Second class citizens

57

There’s a note on the board in the Rangers locker room reminding players that those no-good Knicks took the team plane on their own road trip and that the Rangers are stuck taking a charter.

I have the same problem with my wife. Of course, ours revolves around a Subaru.

Meanwhile, how’s that for an incentive for both Cablevision properties? Win and you get the team plane. Lose and you have to ride coach cross-country alongside yahoos like me. I don’t understand why no one ever uses these ideas of mine.

In other news, I spent some time today talking to the Rangers’ forgotten man, Thomas Pock, the defenseman who hasn’t seen the ice in nine games; and who, if you read between the lines of what Tom Renney says, might not be playing anytime soon, either.

topstory_pock04.jpg

I expected a tirade from Pock, a drawn-out diatribe on how he’s getting the shaft so far this season, and how the Rangers, to quote Slapshot, should “trade me right (expletive) now!”

OK, I never expected any of that. And true to form, Pock was mostly philosophical about his lack of ice time thus far.

I won’t give you all the details since I plan on writing about it for tomorrow’s paper, but the basic message from Pock was this: yes, it’s frustrating to not play for such an extended period of time, and no, he didn’t feel like he played all that poorly in the five games he did play (one goal and one assist, minus-2). But he also said he doesn’t think Rangers would be keeping him around if they didn’t need him, and his plan for now is to just stay ready (damn these hockey players with their good manners!).

As for Renney, the coach talked again about how Pock is still at a formative stage in his NHL career.

“Just processing the game at this level and this speed, the way it’s played,” Renney said. “He needs exposure to it in order to assimilate those things. The bottom line is as he gets his opportunities to play — and he will — he’ll have a better chance to develop the requirements of a solid NHL defenseman. Having said that, and it goes back to your original question, we’ve got to give him the chance. He’s on guard. That’s where it stands right now.”

Those of you who haven’t figured it out already should know I think Renney is a good coach and a good man. But when it comes to his handling of Pock and Nigel Dawes, another young player whose ice time has been severely limited, I’m not sure I get it.

******************************************

  • Jaromir Jagr and Brendan Shanahan, each of whom were banged up over the weekend, skated today without pain.
  • Jed Ortmeyer is getting closer to at least practicing with the team. He said today he has seven more days on blood thinners, and then could start easing his way back in not long after. Renney acknowledged how badly the team has missed him.
  • The goaltending mystery continues: Renney said he’s not sure who’s starting tomorrow at Florida. When he was asked if there’s any reason why he shouldn’t start Henrik Lundqvist, the coach answered cryptically, “No. Is there any reason I shouldn’t start Weekes?”

    “Yes,” a reporter answered.

    And with that, the coach just laughed.

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    57 Comments

    1. “Meanwhile, how’s that for an incentive for both Cablevision properties? Win and you get the team plane. Lose and you have to ride coach cross-country alongside yahoos like me. I don’t understand why no one ever uses these ideas of mine.”
      Problem is the Knicks don’t win…they’re pretty much a joke, so i’m gonna go ahead and say you’re being sarcastic about this.

    2. Assuming we had won on sunday, I would not see any reason why Renney wouldn’t start Lundy. The fact is the man needs to get back on the ice and build some confidence, or he won’t get back into the flow of things and return to the form he had last season. Even if Weekes was on a hot streak up to now, we can’t pretend he’s going to be our number one starter and carry us into the postseason. Lundy needs to get back in net.

      And as for Pock, my feelings in regards to him echo the same ones expressed on this blog by just about everyone. His one goal and one assist in five games is one goal and one assist more than some of the people playing in place of him.

    3. I’m glad the reporters at least understand lundy needs to play next game. If he doesn’t play, something is wrong here.

    4. The problem ith Renney’s comments are that some of the guys he keeps sticking in the lineup have the same “processing” problems. The Rangers treatment of Kaspar has been borderline absurd. Yes, Kaspar has struggled, but how much worse than Malik was he. He also has a much better excuse than root canal!

