No matter your perspective this isn’t a good look for the Rangers
Lias Andersson is no longer a New York Ranger. Better yet, he no longer wants to be a one. That’s where we are today with the news that he has asked to be traded. Now whether you blame Andersson, coach David Quinn, or head scout Gordie Clark this isn’t a good look for the Rangers.
It started when the Rangers traded forward Derek Stepan and backup goaltender Antti Raanta to the Arizona Coyotes for defenseman Anthony DeAngelo and the seventh overall pick, which was used to draft center, Lias Andersson.
Lias Andersson was a surprise pick for many fans, scouts, and broadcasters. Even Bob Mckenzie said: “It looks like the Rangers are going to go off the board here“. McKenzie had Andersson ranked thirteenth in that year’s NHL Entry Draft. While the Rangers left Casey Mittelstadt on the table, they were definitely up to something. One thing about that draft is that it wasn’t deep, and it was filled with players who are a few years away from becoming NHL players. So laying blame solely at Gordie Clark’s feet is difficult.
Coaching and Development
The next thing to look at is how the Rangers handled his development and it is hard to ignore the role coaching plays with that. Of the 66 games Andersson played as a Ranger all but 7 of them were coached by David Quinn. And while in Andersson’s rookie season it seemed he showed some flashes of being an NHL player, he just couldn’t seem to get traction this season.
Many fans lay this completely at the feet of the head coach and it is understandable. DQ not only shoehorned Andersson into the 4th line, he really never gave him an opportunity to play with better line mates. To be truthful, it was more likely that Andersson would play under 7 minutes than he was to get time even on the third line. Still the player needs to earn their ice time and opportunities and Andersson didn’t.
At some point, we also need to look at the player and determine if they just weren’t cutting it. So what did Andersson do in the AHL once demoted in November? He scored only 5 points in 13 games and was a -9. To make matters worse he was getting into penalty trouble and amassed 7 minors as well.
Andersson is only 21 and has potential to be a rock solid NHL player. It is very upsetting that there’s no chance it will happen in a Rangers sweater now. However, there’s no way you can fully blame any one person specifically here, but the organization certainly takes a hit and will have to answer questions about what happened here in the near future.
The Rangers 1st round pick, 7th overall in 2017 leaves the organization with the following stats:
AHL: 74 GP, 15G, 24A, 39PTS, -33
NHL: 66 GP, 3G, 6A, 9PTS, -20