New poll alert!

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We have a new poll below and to the right about what Glen Sather’s top priorities should be this summer. Feel free to vote early and often.

As you can probably tell, I’m a little lax on updating the polls. For instance, the last poll asked you to assess the coaching job done by Ron Low.

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67 Comments

  1. Get rid of Pearn and find someone to fix our PP….we would have had a much better year if the PP had worked

  2. There are plenty of holes to fill, but none will matter until the blue line is solidified. It’s not an easy chore, but it has to be addressed.

  3. The Powerplay. Whether that is from a top six forward, a defenseman, or assistant coach, we have to get our powerplay in order.

  4. Avery, Avery and Avery. Look at the stats when he plays. Slats and Sean are foolish if they don’t meet in the middle.

  5. Look at the stats when Malik plays. Thats an awful argument. We need a d-man. That was our downfall in the end and its not like we can go out there next year with these guys and expect to compete. Avery and Jagr would be nice to have, but if we don’t have the defense that can help out offensively as well as (and most importantly) put fear in the eyes of guys crossing the blueline, then we aren’t getting anywhere with those two.

  6. My priorities in order would be:
    #1 D-man, Jagr, Avery then see what’s left in the pot and keep Roszival and maybe Mara and Shanny. We need a minute-munching hard-hitter D who’s going to make forwards think twice when they go to the net or occupy the crease on their PP.

    I wouldn’t play Roszival on the PP and I would play Shanny as a 3rd or 4th liner and special teams guy (12-14 mins a game).
    Lots of other questions this summer too: Vallycat(UFA), Sjostrom, Dawes, Moore & Parenteau (RFA), Backman(waive?), Korpikoski and Pock (NHL-ready?)…

  7. Let Jagr go already!!!! Who wants a guy that only shows up in the playoffs???? Lets start the new dru/gomez era. I love jagr in the playoffs but I couldn’t stand him all season.

  8. Just because you do one, you can’t do the other. But Avery is to the top priority, as I see it.

  9. I only want Avery back at a reasonable price, not the 4 million he wants. I mean on any other team…or at least a good team, he’d be playing 3rd line minutes. Its not because he’s not skilled since he clearly has it, its just the fact that hes not a top 6 forward. I don’t see a guy that is not a top 6 forward being a top priority when our defense was as bad as it was.

  10. If Jagr is back he will keep the C. But I think Gomez was the best Ranger by leaps and bounds this year. He deserves the C should Jagr not come back. He was our best player, he is vocal, always does interviews even with that goofy grin and all, he deserves it. The guy completely won me over this year.

  11. I’m with you Joe L….Jagr plays when he feels like playin’.
    Lets move forward with the Gomez/ Drury era.

    Got to sign Avery

  12. Yeah but you can’t just take it away from Jagr. Thats pretty much just a slap in the face to the guy who carried our team in the last quarter of the season and most of the last 3 years. You have to credit Jagr for not wanting it right away and feeling the need to earn it in the first full season he was here. When Jagr is out of NY, it should definately go to Gomez though as I think Drury is best suited for the A since he’s a lead by example type of guy. Or maybe we can do what the Sabres did and just alternate the two…which I doubt will happen here in NY.

  13. “Yeah but you can’t just take it away from Jagr. Thats pretty much just a slap in the face to the guy who carried our team…”

    Jagr slapped NY in the face for the whole season until he felt like playing big boy hockey.

    “Or maybe we can do what the Sabres did and just alternate the two…which I doubt will happen here in NY.”

    That would probably be the weakest thing ever. And it still makes me curious how Drury was “so loved” in Buffalo, yet they still couldn’t commit to making him THE Captain, and made him share with that snail Briere…

  14. I’m not saying Jagr is a bad captain, I’m saying he plays a lot better when he’s not the captain. He leads by example, not by voice. Drury/Shanny/Gomez are more vocal players. Let Jagr play his game and lead by example on the scoreboard… like he’s done for 17 years!

  15. I voted for D and it seems to be the popular opinion. I also want a bruiser on D, I saw WAY too many goals scored on Hank on 2nd and 3rd shots without the shooter being touched.

  16. Yeah thats why I don’t know why people are making Avery the 1st priority. He’s not that important to our team like he was before when we had soft players on every line that didn’t hit or get anyone energized. These young guys hit and fight so his use is not like it was before. Plus we aren’t building around him.

