Some guys never learn

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You may recall Jaromir Jagr tweaked his hip flexor last week in part because of the extra skating he put in after practice.

Well, the Captain is up to it again right now, still on the ice while the rest of the Rangers are already out of their uniforms and in the weight room. Of course, the cynic says this may also have to do with the fact that there’s a reporter in town from Jagr’s native Czech Republic, and he’s going out of his way to avoid her. But I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt…

And speaking of which, we are now three days away from the opener, and the Rangers marked the occasion by holding a goofy practice featuring a number of odd skill competitions, with the trophy coming in the form of an oversized blue medicine ball. I wish I could explain it, but I can’t….

Meanwhile, some updates…

  • There are still 26 players with the Rangers, but it sounds like the next three (or four) cuts are only hours away. Tom Renney said he wanted to close the door to his office and think things over, and that yes, this weekend may have complicated things. Again, you can count on Artem Anisimov going down, and one goalie (Stephen Valiquette practiced today, and according to Renney, is back ready to play after his hand injury).

    That leaves one more player, and the safe money is it will be Nigel Dawes, not only because there doesn’t seem to be a spot for him on the first three lines, but also because he doesn’t have to pass through waivers and the Rangers don’t have to worry about losing him. That could mean Thomas Pock, who does have to go through waivers, stays in New York, but Renney isn’t dismissing the idea of carrying only 22 players.

    I talked to Dawes about his circumstance, and he said he doesn’t want to think about going to Hartford, but that it’s out of his hands. I’ll try to provide some audio from that conversation later on.

    Naturally, we’ll update when we get word (but right now, Renney is speaking to the aforementioned Czech reporter, so unless he’s consulting her about the cuts, he still has some thinking to do).

  • Special thanks to Journal News colleague Cathey O’Donnell for setting up the NHL salary database, which can be accessed on the right hand side of the blog. I suggest you check it out. You can compare player’s salaries by position, team, or division.
  • Sean Avery also practiced today and said he’s ready for Thursday. When a group of us congregated around his locker, Brendan Shanahan immediately spoke up. “When there’s that many people standing around you, that’s not a good sign,” Shanahan said.
  • Today’s awkward circumstace is brought to you by the New York Knicks, who are having their Media Day across the hall on the same day that the verdict in the Isiah Thomas sexual harrassment trial is expected to come down. “Uh, yeah, that’s great about your depth at forward, but I have a different question…”

    More later…

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    27 Comments

    1. I mean, ouside of taking out Marcel Hossa with a knee-on-knee or a boarding to the head, what exactly is i8t Nigel Dawes has to do to make this team? I understand we have a wealth of players at wing, particularly in the top six slots, but he had an undeniable chemistry with Gomez and Shanahan. I fear sending him to the minors again will be mentally devastating for the guy. And you know he won’t be “first call-up” or if he is, it won’t be to slot in to the top six forwards. Renney will just continue to use Hossa the Lesser. And why the concern about losing Pock? If he’s eighth on our depth chart right now, shouldn’t he be easily surpassed in 6 months by Sauer and in 1 year by Sanguinetti anyway?

      Call me crazy but I think Dawes should start opening night on Gomez’ wing. They gave the kid a chance there for 2 games and he put up 5 points. If they’re just sending him to Hartford, what was the point of that?

    2. i agree that we should not be concerned about losing pock. Staal deserves to be on this team. Staal has been playing with strudwick and hutchinson for most of preseason and still playing solid hockey. Let him get some chemistry with mara and i believe he will only get better.

    3. From your last post:
      “Some have thrown out the name Petr Prucha, and while the third-year forward might be the most expendable of the bunch, he’s still a wing who has scored 52 goals in his first two seasons, and who has made noticeable strides at the other end of the rink as well.”

      Until Callahan outplays Prucha in an 82 game season I see no way you can call Prucha the most expendable. Scoring four goals in 14 games doesn’t make you better than the guy who outscored every player on the team (including Mr. Jagr) from December 30 through the end of the season.

    4. Oh and let us not forget, two of Callahan’s goals came in the 7-0 stomping of Boston and the two playoff goals he scored came in the 7-0 game against Atlanta.

      I love Callahan as much as the next guy, but to say he’s less expendable than Prucha when he hasn’t even played a full season in the NHL is lunacy.

    5. “And why the concern about losing Pock? If he’s eighth on our depth chart right now, shouldn’t he be easily surpassed in 6 months by Sauer and in 1 year by Sanguinetti anyway?”

      I am not concerned about losing Pock, I am concerned about stupidity of this organization in being incompetent when it comes to player evaluation. Because it is obvious to anyone but Renney and his 2 tools that Strudwick should not be anywhere near NHL and that Pock is a much better player and would make a much better 7th defenseman. And 7th defensemen usually get around 50 games a season. You want Strudwick to play around 50 games a season?

    6. Doodie Machetto on

      “And 7th defensemen usually get around 50 games a season”

      A week ago you were saying 60. In truth, it’s closer to 35. For large stretches last season Pock was our 7th guy, and after Ozo and Kaspar were gone, he was in the top 6. Total games played: 44. No way does Strudwick play more than 40 games without there being a significant injury.

    7. And Ryan Callahan, I am ready to go to bat for. This is going to be one of the most well rounded guys to ever come up through our system, mark it. I would not like to have to make a decision between him and Prucha, because it would be very tough….but if it came down to it, game 7 Stanley Cup finals…I’m taking Callahan on my team. He plays for blood.