    5. I agree, I admit I was one who wanted weekes to start against buffalo but the reality is that Henrik is our number 1 goalie and we need him back and playing well if the rangers want to make the playoffs. My opinion why Pock isn’t playing is either
      Renney doesn’t trust young players over veterans or the rangers have one to many defensemen that are over paid and hard to get rid of by trade.

    6. ““Yes,â€? a reporter answered.

      And with that, the coach just laughed.”

      was it a hyena laugh?

    7. When he was asked if there’s any reason why he shouldn’t start Henrik Lundqvist, the coach answered cryptically, “No. Is there any reason I shouldn’t start Weekes?�

      “Yes,� a reporter answered.

      ———–

      What did he expect the reporter to say? Although I am not surprised at Renney’s “vagueness” because he’s always been vague about the goalie starts … even last year when Henrik was the clear #1 and got start after start after start and won time and again Renney would always been “I haven’t decided yet”

      What he thinks that accomplishes I don’t know, I am sure he knows and has told the guys or will tell them tonight, whatever ….

      I like Renney, I like the work ethic he brought to the team last season which hadn’t been there for years …

      However, unless they are playing some of the defensemen who are playing poorly now in hopes that continued action will get some interest from some other teams(which, with their price tags is well … doubtful, even if they were playing well) OR he is letting his heart and loyalty to what they brought to the team last season cloud his judgement and he even touched upon this a few weeks ago .. that as a coach he couldn’t make decisions based on that and it seems to me that he is … With Kaspar it was easy for him to not play him and to send him to Hartford because Kaspar isn’t physically able to play at the level that he needs to be effective …

      I say … make Malik have his other dental surgeries during this trip and play Pock the next 3 games at least … if by the end of those 3 games Pock is clearly playing than Malik before him then Pock should be kept in there until he doesn’t … sigh .. wishful thinking on my part? Most likely …

    8. “I say … make Malik have his other dental surgeries during this trip and play Pock the next 3 games at least … if by the end of those 3 games Pock is clearly playing than Malik before him then Pock should be kept in there until he doesn’t … sigh .. wishful thinking on my part? Most likely …”

      That sounds pretty logical to me Matty, which is why I’m led to believe that you’re right, it is wishful thinking.

    9. Just went through my notes better and in fairness, thought I’d give the full Renney answer to my question about Pock. It’s actually not as vague as I originally depicted. I also tweaked the entry above to reflect as much. In the meantime, here it is:

      “Just processing the game at this level and this speed, the way it’s played,” Renney said. “He needs exposure to it in order to assimilate those things. The bottom line is as he gets his opportunities to play — and he will — he’ll have a better chance to develop the requirements of a solid NHL defenseman. Having said that, and it goes back to your original question, we’ve got to give him the chance. He’s on guard. That’s where it stands right now.”

    10. Sam,
      Thank you for the quick response to Pock’s situation/status. Keeping in mind Renney’s response regarding “speed of the game..” and “exposure..”, is Pock any worse than Tyutin was at this point last year, though I’ve sort of forgotten how Pock plays…? Tyutin seemed to struggle at times last year and they played him through it with a game off here and there.

    11. “Those of you who haven’t figured it out already should know I think Renney is a good coach and a good man.”

      A good coach? Maybe a good assistant coach. Not a good head coach. His icetime distribution, in-game adjustments to the opposition and personnel decisions are horrible. But most of all his double-standard and lack of accountability are maddening to loyal/knowledgeable fans. Y’know, the ones who are NOT in the corporate boxes or luxury seats.

      A good man? Not based on the above. And if he is Darth Sather’s puppet and is just following orders…not much of a spine.

    12. ““Those of you who haven’t figured it out already should know I think Renney is a good coach and a good man.â€?”

      wow, what are you basing this on? what makes Hyena a good man and a good coach?

    13. doodiemachetto on

      To anyone who is an expert on the CBA:

      I am sure I can look this up, but I’m too lazy. If Kaspar were officially demoted to the AHL and needed to pass through waivers, would he have to pass through them to be recalled?

