For Chris Doyle this we know was not how he wanted to end his season but we can not help but to wonder if he has been playing hurt over the last week or so. Doyle was not able to do the things that made him such an effective player and as good as Saint John is as a team, they were not that good to stop someone like Chris Doyle.
Doyle finished his playoff season 4-4-8 in 14 games; they are not earth shattering numbers but Doyle can at least take pride in the fact that he helped his team to a QMJHL semi-finals which was more than any other prospect.
The question now is do the Rangers sign Doyle or allow him to re-enter the draft. Because the Rangers have shot themselves in the rear with a number of bad contracts, they do not have the room for Doyle with a Ranger contract.
Still the 2008 5th round pick has shown some offensive ability and it would not hurt to give Doyle a Hartford contract and the opportunity to prove himself. The Rangers have done far worse than Chris Doyle but we know how badly Chris wants to be a Ranger.
As the Rangers gather in Palm Springs for their annual management "meetings", one can not help but notice that the meetings are taking place earlier and earlier with each passing year. The purpose of these "meetings" is to plot a direction for the upcoming season while one really wonders if the real reason is to just get away and play golf.
The Rangers do themselves more harm than good by holding these meetings clear across the country instead of in New York City. After a wasted season where the team failed to make the playoffs; the smarter thing to do would have been hold the meetings in NYC to at the very least give the impression that the management is working hard to fix what is wrong with the franchise.
This year there will be more than just fixing the Rangers as Hartford is in need of repairs as well since they too failed to make the playoffs. With several players in Hartford either with restricted or unrestricted free agency; the Rangers are going to have several holes to fill in Hartford as well.
The problem though is that the prospect pipeline is not going to supply more than 3 prospects if that many because the 2007 draft class (other than maybe Carl Hagelin) is not going to produce anything.
The 2008 draft will only be able to offer Chris Doyle, Mitch Gaulton and Tomas Kundratek as possible players but Gaulton we believe is not going to be offered a contract and Doyle remains an unknown.
The 2009 class might offer Roman Horak as the rest of the class is either too young or in the case of Horak in need of improvement best handled at the junior level. The Rangers might have to supply Hartford with a stop gap of career minor leaguers to buy time for a year.
Of course that also might be a good reason why the Rangers are hiding in Palm Springs.
(Doyle courtrsy of the QMJHL)