Wednesday, June 25, 2008
First off, I'd like to thank Dubi Silverstein for giving me the chance to contribute to the "Rangers Roundtable" in what is known as the bible of New York Rangers Hockey - The Blueshirt Bulletin. It is the most informative source of the New York Rangers and their happenings that you'll ever find! Thank you very much Dubi, hopefully we'll meet at a game next year and the first one's on me!
Getting back to the Rangers, with their first pick the Rangers snapped up defenseman Michael Del Zotto, who by all accounts was ranked to go higher in the draft (was ranked in the top ten a year ago). I think it's a great pick. He's a puck mover, got lots of offensive potential, and he loves to hit (exactly what the Rangers need). Glen Sather and his staff did a little wheeling and dealing to pick up and extra draft pick in this years draft as well. Overall it was pretty much a balanced draft with 3 defensemen (Del Zotto - 20th overall, Tomas Kundratek - 90th overall, and Mitch Gaulton - 171st overall) and 4 Forwards (Derek Stepan - 51st overall, Evgeny Grachen - 75th overall, Dale Weise - 111th overall, and Chris Doyle -141st overall). Hopefully we won't have to wait long for Del Zotto to crack into the bigs.
Other Rangers News: Jagr, Jagr, Jagr. What's going to happen? Who really knows, but I feel the same today as I did at the end of the season. It comes down to these factors; Money, Terms of the contract, and Desire to stay in New York. I said it all along, if you lose Jagr (even though he underachieved last year) - who is going to step up to the plate? Jagr still commands respect when he has the puck and as a former defenseman who played against the likes of Gretzky, Lemieux, Etc. - Jagr has that intangible of keeping the opposition's defense scared to death when he comes barreling down on them. It's a tough call for both sides. Now, if that isn't enough, I hear the Rangers are interested in maybe acquiring Mats Sundin? Please! I know he's a future Hall of Famer and there is still plenty of gas in the tank... but at what cost - salary wise? He's not going to come cheap, that's for sure. Also, he's older than Jagr (37 years old). Finally, I'm here to again continue with the "Sean Avery must re-sign with the Rangers" ordeal. I'm all for it, but he has to re-sign at a reasonable price. I'm hoping it will work out for both sides (He needs NY & NY needs him). There is a lot of baggage with Avery, but one thing I keep in my mind is his record with the Rangers when in the line-up (50-20-10) and without him in the line-up (9-13-3). That's hard to argue with! I hope things work out and fall into place for the Rangers. They are not too far off in building a Stanley Cup Champion.
A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that the Chicago Wolves coach, John Anderson, had done what he could in his coaching carreer and that it was time for a shot in the NHL. Well, he got that shot with the Atlanta Thrashers and I congratulate John for his hiring and I wish him well (He deserved it)!
Oh, and one last thing - Barry Melrose is back in the NHL. What was the world's worse secret, they finally announced Barry as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning. It's a great choice, in my opinion. Barry was my last coach and I remember how well organized he was and was able to get players to play hard. I was on my way out and played very little, but my observations were nothing but positive about Barry. Good luck & it's about time!
Over and out for now, please check back next week and don't be afraid to leave some feedback!
*Pictures in all blog posts are taken from Yahoo! Sports & Getty Images