rangers to select at least 1 goalie out of what we see as one of the best goalie crops in years.

The Rangers can hold off until the 5th round and find themselves a rock solid goalie prospect. They need to because if anything happens to Henrik Lundqvist then the Rangers are in trouble as neither Matt Zaba or Miika Wiikman have shown any sign of developing into NHL starting goalies.

Still another reason to move down is that the Rangers if they plan on making any kind of trade to either shed salary or bring in more offense will more than likely have to offer up one of the better prospects as trade bait. Like it or not in order to get something of value the Rangers are going to need to give up something of value.

We do not like the idea of trading away any of the few really talented prospects but the Rangers have put themselves into a corner thanks to the bad moves of the past. Sorry if you think Rozsival, the rights to Zherdev and a draft pick is going to get you a Danny Heatley then you are mistaken.

The Rangers even if they buy out the contract of a Wade Redden will still take a hit on the salary cap so the only real option to remove his salary is to either talk him into going to the KHL (who will not pay him any kind of money like he is used to) or exile Redden to the AHL for each of the remaining years of his contract.

The Rangers we are sad to say are going to do a lot of talking but their best move is to not a lot of walking their talk. They have already done enough damage with their talk.


Leetch in the Hall of Fame

Like every other Ranger fan we are happy to see Brian Leetch being elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame on his first attempt. It is an honor that is well deserved and for the Rangers it has been a long time since a home grown Ranger has earned this honor.

At the same time we are sad that Mike Richter is not joining Leetch in the same class as it would have been a major coup for Ranger fans. Mikey is well deserving of being elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame so maybe Ranger fans need to start on a campaign of their own to ensure that Mikey is selected next year for the Hall of Fame.


Draft Day Coverage

We are going to be all over the place on Friday including if people are interested right here with a live chat as the draft happens. It is last minute but if people are interested we can hold a chat right here or direct you to where we will be during the draft.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Nice, Jess. I think I kind of agree. I wouldn't mind dropping a few slots. You think Vancouver (22) would flip flop for an extra third? They're somewhat desperate these days, too.

More importantly, you think Budish is still available at 22?

I've seen a couple of mock drafts (big grain of salt) that have him going to Minnesota at 12. Kind of like NYR stretching for Jessiman.

My only worry with Budish is (not the knee, but) the extent to which he's padding his stats and his skills by playing against defensemen he outweights by 20-50 lbs. It doesn't mean he's not big and skilled, but it may lead to bad habits that will be exploited by better keeping your head down when it should be up.

I heard he impressed at the combine, but that does seem a little high, doesn't it?

If Budish is gone, that may mean that one of the other power forwards might be available at 22? Caron?

Would be great to pre-empt the Devils at 23, to boot, although they're probably looking at defense.