Trying To Keep An Open Mind

In Blueshirt Bulletin Main Blog, News, Prospect Park by Jess Rubenstein

David Quinn (New York Rangers)

Being a New York Rangers fan for over 50 years isn’t an easy thing. This is a franchise that knows how to break your heart in so many ways. So forgive me if I am having so much trouble keeping an open mind when it comes to the team’s claims that they are rebuilding.

I like the new coach David Quinn as I know his work from his time at Boston University. I don’t care that most college coaches did not become winning NHL coaches, Quinn is a different kind of coach. If he is actually given the tools he needs then by all rights he should build a winner.

But for a rebuilding team, the Rangers really don’t look the part. For starters, the franchise’s biggest problems are still there meaning Glen Sather, the Dolans and sadly Jeff Gorton the GM. I looked at the roster and I see very few openings for younger players to earn spots. I see a lot of the same faces from last season’s disaster returning and looking like they will make the team.

Forwards: Pavel Buchnevich, Jesper Fast, Kevin Hayes, Chris Kreider, Cody McLeod, Vladislav Namestnikov, Ryan Spooner, Jimmy Vesey, Mika Zibanejad, Mats Zuccarello (add) Lias Andersson and Filip Chytil

Defense: Marc Staal, Brady Skjei, Kevin Shattenkirk, Neal Pionk, John Gilmour (add) Adam McQuaid and Fredrik Claesson

Goal: Henrik Lundqvist, Alexandar Georgiev

That is a total of 21 spots of what appears to be the roster. It doesn’t include Matt Beleskey or Brendan Smith who were buried in Hartford to get them off the salary cap. The Rangers almost never carry the allowed max of 23 players which leaves all of one spot open. Yet the Rangers want us to believe they are rebuilding and I ask where? There may be some new younger players but odds are most are headed to Hartford or Maine.

How is this rebuilding when just two of the 2018 draft class is in training camp? Yet Ranger fans are being asked to trust the management and ownership of this team. I don’t. Already you see a segment of the fans wanting to see the team go after Columbus Bluejacket forward Artemi Panarin. They see how little that San Jose paid the Ottawa Senators to “rent” Erik Karlsson and think Columbus will accept that little.

Sorry, unlike Ottawa, Columbus is not run by a fool and John Davidson will demand a lot more from the Rangers. JD will want the best of the Ranger prospects and sorry the prospect pool isn’t as deep as you might think.

But if this team is even close to the eighth seed by February 25th, 2019, don’t put it past the Rangers to make the move for Panarin or anyone else.

Riley Hughes

The only active Rangers prospect playing counting games is Riley Hughes (2018 seventh) currently with the Victoria Grizzlies of the BCHL. Hughes made his home debut on Saturday a good one with a 1-1-2 evening. His Grizzlies held off the Penticton Vees 4-3 in a clash of two of the top BCHL teams. The Vees are currently the top-ranked team in all of Canadian Junior “A” (Victoria is 11th).

Hughes recorded his second goal of the season at 18:09 breaking a 2-2 tie giving the Grizzlies a 3-2 lead

Hughes would add a secondary assist on Victoria’s fourth goal which was the game winner. Hughes is 2-1-3 after 3 games with Victoria.