Yesterday on Twitter, I had a conversation with Leslie Treff of Hockey's Future who says that while it's not completely out of the question that Dylan McIlrath could be recalled during Marc Staal's absence with a "neck"injury, the more likely person summoned from Hartford is Stu Bickel. Which she said could happen as early as today.
Treff adds that McIlrath still needs to improve positioning and decision making and would benefit from playing the entire season with the Wolfpack on the top pair with Aaron Johnson.
...i know the Rangers need toughness, but I'm not sure Bickel is the answer. While most Rangers fans forget he had a pretty solid rookie season until that ill-fated giveaway against the Senators in the playoffs, he has proved to be nothing more than a pylon since.
...as most readers of this blog have noted, the Rangers need more than just an enforcer, they need a skilled player with some sand paper to their game, who isn't afraid to mix it up with the big boys. And Bickel does not fit that description.
...a bit disheartening to hear Treff's analysis on McIlrath, but if teams continue to take liberties with Rangers players without even a morsel of response, I'm not sure Sather & co. will have any choice but to bring the kid up.
...one other note on the team's lack of physicality. I think the Rangers have really missed the presence of Dorsett in the lineup recently. He's the only guy who plays with any kind of edge and without him this team is softer than Charmin.
But at least Bickel could hold his own. Boyle can't/won't throw a punch to save his life. Dorsett?? Too small. So that leaves no one else to or who's willing to drop the gloves. Cally would but he's not a true fighter either. Thats why a guy like Ryan Clowe would have been good for. Bring Asham back up. Something has to be done. Last night was a disgrace.
Wow I guess the organization didn't learn the first time with Kreider... What the fuck... Miller was one of their best players last night... Idiots the lot of them
Even Strang gets it:@KatieStrangESPN: Speaking of the rough stuff, the Rangers seemed to be lacking the requisite sandpaper and snarl needed even to hang tough in an underwhelming Metropolitan Division matchup against the Washington Capitals on Sunday night. The Rangers showed little fight or fire in an uninspired 4-1 loss to the Caps, and grit has to be a concern moving forward. Consider this: 5-foot-7 Norwegian winger Mats Zuccarello was the one who got up in Alex Ovechkin's grill after No. 8's hard hit on veteran center Brad Richards. Again, that's 5-foot-7 Mats Zuccarello. Both Chris Kreiderand Rick Nash showed some feistiness too, but should this really be a task for the team's skill players? Without Derek Dorsett in the lineup, the Rangers lack toughness and moxie. Gone are the days of the supremely effective Brandon Prust, and so too is the winning record as the Rangers are stuck in neutral at 15-15-1. I'm not suggesting the Rangers employ a heavyweight enforcer a la the days of John Scott, but extra physicality on the ice night in and night out wouldn't hurt, either.
Ah, yes. We need Bickel that bad. Are you kidding? At least the kid shows some moxi. About time. BTW, even with Dorsett, the Rangers are softer than Charmin. And while I appreciate Dorsett for what he is trying to do, he is a poor man's Prust.
Always liked Bickel and to be honest DZ has made many more mistakes than him. He fights like a mad man and this team needs someone with Dorsset in the line up. Kevin, I usually agree but Bickel I think can certainly be a good short term answer. And I don't see us getting Milan Lucic any time soon, not too many guys in the NHL are skillful players and can fight or be an enforcer as well.
Agree with you Kevin but what are the choices. Whereas The Undertaker is looking better he's still not quick enough with the type of skating an NHL defenseman needs so he could be equal or even worse as far as being a liability to Stu. Arguments for bringing McI up is that he can clear the net better than Stu and is big, strong and tough and good fighter and can still develop while here, and what better training is there than on the job. My observation of him is that he's not a fragile ego, meaning that bringing him up "too soon" will not "ruin him", or set his development back (this of course is not tangible and is just an opinion on my part). I think he'd be the better choice. The argument for Stu is that he has NHL experience (but digressed last season) and maybe with some AHL experience won't be as bad as we remember. He brings some toughness and fighting skill which we need but skating and decision making is a big question mark. Either way it's temporary. I don't think Stall will be out too long, even if he did suffer a slight concussion (my last one, my 6th was only slight but I went into a mild case of PCC for 3 weeks).
On a different note some people have been critical of Dorsett. I really like his game this season, though he got off to a slow start and I notice a substantial difference when he is not in the line-up.
It's about time. Bickel played decently when he first came up. Then he made some mistakes and seemed to never recover. At least he has NHL experience. Bringing up McIlrath before he's ready would be a big mistake. Defensemen need time to learn and develop or they can be permanently ruined.
Kreider got a second chance, Bickel deserves it as well. He was heart and soul for the team when he was here. And he did play really well up until that give away. Give the Bicks a shot. Seriously, how much worse could shit get at this point????
oh thank god bickel will save this team (hard to convey feigned excitement in print).
Bickel's already proved what he is, and that is not going to help this team in any way. He'd get called up, play 1 shift, fight the other team's heavyweight and be done for the night. How does that help anything?? Nope, this group needs to figure it out on their own because there is no legit help to be had right now. I will say this, they are making Sather's off-season moves a helluva lot easier. Of the 13 UFA/RFA, there are 3 that are earning raises right now. The rest are in for some serious rude awakenings.
