Thursday, August 11, 2011

Opinions Are Like

Forgive us New York Ranger and Islander fans as nothing is more fun/frustrating than trying to learn a new laptop as we are at the moment. The Hockey Gods though showed us some love today after enduring the "First Annual Brendan Bell Freak Out" yesterday.

I was not wanting to talk about what other Ranger fans have been talking about which is the "Top 10" Ranger prospect rankings put out by another site. See everyone is entitled to their own opinions and everyone has their own way of doing things.

And to be honest been doing this since 2004 and I have still not found a fair way to rank the prospects against each other. To me ranking prospects against each other does not paint a fair picture as each prospect is at a different stage of his development but again that is how I think.

The other thing that bothers me is how few people will explain (A) how exactly did they grade out the prospects and (B) how many looks did they get. If you are going to tell me that you only got 1 look at a prospect then sorry it will not fly here.

When was the look? Under what conditions was that look? How can you measure not only the progress of the evaluated prospect but measure it against others on a single look?

See that is what ticks me off as there is no way in hell that anyone can use a single look at anyone and judge that person. You have to try for no less than 3 different looks and 1 look has to be the 2nd game in 2 nights.

And here is the top secret method of grading prospects.

It is the Central Scouting Checklist for the 3 basic positions; they are really self explanatory on how to use but I suggest that you do it in pencil during a game or bring a notebook to write down what you saw.




Anyone can use these so go ahead and take them to a game and see how they work. There are no super secret or hidden surprises if you use this as your guide. If anything what you find yourself doing the more you use these then the more you can spot the little things that may not seem important in September but come March are telling.

If you notice that a prospect has trouble being balanced while trying to cover someone in say October then go back in March and you have your point of reference.

Don't bother trying to use these watching a game on the TV as they will not help you at all. The best thing about these checklists is that you can use them to look at players at all levels.

The more you use these checklists the more you are going to be able to spot the tiny details but do not let it give you a false sense that scouting is easy because if you are using them on NHLers then they have pretty much are close to what their potential looks like.

But what you can do is get an idea of what the scouts on the road do and how they have to look at a 17 year old and try to picture him at 24-25. See that is why rankings are almost impossible or reasonable because if scouts were great at this then nobody would ever pick a bust.

The Gordie Clarkism of the Day is "I have my own share of boo boos" so forget being perfect. Forget trying to be 75% right and if you can find 1-2 NHL regulars then guess what that is the accepted standard per draft these days.

Summer Camp

Team USA fell to Sweden 4-1 at the USA Rink in Lake Placid. Nothing for JT Miller but you know do not put a lot into these games as you are looking as players with barely a week of work in. The big picture is getting an idea as to which players could help Team USA at the 2012 World Under-20's.

For the Rangers it is not going to matter how well JT Miller is doing (unless he royally stunk up the place) but a chance for Mike Sullivan to watch him play and work with him to prepare him for Traverse City.

The big thing is to get Miller through the camp without getting hurt. If it was us then Miller you have done a great job let us look at others and wrap him up in a ton of bubble wrap.

Traverse City

T-minus 30 days and counting before the Ranger kids hit the ice. Awaiting confirmation on a couple of non-roster invitees but forget my objectivity one of the possibilities is a Portland Winterhawk.

Anytime the Rangers can bring in a Winterhawk works for me in part because of the system that Mike Johnson has in place. The former NHLer along with Travis Green have done a really bang up job developing their players.

When you can say that as many as 16 players on your roster has earned himself a shot at making it to the NHL then you are doing something right. And when you can add one to your roster then you too are doing something right.


Anyone who has known this place for more than 2 years knows why there was a picture of a Teddy Bear with his head in a desktop. You are reading the work of a person who can look you dead in the eye and say "A flying teddy bear destroyed my laptop."

Yes go right ahead and laugh because it happened to me the day after Thanksgiving 2007 when I was in Portland for the annual Teddy Bear toss. Andy Kemper of the Portland Winterhawks likes to remind me when the Teddy Bear game is and the newly created rules for that 1 night of the season in press row.

I had a Toshiba back then and you try to buy a replacement PC the day after Thanksgiving at 11 PM. I got an over priced horror of a laptop that until today made my life a living hell.

I am not a pitchman but if you are wanting to be a blogger on the run then really a Toshiba Satellite is the perfect laptop for a on-the-road blogger. Just stay away from all Teddy Bears.

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(Teddy Bear image courtesy of

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