“Down to the short strokes”

145

To borrow one of Tom Renney’s pet phrases, the Rangers are “down to the short strokes” of their preseason, and as “I noted in my story today”:http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070927/SPORTS01/709270371/1046/RSS0905, it’s not a moment too soon. For all the benefits of having a surplus of promising prospects in camp — meaning, it sure beats having no promising prospects — the downside is it muddies the process of preparing for the season ahead.

Hard as it is to believe, though, the Rangers are further along in their preparation process than they were a year ago, when they had more players in camp, and two important players — Jaromir Jagr and Michal Rozsival — could hardly participate because of injury. Yes, the Rangers have been steamrolled twice in three games, and no, it’s not just a reflection of their lineup but also some systematic breakdowns. But as opposed to last year, when they cruised through the exhibition schedule, this year the Rangers won’t be headed into the opener with a false sense of security.

In other words, better to be dealing with it now.

Meanwhile, some remaining questions:

  • Should you be panicking about a lack of chemistry between Jaromir Jagr and Scott Gomez?Granted, panicking is a strong word regardless, but I don’t think you should be worried, or perturbed, or agitated, or anxious, or…well, you get my drift. For one, the two haven’t even been together two weeks. And secondly, they’re both too good to not eventually find a rhythm, even if it takes three months. But even if the Jagr-Gomez is a complete disaster, it’s not like their lacking for other options. Which means, sad as I am to report this, you shouldn’t expect another mid-season signing of Jason Krog.
  • Should Marc Staal be on the NHL roster? Yes. As I said before, on merit alone, it’s not even a question. But even if you’re concerned about sending Thomas Pock down to Hartford and losing him through waivers, the early pattern is teams aren’t making many claims. Granted, that can change when a player like Pock is recalled and another team can stick the Rangers with half the cap hit, but given the early promise Staal has shown, it’s a risk well worth taking. Besides, there’s also the chance the Rangers begin the year with eight defensemen. That would likely come at the expense of a forward like Nigel Dawes, which brings up the question…
  • Has Nigel Dawes been a disappointment? Given the starpower of the players he’s played with, you’d like to think Dawes would have pumped in a few goals. Outside of that, though, he’s looked good, and the only reason he might not make this team is he is offering something the Rangers don’t seem to need. Between Jagr, Shanahan, Callahan, Prucha, Avery, and even Hossa, the Rangers already have ample firepower at wing. And most of those players at this point are better at the other end of the rink as well. It’s a numbers game to start, and should anyone falter early, he is the natural firstcall-up. But right now, I see him starting the year in Hartford.
  • Why do I think Jason Strudwick is a given on this roster? Three reasons: versatility, chemistry, and economics. Strudwick can play forward and defense, he is universally respected in the dressing room (not to mention that he’s another quasi-enforcer) and given the team’s salary cap constraints, he makes a mere $500,000 and provides the Rangers the option of carrying 22 players as opposed to 23. Which brings up another point…
  • Valiquette or Montoya? Other writers have disagreed with me on this, but I’m for seeing Al Montoya start the year in New York. The argument against is compelling, that Montoya should be playing 70 games in Hartford as opposed to 15 in New York. But with Henrik Lundqvist not going anywhere, that’s an argument you can easily make next year, and the year after that, and so on and so on. At some point, Montoya needs to play in the NHL. And since he’s probably one of the Rangers best trading chips at this point, you need to showcase what he can do (which, for the record, is be a No. 1 goalie on a lot of other teams). Yes, Montoya’s salary is a concern. He’d make a shade under $1 million if he played in the NHL, with bonuses that could kick that number up to $1.8 million (although the last part could be deferred). But that’s where some of the roster moves above could be useful.

    Lot of other questions, and thankfully, we still have a week to answer them. But for now, a quick programming note: I have a golf assignment today which means I won’t likely be updating until later. If that changes and Josh can potentially jump in, I’ll let you know.

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    145 Comments

    1. Montoya as the back-up? I don’t know about that, Do I think he has played better then Valiquette, yes I do. But I don’t think Montoya can sit for most of the time and come in and play every now and then without being a little rusty. Valiquette on the other hand has been doing that for a few years now, Montoya should just take the experience down in Hartford. Maybe we can trade him closer to the deadline, if he has another good season down in Hartford.

      I also think Strudwick is on the roster no matter what. And I’m glad he is, I think he gives them a decent 7th D-man, plus as you said, he can fill in at forward. And it gives us some cap room, I wouldn’t mind having Strudwick play every now and then especially when we need another physical guy in the lineup.

    2. “Montoya as the back-up? I don’t know about that, Do I think he has played better then Valiquette, yes I do. But I don’t think Montoya can sit for most of the time and come in and play every now and then without being a little rusty. Valiquette on the other hand has been doing that for a few years now, Montoya should just take the experience down in Hartford. Maybe we can trade him closer to the deadline, if he has another good season down in Hartford.”

      I think you might be missing what Sam is saying… In order for Montoya to afford us the MOST in a potential trade, he is going to have to have some NHL experience/success on his resume… It’s worth it to season him now with whatever we reasonably can at the top level.

    3. Maybe I did miss understand

      But just how much time is he going to get up on the NHL level. This is Henrik’s team, what is Al going to play, 3 or 4 games a month?

      Its not like we can just give him games to expose to him to the NHL, we need to get off to a good start this year. The bad start last year almost killed us in the long run.

    4. Sam, I agree with all of your assessments EXCEPT for the Montoya/Valiquette thing. I agree with your opinion on why Montoya should play, but I don’t think they want to take the cap hit, especially if Staal is added to the lineup, because they will have little room to make a deal at the deadline. Furthermore, if we defer his and Shanny’s bonuses until next season, we will have over 3 million in salary tied up with absolutely no return. In other words, it will be like dressing Kaspar.

