As day two of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft continues on, currently beginning the fourth round and airing on the NHL Network, the Rangers can sit back and call this weekend an early success.
Although everyone was expecting the blockbuster trade from the Rangers, in acquiring Dany Heatley of Ottawa, Glen Sather sat tight and did not make any moves. It is rumored that Bryan Murray wanted both Marc Staal and Brandon Dubinsky in exchange for their superstar winger—a price that was too high for the Rangers.
But now for what the draft was all about, the actual selection of players. The Rangers sat holding the 19th overall pick and had even tried to trade up multiple times in order to select the player they ended up getting anyway, Chris Kreider.
Although Jordan Schroeder, who was picked by some analysts to go in the top 10, was still available, the Rangers went with their collective gut instincts and picked someone who brings size and speed, two things more important to John Tortorella's style of play then anything else.
Many Rangers fans became up in arms after they would pass on Schroeder but at only 5'9" and a 190 pounds, he doesn't seem like the type of player that would suit this franchise; "another midget" as one fan remarked.
After doing nothing but complaining about the team's lack of size over the last few seasons, fans should be happy with this pick.
Kreider, who stands at a towering 6'2" and well over 200 pounds, is still only 18 years of age and has plenty of time to grow and mature and harness even more strength.
People may be wondering if that size will affect his skating, but think again; Kreider was the No. 1 ranked skater in the entire draft with his speed grade given by scouts being about a 9.5 out of a possible 10.
It may be a few seasons before we actually get to see Kreider in Ranger Blue, but it may all be worth it as it is very rare that a player of his size has the wheels to match it.
In other news, Glen Sather is still actively pursuing Dany Heatley of Ottawa, even though Murray's asking price is way too high. Heatley is not only due to earn $10 million this season (with only seven counting against the cap), but another $4 million in bonuses as well.
He has expressed a desire to leave, and Murray has expressed a desire to not want to pay him. To think that he will remain a Senator much longer is ludicrous.
Come July 1, Heatley's bonus must be paid by the Senators unless he is traded. I have to think that when Murray sits down to sign that check his asking price will come down. Hats off to Glen Sather for not budging and not trading away Marc Staal because as good as Heatley is, it is not worth the cost of young defense.
Greg Caggiano is a writer on Bleacher Report covering the New York Rangers. He has a New York area sports teams blog called Metro-Sports, where you can read great articles about all professional sports teams that play in the area by a dedicated team of young writers.
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