Changes in the wind


You have to love the dueling tabloids, which often seem to be having a direct conversation with one another.

My colleagues on the Rangers beat — both of whom are among the best in the business — have two different takes on the Rangers flirtations with the Blackhawks in recent days. One says a deal is imminent with Chicago. One says a deal is not. If nothing else, the two papers at least agree that the Rangers will in fact be playing the Anaheim Ducks tonight, and that it will be played on ice.


As I said yesterday, the name of defenseman Jassen Cullimore may be floating between the two teams. Even juicier, and in my eyes more troubling, is that the name of Petr Prucha has reportedly come up as well.

It doesn’t matter who is involved — the Post has mentioned 21-year-old Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook — I can’t imagine the Rangers would want to give up on the 24-year-old Prucha just yet. Yes, the winger has so far scored just two goals a season after scoring 30, and yes, his play in recent games has been uneven enough to be benched by Tom Renney for one significant stretch.

But even Renney said recently that Prucha’s game is measured by far more than goals, and that his work ethic is unparalleled on the Rangers. For a team that seems to be lacking any spark these days, guys like that are far too precious a commodity.


In other news, I’m off, as promised, to Hartford today to catch up with some Rangers prospects and of course, the recently reassigned Darius Kasparaitis. Amazing. I’ve been covering the team for barely two months and I’ve already been demoted to the AHL.

Still, it should be a productive day, and assuming the Hartford Civic Center has wireless internet — do they have the internet in Hartford? — I’ll be sending along updates.

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  1. If they give up on Prucha before we give up on Lundqvist I don’t think I can be a Ranger fan anymore. This is horrible to hear.

  2. Sam

    Do John Dellapina and Larry Brooks really hate each other?

    They never sit on the same row at the Garden covering the game

  3. Nick —

    I wasn’t talking about anything personal, just the natural rivalry between the News and the Post, which extends from hockey to baseball to city politics.

    We all have assigned seating, which is why it’s a good thing I like Steve Zipay, since I’ll be sitting next to him all year.

  4. If they trade Prucha, I will either stop watching hockey alltogether or trade myself to another team. Why did I get myself into sports in the first place? Such a waste of time and for what? Nothing but headaches and disappointments and frustrations. In the last 10 years probably wasted over 6000 hours on hockey.

  5. on the idea of moving prucha, whether or not its a good or bad idea depends on who we are getting in return. if you are talking about giving away prucha for cullimore than sather should be dragged in an alley and shot…but if you are talking about getting back brent seabrook, well adding seabrook would be AWESOME and that swap is worth atleast considering.

    rumor is that chicago loves prucha and montoya…they also have a group of REAL good young players (seabrook, barker, toews, ruutu, skille)…if they are talking about swapping our good young players for their good young players than there might be a potential deal that works for both sides.

  6. BTW Seabrook sucks, anybody see him set up Kozlov for a breakaway goal last night, that was even more brutal than that Rozsival backhander pass.

  7. Listen I still haven’t calmed down from the Jean Ratelle trade. But if Seabrook is involved, you’ve got a blue chip defenceman by all counts. He was plus five last year on a miserable Hawks team and, more importantly, will do what few Ranger defencemen will do, come to the aid of a mate in distress. Prucha is a crowd favorite and may have a great future, but this would be a good trade, although all trades are really gambles. It’s probably just idle talk anyway so why get worked up.

  8. Seabrook is only 21. He has a considerable upside. If they choose to move Prucha for him, I have no problem with it. I think Dawes has more talent than Prucha and he plays with just as much energy.

  9. people this is crazy talk, Prucha is a one of a kind player, Seabrook is a dime a dozen average defenseman, so what if he is 21? Quintal was 21 once too.

    besides we already got Baranka, Tyutin, Sauer, Staal, and a plethora of defensemen and defensemen prospects.

  10. I could see Prucha’s name associated with a trade for Havlat, but since that is not going to happen there is no reason for Prucha and Chicago to be mentioned in the same sentence. Forget Cullimore, he is not an upgrade over what we have.

  11. I adore Prucha.
    But I don’t see how we could get Seabrook for him. Prucha will probably always be a second liner, one of the better ones, but always be one.
    Seabrook’s potential is higher. He’ll probably fall somewhere between Leetch and Zubov.

