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TheNYRBlog’s 20 Thoughts: Truth Bomb

Get ready Blueshirts fans, actual Rangers hockey will be played this week!!!!! Ok, it’s only the prospects participating in the annual Traverse City Tournament, but heck, I’ll take it. Unfortunately, there’s a dark cloud casting a shadow over my excitement. And it’s a sad truth every Rangers fan must eventually acknowledge. Let’s get into this week’s 20 Thoughts to find out what it is:

1. As I mentioned, the Traverse City Prospect tournament begins on Friday, so let’s take a look at this year’s roster:

2. Looks like we’ve got all the top prospects including Andersson, Day, Gropp, Kovacs and the guy I’m looking forward to watching the most Filip Chyt…wait what?!?!?!

Thankfully, upon further review…

Sucks that we won’t get to see Chytil at Traverse, but he might have been lost for most, if not all, of the season if he was dealing with a torn muscle. Sounds like the 21st overall pick dodged a serious bullet.

3. In Chytil’s place, it looks like the Rangers have invited one of his teammates from Zlin, Nicolas Werbik, to participate at Traverse and in camp (via Zlin official website)…

“It’s a big surprise for me. My goal was to play a good season overseas, and after the season to go to NHL Camping. I’m glad I got the opportunity right now,” says the 19-year-old Nicolas Werbik.

“It took me until I realized it all. First, the agent wrote me that the Rangers asked me and wanted some information. I did not expect anything from that. The next day I called for an invitation. And during my phone call, my cell phone rang. I quickly looked and saw an email from Rangers, “

How do you say Wally Pipp in Czech?

4. Despite the Chytil injury disappointment, there is plenty to look forward to at Traverse City, including Ty Ronning, who did this over the weekend…

The 5′ 6″ Ronning may be undersized, but he proved in his short (no pun intended) stint with Hartford last year (2g, 3a in 12 games) he can hang with the big boys. Plus, he’s got NHL pedigree…

Nice goal Cliff! By the way, how’d that series work out for you and the Canucks?

5. Another Traverse City participant who’s been making a name for himself this offseason is Tim Gettinger, who forced his way into the next round of the USA Junior Team’s cuts with an impressive showing at the World Junior Summer Showcase, and now this…

Size (6′ 6″), skill and leadership qualities?

6. One prospect looking to make an impact at Traverse and beyond is #7 overall pick Lias Andersson, who says his goal is to make the team, but if he doesn’t, the AHL, not a return to Sweden, could be in his future (via GP.com)…

“It’s up to me to decide what’s going on there. So, let’s see …”

In the event Andersson is cut during training camp, I’d have to assume he ends up going to the Wolf Pack. He’s not getting recalled from Frolunda, but he would from Hartford.

7. A youngster who we won’t see at the tournament but continues to climb my man crush ladder is Dominik Lakatoš (6th – 2017), who has provided goals, snarl and now playmaking ability this early season…

8. And finally, two guys who, similar to Andersson, will be looking to impress this weekend as well as in camp are young defensemen Neal Pionk and Vince Pedrie, who had this to say about skating with Rangers players for the first time during informal practice (via NYRangers.com)…

“It was very cool. It was pretty surreal,” Pionk told NYRangers.com. “It’s something that you kind of dream of as a kid and now you’re out there playing hockey with them. It’s pretty cool. Once we stepped on the ice we were all just playing hockey, so my nerves settled a bit.”

“Any time you get to step on the ice with those guys, you’re just trying to be a sponge and soak up as much knowledge as you can, whether it’s just watching their reps or asking them questions about what you can do,” Pedrie said. “It’s obviously a really cool feeling to watch those guys.”

9. Speaking of Brad Richards…

They spelled “Power Play Coach” incorrectly for Leetch’s new title.

10. That’s not the only thing new to start the week in Rangerstown…

Hey Dubinsky, how do you feel about Fast wearing your old number?

BTW, Fast felt good after practicing with the team for the first time since offseason hip surgery that’ll keep him out until November (via NYRangers.com)…

“This was the first time I was practicing with the team, doing some passing drills. It felt better than I thought it would. We’ll see. We’ll take it slow, take it step-by-step, and we’ll see what happens.”

11. Meanwhile Lundqvist showed off another new mask…

Discussed his new pads…

As well as the new look Rangers…

12. The Blueshirts also have new practice jerseys…

13. And a new red line…

14. Not all the changes are happening on the ice…

15. Zoolander 3: The Rise of Duguay

16. Speaking of ex-Rangers, Colton Orr continues to keep the role of the enforcer alive…

Still one of the great knockouts of all time…

17.

