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It’s true, the most remarkable part of Jarkko Immonen’s arrival in New York is not that he is bound for a scintillating two minutes skating alongside Colton Orr on the fourth line, but that he appears bound for a spot on the second line between Brendan Shanahan and Matt Cullen.

newsletter_immonen.jpgChris Rutsch/Hartford Wolf Pack

No, that’s not a misprint. I suppose given the Rangers’ recent history, you have reason to be skeptical. I certainly was, but a lot of what has been said here in recent weeks was reiterated by Tom Renney just now.

A brief summary: with Cullen struggling (no goals and just four assists over his last 12 games) and the team starting to realize maybe he’s not the ideal center for Shanahan on the second line, the Rangers figured a true playmaking center like the 24-year-old Immonen might adequately fill the void.

But again, as much as this is a reflection of Immonen’s resurgence after a sluggish start — he has six goals and eight assists in 14 games — it’s also a move based around Cullen, who, for all his persistence, has failed to deliver on his offensive promise, and been a liability at the other end of the ice as well.

“I believe we have a guy here that’s really pressing,� Renney said. “So let’s play to his strengths and use his speed down the outside and crank some pucks on the net and get in on the forecheck and see if we can create a level of comfort and confidence through that means as opposed to all the responsibilities of a center ice man.�

Cullen admits he’s more comfortable at center, but he’s allowed that he’s struggling so much of late, any change might be worthwhile. And it’s not like he’s getting bumped to the fourth line.

Some other quick hits:

  • Yes, it looks like there will be a change at defense, but it probably won’t involve Thomas Pock. The more likely scenario is Darius Kasparaitis taking Sandis Ozolinsh’s spot alongside Karel Rachunek, while Pock and Ozolinsh can get better acquainted in the press box.
  • The new lines, at least according to today, would look like this: Straka-Nylander-Jagr; Cullen-Immonen-Shanahan; Hossa-Betts-Ward; Prucha-Hollweg-Hall. It’s unclear whether the Betts line or the Hollweg would be the actual third line, but seeing how Renney likes to use the Betts unit against other top lines, they would likely see more ice time.
  • On the new jerseys: I’m apparently not the only one who isn’t a fan. There were a bunch of equipment reps milling around the Rangers locker room and one was asking Shanahan what he thought. Shanahan said there was no difference in how he felt, but that he wasn’t a fan of the “slimming look”. I agree, although, let’s bear in mind that Shanahan wears shoulder pads that are about as thick as cardboard, so he doesn’t want to look any slimmer.
  • Jarkko Immonen: nice guy, good player, but not exactly Rodney Dangerfield in the quote department. He’s going to have to work on that if he plans on sticking around. Speaking of which, Renney was kindly admonishing Henrik Lundqvist for perhaps being TOO forthcoming with the media about his play on Sunday night. Our response: easy there, coach. At least as far as that goes, we like him just the way he is.

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    86 Comments

    1. Sorry guys. I can’t find a photo of the new jerseys. It’s not that dramatic. They just look like tighter is all. I’m pretty sure next year they would be tucked into all players’ pants, which would look different

      Also, I updated the entry above to address the new lines.

    2. well, things get a little more interesting. I’m from Missouri so I’ll believe Jarkko on the 2nd line when I see it. Would much rather see a 2nd line with Prucha-Jarkko-Shanny and Cullen on LW on line 3 in place of Hossa.

      Bitterly disappointed in Renney if the decision is to stick Kaspar in with Rachunek. My prediction is that those two will do no better than Ozo/Rachunek. I would have preferred Rachunek/Pock than this pairing.

      Pock really should agree to go play in Hartford if after all this he’s *still* not going to get a chance.

    3. Hey Sam!

      I’ve been following your blog but this is my first time commenting. Your blog is the best out of all the Ranger beatwriters! I come here first before I even look at the papers. Keep up the good work!

      I was disappointed when Jarkko first went down at the beginning of the season. I’m happy he’s back up and has a great opportunity. Let us hope he can take advantage of it.

      BTW, as a fellow golfer, how do you keep your form during the winter months?

    4. I love Immonen, but I don’t like throwing him onto the second line right away like that. I don’t really have an issue with putting Prucha on the fourth line, because I think it’ll either get that line some more ice time or Prucha will find a way to get more than the typical 3 minutes those guys get.

    5. I figured it out – it isn’t April. It is Christmas time! Merry Christmas Ranger Fans!

      Good luck Immonen! If you do well, you’ll proved that all of us fans who wanted Immonen up here for a while were right. Uh… and if you don’t do well then we will probably just blame Renney again :)

    6. How can you tuck a jersey in to hockey pants? That is utterly ridiculous. Why do they have to mess with something that is not broken?

