Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Daily Recap: Fixing PP; Gaborik the Problem?; Richards Price Tag; Frolov Needs to Shut It; SJ Trade Rumor

Nice wide ranging day of stories concerning the Rangers assets both present, future assets on and off the ice along with rumors about potential future ones.  Let me start here by talking about the present assets as the Rangers are once again juggling their lines in an effort to improve the overall offense, but more specifically get more from Marian Gaborik on a consistent basis.  In “Rangers Change Lines Again: Is Gaborik The Problem?” I looked at the differential in the amount of line shifting that has been done with Gaborik in and out of the lineup, how it might be impacting the players and if Gaborik is a superstar in the upper class of the NHL since with many of the elite scorers the other players on their line are not that important. 

Also in dealing with the current crop of Rangers there was the issue of Alex Frolov’s issue with a Russian journalist over the past week.  “Frolov Hammers Final Nail in his Rangers Coffin: Stop Whining, Start Packing.” Looked at exactly what Frolov said (through translation) to the journalist on issues like playing time, his role, his meeting with Tortorella and whether or not he wants to be traded away.  The quotes are very enlightening and will certainly not help his cause with the fan base that is already relatively tired of his lack of production.

In trying to help out those current Rangers this morning I attempted to tackle a problem the Rangers have been trying to solve for years in looking at a possible solution to their impotent power play.  In “Reshaping the Rangers Power Play: New Formation, New Personnel, New Coach?” I looked at how to change the power play structure, who I would use out there and briefly if the fact that the Rangers have failed so miserably to fix this problem for so long meant they needed a new PP coach.  The biggest problem for me with the Rangers PP this season has been the utter lack of aggression and urgency the team has while on it and I think the new system if implemented correctly by the players I have suggested can fix that problem.  There are no guarantees that it would work, but frankly it cannot do much worse than they do right now and a few extra percent on the man advantage could really change the viability of the club.

In the those who would potentially be Rangers segment of the day there was a new rumor to address and a more specific price tag to an old rumor.  Dealing with the new rumor, “Rangers After Devin Setoguchi?” meant taking a look at the talent they would be getting in Gooch, what the needs of the Sharks are in dealing him away and finally what the Rangers should be willing to part with in order to get him if they should even want him in the first place. 

As far as the old rumor that became more clear it was about who else; Brad Richards.  Tonight in a chat ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun laid out what the Stars were said to be seeking at least in terms of overall effect of the package.  In, “Stars Establish Price In Richards Trade...Can Rangers Afford It?” I attempted to decode the full context of the LeBrun answer to his chat question in terms of how available Richards might actually and what from the Rangers it would take to meet the criteria that was being espoused.  There are still obvious unknowns in the scenario that will play out over the next few months, but based on what I took from it I laid out my beliefs as to the course of action the Rangers should take.

Last but not least today in dealing with the future Rangers, “Rangers Prospects Chris Kreider, Ryan Bourque On Team USA WJC Prelim Roster” dealt with exactly what the title says how those two highly regarded Rangers prospects were named to the Team USA preliminary roster for the tournament which runs Dec. 26-Jan. 5.  In the article I looked at what the potential roles for each player might be on the squad, a telling quote from the team GM about Kreider and who else is going to cause the greatest challenge to a Team USA repeat.