Off to the Hall of Fame

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The Rangers had a light practice today before heading off to the Hall of Fame in Toronto, where Jaromir Jagr, Brendan Shanahan and Ryan Hollweg will pick out the spot for their plaques. Wait, did I say Hollweg? I meant Stephen Valiquette.

I kid, of course. The team will only be there for an autograph session, and of course to talk about Mark Messier, who will be inducted into the Hall on Monday.

We did a rare session in Glen Sather’s office to hear Sather’s thoughts about the Captain, and after a series of questions about Messier’s well-documented leadership qualities, the subject of Messier one day taking over a team came up.

“We haven’t talked about it in a while,” Sather said. “But I’m sure we’ll talk about it this weekend.”

Of course, this is not to suggest Messier is on the brink of taking over Sather’s job. Sather seems to be in no rush to surrender his post, and as hard as it is to believe, he seems to know what he’s doing.

I say that while also acknowledging the unintentionally comical photo that hangs on Sather’s wall, one that features Messier, Pavel Bure, Bobby Holik, and Eric Lindros each in a Ranger uniform. How’d that work out again?

As far as news:

  • Marek Malik did not skate, which all but cements the fact that he will be out tomorrow against the Leafs.
  • Tom Renney said he’s still contemplating his goaltender for tomorrow night, which would suggest Valiquette might actually get a chance. I don’t see it happening, not with the Rangers playing on “Hockey Night in Canada” and the team still looking for its first road win. Then again, maybe you use Valiquette now as opposed to in key division games against the Devils and Flyers. Stay tuned..
  • Ryan Callahan did not skate today, either, and both he and Martin Straka are still likely weeks away. Straka is potentially going to skate for the first time on Monday, but not with any pucks.

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    48 Comments

    1. I’m just surprised none of the Malik lovers have started pointing out the change of fortune for the team since his being injured. Granted it has all been because they’ve finally scored, not because they’re playing that much better in their end.

    2. Shouldn’t Messier be getting some sort of management experience RIGHT NOW if he plans on taking over an original six NHL team in the future?

      He can’t throw an elbow in the corner, barrel his way through the defense and beat an opposing goaltender low on the far side against other GMs.

    3. Sam, was the mention of the entrancement of a Malik outlet pass directed at me in last night’s post?

    4. When you look at the points that the rangers have, 17, and look at the rest of the teams in the league, we are not sitting in too bad a spot. We are definitely in the upper middle of the league. I know games played and this and that, but I’ll take it. I think this team is only going to get better and I think we will win our division and sit nicely 3rd in the conference come playoff time. I’ll take that any day of the week. Especially if we continue to dominate at home like we have been.

    5. Last time we brought Mess in, he wasnt good. I have a feeling if we bring him back, he wont be good. Ah, the horror. I can care less though, Slats hasnt done anything to piss me off….Yet.

      As for the game, what a sweet win. Aves scored a beauty, and Rozi, and that Dubi goal, man oh man, it was sweet.

      Does anyone know what that whole Gomez – Gianone thing was about. In the interview Gomez didnt look to happy about what Gianone said to him, i couldnt hear it, but at the end, Gomez said something like “In the newspaper tomorrow it will say NYR wins, and thats all the fans care about, except for you” and he didnt have his usual smile on his face at the end, it was more of a pissed off look. Anyone know what its about??

    6. I still dont know why Drury is on the 3rd line, put him on the wing with Shanny and Gomer, Aves or Cally can center Pruchs on the 3rd line. Leaving Hoss on the 4th when Straks comes back.

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

      Sorry, but Dawes will have to wait for injury, or at least until next season.

    7. Please nio to Jurassic Mark as Rangers Gm. I still have nightmares of his second tour here. That and his big hand in the Norstrom trade a dozen years ago.

    8. What are the fans chanting during “Sweet Caroline”
      All I can hear is “oh, oh, oh”
      But they are chanting something else. What ??

    9. Orr, Gianone ask Gomer a question about scoring goals and was this, the breakout game yada yada yada. Gomer responded “I am not going to answer that question for the 10th time in two days.” Gianone responded with “who do you think you are talking to” which I understood it as this is not some AP or non-MSG reporter this is your fans you are talking to so Gomer gave a pissed off grin, smirk and answered the question. Gomer then said we won and that is all that matters and eventually this team will score more goals. Yes Gomer was not happy and that was basically all.

