Friday, August 13, 2010

Guest Blogger #22: Stuck in Mediocrity

By John from Philly

As a rabid New York sports fan, living in Philadelphia is like being behind enemy lines. I’m forced to watch the hated enemy rise to great highest but then relish its slide back to reality.

Like the Flyers, the Rangers have been handcuffed by the salary cap. Unlike the Rangers, the Flyers found a way to squeak into the playoffs and run all the way to the Stanly Cup Finals.

Like the Rangers the Flyers didn’t make any notable moves on March 3rd (but I must applaud Mr. Slather for his genius movement of Ales Kotalik and Chris Higgins about a month before the deadline date) but they still had a successful year all in all.

We all know who the Rangers are handcuffed by, and we all know the effects that it has on the team year each year. The organization can’t bring in top end scoring or even quality roll players each year during the free agency period.

Buying out these contracts would be more costly then just letting them play out for the next 4 years. So whom does Mr. Sather bring in to help the team out? None other than Todd White.

Now I’m sure Mr. White is a nice guy but I’ve heard that he is in the discussion for our number one center. He really wouldn’t stand a chance playing along side offence talents like Marian Gaborik and Alex Frolov.

Lets look at his numbers for the past 3 years with the Atlanta Thrashers. (Number provided by

2007-08: 74 games, 14g, 23a, 37 pts.
2008-09: 82 games, 22g, 51a, 73 pts.
2009-10: 65 games,  7g, 19a, 26 pts.

The 2008-2009 season was a good year for him playing a full 82 game season and netting 73 points. Those are good numbers but he is an inconsistent producer. I know this is a small sample size but 73 points is the highest point total of his career, it is also the only time he has played a full 82 game season. Why don’t we look within the division once more to the Flyers and see what their top center produced in the past 3 years:

2007-08: 73 games, 28g, 47a, 75 pts.
2008-09: 79 games, 30g, 50a, 80 pts.
2009-10: 82 games, 31g, 31a, 62 pts.

This is Mike Richards numbers for the past 3 years. Granted he isn’t the first line center every night (he will usually be switched around with Jeff Crater and Danny Breire on the top line from time to time) but as far as I’m concerned his is the Flyers best all-around center. He penalty kills and was the leading forward for AOI for those 3 years. The numbers really speak for themselves. Last year he had a down year but he has so many intangibles that make us for seasons like that.

Bringing Todd White in would just be taking up a roster spot for a young player that could, one day develop into a player like a Make Richards.

Unlike Alexander Frolov, who is in the prime of his carrier, White is in his twilight years and doesn’t really have a chance to come back next year.

I know the deal that brought White over was a good one (dumping Brash and Rissmiller) but as far as I’m concerned he should be headed right to Hartford.

What the Rangers would be doing if they put him on the roster on opening day is hoping that he would have a year like 2008.

This brings me to what the Rangers have been doing for the past few years. We hoped the Ales Kotalik would go back to his scoring ways on the power play by being reunited with Chris Drury. We were hoping that Matt Gilroy would be able to handle an 82 game NHL season right out of college. And we were hoping the Donald Brashier would be as mean and nasty as he was on teams like, you guessed it, the Flyers.

This year, as a fan base, we are hoping that our youngsters get a chance to play on the big squad and develop into the heart and soul of this organization. We have talent within but some of it is a long way from being ready to seriously compete with the best of them.

I myself know that this process of bringing in the new kids is going to take a while but I think it will be worth the wait, because, if done right, the Lord Stanley’s Cup could be a possibility.

When we didn’t make the playoffs this year I was glad quite frankly. I wouldn’t have to deal with the tease of competing for the Cup and the pain of failing. I also thought that there would be a change in philosophy within the organization if we didn’t make the playoffs for the first time since the lockout.

It seems that the Rangers organization is content with mediocrity year after year.


abouttostopreading said...

Develop into a player like MIke Richards???... dude you don't know shit about hockey if you think you just develop inot a player like Mike it's called having world class talent.. if it were as easy as developing guys into players like that we wounld't be reading your stupid ass post man these guest blogger posts are dragging on and getting annoying... don't really care anymore about what people have to say everyone is just a critic who likely never strapped on a pair of skates let alone played a game of hockey..I guess that's what you get for picking for an American team..

Anonymous said...

Sad to say but I have to agree with this guy's comment. guest bloggers are getting annoying!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kevin DeLury said...

Man you guys need your morning coffee. The guest blog series has been amazing.

I couldn't be happier with the differing views and takes on the Rangers. It has also been a great way for me to interact with the readers and give you a voice on the blog.

Plus it has stimulated some great debate in the comments section. The post about Gaborik being Captain had 79 comments the other day. I didn't have 79 comments combined during the first two years of the blog.

While you may not agree with every guest blogger, it doesn't mean you should say they don't know @hit about hockey. Be constructive and if you don't like the guest blog posts don't read them.