      Kaspar is clearly unhappy and I wouldn’t be surprised if he seeks to be traded, if he hasn’t done so privately already. Tyutin has already shown that his hip check is replaceable, and thus, Kaspar and his bloated salary are pretty expendable. I can think of a few teams that wouldn’t mind a gritty defenseman if he can get in shape and make himself marketable. But in all seriousness, if he’s just gonna stay in the AHL, wouldn’t it just make sense to waive him and hope he gets picked up, so that we can dump away some of his salary from the cap?

    14. Yes, he has to pass through waivers to be recalled. But if a team claims him on the way back up, the Rangers are on the hook for half his salary.

    15. doodiemachetto on

      Half is better than all, especially if he is useless to the team. I think that with his apparant falling out with Tom Renney, he won’t be doing much more playing in a Rangers sweater. What a great way to save $1.65 million (half of his salary).

    16. El Sid, are you sure he’d have to clear waivers to get back up here? I thought since it’s a conditioning thing he didn’t have to clear waivers to get there. Why would he have to clear waivers to get back?

    17. doodiemachetto on

      By the way, I’d like to point out that the Flyers are apparantly trying to do the same thing with Nedved. I found out about it like right after I suggested this. Funny how that works out.

      Anyway, that would be huge for the Flyers because they need to open some cap space to bring in some big time help.

      Think of what the Rangers could bring in with 1.65 million: a center who can win faceoffs? a powerplay pointman (defenseman or otherwise, although I think Pock and Ozo should be given their respective shots at this spot)? A penalty killing forward to give Shannahan a break on his icetime? Or gap fillers to allow Dawes and Pock to return to Hartford if they are just going to eat crabcakes in the pressbox for the rest of the season?

    18. agreed completely that Shannahan should not be on the PK.

      that being said, what other options are there on the PK? Hollweg?

      Ward-Betts…then Cullen w/ ??? Hossa (who everyone wants on waivers), Hollweg (a 5 on 3 waiting to happen since he has been singled out by NHL officiating), or Adam Hall? It seemed like Hall did a decent job Sunday.

    19. Is Renney joking? He is really thinking about playing Weekes again tomorrow?? Wow….lets Lundqvist prove himself again…its hard to do that sitting on the bench.

    20. Very good to hear about Jags, Shanny and Ortmeyer. The tea7m definitey needs Ortmeyer back as soon as possible.

      As far as Weekes goes, what I saw at the game Sunday night was the last two goals were soft goals that it just looked like he wasn’t even in the game. If anything Lundqvist may be over thinking and worrying, but at least he’s thinking.

    21. doodiemachetto on

      Sam,

      Wishful thinking? It could be that I’m just craving crabcakes.

      Jim,

      What happens if Lundqvist blows it? Then what? How many more bad games before he makes Weekes the number 1? This is how it went last year in reverse. I think Weekes is playing very well, minus the occassional soft goal. He has made some BIG saves, and singlehandedly delivered the Ducks game in the third and the Sharks game for most of the game. He wasn’t even terrible in Buffalo, he just had two soft goals, but easily made 2 or three stops on should-have-been-goals, that Lundqvist would’ve allowed in his current form.

      Bottom line, if Henrik isn’t good in his next game, and Weekes can just stay focused, I think they should tandem like San Jose.

    22. Okay, My two bits on the Kaspar situation and Shanny and Ice time:

      1. Kaspar has been treated badly and has a right to be pissed. What did Malik do last year that as any more important than Kaspar in terms of leadership? Malik was a good +/- guy, but look at who he played with all year. Darius added grit and pissed off the opposition more often than not. He was a true leader and a great presence in the lockerroom. If his physical limitations had caused him to play worse than all the other yahoos we have on defense, I think he would be fine with it (maybe not th lack of communication, which I find curious). But all he has to do is look at Malik set up two goals and start the next period. Heck, I’d be raging. It sounds like he’s still struggling down there, and yes, Tyutin has learned the art of the hipcheck, but a healthy Darius would be something that we are missing.