    5. Tim: Montoya isn’t Valiquette. If Henrik goes down this season for any stretch of time, be sure that Montoya is up to fill in the pipes, not Vali. As Sam said, Montoya could definitely start for some NHL teams.

    6. Sam – I did not think a bonus can be deferred except in the case of a player over 35 like Shanny or who missed most of the previous season like Peca.

    7. Sorry, that was only half of my thought. The other half:

      Playing Montoya won’t be sacrificing games. We can win with him in net, provided the team plays defense (as it should) and we don’t play him against a team with too much firepower.

    8. PS, by my count, the players left in camp that may end up in Hartford are Strudwick, Dubinsky, Staal, Pock, Dawes, Montoya, Valiquette, and Anisimov. Am I missing anyone?

    9. Sam, you have a golf assignment…
      Does that mean you’re in Montreal for the President’s Cup?
      Welcome to Canada buddy, Weir’s gonna own Mickelson as always, you’ll see…

    10. I think it was an estimated 15 or so games….

      If you want anything good back for Montoya who is projected to be a #1 goalie, you have to let him prove that in the NHL on some level. He’s supposed to be very good, don’t just assume he’s going to stink it up and that those games are getting sacrificed! Basically, what we’re looking at here is almost carrying two #1’s this season…. the problem being cap space and the fact that a #1 goalie is likely more prone to having an issue going in “cold” than a backup would, as far as I can tell. I do think it’s the smart move to go with Montoya now though, the more we let him prove himself, the juicier the trade will be down the line. Maybe we could even do Montoya/Gomez/Mara for a certain Joel Lundqvist at the deadline…. something along those lines. ;)

    11. I took a while to finish writing that last post in response — I’m not just trying to regurgitate what Komrade Doodie & Co. were saying!

    12. Sam, why was Baranka sent down after only 1 game? And why Moore, Pyatt and Bourret didn’t get a chance to play?

      Are Rangers allowed to have only 22 players on the roster to save cap space?

      Pock (who also can play forward) is clearly better than Strudwick. Strudwick doesn’t fight, he only hugs, and when he does fight it is someone with much shorter reach than his. Strudwick is useless as a forward because he can’t score and he doesn’t hit. He is useless as a defenseman because he is lousy defensively, doesn’t hit and is slow and he lacks grit as he is afraid to take a big hit to make a play. So I don’t get why he is a given to be on this team. And if he stays along with Orr and Pock, that makes him the 8th defenseman. Renney must really adore this guy, probably wanted him back last season, but Sather said “No way, Jose” but now that Renney got his baby back he won’t ever let him go.

      “Valiquette or Montoya? Other writers have disagreed with me on this, but I’m for seeing Al Montoya start the year in New York. The argument against is compelling, that Montoya should be playing 70 games in Hartford as opposed to 15 in New York. But with Henrik Lundqvist not going anywhere, that’s an argument you can easily make next year, and the year after that, and so on and so on. At some point, Montoya needs to play in the NHL. And since he’s probably one of the Rangers best trading chips at this point, you need to showcase what he can do (which, for the record, is be a No. 1 goalie on a lot of other teams). Yes, Montoya’s salary is a concern. He’d make a shade under $1 million if he played in the NHL, with bonuses that could kick that number up to $1.8 million (although the last part could be deferred). But that’s where some of the roster moves above could be useful.”

      finally someone sees it the way I do.

    13. If Montoya gets sent down and has a bad season that can only hurt his trade value. He’s already proven that he play in the AHL.
      Keep him with the big club and I don’t think his trade value can really take that much of a hit.

    14. LI Joe – a Rookie bonus is spread over the duration of the contract.

      With Montoya – he earns $0.984m, his Rookie bonus is $2.55m so his annual cap hit is $1.834m.

      Its the same with all Rookie’s – Staal only has a $100k bonus so his cap hit is only $827k.

      Sorry, I say only, if i had a $100k bonus i wouldn’t be using the word ONLY, but you know what i mean….

    15. Thank you, WHATEVER, for panning Strudwick. Why do the Rangers have to carry a couple Rope-A-Dope washouts, every damn season? God, how I detest the “clubhouse presence” stupidity of the times. You can play this game and contribute ON THE ICE, or you can’t, and you cannot make up for glaring on-ice deficiencies in the friggin’ clubhouse.

    16. Sam, great break down and interesting insight. It will certainly be interesting to see how this things look after this weekend. Guys like Staal, Anisimov and Dawes having a great two game Fri. & Sat could make the decisions a lot harder.

    17. Robby….I suggest you go on to Amazon.com and find a copy of “Losing the Edge: The Rise in Fall of the Stanley Cup Champion New York Rangers” but Barry Meisel and read about the effect the Black Aces guys like Kyprios, Olyzcek, Hartman, Lidster and Anderson (not Glen) had on the “clubhouse presense” of a winning team. Every team needs role guys who are happy to do whatever is asked of them, don’t complain for more despite their limited ice time and can keep the team loose and relaxed during practices and in the dressing room.

    18. Great point Robby. The “great in the clubhouse” guy is highly overrated, especially in Strudwick’s case when there are better talented options at D.
      I realize that every team needs soldiers, but if Renney loves him so much he should make him a coach. That way he can be around the team all the time. As a player he’s just another mediocre body on the ice.

    19. To me the Biggest regret so far this preseason is the acquiring of Andrew Hutchinson for Matt Cullen. Andrew has not showed anything so far and from the way it looks Carolina definitely will benefit from that trade.WHAT A SHAME

    20. Until we see that we have a proven guy that can play a good third line center spot I will say that I miss Cullen also. He was a let down as a number 2 center but as a number 3 he would have been perfect. Oh well, it was more of a salary dump than anything.