    We NEED defense badly as it was our weakness all season and was exposed greatly in the playoffs. I still say we go with Liles for a PP QB and Orpik or Jason Smith as the bruiser D-man. Plus I think with Jagr, Straka, and Shanny out of the mix, everyone will be forced to step up and shoot on the PP. I think this year we relied too much on using them on the PP instead of just having anyone shoot.

  17. Sam (not the great Weinman) on

    Sam Weinman,

    As to Peter Abraham’s professionalism and credibility, I would like to let you know that he insisted that those people on the Yankees blog that were not happy for Red Sox (his favorite team) pitcher Jon Lester (cancer survivor) after he pitched a no-hitter were “evil” and “to expect karma to come around one day.”

  18. I think it’s so cute that everyone reads Jags talk about how he was saving “energy” and accept that he was in full control of what was happening on the ice. He was getting his ass kicked day in and day out and, yes, he had a better last quarter, but I’ll be damned if it was all by choice…

  19. The first has to be Jagr, but not re-signing as much as closure! The Rangers need to know if he will be on the team or not, and if so at what cost. This needs to be completed before anything else can happen.

  20. Not reading all the comments sorry! Hi guys I have been gone for awhile
    My priorties would be
    1. Sign Jagr
    2. Dump Pearn
    3. Hard hitting d-man
    4. Sign Avery- (Avery slips so far down because I don’t know if that injury could effect his hockey future. Is that the kind of injury that makes re-injury more likely? If it is he is a liability? You know what I mean . . do you have to worry everytime he takes a punishing hit cause with Avery that is every other shift)

  21. At the start of the year I though drury would be the next Captain but actually Gomez has won me over too. Especially coming back with the rib injury. I could see him being Captain while some home grown younger player gets a few more years to grow (ehem Dubi)

  22. SeamusORiley on

    I believe we need to let Jagr go. He is a world class talent, but at this stage in his career, we cannot keep him happy with all the soft Czechs he wants AND
    it inhibits the growth of Gomez as Captain and Drury as co-captain.

    We have some excellent tools. Jagr NEEDS to be the man, or we have a very unhappy Jagr; which, if you ask Lundqvst, Washington, or Pittsburg, is not a good Jags. When and if he returns, he will be soundly cheered (we are not pittsburg) for breaking a decade long abscence from the post season.

    We need tough d-men.

    bye bye Straka, Jagr, Malki, Rosiv, Christianson (was he awful or what?).

    I am on the fence about Dan Girardi. He has been a great story but disappeared in the playoffs and even let Cindy punch him. I would package him (he is attractive because of salary) with someone else to get a stronger d-man. Keeping him would not upset me, though.

    Sign Avery, but not oversign. He is injury prone because of his size and the way he plays. Look for a puck moving d-man.

    I would give Mara another shot.

  23. I could definitely see Dubi or Staal being the captain some years down the road. Dubi is definitely more outspoken.

  24. Yeah Nasty I see Dubi as definite Captain material and Callahan (if he stays) and Staal could be a nice home grown leadership.

    Anyone talking about the upcoming draft? Would you draft the fourth Staal brother? I don’t know where he ranks or what is out there?

  25. I think it’s so cute that everyone reads Jags talk about how he was saving “energy” and accept that he was in full control of what was happening on the ice. He was getting his ass kicked day in and day out and, yes, he had a better last quarter, but I’ll be damned if it was all by choice…

    ………..

    CHRIS F., Don’t you see? *Both* sides of that card say the same thing: This guy can’t be your #1 going into the 08-09 season.

    I’d be fine packing Girardi up if it meant pulling in the right guy. I like Girardi, but someone was right in pointing out the longer he is here, the more his flaws are showing up in the wash, and the reasons he wasn’t drafted are appearing. This might “fan fave” we could move before his value drops ALA Prucha…. never happen though. A few good games in NYR equates to at least a season and a half of time to “rededdm yourself” and completely lose value. Malik, Hossa, etc…

  26. Who is Christianson? You mean Backman? He’s really not that bad. I don’t get why people are on his case when they don’t see what goes on away from the puck. I’m not gonna say he’s amazing, but as a #5 or 6 who could help out on the PP, I see nothing wrong with keeping him. Plus we have to keep him or cut him, in which we eat what he’s worth for this year. We could try to trade him but I don’t think we’ll find anything. At least give Backs a chance to prove himself in more than a couple of weeks at the end of the year.

  27. I remember hearing that the youngest Stall might be the best out of all of them. If that is so, why haven’t we heard much about him?