Plus the last one is on Tuesday.

ivaNYRicov said...

there are about 15 teams in the NHL stuck in mediocrity... that is the way the percentages work. Some suck, some are elite, most are mediocre... we still love them thou, don't we. Must suck living in Philly as a Rangers fan...

AnnoyingJoe said...

Im sorry but I'm confused by that first comment. What is this if not a place to share ideas? Just cause someone has an different opinion doesnt mean they dont know the game.

If you hate the guest posts so much why are you taking the time to turn on your computer, punching in the URL, and READING THE POSTS?

And whats with all of the "lol, lol, lol?" are you actually sitting there, typing away and laughing out loud? cause thast a little creepy. lol.

And how does wearing skates grant you the ability to comment on hockey. I saw a circus bear on skates once, but that didn't make him Don Cherry.


K. Donnelly said...

@ Annoying Joe - I have good news for the first commenter - that bear on skates is next week's guest blogger!


Chris said...

@ K. Donnelly .... That is a WIN of epic proportions.


I have enjoyed the guest bloggers. Yeah, sure... some of them could write better. Some, I dont agree with what they have to say but, its refreshing at times, to see what others are thinking. Considering its the off season and there is a lack of news, I welcome the guest blogs.

Kevin DeLury said...

Way to ruin the surprise K. Donnelly. LOL.

Looking at a jerk said...

Its a shame that you put into words what your thoughts are and then some clown comes online and calls you out on what your thoughts are. And of course its the same old thing, you haven't put on a pair of skates, you don't know nothing about hockey, blah blah blah. Nothing original, nothing intelligent to add, basically just being a jerk.

Matt said...

abouttostopreading maybe your the one who doesnt know what he is talking about, cause the guest blogger is 100% correct that Todd White though maybe a nice asset to the team, should not take the place of a younger player who needs time to develop. I think that the player who is a stud and could develop into something like Richards is Artem Anisimov. He is 6'4", 200 pounds and still developing his game. He needs to oppurtunity to either be the second line center, or even the first line center with gaborik. The young guns who are in the AHL and who have just be signed should be give more time, there is no need to bring up Grachev, Stepan, Mcdonah, Wiese or any other AHL players. I believe that only Sauer, Byers and Dupont are ready for the NHL. The Rangers should contend for cups but not in the next two years

Rob Y said...

Some of the guest bloggers were a little annoying but its there opinion. I do feel that guest blogger #22 is a closet flyers fan and abouttostopreading is also one, they both have a thing for mike richards. And also I think next time you do this guest blogger thing you should pick a topic and have people write about the topic from both sides, example-why should or shouldn't chris drury be captain and then pick the best arguement from boths sides and post that then let the comments start rolling.

Kevin DeLury said...

Great idea Rob, maybe I'll incorporate that in next year.

John Chagaris said...

I am in no way saying that our guys are going to develop into a guy like a Mike Richards. I know we dont have that kind of talent in the system but we do have some talent that needs to at least have a chance to make the club. Like Ryan McDonough who some think he has a chance to make the team. When we got Steve Eminger, McDonough spot kind of went away unless we send Redden down. We still dont even know if thats actually going to happen, there was the same speculation of this move last year. So all I'm saying is they say they want a youth movement but the make trades to take away spots from the youth. And no I'm not a closet Flyers fan i just used them as an example because... I live here and fallow hockey...

AndrewFS said...

has this become a smack talk arena??? I find it ANNOYING that since the Frolov signing (th elast worthy rangers story) that this has become a whos who of insult slinging..maybe it's because every single post from guest bloggers to ESPN, TSN, THN, Good housekeeping, Vogue,,,etc never have anythign positive to say. I mean we all have day jobs elsewhere then the front office of the New York Rangers.. let them make the decisions and enjoy the game, last I checked thats the reason why we all watch.. If this starts becoming a freaking poop shoot of who can come up with the clever Bear on skates burns and dip shit grammar corrections and nonsense posts and comments then I think the first guy's name reflects accurately what I am gonna do.. grow up,, stop with the bullshit negativity... we all know some salaries are bloated, we all hate redden, youth before beauty bla bla bl abla bla blabla bla get some new material people.... !!and by teh way John I live near Montreal, and believe me if there is a city that doesnt accept hockey fan diversity its Montreal, but they also struggle, they also have bloated contracts, guys who play with their heads in the sand, and they made it to the Eastern conference finals and everyone forgot those issues and had fun watching and cheering for the team they love.. criticism can be found anywhere but dam constant criticism is seriously seriously annoying.. I love the guest blogger stuff, I myself was one a few weeks back, but all that ever happens is negative comments and it takes the fun out, then the next guy comes out with a 3 page post that looks like they have been writing it for weeks and rewriting it to try and win a t-shirt... thats annoying.. have fun with this blog, the guy/s who put it together do us all a favor so stop with the dumb ass arguments.

AnnoyingJoe said...

Andrew, lighten up.

We all enjoy the games.

And I think the comments have been for the most part positive.

And believe it or not, when there is a forum like this, there are going to be differing opinions. And you're always going to get some dipshits.

