Taking stock


I wrote an analysis piece on the Rangers season for today’s paper that “you can read here.”:http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080506/SPORTS01/805060388/-1/SPORTS

A brief summary: Yes, 2007-08 was a disappointment. Yes, the Rangers face some difficult questions ahead. But given the investment made in a core of young players this season, you can’t call the year a complete failure either.

Meanwhile, some other links:

<li>A couple of other writers have floated the “idea of the Rangers pursuing Marian Hossa”:http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/06/sports/hockey/06rangers.html in the offseason.

There was a time — say, two weeks ago — when I would have said absolutely not given Hossa’s penchant for checking out during the playoffs.

But I was obviously impressed in this past series. And there’s no question the Rangers need someone to play with Scott Gomez next season. But consider me still on the fence.

<li>And speaking of wings for Gomez, Sean Avery is alive and well and tells Larry Brooks he “wants to come back next season”:http://www.nypost.com/seven/05062008/sports/rangers/i_thought_i_was_done_109656.htm.

“I bleed Ranger blue,” Avery said, a metaphor that takes on an even deeper meaning seeing how he was bleeding a lot these past few days.

No one questions that Avery is a valuable player to the Rangers. But the question is how valuable. Because if he’s really seeking the type of deal the Flyers gave to Scott Hartnell — six years at more than $4 million per — the contract negotiations might be a stumbling block.

More from break-up day later…

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  1. if they sign avery and if the rangers play calgary at any time next year things can get ugly

    my girl just told me his X is dating Dion Phaneuf.

    why do they have to let this drag out cant they just resign him this week give us something to be happy about cause i am misreable without the rangers..

  2. are the rangers going to try and sign every player that ends there season every year. they need a Defensive player who can hit the net. there has to be a little LEETCH out there somewhere

  3. Dr. Ogrodnick bows to Leetch on

    If the Rangers are going to spend Hossa type money on another player, I would rather bring Jagr back for a one year deal then go after Kovalchuk next offseason. I think a run at JM Liles would be a good move too.

  4. Petey Bleeds Blue on

    Great piece Sam, that article you wrote really took some of the sting out of the loss.

    You gotta think the Rangers will sign atleast a few of the free agents (Roszival and Avery IMO are the next important behind Jagr), and with kids like Marc Staal and Brandon Dubinsky, its gonna be a great ride in the future.

  5. Dr. Ogrodnick bows to Leetch on

    I am done with Roszival, he was brutal down the stretch and in the postseason.

  6. pretty sure kovalchuk is signed through 2009-2010 (he signed a 5 year deal in’05), so thats two season away if he even becomes a free agent. can’t reall count on that, so barring a trade (tho i dont think we could get much for toots/girardi and dawes/cally) there aren’t many attractive options this year. we could hope malkin hits restricted free agency next season then throw like 12 mill a year, but again thats unlikely to happen or cammilleri and zetterberg are free agents next offseason. i think best course for this group is to either let the kids play (and most likely lose a lot) or sign someone to a one year deal

  7. Sam (not the Great Weinman) on

    Impressed with Hossa?? From what he did against us?? Nothing that any athlete does against us should be viewed without considering that facts that the athlete decided to play their hardest against NY (and roll over against Boston), he was benefited by the luck that went against the NY team, and also benefited by the calls of the referees. Let’s see how he does against Philly when he gets facewashed time and again.

  8. I have to agree I was not impressed with Hossa either. He buried some trash against us, but really nothing special. he looks invisible next to a guy like Malkin.

  9. Hossa’s a great 2-way player but it’s going to be costly. He’s going to want a long term deal and who wants the cap tied up $29m in 4 players for at least the next 4 seasons? I’d rather take Jagr for 2 years at what will likely be less than the 8 million Hossa should get.

    Someone mentioned Liles and I like that move, but keep in mind there are several teams that will be gunning for him. I’d love to acquire a guy like Kristian Huselius, he’d be a great fit with a hard-working center like Drury.

    Obviously we can’t forget about the young guys, but with three or four top 6 forwards in UFA, we have to make some moves.

  10. Sam (not the Great Weinman) on

    Also, a guy like Hossa. He has skills, can put a puck in the net, but there’s one other thing that must be remembered. You have to take about 20-30% off an athlete’s abilities when he comes to NY, with the luck and referee factors and the fact that other players play harder against NY. That’s what makes Jaromir so special. In his mid 30’s, a semi-older athlete performing with NY with all those things working against him, that makes him special. Same with A-Rod.

