What I know and what I don’t know


By now you’ve probably heard some of the trade rumors floating around the Rangers of late, including one that would have sent Adam Hall and Petr Prucha to St. Louis in exchange for Martin Rucinsky.

I can’t say I have too much insight into it (and it sounds like it’s unlikely anyway) other than Rucinsky and Prucha’s name have already come up plenty this year in potential Ranger deals; and I’d imagine the team would have no problem seeing the dismal Adam Hall Era in New York come to a premature end.

Still, here’s what I do know: giving up on Prucha would a mistake. I don’t know care how much he’s struggled to recapture his form of a season ago, something still tells me it’s the very sort of deal that would haunt the Rangers down the road (see: Marc Savard, Sergei Zubov, even Alex Kovalev in Pittsburgh).

Is a player like Rucinsky better equipped right now to help the Rangers with their playoff push? Probably. But I can’t imagine it’s worth it. I’m not nearly as adamant as some of you about the whole play-the-kids philosophy. But this is one example where the Rangers might be better served missing the playoffs with a young player than getting there without him.

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  1. I definitely don’t do Prucha or Dubinsky for old man Rucinsky but as I said before, I do Prucha for Orpik in a NY minute.

  2. what boggles my mind the most about this situation is that we could have had Rucinsky in the off-season for nothing, and now it seems that we want to give them Prucha instead. AND he’s old, getting older.

    we’re basically tossing them Prucha for free.

  3. Sam, does this sound like just a silly rumor to you or do you believe Sather is this stupid to actually dream up a trade like this?? For what it’s worth, I don’t believe it.

  4. I really hope this rumor won’t happen. I am still haunted by steals of the past like Middleton, Zubov, Norstrom, Ridley/Miller.

    As others have said they could have signed Rucinsky in the offseason. I don’t want Malone for PP either.

  5. I don’t believe the Prucha & Hall for Ruchinsky rumor for one reason and one reason only — St. Louis would NEVER turn that down! Seems to me that Larry Brooks is showing off his creative writing skills again.

  6. prucha for rucinsky is just plain silly. if it were true how could st. louis turn down this deal, especially the fact that JD watched prucha score 30 goals last yr. Can’t believe this is true…

  7. Sam, I saw Jeff Vanderbeek talking about the new Devils arena the other night. It looks great! But who the heck is going to want to go to Newark? BTW if you need a bodyguard when the Rangers visit the Devs next year my prices are very affordable.

  8. Sam why are the NYR so intent on their marketing plan to just reach the playoffs so they can raise next years’ ticket prices? Answer is the $ even though they are such a small % of cablevision. Why does Dolan keep Sather & Thomas as his GM”s? Answer he doesn’t know any better. Would Sather replace Renney this year? Answer in a NY minute so he can CHA ( cover his a ). Why would Don Maloney go on MSG & say 8-10 guys will be NHL ready over the next 2 years? Answer so they can continue to say they are in the first year & a half of a rebuild. When they are really trying a competitive rebuild go for the Cup mentality and still have a complex on what happened to Blackburn. Why did Maloney insist on H. Jessimen @ #7? Because he was big & from Conn. So why call NYR fans the greatest in the world, when they get treated like idiots? Because they can;) Seriously, has most of the team & management tuned out Renney in part because he’s too nice? Answer?

  9. rangers for life on

    jessiman was drafted under the pretenses of the old NHL rules. the rangers didnt have a crystal ball telling them that guys like jessiman in the new NHL take secondary scoring roles to guys like afinagenov.

  10. sam, I’m surprised you’d even float an exchange like that . . . sounds more like an msg i.o.u for j. davidson (deferred pension plan?).

    forget rucinsky, if any retread is needed it would be sykora, who not only leads the oilers in pts, but is hardly 30 y.o.

    and orpik, no. He’s young but so far he’s more of a tough-guy-wannabe, who dangerously uses his stick. I’d go for the real thing: sheldon souray.

    and sean, for your newark quip, all I can say is that I hope you have all the bodyguards you deserve.

  11. so that’s why jessibust was demoted to the echl. Under the new rules he has even an easier time of standing in front, epecially since he’s not a good skater. Any other excuses for a mistake no matter which NHL , that he’ll probably never get a taste of no matter how much Shanny tries to teach him?

  12. Jessiman wasnt draftd way of the board or something…come on. Other teams had him near the same place the Ragners did….its not like he was projected for the 2nd or 3rd round. And he was #12 not #7…anyway, He CAN still develope, even though the ECHL isnt the same level of competition, but he dose have points in 6 of 8 games in the ECHL with 10 total pts. He is only Half way through his second pro season, give him a chance to develope. NY fans are NOT patient enough…and some call for a total rebuild HA!