Your little rant is doing exactly what you are railing against; telling us what sort of fans to be.

Rob Y said...

All I got fro andrews comment was wah wah wah and talk about being a hypocrit, people are entitled to they're opinions and now some maybe stupid and some maybe very insightful that's just how it goes. If someone does come out and have there opinion on someones comment that's just how it goes. Be prepared to defend your comment if someone calls you out. If you have such problems with this website or the people on it find somewhere else.

Rob Y said...

Another internet tough guy trying to be cool. Life so miserable he comes on here just to complain. You take so much time to write such long comments and make yourself look like a little kid. Time to grow up little guy and in case you don't have a smart phone or can't afford one smart phone automatically fill in words when you start typing. Id say most people know the difference between there their and they're but its an internet blog site not a term paper

Brett Crawford said...

How did a post about Todd White turn into such a shit fit?

If this post passes me in total comments I'm gonna be pissed!


Rob Y said...

It has potential to brett, but your article was good, can't argue with facts

Kevin DeLury said...

OK, deep breath everyone.

I know we're all jonesing for some hockey but no need to take it out on each other.

Please don't make me go back to having readers sign up through Google to comment. I'd hate to do that.

Rob Y said...

To change the subject am I the only one with very high hopes for anismov this year, he's spending the whole summer in new york to train and take english lesson, the guy is 6'4 200 pounds and probably gonna hit the 215 220 mark when he's done maturing, if this guy gets a consistent role on second line he's gonna turn into a great hockey player but he need those minutes a game to be consistent

LI Joe said...

white was traded to lose brashear and his over 35 contract period. rissmiller was a non event as he was loaned to mdetroits farm club most of last yr and would have this yr as well

white will likely be in hartford - the guy had 1 good yr in last 6 yrs. if he's a ranger he'll be 4th line - he's also coming off a ton of injuries.

redden has to be sent down for the cap room even if white goes down its not enough

Andrew_794 said...

to the haters of the guest blog...its a slow time in the nhl right now...i rather have something posted on the blog then nothing...sure some people have crazy ideas or thoughts, but i enjoy hearing about it...

and if you dont like the guest blogs, dont read them?

John Chagaris said...

Yours was no doubt better than mine. Not sure what all the commotion is about. If I pass you in comments then it ISA great injustice.


AnnoyingJoe said...

I have had high hopes for Anisimov ever since he scored that shg in the preseason last year. I think he will continue to improve.

It would be interesting to see him and Frolov play together.

Rob Y said...

I think those russians can have some serious chenistry together. Lisin last year had some promise but I think he is just lazy, when you see anisimov play he just looks like he is giving it is all, he reminds me of prucha in a way just bigger stronger and anisimov has got a killer shot. He also reminds me of prucha sometime not keeping his head up, I remember at least 4 or 5 games where he got laid out big time

Hutch said...

Sir, I've got to agree with abouttostopreading. Quite frankly it's impossible to develop a player into something like Mike Mike Richards. If it were possible they'd have been popping out Gretzkys years ago.

With Hockey and any sport really. You can develop a decent to even good player but you can't develop that extra something you see in athletes like Richards, Woods and Cal Ripken Junior. It's all the person. They were the kids on the field where anyone who saw them knew they had something special in the game.

Watch some House League or little league hockey whatever they call it state side and maybe you'll happen to see one of those players.

Bauer Goalie94 said...

@ K. Donnelly
What does strapping on skates have to do with anything about your knowledge of hockey and ability to comment on it?
P.S. I bet your a Bender

I do think that matching up Anisimov and Frolov would be interesting to see if there is any Russian chemistry between them.

On the other hand, I agree with John. Building up our young guys the RIGHT way, could be worth the wait.

Obviously not all of us are going to agree on the discussion here. I have to say, the Guest blogging addition to the blog has been for the better.

Kevin DeLury said...

Nice to see you guys are back talking hockey.

LI Joe said...

kevin don't be swayed by the number of comments in judging best summer post. the recent staal one was very good as were a few others - way before the switching the letters around ones and yes there were more than one of those.

ivaNYRicov said...

You cant develop players like Richards. You can develop 20 goal scorers like Callahan. You can build from within to fill your roster with solid players, but you need great players to succeed. You get them through FA and trades. It has to be balanced. The problem was the Rangers kept trading prospects for aging players past their prime. When you have a star in your system, it is obvious. When you draft a star eveyone knows they will be a star. Talent is evident. We dont have any of those players. We have to develop our team through the system to have solid players to surround our stars with. Balance, not trading solid players who can develop just to bring in lots of aging stars. Leetch, Richter, Kovalev, then add Messier and Graves and you get a solid, balanced team. They need to let players develop to see what you need to bring in through FA and trades to complete the team. This rangers offseason has been great in my humble opinion.

Rick said...

Totally agree- develop your young core and surround them with the necessary tools(FA) to complete the team. You will never be able to draft all the players you need to complete a team and not all draftees will progress to your expectations. But your core is the most important aspect of any hockey team.