New York Ranger fans one really does have to wonder how you guys are going to survive the 2011-2012 season. It seems like every move the Rangers make requires a major explanation to it or else it is a dumb idea.
Take for example the Ranger's choosing to take Scott Stajcer to Europe over Cam Talbot or Chad Johnson as people are misreading the entire logic behind the choice. Stop looking at it as some kind of slap in the face for Talbot and try to look at it from the NHL/NHLPA CBA which is what is actually driving the choice.
Let us start with while people are applauding taking Dylan McIlrath to Europe because of reasons like he gets to keep practicing with NHLers, coached by the main Ranger coaching staff and he gets to possibly even play in a couple of those exhibition games against non-NHL teams.
If you think that makes a whole lot of sense to do then now let us try it only we are going to put Scott Stajcer's name in place of McIlrath's.
Taking Scott Stajcer to Europe because of reasons like he gets to keep practicing with NHLers, coached by the main Ranger coaching staff and he gets to possibly even play in a couple of those exhibition games against non-NHL teams.
Of the 4 prospect goalies that the Rangers have, this is going to be hard for some people to believe but Stajcer is the most talented of the bunch. He has a lot more on his development resume than both Johnson and Talbot combined.
So if you are wanting to see McIlrath get the best possible learning experience then why not the same for Stajcer? Think about it as Stajcer is going to be around Henrik Lundqvist and Marty Biron as they prepare for the NHL season.
Think about it in the same way you do McIlrath only Stajcer will have 3 pretty good teachers to work with. Heck Marty Biron alone is one very good coach for any position on a hockey team.
Where do you think the Ranger's goalie coach Beniot Allaire is going to be while the Rangers are in Europe? Yep he is heading to Europe with the Rangers which means more teaching time for Stajcer.
The Rangers will be playing 4 Non-NHL teams over the next week which is a nice safe environment to stick Stajcer in for a game or two while protecting Lundqvist and Biron. Now comes the legal mumble jumbo which is why you keep Talbot and Johnson in Hartford.
The Rangers will be required to get down to the NHL roster limit before opening night which means Talbot and Johnson would need to be assigned to the Whale even if they are in Europe. Stajcer they can do nothing with since the clock on his entry level contract does not start until he is assigned to a professional team.
Had they swapped Stajcer for either Whale goalie then they would be needing to pay Stajcer salary when they did not have to.
Then there is a matter of the salary cap which given all the current Ranger injuries could be one giant mess by opening night as the Rangers might have to keep McIlrath and start him or do the same with Erixon or Del Zotto. With just 1.36 million open then the Rangers do not want to carry an extra goalie unless they have no other choice.
If Lundqvist or Biron gets hurt between now and opening night and are unable to play then you still have the option of recalling someone from the US. But if the injury happens on opening night then it won't make any sense to recall someone to be the doorman as Stajcer can sit on the bench with the best of them (which is exactly what Talbot or Johnson would be doing).
Why waste Talbot or Johnson just to be a doorman because unless both Lundqvist and Biron get hurt then they will not see any playing time during opening weekend. And in an emergency you go with Stajcer and whoever you can find in Europe (which makes for a strange happy story)
In the meantime both Talbot and Johnson are prepping for the AHL season which opens on October 8th for the Whale. The Whale will have 4 exhibition games from Tuesday until Sunday so both goalies will get in plenty of work.
And as nice as a European trip wound have been for Talbot, getting actual game work does more to help his development than being the doorman for the Rangers. For Johnson, he has to prove that there remaining reason to keep him around besides doorman at the bench.
Johnson needs playing time because when the Rangers come back from Europe then a decision is going to have to be made as to who to keep Stajcer or Johnson? In a perfect world the Rangers would rather send Stajcer back to the OHL for an overage season which would also save a year on his entry level contract.
By taking Stajcer with them to Europe then the Rangers are helping to boost Stajcer's OHL trade value as Owen Sound who holds Stajcer's rights already has a starting goalie. The ideal situation is where a team with ideas of a playoff run would prefer a goalie who has spent his time in a NHL camp over a 16-17 year old rookie.
Right now there are maybe 4 OHL teams who are still trying to decide if they are happy with what they have in goal. A strong showing in Europe could be the selling point that gets Stajcer on a good team with plenty of work.
And if you want to get warm and fuzzy then Stajcer deserves to go because his older brothers live in Europe and they are the ones who turned him into a goalie to begin with. They used to tie Stajcer up with pads when they were needing a goalie so why not let a family reunion take place?
You know every time you think you have heard some really bad announcing teams there is always someone to come along to make you feel even worse. Those of us who had to watch the game on VS were punished with the Flyer broadcasting team during the game.
Then at intermission we were "treated" to Keith Jones and Pierre McGuire and wow you want to talk terrible? That NBC/Comcast believe these are the folks who will help them gain higher ratings then they are making a huge mistake.
Why NBC/Comcast is letting Kevin Weekes sitting there working for the NHL Network is beyond belief. When will they learn that the way to draw viewers and keep them is to bring in someone who (a) knows the game, (b) describes it in an easy to follow along manner and (c) understands that the game is why people tuned in not just to play the "Pierre McGuire Drinking Game."
A Slur is a Slur
In less than a week Wayne Simmonds has gone from a sympathetic victim of a racist act to quite possibly being as disgusting as the person who threw the banana. If you have not seen the video take a peek at the Puckdaddy blog.
According to the report, Simmonds said that he didn't remember everything he said in his exchange with Avery, but also didn't deny calling him a homophobic slur.
"Honestly, we were going back and forth for a while there," Simmonds said. "I don't recall everything that I did say to him but he said to me some things I didn't like and maybe I said some things that he didn't like. I can't recall every single word I said."
Excuse the language but Wayne that is a bunch of Bull**** as you do not have to be a lip reader to know that you sir did say it. The tape shows that you did it and for that man shame on you.
But almost as bad is the behavior of those who work for TSN. Got to show Sean Avery throwing a sucker punch but wow guess who cuts away from showing what Simmonds did? Think you guys might have shown a better angle at the cheap shot that started the entire brawl instead of the long angle?
TSN for all intents and purposes basically comes across as saying "hey here is all the Avery did wrong and (whispering) someone did wrong back but it is OK it is Avery"
Yea yea I am a Ranger fan so I am over reacting right?
(Stajcer courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)