  13. Well, Newman, if Rucinsky brings a bag of pucks with him, then that’s what you’ll be getting.

    Onetimer: Sam didn’t really float that, it was in Larry Brooks’ latest piece. Sam’s too legit. Hopefully.

  14. bklynblue : another thing…even the people I talk to that Hatred Jessiman before he was drafted say his skateing is really good…and that he has all te speed he would need for the NHL…the knock on his skateing is that he dosnt stay on his feet sometimes…but his skateing isnt bad its one of his strngths…you didnt know what number he was drafted, you dont seem to know his skills….maybe you should do your homework before you start ripping the team for stuff…this isnt opinions…its facts that are out there.

  15. Im pretty sure John Davidson is too in love with Marty Rucinsky to trade him. I he wants to trade Ruinsky for Hall what are we waiting for???

  16. Does anyone know this guy/ girl/? , who seems to be not playing with a full deck of cards only wild ones, if whatever it is , the self elected replacement to the old Chief who use to run around MSG with an Native American headress? He obviously can’t read or write since it was a question about why Maloney insisted ,not on him being #7. Must be the NYR scout who recomended him.

  17. Wildcard – Jessiman was a reach (should have been late 1st rounded at best). Many fans at the time (incl myself) wanted Parise instead. Jessiman will not make the NHL – and that is not a matter of being patient.

    You really have to try to clean up your act re spelling, etc. Your posts are getting harder and harder to read. Think quality over quantity in your posts.

  18. FormerMajorJuniorGM on

    I read the article from Larry Brooks, and Prucha for Rucinsky likely will NOT happen. Not that Rucinsky wouldn’t be a top 6 upgrade over Prucha, but that since he signed a two year deal (and he is over age 35), his salary is guaranteed against the cap. That is why Slats didn’t offer him two years over the summer. Having said that, I would NOT doubt the interest in Malone and Orpik. Both are hard nosed, in their prime, and North American players –that the Team has indicated they need not only on the ice but in the locker room.

  19. a casual observer on

    FMJGM is correct. I think you will see us move away from Euro hockey and more towards the North-South hockey that is required to go anywhere in the playoffs. Malone and Orpick are possibilities.

  20. let’s get real here. Prucha replaced Rucinsky last year when he was injured, and did a better job, that is why he kept the job, so Rucinsky is no upgrade over anything, not to mention the contract, age and all other problems.

    and the biggest need for the Rangers is a 2nd line C, and on D. Rucinsky solves none of that.

  21. Wildcard – while the above statements might be a bit off base, I must say, there was NOTHING about the kid that stood out last spring when I saw him. He looked slow, didn’t seem to have a clue where he was supposed to be on the ice, and worst of all, he didn’t use one iota of his size and strength. He looked a bit like a lumbering dinosaur out there. In fact, I came into the game several minuts late and first mistook nim for Falardeau…after a solid year in the AHL, Hugh should be showing some signs of improvement. Fact is, he’s not. I’ve pointed this out before and I’ll point it out again: the Kings’ Brian Boyle is the only other guy from the 2003 draft that hasn’t skated in the NHL; Boyle and the Caps’ Eric Fehr are the only guys (including Marc-Andre Fleury) who haven’t scored at least ONE POINT in the NHL. Jessiman, as we all know, hasn’t been able to keep his spot in Hartford. After hearing tales about him busting his tail over the off-season -and after hearing Shanny was giving him pointers -I was hoping big Hugh would make some sort of impact with the Wolfpack, but low and behold…The Rangers picked Jessiman because he was a “hometown boy” that grew up a fan. They figured he’d mature at Dartmouth, but what he did instead was bust his foot, then have a sub-par year before making the moronic decission to go pro. He was a late-bloomer to begin with and could have REALLY benefited from NCAA competition. Unfortunately, he decided to stagnate in Hartford, where he might have the skills to play the game, but hasn’t one ounce of hockey sense to put those skills into motion. I only hope for one of two things: first that I’m dreadfully wrong and Hugh becomes a wrecking ball of a player, or second, the Rangers cut their losses and trade him before they end up getting an AHL retreads like Martin Sonnenburg or Jeff Taffe back in return for him.

  22. I love how Wildcard defends Ranger youth as long as they stay in the minors. As long as they know their place. But if there is a suggestion that one should be called up before age 25, he goes into contorted rantings that management is always right, and won’t admit that he is really a plant(a potted one)for the front office.

  23. Ranger Fan in Wisconsin on

    Please, please get rid of Hall!! Very bad trade to begin with! Would rather have Malone and Orpik (and Prucha) than Rucinsky.