      I love Petr Puck, *great* for putting away trash. But Callahan is going to hunt that puck down and make things happen himself, and not get knocked around (as badly) on his way.

    8. Ted aka Anonymous on

      Strudwick is nothing, you are expendable. We should trade you to the Islander or Devil blog for a skate sharpening stone.

    9. Anyone who calls Prucha expendable in favor of Callahan needs their head examined. Until either Callahan or Dawes scores 50 goals in 2 seasons, they haven’t proven a thing.

    10. Until either Callahan or Dawes scores 50 goals in 2 seasons, they haven’t proven a thing.

      ——–

      To say Callahan is not “better” than Prucha is one thing.

      To say, that Callahan “hasn’t proven a thing”, is ignorant. If you watch this guy *play hockey* and pay attention to the subtlties of his game and his cool composure, you will find an excellent young player. He’s no fluke.

      Does this count as his real rookie year?

    11. To say, that Callahan “hasn’t proven a thing�, is ignorant. If you watch this guy play hockey and pay attention to the subtlties of his game and his cool composure, you will find an excellent young player. He’s no fluke.
      ————–
      4 goals in 14 NHL games? 2 of them came in a 7-0 rout…I like Callahan, but let’s see him over 82 games before we label him a fluke or not.

    12. ORR is Better Then You, Orr's Knuckles are Better then Your's, Orr's Fist's Can Start Wars! on

      YENNER

      Yeah put Jagr with Hollweg, and Betts. Trust me they’ll score a few goals. Prucha isnt a playmaker, he is a scorer, Jagr is both.

      What pisses me off about Dawes is, he had his chance, and yeah he should get another one, but cmon. Prucha worked his way up to the 2nd line, and even the first line, by playing damn good hockey, same with Callahan. And what happens to Pruchs, he gets dumped to the 4th line.

      Its BS that everyone THINKS that Dawes has all this potential, and he NEEDS to play on the 1st or 2nd line. He should pay on he 3rd line and prove he has skill. Unlike last season we have an offesive line.

      I much rather have Dubi around. But if Dawes makes the team then he needs to start with Callahan – Prucha,

      Straka – Gomez / Drury – Jagr
      Avery – Drury / Gomez – Shanahan
      Dawes – Callahan – Prucha
      Hossa – Betts – Orrweg

    13. ORR is Better Then You, Orr's Knuckles are Better then Your's, Orr's Fist's Can Start Wars! on

      SALTY

      This year would cound as Callahan and Girardi’s rookie years.

    14. Sam, why would they start with 23 players unless they plan on sitting Orrweg every game before injuries? I would think they would start at 21, possibly 22 if Dawes makes the team, with Strudwick sitting. I think the difference between 22 and 23 is Staal. Last year they started with 22, putting Pöck and Orr in the stands. http://www.newyorkrangers.com/pressbox/pressreleases.asp?id=2311 I suppose Orr could start there again, especially with Florida first, with Hossa on the fourth line, but I’m not really convinced of his PK skills. I am going to be pissed if Strudwick makes the team over Pöck.

      I would take Prucha over Callahan. Their toughness is equal to me.

      The IR minimum stay is seven days, for those asking on the other thread.

      Doodie – Quite the opposite. If there is a major injury, they will call a player up from Hartford, if Staal is there, or try to make a trade if possible. Strudwick will only play more than 40 games if there are lots of minor injuries going around, like groin pulls and flus.

    15. Why should they look at Gomez with skepticism? Or Straka? These are proven NHL players. Sad to say a guy like Hossa keeps a spot on this team. It’s a little ridiculous that he’s done nothing in 3+ NHL seasons and takes a regular shift. He’s the biggest waste of space I’ve ever seen on an NHL roster.

      Also, resigning Shanahan may have been a mistake. Straka keeps Jagr happy, but does anyone doubt we had enough fire-power without Shanahan? I mean for this year, since they’re obviously going for it all, maybe I get it. But doesn’t anyone think this lineup looks bad:

      Straka – Drury – Jagr
      Dawes – Gomez – Prucha
      Avery – Dubinsky – Callahan
      Hollweg – Betts – Orr

    16. Gomez is a 3 million dollar medicre one-dimensional center who is getting paid 7.35 million. Straka is small, old, and aching with injuries and was totally invisible so far in preseason.

      “Sad to say a guy like Hossa keeps a spot on this team.”

      for 4th line he is not bad, great along the boards, good at stealing the puck, can hit, kills penalties and very good defensively.

      “Also, resigning Shanahan may have been a mistake.”

      definitely is a mistake as was signing Gomez.

    17. 4 goals in 14 NHL games? 2 of them came in a 7-0 rout…I like Callahan, but let’s see him over 82 games before we label him a fluke or not.
      ———
      That alone comes to *around* 24G/season.

      Listen, not saying I don’t like Prucha, or that Callahan should get any nod over him at this point…

      But I think in the long run, Callahan will show that he can contribute more, and not neccessarily in goals. I’m envisioning him to become a Brind’Amour type player. He plays with just as much finesse as he does grit. Prucha can take a hit like a champ, but he is not the natural animal that Callahan is.

      Callahan’s PP goal from the right side the other night said a lot to me about what to expect from him this season. That was a monster snipe.

    18. GREAT,GREAT,GREAT! I am happy to see Staal & Dubinsky made the roster this year. Who knows possibily Dawes would get called up during the season if any injuries, but anyway KUDOS to Sather & Renney with the finalizing of this year’s roster.

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