While toughness on D is important and we certainly lack it, a tough winger who can play (Clowe could have been that guy??) has got to be top priority...if they stay in-house give Haley another shot--he may not score much but he hits, has good energy, skates decent and doesnt take any crap.
@KreiderisTheChosenOne Unless they're doing to Miller what they did to Kreider and are hoping next season Miller will be the new Kreider and be awesome.
YO I SENt you a message cause I coulnt figure out how to friend you. we met at Bar none in the bathroom and were talking about rangers and jets (how we both have season tix etc). I was in the front with my boyfriend but i think you were chilling in the back
@nylundqvist Slats does love those former first round, reclamation projects.
Is MclIrath ready? Not sure he can handle the Heavyweights, the few there are in NHL, yet.
This site has him listed at 6'3 - 197 lbs? He's 6'5 - 215 lbs, Right?
@AnnoyingJoe I heard that was kind of important to play hockey, but it might just be a rumor.
Alright. If Bickel is coming in as another forward in place of Pyatt, that's whatever. As long as he can come in, forecheck, hit, then that's more than Pyatt has done. If he's coming in as a defensemen than well that's just terrible. Our d-men aren't the strongest riow with Staal hurt. Del Zotto and Moore have been inconsistent and while I like Falk's play he's fine in the third defensive pairing and not the answer to Staal being out. If we have both Falk and Bickel out there things could get physical and pretty fun to watch. If there's a way to get Dorsett in there...well shit. A 4th line of Bickel Boyle Dorsett may not be the worst idea if Bickel is coming up..
@jasonshyer Completely agree. Bickel is a way tougher, harder working, grittier player than falk is. And that difference far exceeds the difference between the two defensively.
@GiveGartneraCup If you don't see the difference between giving a 22 year old 1st round pick another stint and giving another stint to a 27 year old who has proven nothing at any level and has bounced around from team to team then I don't know what to tell you.
@gravey94 Yeah. There's gonna be a major roster shakeup after this season, me thinks. I can see Kreider, Zucc, & Stralman getting nice new contracts with hefty raises. Not so much with the other UFAs/RFAs. Cally will get a raise offer too, but don't think it will be significant in terms of what he can command on the open market.
@gravey94 Bickel helps because that's all we have other than McIlrath, who everyone says is not ready yet. He helps because when the other team runs our softies, he can make them pay a little. He helps because when our team has no grit or passion, he can spark them with a big hit or fight to change the momentum. That is how he helps, GET IT?
@freebie23 Bring up Mc Ilrath to replace Staal and bring up Bickle to replace Pyatt. Problems solved. No more toughness issues either.
@JoshKaye I like the first part of the move. Not so much the second. Pouliot should have gone down and JT stays. I think AA will bring some toughness and he's not a bad hockey player with a pretty good shot. I think being back in the NHL will light a fire under him. I wouldn't mind Powe being brought up either.
@gravey94 @AnnoyingJoe Is he really worse than DZ? Falk? Lot of people criticized Kreider for not being able to use his size to his advantage last year, now look at him!!! Bicks deserves a shot. At this point, I'll take heart and soul over raw talent. He had a really great rookie year. Maybe he can recapture that confidence and swagger.
@Herman_NYRBlog @GiveGartneraCup ^^^ That. I've been against bringing Bickel up since it's a terrible idea since Bickel is awful. But this is me thinking about him as a defenseman. If Bickel is being used as a fourth line forward to forecheck, hit, and fight alongside Boyle and Dorsett...that may not be the worst idea ever.
@MikeBlue @gravey94 Again, how is he going to help when 1) he cannot skate backwards and barely manages forwards; 2) as soon as he steps on the ice, he will immediately be met by the other team's enforcer and then be gone for 5 and probably not see the ice again; and 3) he is not fast enough or good enough to actually hit someone unless they are standing still. I get that they need some grit and a spark. Bickel is not it. Calling him up will make a lot of people feel better because he'll punch a few guys in the face, but he will not help this team.
@Kevin DeLury Thoughts on putting Bickel at forward? I haven't made it a secret that I hate the idea of putting Bickel as a defensemen on this team. It may not be the worst idea to try him at forward. We've let Pouliot and Pyatt get a chance on the 4th line. Our defense is weak without Staal and pairing Bickel with Falk, Del Z, or Moore worries me. Putting him as a forward...well...it can't be worse than Pyatt...right?
@Kevin DeLury Kantor seems like Haley part 2---not as great with the gloves off, but might have a higher ceiling on skills
@KreiderisTheChosenOne WELL hes only 29. ive always been a fan of his. does well on the PP. at the same time i wouldnt want another small guy. just a thought though. i WILL go out and say him over pouliot and i think u can agree
@MikeBlue @gravey94 Ha! Oh, thanks for making me see the light. Actually, I think perhaps it's you that does not understnad the nuances of hockey. The first one you need to know about is that players need to be able to skate, especially when they play defense. Stu Bickel is rather weak in that area as I think most people can see. I never said anything about not having an enforcer, just that Bickel was not him. But I guess this is all moot since the organization realized Bickel was not the answer.
Well you know my thoughts on Bickel as a player. I think he's pretty awful. Thinking about it...could he be worse than Pyatt? I don't know I don't want this to happen but I'm just trying to think of any way this could be less awful