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Pete
08-01-2014, 01:02 PM
:tweet: Tal Pinchevsky: NYR asst GM Jeff Gorton sees big summer for JT Miller. "We made it clear to him where he stands and the opp. in front of him. All up to him"
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http://snyrangersblog.com/2014-15/2014-15-players/jt-miller/read-the-rangers-have-made-jt-miller-aware-of-the-opportunity-in-front-of-him/

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Curious quotes, to be sure. I'm not really clear how there is any opportunity for Miller, let alone the comment that "it's up to him."

• Re-signed Dom Moore for the 4th line.
• Signed Matt Lombardi for the 3rd line.
• Signed Lee Stempniak for the wing.

I mean, they haven't exactly handed him anything. In fact, they've just added more road blocks by closing off the center and wing positions on the 3rd line.

On a Vigneault team in win-now mode, does anyone really think the Stempniak and Lombardi aren't going to be given every opportunity to succeed, while Miller is continually put in position to fail?

Phil in Absentia
08-01-2014, 01:06 PM
You can see them as road blocks, or as insurance markers. Depends on whose "side" you are viewing it from. Frankly, any team that essentially gifts a roster spot to a rookie who hasn't earned it is doing themselves a disservice, even if you can look at it and call it admirable for them opening all the doors for that player.

I don't think the Moore or Lombardi signings are inherently prohibitive for Miller at all, for two reasons:

1. Lombardi plays all three forward positions. If Miller needs/wants to be at center, or the Rangers' coaching staff want him there, he'll get his shot at it and Lombardi, provided he makes the team, will fill out whichever wing he's best for.

2. Miller plays LW. He's played LW at the NHL already, and apparently played LW with Hartford as well.

Pete
08-01-2014, 01:09 PM
You can see them as road blocks, or as insurance markers. Depends on whose "side" you are viewing it from. Frankly, any team that essentially gifts a roster spot to a rookie who hasn't earned it is doing themselves a disservice, even if you can look at it and call it admirable for them opening all the doors for that player.

I don't think the Moore or Lombardi signings are inherently prohibitive for Miller at all, for two reasons:

1. Lombardi plays all three forward positions. If Miller needs/wants to be at center, or the Rangers' coaching staff want him there, he'll get his shot at it and Lombardi, provided he makes the team, will fill out whichever wing he's best for.

2. Miller plays LW. He's played LW at the NHL already, and apparently played LW with Hartford as well.

I don't really have an issue with any of the signings. I have an issue with Gorton's quote. Don't say "He's been given an opportunity". Just say "He's going to have to fight for a spot in camp." I think the position Gorton takes is false, especially given how Miller has been handled as a pro, to this point. Yo-yo'd, position changes, role changes. It's Jamie Lundmark v2.

Phil in Absentia
08-01-2014, 01:11 PM
Well, that much I won't argue with. They've yo-yo'd the shit out of him, especially this past season.

But I don't blame the organization for not just giving him a spot he hasn't earned. That's fine with me. Just be more consistent in each opportunity you give him (as in don't call him up, play him one game on the fourth line with 4:00 TOI and then send him back when he doesn't do anything).

I still think he makes the team out of camp this season anyway, either at third-line center or left wing, with Lombardi filling out the other position.

AmericanJesus
08-01-2014, 01:31 PM
Other than giving him an opportunity to play at wing because we had no spot for him at center, I'm not sure how he's been yo-yo'ed. Kid is dominating at the AHL level. I get giving him a lot of opportunity to figure out a role he can fill at the NHL level that we need. And all reports in the post season seem to indicate had he not been injured, he'd have stuck with the team after getting that last call up.

The opportunity he has now is obvious. We have a third line center position open. He's competing with a reclamation project and potentially Lindberg for that spot. Lombardi can also play in other roles, as a third or fourth line winger as well, so him having a good camp doesn't rule out Miller if he does as well. Our only really cemented spots in the bottom 6 are Hagelin and Moore. You'd think guys with an inside track are Stempniak and Glass, as they were both bottom 6 forwards in the NHL last season. That leaves 2 openings still remaining.

