Rangers: Where are the Kids?

By pbadmin

As the veteran Rangers struggle to find chemistry many questions are being asked about the future. With a 4-7-1 Rangers club in New York trying to find goals after a 234 minute scoreless spree questions about chemistry, payroll and coaching have come into play. Other than 2nd line center Mike York and rookie soon to be star defenseman Kim Johnsson, Coach John Muckler has basically refused to play any of the few “once” bright prospects in his stall.

The ongoing philosophical differences between Muckler and now seldom used Manny Malhotra turned ugly as Malhotra benched the hulking Malhotra with the return of high priced free agent signee Tim Taylor. Muckler met with Malhotra afterward to discuss the situation. After 12 games Manny Malhotra has yet to register a point (19 games including exhibition) and has earned less than 8 minutes of ice time on average per match. Prior to the season start Malhotra was a solid candidate for the no.2 slot, now occupied by rookie Mike York, but ended up with minutes similar to 1998`s and those commonly coined “Bill Berg Minutes” as the former Ranger veteran logged an occasional shift here and there and still made the best of it. With the signing of Alexander Daigle and his tremendous play in Hartford(4-8-12 8gp) it is only days before he gets his shot to light up broadway with his skill and youth.

Perhaps the move to send Jamie Lundmark back to the WHL was not as good as one previously thought as the Rangers are in dire need of some youth as Malhotra is not playing. However a season in the WHL will only help Lundmark as his minutes in New York would have been less than Malhotra`s. Rookie defenseman Kim Johnsson continues to shine with his puck movement skills and his skating ability. In time he will learn the NHL style and will flourish. One just hopes that Neil Smith and John Muckler do not plan on offering the talented Johnsson to a taker for a veteran center. With the Rangers playing like they have over the past three seasons, without toughness, one wonders why once top Jet/Coyote prospect and 6-2 230lb defender Jason Doig has not seen a second of ice time. With Kevin Hatcher struggling and Sylvain Lefebvre playing “orange cone” defense it is a wonder why the “soft” Rangers` defense has not been given an injection of youth and toughness. It may be better to send Doig to Hartford where he will get some playing time and not lose his will to make the NHL.

HARTFORD AHL:
The former home of the Hartford Whalers has been relatively receptive to the Baby Rangers. Averaging close to 8,000 per game The Baby Rangers will probably close the season out drawing the Hurricanes again. Veteran Brad Smyth is back and showing his skills to coach John Paddock. Smyth a banging winger looks to get a shot at the NHL with the Rangers soon enough. Feisty center PJ.Stock`s two game hiatus in New York ended with his return to the Baby Rangers. Stock injected much life…into the Rangers and shut down Eric Lindros during one of their meetings last week. Stock was banished by Muckler from New York last year went into camp with a new attitude “get a shot at the NHL with another club after my contract is up”. -Courant
Scoring for the Baby Rangers:
Player Team Gp G A PTS Pim Pp SH Gw Gt
Alexander Daigle Har 8 4 8 12 4 1 0 0 0
Brad Smyth Har 9 8 3 11 6 3 0 1 1
P.J. Stock Har 7 3 5 8 18 0 0 1 0
Derek Armstrong Har 9 2 5 7 8 1 1 0 0
Ken Gernander Har 9 2 5 7 14 2 0 0 0
Mike Harder Har 9 3 3 6 19 1 0 0 0
Johan Witehall Har 9 1 4 5 10 1 0 0 0
Francois Fortier Har 9 2 2 4 7 0 0 1 0
Chris Kenady Har 9 2 2 4 39 0 0 0 0
Drew Bannister Har 7 0 3 3 26 0 0 0 0
Burke Henry Har 7 0 2 2 8 0 0 0 0
Tomas Kloucek Har 8 0 2 2 10 0 0 0 0
James Namestnikov Har 7 0 2 2 4 0 0 0 0
David Wilkie Har 1 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 0
Benjamin Carpentier Har 4 1 0 1 17 0 0 0 0
Dale Purinton Har 7 1 0 1 36 0 0 0 0
Todd Hall Har 9 0 1 1 2 0 0 0 0
Alexei Vasiliev Har 8 0 1 1 2 0 0 0 0
Terry Virtue Har 9 0 1 1 24 0 0 0 0
Jeff Brown Har 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Kevon Coffey Har 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Kevin Colley Har 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0
Daniel Goneau Har 7 0 0 0 6 0 0 0 0
Milan Hnilicka Har 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Boyd Kane Har 3 0 0 0 7 0 0 0 0
Jean-Francois Labbe Har 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
David Oliver Har 4 0 0 0 12 0 0 0 0