  28. Backman is scared to take a hit. The Blue’s fans were not lying when they said that he turns over so many pucks in his own zone, especially behind his own net. There have been countless times that this has happened since he got here. I know Hank likes having some fellow countrymen here, but I am sure he doesn’t like that shit. I could care less if we waive him or trade him or never see him again.

  29. behind his own net I have a problem with. Holding the puck too long and giving away as he moves up ice is a product of the forwards not dropping back. I’m just saying if we cut him, its 2.4 against our cap I think. We send him to Hartford then we pray someone picks him up immediately or we end up in a Thomas pock situation if we need him for some reason.

  30. I think our D as a whole was too soft… How many times did you see the other team’s forwards skate right into our zone, with the D-men skating backwards and giving them space the whole way?

    We need a couple guys who’ll stand up their man getting into the zone. I think Staal did it some, he’s still learning and filling out, so he’ll become better at it. As much as Tyutin screwed up, he was one of our few D-men who would hit somebody who came in (sometimes). Struds would hit, but he was slow and not used as much.

  31. I disagree with the majority on the poll. I know defense is in big need of an upgrade but signing Jagr or a first line RW to replace Jagr is my number one priority. Without a consistent goal scoring threat this team is really going to struggle next season. I think the choice is re-sign Jagr or pursue Marian Hossa. One or the other has to be the first priority this offseason.

  32. Not Hossa. Jagr is a superstar, a difference maker. Hossa is a star, a guy that needs others around his to make him better. We dont have guys that can do that. Maybe Gomez but even so with him, hes not a guy that can go into the corners and hold the puck in the way that Jagr did. Hossa with Jagr would be good because Hossa could feed off of what he’s doing but thats too much money to waste there.

  33. For the talk on who the new captain should be.. How about Avery? I think that would be a GREAT “F YOU” to the league in general… If nothing else, it would generate lots of laughs and talk.

  34. Without a consistent goal scoring threat this team is really going to struggle next season.

    ………

    It seems like you’re implying we had one this season…

    ………..

    Not Hossa. Jagr is a superstar, a difference maker. Hossa is a star, a guy that needs others around his to make him better. We dont have guys that can do that. Maybe Gomez but even so with him, hes not a guy that can go into the corners and hold the puck in the way that Jagr did. Hossa with Jagr would be good because Hossa could feed off of what he’s doing but thats too much money to waste there.

    …….

    Sorry dude, Jagr is simply no longer a Superstar. Not even close really. Hossa next to Gomez would be pretty ridiculous. Look no further than the AllStar game for a peek of what could come if those guys had a chance to develop together. The more I see Hossa having a strong playoffs, the more I’d be okay with having him. You say “Hossa needs good players around him to make him better” as if thats some freakish flaw. Hockey is a team sport. NYR has MAJOR MAJOR talent in Gomez that will be completely wasted (again), if we don’t put him with another player who is talented too. You could look and wait forever for another player that can/tries to do it all on his own… or you can do a little math and figure out some chemistry to develop something with a sum that is actually greater than its parts.

    Hossa (2) + Gomez (2) = 5.

    Gomez (2) + Drury (2) + Jagr (3) + Shanny (1) = 1

    Hossa would work in NY. The thing is we already have wasted $7M a year to have Chris Drury play defense.

  35. Haha thats funny. Avery as a captain. That definately shouldn’t happen, but as a joke its funny.

  36. “Sorry dude, Jagr is simply no longer a Superstar. Not even close really. Hossa next to Gomez would be pretty ridiculous. Look no further than the AllStar game for a peek of what could come if those guys had a chance to develop together. The more I see Hossa having a strong playoffs, the more I’d be okay with having him. You say “Hossa needs good players around him to make him better” as if thats some freakish flaw. Hockey is a team sport. NYR has MAJOR MAJOR talent in Gomez that will be completely wasted (again), if we don’t put him with another player who is talented too. You could look and wait forever for another player that can/tries to do it all on his own… or you can do a little math and figure out some chemistry to develop something with a sum that is actually greater than its parts.

    Hossa (2) + Gomez (2) = 5.

    Gomez (2) + Drury (2) + Jagr (3) + Shanny (1) = 1

    Hossa would work in NY. The thing is we already have wasted $7M a year to have Chris Drury play defense.”

