Enigma wrapped in a blue jersey

19

Our European correspondent has posed a worthwhile question about Marcel Hossa, and I’ll pass along an observation from someone who knows more about this team than I do.

It goes something like this: if Hossa’s last name was not Hossa — meaning he was not somehow linked to his more famous and more talented brother — then the Rangers would get past the fixation of having him be a top two-line player and instead focus on what he is — a big guy and decent skater who seems to be lacking some offensive savvy.

Like a number of people, I haven’t been overly impressed by Hossa thus far, but I keep looking because it’s obvious that the Rangers see something in him, be it as a penalty killer or maybe something more.

How much time do they allow themselves before they give up? Good question. It doesn’t help — or it does help, depending on your perspective — that there are other players clearly nipping at his heels. Then you have to decide if your diamond in the rough is just a rock.

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19 Comments

  1. I completely agree with the 2nd paragraph. Marcel gets a free pass mostly because people think he must have potential since Marian is one of the best players in the game. He has _never_ had anywhere the upside and skills of Marian so if he was Marcel Smith, he’d be in the ECHL already.

    Oh…Fedor Fedorov, anyone?

  2. Sam,

    I’m a bit intrigued by your reference to “someone who knows more about this team than I do.” Would this “someone” be a member of the Rangers staff who holds less of an opinion on Hossa than say, for example, Renney/Sather? By the way, I’m a UVM alum and am looking forward to seeing the Cats move past UNH this year in HE.

  3. VT — I’ll cut you some slack because my wife is a UVM alum and I spent many a fine weekend in Burlington when we were both in college.

    An important clarification here: the person who said that about Hossa is not a part of the Rangers organization.

  4. Not to steal your blog Sam, but I think people who read might be interested…Henrik Lundqvist was interviewed to a Swedish tabloid Expressen (today’s edition: http://expressen.se/index.jsp?a=701181)

    As we all know he speaks very fondly of New York – he absolutely loves the city etc..

    Renney says in the article that he’s going to trust Lundqvist 100 000% this season and Henke says that he wants to live up to that confidence.

    Then the article goes on to ask him what his goals are:

    – To play better than last year, make the playoffs and win there. (“You can always become better”)

    – Says there are goals from last season that he intends not to let in this season.

    – One more year after this one on his contract and he would love to stay after that too. (“My ambition is to stay”, he says)

    Basically he doesn’t say anything that hasn’t been written about him already…but one thing becomes clear again and again: Lundqvist is absolutely in love with New York City. I think it would probably break his heart if he had to leave some day.

  5. European correspondent on

    Sam

    Did you attend the morning practice that you will be able to forsee if Jaromir Jagr will make his debut tonight at the Mausoleum and therefore to be back by 1.30 am after having dinner with a beautiful woman on a friday night ?????

    I would really like to hear your assesment by around 6 pm local time over here noon your time to think about the explantion to her why I need to left her otherwise it is gonna be difficult for me to join you tonight via computer for the game :):):)

  6. Anthony (the other one) on

    Sam – Is there anything to the frequently-stated belief that “power forwards take longer to develop”? Everyone says it, but I don’t understand why it’s the case.

    I’d hate to see the Rangers take a pass on Hossa too soon and miss out on a player that could have a big impact. We’ve traded away too many great prospects well before their time – Zubov, Savard, Cloutier, Johnsson, Sundstrom, Mike York, etc.

    But, if Hossa ain’t gonna develop, get him on the next bus to the mausoleum – where ex-Rangers go to die…

  7. European correspondent on

    Steve Zipay from the Newsday ( did you mention him earlier as the most diligently beat writer of the Blueshirt:):)) exspects him to see some limited time on the powerplay tonight with Brendan Shanahan and center Michael Nylander !!!!

    Well so I see my rendezvous ending very abruptly because she has anyway no idea about hockey in general and the Rangers specifically :)

  8. Sam,

    I, as most of us, believe in the Rangers organization, and their ability to identify talent. And, just like everyone else, I have not seen it in Marcel, at least not on a consistent basis. However, I do think he has potential. Maybe not the potential to be another Marian, but he can be an impact player on the 3rd. If he had a different name, who knows where he would be, but I find it hard to believe ta name. Maybe for the first year, but not by now.

    Here is my starting roster:
    Straka-Nylander-Jagr
    Prucha-Cullen-Shanahan
    Hossa-Betts-Hall
    Hollweg-Immonen-Ward

  9. Sam,

    I, as most of us, believe in the Rangers organization, and their ability to identify talent. And, just like everyone else, I have not seen it in Marcel, at least not on a consistent basis. However, I do think he has potential. Maybe not the potential to be another Marian, but he can be an impact player on the 3rd. If he had a different name, who knows where he would be, but I find it hard to believe that the Rangers would be fooled by just a name. Maybe for the first year, but not by now.

    Here is my starting roster:
    Straka-Nylander-Jagr
    Prucha-Cullen-Shanahan
    Hossa-Betts-Hall
    Hollweg-Immonen-Ward

  10. Well since I can’t trust Steve Zipay, I’d like to know what Jagr’s situation for tonight is. This information will be the deciding factor for whether or not I’ll be attending tonight’s game.

  11. Speaking of prospects given up on before their time:

    Sam, do you possibly have any idea why Jan Marek was never invited to the training camp? He is currently tearing up the Russian Elite League with 8 points (7 goals, 1 assts) in 6 games for Metallurg Magnitogorsk (Malkin’s ex-team).

  12. marek wanted a one way deal apparently and the rangers were not interested in that for good reason. there fore he wasn’t invited to camp. they will have to make a decision on this guy next summer without a doubt.

  13. awesome. i’ll be there sporting my Jagr jersey. btw, great work with the blog so far… i look forward to reading this everyday at school/work.

  14. Anthony (the other one) —

    I think there is something to be said for NHL power forwards taking longer to develop for the simple reason that they’ve relied on their size their entire careers, and in the process, have perhaps neglected some of their skills. That was the case with Shanahan early on, and it seems to be the case with the Hugh Jessiman.

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