Off to Oakmont


Just when things might start getting interesting on the off-season hockey front, I’ll be headed to Crosbyville a.k.a. Pittsburgh tomorrow for the U.S. Open.

Of course, we’ll try to keep you posted on the latest happenings around the Rangers, but in the meantime, I urge you to visit me “at my golf blog”: — if for no other reason than to complain about how I should be devoting more time to hockey.

Until then…

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  1. Sam, I somtimes feel bad for you with your golf blog. There are never any comments. The only comment on there is some idiot correcting your grammar. At least we know more people like Rangers’ hockey than golf

  2. I agree with Peter from the last post – the biggest problem is having a bad game on TV. Hockey is the fastest-paced sport of the big four, but it’s hard to see the puck. Maybe for some slow folks it is too fast, and they feel they have to watch the whole time or risk missing something.

    Personally, I don’t have a problem with the games being on Versus except for the fact that it’s not on my cable package; however, that’s only because my dad doesn’t want to pay Time Warner any more money, so it’s been a longstanding issue since before Versus was around. On any network, people will watch if they want too. On ESPN, it’s just that more people would see advertisements. I don’t watch the WNBA just because I see ads on ESPN.

    The changes I would make – I hate the trapezoid behind the net and think goalies should be allowed to play the puck anywhere, even though the restrictive area helps us because Lunqvist sucks in that matter. With the Preds being bought by a Canadian, they are likely on the move. A couple other teams that I would guess aren’t getting much attendance, although I don’t know any stats, are the Panthers and Sharks. Moving at least two of these three teams to Canada would help, with the other moving north somewhere, possibly Kansas City. Speaking of which, I can’t believe Bettman wants to expand to KC and Vegas. That’s just not right. Also, I don’t like the concept of shootouts even though they are exciting. I like the fact that two equal teams can play to a tie.

    And I would follow suggestions 1, 3, 5, and possibly 6 in Tim Cowlishaw’s article about how to save hockey. A few of those are just wildly stupid and outrageous, but I like Texas Tim trying to personally be the total of ESPN’s hockey coverage when on Around The Horn.

    Does anybody know what (or where I could find) the ratings were from Canada for the Finals games? Probably combined with the US, this could equal the NBA ratings, so I don’t think that’s as big of a deal as people think. The key to the NHL is making money somewhere, and Canadian money still counts, so viewers and teams there can contribute more than people in the States. If we put 10 of the 30 teams in Canada, that’s good progress; it could eventually become 15 of 30 at this rate.

  3. “Though his career-high 18-point season was hardly noteworthy, Marcel Hossa did start to contribute when inserted onto the wing with Jagr and Nylander (who wouldn’t?).”

    Isbister wouldn’t

  4. ORR Kicks Yin Yang on

    Isbister is a 4th liner / AHL’er for life…The guy is not NHL worthy.

    Hossa on the other hand…een though he did have another underacheiving season..if you can call it that..He did come through when we needed him the most.

    Right around the time were Straka was dealing with injury and Shanny was out of the lineup with the concussion.

    I cant wait till next year…I was watching Jagrs 30 goals from this season…Jeez those were some sweet goals.

    Hopefully next season he’ll be as dominant as 05 – 06

  5. just thinking of clicking on a link that has to do with golf makes me cringe ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, YUCK

  6. The day the NHL officially adds a team in Las Vegas is the day we’re back on ESPN. And that will be a ridiculously good day for this league.

  7. would love for the NHL to go back to less teams as the Dallas article suggests. There is no need for 3 teams in the tri state area so either the Devils or the Isles should be one of the teams to go. I’d vote out the Isles since the Devils have a new stadium. The teams I’d get rid of are:


    Unfortunately the powers that be are much more likely to add 2 teams.

  8. Okay, that TSN article lists the Rangers’ trade bait as Prucha and…………….wait for it………….Malik!!!!! Oh, that they weren’t batsh-t crazy and someone would take him away.

  9. LI Joe: Two of the four teams on your list made the playoffs this year, and another is coached by that guy Gretzky. But you’re right- clearly those teams are the cause of all that is wrong with the NHL, and our league would take off like a rocket if only they’d disappear.

  10. And let’s not forget that the fourth team on your list has made the Cup finals more recently than we have. So maybe that means the Rangers should be contracted too?

  11. GuitarWizard on

    Chris F. – They also mentioned “Malik isn’t necessarily the most stylish player, the fact that he’s a combined plus-115 over the past four seasons is a good indicator that he can do the job in his own end.”

    Apparently they consider putting pucks in his own net “doing the job” while not considering he’s generally standing on the ice for most of the top lines goals.

  12. Adam – contraction would not solve all the problems of the league but it’s a far better alternative than adding 2 teams or even status quo. In business companies merge or disappear all the time. Why is 30 or 32 teams the sacred cow. Less teams = better play on ice since less deserving players would no longer be in the league. Just because the league made the huge mistake of over expanding does not mean that is the way things should be going forward. The guy in the Dallas paper brought it up – I’m fully in agreement with him. As far as the teams I chose Nashville is very likely to move, Fla has very little fan base, Phoenix other than Gretzky is a disaster (and people are not going to come watch him coach), and the tri state area has no need for 3 teams. I actually would rather have 24 teams but since one of my choices just won the cup I settled for 26 …..

  13. LI Joe:

    “Since one of my choices just won the cup I settled for 26.”

    That right there is why contraction doesn’t accomplish what people think it would in theory: namely, restoring competitive balance to a league that is supposedly watered down. Teams that suck one year win the Cup the next year. Only a few years ago, we would hear that teams like Pittsburgh and Buffalo should be contracted because their finances were bad and they had no marketable stars. Who wants to get rid of them now? Well, nobody does, because they’re exciting and have young stars and their season ticket bases are among the league’s strongest.

    I don’t understand the argument that too many teams means less deserving players on the ice. In this day and age, the talent pool of potential NHL players has never been HIGHER. The scouting is more sophisticated than ever, long-distance travel has never been easier, and the number of overseas markets from which teams can get players has never been greater. 20 years ago, for instance, the Iron Curtain was still up. Now, you’ve got players flooding the league from Russia and much of Eastern Europe.

    On a practical basis though, I just think the contraction argument is silly. The league is dead set against it. The players would never go for it. What’s the point of even discussing it, especially since the list of good vs. bad teams changes from season to season?

  14. ORR Kicks Yin Yang on

    Jeez…Malik getting traded is some damn good news…Hopefully we can all have that wish come true before the season starts…But forget prucha…i dont want him any where but here on NYR.

    Can teams be dumb enough to use Maliks +/- as a good enough excuse to get him…Hes one of the best scorers in the league…against his own team of coarse…Isnt it crazy that this season we had him and A.Ward…What are the odds…Those two costed us plenty of games…Then hollweg started to rub off on them.

  15. Malik might bring back a late 1st round pick, some GM has to be impressed by his size and +/-

    I laugh at idiots like LI JOE who wants other teams to be moved or removed. If there is any team that should be moved or removed it is the Rangers, but homers like LI Joe would never understand what a joke this organization was and still is ran by idiots like Dolan, Sather, Renney, etc. 7 seasons in a row of no playoffs, tons of empty seats every game, tons of annoying MSG propaganda.

    So if they do go back to 26 teams, I want Rangers to be the 1st to go, so morons like LI Joe would be crying like babies and realize what kind of assholes they are.

  16. you couldn’t even trade me at this point for Malik. I don’t think he had any trade value at all. He’s too slow for this league.

  17. It’s interesting to note that whenever someone makes a ‘the following teams should be contracted’ list, the author’s favorite team never seems to make it on. Isn’t that ironic?

  18. Is the ‘new’ NHL faster now than it was, say 20 years ago? I genuinely don’t know; I grew up with hockey in the 90s, so can’t speak to the gamespeed of the 80s. But it seems to me, 20 years ago, compared to today you had: 1) smaller players, both in terms of size and equipment, 2) one referee, not two, allowing more space, and 3) more teams in colder weather climates, usually meaning better ice conditions. All of those things would seem to lend toward a faster game. Can anyone speak to this?

  19. ORR Kicks Yin Yang on


    If your so depressed over it then like i said a month ago….Go watch the Islander,,the Devils,,or the Sabres

  20. Hockey has been slower since they added helmets. I mean everyone knows that when Ron Duguay’s locks were flowing, the game was moving…

    Seriously, I started really watching mid-80s and I do think the athleticism is better now than ever.

    Have to agree that the league overexpanded — Bettman made the mistake of thinking the NHL was the NBA and that he was David Stern. But, I don’t think the genie can be put back in the bottle.

  21. PORK ANUS:

    The Rangers are the single biggest profit for the NHL, moron.

    Let me just repeat that so you really understand it… The Rangers are the single biggest profit for the NHL, moron.

    Everything you listed, equates to nothing. Let me break it down for you in two simple answers:

    1. 7 seasons of no playoffs where home games still SOLD OUT. What you don’t understand is ’empty seats’ do not necessarily translate into ‘not sold’. If a company spends 5K on 20 seats and no one goes, those are still bought and paid for.

    2. MSG propaganda… it’s not called ‘the world’s most famous arena’ for no reason genius. It MAKES MONEY. And that propaganda just FUELS it.

