Over the past several seasons, to an extent since the 1993-94 season the Rangers organization has struggled to re-stock the system for a future run at the cup whilst struggling even more to keep a most competitive veteran club on the ice. The likes of Daniel Goneau have been spotted in Rangers blue as have Johan Holmqvist and even Jason Labarbera.
As former Ranger prospects Doug Weight, Todd Marchant, Aaron Miller and more find their niches in the NHL and have blossomed into stars or solid NHLers, the Rangers for one reason or another have had a great deal of trouble bringing these kinds of players up from their own system into the NHL as Rangers, long time Rangers.
During this offseason G.M. Glen Sather did a stellar job in loading the Rangers AHL affiliate in Hartford with young talent such as Matt Kinch, Layne Ulmer, Mikael Samuelsson(via San Jose trade) and so on… even some have found their way to New York with the likes of Dan Blackburn via the 2001 draft and former 1st rounder (BUF) Barrett Heisten. But the age old question remains…”why are the Rangers signing journeyman veterans or former stars well past their prime and not giving the prospects a shot?”
WHL’s OPEN ICE HIT-Hawks/Rockets Deal
In a deal that will probably leave a very bad taste in some Portland Winter Hawk fans’ mouths, the Hawks dealt popular defenseman Jesse Ferguson and Kevin Young to the Kelowna Rockets for defensive prospect Richie Regehr. Hello Portland fans (and I’m one of them), this is professional ice hockey. You did not lose your first born. You did not see Brenden Morrow traded for a bag of pucks and a used mouthpiece. What happened today was simply the constant motion of Western Hockey League.
Let us put this day of active trading into perspective. Portland General Manager Ken Hodge and Head Coach Mike Williamson made a decision to trade two talented men in exchange for a promising young, but not inexperienced, player. Of the three players, none have been drafted by a NHL team, exposing that their talents may be attractive to WHL teams, but not necessarily commanding high-level prospect status. On the other hand, each of the three have either been given a NHL free-agent tryout or have been in contact with a NHL team official regarding their future, thus warranting scouting respect. In the case of Kevin Young, you have an undersized rear-guard who has a tremendous knack for holding the puck in the offensive zone. Consequently, Young is also very injury prone and not always sound in his defensive end. Studying Jesse Ferguson, we find a high-scoring overage defenseman with tremendous puck-moving ability. However, Ferguson can be non-existen Read more»
Beechey’s return burns the ICE
All good things must come to an end. Great movies, summer vacations and yes, even unbeaten streaks. It had to be somebody, even worse, it had to be the Calgary Hitmen and as returning player stories don’t often go, it was a familiar friend leading the charge against his former teammates.
Tyler Beechey made his triumphant return to the town he called home during hockey season for the past four years and potted two goals including the game-winner in a 5-3 defeat of the Kootenay ICE by their arch-rival, the Calgary Hitmen.
Beechey, a twenty-yr-old who was traded on September 28th to the Hitmen in exchange for nineteen-yr-old Shaun Norrie in order for the ICE to pare down their roster to the league-mandated allotment of three overage players, opened the scoring just minutes into the contest on a bullet slap-shot that went five-hole on ICE rookie netminder Bryan Bridges. And just in case anybody had forgotten how the Edmonton product can produce clutch goals as he had done so many times in an ICE uniform, Beechey lifted a rebound over a sprawling Bryan Bridges on the power-play at the 13:40 of the third frame for what turned out the eventual game-winner.
For Beechey the two goal performance and the win were a little bittersweet. “I was a little nervous coming in,” said Beechey. “Mo (former ICE teammate Lance Morrison who also returned with the Hitmen) and I talked on the bus and we were both pretty nervous but we knew after the first couple of shifts that it would turn into a normal game.”
Not overjoyed at the time Read more»
Andrei Markov -D (Drafted-98(6/162))
Markov continued his strong play with 3 assists through 1 game this week. His 3 assists came during a 4-3 overtime loss to Wilkes Barre. He’s 6th in league scoring and 2nd in goals among defensemen. Overall, the Russian defenseman has played 11 games. He has 10 points (4-6-11), and is a league leading +11 with 7 minutes in penalties. One of his goals was scored on the powerplay.
Ron Hainsey -D (Drafted-00(1/13))
Hainsey remains unable to play. He suffered a wrist injury on October 24th, and could return to action in 2 weeks. Overall, the 6’3″, 200-lbs defenseman has played 7 games. He has 6 points (3-3-6), and is +3 with 6 minutes in penalties. At the time of his injury, and in fact even 3 games into his time off Hainsey still led the team with 25 shots on goal.
Michael Ryder -W (Drafted-98(8/216))
Ryder registered 1 assist through 1 game since our last update. He’s playing a strong 2-way game and is among the team’s top defensive forwards. Overall, the 6’1″, 195-lbs winger has played 8 games. He has 4 points (2-2-4), and is +5 with 7 shots on goal. He has been a healthy scratch for 3 games this season.
Eric Chouinard -F (Drafted-98(1/16))
Chouinard has found a happy home on a line with Aaron Asham and Craig Darby. He scored 1 goal and added 1 assist through 1 game this week. Overall, the 6’3″, 207-lbs forward has played 9 games. He has 12 points (4-8-12), and is +6 with 2 minutes in penalties. He also has 26 shots on goal.
Marc-Andre Thinel -F (Draf Read more»