  24. czechthemout!!!!! on

    it is time to fire the enire scouting department with the exception of the european group.they are the only ones who consistantly deliver talent to the orginization.also “promote” slither to soe post where he can not do any more harm to the team.make rockstrom the gm.

  25. Rucinsky: if there’s even an ounce of credibility to that rumor, then there are some serious screws loose in Sather’s skull. I have a feeling there was more to the trade than what Brooks listed. For the love of god, if Prucha is going to St. Louis, then a name like Johnson(and not Ryan), Berglund or Stempniak better be comming the other way…And anyone who thinks Ruca is an “upgrade” over Prucha had best get off the drugs…As for Malone and Orpik, I’ve got litte opinion, other than Malone looks like he could turn out as good as Adam Hall did this year(young, North American player with grit, possible power forward…sound familiar?)…Maybe we could simply trade Hall to the Pens and get Moore back. I’d rather that than any of the moves that have been pitched thus far…And can someone PLEASE explain Krog’s presence on this roster. I’m not getting what he brings over any of the other fourth liners on this team…I’m understanding he didn’t play bad, but 31, a spare-part in every organization he’s played in? I’m now wondering why they didn’t just keep Isbister up.

  26. czechthemout!!!!! on

    tdchi-krog did not do a single thing on the ice at all.he looked lost.could be because he did not yet practice with the team.they did put him out during the short 5on3 to win a face off wich he promptly lost.if he was a ranger rookie,yoday he would be heading back to hartford.i bet wildcard thinks he played well though.

  27. czechthemout!!!!! on

    wolfpack won again today 4-1.callahan,dubinsky ,byers continue to light it up .callahan 2g 1a,byers 1a,dubinsky 1a,dawes 1g 1a,girardi 1g 1a.yup they need more seasoning down there,especialy callahan and his 24 goals in 35 games.

  28. c.t.o—

    wildcard will tell you that they need MUCH more seasoning. they won’t be ready until his boss, Glen Sather, says they are.

  29. Prucha for Orpik are you delusional. Orpik is a hardworking tough little talent D man.. They should be a dime a dozen.

    Prucha is 23, trade him would be idiotic………….

  30. prucha and Hall for Rucinsky is ridiculous. why not throw in Dawes and Dubinksy also..Rucinsky is pushing 40.

  31. Hugh Jessiman question:

    Is it true that Hartford does not do well developing big, tough two way players? I have heard that they concentrate more on small and speedy now.

    I watched Greg Moore play up here, and he had a good camp. I heard that he and Jessiman were buried in Hartford….

    anyone? Sam??
    PS: Prucha for anything old is just stupid.

    Prucha SHOULD have shown up in camp 10-15 lbs stronger but did not. He plays like a bigger guy and will get hurt if he does not bulk up. I think this has been a real learning season and he could bounce back, end up with 25 goals, and still be only 25. What is Ruchinsky, 35 or something?

  32. I think Prucha has a shot at 30 goals. We have seen he can easily catch fire. IOne thing you must realize is that he scored most of his goals in powerplay situations and Shanahan has taken much of if not all of his PP time

  33. Wildcard the people that come here are all NYR fans with different opinions. I’m sure there is disagreement even on the SS Minnow. Sather is not infallible. You must be young. I hope you’re over 25, but talking like a groupie does not become anyone. Keep the faith, & calm down unless you enjoy the attention.

  34. Seamus-

    That is a very odd question. Are you asking if the coaches at hartford don’t know how to develop power forwards, or were you asking about Jessiman?

  35. Prucha isn’t having the season he did last year, but regardless he may be the most underappreciated Ranger. Last time I checked his points per minutes played is 5th on the team after the Big 4 and is well ahead of Cullen who is 6th.

    He has also been at a disadvantage this season in that he has been completely misused by Renney. When he has been out of Rennney’s doghouse, Prucha gets to skate at even-strength with Cullen, who can’t pass for sheet, as his pivot and Shanahan, another target man, as his opposite winger. Not an ideal situation for a goal scorer.

    But even worse has been the numerous instances in which the coach has relegated Prucha to the 3rd or 4th line, where he has had to rely on the offensively inept Betts or Ward to set him up.

    So Prucha isn’t playing as poorly as perceived, and there is a reasonable explanation as to why his goal-scoring is down.

    And it’s funny in a sad way how many other forwards on the team get a pass on their pathetic point totals because we are told how defensively sound they are. Please, we don’t need a roster full of one-way players.

  36. It started with Jacques Lemaire and it continues under Claude Julien. It started in 1993-94 and it continues in 2006-07. Coaches come and go. Eras come and go. Lou Lamoriello doesn’t. Neither does Martin Brodeur. Neither do the Devils.

