Locked up

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Greetings from the Garden, where a newly-wealthy Blair Betts showed up at the rink driving a Bentley, surrounded by bodyguards, and sporting a new diamond-crusted tooth.

Just once, I wish I was telling the truth.

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No, turns out the Betts extension announced today is pretty much what you’d expect from a third-line center with a grand total of five goals this year: two years at $615,000 apiece. I know there’s a feeling out there that a contract extension for Betts is somehow blocking a younger, more promising player. But I doubt this is the sort of salary that another team would be unwilling to take on if the Rangers ever wanted to move him.

And besides, there’s a lot to like about Betts, who at 26 is not exactly in the sunset of his career. He works hard, he wins faceoffs, he kills penalties. I agree, he could do all of those things from the fourth line as opposed to the third. But who knows, maybe having this contract issue cleared up he’s free to go on a scoring rampage.

“I wish I could have got it done in a day so I didn’t have to think about it, but that’s just how it works,” said Betts, who began talking to the Rangers about an extension during training camp. “But I’m glad it’s out of the way so I can focus on hockey and not worry about what’s going to happen the next two years, or even what’s going to happen this summer.”

  • While we’re on the topic of contracts, it’s worth wondering where things stand with the three big ones that expire this year: Martin Straka, Michael Nylander, and Brendan Shanahan. Given all of their ages, there certainly is reason to think the Rangers might want to part ways. But here’s maybe a reason why they won’t: the one player who isn’t going anywhere is Jaromir Jagr, meaning the team will feel compelled to surround him with a reliable supporting cast. But I’m speculating.
  • Fedor Tyutin remains a game-time decision with an inflamed bursar sac. He’ll skate in warm-ups to see if he can go. But given his absence the last two days, it sounds doubtful.
  • Henrik Lundqvist is in net, and I’d expected him to go Saturday in Montreal, too.

    OK, more later…

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    34 Comments

    1. I wouldn’t mind seeing Shanny man the point on the pp tonight and putting Rosi on the bench so Prucha can play some legitimate pp minutes.
      I think Henrik should stay in net until from here on in until he asks for a break. In my opinion of course.

    2. that’s not the point, Sam. if Betts walks away after the season ends with no new contract, who cares? he is eminently replaceable.

    3. I think the Rangers just solidified their 4th line for at least the next year.

      Hopefully the Rangers manage to pick up a scoring and passing 2nd line Centre to push Cullen to the 3rd line where he belongs.

      At $615K for 2 yrs. Betts is a great 4th line/PK/Faceoff-man signing…

    4. Blueshirts2k6 on

      Very good first period all the lines looked sharp most notably the top line. Nylander while he has some faults is a great stickhandler and a deft passer, and he was at his best, as was Prucha who was flying, and even added some razzle dazzle. It seemed like Knuble was the only Flyer willing to compete.

    5. All- I have a good question. Why on Earth do games in the World Juniors end in shootouts after overtime? Is this tournament supposed to show skill of a team??? The format of the shootout is stupid itself. You pick 3 players and they each shoot 3 times. I dont see the point in playing 70 minutes of hockey in an elimination game and then having it end in a shootout. I think these rules should certainly be changed

    6. Rangers allowed stupid, unlucky goals and thanks to Straka we could celebrate win tonight. Thanks God Flyers didn’t have Forsberg.

    7. czechthemout!!!!! on

      hossa is simply priceless according to renney .he thinks hossa can chip in “with a dozen to twenty goals “.based on hossa’s stats the last 100 games (2g 3a)it looks like we are stuck with him for the next 8 to 10 years.sorry folks for a little dose of reality.

    8. czechthemout!!!!! on

      renney is currently telling everyone on the post game show that hossa is the real reason behind straka’s hat trick ,lundquist’s good game ,the rangers 3 game winning streak ,the sun coming out inthe morning and all that is goog in the world .WOW i am glad we have him for the next decade aren’t you?

    9. Hossa isnt as bad as everyonr trys to make him out to be. Those who say he is only int he NHL becasue of his brother are the same people who dont like him cause they want his brother. If he had a difrent name he would be just some young palyer getting time on the 3rd/4th lines. And I dont think anyone would have a prob with him.

    10. czechthemout!!!!! on

      sorry dude ,i don’t care if his name is hossa ,lemeueix,hull ,orr, espo or any other famous hockey last name .he simply sucks .and you wildcard are all mixed up about why he is here , it is because of his last name that he gets more rope than any player i have ever seen in my last 31 years watching this team play .

    11. czechthemout!!!!! on

      hey wildcard ,do you work for the rangers? because you agree with every move they make .

    12. Hollweg had a mike on tonight and MSG recorded the sound during the fight. Really, does anybody who loves hockey not know what it sounds like to be in a hockey fight? Whether it’s Ice, Roller, or Street. I found it hilarious. Ryan was pretty spent after the fight.He let out a big WHOOO! in the penalty box.
      On another note, who are those guys wearing Flyers uniforms out there? I don’t think I have ever seen a Flyers team look or play the way these impostors do.

    13. wildcard you couldn’t be more wrong it has nothing to do with his name it has to do with the fact that he’s inept in every single way possible. The Rangers played a very sharp first a average second, and they fell asleep and took dumb penalties in the third. Straka imo has been the best all around Rangers as he just hustles game in and game out. Orty looked alot sharper tonight while Kaspar on the other hand looked like a bigger pylon than usual, and the Meloche goal was on him as he lost position on his man. They’ll have to have a better all around effort to beat a speedy Habs team coming off a thumping, let’s hope Pock’s in the lineup.

    14. That is wildcards excuse for why everyone hates Hossa, its his name. Wrong its his play or lack thereof and his coach who gives him chance after chance after chance while he wont do that with other players.

      Go NYR

      The SO in the WJC are because of IIHF rules which allows you to use the same guy in the SO as many times as you want after the first three and allows the players to have as big a curve as they want but not the goalie and a dozen other weirdo rules. Actually those rules would be great in the NHL.

    15. that does it, instead of trading this useless player, they extend his contract. I am done. bye bye, enjoy Betts for at least 2 more years.

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