Saturday, October 30, 2010

Something Sather Should Spend Money On

As many of you know one of my favorite things to do in terms of the Rangers is keep an eye on the prospects and how they develop, discuss them and ask those who are more knowledgeable than me questions about them.  Part of it is the idea that with each new prospect there is a level of untapped potential but also a piece that has not been tainted yet by the inconsistencies and short comings of the organization we once hope for him to play in and that when they get it here things can be different.  At various times we talk about the prospects and there are those who get the hype (Grachev, MDZ, Stepan, Kreider), those who just go out and do their job without the publicity and fanfare (Werek, Hagelin, Bourque) and those that many fans don’t know much about though people who follow me have seen.  There is one that is not even Rangers property that each time I listen to a game the Chilliwack Bruins play I cannot help but get more excited for what he can become and could be for us and at the same time more terrified that he ends up somewhere else terrorizing us for his whole career.  That prospect is Brandon Manning whom the Rangers had in camp this year but could not get signed because Manning knew and had enough belief in his own game that if he went back to Chilliwack and played to his capabilities the money would be there for him.

In previewing the WHL season Open Ice Hockey wrote of Manning, “20-year-old Brandon Manning will be the lynchpin of the defense corps should he return to the Bruins this season.  The 20-year-old Prince George, B.C., product put up 13 goals and 54 points in 69 games last year, and also led the team with a solid +20 rating.”  Those numbers alone are very impressive but add to them the fact that he is the Captain of the club and he had 138 penalty minutes and they only get more impressive.

The Rangers possess a myriad of defensive prospects who all have their own specialties, but there is not one prospect in this system that has the total package Brandon Manning possesses.  Tonight Manning in a 7-2 drubbing of Calgary went out and had a goal, 3 assists, a plus 2, 7 penalty minutes including a fighting major for the Gordie Howe hat trick as a defenseman.  Now 10 games into his season Brandon Manning has put up 5 goals 12 assists for 17 points all while being a +9 and having 28 pims.  As great a start as Horak, Werek, Thomas have been off to offensively I would argue right now not only is Manning have the best year of any defensive prospect but any prospect period and would rank above all other defensive prospects in the system at the moment.  There is not another that can score, defend, hit, fight and be a Captain all at the same time. 

I do not ask Glen Sather for much in terms of things I actually want him to go out and spend money on but this player is one I will.  Manning will undoubtedly win his bet on himself and make more than he would have signing in camp, but that number is only increasing daily so time to pony up before someone else does.