Also, lets keep in mind that we've had plenty of bottom 6 forwards lose their spots recently. Asham, Powe and Pyatt all had roster spots they lost to make room for others claiming them. So Glass and Stempniak specifically have to show that they can maintain those spots or might find that they're 13th forwards.

DiJock94
08-01-2014, 01:46 PM
I would guess he gets a shot to fight for that third center spot with Lombardi. I doubt they've guaranteed Lombardi that role coming from another league unproven. This is T&E same guy that couldn't land on any nhl team one year ago.

Pete
08-01-2014, 01:54 PM
Other than giving him an opportunity to play at wing because we had no spot for him at center, I'm not sure how he's been yo-yo'ed. Kid is dominating at the AHL level. I get giving him a lot of opportunity to figure out a role he can fill at the NHL level that we need. And all reports in the post season seem to indicate had he not been injured, he'd have stuck with the team after getting that last call up.

The opportunity he has now is obvious. We have a third line center position open. He's competing with a reclamation project and potentially Lindberg for that spot. Lombardi can also play in other roles, as a third or fourth line winger as well, so him having a good camp doesn't rule out Miller if he does as well. Our only really cemented spots in the bottom 6 are Hagelin and Moore. You'd think guys with an inside track are Stempniak and Glass, as they were both bottom 6 forwards in the NHL last season. That leaves 2 openings still remaining.

Also, lets keep in mind that we've had plenty of bottom 6 forwards lose their spots recently. Asham, Powe and Pyatt all had roster spots they lost to make room for others claiming them. So Glass and Stempniak specifically have to show that they can maintain those spots or might find that they're 13th forwards.

We actually don't have a 3rd line center spot open. That spot is Lombardi's to lose. That's my point. None of the guys you listed signed contracts over the summer and then lost their jobs. They'd all been here for a year already. Doubt very highly they signed these guys to demote them.

Pretty clear to me that Miller's been yo-yo'd...By bouncing him to the AHL and NHL.

AmericanJesus
08-01-2014, 02:02 PM
We actually don't have a 3rd line center spot open. That spot is Lombardi's to lose. That's my point. None of the guys you listed signed contracts over the summer and then lost their jobs. They'd all been here for a year already. Doubt very highly they signed these guys to demote them.

Pretty clear to me that Miller's been yo-yo'd...By bouncing him to the AHL and NHL.

He was bounced because he couldn't keep a spot. That's unfortunate that he couldn't successfully convert to wing at the NHL level. I think he's just better at center. We had Stepan - Brassard - Richards - Moore - Boyle on the depth charts last season. I get why Miller was tried on the wing. That was what it was. Not ideal, but I think not rewarding him for the success in the AHL level with NHL games (and, don't forget along with that an NHL paycheck for those games) they'd have done him a disservice.

Lombardi couldn't hack it in the NHL two years ago and ended up at the Swiss A league. It's great that he dominated there, but he's got to earn a spot, I doubt it's his to lose. I'm sure part of the reason his deal is 2 years at $800K is because if he's bad, they can completely bury his salary in the AHL if he's not claimed. He'd be a valuable veteran asset there. If he succeeds completely, we get 2 years at $800K, so we don't get Pouliot'ed again. At $800K the third option is as a 13th forward that doesn't kill your cap.

AmericanJesus
08-01-2014, 02:07 PM
I mean, look at these league leaders:

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/top_league.php?lid=swissa1998&sid=2014&leaguenm=Swiss-A

momentum
08-01-2014, 02:08 PM
He probably means that the 3rd line center position (my guess) is his to lose this coming training camp, all he has to do is beat out Lombardi and the position is his. IMO Lombardi is an insurance player for depth in case Miller doesn't work out at all and if Miller take the 3rd line center spot they can easily slide down Lombardi to the 4th line wing who will help out there with his speed.
Stempniak goes on the wing on the 3rd line imo and I don't think he's in direct competition with Miller. Moore as well is the default 4th line center which is not where they see Miller IMO.
Basically they are not HANDING the spot to Miller at default but telling him that you have the spot if you're better than Lombardi, and if he can't do that, I think Rangers have a valid reason not to give him that spot. It's not like he has to beat out Stepan for a spot or something.

