And now, back to hockey


First let me thank many of you for the warm response to my previous post. I’m grateful for the kind words said about me, but far more important is that you took some time to think about a good man and a great boss who is being mourned literally all over the country (and I have the e-mails to prove it).

And it’s nice to know that Rangers fans, for all your trade-Hossa, fire-Renney, please-dump-Marek-Malik-and-soon bluster, are actually a bunch of softies just like me. That’s OK. You can still do the dirty work in the corners.

Anyway, while juggling a handful of personal and professional duties, I skipped out on the morning skate, but fortunately my generous and talented counterparts on the beat were able to get me up to speed.

The big news of the day is that Jed Ortmeyer was back on the ice and skating with his teammates, albeit in a yellow practice jersey to avoid contact. It’s been a goofy ride for Ortmeyer of late. Originally told “he would be off blood thinners at the mid-point of this month”:, Ortmeyer was then told by doctors that he may have had another blood clot. Then came the most recent news that it wasn’t another clot, but scar tissue, and Ortmeyer can begin the process of working his way back.

Finally off the blood thinners, he won’t be able to endure full contact for another week or so, and then it’s a question of getting back into playing shape. Whether he’ll play before the new year remains to be seen. But the process has finally begun, and that’s welcome news.

In other news:

  • You would hope that Thomas Pock’s performance in limited ice time on Sunday would merit another shot tonight against the Hurricanes. Apparently not. Tom Renney is going back with Colton Orr on the fourth line, meaning Pock is back to his spot in the press box.
  • The same goes for Darius Kasparaitis, who still hasn’t played a game since being recalled from Hartford, and who could be excused if he’s feeling frustrated with his place in limbo.
  • After back-to-back solid efforts, Henrik Lundqvist gets another start in goal tonight.

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    1. Doodie Machetto on

      First, I want to say that I appreciate and admire your ethic to be able to post here in the wake of the devastating news you received this morning.

      Second, great news about Jed. I bet he feels like a million bucks, although probably not physically. Move over family of puppies saved from a fire, that’s my feel good story of the day.

    2. It’s good to see Jed moving on to the next step in getting back on the ice for us. I hope things go as smoothly as possible for him. I have a feeling getting back into game shape won’t be much of an issue for him thanks to his work ethic.

      Pock deserves more time IMO, but Kaspar is a touchier subject. If he really hasn’t improved whatsoever since Hartford, he should be off the team, but if we have any chance of trading him we would need to at least show we don’t think he’s completely worthless. Then again, some people are saying waivers are the only chance to free up ourselves from at least some of his salary.

      I’m glad Lundy is gonna be back in net, he was really solid his past two starts, especially on sunday, and I think it’ll only take just a few more good ones for him to shake off the rest of that rust. We’ll see though. Here’s hoping we come out strong and build a decent lead for him.

    3. I don’t expect Ortmeyer back but would be very happy if he makes it.

      Pock gets one game a forward does what’s expected and then sits. Sure that makes sense for a young guy. What is that about young players again….they get better by playing not watching.

      Kaspar can’t get a break. Ozo was once high risk high reward now its just all risk. Maybe he or someone else could sit one game as I don’t think the current D corp has cemented itself with there spectacular play this season.

      I know just wait for them to gel.

    4. OK…Sam….can you set uip a meating so I can SLAP renney…I agre or try to figure out whats in his head for most things, but why play ORR aginst a team who coauch has basicly outlawed fighting….wouldnt Pock be a better fit for playing against a skilled team, who scores alot and dosnt fight? Seems odd to me, I mean, I am sure he has a reason, and it may even be a valid one…but it seems to me, Pock looked very good the other night…maybe it was Pock who said he would rather sit and wait for a spot to open on D…I duno. When you next see him, maybe you could ask why Pock didnt get another game on wing.

    5. Cullen

      I find it very hard to believe that the Rangers spent $10 million over 4 years on a guy they were thinking about being an energy line player. In a cap world that is just insane. He was signed to be a 2nd line center all along and I wonder if he can handle it.

      Immonen outplayed Cullen during the pre season so if Cullen was picked to be the energy guy then why was the player with the better pre season bumped?

