Revolving door policy?


For someone who hadn’t seen the Rangers since their final loss to Buffalo, the MSG training center seemed virtually unchanged since my last trip there. Most of the players are the same, including some of the rookies who bounced up and down last season, which is pretty unique for hockey. And I think it speaks volumes that among the new faces are guys named *Scott Gomez* and *Chris Drury,* who are pretty decent hockey players. Good sign, right?

(Note: Drury, BU God, left by the time I arrived in 1998…so no, I don’t know the guy.)


Anyway, the most important thing (I think) that came out of today was *Tom Renney’s* answer to a question I asked about what he’d look for tonight from *Nigel Dawes.* It’s early, but Renney made it sound like the LW with Gomez and *Jaromir Jagr* may ultimately be a revolving door, depending on what he needs that particular night.

The three guys Renney mentioned (and the reason he likes them) were Dawes (goal scoring), *Marcel Hossa* (size and strength along the boards), and *Sean Avery* (good hockey I.Q., feisty).

“There’s a number of different options that we’ll continue to look at before we draw any conclusions. And I’m not sure we’ll draw any this year. We just might be able to roll a number of different people through there.”

Renney said there’s no plan tonight on who will play first line LW other than Dawes and when they will do it, but he expects to rotate other players in throughout the night:

“I’ve got some other options that I’ll roll through there. We’ll see how that looks.”

Here’s what they’re looking for from Dawes:

“Just play to his instincts. He’s a good offensive player. He’s got good quickness. He’s got a great release and can certainly get the puck to the net. I think Nigel’s just got to play good hockey. There’s no reason for him to think more than that. The last four or five years, he’s scored a ton of goals. My hope is that he’s able to add some things, create opportunities for not only himself but also his linemates and shows some awareness defensively.”

And here’s an overall thought on last night’s win over the Devils:

“We worked hard. Systematically, we did some things well enough to win, I suppose. Lots of times it’s energy and emotion kind of starts those games and it’s not necessarily how they finish. I liked the fact that we were able to settle some things down late in the game and control it, because I thought that New Jersey had a real strong third period and had an opportunity to win it.”

Couple quick notes: The lineup is mostly the same as Sam posted the other night. You can add Byers and Jessiman to the mix for tonight. … *Marek Malik* didn’t work today, but Renney said he’s fine.

About Author


  1. Where is Cheraponov, I didnt see him on the cut list and he hasnt been in either lineup, whats the deal with him?

  2. hoof and mouth disease on

    SAM that’s only 19 guys – 2 not here that’s 17. You need 3 more & they better be tough guys against the broad st bullies.

  3. Cherepanov wasn’t at this camp at all. he stayed in russia after the super series and the season has started for omsk.

    On the lineup, Pyatt was sent down, so that spot is open, and it can be assumed that Tyutin will swap spots with Staal since that was the change last night.

  4. Sorry folks. Renney said the lineup was the same, so I reposted it without checking it over. I deleted it above.

    I can tell you that both Byers and Jessiman will play again tonight, so that will answer hoof and mouth disease’s call for some muscle.

  5. Any sense that Wiikman actually has a shot at starting the season with the big club? It seems Al’s salary and stickhandling will keep in Hartford, but will Valli’s [continued] iffy play prevent him from being the backup?

  6. Chris…I’ll say to you what Renney said today in regards to lineup questions: It’s still just the beginning of the exhibition games.

    I think you’d have to see at least a game or two before a determination is made on the backup GT.

  7. hoof and mouth disease on

    Thanks Josh, Jessimen can try out his boxing lessons. Byers looked good last night. Renney might need to add Lessard & Strudwick to stop the cryers in their tracks. Probably a gametime decision when he sees what goons they’re playing tonight.

  8. Josh: How come there has been no talk of Kaspar restructuring his contract? If he is as eager as he says he is to return to the NHL, why doesn’t he re-work his contract? Assuming this happens, he still doesn’t make the Rangers, but wouldn’t it increase his chances of going somewhere?

  9. Josh, where does Prucha fit it here? Will it be with Straka and Cally?

    I’m just suprised that Renney is giving the kid a shot with Gomez and Jagr, bc i feel that Prucha is known for his goal-scoring and getting into open spaces just as much as Dawes, but with more success in the NHL.

