Odds and ends


A late start to the day, in large part due to another bout of illness rolling through Blog Headquarters. We are a resilient bunch, however, so not to worry.

On then to some quick updates:

  • Yes, it sounds like the Rangers are pushing through with their plans to call up some “fresh bodies from Hartford”:http://www.courant.com/sports/hockey/hc-wolfpack0124.artjan24,0,2464162.story?coll=hc-headlines-hockey for the playoff push. Or at the very least, to fetch coffee for the veterans for the playoff push. Easy, that’s just a joke. I’m aware that this is a sensitive topic in these parts, and let’s be clear that I’m all for the infusion of youth on this team.

    One not-so-small request: If you’re going to bring players up and give them a taste of the NHL, then you have to put them in a position to succeed. That means significant ice time no matter what the price. I know we’ve seen a bit of Ryan Callahan and Nigel Dawes this year, but neither were ever put in a position where they could establish any rhythm (Jarkko Immonen was a bit different seeing he at least started on a line with Brendan Shanahan). Unless the Rangers give them that chance this time, there’s little reason to expect much better of a result.

    As for who’s on the way up, we’ll know for sure tomorrow, but the obvious favorite is Brandon Dubinsky given that he’s a natural center ice man. Stay tuned for updates.

  • Speaking of which, thanks to reader Bklynblue for passing along Don Maloney’s interview with the Schmoozer himself, Steve Somers. In case you missed it, “here it is”:http://wfan.com/topic/play_window.php?audioType=Episode&audioId=248531
  • I thought the Skills Competition last night made for pretty good entertainment, but a few small beefs: what’s with fastest skater competition using a manual stopwatch? I know, the electric timer was busted. But what’s next, some guy counting “One Mississippi…”?

    Also, the player introductions: it’s OK guys, you can smile. We all know you’re tough. But this is the All-Star game, so there’s need to look like you’re about to face a firing squad.

  • The Mystery Linemate returned last night, and dare I say, there were even traces of chemistry between us. And by chemistry I mean that I was proficient at getting out of his way and watching him go end-to-end. Sometimes less is more…

    OK, that’s all for now.

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    1. I was a bit let down by the pace of the young stars game. I know it is just exhibition, but it really seemed to be about half speed.

      Brandon Dubinsky would be an excellent start for infusion of youth – still room for a bunch more though.

      SAM – how many times per week do you play?

    2. Also, why wasn’t Blake in the fastest skater competition? He’s definitely faster than Ovechkin.

    3. Great stuff Sam. I loved the comment on the guys at the all-star game refusing to show their pearly whites.

    4. I will be really happy if Dubinskiy will come up. I would pick him over Immonnen any day. Immonnen has more experience, but Dubinskiy plays with fire and passion I think he is exactly what Rangers need right now.

    5. My guess, judging by what Bruce Berlet attributed to Renney the callups will be Dubinsky, Callahan and Girardi.

      Of course that translates into clearing three off the roster, and annointed three others as “Black Aces.”

      Will they get meaningful time to acclimate themselves to the NHL and give hints of what they’ve got?

      Hard to be optimistic based on this or-gan-EYE-zA-shun’s track record and the willingness of so many “true believers” to accept what they get and post alibis defending it.

    6. I agree Mark.

      If a few kids are called up, it will be a temporary victory for us early-season critics over Ranger mgmt. and their pollyanna posters.

      but it will depend on whether the kids are given playing time, prominent roles, patience, and permanence.

      Or will they be “Pock-checked�, put in the back seat, or showcased for trade bait.

    7. I highly doubt that Dubinsky will be called up as the very things a center must do — make plays and distribute the puck — are the two things he has been horrible at in Hartford. He will not succeed in New York right now.

    8. How about Malik on waivers? Or Hossa or J ward or A Hall?

      If kids gets called up and get to play in spots that can actually help the team, and I don’t mean Dawes on the fourth line stuff it will be a huge improvement. But if those kids make a mistake, and they will, and get benched or play 4 mins and sit then its just more of the same BS that Renney Sather and Baloney are so good at giving Ranger fans.

