Friday, July 15, 2011

Decisions Decisions

So on the day when Brian Boyle signs his new contract with the New York Rangers, it was JT Miller who had everyone was talking about instead.

The folks over at the Pipeline Show broke the news that 2011 Ranger first round pick has changed his mind about attending North Dakota in the WCHA and will instead play for the Plymouth Whalers.

And wow boy are people blaming the Rangers for why Miller is going to the OHL instead of the NCAAs. But hate to say this but the Rangers in this case I really believe were taken by surprise by how this announcement came out.

First things first thought this is not about whether Miller is right or wrong about choosing not to attend an NCAA college. It was his choice whether or not he wanted to attend school and not the Rangers.

Second while it is very understandable that North Dakota fans are upset at this turn of events; they need to point their anger at Miller not the New York Rangers. The Rangers have done many things but pressuring a prospect to not attend college is not one of them.

If anything I have to believe that the Rangers would have preferred that Miller gone ahead and attended North Dakota for 2-3 years before turning professional. A big part of it has to do with how long the Rangers can hold on to Miller's draft rights.

Now I am no lawyer but if I read the CBA right then rather than getting to keep Miller's draft rights until the August 15th of his graduating class then the Rangers are going to only keep them for 2 years just like any other junior player.

And the Rangers have Brad Richards set for 9 years, Derek Stepan and Artem Anisimov for 2 years each, and Brian Boyle for a new 3 year deal. If anything Miller would have helped the Rangers by going to school for a couple of years then turning pro.

Instead the Rangers will have to sign him by June 1 of 2013 or he goes back into the draft. And even if the Rangers do sign him then Miller is going to be either forcing them into some tough decisions sooner than they might have hoped or have to use 1-2 years of his Entry Level Contract in the AHL.

As for Miller himself, not going to pass any judgment on his choices as again it was his right to chose which direction he wanted to take with his career. But what Miller does open himself to is criticism as to how he handled this situation.

As recent as a couple of weeks ago Miller was saying that he was going to attend North Dakota. There is no turning back now for Miller as with his announcement then the NCAA is going to believe he has hired an agent which will make him ineligible to play in the NCAAs now.

Miller said he was surprised that the Rangers used the 15th pick on him and his comments at the draft about wanting to turn pro after just 1 year raised some eyebrows. It is going to be a very interesting next couple of weeks for Miller as we will see just close he is going to be at becoming a Ranger when he hits main camp.

Boyle Signs

Poor Brian Boyle though as today was supposed to be his big day as word made the rounds that he signed a 3 year deal for 1.7 million a year. Risky deal for the Rangers and now it is going to be very hard for the Rangers not to take care of Callahan and Dubinsky.

3 RFAs got contracts that honestly in any other year would be called inflated but one gets the feeling the NHL GMs are hoping that they will get bailed out by the next CBA with another salary rollback.

It is going to be interesting to watch as the Rangers now have 19 players signed for next season with 11. 17 million left to fill the remaining 3 roster spots. Though one has to be in a form of shock to see Glen Sather who has long had a reputation for low-balling his own free agents being so generous.

If Tim Erixon is the real deal then the Rangers are under 10 million for Dubinsky and Callahan but if we were Wojtek Wolski then we had best come to training camp ready to give the Rangers 150% or someone is going to hand him a map and point him to Hartford.

That 3.8 cap number can do a lot of good things for the Rangers if Wolski does not show up at cap wanting to keep his job.

Steven Fogarty

Give the credit to this report to Michael Gieich of Bleeding All Blue
as Michael caught that 2011 3rd round pick Steven Fogarty changed his mind but unlike Miller is still planning on attending college.

Fogarty was scheduled to play a season with the Chicago Steel in the USHL but instead is going to play for the Penticton Vees of the BCHL. Fogarty by playing in the BCHL will keep his college eligibilty intact while jumping up to play a tougher league than the USHL.

Fogarty still intends on attending Notre Dame starting with the 2012-13 season. Hard to argue with this move as in many ways it might have been the way JT Miller went. The BCHL has many WHL quality players in their league as this is how Canadian players can play a high level of hockey while remaining able to attend a US college.

USA Hockey is taking a serious beating this week and honestly none of it is their fault. From a new college hockey conference to 2 Ranger prospects bolting US schools or teams.

It is an unfair reflection on USA Hockey as has worked very hard to improve the quality of US Hockey.

(Miller/USA Hockey, Boyle and Fogarty/New York Rangers)


Nathan Fournier said...

I am no lawyer either and maybe I didnt read the real fine print but I think the Rangers hold onto his rights for four years since he was drafted out of the US system. They also have the option to assign him to the AHL if they so choose to

Sioux-per-man said...

Miller just made the biggest mistake of his life!!!

Seriously Jess, let me know, who/what changed his mind?

I was so looking forward to him playing for the Sioux. Now I could care less if he EVER makes this team.

Kmp said...

I like Millers decision, he wants to fast track to the NHL and playing in the CHL preps him with a longer season similar to the pros. Same for Fogarty.

Sioux-per-man said...

I don't like the decisions at all. The Fighting Sioux program has developed players like Jonathon Toews, Zach Parise,Drew Staford,TJ Oshie, Mike Commadore, Eddie Belfour all have played for the Sioux.
Nice way to piss off the entire Fighting Sioux fan base.

Rangerweary said...

It might be good for Miller's development to go to Plymouth. Any word on the head coach for Plymouth?
And will this permit Miller to attend
the prospect tournament right before main camp??

Kmp said...

Sioux understand your frustration, you were looking to see him play all season. The kid stated at the draft he was looking at one year and pros you had to figure he was looking at alternatives.

Jess Rubenstein said...


The CBA under article 8.6 talks about colleges players. IF Miller had been a college student or became a college student prior to June 1 of next year then the Rangers would hold onto his rights just like a college player.

But the way I am seeing it is that Miller played in the USHL last year which for all intents and purposes either equal to a Canadian Junior A league.

If that is the case then Miller's rights should only be for 2 years.


I have to honest with you since I have never spoken with Miller I can not answer your question.

All I can do is just take a guess and my best guess is that Miller wants to be a pro so bad that he is thinking this is his best option.

One thing Sioux this was Miller's decision not the Rangers and I do not believe the NYR would have talked him out of attending UND/


As I wrote my problem is not with Miller choosing to play in the OHL but the manner in which he handled this decision.

I have to admit that my gut reaction is thinking another Pavel Brendl.


Plymouth is a pretty well run OHL franchise

They are owned by the same folks who own the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Whalers are the team that produced Tyler Seguin of the Bruins. It is not a bad place for Miller to play.

But given a choice of the Whalers or North Dakota I would have taken North Dakota.

It is the tradition as Sioux pointed out but also that Dave Hakstol is one hell of a coach