Kasparaitis on waivers

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A few quick hits as the Islanders Ice Girls go through their final paces on the Coliseum ice below (please resist snickering):

  • The Rangers placed both defensemen Darius Kasparaitis and David Liffiton on waivers today, the former in hopes of having him claimed by another team, the latter in hopes that he clears and heads back to Hartford.

    The Kasparaitis move, as impressive a shape as he arrived at camp in, hardly comes as a surprise. As Tom Renney said just now, it was evident through the early scrimmages and in the preseason opener Friday that his game was not where it’s been in years past. And with the Rangers enjoying more depth at defense, the veteran was a necessary casualty.

    “We’re trying to help him,” Renney said. “I don’t see Kaspar playing hockey for us, and we’ll do everything we can to help him play somewhere else. And if not, he’ll go to Hartford, and in the kind of condition he’s in, and the mental approach he’s taken, you never know.”

    I asked Renney if he still thought Kasparaitis could play at the NHL level, and the coach said he believed he could. Bear in mind it’s in the Rangers’ best interest to have another team pick him up off waivers, so it wouldn’t make sense for the coach to elaborate on all of Kasparaitis’ deficiencies. But the answer merits passing on.

    “I think he’s a terrific competitor,” Renney said. “He has leadership qualities. I believe in a simplified game with the right partner, he could definitely play. But I believe strongly that we have more depth than we’ve had in a long time and that cost Kaspar an opportunity here.”

    Of course, whether that’s enough for a team to take on a nearly $3 million cap hit is another story. If Kasparaitis clears waivers, he’ll head back to Hartford and will again play for the Wolf Pack.

  • Chris Simon indeed appears to be in the lineup tonight for the Islanders — I saw him walk into the dressing room a few minutes ago — and Ryan Hollweg was among those who didn’t know the suspended forward was eligible to play in the preseason. I say this because when I asked Hollweg about facing Simon tonight, his response was, “He can’t play, can he?”

    When I explained that Simon had already played for the Islanders this preseason, Hollweg barely looked up as he prepared his stick.

    “Whatever happened happened,” he said. “It’s behind me. It’s not going to change how I do anything.”

    For the record, the two players still haven’t spoken since Simon’s vicious slash of Hollweg here last March.

    OK, that’s all for now. More in a bit…

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    28 Comments

    1. Sam – wasn’t Liffiton already sent down (see Josh’s post 2 down from yours).

      Is the intent to have Kaspar go to hartford and stay there (since they can’t risk having to pick up 1/2 his salary if he’s claimed on way back up). Or does the team have other ideas (just pay him and let him go his way to Russia or wherever (assuming that doesn’t count as a buyout and therefore a cap hit)). If they think he could be a bad influence. On the other hand he could help Anisomov with the language. Finally does Kaspar have any options other than reporting to Hartford. All this assuming he’s not claimed.

    2. It sounds like they are releasing Liffiton. Kind of a surprise, as he wuld most likely be one of the main vets coming back to the Pack.

    3. they really cant do anything with kaspers contract other than see if someone picks him up, wouldnt be surprised to see the isles do it, or see if he plays well in hartford and try to deal him then… its sad to see him not be able to make the comeback, as a person you kinda feel for him

    4. The Kaspar issue is not all that surprising when considering what I’ve heard of him so far this preseason. Liffiton I don’t really understand but there’s got to be some logic to it. I assume Kaspar will leave for Russia unless someone picks him up, which I don’t forsee, and I’m pretty positive that won’t count against the cap.

    5. Alexander Liscio on

      Too bad about Kaspar, one of his biggest fans here. This is trully it for him though with the NYR. I hope he gets picked up by someone. I don’t see him going to Russia. I know he likes it in NY. He just bought an apartment on the Upper East Side. I bet he stays in the organization in some capacity for a long time.

    6. carli, i highly doubt that he would return to russia and if he does that the rangers wont be penalized in the sense of the cap

    7. after the horrendous second period of the game friday night, it was clear to me that kaspar didn’t have a place on this team anymore. it was one game, i know, but after being in poor position in front of monty and the puck deflecting off him for a goal, to being totally undressed by parise for another, and making some hideous passes, it’s a shame, i feel for the guy, but the speed of the game has just passed him by. i wish he could have shown some more but it’s probably time to hang up the skates.