    9. Sam,

      Is the TSN report true? Kasper on waivers? This is finally a step in the right direction. Kasper was very slow all season and looked horrible.

    10. Longtimerangerfan on

      “We’re a year-and-a-half into rebuilding, sort or redefining the New York Rangers,” Renney said. “So we have to be very observant and aware of what’s going on [in Hartford], pay close attention to the growth of these players and make sure the fast track is not something we identify with.”
      WTF rebuilding is Renney talking about???????? Krog, Cullen, Ward and Hall????? If redefining the NYRs is making them a laughingstock of the NHL then they have succeeded!

    11. My biggest beef with the Skills comp is that there was no replay of it today. I had to go out to see a friend’s band play and missed it. Does fishing really get higher ratings than hockey?

    12. by the way the somers interview was brilliant schmooze did his homework knew exactly what to ask and who to ask about (girardi,baranka, staal, dawes, callahan, dubinsky) basically all the questions i wanted to have answers to great job my the schmoozer

    13. by the way maloney literally fell out of his chair laughing when somers said “your not gonna trade marc staal for forsberg are you?” that made me feel alot better let me tell you

    14. John : I feel for Kaspar too but this was his time. He does not play like he used to… Oh well good riddance to him…

    15. Hey,

      Kasper on waivers may be step in the right direction for the Rangers but lets not forget to respect him. He is a huge part of the organization and deserves a great deal of respect from the fans. His presence in the locker room, his solid role on D last year, his willingness to play hard through two injuries that required surgery…

      He deserves ALL of our respect.

    16. By waiving Kaspar how is that going to help the team play better? When was the last time Kaspar actually played a game? The issues are so much bigger than one player who was sitting and they still need to be addressed.

    17. for what he’s been horrible 85 percent of the time he’s been a ranger. not to mention he QUIT on his team during that ottawa game totally quit and i mentioned it that day on this board that he played himself off the team with that TOTALLY UNPROFESSIONAL DISPLAY he put on that night. well good bye and good riddance to another overpaid underperformer

    18. “Also, why wasn’t Blake in the fastest skater competition? He’s definitely faster than Ovechkin.”

      The players choose what events they want to be in, and the vets get priority. Blake didn’t want to be in the fastest skater competition and chose not to be.

      “I think I may be the only one here who is bummed about Kaspar.”

      I think you’re right.

      I like Dubinsky over Immonen on the 2nd line, as I have said numberous times, because Immonen is slow. If we wanted a slow playmaking center to fill the second line, we could have signed Jason Allison all season long. We still can because no one has pipcked him up, and wisely so. I’m interested in what Dubinsky can do.

      I’m still not crazy about Dawes, purely from a size point of view. Prucha and Straka are both very small and play the left side. Why add Dawes to make it three small wings on the left side when this team is already pushed around every single game? If they are intent on not breaking up the Jagr line, which they have repeatedly said that they are, then I’d like to see the following combinations:


      If Byers doesn’t work out, then I’d like to see Dawes, or slide Cullen over to the wing and play Immonen. If none of those things work out, I’d bring back Hossa for PK.

      I’m not going to touch defensive pairs, simply because I haven’t seen the Hartford kids play to know who would be a good match with who, but I would like to see the following defensemen:

      Rozsival, Tyutin, Pock, Girardi, Baranka, Liffiton

      I know Liffiton won’t get a shot, so in that case, I’d rather see Ward. But we all know it’ll be Malik.

      Remember how J.Ward was playing defense with Kaspar when neither were dressing? I’d rather see him on defense than Malik too.

    19. “By waiving Kaspar how is that going to help the team play better? When was the last time Kaspar actually played a game? The issues are so much bigger than one player who was sitting and they still need to be addressed.”

      Makes room on the roster and puts him in Hartford so that one of the Hartford kids can come up. Also provides a veteran D in Hartford for those who aren’t called up to learn from.

      One name tat I’m glad I haven’t heard tossed around: Bryce Lampman.

