Rangers Ought to Have Back-up Plan
The NYPost and NYTimes (as if both are good sources) report that Mike Richter does indeed have a concussion. Though it is a very very very minor concussion (much lighter than the one Lindros suffered last year), Richter is still not ready to play a game. He has been in practices, but not worth the risk of putting him in the crease for a game. It happened on November 5, where Todd Marchant drove to the net hard and kneed Richter to the head. It was unintentional, however, Marchant made no effort to avoid Richter. Last season, Richter faced a concussion with a fractured skull after getting hit three times (what are the chances of that happening) by the puck from slap shots.
Blackburn was given the starting job, and did well enough, though the Rangers failed to make the playoffs, even if they were hot at the end of the season. Blackburn tied Tom Barrasso last season in most consecutive games won by a teenage goalie; won five in a row.
Richter is not placed on IR, at least for now, but there is no panic or rush for the Rangers to start talks regarding an acquisition of a goaltender. As of now, Richter is attending practices, and Blackburn is 2-1 in the last three starts. He shut out the Flames, he had zero help from his team in a confusing game against the Blue Jackets, and even if he failed to stop Patrick Marleau’s penalty shot (which was not the right call) in San Jose, Blackburn managed to win the 3rd period for his team.
He has what it takes to play in the NHL right now, as he did last season. What makes me, and you, think he won’t win 5 games in a row again? Placing Blackburn back to the juniors would be a boneheaded move by Slats and it would only kill Blackbunr’s confidence. He is a fine back-up, and name a goalie that did not start his career as a back-up goaltender?
Anyway, right now the Rangers will let Blackburn start in net. However, management should start thinking of back up plans in case Richter faces an injury once he comes back.
This will most likely create more rumors for the Rangers. As of now, the unsigned Dafoe is available, so is Hackett, and a few more.
Dafoe: Personally, i would not want him. I think he has been in his prime years and they won’t last long. I doubt Dafoe would still be available (should be signed this week), but even if he was, I doubt he would take a 2 year deal with the Rangers.
Hackett: Bingo! This goalie I’d like to see coming to the Rangers. The deal would involve more players, possibly Kilger in the mix, and the Rangers get a ‘not-young’ goaltender, but a darn solid one. Hackett is also a good mentor to young goalies, and that’s a bonus for Blackburn. However, one key that keeps me from wanting Hackett (if Richter faces long-term injury) is his injury prone; quite risky.
Kiprusoff, Jamie Storr, Tomas Vokoun, Mike Dunham (heard he is running out of patience with the Predators), and Brathwaite would be other possibilities.
No panic yet, no rush yet, just something to start thinking about for the Rangers.