With training camp a month away, we really are in the dog days of summer. The main bit of news is waiting for Tony DeAngelo and/or Brendan Lemieux to sign with New York. As this drags out, you have to wonder a bit if either or both, my bet is on ADA, refusing to sign the qualifying offer with the hopes of a bigger deal or offer sheet to be forthcoming. In addition, what GM Jeff Gorton should be doing is trying to invite some players to camp on PTOs. One that I would target, especially given the youth on the blue line is Fredrik Claussen. No, he isn’t Anton Stralman or Adam Clendening, where we pine for the player repeatedly. But he could be a decent cheap option if New York decides that Lindgren, Rykov, Hajek and/or Fox need more seasoning
A potpourri of topics:
The NHL Network ranked the Top 50 Prospects
heading into this season and the Rangers had:
#2: Kaapo Kakko
#12: Vitali Kravtsov
#20: Igor Shesterkin
#30: Adam Fox
The Rangers are the only team to have four prospects in the top-30 and three prospects in the top-20. Of that list, I think we all believe three will fall off as they will receive more than 25 games of playing time and therefore no longer be rookies. Shesterkin depends on Henrik Lundqvist and Alexandar Georgiev. K’Andre Miller (see below) didn’t make the list, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he was there or just below next season.
NBC Sports Schedule
The Rangers will play 13 games on @NBCSports during the 2019-20 season. The first match up if with the Devils on October 17 at the Rock. Think they are hyping Hughes/Kakko. I hope to be at that contest. In addition, can someone please tell NBC to focus on teams beyond the big boys. Maybe mix in some of the lesser known or not as hyped teams so that he nation can see more of a cross-section of teams not just Pittsburgh and Washington and Boston and Chicago.
Full NBC Sports Schedule
From the press release
NBC Sports will televise at least 97 NHL regular-season games this season on NBCSN, including the Opening Night doubleheader, 38 “Wednesday Night Hockey” games, and 22 doubleheaders, as well as NHL All-Star coverage from St. Louis. In addition, NBC Sports has left the majority of the final week of the regular season on NBCSN open to allow for the biggest games with playoff implications to be added to the schedule.
Article on K'Andre Miller and Zac Jones:
NHL ON NBC: NHL on NBC coverage begins on Friday, Nov. 29, at 1 p.m. ET, with the 2019 Discover NHL Thanksgiving Showdown featuring the New York Rangers and the Boston Bruins, marking the first of 12 games scheduled to air on NBC during the regular season. Beginning on Jan. 19, and continuing through the end of the regular season, NBC will present the NHL Game of the Week, generally occurring on Sunday afternoons.
A few quotes from the column. From the effusive praise heaped on both, fairly apparent just how highly New York thinks of Miller and Jones. In addition, Director of North American Scouting Chris Morehouse, as pointed out by others, is a new addition to the team, coming over from Columbus. John Davidson and GM Jeff Gorton are remaking the scouting crew under Gord Clark, bolstering the ranks, which hopefully bodes even better for the future.
"K'Andre has really improved from the point when we drafted him," said Rangers Director of Pro Scouting Kevin Maxwell. "He's got all the tools that you want in a defenseman. He can skate, he can think, and he's got power to his game. As far as the leadership goes, he's a real likable kid, and the kids gravitate to him. He just he has this attitude about him that people just want to be around him."
It's not every day that you establish yourself as a voice in the dressing room as a college freshman. But Miller isn't your every-day player.
"You don't see many freshmen that go in and become a leader like he was," said Rangers Amateur Scout Larry Bernard. "This year it's going to be expected of him even more, on the ice and off the ice."
Jones, a third-round pick in the 2019 Draft, has been fun for the Rangers brass to watch as well.
"For a defenseman that size, you have to be very smart, and we think he is," Bernard said. "We think he's got good puck skills and he's got an attitude to him and his game that just allows him to play at that size, and that's why we picked him. He just has that vision and that ability to not panic under pressure."
Jones' emergence has been a pleasure to watch for Rangers Director of North American Scouting Chris Morehouse, albeit a bit of an unexpected one.
"I think you just look at his poise and his confidence with the puck - he played high school hockey two years ago. He only has one year of USHL experience. He comes in here and he's looked great," Morehouse said. "I think it's a credit to his mental makeup, his hockey sense - all those things you want. He has that special poise and dynamic ability. I think for him, you just love the upside."
This was brought up on Twitter and 2sticks1puck included in the prior blog comments, so adding it here. It's a fun and challenging exercise. Wonder when someone plugs team's into What If Sports or NHL 94 and play out a full season.
For the Rangers (or fans of other teams, your squad as well), build the best team with a $200 salary cap. You get 3F, 2D, 1 G. For each regular season game played with the team, it costs you 1 dollar, but you get their whole career. You can't pick anyone with a 0 value.
If there is a topic you want me to cover or question you have, please note that in the comments. Will try and get a blog up incorporating them as we wait for training camp to open. A little more than a month and we will have hockey.