Pete
08-01-2014, 02:11 PM
He was bounced because he couldn't keep a spot. That's unfortunate that he couldn't successfully convert to wing at the NHL level. I think he's just better at center. We had Stepan - Brassard - Richards - Moore - Boyle on the depth charts last season. I get why Miller was tried on the wing. That was what it was. Not ideal, but I think not rewarding him for the success in the AHL level with NHL games (and, don't forget along with that an NHL paycheck for those games) they'd have done him a disservice.

Lombardi couldn't hack it in the NHL two years ago and ended up at the Swiss A league. It's great that he dominated there, but he's got to earn a spot, I doubt it's his to lose. I'm sure part of the reason his deal is 2 years at $800K is because if he's bad, they can completely bury his salary in the AHL if he's not claimed. He'd be a valuable veteran asset there. If he succeeds completely, we get 2 years at $800K, so we don't get Pouliot'ed again. At $800K the third option is as a 13th forward that doesn't kill your cap.

Did he ever really have a chance?

I would love it if that were the case with Lombardi, but I just don't see a scenario where he isn't given every possible chance to keep that 3C spot.

momentum
08-01-2014, 02:12 PM
We actually don't have a 3rd line center spot open. That spot is Lombardi's to lose. That's my point. None of the guys you listed signed contracts over the summer and then lost their jobs. They'd all been here for a year already. Doubt very highly they signed these guys to demote them.

Pretty clear to me that Miller's been yo-yo'd...By bouncing him to the AHL and NHL.

I think it's the other way around, the 3rd center spot is Miller's to lose to Lombardi, this is the meaning of Gorton's quote IMO. If Miller's up for the task Lombardi just goes on the 4th line wing. I'd say that the Lombardi signing is more a stick in the wheel for Lindberg or Fast to get a spot if anything because in my lineup Lombardi beats them out for the last 4th line spot.

Nash/Stepan/MSL
Kreider/Brassard/MZA
Hagelin/Miller/Stemp
Glass/Moore/Lombardi
Fast/Lindberg..

Now if MIller Totally screws up and is sent down Lombardi goes at 3rd line C and Fast/Lindberg could get a spot on the 4th line.

AmericanJesus
08-01-2014, 02:14 PM
Did he ever really have a chance?

I would love it if that were the case with Lombardi, but I just don't see a scenario where he isn't given every possible chance to keep that 3C spot.

I mean, it's just my read on the 3rd line center spot. I could be way off. Did Miller get a chance? Yes and no. Had he been significantly better than he was, then I think he would have stuck. There just really wasn't room for him in the top 9 once Cally and Hagelin were healthy and Kreider made the jump. Nash - Stepan - Kreider, Pouliot - Brassard - MZA, Hagelin - Richards - Callahan. Where do you fit Miller once everyone got healthy?

BlairBettsBlocksEverything
08-01-2014, 02:19 PM
Well, that much I won't argue with. They've yo-yo'd the shit out of him, especially this past season.

But I don't blame the organization for not just giving him a spot he hasn't earned. That's fine with me. Just be more consistent in each opportunity you give him (as in don't call him up, play him one game on the fourth line with 4:00 TOI and then send him back when he doesn't do anything).

I still think he makes the team out of camp this season anyway, either at third-line center or left wing, with Lombardi filling out the other position.

This.

If he can beat out vets for a spot he'll be better for it. If he can't, than he probably isn't good enough to make a squad looking to get back to the Cup finals.

I don't think he's not being given a chance to prove he can at least crack the third line. Fact of the matter is, he's higher on the staff's priority list than Lombardi is. Lombardi is insurance (even on a 2 year deal).

