Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sean Avery Reports To Connecticut Whale

When the New York Rangers waived forward Sean Avery last week speculation and rumors ran rampant as to whether he would report to the Connecticut Whale (AHL) or explore other options.  Today Avery answered the questions and end the rumors by reporting to the Whale.  While Avery might have had options overseas or outside of the hockey world, this is his only option if he wants to get back to the NHL.

With Avery officially reporting the Rangers have most of his $1.9375 million cap hit off their cap and creates extra flexibility if the team wants to make a bigger move.  Whether the Rangers use that space to make a move to add significant salary likely depends on the long-term status of Marc Staal and whether they need a legitimate top 4 defender as opposed to additions like Jeff Woywitka.

Kreider Decision To Stay At Boston College Best For Him/Rangers Long-Term

Despite repeated attempts by the New York Rangers to convince him to sign this summer, Chris Kreider was determined to go back to Boston College for his Junior season.  The combination of continuing his education being better prepared to be an impact player once he turned pro were said to be the keys to Kreider’s decision to return.  After two games, all side should be thrilled with Kreider’s decision as he is showing the domination of college opposition that he never really found last season.

Kreider was dominant in both games of the North Dakota Ice Breaker Invitational this weekend scoring two goals, one game winner, and adding an assist en route to winning the Most Valuable Player honors as Boston College claimed the trophy.  This weekend was more of what was expected of Kreider last season, but he never found his groove only tallying 11 goals and 13 assists in 32 games. 

There has never been a question concerning Kreider’s physical skills as his skating would be amongst the best in the NHL right now.  The questions have revolved around consistency of production and understanding of the game, but he is certainly looking to quell those doubters in the early season.  With the departures that Boston College had to end last season Kreider had every opportunity to be one of their go-to players this season and he certainly seems up to the task early on.

Some might look at Kreider’s performance in this tournament and question why he didn’t come out of college as he could be doing this for the Rangers or at the very least in Hartford for the Connecticut Whale.  It is intriguing to think about what he could be doing, especially with the team's offensive struggles in Sweden and glaring need for a top six left wing.  However, I will disagree with those question the decision to go back and give the credit to Kreider for knowing he had more work to do in being an impact player at the collegiate level first before he could reach his potential in the professional ranks.  If this past weekend is any indication of what Kreider is going to do this season for Boston College, then the decision is only validated further and the Rangers will be the ultimate benefactor in the player Kreider ultimately is when he turns pro, likely next summer.