    Jagr might not be the player he once was, but hes still considered a superstar. He can still singlehandedly take over a game when he wants to as he proved in the playoffs. Thats what I mean. In his prime he was clearly so much better. I’m not even saying I want Jagr back because I don’t. I’m just saying that Hossa isn’t that type of guy. Hes not a guy that can carry the team on his back. His success and the teams success relies on other guys that can carry that weight and I don’t think we have a guy on the team that can. I love Gomez, but can he really carry our team if we need him to? I don’t think so. And just to clear things up, by carry the team I don’t mean do everything by himself, I mean stepping up in key situations that help lead the team to victory.

  37. And btw, with Jagr gone we have like 12 mil+ to spend on a couple of positions. That depends on how much we spend on the RFA’s but it shouldn’t be all that much different. We can sign only one d-man at that point so we’d have to pick between a PP QB or a hitter. Not a good position to be in.

  38. Jagr might not be the player he once was, but hes still considered a superstar.

    ………

    Jagr’s not really considered a super star by anyone besides the media. The man cannot turn the game around on his own, without “another player to make him better”, in this case, Nylander. Do the math. Jagr is just as “guilty” as Hossa in that department, Jagr apparently needs to be fed as well. Real “game changers” are so rare, and the fact of the matter is that Jagr has not been a “game changer” or “carried the team” in 2 seasons. I don’t know why people expect that he would suddenly do that in the coming season, especially when the writing is ALL OVER the wall that the guy has been questioning his future for quite some time now.

    I wish people could see that there is NO cup in the forseeable future and could let go of the fascination of getting into the first round of the playoffs and hoping for a miracle. I hate this fuckin’ organization with a red hot passion. There, I said it.

  39. Sam (not the great Weinman) on

    Peter Abraham of Yankees Lohud is as unprofessional as it gets.

    “So now Hawkins will join Melky Cabrera, Shelley Duncan and Kyle Farnsworth as players who have been suspended this season. Well, at least the Yankees lead the league in something.”

    No unbiased nonfan journalist would make the above statement unless he was a clear Yankee hater/Red Sox fan. Thanks Sam Weinman for agreeing with me in your earlier post.

  40. OK so I went to nhlnumbers.com and based on their info, as of now this is where we stand w/o signings for both UFA’s and RFA’s currently on our roster including some AHL guys that played a few games or were listed on our roster at some point during the year. NOTE: this doesn’t include bonuses so this might be a bit off since I don’t know who, if anyone, had their bonuses triggered.

    Cap Hit – 34.55 mil
    Cap Room (if cap really does move up to 56) – 21.45 mil
    Signed players – 15

    Position Overview:
    LW – Dane Byers, Ryan Hollweg (also C)
    C – Scott Gomez, Chris Drury, Brandon Dubinsky, Blair Betts,
    RW – Petr Prucha (also C), Colton Orr, Ryan Callahan

    D – Fedor Tyutin, Marc Staal, Daniel Girardi, Christian Backman, Thomas Pock

    G – Henrik Lundqvist

    RFA’s – Nigel Dawes (LW), Fredrik Sjostrom (RW), Greg Moore (RW), Pierre Parenteau (LW), Ivan Baranka (D, sent to Russia).

    UFA’s – Brendan Shanahan (LW), Jaromir Jagr (RW), Martin Straka (C, LW), Sean Avery (C, LW), Paul Mara (D), Marek Malik (D), Michal Rozsival (D), Jason Strudwick (D), Darius Kasparaitis (D, sent to Russia), Andrew Hutchinson (D), Stephen Valiquette (G).

    Now with about 21.5 mil to spend, we have to resign some of those RFA’s before July 1st as well as any UFA’s we want to keep, then go into the open market after July 1st to spend money. In total we have 8 spots to fill right now. Assuming we bring back all RFA’s except Baranka since he’s gone already, that leaves 4 spots to fill (not counting if guys go to Hartford).

    Hope this helps people get a picture of what we are looking at this offseason.

  41. “I wish people could see that there is NO cup in the forseeable future and could let go of the fascination of getting into the first round of the playoffs and hoping for a miracle. I hate this fuckin’ organization with a red hot passion. There, I said it.”

    OMG WHAT A PESSIMIST!!!

    haha I know there is no cup. I also agreed with you about letting Jagr go. I’m confused as to what this has to do with my comment about bringing Hossa here. It would definately screw us up with money since as you said, we overpaid for Drury. But I don’t see how him and Gomez would immediately click. You can’t base how they would do on their performance in an All-Star game. Although that being said, they do have similar styles and are more north-south type of guys.

  42. “Peter Abraham of Yankees Lohud is as unprofessional as it gets.