    7. Also, If Hall drops to line 4, no problem. Ortmeyer will be back soon and he will get some real ice time. Guess who gives up those minutes? Hall. Cause you know he’ll be back with Hollweg.

    8. Immonen is my favorite prospect. This is exactly what I wanted for him. I’m going to go throw a party now. haha

    9. Doodie Machetto on

      I’m told by other sources (I believe uniwatch at ESPN, but I may be wrong), that the reason for the slimmer jerseys is to show off the bodies of the players in order to increase female interest in the sport. I’m not kidding, I read this on some website that actually reports real journalism.

      As for Immo being up on the 2nd line, I think it’s great. I think that was the original intentions for him this season, and I have said that over and over again. My concern is Cullen playing 2nd line LW. That should stay Prucha’s spot. Slide Cullen down to the third line and Hossa to the 4th. Prucha hasn’t been scoring, but he should be given a chance with the playmaker instead of Cullen.

      Pock not playing is a crime. An absolute travesty

    10. oct1001–

      Welcome aboard, and thank you for the kind words. Here’s hoping you chime in often. How do I keep my golf game in shape in the winter? Short answer: I don’t. I basically don’t touch a club from October to April, and instead devote myself to my true love, which is hockey. Plus, as the father of a young son, it’s more time efficient to play a two hour hockey game than a five hour round of golf.

      Now everyone else–

      I think you should reserve judgment of the lines until we see what kind of ice time they all get tomorrow, because there is at least the possibility that these moves allow the Rangers to distribute time more evenly.

      I’m not guaranteeing that’s going to happen. But seeing how both Hall and Prucha were second-liners as recently as Sunday, I can’t imagine they’re suddenly going to be relegated to five minutes a night. And in that sense, the fourth line might be only in name only. But again, let’s see what happens.

    11. Doodie Machetto on

      What about overweight fans that want to buy jerseys? I don’t want to see them in a slimmed down version.

    12. um, doodie, weren’t you the one recently telling us all that Immonen wasn’t good enough to play in the NHL?

    13. Hey Sam lets say these lines stick till the end of December and Orty comes back. Where do you think he would fit in? Who would have to sit for him? This is my 1st time posting here but I’ve been reading your blog since the beginning of the season, it’s great. OK enough brown nosing for me.

    14. So maybe Renney does read this blog! Finally a move by management that seems to have some logic behind it. I was impressed with Immonen’s playmaking ability last year when he came up. I hope they give him enough time to develop some chemistry w/ Shanny.
      Perhaps Renny will finally sit Hossa when Jed Ortmeyer and his 8 chambered cow heart come back!

    15. great to see Immo up.. now we need Dawes back, Hossa gone, and Pock in the lineup.. Maybe a little Baranka, and I think the seasoning will be just right..

    16. Sam, has anyone in the press been asking questions about Petr Prucha? I know he’s not scoring and all, but prior to Sunday’s game, I thought his all-around play had actually improved over last year, particularly in terms of back checking and playing in his own zone. Not to mention it seems a little unfair of people to expect a repeat of last year when over half his goals were scored on the powerplay and he no longer plays on the first power play unit…

      I guess I find it a little puzzling that Renney’s brought in a playmaking center (which IMHO is exactly what Prucha and Shanny have lacked at even strength this year) in order to move Cullen out of his natural position and on to the wing to get *him* scoring, when there’s a natural winger, who scored more goals in his rookie season than Cullen has in any of his previous nine, who’s in need of a jumpstart himself. Has Renney mentioned any specific issues he’s identified that he thinks Prucha needs to work on, or is the consensus amongst the coaching staff that he just played over his head last year and isn’t suited as a second liner? Or, god help me for sounding like some of the nuts around here, is it a matter of Cullen, as the vet with the higher salary, getting priority over the slumping sophomore? It just seems more logical to me to worry more about jumpstartng the scoring of a guy who scored 30 goals in his rookie season than a guy who’s spent his entire career as a checking center…

    17. HockeybasedNYC on

      I think all this movement is pointing in one direction…. which ever way the tradewinds are blowing…

    18. Nice to see Immonen up, and getting a chance on the 2nd line, but Pock gets the shaft again, and Prucha gets dumped to the 4th line while Teflon Hossa stays on the third line.

    19. HockeybasedNYC on

      http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=187151&hubname=

      Anyone else think that this latest flurry of movement within the organization (for the Rangers and some other teams) has something to do with the expecation of the salary cap increasing next season?

      2-4 mil is some future room that can alter the “capology” of certain teams, especially those who have high priced veterans and are in a so-called “youth movement”

    20. >>> Speaking of which, Renney was kindly admonishing Henrik Lundqvist for perhaps being TOO forthcoming with the media about his play on Sunday night. Our response: easy there, coach. At least as far as that goes, we like him just the way he is.