  12. Seabrook for Prucha????…..whawt are we waiting for….if that deal was offered, and not taken, then a BIG mistake from the higher ups at MSG….You like what Niedermeyer and Pringer are doing in Anaheim. Picture, Seabrook, Staal and Spaghetti Sangietti for the next decade????

  13. Tyutin-Sanguineti

    why do we need Seabrook? This is just idiotic.

  14. boys prucha is a good young player. really not someone that raises the levels of others just a nice player that can score if set up well. with dawes and korpikoski coming up the left side (by the way korpedo will be a star) we can move him for a kid like seabrook who is absolutely outstanding like someone said one of the only plus players on a terrible chicago team last year and even this year. not to mention we’re all screaming for a rebuild? you build from the net out PERIOD.


    staal seabrook
    sanguinetti tyutin
    baranka sauer

    forget the friggen forwards that right there wins championships for a LONG time plus you already have all the 3rd and fourth line guys in place tons coming up in fact and like i’ve said before korpikoski dawes dubinsky and maybe maybe even jessiman is a nice start for the top 6 forward spots.


  15. see the problem i have with this is we need to get rid of d men as well. malik and rosi still need to go. the question is what can we get for them?

  16. BTW, Sam, Prucha has 2 goals and 7 points this season while getting less icetime than Blair Betts.

  17. vinny–the problem right now is the defense, staal and sauer who won’t be in the nhl for 1+ years don’t help us right now and sanguinetti might not be there for 2-3+ years so he definitely doesn’t help us right now. seabrook can help us now AND in the future.

    and listing a bunch fringe prospects and AHLers and comparing them to a top pair guy is a joke…having 20 ahl caliber dmen does NOT equal a top pair guy.

    based on your same logic i can say that prucha can be easily replaced by dawes, immonen, korpikoski, dubinsky, callahan, etc so there is no harm in dealing him.

    what good exactly is prucha doing us right now with the ice time he is getting? there is nothing prucha is doing right now that dawes can’t do.

  18. Fans you make me want to puke, I hope he gets traded so I never have to follow stupid Rangers and read stupid comments by stupid fans, no offense…

  19. and since there have been plenty of people screaming here for baranka to get called up, i’ll just note that he’s hurt (broken finger) and will miss the next few weeks.

  20. why don’t you just do everyone a favor and jump ship now? why wait for prucha to get dealt. the devils and islanders are always looking for fans…just because you bought a prucha jersey and don’t want him traded doesn’t mean he’s untouchable and wouldn’t be moved if the deal was right.

  21. Easy, guys. First, i stand corrected. I forgot about Prucha’s second goal the other night.
    Second, let’s keep in mind these are just names being floated. I have no idea if there’s a Prucha-Seabrook deal on the table.

  22. Sam:

    I was hoping you could possibly ask some of the prospects how they feel regarding the topic Colby Genoway spoke about recently. He essentially commented that he felt he had a more legitimate chance at the NHL with Anaheim (who is currently undeafeated and was ranked #1 by Hockeysfuture with the best prospects in hockey, mind you), than he did with the Rangers.

    The implication he made was that the Rangers still do not give their prospects a real chance to become NHL players. I agree with him.

    Given the trades for Hossa and Hall, and the expulsion of Balej, Moore and Murray, and letting Nycholat, Wiseman, and Giroux go, along with the rumors regarding Seabrook, AND the signings/acquisitions of A. Ward, Shanny, Cullen, Ozolinsh, Rachunek, etc., AND with sending Greg Moore, Dubinsky and Immonen down, AND the benching of Pöck and Dawes, etc. etc. etc. I am wondering if this is a sentiment among some of those guys, particularly Jessiman and the others I mentioned above, feel the same way.

    If you were to get anything out of them, it would be a great story.

  23. Sam
    Let’s hope my friend, Let’s hope

    FYI, the clock on your board needs to come back an hour….for a second I though I just missed LUNCH!!!!

  24. did i just see a REESE in there??? give me a break don’t call the fans on here stupid when your mentioning guys like dylan reese as just as useful as seabrook your lucky if dylan reese is the top dman on your beer league team in 5 years.

  25. HDH —

    Naturally that’s the story regarding these young guys, but knowing hockey players — especially young players — I’m not sure how outwardly they’re going to complain.