  10. hoof and mouth disease on

    DS as usual Prucha gets put on the back burner after being in the top 5 of the players in scoring in the NHL that started the same time as him. And that’s with being on a merry-go-round position, not a set line where he would probably really excel. Hoefully he shows more of what he can do & Renney plays him to his strenghts rather than trying to make him into something he’s not. Luckily the kid keeps proving him wrong. There’s nobody on the team with a bigger heart!

  11. Josh and Joe: Thanks for the information. As an attorney, I find it hard to believe that there isn’t some way to get around that clause. Now I’m no labor law expert, but that clause appears to be designed to protect players who signed big contracts prior to the new CBA. A team could effectively tell a player that they won’t play him unless he restructures, at which point he would have no option but to sit out, sue, or restructure. But it would seem to me that if a player is willing and ready to restructure because he is unlikely to find a job anywhere in the NHL without taking a pay cut, then restructuring might be viable. Although the Rangers would technically be violating the CBA, the NHLPA would be acting against the interests of one of its members by challenging the deal. Just my two cents…

  12. ORR Punch Survivor....Barely!!! on

    LI JOE

    To answer your question from the previous post…Cally through a hit at a dev, and he fell into the boards awkwardly. He hit his chest and shoulder, i gasped when i saw it, but he looked in a little bit of pain on the bench but im assuming he’s alright, i think we would hear something if he was hurt.

  13. lawnboy – I’m guessing that the league (Bettman and small mkts) won’t allow the restructuring as one way of keeping salaries down. (ie have less money to sign free agents if a team is saddled with a bad contract). The seemingly unforseen loophole (which will probably be closed in the next cba) is a team can send that bad contract to the AHL. Still have to pay real $ but no cap hit. The small mkts have already complained about that one so like I said I expect that to change.

  14. I don’t remember the exact specifics of what Lucky Lou pulled off over there in NJ, but didn’t he get a cap exemption on Mogilny? or was it someone else? This might not be the most ethical thing in the world, but when Kaspar had his panic attack, the Rangers should have applied for a cap exemption claiming that Kaspar was unable to play.

  15. lawnboy – there were 2 gutys for the devils Mogilny and a d man. one was traded to SJ and the devils threw in a 1st rd pick for San Jose to absorb the cap hit. I think the league has different rules re guys signed over age 35 for multi yr contracts. also don’t think those guys can be sent to minors to absorb cap hit. I vaguely remember the devils getting a long term injury exemption for one of the 2 players. We should have gotten the same with ozo last yr. But re Kaspar we can aviod his hit by sending him down. We can afford to pay those $ in real terms just not cap terms.

    also when I speculated as to the reasons why the league won’t allow restructuring – in addition to the effect on future free agents with less cap room available (except for the current loophole) that also will serve to make a team think long and hard to sign players for big $ many yrs contracts. If the league made it easy to restructure contracts that deterrent would not be in play.

    by the way I’m not a lawyer but I did stay at a holiday inn (actually accountant and finance guy).

  16. hoof and mouth disease on

    They had the camera on Kasperitis in the lokeroom before the game. Maybe I’m over reading his eyes, but he looks like he had a nervous breakdown. I wish him well & hope he gets at least one of his wishes.

  17. getting paid 3 million to play in Hartford would be any of our wishes, so you got to put things in perspective.

    But Renney sure showed his character by kicking the man down when he is at his lowest point to the point where he had a nervous breakdown.

    Statistically Kasparaitis was having a better season than the one before–he was scoring more and taking fewer penalties.

  18. hoof and mouth disease on

    hyena he was playing decently, but maybe he was drinking or worse inbetween. Let’s see if he can prove again he was worth $3mil. Mara needs to be held to that same figure too. Malik has a get out of jail czech card.

  19. ORR Punch Survivor....Barely!!! on


    That was the right move at the time sending him down. He just wasnt in the right state of mind, he was dragging down Tyuts.

    I like Kaspar, he’s the man, and i wanna give him every shot in the world and i really hope he does phenominal enough to make the team. But i think he’s too far gone at this point, and its time to let him go. I just dont like the idea of him against us, and i know NYI will be one of the teams to jump on him right off the bat. At this point its Hutch, Staal, Sauer, and Pock fighting for that final 6th spot.