      >>>>

      I quite love Henrik’s honesty but didn’t Renney say something like this in the preseason? That he wished that Henrik weren’t so nice and accomodating of his time all the time? Like he said that he didn’t want Henrik to turn into a guy who didn’t talk to anyone but to pace himself more … Perhaps he thought the media were going to all come crushing down on Henrik with him being so candid but everyone loves him so much in the media that they actually respect him more for his honesty … so don’t know ..

      Doodie, I did read that … about them doing it to attract more female fans … funny, because Hockey has a lot of female fans … I love the sport and if the NHL wants to market the hockey players more to females they would do better in making sure that they perhaps do a better job of marketing individual stars, putting up more DVD’s with perhaps behind the scenes stuff … i remember one of my favorite things is when they do picture books of like “A day in the life” of the NHL or a certain team … they are fabulous …

      Laurie, I see what you are saying about Pruchs over Cullen … perhaps Renney thinks he is giving Pruchs less pressure by leaving him in the 3rd/4th line … However, if Cullen continues not to score then he can easily move Prucha back up as he had great early season chemistry with Shanny … I am not doing on Pruchs like some because #1 as you said he isn’t getting PP time with Jagr as he used to or as much time with Jagr or on a line where he is being set up .. Shanny is a finisher not a set up man

    21. “”””I believe we have a guy here that’s really pressing,â€? Renney said. “So let’s play to his strengths and use his speed down the outside and crank some pucks on the net and get in on the forecheck and see if we can create a level of comfort and confidence through that means as opposed to all the responsibilities of a center ice man.â€?””””

      almost identical to what I posted here almost a week ago. I talked about how Cullen needed to be moved to the wing to relieve him of the defensive responsibilities at C.

      Now, for our next move, Tom.

    22. here is my post from Dec. 4, Post-game musings

      4Rangers December 4th, 2006 at 12:15 am

      some of those defensive problems are coming from the forwards too. the 2nd line is having a real problem getting scored on. Cullen is having trouble covering his man in the defensive zone, and this comes from someone who supports Cullen. But he may need to be moved to LW, like he sometimes was in Carolina, where his defensive responsibilities are lessened.

    23. wtf? prucha on the 4th line? it should look like this:
      straka-nylander-jagr
      prucha-immonen-shanahan
      cullen-betts-hossa
      hall-ward-hollweg

    24. B Reid

      i disagree, i think it should look something like this

      S N J
      P I S
      Hall Cullen Ward
      Hollweg Betts Hossa

      but thats just me.

    25. A couple of responses:

      Papgolash: As far as Ortmeyer goes, great question. Not only do you want him back in the lineup, but you would want him playing with Hollweg. Throw in maybe Jason Ward at center and that’s a pretty good high-energy fourth line. Of course, this would require some hard decisions by the Rangers regarding the likes of Hossa, Prucha, Colton Orr, and maybe even Immonen. Those of you who read this site often know that I’ve been a quasi-defender of Hossa’s — mostly because the sentiment is so strong the other way — but there’s no way I’d play Hossa over Prucha, or even over Ortmeyer or Hollweg. Those guys provide too much in the way of intangibles. I think Betts works well as a third or fourth-line checking center, so maybe your third line is Prucha-Betts-Hall. Of course, this is all hinging on this Immonen experiment lasting more than a game, and since we don’t know where that’s headed, it’s hard to speculate on the rest. And of course, this implies that reason is involved with some of these decisions. And that’s not always the case, either.

      Meanwhile, it brings me to Laurie’s question about Prucha. It’s a tough call, and yes, we’ve been talking quite a bit about the wing in recent days. My read on him is this: he’s pressing much in the way Matt Cullen is. If you look at the effort level, the speed with which he plays, it’s all there. But more so even than with Cullen, who has been pretty good other than right in front of the net, you’re seeing a lot of pucks simply bounce off Prucha’s stick. The read you get on Prucha is that he’s not a 30-goal scorer but a guy who once scored 30 goals. It’s a big difference, but it doesn’t minimize the fact that he is someone who still has tremendous upside. I don’t know what the answer is. Maybe you sit him down for a game or two just so he can collect himself. But I certainly don’t think the Rangers should be giving up on him.

    26. Patrick:
      ^Swap Prucha and Cullen. Prucha on the 4th line is a major WTF.^

      I agree whole heartedly…Last year Cullen was a 3rd line center (I think) and Prucha was a 2nd line Wing. Makes sense to me to keep them where they are comfortable.
      Plus I believe Immonen and Prucha clicked last year, did they not?

