Is Martin St. Louis a Hall of Famer?



Is Brad Richards Set To Be The Next Captain Of The Rangers?
+ Pashnin doesn't want to play in the AHL, questionable prospect rankings and updates on J.T. Miller and Shane McColgan

Does Coach John Tortorella prefer Brad Richards as his captain?

Does Coach John Tortorella prefer Brad Richards as his captain?

Andrew Gross believes that Coach John Tortorella may prefer to anoint Brad Richards the next Rangers’ captain rather than fan-favorite Ryan Callahan.  Tortorella’s affinity for Richards is well-known so perhaps it shouldn’t be a major shock that he’d rather have one of his old favorites as his locker room mouthpiece rather than the younger Callahan, but Richards is already facing a ton of pressure this season.  Adding in a “C” to go with the weight of the humongous contract Richards signed in July isn’t necessarily the best way to keep Richards away from the bulls-eye heading into the season.  Fans love Callahan, and rightfully so, and if he’s overlooked for Richards that will not please them and will only serve to make things tougher on Richards.  Tortorella more than anyone should know if Richards can handle it, but it’s not going to be a popular decision if Tortorella chooses the Prince Edward Island native.  As Gross points out, the relatively short term of Callahan’s deal (three years) versus the nine-year deal signed by Richards could also be a factor.

- Despite an impressive showing on Team USA’s top line at the 2011 USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp alongside J.T. Miller and Rocco Grimaldi, Shane McColgan was cut from the team leaving Miller and Team Canada hopeful Christian Thomas as the lone Rangers still participating in WJC camps.

Miller and McColgan both drew strong reviews earlier in the week, but a pointless showing Monday against Finland earned McColgan a ticket back home.

Both Miller and Thomas should make their respective teams and Team USA and Team Canada should be favorites at the WJC, so don’t be surprised if we get the mid-winter treat of a Miller vs. Thomas matchup in a medal round of the WJC.

- Speaking of prospects, Corey Pronman of Puck Prospectus released his top- 10 NYR prospects list today.  There’s no surprise at the top, where Tim Erixon, Chris Kreider and Dylan McIlrath sit in the top three, but Pronman has Michael St. Croix, Jesper Fasth and Carl Hagelin ahead of Christian Thomas and Dale Weise ahead of J.T. Miller.  Pronman believes the Rangers have the 20th-best farm system in the league, a stark contrast to Hockey’s Future’s assessment of the Blueshirts organization.  HF has the Rangers at No. 7 and that’s more in line with the consensus around the league.  Pronman was extremely high on St. Croix leading into the draft and had him ranked 26th overall in the class, so at least that is an indictment of his opinion on an individual player.  However it’s hard to believe that a kid that scored 54 goals in the OHL last season and is widely expected to become a goal-scorer in the NHL possibly as soon as this season is the Rangers’ seventh-best prospect.  Pronman wasn’t high on Miller either, so perhaps it shouldn’t be a shock that he has Miller ranked lower than others, but placing him behind Weise, who is buried in the AHL and has done little to show that he’ll be anything more than a fourth-liner is puzzling.

- Despite recent reports that Mikhail Pashnin was going to play in North America this year, the Russian defenseman re-signed with CKSA Moscow for two more seasons this week.  Dmitry Chesnokov reports that Pashnin’s agent said Pashnin "didn't want a two-way contract... he wouldn't grow in the farm club."  It’s hard to believe that Pashnin thought that just because he believed he was NHL-ready and wanted to come over that he’d have a spot waiting for him in New York.  That’s more than overconfidence, that’s foolishness, especially if Pashnin and his agent have any idea about the stable of Rangers’ defenders, which both should.  Concern over Pashnin’s desire to play in the NHL kept him from being drafted higher two years ago and it looks like his commitment to following the right path to Broadway is indeed in question.

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Posted by Kevin Baumer | August 9, 2011 at 12:55 pm

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