    21. I am saying that yes, salary dumping was the motive behind him going, because he was overpaid to play a role he had no business playing. He is a third line center at best, and if he was presented to us in that way he would have not been so much considered a bust. We heard Cullen and Ward “proven stanley cup winners” and the expectations were high, and they should not have been paid what they were paid or hyped the way they were.

    22. haha i forgot about ward for a second. man, what a bust those 2 were. one was a locker room cancer and the other simply didn’t want to be here…

    23. Yeah man, we would have been better off without them at all. If we had cullen as a third line center for about 1.5 mil I would take it, but not for more or for our 2nd line center.

    24. most highly drafted players get signing bonuses due to there being a cap on entry level contracts, montoya being a high 1st rounder whom the rangers thought would be their franchise goaltender was given a big one.

    25. I have another reason for keeping Montoya up, one that seems to be commonly overlooked:

      Valiquette is bad.

      Monty should stay up, get what games he can and become an NHL player. He’s not the first talented goalie to be asked to be a backup for a stint and I don’t think it ruined everyone else. Playing in practices and being around Allaire should help him, and I’d rather he’s around if something does happen to Hank or, and no it’s not impossible, Hank gets worn down or tired.

    26. RE: “locker room guys”

      You guys have to realize how long and tough the season is, especially once you hit the playoffs…it takes a serious toll on the guys mentally and physically. You are WITH these guys day in and day out, ON the ice, on the road, at practice, in the gym, at team functions. Even the very best of friends get sick of eachother after a while, not to mention an 82+ game season. You lose a rough game and it’s easy to start to resent guys who you think could have done better. You really do need guys like Struds and Hollywood to keep things playful when things need to be playful. It goes a lot longer and further than you think. These guys are still in hockey because on their way up they were having *fun* with it, enough that the hard work was worth it to put in the effort to get to the next level and continue the fun. You need guys like that to offset a guy like Messier or Drury who is a master on the ice, yet all business 24/7 and an alleged stiff on a social level and in the locker room. The game needs to be fun still even for these grown men if you expect them to be passionate about the game and playing as a team. They have to still be looking forward to going to the rink after getting blown out the night before, late in the season, instead of dreading it, and that comes from a good atmosphere, among other values that I do think Renney has instilled in the team’s collective mind. You have to realize that its not easy to keep ~25 men happy all the time, not butting heads, not resenting one another for flaws, be they flaws on the ice or off. Guys like Strudwick come in and tell the room a filthy story or something and belive it or not, stuff like that serves as a real social bond for these guys in this hockey culture. These are not hockey programmed robots, they are people with different personalities, and its not easy to find an equilibrium of work and play among everyone so that everyone is REALLY on the same page, both on and off the ice.

    27. Let’s not forget the Cullen trade did not only net Hutchinson, it netted 3 Million in cap relief, Joe Barnes and 3rd rd pick as well. That pick could become part of a deal for a banger on defense or a more experience 3rd line center come February.

    28. “Robby….I suggest you go on to Amazon.com and find a copy of “Losing the Edge: The Rise in Fall of the Stanley Cup Champion New York Rangersâ€? but Barry Meisel and read about the effect the Black Aces guys like Kyprios, Olyzcek, Hartman, Lidster and Anderson (not Glen) had on the “clubhouse presenseâ€? of a winning team. Every team needs role guys who are happy to do whatever is asked of them, don’t complain for more despite their limited ice time and can keep the team loose and relaxed during practices and in the dressing room.”

      hello? Those guys could play, Strudwick can’t. You can’t have garbage players on the roster just because is a great guy in the lockerroom and will write a playoff blog.

    29. “most highly drafted players get signing bonuses due to there being a cap on entry level contracts, montoya being a high 1st rounder whom the rangers thought would be their franchise goaltender was given a big one.”

      and because they made him leave college before graduating

    30. BTW, Immonen is leading his team in scoring with 8 points in 6 games. He should have played over a hundred games with the Rangers by now, too bad the coach rather play Rucchins and Isbisters instead.

    31. Doodie Machetto on

      Finnish League. Those totals are similar to his totals before he entered the AHL. Not saying much there. Wow, you can do well in the Finnish League. What is that, the 4th or 5th best league in the world? Not saying much there.

    32. hoof and mouth disease on

      WHP I thought Immonen would make a good 3rd line two way center, but the NYR didn’t. I’m against keeping Dubinsky & Staal up right out of camp. The expectations are way too high, and they might get the Renney skybox lessons with cliff notes.

    33. hoof and mouth disease on

      Doodie..”Not saying much there…Not saying much there” I agree you’re not saying much there. But if the NYR sent Dubinsky & Staal there, & they tore it up, you’d be jumping out of your shorts.

    34. ORR !!! What Ever His Right Hand Provides !!! on

      LOL

      Monty replacing Hank.

      Immonen just couldnt play with NYR, and just like Dawes.

      The last thing we need is another player who can only play with star players. Dawes is as pathetic as Bizzaro Hate Yenner. He’s probably using that as an excuse to slack off.

      Play Dubi, or just leave the team along and let Cally or Straks center them. This crap is over. Maybe Jagr and Gomez arent doing well in pre season because of Dawes. Maybe he cant just keep up.

      Maybe he’ll be good with some other team, but he’s not good for us.

    35. “Finnish League. Those totals are similar to his totals before he entered the AHL. Not saying much there. Wow, you can do well in the Finnish League. What is that, the 4th or 5th best league in the world? Not saying much there.”

      yeah, but Finnish league is still better than AHL. In any case he is another good young player who got screwed by Rangers.

