Monday, September 13, 2010

Welcome To Camp Retread

Last year it was only Alexei Semenov who got a tryout with the Rangers. This year, Semenov will be joined by Ruslan Fedotenko and Garnet Exelby when camp officially opens this Friday, September 17. As of right now, the camp roster consists of 48 players due to Ranger prospects competing in the Traverse City Tournament.  Figure Chris Kreider and Ryan Bourque will join them at some point in Greenburgh next week. Correction: Kreider reports directly to Boston College following the tourney. Kudos to Jess Rubenstein of The Prospect Park.

As for the three-ring circus of inviting Semenov, Fedotenko and Exelby to compete for spots when the mantra has been about a "youth movement," it's so typical. This organization repeatedly does the same thing after preaching youth while superhyping our prospects. It's long been a complaint up in Section 411 as well as with other wise Ranger bloggers such as Scotty Hockey and the aforementioned Rubenstein. Whenever they talk about giving the kids a chance, it can never be taken at face value.

Do we really need to add another inconsistent finisher in Fedotenko to the roster? Sure. He's Cup proven as shown in the pic above where he delivered for John Tortorella's '03-04 Lightning and again with the '08-09 Penguins. Despite those credentials, he's only scored over 20 once carrying over his '04 heroics with a career best 26 goals and 44 points in St. Pete. Since, here are the 31 year-old vet's goal totals:

TEAM                 GP           GOALS
Lightning              80            12
Islanders              67            16
Penguins              65            16
Penguins              80            11

Hardly anything to write home about for the right wing from the Ukraine. Over 677 games, Fedotenko has registered 150 goals and 158 assists for 308 points while racking up 419 penalty minutes in nine seasons. Having already played for four teams (Phi, TB, NYI, Pit), the Rangers would be his fifth stop if he makes the club. Personally, I don't have anything against the guy but remain skeptical because the production hasn't been there. Wouldn't they be better served seeing if a kid like Evgeny Grachev learned from last year's experience with Hartford? That seems unlikely.

What about others in the system who have shown enough in the 'A' to warrant a look. Is Dale Weise ready? Will Dane Byers ever see the light of day? Unfortunately, we already know the answer. Where does proven pro Mats Zuccarello fit in? How close is Derek Stepan to being ready? All valid questions as another camp approaches.

As for Semenov, what's going to be different from last Fall when it seemed he made the club as an extra before his wife overruled, sending their family back home? It doesn't hurt to bring him in along with the rugged Exelby, whose in your face style can always be used on a club that's been notoriously soft. That's what Glen Sather brought Derek Boogaard in for. So teams don't take liberties with Marian Gaborik and Henrik Lundqvist. You have to wonder what Exelby has left if he couldn't impress Brian Burke.

Making the issue tougher is that how is this beneficial for Mike Sauer, who has gotten the Corey Potter treatment? So much for that disrespectful trade of Brian Leetch. To think that they could've had Paul Stastny with that pick, who instead fell into Colorado's lap at No.44. What would you expect from a club who loved Zach Parise so much that they went for Hugh Jessiman. There also was the trading up to take Lauri Korpikoski over Travis Zajac. Though to be fair, Korpedo only got one year before they mysteriously dumped him to Don Maloney and the Desert for Enver Lisin. Simply amazing.

While we fret over why these retreads are here along with Wade Redden, can anyone explain in good conscience why top blueliner Marc Staal hasn't been re-signed yet? Excuse me while I go bang my head against the wall.

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