So that settles it


OK, so it sounds like there’s more than enough interest to get this thing started (unless of course you’re all just one person — my mother, for instance — and have simply taken on different aliases to help pump up my self-esteem).

So here’s how it will work for now, but if we discover there’s a better way to do it, we’ll adjust accordingly:

Submit your questions in the comments section below (I realize there are questions to answer from the previous post as well). At midday, depending on whether or not I trek out to the Island for the morning skate (later if I do), I’ll sift through them, and answer the best ones I can. If I don’t answer your question this time, there’s always the next time.

As for my inevitable disclaimer, it goes something like this: Many of you know I am someone who spends a fair amount of time observing the Rangers, asking questions to and about the Rangers, and thinking about the Rangers. That doesn’t make me the definitive authority, but someone who may have some decent insight. And at least if I don’t have an immediate answer for worthwhile question, I can certainly look into the answer. So there.

OK, we’re off and running. Back later…

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  1. Sam, what is Renney thinking by sitting Mara? In my opinion, Strudwick has done nothing to prove he belongs on the ice? Having a $3 million defenseman in the press box does not seem like a wise investment, certainly for someone with a great shot for the power play. What are your thoughts on this?

  2. Sam –

    All the time I see the Coach Renney taking the heat, here, for what are essentially GM duties. Why would any GM allow a coach he hired and will probably one day fire, to dictate personnel promotions and demotions, roster cuts, “healthy scratches,” trades, etc?

    What do you know, via insider contact (and I’m not talking about P.R. smoke screens) as to how much lattitude Sather gives Renney in any of the above-mentioned areas? Should not these criticisms be directed at the GM, and not the coach? The one aspect of player control I would hold the coach responsible for is his tendency to give rookies such as Dubinsky this year, and Dawes and Callahan last year, single-digit minutes in most games, while burning out the vets. Other than that I think all this criticism of Renney is mis-directed, buy what insight can you share with us about the Sather-Renney working relationship?

  3. Why not do what others have done, a mailbag and have people email you questions? Just make them right “Sam Weinman is the BEST” in the subject line or else it won’t be answered?

  4. Doodie Machetto on

    Sam, two questions:

    1) I know you always wear a brown belt with brown shoes, but what about black shoes? Always a black belt?

    2) Everyone always talks about veterans and ho important they are to a hockey club, but all we ever get to actually see or hear are Rangers PR snippets. Can yougive us either one specific instance of a veteran leading the club, or alternatively, just some general overview of how it usually works?

  5. To Sam,

    I don’t quite undertand why Hossa has started the season riding the bench. I felt like last year, besides the injury, he FINALLY became what so many teams were waiting for him to become- a scorer who is tough on the puck and in the corners. Not a 50 goal scorer but perhaps a 25-30 goal scorer given an injury free season. I felt like he clicked with Jagr last year until hegot hurt. Even when he came back he played decently. So why does it seem that he is back in the “We don’t know what Marcel can do” category?

    Any insight?


    -Tony from da Bronx

  6. Doodie Machetto on

    Hey guys, a VERY interesting story, via Spector’s trade rumors:

    “SPORT1.AT: reports NY Rangers defenceman Thomas Pock is apparently unhappy that he hasn’t seen any action yet this season with the club. His agent has reportedly spoken to Rangers management to rectify the situation, with a trade being one of the possible options.

    Spector’s Note: Hat tip to Alexander Wirdzek. Pock’s not the only one not seeing any playing time, as veteran Paul Mara was a healthy scratch during a recent Rangers game. ”

    Doodie Machetto’s note: I said it the day that Pock signed his extension that it was a career mistake. He should’ve seen the writing on the wall that Roszival, Malik, Tyutin, Girardi, and, at the time, Mara were ahead of him on the depth chart. With Staal likely to come up to the big club, that makes 6 guys ahead of him. Stredwick signing made it officially impossible to get any real chance at playing. Unfortunate, probably a mistake on the Rangers’ behalf, but true. Hopefully we can get a decent return.

  7. Hey Sam,

    What’s the general consensus regarding Montoya? Is he just a trade chip to get a player for a playoff run this year? Is there a chance he’ll still be here next year?