  11. Roszival has been brutal. i seriously hope he doesn’t come back. I’d love to have Avery, but i have a feeling his price is going to be too high. No more than $3m per year for avery, at a max of 2, maybe 3, years. He gets injured to often to lock him in for a 4-5 year deal. That would be too risky , especially since Avery plays on the edge.

  12. no way we should sign jagr for two more years. one year at a low rate if any deal at all. huselius could be ok but would he work with gomez as im more worried about getting him a winger that can score as opposed to drury who can play with cally as a third line that can score some

  13. Fruity Cupcake on

    Hossa? No saaah!

    Is there a name for the opposite of a sophomore slump? Because Drury and Gomez are ONLY going to get better with a year of NYC/MSG under their belts. I’d like to see Prucha get more ice time, especially on special teams.

    But, Sather won’t be calling me, so all I can say is thanks for the great forum, Sam! I’ll be disappointed if you can’t manage to post something even once a week in the off-season. Even if it means linking to the Toronto Star so we can read about Mats Sundin’s wedding plans :-)

  14. Sam (not the Great Weinman) on

    But, my point is, we are not going to win with all young guys. We need some “better than stars” or superstars. The Marion Hossa ‘stars’ of the world dont cut it for us. The stars that come us decline into average performers. That’s why I said the Yankees shouldve traded for Johan. Not because Phil or Ian might not be stars in the future (looking pretty iffy right now), but because Johan is a proven superstar. But, oh well, Cashman pinching pennies.

  15. Pete –

    Jagr for two more years would not only be beneficial to our team, but to the development of Dubinsky. They really started to show some chemistry toward the end of the season.

    I don’t see Huselius as the type of player to skate with Gomez – like I said, he’d work more efficiently with a grinding center like Drury.

  16. No thanks on Hossa. Sign Jags for 2 years so he can overlap with Cherepanov. If Cherepanov really is in the Bure/Ovechkin/Malkin mold, there’s your scorer. And despite what people think, Cherepanov can learn a great deal from Jagr.

    “I bleed Ranger blue” is all I needed to hear from Sean Avery.

    He didn’t seem like his old in the Brooks article. Probably due to the fact that he thought he was close to losing his life. Maybe lying in that hospital bed he realized that the only real place for him is New York. He is sorely needed on this hockey team. I think he deserves Scott Hartnell money, honeslty. I know I’m gonna get destroyed for this – you all think I’m crazy because of the cap, I know – but I honestly could see the Rangers missing the playoffs without Sean Avery. Yes, he’s THAT important.

  17. we need defensemen.. if backman, rosicval, malik or mara are on this team next yr that is a giant mistake.. they all suck.. that would free up close to 7 a yr.. use that to pay campbell.. or mike green but the caps will not let him leave.. we need a power fwd pls..

  18. Campbell SUCKS. He’s a slightly better version of Rozsival… a defensive liability. I’d rather give 6m to Redden.

  19. Jagr just admitted he didn’t really try that hard during the regular season. Do we really want a guy like that wearing the C for our Rangers? IMO I would rather have a guy that works hard night after night. That was one of the big issues with the team this year. Every night it was like which team is gonna show up tonight? Is it gonna be the team that drops two games in Florida over a “must win” wkend in March – or the team that shuts down the Devils in the first round of the playoffs. I for one do not feel like guessing all year again next year. I want a team that gives 100% effort each and every night. ANd I want the young guys learning from a captain that gives it 100% each and every night. Not a guy that coasts thru the regular season in hopes of turning it up in the playoffs. Heck – if Jagr played well all year we probably would have finished in first place in the conference.

    Anyway, I say let him go… but if we do bring him back he should no longer where the C and he should no longer be the “focus” of the team. His lack of effort all year killed our pp.

  20. We coulda had Mike Green for a cup of coffee int he 2004 entry draft….Instead we took Al Monbusta 6th and Lauri Korpi in the teens….

    Mike Green went 29th overall to the Craps

    : (

    He does look like a special player though

  21. I hate Barry Melrose, and when I see him in interviews completely gloat about how the mighty penguins beat the rangers, just like he said they would, he has this fuggin shit eaten grin on his face. I loved proving him wrong by beating the Devils. He is one of the most annoying people in hockey IMO.