    20. I for one am not happy about Kaspar, but if it leads to more youth in the lineup, I can live with it. At the beginning of the year, Renney expained why he stuck with Malik, saying that the guy did so much for us last year that we he wanted to give him the chance to get going. Fine, but the same thing didn’t apply to Kaspar who was just as important last year and was arguably better than Malik at the beginning of the season. If we don’t bring up Liffiton or Baranka, we have the softest defense in the league. At least Kaspar pissed people off and played physical, even if he was slow. I am only happy with Tyutin,Pock and to a lesser extent, Rozy. Malik is not cutting it, Rachunek has nothing to offer except a shot from the point that is rarely used, Ward has been absolutely brutal since the first month of the season. I’d take Kaspar over all three of those guys for his team contributions alone. Tyutin is the only guy on D who hits with any authority and draws the opposing teams ire.Rozy tries and Ward used to. Our defense can get blown down like a straw hut.

    21. Jay,

      Agree with you 100%. He put himself on the line every game last year, playing through injuries, so we should respect him for that. After his surgeries we can see that he lost a step or two and maybe it will take a year to recover. Don’t think anyone is going to pick him up, so if he still wants to play and decides to go down to Hartford it might be a good move for him and the team. If he does get better or an injury occurs we can bring him back up.

    22. kovy27: Hall first, definitely. Healthy Scratch for the past 3 or 4 games. I would think that Krog would probably be next, followed by Orr, and finally Ward. I doubt they’d move Hossa.

    23. Marco, in another year he’ll be about the same speed. He’ll get faster from the injury, but will slow with age, keeping him about the same pace. They should try and deal him to a team looking for veteran depth.

    24. i don’t see orr going anywhere because he’s good to have as the extra forward. cheap young and filling his role so no problems there. however hall, jward and krog have all got to have bullseyes on them right now. i think hall and ward might actualy have some trade value though we may be able to get a few low picks for these guys. krog would actually be a perfect fit in hartford if dubinsky is brought up because he’s a monster in the ahl so if he clears waivers fine i think he’s headed for the waiver heap. and your right hossa is going nowhere

    25. just come out and say it. Malik gets preferential treatment because he is a Jagr crony. and that is a big part of what is wrong with this team, and people won’t acknowledge it. that still has not changed.

    26. doodie

      Renney will have to sit a vet D man to get a d man in if one is called up from Hartford. Who is that going to be? Pock is my guess.

      If its only spare part Kaspara and no other player this waiving of Kaspar does nothing to help the team play better. The same problems are still there.

      My hope is a bunch of guys are sent to hartford to provide “vetern” leadership. But I’m not holding my breath.

    27. Pock has been playing the best defense for a couple of weeks now, I’m sure even Renney has noticed that.

    28. No, but a guy can hope, can’t he?

      Besides, if the whole point is to infuse the Hartford kids into the lineup, then it would totally negate the point to scratch Pock. Besides, they need to get him to 80 games total this season or he’s an UFA (someone here had said that, and I took them at their word). Now, it’s mathematically impossible for them to do that now. So unless they want him to sign somewhere else, they’ll give him significant playing time.

    29. They aren’t going to waive Orr. He’s young, cheap, fills his role when asked and can still be taught. I doubt they waive Hall. He’s underperformed here but he still has age on his side as well as size and could probably bring back something in a trade, especially if part of the package. If there plan is to bring up 3 people, don’t they still have to waive one or two more beside Kasper? Probably Krog and Ward. Don’t think you will see Hossa waived, you won’t.

    30. from what i heard of that maloney interview id actually be surprised if dawes,girardi,and callahan AREN”T called up.and id suffice to say that dubinsky will probably be in there as well. if he’s not we can actually try out the idea we had last week of breaking up the first line and putting dawes in at left wing with nylander and shanny with prucha on the first line with jagr and straka. this actually makes the most sense to me because then hossa (renney’s love) gets to play with cullen and callahan and thats not a bad third line at all.