    Lastly, Good luck convincing the league to shut down an ORIGINAL 6 team, who’s fanbase draws the most revenue for the league itself regardless of whether or not the team finishes first, 16th, or dead last. If they shut ANY metropolitan team down it will be the Devils because in comparisson to the Isles and Rags they pull s*** in in terms of revenue and ticket sales. They can’t even sell their own damn building out in the f****** playoffs!

  22. ORR Kicks Ying Yang on

    For those who dont already know…The Rangers are buying out Kaspar’s contract…Now hopefully they do the same with Malik

  23. Actually the Leafs are the most profitable team in the league followed by the Rangers ;)

  24. Anthony, you’re correct. But only by the last year standard (I believe?). The Rags and Leafs have traded on and off as the most profitable team over the last however many years or so, but I meant to say that the Rags are the most profitable American team, considering the talks are of closing American teams down to ship them to Canada. That I apologize for.

  25. From a friend:

    “Hartford Wolf Pack general manager/head coach Jim Schoenfeld announced today that the Wolf Pack have signed goaltender Miika Wiikman to an American Hockey League contract. In accordance with team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed. A 22-year-old native of Mariestad, Sweden, Wiikman completed his third season of competition in Finland’s top professional league this past year. In 18 games with HPK Hameenlinna, the 5-11, 177-pound netminder compiled a 2.59 goals-against average and a 90.8% save percentage. Wiikman enjoyed a breakout season for HPK in 2005-06, as he helped lead the squad to the Finnish League playoff championship and was named the winner of the Jari Kurri Trophy, given to the top player in the Finnish League postseason. Wiikman logged a 1.98 playoff goals-against average and a 92.9% save percentage in 11 games, after posting a 2.09 GAA and a 92.9% save percentage in 34 games of regular-season action.

  26. Adam – I agree that the owners and players will not do what is in the best interest of the game. I tried to base my decision of which 4 teams to go based on fanbase and economic factors rather than pure on ice. If Nashville is going to move than they being 1 team to go would only mean that the new city would not get a team. It is very unfortunate that contraction will not happen. But in the slow time of hockey talk and since it was mentioned in the Dallas article that was linked here I raised it for discussion. I do think that less teams would mean better quality throughout the league. Think of some of the 100 players that would not be infesting this league. Think of the help it would do for scheduling as well. Yes a team would win the cup either way but better overall play including playoff time would make a big difference. An added bonus for the owners – they would then divide the pie 26 ways not 30.

    Pork – we’ve very seldom agreed on anything here and I would not expect to start now. But I’m not going to get into a gutter language war with you.

  27. Whoops sorry guys, didn’t know that piece of news was old. I didn’t see it discussed here yet, so I figured that I’d post it.

  28. ORR Kicks Yin Yang on


    Its on

    It says they plan on buying out his contract.

    Kaspar still is the man…But he had a tough time this season with on and off ice problems.

    Hopefully he goes out west…I cant take the pain of seeing him in our conference…Or maybe he’ll pull a Poti…You all know how NYI wanted Kaspar at the deadline.

    UGH i hate that damn team.

    I loved it when some reporter asked him what his favorite jersey was…and he replied ” i love the ranger liberty jersey…But i hate the flyers jersey..Its ugly with all the orange”

    Dont forget the hip check that would basically end Connollys season in 05 – 06…classic

  29. ORR something is lost in the translation. There is no reason to buy out Kaspar. If they do it goes against the cap, in Hartford he doesn’t.

  30. czechthemout!!!!! on

    this is to that clown poster jd who only posts about hockey’s low ratings.the nba’s ratings for the finals are at an all time low!.so as you can see jd it is not just hockey that has some work to do.remember that 99%of minorities do not watch hockey yet,when you respond back to me that their ratings are 3times higher than the nhl’s.when the nhl can have the rangers and chicago in a final or other original six teams,watch how good the ratings are.oh and buy the way,if you include canada than the ratings are much higher than the nba.

  31. czechthemout!!!!! on

    as far as malik goes,any gm who trades any thing for him other than a bag of pucks will be fired!!!!

  32. Craig Rivet is a mediocre defenseman and Sharks gave up their late 1st rounder just to rent him, so I think some team might give up a late st rounder or early 2nd rounder for a full year of Malik, plus Malik scored 4 points in 10 playoff games.

  33. Hey Sam… time for a new thread… here is the topic: LB is reporting in the NY Post that Immonen is on the verge of returning to Finaland for a more lucrative professional contract. It also mentions that Lampman is also headed over seas for more playing time. I hope Sather is careful about letting these youngsters walk away from the organization. Bryce was likely to be buried in Hartford for a while but Jarkko was one of the players I had hoped would step up next year.

    The article also suggests that if Immonen does leave and we also lose out on resigning Nylander that we would aggressively pursue BOTH Gomez and Drury. That would be a lot of cash down the middle with better FAs available next year… I hope LB is creating something from nothing with these opinions.

  34. Seems to me that Immonen is a classic case of fans convincing themselves that a prospect is way better than he has shown. I didn’t think he had what it took in any of those games he played in last year. He had an opportunity, didn’t seize it. Maybe now someone who wants it more or is simply more talented will get a chance. We need more Callahans and more Girardis, not more Jarkkos…

  35. Sign Nylander! Then install a remote control in his legs so I can stop him from circling endlessly through my TV. Thanks.

  36. Immonen is a classic case of a good prospect getting screwed by NHL team. But the idiots wanted useless Rucchin instead of Immonen. Big mistake.

  37. ORR Kicks Yin Yang on

    Immonen has had a few chances this season…Playing with Shanny and Prucha and Cullen or who ever…He’s not worth it..We have to trade him and Dawes…Especially Dawes..after his pathetic game 5..

    I still stand by the fact that Dawes basically lost us the game with his two mistakes which led to goals.

    I definently agree with Chris F…We need more Cally’s and Giardi’s and less Dawes and Imo’s etc.

    And Pork…if you like him so much then go watch him when hes goes to Finland.

  38. I don’t think you can blame Dawes too much — he should never have been put in that situation. And no one man loses a game or a series. Teams always have chances to right wrongs and to seize the moment and figure out a way to win.

  39. Orr are you serious that Dawes cost us game 5??? Dawes is a rookie who spent the entire season in the minor leagues- it was a bizarre deperation move, after constantly saying the Rangers were the better team through 5 games, to call him up cold to play on the 2nd line in game 6!! That decision was made by the same guy who had the Nylander line out at the end of game 5. Let’s keep the blame where it belongs and not on a kid who is expected to make mistakes.

  40. ORR Kicks Yin Yang on

    Yeah i understand that its not entirely his fault…and yes…he should have never been in that game…But still…He was good for 3 minutes until he made some stupid moves.

    I mean he stuck his ass out while blocking a shot…You always go flat on your gut…or your back or your side…It was a dumb move.

    But i think he should get traded..not because of that game though…I think hes good but he’ll pretty much be what Imo is to us now.

    And for all those asshole NYR fans like Pork and Yenner who actually put the blame on Hank for the loss of that series…Seriously jump off a bridge…Or go watch the Wnba or some crap.

    Sorry….But the subject upsets me.

  41. hockeymanrangers on

    I just saw Shanny on the updated Eklund trade list. Any one heard anything else about it. Where in the heck is Sam when you need him. Sam it not about the white ball it’s about the black disc. Why can’t man just live on hockey alone????

  42. ORR Kicks Yin Yang on

    Cmon Pork…If im acually dumb then what the hell does that make you….Something definently embarrising…

  43. ORR Kicks Yin Yang on


    Dont make more names just so it makes you look like you have strength in numbers….Its really pathetic.

  44. If Selanne doens’t retire, the Rangers need to go after him. Would be great on the 2nd line.

  45. Just finished watching slap shot with Paul Newman.

    Hansen brothers are like Sean Avery in triplicate.

  46. Oh dear – it seems the minority have resorted to childish name calling…

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion, if you don’t agree with the guy doesn’t make him stupid – it just means you have different views….

  47. RobbyBonfire on

    When the NHL expanded to 30 teams, Buttman gleefully observed on national television that the league now had as many teams as all the other major professional sports leagues in this country, which at the time was true. but is one asinine motivation for watering down your own product. Come on, Nashville, Columbus, San Jose, Miami, the Islanders- Devils ongoing jokes, etc. – who needs this diluted lunacy?

    Any Commissioner who would implement reckless, irresponsible expansion, the amateurish shootout monster, two whistle-happy referees competing with eachother to control games, and propose “wider nets” should be removed from office in a white strait jacket. I mean, this guy goes around foaming at the mouth like a rabid bat, and he still has a job. Can’t wait for the NHL to add Kansas City and Las Vegas, can you, Mr. Buttman? Wish you would take the top job with Arena Football or some wrestling cable venture – more in line with your “capabilities.” How much is the NBA paying you to mine and detonate the NHL?

  48. ORR Kicks Yin Yang on


    I was watching that to…I couldnt resist…I agree with the Avery comment.


    Even if he retires…There is absolutely no way in the world that he would sign with another team…In ANA he has a chance to win the cup again…

    It would be sick to have Selanne – Avery – Shanny as our 2nd line.

  49. Hockeybasednyc on

    Hahaha Sam, i just saw you on the Golf Channel.

    Way to go.

    I really think its gonna be tough too.