Thanks for all the birthday wishes🙏 look who showed up today🎉🎉 chazzzzzer😎

A post shared by matszuccarello (@matszuccarello) on

18. With the Rangers losing Derek Stepan and Oscar Lindberg this offseason, Kevin Hayes recognizes this is his chance to shine (via NHL.com)…

“It’s time to prove that I’m capable of being that guy,” Hayes said. “You don’t want to be in the same spot your whole career. I have a really good opportunity and I need to grab that and show the coaches and Rangers fans that I belong there.”

I’m going to be honest, I’m not 100% convinced Hayes is ready to become a #2 center in this league, but he’s going to have to or it’ll be a long season for the Blueshirts who are paper thin up the middle.

19. Which is why I’m sadly in agreement with Kevin Allen of USA Today who feels the Rangers are one of five playoff teams from a year ago who might be on the outside looking in at the end of the 2017-18 regular season…

“Center Derek Stepan was dealt. Is Mika Zibanejad ready to be a No. 1 center? Will defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk be a dominant performer? Can Kevin Hayes step up? Will Jimmy Vesey take another step in his development? Will Pavel Buchnevich have a breakthrough season?”

That’s a lot of question marks my friends. Earlier this offseason I was crucified on Twitter for calling the Rangers, as currently constructed, a bubble team. I’m not sure how any fan can look at the Blueshirts current quandary at center and truly believe they’re a lock for the playoffs. Now that doesn’t mean the situation is hopeless, but when you need everything to break just right merely to put yourself in position to make the postseason, that doesn’t breed a lot of confidence.

20. But hey, maybe Rangers GM Jeff Gorton has something cooking…

Obviously, there’s no way of knowing if the Rangers are one of the two offers, but they’ve been connected to the 35-year old suspended KHL forward for the last few weeks, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they’ve submitted a bid.

BTW, got to love when Rangers fans are hoping Zaripov is the final piece of the puzzle, meanwhile the guy can barely leap frog up stadium stairs.

Not sure what kind of performance enhancing drugs Zarpov tested positive for, but I would have thought they could at least help him outperform my 5-year old son at the frog jump. Goodness gracious we’re screwed.

Remember to follow me on TwitterFacebook & Instagram or e-mail me at nyrfan94@yahoo.com.

7 thoughts on “TheNYRBlog’s 20 Thoughts: Truth Bomb

  1. Zaripov was banned this year and through 2019 for testing positive for pseudoephedrine, the main ingredient in decongestants and allergy medicines.
    A decent scoring left winger but will be 37 this season. 37 is the new 47 in today’s NHL as we all know.

    I’m happy to see Leetch and Chiclets both back with the Rangers and I agree with you Kevin… just give Leetch Arniel’s job.

    I miss hockey!

    And finally; a link from snopes, dude? really? c’mon…

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  2. wow Really so Stephan being gone just takes us right out of the playoffs I would lean more towards the toughness of our division but that’s just me

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    1. Stepan AND Lindberg. Plus bottom defensive pair still a question mark, while Lundqvist a year older and has become injury prone the last few seasons. Just pointing out there’s some holes in the lineup.

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  3. I agree with you Kevin there are glaring holes. Pretty boy Lundqvist got exactly what he wanted, no threat of a back up taking over and a solid defensive core. The defense is a big improvement from last year. I cant stand Lundqvist I hope he gets fuckin lit up. Ever since he strong armed the Rangers I instantly hated him. These pros are entitled to get the best deal they can but then dont act like all you care about is winning, he put himself before the organization plain and simple. We let two younger and just as talented goalies walk away because of him. Maybe its his ego, but to me he is an arrogant prick.

    As far as Hayes stepping up, I just dont see it. He might break 20 goals this year and a few more assists but he will never be more than a good 2nd line center or a great 3rd line. Zibenejad has the potential to fill Stepan’s shoes. I could see him surpassing Stepan in points if not this year then the following year.

    The Rangers definitely have some wild cards

    Lundqvist (can he stay healthy and play like younger self?)
    Zbad (can he fill the bald man’s shoes?)
    Kreider (can this be this fuckin nut jobs year?)
    Shattenkirk (can he run the fuckin powerplay?)
    JT Miller (can he step up as center?)
    Vesey (can he improve?)
    Grabner (can this fuckin beast keep going?)
    Staal (can he find his fuckin balls?)

    I think if half of these wild cards pan out, we make the playoffs. Pretty boy at the top of the list is definitely the most important.

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  4. If I were a goalie and had to withstand the crappy defense the Rangers have had the past few years, I would have asked for a large contract also. The Rangers are loaded with young goalies down the pike so I’m not worried about injuries.
    With a faster defense, Stepan will just be a memory who couldn’t skate, win a faceoff or be tough in the corners.

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  5. Stephen when Lundqvist signed his big deal the Rangers defense was considered one of the best in the League. It was when Staal and Girardi were on top of their game. It was when we had Straalman. Lundqvist had solid defense in front of him until Girardi and Staal deteriorated.

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