Third chance for Callahan


As promised, Ryan Callahan has been called up from Hartford and practiced today on a line with Matt Cullen and Sean Avery. Continuing our multi-media experience here on the blog, I present the wing talking about his third go-round with the Rangers this season.


Having been burned once this year by my “Jason Krog is playing with Jaromir Jagr tomorrow” prediction, I should always offer a disclaimer when relaying the lines from practice. So here it is: they’re not set in stone. Still, they’re fun, and everyone likes talking about them, so here goes:


Ryan Hollweg still has the flu, so his availability for tomorrow is uncertain. Furthermore, I don’t know how well Colton Orr plays on the left side, so that might be a consideration as well.

Meanwhile, David Liffiton is also up and was paired today with Michal Rozsival. Marek Malik was with Dan Girard, while Thomas Pock and Paul Mara (two lefties) were the third pair. Kevin Weekes did not practice today and will stay behind to work with Brendan Shanahan tomorrow.

While the Rangers don’t have a set date in place for Shanahan’s return, Tom Renney conceded today that the two do have next Monday and Wednesday “circled” as possibilities. Naturally, every game presents its own challenges and risks. But for obvious reasons, it probably wouldn’t hurt to have Shanahan get a few games under his belt before the Rangers face the Islanders next Sunday.

OK, more later…

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  1. I assume this means Isbister is out and either the Straka – Nylander – Jagr line is back, or Proochs in on that first line. I’m not so sure I wouldn’t want to see a one armed Straka get some rest.

  2. Callahan is up on an emergency basis if Hollweg can’t go because Hollweg has the flu. If Hollweg can play Callahan goes back to Hartford.

  3. Callahan is up on an emergency basis if Hollweg can’t go because Hollweg has the flu. If Hollweg can play Callahan goes back to Hartford.

  4. Hi Sam,

    I read in the Courant Callahan was called up as an emergency fill-in for Hollweg and if Hollweg can play, Callahan gets sent back. Is that true?? Or is Callahan going to be around longer than that? I sure hope he gets a better shot than if Hollweg can’t play.

    Also, when Shanahan returns, who goes back to Hartford? Do they have to send anyone back?

  5. I just hope when Shanny returns they send down Isbister – him playing in first line is ridiculous. Also, I’d rather see Straka get some rest, now we have Callahan and if Renney sends him back it would be stupid. Just send back Isbister, damn!

  6. thanks for the update sam, good to see your out of jury duty hell. even if the Rangers don’t make the playoffs, still would be fun to see the younger players getting a shot.

  7. I find it hard to believe that Callahan is here in case Hollweg can’t go. If this were the case why would they bring up Callahan. I would think they would bring up Dawes instead of Hartford’s leading scorer.

  8. Actually Dawes has been one of the ‘Pack top scorers since getting back on track, so taking either him or Callahan would hurt the ‘Pack in a similar way.

    Maybe they just wanted to get another look at Callahan to see if he could outplay anyone. It would be stupid, to call him up and not play him, but this management team has done stupid things like that all season long. So it is hard to rule out that possibility.

  9. STF,

    can you imagine….going from Waivers in the NHL to the New York Rangers first line! Ridiculous.

    We need Shanny and his logical hockey back. this Czech nonsense is driving me crazy

  10. Where's Bure? on

    On a completely unrelated topic, does anyone else feel DiPietro completely deserved what happened to him in regards to his collision vs. Montreal?

    Not just because he’s an Islander, but also because he continually takes advantage of the fact that goalies are untouchable. He comes out almost to the hash marks to play the puck and in Montreak, he was out PAST the face off circle. Rules have to be modified because if the goalie is out in no man’s land, I believe he should be fair game.

  11. First of all, Isbister needs to clear waivers now to be sent down, so that is a no go. Second he wasn’t a waiver guy, we traded a pick and very very long shot prospect for him. Third he is on the top line because they want someone who can hit on that top line and It was him because puting Avery on the 2nd line creates scoring depth.

  12. Acquired left wing Brad Isbister from the Carolina Hurricanes for left wing Jakub Petruzalek and a conditional fifth-round pick in 2008; assigned Isbister to Hartford of the American Hockey League.