Pete
08-01-2014, 02:25 PM
I mean, it's just my read on the 3rd line center spot. I could be way off. Did Miller get a chance? Yes and no. Had he been significantly better than he was, then I think he would have stuck. There just really wasn't room for him in the top 9 once Cally and Hagelin were healthy and Kreider made the jump. Nash - Stepan - Kreider, Pouliot - Brassard - MZA, Hagelin - Richards - Callahan. Where do you fit Miller once everyone got healthy?

I keep him in the AHL and tell him "Learn the wing". Then he comes up on the taxi squad.

AmericanJesus
08-01-2014, 02:41 PM
I keep him in the AHL and tell him "Learn the wing". Then he comes up on the taxi squad.

Eh, given the writing on the wall with Richards and our 3rd line center spot, I would have just kept him at center if he wasn't going to get NHL time last year. I think they thought he could catch on and add to our depth when we did have injuries. The only thing I didn't like was when he was on the fourth line. Even sitting to watch a game or two isn't the end of the world. But playing on a fourth line is basically putting him a position to fail.

BlairBettsBlocksEverything
08-01-2014, 02:43 PM
I keep him in the AHL and tell him "Learn the wing". Then he comes up on the taxi squad.

I don't think Gorton's comments completely disregard that mentality, I think it's just a good indication that as an organization, they are confident in him, and that he has every possibility to earn a spot. I think this is their way of saying "yeah, we signed Lombardi and Stempniak, and there will be competition, but we are still high on you and you will have every opportunity to earn a spot."

Mike
08-01-2014, 04:29 PM
How come the blame always comes at the expense of management, and coaches when a player comes up and down, or is in and out of the line up? No one here is confident in our coaches, ever? I'm sure there's a lot more to what's going on than what we see. This is the same shit that everyone bickered about with Kreider. Everyone was chasing Torts with pitchforks, and then low and behold, CK doesn't make the opening night roster, and starts the season in the AHL. Have some faith people, because when push comes to shove, we don't know shit about how a player is developing compared to what they know.

Pete
08-01-2014, 04:48 PM
I know when you bring a scoring prospect up and play him on the 4th line, that's an issue. The Rangers seem to be one of the only teams who do it.

Look at a team like Detroit who keeps guys in the "A" that extra year.

Mike
08-01-2014, 04:52 PM
I know when you bring a scoring prospect up and play him on the 4th line, that's an issue. The Rangers seem to be one of the only teams who do it.

Look at a team like Detroit who keeps guys in the "A" that extra year.

I think a huge reason for his ups and downs last year was that players kept getting hurt. When you get the chance, for whatever reason it might be, just play the game. Next man up.

Pete
08-01-2014, 04:54 PM
I think a huge reason for his ups and downs last year was that players kept getting hurt. When you get the chance, for whatever reason it might be, just play the game. Next man up.

I guess, but for the roles he was put in, maybe Fast or Lindberg or Bourque world have made more sense?

Mike
08-01-2014, 05:00 PM
I guess, but for the roles he was put in, maybe Fast or Lindberg or Bourque world have made more sense?

Well what does it say about those guys then? How far behind are they? He hasn't proved anything at this level yet. All he's proved is that he's the most capable out of anyone else in the A. I don't know what that says about the rest of the team, but the best player on your farm team is usually going to be the first one called up to fill a spot. There was a lot of tweaking going on last season, and I don't see anything wrong with the way the staff handled it.

Pete
08-01-2014, 05:04 PM
Well what does it say about those guys then? How far behind are they? He hasn't proved anything at this level yet. All he's proved is that he's the most capable out of anyone else in the A. I don't know what that says about the rest of the team, but the best player on your farm team is usually going to be the first one called up to fill a spot. There was a lot of tweaking going on last season, and I don't see anything wrong with the way the staff handled it.

Eh, I always felt when a guy gets hurt, you bring up the best player for the role. 4th line wing wasn't for Miller.

Mike
08-01-2014, 05:13 PM
Eh, I always felt when a guy gets hurt, you bring up the best player for the role. 4th line wing wasn't for Miller.

Maybe so, but you just go out there and play. If everyone believes he's the only one ready for the show, then he has to do what he's told to do. You have to embrace whatever role you're given, and then earn your way to where you want to be. I know that's a tough concept nowadays, but it still exists.