    “So now Hawkins will join Melky Cabrera, Shelley Duncan and Kyle Farnsworth as players who have been suspended this season. Well, at least the Yankees lead the league in something.”

    No unbiased nonfan journalist would make the above statement unless he was a clear Yankee hater/Red Sox fan. Thanks Sam Weinman for agreeing with me in your earlier post.”

    I don’t get your point. A frustrated Yankee fan could say that.

  43. Jonny D

    I am a pessimist, but I think I have reason to be here. Nothing to do with you, sorry. I just am going to seriously lose hope if we bring Jagr back, especially for 2 years. I think I would really start following another team instead. Probably Caps.

  44. Just heard a rumor that a Russian (Dynamo?) league broke its own cap rule to pay Jagr 12 million.

  45. Rangerrotty on

    I vaguely remember Renney stating that he had the forwards playing defense more for a reason. If the Rangers had a bigger D-man, a la Beukeboom, then the forwards could focus more on offense. Lundqvist would win the Vezina if he had one or two D-men to clear the front of the net and slot.

    Ditch Jagr, Straka, Rosy, Malik, and Shanahan. Sign a fast and talented wing to play with Gomez and a big D-man that stands up at the blue line. Then bring up some youth from the AHL. Maybe that kid from Russia.

    Basically, make the defense focus on defense and the offense focus on offense.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbXcOJuWVW4

  46. salt in the eyes on

    “Salt in the City:
    Jonny D
    I am a pessimist, but I think I have reason to be here. Nothing to do with you, sorry. I just am going to seriously lose hope if we bring Jagr back, especially for 2 years. I think I would really start following another team instead. Probably Caps.”

    NOT A REAL FAN! you would be kicked out of my section of the blue seats if you ever made a comment like that louder than a whisper

  47. Goodbye Salty on

    Now I have to root for Jagr to sign for 2 more years. If that’s the price to get rid of Salty from this board I’m willing to pay that.

  48. Sam (not the great Weinman) on

    Jonny D

    No professional journalist would not make that comment. The only journalist that would is a Red Sox fan who knew he could get away with being unprofessional.

  49. It will not be as bad as it looks on paper without Jagr and Shanahan. Gomez and Drury were signed to become the NEW nucleus of the Rangers. Lets move into the new Ranger era. Let’s leave the old where they belong. On some other team!

  50. Speed Ranger on

    AVERY
    DEFENCE (note Canadian spelling)
    PP
    JAGR

    It’s 10pm, who the hell am I talking to??

  51. It’s crazy to see how high our signed players cap hit is for 2008-09 season. Gomer, Drury & Henrik account for a decent piece of that pie…and the thing that sux is that guys like Gomer & Drury were really overpaid considering that neither of the two players are real “game-breakers”….They are solid players, don’t get me wrong, but for $7MM per, we need a guy who can be counted on to score 30-40+ goals a year.

    But as Rangers fans, I guess we are content knowing that both Drury&gomer are better players than some of the drek we have seen lace up the skates for this team in the prior 10 years.

  52. The other thing that blows is looking at our Defense. Top pairing will have Staal next year….which is incredible since he is so young (and talented)…..But we dont have his partner as of yet unless they resign Rozy, which I pray they do not unless its for like $4MM per.

    The second pairing,toots & Girardi….I dunno, some nights its steak with them and most nights its Alpo…It would be nice to have a solid 2nd pairing that would push toots & girardi to the 3rd pairing.

    Ultimately, backman and struds suck….so with that being said, this team needs a D-Man first and foremost, a leader back there with experience, poise, toughness….

    I was wondering recently if their was ever a NHL team built around a sick defense…and if not , why wouldnt a team try to stack the backline with 5-6 great defenders and a solid goalie backstop….

    For example, the Baltimore Ravens or Chicago Bears in the NFL…..they both pretty much have a shit ass Offense, but the Defense carried them both big time, and it even paid off with a Ravens Super Bowl win….

    What if an NHL team tried this approach….for go the offense and just build a perfect top 6 defense / goalie….

    Obviously you cant lose many games if the other team cannot score on you and you just capitalize on the turnovers with the marginally average offense.

    Just food for thought.

  53. The main reason i am behind signing Jagr is because we cannot afford to bid for a top 6 forward and #1 D, so if we can get Jagr for a hometown discount $4-5m then that is a significant upgrade over what we can find on the free-agent market and means we only have to find a #1 D and 1st/2nd line winger from the farm or the free agent pool.

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