  13. Colorado Mark on

    Seamus- Isbister was acquired via trade, not waivers (though he may have passed through them when he was sent down). I think Isbister will not return to Hartford. His spot has been taken (rightfully so as far as development goes) by Jessiman. The Rangers don’t have any healthy scratches right now. Isbister will stay on the team and eventually be the healthy scratch. My bet on the roster:
    Shanahan Returns- Orr to the Bench
    Hossa returns- Isbister to the bench
    Callahan (I’m betting) will be returned soon.
    Playoff Roster:

    Hollweg-Betts- Ortmeyer


    Bench: Pock


  14. Colorado Mark on

    Sorry, I forgot to click on “Submit comment” and I didn;t post until 15 minutes later! Looking at those lines, I really like them. Avery-Dubisnky-Shanny will be a fun, grinding, in your face line, Jagr’s line with Hossa is a great puck protection line, and Straka, Prucha Cullen is Speed with more offense with Straka replacing Ortmeyer, and the 4th line is much more dangerous with Orts there over Orr.

  15. was somebody here accussing zipay of deleting? He’s looking for you and is not a happy camper.

  16. where’s bure- couldnt agree with you more. there needs to be new rules where goaltenders can play the puck and where they can stop play. i felt dipietro should have received a penalty for trying to play the puck so far from the net and injuring a player. also, goalies are covering the puck and stopping play way too far from the crease, including behind the net, and to the outsides. its ridiculous.

  17. I think it is BS that isbister is playing with the 1st line. I think hes been playing well but cmon thats a little to much for him. These are my lines i’d like to see friday and until the boys come back from injury…


    Liffiton-Malik You gotta split malik and rozie

  18. Leetchy

    Actially the guy who got hurt came back, and he faked it because im assuming he didnt wanna get possibly nailed for goalie interference, but your right it shoulda been a penalty. It unfortunate hes only day to day, if he was in a coma it would be alot better. I hate the isles and hope the rangers bitch them in the next 2 games. Lets go Rangers please.

  19. Sam:

    Any word on getting Cullen to play the point on the PP? They need him there … Straka can’t shoot and Rosival is on fumes …

  20. with those lines in place, even though the Courant said what they said, Cally is playing tomorrow night IMO…

    like Sam said, they could always change, but IMO he’ll be in the lineup….that’s just me…


  21. Yo —

    I get the sense that Callahan will play tomorrow and that it would likely be a fourth liner like Orr who sits instead. The Rangers wouldn’t have Callahan practicing with Avery and Cullen today if they didn’t expect him to play with them.

    As for Cullen on the point, the second power play unit had him up front instead of on the back end. The reason could be two-fold: one, given the Rangers’ weakness for shorthanded goals of late, I think they’d prefer a defenseman back there instead of Cullen. But more important is the fact that without Hossa and Shanahan, Cullen is one of the few remaining players who can provide a jolt up front.

  22. As crazy as Tom “I pick names out of a hat” Renney’s lines have seemed at times this season, it seems there could (and I stress the word could) be a logical explanation for the most recent groupings…with one exception. I do not, for the life of me, understand what Isbister has done thus far to warrant a spot on the 1st line. I don’t think he’s been horrible, but with the lack of scoring that’s been killing the Rangers, I just can’t figure out how he fits in the puzzle, and on the first line no less.

  23. yeah bkly, but Renney’s doesn’t seem to be working well there, is it?….Isbister’s skill set isn’t that of Hossa….by the way, that leads me to ask the question, “does Brad Isbister even have a skill set?”


  24. I’m glad Callahan and Dubinsky are getting some serious playing time in the crunch, but WHY is Isbister practicing on our front line? I really don’t understand what Renney sees in him. Just because he’s a big guy doesn’t mean he’s any good or anything…he shouldn’t play any farther than our 3rd or 4th line. I’d put these lines out for tomrrow:

    Hollweg/ Orr-Betts-Isbister

  25. Thank You bklynblue… I don’t get why people don’t understand why Isbister is on the top line, it’s freakin obvious, he’s the same player as Hossa.

    Renney, is attempting to get some balance on the lines, probably the only smart thing he’s done all year. Come on people, clue in and don’t bash Isbister just because he’s on the top line.. THERE IS NO TOP LINE.

  26. Isbister certainly does have talent, he has more goals in the past 5 years than the entire 4th line will ever score in their collective careers.

    Obviously he isn’t going to be a big goal scorer at this point in his career, but look at the IR and use your brains.

  27. Sam, why do you try to rationalize Renney incompetence?
    Cullen SHOULD be playing the PP point, PERIOD.

    the Canes won the Stanley Cup with him there, that is one of the key reasons the rangers signed him, and it is just ridiculous that this crap has gone on all season while the Jagr circling circus continues to hog all PPs.

    how do you rationalize Straka on the point when he won’t shoot when healthy, and can’t when hurt. are the point men there to SCORE GOALS or try to prevent them? it is a POWER PLAY, for cripe sake, you are not out there to kill 2 mins or cautiously defend the opponent, you are out there to score while UP ONE MAN.