    36. “I’m against keeping Dubinsky & Staal up right out of camp. The expectations are way too high, and they might get the Renney skybox lessons with cliff notes.”

      disease/imagination you don’t make any sense.

    37. Here are the joke, Eklund’s predictions for the Eastern Conference at the end of season.

      I think he’s on Crack-
      Washington 3rd?
      Rangers 7th?
      Philly 5th?
      Jersey 14th?

      What a tool-

      EASTERN CONFERENCE
      1. Buffalo
      2. Pittsburgh
      3. Washington
      4. Ottawa
      5. Philadelphia
      6. Toronto
      7. NY Rangers
      8. Montreal
      9. Boston
      10. Florida
      11. Tampa
      12. NY Islanders
      13. Carolina
      14. New Jersey
      15. Atlanta

    38. hoof and mouth disease on

      WHP you would know when a hockey statement doesn’t make sense. You’ve perfected it and consistently do it everyday. Read my lips Dubinsky & Staal should be sent down for the beginning of this season. That’s my opinion. If they stay up they’ll surely get the rafter treatment from Renney. If he can do it to Prucha, he can do it to the next kids. This is not ‘logans run’ except for this blog. Comprehende comrade? Where were you born?

    39. While Philly may look promising, they were terrible last year.
      Ek is a Flyers fan and is clearly biased.
      The Rangers are upgraded from last year and I believe should finish better than 7th-

    40. eklund sucks, the only reason his site is still up is that he has some great bloggers (like garth!!! lol)

    41. Agreed, no way the Devils finish anywhere near 14th in the conference. As for the other picks, Philly can surprise this year with Biron in goal, and the Southeast division is a crapshoot this year, so that 3rd spot is up for grabs. No way Buffalo finishes first overall in the conference, and the Rangers will finish in the 4th or 5th range.

    42. Flyers will be a very good team they added a ton of good players. Smith, Hartnell, Briere, Lupul, Coburn, Biron, Timonen, etc.

      “Read my lips Dubinsky & Staal should be sent down for the beginning of this season. That’s my opinion.”

      I know it is only your opinion, thankfully.

      “If he can do it to Prucha, he can do it to the next kids.”

      so your solution is having no more rookies as long as Renney is in charge.

    43. Sam,

      Not to be nit picky or anything, but important in the second graph has a typo.

      Signed,
      The nit picky Web editor

      PS. I agree with you on Montoya.

      PPS. New question: If and when Dubinsky makes the roster, is he the clear choice for third-line center? Or will they try something else?

    44. Doodie Machetto on

      “Finnish league is still better than AHL”

      Eh, not by much. I’d rank the world’s leagues:

      1) NHL
      2) RSL
      3) SEL
      4) FNL
      5) DEL
      6) AHL

      It’s not that much lower, considering that FNL an DEL are a toss up.

      And no Hoof, I wouldn’t need to change my shorts if dubinsky, or Staal, or anyone one else tore it up there. I was excited about Hank’s performance in the SEL because he was the league MVP. Short of that, I wouldn’t care. Marcel Hossa put up decent numbers there. The only outside of NHL success that would get me to raise my brow is in the RSL. That’s why I’m excited about Cherepanov.

      Bottom line re: Immonen: He can excel when the game is slower. When the pace picks up he’s a few steps behind. If we wanted a center who fit that description, why not just sign Jason Allison and add some size to the equation as well?

    45. From Spector today…

      RANGERS CUT SMITH.

      “THE SCORE: reports the NY Rangers have released former San Jose Sharks centre Mark Smith, who was a training camp invitee.

      Spector’s Note: Hat tip to GJ Berg. Smith is an unrestricted free agent and might be able to find employement elsewhere. The Columbus Blue Jackets are one team short on centers, although he’s not the first line center they need.”

      REALLY, I THOUGHT HE LOOKED LIKE 1ST LINE CENTER MATERIAL!!

    46. “Eh, not by much. I’d rank the world’s leagues:

      1) NHL
      2) RSL
      3) SEL
      4) FNL
      5) DEL
      6) AHL”

      What about Czech? And I don’t German league is that great, Swiss is probably better.

      I would rate it as:

      1) NHL
      2) RSL
      3) SEL
      4) Czech
      5) FNL
      6) AHL
      7) Swiss
      8) Del

    47. Hey, where ae all those who predicted that Mark Smith would be our 4th line center and Betts would be 3rd? I think the comments involved saying that Renney was against all kids or something like that.

      ORR- Dawes does not suck, and although he might not have a sot on the NYR right now, I would bet that he has a pretty good NHL career somewhere. I think we would regret trading him and he would turn into a Marc Savard type talent. Just my opinion, but the guy knows how to score. I know a lot of people think he’s been given a chance, but I dont see that being the case at all.

    48. “Bottom line re: Immonen: He can excel when the game is slower. When the pace picks up he’s a few steps behind. If we wanted a center who fit that description, why not just sign Jason Allison and add some size to the equation as well?”

      it is a moot point, reason Allison is not signed is age, injuries, bad defensively, didn’t play in over a year, not because of his speed. And I am sure Immonen is faster and quicker and better defensively than Allison.

    49. MJ

      How the heck do you know what kind of a team the Rangers will become?

      The isles have lousy players, lousy management and a lousy owner to boot.
      Get over it- Just stop talking out of your ass when it comes to a team you know nothing about-

      Those factors will result in a lousy team-

    50. Doodie Machetto on

      WHP, I’d say that Swiss and Czech have a couple of better teams, but DEL is better from top to bottom. And I’d also say that the AHL is on par with Swiss and Czech.