Pete
08-01-2014, 05:16 PM
Maybe so, but you just go out there and play. If everyone believes he's the only one ready for the show, then he has to do what he's told to do. You have to embrace whatever role you're given, and then earn your way to where you want to be. I know that's a tough concept nowadays, but it still exists.

The thing is, he was trying. Trying to do too much. That's why he's so turnover-prone.

At least that's how it looked, from the outside.

Mike
08-01-2014, 05:27 PM
The thing is, he was trying. Trying to do too much. That's why he's so turnover-prone.

At least that's how it looked, from the outside.

We'll yeah, that's why I brought up the trusting the staff convo. There's obviously more to it, and I don't see how that's even debatable. Unless, of course, the Ranger management just likes to abuse rooks.

Pete
08-01-2014, 05:49 PM
We'll yeah, that's why I brought up the trusting the staff convo. There's obviously more to it, and I don't see how that's even debatable. Unless, of course, the Ranger management just likes to abuse rooks.

Well, I've heard that Torts was way more hands on as far as teaching young players. AV really doesn't pay that type of attention to the rooks, leaving out to assistant coaches.

But that's not to say it's good or bad. Just observation.

fletch
08-01-2014, 06:04 PM
He probably means that the 3rd line center position (my guess) is his to lose this coming training camp, all he has to do is beat out Lombardi and the position is his. IMO Lombardi is an insurance player for depth in case Miller doesn't work out at all and if Miller take the 3rd line center spot they can easily slide down Lombardi to the 4th line wing who will help out there with his speed.
Stempniak goes on the wing on the 3rd line imo and I don't think he's in direct competition with Miller. Moore as well is the default 4th line center which is not where they see Miller IMO.
Basically they are not HANDING the spot to Miller at default but telling him that you have the spot if you're better than Lombardi, and if he can't do that, I think Rangers have a valid reason not to give him that spot. It's not like he has to beat out Stepan for a spot or something.

This.

I think they're trying to light a fire under Miller's ass, so that he comes in fired up ready to contribute. Either step it up, or there's always someone ready to take your job.

ThirtyONE
08-01-2014, 10:14 PM
I don't really have an issue with any of the signings. I have an issue with Gorton's quote. Don't say "He's been given an opportunity". Just say "He's going to have to fight for a spot in camp." I think the position Gorton takes is false, especially given how Miller has been handled as a pro, to this point. Yo-yo'd, position changes, role changes. It's Jamie Lundmark v2.

Your issue is over semantics really. "given an opportunity" and "fighting for a spot in camp" are one in the same, IMO. You can't gift anyone a spot on the team and the Ranger's haven't. They'll give JT every opportunity to make the team.

I do agree with you on the yo-yo bit. People went nuts about that shit with Kreider, why not JT? And the answer can't be "he's stronger mentally" because A) no one on this board knows that and B) that doesn't mean anything anyway.

Pete
08-01-2014, 10:17 PM
Your issue is over semantics really. "given an opportunity" and "fighting for a spot in camp" are one in the same, IMO. You can't gift anyone a spot on the team and the Ranger's haven't. They'll give JT every opportunity to make the team.

I do agree with you on the yo-yo bit. People went nuts about that shit with Kreider, why not JT? And the answer can't be "he's stronger mentally" because A) no one on this board knows that and B) that doesn't mean anything anyway.

Pretty big difference between "given" and "fighting", IMO.

Cash or Czech?
08-01-2014, 11:51 PM
Lombardi isn't an NHL 3rd liner, especially on a team that needs offensive contributions from everywhere to be successful. Miller has offensive ability and the 3rd line center spot is still his to lose. There's some talented players to be paired with and he has to make the most of this opportunity.

Another thing that plays into his favor is Vigneault's patience which allows players to gel. It really helped develop the Pouliot-Brassard-Zuccarello line last year, and it could help Miller with whoever he plays with. As he gets more comfortable in the NHL with consistent linemates, we can have an accurate idea of his potential now and down the road. He's also not going to be 22 until March, so there's plenty of time.

