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July 10, 2008


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He has got to be glad to get the hell out of Erie, PA. I've been there and boy do they get snow. I guess it is the same as living in Buffalo. Cold and snowy. Nice kid. I wish him alot of luck!

In talking to others about Smiley, this is a player that many teams had hoped would slip though the cracks so they could sign as a UFA.

How much Gaulton lost in his development is unknown but what is known is that this is a prospect who if develops properly will give the Rangers a "thinker" on the blueline.

The real book on him is that his hockey sense and ability to read plays before they develop is uncanny.


Erie has struggled as of late but Gaulton has Robbie Ftorek as his coach which is always a good thing for a prospect.


The comments in the previous thread were so fun to read.

To see people posting about the old Ranger's email digest which I am sad to say is barely alive anymore was nice to see.

So many of us owe our web careers to what Matt Repasky did. Ron B, Anthony M, Dubi and myself were all part of the original Ranger fan web presence.

Matt at last check lives in Columbus Ohio and has Bluejacket tickets (great arena to watch a game)

Great first article, guys.

Glad to be a part of BB+.

Good job, guys. Loving BB+ already.

It's very nice to see a farm system with young abundance of solid players or going to be.

This is the kind of stuff I loved about BB, thanks for the info.

And I used to have a customer in Erie that I needed to see 4 times a year. In 10 years of going there, I can't remember being there on a sunny day!

How come Ftorek is coaching a JUNIOR team (not even a proffesional minor league) after being NHL coach for a number of years?

How come Ftorek is coaching a JUNIOR team (not even a proffesional minor league) after being NHL coach for a number of years?

P.S. Sorry for the double post (I swear I only pressed it once) and thank you and good luck with BB+.

deal made between NHL and KHL

One of the things I like the most about BB is your coverage of prospects and minor leaguers.

Jess, wonder if you have any info on Ryan Russell, the small guy with a bunch of offensive skill we heard a lot about -- who then got traded because he was too small and we already have a bunch of small forwards. Your good coverage really got me interested in the guy and I'm wondering how he's fared since he left our organization.

This kid seems to have his head screwed on the right way. Caught a bad break bumping into an official, so doesnt sound like he is injury prone. Just more of a freak accident. Seems willing to work hard to make it to the NHL, and has already developed rapport with some of our other draft picks. Hopefully a solid D man who can help us in years to come.

Great article. I think BB+ will be a big hit. Thanks for giving this to us Dubi. Also looking forward to seeing "Smiley" develop. Hopefully, in a few years, we'll see him in MSG.

Also, I like the background ALOT!! Very readable. Hope you use it for BB as well.

This is what I enjoy most about BB...thanks. Keep up the good work!

Great first article! Really like the darker blue background, better than the black.

Great article! Way to go guys! BB+ is great!

Sure hope the Rangers this summer are paying more attention to the prospects' conditioning. Considering what happened with Bourett and Antoine LaFleur, I'd say the organization needs to be much more dynamic in directing how these kids spend their time away from competition.

Paul A

What happened with Lafleur was part the annual draft pick who suffers from post draft blues (Dubinsky, Staal, and Hillier previous sufferers), part a team defense that was grossly inexperienced, and part himself screwing up his fundamentals.

What was strange was that at Traverse City and even at the recent camp Lafeur played well.


To be honest one Russell left the system I did not follow him at all. I heard he struggled like most rookies did but I still think he will turn out OK.

Thanks, Jess.

Guess I'll Google him and see what else I can learn.

Smiley! Great nickname for what sounds like a great kid. Hope he's got a mouthful of straight white chicklets, for now anyway... :-||

Yeah Dubi, nice choice on the new blue. It looks... premium!

Nuts. Jason Strudwick —another Smiley— went home to play for the Oilers. He seemed to be a real good guy and I hope he has a great year in front of his hometown fans.


I'm thinking about your interview with LaFleur's coach. Didn't he say something like LaFleur's conditioning coming into last season was a disadvantage to his development?

Antoine LaFleur's plight suggests a story idea: after a kid gets drafted, exactly what is the Rangers' system for beginning the process of turning a draftee into an asset? They must have one, right? Who is the point man? What's his name? What is that guy, or his staff, doing each summer with our high hopes for the future, like del Zotto?

Along with the Rangers system for orienting draftees, you could tell us what these kids are doing this summer. Where are del Zotto, and the other prized youth, going to be? Who will be influential in their progress? With what Rangers staff will they be in regular contact? You know, that kind of thing.

I think these might be good questions.

Man, I am just going to have to stay away from the regular site, now they are just ripping struds (which in my opinion would be kind of similar to ripping adam graves) and it is ridiculous. I just had to comment back, could not stand to see such a stand up guy like struds being ripped.

This site rocks!!!

Thanks again dubi!

Good Luck Struds!!

Great first Article, awsome insight on a future ranger(?), and I much prefer the blue to the black.

Paul A

I'm thinking about your interview with LaFleur's coach. Didn't he say something like LaFleur's conditioning coming into last season was a disadvantage to his development?

Yes he did but he was not the coach at the start of the season so I wondered about that.

what is the Rangers' system for beginning the process of turning a draftee into an asset?

After drafting him:

1- Conditioning camp where they (a) introduce him to the system and the Rangers as a franchise, (b) run tests for Reg Grant and the staff to devise a personalized workout and diet plan for each individual and (c) introduce them to their peers among the prospects.

IF I was looking at it from a NCO's point of view it builds what we used to call "Esprit De Corp" where they think each other as brothers.

The Rangers appear to room the prospects from different leagues so they get to know each other and develop a bond. The Rangers plan activities to help the prospects get to know each other on and off the ice.

