The rare summer sojourn to the rink


I’d tell you that Alexei Cherepanov was the dominant player on the ice at the Rangers’ prospect development camp, but that would be misleading.

The Rangers No. 1 draft pick was brought to New York straight from the draft without even an extra pair of socks, meaning everything from his sticks to his skates were not his own. The result is that Cherepanov still looked impressive in a set of fairly rudimentary drills. But whether he’s the second coming of Pavel Bure, or even Valeri Bure, is something still to be determined.

Some other notes from my first visit to the Training Center in more than a month:

  • Karel Rachunek is indeed a free agent after the Rangers opted not to make him a qualifying offer by yesterday’s deadline. Tom Renney said the move was to provide the Rangers’ some flexibility for free agency, and to give some other players in the system opportunities. But he did half-heartedly say Rachunek could be re-signed by the Rangers. Don’t count on it, though.
  • Renney also said he still hasn’t had a conversation with Michael Nylander, but that he was given the go-ahead by Glen Sather to do so. The plan as of now is for the coach to reach out to Nylander before Sunday, but Renney also said there’s nothing he could say to Nylander that hasn’t already been made apparent.
  • Among the other players on the ice today: forwards Artem Anisimov and Tommy Pyatt; goalie Antoine Lafleur; and defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti. Marc Staal was not here, but could be here later in the week. Strangely, the Rangers brought in two Japanese players for the camp as a gesture of goodwill with that country’s hockey federation. Neither is being seriously looked at.

    Plenty more to come in the next few days. Until then…

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    1. Yes, a smaller more fuel efficient version. They did have the winter olympics there. Remember the cheap chairs?

    2. EB was responding to the fact that I had spelled his name wrong, since corrected.

      EB, I don’t know what I’d do without you (other than score more goals).

    3. Robby Bonfire on

      The Rangers went “PC” a long time ago, with the reaching out to the urban community program, or whatever they call it. Look for a lend-lease deal with Mexico, next.

    4. ORR Kicks Yin Yang on

      Lol Val Bure….yeah him and D.J Tanner from Full House…Have like 2 or 3 kids….Last time i checked he was on the stars then he disapeared…

    5. GuitarWizard on

      Yeah, they have three kids. And of course in the Russian tradition their middle names are all Valerievich or Valerievna.

    6. ORR Kicks Yin Yang on

      really….I dont think D.J. is russian…I figured she’d have a choice in the matter….Joey Gladstone should hook Stephanie Tanner up with one of the Rangers…Pruch needs a chick…with Jagrs babe moving in…

    7. Sam–

      Obviously Rachunek was not tendered a qualifing offer, but when will we know who they did extend offers to? If it has been reported and I’ve missed it, my appologies.

    8. Sean Avery ($1.1M qualifier); Marcel Hossa ($660,000 qualifier); and Petr Prucha ($610,000 qualifier).

    9. Doodie Machetto on

      We should send an offer sheet to Parise. Not enough that Lou would let him go, but enough that it would make it impossible to bring back both Gomez and Rafalski.

    10. Correction to Sam’s blog of who is in camp. There are 2 Japanese present but they are photographers, not players.

    11. isn’t it 5 first round picks lost if The devils don’t match? That seems a little steep for Parise.
      I’d rather do it with someone like Vanek rather than Parise.

    12. ORR Kicks Yin Yang on

      The Blues just got Keith Tkachuk back….Thats good news…I heard NYR was planning on getting him as a possible 2nd line center…Thank god not…He’s not worth it…Just ask ATL

    13. What’s funny is that the Japanese players were actually Kasparitis and Ozolinsh who just dyed their hair and used a bad fake accents

    14. reginald dunlop on

      that’s the old free agent system……with new cba, the compensation is decided by how much you sign the player for……it could be a first and third next year, that is the ceiling, no longer five first rounders

    15. imagination- Those are the qualifying offers they made to those players.

