Wicked Awesome Gets His Ass Sent Back Down
Thomas Pöck (Chris Rutsch photo)
The New York Rangers announced today that Thomas Pöck has been sent down to Hartford for a two-week conditioning assignment.
This is significant mainly because Pöck, who made the AHL All-Star Team last season while with the Wolf Pack, sparked a minor controversy a week ago for refusing such an assignment, according to a Dec. 3rd New York Post column by Larry Brooks:
Defenseman Thomas Pock, who has played in only one of the last 21 Rangers games (4:46 at forward on Nov. 19), recently refused management's request to join the AHL Wolf Pack for a conditioning assignment of up to 14 days... We're not so certain the defenseman, who turned 25 yesterday, wouldn't be better off in the long run by acceding to the front office's wishes.
We can understand why Pock, who recently met with head coach Tom Renney to discuss his options, might not want to be so accommodating to the organization. At the same time, however, the decision is likely short-sighted. Indeed, Pock's refusal to play games at the AHL level only gives the coach more legitimate reason to doubt his readiness and thus keep the player in street clothes.
Pöck's prima-donna move has raised questions about his attitude, which already last season earned Pöck the ire of some Wolf Pack fans (the players here didn't call him "Wicked Awesome" for nothing). Meanwhile, the clamour for Pöck to be given a regular spot in the Rangers lineup continues to be heard from some New York fans, made dewey-eyed by Pöck's glossy numbers last year with the Wolf Pack (61 points in 67 games), not realizing that a good number of his points came in games where he played at forward.
Most steadfast Wolf Pack fans are already well aware of these events; I am merely pointing all of this out in hopes of preventing a "Thomas Pöck: Best Player Alive That You've Never Heard Of" story five years down the road (just kidding, James).