Is it better to be loved or rich?

109

I’ve long contended that if the issue is only about money for Jaromir Jagr, he will be playing in Omsk next year, and sure enough, here comes a report that says the Russian team “has offered the right wing a three-year deal worth $35 million”:http://www.nypost.com/seven/06272008/sports/rangers/jagr_gets_35_mil_offer_117409.htm — or about two years and close to $30 million more than the Rangers are willing to commit to the same player.

If nothing else, this would be the easiest out for the Rangers if they have any doubts about Jagr because if these numbers are true, they can’t even come close to matching it. But if it really is their hope to retain their captain’s services for another year, then they’re probably going to have to appeal to Jagr’s ego.

I don’t know what that means exactly. A bouquet of roses. A serenade of some sort. Maybe “a promise to sign Mats Sundin”:http://www.nypost.com/seven/06272008/sports/rangers/jagr_gets_35_mil_offer_117409.htm. The point is if the guy’s going to turn his back on some serious coin, it’s not because you’ve seemed indifferent about his return.

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As for Martin Straka, if the left wing really is headed for the Czech League, I contend he’ll go down as one of the most underappreciated NHL players of the last 15 years.

Straka was never quite an upper echelon forward — he made the All-Star team once, although he should have been the Rangers’ representative in 2006-07 — but he was a tireless presence on every shift, and often capable of being the most dangerous player on the ice.

That, along with being a class act, which will make him harder to replace than you think.

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109 Comments

  1. SeamusORiley on

    Straka had a reputation as a family man and a good guy. Perhaps that was the main motivation for his move.
    I wish him well. He will not be easily replaced, though age may be catching up to him.

    I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall and heard this man’s opinion of Avery in the lockerroom.

  2. GTFO Jagr!

    Straka will be missed. When all is said and done, of the lats 3 seasons, when I think of some of the most exciting moments and sweetest goals, Straka usually was involved.

    -Go ahead replay goal in game 5 Buffalo (ALA Tikkanen ’97)
    -That goal where he rushed the puck with a few seconds left, dished off a pass and disappears only to reappear at the left side of the goal to bury a pass.
    -burying dubinskys pass vs devs
    -several breakaways

  3. Definitely let Avery walk too, if keeping him, nothing more than 2 years… it’s so evident that he’s becoming a problem… only superstars should be the focus of so much attention…screw this guy.

  4. Straka was also the hardest working forward the Rangers have had in 2 years and maybe the hardest working in 3 (although Jed Ortmeyer makes a strong case for that title). I’m not sure Straka would talk any B.S. about Avery, doesn’t seem like that kind of person. I barely saw him complain about a play (the main memory being Crosby’s dive in the playoffs, a well-timed argument on his part).

    Speaking of All-star games, when do you think Hank finally sees one (not counting that “young-stars” crap)?

  5. “only superstars should be the focus of so much attention”

    Agreed, and slats’s “detriment” statement becomes more and more true every day.

    “Straka was also the hardest working forward the Rangers have had in 2 years and maybe the hardest working in 3 (although Jed Ortmeyer makes a strong case for that title).”

    I’d throw bettsy & dubi in there too. Of course dubi was only around this past year. There’s others on their heels, and that’s a great sign of a team headed in the right direction. It also makes ’99-’04 more and more of a joke.

  6. Salty Seasons, that Straka goal in OT was awesome and it was against the penguins!! He takes the puck back from the red-line towards the blue, loses it to Malkin, steals it back from Malkin, then dangles through Malkin’s legs (my friends swear it was a mistake that worked out), dishes to someone who gives back to Rozy and then that sweet one-time re-direction with Straka lurking on Fleury’s right side. Awesome, CLUTCH, goal. I remember it well.

  7. I’d throw bettsy & dubi in there too.
    ……..
    I’ll completely agree with Betts but I’ve seen Dubi lax on many defensive coverages. He seemed to be learning from Jagr’s poor example at times.

