An Assortment Of New York Rangers and NHL Related Thoughts

Bruce Bennett

After a year of no writing, I have a lot to say.

I haven't written in almost a year, so as usual I have a lot to say. Rather than give you a long introduction I'm going to get straight to the point, and if you don't like it you can read more of Kevin Power's shenanigans.

-First of all, those of you that follow Dave Lozo on twitter must have seen that Buffalo Sabres fans tweeted at him that Brad Richards faked the hit from behind from Patrick Kaleta, diving into the boards head first to draw a major penalty. If you took those fans seriously, rethink how you respond to the internet.

Twitter is the most dangerous place to go if you are thin-skinned and you believe everything you read. A friend of mine from college quotes every tweet he sees from Incarcerated Bob, taking each one more seriously than the one before it.

Twitter is filled with fans and impersonators, so don't take the site too seriously.

-The lockout was expected to cause many fans to stop paying attention to hockey, like what happened in 2004. I paid zero attention to the lockout, unfollowing all hockey people on twitter and not reading any hockey sites. When the NHL announced they would be returning, I re-followed everyone and started reading again. The league has put their fans in the position where we expect chaos, whether it be lockouts, horrifying penalties, or more.

Still, we return, whether it be to see history like the Chicago Blackhawks this season, or to see how our favorite teams could respond to adversity. I love hockey too much to let it go, so the NHL has the upperhand on me. For most fans, I expect the same, which is sad to be perfectly honest.

-Ryan O'Reilly got his way over the Colorado Avalanche, but with reports stating the Avalanche will likely trade him after the season, his Avalanche teammates cannot be too happy. I, for one, am extremely glad the Rangers did not try to acquire O'Reilly, as the Rangers do not have the depth to trade multiple players for one (like the Rick Nash trade) and O'Reilly is certain to have a bit of a bad reputation across the league. Players across the league are playing for less than they should, yet O'Reilly insisted on getting a big pay day. He got it, and he has to deal with the extra hits and the likely ramifications of his decision to go after the money.

-Rick Nash hasn't gotten the puck in the net that much, but he has looked excellent for the Rangers. On the other side of the deal, Brandon Dubinsky has been discussed as a possible candidate for Captain of the Blue Jackets, Artem Anisimov has scored some big goals, and Tim Erixon is already in the NHL. This deal could prove to be a win-win, but one question remains. Did the Rangers trade for the right player?

Recently it was tweeted that Nash and Jakub Voracek's stats since 2011 are eerily similar. This caused me to think if the Rangers should have dealt the package of Anisimov+Dubinsky+more for a younger player like Bobby Ryan or Evander Kane. Nash's contract is likely to be a bust in the finishing years, as are Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik's. Acquiring a young player would do wonders for the future, while not jeopardizing the present.

That being said, Rick Nash gives the Rangers the best chance to win now, while not ruining the teams future. We cannot be sure that Ducks or Jets would accept the same package for Ryan or Kane, and we cannot be sure those players would have the same impact Nash has had in New York. Still, going younger is something the Rangers ought to consider.

Speaking of younger, one of my new favorite hockey players is James Van Riemsdyk. The on fire Toronto Maple Leaf recently said the Flyers were the one team he didn't want to play for, as he was a Rangers fan growing up. Given that he is a former Flyer, this made me laugh and put a smile to my face.

Vinny Prospal, a former Ranger has had a quiet yet excellent season for the Blue Jackets. Keep an eye on him as a possible trade candidate, as the Blue Jackets look for prospects and teams in the playoff hunt look for veteran scorers.

Finally, the Overtime rules in the NHL need to be discussed in future meetings. Having a fantastic game like Sunday night's end in a skills competition was just plain wrong, and I feel for Sabres fans when every point is especially important, and they lose the second point due to the shootout excellence of Ryan Callahan, Rick Nash, and Henrik Lundqvist. Sure, the Sabres had many chances to score in overtime, but the fact that they lost a hard fought game because of a couple of league mandated breakways is just plain wrong.

Discuss, and I will certainly check out the comments to talk about anything you'd like. Thanks for reading.

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