    10. hockeymanrangers on

      So many good players and no where to put them, what to do? what to do? No one wants to go to down to Hartford. Calahan, Dawes, Dubinsky none of them derserve to go they all have been working hard to stay up. Maybe get rid of Hossa for a couple of young bucks. I am surprised we can keep the line up the way it is NOW with out going over the CAP. Oh well Sather and Renny will have to figure this one out.

    11. Orr…you’ve got Hossa on the 4th line and Dawes in the minors. Dawes has shown more in 2 weeks than Hossa has shown in 2 years (sorry Jeff).
      I agree that Hossa is a valuable penalty killer but I think Dawes deserves a regular shift ahead of him.

    12. ROB

      Sorry buddy, thats just the way it is. I like Dawes, but he’s the only guy to send down. We need PK’ers, and Hoss is one of the best on the team. Dawes is gonna have to wait another year. Im pretty sure he already knows this. Its either Dawes on the 4th line, or Hossa on the 4th line, and every NYR fan bitches and moans about how he cant play there, so what do we do?? Put Pruchs, or Cally on the 4th line? Either way its a lose – lose situation. Sorry to break it to you, but Dawes shouldnt get to comfy, and id be reeeeally reaally surprised if he actually does stay on this team.

      The only way is to go with…

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

      And dump Hollweg, or Orr. But i doubt Renny has the balls to scratch the both of them.

    13. Here’s how you solve this problem of too many players and not enough room……..

      Hossa/Pock/Malik to PHX for a prospect and a 2nd rnd pick.

    14. here’s what I would do:
      Straka Dubinsky Jagr
      Avery Gomez Shanahan
      Dawes Drury Prucha
      Hossa Betts Callahan

      the good news is that I don’t think we’ll have to worry about making a move for at least 2 weeks and maybe 3.

    15. And I’ll give you a reason why Dawes will be the odd man out…He’s a RFA this summer. If he plays too much and shows too much….we pay him more. If we keep him on the back burner, we potentially get a better deal.

    16. ORR just people talking about Gomez not producing, etc.

      Yet Drury is the golden child, gets the A, and huge credit for clearing pucks out of the zone on occasion.

    17. Like where is Giannone’s interrogation on Drury about goals? Drury is yet to have anything resembling a “breakout game” yet… I seriously can’t believe the fan community is not being more vocal about him….

    18. I disagree….If Hossa doesn’t start producing he is going to be the odd man out. He’s already been scratched 4 times already. He is a good penalty killer but there are other guys on the team that can kill penalties. I think Hossa’s time is running out if he doesn’t find a way to put some pucks in the net. It’s not like he’s on the 4th line, he’s playing with Jagr.

    19. The reason why people don’t give Drury crap is because the people who knew anything about the guy knew what we were getting when we signed him. He isn’t a guy you’re going to notice every game, every shift. He’ll go quietly about his business, play solid defense, be great on draws, chip in on the offensive end, etc. Nothing flashy, just a solid all around player.

      We gave him so much money because he was coming off a career year and we thought we could duplicate the 3 lines offense the same way Buffalo did, and he’ll also be the next captain of this team without a doubt. SO what, the offense hasn’t clicked yet? Once it does, have a 3rd line of Drury with any 2 of Dawes, Prucha, Callahan or Hossa is going to be solid if the opposition D has to key in on our first 2 lines. I expect a quiet 60 points from him this season, maybe more next year when the offense isn’t built around Jagr and who has to play with him.

      Gomez, on the other hand, was brought he to put up big numbers…Finally freed from the Devil’s system that was supposedly locking him down. The fact that he hasn’t done jack until recently is a way bigger story.

      You don’t see people asking Betts with the offense isn’t there, do you? It’s the same thing, but to a much lesser degree with Drury. He may not show up on the score sheet every night, but he’s a really good player and a clutch player.

    20. One thing that no one pointed out was the joke that Sam made yesterday regarding Renney being sick and mistakenly putting Betts on the PP. Well look what happen. Renney called his number, Betts won the draw and Avery scored on the PP. Maybe Renney should coach sick more often.

      I thought is quite ironic that what Sam and then Doodie joked about happened.

    21. the alternate lyrics to sweet caroline aren’t g rated…some people sing bah bah bah and others sing the bad stuff

    22. Rob – Agreed. I don’t give a crap about his PK skills, we have Betts, Avery, Straka, Drury, Shanahan and even Callahan in a pinch.

      I don’t care about him being “strong on the boards”. Dubinsky is better along the boards and plays a more aggressive game. Straka needs to be on the top line and everyone else in the lineup has played better than Hossa has, except maybe Prucha. But Prucha plays with a ton more heart, he’s just snake-bit. Once he gets more chemistry with Drury and puts a few in, he’ll be fine.