      C 38 *Immonen, Jarkko 4 1 2 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 10 10.0
      C 5 Cullen, Matt 5 1 1 2 1 4 0 0 1 0 10 10.0

    6. Doodie Machetto on

      Cullen is also a veteran player who just won a cup. For a team looking to win the big one, guys like him are important when half of your team just played in their first 4 playoff games and were destroyed. You need some winners on the team or you develop a culture of losing. Also, he would be an EXCELLENT energy player, probably one of the best in the league. And I won’t say it again (except this one last time), points in preseason mean nothing. Immonen wasn’t picked over three wingers at center (Ward, and to a lesser extent Hollweg and Straka). He clearly had problems. This is only more evident by his poor play in Hartford this season.

    7. First of all, condolences Sam on your loss.

      tsal — now look what you’ve done. Haven’t you noticed the vehement discussion on previous threads about how Dawes isn’t any good? Several posters here who are apparently channeling Tom Renney have weighed in to let us know with certainty that none of these kids is really ready to play at the NHL level. As you know on other boards I was one of those who didn’t like the Cullen signing — if he was signed to be a 2nd line center — since his role in Carolina was 3rd line center and PP pointman.

      Now we’re going to have to read through 65 posts back and forth between those who believe that Immonen and Dawes should have gotten a chance and those who *know* that they can’t play. Let’s face it, this organIzation will never get better until Dolan, Sather et al are sent packing.

    8. Kaspar needs to be around, if only because he is Kaspar. The Rangers aren’t going to get rid of him. Let Kaspar get into game shape without any of this speculation, and we will see how he is in a 2 or 3 weeks. With regards to Pock, he should prob be dressed as a 7th d-man/4th line winger, like Sami Kappanen was a few years back for the Flyers. Most importantly, Ortmeyer being back on the ice with the team is extremely important. He is consistent, and he is a leader. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him with an A on his chest before the end of the year.
      As someone that will be trying to break into the business very soon, I am saddened to hear of your loss.

    9. Doodie Machetto on

      Twin: I agree with your assessment of the Cullen signing, although I’m sure you were putting it there to be at ends with me.

      PS, how do you make things bold? I usually just put things in capital letters, but I like the way bold looks more.

    10. Rangers Make a Trade

      Now its not what you all expected. I got this from a buddy of mine who works at ESPN:

      Hurricanes acquire Petruzalek, draft pick for Isbister
      RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The Carolina Hurricanes acquired center
      Jakub Petruzalek and a conditional 2008 draft pick from the New York Rangers for forward Brad Isbister on Tuesday.
      Petruzalek, 21, is in his first professional season, tallyingtwo assists in six games for Hartford of the American Hockey League, and one goal and nine assists in seven games with Charlotte of the ECHL. The Rangers selected Petruzalek in the ninth round of the 2004 draft. Isbister, who signed with Carolina as a free agent in August, has three goals and five assists in nine games with Albany of the AHL.
      (Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

    11. Yea Immonen had real problems last season. As of the end of the pre season, this season where he has had problems didn’t exist. So his pre season does mean something in the context of last years performance.

      Rangers may have spent $10 million on a guy who may not be able to produce at the 2nd line spot. That worries me.

    12. Doodie Machetto on

      Mike Ashmore: Pock already is the odd man out. The question is, who ELSE becomes the odd man out. It will probably be Orr, but it may even be Hossa.

      (Just plain) Mike: Kudos on the trade info. The farm has been bad and a little shaekup down there doesn’t hurt. Isbister wasn’t too bad when he was on the Isles, I wonder what happened to him.

    13. Doodie Machetto on

      Tsalad: my point about him doing poorly this season at Hartford is just that there is clearly something beneath the surface that the coaching staff spotted and he is just proving. I think he might have attitude problems. I’m not saying he is a bad player, just that he wasn’t/isn’t right, right now.

    14. (Just Plain) Mike on

      I just read the write up on and it sates that Isbister will sent directly to Hartford. The Wolf Pack also signed Chris Ferraro.

      They are a young team who needs some veteran guys. Maybe these “Veterans” can help the young guys in some way. Thats all we can hope for.

    15. Doodie Machetto on

      I did see the thing on Chris Ferraro earlier today. Who knows, maybe they’ll bring in Chicken Parm!