    27. Renney is using his 3rd line as a checking line. he is not going to put a guy who is having trouble covering his man as the 3rd line C. the C has way more D responsibility than a winger.

    28. Cullen played mostly wing in Carolina after they added Doug Weight. But Cullen was also a PP point man in Caro., and Renney has given him no chance whatsoever to do what he is good at, because Jagr won’t like it.

    29. Sam,

      As a person who knows Jarkko very well from his days here in Finland, I can tell you that you will not get any juicy quotes ala Jeremy Roenick/Don Cherry out of him. He is very shy as a person off-the-ice and his English isn’t very fluent.

      But he sure makes up for that on the ice. I really hope he gets a chance on that 2nd line and succeeds..

    30. Sam,

      I disagree totally with your statement about Prucha. It’s another case of a stubborn Renney trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

      You said, “The read you get on Prucha is that he’s not a 30-goal scorer but a guy who once scored 30 goals.”

      He scored half his 30 goals on the PP last year. This year he hasn’t any time on the first unit, which plays about 90% of the PP.

      Plus, he’s played with Cullen, who is not a good passer.

      If he waa given first-line minutes, his points would be right up there on a level with Straka’s.

      They need to play him with Immonen, who is a very good passing center, and just stand back and watch. His upside is much higher than Cullen’s, and he should be getting the 2nd line PT.

      But then we’re stuck with the comedy stylings of Professor Tom. He’s appearing here all week. Even worse, he’s here all season.

    31. baron —
      I hope you’re right about Prucha and I’m wrong. He’s an exciting player and he works his tail off. I personally like seeing guys like that flourish.
      Sam

    32. Everyone needs to chill out a bit on Renney’s treatment of Prucha, in my opinion. The guy was not a number one pick, or someone whose career in Czech hockey was all that head-turning (in fact, if it weren’t for Renney and a few others, he would never have had an NHL career).

      He plays with great heart and energy and seems like a good kid (and was a good news story last year), but he is someone who seems to have only scored at this level before teams were marking him at all. His second half, post-injury, was — like the team’s — sub-par and his sophomore season has been uneventful offensively. The wild moaning and gnashing of teeth around his potential demotion seems to be based more on hope and hype than anything else. Saying that an offensive player isn’t scoring goals because they aren’t scoring them on the power play and it isn’t fair, is absurd. Power plays are just that. We may forget, but it’s supposed to be easier to score while the other team has less players on the ice. True offensive players score when the game is played even. Period.

      And, to be clear, I’m a big fan of Prucha’s and hope he suddenly kicks back into highlight reel form. But…

    33. Doodie Machetto on

      Prucha said it himself last year over and over “I don’t have a good shot.” While last season it seemed to be that he was being humble, this year it hasn’t been up to snuff- regardless of whatever passes he has been given. Something seems different about his control and his release that when I watch him, he never looks like scoring. Aside from his big PP numbers last year, which was essentially equivalent to Sam’s recent Valery Kamensky incident (except Prucha scored), Prucha didn’t really score any big goals other than just somehow finding himself in the right spot, at the right time and putting it in. I hate to say it, but he has shown me nothing this season that makes me think otherwise. Part of me thinks wishes that they had pulled the trigger on the Seabrook deal in fear that last season was a fluke.

      “um, doodie, weren’t you the one recently telling us all that Immonen wasn’t good enough to play in the NHL?”

      No. I said that before the season, the plan was to have him playing 2nd line center. After camp, for one reason or another, they decided that he needed to go to Hartford. I speculated that it was an attitude problem or something that we couldn’t see because his numbers were good and during his time up for Rucchin he played well. Then, he didn’t make a compelling case for himself during the first part of his season in Hartford, which made it look like maybe there was something wrong with him. But in his last 5 games he has 5 goals and 2 assists.

    34. Chris,
      We would not be as upset about Prucha’s demotion if we has someone *better* to fill his spot,…but instead we have Cullen (Yawn), Hall (Sigh), and Hossa (Gulp!)
      Not to mention that we have already seen Renney experiment countless times with different players in place of Prucha,…when are we going to see an experiment with someone else in place of Cullen?

    35. Doodie Machetto on

      “when are we going to see an experiment with someone else in place of Cullen?”

      You are. This is two experiments at once: Immo for Cullen, Cullen for Prucha. I like the first one, but I’m not sold on the second.

      Who knows, maybe this works? I think we all can speculate over what should be done, but truth be told, before anybody goes crazy, give it a game or two and see how it goes. In the meantime, be happy that Immonen is being given an honest to god legitimate shot.

