- Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,
- Catch the tiger by the toe.
- If they hollers let him go,
- my mother said to pick this one,
- and out goes Y-O-U
Yes New York Ranger and New York Islander fans the tried and true tested method on how to pick the prospect you want in the draft. Really this week is not going to go fast enough as now the mock drafts are heading towards the strange side.
Today is was the good folks over at Buzzing the Net and playing the role of Glen Sather was Neate Sager. I like Neate as he is really a great guy and does a great job covering the prospect world coast to coast.
Today he even gave me a chance to chant "Fire Sager" when he selected Rocco Grimaldi as the Ranger's pick at 15. Aw cmon Neate you are pal and do you want to see New Yorkers behaving like a bunch of Vancouver residents?
Picking Grimaldi at 15 would give the Rangers the "Not Tall Enough To Ride This Ride" line of Ryan Bourque, Grimaldi and Christian Thomas. Thomas and Bourque would like the pick since they would have someone to call "Shorty".
The Islander fans on the other hand would just love Kirk Liedeke of the New England Hockey Journal as he sent Adam Larsson of Sweden their way. Liedeke we are sure will be welcome at any Islander draft party with that pick.
Still it is really just a "eeny, meeny, miny,moe" when you look around at all the mock drafts. It is interesting how the NHL.com writers (Morreale, Kimelman, Hoffener and Persaud) picked as they all agreed that the Islanders were going to take a defenseman but while Hoffener went with Adam Larsson, the other three went with Dougie Hamilton.
When it was the Ranger's turn to pick they all agreed on a center but you got 3 different names out of the 4 picks. The trio was Mark McNeill, Boone Jenner and Mika Zibanejad and that folks is as diverse a group as you are going to get.
Of course these guys are not thinking that the Rangers will hit the free agent market on July 1 and in all honesty I can make a case for why each of these 3 guys would be great additions to the Rangers. That is why drafting is like being the guy with the blindfold on throwing knives at a target.
In fact I went wandering to look for mock drafts and here is one who takes another center Mark Scheifele, one for Joel Armia, another who selected Rocco Grimaldi, a vote for Alexander Khoklachev and I am going to toss in my "Be very selfish and pick him so I can make my own life easy pick."
There were votes for Tomas Jurco, Zach Phillips, Brandon Saad, and even 1 for Jonathan Miller. Nobody selected Niklas Jensen, or Ty Rattie which is a kind of surprise especially Jensen as he was one of the early favorites here.
I could have kept going but 12 is enough to make the point as so many people (myself included) think we have the ability to either read Gordie Clark's mind or know better period.
Gordie Clark on the other hand has been involved with scouting since the early 1990's so on the experience side it is kind of easy to see who really is the better person to make the selection for the Rangers.
Besides I believe Clark uses the Rock, Paper, Scissors method.
Go right ahead and trash him on his record as a general manager, trash his free agent signings and question his record. Those are very fair game since those are his work records and to his credit Sather has owned his own mistakes.
That part somehow never gets out to the Ranger fans though.
But publishing a mistake on what he said just gives him that much more of a reason not to want to talk to the media. Turning anyone into the butt of jokes over a verbal mistake is something I am not a fan of.
The hardest thing any prospect has told me they had to deal with was dealing with all the New York media. Other than Montreal and Toronto, there is no other place where your every move comes under a microscope like New York City.
It is a very uncomfortable feeling when you look up and there are 20 people trying to get a quote from you. Some people never get used to it and it does affects them.
There is a side of Glen Sather the person that almost never gets shown to the fans and maybe it should. I respect Glen Sather the person as over the years I have learned firsthand how many people he has helped.
Glen Sather the person is nothing like the guy that the fans or media see as Glen Sather the general manager. This is not a play for sympathy for Sather but rather maybe a "put yourself in the position of being embarrassed by others in public"
The first time I walked into a locker room to talk to Lorne Molleken who coaches the Saskatoon Blades; I got a dressing down from Molleken over the way the New York Media treated Sather.
It turned out not to be the last time I was chewed out by someone about Glen Sather as I have gotten it from scouts, coaches, TV people, former players and even fellow writers. The common theme was how many times Glen Sather helped someone out whether it was getting them a job or putting in a good work for them.
Glen Sather is very much not a person with a grey area as he has a very loyal following almost equal to the number of critics he has. You try talking to the NY or Hockey media in general.
80% of the media are good guys (the guy who posted the mistake happens one of the good guys himself) but it is that 20% who go out of their way to embarrass someone (under the guise of "just doing my job").
John Tortorella does not do the media well either but in his case there is no defense because you can see he looks for reasons not to talk. Tortorella waits for someone to ask him something to give him an excuse to stop talking and walk away.
That does not work nor it is right and Tortorella should be called on it.
But sometimes we also need to remember that even Sather is human too.
(NHL Draft Logo courtesy of the NHL, Glen Sather courtesy of the New York Rangers)