  50. Selanne isn’t becoming a Ranger — don’t even think about it. Let’s face it, this is a mediocre year for free agents. Next year will be a power year. We shouldn’t spend, spend, spend and then screw ourselves (and yes, sorry, I know I’m not on the Rangers, the “we” is just bad habit) out of next year’s pool.

  51. I agree, that’s why I say that the Rangers should hold off on spending big this offseason. Sure, go after Gomez or Drury, but not BOTH. With the money they save this offseason, the Rangers can offer Dany Heatley and/or Joe Thornton to very lucrative contracts to come and play in New York. Then again, I hope the Rangers don’t fail if they do this. You all saw what happened when the Rangers failed to lure Joe Sakic to the Rangers back in ’96.

  52. GuitarWizard on

    Chris & Joe

    We can figure this will be the last year for Jagr or Shanny or both. Jagr’s cap hit is nearly $5 Mil, and this past year Shanny got $4 Mil. Assuming Shanny signs a similar contract, that will free up $9 Mil to attract next summer’s crop of UFAs.

  53. Joe, the Rangers did not fail in luring Sakic (which was in ’97, by the way, not ’96- it was in response to Messier leaving). He signed a contract to play for us that was wildly frontloaded with a $15 million signing bonus. Unfortunately, the Avs matched, we settled for Pat LaFontaine for 2/3 of a season, and our tailspin started.

  54. Joe, I agree. I say don’t spend big this summer. Save the money for next year. I’d rather any of Thornton, Marleau, Heatley, or Hossa over Gomez, Drury, and Briere.

    The key is taking care of our own first. Re-sign Nylander for 2 years, re-up Shanny, and sign Henrik to a long term extension now before his stock continues to go up and/or some other team signs him as a RFA and we’re forced to pay him lucrative money.

    Hopefully, Jagr will be the dominant force that he was in 2005-2006 and these playoffs with a healthy shoulder, Avery will continue to develop his all around game, Henrik will take the next step and become the best goalie in the league, and kids like Tyutin, Prucha, Callahan, etc. will improve with more experience. If these things occur, I’m pretty sure we have a close-to-contending team. Save the money for Heatley or Thornton next summer.

  55. NJ Mark, funny that you say sign Lundy before we have to match “lucrative money.” I’m pretty sure we’ll have to lay out top dollar to lock him up for years. AND, more importantly, we should. He’s the most important player to come to MSG in years.

  56. GuitarWizard on

    And Jagr has also commented that he is going into next season expecting it to be his last.

  57. NJ Mark – the players you list have not had good track records in the playoffs (especially Hossa). After seeing him this year and what he used to do with Ottawa, I want no part of him on the Rangers. He is very soft come crunch time.

  58. ORR Kicks Ying Yang on

    The way i see it….I say we dont do anything…All we have to do is some how some way…get rid of Malik.

    Bring up either Staal Sauer or Pock as the 6th d man…Or Baranka..Liffiton…etc.

    We had a really good year when you think about it…We could have one so many more games with those damn 2 goal leads but we blew it…We bounced back with the guys in the lineup we have now…So do we really need anyone else.

    Maybe we do need the centermen for Shanny but if anything we put Nylander there…

    Jagr – Straka – Hossa…..Shanahan – Nylander – Avery

    Those lines worked good for a whlie before Hoss got injured.

    As far as Jags goes…I think he will go back to his 05 – 06 ways…If this really is his final year…then hes gonna wanna be as dominant as can be…Same with Shanny…If this is his final year the same goes for him….And with Nylander starting to shoot more…He can be a top scorer on our team…And im expecting alot better seasons from Pruch and Hoss….and of coarse it will be Cally’s rookie season…so im anticipating seeing him in 82 games barring injury or bad coaching decisions.

    Or yeah….and i cant wait to see who Colton Orr’s next victim is…I wonder if Fedoruk wants a rematch.

  59. ORR Kicks Ying Yang on

    Does anyone think NYI will re sign Sean Hill and Chris Simon who when the 07 – 08 season comes…will still be suspened for 10 games a piece more or less….Especially with all there free agents i wonder what they’ll do….Damn i hate them.

  60. My fault Adam, it was ’97. But yes, I do agree that ’97 was the last good year until the deep depression began.

    Lock up Henry to a minimum of a 4 year deal, no excuses.

  61. JOE

    Why dont you shut up already. Yu dont know anything about hockey you bitch

  62. Uh, ok? Just because I made a mistake on what year the Rangers went after Sakic makes me know nothing about hockey? Whatever dude.

  63. Wow – Pork Anus is going menstrual on us.

    Joe Thorton would be perfect as a premier center to feed Shanny. Would be worth the risk of a trade particularly if Drury goes to SJ to be with his old Sabre buddy Grier. Rangers would probably need to get a third team involved if prospects like Montoya are involved (Panther maybe?).

  64. Hey Sam,

    I figured you might have some knowledge on this subject considering your ties to hockey in the Big Apple.

    I read an article in the Post from September about an NHL store opening in midtown Manhattan, but when I do any kind of searching online to find more information I really don’t find all too much.

    Do you have any idea when the store might be opening? I’m pretty stoked to get into this place and New York is definitely one of the better places south of the 49th Parallel for an NHL store.

    Thanks for your time..

  65. so the NBA ratings are low, good. I am glad they are low. But all that matters to hockey fans is if the NHL ratings are going down or up. and they are going down, WAY down, 20%.

    It also does not do American hockey fans one bit of good to talk about canadian ratings because those numbers mean NOTHING to NBC and the rest of the American networks.

    I point out the low NHL ratings not to denigrate the sport I love, but to use it as a wake-up call to the morons who run it.

    the low ratings are not helped by the poor marketing and stupid rule changes that have taken the toughness and physical battles and rivalries out of the game. It is way too tame and timid now, which alienates the hardcore fan, and does not bring in new ones either.

    3 hours of dump and chase and phantom hooking calls won’t build a big audience. But making it more like Don Cherry says, rock’em sock’em hockey, WILL bring in a bigger audience.

    but clueless Bettman won’t change. so the NHL product slowly continues on the road to obscurity.

  66. Ivana Kachanatsov on

    This Angelo Esposito dude might be available at 17 because he is weird and his numbers dropped 20 points from previous season. If he is available I say it is a huge steal for us, this guy can play, just look at the video here:

    nice speed and size and gets involved physically

  67. Hey, Sam! It’s some time we haven’t heard anything about Ozo. Is there something new about him?

    Play or not to play? Trade or not?

  68. Another June 14th rules around…hard to believe it’s been 13 years. anyone have good stories from that fateful day?

  69. Sorry I am late in responding everyone.

    Chris F: I realize this about Henrik. And yes, he is worth top dollar since he’s our most important player. But what I mean is locking him up now for 7 years, $30 million like the rumored extension the Rangers were going to offer. We need to sign him to something in that ballpark (probably a little more like $5 million a year) before someone offers him an 8 year, $70 million contract that we would have to match.

    LI Joe: My argument for guys like Hossa, Thornton, Marleau, and Heatley not having great playoff track records is simple. Not everyone wins a Cup before they are 30 years old and gets their experience. Look at guys like Yzerman, Sakic, Shanahan, Hull, Lidstrom, etc. They were all chokers when they were in their late 20s. None of them won Cups until they were 30+. Point is it takes certain players longer to realize what it takes to win a Cup. Guys like Hossa, Thornton, etc. get you to the playoffs. Eventually, these top talents will start performing in the playoffs as they mature more and get more playoff experience.

    I say Heatley, Hossa, Thornton, or Marleau next summer and forget Gomez, Drury, and Briere.

  70. RobbyBonfire on

    June 14, 1994 – a date which will live in history. Congratulations, 1994 NEW YORK RANGERS – STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS!

  71. ORR Kicks Yin Yang on


    I heard about that NHL store a while ago…Last i checked it was opening September or October…Either way its probably gonna be pretty damn cool.


    Ozo is a free agent i think…We dont have to worrry about him getting re signed…He’ll probably retire…Hes a drunken fool that was a key part of our bad defense this year.

    Im happy to see him and Weekes big contract off the Rangers…God knows they didnt diserve the money they were getting.

  72. RobbyBonfire on

    To Adam Z. – Nice question as regards sharing the emotionally high experience of 6-14-1994. For a couple days thereafter, I reminisced about all my favorite Ranger players over the years WHO DID NOT win the Cup on Broadway, some not at all.

    From Andy Bathgate to Harry Howell to Rod Gilbert to Dean Prentice to Gump Worsley to Danny Lewicki to Vic Hadfield to Bob Nevin To Ron Greschner, to Eddie Giamcomin to Jim Nielson to Andy Hebenton to Ronnie Duguay to Walt Tkaczuk to Jean Ratelle to Phil Goyette to Donnie Marshall to Reggie Fleming to Steve Vickers to Barry Beck to John Davidson to Louie Fontanato to Bill Gadsby to Camille Henry, to Orland Kurtenbach, to Red Sullivan, to Rod Seiling, and to all the rest, including the coaches and a couple truly fine GM’s in Muzz Patrick and my all time favorite hockey executive, Emile Francis.

    And as I thought of these men who gave their all in Ranger red, white, and blue, I said to myself: This Stanley Cup championship is for you and all you gave to our cause, because you displayed the heart of a champion in your time here.