    31. I have mixed feelings on the Kaspar demotion. A soft team just got even softer. At least Kaspar had a reputation for throwing hard hits. Malik should have been the one.

    32. Kovy, if Dubinsky is not called up, I would accept that scenario. If he is, see above for why I don’t like a Dawes call up.

    33. For all of you that are talking about Kaspar’s toughness- he has not been tough this season, at all. He’s been a pylon.

      And I’m sorry, if your “tough” defenseman doesn’t throw down once in a while, he’s just a cream puff. I don’t think Kaspar has fought once in a Ranger uniform.

    34. actually, kovy those 3 lines sound pretty good.

      which proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that they will NEVER happen.

      this is Tom Renney we are talking about remember?

    35. well i agree with you to an extent over dawes. if dubinsky ISN”T called up it makes sense to put him on the wing on a top 2 line because he’ll get a real shot with a playmaker like nylander. if he is called up well you’ve got three smurfs on the left side and dawes is now playing with cullen who isn’t the best guy for him to be working with. but he’s got speed to burn and has def worked on the other side of the puck so im not as worried to put him there now if he’s coming with dubinsky. but honestly the more of these kids they bring up the better. imo there are 5 guys that can play right now and they are talking about 5 guys so i can’t complain however i don’t think we’ll see baranka just yet.

    36. I don’t want Orr waived. He’s the only guy on the team that can win a legit fight. Not that we don’t love you Ryno, but you’re not the fighter Orr is.

      Orr has knockout ability, something I’ve seen in a couple fights this year.

      Krogg and Kaspir waived is a good start, but I hardly see Ranger management putting rookies in the lineup halfway through the season.

      No I see the Rangers trading either JWard, Hall and or a defenseman, maybe Pock (because of his pending UFA status) in order to bring in another veteran to play center and maybe give Callahan his shot.

      Either way I think the Rangers are “screwed”. The Cullen at center experiment they thought was going to work, isn’t. So therefore they need a 2nd line center. And who exactly is just going to give away a 2nd line center for a combination of Hall, Ward and maybe a pick? I guess we’d have to look through the rosters of teams that are “out of the race” and there aren’t too many of them at least there are none in the east, minus the Flyers, who we most likely won’t deal with during the season.

      There is Sergie Federov in Columbus who might fit in on the second line and has played with Shanny before, but I wouldn’t give up the house for him and then there’s Doug Weight, who’s been a Ranger and won a cup with Carolina last year playing with Ward and Cullen, but he’s up there in age.

      Right now I don’t see many options out there and when demand is high and supply low, the cost goes up, and in the Rangers case, the cost of young players is just too high to take, so I hope the Rangers sit still or at least get Federov for Hall, who might fit in well in Hitchcocks system.

    37. I don’t want anything traded for Forsberg, Federov and Weight. How many years out of the playoffs trading for guys like that?

      For once, keep your assets stay in house and let the chips fall where they will.

    38. o come on don’t even tell me i got waived again i just got here christ. wait o kaspar got waived oh ok.

    39. “The players choose what events they want to be in, and the vets get priority. Blake didn’t want to be in the fastest skater competition and chose not to be.”

      Briere and Ovechkin are hardly vets. If you can show me where it says Blake chose not to be, that’d be great.

    40. How about Yanic Perrault from PHO? Second-line guy who is a very good face-off guy and would benefit from feeding Shanny…

    41. Well if he is the worst fighter in the league then that doesn’t say much for the R’s. But I can recall him beating up Goddard last year and he punched out someone on ATL this season.

    42. Cut the crap with the Orr stuff. Orr’s wins in the NHL:

      Belak I
      Godard I
      Godard II
      Jansen – Preseason.

