Moves Imminent on Broadway

12/29/2009
New York Rangers v Toronto Maple Leafs

Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun recently reported that the New York Rangers are shopping wingers Ales Kotalik and Christopher Higgins.

The Rangers brought in both players this past off-season to bolster their offense with hopes that they would fit into coach John Tortorella’s system.  GM Glen Sather hoped they would fill holes and perform at levels, but at this point both have vastly disappointed.  Now Sather looks for alternative options to “beef” up his top six in order to gain a bigger presence up front, something Kotalik should provide.

What do I mean?

The Rangers want size in front of the oppositions crease in order to create more traffic to generate more offense.

When the team they signed Marian Gaborik they had one goal in mind: the Stanley Cup playoffs.  Currently, the Rangers sit on the outside looking in, knowing some tweaking in the line up is a must.

Tortorella simply cannot work with the mix of forwards he currently has.  Outside of Gaborik, most of the team fail to put together a consistent effort. We know the personality of Mr. Tortorella, a fiery, intense coach with a limited tolerance.  The team’s current players show they cannot play his system properly.

It is time to make a change.

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Injuries in Ottawa Force a Trade?

12/26/2009
Ottawa Senators vs Pittsburgh Penguins

The latest from Bruce Garrioch of The Ottawa Sun discusses the injury to Daniel Alfredsson as well as the need to replace his production in the lineup.  After sustaining a hit from Craig Adams on Wednesday, the Senators captain expects to miss a few weeks with a bum shoulder.  The 37-year-old joins pivot Jason Spezza and wing Nick Foligno in the press box as they continue to recover from their own ailments while Chris Neil, Shean Donovan and Pascal Leclaire all returned to the lineup a mere three days ago.

Although center Josh Hennessy initially gets a call up, the rookie definitely is not and will not be the solution.  If this team is to stay within the playoff picture they must make a move quickly and patch the gaping hole in their top six.

Garrioch may be onto something for once with his article.  The controversial reporter discusses the merits of trading for Christopher Higgins or Alexander Frolov, both impending free agents after the season.

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Peter Mueller on His Way to Broadway?

12/21/2009
Columbus Blue Jackets v Phoenix Coyotes

Look closely at the picture to the right, it may be the last time you see Peter Mueller in a Coyotes jersey.

The 21-year-old native of Bloomington, Minnesota continues to baffle both his coaching staff and fans alike with his minimal effort and limited offensive production.  With only one goal and six points all season, Mueller sits on the hot seat almost begging GM Don Maloney to trade him elsewhere.

If you are keeping score at home, those totals project to an impressive three goals and 18 points.

Since the inception of Dave Tippett into the coaching staff, the entire Coyotes organization seems to thrive.  Tippett implemented his system quickly as he took over in preseason with little time to spare. The system teaches his youngsters solid two-way play and evidently turned Ilya Bryzgalov into a Vezina Trophy candidate.

Meanwhile Mueller’s totals have only plummeted from a successful rookie campaign under Wayne Gretzky.  Greatly slowing down over the second portion of last season many people had high hopes the talented youngster would turn it around.  The right wing played 28 games before watching from the press box since December 14th.

So what will Maloney do with Mueller?

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Keeper Watch: Two Russians & A Finn

12/09/2009
Colorado Avalanche v Florida Panthers

‘Keeper Watch’ will come out every couple of days, noting the changes in value for top prospects who are most likely available in your league. Similarly to our ‘Endorsed Pickups’ I will try not to focus too much on one position, which will leave some noteworthy players off the list.

Their must be something in the water, because there haven’t been a lot of kids making impact this week.  With the NHL getting younger and younger it is important for us to monitor the progress of prospects as well their role as they make the team.  In previous weeks, we had to make several cuts in order to cut it down to five or six.  This week we only can think of three.  Without further adieu, here are the kids we like.

C: Artem Anisimov, New York Rangers – In the preseason this kid looked like the next Russian superstar.  Why exactly this has changed is beyond me.  Did anyone realistically think he was going to have a rookie season similar to Ilya Kovalchuk or Alexander Ovechkin? The 21-year-old is currently on pace for 37 points but I see him capable of 50 points easily.

The New York Rangers essentially have zero secondary scoring.  As coach Tortorella shuffles lines two players remain constants together: Marian Gaborik and Vaclav Prospal.  Shuffling in and out of that line is Christopher Higgins, Brandon Dubinsky and Sean Avery.  With Arty playing with the two, the Rangers defeated a strong Buffalo Sabres team but now Avery finds himself back on the line .

Prognosis: Arty has too much skill not to play on a first line, eventually. Check out his highlight reel moves here.

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