I know that in talking to prospect post camp they talking about hanging out with others and how they now talk. email or text someone all the time.

They become supportive of each other and some I know make plans to work out in the off-season together.

Give the Rangers credit as this is where you begin to build a chemistry.

Who is the point man?

There is no one "point" man as it is a team effort, Reg Grant checks to make sure they are following their diet and work out program during the season (do not anger that man or fail to follow his program I have been told) and the scouts for the area check in with each prospect to see how they are doing and to offer suggestions on what to work on.

You never know who one might run into on the road checking on the kids as it could be Sather himself (yes he does), it could be Adam Graves, Gord Clark, Jim Schoenfeld or the recently departed Jim Hammett.

If you want a point man from the prospect's perspective then call Gravy the man. Every North American born prospect I have talked to has talked about Graves like he was a cult leader.

Can you blame them? Graves was a hero to most of these prospects when they were first starting to even play hockey. So when Adam Graves comes to you with advice only the not so bright fail to listen.

So then, again, how did LaFleur end up out of shape? That is the story. Right?

"You never know who one might run into on the road checking on the kids as it could be Sather himself (yes he does), it could be Adam Graves, Gord Clark, Jim Schoenfeld or the recently departed Jim Hammett."

I'd be interested to know. Of those guys, how many had contact with LaFleur last summer.

Then again, if that's the way it works, then that's that. Seems weird teams leave alone their teenagers, especially when imagining how comprehensive the development of Crosby must have been. And how little it would have cost (if money mattered) to surround the kid with all the top young scientists.

But, if the norm is for draftees to be on a kind of honor system then that is it, I suppose.

Well, I'm in...think I'll make myself comfortable...anyway, did anyone see the Mark Seidel's draft ranking for the Rangers? He gave us an "A". Here it is - http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/17139-Mark-Seidels-Blog-2008-NHL-draft-grades-Part-2.html

Good stuff on Gaulton, too.

Good luck Dubi! BB is well worth the subscription price and having BB+ is a bonus. Excellent first article. I love when a kid comes out of nowhere in the late rounds to make it in the NHL. When they become stars in the NHL, it is even more amazing. To be a GREAT team, you have to strike gold in those late rounds AND hit it right in the early rounds.

as has been posted on BB and PP for the first time in a long time the Ranger future looks very rosy. If it be Sather's one legacy he is building a future for the Rangers.

Jess, Dubi or Mitch --> Any "rumblings" on if and who the Rangers might be looking at in terms of goaltenders in Hartford? I know there was some talk of a veteran-type to help tutor Wiikman and possibly serve as a (hopefully) rarely needed 3rd Ranger netminder.

Also, with the Rangers in search mode for d-men for the minors, tell them to take a look at a blueliner who played in Denmark last year - Nathan Lutz (he had 12 goals and 18 assists with 160 PIM). Ok, I know I whistling through a graveyard and begging, but as a proud Iona College graduate I can hope can't I? After all, the Rangers did just acquire Pat Rissmiller who played against the Gaels with Holy Cross in the old MAAC days. It is funny, I never thought of him as a physical player as people are now. He was one of the top scorers in the MAAC - a big fish in a small pond.

I'm in ... My key to the Executive Post Room works...Yippeeeeeeeee Z

Love the background..Great color blue.. And it's so quiet here... no shouting each other down and no name calling (yet) ...just plain old intelligent discussion...this may take some getting used to. Will there be a link to this site from the regular BB or are we going to have to access this site separately??? Z

This kid sounds exciting--and I was pleased to hear of his relationship with Bobby S. It seems like we have a steady stream of potential blueliners in the queue.

And Dubi and Jess, thanks for your hard work with this.

Lastly, Struds is a stand up guy and I wish him the best of luck in Edmonton. Except when we play the Oilers, of course.


According to Russian newspaper “Sport express” Shanny on his way to SKA St. Peter burgh, where Barry Smith is head coach. http://www.sport-express.ru/art.shtml?162491

Finally. I made it through.

Shanny to Russia? No way.

Nice job, Dubi! This is a great deal for subscribers, and I hope you get a nice uptick with it!

Mitch sounds like another prospect with his head on his shoulders. Seems like the Rangers have really put an emphasis on drafting level-headed kids.

BB+ Rules.

Nice to get the inside scoop on the prospects. Mitch ain't half bad, ya know. :)

To Paul A,

I wrote a nice little send off for Struddy. He was a good Ranger. Wish him the best of luck with his home town team. He'll land on his feet after his playing days are over. He is very well liked.

Shanny to Russia? Hey, he has to pay a $13 million dollar mortgage.

SWith regard to Gaulton, after reading his scouting report and looking at his build, the first name that popped into my head was "Barret Jackman". I love getting this kid, especially in the 6th round. In fact, if he develops to where his talent says he should be, this is a just a stunningly good pick. Between getting Del Zotto remarkably at #20, Grachev at #75 and Gaulton in the 6th round, this draft has a chance to be a stellar draft for the Rangers.

Paul- I don't think you can pay for "scientists" and specialists to watch over every kids move. The Rangers own the rights to the player, but unless they are under contract, I think the professional teams ability to interfere with the kids is limited. Crosby didn't have much different regarding his development, especially from the Penguins, considering he was drafted in June, signed a contract immediately and dressed a few months later. I doubt anything that the Penguins did with the kid had any major influence on him, other than having him live with Mario to get 1-on-1 lessons on whining (okay, cheap shot, I know!). The main difference between Crosby and any of our (or any) prospects is the degree of talent.

I thought this was going to be about Mitch Beck.


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