More from the skate


Here’s more from Jason Strudwick on his unique experience playing in the Swiss League. Among the more interesting differences (not included below) Strudwick noted is that the top scorer on each team has to wear a yellow jersey, borrowing somewhat on an idea from the Tour de France.

“So after a couple of weeks I was telling the guys if you guys would score when I pass to you I’d be the top scorer,” Strudwick said. “So the next day I come the yellow jersey was in my stall. And our coach was like, if you’re the top scorer on our team, we’re not going to win this year.”


Strudwick loved the experience, but naturally is happy to be back in New York, where Tom Renney hopes he’ll add some poise to a depleted backline. I’m OK with this move, for a number of reasons. One, Strudwick was a popular member of last year’s team and you can tell that he’s already been well received in the room. Moreover, the Rangers had room to work with under the cap, so if for some reason Strudwick doesn’t perform they can always go back to David Liffiton until Fedor Tyutin is ready (the Russian defenseman was working out without a knee brace today in the fitness room).

Liffiton has been good, and I think he’s only going to get better. But what I think hurts him right now is with Thomas Pock also in the lineup, the Rangers are uneasy having so many relatively inexperienced defensemen playing at once. You’ll notice that I didn’t mention Daniel Girardi in that regard, and that’s because Girardi has already clearly won the team’s confidence.

Meanwhile, it should be noted that another young defenseman, Marc Staal, could be made available within the next week or so. The former first round draft pick’s Sudbury Wolves are in the first round of the OHL playoffs this week. But as the No. 6 seed, it’s unlikely they’ll get past No. 3 Mississauga in the first round, meaning Staal could be in New York before long.

And I do think he’ll be with the Rangers seeing how the team seems to be saving one of its four call-ups after the trade deadline for him.

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  1. In my opinion Strudwick is a good move. It makes sense not to put too much youth in the lineup. Many say that he is a classic Ranger old vet taking up a youth lineup spot.

    Sorry, but I see the logic on this one. Also consider that Malik and Roscival may not be needed for 25-30 minutes each game with a veteran guy like Studwick in the mix.

  2. Bringing up Staal would be too logical, especially with the whole anti-youth movement upstairs. It’s not gonna happen. He’ll be sent to Hartford to continue the “winning mentality” nonsense.

  3. from Larry Brooks today ..”It is essentially impossible to disprove a double negative, and so there is no way to know that the Rangers wouldn’t be better off today had they recalled young forwards like Ryan Callahan and Brandon Dubinsky earlier in the season rather than waiting..” etc etc

  4. throwing staal into the middle of this playoff battle is a huge mistake. kid hasn’t had a sniff of nhl action. i’d send him to hartford no questions asked.

  5. How is calling up Staal any different from calling up Dubinsky, Callahan, Liffiton etc. Staal cant do worse than some of our D-men. I think it is better to call him up as expereience in this situaution will be good for him.

  6. I saw Staal play in last year’s AHL playoffs in Portland, and while he’s got the skill and talent, he looked like a deer caught in the headlights at times. Now, it is a year later and he may have the physical and mental strength to play, but the jump from juniors straight to the NHL is much greater than the jump from the AHL to the NHL. The difference between he and the other hartford call-ups is that they have showed success at the AHL level whereas Staal hasn’t yet. I would like to see him in NY but i won’t lose sleep if he goes to Hartford for the remainder of the year. I want to see him and all the other prospects succeed, and throwing him into the fire where the team is hurting for D-men might not be the most wise choice for him… there is a balance to maintain between growing the young players and fielding a successful team. The Rangers and the NHL are also a business and the best thing for both is to have the Rangers in the playoffs and have a better showing than last year.


    You know as well as we do, that in Rangerland the rhetoric answer would be…Dubinski and Callahan are performing this well because of managements patience in bringing them along.
    They would make you believe that the rookies are equivilent to a 2 year old toddler (AHL) toying with a 6 year old boy (NHL) if you get my analogy.

  8. AHL time certainly would not hurt Staal, but neither would hanging around with the NHL team and perhaps getting a game or two in.

    However, Liffiton is already the odd man out with Strudwick coming and he deserves consideration before Staal. Liffiton showed enough at the AHL and now the NHL level to be given a chance to play in the NHL full time. Staal still has a lot to prove in the pro game.

  9. I would prefer that Staal go to Hartford when his jr playoffs are over. He can get plenty of good experiences including playing in the playoffs there. The wolfpack playoffs start after the 15th (the last reg season game). Also if he plays this yr for the Rangers at all does that make him a free agent and eligible for arbitration 1 yr earlier (not sure but if it impacts him in that regard down the road that would be another reason to let him go to the Pack this yr).