      Teams are required to extend a one-year qualifying offer to any current restricted free agent by June 25 in order to receive the right of first refusal or draft choice compensation should that respective player sign an offer sheet with another NHL club. The qualifying offers will expire at 4 pm (Central Time) on Sunday, July 15.

      Qualifying offers fall into the following three categories:

      1) A player whose prior year salary was equal or less than $660,000 must receive a qualifying offer of 110% of their prior years salary. 2) A player whose prior year salary was more than $660,000 and up to $1 million must receive a qualifying offer of 105% of their prior years salary (but in no event shall such qualifying offer exceed $1 million). 3) A player whose prior year salary was more than $1 million must receive a qualifying offer at 100% of their prior years salary.

      If a team does not give a qualifying offer to a restricted free agent, he is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, and can sign with any team with no compensation required to the players former club.

      Players who have been tendered a qualifying offer by their respective Clubs and are subject to draft-choice compensation and right to match. The draft choice compensation scale is based on compensation offered by the new Club:

      $660,000 or below None
      Over $660,000-$1 million 3rd-round choice
      Over $1M-$2M 2nd-round choice
      Over $2M-$3M 1st-round choice and 3rd-round choice
      Over $3M-$4M 1st-, 2nd- and 3rd-round choices
      Over $4M-$5M Two 1st-round choices, one 2nd- and one 3rd-round choice
      Over $5 million Four 1st-round choices

    16. Ivana Kachanatsov on

      JD is an absolute moron for tradinf for Tkachuk. Good thing we won’t be signing him.

    17. Wow, that’s amazing and rediculous that four first-rounders can be taken away just for signing a player. Bryan – no Lundqvist included in the qualifying offers? I should think so.

      I was surprised to see that Kaspar’s salary will count against the cap if he is in the minors. That just doesn’t make sense. From reading about Drake being put on waivers, if someone is bought out, the whole original average salary (cap hit) remains the same, with the team just paying less real money to the player.

      I’m surprised the Panthers would rather sign Anderson than Auld, but maybe they’re just doing Auld a favor by letting him get an eventual starting chance elsewhere. He’s gotta be a better backup than Anderson, which is good to have after Vokoun’s recent injuries.

      I love how Bill Simmons jokingly says the draft was fixed in his NHL Draft Satire.

    18. Ivana Kachanatsov on

      I don’t understand why we couldn’t get even a late draft pick for the rights of Rachunek or Immonen.

    19. Brando I don’t think Kaspar’s salary hits the cap, he cleared waivers last year.

    20. Yeah I cant believe we couldnt turn racoon & a slow forward around for joe thorton. what was sather thinking.

    21. hockeymanrangers on

      OK can someone try to do a spelling pronunciation for Mr. Cherepanov. I got the panov but how you say Chere???? Any one want to take a stab at it? thanks

    22. Ivana Kachanatsov on

      “The Rangers are trying to get Anisimov over to North America this fall. “That’s part of the plan,” Renney said. “From what I can gather, we’re making that attempt.” Neither player speaks English, and there was no interpreter on hand, so we could not talk to them directly.”

      Rangers organization is such a joke, they can’t find anyone who speaks both Russian and English in New York.

    23. Ivana Kachanatsov on

      “Darius Kasparaitis was in the building, in T-shirt (Rangers) and shorts, looking trim and fit, and happy. He said he’s been working out over the summer playing hockey at Chelsea Piers, where every time he passes the puck, he gets it right back. It was weird feeling,he said, making him feel like Jaromir Jagr. He then went off to the viewing platform where Sather and Renney were watching the activity on the ice. Prospect camp continues through Friday. We will be back here to cover the closing day’s scrimmage.”

      wow, what does this mean? Kaspar is back with the Rangers?

    24. According to the Post link Sam provided, Kaspar’s salary is against the cap, which I don’t believe, personally.

      Cherepanov could either be Chair-eh-PON-off or Chair-EHP-a-noff. It’s probably the first one, although, maybe when Russians say it, it’s the latter. I personally have not heard anybody say his name yet, so that’s my guess.