  28. You know everyone bashed Hossa all year and said why does renney keep this guy around, until he started scoring, maybe renney has the same confidence with isbister, although i knew somewhere down the line hossa would score because he has it in his genes, but isbisters genes..well who knows. I dont feel confident enough for him to be there, and id prefer avery there.

  29. I’m not endorsing the decision, Joe. I’m just explaining it. I haven’t liked Straka at the point, especially given his shoulder. And I do think Cullen is better there. That said, if for whatever reason Renney is insistent on using Straka at the point on the first power play, then I understand why he would rather have Cullen up front on the second unit. And unfortunately, even on the power play, if you have a front line up there that can’t maintain the puck deep, then you run the risk of exposing your players at the point.

  30. I have to agree with Dunny that Isbister doesn’t deserve everyone’s wrath. He has size and has been using it as well as anyone. He’s been getting as many quality scoring chances as the rest, sometimes more, and just like the rest, he’s not finishing. Of course, no one else, not even Jagr, seems to be able to finish anymore. That’s why the Rangers aren’t able to hold on to those 2 goal leads or that playoff berth. The coach has got to try more of the things he wants to do, not the things the captain wants to do.

  31. it is about the future of this franchise. Isbister does not belong out there taking minutes that should be used as experience tools for young Ranger players. especially 1st and 2nd and 3rd line mins.

  32. I think Jagr is one of the best passers in the league…soooo you’d prob want to put guys that have good hands or finishing skills with him. I know we are limited due to injuries so it’s tough to complain but Isbister should be on the “Hands of Cement” line with Orts and Hollweg…or the HOI line….Hands (Hollweg) Of (Orts) Iron (Isbister) line…haha…been a long day

  33. here are the stats. Hossa has played EXACTLY the SAME as last season….

    2005-06 NYR 64 10 6 16 -6 28 pim

    2006-07 NYR 64 10 8 18 -4 26 pim

  34. blueshirts2k7 on

    Isbister is the biggest waste of space since Val Kamensky, and btb Isbister doesn’t use his body at all and has zero upside.

  35. Colorado Mark: Like those lines a lot. My only change:


    Then skate them 17-minutes apiece. Roll three lines and you’ve got a well-rested Jagr, a well-rested Shanny, plus equal spark from Petr and Brandon dispersed throughout.

    ISBISTER?!??! ISSSSBISTER?!?!? GAH…@#$%…I’m going to blow a friggin’ gasket if this guy is as useless tomorrow as usual. At the very least, I want to see him tattoo Hossa(Marian that is). Man, every time this guy skates, I feel like punching myslef in the balls…

    As for the fears of a comeback powered by goals from Krog and Dupuis, it’s not to likely. Krog is happily rotting away in Chi-town with the wolves…

  36. when you make line comboinations put players in the position that they play. Callahan = RW / Dubinsky = C

  37. Once Tyutin or Rachunek are healthy, Malik should be taken out back and be put Down, like they do to wounded horses.

    Only Kidding ;)

  38. just great– a game in which i would love the devils to win against carolina, they are missing gionta, elias & madden. wonderful

  39. czechthemout!!!!! on

    having shitsbister playing with jagr and nylander is stupid because he sucks offensively,he does not use his size well in front or in the corner.he never checks either.callahan has out scored him in hartford and out hit him as well.he is way more physical than shitsbister and he is also responsilble defensivly wich is something renney likes to see from a young player.and he aslo kills penalties in hartford and has scored some shorthanded goals.he shouls be put into an immidiate position to succeed here.i would play him with jagr on the left and nylander in the middle.drop shitsbister to the fourth line with betts and orr/hollweg.put ortmyer with prucha and cullen.and avery with dubinsky and straka,they played real wel together and genrated alot of chances out there but couln’t score.also they should not worry about boulton running them because lifiton can really bring it as far as dropping the gloves as can dubinsky and callahan ,even though he is not that big.that’s what i like about these three kids ,they are not soft at all and can play any sylte of game neccessary to win,unlike alot of the vets currently on the team or the ones that were here earlier.

  40. DoodieMachetto on

    I don’t know… I think you’ve got the lines mixed up. Straka and Prucha on a 3rd line? Who are they defending against, a peewee team? I love those guys, but the other team will just have to pick their legs up and they’ll be in.

