Monday, January 3, 2011

McDonagh Called Up to Not Play?; Del Zotto Dissents On His Demotion?

This season things have been changing, for the better, in the way the New York Rangers have managed their young players and giving them chances to prove they belonged at the NHL level.  Every youngster has appear to at least get a fair chance in game action to prove their worth, but apparently that might not be the case for the newest call up Ryan McDonagh.  McDonagh was a somewhat surprising call given that coach John Tortorella for the most part has been satisfied with the other six defenders he was using while Del Zotto was being benched, but there was still a level of excitement to see what another young player could do at this level. 

You can stop thinking that way if you were doing so.  I said at the end of the post which announced his call and Del Zotto’s demotion that the only way it was worth it to call on McDonagh was if he was going to play or else it was a mistake.  Guess something in my gut knew what going to happen as along with the fact he was recalled it was announced today that not only with McDonagh not be in the lineup tomorrow against the Hurricanes, but that he might not play AT ALL during this recall.  So I ask, what is the point of calling the kid up to sit in the press box during the games?  Please do not tell me practice or to work with the NHL staff on his defense because we saw how well those things did for Del Zotto. 

The line that was trotted out was that they wanted to “evaluate” him.  This is 2010, that is what you have scouts and video for you do not need to call the kid up and take away game action from him so you can sit there and watch him practice.  If he is not going to play then send him back down and let him play and continue his development with the Whale.  They already messed up Del Zotto by rushing him to the NHL, why mess with McDonagh’s development either by rushing him up or bringing him and not playing him.  The focus right now is clear that it is about wins and losses more than truly the development side which is fine at the NHL level, but let us not act like it is different.

On Del Zotto, per Andrew Gross it does not appear the news of his demotion went over too well with him and it seems he had some things to say when they told him.  Tortorella tried to play coy with it based on the quotes Andrew has but the one that tells it all is this one:

“I hope so. It was in a different mode as far as versus Zuc going down. We probably expected that because Michael, he played all last year. Now this is his second year. I think it was a different frame of mind in how he saw this. This kid is a 20-year-old kid. Sometimes they don’t see it there right now. Eventually he’ll realize it’s good for him.”

That says that MDZ did not buy the move was right move for him and was not happy about it which is what you want from a competitor.  Problem is with Torts in subtle ways those sorts of things seem to get held against certain players.  As fare as the move to send Del Zotto down personally I believe right now it is if for no other reason than to get away from Torts and to go work with the only defensive coach this organization seems to have right now; Wade Redden.  Del Zotto is going to get the lion share of the blame for his play earning him the trip down, but this goes back to last year when the organization rushed him and tried to skip steps in his development.  Things like this happen when you do things like that.  

This BS about now they are worried about his conditioning is comical and the kind of cop-out that is beneath the people who follow the team.  Admit your mistakes as an organization in how you have handled the young defenseman and send him down to get his game straight without the need for making excuses.

Just when you thought things were really changing the organization reminds you why it has been so long since they have been a legit contender.