    At the risk of ridicule, I will share that as the clock wound down to zero, making the Rangers championship official, I picked up and held my beautiful five-year old female tortoiseshell cat “Sweetheart,” just to share the special moment in my life with a special little friend in my life. Sweetheart left me last August, at the age of 17, but for all the years in-between, she occupied a special place in my life as a direct link and reminder of that special night in the life, back in 1994.

    Oh, yes, I became a Ranger fan upon seeing my first game at the old Madison Square Garden in December of 1954, so I waited 39 1/2 years for the big night. Many others can relate to seeing most of their lives drain away while waiting for their hockey team to ascend the throne.

  73. NJ Mark – most of the others you named were N American (except Lidstrom). Hossa, in particular, I would stay far away from. He is very soft come playoff time. I would go for any of the big 3 this year over him. If they don’t sign a big time center this year they will not even match last yrs results. If they sign 1 of the big 3 (preferably not Brierre), they still might be able to get 1 of the others (Thorton etc) the following yr as others end their career like Shanny. Most likely spme of the next yrs crop will sign with their current team before becoming free agents. As far as the 5 you list being chokers in their 20’s I think the only one that applies to is to Brett Hull. It’s not only about winning the cup but rather how that player played and how far their playoff runs were.

  74. All good points LI Joe, I agree for the most part. But the fact that a guy like Heatley, Thornton, or Hossa hasn’t performed in the playoffs (especially Hossa and Thornton, Heatley was solid through 3 rounds this year) wouldn’t scare me from signing one of them. They are world class hockey players and would greatly improve any team. If Shanny retires after this year, I wouldn’t mind seeing his replacement being Heatley or Hossa.

    One other thing to consider too: for the majority, all great players have to learn to lose first before winning the Cup. Yes, there are exceptions like Jagr (he had Mario though), Staal, etc. But look at guys like Yzerman, Sakic, Gretzky, Messier, Brodeur, Hasek, etc. All of them lost deep in the playoffs before winning a Cup. So I wouldn’t be so fast to write off a guy like Heatley or Hossa when they are just hitting their prime and have many great seasons ahead of them.

  75. ORR Kicks Yin Yang on

    I thought Keenan was heading to some country toGm or coach…

    Im still waiting for NYR to do ANYTHING…

    FLA just traded Gratton to TBL for a 2nd round pick….And NJD just signed 3 players…2 of them prospects and the other Andy Greene….NYR needs to do something…Im going out of my mind here.

  76. I enjoy reading the different points of view from everyone but I draw the line when I see words such as “bitch” and “menstrual” added to comments. Anything that remotely denigrates women I don’t find appealing ; it really isn’t necessary in this forum especially when there are women hockey fans like myself reading and making relevant comments on this blog. Most of the men are respectful and I appreciate it but this is the 21st century and sexism has gotten old like the bustle. Those words are used explicitly to describe women in a negative fashion…please guys tone it down…women deserve respect imo. I love hockey and the Rangers are my team too.
    And Robby…loved your comments about “Sweetheart”. My cats and I sit down on the sofa together and watch the Rangers all the time ( and other hockey games also).

  77. NJ Mark – your point about losing deep in the playoffs is good. But that does not pertain to Hossa since with Ottawa and Atlanta he has shown absolutely zero in the post season. Looks like he does not even care. I want absolutely nothing to do with him on the Rangers. Let him stay on Atlanta and pile up all those regular season points.

  78. ORR Kicks Yin Yang on

    What the hells with Verses…The NHL awards is supposed to be on…But its not…Unless its on a little later.

  79. GuitarWizard1225 on


    I was just looking all over to make sure I had the right time and channel.

    It was supposed to be on Versus starting at 7 Eastern. It’s 7:45 and I’m watching two morons fighting like girls.

  80. GuitarWizard1225 on

    Actually, those two morons fighting like girls could be Marty and Sidney fighting over the Hart.

  81. Ya know, if MSG gav eus some 10 to Remember action, this lack of news wouldn’t be so bad, especially since I missed many games while I was away at college.

  82. Dude, I hate to break it to you, but those two morons fighting on VS. ARE girls…
    I’m pissed at VS. I wanted to see Henrik in a tux!

  83. Only if they signed Petr Nedved and Radek Dvorak at the same time… I thought Mike Keenan getting hired by the Flames was pretty big news…anyone want to guess how long before he resigns or wiggles his way out of his contract?

    It’s hard to believe that it’s been 13 years…I miss that team.

  84. Can Iron Mike turn Iginla into the force he was meant to become?

    Actually, what’s his contract status? Did he sign a long one last year? Can’t remember, too lazy to look…

  85. Iginla has a year at $7 million left according to

    Yep, Keenan is official. I still don’t really like him, although I probably should a little bit.

  86. wow, broduer wins vezina? he SUCKED this year!!!! i love HANK but seriously, if henrik gets beat by anyone it should have been luongo! they only give it to marty because he’s a veteran. didn’t luongo have 53 saves in a game this season and only loose by one or two goals?!? marty is a joke.

  87. ORR Kicks Yin Yang on

    EVEN though MSG NY gave it all away…..The NHL Awards is on at 11 p.m. on Verses.

    All the winners have been named already.

  88. GuitarWizard1225 on


    Hate to break this too you… but maybe if you looked… you would have noticed… that you were watching an hour after me… so maybe you were watching different people than me!

  89. ORR Kicks Yin Yang on


    They gave it to Broduer probably cause he beat that record with the 48 wins or what ever.

    Its not that big of a deal…He choked in the playoffs the last two years so that makes me a damn happy camper.


    WHAT THE HELL was with the NYR digging Ron Mcclean was doing…First Jagr….Then Mess….But the Mess one was funny i gotta admit.

  90. I just saw this on Yahoo Sports NHL in the transactions summaries and panicked…..

    J. Hlavac, NYR, LW Signed as Free Agent One-year contract

    Don’t worry though – he’s signed with the Lightning..!!

  91. Doodie Machetto on

    I agree with all of the awards except two:

    Selke should’ve gone to Pandolfo and Clancy should’ve gone to Sakic.

    Brodeur deserved the Vezina. The awards are based on the regular season only, and just by judging the regular season, you can’t deny him. one number alone merits it: 12 shutouts. And don’t give me the “his defense is better” BS because Luongo had about an equal number of shots against a game, and really the only competition was Luongo.

  92. GuitarWizard on


    I think a lot of people think that Pandolfo has Madden flying with him and that makes Pandolfo seem better than he is, thus not voting for him.

    Either way, they’re all pretty darn good.

  93. ORR Kicks Yin Yang on

    Ortmeyer should have won the Bill Masterson…

    The word Cancer strikes fear in everyones heart…once you hear that word nothing else matters.

    I think Orty diserved the trophy..He had a tougher time getting back and missed half the season.

    Its nothing to go crazy about…But i thought he should have won it…Nothing personal against Kessel but thats just my opinion.

  94. RobbyBonfire on

    You said Master – SON, not Master – TON. Given that Bill Masterton died as the result of an injury in a NHL game, and a league trophy is awarded annually, in his honor, we could at least spell his name correctly. Or not, your choice.

  95. ORR Kicks Yin Yang on

    Take it easy…This aint a spelling bee…I seen the SON spelling on….I figured that was the way…

    Anyway, I was looking at what Straka was saying a few days ago….He has me worried…The way hes talking is like he knows he cant compete with the youth…He kinda sounds like hes giving up. He says hes not gonna take the surgery cause it will leave him out of the lineup for a while.

    Marty’s the man…Hopefully he can have as good of a season and even better this coming season…Just gotta stay away from injury.

  96. ORR Kicks Ying Yang on

    Just incase anyone wanted to know….

    Dave Lewis was fired as head coach of the Bruins…Either he quit or he was fired.

    After the way NYR killed them this year…I dont blame him…His face was priceless during those 4 games.

  97. RobbyBonfire on

    The BEST thing that could happen for the Rangers this coming season, in an “addition through subtraction” context, would be for one-dimension, small, aging Straka NOT not to be on the team. Damn right he cannot compete with younger players. What an telling admission on his part!

    The bigger question is whether Glen Sather of “The old folks farm” mentality even gets it? Straka, Shanahan & Nylander are sliding down the cliff quite fast, and should be gone “too soon,” rather than too late.

  98. SAM Where’s the DRAFT Coverage!!!! Cmon…let’s trade Montoya and get Patrick Kane!

  99. RobbyBonfire on

    Why stop with Montoya – why not trade everyone under 27 so we can lead the league in “experienced,” overpaid, mercenary, downside, “presence in the lockeroom” leadership? After all, building to win the Cup, not just to “make the playoffs” is for organizations which are focused beyond their noses, and beyond next week. I, for one, am really tired of the Rangers short-term patching stupidity.

    It is because of Sather’s blind-as-a-bat short-term patching lunacy, that the organization is so thin, everywhere, and why he felt compelled to recruit the services of glorified AHL wash-outs Ozolinsh, Kasparaitis, Dupuis, Studwick, Isbister, Mara and Krog while the most recent regular season was underway. Any Stanley Cup caliber talent on that list?

    It is exactly BECAUSE this man continues to mortgage the club’s future that the cupboard is so bare where young organizational reinforcements are concerned. And you want more of the same? Now you want to dump a legitimate goalie prospect?

