Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cut Me, Mick...err Torts..

The first major cuts have been made to the team. Some of them could be seen a mile away. Others might seem a little premature. Still others could be seen as borderline. For right now its hard for many of us to complain as we have been screaming YOUTH YOUTH YOUTH for the last couple of seasons... and it could appear that management is listening. At at any rate, it appears Wade will have company in Hartford...

Chad Johnson - I've been pulling for this kid, since I first saw him play. Hes got a great glove hand, but there's no way he'd get enough playing time here anyway. None expected him to outshine Biron for the backup position. That softy let in against the Devils probably didn't help, especially when Torts had no faith in him to begin with. Hang in there "veint y nueve", shine in Hartford.

Dane Byers - Another kid, I've been pulling for to make the team for a while now. Better skills than he usually gets credit for; Stands up for teammates (even though he's not much of a scrapper), and he knows the basics of working around the net. Unfortunately, camp isn't a situation that favors him...Team guys often look lost when everyone's out for themselves and stepping all over each other to impress the coach... The scrap with Clarkson was night the highlight material Torts was looking for. Better to come up later into a more stable dynamic where he knows whats going on, though I will say between the injury bug and cuts like this... its starting to look bleak for Dane.

Evgeny Grachev - Lots of people had high hopes for this kid. Me, I really didn't see what the big deal was about this kid, for the limited time he was in camp. He didn't look that steady on his skates or like he really knew where he fit in. I'll chalk it up to nerves, but color me less than optimistic at this point, based on what I saw so far.

Dale Weise - He seemed to have a lot of energy in the games he played and was kind of all over the place. For as much as much as I saw of him during the game, I hardly remember any of it. He looks like he had an idea of what he wanted to bring to camp, only brought the basics and and tried to oversell.

Mats Zuccarello - For what little I saw of Zuccs, he looked like another young kid with some heart and was trying to play in a way that made everyone forget how small he was. Its the right attitude, but there's a lot of kids that will fill the camps of every team like that in the upcoming years. The best small guys never made anyone forget they were small, but they made everyone see how good they were at using what they had. Like using their size to squeeze through spaces and battle for the puck or go unnoticed around the crease, chip like crazy at rebounds.

Kris Newbury - Not really mind blowing that he got cut. He's an energy guy and not high on the depth chart in terms of skill. I loved watching him pummel Salvador and the fire he showed. Unfortunately, it won't impress Tortorella.

Jeremy Williams - Another no-brainer. I barely even noticed this kid was out there.

Brandon Manning - who? exactly...

Garnet Exelby - Hmm. This is kind of tough. I have to admit that I was never really a fan of Exelby as he always seemed like a bit of a cheap-shotting hick to me... or a better version of Ryan Hollweg. Good for an occasional hard hit, but many times questionable. The reason its difficult is that in the preseason games so far, hes the only Dman that seemed to have a clue about protecting his Goaltender. Ah well I suppose its ok, I mean Jim Ramsey is a really good medical trainer, right? Looking at it for what it was, Exelby was never really brought in as a viable option (it would take him a lot to earn a contract and if he did, he would be asking for more than entry level salary for a kid with that same potential) but more as control subject to up the stakes for the kids playing for a contract or guys paid more than their worth *Cough*Rosival*Cough* but who's salary would raise another red flag if they were waived after Redden.

Alexei Semenov - I don't think he was horrible. Hes a big body and he's fairly agile for a big guy. He's thrown down once or twice to stand up for a teammate last preseason, if I am remember correctly (that already gives him an edge on Girardi-- Yes, I'm still pissed about that) I think Semenov could be a cheaper version of Roszival.

Till the next round of cuts,


P.S. - I know noone's got any sympathy for Redds because of his salary, but I have to say I think it was kind of $hitty to not even let the guy get in a preseason game or two. Ok he probably wasn't going to be any different, but at least spare the guy that bull$hit of "its up to Wade, whether he stays or goes.. and he's going to have to show us something...." I understand that its business, and that either way, he's still collecting a hell of a lot of money from the team... but as an athlete, a family man (congrats to him and his wife).. allow him to compete and give the guy a chance at redemption and dignity. Looking at how quickly some of these guys were cut, how hard would that really have been?


  1. Great profiling, J. Hey...I heard Souray and Cheechoo are now available? ;)


  2. J,
    I was glad to see your support for Dane Byers. I have always pulled for him as well. I would love to get your thoughts on Stepan. I was very happy to see him absent from the cut list. I see a lot of promise there. Curious if you feel the same. Great work all around, guys. Go Blueshirts!!

  3. Thanks Francis,
    I think Stepan could have a very bright future. I won't use terms like "phenom" or anything like that, but taking into account that he's only 20(?) and performed as well has he has so far... has put the other centers on guard. I know Christensen has at least probably muttered a... "@!#$! me.." once or twice when Stepan's been doing his thing.
    I'm reserving a solid stamp of approval until a few things happen.
    - We see a few games of him sans the Fro and Gab flanks. Not saying they are doing all the work, but remember even Voros looked good when on a line with Gabby in Minne. Can he be good anywhere?
    - We see him in some season games. With the amount of tryouts you encounter in a preseason game, he can prove to be the cream of the Juniors/AHL crop, but what happens when he plays against a full team of NHL'ers? He sees the ice well, but our biggest trouble over the past couple of years has been teams that cruise the passing lanes looking for turnovers. Take away the passing lane and we'll find out how soft his hands can be, how crafty he thinks and how complete his game can be when fully developed.
    - He can stay healthy. The best Centers also should be contributing to defense. Contrary to what we have witnessed from Drury in the past 2 seasons, its not just hurling yourself in the path of pucks and breaking bones, though thats part of it, I guess... I seriously hope this kid's head is on a swivel if he makes the team, because a lot of coaches and opposing forwards would find themselves desperate enough to try and catch him with his head down if need be and incapacitate a Fro/Step/Gab scoring line from the center out. Putting us back where we were last year... With noone to feed our big gun.
    - J


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