Tying up some loose ends before the weekend

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And here I thought I might be lacking for material in this endeavor. Boy was I wrong. Anyway, a couple of things to cover as I catch my breath from a busy day:

  • After getting into the whole Jaromir Jagr shootout saga at practice today, I accompanied four Rangers — Ryan Hollweg, Blair Betts, Marcel Hossa, and Pascal Dupuis — up the road to the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, where they visited with sick children. Let me say this: we can discuss ad nauseum all the things about the Rangers that makes us scratch our heads, and heaven knows they’ve given us plenty of material of late. But this is one of the things the team does right. The hospital visit was at once uplifting and sad — especially in seeing kids my own son’s age with tubes hanging out of them. But all four players were truly impressive, whether it was Hossa and Betts handing out gifts and autographs, Hollweg holding a sick infant in his arms, or Dupuis putting a little boy on his lap inside a fire truck. I’ve been around enough athletes to know when guys are just going through the motions, but this struck me as genuine. I was glad I went.
  • In case you hadn’t heard, Carolina got “Anson Carter today for a fifth-round draft pick”:http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=197340&hubname=nhl from Columbus. That’s a long way from being traded for Jagr, I don’t care how many shootouts Jagr skips.
  • The Isles are in the running for Bill Guerin? So says one site. Do with that what you will.
  • No word on Brendan Shanahan’s appointment with his neurologist today. I’m sure we’ll know something tomorrow, even if it’s just the team saying the veteran needs more time.
  • And speaking of tomorrow, the blog will be in the capable hands of Josh Thomson, who will be covering tomorrow’s must-win game against the Blue Jackets. More on where I’ll be later…

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    29 Comments

    1. Sam,

      Good to read about the Rangers’ charity efforts. Always good to be reminded these guys contribute off the ice.

      How is Dupuis reacting to New York? Any sense of his place in the locker room or his relationship with his new teammates?

      Keep up the great work, as always.

    2. czechthemout!!!!! on

      well at least our kids beat the crap out of the devils kids 6-1.callahan,dubinsky byers all looked great again.lifiton is really coming on.he even plays the power play now and looks good doing it.also korpikoski looks good.

    3. I have always been, and remain impressed, with what the Rangers give back to the community. Yes, I desparately want them to make the playoffs, but–okay, going a bit soppy here–what a wondrous thing they do for children who might not be alive for this playoff, or the next. This is why I love hockey. No one cries themselves up, no one thanks a mythical god (I’m an atheist, thanks); they thank their teammates, good luck (even when they are incredibly skilled), and get on with it. And give to the community as well.

    4. oh please, these are all PR stunts and really I bet those sick children have no clue who Dupuis and Betts are.

    5. Barry Melrose and Eklund are reporting that Guerin is headed to the island. In other words, you’d have a better chance of seeing Bill Guerin playing for the Lost City of Atlantis than the Islanders.

    6. Gretz saying he will probably deal Laraque.. He will probably go to Pens because they need protection for their kids.

    7. I use to be one of those sick kids, stuck in a hospital bed waiting while they ran too many test to figure out i had a horrible cold yet again. It was always GREAT to have these larger than life action figures come and shake my hand or pat me on the head…..But that wears off in time. You realize they are only going through the motions.

    8. here is a novel idea, why don’t they go to see sick children without any cameras or reporters and without bragging to us or anybody about it. This is all but a pretentious gimmick, designed to increase ticket sales, and merchandise sales and to make dumb people feel good about their team

    9. And I believe Jagr’s shoulder problem is overblown for the PR reasons in case they miss the playoffs so they could have some excuses, I sure his shoulder is fully healed and close to 100%

    10. Sam/Josh can you ask Renney just what are his REAL problems with Pock? Rachunek is hurt & he’ll play him over Pock, absurd bias. I didn’t notice thru observation the big difference so please enlighten us dumb fans. You’ll probably need a lie detector.

    11. Hockey players get it, even in the minor leagues. They do a lot of charity work and I think that comes from most having close family ties and community ties growing up. It is the parents who get their kids to rinks at 5 a.m. and drive long miles to games until the kids play as teenagers. In the hall of fame, they even have an exhibit dedicated to the parents. With few exceptions, the players in other pro leagues just don’t get it.

      Even if the kids didn’t know who the NYRers were, anything that makes the kids smile is worth doing, and I am sure, as Sam said, it was tough on everyone to see these beautiful kids suffering like this. Let’s step back a moment and say a prayer for them and their parents.

      As for Jagr, while a captain needs to step up, this should not have been on his shoulders. He knows what he can do and can’t. The coaches know that, too. It should have been Renny making the decision. He’s the head, he makes the call for the team.