    …….
    ““only superstars should be the focus of so much attention”

    Agreed, and slats’s “detriment” statement becomes more and more true every day.”
    …….

    Have you guys read something knew about Avery? I didn’t realize he was putting himself *further* into the spotlight when it came to his contract and the NHL/Rangers?

  8. “Da’Svedanjia” is ‘see you later’ in Russian.

    But, anyone with experience please chime in, I’m wondering how do you say:
    “THANKS FOR 3.5 YEARS, SERIOUSLY. BUT NOW IT’S TIME FOR US TO MOVE ON SO GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!”

    Anybody…?

  9. True – 10000% agreed on bad examples from Jags. Another DETRIMENT.

    “Have you guys read something knew about Avery? I didn’t realize he was putting himself further into the spotlight when it came to his contract and the NHL/Rangers?”

    He’s like mold. Until you get rid of it, it won’t get better.

  10. RWB, thats the goal… that was a HUGE highlight.

    As far as Avery goes, I don’t think it matters if he’s putting himself in the spotlight or not at this point. He’s _there_ ,and he is a proven distraction. We’ve heard SO much lately about all his vogue stuff, I don’t imagine he’s getting it out of his system, I imagine he’s getting more of a taste of the attention he can get off the ice. The bottom line is the guy thinks he’s a superstar hockey player worth $4M to a NYC hockey team, and he’s not, and he’s apparently willing to accept offers…. let him.

  11. “Uh-oh. I don’t have a good feeling about this from our end. There was a time (before his huge onctract) that I wanted him after Leetch said: “He’s the best defenseman I ever played with”.”

    It’s ok, he’s refusing to leave and if they tell him not to come to camp, he’s taking legal action. That could change, but if they pay him 6 mil this year and 4.5 mil the next two years to sit in the press box, I don’t think we’ll be complaining. haha. Also its kind of funny that the last time he was really good on both sides of the puck was when he played with Leetch. I actually think he wouldn’t be that bad here since his wife wants to be here (due to her family) and maybe a change of face is something he needs. He’s played in NY before and after playing in Toronto, he could handle the pressure since the hockey media here is nothing compared to up there.

  12. Could be a few character issues here but…….

    In Russian:

    СПАСИБО НА 3.5 ЛЕТ, СЕРЬЕЗНО. НО ТЕПЕРЬ ДАВНО ПОРА ДЛЯ США, КОТОР НУЖНО ДВИНУТЬ ДАЛЬШЕ ТАК ВЫХОДИТ ЗДЕСЬ

    In Czech:

    BÝT ZAVÁZÁN DO 3.5 Dlouhá doba , Vážně. ABY NE TEĎ IT’S ČAS DO US AŽ K Hnout z místa ASI TOLIK Dostat košem PEKLO Bez ZDE

  13. McCabe would be $5.5m on the cap – if he’s paired with a reliable D-man he could be a valuable addition…

  14. McCabe sucks.

    I appreciate Straka’s work ethic. He really was a trooper. He just wasn’t the same since the ‘not-so-sure-how-minor’ concussion.

    Great PKer, classy guy. God speed!

  15. You’d have to think that a change of scenery would only help this guy at this point.

    And yes Johnny, if he filed a greivance vs the Leafs, he’d win and play.

  16. OK…I speak Russian and I have no idea what all that crap that UKRanger is supposed to mean. What it actually means is:

    “Thanks on 3.5 years, seriously. But now if’s been a while for USA “KOTOR” has to move further like getting out here.”

    Yeah, kinda non-sensical.

    I am so tired of reading all this shit about people just hating on anyone and everyone. “Dump Rosy! Jagr GTFO! Betts sucks.” Are all of you mad? Are we forgetting that there are 30 teams in the NHL and we were one of the few to make it past the first round of the playoffs.

    The only excuse for us all to be this hateful would be if we were Islander fans. Now stop it all of you babies!!!