      As for Allison not playing for a year, why don’t you think he was signed last season? He was too slow, which is why he was bad defensively. Same deal for Immonen. Now, granted, Immonen is younger and not as slow as Allison, but Allison is also a lot more talented offensively than Immonen. Point is, Allison, an established pro can’t even get a job, Immonen, who displays similar qualities didn’t really stand much of a chance either.

      Believe it or not, success in the AHL does not mean you will be successful in the NHL. Just ask Sam’s main man with a shout out in his post today: Jason Krog.

    51. Doodie Machetto on

      So mj, does that mean the Islanders will disband, since they have neither good players, nor a team?

    52. Doodie Machetto on

      CM- please see my post re: success in the ahl not necessarily translating into NHL success. Add Dawes to that category as well.

      You’re afraid to trade him and have him turn into Marc Savard, I’m afraid to hold onto him and have him to\urn into Jamie Lundmark or Manny Malhotra.

      And on that note, Montoya playing backup to Hank is a double edged sword. What happens if he plays a few games to showcase his skills and he just gets lit up? His trade value goes into the toilet. It’s the less likely possibility, but a possibility nonetheless.

    53. ORR !!! What Ever His Right Hand Provides !!! on

      COL MARK

      Thats what i said, he most likely will do well on some oother team, but he’s not doing well for us. That kinda thing happens and i hate when people bitch and moan about trading them at the time. You cant help these things.

      Either way, its not fair that he gets a chance to play with Gomez, and Jagr, when guys like Avery, Prucha, Callahan etc are already proven they can play at this level. I mention Avery cause he played with Jags for a few games and did pretty good.

      I just dont like the idea of throwing him up there, he needs to earn his shot. Even if it means playing with an enforcer, and a defensive only centermen like Betts. Thats were you seperate the good players from the great. I much rather have Dubi get the open spot or just leave it to Cally or Straks to center like i said before…

      BLUE CLUE

      Ek is a stupid fugg. He said the team that did the best in the off season was SJS. I guess any team that loses there backup goaltender, and top 4 or 5 D man, and re signs 2 players, and signs an aging piece of garbage like JR, must be the best team in the league.

    54. I disagree Doodie, a few games isn’t enough of a sample for someone to undervalue Montoya. What would hurt his trade value IMO is if they send him to Hartford and he has a terrible season.

    55. not sure rob… remember corey hirsch? he played in 4 games in 92-93, got lit up! and really wasnt the same, even with binghampton or anywhere after we moved him…
      if you’re asking who the hell is corey hirsch, then a point is proven, even tho i posibly have one of the only hirsch ranger jerseys made

    56. “MJ How the heck do you know what kind of a team the Rangers will become?”

      The fact is, MJ knows nothing. He is like a lot of Islander fans, they talk and talk and talk, but never say anything.

      “So mj, does that mean the Islanders will disband, since they have neither good players, nor a team?”

      No they will probably sign each of this years players to 15 year contracts so that DP doesn’t have to make new friends each year.

    57. hy is Immonen still being talked about. he’ll be 26 by the time the playoffs arrive. That train has left the station. The words youth and Immonen should not exist in the same sentence.

    58. I think Allison was having some personal problems, that is also why he didn’t play last season.

      “hy is Immonen still being talked about. he’ll be 26 by the time the playoffs arrive. That train has left the station. The words youth and Immonen should not exist in the same sentence.”

      But he was only 23 when he got here and Renney decided that slow as hell garbage Rucchin was a better player. Not saying that I really want Immonen on the team at this point, just making a point at how good young talent is being wasted of washed up rejects.

    59. hoof and mouth disease on

      that’s why smith & hitchinson are still with the team ? Fans need to generalize, to make their opinions right. I want kids to earn it unless there is no other choice. But I also want Renney to give similar chances. Unforunately none of this has been consistent, sometimes for good and correct reasons, others not. Way too many are anti-vet. There is no Cup with all inexperienced guys. To get the right blend is the task at hand( to give a Rennism).

    60. lets take a look..you guys always buy good players but no team..should of kept nylander

      but lets look

      gomez–good but skeptical on what he will do

      drury-will be the best player..he is good and great pick up

      jagr- good and alot of points but i dont understand ripping him apart when he was one of the highest scorers midway through the season but his heart like alot of russian players is always a question

      bure -bust

      grets-cant not say one thing bad abt him

      but it seems every year you have good players but putting a team together is your problem
      you guys did come together last year and that is the reason you made the playoffs.
      i do know hockey and admit when i am wrong.

      the islanders are a different team this year like it or not ..they will make the playoffs..we lost players but have a differents system…just b/c we didnt sign a 9million dollar player doesnt mean we will be bad. we have been a better team than the rangers..
      we play different systems. i dont hate ranger fans but do hate the rangers…reason being…arrrogant…you think you field the best team every year. i look through alot of boards and the negativity towards your team is messed up.. you have good players…questionalbe defense but we ll see when the season starts

      again good luck.

      allison has only played 92 games in the last 5 years i believe..he went through a bad divorce

      ps: my whole family is ranger fans, so i know what i am talking

      spector
      yes crack head rankings

      no way is the montreal that high and the devils 14th.

    61. “that’s why smith & hitchinson are still with the team ? Fans need to generalize, to make their opinions right.”

      That is why Strudwick, Orr and Valiquette are still with the team. And who knows who else they will pick up off waivers or in a trade.

    62. agree with the 15 year contract was bad n we are known for bad contracts but he is signed for 4.5 million, so if you look what kiprisoff is looking for it turns out not to be that bad but the 15 is a long time

    63. ORR !!! What Ever His Right Hand Provides !!! on

      Why the hell are we talking about NYI…Cant we talk about any other team…There boring, id rather talk about the NJD fans.

