Kick or stick?


The discussion over a potential roster move on defense begs the question: Who is expendable on this team?

Granted, there’s a lot to consider: age, productivity, salary, depth at a given position.

I’m pretty sure most Rangers fans don’t want to go down the same prospects-for-stars road that was traveled in the past, but it does seem like the Rangers have some capital to work with; and they also might be in a position to unload some hefty salaries to open up some opportunities down the road.

I don’t have a set answer in my head, but I suppose I have a few thoughts. Let’s hear it from your end first.

In the meantime, I’m headed out for my first skate of the season with my usual crew. Something tells me my fellow pucksters are going to take great pleasure in putting the know-it-all hockey writer in his place. More on that tomorrow….if I’m still upright.

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  1. is like to see a package like..

    malik rachunek immonen and a 2nd rounder for Richards (or more likely Lecavalier).

    just my opinion.

    all our defenseman are the same, pansy ass wimps. here were trading 2 pansies, a solid 2nd-3rd line upside prospect and a pick for Lecavalier, who is a VERY good 2-way player, and has size that he uses (not like a wrecking ball, but still) and youre payroll would basically only go up what….3 mil? if that?

  2. Id love to see kaspar or ozo or malik or rozy moved but im not sure how likely that is going to be. Id love to see Pock or Baranka get a good look in one of their spots, or a good dman come back in return. Id love to see a true number one center ie Arnott or Richards.
    Realistically I dont see any of that happening.
    Hoping for
    Out: Ozolinsh, Rozsival, Kasparitis,Malik,Nylander
    In: Baranka, Richards/#1 Center, Top 2 Dman

  3. rozsival isn’t going anywhere. neither is nylander, nor kasparaitis.

    and branka isn;’t going to be here this yr.

  4. Speaking to Sam’s point, right now the Rangers have no legitimate #1, #2, or even #3 defesneman. Rozy is a weak #3 (assuming 1,3,5 are offensive, 2,4,6 stay at homes) and a good #5. Frankly, Rosival and Malik (though I think overall Kaspar adds more to the team than Malik) make a decent third pair at best, Ward’s a reasonable #4, and above that its anybody’s guess. I suppose a healthy and resposible Ozo could be a good #3. I don’t know what the answer is, but the problem is – and has been for awhile – that we have 8 defensemen who really are all best suited to play #4-7 roles. As far as forwards go, the teams in great shape IMO. And unfortunately, Lundquist looks very shaky right now, so any hope being held out that our biggest trading chip – Montoya – could bring back a return is lost (I wouldnt trade Al right now).

    You guys also must realize that other teams see our junk as junk. You’re not going to trade 2 “pansy” defensemen, a prospect who still hasn’t stuck with 2 teams (Immonen) and second round pick for a bona fide superstar center like Vinny or Richards. We’d have to give up a first rounder, ONE of our “pansy” defensemen, likely the best one, and probably either Dawes or Montoya. Whether or not you make a deal or deals like that depends on 1. whether or not you think Lundquist is for real (still a legit question) 2. whether or not you think Dawes is for real (he is) 3. How badly do we need a superstar #1 young center (badly) 4. Does that truly solve the team’s problems (as discussed above, the defense, so no).

    The Rangers have a surplus of #4-8 defensemen, really no top 3 defensemen except possibly – believe it or not – Ozolinsh. They’re not in as great shape as it might appear because their surplus is of things nobody else wants.

  5. I think the easier way to answer “who’s expendable on this team” is to list who’s not. It’s a short list: Jagr, Shanny, Lundqvist. I expect some will disagree, but looked at without emotion, remembering that hockey is a business, that’s it. And even Shanny will not be untouchable should the unthinkable happen and this team continues to flounder into the new year and a playoff berth start to look like less than a sure bet.

    The following players have significant value in a trade: Prucha, Tyuitin, Roszival, Rachunek, Hollweg, Dawes, Pock, Nylander, Cullen, roughly in order of value. From this list, I think the Rangers will probably be unwilling to trade Hollweg and Nylander or Cullen.