    36. Doodie Machetto on

      From Spector’s trade rumours:

      “NY SUN: Kevin Greenstein recently reported the NY Rangers are carrying too much dead weight, specifically on their blueline, and suggests the club needs to dump some of it if they’re to improve. He believes the Rangers should demote veterans Sandis Ozolinsh and Darius Kasparaitis to the minors, which would give the club “a full $10 million to work with” should the team pursue a trade. Greenstein also writes defencemen on struggling teams might be available, citing St. Louis’s Eric Brewer, Chicago’s Adrian Aucoin and Phoenix’s Derek Morris. He also believed the Coyotes would be willing to move Ed Jovanovski. “They would likely be quite open to a deal in which they package Jovanovski and unrestricted free agentto-be Shane Doan in exchange for Prucha and goaltending prospect Alvaro Montoya”, write Greenstein.

      Spector’s Note: Hat tip to GJ Berg. Perhaps the reason the Rangers haven’t yet demoted those two is that there may not be any decent trades available right now. It wouldn’t surprise me if one of them gets demoted to free up cap space for the Blueshirts for a potential trade. Greenstein’s correct that Brewer and Morris could be available, but I think Aucoin has a “no-trade” clause. As for his Jovanovski-Doan for Prucha-Montoya suggestion, keep dreaming. Doan might indeed be shopped if he indicates a desire to test the UFA market but it might take more than Prucha to land him, while Jovanovski has already stated he doesn’t want to leave Phoenix, reminding the media of his no-trade clause last month.”

      In other news, Joe Nieuwendyk retired. He has HOF credentials, his only problem is all of the HOF quality guys that have retired recently might create a waitlist to keep him out as a first ballot.

    37. I tihnk its funny that people think that it Jagr who has Cullen off the 1st PP unit…HOW BOUT the 1st PP unit has been great…going into the last game they were the 3rd overall PP in the NHL…so unless they start to freefall well below their 20% succes rate I wouldnt mess with it…come on now, I dont think it has much to do with JJ, I think it has more to do with the fact its one of the best PP int he NHL for the 2nd year in a row…

    38. Doodie:
      ^You are. This is two experiments at once: Immo for Cullen, Cullen for Prucha. I like the first one, but I’m not sold on the second.^

      Hardy Har Har,…you know what I meant.
      I want to see Renney experiment with leaving Shannahan with Prucha, and try a different center.
      I just hope that if Renney’s new 2nd line doesn’t pan out, that he give Prucha/Immonen/Shannahan a try before sending Immonen back down.

    39. wildcard. If you are referring to my post, get a clue. I never said anything about 1st or second PP shift. What I said was that Cullen played the POINT on the PP in Caro., and he never gets that chance in NY because Jagr wants his buddies Ros-Straka to just slide him the puck, not shoot.

      the proof is in the dellapina column, where Jagr is QUOTED as saying to Renney, who wanted more shots from the point, that “it is stupid to shoot from the point,” and Renney admittedly just caved to his wishes.

      Rosival has 1 PP goal this year, and last year he and Straka had a total of 7 PP goals between them, while Cullen had 8 PP goals, more than Ros and Straka combined.

      One of the reasons that cullen was signed to a contract was his play at the PP point last year with the stanley cup winners.

      the only thing that’s funny is your apparent lack of knowledge.

    40. Doodie Machetto on

      “I just hope that if Renney’s new 2nd line doesn’t pan out, that he give Prucha/Immonen/Shannahan a try before sending Immonen back down.”

      Agreed, especially the part about *if* the line *doesn’t* pan out. We need to give it a chance and see if maybe it clicks. I mean, who thought that a line of Jagr-Nylander-Straka would be this good?

    41. 4Rangers the ONLY thing that cxounts is that teh rangers PP is…or was going into last game THIRD IN THE NHL I dont care how many gaols Cullen had on the PP LAST YEAR, this is THIS year…and NOONE changes up a 3rd best PP…not that much at least…your crazy if YOU think YOU have some important knowlege OTHER than how tihngs are going THIS year…I dont give a flying pig about last year, its last yer…in the past, dosnt count for crap this season…the sooner people get over the past the sooner they can looka t whats going on in front of their faces..maybe at the begining of the season I could see talking about Cullen on the point…but not now, Renney made the CORRECT move by putting who he did were…it showes in the 20% + PP percentage, and number 3 in the NHL. Thats like saying Carolina did things wrong last year and should have done things difrently…I mean….the Rangers PP is one of the best…why even bring up what renney did wrong…aparently he knows better than How many fans?? alot of fans wanted a difrent point pair, and it seems to be working JUST FINE…you said “Cullen played mostly wing in Carolina after they added Doug Weight. But Cullen was also a PP point man in Caro., and Renney has given him no chance whatsoever to do what he is good at, because Jagr won’t like it.” all Idid was point out that Cullen isnt on the PP point, not because of JJ but because of how good the PP was…and the 1st unit is all JJ would care about, so with the 1st PP unit being the BIGGEST part of the good PP, why would ANYONE put Cullen there??