    64. Funny thing is I was an Islander fan for about a month. I got so sick of Renney, Jagr, getting swept, stupid fans, getting banned, etc. that I switched, but as soon as they canned Smith and then signed DiPietro to 15 year contract I jumped that ship. Then of course they traded away most of their top prospects, so point is there is at least one team more mismanaged than the Rangers.

    65. hoof and mouth disease on

      mj 79 is when hockey fans in NY had to choose.

      yenner poo now Orr & Valliqutte are vets? Strudwick is #23 on the roster. Who would you like to replace them with that fits in the cap, not your dreaming night cap. Where were you born? I was born in the USA. How about you?

    66. Anyone who would switch to rooting for the Islanders for a minute doesn’t understand the history between the Rangers and Islanders and is not a real fan of any team.

    67. hoof and mouth disease on

      whp try the debbies or some other team. Hartford is where you’ll be able to tear down the kids you so desparately want.

    68. ORR !!! What Ever His Right Hand Provides !!! on

      Dam nto bad NYI got rid of those players, then we wouldnt here from this j off Yenner American.

    69. Doodie Machetto on

      mj, I can’t believe you are comparing Kipper and DP. Get it through your head: DP isn’t even a top 10 goaltender, let alone an elite (top 3).

      *And he never will be.*

      Enjoy eating the millions from Yashin’s buyout. I can’t wait until the Isles eat DP’s too.

    70. mj,

      Did you actually write Jagr’s heart is questionable “like a lot of russian” players’? Jackass.

      Go back to Wrong Island.

    71. czechthemout!!!!! on

      I think that the rangers should send down staal,dubinsky,callahan,dawes,anisimov,girardi,tyutin,and prucha.They should bring back mark smith,marty rucinsky,jason krog,andrew hutchinson,peter nedved,arron ward,sandis ozolinsh,try to aquire mike peca and adam foote from columbus,and maybe even federov.That would be a great team that with some of our other additions can contend for the stanley cup.Oh and avery and his big mouth should be traded to help free up the some of the cap space neede to fit those contracts in.This way all those kids can go down to hartford and get some much needed seasoning because they just aren’t yet ready to play here yet.

    72. hoof and mouth disease on

      WHP has been outed. Now take that elk hoof out of your diseased mouth. Why don’t you scream for Sam & MOMMY! You are not a NYR fan, stop lying to yourself.

    73. I guess mj can’t even read, thinking Eklund’s top 15 were from Spector. I think Eklund has the right teams in and out of the playoffs, but just pulled names from a hat to rank the eight and seven. I’m surprised he actually knew to put teams from three different divisions in the top three.

      I think reading more about Montoya, I have almost been persuaded to want him on the team. But, I would treat this like the Brady Quinn situation in Cleveland. Leave the incumbant Valiquette in his spot, and if he doesn’t perform well in the first month, turn backup over to Montoya. I still think Montoya has something to prove in the AHL since he has had some awful games from what I have heard.

      With the Rangers’ cap difficulties, I can’t imagine them keeping any more than 21 players, especially when keeping Dubinsky or Dawes would push one of them or another top nine talent to the fourth line, and to the press box when Orr and Hollweg are both played. It’s gonna be Strudwick as our extra. Last year, I’m pretty sure we had Orr and Pöck as extras when camp broke. Then we started have three extras due to injury callups playing in place of one or both of the Orrweg.

      I hope Drury isn’t too much of a stiff to be an outcast in the locker room.

      Finally, to TomG, I suppose you thought the 2006-07 Rangers were buried in January last season just like you think the Mets are now? I hope that is the case; then I know the Mets will make the playoffs, since they are in a much better position than the Rangers were last season, albeit with less games to play.

    74. “Where were you born? I was born in the USA. How about you?”

      wow, so cool, can I be your friend?

      “yenner poo now Orr & Valliqutte are vets?”

      they are the crap that takes away roster spots from good young players.

      “Fuck you. Ranger fans are worthless.”

      imagination you are so clever

    75. hoof and mouth disease on

      czech you finally figured it out. Meet yenner mot , you two can commisserate.(sp). Your 30th anniversary edition of Logan’s Run needs replacing with a classic movie with an All Star cast.

    76. hey genius( insert today’s name) are you again trying to accuse me of something. Come out from behind your mothers apron little boy. Lets talk hockey face to face BIG MOUTH!

    77. “I still think Montoya has something to prove in the AHL since he has had some awful games from what I have heard.”

      There is no goalie in the world that doesn’t occasionally have bad games.

      “I think that the rangers should send down staal,dubinsky,callahan,dawes,anisimov,girardi,tyutin,and prucha.They should bring back mark smith,marty rucinsky,jason krog,andrew hutchinson,peter nedved,arron ward,sandis ozolinsh,try to aquire mike peca and adam foote from columbus,and maybe even federov.That would be a great team that with some of our other additions can contend for the stanley cup.Oh and avery and his big mouth should be traded to help free up the some of the cap space neede to fit those contracts in.This way all those kids can go down to hartford and get some much needed seasoning because they just aren’t yet ready to play here yet.”

      that would make a lot of fans like imagination/disease, Cuch, ORR, etc. very happy.

    78. czechthemout!!!!! on

      hoof-actually i was just being sarcastic.reading some of the posters here and on BB it;s just amazing that some of these people call them self hockey fans.The “strudwick can play forward when needed”,says who?strudwick can’t even play defense well because he can’t skate fast enough.Or the “dubinsky and staal would be better served playing big minutes in hartford rather than 12-15 minutes here”It’s unbelievable!should someone be sent down only because of his age,even though he has clearley out played his older more expierienced competition?