      2. Shanny PK’er. It’s not ideal to have him be on the PK unit, but he’s been so solid and spectacular I don’t blame Renney for this one. Betts and Ward, Hossa and Hall, Shanny and Cullen are three pretty good units. Bottom line, when Orts comes back, that can take the pressure off Renney to use Shanny, but Shanny and Prucha do offer some offense together on the PK.

      3. Ice time. A lot has been said about ice time alotments. I think a lot of people are forgetting a few things. There are more power plays in the league now, which means your best players and your best PK’ers get much more ice-time than the others. TV timeouts allow more rest, and if Renney doesn’t use that to get Jagr on more, then other teams would take advantage. Like it or not, Jagr is a threat to score every time he is on the ice. I love the grinders as much as anyone, but the bottom line is the team is here to win. Jagr’s line scores goals. Scoring goals equals wins. When special teams are in play, I think his ice time is balanced quite well. Now Power Play selections are a hole nother ball of wax. He likes the concept of the 5 man unit, and I coach the same way, but sometimes you have to switch things up. That’s my only problem with his ice-time alotment.

    23. Petr Nedved? Are people insane? He couldn’t even stick as a 4th liner on the Freakin’ last place Flyers. 1998 is over.

    24. Or with the crappy Coyotes. Forget Nedved, period. Of course, if he is a crony of Jagr, he will probably be highly considered.

    25. doodiemachetto on

      SPZITO,

      I know that he doesn’t have to pass through for the conditioning stint, I was suggesting a more permanent demotion.

      I also like Malik less than the next guy, but Malik hasn’t gotten himself into Renney’s shithouse; it almost looks personal. Maybe Sam might have some insight?

      And when I’m thinking about a penalty killing forward, I’m not just thinking of an energy guy to kill penalties, I’m thinking of a guy who can shut down the other teams’ top guys, like a Jay Pandolfo or a John Madden(although I’m not suggesting either as even remote possibilities, just ideals of the type I’m specifying).

    26. doodiemachetto on

      No one suggested Nedved. I only mentioned his name because the Flyers are bringing him up back to the big club, hoping somoene will pluck him off of waivers on the way. If the Rangers go for him, I’m rooting for the Sharks this season.

    27. doesn’t kaspar’s situation have a tremendous amount to do with the condition he showed up to camp in? and as we heard it, don’t the staff view some of that as kaspar’s own fault? if so, doesn’t speak too well of a leader, regardless of what he did last year.

    28. Crabcakes you say (this isn’t a marketing ploy, but just a suggestion to one of the best crab cakes I’ve ever had.) They ship too. The bad side is that other crab cakes don’t compare after them.

      http://www.gandmcrabcakes.com if you’re near BWI or Ft. Mead stop by, very red-neckey and not a lot of teeth going around.

    29. >> Kaspar has been treated badly and has a right to be pissed. What did Malik do last year that as any more important than Kaspar in terms of leadership?

      My loyalty is with Kaspar over Malik because Kaspar has been here longer and his impact is greater on the team, when he’s healthy. I would like to know, and Sam has talked to him in Hartford and perhaps can better answer… but HOW has Kaspar been treated badly here? He is not in “Physical” condition to play at the NHL Level that HE has to be in order to be effective. This is further proven by the fact that while on his conditioning assignment in Hartford he is playing horrible against kids and minor leaguers … He had two off-seaon surgeries and by training camp and the beginning of the season was not ready … The A was taken away because he was not ready and as such they needed to put it on someone who was and was going to play … it is too bad about Kaspar’s physical condition because when he was healthy he was one of our most important defensemen last season but if he isn’t healthy what is Renney to do? Risk further injury to him by playing him as he is? The couple of games that he played he was just not the same force … I don’t think Renney is showing favortism over Malik with Kaspar .. you could make a good case of him down it with Pock and I would agree with you … I can understand that Kaspar’s pride has been stung and his feelings hurt but he needs to be a professional, work himself into top physical shape or no other team will want him .. not with his years, his big contract and his injuries …

      Now I’ve tried ignoring this person but I have to say that … It’s one thing to debate with Sam about whether Renney is a good coach or not in the NHL … However, to question Sam’s statements about Renney being a good man? I am sorry, I didn’t know that you knew Renney personally and could question something like that … specially when doing so resorts to name calling of the man …

    30. Renney’s continued insistence that Malik will play and Pock will sit just confirms what I posted yesterday about the Jagr cronyism factor.