      McGrattan – 12/29/06
      Jansen – 11/14/06

      Damage inflicted:

      Belak I – Broken Nose
      Godard I – Broken Nose
      Roy – Broken Orbital Bone

      Knock Downs:

      Godard II

      So, enough of the Orr never wins crap. It’s old, silly and false. He doesn’t win them all, true, but nobody ever does or did. He’s only 24 with the equivalent of less then a full season of NHL games played. He does ok for an inexperienced kid. To get really good, you have to ply your trade. You need to do it alot and Orr doesn’t get that chance with NY. So, I think he hasn’t done bad for a semi-regular. Remember, he possesses severe hurting power and not many guys possess that. Check out the YouTube clips for proof. Enough already.

    43. I’d like nothing better than to be positive about this team but they have showed nothing to warrant that. Of course I want to see them win, I’m a Ranger fan, but it’s the fans who remain positive with this negative organization that delay changes that will change things, hopefully for the best.

      Why? Because you buy tickets to support that idiot Dolan and as long as he is making money, there will be no changes.

      I’m not crucifying those of you who have season’s tickets. Actually, you are all innocent victims at the mercy of an inept organization and they should be crucified.

    44. I’ve been saying it all along. For the young kids in the rangers organization to get better and learn nhl hockey they must play all year, not 1-game and say they stil need to work on there game in hartford. Enough already Sather, maloney and renney, enough, please. I am tired of this regime signing over the hill veterans and not giving there kids in the minor leagues a chance. I have said this many times this year on this blog that this is the new NHL and the new nhl is directed towards youth, speed and skills. I understand that when sather became GM the rangers farm system was depleted because of the trades the rangers made to bring in players to win the cup but that was over ten years ago so there are no more excusues.

    45. Hey 4RANGER,
      I couldn’t agree more with your statement about Jagr. I stated early this season that the rangers should go with youth and trade Jagr and get some good picks and get rid of his buddies. I’ve seen enough of the skating in circles, passing the puck and going backwards instead of forward. The way i see it is the kids couldn’t do no worse than this team is doing now with what they have.

    46. I hate to say it because he has been great in the locker room, but Kevin Weeks may have some value. LA has two goalies down and recently signed Shawn Burke to play. Maybe a trade of Weeks and maybe Hall or Cullen for Craig Conroy could work out well for both teams.

    47. I don’t think you want Montoya up here riding the pines as Lundqvist’s back-up. He’s better served playing a lot down in Hartford IMHO. I was questioning why Sather didn’t approach a desperate team like LA and wave Weekes in their face also. But, now that they signed Burke, they won’t trade for Weekes.

    48. The way i see it, forget the playoffs, even if we made the playoffs it would be one and done. The only direction to go is to clean up this roster by waiving or trading and than just let the kids play. I bet you at least there will be energy in rangers hockey and alot more fun to watch than what they have now. I don’t want to hear about trading for over the hill veterans which is like putting a band-aid on a cut. I don’t want to see anymore quick fixes just to make the playoffs, when are ranger fans going to learn.

    49. I had suggested Weekes to LA, but I think LA has accepted that they aren’t going to make tha playoffs and so they won’t trade for a guy who isn’t that great. Besides, the Fukufuji stuff was great press.

      Burke will finish the season there as the #1, no matter how he plays.

      And when I have time, I will respond to the Orr is a good fighter post, because I had done so earlier in the season and the proof is in the pudding, he’s a loser. What I wouldn’t give for Boogaard in Minnesota.

    50. As for why they didn’t offer Weekes to LA before they signed Burke: LA probably got in touch with Tampa and just said, put him through reentry and we’ll grab him. He’s MUCH cheaper than Weekes would have been(not that Weekes would have cost them much), and having accepted that they are out of the playoffs chase, decided Burke was the better option.

    51. Tom G- I would be for a quick fix if I thought the team was only one or two players away. It’s clear they aren’t, which is why I agree with you.

    52. I’m am not a fan of Orr either. When he does get chances to play, he does stupid things. Just look at his suspension. He isn’t good with the puck and is often out of position. What I would give to have Darren Langdon and Jeff Beukeboom back!

      Get rid of Orr. Having a guy who only fights (and doesn’t win) will not work in the new NHL.

      Anything on Korpikoski? I thought he played pretty well in preseason.