  22. do any of you really want this version of jagr playing for us in 2009-2010 on our first line and top pp unit? Even with a declining jagr (and each year we have to expect less from him) we probably arent cup contenders. if we don’t have a legitimate shot at the cup id rather us play some youth lose some games and get a high draft pick. losing in the second round again next year is not something i want to see.

    and avery is not worth hartnell money bc he cant score that much espec if he isnt on a line with a player like jagr who the other team focuses on…and he will prob get hurt every year the way he plays

  23. I have said this a million times this year, but I want Sean Avery on this team. I really do. I think he brings more to this team than just scoring and making plays and being the best agitator in the league. This guy gives the team this kind of bravado when he is in the lineup, and keep in mind that he is still maturing as a hockey player. I do think he could net 25 goals in a season. I would give him 3.3 for a few years. The way he sounded in today’s paper, it sounds like he would drop his price a little bit to remain with this team.

  24. Wow, making the playoffs three straight years, Drury and Gomez leading the team, Hank as the anchor, and people are talking about “playing the young guys”, “losing some games” and “getting a high draft pick”?

    I’m sorry, that’s appalling. I know losing stings, but man, it’s not time for this Rangers era to curl up and die.

    This team was a few bounces and bad calls away from the conference finals. They ran into a great hockey team with an EXTREMELY hot goaltender at the wrong time. The Rangers were one of the top 8 in the league and one of only 3 teams to even get back to the 2nd round for a 2nd consecutive year. There is NO REASON to not continue pushing forward towards a Cup.

    I’m a tad too young, but I know my history and I know that the late 80’s and early 90’s Rangers were very much like today’s Rangers. Lots of promise, great youth, playoff appearances, etc. That team even WON THE PRESIDENT’S TROPHY THEN DIDN’T MAKE THE PLAYOFFS THE NEXT YEAR. I bet a lot of people were saying “start over” then. Good thing they didn’t cause they WON THE STANLEY CUP THE VERY NEXT YEAR.

    It is not easy to build a champion. There are always stumbles and road blocks along the way, this year was one of them. But to abandon ship now would be a terrible move, in my opinion.

  25. And yes, Nasty, I agree. Avery seems like he wants to play his prime years, if not the rest of his NHL career as a Ranger. Thank goodness. Maybe Slats can close a deal before July 1?

  26. Salary cap-wise, Getting Hossa would be a bad move. The Rangers signed Gomez and Drury to big money long-term deals to build around them. Hossa wants a long-term, possibly $8 million+ a year deal, which would handicap them from getting a puck-carrying, physical defender they need and resigning all of the crucial RFAs/UFAs for this upcoming season and more importantly the 2009-10 season (which includes Staal, Dubinsky and some other key players they can’t lose).

    Back on the farm they are still at least a few more years away from calling up Cherpanov, the other young Russian and Bobby Sang. Hossa is a good two-way player that would make sense for the Ranger’s defensive-minded system, but is just not worth the $$$.

    The Rangers should let some other team pay out the nose for this guy and re-sign Jagr to two more final seasons to help with the development of players like Dubinsky, Dawes, Callahan, Korporski and such. Get rid of Shanny (or give him a Teemu-like deal), Straka, Malik, Backman, Strudwik, possibly Prucha and/or Rozsival (certainly Hollweg next season) to make room for Jagr for a couple years and the necessary cap room for the upcoming years.

  27. Avery imo is not worth 4 mill a year. Hartnell looks like he’s ready to be a 30 goal guy that will put up 150 pims and hit anybody and everybody. I give Avery at most 3.5 mill. Buh bye to Rozsival. Hossa is at his best when he isn’t the go to guy. In Ottaw he was and he stinkl in big spots ditto for Ain Atlanta. In Pittsburg he is the third most important forward and alot of pressure is taken off him. He comes here and he gets more pressure than ever before.

  28. I’m starting to think Sean Avery breaks too much. I’m a believer in endurance. He’s tough as nails, sure, but he spends too much time out of the game.

    And, I look at our defense like the Yankee pitching. Management can’t kid themselves that everything is okay. The team must improve from outside. You shouldn’t need to put the whole team into a defensive system to make up for your blueline weakness. We saw the results — simply not enough O to win all year long.

  29. I’m one who definitely wants to see Avery back, but let’s face it, with most athletes money talks. Sean saw his life flash before his eyes last week, and now more than ever he knows his next contract could be his last. Avery bleeds Rangers blue only if Slats comes up with enough Rangers green to keep him here.

  30. This teams needs to win battles along the boards and get pucks to the net not a peripheral sniper like Hossa at $8MM per. I realize these guys are not getable but a guy like Cheechoo or Lucic would be great.

