Wednesday, August 8, 2012

More Questions with answers

(Getty Images)
It was a good news day for three New York Ranger prospects and a not so good day for one New York Islander prospect. The first cuts to come from the USA Hockey Under-20 Summer Evaluation Camp came and there were a couple of surprises coming out of the first cut.

J.T. Miller (2011 1st), Steven Fogarty (2011 3rd), and Brady Skjei (2012 1st) survived the first cuts but really we need not jump to conclusions right now. What they have really earned is the right to finish the camp nothing more.

Reports saying that the trio have made the team are premature at best. The actual squad will not be named until the final camp which takes place in December.

Still it is a feather in the caps for the three Ranger prospects as their play got them past the first cut. For Steven Fogarty he has the most to be proud of because he was viewed as a long shot to survive the first cut.

Brady Skjei and J.T. Miller are products of the US National Training And Development program with both players earning gold medals with the Under-18 team (although different times). J.T. Miller is the only returning forward from last year's Under-20 squad.

So what happens next?

The trio will finish the week out hopefully getting to play against both Finland and Sweden. As I said earlier in the week, this is a chance for this trio to make an impression on the Ranger staff who are there watching the camp.

From there they will go their own ways as Brady Skeji heads off to the University of Minnesota, Steven Fogarty is already situated with Notre Dame and in a couple of weeks J.T. Miller reports to Plymouth Whalers training camp.

If this was a normal year then Miller would be reporting to the Rangers prospect camp/Traverse City team around September 13th. But as we all know without a new collective bargaining agreement there won't be a Traverse City tournament.

How important is Traverse City to the Rangers and the prospects?

Since the Rangers started playing in the Traverse City; it has been one of the best development tools the Rangers have. The real losers are the prospects because here is a chance for the Rangers youngest players to play as a team under the Ranger system.

You can't measure how important it is getting to work with your future teammates, to get individualized attention from the Ranger coaching and scouting staffs and a chance to make impressions on John Tortorella and Glen Sather. Traverse City is where chemistry starts getting developed among the prospects.

Traverse City is also where the prospects get to see for themselves the results of the work that they have put in during the off-season. Things that may not have made a lot of sense at first start clicking for many a prospect.

Before the Rangers started getting involved with Traverse City; at best the prospects would have 1-2 days with the Ranger coaching staff and then the veterans would report with most of the prospects returned to their teams. Now these prospects have chances to play the Ranger system, they earn a chance to spend a few days at the Ranger training camp watching and playing with the veterans.

What you saw last season is just the first results of the investment the Rangers have made in the prospects. It truly is going to reap even bigger rewards down the road.

Why was Robbie Russo cut?

Russo was more a victim of numbers than it was his play. When you're under 6 foot and a defenseman then sadly coaches tend to look at size more than skill.

Russo wasn't the only defenseman who was cut and maybe you can make an argument that he deserved a better fate. Still I for one think the Islanders have a pretty good prospect on their hands here and Russo is going to be very important for Notre Dame during this upcoming season.

He still has a chance to make the USA squad.

Does being cut mean you are out of the running for a spot on the 2013 team?

Absolutely not, being cut today can be a blessing in disguise because now you have an incentive to bust your butt in the first half of the season. At the same time nobody who survived the first cut should think for even a second that they had made anything.

It's a message sender more than anything else as the USA staff cut not one but two players who were first-round draft picks in the 2012 NHL draft. Henrik Samuelsson (his skating hurt him) and Jordan Schmaltz (a bit timid) were both cut and they are talented players.

Corey Trivino pleads guilty

New York Islander 2008 second round pick Cory Trivino pled guilty to two counts of assault and battery and one count of trespassing in a plea agreement. Trivino was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to remain drug and alcohol free during that period.

Trivino who was kicked off the Boston University hockey team after his arrest in December admitted in court that he had an alcohol problem and apologized for his actions. I think on this one that the Boston University hockey program should have been standing next to Trivino in court.

I say this because this wasn't the first time Trivino had an alcohol related incident while as a member of the Boston University hockey team. Trivino was given a "last chance" by BU coach Jack Parker after a previous incident before the season.

Trivino had been suspended before by the team for alcohol related incidents and sorry but had the team taken action when it had a chance then maybe there would not be a young woman traumatized by Trivino's drunken assault.

She winds up with nightmares and the aftereffects of a near sexual assault while Trivino will be getting an opportunity to attend training camp next month. Nobody mentioned the Islanders by name but I really hope they aren't the ones giving Trivino a shot.

Really if you are the New York Islanders do you dare bring Trivino into camp?

This is a time when the Islanders have to forget whether or not Trivino has talent and think about how his image plays out. If we were talking about a person who had already completed his probation and proved himself then that's a different story.

With all the problems facing the New York Islanders this is one prospect they really have to walk away from. If not then it will give the critics of the franchise yet another reason to trash them.

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