    I think the 1st round for Sudbury is best of 7. The 4th game is listed as 3/29 using an every other day schedule. So the absolute earliest he will be available is 3/31 and thats only if Sudbury gets swept.

  10. John M they make like they’re still in diapers until they need them, then the story changes. CYA

  11. Hockey Tonight on

    Brooks and the posters here are hilarious. Finally this organization has some legit prospects and some really decent organizational depth. Callahan, Dubinsky etc. might be guys who play hundreds of games for the Rangers but the dopes concentrate on 20 or 30 they could possibly have played as 20 year old first year pros. That and who the 11th defenseman is. Sorry, but it’s joke.

  12. HOCKEY what kids will be up here next year, and who’s gone from this year’s team.

  13. I agree with several of the posters here saying that what harm could come from just sending Staal to the AHL and let him finish out there? I would rather have the experience (even though it is really only at the AHL level) of Liffiton over Staal right now. Plus Tjutin is close to coming back, meaning that someone sits, most likely Pock. It is apparent that Malik is in the lineup every night, so when Rachunek is ready to come back, who sits then? Strudwick if he’s struggling at all? Or just Rachunek himself? Staal would be better off getting the AHL playing time, rather than being the 7th defenseman up at the NHL.

  14. Ted Nolan blames the guy that hit DiPietro and takes a cheap shot at Avery. This guy is a stand up guy.

    “The player just didn’t jump over him. In this league, you have to do everything in your power to avoid the goaltenders.

    “I don’t think [the Rangers’ Sean] Avery listens to that rule. And a couple other players don’t listen to that rule. They bang into goaltenders. [Begin] could have jumped. He’s a seasoned veteran. He’s a fourth-line guy.

    “He knew exactly what he was doing: ‘By hitting this goaltender, maybe I can knock him out, and we can get a chance to play in the playoffs.’ It’s one of those things.�

  15. Uncle Renney's Cabin on

    if we have injuries, Strudwick still can’t play in the playoffs?

    I can’t believe Islanders didn’t take him off waivers, I guess even they realize how much he sucks.

  16. Doodie Machetto on

    Haha, I liked what he said about learning Italian. It reminds me of a joke:

    What do you call it when an Italian is missing an arm?

    A speech impediment.

  17. I wouldnt want Staal playing for us in the playoffs this year……and spare me the experience bullshit. GO STRUDS!!!!!!!!!

  18. Uncle Renney's Cabin on

    Hopefully Strudwick is as terrible as he was last season.

    They should have just signed him for security of further injuries, not play him over a promising rookie like Liffiton.

  19. All I’m saying is that the coaching staff should evaluate Staal and make a determination whether he is better than the alternatives. If not, then he should go to Hartford. If so, he should play. The idea that someone should or should not play based on their age when the team is in a playoff hunt is ridiculous. If he’s ready, play him. If not, give him a chance to win a spot in training camp.

  20. nice read on strudwick sam…

    i doubt Staal would be a great idea for Renney and staff. Basically, it would mean inserting the 20 year old into the lineup either with a few games left in the season or (if we make it) in the playoffs. It would be a risky move for Renney and Co. Who knows, maybe Toots will be available come that time

  21. spare me the promising rookie garbage, Liffiton is a tough guy, stay at home defensemen, Other than that he has not shot, cant quarterback a PP and is a marginal skater.

  22. Nice pun DontStaal (are puns ever funny anyway?). I agree, if the decision is made on the basis of how Staal looks in practice, etc., not based on some philosophical decision regarding the use of a younger player in crunch time.

  23. the message that is being sent to Ranger youth is, “work your butt off, earn your chance, play well in NY, and then we will still not trust you, we would rather use a retread journeyman or a recently injured player over you”.

  24. Where's Bure? on

    I’m getting a bit frustrated with all this Renney bashing. This guy brought us out of the dumps last year and got us one win away from a division title and this year, though inconsistent, has not been terrible and you all are ready to crucify him. Don’t the players deserve some of the criticism for the way this year has turned out? Jagr went from 123 points last year but he’ll be lucky to break 100 this year. Remember Lundqvist’s numbers before Christmas?
    Where’s the angry mob demanding Laviolette be fired? His team won a cup last yea, but they’ll be lucky to make the playoffs this year. The Rangers didn’t win the Cup in 06, but isn’t it possible they got wrapped up in themselves for proving all the critics wrong a year ago?
    Besides, who would we bring in? Pat Quinn? Ken Hitchcock? Their egoes and hard nosed discipline approach would clash with stars like Jagr and Shanahan. Perhaps we could give Trottier another try. Rmemeber him, the useless guy with the Hitler ‘stache?
    All you Renney critics out there, please tell me, what coach on the market right now would be best for this team?

