Rangers Youth Movement?

By Evan Andriopoulos
As the executioner readies his trigger finger the to end the Rangers playoff possibilities there is some brightness shining through this darkness called Year 2000-01.

As we watch Graves, Kamensky,LaCroix, Lefebrve toil up and down the ice like Jarri Kurri did in his last pathetic season one has to look to next year and what sun is shining in.

As Detroit, St.Louis and San Jose…the hockey vultures fly over the carcass of the Rangers players like Graves and Lefebrve could be on their way out. St.Louis who just lost Chris Pronger may have changed again it’s designs on what they need… Adam Graves can help but he is older, slower and less productive this season…which is not a good mix for the ever so fast and fluent Blues… Sylvain Lefebrve can be a nice addition to help anchoring the defense. Val Kamensky…who we are just waiting to come up lame again may find a new spot in Vancouver… Eric LaCroix would like nice in Dallas, Detroit and San Jose… what the Rangers would receive would be pieces of the future…draft picks, prospects and pieces to retool the Hartford Wolf Pack for their run to defend the AHL title.

While Manny Malhotra(limited ice), Jeff Toms(who looks good in his 4 mins a game), Dale Purinton (toughness) and Tony Tuzzolino(nice corner work) try to jump start the engine…only Malhotra is a true solid prospect for the future and one has to wonder what the treatment via Ron Low has done for him. In Hartford Mike Mottau continues to play better…he recently scored his 9th of the season and he is playing a more discipline game. He looks to be a solid addition to the blue at the close of this season and for years to come…if Ron Low and Glen Sather do not deal the kid. Brad Smyth one of our ageing prospects continues to turn on the red light. He scored his 37th goal of the season and is also deserving of some ice in MSG at the end of the season. Tomas Kloucek plays more and more and looks like a solid NHLer..with his puck movement skills and willingness to hit he can be a cornerstone of the Rangers blue line.

Vitaly Yeremeyev’s NHL run may be near an end for this seaosn…with the Rangers looking at Guy Hebert, Steve Shields and others for that one last push…to the playoffs…but Yeremeyev like Holmqvist and a pair of other Swedish goalies (Lundqvist & Asplund) give the Rangers much depth and possibility(to trade for a big winger)…

The time is now… play the youth, deal the ageing and build up for 2001-02.

Until next time…