Kaspar: “Sometimes this is what happens”


Maybe he saw this coming, maybe he’s still seething inside, but the Darius Kasparaitis I spoke to this afternoon wasn’t the indignant veteran I met up with when “he was first sent to Hartford back in November”:http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/2006/11/01/you-wonder-why-the-whalers-ever-left/.
As opposed to then, when Kasparaitis made it clear that he didn’t feel like he was getting a fair shake from the Rangers, the waived defenseman today was fairly diplomatic, saying he merely has to work hard when he clears waivers and heads back to the Wolf Pack, and maybe there’s still a chance with the Rangers.

Kasparaitis said he had just returned from a run around the MSG Training Center when summoned by Tom Renney today. That’s when the coach told him he was being put on waivers.

“They said I have to play hard and they think I have a chance. You know the story,” he said by phone. “I don’t have to say anything else. It’s not been a fun year for me but sometimes this is what happens.”

I asked Kasparaitis if he still felt like he had NHL hockey left in him. This may have been the only time when his true disappointment came through.

“I do believe in myself. I just need the support and a chance,” he said. “I know they gave me that chance, but it’s tough when you feel like every game could be your last. But I don’t blame anyone. I guess in my career things happen. Last time I was in Hartford it made me work harder. And that’s what I’m going to do.â€?

I’m with a lot of you, that this was the right move given the opportunity it creates for a younger, more effective player. Truth is, Kasparaitis has been a shell of a player he once was, and if it wasn’t for the intangibles he brings in the dressing room, you wonder if he would have made it through training camp.

Still, it’s sad. All it takes is one call into the coach’s office to potentially end a career. Yes, Kasparaitis could always get back to the NHL, but right not that doesn’t seem likely.

I hope for his sake he proves me wrong.

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  1. Is the Kaspar move all the Rangers will do Sam? Why are they dragging their feet on Malik, Orr,Krog… It would be disappointing to say the least if Kaspar was the only move.

  2. Wish he could have given what he gave us last year. He did the Blueshirts proud in his short stay. He’s a hard working fun guy who is down a bit in his game and personal life. I hope he comes out the better for it.

    If the call up is D and Baranka or Girardi, we need to be patient. They are young and still green. They have risen to the AHL game level, but could be over their head for a while in the NHL.

    Hey Rangers fans: let’s not do what the organization does (damage their confidence). Give them full support.

  3. Frankly I think most fans will support any young hard working player that has a future. It’s the players in their mid to late 20s’s who have demonstrated that do not have any more upside than they’ve shown over the past season and a half that the fans are fed up with (Orr, Hall and now Krog for example).

  4. Rumors heard:

    Rangers have talked with Flyers about Forsberg. May be interested in Villie Nieminen. Carolina will have about 10 D-men on roster when four injured players come back soon; many want to move one for a forward. Rangers don’t have much cap room; believe Ozo is still credited against the cap.

  5. I’m sure part of the consideration is his salary (in the $ 3 mill range / yr with 1 yr left). Happens in football all the time except in football the waived player does not get the dough except for signing bonus whereas in hockey he does get the cash.

  6. This is exactly how I feel about Kaspar. He was a good soldier, adopted the Rangers sweater as everyone should and most have not. I don’t disagree with the club’s decision, but I do feel sorry for Kaspar.

  7. Just thinking….Girardi plays in ahl all star game sunday, so either they will call someone else up tomorrow or make another move after sunday if they also want to add girardi.

  8. no need to feel sorry for Kasparaitis. he was a good soldier, he had his day. but remember he will be making $3 million bucks, sitting next to kids who outplayed him in the pre-season, were cut by Renney, and are making $50 grand.

  9. Off-topic: who the heck were those chicks singing at the all-star game? what was that?

    Back to Kaspar: He just wasn’t the same. Too bad. He had a feistiness I had hoped would rub off on more of the Rangers.

    Good luck to him.

  10. dellapina says”The Rangers will need a little luck to get Girardi to New York. The 22-year-old, who wasn’t drafted out of junior hockey, had to be put through re-entry waivers. So if somebody claims him by noon today, the Rangers will lose him.”

  11. bklynblue,

    i was not pleased when i read that on his blog…

    someone will grab him even if only so that the rangers cant have him.

  12. there are a few comments on the blog now from folks trying to figure out why he would have to go through RE-entry waivers if he never entered in the first place. interested to see if someone can clarify.

  13. from my understanding and from a couple of posters i trust, girardi signed an nhl contract this summer so its 3 pro years or 80 nhl games before he’s subject to any kind of waiver terms. he hasn’t played 3 full pro years or 80 nhl games so dellapina is def wrong on this one.

    as far as what people are saying they’ve heard could be dawes,girardi, and callahan or girardi, callahan, and dubinsky to be called up tomorrow

  14. kovy-

    agreed, I think dellapina is confused about the rule.
    can’t see how it would apply to Girardi.

  15. I’m betting on Girardi being called up largely because I don’t think he has to clear waivers like Lampman would. They have been the Wolf Pack’s two most consistent defensemen, and Girardi was named to the All-Star team. Rangers can’t bring up anyone else tomorrow because Girardi would fill the 23-man roster limit in place of Kasper. They’d have to waive other guys to bring out others from Hartford. Hopefully anyone called up will get decent ice time in several games and not get messed with like Dawes, Pock, Immonen and Lampman, who was brought up and then sat for two games. What a waste!!!