    Why don’t you petition Sather to grow up and start dumping the old guard – the Straka’s, and Shanahan’s, and Nylander’s, and Weekes’s, and Malik’s, etc? What the hell, do you want 15 guys dressing for every game who are over 30? Timing is indispensable to success, and is why the Rangers have no bragging rights in the Sather era. Enough about trading a talented young goalie and dangling other talented kids on the market, too. Sick of it!

  100. ORR Kicks Yin Yang on

    Jeez…Ranger fans are getting annoying…You’d think we were better off not making the playoffs like we did for 7 seasons more or less…

    We made the playoffs the last 2 seasons…Im happy about that.


    Please start complaining after NYR makes a move…Its actually nice in here without the likes of Yenner Mot and Pork Anus…When Yenner left..Pork came…Now pork hasnt shown in a day or 2…I really hope your not the new complainer around here.

    No offense but im sick and im sure half the people here are sick of all the complaining..the bitching..the moaning.

    Save it for July 1st…Its not that far away..I think you can wait.

  101. GuitarWizard1225 on

    If you think Ozolinsh and Kaspar are glorified AHL wash-outs, you have not been watching hockey very long. No, they are not what they used to be, but their careers have been far from horrible.

  102. ORR Kicks Ying Yang on

    Ozo and Kaspar definently arent washed up….But yeah they were brought in at bad points of there career but waddya gonna do.

    CHI just got samsonov….i mean that was a pretty bad move. uneless the guy comes outta no where scoring massive goals but i wouldnt hold my breath.

  103. RobbyBonfire on

    Where the hell were you, or what the hell were you watching, when Ozolinsh was the worst player on the ice in the Devils first round sweep of the Rangers in 2006? You know, the guy with the physical problems, the age problem, the substance abuse problems, the legal problems? Interesting that at this stage you think that somehow he can still be an asset to any hockey club. 1996 is history, Skippy. How many turnovers in your own end do you give a defenseman who is completely screwed up in his life on and off the ice, before you do something about it?

    Let’s get a couple things straight, right here and now. My opinion is MY OPINION, and it can take a positive or a negative tack, according to how I see the issue, the front office executive, or the player being addressed. Same for you, if the glass is half-empty, as you see it. we may disagree in the assessment, but I won’t tell you that you have to be a positive little “drum-beater” all the time, to accomodate me.

    And second, as regards older players, they are emphatically DOWNSIDE players, diminishing in their skill level at a moderate, or at a noticeably rapid pace. When they start to fade, THIS is the time to axe them, not when they are down to “empty” on the ability radar screen.

    The two most maddening things about our GM, are: 1. His predilection for trading youth for age, and stocking the team with a glut of fading veterans; and, 2. His penchant for signing old guys, and then hanging on to them far too long, and with it, his stonewalling the promotion of young talent from within the organization, in timely fashion.

    Dupuis was acquired and inserted into the lineup in preference to Callahan being promoted, last December. What more do you need to know? Callahan had to score 35 (!) goals at Hartford to even get a look, in an injury emergency. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh puts three kids under 21 into the lineup and they combine to score 98 regular season goals. Other GM’s are passing our GM by, like he’s a caveman looking for work at Cal Tech. And you want to hang with the Ozolinsh’s and Kasparaitis’s of the world going into 2007-2008? Unbelieveable!

  104. Well I can assure you this: The Rangers will NOT “hang” with OZOLINSH come July 1. He is a UFA and will certainly not be resigned.

    KASPARAITIS, on the other hand, will either need to be bought out, burried in Hartford or traded. Frankly, I think the guy could be an asset to the right team, however I don’t think that team is here. I wish he could get back to the level of play when he first got to NY and serve a seventh defender-mentor type for guys like STAAL and BARANKA, but I don’t think it will happen. It would be nice if he could fetch a draft pick from the Isles or something. They seem pretty eager to deal away youth…

    Robby: the team is making dramatic strides when it comes to playing kids. In 2005-2006, they suited Lundqvist, Tyutin Prucha, Hollweg, Hossa and you could argue Dom Moore. Last season, it was Girardi, Callahan and to some extent, Thomas Pock. Next year, I’m sure two of the following will be in NY to start: Dawes, Staal, Baranka, Dubinsky, or Immonen. Maybe even Bourret. The youth is comming, its just that it’s not comming as fast as Pittsburgh, which has had the luxery of drafting an unprecidented five top-5 draft picks in five years. In that same time, they’ve netted NINE top-40 picks. Rangers had eight top-40 picks, but only one(MONTOYA) in the top-10 and none in the top-5.

    Despite this fact, they have developed a very adept feeder system that is just begining to pay dividens. Once guys like Sauer, Pyatt, Anisimov and Dupont start rolling in next season, you’ll see how vibrant this system is.

  105. ORR Kicks Yin Yang on

    Jesus Christ did you read what i said…

    They were ONCE valuable…But when we got them they really didnt show up…Take it easy will ya…Your entitled to your opinion…So what ever…Im happy with that..I can care less.

    But we would have been no where without Shanny..Straka..Jagr..and Nylander who led the team in goals…Im all for a youth movement…but gimme a break…

    You make it seem like Jags..Shanny..and Nylander did absolutley nothing this year…Straka had a great start to the year…he was scoring goals in every game then he got hurt and slowed down…Jagr came off a tough injury where even his Doc said he should take a little time off before going back in…and he still managed to get 90 points…20 less goals but when he was having a tough time scoting goals he was setting up Nylander for a career year.

    And Shanny could have easily had a 40 or 50 goal season the way he was going…He got half the goals and assists he got last year…And missing massive games with a concussion.

    Enough said…Theres no reason to bash those 4..unless im reading what you said wrong.

  106. Robby – what’s with the nasty tone toward Orr. I don’t think he was saying to give either Ozo or Kaspar a spot so lighten up.

    Don’t compare anyones kids to the quality of the kids Pittsburgh has. There simply is no comparison.

  107. RobbyBonfire…did you even read what I wrote???…let me paste…”SAM Where’s the DRAFT Coverage!!!! Cmon…let’s trade Montoya and get Patrick Kane!”….If you know your hockey, Patrick Kane is the leading prospect for this upcoming draft…how trading Montoya, a goalie who is ready for NHL play, where we have a goalie for the present and future and who can be a horse, for an 18 year old who could be our future star…so, try to read the comment before all your lengthy replies

  108. RobbyBonfire on

    I will respond to tdchi. Let’s look at this – Lundqvist got the job because of Weeke’s injury flare-ups. Before that, Weeke’s was penciled in as “the man” in goal, despite his obvious struggles in net, with Lundqvist an afterthought.

    You cite Girardi, Callahan, and Pock as examples of Sather phasing kids into the lineup, this past season. You neglected to observe that Girardi was a mid-season call-up; Callahan a late-season call-up; and Pock got jacked around by Sather like a wood chip in a Pacific Ocean monsoon. I mean, he got NO PLAYING TIME while Ozolinsh, who never should have been invited back, was screwing up the Rangers blue line for several weeks, until, mercifully, Pock was reinstated. Then, as the season wore down, Pock was stacked below Mara on the depth chart and saw little playing time the final month. Also, Pock turned 25 last year, so his “kid” designation time is over.

    You see the above as a case for the Rangers opting to kids, whereas I see the club coddling smelly old fish and going to kids almost exclusively as an afterthought, when one of the mossbacks hits the sidelines for a spell.
    Coming out of camp, Dawes was the lone rookie on the roster and he got his one-way ticket to Hartford before the club committed to giving him full-time minutes and a serious NHL trial.

    Some “youth movement” you’ve got there.

  109. Robby: often times, opportunities like the ones that fell on Girardi and Callahan are exactly how kids break into the lineup. In rare cases, they’ll sieze a top-line billing, but again, that’s usually because they were top draft picks. The rest need to mature in the AHL before making the jump UNLESS a team is doing a total rebuild(such as Washington). Let me say at this point, something like this will NEVER happen in a big-market area like NY; simply put, there’s too much money to be lost. Put a pack of AHLer’s on the ice and they’d never fill the Garden. So in NY, the youth really need to make a showing in Hartford(such as Cally and Girardi did) before they get a sniff in the bigs.

    Another facet to this discussion is the MSG-hype machine. Fans, IMO, are often misled into thinking the next big thing is down in Hartford. Last year, they were promoting the hell out of JESSIMAN, saying that he was working with Shanny and had skated all summer and was ready to make a HUGE impact. What happened? Well, nothing. That’s because the only thing huge about Hugh Jessiman is the bust he’s shaping up to be. Still, there are fans out there that have him penciled into the openning day lineup next season thanks to the garden propaganda.

    As for POCK and DAWES, the later really did very little with the limited ice time he got at the begining of the season. Dawesie looked lost out there on fourth line because he’s not the type of winger that will make a splash with defensive forwards. Pock, OTOH, was a victim of the defense log-jam at the begining of the season. Frankly, I think the team was skating dreck like Ozo and Kaspar in a vain attempt to showcase them for a trade. The team probably also thought one if not both would go down with injuries in the first few months; they didn’t.

    Also keep in mind: Pock is a former forward who only started manning the blueline in his junior year at UMass. He’s a good skater, but needed to adjust defensively. Were you just considering his offense, sure he’s better than a seventh-D benchwarmer. But when you consider the total of his package, that’s what he was at the begining of the year.