    42. this b.s. from the same guy who posted this about his heroes Bozo and raccoon. here is my post and his defense of the 2 clowns who now have even Renney looking to bench them.
      _____________

      # 4Rangers November 28th, 2006 at 9:39 pm

      Raccoon and Bozo have now been on the ice for 7 of the last 12 opposition goals.

      # Wildcard November 28th, 2006 at 9:42 pm

      Yeah, but some of those goals havnt been their faults or have been grat plays…like the goal jsut scored….I mean…If Ozo goes to play the body and hossa makes that move its 1 on 1 with King..he did a good job making him shoot from out in front, giving Lundqvist a better chance, it was a great backhand shot, and it seemed to fool Lundqvist a bit, and it was the perfect hight, a little lower it hits pad…Cant get upset at the D for that play…
      ________________

      like I said, get a clue.

    43. Doodie,
      I hope the line works out too. Mostly because I would like to see Cullen thrive on this team (especially because were stuck with him for another 3 years)

    44. for those who have seen Immonen in Hartford: is he comparable in talent and style to a current or past Ranger, or an NHL’er (past or present) in general?

    45. 4Rangers, Lenny, whatever your name is, HOW many stupid paranoid incarnations and names do you have, and STOP it already. How many boards do you have to be kicked off?
      TAKE YOUR MEDS, Jeez.

    46. I have no connection with Lenny, I have never been kicked off any board, I have been here since day 1, and only a clueless part-time lurker, johnny-come-lately like you would be unable to tell the difference. I guess expecting you to be able to read and comprehend is asking too much.

    47. Orty on the way back…

      from Brooks article today…

      “””Jed Ortmeyer is essentially ready to begin his conditioning assignment of up to 14 days with the AHL Wolf Pack, which means that when No. 41 returns to Broadway, the Rangers will be in a position of greater strength to give more ice time to their fourth line.

      This should have positive ripple effects straight through a lineup in which Four Horsemen Jaromir Jagr, Martin Straka, Michael Nylander and Brendan Shanahan have received too much ice time while assuming far too heavy of a burden too early in the season.

      “From a physical standpoint Orts is ready to go to Hartford within a very short time period,” Tom Renney said yesterday. “From an organizational standpoint we’re looking at the Hartford schedule as well as a couple of other factors for the best time to get him down there and playing the requisite number of games it will take for him to be ready to go at an NHL pace. “”

    48. 4Rangers: I have a clue…waht I said was alot of the goals scored havnt beent heir fault…that still stands…you put uo a number like they are the only ones on the ice that matter…you get a clue…you say something like that, it looks like you area saying if they wernt on the ice the goals dont happen…if you think that, well than jsut give up on Hockey. No one player is ever totaly to blame, im some cases one player or two can shoulder teh most of the blame, but even that is rare…so yeah, YOU get a clue. And you twll ME to get a clue after you point out that Cullen used to be on the PP point in Carolina, but he hasnt been given a chancfe, but you didnt say anything about the 1st or 2nd PP unit…than why bring it up…your a riot…how silly…jsut one more poster who cant have anyone say ANYTHING against what they post or its wrong and crazy or something…

    49. onetimer,

      im no expert, but what ive seen of immonen leads me to believe the kid “thinks” the game on a very very high level. at least it appears that way. hes got a great ability to know when to drop back and play D, when to park in front of the net, etc.

      really, hes a 2nd line nhl center…..IF he could skate.

      hes an average, to below average skater. simply put if he doesnt improve his skating he may never make it in this league. which is a shame, because hes got the skill, and hockey sense to compete at a VERY high level.

    50. Inferno : I am hopeing that since he will be out ont he ice with a good skater in Shanny and a really FAST skater in Cullen that it will cover up his inability a bit. If Cullen/Shanny can lug the puck into the zone he will be the laste guy, and once he gets teh puck his overall skateing ability wount be as important IMHO as lng as he is in the O-zone…getting back on D might be a prob, but again, he can take the late man, and Cullen with his speed and SHanny can get back faster…somone always has to take the late/high man, so let it be the kid. He di well alst year in his few games up, so I am expecting him to really show something this next game or two he gets.

