The 2000 Entry NHL draft has ended and left the Rangers, now under a new
President and General Manager in basically the same “small” spot as they
were the day before the first round began. Once again the Rangers
“management” decided against size and went with the smallish underweight,
undersized players that they have drafted in greater numbers over the bigger
more physical players needed to compete in the Eastern Conference of the
National Hockey League.
With their highest pick being in the 2nd round, ala all that is left from
the Pavel Brendl spot from Tampa for Niklas Sundstrøm and Daniel Cloutier,
Glen Sather after being thwarted in his bid to acquire ex.Bolt and current
Islander (past-Oiler) Roman Hamrlik a smooth skating defensive project now
making his home on Long Island with the nemesis N.Y.Islanders in a deal that
sent prospects Josh Green and Eric Brewer to the cost conscious Oilers,
Sather packaged the Rangers 2nd rounder to Detroit for their 2nd rounder and
3rd rounder. With these picks, the Rangers selected:
Country: Czech. Republic
Height: 6 00
Birthdate: May 7 1982
League: WHL (Canadian Juniors)
Team: Regina Pats
CSS final ranking #33 … seventh in team scoring this season … played in
the 2000 NHL/CHL Top Prospects Game … was the WHL’s Rookie of the Month Read more»
With no first round pick or third round pick coming into the NHL draft, the Rangers had all of their draft day eggs in one basket within the second round. They traded that pick to the Detroit Red Wings for their second and third round choices. With wingers Ben Knopp and David Morriset waiting to be called, the Rangers pulled a little bit of a surprise and chose Regina Pats Defenseman Filip Novak. In a case stated in the Draft preview it was was simply the Rangers drafting whom they felt was the best player at that time.
When the 1999 NHL draft came and went everyone seemed excited with the idea that the Rangers had managed to reel in two blue chip prospects. One fact that was ignored however, was that the cost of adding these players was the loss of a first round pick in the 2000 draft. The Rangers would have drafted 8th overall and they may have ended up with a solid player, but the fact of the matter is the 1999 draft was far superior to the 2000 version in both depth and initial talent levels. A year later the Rangers have two kids who should fight for an NHL spot while it appears Tampa Bay will merely get a “good” player with a chance at the NHL. While nothing is for certain the Rangers should end up with the better end of the stick on this one. With a new GM in the fold the team attempts to pull off the feat of drafting a solid NHL prospect in the second round, something they have had very limited success with in the past 4 years.
The expansion draft, free agency, and the entry draft are all fast approaching and for a team looking to rebuild and re-evaluate under new management the Rangers time is now.
First and foremost should be the hiring of a coach. Glen Sather is expected to announce the hiring of Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL Champions) coach John Paddock to take over the duties of NY bench boss. Paddock is a well respected team coach who uses a philosophy which balances respect, toughness, and motivation to win over his players. Other candidates include the banished Ted Nolan and Rangers assistant John Tortorella. Tortorella may assume the duties of Paddock in Hartford. However, Sather believes he is a capable drafter of talent without a coach, none the less the time is now.
With the upcoming draft the Rangers have several options available even without a first rounder, which went to Tampa for the rights to Pavel Brendl. Disgruntled Stephane Quintal may be included in a package for a 1st rounder, or in fact for anything at all. Another option would be to sit on the 2nd pick and look for a 2nd round gem. This player may turn out to be one of the few players the Rangers have been analyzing such as Brett Nowak who is a projected 2nd Rounder after a non existent World Juniors Tourney, but he would help fill the void up front. Thatcher Bell is another player who should be available but at 175 pounds may not be big enough for the Rangers needs. Of course disgruntled Randy Copley, 1998 draftee of New York, re-enters and may be a return product.
The State of Connecticut and the New York Rangers have a Champion in the
Hartford Wolf Pack, the top minor league affiliate of the New York Rangers.
Not only did the Rangers of New York win… but the state of Connecticut and
the city of Hartford, the former home of their beloved “Whale”, have won. After a
season of up and down crowds, usually nearing 6,000, the Pack held the season
records for attendance per game in the finals drawing 11,000 and 12,000 in
their last two home games and much to the ire of Hurricanes Owner Peter
Karmanos, who fled Hartford for the southern climates of North Carolina
three seasons ago, and the NHL for allowing such a move. These crowds would
have made both the NHL and Peter a very happy party.
After 25 years of professional hockey, minus the last few years when the
Whalers played under its last ownership… Hartford has a champion, and
it was brought in by Ex Rangers-Whalers player and current Pack GM Don
Hartford skated to a 4-1 win over Rochester in the Calder Final on away ice
giving the brass and new GM in New York hope of future riches with this win.
Sadly enough as the face on minor league hockey continues to mimic it`s NHL
parent many of these players will be gone via expansion, retirement, release
or what have you… but for at least a summer… everyone has something to