      Does anyone now seriously think that young players get a fair shake in the Ranger organ-eye-zay-shun?

    31. Sam, I know your headline—“Second Class Citizens”—was probably meant toward the Knicks-Rangers team plane issue.

      But I submit that the second part of your blog about Pock better illustrates that young players in the Rangers system are treated like second class citizens.

    32. 3. Ice time. A lot has been said about ice time alotments. I think a lot of people are forgetting a few things. There are more power plays in the league now, which means your best players and your best PK’ers get much more ice-time than the others. TV timeouts allow more rest, and if Renney doesn’t use that to get Jagr on more, then other teams would take advantage. Like it or not, Jagr is a threat to score every time he is on the ice. I love the grinders as much as anyone, but the bottom line is the team is here to win. Jagr’s line scores goals. Scoring goals equals wins. When special teams are in play, I think his ice time is balanced quite well. Now Power Play selections are a hole nother ball of wax. He likes the concept of the 5 man unit, and I coach the same way, but sometimes you have to switch things up. That’s my only problem with his ice-time alotment.

      Mark
      I agree with your assesment of scoring . But the Rangers have only a one line threat! Thats why they got beat in the playoffs 4 -0. If Nylander is a playmaker, then move him to a line that doesn’t score enough. JJ ‘s good enough to take care of himself. Balance makes it harder for opponents to key on you right coach?

    33. Doodie Machetto on

      Jagr can’t take care of himself. He doesn’t have the stamina or explosiveness that he used to. He needs the playmaker there so that he can go and get open instead of doing all of the work himself. He clicks with Nylander in a way that I don’t think many center-wing combos ever do, to the point where last year, they were the second best combo in the league. Balance over all 4 lines is best, but moving Nylander will only help balance the first two. Balance over 2 is good, but having a go-to line is a lot more valuable so long as your 2nd line isn’t inept.

    34. Doodie Machetto on

      One more thing – it takes two guys who can make brilliant set ups in order for Straka to occassionally put the puck in.

    35. goalbyPrucha! – –

      The question was IF he gets officially demoted by passing through waivers, does he have to also pass through waivers on the way up. The answer is yes as I wrote above. For the conditioning stint, waivers are not involved.

    36. Matty- I understand that Kaspar is out of shape and that he wasn’t ready to start the season. Was his “A” taken away as punishment or because he wasn’t ready to start the season? If he wasn’t physically ready, why didn’t they put him on the disabled list. We keep hearing about how out of shape he is, and he definitely didn’t look like the Kaspar of old, but he was given 6 games. My point being that Kaspar showed leadership last year and was an important cog and deserved the benefit of the doubt as far as his position with the club goes. Was it communicated to him that the losing of the “A” was temporary? I have heard nothing from Renney to suggest that Kaspar would get the “A” back when he was recovered and the term “stripped” has been used on numerous occasions. I honestly don’t think that Kaspar was the worst of our D-men in his 6 games. Malik has that honor and has had that honor for a lot more than 6 games. I can’t think of one game that he played well. Kaspar played well in his first game back at least. Again, if he was beaten out by every other player, I would support the decision AND I think Kaspar would as well. All I’m saying is that he deserved better treatment. If things had been handled better I don’t think he would have been as upset. I know he stinks in the AHL and if that’s the case, then I am sad to see him go. But I like to think that he can regain his form as we have no one else like him. Malik over Pock is a whole different situation that Renney has some explaining to do.

      By the way- I hope you weren’t referring to me as the poster to ignore? It kind of looked like it in the fact that you were quoting my post.

