The Puckhead Nation crew is back with a new edition of their weekly roundtable! We'll be coming at you with our thoughts every week at Informative Sports. Here's a sample of this week's column:
Welcome to Puckhead Nation, the discussion forum here at Informative Sports where five of our hockey writers (Ethan Calof, Zach Bigalke, Chris Capcara, Michael Hanson, and Fernando Redondo) debate topics pertinent to the NHL and the greater world of hockey today. This free-flowing and dynamic discussion is something never seen among the major media outlets. Main topics of discussion are listed in bold.
(Full disclosure: Ethan is an Ottawa-based Detroit Red Wings fan. Zach is an Oregon-based Montreal Canadiens fan. Chris is a Pittsburgh-based Penguins fan. Fernando is a South Florida-based Lightning fan. Michael is a Red Wings fan from Winnipeg . For more information, see their respective profiles.)
Ethan: Welcome back to the second season of Puckhead Nation! I'm joined today by Zach, Chris, Michael, and Fernando to dissect the NHL offseason in almost every way possible. Of course, a welcome is in order to our newest writer Fernando, who has agreed to join our discussion board from Saint Leo by way of Puerto Rico to replace Mac, who unfortunately had to leave. This week, we are also joined by Flyers fan Brady Ford for a cameo appearance. Now, as we look back on this past offseason, which teams made some of the best and worst signings of the summer?
Zach: The most confusing signing in my mind was the five-year deal that the New York Rangers lavished on oft-injured winger Marian Gaborik. Now, I understand that Gaborik is an electric scorer... when he is actually able to find his way onto the ice. He's missed at least fifteen games in four of the past five seasons, and at 27 one must wonder what his dedication is to conditioning and preparing his body for the inevitable hits that come with a job in the NHL. This deal reeks to me of the Rangers throwing yet more good money at bad solutions.
Ethan: Call me crazy, or at least moderately insane, but I kinda like this signing. What was the Rangers'most pressing need last season? Offense. The only strategy with which they could win games last season was choking off the opposition and relying on "King" Henrik Lundqvist to steal games for them. What does Gaborik bring to the table? Offense, and lots of it. You have valid concerns on his consistency, but he brings to the table exactly what the Rangers need. If he could score in Minnesota, then he can definitely produce in the Big Apple.
Fernando: For the Rangers it could be a risky signing. However, if Gaborik stays healthy, it could prove an amazing addition for the Rangers. They made the playoffs last year, however it was because of amazing play between the pipes of King Lundqvist. The offense is needed to win, defense can only get you so far, and Gaborik could be the spark they need.
Michael: Gaborik barely played at all last season (or any season) and got a $7.5 million per year contract. He has all of the talent in the world, but that's extremely dangerous, especially for a bubble playoff team like the Rangers.
Except every time Rangers try to buy their way into offense, the talent
either gets improperly utilized or is on its last legs to begin with...
Madison Square Garden, as of late, has been a place for snipers and set-up
artists to go into decrepitude.
Fernando: Agree. I am all for harboring and grooming your own talent. However most New York talent comes from the Free Agency or trading not groomed. The best teams are the ones that are drafted, trained, and with the best teamwork, like the Pens, and Wings.Ethan: You can't fault a team for trying solve its cesspool of a situation. If every forward turns to mush in MSG as you say, how do you propose they improve their offense?