Monday, February 1, 2010

How Many is Too Many?

It turns out that Friday was an even worse day for Ranger prospects than we realized. It turns out that during the Quebec Rempart's game against the Halifax Mooseheads that Ryan Bourque (2009 3rd) suffered his 2nd concussion of the season.

Of course we do not know how bad or how long Bourque will be out of action but in our eyes 2 concussions is enough for us to want to see him shut down for a while. We did not like how fast Bourque returned to the lineup after the first one he suffered back in November as he was out less than a week.

This time we think he needs to be out for a month to make sure that he fully recovers because 2 concussions in less than 3 months scares the heck out of us and we would rather err on the side of caution. Bourque just turned 18 on January 3rd and we want to make sure that when he is 81 that he can remember that he won a gold medal when he was 18.

Bourque is a great kid and we want him to make it because of who he is as a person but at the same time; what price is a hockey career really worth? There is a huge uproar over dirty hits but where is that same uproar over teenage kids suffering bluntly brain injuries?

From what we have seen and heard the hit was not dirty, heck on the scale of any of the hits that have gotten people upset this season this one is mild. However Bourque got hurt and we just know his size is going to get most of the blame for his injury anyway.

Bourque is listed as 5'9 166 but we have our doubts given how someone who is 5'7 can look him dead in the eye with flat shoes on. His size will take the blame as it typically does but more importantly is how long do they keep him on the sidelines for his own good?

We are not looking to trash anyone but what we want to see is the 3 Canadian Junior Leagues come up with a mandatory rule about concussions and how a player is treated. Our own experience has taught us that once you take a blow to the head then it becomes a lot easier to suffer further injuries to that area.

We also hope that the Rangers as a get well present will send Bourque one of the Mark Messier helmets with a note telling him that if he wants a Ranger contract to put it on. It will not provide 100% protection against suffering another concussion but in our eyes, it is the best helmet out there.

In any event the most important issue here is making sure Ryan Bourque is well checked out before he is even allowed to begin workouts let alone given the OK to play.

After all this is one thing that we do not want to see Bourque get a hat trick in.


Prospect Action

People wonder why we keep including Luke Walker (Traverse City) in these reports given how by rule he is not a Ranger prospect. Our answer is that because he more than deserves to be one and we hope that the Rangers make sure that when the Winterhawk season ends that he is in Hartford on an ATO.

The New York Rangers have also had some pretty good luck with former Winterhawks in their lineup like a Mark Messier and Brandon Dubinsky but Walker earns his spot because he as we wrote the other day another Matt Barnaby only with better offense.

Walker had a secondary assist as his Winterhawks defeated the Vancouver Giants on the road for the first time in 5 years 4-3. The reason why we are yapping about Walker here is that assist gave Walker a 6-11-17 record for the month of January.

Walker who accepted being a 4th liner on the gold medal USA team at the Under-20 Championships returned to the Portland lineup after the tournament and elevated his game big time. A 11 game scoring streak for Walker which is not bad but when you think back to how Walker was badly injured prior to even trying out for Team USA.

For the season Luke Walker is a very nice 21-26-47 +19 in 43 games for a now very dangerous Winterhawk team.

Daniel Maggio (2009 6th) had a power play assist for his 16th assist and 25th point of the season as his Sudbury Wolves defeated the Brampton Battalion 4-3 via the shoot out. Maggio ended the month of January 0-6-6.

Ethan Werek (2009 2nd) ended his January on a positive note as well scoring his prospect leading 24th goal and 28th assist to lead his Kingston Frontenacs to a 5-1 win over the Niagara Ice Dogs. With the win the Frontenacs were able to pull within 1 point of 4th placed Peterborough while holding a game in hand.

Werek who is the leading scorer among Ranger draft picks is 24-28-52 +11 as he finished the month 7-6-13 +3.

Chris Doyle (2008 5th) was scoreless as his Victoriaville Tigre dropped their 2nd straight to the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. Doyle ended his month 3-9-12.

(Bourque courtesy of the Quebec Remparts, Walker courtesy of the Portland Winterhawks)

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