  8. I agree about Hossa as I have been saying all summer and pre season. He deserves a legit shot on the line with Jagr. At lease 10 games.

  9. Sam is there anyway you could find out if in fact Ryan Hollweg is indeed, a thawed out Cro-Magnon man and was the inspiration for the movie “Encino Man”?

  10. Doodie

    I think it’s funny how these foreign papers, like the Austrian one covering Pock (of course since he’s Austrian) have the scoop before any local media can pick it up.

    What are he and his agent thinking?
    “Hey, since the paper is half-way around the world, no one here will ever hear about it nd we can stay low key?”

    Yes, it sucks that Pock is way down on the depth chart, but he and his moron agent should have known what they were getting in to before they signed an extension.
    Now, they’ll have to deal with it-

  11. Doodie Machetto on

    Here’s a portion of the google translation of the article:

    “Renney gezollt the 25-year old praise for its achievements in the preparation, this however with ice age did not recompence. “He cannot explain to me, what does not fit,” said Pöck, which does not want to speculate whether therefore a transfer could line up.”

    I’m going to guess that first sentence means “Renney gave the 25-year old praise for his work in preparation, but this was not rewarded with ice time” or something like that.

  12. Since I doubt you know much more than us as far as any trades in store….. how about this question (I know there’s more than one question mark but it’s really just one elaborate question):

    Do Strudwick and Staal look more comfortable with eachother during the practices? The ottawa game was kind of a cold turkey situation…. Renny kinda just threw em out there and hoped for the best ya know. Now that it’s been a couple of days is Struds really the best suited guy to play with Staal? Does Strudwicks teacher ability seem to be effecting and rubbing off on Marc?… that sort of thing….

  13. Two more questions!

    In your oppinion (of course)
    ARE THEY WORKING ON THE THINGS THAT NEED WORKING ON! i.e. the power play is horendous having given up short handed and been 0-9…. with this much talent they should be able to figure out a good system… do you think they’re getting there?

    I’m sure they are, but are they working on team defense drills?

  14. Sam
    I feel that it is going to take some time for this team to gel and frankly if they can get 12 out of the first 20 points that would be a good start. Any way to get some insight into Renney’s expectations. I think that most coaches like to break the season down into ten game segments. Also, why not bring Dawes up now. Given the style of play Gomez has exhibited, Dawes would be an ideal fit along with Straka.

  15. RE: Staal’s partner

    I heard (probably here) that Struds had a “comforting effect” on Staal…

    I kinda feel like Mara tries to get all up in his ear and try to show him everything he doesn’t want to hear ie “okay, so that little black circle is the puck..”, while Struds just says, “I’m here, let’s just do our thing on the ice , feel free to ask me ANYTHING you want, etc.”

  16. Sam,
    A rumour regarding the relationship between Jags & Gomez has been floating around one of the Rangers forums which apparently originated from someone on the Rangers staff.
    This guy has stated that essentially Jagr wants no part of playing with Gomez, and that this is a primary factor in Renney’s decision to not have the two paired together on the top line.
    I’m wondering if you’ve heard anything of this nature? I’m assuming you probably have not, in which case, do you feel that there is a possibility this is true? Or have you observed what seems to all appearances to be a good relationship between these two guys? If indeed this is true, do you feel that this will prevent the team from playing to it’s full potential? And do you believe Renney would actually take such a thing into consideration in forming his combos?
    Thanks, Sam.

  17. Would it be easier for everyone, but especially you, Sam, if you were to post an “official questions thread” – wherein all comments are strictly questions for you to explore?

  18. Anthony (the other one) on

    Sam – Similar to the question about Gomez, what’s the locker room like right now? In my opinion, keeping Jagr happy has been key to his performance the last few years. Does the locker room have the same tight-knit feel that it did the last two years? Is Jags really missing Nylander? Or at least missing the chemistry that the two of them had w/ Straka.

  19. Sam – keep up the great work. Here’s my question:

    The general question is whether Renney/the coaches read or listen to the thoughts of the media or writers.

    More specifically, if Larry Brooks writes an article railing about the where players are used, on which lines, etc., does Renney see it or know about it? Does Larry mention his views to the coaches when he talks to them? And if yes, do you think it makes an impact at all into the coaches’ decisions?