Pete
08-02-2014, 12:34 AM
Who says what Lombardi is our isn't? We have no idea what he is. You make it like he was never a productive NHL player.

AV had shown no patience at all with Miller.

Who says Miller is a bust or doesn't have potential?

momentum
08-02-2014, 06:30 AM
I'm not sure I see what the problem is here. The Rangers are in the "making Rangers the best possible business", not in the "cater to JT Miller and give him spots on the team without having to earn them business" I don't see any problem whatsoever in them signing a player like Lombardi for insurance and depth purposes and not completely putting all their faith in a young unproven prospect such as Miller. It doesn't mean they have given up on Miller, it doesn't mean they don't prefer him in the lineup at the 3C spot, it doesn't mean anything but the fact that they have options, options they will need if something doesn't work out or something unforeseen happens.
Considering how cheap Lombardi came this was a great signing and one the Rangers were smart to make.

Judging by Gorton's own comment mentioned in this very thread they want Miller to step up and be the guy we all hope that he can be. Lombardi has nothing to do with that, they didn't sign Lombardi to keep Miller in the minors and not give him a chance. They signed Lombardi so that they have an option if Miller isn't good enough and for depth purposes to make the Rangers deeper.

KEY here is who they signed: Lombardi, CHEAP, he's a question mark himself at this point in his career. This is to me the most obvious sign that they are not putting their hopes to him but Miller will have every chance to make the team, he just can't completely blow chunks and be horrible and STILL make the team because there is SOMEONE there to take his spot if he does. So it will give him some competition, he has to work a little harder to really be at the top of his game. Maybe already after the Lombardi signing Miller hit the weights just a little extra knowing the spot wasn't simply going to be handed to him, that is only good for him and the Rangers.
I would agree with you that he wasn't given a fair chance if the Rangers would have signed a 4-5 year contract with a very productive good 3rd line center who was coming of a few really good NHL seasons. Lets say they paid that player 3 mil a year or something similar. THEN that player would be a default player in his lineup and it would be hard to say that it was MIller's spot to lose. But this is not the case.
I think they still would prefer Miller to come out looking good in camp, go with him and fill in Lombardi wherever needed I the lineup.
OFC most of this is just speculation by me judging things for how they appear to me from the outside by the Rangers actions so far. Who knows for sure, we will find out next season I suppose.

Pete
08-02-2014, 09:16 AM
I'm not sure I see what the problem is here. The Rangers are in the "making Rangers the best possible business", not in the "cater to JT Miller and give him spots on the team without having to earn them business" I don't see any problem whatsoever in them signing a player like Lombardi for insurance and depth purposes and not completely putting all their faith in a young unproven prospect such as Miller. It doesn't mean they have given up on Miller, it doesn't mean they don't prefer him in the lineup at the 3C spot, it doesn't mean anything but the fact that they have options, options they will need if something doesn't work out or something unforeseen happens.
Considering how cheap Lombardi came this was a great signing and one the Rangers were smart to make.

Judging by Gorton's own comment mentioned in this very thread they want Miller to step up and be the guy we all hope that he can be. Lombardi has nothing to do with that, they didn't sign Lombardi to keep Miller in the minors and not give him a chance. They signed Lombardi so that they have an option if Miller isn't good enough and for depth purposes to make the Rangers deeper.

KEY here is who they signed: Lombardi, CHEAP, he's a question mark himself at this point in his career. This is to me the most obvious sign that they are not putting their hopes to him but Miller will have every chance to make the team, he just can't completely blow chunks and be horrible and STILL make the team because there is SOMEONE there to take his spot if he does. So it will give him some competition, he has to work a little harder to really be at the top of his game. Maybe already after the Lombardi signing Miller hit the weights just a little extra knowing the spot wasn't simply going to be handed to him, that is only good for him and the Rangers.
I would agree with you that he wasn't given a fair chance if the Rangers would have signed a 4-5 year contract with a very productive good 3rd line center who was coming of a few really good NHL seasons. Lets say they paid that player 3 mil a year or something similar. THEN that player would be a default player in his lineup and it would be hard to say that it was MIller's spot to lose. But this is not the case.
I think they still would prefer Miller to come out looking good in camp, go with him and fill in Lombardi wherever needed I the lineup.
OFC most of this is just speculation by me judging things for how they appear to me from the outside by the Rangers actions so far. Who knows for sure, we will find out next season I suppose.