    In other words, for a prospect like Dubinsky or Immonen looking to get the nod from the Rangers, I’m not sure screaming, “IT’S NOT FAIR!” is going to get them very far.

    That said, I’m certainly going to ask. Maybe they’ll surprise me.

    And I have no idea what’s up with the clock on this thing. I have a hard enough time changing the clock in my car.

    Then again, maybe it’s just that I’m so forward thinking. Get it?

  26. Vinny, your arrogant short-sightedness is amazing.

    Prucha is a 30 goal scorer. He’ll likely peak as a 35 goal scorer. There’s a good chance he’ll have an abbreviated career due to the poundings he subjects himself to in order to score. And he’ll likely never be more than a second liner.

    Seabrook is of a much higher caliber player.
    Yes, we have Staal and Sanguietti waiting. With luck one of these two will be as good as Seabrook is. And, if this happens, we’ll have two or three elite-caliber defensemen. We will be able to move them for an equal winger.

    Prucha will never be as good at his position as Seabrook is. Prucha is great, probably my second favorite after Shanahan, but he’s not Seabrook.

    Fans want what is best for the future of the team.
    Seabrook would be better for our future than Prucha. He’s younger, he plays a more vital position, and he’s already at the same skill level, if not better, despite the position taking longer to develop.

  27. I’ve been reading stuff on this trade all morning, and talking about it on other posts…. at this point, if it doesn’t happen I’m going to be pretty upset…. only thing that’d be better is if they gave up Dawes instead, just because we haven’t had time to get attached to him, but if we DO give up one of those guys for seabrook, they better play the one they keep on the second line where they belong. This whole Betts on the second line thing is getting silly

  28. Anthony (Abev) on

    Sam I am curious to know how the whole Kasparaitis send-down thing happened from Darius’ perspective. Did they just sit him down and say “you’re going back to Hartford, here’s your ticket” or did he see it coming?

  29. “letting Nycholat, Wiseman, and Giroux go”

    Of course, all three are still in the AHL. Nycholat turns 28 this year, still in the AHL. Chad Wiseman and Giroux turn 26. Not spring chickens.

    The Rangers let them go thinking they’ll all be the next Brad Smyth. And, thus far, they haven’t proven them wrong.

    The comments by players turned away from the organization, sent packing, told they weren’t good enough, were understandable. There’s some truth behind it, particularly from players here during the dark ages (which I’m afraid we’re still in), and some frustration behind it after being harshly rejected.

    We’ll see if any of those players get significant time in the NHL. Whenever these players get mentioned Derek Armstrong seems too as well. And Armstrong isn’t entirely unsuccessful with the Kings. But is he worth really even remembering? Could he have ever really been?

  30. Sorry Sam , I was not sure about this !!!

    Did you sent me down to a kind conditional assigment for posters for only couple of days or did you assign me for a longer time to Hartford ????

    I have a tough time on their weblogs as well !

    I am going to wait to be recalled again in the very near future as fast as possible :)

  31. I dont listn to much to a kid who is upset that he wasnt going to have a chance…possibly he saw the number of players above him on the depth chart, and he knew the only way he was going to get the call was if they all got teh call. Its not like the rangers of the last two years have goine with only vets….and a kid who will talk and think like that, leave the org…well GO THAN!! A feeling like that should make you work harder…Like Prucha and Dawes talked about, working harder to make the team look at you…f it makes a palyer do that a team will notice, they will end up in the NHL, running to a team you think it will be easier, well thats a lazy way to get to the NHL…get tehre on your own merrits, not on the fact that a team isnt deep. Play hard and it seems the new rangers at least look at you…and yes I know about Pock, and I think he will be in the linu regularly soon, and next year some more younger guys from th Pak will be up, and there will be some turn over in the roster.

  32. I live in Rochester NY, which is Sabres country and host to the Sabres’ AHL affiliate. I’ve been a Rangers fan for about 15 of my 27 years now, but if they trade Prucha I’m hanging up my Rangers gear and becoming a Sabres fan. At least I can see their prospects in person and watch their games on TV without Center Ice.

  33. I’m shocked at all the people that would leave the team because a player gets traded. There have been many fan favorites to go before, and there will be plenty after… GET OVER IT!!!

    Prucha getting traded would be for the benefit of the team, if we could infact get Seabrook in return!