    I think there are two ways to look at this. On the one hand, the coaches are coaches for a reason and writers are writers for a reason. You don’t really want the team managed by what the writers think should happen. On the other hand, there are times (with all teams I’m sure) when some coaches decisions befuddle 99% of the fans and media and you would hope that the coaching staff has it in them to consider other possibilities. And since fans can’t exactly make suggestions to coaches, the writers are the only ones who can.

    (Your blog is actually a great example of how this kind of works. I’ve seen over the past year where fans have commented on something and you have responded by asking Renney a pointed question. A few years ago, something like that was unprecedented.)

  20. Captain Of Jazz on

    he had better watch out, if jagr is anti-alaskan, or wants the oct. 18 1867 sale retracted he may find the national association for the advancement of alaskan people on his case.

  21. With the Rangers PP going 0 for the Season, have they even practiced it at all? And if not why not?

  22. Dear Sam,
    Do you know if Renney has consider playing Gomez with Prucha and Callahan, because it would bring comparisons with Giota and Elias…very fast guys to be with Gomez who is also very fast. Shanahan has been losing a step or two every year…so maybe by mid season we may see shanahan on the third line and prucha or callahan on the 2nd line, What’s your opinion?

  23. So what reporters are with you at all the games? I assume you, Brooks, Dellapina, Steve Zipay… who else? Is there always an AP reporter, and is he always the same guy? Dubi from Blueshirt Bulletin, is he at every game and why? Who else?

  24. Sam,

    Would you please answer any and all questions that could cost you your working relationships with Jagr, Gomez, Renney and Slats? That would be great, thanks.


    I’d like to second the question about the Rangers power play and whether or not they have been deigning to work on it actively. And do you think it’s odd that the team needs Struds’ “sandpaper” when they are also dressing Orr and Hollweg? Seems redundant (although obviously there is also Strudwick’s incredible, Lidstrom-like “calming effect” on Staal). I don’t remember Tie Domi or Joey Kocur needing so much back-up.

  25. How does Henrik feel about tonights game? With the Ice Girls looming around and Rick DiPietro’s history of challenging Montoya in preseason, I wonder what’s on his mind…

  26. One more question, Sam…

    This guy, John Seymour, who the Rangers got along with Sean Avery from LA, who is he? Is he in the system at all?

  27. Purely speculation, but has anyone put out the idea that Mara’s not worth his $3 mil contract, so Renney and Slats are preparing Staal to work with someone who has a better chance of remaining a Ranger for the rest of the season? I am not trying to feed any “rumors” out there right now, but honestly, it makes sense that Mara is a cap dump in a trade for a defenseman that may give the Rangers a stronger D line. One of the best ways to keep a player growing to his potential would be to keep up some level of consistency. It’s a basic practice for a lot of young guys.

  28. Rangers are going to win 4-2 tonight. And I have a feeling Gomez is going to have a breakout game.

  29. After Shanny fought Brashear last season, Brashear was being led to the box and took a sucker punch at Ward, who still had his gloves on. Why didn’t anybody take a shot at Brashear after that? If somebody hit one of my teammates like that I’d be in his face faster than you can say “Talentless goon who was suspended from the LNAH”. I mean, doesn’t that seem brawl-worthy? To cheapshot an unsuspecting player instead of dropping the gloves and squaring off like a respectable fighter?

  30. Why does Renney refuse to put Dubinsky on the 3rd line instead of Betts? It does not seem logical to me.

    Why not give Ryan Callahan powerplay time? He was great in the preseason and always makes things happen when on ice. Last game he sent Dubinsky out there. It makes no sense to me.

  31. When the Rangers drafted Antoine LaFleur in the 2nd round, everyone assumed it opened the door for trading Montoya. Yet, with such a logjam of talent at nearly every position, there doesn’t seem to be one glaring need other than perhaps an elite blueliner. The main problem so far has been chemistry, which won’t be helped by a trade. So does that mean the Rangers just hold on to Montoya in Hartford until Lundqvist pulls a Blackburn, or do they still find a way to movie him?

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