  25. Doodie Machetto on

    Liffiton didn’t exactly “earn” his chance. Three defensemen above him were injured. Three? Yes. Not just Rachunek and Tyutin, but Bryce Lampman, too. True, Lampman was not injured when Liffiton was called up, but a month on the shelf isn’t exactly the kind of prep you want a player to have when making the jump to the big club.

    Liffiton is 22. He’s got plenty of hockey left in him, and while I’m not crazy about Strudwick, I’m not crying about Liffiton either.

  26. Just thinking of what this team should look like next year.
    Players we should (or are already signed to keep) keep for next year.
    Vets: Jagr, Straka
    Young guys: Hossa, Avery, Cullen, Prucha, Betts, Orts.
    Rookies:Immonnen, Dubinsky, Callahan, Dawes

    Vets: Rozival, Malik (we have him signed, but i hope we can get rid of him by season’s end) Mara
    Young blood: Tyutin, Girardi, Staal(or Baranka)

    I don’t expect immonen to make it with the rangers, and Dawes is a toss up. But Callahan and Dubinsky are here to stay.

    What troubles me is that we would still need to figuere out what to do with: Nylander and Shanahan.

    I like what nylander does, and i’d keep him as a veteran center. But i’m not sure i’d take Shanahan over the youth. Touch call.

  27. 4 if you count Baranka who probably should have got the call before Liffiton anyway.

  28. Doodie Machetto on

    Where’s Bure, be prepared to field a lot of comments.

    I was flipping through the channels and came across the last question on “Stump the Schwab” and I want to see how many people know the answer. I’m more interested in how many people knew it off of the top of their heads as opposed to how many can get it right. Here’s the question:

    “In 1995, long-time enforcer Tie Domi of the Toronto Maple Leafs received an 8 game suspension for sucker punching which New York Ranger for calling him ‘Tie Dummy?'”

    I remembered it clear as day: Domi tucked his hand under his other arm to serve as a clamp for the glove, slid his hand out, delivered a sucker uppercut to ________ and then slid his hand back in his glove like nothing happened.

  29. lol Shanny is a unique player, there is nobody in Hartford that can fills his spot, comon dont be silly, you have to take shanny over youth.

  30. who gives a shit where bure is.

    there is a coach in Hartford who should replace clueless Renney. the guy who actually developed these kids so that Renney could make the playoffs on their back, and then bench them. Jim Schoenfeld may not want the job, but he is ten times more qualified than Renney.

  31. Renney is not the only problem, Sather/Maloney deserve a lot of the blame. Of course the players should be held accountable, but it is the coach/Sather who keeps the first powerplay unit together when they have struggled throughout the season. It is the coach/Sather who let Jagr stay on the ice for as long as he wants. It is the coach/Sather who Never plays Prucha in overtime. It is the coach/Sather who sets the lines and chooses not to let the kids (including Prucha in here as well) consistently play enough to actually contribute.

    I put the coach/Sather b/c I am not sure how much say Renney actually has with anything. He looks like ur prototypical company man to me, so you have to be mad at both Sather and him.

  32. Uncle Renney's Cabin on

    “spare me the promising rookie garbage, Liffiton is a tough guy, stay at home defensemen, Other than that he has not shot, cant quarterback a PP and is a marginal skater.”

    that is more than I could say about Strudwick. At least Liffiton is a good defensively and plays physical mean game.

  33. czechthemout!!!!! on

    JROUNDT-poor skater?what are you talking about?lifiton has been the best pack dman the last 6-8 weeks,period case closed.he has been working on his offensive game down their and seems to be coming on in that area because shoeny has him on the power play with potter at the point.
    don’tstaal-baranka has rgressed the last month or so.he gives the puck away every other shift and does not hit as much as you would wan’t a guy that big to.also his penalties are of the lazy variety.he is some who i feel is a prime example of a player that is wasting away down their and should have been brought up before his game regressed so that he could have played against stepped up competition.i hope that they did not ruin this kid so that they could have played shit like ozo the first 24 games this year instead.

  34. i didnt say liffiton was a poor skater, i said he was marginal meaning he isnt fast as hell or slow as a turtle.

    LOL i love how everyone is refering to me as JROUNDT, i know i put it as my name but its wierd because im using my friends name who is a black kid and im a white kid……oh his name is roundtree by the way lol.

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