Carl Hagelin returning to Sweden to play with his hometown team helps him stay in hockey shape.
Carl Hagelin signing in his hometown for Södertälje SK of HockeyAllsvenskan (second tier league) is some of the best news to have happened in recent weeks for the Rangers. With the end of the lockout not to be seen on the NHL horizon the key thing for the Rangers future right now is likely to be the development of the prospects as well as the younger roster players at the NHL level. With Chris Kreider learning the pro game with the CT Whale in the AHL, perhaps the next brightest young thing on the Rangers roster is Hagelin.
While the SEL – and particularly the second tier where Södertälje currently reside –is not of the calibre of the NHL it does offer Hagelin several opportunities to improve his game. The first opportunity is the added ice time and games at the pro level. While Hagelin has made an excellent, immediate impact with the Rangers he is still a young player who has little pro experience and given the length of a NCAA college season, Hagelin can still benefit from as much game time as possible.
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A buddy of mine, Chris, played in the ECHL several years back and I used to always hound him about what it was like to get paid to play hockey. Although he had a pretty cool lifestyle for a while, more often than not he will tell tales of bruised ribs, missing teeth and broken collar bones. Of course, I’ve never skated a mile in his Bauer’s, so I don’t really know what it’s like to be paid peanuts to get hit every night, and as he always says, “hockey is a young man’s game.”
In order to have a better understanding of what life was like in the minors, I asked him to open up about some of the financial decisions he faced as a player on the fringe.
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Sorry for the late news here. Our personal lives prevented us from a timely update on the Rick Nash injury. In Friday night’s 4-2 loss for HC Davos, the Ranger winger injured his shoulder in the first period. Ironically enough, the injury came from a collision with former Ranger Ilkka Heikkinen. Nash left the game in the first period as a precaution.
An MRI from yesterday showed no structural damage, and Nash is expected to be out for no longer than a week. Safe to say Nash and the Rangers dodged a bullet there.
Nash took some criticism from Ranger fans when he decided to head to Switzerland during the lockout. It’s likely that he’s still going to get some criticism from this injury. It’s worth noting that injuries, especially injuries stemming from collisions, can happen in team practices as well.
During the past few years, the trail of thought was that if the Rangers could find a way to get their All World goaltender extra rest, he would be better prepared for the grind of the playoffs. Last season saw the Rangers finally able to give Henrik Lundqvist extra rest (thanks to a healthy and reliable Martin Biron) and promptly the Rangers made the conference finals; their finest season in years.
It is worth considering whether, during the lockout, if Lundqvist would benefit from an extended break or whether he’d be better off padding up and getting back on the ice. Media reports have recently suggested Lundqvist may head back home to the Swedish Elite League. What is best for Lundqvist however is influenced by the potential length of the lockout, which right now, is like guessing the length of a piece of string.
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It was going to be tough for Rick Nash to repeat his performance in his 2012 Davos debut, where he scored a hat trick and added an assist in a 9-2 win. Nash didn’t score in regulation, being held to a -1 rating and seven shots on goal, but he did net the shootout winner. His shootout goal gave Davos a 3-2 win, and makes the club 2-0 since inking Nash and Joe Thornton.
Remember, make sure you keep checking back for updates on the Rangers playing overseas, the Rangers prospects, and news on where players may be headed.
Rich Nash and Joe Thornton wasted no time getting down to business in Switzerland this past weekend. Nash scored three goals (all of which were assisted by Thornton) in a 9-2 win over the Rapperwil-Jona Lakers. Nash also added an assist in the victory.
To watch highlights from the game, click this link here.
As more Rangers begin their hockey seasons in minors and abroad, we will do our best to keep you all up to date on their performances.
Following up on the story last week that Mats Zuccarello is indeed headed for the KHL, the diminutive winger tweeted today that he is indeed done with the organization:
Nyr fans!! its been amazing playing in front of u guys! Thanks! . Im gonna miss u! Ur the best! Thanks rangers 4 2 good years.