  31. Cynical Cliff, very cynical, haha. But, your point is taken. Still, I think Avery will come back for not-quite Hartnell money…I think the man deserves $3.5 million. If the right guys walk, this can be done.

  32. Anybody advocating acquiring Hossa is crazy in my book. We do not need another soft player. We need grit, toughness and size who can put the puck in the net. Can anyone say Ryan Malone? Can you imagine Avery and Malone on the same line? Now that’s the grit they need. In addition they need to get some toughness on the blue line. There really is nobody mean on this team, they have to get it.

  33. Rob,

    If you think it was just a few unlucky bounces and bad calls that prevented this team from advancing to the conference finals then you obviously weren’t paying attention in any of the games. We were like 3 for 30 on the power play.

    And the teams in the early 80s/early 90s were like this team in one way, they were both not good enough to win a cup by any means. I think our pp back then was equally bad with james patrick running the point. And if you watched games in the 80s you were calling for huge changes to be made as they were awful. Having Jagr play for us any longer than for one year is a mistake and will retard the growth of this team. This was jagr’s year to win it with us and the coach/team could not make the pp work and that combined with our shakey d are the real reason we lost this year, not the refs or a few unlucky bounces.

    And the team that won the cup in 94 was put together by trading a lot of our talented youth (weight, amonte, norstrom) for a quick fix and the young guys we had then were on the whole a lot better than the guys we have now. You can make a case that richter/henrik are comparable. But staal is not yet leetch or zubov and toots/girardi don’t compare to either of those players. Maybe Prucha could play the role of kovalev-lite (who had his faults but was pivotal to us winning the cup) if he ever got to play. But most importantly there are no messiers, graves or beukebooms on our current team. Jagr is not a dominating force anymore for an entire season or playoffs, he can do it in spurts but even in the pitt series he was invisible for a couple games

    This team should focus on finding/developing someone to play with gomez as we signed him to be our #1 center. i am not looking to give up but i want the rangers to build a future contender not try and piece things together for another year and then lose again in the 2nd round.

  34. I really think Straka has been a great Ranger the past 3 seasons… I can’t believe none of you Ranger fans want him back for another year… back to back 70 point seasons and missing 17 games this season for throwing himself in front of two Chara bombs for the good of the team simply isn’t enough? busting his ass every shift isn’t enough either… 20 points in 20 games the last two playoff runs is not enough either… at 3 mil per year… they paid Gomez 10 mil to get 70 points… what a bunch of ingrates in NY…

  35. Hossa is a bad idea, I think Malone would make more sense for us, but would rather not pursue him either. Id much rather get Jagr back or bring Chereponov over. Chereponov is a legit prospect, #17 at hockeysfuture.com and he is ranked similarly to Marc Staal.

    I think we need someone like Avery on the team, without him we are soft. I’d like it be him, but if he’s too expensive we need to get someone else who can do that. I’m indifferent on Rosi, he’s been good at times but is inconsistent.

    We do need to improve our D, I can’t believe we picked up Backman at 2.5m. I’d like to see us trade some of excess forwards for D and some more physical players (not enforcers, but good players who can throw a body). We have a ton of depth at forward not only on our team, but in the minors too.

    Would like to bring back Jagr, Avery, add Chereponov and other prospects at forward where we have space (Korpedo, Moore, Ansimov, and Bourrett are all options, Byers and Jessiman might need more time) a D. Trade Prucha, and would be willing to give up Callahan, Dawes, Shoe, or Betts too, if we can get a good D out of it. Provided this is all salary cap feasible, of course. I’d love it if we could dump Backman’s 2.5m salary.

  36. I have lots of respect for Straka, but he hasn’t been the same since the concussion (how mild was it really?).

  37. gil, I love straka and would want him back if we had unlimited cap space. I just think we have a ton of forwards and it would tougher to replace what jagr and avery bring with the space we have.

  38. “The way he sounded in today’s paper, it sounds like he would drop his price a little bit to remain with this team.”

    Bull. He is playing to the press again the way he did in last year’s arbitration. To me, it is the opposite. It looks like he is trying to put pressure on management to sign him by endearing himself to the fans.

    Think about the time he has spent talking to the press this year. All about his contract. Then the rest of the season, media boycott. This article only supports my fears about him being a locker room cancer. He bleeds Ranger Blue: bullshit. He bleeds money green.