  41. Has anyone else noticed the play of Dubinsky? He has looked very solid. He was very good the other night skating by Ottawa players. He got robbed of his first NHL goal at least twice. He is gonna be good. you can tell by how he caries himself

  42. Jason Krog is some guy that was on the Rangers briefly this year. He is a center and really a career minor league player. He went to the same college as Sam, New Hampshire i think. Long story short, he was not very good. That is who Jason Krog is

  43. Rangers are getting help all around tonight.

    Canes, Isles both lost. the playoffs just got a little more likely.

  44. czechthemout!!!!! on

    canes lose,lcelanders lose.with a win tomorrow we are in 7thplace!!.too bad we blew the two goal lead last game,we could be 2back from 6th place with a game in hand on tampa and one more game against them.

  45. That is great news for Rangers! Isles got crushed in Ottawa (Smyth who?) and that incredible boy – Parise killed Canes in third! So, Rangers – tommorow is your turn!

  46. Big time help tonight, Devils and Sens help us out. Rangers need to win Friday @ Atlanta and we are challenging for the 6th or 7th seed.

  47. czechthemout!!!!! on

    gonyr-i think dubinsky is a future 30+goal,50+assist center with a physical edge to his game as well.


  48. czechthemout!!!!! on

    i actually am begining to think that this team as currently
    constituted,with the momentum they would need to make the playoffs might be a very dangerous one to play they will get shany back instead of shitsbister,hossa and tyutin back as well i just think that this could be the opposite of last year when we backed in to the playoffs,losing our last 5games and our momoentum.i would not wan’t to play a hot team fighting as hard as we currently are.we just need to increase our scoring a lttle bit andcally might just be the player we need to get us some more goals.

  49. czechthemout!!!!!

    I agree. As long as they get there heads out of their rear ends in the second half of games.
    The way the Rangers have had to play over the last few weeks puts them in the same mind set as the Oilers were last year.
    On another note, if Callahan and Dubinski play Friday, it will be the first time this year that The Rangers will have the potential to score on 3 lines. When Shanahan gets back, it will be even better.

  50. DoodieMachetto on

    When Shanahan and Hossa get back, say goodbye to Callahan and Dubinsky. Haven’t you guys figured that out yet?

  51. John M they’ve had that all year but the 3 lines were only formed after the break with the COP line Shanny, Avery, & Straka, and Jagr, Nylander, & Hossa. Adding Dubi , Callihan & Isbister is to fill in gor Shanny & Hossa, but they will hopefully be kept to fill in for Orr, Betts, & Hollweg, and enable Renney to rest guys as needed or this team will be burnt out if they make the playoffs. In a backhanded & paranoid sort of way mgmt has created an anti vet sentiment with the fans while they been anti kids. It seems to be the marketing plan of most of the NHL to be pro kids, anti vets. Now the hope is they’ll play the best guys on the correct lines, and have 4 lines that can score while being defensively responsible. When Shanny gets back they should be able to accomplish that, if they keep 2 of the 3 up.

  52. czechthemout!!!!! on

    i think that if the team makes the playoffs and the kids have an instrumental role in that like dubi getting 6-10pts
    in the last twelve games and callahan scoring a couple of goals and assists in the next three games or so

    it will be difficult for renney ot not play them because than he is probobly risking not making it and his job might be on the line.

  53. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    If this team makes the playoffs they should be hungry enough to do real damage when they get there. Last year, they coasted in and it didn’t serve the team well (as you all know).

    If Karma has its way we’ll take 7th and the Islanders will take the green at TPC Sawgrass!!!

  54. Longtimerangerfan on

    March 16th, 2007 at 8:32 am
    “i think that if the team makes the playoffs and the kids have an instrumental role in that like dubi getting 6-10pts
    in the last twelve games and callahan scoring a couple of goals and assists in the next three games or so

    it will be difficult for renney ot not play them because than he is probobly risking not making it and his job might be on the line.”

    Pie in the sky, CTO…Renney is stubborn. Last year he says “Weekes is my #1 goalie” which was ok except it was after Henrik had been playing circles around Kevin for some time. Everyone in hockey could see that Henrik was better but Renney could not, would not admit it. The man is a total enigma.

  55. What Renney says to the media is probably the opposite to what he is thinking. He ‘says’ Weekes is #1 in hopes that Weekes steps it up and becomes the goaltender he was in ’02 with Carolina. Renney is a players coach and will never talk down or say bad things about his players because he believes in building confidence.

  56. DanTheRangerFan on

    Oh God!!! If I were a coach I would tell Mara to mark Malik the whole game, a game of shadow anyone? ha this guy provides the best offense for opposing teams

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