    25. The best thing that can happen to the NY Rangers is parting ways with Nylander. He is old. He wants too much money. And he had a career year when his career is almost done. Sold Sold Sold! Go use the money on younger centers.

    26. czechthemout!!!!! on

      i bet if we tried to trade malik,the response from other gm’s would be just as hot a sit was for the crapster!

    27. I think its absolutely hilarious that the press, the coaches, and everyone else tells us in one paragraph that Anisimov and Cherepanov were there but nobody could speak with them or interview them because there was no interpreter on hand, and then two sentences later comment that Darius Kasparaitus was around and talking with everyone.

      Hey geniuses, you think maybe Kasparaitus speaks both English and Russian?

    28. Ivana Kachanatsov on

      What good came from Shanahan’s leadership? Hossa again only scored 18 points, Tyutin’s and Prucha’s numbers dropped. Dawes and Immonen certainly didn’t benefit. We didn’t go much further in the playoffs and in fact almost missed them. Hollweg and Betts still couldn’t score, Orr still sucks. Hall, Isbister, Dupuis, Krog, and Jason Ward were terrible. Cullen had a pretty bad year offensively. The only good thing that happened from Shanahan was when he got hurt and Callahan got his chance, can you imagine how gloomy things would be if Shanahan didn’t get hurt? So once again who benefitted from Shanahan and his leadership?
      Why do we need him? Signing him would be a big mistake.

    29. Ivana Kachanatsov on

      enough with the has beens and fossils already, play the young guys who are faster and better and bring more energy.

      Funny how the team really played better without Shanahan than with him.

    30. Ivana Kachanatsov on

      BTW, in the last 4 playoffs Shanahan got 17 points in 32 games. Only 8 goals. Last season he only produced 27 even strength points, which is less than Cullen. He also had only 3 game winners and 2 empty netters.

    31. Ivana Kachanatsov on

      some possible line combos I would like to see:


      and a 4th line of


      I don’t want Cullen to center Prucha or Callahan

      Also want to see Baranka with Rozsival and Staal with Mara or Girardi

    32. since some here want to have a youth only team and like to bring up the Ducks when it conviently fits their opinion. Let me know how many older vets are on the recent Cup winner and how many were on the runners up. To want to have an all under 30 team is absurd. By the way look at who the Pens just signed and are bringing back to play with the ‘kids’. Now ask yourselves, WHY?

    33. Doodie Machetto on

      imagination, comparing the vets on the Ducks and Shanahan is like apples and oranges. Their top line vets (Selanne, Niedermayer, Pronger) are all having career years. In other words, they are not in a decline. Meanwhile, Shanahan has been in a steady decline since the lockout. His 40 goals in 05-06 was a produict of an amazing PP with so many threats that it left him wide open in the slot pretty frequently.

      I hate to say I agree with I.K. on this, because 99% of the time he’s wrong, but he’s right about one thing. Let Shanahan go.

      The only way I’d take him is if he was paid 1M or less and played a bottom line role.

    34. Kaspariatis has a valid contract with the New York Rangers.

      At this point in time his contract is a CAP hit.

      There are ways to lessen the impact of his contract to the cap.

      One way would be to buy out his contract. A certain percentage of his total contract (I think 2/3 would count against the CAP) but that total amount coule be spread out over the course of 2 seasons.

      Another way would be to trade him.

      The final way, and probably the way it will go down is that Darius will come to camp. Sometime during camp he will be placed on waivers and sent to Hartford. Obviously, teams will have the option to pick him up.

      In Hartford the Rangers will still pay is salary but it will not count against the cap.

    35. out of the two (rachunek and Malik) no one even comes close to the horrid play of Malik, but I am glad Rachunek is gone.

      Imagine, for a moment, a solid, strong defensive corp in front of Lundqvust, with a mix of vets and youngsters.

      If you can picture that, plus a nice signing, and a healthy Jags and Shanny, you can picture a serious run for the Cup this season.

      Imagine what Lundqvst would have done on the devils?

    36. Ivana Kachanatsov June 26th, 2007 at 9:00 pm
      I don’t understand why we couldn’t get even a late draft pick for the rights of Rachunek or Immonen.>>>

      Ivana tell you that we should have gotten something for Immonen but with Rachunek, well, he is not even a NHL caliber player. His only saving grace is that he is not as bad as Malik. He didn’t even want to play in the NHL…it was only the US $ that brought him over.

      I do fear that if we do not change our perspective on playing young players (Pock sitting in the stands WATCHING and LEARNING from Malikenstein???) that more young players will seek to opt out of the Ranger organization.

      If my son was being drafted, I wouldn’t be hoping for the Rangers. I bet a lot of hockey parents feel the same.

      We give MILLIONS to the likes of Malik and Rachunek, while kids aren’t given a chance. If anyone remembers last year’s camp, I believe that Staal showed that he belonged; or at least Hartford. Another year playing with his 16 year old brother? You’ve got to be kidding me.

      He, Callahan, and a bunch of others better be on this squad……………Renney is illogical for the way he put Malik out, in every single one goal game, for the final minute of play. It was sooo painful to watch…I even left the room in disgust a few times.

      We have a shot at the cup—–we need a coach who will play youngersters, even allowing them to play THROUGH problems, knowing that guys like Shanny the Tranny can help them through.

      I wish we’d fire Renney, but we won’t. Lundqvst and Avery saved his job. I’d like Shanny the Tranny to wear the “C”, but Jags will have it. I hope Jags is happy and healthy.

      I also hope we sign Gomez. Under an offensive system, he’ll net 30 goals with 70+ assists. He is young. NO LONG term contracts to older guys, no matter how valuable they will be for the first 2 years of that contract. The last 2 or even 3 will kill us.

    37. Doodie Machetto on

      David hit Kaspar’s contract situation right on the head. Best case scenario, cap wise, is that he clears waivers and goes to Hartford. I couldn’t give a damn if he reports or not, his career in the NHL would be over either way.

      “I believe that Staal showed that he belonged; or at least Hartford.”

      I don’t think Staal belonged. He was still too small to play his game at the NHL level. As for Hartford, yes, he was good enough for the AHL-except that he wasn’t eigible for the AHL. It was NHL or Juniors only, which is why he was unfortunate enough to head back to Sudbury for another year.

      As for whether he deserves the shot this season, it depends on his camp. If he hasn’t put on at least 20 lbs from his camp last year, I’d say ship him down to the AHL until he gets enough weight. He’s listed as 6’4″ 204 on the Rangers website, but I think that was at the beginning of last season. If he’s not at least 225, I’d put him in the AHL until he was. It’ll be easier for him to put on the weight there.

    38. Doodie Machetto on

      Lundmark wasn’t qualified by the Kings. I’d love to see a line of Lundmark-Malhotra-Brendl/Jessiman!

    39. Nylander confirms to Expressen that he will most likely sign a new multi-year deal with the Rangers.

      “The feeling is mutual. I am comfortable with playing there and they are comfortable with me. I have had 2 great seasons in New York and will gladly extend that.”

      As for Jagr…he says Jagr has played a big role in his decision to stay with the Rangers. Micke says Jagr is an awesome player, they have great chemistry etc. and ends the interview by saying that he hopes they will playing on the same line in the future as well.

    40. Robby Bonfire on

      Your “imagination” is running away with you – this team is not in position to win the Stanley Cup – it is at least three years away if everything goes right and they handle everything right, which we know they won’t. So that comparisons and analogies with Stanley Cup winning teams are farcical.

    41. # Player Position GP G A PTS PIM
      68 Jaromir Jagr Right Wing 82 30 66 96 78
      92 Michael Nylander Center 79 26 57 83 42
      82 Martin Straka Left Wing 77 29 41 70 24
      14 Brendan Shanahan Left Wing 67 29 33 62 47
      5 Matt Cullen Center 80 16 25 41 52
      25 Petr Prucha Right Wing 79 22 18 40

    42. True Fans bleed RW&B on

      Robby, perhaps you’re right – but Jagr will be gone in 3 years and this will be a completely different team. It would almost be like building from scratch and alot of fans are still afraid of that.

    43. Doodie: LOL!! Brendl is free too, and had a good season in SEL…imagine that line: The BUST line…last stop…the ECHL…Malhotra just signed three-something deal with the BJs…

      All you people wondering why Kasparaitus didn’t act as a translator for the two Russian kids…You might take a look at WHERE Darius is from…and it ain’t Russia. Sure he might speak some Russian, but, as you can imagine, he’s language is probably that of his country which is LITHUANIAN. Not to mention, the guy was swinging by to socialize and work out, not to socialize the new Ruskies into the Rangers’ organization. Also, it’s quite clearly spelled out that this camp is a POSITIVE thing for prospects. It’s to sort make them feel like Rangers, not to point out their inadequacies. With that regard, I’m not surprised that a translator wasn’t on hand to cater to BB’s or the media’s needs. I’m sure there was at least one guy on the ice who knew Russian well enough to speak with the two…

      Ivana – “enough with the has beens and fossils already…” Dude, reread your posts and tell me there’s not any hipocracy there. You constantly call for youth to play and now you want them to sign STUMPEL of all players? I’m not necessarily disagreeing with the idea, especially if Nylander wants $6 million, but common. You can’t have your cake and eat it to. Stumpel is about as fossil as you get in the NHL.

      And why do you think the Stars are looking to unload Lundqvist(they’re not). He’s considered one of their strong third and fourth liners. And we’ve already got a guy on our team fitting that mold. He’s named Blair Betts.

      As for trading Immo or Rachunek, the only GM that I could see giving anything for those guys is Milbury; and for that reason, he’s no longer a GM. Everyone in the league knew the Rangers weren’t going to qualify Karel. He’s not worth it at $1.8 million. So why give up a perfectly good pick to sign a guy who’s going to hit the market one way or another? Doesn’t make sense. Immonen, he’s a bit different. As far as I know, he’s an RFA and still Ranger property, which means they might be looking to package him in a deal for a top-line center.

      Shanny: The guy has a point-per-game season without a clear number-2 center and was a dominant force before getting knocked out. He obviously wants to end his career in NY and he just about bled Ranger blue last year. Frankly, I was never a fan of his signing, and questioned the legions of fans(many of them here) that were handing the team’s reins over to him. But with that said, he’s fills a great spot on the team(better so thab Sykora, who he basically replace) and is exactly the guy that should be working with the young forwards. I’d be willing to be he comes back and has a 30-goal season.

    44. sam,

      other than staring at pics of tiger woods’ new kid, what exactly are you doing today? big nylander news get on the horn and find out whats going on buddy :)

    45. Ivana Kachanatsov on

      best case scenario with Kasparaitis is he is used as a 7th defenseman, that means less cap space to sign garbage vets like Drury or Shanahan.

      “Robby, perhaps you’re right – but Jagr will be gone in 3 years and this will be a completely different team. It would almost be like building from scratch and alot of fans are still afraid of that.”

      I embrace it, what is there to be afraid of

      “You might take a look at WHERE Darius is from…and it ain’t Russia. Sure he might speak some Russian, but, as you can imagine, he’s language is probably that of his country which is LITHUANIAN.”

      wrong, he speaks perfect Russian, which was the official language of USSR

    46. Ivana Kachanatsov on

      “Ivana – “enough with the has beens and fossils already…â€? Dude, reread your posts and tell me there’s not any hipocracy there. You constantly call for youth to play and now you want them to sign STUMPEL of all players? I’m not necessarily disagreeing with the idea, especially if Nylander wants $6 million, but common. You can’t have your cake and eat it to. Stumpel is about as fossil as you get in the NHL.”

      Stumpel is my #1 option in terms of UFA centers available, because he would not demand a long term deal or an insane price tag, and most other centers are soft and overrated.

      But I would be fine signing nobody and going with Straka or Avery and Dubinsky at center.

      “And why do you think the Stars are looking to unload Lundqvist(they’re not). He’s considered one of their strong third and fourth liners. And we’ve already got a guy on our team fitting that mold. He’s named Blair Betts.”

      they are not, but I am willing to “overpay” with Betts and Pock package.

      I don’t care if Shanahan all of a sudden at age 37 started bleeding Ranger blue, he doesn’t really help anyone and is just taking 18-20 minutes of ice from kids.

    47. True Fans bleed RW&B on

      Lets just get the Ferraro brothers back, along with Manny Malhotra, Pavl Brendl, Jamie Lundmark…who else, maybe Sandy McCarthy?

      Oh yea, Tom Poti and Mike Dunham are available too.

      Hahaha. I can only hope many of you are joking.

      Shanny runs at 80% the speed of an average NHL’r. There’s a reason he struggles for points playing 5 on 5. There’s also a reason why he can’t be brough back unless he’s got a more than qualified center compensating for his lack of footspeed and also making nice passes for Shanny to finish on 20-30 of them.

    48. Ivana Kachanatsov on

      so to sum up Shanahan:

      -I don’t buy that he is bleeding Rangers blue all of a sudden
      -the team point production dropped, but they played their best when he was out of the lineup
      -If he didn’t get hurt we wouldn’t see Callahan and maybe would miss the playoffs
      -Jagr’s and Cullen’s production dropped
      -didn’t help Prucha, Dawes, Hall, Jason Ward, Betts, Isbister, Hollweg, Orr, Ortmeyer, or Krog
      -will be 39 years old in January
      -not a big playoff performer, only 17 points in the last 32 playoff games
      -not a clutch player with only 3 game winners, empty netters padded his stats.
      -only 27 even strength points
      -he will cost no less than 3.5 mil

    49. Ivana Kachanatsov on

      damn forgot to include Hossa and Immonen who also didn’t benefit from Shanahan. And we did not go much further in the playoffs, and the only reason we did is because we played against the weakest team in the playoffs the Thrashers.

    50. tdchi …Sure he might speak some Russian…
      Kaspers russian is absolutely fluent. He’s moved to Russia from Lituania as a teen and has played for USSR/Russia on all levels.
      BTW, for those asking how to pronounce Cherepanov, let me try to help. You can pronounce the first part of it (Chere-) as an english word “cherry” – it will be very close. The second part (-panov) is easy, just make an emphasis on ‘a’ (pAnov).

    51. Ivana.. while I admire your enthusiasm if Slats ever even thought about doing anything you’ve mentioned here, he would immediately have to be considered as the worst GM is NHL history.

      Infact, I wonder if what you have shared with us isn’t indeed sarcasm.

      Only poor Seamus seems to have less a clue than you.

      But hey no hard feelings :)

    52. Ranger roster:

      #1 – What other winger do the Rangers have in their system that could fill-in to Shanny’s spot if they indeed do not resign him? The answer is nobody with his goal scoring ability, leadership and toughness.

      #2 – WHo are the top wingers in the Rangers system? Prucha, Callahan, Hossa, Jagr, Straka. Should the 2nd line wingers be Prucha and Callahan?

      #3 – So your third line wingers could be Straka and Avery?

      #4 – spend your money on a Drury or Forsberg or Briere and maybe even Kariya?

      There’s a trade-off, the toughness that Shanny brings to the rink every night, plus he’s a right handed shot on the left wing, whereas Kariya is a lefty shot on the left wing.

      Kariya has more speed and is younger.

      It’s a tough trade-off, but I think I would rather stick with Shanny and his toughness and his team-first attitude he brings to the rink every night, plus he is a fan favorite.

      Either way I like our defense. Tyutin, Girardi, Staal, Liffiton, Malik, Rozival, Mara.

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