  34. Hey Patrick–

    I am also up in Rochester… just thought I’d let you know that MSG does carry most of the games and you don’t have to pay for Center Ice. I just don’t get the games that are carried on Versus

  35. Angie, agreed.
    If favorite players never got traded a team would never improve.
    Hell, if favorite players weren’t traded in ’94 we might still be waiting for a Cup. Arguably.

  36. Hey Rangers fans in the LA area, are there any bars that show rangers games out here? I get center ice but I’m always wondering if there’s a NY spot like that damn Boston place in Santa Monica.

    As far as the trades, at least Prucha for Seabrook(or anyone under 27) would be better than dealing him for a package of old guys, or just Cullimore. Maybe it’ll be for everyone: Malik and Prucha for Seabrook and Cullimore. But that’s the problem with trade rumours — they’re useless to argue about. We don’t know what’s going to happen and we have no affect on it. Unless Sam has the cajones to confront Sather…

    Just kidding. Hate to see you lose your job. And, from the feed the other night, we know Sather carries a pocketknife. He might gut you. Then sign you to a ten year deal.

  37. Koala —

    It’s worse. We’re considering sending you down to an ECHL blog to get your posts in order. Emphasis will be on spelling, grammar, and overall coherence. I have faith in you, though. You’ll be back.

  38. Make the trade if possible.

    Prucha is a good player and a joy to watch but he is not an impact player. Some of you guys talk like he is a MVP candidate and can’t be replaced. He is an undersized second line winger.

    I can’t see Chicago making this deal.

  39. No one is saying hes not a good player. Im sure most of us will be at least a little disappointed to let him go. But that doesnt change the fact that hes expendable. Especially if we can get Seabrook in return!

    If anyone is blind here its you!

  40. I tried posting a comment, but the blog didn’t like my computer or something. haha

    Have fun in Hartford tonight, Sam. Be prepared to see almost no one there. There weren’t even 4,000 people at the last game I attended (Oct. 21).

    Maybe the offense will wake up for you too.

    Hey, City Steam’s always good for beer.

    As for the trade rumors, I think it’s harder to supplement your offense than it is for defense through free agency and trades. It’s sort of like pitching in baseball. You can never have enough of it. Same goes with defense and goaltending in hockey. I’d hate to see Prucha go, but if the Rangers could sure up the blue line substantially with another young player. . .I don’t think I’d say no.

  41. Beamer — I agree with your sense that the perspective of players that did not make it in our system is not necessarily an objective evaluation of our farm system. In the end, players must earn their places on the NHL roster and we have several examples of young players being given a fair shot on the team.

    I would hope that steps are being taken to clear some of the unproductive vets out of the way for Pock and Dawes, the two players currently in our farm system who have earned a chance at the NHL level. Tyutin, Prucha, Lundqvist, Holleweg, Ortmeyer (before his injury), Hossa are all examples of young players being played in key situations so I think it’s a bit premature to declare the organization biased against young players.

    If management fails to move unproductive vets and continues to bring new ones in over Pock and Dawes, then we would have a legitimate concern to voice. I think, however, there is a danger in breeding discontent amongst our prospects by speculating prematurely on the basis of comments made by players who were passed over by the Rangers.

  42. Can anyone rank these D-men in order, best to worst.


  43. 1. Ward
    2. Tyutin
    3. Ozo, Rachunek, Roszival
    4. Malik

    Cant really put Pock in considering his lack of playing time!!!

  44. Sam,

    I don´t want to rush you but I am anxiously awaiting your next entry from Hartford. I am exspecting you to focus mainly on Darius Kasparaitis and and I have prepared a very good post ( after my opinion !:) in order to impress you positively :)

  45. I just hope that its not a 1-on-1 trade.
    While we could use Seabrook we need to package some deals to get monkeys like Malik, Roszival and Rachunek off our backs.
    Prucha + D-man for Seabrook and prospect or rookie would be great.

  46. If in fact the Rangers could acquire a 6-3 215lb Right defenseman, that scored 32 points his rookie season, that was former 1st round draft choice for Petr Prucha, they should do it. While Prucha is shifty, and without fear- he is frail, and for someone that is well under 200lbs, he’s not fast. They can replace his minutes with Dawes who has a similar sniper mentality, is infinitely more physically mature, and skates very well. Yes, it is hard to give up a 30 goal scorer, but right hand shot, 1st round defenseman with terrific upside is hard to get.

