September 29 2012 03:21PM
Congratulations to Paul Ranger for ranking number 1 overall in @torontomarlies fitness tests. Impressive on so many levels.— Dallas Eakins (@dallaseakins) September 29, 2012
No, I don't particularly know what this means, anything other than Paul Ranger spent the majority of his time off from hockey getting jacked.
Whatever happened for Ranger when he was off from hockey, or why he left, is elementary at this point, but it's the sort of story that a storytelling media will eat up—Ranger is a Good Ontario Boy™ with roots in the GTHL and has even coached in his hometown Whitby. His departure from the NHL was strange, and mainly because he was really, really good.
Eakins' fitness tests seem rather vague. I haven't had the opportunity yet to ask exactly what they consist of or what they tell about a player's future performance. Paul Ranger becoming a top AHL defenceman is obviously preferable to him not, but fitting within the scope of Eakins' fitness expectations isn't the measuring stick.
I will say, good on the majority of the local media for not going to town on Nazem Kadri yesterday after Eakins said some disparaging things about his body fat and dietary issues. The next step is not buying too much into the Ranger hype until he's done something on the ice to prove whether Eakins' tests are worth anything or not.
Ranger's return has the makings of a good story, but it ain't done yet.
- The Marlies unveiled their third jerseys today, with a nod to the Toronto Marlboros and Maple Leafs' jerseys of old. They look pretty sharp. [Marlies HQ]
- Some OHL highlights last night involve Leafs prospects. Fast-forward to 1:00 in and check out Tyler Biggs' first goal as an Oshawa General... [OHL]
- At :34 seconds into this video, find Stuart Percy's second on the year. I was at this game, Percy played a very strong game at either end and displayed offensive flair (as we should expect). He also scored a beauty in the shootout. [OHL]
- Ben Scrivens and James Reimer are saplings for new goalie coach and former tree-farmer Rick St.-Croix. My response to the metaphor: "..." [National Post]
- Nail Yakupov is going back to the KHL after Hockey Canada signs off on the transfer agreement. All that's left is to find out the undisclosed transfer fee... [Yahoo! Sports]
- Around the Nations, Darryl Katz apologizes to the City of Edmonton by taking out a full-page ad in the Edmonton Journal, saying he's really sorry for that whole "threatening to move the Oilers to leverage the local government into giving him more money for an arena..." [Oilers Nation]
- Jason Gregor with a moving piece on the 12-year anniversary of his father's death. [Oilers Nation]