Monday, December 13, 2010

Daily Recap: Drury to Return, Where Will He Play?; Staal Evolution; Tyutin Rangers Rumor; Zuke Leads Whale

Coming off last night’s blowout win against the Capitals all was well in Rangers universe and if that itself was not enough positive news, the team would find out last night after the game that their Captain, Chris Drury, would be back in the lineup on Wednesday against the Penguins for the first time since Oct 15thDrury to Return Wednesday; Kids Stay, Who Goes? Where Does Drury Fit? examines the situation as it stands in relation to the lineup as it has been, who might be out of the lineup with his return, if any roster moves need to be made and where I would look to put Dru back in.  The chemistry within the team is something that must be taken into consideration while working Drury back in and I think the solution I have offered will help do that while using the strengths Drury has for team advancement.

Before I got to the Drury story this afternoon I used the morning to discuss the continued evolution of Marc Staal from a defense only guy into a well-rounded player who is adding more and more offense at this level.  Marc Staal: Following His Instincts To Rise To Another Level looks at the progression along with examples of how and where Staal is using his instincts and new found confidence to be a threat on the other side of the ice while not sacrificing his primary responsibilities.  This addition to the game has not come without it’s bumps in the road, but the payoff can be huge and will play a large role in shaping the future of this franchise because Staal is the cornerstone of the defensive unit.

This evening I took a look at yet another trade rumor involving the Rangers and the idea that they would be interested in reuniting with Fedor Tyutin who they sent to Columbus for Zherdev a few years ago.  Inside is my take on the rumor itself, whether the need actually exists for the move, what the biggest cons of the move are, what from the Rangers might interest the Blue Jackets and under what circumstances I would make the move to bring Tyutin back.

Last but not least I took a look at yet another win for the scorching Connecticut Whale, their fourth in a row.   The game recap goes through the particulars of the game along with having highlights of the action and detailing how various prospects performed.  Once again it would be prospects that would lead the way to this win as the standouts in this one were again Mats Zuccarello, along with Chad Kolarik and Dale Weise and goaltender Cam Talbot keyed the victory.  When finished with the game recap itself I went through each of those three prospects to see which might be the most NHL ready if a call is to come.

Finally on a personal and site note I am proud to say that FanFeedr which does such a great job of compiling and disseminating information on any of your favorite teams has listed this site along with the many other great Rangers resources out there.  I would highly suggest that you both go to the site and follow them on twitter, and the Rangers feed on twitter is @nyrangersff.

Rumor: Rangers Looking To Bring Back Tyutin?

Yesterday in reading New York Rangers columns I came across yet another trade rumor in connection with the club.  What was different this time than all of the other rumors I have read of late was that it involved the Rangers dealing for a defenseman despite the fact they have seven capable ones already on the roster.  The source of this rumor was Larry Brooks'column in the NY Post in which he discusses the Rangers possible interest in bringing back Fedor Tyutin to the Rangers 2 ½ years after the team traded him to the Columbus Blue Jackets.  Here is the main part of the rumor:
The Rangers may have interest in re-acquiring Tyutin, a left-hand shot (who played the right side) with one more year at $2,843,750 remaining on his contract.
I know the Rangers played the Blue Jackets the night before, but this is below what we expect from someone like Larry Brooks who usually does a good job of tamping down speculation.  I would expect to find this at few well know rumor mongers who are also considered to basically make most of their material up and claim it to unnamed sources.  I am not saying that Brooks is making it up, but I find no common sense reason for the Rangers to bring back Tyutin based the Rangers current and future situation on defense nor is there any justification based on his play this season.  This from a person who liked Tyutin when he was here and thought he was a better player than Girardi who they chose to keep instead.  The Rangers took the gamble on Zherdev finding his full potential here and walked away from that experiment a year later having given up Toots and signed Redden.  Not saying if they never make the trade with Columbus they do not sign Redden, but certainly less likely.

I understand the draw of writing about a guy who used to be here, and more importantly connecting that with the fact the Rangers are said to be looking for a left handed defender, but Tyutin this has more of a nostalgia than present feel as is not playing better hockey than any in our current top six and probably not even better than Gilroy.  Tyutin in the two games leading up to the Rangers game in Columbus was a healthy scratch and on the season he has 4 points in 26 games while be a plus two.  If that was not enough to make this a bad idea, the fact that he has another year at the 2.844 million dollar cap hit should more than seal it if you are looking at him as a third pair defender.  That is nearly equivalent to another Boogaard salary for the production you can expect from it.  Right now the Rangers third pair combines to make, ironically exactly what Boogaard does, 1.625 million and even with raises at the end of the season if both are back Eminger and Sauer will combine for at most 2.2 million which is a much more attractive option for the team.

I can hear the calls now that if Columbus would take Rozi then it would be worth saving the two million on the cap next year, which I probably still would not do, but that is the only scenario where I would even think twice in a one for one move.  If the Rangers had to take on a Tyutin salary for an extra year it would have to be accompanied by a piece the Rangers really wanted for the future in terms of a prospect or a pick.  I could see the Blue Jackets who need a PP QB having some interest in giving Gilroy a shot there or maybe another enigmatic player in Alex Frolov, but maybe they have had their fill of those.  I would gladly trade either or both of those to Columbus but not to bring back Tyutin, unless there is a nice sweetener, as the extra year on his deal is a huge negative in my book.

If the Rangers did deal for Tyutin you have to suspect, if not already involved, Gilroy or another defender would have to be moved in a separate deal, but before the Richards rumors get connected to this realize that 2.844 million in cap hit Tyutin adds next year makes Richards than much less affordable. 

Have at it.

Whale Win Again Behind Talbot, Weise, Zuccarello, Kolarik

Two games in two days and just another two wins for the red-hot Connecticut Whale as the New York Rangers were not the only ones rolling on Sunday.  The Whale with their current four game winning streak and longer 6-0-0-1 record since becoming the Whale have gone over .500 (12-11-4) for the first time since late October.  Saturday was about Mats Zuccarello, Evgeny Grachev and Ryan McDonagh stepping up from the prospects down there and Sunday saw Zuccarello again with Chad Kolarik and Dale Weise doing the lion’s share of the damage in the 4-3 win over the Flyers affiliate, Adirondack Phantoms.

Drury To Return Wednesday Against Pens; Who Goes? Where Does Drury Fit?

Following last night’s game it was announced that Rangers Captain Chris Drury has been fully cleared by the medical staff, which means full contact practices starting today and that John Tortorella said he will be back in the lineup Wednesday against the Penguins.  The obvious question his return leads to is who is gone when he comes back, but I have a few others as well:  What position is he going to play and where does he slot in the lineup?  

Marc Staal: Following His Instincts To Rise To Another Level

With each player the evolution and maturation of their game happens at different times, paces and rates and the Rangers have seen that first hand with the growth of their young core.  As important as Brandon Dubinsky is as a goal scorer, Ryan Callahan as a leader, Dan Girardi as defender of the main parts of the young core who have been here the last few years none are as important to the long term viability of the New York Rangers as Marc Staal.  The now 23 year old defender, currently in his fourth season, has been a defensive stalwart for the Rangers nearly from day one.  Over each of the last few seasons there has been a desire from the fans and the coaching staff for him to take the next step offensively to go with his prowess as a shutdown defender.  There were those who criticized Glen Sather for the amount of money he paid to a one-way defender over the summer because of his lack of offensive results.  I wonder if those people are still talking now as the evolution of Marc Staal continues to happen before our eyes.