  17. Dr. Ogrodnick on

    The Rangers should have nothing to do with anything coming out of Toronto.

    Look at it this way, one of the worst teams in the league is trying to get rid of Mccabe in the worst way. That should tell you something.

  18. I could be wrong but didn’t the transfer agreement between the NHL and the international leagues expire and didn’t they decide to honor a gentlemans agreement where they wouldnt poach players under contract will they worked on a new agreement. It could be semantics but Jagr/Straka are still under contract until July 1st.

    I find the Straka love in this morning interesting. The majority of posters on this board have all been for not resigning any of the Czech free agents. Straka is a good player, I think we should have resigned him to play on the third line and penalty kill, albeit at less than the $3.3mn he got last year.

    Sean Avery is not a nice guy, he’s kind of a dick. Without a doubt. But so is Glen Sather. I’ve never heard anyone other than Sather call him a detriment to the team. I don’t recall any of the players saying anything either, Jagr/Shanahan said something like he talks constantly and I think Vali said something about the Marty incident but that was really it. It doesn’t sound to me like he’s a huge problem in the locker room.

    At the end of the day all that matters is what the guy did on the ice. In my opinion Avery performed in his time here. Hockey is business, the Rangers have had plenty of time to get him resigned and I don’t begrudge anyone for wanting more money. I don’t care if he treats hockey like a job and has other interests, he performed on the ice and he doesnt’ owe NY anything.

    I truthfully think Avery digs NY and would probably stay for a little less money than what others offer (couple hundo). I can’t blame the guy for not wanting to accept a low ball offer at the same time his character is getting slammed in the press by management. Everyone has their pride.

  19. Funny how the same people calling for Jagr’s head want ANOTHER CENTER who will demand Jagr $.

    Is Drury going to center the 3rd or 4th line if the Rangers get Sundin? Oh wait Drury can just play a wing (sarcasm)! He’s one of the best defensive centers in the league; why mess that up?

  20. Doodie Machetto on

    Here’s a link to the Straka goal. I think that’s my favorite Ranger goal since the lockout.

    rangers.nhl.tv/team/console?hlg=20062007,2,339&event=PIT1221143

  21. noonan – all I can say is that most of the people that want sundin, want jagr to return to play with him. Which seems to be the standpoint of the team too.

    jjp – Straka doesn’t seem to have the desire to play in the NHL, why sign him if his heart isn’t really there? Same exact thing goes for Jags. I really don’t want to fill out a roster that isn’t 100% dedicated. It doesn’t seem to fit in with how the franchise is trying to identify itself.

    That said, as I’ve already stated upon the initial report. He WAS all heart while he was here, a terrific player, and a great role model. All good things come to an end. I’d rather see him finish at a ‘higher’ level than to fade away.

  22. Noonan, I didn’t read any of that. Where was that, comments to let go of Jagr and re-sign Sundin because I havnt noticed anyone say both of those. On that note, Schneider and McCabe are past their prime – let them go. Bank on Sanguinetti or MDZ getting a spot in the near future (1-3 years) and use Pock or someone else in the meantime, not a veteran with an ego and an out-stretched hand looking for a freebie.

    JJP, I think the gentlemen’s agreement was F’d once Malkin signed a deal with the RSL at 2am in the monrning and the next time he was spotted was at the Kings training facility practicing with Gonchar, A WEEK LATER!

    Mike D, if you think this is “bashing” you missed the jollies of the Drury convo! It’s all good criticism from people who want the team to improve and succeed.

    Doodie, props for the link. Inspiring goal (against Penguins, no less).

  23. Doodie Machetto on

    I love Straka, but it’s time for the team to move on. The only situation I’d take him in is only to play on the 4th line and kill penalties, and getting paid 1 million or less. Since I don’t see this as possible, it’s time to say goodbye Marty, and thanks for the memories.

  24. I don’t recall any of the players saying anything either, Jagr/Shanahan said something like he talks constantly and I think Vali said something about the Marty incident but that was really it. It doesn’t sound to me like he’s a huge problem in the locker room.