    51. This is not relevent to your entry and I am hesitant to even express a concern I have had about Lundquist. Over 25% of the season is complete and it is clear that Lundquist is not the same. I state this knowing he had a hot streak of excellent games. The drop in his play could simply be a sophmore slump. It could also indicate something far more problematic. Is it possible Lundquist is following other former Rangers–specifically that the night life and the multitude of benefits of being a healthy good looking young male in Manhattan have side tracked him and his play? I have no foundation in fact for writing this but he sure would not be the first nor the last person to have this become a problem. This sort of inuedndo is unfair–I have read such statements in bits and pieces in multiple places but no one has been as unkind as myself to directly ask you the question.

    52. Doodie Machetto on

      Bill,

      I think you have a valid question. I think there is a more basic question that we need to ask of him and of Prucha as well. Was last season a fluke? Are they just not that good. As far as Prucha goes, I’m inclined to say maybe. But Lundqvist was the MVP of the Elisterien the year before he came to NY. If being the MVP of the league in Sweden at 21 doesn’t sidetrack you, then I doubt it would in NY either. But, it’s always a possibility

    53. Bill —

      Your question is worth asking, especially when you consider that Lundqvist did move out of Westchester and into Manhattan mostly because he wanted a taste of the city life. But bear in mind that for all of Lundqvist’s laid back exterior, he’s actually a very focused athlete, and he is in tremendous physical shape.
      I don’t know what his night-life habits are — he is a hockey player, after all. But I can’t say I see any carry-over effect. More likely is he’s just trying TOO hard at times, which sometimes can be worse than not trying enough.
      That said, I’ll keep an open eye to your concern.

    54. I felt like a gossip columnist asking the above. Glad to know it was well received. I doubt it is an issue and hope my question goes nowhere. I simply remember what it was like to be in your early 20s and living in the city. Good times are easy to find and sadly too many world class athletes have destroyed promising careers. I too think it is natural to try too hard after such a spectacularly successful season like he had last season (akin to a baseball player who has a bad year after signing a giant contract). I just hope he returns to form–last year was such a pleasure to watch and this year has been a real trial. As to Prucha, he may not score as many goals again but I have no doubt he is an NHL caliber player. His opportunties on the power play are severely limited in contrast to last year and account in part for the drop in his production. But he sure has learned how to back check and is a tireless worker on ice.

    55. Ziny,

      You just don’t get it. You are so afraid that that there are many more like myself on here who take a similar view about the incompetant Ranger management. If you read carefully, and comprehend, with your line of thinking you’ll think I have 10-15 different aliases on here.

      As 4Rangers said, he has no connection to me other than we have similar views as do so many on here. Yeah right, they are all me!! How stupid. Get over it!!

    56. Oh come on Doodie,…whats all the hub-ub aboot?
      He played there too,…you know the whole “captained 2 teams to the Stanley Cup” thing they are always talking about? (they’re the other team)
      Or is it the playing the Coyotes that night that is BS?
      If you ask me,…I prefer it that way. The Rangers beat the oilers on *our* Messier night, the Oilers would probably beat us on *their* Messier night too. Sorry, 2 points more important than sentimental value.

    57. Bill,

      I think Lundqvist’s drop in play is due to several factors:

      1. He might still be suffering from migranes but the Rangers keeping it quiet.

      2. He is so disgusted with the Ranger defense, mainly for screening him, deflecting pucks past him and letting him get pushed around in the crease, he’s not trying as hard, not conciously but subconsciously.

      3. The league has seen him for one season and have a good book on him so they know where he is the weakest (probably on high shots).

      I think #1 is the biggest problem. He just doesn’t look the same physically. #2 is not his problem to fix and just has to make adjustments for #3.

      Anyone else think that Lundqvist may not be 100% physically?

    58. Doodie Machetto on

      That’s true, but I feel like you can’t get your number retired in more than one place. I think the whole statement in getting your number retired is that you were such an important member of the family that out of respect the family will not allow anyone to ever wear it again. I feel that is something that you can only reach with one family.

      Joe Niuewendyk just retired. It wouldn’t be right for Calgary AND Dallas to retired his jersey, although both would be justified to do so. It should be the place which he identifies himself with. Yes, Messier had some great years in Edmonton, but if you were to ask him what his team was, he would say Rangers. Accepting this kind of acclamation makes me feel like he is betraying us.

    59. I’m very concerned that with Sather/Maloney/Renney in charge here, and the obvious abandonment of the “rebuild” to make a run at the Cup this year, that the young talent in our organization will be squashed, leading to many more years of mediocrity.

      When I see the top team in the league, Buffalo, playing 6 first year kids regularly, while we are losing regularly while playing NONE, I want to shake our “brain trust” by the necks until they see the light. YOU NEED YOUNG TALENT TO WIN IN THIS NEW NHL!!! You need a young talented nucleus growing together (a la Pittsburgh), while sprinkling in some star veterans, not the exact opposite.