    16. Doodie Machetto on

      In case you were wondering, here are Isbister’s numbers when he was with the isles:

      Regular Season Playoffs
      1999-00 New York Islanders NHL 64 22 20 42 100 — — — — —
      2000-01 New York Islanders NHL 51 18 14 32 59 — — — — —
      2001-02 New York Islanders NHL 79 17 21 38 113 3 1 1 2 17
      2002-03 New York Islanders NHL 53 10 13 23 34

      And his numbers since:

      2002-03 Edmonton Oilers NHL 13 3 2 5 9 6 0 1 1 12
      2003-04 Edmonton Oilers NHL 51 10 8 18 54 — — — — —
      2004-05 Innsbruck EV Aust 11 7 4 11 41 5 3 1 4 6
      2005-06 Boston Bruins NHL 58 6 17 23 46 — — — — —
      2006-07 Albany River Rats AHL 9 3 5 8 54

    17. Isbister has fallen down a hole and I don’t think he can get out of it. A why bother trade imo.

    18. doodie

      Pure speculation on your part that the coaches saw some attitude problem with Immonen. His attitude was fine in pre season and last year. The facts are he outplayed a number of players this pre season, including Cullen, and was sent down. Now he has problems and I feel the Rangers helped cause those problems.

    19. Doodie Machetto on

      “His attitude was fine in pre season”

      that’s pure speculation on your part. There is a reason he didn’t win best rookie in camp, and it wasn’t his points production. Nylander and Straka had 0 points during the preseason. Are you suggesting that he should play over them? Get real. Being sent down to the minors is a test of character on every player (don’t read this as a suggestion that the coaches were testing his character by sending him down. It is merely a statement that it is). The player can react one of two ways: be motivated to work hard and establish himself as a player that needs to be recalled because he is just too good not to or 2) implode. Immonen has chosen the latter, and it makes me glad he didn’t make the big club this season.

    20. Not talking about anyone other than Immonen. He preformed in pre season and that counts in my book. Attitude or otherwise he preformed. The only time I have ever read anything about Immonen having an attitude problem in pre season was your speculation to make try and make a point.

      I guess doing well and out playing other fuys at the center spot mainly Cullen who you say was signed as a $10 million energy player, get real, doesn’t count.

      That is one of the problems with this organization they don’t reward the best players becaise if they did the lineup would have other guys in it.

      No offense but you really don’t know what your talking about.

    21. doodie

      and by your reasoning the guys who did win best rookie in camp aren’t on the team either. Guess they had some attitude problems as well.

    22. Chris Ferraro is still playing? Figured he’d be working at his brother’s store on the island by now. Not that he’s horrible, but lack of size and age would seem to imply that the NHL may not be calling anymore.

    23. doodie

      Take the unproven attitude problem out to try and explain your point.

      Just please show me one example of all the coverage of the Rangers in pre season that stated that Immonen had attitude problems. Try the facts not your best guess. Of course the facts may get in the way of your argument.

    24. Doodie Machetto on

      tsalad: being the best in camp doesn’t guarantee you a spot in the lineup. But not being the best certainly would when there are limited spots. And like I have said over and over ad nauseum, Dawes isn’t that good, and Dubinsky is still at least a year away.

      Hindsight is 20/20. What has Immonen shown you since camp that makes you, or anyone for that matter, want him on your team, especially on the 2nd line? Forget camp, forget last season. The guy has 7 points and is a -13. The whole argument about him is moot. You want to argue about why the coaching staff doesn’t play young players, that is one thing. You want to argue for that guy to be your 2nd line center? That’s another.

    25. Following up to myself, I see Peter is with Bridgeport. Former 1 and 4 picks if I’m not mistaken. BTW it’s an older brother who runs the store.

    26. There’s definitely a bit of circular logic going on that states that Immonen was sent down, therefore he must not have been good enough. Ditto for Dawes.

      I think the fundamental difference of opinion comes in when one party assumes that because a coach decided a certain thing, it must be true. IE, if Renney says Dawes isnt good enough and Hossa is, then Dawes isnt good enough and Hossa is (“and that’s that”).

      The other side of us think this is talent that perhaps has not even been mis-evaluated, but truly hasn’t been evaluated at all. Who’s to say that if you stuck Dawes on the first line and moved Straka to third, you wouldn’t A. see Dawes start lighting it up and building confidence, and B. see more production and icetime from the third line.