    ……..

    Please find me one reference from anytime since the 80’s where one Ranger has openly disrespected a teammate? They just don’t do it, they are on PR lockdown. Aaron Ward had words +on the bench+ about Jagr and he was a Bruin by Sunday. Just because you don’t hear it, doesn’t mean it’s not there. If you’d read between the lines, you’d get the impression that Avery is already _starting_ to clash with teammates. The guy is a rabble rouser in every sense of the word… I’ll actually go to bat for Drury right now and say that Drury does not need the headache of taking on the role of trying to “reel in” Avery everytime he gets selfish.

    I like Avery and think he brings A LOT to the team, but I don’t think he’s as important as the media would have you believe…

  25. Dawes, cally, avery, straka & prucha are all midgets. I just want some g-damn size up front! We pretty much can all agree that there were times last season that we may have been pushed around physically, and had to rely on a guy like avery or Orr to fight someone after having their head taken off. Both of whom spent time on the IR, and it showed. If we had some wingers that could brush off a hit or add a dman that could do some damage to the opposing fwds, it’d be a different story in NY.

    I don’t want a bunch of goons. But Perry, Malone, Byfuglien, hell even Sjostrom has a little size…and can all play the game in addition to being young. None are superstars or are paid like one, and are upgrades to most of our current wings, or perfect to fill empty spots.

    Adding a few guys in the $4-6mil range would be wise.

    Slats is old-skool though, and I don’t think he’d try to sign any RFA’s. We seem to have established a decent base of youth in the organization, I think a few draft picks are expendable. NO? Am I way off here or what?

  26. Doodie Machetto on

    The gentlemen’s agreement doesn’t apply to Russia, as they were not under the previous IIHF transfer agreement.

    And I wouldn’t call it poaching either. It’s the same kind of stuff that NHL teams do all the time, except they publish their offers in their papers, and NHL teams don’t. I mean, you really think that the Rangers managed to negotiate an entire contract with both Gomez AND Drury in less than a day? Of course not. They were made the offers ahead of time, but the signings weren’t “official” until July 1.

    What I would call poaching is having a player under an NHL contract, and then signing him away while still under the contract. Like, if this was March instead of June, then I’d call it poaching.

  27. And if Avery were a few inches taller, he would earn the extra dough just for that alone. He may play bigger than his size, but at the end of the day, the bigger player will normally sustain the beating a little better….and finish 82 games (plus playoffs).

    Think avery minus the weight of his spleen would be any faster on the ice? I kid, I kid.

  28. A lot of people in Montreal were complaining about Samsonov being a waste of money that they couldn’t get rid of. The he kinda bounced around (He was solid in Edmonton two years ago), but found a new place in Carolina and with the change of scenery did great this past season. I’m not saying I want McCabe, but I think when hes paired with the right guy at his cap hit, he won’t be that bad. McCabe was one of many problems in TO, not the only one. He’s better than he’s shown in TO.

  29. Nice post on Straka Sam, class act indeed. Turning down 35 million will be vey hard, I don’t know. I want Jags to return for another year so it’s pretty depressing news.

  30. Doodie Machetto on

    ” We seem to have established a decent base of youth in the organization, I think a few draft picks are expendable. NO? Am I way off here or what?”

    We do have a decent base, but more importantly, we are probably going to make the plyoffs every year, barring some injury to Hank, meaning that our first round pick won’t be worth as much as an established star. I mean, I’d trade all seven of our picks in next year’s draft for Perry, and we could potentially have him for only the first 3.

    Pair Perry with Dubinsky. Dubinsky plays a similar game to Getzlaf, which will help Perry have chemistry, plus help Dubinsky improve in his role, as Getzlaf improved with Perry. Stick Dawes on the left for some passing ability and you’ve got a really good line in my opinion.