    23. Prucha27 you’ve got it exactly right. Can’t compare the two in terms of expectations. And forget about Gomez scoring goals what about every other pass he makes hitting an opposing player? So far he looks like a barely above average player. Team is committed to him for years with a no trade.

    24. Matteau – Also have to remember that at the current rate that the salary cap is moving up, as well as rising salaries…These guys will be cheap by the time their contracts are over. They are both heavily front-loaded.

    25. Gomez has points in the last 5 games. Is there another Rangers with that streak? Get off his ass guys. He is on a line that more suits him now. Things will change for the better.

      I wonder if we win 10 games in row are you people are going to continue to bitch. We are in the playoffs if the season ended today and that is what matters.

    26. First, I want to make this point: A lot of the people on this blog were calling fore Gomer’s and Drury’s head about 3 games ago. All of you, and you know exactly who you are, please shut the heck up now on this subject. Rome was not built in a day and neither was Gomer’s 5 game pt scoring streak.

      Second, the reason why we have to have Dawes, Cally, Hossa, etc around is because injuries do happen. Straka and Cally went down and the team barely missed a beat. I think this is a great thing. On sending them down to Hartford or whatever, I wish I knew more about the thought process. I know when not to have an opinion and this is one of those times.

      When Straka and Cally come back, this is how I think it should look:

      Jags Dubi Straka
      Avery Gomer Shanny
      Cally Drury Prucha
      Hossa Betts Orrweg

      The question marks I have are Prucha, Hossa, and Shanny on line 2. And, what about Dawes?

      But as I mentioned earlier, having an abundance of talent is a good problem to have.

    27. Richard S. –

      I’m not dogging Gomez. Someone asked why Drury isn’t getting the same crap Gomez is, and I answered the question.

      Gomez has been better lately, no denying that, and that’s a good thing. But Giannone has every right to question him on his lack of production up to that point.

      Also, I wouldn’t be so proud of saying that if the playoffs ended today, we’d be in. It’s November 9th. This team has high expectations and I’d be disappointed in anything less than a top 3 finish in the East.

    28. Prucha27, please spare me. I know that Drury is not a flashy player, and that he is not someone you will notice standing out every shift. But, he was brought here to be a #1 or #2 center and he has not played like one. I know what we were getting with Drury, and it was exciting to hear him AND Gomez signed, but even watching the Buffalo series and the rumors he might sign with us, I was saying he is not worth more than $5M/per.

      *HE IS NOT A CAPTAIN or LEADER.* He could not rally that STACKED Sabres team to show up for the playoffs last year. The lowly Isles battled them well, they barely squeeked by us and we should have beaten them, and OTT EMBARRASSED them. A real CAPTAIN would have had his men SHOWING UP for games instead of “just getting by” like Buffalo did. He’s a quiet man, just like Brian Leetch.

      “and a clutch player.”

      How many games have we lost 1-0, or by one goal? How many blown opportunities have I watched ol’ clutch piss away? How many break aways have I watched this guy fluff up? SLAP SHOT ON A BREAK AWAY IN A 1 GOAL GAME. Yah, that’s clutch.

      I want to like Drury, but he’s showed nothing yet that would make me think he deserves to wear an A.

    29. Shanahan needs to pick up his scoring or he doesn’t deserve to be on the 2nd line. The guy either hits the goalie in the gut or misses the net completely. Even the PP goal he scored the other night went under the goalie’s arm.

      I was against resigning the guy for this exact reason. He hasn’t done crap and now we have to talk about sending Dawes down because Renney is scared to bench the guy. It’s ridiculous.

    30. Salty – Couldn’t disagree more.

      Buffalo, aside from one game, handled the Islanders pretty easily. They had a hard time with us, and basically beat up because of Drury. Then they eventually lost to a stacked Ottawa team, virtually the same team that’s currently 13-2.

      And who cares if he took a slapshot on a breakaway? Larmer used to do it, and Vanek did it last year.

      Bottom line is that the guy has been clutch on winning teams his entire career. That doesn’t happen by accident. Scoring in EVERY SINGLE clutch situation is impossible.

      Also, yea, we lost 1-0 games so far this season, but I don’t exactly count October games as clutch. Yea, A-Rod hit some walk-off homers this year, look what he did in October. Is he clutch?

    31. Prucha good point about the cap but it cannot be counted on to increase and in any event he is still a big hit against it at any level. And sadly I agree with you about Shanahan.

