New York Rangers

New York Rangers Call Up Corey Locke From Hartford, Now Give Him Real Minutes

Tonight's Healthy ScratchesCorrespondent IMarch 29, 2010

The 25-year-old center will be joining fellow Wolf Pack teammates P.A. Parenteau and Andres Eriksson, who were also recently called up by the New York Rangers.

Locke, who leads the Hartford Wolf Pack in scoring with 80 points, will get some pro experience due to the injuries of Ryan Callahan and Sean Avery.

Locke tallied 29 goals and 51 assists through 73 games with the Wolf Pack this season, which is good for third overall in point production in the AHL.

The former Ottawa 67er was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the fourth round of the '03 draft. He played one NHL game for Montreal in 2008, registering one shot.

The Rangers signed him this past offseason, where he has been enjoying his most productive AHL campaign to date.

If he's given time on the powerplay, which I highly doubt coach John Tortorella will do, he might be able to add some production. He is currently ranked fifth in the AHL with 18 power-play goals.

Bringing players like Locke and Parenteau up should have been done much earlier by the Rangers.

I have been advocating for a while that the Rangers need to start evaluating the talent they have down in the AHL at the professional level for the better part of this season.

The organization can see what they do on the Wolf Pack for as long as they want to, but until they gain real in-game minutes at a consistent level in the NHL, we're never going to truly know what they have to offer.

The Rangers are not blessed with sure-fire talents such as Steven Stamkos, John Tavares, and Matt Duchene, like some other franchises across the NHL are. They need to start developing these players at the big-time level.

Making the playoffs is great, and a real morale booster, but getting crushed in the first round and going blindly into next season still unaware of what the kids can do is extremely detrimental to what the Rangers need to do.

Guys like Locke and Parenteau aren't exactly kids anymore, either. Locke will turn 26 in May, while Parenteau just celebrated his 27th birthday.

If the Rangers have any plan for these players in their future, it's about time we see what they can bring to the table.

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