Skeleton crew


As if the Rangers don’t have enough to worry about these days, they practiced today without both Jaromir Jagr and Henrik Lundqvist. But hey, at least all their important players are healthy.

Although Jagr tried to test out his stiff back once and then again in the first 15 minutes of practice, he eventually left the ice for good and didn’t come back, leaving Sean Avery to take his spot on the wing with Brandon Dubinsky and Martin Straka. Tom Renney said the decision for Jagr to skip practice was merely precautionary, and that after treatment today, the captain should be fine for both tomorrow and Sunday’s afternoon meeting with the ‘Yotes.

Lundqvist’s situation could be more complicated. The goaltender, according to Renney, has a touch of the flu, and seeing how Marcel Hossa missed his second consecutive practice for similar reasons, the goaltender’s recovery might be more open-ended (Lundqvist was also seen wearing an ice pack on his wrist after the Washington game, so there may be an issue there as well). In the King’s place, the Rangers again went with former Manhattanville goalie Chad Killam as a stand-in, and while Renney said a call-up is a consideration (hello Al Montoya?) he also said Lundqvist could at the very least back up Stephen Valiquette Sunday.

In other words, stay tuned…

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  1. Call me crazy but I wouln’d mind seeing Hank out for a few games … force this team to PLAY AGGRESSIVELY.

  2. If Hank ever misses a game, and they have to call up Monty. Then in my opinion, that game should be played by Monty. Im curious to see if this kid can play at this level.


    Your right in a way, i would like to see what that would do to the team. But remember in 05 – 06 when Hank got the hip flexor injury. Yeah Weekes and the team didnt help out, in fact, they didnt look good at all.

    But i would never want Hank to get injured.

    Does anyone know how long Hank will get locked up?? I mean these teams are locking up there guys for massive years. Richards just got 12 years from philly, does anyone think Hank would get a long term deal like that?

  3. I thought that the Rangers were going to re-negotiate Hanks contract in January. Is that the case? At least that was what I thought the arrangement was at the start of the season.

  4. hossa should be sent to siberia and never be seen again. why he’s on this team I’ll never understand. FIRE RENNEY ASAP!

  5. You know, Orr, I was thinking the same thing about Hanks contract extension. I’d like to say it would be different for a goalie, but it was DP who started it all off. Really Wang/Snow, but it was DP’s contract.

    Personally, I’d like to see it 7 years or less. We have an 18y.o.(Lafleur), that will be Hanks age 7 years from now, and given the work that Allaire has done with Hank/Labarbera/etc., I’d like to see what he can do moving forward.

    Above and beyond that, a 10, 12, 15-year contract doesn’t serve as any motivation for anybody. Let alone a goaltender. ANY goaltender. And we’ve already seen what happens when Hank gets high on himself. Last thing you need to do it go throw $70-80mil at him.

    I haven’t looked to closely at the sched., but I’m sure the devs and the rest of the div will make up the games in hand they have on us in the next few days. It’ll give us a bit of better perspective as to where we stand in mid-dec.

    Just my thoughts on an otherwise boring day.

  6. The Ranger’s should be prepared to take this kid when he is draft eligible:
    John Tavares: Age 16
    Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League
    ” Because of his age he won’t be eligible for the draft until 2009. But earlier this year he broke the Great One’s record for most goals scored in a single season in the OHL. He might not be as good as Sidney Crosby, but he has caused a lot of commotion at a very young age.” — E.J. Hradek

  7. madcat, his people are trying to get him into this years draft. He misses eligibilty by a month or so(not sure exactly how much he misses by, but it’s close). He’s going #1. It would take a trade of bobby s. + staal + hank to grab that kid. keep dreaming.

    This was Richards contract terms (courtesy of
    “The deal will pay Richards $5.4 million in 2008-09, and he’ll earn a raise each season until 2012-13, when he’ll make $8.4 million. Richards’ salary will then decrease each subsequent season, down to just $3 million in the final year of the deal.”

    I like the idea of the structure. I think it would fit Hank. With a shortend term, with more $ per/yr.

