Now I’m not one to believe Glen Sather every time he spouts out excuses, but earlier this offseason, Slats gave a great speech on his plan of attack. It sounded great, and so far he hasn’t lied. Completely.
One of the biggest things in that speech that I think we all gobbled up was the fact that he said, purposely in fact, that the younger players and prospects would be given a shot this season. Quoting myself from June 16th:
Slates is also very excited about seeing what Evgeny Grachev, Dale Weise, and the other youngsters can do about getting playing time and jobs. And I think we can all attest to that. We know we have young talent, and we want to see them play. I just hope that he stands by his word. No more of this signing BIG names that are really just BIG has-been’s. We can look for an affordable reliable center, but lets focus on what we have, and keeping what we have. That’s what Glen Sather wants to do, and that’s a heaping pile of good news.
Well so far it looks like we’ve been signing has-been’s rather than relying on our own talent. Now don’t get me wrong, I liked every signing so far (maybe not the contracts themselves). I just would like to see him stick to his word on this one.
I know, I shouldn’t be surprised.
And I know, the offseason isn’t finished either.
But with the signings so far, it just looks like we’re quickly running out of room rapidly. Now these aren’t accurate, but here’s some mock lines:
Prospal – White – Gaborik
Frolov – Dubinsky – Christensen
Anisimov – Drury – Callahan
Boogaard – Avery – Prust
That still leaves Brian Boyle, Mats Zuccarello Aasen, Brodie Dupont, Evgeny Grachev, Dale Weise, and Derek Stepan fighting for ice time and a chance to prove themselves. One can figure Boyle’s time is up as he really didn’t prove much last season, but that still leaves five forwards who will be, more than likely, NHL-ready this season either scratches or stuck in Hartford. As I’ve shown, most positions are taken up, so where’s the room to play these kids?
Granted there will be injuries, more trades, etc., but as of right now, it looks like we have a full set of lines without one prospect in the picture. It’s also very early, like I’ve mentioned. Personally, I’d love to see Aasen, Grachev, and Dupont play on the Blueshirts sometime this season with considerable amount of ice time. I’m just saying, I’m starting to get a little worried.