  47. Dvorak scored 30 too. You have to score 30 more than once to be a 30 goal scorer.

    The Rangers have to do this trade if Chicago are dumb enough to follow through.

  48. not only did he hand Kozlov the puck, but he barely could catch up a 6’5″ Kozlov and then in the end he just peeled off to the right for no reason.

  49. “I’m shocked at all the people that would leave the team because a player gets traded. There have been many fan favorites to go before, and there will be plenty after… GET OVER IT!!!

    Prucha getting traded would be for the benefit of the team, if we could infact get Seabrook in return!”

    Not only is Prucha my most favorite player ever(and no I don’t have his jersey, I don’t waste money on such things) but trading him would just mean total defeat and it just would symbolize everything that is wrong with this organization when garbage players get 25 minutes a game, where Betts is a 2nd line center, yet somehow hardworking Prucha is a problem. If Prucha is dealt before the likes of Betts, Malik, Rozsival, Hossa, Hall, Straka, etc. and before firing scumbag coach then that is it. There is a limit to everything. And I bet I won’t be the only one to dump this dumbass organization if they trade Prucha.

  50. Then dump them now… Because if you think for one second the rangers organization gives two shits who your favorite player is then you are out of your mind!

    Prucha is one of my favorite players too, and that won’t change if he gets traded! But the Rangers are my favorite team bottom line!

  51. “Can anyone rank these D-men in order, best to worst.


    1. Ward
    2. Tyutin
    3. Pock, Rachunek
    4. Ozolinsh, Rozsival
    5. Malik

  52. “Exactly Mike, I love the guy, but guys like Prucha are a dime a dozen.”

    fans like you are dime a dozen. Sad how people don’t get who is a keeper, they don’t see anything beyond scoring. Some people are actually buyng Renney’s propaganda that Prucha is frail or that we got plenty of Prucha-like prospects. Gullable fools. Then take into consideration that Seabrook is mediocre at best and we are not desperate for another mediocre defenseman and we have a ton of good defensemen prospects. How does Seabrook help us now? I rather just play Pock or even Rachunek. This team is just so assbackwards. They just want to get rid of Prucha because Renney never liked him and always was trying to hold him down. If we had a normal coach last season Prucha would have bagged 40 goals and 30 assists.

  53. “Sam I am curious to know how the whole Kasparaitis send-down thing happened from Darius’ perspective. Did they just sit him down and say “you’re going back to Hartford, here’s your ticketâ€? or did he see it coming?”

    I heard that he got divorced during the summer as well as had several surgeries, so he likely was pretty depressed, maybe drinking, not working out, probably lost a lot of muscle mass and is not in good shape.

  54. Exactly… because im a fan that will not give up on my team because they traded someone… Most ranger fans can say that…

  55. “Prucha is a good player and a joy to watch but he is not an impact player. Some of you guys talk like he is a MVP candidate and can’t be replaced. He is an undersized second line winger.”

    he was not an impact player last season? We wouldn’t get a sniff of playoffs without him. Renney is bringing him down constantly benching and demoting and demoralizing him. Who cares what his size is, do you watch him play?

    those that don’t think he is special just watch all his goals again:

    click on Recent Video and tell me you want to trade this guy for a dime a dozen lousy defenseman.

  56. vinny pooh

    his 30 golas can be replaced.

    A lot of his golas were scored on the PP off a pass right on the door step for tap-ins.

    Im not saying he is a bad player, but he can be replaced.

    You can say the team wouldn’t have been close to the playoffs without a lot guys that were on the team. You can say that for the whole HMO line last year.

    Make the trade Slats.

  57. 30 goals can be replaced, but his energy, heart, hard work and ability to score from anywhere will not be replaced. And why are you comparing 1 player to a whole line? Makes no sense.

  58. I wasn’t comparing him to a whole line. I was comparing what you called the heart and energy of the team and “We wouldn’t get a sniff of playoffs without him” to each guy on the HMO line. Those guys brought it every night.

    You can say the team wouldn’t have been close to the playoffs without a lot guys that were on the team

  59. no, without any one player of the HMO line they would make the playoffs, without Prucha they wouldn’t.

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