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Quick Hits: Eyes on the Prize


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Sweet ‘n Sauer

 

As brief as it was, how great was it seeing Michael Sauer again? And how poetic that his appearance occurred the same night Dion Phaneuf—the man responsible for ending Sauer’s NHL career—was traded to the Los Angeles Kings. That feel-good moment would instantly become a feel-good story were we to learn the Rangers have employed him again, perhaps as a scout, but in all likelihood, he was just visiting for the night given his St. Cloud roots. Regardless, it's nice to know he's alive and well since falling off the grid in the months and years following that horrific collision with Phaneuf.

 

Mobile link: https://twitter.com/hayyyshayyy/status/963600375373795328

 

 

The Kids Are Alright

 

John Gilmour and Neal Pionk can play, eh? Isn't it amazing what happens when you prioritize young, mobile defenseman who skate well—exceptionally in Happy’s case—ahead of slow-footed veterans who, well, don't? Maybe next season it won't take a wave of long-term injuries to give others the same opportunities.

 

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Quick Bounce

 

Speaking of kids, according to a tweet from Andy Strickland, the Blueshirts seem more interested in prospects and roster players than draft picks:

 

Mobile link: https://twitter.com/andystrickland/status/964563520124633088

 

This isn't in inherently a bad idea so long as the focus is on high-end potential/promise. It might even be a less risky path to rebuilding to contention than purely through their own selections. For instance, if they were to insist on one of Eeli Tolvanen or Dante Fabbro from Nashville in exchange for Rick Nash instead of a first-round pick that is all but guaranteed to be at the very end of the draft order. Both men, chosen in successive drafts by David Poile’s Predators, are on the precipice of qualifying for the NHL. In acquiring either, or those like them, the Rangers can potentially field multiple rebuilding assets as soon as next season.

 

 

Broadway Ilya

 

It sure feels like it’s only a matter of time before the Rangers bring Ilya Kovalchuk back to the NHL. Yes, the same Ilya Kovalchuk whose double daggers to the back of Team USA’s net should serve as blunt reminders why even at 34, his shot isn’t to be slept on:

 

Mobile link: https://twitter.com/fvckjack/status/964859072909643776

 

This is a player who has dominated at every level, in every league he's ever played in. As long as he's healthy, he's a player the Rangers would be wise to look to bring into the fold. Even if it took longer than fans may have hoped to do so.

 

 

Other topics in this week’s Quick Hits: what the hell actually is goaltending interference?, Chytil and Andersson are AHL rockstars, and more.

 

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Yet he's worn a letter for every team he's ever played for.

 

I am, though. Especially if someone like Nash might return in free agency. The Rangers will need another offensive weapon because Nash can't be relied on to be that guy anymore. Adding Kovalchuk significantly boosts the Rangers' offensive potential, and I'd love to see him playing next to Chytil. Also, younger and faster is the goal, but it's not a hill to die on. Exceptions can, and should, be made if a player offers a wealth of other talents despite not being the fleetest of foot.

 

In other words, given the opportunity to sign Kovalchuk to a one-year, bonus-laden deal or sign a faster player who might give you 20 goals, I'm probably signing Kovalchuk.

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