    8. and to answer the post above mine, go to nhl.com and sign up at islanders.nhl.tv to watch the game online tonite. for free.

    9. ORR Will Miss Kaspar....But Will Still Knock Out Simon!!! on

      Yeah thats to bad. but what are you gonna do. Lets just hope he goes out west. The who teams that will pick him up in a flash is NYI and BUF. Thats the last thing we need.

      Eh, i guess Kaspar wont be visiting the blog anymore.

    10. Doodie Machetto on

      I wouldn’t be surprised for him to go to Russia. And it wouldn’t count against the cap.

      For the record, Russia is the only country he can go to due to the IIHF transfer agreement and Russia’s lack of participation in it.

    11. Doodie Machetto on

      Orr, are you kidding? I hope someone in our division picks him up. Just like I was happy when the Debbies picked up Raccoon. He is more of a liability than a benefit.

    12. czechthemout!!!!! on

      what a stupid move on lifiton! After one game and 6shifts?
      what about hutchinson?he sucks!

    13. Liffiton has to pass through waivers to go to Hartford, otherwise he would have just been sent down. Clearly he’s not even in the top 10 defensemen at camp right now. I for one will be stunned if Staal doesn’t end up in our top six. I’ll bet it will be Roszival/Malik, Staal/Mara, and tyutin/Girardi. Strudwick will end up 7th and they’ll keep Pock around as #8 since he has to pass through waivers. Since Dubinsky is clearly making the team as #3 center (flanked by Callahan and Prucha, the second line of the future), that means that eitherv Hollweg or Dawes or Hossa is probably headed to Hartford. So unless they are going to risk exposing Pock to waivers (not necessarily a bad idea), it looks like Dawes may not make the team at all, which hardly seems fair, but as soon as anyone gets hurt, he’ll be first call-up. And on D? After the first injury, expect Sauer to get the nod. Kaspar, as someone noted above, cannot be recalled because the Rangers cannot afford to get stuck with half his cap hit.

    14. anyone else going to stream this game? I’ve never done it before… I’m signed up and watching the isles warm up from earlier…. but i dont see how to watch this game thats starting in a couple mins

    15. salty, you probably figured it out but you have to sign up for the free preseason pass, not just register. click on “center ice”once you’re in the islanders portal.

    16. I’m curious as to why Liffiton has to go through waivers. He’s younger than Jessiman who I don’t think has to. Maybe its a function of either a lower salary or when they 1st signed an NHL or AHL contract with Jessiman staying in college and I guess Liffiton probably signed a pro contract earlier. I didn’t think Immonen had to go through waivers last yr and he’s quite a bit older.

    17. yes got it CF, thanks bud…

      i’ve been watching sporadically…..these teams HATE eachother…… penalties and fighting non stop…seriously. For those not watching HOLLWEG HAS HIGHSTICKED SIMON, THEN THEY “tussled” then a “line brawl” broke out and DP and Mntoya fought……..wild….they are losing ratings on this…shoulda benn on TV

      off to my own game, later crew

    18. Hey CML go easy on my good friend Komrade Orr.
      This Renney guy really burn me. Actually silly agent who get me all that money is really one keeping me from NHL. Anyway…
      This last time gang! Chicago? LA? Please god not Edmonton.

    19. While I am dismayed at the prospect of losing Liffiton, it is axiomatic that the better the quality of your roster cuts, the better your team. I dare say Liffiton would represent an upgrade as the #5 or #6 D on the depth chart of over half the teams in the NHL. Just sorry Strudwick and Mara are still here to see him go. Liffiton will land on his feet and make the Rangers pay for that, one day.

    20. Well I wish Kaspar the best. I was routing for him to make the team but knew it would be hard because of his salary. I hope some team out west takes him on.

      And I still don’t get how Simon can play in the preseason. He should have to sit out those games too.

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