Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Words Can Taste Good

There is a reason why instead of using a more current picture of Brandon Dubinsky that we used this one from 2005. It is our way of sending a message to anyone who thinks that Dubinsky will:

Miss playing with Jagr, have a second year slump, be a one year wonder, or our favorite since it came from the Rangers; be the 3rd line center. We have watched this kid since before he was drafted and if there is any one player who will make people eat their words it will be Brandon Dubinsky.

We had to eat our own words back in 2004 when he was first drafted by the Rangers as the last of the 3 second round picks by the Rangers. We thought at first that here was a smallish slow center who meant well but was a long shot for the NHL.

It took us all of 3 games after being drafted to change our minds on Dubinsky and by now most Ranger fans should be changing their minds on him as well. There is no Ranger prospect who has worked harder to get to where he is today than Dubinsky.

While others go out and have a good time during the summer, there is Dubinsky working on the areas of his game that needed some improvement. Whether it has been his skating, his strength, or any part of his game there is Dubinsky in Portland Oregon during the off-season working his tail off.

We said it many times already that by the time this season ends, there is no way that Dubinsky will be a 3rd liner in any way shape or form. We know his drive, we know how much being a Ranger means to him and we also know that every time someone tries to think Dubinsky can't do something then Dubinsky proves him wrong.

That Dubinsky is 2-1-3 and basically been the best Ranger player in the first 2 exhibition games does not come as a surprise to us. We know how much being a first liner meant to him and how badly that spot in the lineup is where he wants to wind up.

Even better was that small act after the game against the Senators last night that said more about Dubi than anything we could possible write. To see Dubi as the one who did not forget about saluting the fans reminded all of us about what being a New York Ranger means to him.

Dubi is a 2nd generation Ranger fan who like so many of us inherited his love of the Rangers from his father. No current Ranger player understand better than Dubinsky what is demanded of the team than Dubi does.

That it was Dubinsky talking Gomez into getting the Rangers out at center ice after a supposedly meaningless exhibition game says more about his passion and relationship to the Ranger fans.

Even better was that Dubinsky did not shy away from speaking up to the team leaders in front of the Ranger fans makes us feel good to know that this kid is going to not take a back seat to anyone.

We like Eating Our Words With Seasoning Please

There are times where we like being wrong and this is one of those times; this one is meant to our new friend up in Swift Current, Jon Keen the play by play announcer of the Swift Current Broncos.

Keen kept saying how he did not think his Broncos were going to get back Dale Weise from the Rangers this year.

We kept telling Jon that the Rangers would be sending Weise back to Swift Current because that is what the Rangers traditionally did with their draft picks in their first year. No draft pick had directly entered the system since Tom Renney rebuilt the prospect developmental program.

Last Friday Jon wrote: Although a glimmer of hope for Bronco fans, I think Jess may be forgetting that yes Dale may be a 1st year drafted player, but he isn't 18 like most of the 2008 crop, he is an over-ager.

Actually Jon, it had nothing to do with his age but rather what had been the traditional Ranger development model. As you said during the summer that once the Rangers saw the kind of hard work they would be getting from Dale that they would be keeping him.

If Dale had been 18 and playing like this the Rangers would have been hard pressed not to sign him or to keep him. Pass the salt so we can enjoy our words please.

The Other Dubi Steps Up as Well

Guess now that Brandon Dubinsky has taken over as the number one Dubi in New York City; the original Dubi (Silverstein that is) wants to show that he is pretty good at what he does as well. Yes we know that he is both friend and employer which means you can say our judgment is colored.

So instead we will simply challenge you to head over to the IIHF.com and read for yourself the work Dubi did for the IIHF about the Ranger's trip at the end of the month to Switzerland here

The First College Poll is Out

The preseason USA Hockey Magazine/USA Today poll came out on Monday and team's with Ranger prospects will start the season as ranked. In fact of the 4 Ranger prospects who will be playing for NCAA schools, 3 of them will be playing for ranked teams.

Carl Hagelin (2007 6th) and his Michigan Wolverines will get to start the season as the number 2 team in the NCAAs. Derek Stephan (2008 2nd)will begin his college career at Wisconsin at 13th and Danny Hobbs (2007 7th) will begin play for our school UMass/Amherst at 21.

Only Max Campbell (2007 5th) and his Western Michigan Broncos did not get ranked to start the season.

Another Tragedy

Even though he only played 26 games for the Rangers during the 2003-04 season, our hearts go out to Jussi Markkanen and his family as their son Oli-matias died in a tragic accident at their home in Moscow.

The story which we first heard from Blueshirt Bulletin Plus poster Colorado Mark and from Laurie over at Beyond The Blueshirts is heartbreaking. No parent famous or not should ever have to lose a child.

We are sure that you will join us and the rest of the hockey world in extending our deepest sympathies to the Markkanen family.

(Picture Credits: Dubinsky-Portland Winterhawks, Dale Weise-Swift Current Broncos)

1 comment:

Matty said...

I had to comment on your Dubinsky portion of your entry ... I have been most impressed with Brandon since the middle of last season ... and I have just grown to have more love and respect for him ...

I honestly believe that one day he will be Captain of our team ... he exudes every quality that anyone should want in a player and a Captain and he just oozes that thing that says to me that he should ALWAYS be a NY Rangers player ... I know in today's FA world that's something that is strange but in this new age of extremely long contracts I hope that when time comes for him to renew that the Rangers lock him up long term because he is only getting better ...

You must be smiling at seeing that Brandon got moved up to 2nd line center duties with Zherdev ... I loved it because you've been calling for Zherdev to play with players other than Gomez/Naslund and it seems like the Rangers are tinkering with that now ... the great thing is that Drury plays Wing well so this could certainly work and if Dubi's line takes off then the Rangers might have two #1 lines :)

BTW I also loved reading on Sam's blog that Jagr has kept in touch with Tom Renney and calls often to mainly find out how Brandon is doing ... I'm not surprised that he does that because I think he cares about Brandon and his success a lot because of the type of person Jagr is and I am happy to see that I was right ...

Anyhow Jess, you must be excited about getting going again with the seasons on all the Leagues starting ... Keep up the great work that you do and the great information you and your sources bring us ...