      Newman thanks for the advice but I think I’ll keep talking. You cannot evaluate a player’s season based on putting up points in 5 games. Does anyone see how many offensive zone giveaways Gomez accounts for, how many bad decisions he is making? Or his decision could be ok but then his execution sucked? So he has collected some points, that makes it worth 7 years killing our cap space and no trade clause? He is playing like an above average player at best. I hope he’s just nervous and is a better player than he’s showing.

      By the way I really like this team, I’m just disappointed in Gomez and the arrogant GM who mistakenly thought he was an upgrade.

    32. SCARY but i trust Renney. I have faith that he will make it work and Sather will trade off who he thinks we can do with out and do better. NO WORRIES!!!!

    33. Bottom line is that the guy has been clutch on winning teams his entire career.

      because he won a cup in ‘rado he deserves to wear an A on Broadway?

      I’m just saying I’m more impressed with Gomez so far. Drury has *yet to do anything substantial here*.

    34. SALTY

      Down boy. Dru hasnt done anything wrong. So what he’s not putting up massive points yet. But its still early, and Gomer is finding his way right now. But Dru has 2 goals 2 assists in the last 3 or 4 games, and he’s slowly but suerly finding away.

      And please dont bring up andything about Buffalo cause you make no sense. Half that team doesnt even have heart, thats why he isnt there anymore. He is a quiet guy, who cares if he’s wearing an “A” or not, Jagr is wearing a “C” so who cares who’s getting these god damn letters, to me there just letters, i know who the real cappy is on this team, and who friggin cares !!! Malik had the “A” at one point, and Straka will get the “A” once he comes back from injury.

      This is what i mean about NYR fans, always bitching, always moaning. We got a little better then how we were a month ago, are you that desperate to complain that you have to bash Dru, Hoss, and who ever. Whether you think your bashing them or not, it sure as shit seems that way.

      Who cares about it, i dont, and no one should. Drury and Gomez are both off a team that had 2 different styles from ours, and there now getting used to it.

    35. Salty,

      Like it or not, Drury doesn’t have to do anything that you can see to get the “A”. He’s got it because those in management want him to have it. He’s respected around the league and by officials and, obviously, by his teammates. No one gets the “A” if every other player doesn’t want them to have it or is going to be embittered. Those letters aren’t given out by the fans.

      As for the clutch thing, there have been some moments this year we could have used clutch and he didn’t come through, but clutch isn’t winning every regular season game or scoring whenever the Rangers are behind. Sure, it’s absurd that the Sam and Giannone keep talking about it. Hopefully Drury’s “clutch” will happen in the direst of moments. Otherwise, it’s a non-skill. He’s a hard worker and a very solid player who earned his money with experience and contractual timing. He sure as heck isn’t making this team worse.

    36. Drury will be clutch when necessary. Our offense is just starting to click, but keep in mind also, that our defense was amazing for the last 8 games, with exception to the third period of the Isles game.

      Everyone said “OMG you got so much offense but no name crappy d”.. well our d has been solid, as well as Henrik, and now our offense is picking it up.. creating more chances.. showing more confidence.

      We just have to stay aggressive for 60 minutes. We can’t let a goal set us back.. I hate to say it, but we have to play like the Islanders.. we gotta be hungry.

      When the Isles were down 2-1, they were playing like they were up 5-0.. they were attacking like crazy! They were extremely confident, and that intimidated our d to screw up and we lost the game even though we had it won.

      You cannot give any less than 100%.

      And.. offense might win games, but defense wins cups.

    37. Sam any real indication that Sather is going to offer Messier a meaningful position with the NYR , and that Messier is still interested?

    38. prediction:

      – Both Hanlon and Therien get canned before the All Star break

      Shanny:

      I am keeping the faith with Shanny. I love having him on my team and want the Rangers to win a Cup for him.

    39. Wow. Lotta harsh comments. Seems to me like we’ve turned a bit of a corner. Hank kept us going through some growing pains (and then some) but it feels like there’s an identity forming here.

      We all knew Lundqvist was the real deal. The defense was the question coming in. We didn’t even know if Staal would make the team. Now it seems like he’s an integral cog who, with time, should only get better. Girardi and Tyutin have excelled and Malik when healthy was showing signs of not being a total liability.

      The offense sputtered at first but now seems to be finding some momentum. This includes the powerplay. This with at least 3 major injuries.

      If this team can remain commited to “team defense” and the multitude of talented forwards can chip in a goal or two every other game or so(each)… we “should” be OK.

      Right?

      They may not win 20 games in a row but it feels like they’re built for the play-offs… not dominating the regular season.

      Right?

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