  39. Pete,

    Mattias Norstrom wasn’t traded to put together the ’94 team, he was part of the taxi squad in that years playoffs for the Rangers. He actually wasn’t traded until 2 years later in that awful trade to LA for the likes of Jari Kurri and Marty MsSorley.

  40. Tony from AZ on

    Rmant, that’s what I’m talking about. No one on our team is feared, we need a mean tough SOB that can play hockey.

  41. Who Needs Lohan on

    Great to see that you guys are all still on here talkin NYR hockey, will make the offseason more fun!

    As for some of the posts today:

    1)Pass on Green, I dont care how good his OFF is, we need D-men with a capital D!!!!!

    2)Hossa: Ill pass there too. Dont you guys think we are better off dishing out 9mil or so on a Bigger and Badder D man and a power type first line wing to play w/ Dubi??

    3)Straka: Id keep him if he was willing to take one for the team. Less money and more of a third line wing.

    4)Avery: My biggest fear is that the Islanders will pay Avery big bucks just to piss us off. Mark this down guys, we will be talking about how much we hate him next season. I just think the excessive injuries, the bad rap, the circus the ensues, along with a high price tag will turn Sather off. I think he’s rather go Euro with Straka. Man I hope I am wrong about this, but make a note of this one.

    5)Young guns: I hear a lot about this. Right now Staal Callahan and Dubi are the only guys I say are untouchable IMO. I worry that we are a little high on some of the young talent we have. If I can package a Prucha one of the Russians and maybe even Sanguinetti for a power type wing I would jump at it. Too many mediocre young guys = Prucha type results im afraid.

    6)UFAs…might be a long way away but I have my eye on 2010 campaign. Rick Nash will be a NYR and we will love him!

    7)Sam….Love the blog. Sometimes I wish some of your posts were from more of a fan’s point of view but I guess that keeps us all in check. I look forward to a more relaxed environment in here over the next few months.

    8)Coaching…I’m guessing that Pearn is a goner, he really should be. Renney isnt going anywhere guys unless Messier puts some pressure on. Wouldnt it be great to see a Mess Graves combo behind the bench? Think we would have ZERO hits in the second period in Game 5 with them behind the bench? EXACTLY!!!!

  42. I think the Rangers re-sign Jagr and he stays. Anyone who thinks that Jagr being around somehow blocks or hinders the development of younger kids, I have 2 words for you: Brandon Dubinsky. I’d keep them intact on my top unit with either Avery or add a tough winger. Then I’d still thinking about replacing Shanny with Hossa on Gomez’ wing. Hobestly, if Jagr gets $6 million, that’s only 2 more than he now gets, if Hossa wants $7 million that’s only a 1.5 more than Shanny now gets. Fill out the rest of the forward ranks with Dawes, Callahan, Drury, Prucha, Anisimov, Korpikoski, Betts, Orr and we’re in great shape. There would then still be plenty of money to go after two top pair defensemen like Campbell and someone like Bouwmeister. Then Staal and Sanguinetti become your second pair and Girardi and Tytutin can stay on where they really belong, the best 3rd pair in the NHL.

  43. “Jagr is not a dominating force anymore for an entire season or playoffs, he can do it in spurts but even in the pitt series he was invisible for a couple games”

    Jagr is still leading the NHL in playoff points if I’m not mistaken.

    There were a couple games none of the Rangers showed up and Lundqvist came through big. And there were a couple games Lundqvist picked the worst time to suck and almost all of the Rangers showed up (except Backman and Straka). What can you do the team wasn’t running on all cylinders in this series? Jagr isn’t Superman.

    “This team should focus on finding/developing someone to play with gomez as we signed him to be our #1 center. i am not looking to give up but i want the rangers to build a future contender not try and piece things together for another year and then lose again in the 2nd round.”

    Definitely agree. But I’d like to point out: where the hell was Gomez in the series? The best puck-moving forward in the league was non-existant. He didn’t carry the puck into the offensive zone effectively or at all.

    I know he’s a passer, but he needs to shoot more; it’s getting predictable (with rebound-boy Fleury, why not shoot). I’d be surprised if he had more than 2 shots on goal all series.

    I don’t hear Gomez getting called out–and he made almost $2.5 million more than Jagr this season.

  44. Guys I love Shanny and Strake but they need to go. They count too much against the cap.

    Straka was innefective all playoffs and hasn’t been the same since he had the concussion and other injuries, and Shanny had nothing after the Devils series. If anything, Shanny needs a cushy Teemu-like deal where he comes in at the end of the season.