  16. Girardi called up, apparently going through waivers, bye-bye Girardi! Maybe.

    Kaspar… I would have rather seen Malik go first, and I really do enjoy Kaspar quite a bit and have nothing but respect for him, but I don’t mind this.

    And I won’t pity him. It isn’t sad. He’s still guaranteed about three million next season, is he not?

  17. He’ll be back! I doubt it’ll be in a Rangers sweater, but the man’s got fight in ‘im. He ain’t gonna feel rejeced, keel over, an’ give up. That ain’t him. I don’t think he was given a fair chance this year either, but so it goes. Kaspar’ll be playin’ hockey ’til his knees give out, it might not be in the NHL, but he’ll be playin’. He’s not done yet.

  18. I think Kasper got a fair shot this year…he has played over Pock and other kids. It was because of last season and how he helped the team physically. He made the roster BEFORE he was ready to play every game, he got in games, he was sent to Hartford, brought back up, and than worked into the lineup, what else do you want?? He isn’t the same player; he is allot less physical, and slower. Maybe he is still good in the locker room, but I think Shanny can handle what Kasper was doing just fine. I don’t think the Rangers owe him any more than what they gave him…you can’t want the vets who aren’t playing well, due to lack of trying or ability, gone, but want Kasper staying also…those two things clash.

  19. Seamus : I can make sense of it for you…1) Renny dose things slowly and causiously. 2) Weather you like it or not, or any other Rangers fan, Malik ahs SOME trade value, so if he goes it will be via trade. I am sure they TRIED to trade Kasper before they waived him. 3) Renney might feel that 3 Kids and 3 vets is a good number for now untill he sees how Girardi dose in the NHL…its really is a risk to bring up 2 kids for D who have never played in the NHL…you could ahve all sorts of problems. But I do think that Malik will be moved or waived by the end of the trade deadline/end of the season. Just liek I think a forward will be moved or waived soon as well, and someone brough up from Hartford.

  20. SAM how about the qustions of the day? Who’s going to be on Shanahan’s line on Saturday? What are going to be the D pairings?

  21. …and what is the story with Girardi possibly clearing waivers? Is there anyone else’s being waived?

  22. I have looked all night for something that tells what the waiver rules are…the only things I could find were the players being sent down, and players being brought back up…and the vets who started in the AHL who made more than 95K a season, I couldnt find anything else…so if Giradi is on waivers…i dont know why…and couldnt find anything that would say why.

  23. Obviously, Dellpina’s got an edge I don’t when it comes to NHL regs, but I’m not understanding one bit why Girardi would need to pass waivers on his way TO New York. On the way back down, yes that makes sense. But up? That would me guys like Mark Lee and Marvin Deagon..I mean, correct me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t the same proverb apply to Thomas Pock, who was up for a cup of coffee last year? And Jed Ortmeyer,who split 03-04 between the AHL and NHL? I think there’s a bit more to the story.

    Kasparaitus: So be it. He played well here and probably deserves to finish his career in NY. But if he can’t play the game he’s getting paid $3 million to play, then something’s got to change. And hopefully, this precident will be applied to both Malik($2.5 million per), Ward($2.75 million per), Ozolinsh ($2.75 million per) and Cullen($3.1 million per), who are all getting the big bucks and not doing much of anything. So, unless Kaspar is willing to break his contract and then resign for what Pock’s getting, then he should get used to beautiful downtown Hartford until he learns how to crack skulls again.

  24. If anyone wants to try to figure it out for themselves the NHLPA,com site has a pdf of the CBA.

    Dowload it, go to page 66 “Reentry Waivers” and try to figure it out.

    I have and I must be missing something – I can’t see how he fits into any of the categories as to players requiring passing through reentry waivers for assignment from the AHL to the NHL.

    There’s nothing on TSN’s “transactions webpage” mentioning Girardi.

    Also, Berlet, who’s a real guru as to these arcane nuances has nothing in the Courant.

  25. Both Pock and Ortmeyer would be exposed to waivers. That’s why earlier in the year Pock wasn’t sent down. But I think he’s played 3 years in the AHL.

  26. i have to think Girardi won’t have to clear…as you say kovy, his contract is and nhl contract….it’s only his second year in the AHL….i don’t see where the stipulation is holding him back….



  27. Seamus

    we cut Kasper, but we keep Marek Malik.
    Sam, can you make sense of this for me?

    I agree —
    Kasper is way faster than Malik and does a bunch more hitting.

  28. Wild- I have to disagree with you on Kaspar. The argument isn’t about whether Kaspar got a fair shake for me. He’s a professional athlete and he needs to handle the ups and downs of that life, which he is rewarded well for. My issue is that he wasn’t any worse than other guys on the team and he played with an edge that is missing from our D. You can defend Malik all you want as a player, but he has been much worse than Kaspar most of his games and has had many more chances than you claim Kaspar has received. Saying that Kaspar played ahead of Pock is only 1/8 right, as they both sat for most of the season while others got carte blanche spots in the lineup. Malik has no trade value and will not be traded because of his contract- just like Kaspar can’t be traded under the new CBA. He is here because Jags and Renney like him. I’m all for accountability if the accountability is equal among all players. Kaspar as whipping boy isn’t justified, especially for the chemistry he added to the team. Again, I’m okay with the move, but saying the Rangers did right by him is not something I agree with because of the fact that all players are not held to the same standard.

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