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.