Thursday, December 23, 2010

Do You Feel Lucky?

Back when we were covering Tyson Dowzak of the Kelowna Rockets there was this one player who we quickly became a huge fan of in Mitch (Dirty Harry) Callahan. "Dirty Harry" can best be describe as the ideal poster child for your prototype self made player.

There is nothing fancy about Callahan as he is not a great skater, he is not going to make the highlight reels for a fancy goal but if you want a guy who will go into the corner against King Kong and win then this is your guy.

Callahan was a 2009 6th round pick of the Detroit Red Wings, he was not even invited to the USA summer evaluation camp but ask anyone who has had to face him in the WHL and they will tell you that it is no surprise that Callahan made the USA roster.

Those same folks are happy to see Callahan on the USA roster since it means he will be gone when his Kelowna Rockets return from their holiday break. Callahan has 15 goals (6 on the power play) as the 2nd leading scorer for the Rockets but when he is not scoring he is driving the other team insane with his "I am in your face do something about it" attitude.

For the other teams in the World Under-20 Championships, it is a good thing that fighting is not allowed under international rules because Callahan is not shy at dropping the goals either with already 6 fights (which would lead either Ranger or Islander prospects) in half a season.

And the best thing to us about Callahan is that he is just 5'11 but yet it has never stopped him from doing whatever was asked of him. If we are USA coach Keith Allain, we put Callahan out on the ice for the opening shift against Finland when the USA opens their defense of the gold on Sunday.

Callahan we believe is going to set the tone as well as the energy for the USA team so why wait? Send him out there and let "Dirty Harry" go.

For us, Callahan is exactly what Team USA needs as he can be used in any situation and will be effective.

Dirty Harry is going to make someone's day

Go Really Bad


Granted that most of our time is spent covering the prospects but why do we have this feeling that a huge schism is building between Marian Gaborik and John Tortorella? Yes we don't like John Tortorela as the coach of the Rangers but we are not exactly big fans of Gaborik either. 

Even stranger is that we are like Larry Brooks wondering if Gaborik is being held out as a precautionary measure. Tortorella has been very critical of Gaborik's play this season and in the time Gaborik has been a Ranger, Tortorella has singled him out whenever the Rangers have struggled.

We can not discount the possibility that Gaborik and Tortorella's relationship is turning sour as Gaborik struggles and Tortorella is calling him out in public. If this is true then the Rangers are going to have a very serious problem that will not be easy to either deal with or worse hide from the world.

Yes it is supposedly just 1 game but Gaborik having groin issues after they were supposedly fixed when he signed with the Rangers prior to the 2009-10 season is not a good sign. It is bad enough that the Rangers have yet to see Vinnie Prospal play this season, got captain Chris Drury back only to lose Ryan Callahan to injury and now reports of Derek Boogaard is heading to see a neurologist.

Gaborik has struggled with the Rangers in part because the only player who has consistently has shown chemistry with him has been Vinny Prospal and Prospal has his own issues staying healthy. But not that we are trying to start anything but guess who has 3 more seasons with a 7.5 million dollar hit per year?

Guess who also has a "no-trade" clause in his contract? Guess who better learn to get along better with his best player or guess who might find himself on the outside looking in?

Let's be realistic here as which is easier to do: move a guy with over 3 years remaining on his contract with a nasty salary cap hit or replace a coach?

John Tortorella might not like the answer to any of those questions.

(Callahan/Marissa Baecker, John Tortorella/New York Rangers)

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