      John M.- I dunno, I think the Prucha-Cullen-Shanny adds a second scoring threat and I disagree that Jagr can handle himself. Nylander was taken off his line all the time last year (and this) and he has proven to be much more productive with Nylander.

    37. >>> By the way- I hope you weren’t referring to me as the poster to ignore? It kind of looked like it in the fact that you were quoting my post.

      No Mark, sorry, I wasn’t referring to you on this … sorry, what happened was that I didn’t properly go from responding to you to responding to the poster that I was talking about ….

      …. Now we can’t know unless Kaspar comes out and says how the taking of the A was handled … It would be all speculation by our part to say that he was simply stripped of it and not advised ahead of time why it was happening … because I defenitely feel that even though he can’t perform that he should’ve been taken aside and told what was going to happen because is the least he deserved … Sam do you know how that was communicated to him?

    38. OMG, Slats please find a real coach

      If Lundqvist doesn’t start tommorow Renney is officially the biggest boob of a coach in the NHL.

      He should be coaching power skating for a AAA Bantam team.
      He’s an instructor not a coach. He’s clueless and it’s embarassing.

    39. doodiemachetto on

      John M.- I dunno, I think the Prucha-Cullen-Shanny adds a second scoring threat and I disagree that Jagr can handle himself. Nylander was taken off his line all the time last year (and this) and he has proven to be much more productive with Nylander.

      I couldn’t agree more.

      And why is everyone so gung-ho on Lundqvist starting goal? He has been terrible ever since the olympics. Did I miss something here? I certainly didn’t miss three solid outings by Kevin Weekes, with three bad moments, but with many more goal robbing saves. Why didn’t everyone give Weekes this kind of support early last season when his play was about equal to what Lundqvist’s is now?

    40. Mark,Doodie,

      I do not aggree. I can’t accept Cullen as a second line playmaking center. He does not distribute the puck well enough. Nylander would help that line at even strength. JJ and Straka with a warm body is more balanced.

    41. doodiemachetto on

      Who scores the goals on the first line? Without Nylander, only Jagr will carry the puck, he’ll get double and triple teamed and be useless. With the rare exception (like the goal he ahd against Florida) Straka can’t finish without a perfect set up. Removing Nylander makes Jagr totally useless. The problem is finding a new center to play on the 2nd line so that. I’m sure heading into camp they expected it to be Straka, because they wanted Shannahan to play with Jagr. But Straka sucks at center, and Shannahan didn’t work with Jagr. The way they have it now is best without new players.

    42. Come on doodie. JJ can pass to Straka when JJ draws 3 players to himself. Thats the way it works. I would even try Prucha at center on JJ’s line. Jagr’s a big horse. he can take it.

    43. doodiemachetto on

      OK. Jagr is a great player, but he isn’t superman. I’ve seen him shut down by Jay Pandolfo, just one man, on more than one occassion. You put two or three players on JUST him every night, and his name will vanish from the score sheets, not to mention trying to fight off that kind of pressure all season long will ensure that he wont have enough energy on off days to build strength in his shoulder, and that he will have absolutely nothing left come the end of the season. Jagr’s line is doing great. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Shanny’s line needs a quality 2nd line center, but that’s something the entire Rangers organization only has one of, and he’s on the first line.

    44. Matty —

      I can’t say for sure how Renney handled the “A” with Kasparaitis, although Kasparaits did say Renney was up front with him about everything else — not playing, being reassigned. I’m getting the sense that there’s a division between the player and the team about him being out of shape. It seems like Kasparaitis is saying he was out of shape purely because of injuries and surgeries, where the team is begrudging him for not working as hard as he could before camp — regardless of physical limitations.

    45. doodiemachetto on

      Sam,

      Do you get the vibe that Kaspar’s days are numbered, or is there evidence suggesting that the team will still welcome him back?

    46. All things Rangers:

      Lundquist vs. Weekes… DO you really expect the Coach to say anything derogatory about either of his goalies? Last year there was such a huge disparity in their play that Renney went with the hot hand. Now he has been getting adequate Goaltending (at best), and must try to motivate both to elevate their play.