  20. interesting line from an impartial observer (well sort of) in the attached article – also talks of the roles both Drury and Briere will have in thea rticle itself.

    “I was excited for him because I knew deep down that’s where he wanted to go,” Briere said. “That was the team he grew up cheering for and every time we talked about the Rangers his eyes would light up. I’m just happy he got what he wanted.”

  21. ORR...Fighter for Life...Or Enforcer for a Day? on

    I dont know why NYR fans want to dump Mara so soon. Let him have a season with NYR and see what he can do. His offensive game wil be a whole lot better then it was. Boston ruined him, so who knows, maybe the staff will get him back on track. Im looking foward to seeing what he can do, hopefully its all good. As far as Malik goes, im willing to give him a chance, maybe he learned his lesson from last year, but he needs to have a good year, or else its dumping time.

  22. hoof and mouth disease on

    Hutchinson did a Rozival last night 5 on 3, passing instead of shooting on what’s suppose to be his strenght, the PP. I think alot of these guys have a case of the nerves, which Renney might take into account when deciding who stays & who goes. And then Sather will tell him reality. I”M THE BOSS! Hoefully not in the same way as his Knick counterpart.

  23. ORR...Fighter for Life...Or Enforcer for a Day? on


    When does the fantasy hockey thing get started…October 4th??

  24. Point is they could have done something else, like healthy scratch him for 10+ games and tell him to get into shape, but by sending him down they couldn’t bring him back up risking someone taking him off waivers and being on hook for 50% of his salary. So it was a wrong solution, IMO.

    Me personally, I never saw anything in Kasparaitis beyond good hitting so signing him to a 6 year 24 million deal was and still is a huge mistake.

  25. “but I doubt the Rangers figure they have a shot at the Cup this year, without him(Shanahan). Well, they surely don’t have much shot at the Cup with him.”

    right on. If you are by far outplayed by 0 NHL experience players like Jessiman and Byers and a stringbean 19 yearold then it is time to hang them up, buddy.

  26. all: One of the major reasons why Kaspar was sent down was because he was boozing and smoking grass. I probably shouldn’t get into specifics but a guy I know (journalist) interviewed an inside guy in the Rangers organization, who said off-the-record that Kaspar was a big-time substance abuser and with the influx of young blood on the team, brass was concerned he would serve as a real bad role model. So his play came under intense scrutiny and they decided to relegate him to the AHL.

  27. Orr- the draft was the other day and I know it sucks when you miss the draft but look at your team anyway, the computer did a decent job.

    Is anybody else not a fan of this revolving door idea? I don’t want to see a different guy skating with Gomez and Jagr every night. If Renney wants to give Dawes a shot to gel with them I am completely for it but don’t revive my Bryan Trottier era memories when there was a new lineup every night in a panicked effort to establish some type of chemistry(which btw, Renney has the tendency to do the same thing during losing streaks or goal droughts). When players are not playing together on a consistent basis, it only impedes the onset of good chemistry. I say, let’s see what Dawes can do with them in the preseason. If it doesn’t seem like anything is developing, I want to see Hossa there. I could see a Hossa-Gomez-Jagr line being really dominating with Hossa finally having a breakout 80-85 point season. Thoughts?

  28. I cannot think of anything WORSE than relegating a player who is a substance abuser to the AHL, “because he would be a bad role model for the kids up here.” Really? Well, then, what kind of “role model” will he be for Brodie Dupont, Tom Pyatt, Alex Bourret and company – a father figure?

    Too bad sports has devolved to where you cannot release a bad attitude, washed-up player who tokes and contaminates those around him because of “contract considerations.” If I never hear the name Darius Kasparaitus again, I will be truly grateful. We went through this crap with Ozolinsh and years ago, with the Murdock kid. Tired of it. Let the Steve Howe losers of the world play baseball, in between seven suspensions.

  29. Downie is a fighter, and a goon. He cross-checked a teammate in the face at practice while in the OHL. He may be small but the guy can fight.

  30. OK…did anyone see anything out of Dawes that made him look like real 1st line material? I didn’t.

    Roszival looked pretty weak tonight. But you know he will make it.

    Kaspar will be gone with one more night like last night.

    Korpikoski has some speed and size I like.