    Peter, I agreed with everything you said except Signing Hossa AND Jagr. Not going to work if the Rangers want to plug the holes in their D. Hossa wants a long-term contract at more than 8 million a year. There are literally no UFAs this year; supply and demand :P

  45. Doodie, I am not so sure of that. I think he was told by management to not talk to the press. Actually, I know he was told by management to not talk to the press.

  46. I don’t hear Gomez getting called out—and he made almost $2.5 million more than Jagr this season.


    You are so far off base it is ridiculous. Gomez = hardest working Ranger all season, by FAR.

  47. gil renard on

    Noonan – Straka was innefective all playoffs ????

    Were you watching? 10 pts in 10 games and all over the place… some unlucky bounces but one of the best Rangers in the playoffs by far… are you blind?

  48. Still catching up on old posts, but I wanted to respond to something…

    *Doodie* – Rule 60 – High-sticking
    60.1 High-sticking – A “high stick” is one which is carried above the height
    of the opponent’s shoulders. Players and goalkeepers must be in
    control and responsible for their stick. *However, a player or
    goalkeeper is permitted accidental contact on an opponent if the act is
    committed as a normal windup or follow through of a shooting motion.*
    A wild swing at a bouncing puck would not be considered a normal
    windup or follow through and any contact to an opponent above the
    height of the shoulders shall be penalized accordingly.

  49. Dr. Ogrodnick bows to Leetch on

    Straka was good in the playoffs, but ineffective most of the regular season.

  50. No Hossa!! We dont have good luck with this family, look how MArcel turned out

    No More Rosival – bye bye
    No More Malik – bye bye

    More Mara – 1-2 year deal if price is right
    More Vali – same as above
    More Avery – same as above
    More Shanny – (1 more year, gets the C if JAgr retires, plays 3 or 4th line and PK for $1.5, Id take it, OR replaces PErry Pearn)

    Straka retires
    Jagr 1 year deal or trade away even though Im a fan of the man, and if he’s back, he not getting demoted. The C will be on his chest.

    Two new D men, one PP QB some younglings and a few open market additions.

    This is what will happen

    And if anyone thinks Avery, no matter how much they offer him, will go play for the Islanders, your on crack, on mars.
    He hates them more than he hates the devils.

    Plus Sather loves him, and his attitude. No matter what he says in the papers. Figure him getting 2 years for $2.2-$2.9 per which is fine by me

  51. Dr. Ogrodnick bows to Leetch on

    I would take Straka back over Shanny, unless Shanny gets bionic legs.

  52. Who Needs Lohan on

    MikeyNJ said…

    “And if anyone thinks Avery, no matter how much they offer him, will go play for the Islanders, your on crack, on mars.
    He hates them more than he hates the devils.”

    I guess I am on Crack bro. DO you really think that he hated the Devs or Isles before he was a NYR? Do you think if the Isles offer him more money her wouldnt play for them? It might be you that is on the crack. Do you think Gomez hated the NYR when he was a Devil? Sure! Do you think York hated the Isles? Of course? Do I need to go on? You get over that stuff once you have the new sweater on bro and most atheletes like most of us would go where the there is more dinero. End of story…..

  53. my bad on norstrom, but that doesnt detract from what i said overall. thats really awesome that jagr is still leading the league in points in the playoffs, too bad that is irrelevant since we arent in the playoffs anymore. and think of how many more points the guy should have had if our pp was even just mediocre. all i know in game 5 he drew two penalites and nothing more, not a single shot

    gomez may not have had a great series vs the pens tho his goal in game one was big but he was playing with avery and shanny most of the time, two guys who aren’t fast and shanny cant finish anymore. and dawes and cally were pretty much nonfactors on offense when they played with gomez so im not mad at scott at all. he was signed to set up people who could finish not third line tough guy with some offensive ability and an over the hill veteran who can barely skate.

    i agree jagr helped dubinsky but he is not really gonna develop a scoring ability if he keeps thinking pass to jagr first (which is straka’s biggest problem) and i would like to see how he plays with jagr to see if he is the real deal.

    and yes straka was overall pretty disappointing in the playoffs, he should have had about 4 goals in game 3 alone and he consistenly missed the net when jagr set him up

  54. Pete,
    not only did Straka miss numerous open nets against the Pens but he refused to shoot the puck when he had the chance and instead tried to make a pass through people that did not connect.

  55. Lohan
    Not end of Story

    That being said, he’s HATED by the Stinky Fish Isles and the Debbies who no matter how great he is will NOT make him an offer
    You really think there going to try and get one agitator, who may and probably will not do what he does for the Rangers for your team, while the rest of the team f%@$ing hates him already?
    My point being, look what he did in LA, not much and was hated. Now hes been a Ranger for a season and a half, is hated by even more players, teams, coaches, etc.

    As before your on crack, he will not be an Stinky Fish Islander no matter what they offer him. No way Teddie or Garth would make a play for him.

    IF more cash was offered it be from either a west coast team, or a Mid west, Southeast team.

  56. Who Needs Lohan on

    Dont you realize Mikey that teams and players hate another player until the day they play for them. I mean come on, of course they hate Avery, everyone does. Does that mean that no other team would want him???? Thats just dumb logic.

  57. “Doodie, I am not so sure of that. I think he was told by management to not talk to the press. Actually, I know he was told by management to not talk to the press.”

    Funny then that the only time he violated those orders this season was to talk contract. The guy doesn’t give a damn about the team. He likes New York, not the Rangers.

    That is the rule, but the interpretation has changed. subdivision a clearly states:

    *Any* contact made by a stick on an opponent above the shoulders is prohibited and a minor shall be imposed subject to section (b) of this Rule.

    I’m telling you, the rule is if you make contact, it’s a penalty, no matter what. I’ve seen guys winding up to take shots catch the guy behhind them and get called for high sticking.

    Honestly, imagine in a game, if a player took a shot and clipped the opponent in the face with his stick and cut him. You really think that they wouldn’t call it? The rule is interpreted to mean that you are responsible for your stick at ALL times. ANY contact is a penalty.

  58. 60.3 Double-minor Penalty – When a player or goalkeeper carries or
    holds any part of his stick above the shoulders of the opponent so that
    injury results, the Referee shall assess a double-minor penalty for all
    contact that causes an injury, whether accidental or careless, in the
    opinion of the Referee.

  59. Gomez has a rib cage injury, Drury as well. They both played through it, but it was obvious neither was at 100%

  60. Here is another interesting set of rules:

    Rule 64 – Diving / Embellishment
    64.1 Diving / Embellishment–Any player or goalkeeper who blatantly dives, embellishes a fall or a reaction, or who feigns an injury shall be penalized with a minor penalty under this rule. A goalkeeper who deliberately initiates contact with an attacking player other than to establish position in the crease, or who otherwise acts to create the appearance of other than incidental contact with an attacking player, is subject to the assessment of a minor penalty for diving / embellishment.

    64.2 Minor Penalty-A minor penalty shall be imposed on a player or goalkeeper who attempts to draw a penalty by his actions (“diving /embellishment”).
    64.3 Fines and Suspensions-Regardless if a minor penalty for diving /embellishment is called, Hockey Operations will review game videos and assess fines to players or goalkeepers who dive or embellish a fall or a reaction, or who feign injury. The call on the ice by the Referee is totally ndependent of supplementary discipline. The first such incident during the season will result in a warning
    letter being sent to the player or goalkeeper. The second such incident will result in a one thousand dollar ($1,000) fine. For a third such incident in the season, the player shall be suspended for one game, pending a telephone conversation with the Director of Hockey Operations. For subsequent violations in the same season, the player’s suspension shall double (i.e. first suspension – one game,
    second suspension – two games, third suspension – four games, etc.)

  61. That being said, he’s HATED by the Stinky Fish Isles and the Debbies who no matter how great he is will NOT make him an offer

    You don’t think NYR “hated” Gomez? Guy dominated us so hard and he got Jagr so good that he threw his whole arm out just trying to get a peice of Gomez….money talks, bullchit walks.

  62. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    You might be wrong about the hi-sticking, or at least if you’re technically right, it’s not called that way. Marion Hossa (speak of the devil) caught Brian Berard on a follow-thru slapshot 6-8 years ago. That’s how Berard lost his eye and there was no penalty. Hossa was a senator and Berard a Maple Leaf, you can probably youtube it to check.

    Peter, Did you really mean this?
    “Gomez may not have had a great series vs the pens tho his goal in game one was big but he was playing with avery and shanny most of the time, two guys who aren’t fast”
    I think Avery’s faster than Gomez, certainly when he doesn’t have to worry about stick-handling.

    If Avery was offered the $$ from the devils and Isles, you can be sure he’d go and make hell for the Rangers. Whether the devils (and Brodeur) will invite him to their team, completely different question. But Avery would go if they offered a couple $million$ more than the Rangers.