  8. Or….we could play vally everynight and then we’d finish dead-last and have a shot at the #1 pick! lol

  9. I’d like to see Jagr sit for a few games if he’s not completely healthy. Last thing we need is Jagr back checking and skating with less effort than he usually does.

    and Tavares will be long gone before the Rangers draft pick comes up. This kid is going to be the #1 overall pick. Unless the Rangers fall on their faces they aren’t getting the #1 overall pick.

  10. Fruity Cupcake on

    Shenanigans! Toronto recently tried signing the kid to a Marlies contract. Let’s not forget, some number ones are Sidney Crosby and some are Alexandre Daigle.

  11. cupcake – that’s a good point, but it seems that scouting has come a long way since the early 90’s. But it is true, that you never can tell.

  12. For now, I will just be hopeful that Chereponov can make the team next year and forget about the #1 picks.

  13. Doodie Machetto on

    The Ducks trade is going down tonight or tomorrow. It sounds like it will be Schneider that is sent away for a combination of players.

    Rumor is that Burke is deciding between 4 offers.

    For Schneider, I would trade Malik, Pock, Baranka, and a 2nd rounder.

  14. Hey Sam, loyal reader for about a year of your blog. My family has sat in section 403 dating back to the old garden (im 27). I was skating at Chelsea Piers today and around 5 a bunch of rangers came in for some event. These include Renney, Callahan, Mara, Staal (who is so much bigger in person then I thought), Betts, Gomez, and last but of course not least Lundvquist.

    My question is in regards to his supposedly having the flu, I spoke to him for a minute and he seems fine, what are the chances you think of him playing against the Phoenix Gretzky’s on sunday?

    Thanks keep up the great work, its hard to imagine what I did for Rangers news before you and Zipay and Dellapina.

  15. Doodie – i wouldn’t – due to the cap. He has next yr on his contract as well. And I don’t think we can fit him in to this yrs numbers and for sure we would have no room for a forward or center at the deadline. His salary is approx $ 5.6 mm per yr even prorated this yr would be tough. And in your proposal the only salary coming off would be malik’s. And Pock would have to pass through reentry waivers. Not sure which team would be responsible for his salary (50%) if claimed.

  16. Zach —

    Thanks for checking in. Your run-in with Lundqvist confirms my suspicion that the problem might have more to do with his wrist, which was bothering him after the Washington game.

    Either way, I think it’s fairly minor, but we’ll see.


  17. Ducks sent Andy Macdonald to St Louis for Doug Weight.

    Would Mike Richards have even made this team under Renney yet, or would he and RJ Umberger be doing the Nigel Dawes shuffle? Just putting it out there. Is Richards that good, or does our system make mincemeat out of offensively talented players?

  18. Chris G Real Guitar Hero on

    Did they score lots of goals in practice against Killam ?

    Wouldn’t that be a great name if Killam was a big bruising

    defenseman ? We ‘d be yelling ” Hit em Kill am ” or

    Kill em Killam …..

  19. Anaheim made their deal basically McDonald for Weight since Weight’s contract ends after this yr this allows them to fit Niedermeyer into their cap – and to comply with provision in cap re next yr. a draft pick and minor leaguer also involved – see

    article re Cullen from is below

    some excerpts below

    “He came to the Rangers after playing a full season in Carolina coach Peter Laviolette’s up-tempo, push-the-puck, risk-taking style, which allows him to use his speed and skill to create offensive chances even off the forecheck. But his offensive opportunities were limited in New York largely because Tom Renney coaches his team to play a more sound game against the rush”.

    “Cullen, whose goal total dropped from 25 in Carolina to 16 in New York, was also used sparingly on the Rangers’ power play, and never on the point. Now he’s one of Carolina’s top power play guys and is being used almost exclusively on the point. As a result, he’s flourishing again and is on pace for a career year. He leads the Canes with 24 assists, which is tied for 10th in the entire League. He also has six goals, including four on the power play.”

    “Cullen added that the distractions faded toward the end of the season, that he did gain a sense of comfort in the Big Apple, which is why he was looking forward to his second year in New York… until he got the call”.

    “Once again, he’s proving to be a steal”.

    “I can tell you this, we missed Matt last year,” Laviolette said. “His brain, his hands, the puck and the stick are all on the same page, and it’s very quick. I think he’s a strong third-line center only because we have (Eric) Staal and (Rod) Brind’Amour.”

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