The signing of Henrik (I Prefer Henny) Lundqvist is Exhibit A.
When the Rangers invited him to training camp in his rookie season, little was known about his NHL goaltending potential. In fact, at best, it was expected that Henny would be the backup to Kevin Weekes, then expected to be the Blueshirts' starter in goal.
So, what happened? Weekes became an afterthought and Lundqvist earned himself a bushel-full of Vezina Trophy votes, although he's never annexed the prize.
The Maven predicts a similar outcome for Glen Sather's latest acquisition, Ales Kotalik. Then again, I'm partial to hockey players named Ales. Oilers winger Ales Hemsky is one of my artistic favorites and, quite frankly, I always had Kotalik tabbed as one of the Buffalo Sabres' most underrated forwards.
I expect that Kotalik will become a linemate for the prize offseason acquisition on Seventh Avenue, Marian Gaborik. You can write this down and check me out sometime around Thanksgiving; Kotalik and Gaborik will make beautiful music together on New York's front line.
Already, this is a better Rangers team than at this time last year; now it's only a matter of guessing at Sather's next move.
So far, so (very) good!"