Saturday, June 30, 2012

Win One Lose One

Blueshirt Bulletin
It's nice to see the New York Rangers start off free agency by taking care of a key need signing backup goalie Marty Biron to a reported two year, $2.6 million contract. It's a good signing and it's a nice positive sign to see the Rangers taking care of their own free agents early rather than later.

Biron as it has been noted many a time is more than just a mere backup goaltender for the Rangers. His value off the ice sometimes exceeds what he does backing up Henrik Lundqvist.

Getting Marty signed first does a lot for the morale of the other Ranger free agents as he got a nice raise for his efforts. Hopefully the other Ranger free agents will see that the team is willing to reward them with reasonable raises.

Teams have to be cautious this year, as nobody knows what's going to happen when the NHL/NHLPA finally get a new collective bargaining agreement completed.

Hopefully Michael Del Zotto, Brandon Prust, and Anton Stralman will work things out with the Rangers in a fair and reasonable manner for both sides. I guess in my book the message should be directed at Brandon Prust as he's only kidding himself if he thinks he's going to get $2 million a year.

The end of development camp

As Friday came and went the annual Ranger prospect development camp came to an end and three prospects took advantage as they needed to. High marks go to Christian Thomas, J.T. Miller and Shane McColgan who all played quite well during the camp.

All three really needed to have a strong camp and to their credit, they gave a very good accounting of themselves. Thomas was a already a lock for the AHL but Miller made a very good case for himself that he is ready to make the jump to the pros.

It's always nice to see a young prospect make decisions by the front office that much tougher by their own hard work. McColgan, I'm happy for because last season was not a bad one, but it wasn't a spectacular one.

McColgan really needed a good accounting of himself in order to remain on the Ranger radar. When you're a smallish fifth-round pick you really have to work twice as hard to earn that contract as unfair as that sounds.

Teams will always consider a big kid as a project but they don't always have the same consideration for the smaller guys. McColgan is in a good spot as he heads to Saskatoon to play for the Blades in the WHL.

McColgan's coach with Saskatoon Lorne Molleken is an old friend of Glen Sather's and if McColgan works hard, he will have somebody chewing Sather's ear off to get him a contract.

The only bad news come out of the camp is a status of Dylan McIlrath's left knee. They still don't know how bad it is, but this might sound crazy but this is the worst time of the year to suffer any injury.

This is the time of the year where you get your strength and conditioning work in; it's the time of the year where you can focus the most on improving your game. There's no traveling, there's no games to worry about so you can focus strictly on improving yourself.

If you don't get your off-season workouts in now then when camp starts you're already behind the others who have been able to work out. McIlrath had an outside shot at making the Rangers in training camp but if he's out more than a couple weeks then he won't make the team right away.

Losing a good one

Friday was the last day on the job for CT Whale assistant coach J. J. Daigneault as Daigneault has accepted a job as an assistant coach for the Montreal Canadians.

Bruce Berlet who covers the Whale for the Blueshirt Bulletin said it best when he said

J.J. Daigneault had become one of minor-league hockey’s most respected assistant coaches while helping develop many of the top young defenseman playing the New York Rangers.

It's a loss for the Rangers because Daigneault helped develop Ryan McDonagh, Michael Sauer, Michael Del Zotto and Stu Bickel. Most Ranger fans had no idea who he was and how important he was to the franchise.

Wish him the best of luck with the Canadians except of course when they're playing the Rangers.

No comments: