Cullen on the block?

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So says “this report in the Daily News”:http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/hockey/rangers/2007/07/12/2007-07-12_lundqvist_signs_for_short_term.html. With Henrik Lundqvist’s “$4.25 million signing yesterday”:http://www.thejournalnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070712/SPORTS01/707120379/1034/SPORTS pushing the Rangers dangerously close to the salary cap, shedding Matt Cullen’s $2.8 million salary would surely be one way to open up some room.

There’s no question that Cullen’s productivity lagged last year — 16 goals as opposed to 25 the season before — but he did have pockets of brilliance. And with the loss of Jed Ortmeyer, he may be the team’s best remaining penalty killer.

We’ll see where this is headed…

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199 Comments

  1. I would wait until training camp to trade Cullen to see whether arsimov (sp?) or dubinsky can be a legit 3rd line center. With all these moves the rangers are going right back to pre lockout, buy buy buy instead of building on what got them back out of the doldrums of the nhl: CHEMISTRY. I’m a big Matt Cullen fan, and i understand 2.8 mil for a third line center is a lot (holik was 9 thought) but trade off Mara before you trade cullen.

  2. I would hold on to Cullen recognizing that he was not the finisher that the rangers had hoped for and he takes alot of penalties in the O zone. He does though bring alot of energy and speed which we need on the third line and PK. I also agree that the chemistry thing is important this year. There will be alot of pressure on this team to get off to a good start.

  3. I think the reason why Cullen is on the block because the rangers want to clear cap room because Sather wants Souray. The rangers would also have to move Mara also. I don’t agree with it but that seems to be why Cullen is on the block.

  4. I wouldn’t like to get rid of Cullen. I’d much prefer the Rangers shedding either Malik or Mara.

    And to TomG, who said the rationale is a motivation to get Souray- not a chance.

    Look at the Rangers numbers (http://nhlnumbers.com/nyr.html)
    Right now they are actually over the cap, but by shedding Kasper’s salary, they’ll be able to sign Avery and maybe Hossa. No way they are going to shed their 3rd line center to pick up a dman whose only productivity is on the PP.

  5. Dump Cullen and bring in Dubinsky as a 3rd line center. Cullens 16 goals can be replaced and Drury and Gomez can both penalty kill.

  6. I agree with Harvey20 and NYRCUP07. I like Cullen. He’s nothing great as a 2nd line center, but now with Gomez and Drury in the mix, Cullen is just fine as a 3rd line center. He’s fast, is excellent on the forecheck, and is a valuable PKer (yes, Drury is better though). We already lost Jed for the PK. Losing Cullen would mean we lost 2 PKers and gained 1. And most importantly, Cullen showed chemistry with Prucha, Avery, and Callahan last season.

    Granted, if Anisimov, Pyatt, or Dubinsky come out of camp looking like the real deal, then I wouldn’t be opposed to unloading Cullen. But I’d much easily rather shed some salary by trading Malik or Mara. I think it’s safe to say there is a better chance of Staal being able to replace Malik or Mara than one of those centers I listed replacing Cullen.

    Not sure if anyone posted this earlier, but I saw MSGNY this morning and John Giannone simply said the Rangers gave Lundqvist more money than expected as a way of saying, “We’ll scratch your back now, you scratch ours in January.” Hope he’s right.

  7. Rob L: I think it’s tough to assume that Dubinsky can just step right in and fill the void of 3rd line center. He didn’t get enough playing time last year to justify it. Not saying he can’t do it, but I think that decision gets made in September. Thus, Cullen shouldn’t be traded (if at all) until the end of camp/beginning of the season.

  8. Sheldon Souray is married to Angelica Bridges from Baywatch.

    Avery is dating Elisha Cuthbert

    The women on this team are starting to look better.

  9. Doodie Machetto on

    Cullen is overpaid, yes. I think he’s actually worth maybe 1.6-1.7 mil. But he was also the fastest player on the team last year, and was excellent on the forecheck. I would dump Malik or Mara LONG before I would think of dumping Cullen.

    I’m not happy with this news.

  10. Mike (AKA Avery Blasts Brodeur) on

    nor am I, even though cullen’s productionw as down a little bit, i give the guy a pass. he is a solid hockey player.

    Malik should be on the first train out of town to clear cap space

  11. I see that the Daily News and NY Post report the Rangers are dangerously close to the cap, but on nhlnumbers.com, they have the Rangers as $1.4 Million over the cap already. What is the deal?

  12. Doodie Machetto on

    DN and NYP are expecting Kaspar to be waived at some point and are probably considering the cap number from there, whereas nhlnumbers.com counts him.

  13. Mara is a solid dman, I don’t know why people want to get rid of him.

    I would guess that the thinking of mgmt is that Cullen *could* be replaced either by Betts (remember that TR loves him) or maybe Dubinsky (who could possibly start with a limited 4th line role and play his way onto the 3rd line). With rumors (confirmation?) that Anisimov has signed a 3 yr entry level deal, they might also be hoping that he can step up as well.

    I like Cullen but it may just come down to him being the most replaceable part (with some value on the trade market, unlike Malik).

  14. After taking a look at nhlnumbers.com i think next year can bring an interesting scenario: If the Rangers exercise their option for 08-09 on Jagr does Washington still account half his salary to the cap or are the Rangers going to be on the hook for all of it. Thats a very important factor considering the salary cap for next year…

  15. If the team can get anything (picks, prospects, etc.) for Cullen, I would do it in a heartbeat. To my mind, Dubinsky demonstrated that he can be a 3d line center last year. An open competition between him, Anisemov (if he’s really coming over), Pyatt, or any of the other kids would be good for the team and once one of them wins the spot he would get consistent minutes to acclimate himself to the league. Shedding Mara or Malik’s salary to sign Souray, to me, also is ok, so long as the team is keeping a potential spot open for Staal, if he’s ready.

  16. I don’t like this and I hope it doesn’t happen. As NJ MArk said, he showed good chemistry with Prucha, Avery & Callahan, and he’s probably the best skater on the team and he settled in when that line was put together and had a strong second half & playoffs. His energy was terrific on the forecheck and it would have been nice for him to pot a few more of his chances, but again he didn’t settle in to NY, and his wife had a child early in the season. If it’s just salary they are looking to dump, then I’d much rather see Mara go, or Malik (Frankenturnover) go and play Pock full time. I don’t understand the facination with Sourey. Another defensive liability…

  17. Broadway Roe on

    How ’bout this Slats… we KEEP Cullen who will be an excellent third line center, and we get rid of Malik who currently is an excellent addition to the other teams thanks to his give-aways.

  18. I agree with most of you that Cullen should be retained. But I think Dubinsky should get some playing time at center because he’s a better faceoff man and is more offensively skilled. Cullen could be moved to the wing where he could fly on one side and Callahan could fly on the other. I’m just concerned with moving Cullen because of the PK. I think the PK will take a big hit if he’s dealt because we will have lost 2/6 of our top six guys because Jed is gone also.

  19. Let’s say Avery is covered by the money that comes off the books for Kaspar. Hossa is the odd man out, and no room for Souray, right? BUT, if they trade away Cullen AND Mara, they might be able to sign BOTH Souray and Hossa. So:

    Cullen and Mara for Souray and Hossa

    If that trade offer is on the table, would you do it?

    (I’m also assuming that the Mara/Cullen trades would bring back prospects/picks, not roster guys.)

  20. Souray will NOT be a Ranger, even if Cullen is traded. I can’t say that enough…

  21. Cullen is a likable, hardworking player. Truthfully, he is overpaid, but that is our own fault for paying him to play at a level that he’s not been proven at yet. It would not *kill* me to see him go for the *right* move…but I don’t think that Souray is that move. Cullen is a good 3rd liner…I wouldn’t want to see him go before Malik, that would be ridiculous.

    I also have to vouch for Mara. Not the best, *far* from the worst. Sure, he looks a little like a beaver. But he’s been pretty solid for us so far and was the clear upgrade from guy smiley Aaron Ward. Again, it would not *kill* me by any means to see him go, but not without his fair shot in camp.

  22. Dude- in a heartbeat. Souray brings much more to the table than Mara and Cullen combined. But clearly many of the posters on this board know a lot more about Souray than Montreal fans so maybe we should listen to them.

  23. Agreed tdchi.

    One other thing I hope doesn’t happen is they play Avery at center. He is so much more valuable to the team as a winger as opposed to down the middle.

    DVF: It’s very possible that Dubinsky could be the 3rd line center, but I don’t think we saw enough of him to warrant it just yet. Which is why if they want to move Cullen, they shouldn’t until September/October.

    The one thing I don’t like about Cullen is his contract. I said it last year that Sather gave him too long of a contract. He has 4 years left on his deal. That 3rd and 4th year is a bit much.

  24. Dr. Ogrodnick on

    BillNJ1:
    The nhlnumbers.com site has Shanny’s incentives included in his cap number, which could be as low as 2.5 mil. less. Plus they have Kaspar counting as well, who will most likely be sent through waivers to Hartford where his 3 million won’t count against the cap.

  25. matteau! there is no way a defensive liability brings more to the table than solid defensive defenseman on a team that has Jagr, Drury, Gomez, Shanahan, Prucha, and on & on & on. We need a little defense. After all defense does win championships

  26. ORR Kicks Yin Yang on

    No friggin way in hell should we give up Cullen….Its waaaaay to early to do that….Give up unti the deadline at least…

    If we need cap room then obviously give up Malik…amd if were gunning for Souray then give up Mara as well….We have guys who can replace them….Put Souray in Malik’s place…and put Pock in Mara’s spot…and Staal in Rackunek’s…then Strudwick is he 7th man….If we need to get rid of Betts…we can replace him with centers down with the pack…We have Pyatt…Immonen…and of coarse Dubinsky….i dont know if Ansimov plays center…if so then him to…..We have options

    At first i was against Souray….But now i want him….This organazation can turn his lack of defense around for the better….If we shed those two contracts…can we get him???

    I remember alot of NYR fans saying Jagr’s career was down the drain….Then he scored 50 goals in 05 – 06….I think we should give Souray a chance….

  27. NJ Mark – Cullen has 3 yrs remaining.

    Question – if MAlik goes who becomes the new fan whipping boy. You know they’ll have one sure as day follows night.

    My guesses

    Souray – once people see what we’re getting for his yrs and salary (if we get him)

    Mara – usually like a dman as whipping boy

    Cullen – based on a lot of people wanting him gone and replaced by Dubinsky

    Gomez – based on production vs his contract

    Betts – similar reasons to Cullen

  28. goalbyPrucha on

    After Nylander left we were 2 centers short after spending all of last season without a 2nd line center. Now we have number one and number 2 centers. Getting rid of Cullen would leave us without a 3rd line center. Dumping Cullen would be stupid.

  29. Thanks LI Joe. OK, then I don’t like that last year on his contract. Sather gave him one too many years I think. But still, I prefer to see Cullen on this team for this season.

    If Malik goes and we do get Souray, it will be either Souray or Gomez for lack of production. Hopefully, they would produce though and avoid that label.

    So while we’re on the topic of whipping boys, who are the top 5 all-time whipping boys? I have to think it’s, in this order:

    1. Kamensky
    2. Poti
    3. Malik
    4. Driver
    5. Robitaille (although I don’t think he was all THAT bad, but fans were expecting 40+ goals, thus the boos)

  30. True Fans bleed RW&B on

    Ditch Cullen, he’s a nice guy…he skates really (super) fast, works really hard, and has a great shootout move. HOWEVER, Mr. Tom Renney never figured out how to use him with an effective scoring, nor checking line. And Renney didn’t use Cullen at the point on PPs. Therefore, to me, he’s expendable in addition to being overpaid even if it was a product of Renney’s lack of trust in him.

    If they sign Avery and Hossa, I still want to see Callahan and maybe Dubinsky and there’s almost no room for all of these guys. Cullen’s not crucial, neither is Mara. Bring in Souray (whose better than Mara and Roszival – our supposed “#1″ defensman) and get this show on the road.

  31. Why trade Cullen if he started to develop chemistry with Avery who plays a similar style. Also those 2 vets on a line with one of the younger guys would help the youngster, whom everyone (including myself) want to see come up. Also if Cullen can play point on PP, what is the point of bringing in Souray, when we have a good point man on the PP.

    IF we need more cap room for avery & hossa (who honestly we don’t need that badly. I like the guy, good fore checker, fun to watch, but not crucial.) It basically boils down to Avery we can sign him when we dump Kaspi. That means if we need “wiggle room” in season & the young guys are working out for example:
    Staal to replace Mara or Malik for example, then we can make the moves.

    This also needs to be taken into consideration. If we trade Cullen, then we most likely will sign both Hossa & Avery. Why do we need the young guys Betts is quality 3rd man center whose bump & grind style would mesh nicely with both of them.

    There are lots of options out there, but dismantling our roster in the hopes of young guys making it, because we want a defenseLESS man in Souray is not one of them.

  32. I really hate the idea of trading Cullen even if it means getting Souray. Once Cullen was back in his proper role as a 3rd line center he played great. And no team, not even Buffalo was able to keep up with the Callahan – Cullen – Prucha line when they were put together. Show me the team that would be deeper down the middle than us with Gomez, Drury, Cullen and Betts.

    Glen – You’ve had a great offseason (much to my shock) don’t screw it up now. If you want Souray move Malik or Mara and let Hossa walk, but do not trade Cullen. If that’s what it takes, keep Cullen see who emerges from Hartford and you can make a trade for a defenseman by the deadline.

  33. Thank-you Jeff. Someone with sense. Malik or Mara. Move Hossa. Depth not 1 line of super offensive power.

    Question for you how many ready defensemen do we have in Hartford? in your opinion

  34. True Fans bleed RW&B on

    Tim, I think you make some pretty good points. My opinion is that Renney never trusted Cullen…probably never will, so he will forever play a very limited role and he WONT play at the point on the power-play.

    I’m hesitant with the defensive corps of: Roszival, Malik, Mara, Tyutin, Strudwick, a rookie (Staal), and think our only saving grace is Dan Girardi.

    Perhaps Tyutin will find his own this year, he’s shown short stints of major potential. But if you were to say Souray is defensively worse than the rest of the defense on this team I think you’re mistaking the difference between an average d-man playing on a bad team (montreal) for a bad defensman.

    My one little pet-peave with alot of the posts i’m reading is that everyone wants to hammer Malik and say that 3 years of good +100whatever isn’t reflective of his true (and “horrible”) play but then they hammer Souray and use as proofhis -20somthing last year…which is it? +/- means something or it doesn’t, choose a side.

  35. True Fans bleed RW&B on

    Sorry, my point at the end was to say you can’t hammer Malik and discount his +100 something and then critique Souray and use for your evidence his negative 27 from last year.

    Plus/minus means something or it doesn’t, don’t play both sides.

    I feel, from a defensive perspective, that Mara and Roszival are our worst 2 d-man. Malik is a close third.

  36. tdchi:

    You *know* Souray won’t be a Ranger or you think he won’t be? IOW, do you have some credible source telling you that he won’t be here?

    The longer he’s still unsigned the more speculation that he will be coming to NYR. It certainly *looks* like they are trying to clear cap space for him and that he wants to come here.

    I’m not vehemently against Souray since he would bring an element of toughness that’s currently missing from the blueline and help on the powerplay, but I’d rather stop now (after getting Avery signed) and see how the season progresses. If Staal is really ready, they can dump Malik during the season.

  37. funny how the carolina article mentions the hole that Carolina had last yr at 3rd line center. We trade Cullen we have that same hole and will not win the cup in 08′. One of our biggest problems last yr was at center where the team wanted a spot for Immonen in top 3 centers. While Dubinsky is better and younger than Immonen – doing this puts a lot on Dubinsky for this year. There would be a good chance that come the deadline we would desperately try to trade for a 3rd line center. Give up a lot of assets for a Robert Lang type. Not good not good at all. If it’s to clear room for Souray that smacks of Glen’s fatal flaw just like Poti and Ozo.

    I just wish Souray would sign somewhere else – even the Island (anywhere else). And trade a vet dman like Malik or Mara to open a bit of cap space and bring up Staal. Problem solved.

  38. Forget Souray,and find a way to get Danny Markov here. He’s the type of d-man they need. And leave Cullen alone. He’ll be fine as the team’s 3rd line center,where as last year he was competing to be on the top 2 lines. Trade Malik,clear out Kaspar’s salary,and get Markov here.

  39. “I just wish Souray would sign somewhere else – even the Island (anywhere else). And trade a vet dman like Malik or Mara to open a bit of cap space and bring up Staal. Problem solved.” – LI Joe

    Couldn’t have said it better myself! Agreed 100%!

  40. Even though we have until the beginning of the season to get under the salary cap, there is a good reason to make trades now, and it’s not to get free agents like Souray. In my opinion, you will typically get better deals during the offseason and trading deadline than you will during the months November to February. By that time, teams have already committed to certain players, and most will have their rosters set, being less willing to give up a roster player or someone close on the depth chart in the AHL. We could take the risk of a team needing somebody to replace injury or ineffectiveness, but another team could get there first, like the Canucks who are looking to trade away defense. But if we only want a draft pick for whoever we trade, then it is okay to wait, but it would be nice to get a player and a pick if Cullen is traded.

  41. What happened to all the voices yammering for the Rangers to give youth a shot? Now that they are considering trading Cullen, a move that would almost guarantee some young players get that shot, everyone wants to hedge their bets. Saying that if someone else turns out to be better than Cullen in September than you’re happy to see him go isn’t exactly bold…

  42. Can the posters that think they know so much about Souray and what a defensive liability he is please explain why they know more than Montreal fans that watch him every game for years? Why they are so certain he would be a whipping boy when in Montreal they are beyond upset he is leaving? This is a guy that stands up for his teammates, kicks ass including Derian Hatcher’s (as a Flyer), and scores goals on the power play. Check out you tube there’s some good clips on him. I love when people get so carried away with a point that they can’t see the big picture. For 3m Cullen sucks, for 3m Mara sucks- Souray is the real deal. This is not signing a mercenary because he would just replace Mara who just joined the team anyway. If you think the Rangers players are not dying to get this guy in their locker room you’re mistaken. How are you guys going to feel if he becomes a Devil?

  43. Chris F.

    Good point-
    From the few times I saw Dubinsky play last year, I saw raw talent and skill from him.
    Maybe this team will finally give some youth a shot.
    Perhaps their logic is; with all the proven players on the team now in their prime along with the few able vets, infusing 2-3 young players would be the perfect antecdote to be a contender.

    As of now, with the surplus of forwards on this team, is there really room for a Dubinsky, Bourret, Anisimov, or Moore on this team?
    Other than Hossa, (who showed great chemistry on the 1st line last year, and whom the team may be holding as an insurance policy to injuries) who else is really expendable?

  44. Chris – and in Feb or March when the Rangers trade number 1 pick or other young assets for that 3rd line center (like Lang or another rental) just keep what you said in mind. I thought they were going for it this yr. Adding Drury and Gomez for Nylander and Cullen is not the huge upgrade some might think. My suggestion was to get rid of a vet dman starting with M and bring up Staal (youth). Also injuries happen and Drury with 2 concussions and Gomez with groin issues in the past can be out a while. That’s where organizational depth comes into play.

    I was very happy on July 1st. Not so happy with what it looks like they’re trying to do as of July 12th (Souray in Cullen out this yr; others out like Rozy next yr to fit Souray long term). Well for a week or so I really thought we had a shot at the cup this yr or next. Cullen’s speed and all around play would be greatly missed as Carolina found out last yr.

  45. True Fans bleed RW&B on

    Matteau, I hear you. Souray’s nasty – I remember when Avery had his little run in at the end of the year. I want that kind of guy on our team. Alot of fans are so quick to judge him, but their probably the same people who wanted Aaron Ward and also the fans who think Michael Roszival is the second coming of Bobby Orr.

  46. matteau – I would be thrilled if Souray joined the Devils. I would drive him to the signing ceremony. It’s about the cap – he’ll get $ 5 or $ 6 mm / yr for 4 or 5 yrs. So you can’t just say take Mara out and replace with Souray. If there was no cap fine sign him. Do you want to lose Rozy or Prucha or Tyutin next yr (say 2 of 3 or Straka which would freak out JJ or maybe Avery). Well with Souray and the other signings and Henrik presumably locked up long term next yr – 50% of our cap will be in 4 players. But the band strikes up the chorus (play the youth play the youth play the youth since the 3rd line center position will have to go that route at least until the trade deadline).

  47. True Fans bleed RW&B:

    I am not hailing either Malik or Souray. I think both are week defensemen. The rangers need a DEFENSEMAN.
    Guys like Poti(off & on), Leetch, Borque, etc… they are wonderful players. I am not saying that either Souray or anyone we have are close to that, at all in fact.
    But the rangers need some guys to block shots, clear out the front of the net, make skilled players (Ovechkin, Crosby, etc…) afraid of our blue line.
    The only reason I am more against Souray than Malik is I see Souray costing us more in money (which means players since we are tight on cap.)
    Our blue wasn’t horrible last year (in fact they seemed to pushing to hard.) With the more offense we added I really think guys like Pock & Tyutin will be better defensely because they won’t have to push as hard offensively to help out.
    That is why I think Souray is the mistake. I don’t see him being defensive enough. Tough sure I totally agree, but he thinks offense first. I think Malik is a cheaper & a little more defensive.
    Plus we will have to worry about cap next year as well when Hanky NEEDS his long term deal. So waiting to see who is ready till trade deadline. Maybe its a forward then we move Cullen out west to a contender. If Staal is ready we can move Malik or Mara then & bring him up.
    That won’t solve the defensive problem, but again by then Pock & Tyutin will probably be a little more defensive minded, so it would be okay.

  48. LI Joe: Yet again, another excellent point from you. If we trade Cullen, I fear that Sather trades a #1 pick in an excellent draft class for a 3rd line center. I’d rather keep Cullen if that’s the case.

    Chris F: I never said I was against Dubinsky, check back to my earlier post. If Dubinsky earns it and looks like the real deal, then yes, I wouldn’t be opposed to trading Cullen. But you can’t just automatically mark a rookie in for 3rd line center when we haven’t seen enough of him. His 5 minutes a game last year for hhis brief call-up were not enough to convince me just yet. And you can’t just say he has a spot. What kind of message does that send to Dubinsky and the rest of our prospects? It says, “You don’t have to earn a spot on this team, we’ll just give it to you.” No way. Keep Cullen around until Dubi or Pyatt or Anisimov convinces us otherwise. No harm in waiting to trade Cullen.

  49. LI Joe, I wasn’t saying I thought they should trade Cullen, only it seemed amusing that all of the “youth first” posters seem to disappear when that becomes a real option.

    I think Cullen’s a fun player to watch, is great on the PK, and has speed — a quality that is obviously of dire importance. But I also wouldn’t mind knowing more about the Babchuk kid mentioned on the blueshirtsbulletin as the potential return from Cullen. Anyone know much about him?

  50. LI Joe- actually the management of young players couldn’t be more imortant- it’s what allows you to sign the big contracts. Teams will build around 6 stars with big contracts. For the Rangers it will be Lundqvist, Jagr, Gomez, Drury, Rosival (next yr) and hopefully Souray. These guys will total about 33m. That will leave around 20m for the rest of the team which is plenty as long as you have a steady stream of youth to take the place of larger contracts like Malik, Straka, Shanahan after next season. The team has plenty of young players ready to take these places after next season- will the team be smart this season about how they prepare them to assume these responsibilities?

  51. Chris – Maybe they finally realized that almost half of our roster is filled with guys in their first-fifth seasons in the leauge. I think that’s plenty youth.

    Souray I’m still undecided on because I don’t know too much about him. Since he sounds like a good presence, the perfect situation would be to sign him for 2-3 years at $4 million per year, getting rid of Malik and Mara or Pöck, freeing up the space under the cap and space on the roster for Staal. Unfortunately, that contract for Souray may not be possible because he is getting more offered from teams he doesn’t want to play for, perhaps. I would like to see Cullen remain as the third line center. Betts will be crap in that role, and I don’t think another prospect there would do any good.

    Also, on the PK, Drury > Ortmeyer > Betts ≥ Cullen > Shanahan >>> Hossa

  52. True Fans bleed RW&B on

    Tim, I entirely agree with your last post. And I think NYRchick had a great point in saying the Rangers should go and get D. Markov. Has he signed anywhere?? Regardless, Souray appears willing to sign a 1 year deal (www.blueshirtbulletin.com) and he is better defensively than Roszival and Mara.

    Do you trust Staal? I don’t.

    Do you trust the defensive corps we have now? I don’t. Malik isn’t as bad as all the crap he takes, considering that Roszival is an absent and mindless partner to play with. Mara is awful though.

    So, I think we need to upgrade and I just don’t see many other options out there. Oh yea, and Souray’s not Niedermayer but he’s still nasty, clears the crease, and he actually hits. Plus that booming shot.

  53. I think for the rangers to contend for the cup in 07/08 they need to improve there defense because since I’ve been watching hockey a good defense is what wins stanely cups. I don’t think as of now the rangers defense is good enough to contend for a cup. I also don’t know how the rangers are going to improve there defense. I agree with the bloggers though getting rid of cullen isn’t the answer.

  54. Concerning Dubinsky – I like the kid and think he will be good in the NHL. But after watching him some 60 games with Hartford last season, the kid is lacking in the ability to do what a center needs to do — namely, distribute the puck, and put the puck on net when there is an opening.

    Physically he can do the job but he still has a lot of work to do and confidence to build.

    I’m hoping his skating improves too.

    But I see good things for him.

  55. Exactly, Chris, to go off-topic, that’s gonna be a hilarious movie.

    RW&B – Even if you don’t trust Staal, it would be best to get him on the team this year if so many veterans are going to be leaving after the season. But if he doesn’t cut it in camp, we have Pöck, with Strudwick seventh.

  56. ORR Kicks Yin Yang on

    Its easy to understand why everyone is so quick to judge Souray on his D….At first i didnt want him on the team….But its not like he cant change that….If he can fix that hole in his game up….then give him a damn chance….If we get rid of Malik…We have such an underated young D lineup…With Tyuts,,Girardi,,Staal,,Pock….then you throw in Rozi and Souray and possibly Mara…That sounds pretty damn good..

    If Souray signs somewhere else…I wont go crazy…I can care less about getting him or not….But if we have a shot at getting him…while getting rid of Malik…then NYR should go for it…You cant get any worse then Malik and Ward…Who score on there own goaltender and do nothing to just quit using there sticks and trust Hank will make the friggin save…

    Souray is a nasty guy….And thats what we needed for the past two seasons….Liffiton may be tough as nails but can he play in the NHL….you never know….

    At BB.com…they say a possible Cullen for Babchuk trade can happen…what do all of you think about that???

    Also they say Souray would possible take a 1 year deal with a price cut…

    Its a little obvious that Souray is stalling because he wants to be a Ranger….He’s not like Yashin….The reason Yashin isnt on a team right now is because basically no one wants him and the teams that do arent offering him what he thinks he deserves…

    Eh….waddya gonna do….You gotta know Sather wants him on the team…If Souray wants to be a ranger…expect Sather to do something drastic…cause i seriously doubt someone like him would let a guy like Souray go….

  57. i dont know what chemistry you are referring to with Cullen, Prucha and Callahan. Cullen is hurting the development of those two players because he cant distribute and he can’t finish. He is getting paid way too much and for too long to be a PK specialist and a fast third line center. It would be great to see Dubinksy or even Pyatt get a shot on the third line. If we can ditch Cullen for some picks I would do it right away. That doesn’t mean we should instantly use that money for Souray, the two don’t go hand in hand for me. Also I would only resign Avery to be used as a third line wing. Hossa showed flashes of promise, but I would rather have Straka on Jagrs line or a young kid, especially if it means Prucha has to stay on the third line.

  58. Mike (AKA Avery Blasts Brodeur) on

    they need to keep cullen

    TRADE malik first
    trade him for a 7th round pick

  59. Mike (AKA Avery Blasts Brodeur) on

    everyone will probably be all over me for this one but they need cullen. I think he is a heart and soul guy who hustles all the time. I think trading him would be a mistake

  60. ORR Kicks Yin Yang on

    PETE

    We have absoluetley no use for Hossa…..Lets say we go with these lines…

    Hossa – Gomez – Jagr
    Straka – Drury – Shanahan
    Avery – Cullen – Prucha / Callahan
    Orr / Hollweg – Betts – Prucha / Callahan

    Either way were putting a potential 30 goal scorer on a non scoring 4th line were he wont get the ice time he deserves or the skilled linemates that can help him….And were doing that for a 10 goal scorer that miiight be able to do better….

    Dont get me wrong though…I like the idea of Hoss on that line…because MAYBE if can do well….But can he keep up with the speed of Jag’s and Gomer….I dont know…

    Either way it’ll be interesting to see what happens….

  61. True Fans bleed RW&B on

    This is a year to develop Girardi and Tyutin…not Staal, I think he’s still too young. Let him taste the NHL as a fill-in when guys hit the IR, but that’s all.

    This should be a year for Dubinsky and Cally to take a crack in the NHL.

    I really do like Cullen, but for $2.8million he’s the complete opposite of a “steal.” And, I think Dubi, Avery, or Betts can fill in the last 2 center spots. Even Hollweg has played center. That said, I’m still more for upgrading the defense than I am for trading Cullen.

  62. I am torn on Cullen, on one hand he is often fun to watch as he is very noticeable with his speed and energy and is a good PKer, but on the other hand he is not physical enough, takes stupid penalties, not a good finisher and doesn’t have a very good hockey sense, not a good playmaker and is not very patient with the puck in the offensive zone.

  63. Markov still appears to be avalible.
    (SEE http://www.nhl.com/news/freelist07.html)
    Which might not be bad at all. I wouldn’t mind some youth, if it was affordable I’d be okay with Souray.
    What I am just afraid of is the rangers going for it all NOW & ONLY NOW. To be honest we can contend NOW, but with the long term contracts (in place or “the ones that seem to be agreed upon *coughs* Hanky *coughs*”) & all the youth we have we could have a nice smooth transition from now & Jagr, Shanny, etc… to next gen to Drury & Gomez to the gen after that Staal, Callahan, & so on.
    I just don’t want to throw all the eggs in one basket.

  64. Unfortunately with the hard cap in place this is what happens to teams. The rangers need to clear cap space to sign Avery and possibly Hossa and improve their defense. In order to do this there are going to be casualties.

  65. In the cap era you cannot simply say a player is good or not good without considering his salary. Cullen and Mara both bring some nice things to the table but at a combined 6m they suck. They are in the way of 2 players (1) one a true impact player, and (2) a young player that needs to get an opportunity to grow and be a bargain. That is how you build a winner.

  66. posse:

    Assumming we make those deals which BTW would signal enough for me to watch less hockey this season than I did during the lockout.
    But assuming we make those trades who do you have as our defensemen next season.

    Remeber Brian Leetch has retired, Scott Stevens while being with Messier is going into the Hall of Fame (not into a rangers uniform), & Santa Clause like our chances if Sather did this “just a nice thing to pretend about”

  67. ORR Kicks Yin Yang on

    NYR should do what ever they can to get Joel Lundqvist…..I think to have the Lundqvist twins on NYR would be cool….Not only that it can boost Hanks game….

    Is it any wonder why Hank made some of the most amazing saves against the Stars in that game…that you usually see two or three times a year….He was pumped up…..

    Sather has no problem bringing in Jags buddies….i dont see why we cant get Joel….

  68. Tim-
    They are not going for it now and only now because unlike in the past, they have not been giving up youth, propsects or picks to do so.

    The future is bright.

  69. ORR Kicks Yin Yang on

    If i had my way……These would be the lines id hope for next season….This is my opinion so dont give me any sh*t about it…..

    If season started now then…….

    Straka – Gomez – Jagr
    Shanahan – Drury – Avery
    Prucha – Cullen – Callahan
    Orr – Betts – Hollweg

    Rozsival – Staal
    Tyutin – Girardi
    Mara – Malik

    But if i had my way….

    Straka – Gomez – Jagr
    Shanahan – Drury – Avery
    Prucha – Cullen – Callahan
    Orr – Lundqvist – Ansimov

    Rozsival – Staal
    Tyutin – Girardi
    Souray – Pock / Mara

    That sounds pretty sweet to me…..

  70. ORR – There are some brothers who would rather play against each other than with each other.

  71. ORR… because as with all of these trade proposals, teams have to want to trade the player we want!

  72. Having the twins could also mean they give us a discount when they re-sign.

    the defense would be:

    Tyutin-Babchuk
    Rozsival-Baranka
    Girardi-Staal

    Also we would have some cap left to sign Vaananen in case Baranka or Babchuk suck.

  73. Would Joel Lundqvist really want to come here to play on the 4th line with Orr? I doubt it.

  74. I’m with Twin on this one. Get Avery inked and see where things stand after a few weeks of actual HOCKEY. Sure Souray won’t be available then. But everyone will have a really good idea of what’s missing (if anything) by then. My bet… it’s defense, not offense. Give Hank a bit more help and the NYR could be very dangerous.

  75. Doodie Machetto on

    Forget Souray. We have enough cap trouble as it is. Think long-term. We need the extra money to sign Hank to that long term deal.

  76. I know that the rangers aren’t doing only here & now. I just hope they don’t make that mistake again, & go for it here & now.

  77. goalbyPrucha on

    Tom G, we don’t have any big name D men but as a team they do play good defensive system. They average, I think, around 25 shots agaist a game and we gave up the 2nd lowest gaa in the east.

  78. ORR Kicks Yin Yang on

    Joel is a 4th liner…..Im sure thats the line he played on….We dont have a physical 4th line…

    Ortmeyer – Betts – Hollweg / Orr are so far from being as physical as Hollweg / Orr – Moore – Ortmeyer

    We need to bring back that physical style back…Now with Ortmeyer gone….and Hollweg hitting like a puss….We dont have that…..Obviously theres no room for Joel…Im pretty sure he’s a centerman…but if he’s willing to play on the wing…then boom…

    Orr might not be that great….I dont think he should play every game of the season…He should be brought up every now and then….But if Hollweg isnt gonna hit then he shouldnt play either

  79. Hollweg better up his all-around game or she should be moved. There must be someone who has heart AND some skill.

  80. ORR Kicks Yin Yang on

    Does anyone think that Ranger who asked to be traded….Supposedly…..Can it be Cullen??

    Maybe he’s unhappy that he doesnt have a shot at being centerman for the second line….Its has to be him or Malik…hopefully Malik….

    If Cullen wants to be traded then i can care less….i just dont want Sather to trade him if Cullen doesnt want to be traded…..If that makes any sense

  81. ORR Kicks Yin Yang on

    CHRIS F

    Neidermeyers and Sedins like playing with each other….Maybe the Lundqvists would too

  82. ORR – Possibly. I think it would be great. I think Joel is really good. Nasty. I hope it happens. I just think he’s a 3rd liner and, don’t take this the wrong way, a player who raises his game to the level of the people he plays with. So I’d hate to see him relegated to playing with Orr (no offense). I think, in some ways, he’s sort of like Hossa in that regards.

  83. “Does anyone think that Ranger who asked to be traded….Supposedly…..Can it be Cullen??”

    Kasparaitis, he knows he has no chance of playing NHL with the Rangers

  84. ORR Kicks Yin Yang on

    Yeah it could be kaspar……I remember the isles wanted him….Trade him there….Unless a team wants him

  85. RW&B – Yep, that’s another good option, to bring Staal up when there is injury because if Strudwick is the 7th defenseman, which is where we stand now with Staal in the minors, he’s not going to be playing for long stretches due to his mediocre quality.

  86. Am I the only one who’s a huge fan of Blair Betts? The guy is a solid 4th line center when it comes to winning important faceoffs, he’s got good speed on the forecheck and moves enough to bury the puck on a breakaway, and despite the loss of Ortmeyer and the praise for Cullen, I think Betts is the best PKer we have.

  87. Orr,

    i guess i wasn’t that clear, but i dont want Prucha being on the third line and definitely not the fourth line. If Cullen remains, Prucha needs to be put on the top two lines because he needs a playmaking center to be truly effective. i have said it before but I don’t think avery should be on the 2nd line, he just doesnt have the offensive skills for that especially if it means Prucha has to be on the third line with Cullen. Babchuk may be a decent pickup tho he was suspended last year for refusing to report to his ahl team so have to wonder whatd he’d do if he doesnt have a starting job this year.

  88. Back to the Markov posts earlier…

    Detroit Red Wings’ GM Ken Holland confirmed he is having discussions with the agent for free-agent defenseman Danny Markov.

    Markov, however, is “looking for more money than we’re prepared to offer right now,” Holland said.

    If it is too much for Detroit odds are it is too much for us as well.
    Anyways, Just thought I’d update.

  89. Prucha could be very successful with Lundqvist or Dubinsky as his center, but he will be useless with the likes of Betts and Cullen who have terrible ice vision and aren’t good playmakers.

  90. agreed if dubinksy was the third line center i wouldnt be that mad if prucha and cally were his wings b/c at least it would be three kids developing chemistry playing together. but i think gomez and prucha would do really well together

  91. Hossa-Gomez-Jagr
    Prucha-Drury-Shanahan
    Avery-Straka-Callahan
    Hollweg-Betts-Orr (Dubinsky/Anisimov/Dawes etc)

    Malik-Rosival
    Souray-Girardi
    Tyutin-Staal/Pock

  92. Posse- agree for next year but on this team and for this year straka is more valuable than cullen

  93. As we blog, I’m certain Sather has let it be known that he would entertain offers for Malik, Mara, and Cullen in order to cear up Cap space.

    The Braintrust probably figures that the need for offense from the third line center has diminished with the arrival of Drury and Gomez. They also know that Straka can and will Center Jagr if there is no chemistry with Gomez. Given the Teams plethora of talent on the left wing (without Straka/
    Hossa, Avery, Prucha, Dawes, Hollweg, Byers, Korpikowski, Fritz etc.), Cullen is the most expendable FORWARD, with the most tradeable Cap hit…

    IF trading Cullen clears up $2 million in Cap space after acquiring say Babchuck (a former 1st round, right shooting defensman that is 23), it makes sense. Or should I say cents?

    If this all comes down, we all better hope that Artem Anisimov is the real deal, and that Sheldon Souray was worth revamping the roster.

  94. jagrforpresident on

    Trade Straks? Yeah, good idea… That’d really make Jags happy.

    Straka is one of the great leaders on the Rangers.

    I’d like them to keep things basically the way they are, with hossa and avery both signed to short term deals.

  95. Yes, LI Joe. The line combos gave it away.

    Either way, with this whole defense business, I hope we get somebody who is better than Malik, and he used to be decent.

  96. Pretty sure Straka will be on a line with Jagr — don’t want to freak him out more than he is already.

  97. Doodie Machetto on

    Sutter is gonna be the next Debbies coach. Enjoy working 70+ games before you get fired!

  98. Keep Cullen…for the speed, pk,experience in winning the Cup, depth at center on 3rd line, and to maintain the great line with Prucha and Callahan.

    I will never understand why Hollweg was signed and not Hossa who has shown potential in many ways. What does Hollweg bring to the table?? When he fights I get embarassed. Was he a factor in the 2007 playoffs?? I believe that Hossa was. Hossa has size, Hollweg would do well in Pee Wee.

  99. Doodie Machetto on

    I suppose with all of the Sutters, I should clarify that it is BRENT Sutter.

    Also, anyone see this report? http://www.newsobserver.com/796/story/634601.html

    Could be materializing faster than we think.

    Blue Clue: I have noticed that he has an odd obsession with Joel Lundqvist. Maybe he wants both twins because he thinks they’re cute.

  100. Do the Stars have any solid defensemen that are low in salary? Just like the Canes they are looking for offensive help (Cullen again or a sign & trade on Hossa maybe). Just curious, because they have admitted to wanting to trade….

    Dallas Stars team president Jim Lites says his club is likely to make a trade, but probably not in the next week.

    The Stars have about $4 million to spend on an impact scorer and they intend to use it, whether it be in September or December or March.

    Source: Dallas Morning News

  101. Doodie Machetto on

    I think the Stars are gonna hang onto that cap space and wait for some teams to stumble out of the gate and dump salary in a panic.

  102. Keep Cullen. Why is everyone on this guy’s case? He’s only put up more than 41 points twice. And he barely played on the PP this past season. He’s the absolute perfect fit as our 3rd line center. As someone mentioned before, you can’t get much better depth than Gomez, Drury, Cullen and Betts along the center.

  103. “What does Hollweg bring to the table?? ”

    just one of the best hitters in NHL

    “Maybe he wants both twins because he thinks they’re cute.”

    because the guy averages 3 hits per game(area in which Betts sucks) and he can score unlike Betts, he scored point per game in his first season in AHK and he scored in Sweden, he makes Betts(who I think sucks) obsolete.

  104. Doodie Machetto on

    I still think it’s because you are upset that Henrik covers his face, and you’ll get to see Joel’s.

  105. Yes! Souray to Edmonton! So glad we’re not getting him. About damn time we can put those rumors to rest. And the best is the Devils swing and miss again.

  106. Now that the overrated Souray talk can stop, can we all agree that the only moves left to make are signing Avery and Hossa and maybe trading Malik?

  107. Souray waited this long for some team, and I am sure it wasn’t Oilers. Souray is a good player, but is overrated and isn’t worth 7 million. Then again, neither are Gomez or Drury worth that much.

  108. The Oilers sure are stockpiling defensemen. That makes the fourth D they’ve acquired this offseason. Maybe Malik can make them complete? I’m beginning to think the Rangers won’t be making any trades and starting Staal in the minors, unless they trade Pöck to open up the spot.

  109. Sign Avery yes.

    Hossa I am still not sold on. What does he bring to the table that we need right now. I say now, because I don’t see him in the long term picture as anything more than a second line winger at best. Do you think he is worth 1.5 or so (maybe more a year)?

    Avery though yes absolutely yes.

    Now that Souray is N/A how about Markov (LOL, sorry couldn’t resist)

  110. Tim: do you think Hossa will get that much in arbitration? I was thinking closer to only $750K – $1 million.

    I would like to see the NYR sign Avery to a contract and avoid arbitration (so there are no negative feelings). Hossa, I don’t care if he goes to arbitration. He’s not a vital piece like the other FAs we signed.

  111. I would still try to move one of our defensemen and sign Andy Sutton who is cheaper, and a phsyical presence. Look at the teams in our division. The Isles have Witt, NJ has Colin White, Pittsburgh has Scuderi and Orpik and Philly has Gauthier. Who is our big hitter? Tyutin has gotten more physical, but we still don’t have a defenseman anyone fears. Hopefully Staal will turn into that, but you can’t expect that from a rookie.

  112. Doodie Machetto on

    Tim: Hossa provides two important things, and one less so. The important things are depth and a different look. Depth, as in if there is an injury, he is a competent enough player to at least hold a roster spot without being a drain, even if he doesn’t add anything. A different look, as we’ve seen that he can produce when put with Jagr, thus giving Renney a bit more flexibility in shaping his line combinations, both throughout the season, and within individual games themselves.

    In a smaller capacity he provides some moderate penalty killing ability, but only if he is consistently used in that fashion (we all saw what happened when Renney just threw him out there with Betts after not being there for a month).

    I’d pay him 1.2 million. I’d give Avery 2.2, tops.

  113. I find myself shaking my head reading some of your comments about Cullen. Absolutely hilarious.

    comment #1: Matt Cullen makes too much money. I wonder how some people make it through the day sometimes. People, this is what happens when you purchase something on the open market, when there is a high demand and extremely low supply (like as in 1 player), the price goes up people! Similar to an auction. The Rangers have no problem with overpaying for their talent, it’s clueless fans who have a problem with it.

    Comment #2: Matt Cullen takes too many bad penalties. He had 52 penalty minutes last season.

    Comment #2: He only scored 16 goals. That’s the 3rd most he has scored his entire career, coming off his 25 goal season in Carolina. Oh yeah he played with the likes of Jason Ward, Ryan Hollweg, Adam Hall, Marcel Hossa and Pascual DuPuis.

    Matt Cullen did everything asked of him last season. he’s young (31), has playoff experience, a Stanley Cup, has a great playoff beard and has a great slapshot, yet he’s overpayed and doesn’t live up to his salary!

    Get a clue people!

  114. Hopefully, they also sign Avery to a longer term deal in January. The guy is worth it, he is the heart and soul of this team and is vital to our success. I say give him $2.5 now, then offer him a 3 year extension in January for about $9 million.

  115. Sam, any way to find out the truth of the Rangers involvement with pursuing Souray? Just out of curiousity?

  116. Don’t get me wrong I am not knocking Hossa at all. One June 30th I was all about him. Now though with our cap situation the way it is, I don’t know if I he is a MUST. That’s all I am saying. Basically someone will be sacrificed. Let’s not kid ourselves a NYR will be sacrificed to the cash god before season starts. Given the option of Hossa, Avery, Malik, or Mara I lean towards Hossa just because we have a lot of depth that can play & produce. We have alot on D as well I am just not sure if they are as ready the wingers to be a fulltime piece (even if it only is for a few weeks due to injury.) Cost vs what we get. Hossa is worth it if him + Avery’s salary doesn’t break say 3.5M (4 tops.) & That is if we are willing to sacrifice a dman. Otherwise we might be able to Avery only w/o to much sacrificing.

  117. Doodie Machetto on

    Does anyone know what the story is with reorganizing contracts in the middle of their duration? Consider this as possible cap magic:

    Sign Avery to a 3 year deal worth 5 million. lowers his cap number to 1 million. But structure it so that it’s frontloaded, as in, he gets 3.5 million the first year and spread out the rest evenly. Then, after January 1, rework him to a new deal, where he gets paid regular amounts, but don’t affect this years cap.

    Is there anyway of restructuring deals like that? I’m pretty sue that there isn’t, but hey, you never know.

  118. “Comment #2: Matt Cullen takes too many bad penalties. He had 52 penalty minutes last season.”

    and that means 26 bad penalties.

    “Comment #2: He only scored 16 goals. That’s the 3rd most he has scored his entire career, coming off his 25 goal season in Carolina. Oh yeah he played with the likes of Jason Ward, Ryan Hollweg, Adam Hall, Marcel Hossa and Pascual DuPuis”

    which is why signing him in the first place was a big mistake.

    At the end Cullen simply frustrates me with his decision making. And having Dubinsky sit in favor of overpaid Cullen is even more frustrating

  119. Doodie Machetto on

    Better that Dubinsky skate than get on the ice, at least there is a smaller chance that he falls when he sits than when he skates, because he falls needlessly every shift I have ever seen him take.

    Another year of Hartford will do him good. In fact, with Shanahan signed, there isn’t a forward I want to see from Hartford on the big club this year. I would’ve taken either Dawes or Bourret to see what they could do.

    Next year, there will be 4 or 5.

  120. Souray signs with the Oilers, so that puts an end to the speculation of him coming here.

  121. Roszi our worst Defenseman? Mara too? what are you, high?

    Malik is by far the worst we have. Roszi is good. Mara is good.

    Drop malik, sign avery/hossa, forget Souray. Honestly.

  122. If Souray is one i feel the Rangers will try and trade Cullen and Malik to free up cap space and get a pick or solid dman. What do you all think?

  123. Doodie,

    If you extend a contract prior to it expiring, during the year in which it is set to expire, the cap hit takes place the following year. I don’t think you sign a player to 5 year contract and then alter the deal mid-contract like that. It has to be in the final year.

  124. I think signing souray or anyone else right now is ALL wrong. First of all, we need to see what the kids are capable of during camp. Secondly, we need to see if our veterans like Hossa and Cullen are going to be able to give us more than they did last year. We should bring in a defensemen late in the season when his contract won’t hit the cap at full price.

  125. I hear souray got 5 year 27 million way to much for a guy who is 31 plays defense but is better at offense.

  126. RAK:

    Best comment so far. A *physical defensive* d-man is what is really needed here, and I’m not talking about Strudwick who can’t skate. If Sutton is that guy (and I haven’t seen enough of him recently to know if he is) then go get him and then drop Malik for some pucks.

  127. ORR Kicks Yin Yang on

    TWIN

    Oh no…..Kubina is the Czech Forsberg….He barely gets touched and he gets injured…

    I dont think he’s worth it…Unless we get rid of Malik for him…

  128. ThisYearsModel on

    The 2 defensemen we needed were available and are elsewhere. jason Smith in Philly and Scott Hannan in Denver. Now I think we go with what we have, with the possibility of bringing Babchuk in from the Canes for Cullen.

  129. posse

    Hollweg one of the best hitters in the NHL? Really, such a small guy do that? And then of course he gets a penalty because most of his hits are considered boarding. Avery does better in hitting. Hollweg is still not worth a spot simply for hitting and hopefully not getting a penalty for it. So if he is such a great hitter why wasn’t he used against the physical Thrashers during the playoffs? Because he was a liability and he stinks.

  130. Well, a possible reason to dump Cullen’s salary was to make room for Souray. Now that that option is gone, I really dont think there is a good reason to dump him. I know we need wiggle room but Matt Cullen showedus glimpses of brilliance last year and if we are gonna make a serious run at the cup, wouldnt you rather want Cullen instead of an unproven player like Dubinsky?

    Seeing how Cullen has a cup under his belt with Carolina, experience can not hurt. Plus, Cullen is or can be much more to this team than a 3rd line center. As Sam mentioned, he is probably of, if not, the best penalty killer on the team. Also if Renney utilizes him correctly and puts him on the point on the powerplay like whn he was on Carolina, his goal total will increase a bit. Plus, last year was Cullen’s first year in New York and we all know there is an adjustment period for players new to New York.

    Also, I think if we need salary dump, we should do everything we can to dump Paul Mara. He is in the walk year of his contract and makes 3 million. Im sure if we need to get rid of him, someone would take Mara as there is always a need for defensemenaround the league. I do realize that no one likes Malik, and he is not the greatest and is probably worse than Mara, I think getting rid of Mara makes more sense for our situation. This is because of the big fella himself, yes you guessed it JJ,the captain. Malik is one of Jagr’s Euro Guru and I think not resigning Nylander has upset Jagr enough for one offseason. There is no need to take the chance and upset JJ anymore. We already dont know how losing Nylander will affect him

  131. Doodie Machetto on

    Go NYR, and everyone else who thinks Jagr is crushed by losing Nylander:

    Do you really think that they would let Nylander walk and pick up Gomez and Drury WITHOUT Jagr’s consent?

    C’mon, give Sather and Renney SOME credit. JJ is on board.

  132. Souray to Edmonton, so why trade Cullen to free up space. Space for… ???

    Rangers were so weak @ center last year, so their answer is to sign 2 and lose 2? 2-2 = 0. Yes, they have Dawes etc, but Cullen is a proven commodity, Dawes is anything but.

  133. Doodie- Also if you just think about Jagr’s track record, if he is not happy, he is not gonna give you any effort at all. I was just saying that Jagr is far too important to this team to take ANY chance at upsetting him

  134. Agree w/ Pete that Cullen is not a finisher and does not distribute the puck well. But he is an ideal 3rd line center to match up against other team’s 1/2 lines (Mike Keane w/ speed). He can pressure the puck and force play deep in the O zone. Also, like the idea of Avery – Cullen – Callahan. That would be a great crash line.

  135. For some reaosn I thought Dawes started at center. Replace Dawes w/Dubi for this example ;)

    Next few weeks of “cap management” should be interesting.

  136. AngelusMortis on

    Thank God, hearing Souray signed with another team, and a Western one at that, is good news. It’s scary to think that Slats may have been considering him.

  137. 27 mil and 5 years is very reasonable for Souray, he would have probably signed here for less. Sather should have unloaded Malik and Mara for picks. Then again Souray is questionable defensively and offensively he will have a hard time repeating last season. Flyers look like idiots for signing Timmonen to 6 million and giving up a 1st rounder to do so.

  138. Cullen needs to be traded to fit in under the cap. Also while the Prucha-Cullen-Callahan line played hard they had no chemistry when it came to offensive production. Avery can center 3rd line and Dubinsky is likely ready after getting a taste. Pyatt might also be ready soon. Cullen winning the Cup is a non factor IMO.

    “So if he is such a great hitter why wasn’t he used against the physical Thrashers during the playoffs?”

    either because Renney is a retard or because Hollweg had some injury or was sick.

  139. hmm, what if Sather and Lowe got some deal going between them–Malik, Cullen and Dawes to Edmonton for Souray. Edmonton really needs a finisher and Dawes potentially fits that role, and they don’t have many defensive defensemen and Malik would fit well with young Czech Smid.

    then we trade Mara and Betts for Lundqvist and Ott

  140. Ivanusmot – Avery is clearly not going to play center. It would either take away from his hitting game or his +/- rating.

  141. Yenner – you should get season tix and go with Bonfire. now those would be interesting conversations. But if you do let me know and I’ll make sure my tix are at the other end of the Garden.

  142. LET'S GO RANGERS on

    It’s crazy that so many people are giving up on Cullen after one year. If anyone watched him the previous season with the Canes, especially during their Stanley Cup run, you would know he has offensive talent. He is one of the classiest guys on the team & it appears from the “outside” that he is well respected in the room. Him not putting up as many points, in my opinion, is a reflection of A) the guys he was playing with, B) limited role on the PP, and C) adjusting to life in NYC. Cullen was a stud in the shootouts for the Canes & has shown the ability to bury the biscuit at key times.

    The bottom line is, this will strictly be a salary cap move – and time will tell if it pays off for the Rangers. Cullen with the Canes – Stanley Cup (Rangers non existent in the playoffs). Cullen with the Rangers – nice playoff run (Canes non existent in the playoffs). I’m not saying he is the “key” link, but if this trade happens, it will be interesting to see how these teams do next year. I’m predicting they will both be in the postseason, and could possibly meet.

    Drury & Gomez are exciting acquistions, but it’s the role players who step up their games who push teams deep into the playoffs. Rangers went for high $, big names & as a result, they will take a hit on the 3rd/4th lines & 4th/5th D. Not saying it’s a bad thing, just a different way to approach a season.

  143. Nobody is giving up on Cullen, we are over the cap already and have yet to sign Avery and Hossa, so Cullen is the odd man out, besides he never really had much of a chemistry with anyone.

    Actually it seems like Souray is from a town not far from Edmonton, so maybe that is where he wanted to go.

  144. Hate to be the “I told you so” guy…but did I or did I not say SOURAY WILL NEVER BE A RANGER…I F@#K’IN TOLD YOU SO.

  145. Posse – you should not use “we” in describing the Rangers. We, for you is a Village People reunion.

  146. Posse = Another tool posting ridiculous messages on the board. Yes, I definitely agree with you Posse. I am sure Kevin Lowe said, “Hey guys, I have a great idea. Lets sign Souray, and then trade him away for Malik, Cullen, and Dawes. Stanley Cup here we come!!” And I said it yesterday, Avery at center is a dumb idea. That totally changes his game around.

    Sam: Isn’t it fun that you have to be a babysitter and monitor everyone’s user IDs and messages?

  147. Trading Cullen would be a bad idea. He fits in great. He works hard and he does score the occasional great goal. He was huge in Carolina’s run for the cup and I think he could be just as big here. Joel Lundqvist would be nice, but there is no reason to trade up our entire roster, with that you risk screwing with team chemistry. The Rangers will be fine. Let’s just lock up Avery and Hossa and be done with it.

  148. Doodie Machetto on

    GO NYR: Perhaps it is not my reading comprehension skills that need some work, but yours:

    I saw the rest of your post, but I only chose to respond to that one little piece. Furthermore, your second post shows that you totaly missed what I was saying:

    Sather and Renney KNOW Jagr is a moody player. That’s why they brought so many Czechs here in 05-06. They wouldn’t move anyone that is close to JJ without him signing off on it first. My point about Nylander was that I’m sure Sather and Renney consulted with Jagr prior to deciding that they should get Drury and Gomez instead of Nylander. I’m sure if Jagr was like “I want Nylander instead of _____[presumably Gomez]” they wouldn’t have booked the two of them, just the one and Nylander. Jagr is cool with Nylander moving on, trust me. How this applies to Malik is that if they deal Malik, I’m sure they would have spoken to Jagr about it first. Therefore, if a deal involving Malik arises, JJ would have to be on board with that deal too.

    Anything that JJ signs off on wouldn’t upset him. Otherwise, he wouldn’t agree to it, and management isnt THAT retarded to do something that would piss him off.

  149. Doodie Machetto on

    This is via spector’s trade rumors, talking about the article tom g posted above:

    “NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports Rangers centre Matt Cullen denies reports he’d welcome a trade back to the Carolina Hurricanes,claiming he’s never sought a trade nor does he want one. It’s been suggested Cullen and his $2.875 million per season contract might be moved to free up cap space to re-sign Sean Avery and Marcel Hossa but Cullen said he’s been assured the team has enough cap space. Brooks points out moving Cullen would leave the Rangers thin at centre on the third line and claims the Rangers have no immediate cap issues.

    Spector’s Note: Presently the Rangers’ payroll is at $48.899 million (as Brendan Shanahan’s bonuses won’t count against the cap until later in the upcoming season), but to re-sign Hossa and Avery plus add another player to round out the roster will push them over before the start of the season (it’ll take at least $3 million to retain Hossa and Avery). The Rangers do have the benefit of time, however, to get under the cap by trading or demoting players as they must be under the cap a week prior to the start of the upcoming season. They’ll likely demote Darius Kasparaitis, which would clear $2.989 million in cap space. ”

    If he’s right about that cap information, they won’t have to trade anyone. Figure Avery and Hossa will take about 3.5. That puts them 1.1 million over. Demoting Kaspar would free up about 3. That leaves them 2.9 under, which is also enough to cover Shanny’s bonuses.

  150. Doodie Machetto on

    I don’t know what he’s talking about with another player. By my count, we have a glut of potential roster players. Unless he means a backup goalie, because we still need to get one of those.

  151. Come one, guys. Let’s not forget that Cullen had that sweet game-clinching goal off the crossbar in the Thrashers series, and three other points overall, in the form of power play assists. He was playing the point on the power play in the playoffs, right? So I guess Renney then started to trust him there. One of the reasons he probably wasn’t used there too much is that he was usually the second penalty _killing_ center.

    I would like to see him produce a little more however. Hopefully, he has fully adjusted by now. The only reason we would need to trade anyone is if Sather wants to give Staal or any other call-up a spot on the team. If we sign and keep both Avery and Hossa, along with everybody else, preseason or midseason call-ups will be problematic because short-term IR injuries still count against the cap for some reason.

  152. Doodie Machetto on

    If he can get 41 pts(equal point total) playing on the third line this season instead of with half time on the 2nd line like last season, I’d be happy with that. 41 pts for a third liner isn’t shabby.

  153. True Fans bleed RW&B on

    I love the suggestions for Markov and Sutton…both are nasty and physical. We don’t have that, as pointed out.

    Finally, if Cullen has to be traded to clear space for Avery and Hossa then it must be done. We have 4 guys who could play the bottom two center positions (Betts, Dubinsky, Avery, Hossa). If you wanted to get really creative you could put Hossa on the top line, Shanahan and Prucha on a 2a line and then have straka center Avery and Callahan (a 2b line).

    This team really isn’t at a loss for unproductive centers. I’d like to keep Cullen a Ranger, but he’s not an integral piece to the team.

  154. I agree, the rangers need defensemen that are nasty and physical to patrol the blue line. Those are the type of defensemen you need especially in the playoffs. Unfortunately because of the state of the rangers salary cap issues, I don’t see them getting Sutton or Markov.

  155. RW&B – Hollweg shouldnt be playing in a beer league at center. None of the guys you mention will be as good as Cullen this yr as 3rd line center. Dubinsky has potential but certainly should not be plan A this year. Easy fix re the cap dump one of the vet dmen other than Rozy and replace with Staal. Carolina learned the hard way. With Cullen as 3rd center cup champs. He leaves a hole for that team at 3rd center Carolina fails to make playoffs. Certainly not the only reason but a major one.

  156. Andy Sutton? The guy in the playoffs who completely lost his mind and took bad penalty after bad penalty?

    We have a physical defenseman, his name is David Liffiton. Girardi is a tough kid as well.

    We need defenseman who can skate and move the puck. You’re not allowed to tee off on forwards when they stand in front of the net anymore, so it’s up to the forwards to pressure the puck and not allow shots while the goalie is screened.

    I’m not a proponent of Sutton, but Markov I wouldn’t mind. He can at least skate.

  157. Ok-

    I couldn’t even read all the posts b/c there is a quintessential question here (and some have hit it)- who is willing to lose either Avery OR Hossa to keep Cullen? The Rangers, it seems, have so much power with the off season moves that they will be compelled to move SOMEONE. If it has to be Cullen, then so be it. We all saw Hossa just begin to show his true potential before he got hurt and Avery provides the attitude this team has needed. It is time to think soberly about the situation regardless of other potential moves. Also it seems some fans think guys like Paul Mara are a dime a dozen but let us all remember the first half of last season without him…. Ouch. So it’s only simple math- when you sign two big time centers, there has to be room made for them, both physically and with respect to the cap. And remember, when Cullen is traded we’re not really losing a Cullen, but gaining an Avery and Hossa

  158. drew – we were a center short all season. so we sign 2 and let Nylander and Cullen walk that’s a wash and we’re still a center short. Don’t want Avery gone but if Hossa or one of the M defensemen goes so be it. Staal can replace him. Carolina found out the hard way what missing a 3rd center means. Went from Stanley Cup champs to missing playoffs entirely.

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