    Get this: Sixteen of the 20 players who comprise the basic lineup have never played for any NHL team other than the Devils, with a 17th – Jim Dowd – having begun his career in New Jersey in 1994 before returning this year to complete his life cycle. They are Devils, nothing but Devils, and they know nothing else.


    but the Rangers are mostly team-switching mercenaries who have no allegiance to the crest they wear, only to the checks they cash. Homegrown team in NJ, but not in NY. And the success of bringing up and growing your own players is obvious.

    Wake up, Rangerland.

  37. Orpick and Malone would be nice additions to the team, and both are still relatively young and both are big and strong.

    But Slats seems to be blinded by big, strong players sometimes. He’s assembled a team of big players who play way too soft.

    Hall for Moore was supposed to be an upgrade in grit and size, but it was only an upgrade in size. Moore is a far more effective player than Hall will ever be, but because he is smaller he is cast aside.

    Make no mistake, if Ryan Callahan was 6-3/220, and Marcel Hossa was 5-10/185, their places would right now be switched.

    I can see Slats trading Prucha,no doubt. Put down any dollar amount on the table and I will match is that Slats would never have a team with Prucha, Dawes and Callahan. Pick your favorite one and figure that only one of those players will be on the team in the future.

    The only prospects in this system with a chance to play on the Rangers in the next year as long as Slats is in charge are Baranka, Liffiton, Staal, Korpikoski, Dubinsky and Callahan (who will be the one smallish guy allowed).

  38. We didn’t sign ruchinsky in the off season simply for money. Why would we ever give up Prucha or any other highly considered young player for him, plus be saddled with his contract next year, too (I believe he is signed through next season).

    Giving up on Prucha is foolish. Maybe if he was used better and Renny showed more confidence in him, he would be at the same scoring level as last year. You can see that he has the fight in him and the moves. Just needs the confidence to finish more.

  39. Prucha is a lightning rod isn’t he? There is such a difference of opinion on him. While he is not afraid of contact and can steal pucks, he is small, he is NOT FAST North-South. He is quick laterally. He is reliant on his PP time to get his goals, he makes bad break out passes, and can be a defensive liability. That’s why he finds himself on the bench sometimes. Since he did score 30 goals last year, there are some that feel he is someone to build around. The question is; If given the same opportunities, is Prucha a better player than Ryan Callahan, or Nigel Dawes? The fact that his name comes up, should tell you that the Rangers’ ‘braintrust’ doesn’t believe he is.

  40. Maybe it’s better to have Rucinsky instead of Prucha just to make playoffs this year but long term it’s terrible mistake.

  41. It is hard to believe that they would do something this stupid, but then again, Renney scratches kasperminus and plays Malik. No matter how poorly Kasper has played, my dead grandmother would be better than Malik. this is really sad.

    Then, Rudderless Renney goes on to warn Kasper, using the press, not to do what he did in Hartford and cause negativity to be heard.

    This “new age” Ranger-thing stinks. I think Renney would be awesome working with High School kids. I’d love Jacques Lemaire to come to the Rangers and teach us team work, team defense, and how to build, what Shanny says, a winning mentality.

    I do have a fear:

    Is Jagr behind this push for Ruchinsky? If so, this is a very, very selfish act (as his baggage has suggested). A push for the playoffs? we’re not a Cup contender, and may not even be a playoff team. We have not seen a decent playoff game in 10 years.

    I cannot believe that Krog (or whatever his name is) along with Malik, Kasper, HOssa, and Carol R are taking the place of kids……………


  42. Pemoco,

    I was really asking both……I have heard that Hartford coaching staff does not do well developing power players, as perhaps Ottawa does in their system.

    Second question: Is Jessiman a bust, or have we had a hand in not playing him properly, or a combo of both?

    I ask in ignorance. I really do not know what his story is, but remember that the NY Rangers were NOT the only team high on this kid………..

    Also, anyone know what happened to Maine’s Greg Moore? I also heard that he has been used poorly in Hartford, not allowed to work through mistakes, and very discouraged by the organization. Heard also that when Kasperminus was down there, he made things SO MUCH WORSE that the coaching staff was BEGGING MSG to bring him back to the Garden.

    comments? Sam, any truth to these things??? See how Renney is using the press to warn Kasper now? Might indicate some truth to these things…….

  43. Seamus –

    The Jagr angle is a VERY good point, and good really be behind all of it. I’ve noticed a little bit of the “old Jagr” at times this season in his comments to the press and his mannerisms on the ice. Not what I like to see.

