During the off-season, Mondays tend to be the worst day of the off-season as people are coming back from or starting on vacations. I have scores but not a whole lot more from the USA Evaluation Camp.
Team Blue which features Ranger prospects Brady Skjei (2012 1st) and Steven Fogarty took on Finland in an exhibition game and edged the Finns 5-4. Team White which has Ranger prospect J.T. Miller (2011 1st) and New York Islander prospect Robbie Russo (2011 4th) got spanked by Sweden 5-1.
Brady Skjei had the only point of the quartet with a secondary assist for his first point of the camp. Skjei was scratched from the Sunday game against Team White and really people shouldn't read anything in to it.
There are 41 players fighting for spots on Team USA with 17 defensemen on the camp roster. People are going to sit in order for everyone to get a chance to be looked at by the USA coaching staff.
I would rather see Skjei scratched now than when they combine the rosters for the final 3 games starting Wednesday. I also think that Skjei's play in the last Under-18 championship when paired with Seth Jones also helps improve his chances of making the Under-20 squad.
One thing I am coming away from this camp thinking is those people who put down the BCHL as a league are so wrong it is not even funny. It is not just Steven Fogarty but also Mario Lucia and Mike Reilly who as a trio have combined for 5-1-6 in the 4 games so far.
If you want to put down the BCHL then go right ahead and put down Notre Dame and Minnesota too. Lucia is joining Fogarty to play for Notre Dame this fall while Reilly will join Brady Skjei at Minnesota.
No offense to the USHL as it is a quality league that is still growing but if I had a kid who was wanting to attend a US college, I would send him to the BCHL to play before he goes to college. It is a very high quality league which does a great job helping a prospect prepare to jump up to either the NCAA or WHL.
The other thing that caught my eye Monday was a piece written by my friend Goon over at his Goon's World about how fans should not be panicking over the progress (actually lack of between the NHL/NHLPA) in the CBA talks.
What really should be of interest to you the hockey fan has to be the graph regarding NHL revenue sharing and the difference between the "haves" and "have nots." I am the first to say that the NHL needs a better way to share the revenue but I also don't want to see the Rangers as having to prop up teams that are poorly run.
I want to see limits placed upon revenue sharing so teams are forced to make a serious effort to improve themselves and generate their own revenue. My fear is that there would be teams who would only do enough to qualify for the hand out and not try to make money themselves.
If a team can't make money on their own then they either should (1)not be owning a team in the first place and (2)relocated to a place where hockey will be supported. Take a good look at the bottom five teams in that graph and ask how long should the other teams in the NHL prop them up?
They (the NHL) didn't make any attempt to stop the Thrashers from being relocated to Winnipeg and look how fast that franchise is generating their own revenue. When you look at that graph; remember to blame Gary Bettman for why the Panthers, Predators, Blue Jackets, and Coyotes are even in the NHL.
As for the Islanders, this will tick off some folks but the ownership is equally to blame for their problems. It is too easy to blame the Islander woes on the arena situation.
The Islanders were able to build a winner once upon a time and under today's salary cap should be able to do the same. Put that team under real owners and they could make it on Long Island (or Brooklyn).
The last thing to mention is it appears that the players are about to offer their counter proposal to the NHL owners. Unless it contains a white flag of surrender it will be dead on arrival.
The owners have made their demands clear and if you think that the NHL owners will change their minds then sorry it won't happen. Come September 21st the only hockey team named Rangers that will be playing will the the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL.
3 days ago