I didn't read all of this, because no one said there was a problem with who they signed.

Nor did I say they've given up on anyone. So what I did read of this entire post is really replying to things never said.

But I'm just not really sure how it gives Miller an opportunity. IMO, you don't sign guys like Lombardi and Stempniak to send them to the press box or minors. Lombardi didn't come back from Europe to play in the A.

Frankly, I don't care what happens to Miller. It just annoys me when management makes comments like that.

Cash or Czech?
08-02-2014, 11:31 AM
Who says what Lombardi is our isn't? We have no idea what he is. You make it like he was never a productive NHL player.

AV had shown no patience at all with Miller.

Who says Miller is a bust or doesn't have potential?

When was the last time an NHL player left for Europe, came back and then was still an effective NHL player? He was an effective player in Pheonix when he was healthy and then the injuries came. Maybe I'm just tapering my expectations and going with a more conservative approach, but hey that's usually what I do. Anyone is free to think what they want, I just disagree and that's my opinion.

AV didn't have to be patient with Miller because he got his consistent guys back. There's no need to be nurturing when there isn't a full time spot available. He didn't really have a spot to win on last year's team with every spot pretty established aside from when guys were injured. This year, the 3rd line center's spot is right there and it's his for the taking. It's a motivational tactic to get him to work hard and earn it because his work ethic at the top level is what gets called into question.

Respecttheblue
08-02-2014, 12:41 PM
:tweet: Tal Pinchevsky: NYR asst GM Jeff Gorton sees big summer for JT Miller. "We made it clear to him where he stands and the opp. in front of him. All up to him"
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http://snyrangersblog.com/2014-15/2014-15-players/jt-miller/read-the-rangers-have-made-jt-miller-aware-of-the-opportunity-in-front-of-him/
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Curious quotes, to be sure. I'm not really clear how there is any opportunity for Miller, let alone the comment that "it's up to him."



Part of me see the quotes as NYR management code for, "Heads-up kid, we think any chance to play for the Rangers is a 'big opportunity,' and if you fail to appreciate that, you only have yourself to blame. Your window is getting narrower; prepare this summer for whatever ice time comes your way, like you've never prepared in the summer before. Do your utmost to seize it because it may not come around again."




• Re-signed Dom Moore for the 4th line.
• Signed Matt Lombardi for the 3rd line.
• Signed Lee Stempniak for the wing.
I mean, they haven't exactly handed him anything. In fact, they've just added more road blocks by closing off the center and wing positions on the 3rd line.

On a Vigneault team in win-now mode, does anyone really think the Stempniak and Lombardi aren't going to be given every opportunity to succeed, while Miller is continually put in position to fail?

They've got options. Maybe Miller grabs the job in camp, though I'm not holding my breath. If Miller is middling-to-underwhelming in camp, I'm guessing they lead off with veterans to begin with, assuming the veterans don't show worse.

And if they fall short, Miller gets his chances, nibbles, or hopefully better.

Same way veteran Pyatt was given every opportunity / ice time to succeed (while fans on and off puked or cheered small successes), and eventually the spot opened up.

ThirtyONE
08-02-2014, 05:47 PM
Pretty big difference between "given" and "fighting", IMO.

You're looking at the wrong word. "opportunity" is what we're talking about. He will have an opportunity to make the team. He just has to earn it. No problem in that.

Pete
08-02-2014, 06:47 PM
You're looking at the wrong word. "opportunity" is what we're talking about. He will have an opportunity to make the team. He just has to earn it. No problem in that.

Agree to disagree. The operative word isn't opportunity, IMO.