    Straka, secretly, had 10 points in the playoffs. The way I recall the games, he could have had at least 25 points with all his deflections gone-bad, wide wrist shots, and deferring passes while he was in the slot to a player at a worse angle. That said, if Jagr (who I don’t think wants to come back) and Shanahan (who shouldn’t come back) aren’t around next year, it would be difficult to also have to fill the Straka void as well. Not to mention the potential Avery hole too.

  63. “You are so far off base it is ridiculous. Gomez = hardest working Ranger all season, by FAR.”

    I was talking about the Penguins series. Was he hurt?

    Straka may have had 10 points but was terrible defensively. Especially in Penguins series. Let him go, brah, he isn’t taking a home-town discount.

  64. my opinion
    most players would go where the money is actually 99.9 percent would go but I honestly dont think avery would go to a Canadian team the devils or the islanders. I really dont think he would. And hopefully we dont have to find out

  65. “I think Avery’s faster than Gomez, certainly when he doesn’t have to worry about stick-handling.”

    Dude, you couldn’t be more wrong. Gomez is by far the fastest skater on our team.

    By far.

  66. gil renard on

    Straka already took a home town discount last year so that they can bring in guys like Drury and Gomez… terrible defensively? I’m not sure we are watching the same guy…

  67. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    And Doodie, that means Avery’s “slow”?

    I still disagree with your belief Gomez is faster…certainly, on the puck, Gomez would be much faster. But watching their ability to get to open pucks I think Avery and Straka are as fast as, if not a little faster, than Gomez. Nonetheless, Avery’s by no stretch, “slow.”

  68. Gomez is one of the fastest skaters in the entire league, hands down. With the puck or without the puck he’s a quicker skater than either Straka or Avery. It’s really not even close.

  69. “I think Avery’s faster than Gomez”

    That is _pure comedy_. Scott Gomez is absolutely one of the +fastest+ skaters in the league. He’s probably the best skater you’ve ever seen whether you know it or not. Simply incredible really to watch him fly the puck effortlessly through the neutral zone one handed. Goddamn, I love watching him skate.

  70. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    That’s funny, because Gomez wasn’t asked to do the “fastest skater” competition at the NHL All-star weekend. Hmmm.
    Gomez is amazingly fast on the puck. I just don’t readily remember a play where Gomez back-checked and caught a player (like Straka does) or got to a loss puck in the offensive zone (like Avery does). Perhaps it’s that reference point that makes my comparison different from what you guys see.

    Being a “good skater” and a fast skater aren’t always synonymous either…e.g. Cheechoo.

    And, btw, my original point was the Shanahan’s slow – Avery’s not slow.

  71. LOHAN: My worst nightmare would be seeing Messier and Graves behind the Rangers’ bench!

  72. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    “*Scott Gomez is absolutely one of the fastest skaters in the league.*” …Salty

    Haha. Well, he’s not in the top 6, according to the coaches and people who arranged the Skills competetion this past year.

  73. I’m not big on signing other teams free agents, because honestly 1 CUP in 68 years, how well has it worked for us. But Redden would be my main target this summer.

    If I was Sather, just keep building for the future and wait to see what comes available during the season.

    Jagr, Shanahan, Mara, Vallie, Avery, Rosie

    LET GO
    Straka, Malik,

  74. True Fans Bleed RW&B on


    I like what you wrote, the only I might change would be,
    Jagr (pending a short 1-2 year deal, less than $6mil), Mara, Avery

    ROZSIVAL! Shanahan! Malik! (Straka, maybe, depending on how much and how many other players need to be replaced)

    Otherwise, it’s a good idea. =-)

  75. If the Rangers signed Redden and paired him with Staal; then you have Toots and Girardi, then you could pair Rosie with Sanguinetti, with Mara as a spare.

  76. redden was not good that good for ottowa this year, i look at him as a little better than rozsival but do you want to pay that kind of player 6 million a year for 4-5 years? doesnt address our toughness. and i don’t mean to offend anyone but how could anyone want shanny back on this team as a player, he can’t skate and renney would always have him out there on the pp and on the top lines if it was a close game.

  77. Man, I really thought Rangers fans were the most knowledgeable fans all this nonsense of signing and Hossa is just dumb. We might be the softest team in the nhl right now and u wantto add more midgets and guys who wet themselves when the get hit. We need SIZE. Malone, Orpik and Vandermeer all big and all skilled.

  78. maybe Avery having a near death situation helped him realize to take the pay cut

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