    True, this is an organization that is notorious for burrying the youth. But it’s also an organization that hasn’t had much youth up until last year. Look at the Pack’s top players in 2003-04: Wiseman is a benchwarmer in Washington, Larose is an AHL lifer, Dom Moore actually played for the Rangers and eventually brought us Bourret, Ulmer is in Europe, Nycholat is a Senator benchwarmer, Hereema is an AHL lifer. Balej is in Switzerland, Labarbera is back with the Kings’ AHL affiliate, Garth Murray is a fourth-liner in Montreal and Giroux is still trying to break through with the caps.

    So I think there’s a degree of perception here that should be noted. The cupboard back then was butt-bare empty. Now that it’s getting full again, people are a bit over-excited with what is down there. I, too, am very pumped to see what some of these guys do. But I’d rather see them polished in the AHL and not at the NHL. They’re learning a system down there that is now in place in NY, so when they do fill in, there’s a good chance they’ll stay. So my advice to you is have patience. If Slats goes out and signs $20 million worth of free agents, I’ll be right beside you calling for his ass to be placed in the can. But I have a feeling this is all part of a big plan that was put into effect after the lockout. What I see developing is a Red Wings-type system, where FAs such as Nylander are replaced by guys from the farm…and that’s how you win cups…

  110. ORR Kicks Yin Yang on


    Rookie goaltenders are a whole whole other story…You rarely see a goaltender come right out of the draft and in the lineup…

    So you dont have a great argument there…And at that point…Everyone was saying Al Montoya was our goalie of the future…Then Hank came along.

    I remember there were NYR fans complaining that NYR didnt get a backup goaltender at the time and they didnt want Hank being the back up…Kinda like how we all are when it comes to Weekes being the backup…And im sure a few fans will feel the same about Valley backing up Hank.

  111. RobbyBonfire on

    I’m the GM, I’m not putting guys out there who can’t do the job – for several weeks, just to “showcase them” for a possible trade. What the hell are you expecting to get in return for Ozolinsh and Kasparaitis at this stage of the game – you know – the stage where their careers are OVER, except in Glen Sather’s bobble-head?

    Sather trades young guys and prospects for old guys, anyway, he does not trade old guys for young guys. Look it up.

  112. Robby –

    1st off get off the Ozo and Kaspar kick this is June 07′ not November 06′. I don’t think you would have had too many Rangers fans wanting to defend Ozo. We all know he s*cked.

    2nd did you enjoy the playoffs at all. If you had your way there would have been no playoffs as none of the vets would have been here. The playoffs also did a world of good to all the young guys who played – much better than time in October would have been.

    3rd by your definition Lou Gehrig only got an opportunity to play because of injury otherwise I guess he never would have played. Are you going to cite the reason Henrik got his start 5 years from now.

  113. RobbyBonfire on

    You got it! You are absolutely correct! I am willing to sacrifice a couple years of the “making the playoffs with a bunch of last gasp wheezers” mentality, for a REAL shot at winning the Stanley Cup in three years, by putting the young pieces in the puzzle, now, rather than annually forestalling attaining the ultimate glory so that the puking one-dimensional Straka’s of the world can fall off the NHL career map courtesy of the New York Rangers old folks farm. Now we’re talking some turkey.

    Did I enjoy the playoffs? Are you kidding? My standards are just a bit higher than yours – I “enjoy” the playoffs when my team wins
    the Stanley Cup – period! Put me in George Steinbrenner’s corner – everything which is not the ultimate success is FAILURE. Happy for you that the Rangers getting bounced in the round of eight was so giddy and ethereal an experience for you.

  114. Robby – you make absolutely no sense. you bring up Steinbrenner and his standards for success. Well that included bringing in all sort of free agents the opposite of what you say you want. The only youth that really came up was while he was suspended and was not involved.

    Glad to see you enjoyed 1 year in all the years that you followed hockey unless of course you are 67. If you had your way it will be alot more than 3 years for you to enjoy hockey again as other than Henrik and Staal I don’t think the rest are the stars that would bring us the cup.

    Aren’t you the guy who celebrated the last cup with your cat? That would say a lot as you seem to think you’re better than all the humans that participate in these discussions.

  115. ORR Kicks Ying Yang on

    I dont understand this…..There hasnt been any Anus in days …which im extrelemly happy about….But now we get this guy…

    For once why cant NYR fans be happy…I prefer where we are then where we were…


    Just like what LI JOE said….You make absolutley no sense on that one.

  116. RobbyBonfire on

    I was waiting for somebody to take a poke at me about my cat, Joe. Thanks for being the “fall guy.”

    Read my comment, regarding Steinbrenner, again. I refer to his PHILOSOPHY, that anything less than the ultimate success is failure. His METHODS, in this respect, have been a colossal flop, since 2000. In fact, the over-paid, over-aged Yankees are a great clinic on how to run your organization into the ground. Yes they won, big-time, in the 90’s, with a younger group which included key younger and STILL PRODUCTIVE free agents. But then the decline set in.

    In 2005, the Yankees fielded the OLDEST team in the history of major league baseball. The pitching staff averaged 35 years of age, the hitters averaged 34 years of age, in mid-season of that year. Bill James researched and published it, many still dispute it – the physical peak season for ballplayers comes at age 27! And beyond 31 it is a precipitous downhill slide, judging from the production results in thousands of cases, in each age bracket. Do I want the Rangers to emulate this self-defeating policy of signing big-name players, well beyond their peak-production years? Of course not. But some do, especially the “Shanny” crowd of idol worshippers around here. Like “Shanny” will be around the next time the Rangers win the Stanley Cup. Right!

    If you are going to take comments here out of context, try that with someone else, it doesn’t work with me.

    As for you, ORR, the names Weinman and Thomson byline this domain, not your name. I don’t know who you think you are, but you are just another blogger here. Your approval, plus “popularity” with the masses, I don’t need.

  117. Sather will try to bring back Nylander & Shanny, and sign 1 or 2 of the top UFA’s. He’s going for The Cup, not rebuilding the NYR. He’s rebuilding the farm system. If you want to see all young kids play go to Hartford or Charlotte. Even there they have some ‘vets’ mentoring kids. Both Sather & Renney will give vets more leeway than ‘kids’. They did it to a fault in 06-07. They don’t have replacements for Jagr or Shanny that can play at their level. If they’re not playing up to par in Feb 08 , then you might see some vets traded. What they need are guys who can step in and play on the top 2 lines, usually that means guys with NHL experience. This is not Pittsburg, nor do they have the kids they have. Nor are they very willing to put all young guys on those lines. If Jagr, Shanny, Nylander, Straka, & Malik were not here, than MAYBE you’d see more kids. And they probably wouldn’t make the playoffs.Any good team, needs a balance of youth & vets. Just look at the rosters of any Cup winners.

  118. Robby Bonfire on

    I see Nylander is looking at Chicago as a possible home for 2007-2008. Why a terrible organization like that would opt for falling even farther behind the pack with a senseless old guy signing of the Nylander ilk, is a good lesson in how expedience, panic, and embarrassingly low expectations can disintegrate a hockey club.

  119. Doesn’t anyone think that a slow, but constant stream of phasing young players in the lineup a good philosophy?…You get the veterans to teach the young guys while you’re competitive, these youngs guys help along the next one or two young players, and suddenly youre a mesh of older vets, young but experienced players, and rookies who aren’t overwhelmed at this level…The problem I have with Slats is that he took way too long to begin all this…NExt Year Marc Stall will be the big time rookie (The year after that hoepuflly Sanguinettit–although from what I hear he looks like a Tom Poti which every Ranger fan just loved to watch) and maybe someone pushes another, somebody gets injured…the year after next Shanny will maybe retire (I’m assuming he’s back next year) and a young player is then ready to step up…I think if 3 rookies next year play roles in the Rangers season, (Stall’s a given…I’m hoepfuly for maybe Dubinksy, or Bourret who nobody mentions)…then the next year we will have progressed well development wise….but to yank all the veterans off is stupid

  120. Robby: FYI and mark my words, Chicago is going to be a FORCE in a year or two. They’ve got Skille, Toews, Barker AND Seabrook, all who could very well be featured in an all-star game in the near future. And this year, they’ve got the first over-all pick, sat Patrick Kane(I’ll even throw Sergei Makaraov’s kid Igor in the mix too). So that’s at least three dominant forwards and two hard hitting blueliners all under the age of 23…

    As for your Steinbrenner postualtion, you obviously don’t remember King George of the 1980s. Yankee fans wanted that guy tarred and feathered for essentially rushing kids into the majors, then casting them aside like rabble when they choked. Oh, and stocking the team with uselss free agenets; there were just too many of them back then. But that’s baseball and this is hockey, which is an entirely different sport that defies comparison.

    I understand your “win now” philosophy, but it’s a bit contradictory to say ‘play the kids in one’ breath and then ‘win the cup’ in the other. Were the average age of the Rangers under 25, the only thing they would be doing is competing with the Hawks for the number-one pick. And if Brandon Dubinsky, Immonen or any other prospect was a centering the top two lines on this team last year, they wouldn’t have made the playoffs at all, much less the second round.

