Prospect Park: Gernander Is Fall Guy For Ranger Failures

In News, Prospect Park by Jess Rubenstein

Photo by Chris Rutsch.

Ken Gernander is being made into the fall guy and paid with his job for the failures of the New York Rangers to properly restock their prospect pipeline. Yes, the Hartford Wolfpack had one of their worst seasons in years and yes, they have failed to make the playoffs in four of the last five seasons.

But here is the reality, you cannot ask a guy to develop talent for the Rangers if you do not give him any talent. When Ken Gernander was given the players to develop, he got the job done (IE Brady Skjei, Oscar Lindberg, Jesper Fast, Dale Weise,  and Artem Anisimov just to name a few) but most of the recent talent just was not good enough to get the job done.

If you want to make a big deal about Robin Kovacs or Malte Stromwall then go back and realize that neither was ready for North American hockey. Kovacs played second level in Sweden not first level and Stromwall is the same situation. Maybe if they had played elite level then one can make a case for why they were not getting top minutes.

Why not take a good look at the Ranger’s draft history and see how many draft picks made it to the NHL? How about we count how many have not played even a single game at the NHL level?

It is not fair to blame Ken Gernander for the failures in the developmental system. When more of the draft picks are either not signed or wind up playing in the ECHL then it is not on Germander, it is on his superiors.

Let’s point the fingers where they belong Jim Gorton and Glen Sather. They made the trades, they made the selections, and they signed the UFAs. They decided the Wolf Pack roster, Gernander had to play and use what he was given.

Right now if you look at the Hartford roster, you would need to look very long and even very hard to find anyone who will develop into a Top Six forward or a Top Four defender. The sad reality is that the best the Rangers could hope for is third or fourth liners or sadly bottom pair defenders.

Yes things will get better next year because their will be an influx of talent (including draft picks) but whatever you do do not blame Ken Gernander for the development failures. He got the most out of  what little he was given.

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