    79. “Anyone who would switch to rooting for the Islanders for a minute doesn’t understand the history between the Rangers and Islanders and is not a real fan of any team.”

      spoken like a true moron

    80. czech hockey is also a business Not everyone gets promoted fairly. Sather has his own set of priorities that fans have a hard time understanding. Being a real GM is different from fantasy hockey, along with fitting in the feel good home grown kids. He wants The Cup & so do I before Jagr is gone. You need vets and experienced NHL guys to accomplish that. Kids are easily tricked by seasoned pros. Take a look at who gets picked up at the deadlines.

    81. czechthemout!!!!! on

      imagination-

      take a look at atlanta,they really did well with all those vets they picked up at the deadline.Oh yes and san jose did real well with some of theirs.Wait,what about the leafs? Thats right they did not even make the playoffs.And how about the habs?Oh yes,they did not make the playoffs either.
      how about the ducks?Oh yes,they won the cup with a mix of good vets like neidermyer,pronger,selanne AND THEIR KIDS!,who played a central role in their championship!(getzlaf,perry,kunitz,mcdanold,penner,and others).

    82. Andy Mcdonald is 31 years old, yeah that would definitely make him a kid. Chris Kunitz is 28 years old. Those two are not kids, they are veterans who have been through the playoffs before. The reason the Ducks won was because of their veterans like the Neidermayers, Pronger, Selanne, and their goaltender. The ducks had size and speed like no other team and got scoring from each line. The kids contributed but Andy McDonald is a legitimate number 1 center, not a kid.

    83. czech who won the Cup for the NYR? It mostly about teamwork & chemistry. Vets are not lost without kids, but kids are lost without vets. Try to remember Dubinsky, Staal, Girardi and the rest will be vets soon enough. Will you call for their replacements? The Pens have top kids, the NYR really don’t.

    84. Sam, I agree with your assessment on Montoya and others who have stated that Montoya could cause Henrik to play to the next level. I think that having two top goalies will help us win games. What if Henrik gets injured or it takes him time time to find his rhythm, we need a guy who can keep us in games. Montoya has shown this preseason that he can keep us in games. Right now he is one of our best prospects at the trade deadline and one that we can afford to spare. In order to increase his value, he needs the opportunity to show that he can succeed at this level. Montoya has constantly put up top 5 numbers in the AHL, including battling back last year after having a bad start. We are wasting his talent by putting him down in the AHL. Let’s remember who the other major trade bait is: Staal (we sure as hell don’t want to loose him), Prucha (who can be a 1st or 2nd line player on any other team and can easily fill the roll next year, we don’t want to loose him). Montoya is the only player we can spare. Let’s play him and then if we don’t need him, unload him at the deadline for what we need.

      Pock is trade bait too and I would much rather trade him, than take the chance of loosing him to waivers, if we decide that we don’t need him. However, with a lot of our defense’s contracts being up at the end of the season, I would want to keep him.

      Let’s also remember that this team is still in a rebuilding stage. Most great teams win with a combination of talented vets and young guys.

    85. czechthemout!!!!! on

      andrew-where and what orginiztion prodeuced andy mcdonald,and kunitz?it’s funny how you don’t mention getzlaf and perry and penner.

      imagination-who won the cup for the rangers?your kidding right?lets see,richter,leetch,zubov,graves,nemchinov,matteu(25years old),and yes mess and lowe and buek(26YEARS OLD).

      what you two and others fail to understand is that i am not so much in favor of constantly bringing in youth.I am in favor of home grown talent getting their fair chance ahead of shit like krog,shitsbister,award,bozo,etc….it just goes on and on.The key to the rangers of ’94 was the core of the team bieng mostly home grown mixed with good vets like tikk,mess,.

      if you guys can’t understand that than i can never convince you.Stick to your star studed mercinaries and watch how fast this team is eliminated from even making the playoffs.

    86. czech without Sather trading the oilers to the NYR it be 67 & counting. By know I would think Sather has the experience & knowlegde to get it done here. It was Dolan looking for star names. Home grown might feel better but any way they can get The Cup is fine with me. No one agrees with Sather & Renney all the time, but they are the pros, except Renney has not drank yet. It’s not the methods, it’s the results. All the rest is about philosophy. In 5-10 years will you be looking to replace home grown kids with new home grown kids, or will you bend to the stars? The ones that you believe should get a chance now.Let’s see how consistent you are then. Gomez was home grown. At some point reality takes its’ toll . At some point a Staal or Dubinsky might have to do a Gomez or get replaced by a cheaper home grown. Too many think Sather’s job is a snap.

    87. here are the players and their ages on the 94 team… 24 players. average age of 28.75. if this team cuts montoya, anisimov and dawes (average age is 21) , the average age of this team will roughly be 26.13 years… my point in doing this… i have no idea but im sure someone will find use for this

      21 Sergei Zubov 23
      11 Mark Messier 33
      9 Adam Graves 25
      2 Brian Leetch 26
      28 Steve Larmer 32
      27 Alexei Kovalev 21
      10 Esa Tikkanen 29
      13 Sergei Nemchinov 30
      4 Kevin Lowe 34
      25 Alexander Karpovtsev 23
      23 Jeff Beukeboom 28
      17 Greg Gilbert 32
      15 Mike Hudson 27
      24 Jay Wells 34
      12 Ed Olczyk 27
      19 Nick Kypreos 27
      32 Stephane Matteau 24
      36 Glenn Anderson 33
      14 Craig MacTavish 35
      16 Brian Noonan 28
      26 Joey Kocur 29
      30 Glenn Healy 29
      6 Doug Lidster 34
      35 Mike Richter 27

    88. jason ….czech will message the numbers to get the answer he wants….Winning is not enough unless it’s with home grown. Who wants to wait? They’ll have to replace Jagr, Gomez, Straka, Shanahan, Avery, Drury, Betts, Orr, Hossa, Malik, Rozival, Mara, Strudwick. Is Bourett home grown? If not get his rear out of here now!