    Bottom line is, I don’t think anyone is disagreeing with you regarding the urge to see some of the young guys get the spotlight. But I think most of us are a lot more patient and willing to wait until they’re good and ready to play. There’s a level of instruction these guys get in Hartford that they won’t get in NY. Why? Because NY is the show; if you’re there, you’re expected to know the game. In Hartford, they can work with these guy to better round their skills to FIT the system in NY, hence why Slats isn’t calling down to Hartford everytime one of the vets plays a sloppy game. He knows whats there, and he’ll play them when they’re ready.

    For once, I’ll support Sather because I’m seeing tangible results in the minors. Mind you, if he trades them all away or signs a dreck like Yashin or Bertuzzi to suck up icetime, I’ll change this song and dance. But over the past two years, Slats has really been a stay-the-course guy. His signings last year were a shot at the cup. And when it didn’t work out well, he tweaked the roster in a way that brought the most exciting Ranger team since the mid-90s together. Loved the Avery move, loved the Mara move and loved getting Bourret. Now, the only thing left to do is to keep the core together, draft sensibly and if the right deal comes along, aquire a second-line forward.

  121. Robby Bonfire on

    Why are you deliberately distorting my emphatically stated basic premise of BUILD NOW, WIN LATER, as “win now?” I would go with SIX rookies this coming season, if I were king. Period. Don’t misrepresent people’s stated positions, here. It detracts from your credibility.

    Sather has been greatly reined-in by the salary cap. Before then, he was virtually out of control idiot spender number one. I detest his bald-tire patching mentality (Dupuis, Studwick, Krog, Isbister, etc. – you know the names) and do not have faith that he has ever had, or will ever have a cohesive blue print for anything other than MARGINAL (“making the playoffs”) success. You are fearful he will bring Yashin or Bertuzzi in here. How about I have trepidation over the Peter Forsberg rumor. Not THAT ONE is really

    Regarding promotions, Sather’s Achilles Heel is his failure to promote young players through the sytem to Broadway, in timely fashion. The man is gutless to a fault. The later in life players are promoted to the major league of any sport, the sooner the learning curve hits the decline phase of the career. This little gem I must credit Bill James for, not represent it as my own. In other words, it is much more of a detriment to forestall a promotion, than to rush a promotion. The athlete enjoys a LONGER and MORE PRODUCTIVE peak to his career, relative to HOW EARLY he is promoted. Few are aware of this. Bill James is truly a genius and the greatest sports analyst in history for sharing the results of this research and so many other iconoclastic findings with us.

  122. ORR Kicks Yin Yang on


    I completely agree with you…The slower process is way better then throwing them in…ARe kids are NOT the Penguin kids…Just because of the pens…basically every one says “throw in all the kids”…Are kids could be good but there so far from being Crosby or Staal etc…

    And everyones who wants NYR to throw Staal in the mix…and is bashing Sather for it…I think its a good move..Staals a D man thats a whole hell of a lot mre responsibility theen being a foward…just like what i said about rookie goaltenders.

    All i can really say is for those who dont like the way NYR is doing things then dont watch them…Im enjoying NYR and they had a really good season and alot of good times and a good run in the playoffs…Im just happy seeing them win…And no matter what ill always be behind them rooting for them…Even if they sign Yashin…But hopefull not

  123. Am I crazy or are there more ads on this blog than there used to be? I guess that’s a good thing (for Sam or Lohud, at least).

    Sam, Oakmont’s finished. How about some Blueshirt rumors, updates, etc.? Thanks.

  124. The Philadelphia Flyers have dipped into the free agent market a little early, thanks to the Nashville Predators.

    Because of Nashville’s uncertain ownership future and an expected tight budget in the coming year, sources tell TSN the Predators arranged with the Flyers to give them exclusive negotiating rights to two coveted free agents – defenceman Kimmo Timonen and forward Scott Hartnell.

    Sources tell TSN the Flyers have now signed both Hartnell and Timonen to long-term contracts.

    Hartnell, who was scheduled to become a free agent on July 1, signed with Flyers on a 6-year, $25.2 million deal for a cap hit of $4.2 million per year.

    The Flyers also agreed to terms with Timonen on a 6-year, $37.8 million contract for an annual cap hit of $6.3 million.

    In exchange for giving up the rights to the two free agents the Predators knew they would not be able to sign, Nashville received back its own first round pick that it gave to the Flyers as part of the Peter Forsberg trade.

  125. Doodie Machetto on

    Damn, I really liked Timmonen too.

    Philly just got the steal of the season.

  126. Ivana Kachanatsov on

    6 year deal for a guy who is already 32 and is only 5’10” and they are paying him 6.3 million. Pure insanity, this makes Charles Wang look like a genius.

    4.2 million a year for Hartnell??? Wow, I got to feel pity for Flyers’ fans. Now the UFA salaries will skyrocket thanks to Flyers.

  127. ROBBY: Alright, dude. Let’s not misrepresent…WHO, do tell, would you slice off the roster to bring in these six rookies? And even better yet, who ARE these six rookies? You’re basically asking the Rangers to ditch TWO FULL LINES to bring up guys that haven’t exactly tore up the AHL. While I could probably think of six guys that are deserving of a Ranger-jersey next season, I couldn’t think of the six guys who they would play better than if they replaced. While your mulling all this, scratch Girardi off your list, because I don’t believe he qualifies as a rookie any longer. Callahan as well, seeing as though he’s all but penned into the roster after his play last season. Pock: not a rookie. Immonen, also not a rookie. I await your response.

    As to Bill James, I’ll reiterate my point: HOCKEY IS NOT BASEBALL. Hockey is a team sport, where chemistry really determines whether a team wins or looses. Baseball, well…lets just not talk baseball…Back to hockey, chemistry is developed by guys getting time to skate along side one another. When you literally change a quarter of the team’s composition(as you insist on doing) you change the chemistry.

    Granted, with Packers comming in, at least they’ve got a good idea of what’s going on. But again, I challenge you to pick six prospects and insert them into the lineup in a way that you could argue would improve this team. I restate my claim that all the Rangers need right now is a second line center.

    Flyers: Hartnell a good pickup. Timmonen. WTF?!? And at the price? They’re F’in crazy. If that’s the way the FA market is going to be, I’m really hoping Slats stays put.

  128. ORR Kicks Yin Yang on

    Hartnell was a good pickup for the flyers…But i dont know about Timmonen…And 6 years…Wow

    I think Flyers will be tough this season…Nittymaki had a terrible season…But now everyone will finally get to see if Biron can actually be a starter like he claims to be…

    And with these moves im guessing its safe to say Forsberg wont be with them this year…I heard rumors that hes retiring…

    All im hearing is news for other teams though….I want to know whats up with NYR

  129. Robby Bonfire on

    Dawes, Staal, Sanguinetti, Baranka, Pyatt, and Montoya would be my favorite rookie candidates to land a job going into training camp. Of course if one or two other rookie candidates look more polished and ready from the start to the finish of camp, the above list would be modified.

    You could compose the “axe” list for me, because you already know where I am going, here… STRAKA — NYLANDER — SHANAHAN — MALIK — MARA — and RACHUNEK. Bunch of old guys, infirm guys, and fire plugs, some a combination of all three.

    So that on D we have: Girardi, Tyutin, Rozival, Staal, Sanguinetti, and Baranka, with Pock in reserve and getting ample relief time to rest the others on a rotation basis.
    At forward I have recommended dropping three old guys, and nominated two young forward replacements, so that filling the third slot I would leave to the competition in camp.

    No, this team doesn’t win the Stanley Cup, and probably won’t make the playoffs for a couple years. But starting in 2009, this group would be capable of playing with anybody, regular and post-season, deeply into June.

    What is so rocket science about the above? Thanks for the fat pitch down the middle, which I creamed. Throw me your best curve ball, sometime, it’s ok.

    And thanks for telling me hockey is not baseball. I really needed that. LOL. My point, which you missed, or deliberately glossed over, is that the physical peak for athletes, (except golfers, who peak in the 32-36 age range), comes long before the 30th birthday. Got it this time, or is the Braille board still cracked?

  130. Ivana Kachanatsov on

    Forsberg will not retire yet, with the salaries going up like that.

    this draft is not anywhere near as weak as some “experts” claim. Some morons actually suggested trading our pick away. What we should do is trade up and go for a top line center like Angelo Esposito. The more videos I see of him the more impressed I get, I think this guy is good enough to play in NHL as an 18 yearold.

    Also thankfully for us there are also lots of good defensemen that other teams will grab, we don’t really need them because we already got a lot, that could mean some good forwards will slide down. And Keaton Ellerby looks to be very similar to Marc Staal.

  131. Robby – you have to give us “masses” time to comprehend all the big words and attitude you like to throw around. You’re more obnoxious than Islander fans – you sure you’re not one of them.

  132. For some reason there’s a fallacy that if you stick a young kid in to the lineup, that eventually he’ll turn into an allstar…and so, the dumb logic there is if you jsut stick a bunch of rookies on the ice now, then in 4 years you have a bunch of allstars…there’s an old addage in hockey that states you can’t turn a 4th liner into a 1st liner just by playing him on the 1st line…you have to nurture players, cultivate the garden, let them grow into themselves…let the prospects cut their teeth in the minors, bring him along experienced players who can teach him the nuances…now Robbie Bonfire keeps wanting to axe Shanny but Shanny has unbelievable leadership and knowledge that let’s face it that Jagr, although he wears the C, just doesn’t have…if you don’t see how he’s good for players like Callahan and Girardi, then you’re really naive.