    12. Mike V & Sam… way to go on putting life into it’s proper perspective. Hockey is just a small part of it. Graves is the NYR leader when it comes to kids & Mess is not far behind…… So is MESSIER GM yet? … I’ll be greedy & pray for all .

    13. I got an amazing idea… We trade Jagr, Straka, and company and get Janssen, Brashear, Peters, Eager, Mair, Neil, Seabrook and why not just throw Barnaby in there for good measure. I bet we’d be in the playoffs right now if that was our team.

    14. Ugh…can’t wait to see how lazy this team plays tonight. Bad enough they skate most of the game like they’re disinterested, with the exception of a few. But I see tonight as being just a repeat of the Philly game a week ago. And then Renney can stand there with his mouth hanging open like always…worst friggin’ coach in the league: Tom Renney. As for whether or not Jagr is 100%…I honestly have never seen a player of his talent so easily handled by the opposition. He’s knocked off the puck easy, is always trying to handle the puck just out of reach so it’s easily knocked away, and then stands there to watch the play go the other way. For all of his talent and size, this season Jagr has looked pretty damned ordinary. He’s not helped by a league that will do anything to bury him…but still, if it’s his shoulder that’s that bad, he oughtta be taken out of the lineup. Sam…start shouting to Renney why Callahan isn’t being called up. This team has ZERO offense right now…and Renney keeps trotting out the same garbage. Ask him why the power play has been allowed to revert back to it’s usual garbage without so much as a whimper from the “head coach”. I put that in quotes because anyone with marginal hockey knowledge can see that Tom Renney has no business having that title. Not in this league. Not ever.

    15. czechthemout!!!!! on

      bklynblue-renney hates pock because he is not czech.if you are czech and are a vet,on this team you always get second third ,fourth ,fifth chances.if your not,you have zero margin for error.in all seriousness,any objective person can clearley see that both malik,crapunek stink,but neither one will ever beheld accountable for their poor play because they are part of the czech posse.

    16. Sam,
      Just finished reading about the hospital visit. Feels good to know that there are athletes who get what its all about in todays me first world.We Ranger fans have been blessed with alot of big hearted players who have worn a Ranger jersey.
      As a displaced New Yorker,(I live in North Carolina now) I’ve come to rely on your blog to keep up with the Rangers,as well as a couple of boards,like HF. I am a Ranger fan since 1970, so its part of who I am really. Anyway, I could go on forever, but the point is to thank you for your blog, and keeping it all in perspective, even when we are clearly frustratd with the seasons twists and turns.Good journalism is hard to find, and I certainly appreciate yours, keep up the good work!

    17. 1) Don’t think Guerin would go to the Island beause they play St. Louis 2 days after the deadline. Can’t see Guerin facing his old team.

      2) Anson Carter for a 5th roudner!

    18. On a side note Sam,
      Do you sense a change in Marcel Hossa, in regard to his confidence level,or maturity, that might help explain his recent scoring surge? He seems to have reached a new level of awareness on ice, almost as if he now gets he is an NHL player.

    19. czechthemout!!!!! on

      chris-good point.renney is a poor coach because he holds no vet accountable for their poor play.whats worse is that when he tries to send a message,he benches prucha,or nylander(he’s not part of the czech posse)or pock.never malik,crapunek or any one else who deserves to be benched.as for callahan,i just don’t get why they refuse to put that kid in the lineup.he will score over 40 goals this season down in hartford as a ROOKIE!!!!.he has nothing left to prove down there.we need SCORING!!!!!!,not defense look at the stats in the last 15-20 games.the king is covering up the mistakes the d is making and giving up only 2g a game.what renney the moron cannot get is that they don’t score enough at even strengh or on the power play especialy now with shany out.so what does the moron renney do,nothing at all,just reshuffle the deck chairs.watched hartford on the net yesturday.cally,dubinsky,byers,lifiton,korpikoski,dawes,all looked good as did corey potter.

    20. It seems so unproductive to leave a kid like Callahan in the AHL when it seems that he is playing way above the AHL talent pool. Throw in the fact that The Rangers have a piss poor offense. On this particular Ranger team, Callahan is a top line forward. I hope the NYR management team gets their heads out of the place where the sun don’t shine and promotes this young talent before the 2007 games become meaningless.

    21. This is how great(WHAT A LAUGH) the NY Rangers prospect are that everyone wants to coddle and not trade:

      The top 7 goal scorers in Hartford total 102 goals to date. 32 of them belong to Callahan.
      No offense boys and girls. No offense in sight for the next few years.I guess we will have to get used to it unless we trade for some offense by losing some of our blue chip 3d and 4th liners that the Rangers are grooming!!!

    22. Jeez, yeah DJD, the Rangers are in such great need of publicity. And I haven’t heard the phrase publicity stunt since Hedda Hopper bit the dust…

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