    89. ORR...Fighter for Life...Or Enforcer for a Day? / Fist in Face Deceased on

      Thats alot like what we have right now…

      Late 20’s, Early 20’s, Late 30’s, Early 30’s, no 40’s thank god.

      Does this really matter.

    90. czechthemout!!!!! on

      wells and anderson did nothing in those playoffs and the others players i did acknowledge jason.what you and the rest of your vets centric mercinairy loving buddies(gerryd,imagination)can’t or won’t admit is that you need a blend of youth and expeirience to have a successfull team.

      imagination-exactly what numbers am i messaging.do you deny that the core of the team was made up of the players i cited.those players and mess were the ones responsible for the cup not wells,hudson,mctavish,kocur,or anderson.

      as far as if i work or not.I periodicaly check this site and bb for news about the team.i am prohibited from posting at work nor do i have the time to.I check the site as a deversion and for a break.but what i do see is you posting many times.I guess i should be asking you that question as to wether you work or not.I actually manage over 200 million dollars in investment assets.Not only do i work,but i do so 10-12 hours a day!And if you knew me personally the last thing you would ever call me would be a socialist or liberal.

    91. czechthemout!!!!! on

      oh and by the way,if you read my posts during free agency you would know that i was thrilled to get drury and gomez.
      as far as the others you mentioned,hossa sucks,malik sucks!strudwick sucks! orr sucks! and betts is a dime a dozen in this league.If you cannot realize that than you are a moron when it comes to hockey!

    92. czech i agree, you do need a good mix, but we have that… our overall age is younger than 94 and jay wells and glenn anderson played in every single game in those playoffs while craig mactavish was huge on faceoffs so youre wrong there… also remember it was jay wells who took the stick in the face from pavel bure in game 3 that put was HUGE….
      looking at that team compared to the team we have now and they had 2 things that we dont. a proven veteran backup goaltender and offensive D-men

    93. Healy wasn’t worth spit, and Beuk was stickly a defensive D who had to cover for Leitch’s ORRwellian ramblings out of position into the offensive zone.

    94. czechthemout!!!!! on

      jason-playing in every single game means nothing if you don’t contribute.Orr plays every single game,as does hollweg and malik who contributes for the other team.Wells taking a stick to the face!!!! give me break jason!you call that a contributin?But your right about the fact that we don’t have a good backup goalie or an offensive dman.

    95. robby… healy was coming off of a great playoff run with the islanders the year before, plus when richter when thru his injury problems in 95-96, he didnt play all that bad… plus, do you really wanna compare him to valiquette? i didnt think so…

    96. czechthemout!!!!! on

      Oh and in addition to the players i mentioned who were the core of the 94 team,they also traded a bunch of real good you vets developed in the system .I guess you guys forgot about tony amonte,doug weight,and james patrick huh,all traded to get the components needed to win the cup.Wich goes to my larger point.You need to give players that prove them self in preseason the chance to make the team.Otherwise you will never be able to have the chips needed to trade for a guy like wade redden a player i would love to get in place of that disgacefull human pylon malik.

    97. czech then you should get rid of the mercenary label for guys who’s career is hopefully 15 years. Not many even get to the NHL. … Glad to hear you’re a capitalist & a conservative. But you can also refrain from the name calling. Don’t act like some kids here and say things you wouldn’t say face to face. Thanks!

    98. doug weight was the year before for tikkanen, but you can also add peter anderson, mike gartner, darren turcotte, phil bourque and todd marchant …

    99. “oh and by the way,if you read my posts during free agency you would know that i was thrilled to get drury and gomez.”

      I can understand Drury, he is a complete player and supposedly a Rangers fan, but why is anyone happy about Gomez who does nothing but assists and not many at that?

    100. czechthemout!!!!! on

      valliquette is another piece of dung,just like strudwick and hossa and malik.How can the rangers as a team go into the season with nothing behind the king and be considered a serious cup contender?The man is a career ahl goalie and an average one at that.

    101. czechthemout!!!!! on

      jason,what are you talking about?peter anderson?what does gartner have to do with it,he played for over a decade before he came here.as far as weight,stop with the symantics.phil bourque?darren turcotte and todd marchant are right on the money thank you,you made my point.

    102. WHP are you a legal alien? Get your facts straight on who are trying to copy the fascists. You’re wet behind the ears and in your diapers. Is that your mommy calling you for cookies & milk ?

    103. “Is that your mommy calling you for cookies & milk ?”

      no it is your mommy calling me she is tired of inbreeding.

      “czech you can refrain from the moron comments. It doesn’t make you sound intelligent.”

      you think milk and cookies comments make you sound intelligent?

    104. barry melrose’s best acquisition in the east is chris drury and best team is the rangers… says we should make drury captain, best we’ve had since messier and he’ll take us to the cup

    105. whp whenever you’re ready . Don’t forget to do your hare krishner mantra today to pray for a NYR loss, and for your NYI to win. Then you can come here and continue to tear down the NYR.

    106. hockeymanrangers on

      So what do you guys think will we get a actual real idea tonight of how we are going to do at the begining of the season??? I am just a tiny bit concerned we have really sucked so far. I know it is only preseason, that is why I am only a tiny bit concerned. I hope we play some real good hockey tonight.

    107. blue understood, but he’s has more issues than sports illustrated, and more problems than a math book.

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