  133. Robby Bonfire on

    Gee, you’re on to me, Joe, I now stand exposed as an “Islander mole.” Make my day. Better yet check above, on June 14th, where I list my favorite Ranger players over a lifetime, sans Brad Park, whom I oversighted, and would never deliberately slight. Absolutely one of the greatest defenseman ever to lace a skate in the NHL.

    Islander fans don’t remember the date in 1994 the Rangers won the Stanley Cup. Don’t go into the “gumshoe” business, Joe, you miss too many telling clues. LOL.

  134. Robby Bonfire on

    BULLETIN: Shanahan was one of the LOWEST-RANKED Ranger forwards last season, in the critical category of clutch goals scored, at even-strength, the real and fairest test of a player’s skill level. He was scoring the bulk of his even-strength goals when games were effectively decided. Prucha, conversely, was the team leader in scoring even-strength goals in close-game situations. Most here, from what I see, would trade Prucha to “move up in the draft” in a nano-second, and keep “Shanahan The Mentor” around until social security kicks in.

    Hey, like it or not, there comes a time when it is PAST TIME to cut bait on the old wheezers. I wish Shanahan were 25 and life were a paved highway – proving your point about how “naive” I am.

  135. ROBBY: Okay there, braile boy, allow me to deconstruct your ludicrous postulations for a minute. I’ll even save you from the embarassment of putting lines together.

    Baranka, 22, he’s a good kid and will more than likely be an NHL blueliner at some point next season. This said, he’s never skated more than 60 games at the AHL level. Still, I’ll give you this one instead of…say…Rachunek, who ain’t supposed to be comming back.

    Dawes, 22, is also a guy that has earned a sniff in the bigs. But if you’re putting him on a line with Jagr(as it appears you would by omitting both Nylander and Straks) you’re setting him up for failure. Dawesie has a nose for the net and a scoring knack, but he AIN’T -and probably never will be -a first-line winger. But again, I’ll agree with you for argument sake that he belongs in the NHL. And that’s the last I’ll agree with you.

    Staal, 20, unless he turns it on in a major way, I can’t see him starting the year in NY. There’s always adjustment from juniors to the NHL and that adjustment is best done in Hartford. Not to mention, the Rangers seemed to have learned with guys like Blackburn and Malhotra, that rushing guys from juniors can have disasterous effects. He could get a sniff if there are a spate of injuries on the blueline like this year.

    Pyatt, 20, is also a future NHLer. But there’s NO room for him in the center position. At the NHL level, he’s not a first-liner or second liner. Maybe, just maybe, he’d fit in third, but then what do you do with Cullen? Still, he’d be better getting 17- to 20-minutes of time like another recent Pack grad did on a top AHL line(see: Callahan). I’ve always been a HUGE fan of Pyatt(and his bro for that matter) and have never been a big fan of Nylander. But having a guy from Juniors who had one big season center Jagr is a recipe for disaster.

    Now onto your weakest claims…

    Sanguenetti, 19, showed poise in the AHL at the end of the year. But that shouldn’t be confused with poise at the NHL level. As your sarcastic ass is well aware, there’s a HUGE difference between the speed, physicality and talent level at the NHL level. Young Bobby, who is comming off arguably his worst season, would crumble on NY’s blueline.

    Montoya, 22, was getting pulled for who last season? If you answered Steve Valliquette, pat yourself on the back. Monty is a solid goalie and has the skills to one day be a stellar goalie. But he lacks the concentration to be in the NHL, much less as a BACKUP; 14 to 18 games behind Hank would be the equivolent of stopping his progress altogether. And if he ever took a schalacking like Lundqvist did in Toronto last season, he’d be a quivering mess. Blackburn is no longer in the NHL because the Rangers rushed a frail kid to being Richter’s backup, then gave him the starting position for a week, and finally benched him to start Dunham of all players. Blacky responded by overworking himself and hence developed that freak nerve condition.

    Now onto what you’re getting rid of:

    -The most bonafide and productive first-line the Rangers have had since Messier’s time; arguably in modern times.
    -Mara, a 28-year-old guy with a rocket for a shot at point who held down the blue line after comming here.
    -Shanahan, a future hall of famer who’s scored under 25 goals only three times in his career: his rookie season, his second year and the strike-shortened season in 1995. And he almost scored 30 last season despite a potentially career-ending concussion and not having a center worth a hill of beans.

    Malik and Rachuneck, well, frankly I agree it’s their time to go. But if you think Sanguinetti is a better option there, you’ve got issues, bud. Mark my words, if both those guys are chucked, you will see another 30-something blueliner comming in.

    I agree, there needs to be a steady infusion of youth to keep this roster solvent and on the right path. But what you pitch is a lineup that wouldn’t be cohesive(two rookies on first line with Jagr? A pair of blueliners with a combined 24 games of AHL experience? A backup goalie KNOWN for his mental breakdowns?) and would probably get shelled on a regular basis. I think all these guys have a bright future, just not next year like you seem to think. Rush them, you’ll stunt their growth and end up with a team of Blackburns and Malhotras.

    And “physical peak?” WTF are you talking about? There are plenty of guys that don’t turn it on until the later stages of their career. Try playing a pickup game with a bunch of teenagers and you’ll understand why. Sometimes they lack the maturity to make the pass they know they should make or be in the spot they no they should be. Just because a player is over the age of 32 DOES NOT mean he’s over the hill. And one of the guys you seem fit to dump on -Straka -is just as fast if not faster than most of the guys in Hartford(including Dawes).

    Lastly, there isn’t a team playing in the NHL that would willingly give up a shot at the playoffs to “mature” their young players. Not Pittsburgh. Not Chicago. And certainly not the Rangers. This is the most absurd of your concepts. Why in god’s green earth would a team go from playoff contention to full-bore youth movement? Did you ever consider the REVENUE aspect of the game? Better yet, do you have any concept for what MSG made because of the Rangers’ short tryst in the POs? Were Slats NOT to make the playoffs these past two years, he’d be gone. It’s simple economics.

    Take that an put it in your snide-ass pipe in smoke it.

  136. “Why are you deliberately distorting my emphatically stated basic premise of BUILD NOW, WIN LATER, as ‘win now?'”

    “You got it! You are absolutely correct! I am willing to sacrifice a couple years of the ‘making the playoffs with a bunch of last gasp wheezers’ mentality, for a REAL shot at winning the Stanley Cup in three years, by putting the young pieces in the puzzle, now, rather than annually forestalling attaining the ultimate glory”

    “Did I enjoy the playoffs? Are you kidding? My standards are just a bit higher than yours – I ‘enjoy’ the playoffs when my team wins the Stanley Cup – period! Put me in George Steinbrenner’s corner – everything which is not the ultimate success is FAILURE.”

    RobbyBonfire, I believe the second and third paragraphs answer your question in the first section. You’re stumbling over your words, changing your opinion, and being an asshole about it cuz you are being rightly criticized, so maybe that’s why people want to disagree with you.

    I do agree with your opinion on Sather, however. He traded the old guys before the end of the 03-04 season because he probably had some inside info about the cap coming soon, or else he would have stuck with them for seven more losing seasons. The only way young players get to play is when there is a long injury and there are no free agents (Strudwick) or guys on waivers (Krog) that Sather can pick up. They have to prove themselves under pressure of being sent back down to the AHL, which in a backwards way ends up being a good thing, but you would think with the cap that the team would start with more young players. Let’s not forget that Prucha was sent down in early ’05 before Rucinsky was injured for significant time. Hopefully in the next couple of years, with Henrik’s big contract, we will be forced to play more young players, as long as the cap stops rising.

  137. And more, Robby – have you even been reading this blog? Almost everybody here wants Prucha to see much more ice time. Myself, I would put him back on the first line. Hopefully, he is re-signed.

    We want to trade Montoya while he still has some value as a starter rather than a backup, and possibly get some young forwards for him.

    At least you’re somewhat smart about your arguments and don’t bash Jagr, unlike that other guy, his latest incarnation being pork anus.

    tdchi – I would think Staal has earned a spot on the Rangers next year, but if they sign a good defenseman, he won’t be there, and he won’t be behind Baranka at any point I don’t think.

  138. Ivana Kachanatsov on

    “Don’t go into the “gumshoeâ€? business, Joe, you miss too many telling clues. LOL.”

    LI Joe is a well known mental midget, infamous for accusing anyone he disagrees with for being an Islander fan. Just pay no attention to his broken record.

  139. Ivana (cut your b*lls off or whatever you are going by now, Yenner, Pork etc). I only accuse someone who is especially obnoxious like yourself, this new guy RB (who I’m sure will be your new best friend), and the a** during the playoffs who wanted us to be swept while claiming to be a Ranger fan but was obviously rooting for one of the other 2 NY hockey teams. I’ve disagreed intelligently and friendly with plenty of others. Its just a******* that I have a problem with. Most of those happen to be Islander fans but there are a very few who either really are Ranger fans or just claim to be. Have a nice day.

  140. Ivana Kachanatsov on

    I also wanted us to get swept so that your best bud Renney would finally get canned after 2 straight sweeps.

  141. Renney is far from my best bud. But I do think more highly of him than the opinions of the aforementioned few I listed earlier (counting yourself as 1 person despite multiple incarnations).

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