Friday, September 11, 2009

What to expect from Rangers Camp

Tomorrow morning marks the first day of training camp for the Rangers. According to today's interview with John Tortorella, the team is in for a grueling first few days. Check out Blueshirt Banter for a rundown of the training camp schedule released today. It seems like Torts wasn't kidding when he said he takes conditioning very seriously. Camp will really set the players apart in regards to who is in shape and who may not be up to par. Just about the only thing set in stone so far for this season is the conditioning expectations. There are a number of things which are still up in the air and we can simply wonder about...

Today when Torts was describing the workout routines, he mentioned that Marian Gaborik and Ales Kotalik would not be participating in the evening 3-mile runs. He said that although they are healthy according the the Rangers doctors, they are staying on the safe side by allowing them to skip the long runs. Instead they will take part in some other conditioning exercise. What does this say about Gaborik and Kotalik's health? I thought that when the contract signings went through, we were all told that they were 100% healthy. Gaborik's health has been all thats been spoken about by the media as far as the value of his big ticket contract. Will his fragility stop at 3-mile runs, or will he also be wearing the "no contact" practice jersey during camp? Once the season gets going in just a few weeks, Gabby has to be ready to fill the role of the Ranger's #1 forward, and being the target of every hard hitting goon on opposing teams. Seeing how Torts is as a coach, I do not think that he will keep Gaborik in his porcelain case all throughout camp, he will make sure that he's ready for full time, full impact hockey.
All in all, im hoping that this is just playing the safe card and not the beginning of another Sather contract blunder.

Whats with Duby?! I know that everyne is sick of hearing about Dubinsky's contract or lack thereof, but according to reports today from Steve Zipay at Newsday, both sides were unable to reach an agreement and Duby will not begin training camp with the rest of the team.  How much longer will this go on? Sather needs to   accept that Dubinsky is the future of the league and pay him what he is worth and what he deserves. Attempting to pay him less than he made last year is truly a slap in the face. They need to agree on a long term deal, in which case the Rangers would be able to lock him in at a reasonable price. If they sign him for a low one year deal and he has a breakout year, his price next year wont be too favorable for Glen. How can Sather have no problem spending millions on big name players, but not decide on a fair contract for a player who demonstrates so much heart and talent. I just don't get it....hopefully a favorable decision will be in the works soon.

A few closing questions...

How will the new players gel as a unit? Most of these guys have not played together yet and with the limited scrimmage time Torts is allowing in the first few days, how long will it take for the lines to come together and click. Hopefully Drury and Kotalik pick up from where they left off in Buffalo and can make something work...Hopefully Duby can get on the ice as soon as possible and start clicking with Gabby....There are a number of hopefullys that can finish this paragraph, but we will just let time tell.    

How will Henrik Lundqvist prepare for this season and the upcoming Olympic games? Will he fall in line with Torts opinion on sitting a few more games this year? Will he come back tired and sluggish after the Olympics? My thoughts are that Henrik will be able to handle it. He has played 70+ games in the past 3 out of 4 seasons and knows what it takes to be conditioned. This will be his second Olympics, so hopefully he will be more prepared this time around and will know what to expect.

With all these questions, there is nothing else to do but wait and see....

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