Do a quick Google search for the New York Rangers and you’ll see the same headlines, over and over again. The names Bobby Ryan, Rick Nash, and Shane Doan nearly jump off the page and slap you for any attempts at ignoring them. And to be fair, it’s going to be the biggest news of this off season for fans and haters, much like the signing of Brad Richards was last summer. This off season has been strictly about re-signing players and the team positioning them, but what about the players who are sticking around through it all? Watching their teammates head out to bigger contracts, shopped around to different teams, and having new guys (often ones from rival teams) coming into their locker room as teammates for the very first time has got to be an exciting and stressful time.
I know the last time I tried to do a multi-part series, my life off the computer got in the way and mucked up all plans. But this time, not going to happen. This time I’m sticking with it. Highlighting the players who are returning from the 2011-2012 season and (hopefully successfully) predicting what to expect from them in the 2012-2013 season.
Up first in the alphabet is Artem Anisimov so why not start with him?
Most notable for his rifle antics during HBO’s 24/7:
Anisimov has lead a pretty frustrating season, aside from the brief shock of brilliance that he had during the 24/7 filming (seriously can we as a fan base hire cameras to follow Anisimov all the time?) I can’t count the number of times I felt he’s come up short on the ice. However, looking at his stats, I probably should be complaining about him as I praise some of the other Rangers. In this past season, Anisimov had 36 points with 20 assists and 16 goals and during his playoff appearance of 20 games, Anisimov had 3 goals and 7 assists.
Is it possible that Anisimov has a problem when the entire hockey world isn’t watching him? Does he choke from lack of attention? Prior to the 24/7 fiasco AA was rather unknown outside of the Atlantic Division, but give him a national stage and he works some sweet offensive magic.
Am I looking forward to another season of AA’s roller coaster of talent? Actually, I sorta am. In this off season there’s been a shift to a more veteran locker room. At 24, AA can still be classified as young, dumb, and reckless, but the new presence in the locker room might get him to grow up a little bit on the ice. With a cap hit of $1.875 million and a whole slew of fresh blood coming in, AA has the potential to do great things with the New York Rangers. I see him building off this past season’s work, really seeing what kind of effort and output it takes to be part of the New York Rangers and be part of a winning club. No longer can AA brush off his mistakes as a youthful indiscretion, he’s not a veteran but he is paving the way for younger players. Hopefully he’ll keep his on ice antics in check and do great things in his Rangers sweater.
Otherwise, come July 1st next year? Let’s see those offers guys.
Lets Go Rangers!