      And Liffiton played with Pock last year, they know each other well. If you’re gonna bring up another young defenseman, why not play these two together? Atleast they have chemistry.

    53. Hey Doodie M,
      It was pretty clear to me in the first month of the season that this team wasn’t even close to one or two players. I also stated that I didn’t like the moore for hall trade in the beginning of the season and i remember you telling me they didn’t need moore because they signed Cullen. Well, what do you think now about the moore trade. I still rather have moore playing with ortmeyer and hollwegg and signing cullen was just another blunder by sather. There is no secret with me. I’ve been bashing sather from the start of the season. heck, after five years as GM of the rangers I’ve been bashing him.

    54. Hey P.W. are you actually disputing these facts?

      Orr’s wins in the NHL:

      Belak I
      Godard I
      Godard II
      Jansen – Preseason.

      McGrattan – 12/29/06
      Jansen – 11/14/06

      Damage inflicted:

      Belak I – Broken Nose
      Godard I – Broken Nose
      Roy – Broken Orbital Bone
      Rullier – Broken Nose

      I mean, grow up. It’s ok not to like a guy for whatever reason but to blatantly ignore the facts just makes you look dutifully ignorant.

    55. I also remember stating that Kasper was done and I took some heat from fellow bloggers about that and so now look, they put him on waivers. I just son’t understand what games fellow ranger fans are watching. When I saw Kasper play he was falling down alot and taking himself out of play. The guy is done, he has no more legs.

    56. But what you gyus did not mention about Burke is that he left in the 3rd period in his first game with dihydration….

    57. Tom G…yes, it is amazing that people, to this very moment on the next page, are rightfully targeting Malik, but they will not admit WHY he gets preferential treatment, because they refuse to take off the blinders and say that Jagr’s cronyism is hurting the team.

      I don’t say get rid of Jagr, I say get rid of his undue influence on running the team.

    58. Gratton

      The statistics you have presented are faulty. If you are going to present something like that, you need both sides. Who has he lost to??

      I have two main beefs with Orr. Number one is when he fights, it is often at inopportune times in the game that could cost the team more than help. The second is his overall hockey skill. What does Orr bring offensively or defensively besides stupid penalties and hurtful errors or misplays? Atleast guys like Morrison, Jansen and Roy contribute in other ways than sanding the bench in the penalty box. I’m not saying cut him, but some time in Hartford to develop his game wouldn’t be a bad idea. I would rather see Isbister play at this point.

    59. “And when I have time, I will respond to the Orr is a good fighter post, because I had done so earlier in the season and the proof is in the pudding, he’s a loser. What I wouldn’t give for Boogaard in Minnesota.”

      Save it. It’s nothing that hasn’t been incorrectly said before. Oh, Boogaard got his panties handed to him by Godard last week. Yeah, that Godard. The guy Orr bitch-slapped twice.

    60. P.W. –

      I think he could use some time in Hartford. The only problem is, I believe he has to clear waivers and given his relatively cheap pricetag and the fact the NY made him their first off-season signing, I don’t know if they want to take the chance on losing for absolutely nothing.

      I admitted Orr has his share of losses. McGrattan, Brashear, Peters, my only point was to respond to folks that continually claim that he never has won, when he clearly has. That was the only reason I posted those results.

    61. Tom

      We all want that. I want young kids playing. But I don’t think, based on history, the Rangers are going to scrap their plan of signing AWard, AHall, Cullen, Jagr, Straka, Rachunek and Shanahan by bringin up a bunhc of kids. #1 the veterans won’t like it at all, they’ll see it as a slap in the face the way I look at it.

      Maybe Callahan and another Hartford kid, but I honestly think Sather and Renney think they are one 2nd line center away from being a contender in the east, and if they can get a guy like Federov and/or Weight they could have a chance.

      If they are going to go with some youth movement at the big club then I say trade Ward back to Carolina or Detroit and trade Cullen as Well and get some picks and some youth in return, but I don’t think Matry would have re-uped for another year if he thought the Rangers were going to have another firesale and not go for the Cup this year and next.

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