      I know that if I were a Dawes or Immonen, who both proved that they deserved a legitimate shot during camp, I’d be plenty angry. I also understand that a couple of the Hartford guys who were traded away, then made comments that none of the young guys had faith in the organization to develop its’ youth.

      I also know that Lunqvist, who is the main reason we made the playoffs last season, has to be angry about the absence of quality defensive play in front of him this year. I could see him bailing out when his contract is up. There are lots of teams out there who would love to have a guy like HL. Think of the Devils, who have to be looking for an eventual replacement for Brodeur. Then think of what he could accomplish for a defensively sound team like the Devils.

      When is this franchise going to wake up and smell the coffee? We need to get rid of Ozolinsh, Rachunek, Roszival, J. Ward, Betts, Hossa, Malik, and all the other place-holders and get some kids here NOW. Then in a couple of years we’d have a true contender.

    60. Lenny,

      Im thinking more #2 (heh) Last season the team seemed more solid defensivly, plus they had Ruccin, a pretty adept defensive center.

      #3 has merit, also i think he might just have gotten a little full of himself over time, not trying as hard.

      #1…I dont know…I grind my teeth too, pretty badly. And my insurance doesnt cover it so I never got the problem looked into. Henrik has the cash and the benefit of good doctors to make him right as rain. Medical coverage aside, I think Migranes is a little over the top to describe the pain associated with TMJ or Teeth grinding. It is not *that* distracting to signal this kind of slippage in performance. (I think the whole migranes think was a bit of PR BS)

    61. doodie:

      I think when Messier is in NYC and is asked what “his” team was his answer is Rangers and when he’s in Canada and asked what his team was it’s the Oilers. He did grow up in Edmonton after all.

      He won 5 cups there, I think it’s right that they retire his number.

    62. Doodie,

      Are you kidding or were you not alive in the 80s? Mark Messier is a thousand times more an Oiler than a Ranger. He was one of the greatest players of all time, probably the toughest of the tough, and he won NY the Cup and was incredibly amazing for that year (and during 9/11, for sure), but he is a true Oiler the same as Gretzky or Lowe or Kurri or Tikkanen.

      And out of love for ’94 alone, I won’t even get into how many years the Rangers suffered because he refused to step aside in a timely fashion…

    63. Doodie Machetto on

      I don’t know, I still think a player should only have his number retired in one place. That said, I don’t think it should have been Edmonton for Messier. All of those cup teams were Gretzky’s, even the one he wasn’t there for. Messier was always second fiddle to Gretzky. He even admitted that himself. Messier in NY was second fiddle to no one.

      Suppose Scott Niedermayer spends the rest of his career in Anaheim, they win a cup, and he retires there. I think that despite all of his great years in NJ, the Ducks should have claim to his jersey retiring because he was always second fiddle to Scott Stevens when he was in Jersey. In Anaheim, that is his team, although Pronger definitely lightens his load.

    64. You know… Maybe if you all in the media did not jump all over EVERY quote that is not cliche, the coach would not be incline to tell Henrik to hold back. Everyone knows that you guys can take one quote from a player and wirte for days about everything from what he means to how that effects the food he eats. It is you in the media that has ruined your own quotes…keep that in mind the next time you take a byte and run with it.

    65. thanks inferno for your feedback on immonen and sorry to hear of your troubles.

      Using your description, immonen almost sounds like a ranger center of the past, himself not a great athlete, certainly not a great skater, but a solid two-way player–Kelly Kisio (who always showed up, and that’s probably why he wore the “c”–what is it with #11s?).

      Good wishes and hopefully you’ll be back soon.

    66. Gravey9:
      ^You know… Maybe if you all in the media did not jump all over EVERY quote that is not cliche, the coach would not be incline to tell Henrik to hold back. Everyone knows that you guys can take one quote from a player and wirte for days about everything from what he means to how that effects the food he eats. It is you in the media that has ruined your own quotes…keep that in mind the next time you take a byte and run with it.^

      Who in the media? Whom are you talking to and whom are you talking about? I assume you were referencing what I said about the migranes,…but I am not in the media, and I was not running with a byte, I was shooting down the theory/excuse based on the Byte.

    67. Kelly Kisio ruled!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Best #11 ever.

      Honestly, what a balls to the wall hustler that guy was.

    68. Ok 4rangers and lenny, you may be 2 different people, but the “fire renney” line is really old.

      Listen, if they fired him, who do you think they’d replace him with anyway?
      Hint: It’s going to be another guy like him who takes his cues directly from Sather.

      And 4rangers, Day ONE, huh? Oooh I’m impressed. Unfortunately, seniority doesn’t equal cognizance or intelligence. Learn the difference.

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