When your hear the name Stu Bickel, it usually laughter follows. This might be because his name sounds like a cartoon character but also it is because he just flat out cannot play hockey.
His inconsistency seems to be the only thing Bickel brings to the table night in and night out for the New York Rangers, besides the occasional grit, and that continued last night in Calgary.
If you don’t know who Bickel is, there’s a good reason. Please do not get confused with Bryan Bickell of the Chicago Blackhawks because frankly, that is arguably the biggest insult you can give that Stanley Cup champion.
So for you own knowledge, Stu Bickel is a defenseman who cannot skate nor defend and can occasionally be used as a forward if everyone else on your team is hurt.
Last night against the Calgary Flames, Bickel had nine penalty minutes and was constantly out of position, which led to multiple Flames goals as the Rangers dropped their third preseason game by a 4-1 score.
I cannot see any possibility of Bickel making this Rangers team and I think finally Rangers fans will get there wish and he will be let go by the end of the preseason.
Remember that this is not John Tortorella‘s Rangers anymore; grit is no longer valued over speed. In a new offensive system that will be implemented by Rangers new head coach Alain Vigneault, the Rangers will be more up tempo and requires defensemen to jump into the play and create scoring chances and hustle back on defense. There is no way a player like Bickel can handle that much responsibility since none of his “skills” fit that type of system.
Hopefully whenever the Rangers decide to let him go, we do not see many more games like what us Rangers’ fans experienced against the Flames last night. Thank your lucky stars it is only preseason.