      Nylander in the lineup… Keep him with Jags and Straka. There are games when they’re amazing and others where they’re not. Occasionally break them up to push their buttons, but ultimately they belong together.

      Kaspar… The Rangers sorely need a physical presence on Defense. That being said, they MUST feel that his conditioning level is keeping him from being that. I think we all can acknowledge that his skill level is not the reason he is in the NHL. Nobody likes taking buses to games. But somehow I think Kaspar will muddle through on his $4000+ per game.

      Shanahan on the PK…C’mon. Right now he is the best player on the team. Period. Come February if he needs to cut back his ice time to insure his performance in April, you adjust.

      The lineup… Yeah the second line needs to click. Yeah, Cullen looks to shoot more than pass. I’m sure they’ll figure out the right combinations or………….Trade for a Brendan Morrison or another available second line Center.
      It IS the first week in November.

    47. Rick

      It IS the first week in November.

      Thats exactly why Immonen should be up here playing on the second line as a center. And Dubinski ,Dawes, Pock should be looked at. We know what Cullen can do. We know what N-J-S line can do. They can be put back together and Cullen can be put in place later in the season if the young guns fail in October and November.
      The Rangers MUST find scoring at even strength from Lines 2 and 3 before New Years Day, in my opinion. Or else trades will be in order.

    48. I guess it’s the same thing as in Baseball . Either you play for the home run, aka power play goals. Or small ball, aka balanced scoring throughout the line up.

    49. Doodie Machetto on

      John M, I cannot disagree more with you.

      The PP and even strength lines have nothing to do with each other! The balance problem is the lack of a quality 2nd line center. That is their number one offensive problem. All the other holes can be filled from within, but a decent 2nd line center is missing from the whole organization.

      Immonen is terrible right now in the AHL, what makes you think he will all of a sudden be at his maximum projected potential and fill in as a 2nd line center?

      You don’t need scoring from the 3rd line. 25 Goals, tops. Anything more is gravy. You want to see Dawes, this is where he would fit in.

      Dubinsky is having a good run in Hartford, and I think he should stay there instead of rotting like Dawes and Pock. Next year he will most definitely get his shot.

      Pock definitely deserves a shot too, but Malik and Roszival aren’t going anywhere, and the rest of the defense is playing too well right now for them to be the ones who sit, especially when Malik and Roszival are as terrible and favored as they are without causing a split in the locker room.

      It IS only November, but if a trade is made to fill in any holes, it should be done sooner rather than later so chemistry can be established. However, I think the 2nd line will find its groove more the longer they stay together, so unless someone is brought in specifically to replace Cullen, he should stay there.

    50. Thanks Sam …

      I guess, well … it depends how the Rangers trainers and team Doctors, who should know what kind of progress Kaspar should’ve been at by the time Camp started and if he wasn’t they predicted then I can see the team being mifted that he wasn’t progressing if he healed properly …. I can also see how he would be offended or stung at hearing that from them … it’s almost a lose lose when you think about it on a personal level but this is a business so they(the team) have to think about it from a business level and treat him accordingly I suppose

    51. Responding to John M: I don’t really think our opinions are that different. But, I believe the reason we’re not seeing Immonen or Dubinsky right now is their average skating speed. In the new NHL speed is the ultimate weapon (see Buffalo). So, is Cullen a Center or a Left Wing? If he moves to the port side, neither Immonen or Dubinsky skate well enough to be the 2d line center (they’ve both been healthy scratches recently for Hartford). Dwight Helminen and/or Lee Falardeau have a better chance to promoted at the present time (4th line centers).

      It is November, and there are GM Meetings this week. We’ll see what happens…

    52. “One more thing – it takes two guys who can make brilliant set ups in order for Straka to occassionally put the puck in.”

      amen and he only can score when at least half the net is open.

      Sam, I really want to know what in your opinion makes Renney a good coach annd a good man

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