    Anisimov needs one more year in North America then he will be a force.

    I didn’t catch all the game tonight. Looks like I didn’t miss much.

    I caught most of last night’s.

    I am amazed that the Rangers have nearly two full teams to dress for two games. Are they at the higher end of the league’s current rosters in terms of # of players still being carried? 4 goalies, like 12 D, and it seems like 20 forwards or more? Seems like a lot. Kind of like split squad games in baseball preseason?


  31. onecupin67years on

    Dawes shows no NHL type of play,career minor leaguer at best ,if Maholtra didn’t make as ist rounder this guy aint even close,same for jessiman.

  32. Reason why Malik didn’t play is because the big douchbag is scared of playing at home, he is scared of getting nooed, fans really got to him. Booers need to keep going soon he will beg to be traded.

    I thought Dawes was very good in the offensive role and on the PP.

    “Korpikoski has some speed and size I like”

    yeah, but he is nothing more than a 3rd/4th liner, but better him than Orr.

    Byers continues to impress. Jessiman had a meltdown, he is not an NHL material maybe if he really works on his lower body strength he could be an NHL player, but I doubt it will happen. The people that scouted him need to be fired.

    Baranka and Liffiton were not bad.

    Rozsival was terrible.

    Pock and Mara were nothing special.

    Gomez, what is all the fuss about? Trade this grinning ape ASAP.

    Smith was ok, nothing really special.

    Hossa and Prucha and Drury were good

    Lundqvist not really sharp

    Betts was not bad, but still sucks.

  33. “Dawes shows no NHL type of play,career minor leaguer at best ,if Maholtra didn’t make as ist rounder this guy aint even close,same for jessiman.”

    Malhotra made it 491 NHL games and still going. And what does Dawes have to do with Malhotra. 23 yearold Jessiman is nowhere near as good as 18 yearold Malhotra.

  34. Awful game. Absolutely NO ONE played well tonight… oh, I’m sorry – Orr had a good fight and that’s it. G-night.

  35. At this point I would cut Jessiman, Smith, Strudwick, Anisimov(or play him once more for experience, but he clearly needs to be playing 20 minutes a night 80 games in Hartford), Hutchinson, Kasparaitis and maybe Lessard.

    I would recall Bourret, Pyatt, Moore, and Potter for a look.

  36. Hey Hyena ,what don’t you understand? maholtra is a better player than Dawes and his career is as mediocre as they come ,Maholtra was a bust as 1st rounder they’re all in the same boat.

  37. Just got back from the game:

    Not a good display tonight,but hey it’s only a preseason game.

    Dawes sadly did not live up to all the hype, he was not very good, he looked a little lost and did’nt offer anythinhg at all offensively, which seems to be the only part of his game.

    Hossa was pretty invisible and was outworked and performed by several of the kids,Korpikoski was very noticeable and hard working, not afraid to get physical.

    I would’nt offer Smith a contract on what I saw,offering nothing more than we already have, Hugh I’m sorry really looked out of his depth.

    Gomez looked ok but not worth all that money, Drury made a couple of noticeable plays but was otherwise quiet.

    Prucha was good he worked hard as usual and was possibly the best Ranger on the ice,if only he could finish!

    What caused me the most anxiety was the fact that the 2 best defenders for the Rangers were Baranka and Liffiton, sadly they’ll be sent back to Hartford within the next few days.

  38. Dan – good point re Korpikoski. He definitely looked good. One of the few Rangers who did tonight. maybe the Dubinsky voodoo doll on Dawes worked.

  39. someone posted this elsewhere and I agree

    “We tried this, sign big names and hope there is chemistry, bs before. It didnt work then, it won’t work now. Renney hasn’t fixed the PP and it still looks like complete garbage. Apparently the concept of the left shooting d-man (mara) on the right point still hasn’t sunk into his thick skull. I am VERY concerned!”

    this is what it should be if there are no trades:


    if the useless Shanahan retires then Avery-Dubinsky-Callahan

  40. Hyena for life or Lion for a day?
    September 22nd, 2007 at 11:31 pm

    you got to be a very special player to be worth 7+ million and Gomez and Drury are not that special.


    Are you kidding me guy? it was one game one PRE SEASON game relax!

  41. Hossa-Straka-Jagr



Leave A Reply