This is the end of what had to be a rough road for Zuccarello, who was never really able to crack the Rangers roster full time. In 52 total games with the organization, Zuccarello finished with a line of 8-18-26, good for a pace of 41 points per year. Some of his goals are memorable, such as his overtime winner against Carolina, but in the end he was a fringe player for this organization.
The topic of Zuccarello is a hot one for Ranger fans, as many believed he could provide some much needed scoring to the lineup. The problem was that he is the type of player that needs top six minutes to produce effectively, and he was not going to get that within the organization. He was not a fit for the bottom six, as his defensive zone work needed a lot of help. He was just a square peg trying to fit into a round hole.
Via Szymon Szemberg, winger Mats Zuccarello has signed a two-year deal with Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the KHL. The 24-year-old would have been a restricted free agent this summer. Zuccarello ends his brief Rangers career with an 8-18-26 line in 52 games while posting a 25-40-65 line in 73 AHL games. A broken wrist sidelined him for the end of the regular season and postseason, which was unfortunate because the blueshirts really could have used his speed and offensive skill in all three rounds.
***Update: This is now being denied by MZA’s agent.
Before people go crazy with this rumor, people have to realize that MZA is a restricted free agent, therefore Glen can’t work something out with him until after the draft. It would be a pretty dumb move on MZA’s part to defect to the KHL without waiting for an offer from the Rangers. You can’t have the KHL and the Rangers negotiate against each other if one party isn’t even allowed to negotiate yet.
Today marks the beginning of the 2012 World Junior Championship Tournament, taking place in Edmonton. The Rangers have a big history in this tournament, as current players/prospects Derek Stepan, Chris Kreider, Ryan Bourque, and many others have participated in this tournament. The Stepan-Kreider-Bourque led squad won gold in 2010.
This year, the Rangers only have two prospects playing in the tournament: JT Miller (1st round – 2011) on Team USA, Peter Ceresnak (6th round – 2011) on Slovakia, . It is assumed that Jesper Fasth would have played in this year’s tournament for Sweden if not for his current injury.
For those in the US, the NHL Network will be covering the tournament this year. In Canada, TSN will be covering the tournament. You can check out the full schedule here.
What can the Rangers fans expect from recently acquired Oscar Lindberg this coming season? Immediately the young Swedish pivot is going to have to show the Rangers a glimpse into his talent as a lot of Rangers fans were excited about Ethan Werek and subsequently disappointed when he was moved out for the Swede. Clearly, Werek didn’t impress the Rangers management and a trade with frequent trading partner the Phoenix Coyotes resulted in Lindberg becoming Rangers property.
A long summer since the trade has perhaps pushed Lindberg to the back of the minds of many a fan but given that he will almost certainly be playing another season of pro hockey in the SEL, Lindberg’s season begins sooner than the Rangers’. The SEL is due to kick off again in under a month and Lindberg will be hoping to make an impact as he looks to make a future in the NHL. Lindberg is under pressure and not just to show he was worth moving Werek for but because the Rangers are now stacked at center and Lindberg will have to show quite a lot to make an NHL roster spot a legitimate goal in the short term.
Drafted 57th overall in 2010, Lindberg can play both left wing and center so it’s not all panic for the Swede should he not see an immediate future at center in the Rangers system. Indeed, given the expiring contracts in New York next season it may play into Lindberg’s hands if he plays a lot of left wing this year with his club, Skellefteå. There’s a chance that the young Swede may share a line with another talented youngster, Oscar Moller. The LA Kings property has returned to Sweden after failing to crack a deep Kings line up full time and potentially the two young forwards could help each other this season.
Known more as a defensive, two-way forward Lindberg may benefit offensively if he has line mates such as Moller. A productive season offensively with Skellefteå will certainly push Lindberg into focus even though he is based in Europe. With the SEL season starting September 13th, we’ll be keeping tabs on how the Rangers prospect does over the season.