Players Celebrate While Front Office Continues to Work

So what do you do after being eliminated in the Eastern Conference Finals by your biggest rival? Party of course (via Page Six)…

“…after being eliminated by the New Jersey Devils, Henrik Lundqvist, Brandon Dubinsky, Stu Bickel and Mats Zuccarello were spotted partying at 1Oak until late. The following night, Lundqvist and his group joined the rest of their teammates for dinner at Meatpacking District eatery Catch. The crew, which also included Brian Boyle, Brad Richards, Brandon Prust, Michael Del Zotto, Steve Eminger, Ryan McDonagh and Jeff Woywitka, “toasted with beers in hand” and gave each other shout-outs.”

One witness said “It looked as if they’d won the championship,” while another spy noted, “They worked hard and deserve a beer to celebrate their achievement.”

…i know some people may have a problem with this, but I for one do not. The NHL season is a grind and players need to blow off some steam when it’s over. Plus this team has a lot to celebrate. Cheers!

It’s too bad they couldn’t have been wearing this shirt while partying (H/T reader @the_nange)…

For more Rangers Eastern Conference Champion phantom shirts, click here.

…hurts to know this shirt was even produced.

The most suprising part about the late night partying is that Zuccarello was involved. Especially after this quote in a Swedish newspaper (H/T to reader Edvin L. for link & translation)…

“I dont think Rangers have treated me right. When I played here [Rangers] I had the most assist on the power play. This year they have sucked on the power play, and I still haven’t gotten to play.”

…and this guy was out partying with the team? I’m sorry, while he had glimpses, I think the Rangers were justified in sending him down to the CT Whale both years. Never the standout player he was supposed to be.

…i feel like the Zucc argument is very similar to the Prucha one. Was he not playing because he wasn’t performing or was he not performing because he wasn’t playing?

For more on the Rangers front office hard at work and how to fix the power play, click the “Read More” tab below.

While the players were celebrating, the front office continued to work as they signed Europen prospect Jesper Fast, formerly Jesper Fasth, to an entry level contract.

Fast told Hockey Expressen (H/T Kevin Baumer) that he plans on staying with his current Swedish team next season before making the jump to North America.

Here’s a scouting report on Fast from Elite Prospects

“Fasth is a very good skater with nice acceleration and top speed. He works very hard, forechecks with impressive intensity and also create a lot of offense thanks to his agility and speed. Has decent hockey sense, technical skills and scoring ability, but it perhaps still more likely to develop into a role player. Is not an overly physical player, but likes to play through rough traffic and does it pretty well.”

…i tell you what, that’s pretty ballsy to change your name to Fast. He better be or he’ll look real stupid. Especially playing for an organization that has speedsters such as Hagelin and Kreider.

…the best part about the scouting report is that he likes to play through rough traffic. Not something you normally read about a European player.

Meanwhile, Larry Brooks at the New York Post feels that Brian Leetch would be the perfect guy to turn around the Rangers dreadful power play…

“It is impossible to think of anyone who would be better in teaching gifted, young defensemen Ryan McDonagh and Michael Del Zotto the art of playing the point than Leetch, truly one of the most accomplished power-play quarterbacks of his time.”

Brooks adds that Leetch’s strained relationship with Glen Sather will likely keep that from happening.

…while I’d love to see Leetch on the coaching staff it doesn’t guarantee that Del Zotto magically transforms into a modern day version of the Hall of Famer. Remember when the Rangers had Messier working with the team on faceoffs two years ago? How’d that work out?

…it’s not like Torts hasn’t been able to run successful power plays because he has in Buffalo and Tampa. If the player doesn’t have the vision to be a power play quarterback, not sure it matters who teaches them.

Finally, Brooks says that with Michael Sauer’s status up in the air next season, that the Rangers will go all in on the University of Wisconsin’s presumptive free agent Justin Schultz as the first step toward filling that void.

…would love to hear your thoughts on all of this in the comments section.

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