  44. Prucha is similar to many of the players on this team who are of 4th line caliber. The poor kid can’t create his own chances, not to mention when somone (like orpik) blows on the kid, fe falls down.

    I like Prucha, I would like for him to succeed, but I just don’t see it happening.

  45. just a sidenote type Question:

    what do people honestly think that the Rangers could get for Jessiman now, or ever, in a trade since he can’t even keep himself in the AHL? (demoted to ECHL)

  46. prucha is going nowhere. forget it. he’s part of the core and management knows it. you can add dubinsky, staal, tyutin, lundqvist, and korpikoski to that list as well. they are considered untouchables to management so forget it. and as shaky a year as prucha has had he’s still got 10 goals on the year and if he has a strong second half will probably finish with a VERY respectable 20 plus. im not worried about him. he’s got the right attitude and is hungry to go to the net and get the same goals he got last year. he’ll be fine.

    this rumor is typical of larry brooks on a slow newsday. he throws things like this out there to get people crazy and reading his articles. its brilliant on his part but he knows damn well it never was offered and never happened. two reasons im absolutely POSITIVE OF THIS well 1. st louis would have to be brain dead to turn down a 26 year old powerforward in hall and a 24 year old SNIPER in prucha for a guy thats 36 years old has another year on his contract and is part of a last place team. NO ONE would offer them more for him so stl would have absolutely jumped out of their chair if that was the offer. yet they didn’t. 2. the rangers are aggressively looking for a second line center NOT another marginal winger. they also hold prucha like i previously stated in very high regard and and they could have had marty for free over the summer. do you really think they are dumb enough to admit they made THAT mistake while trading a fan favorite like prucha? no they aren’t. lets not even spend another minute on this rumor

  47. Like Ryan Callahan couldn’t be that top six forward? You need Martin “perimeter” Rucinky?

    I can hear the phone conversation between Sather and JD.

    JD: “Hello Glen, and how are things back in NY”?

    Satherr: “Having a good year. JD”

    JD: “Uh, huh”

    Sather: “Say… how about i give you Hall for Marty Rucinsky?”

    JD: “And why would I want to do that?”

    Sather: “Ok, I’ll give you Prucha too.”

    JD: “Glen, I think you should hang up the phone, calm down and think about this one.”

    JD: “Yeah, Margie? Get me Sam Rosen, he’s got to hear this one.” “Yuck yuck”

  48. Sam,

    Noting that today is MLK day, I was reminded of a question I had last week:

    Do you know if the Ottawa game was the first time two black players have started in net against each other in NHL history? Either way, it’s sort of a cool tribute to how far things have come, and a nod to MLK, Grant Fuhr, Tony McKegney and other pioneers.

  49. Seamus: Can’t offer much insight about the coaching staff in HFD, but seeing as though they went from the worst team in the league to whipping one of the best(Manchester over the weekend), I have a feeling the coaching ain’t bad there. Keep in mind, the cupboard has been bare in Hartford for a while. Guys like Balej, Wiseman, Giroux (throw in Federov and Taffe for good messure)as well as several others that topped the lists down there were already cast away by their respective draft clubs.

    In fact, this is the first year in a long time that I can remember the club suiting a team comprised mostly of Ranger draft picks and out of juniors/college signees. Right now, there are only eight guys on the roster who weren’t originally picked up by the Rangers. That said, I think the staff down there has done a pretty bang-up job of creating a team that for now, looks an outside contender for the Calder Cup. I can’t imagine their stifling guys down there, especially with the emergence of Callahan.

    As for Jessiman, he’s a bust, plain and simple. He was a high-risk-high-return pick that has prooven a failure. If anything, I’d fault his injury at Dartmouth and his subsequent decission to turn pro rather than spend his senior year there as the main factors in this failure. IMO, he coaches in Hartford can fine-tune guys, but are largely working on developing a system as a whole. A guy like Jessiman needs a coach that will help him on the fundementals of the game and force him to use some of his hulking frame. I doubt they have time for that in Hartford.

  50. Chris,

    I think Emery and Weekes started against each other earlier this season too, and perhaps even once last season. Either way you are right, it is a testament to how far North America has come.

  51. good question Chris. I’d be curious what the answer is.

    Sam, I have an “insiders” question for you. As you see these players daily, both in equipment and in street clothes, I’m wondering how accurate is the listed height of players.

    Awhile ago, I read in a canadian paper a writer wondering how Prucha can be listed at 6ft, when he looks no more, acc. to the writer, 5’9″. Given your Hugh Jessiman stature, do you find that you’re looking down on most of these players in street shoes, rather than skates? Kidding aside, how accurate is listed height in your experience?

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