Thursday, August 03, 2006

Leetch Still Unsigned

Brian LeetchInto the second month of the free agency, about a month away from training camp, Brian Leetch remains unsigned and quite possibly unwanted. There seems to be mixed emotions among Ranger fans that while we all love Brian and have great memories of him, we rather see the young guys play. But are we going to see the young defensemen play? Are we going to see 25 year old Thomas Pock in the lineup? Are we going to see 21 year old Ivan Baranka get a shot to make the team? How about 21 year old Bryce Lampman? Where does he stand in the mix?

The Ranger roster lists seven defensemen. Four of them, including new arrival Aaron Ward, are in their thirties with Kasparaitis and Ozolinsh the oldest at 34 years old each. Rozsival is 28 years old, Karel Rachunek is 27 years old and Fedor Tyutin is the baby of the group at 23 years old. This is hardly what I would call a youthful defense corps. Remember also that Kasparaitis and Malik both suffered major injuries with Kaspy having to undergo two major surgeries. This is the group that Thomas Pock and Martin Richter are trying to crack.

Thomas Pock led all AHL defensemen in scoring with 61 points. He was tied for fifth on the Wolfpack in scoring. In two different stints with the Rangers he has appeared in fourteen games and is 3-3-6 in those games. He adds a quickness and mobility that Marek Malik is lacking in. He is the best power play defensemen on the Rangers but he has to fight to make the seventh spot. Our defense collapsed at the end of the season and was practically non existent in the playoffs. Obviously Ozolinsh was not the answer. The Ranger defense is not an overly tough defense, hence the importance of getting and carrying the puck out of the defensive zone. A young talented puck carrying defensemen is what is needed on this unit. Or an old one.

Which brings us back to Leetch. Would you rather have Leetch or Rozsival on the point on the power play? Leetch or Malik to carry the puck out of the defensive zone? If playing Leetch cuts into the ice time of a Pock or Lampman or Baranka then the answer is no to Leetch. If it takes away from Rozsival and Malik then let's go for it and bring Leetchie back to his adoring fans. That's the Pundit's opinion, what is yours.

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  • Bon Jovi said...

    Who says you can't go home
    There's only one place that call me one of their own
    Just a hometown boy, born a rolling stone, who says you can't go home
    Who says you can't go back, been all around the world and that's a matter of fact
    There's only one place left I want to go, who says you can't go home

    It's alright, it's alright, it's alright, it's alright, its alright

  • mike said...

    To bon jovi-And they saw a stranger and they took him in. And he was a stranger no more.

  • David Crowe said...


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    David Crowe
    Write On Sports LLC

  • Sean G. Kilkelly said...

    This is a great blog. I am going to visit it often. I don't want Leetch on the Rangers. He is well past his prime and the blueshirts have had too much experience with guys past their prime taking up space. Give the young guys a shot!
    ---sean kilkelly

  • mike said...

    Sean, you are right about the young guys, but most of them will be in Hartford when the season starts. I would hardly call Malik, Kaspy, Ozolinsh and Ward young, would you?