    The following players will be all but impossible to get rid of in a trade, unless we overpay with additional talent in order to get the other team to take on salary: Kaspar, Malik, Ozo, Straka, A. Ward, Weekes.

    The rest would be nothing more than throw-ins in any potential trades. Obviously, this doesn’t take into account prospects in Hartford, juniors, college, etc. The only prospect with serious value on his own is Marc Staal anyway. Montoya has yet to prove he can be consistent in the AHL, nevermind at the NHL level. You won’t get a top 4 NHL defensman for Montoya until he proves he’s worth the hype. With years of overpaying with young propects in order to bring in overpaid, underperforming vets still (hopefully) fresh in their mind, I don’t think the Rangers are going to offer either one.

    Unfortunately, a trade for a top two defenseman or center will start with Prucha or Tyutin. Dreams of pulling in a guy like Lecavalier in exchange for slow, lumbering defenseman who doesn’t hit, a guy who hasn’t played in the NHL in two years, and a propsect who at 24 years old going on 25 has yet to make the jump are just that… dreams. You have to give up something to get something. In addition, one thing Tampa will be looking for in any trade for Lecavalier will be cap space. With a combined $5m in salary for the players mentioned, we’re not even offering a whole lot of that. I don’t believe for a minute that Richards is on the market, so I’m not even going to address that. Though I will say you wouldn’t even get a pair of Richards skates with that package.

    Personally, while I think one of our defensemen should and will be replaced, I have no illusions of getting in a top two defenseman or center in exchange. This team spent enough time importing big name stars. I’d rather develop a team similar to what Buffalo’s put together. No superstars, just a whole lot of talented players playing as a team. I’m willing to wait for it. Unfortunately, last year’s success got everyone’s hopes up — including Sather/Maloney/Dolans — which is why we ended up with team this year that’s actually older with less young talent playing on it than last year’s. And why fans this year, at the first sign of trouble, are clamouring for the old days of bringing in the big names.

  6. I like to complain that the team isn’t winning because it’s what I’ve been trained to do for the last twenty years. But, truth is, i’d much rather lose this year, and lose Jagr, Shanny, etc. and keep Prucha, Tyutin, Dawes, Immo, Montoya, Pock and the rest of the youngsters. I don’t care if Jagr wins another cup – I’d rather the Rangers breed a true team from the ground up. That seems like a lot more fun to me than trading for Vinny or anyone else.

    That being said, I don’t believe Sather has the nuts to do it, so I hope we get the best for the least.

    And, come on, Kaspar is our best D-man, hands down, if not play for play. Sure he screws some things up, but he has skills, dedication, grit and a vicious hip check. If only we had a few more of his ilk. Not to mention he might make a better captain…

  7. We’ll know better during or after the long road trip the character of this team. I don’t see any changes until we actually see which way the wind is blowing, ill or otherwise.

    The Rangers are missing a Strudwick type of guy to keep the other teams from making themselves feel too much at home in the offensive zone. These guys shouldn’t be too hard to find. Erskine, the four-year veteran, is now in the minors having been cut by Washington. He’s better than nothing, but there must be others out there.

    Do they need another centre? It depends on how the current configuration with Betts the number two man performs. Yanic Perreault is waiting by his telephone and I am sure by the time they get to Phoenix, those guys will have hit the panic button and they may be ready to swap. But last year Sather’s acumen left much to be desired. Sykora was a plus, but getting rid of Nieminen before the stretch run in favor of Ozolinsh was as dumb as it gets. Hossa for Murray was throwing good money after bad and it’s a curse that never ends.

    Obviously carrying eight healthy defencemen who give up four goals a game is a situation that can’t last.

  8. Some of you guys are nuts if you think any team is going to trade a superstar player for the assortment of garbage that is scattering our blueline these days. Prucha, Dawes, Hollweg, Pock…these guys would attract interest. Rachunek, Rozsival, Malik? I doubt it. Even Tyutin. If I am an opposing GM, why would I deal for Tyutin, a guy who has barely made any progress at all? The guy still makes the same boneheaded mistakes almost every game that he did a year ago. In fact, I think the guy played better in his first few games with the team than he has since.