      What if the Rangers had drafted Jordan Staal? I guarantee you he’d be playing in juniors right now because there “wasn’t room” for him anywhere on the big club, and far be it from us to make room for a guy like this however we have to. Just like if Marc Staal had been drafted by Pittsburgh, he’d have a full year of NHL experience under his belt and be that much closer to being the marquee pick everyone says he is. Don Maloney has said he now regrets sending the kid back. But nothing he or Renney does suggests that they would even consider playing him. Hell, I wonder if Ovechkin would be playing in Hartford right now if we’d somehow managed to draft him. After all, going in to the season, you never know exactly what you have, and the Rangers would have signed guys to fill out their entire roster ahead of time. Like they always do. They’re never willing to take the chance, except with a guy like Hossa, who apparently has more potential than anyone else, because Renney says so. And that’s that.

    27. Doodie Machetto on

      I’m not saying Dawes might not do great if put in that situation. I’m saying it’s more likely than not that not only he wouldn’t light it up, but it would bring the production of his linemates down as well. I, and I’m sure everyone would agree on this point, never said Hossa was BETTER than Dawes. He’s not. But is he better suited to play 5 minutes of pointless 5 on 5 and kill penalties than Dawes? I think so.

      Also, let’s not forget who Jordan Staal’s linemates are – Crosby and Malkin. Sam could be out there with them and have 10 points.

      the coaches are a lot closer to the players than we are. They also are a lot better at it than us, which is why they are coaches and we aren’t. I’m not saying they are always right, but when it’s a judgment call like this, I give some deference because of how much closer to the situation they are. If you want the fans to run the team instead of the coaches, go pitch your idea to Wang. He just might go for it.

    28. Doodie Machetto on

      And I’m not saying Immonen wasn’t good enough. In fact, I’ve been saying it must have been something else, like an attitude problem or work ethic related issue. He looked good enough last year and it looked like the team created a spot for him, something they didn’t do for any of the other young guys.

    29. So doodie says Dawes isn’t any good. Sure that holds water. Are you a scout or just ignore the facts? Best rookie in camp right or that doesn’t hold water anymore when it is against the point you made that the Immonen wasn’t even the best rookie. Can’t have it both ways.

      On Immonen I don’t ignore parts of his past as you do. He preformed in pre season which came before the regular season not the other way around as your trying to twist it.

      He outplayed guys who are currently on the Rangers. In my book best player wins and Immone was better than a handful of guys who were on the bubble, and I’m not talking about guys who had already made the team Nylander and Straka.

    30. doodie

      Who on Hartford is tearing it up? Name someone. Maybe Immone is just playin like the rest of his mates poorly as the Pack have some problems and those are not Immonen’s alone.

    31. Everything is fine in Hartford except for Immonen and his doodie is the only one ever who has said, attitude problems.

    32. I am SO happy about Jed, he is just a fabulous player as far as what he brings to the team … his heart and soul and the way he just hustles on each and every shift like Hollweg is much needed on this team!

      Also, if they aren’t going to play Kaspar, as much as I love him, he needs to be traded but who will take his salary? this is no good, because I am almost certain that if he was in good physical condition then he should be able to take someone ele’s spot on the team … his hitting is sorely missed, but then again Tutyn has stepped up in that Department …

    33. Doodie Machetto on

      tsalad: Sam, who is much closer to the action than any of us, especially when he spent the West Coast trip with the Pack, said he was very impressed with Ryan Callahan. Also, everything is TERRIBLE with the pack right now. They are the third worst team in the AHL.

    34. I agree with everyone and I am overjoyed that Jed Ortmeyer(my favorite player) has been cleared to practice, albeit non-contact. You all may look back and see this day as a key to the season or perhaps the playoffs. This may sound like a major exxageration, however, Jed is a heart and soul type player. The Rangers came into this season missing something – that dynamic that Hollweg, Ortmeyer and Moore provided last season. They made a mistake trading Moore who had an amazing work ethic. He could have scored more, but is still young and worth ethic and heart cant be bought. Ortmeyer brings so much to this team – Heart, Work Ethic, Leadership, Penalty Killing, Shot Blocking, energy and that extra effort that we need. He is a team guy who puts 110% in everynight. Now I don’t think Jed will be back for at least a month, but once he comes back he will be in great shape and will not wear down over the second half of the season. Any thoughts on who may be the odd man out – Orr is the easiest to think of, but Hossa should not get too comfortable either. Welcome back, Jed, I can’t wait see you back on the ice in your Blueshirt, #41!

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