    Don’t expect Nylander to go anywhere, either. So far, Cullen has done virtually nothing, but I am willing to give him more time, but if they could find a taker for him, I wouldn’t mind. I never wanted him here in the first place.

    And while I still think Immonen will amount to something, and should have been given a chance this season, there is no way anyone will deal a superstar for a 24 year old prospect who has yet to stick around for more than a month with an NHL team.

    We all support our team and that is good, but some of you have to remove the fan glasses and realize that this team isn’t very good, and it wasn’t very good last year, either. Last year, this team ran on the fuel of two players (Jagr, and Lundqvist), and so far, this season it’s running essentially on the fuel of only one (Shanahan).

  9. Pete:

    Immonen never got the chance to stick with Toronto, he BY CHOICE stayed in Europe. The Leafs wanted him to come over but the Rangers got him in the Leetch deal before they got the chance. And as far as him not sticking with the Rangers, c’mon get real, the guy played better than all of Betts, Ward, Nylander and of course Hossa in camp and SHOULD have made this team over all of them. The ONLY reason he didn’t “stick” is because the morons running the show could not bare to lose Hossa on waivers, boo friggin hoo!

  10. Here’s pure nostalgia speaking…if I’m not mistaken the Islander’s Campoli is injured and they’re not to sharp on the blueline to begin with. Mike York is a free agent next season, so how about a couple of puck-movers(maybe Rachuneck and a defensemen from Hartford and possibly a mid-round pick) Seems they have enough centers to move Yorkie and for the Rangers, he’d make a stellar choice for second line center, allowing Cullen to take up third line where he’s more suited. I know it’s a pipe dream, but I’d love to have an energy-inspiration player like York back in the lineup. Not to mention, it’s painful to watch him languish with such a joke of a team.

  11. Anthony (the other one) on

    Everyone here seems to think the debate that’s going on right now is “trade a D-man for another over-priced vet.”

    Totally not the issue. We’re near capped out, we have too many NHL-caliber D-men (not good D-men, mind you, just NHL-caliber)on the roster, and no room to promote promising youngsters.

    If this team makes a move, it’s likely to be a salary dump – a D-man to a team that could use another able body for picks/prospects. We don’t need a Richards or someone similar right now – the offense has been the least of our problems. The power play is clicking right now thanks to Shanny (much like Jagr fueled it last year). We’re getting even strength goals from lines 2-4 and the D-Corps. Time to pick a horse and ride it.

  12. If you’re going to answer the question of who’s expandable, you first have to answer the question of who is not no?

    Kasparaitis… you have to keep the guy, he’s a spark plug of the team
    Ward… to me he’s our jack of all trades guy back there… has a pretty good shot, throws some bodies around, has experience and comunicates well
    Tyutin… big part of our future, I see that hip check of kaspar’s has rubbed off on him… ward will rub off on him this year, and he has his own offensive flare to add

    After that, if anyone else can be swapped for someone better then go for it IMO…. i’d like to keep ozolinch around to see if he can get back in to ‘all-star’ form. I’d have Pock on the roster before any of the other three guys, and I don’t understand why he’s not getting the time… roszival is an alright guy to have… rachunek apparently has potential, but i’m still waitin to see what he can do… and malik has what? a long reach? that shoot out shot? that’s about it… he’s slow and not physical… to me he’s our most expandable guy

  13. Unfortunately it’s obvious to everyone that Malik is expendable — and no one trades for a player who is expendable. We’ve got no veteran, really, that any other team would want, except maybe Weekes, whose salary is too fat.

    Guess we settle in for the long haul and hope our youth is given a chance and progresses.

  14. I agree with some of the posts on here. I think we should keep Kaspar, Tyutin, Ward and Pock. I would trade Roszival, Malik and Rachunek in a second. I think if we pair some of them with another forward, maybe Hossa, even Prucha (who I think wont repeat hos prior sucess) we could get a decent foward – venter – in return. I think we should put some young guys on defense – Pock, Baranka. These guys can learn from Renney directly to conform to our team and our style. It would help if we could grab a real center because Nylander and Straka are not #1 centers, they are # 2 centers. Strake is better on the wing anyway.

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