  31. SeamusORiley on

    I would want Avery for no more than 2 years and no huge salary. It seems that most here agree. Question to all:

    what do you make of our win loss record with Avery in the line up?
    50-20-10

    I think that is the one stat that is hardest to understand, especially in light of “detriment” statement from Slats.

    opinions?

  32. “jjp – Straka doesn’t seem to have the desire to play in the NHL, why sign him if his heart isn’t really there? Same exact thing goes for Jags. I really don’t want to fill out a roster that isn’t 100% dedicated. It doesn’t seem to fit in with how the franchise is trying to identify itself.”

    I don’t think its his heart. This guy gave it his all for us every game over the past 3 seasons. Just hes a small guy who has taken a beating for 15 years or so in the NHL and maybe he feels its time for him to move to a less physical league that is closer to his family. I really think the hand injury he suffered killed his stickhandling/shooting because he hasn’t been the same offensive threat since that happened and I notice he loses pucks on simple stickhandles that he used to be able to do with ease (See Florida goal last year).

  33. “Dawes, cally, avery, straka & prucha are all midgets’

    You don’t care for the lollipop guild then Comrade Beer??

  34. I thought all this BS about Sundin was just a “smokescreen” but it still won’t go away (especially if you read and give any credibility to Brooks). To me this would be the worst mistake in years. I just don’t get it!

    Can someone please try to explain to me what the hell Slats has in mind here! I haven’t heard one decent arguement FOR signing this guy.

    What the hell is going on?!!!

  35. johnny – 100% about the change of scenery, and nice example. On straka…I didn’t mean to imply his heart towards playing for the Rangers. Moreso, his heart is more with his (young)family, and wanting the best for them. He seems to want to bring the fam back to the czech rep. At least to me anyway is seems like that’s what he wants. But he hasn’t phoned in a while! haha

    Doodie – 1,000,000% dude. Just don’t think slats has it in him.

  36. Riche…Maybe Sather thinks with Sundin, Jagr, and a defenseman or 2 that he has a potential Stanley Cup team on his hands.

  37. haha kaspar – actually just the opposite! I find midgets HIGHLY entertaining. But I don’t think any of them are taller than the Stanley Cup. Making it extremely difficult to lift it! LOL

    no offense to midgets, I know a few, and they all seem to be cool with the jokes.

  38. “what do you make of our win loss record with Avery in the line up?
    50-20-10

    I think that is the one stat that is hardest to understand, especially in light of “detriment” statement from Slats.”

    Our record with Malik in the lineup is pretty damn good as well. In Avery’s case, we NEEDED him because we had old guys that didn’t hit or do anything and the young guys weren’t really playing a huge role. I think we saw with the emergence of Callahan as a solid 3rd liner and Dubi as a #2 or #3 center that these guys play hard and with grit. They’ll crash the net, drop the gloves, check everything that moves. I remember one game late in the season where Cally and Dawes each threw like 5 straight hits. Combo that with the Pack guys like Byers and Moore and crew and all those guys are big and can hit hard.

    The only thing we miss out on is Avery’s pest factor, which to be honest helps us get into the playoffs but as shown in the 2nd round the past two years, doesn’t get us anywhere when it counts. He HELPED us, I’m not sure how much more he’ll help us in the future though, especially without Shanny to sheriff him. Plus its a guy that openly states that he doesn’t hangout with teammates or check out anything about sports/hockey. Not saying its bad or good but I would like to think that you’d have to hangout with your teammates at least a little bit.

  39. Doodie Machetto on

    “what do you make of our win loss record with Avery in the line up?
    50-20-10″

    Malik had similar numbers too. Should we sign him up again too?

  40. Doodie Machetto on

    I’m willing to bet our record with Mara is very similar as well. Someone figure it out. And figure out what it is without him too.

  41. Our record with Henke is really good. haha. That stat is easily the most overrated stat that I’ve heard. Its the same with Drury being a “natural born winner”. He won, yes thats true, but he wasn’t the only one. It takes a TEAM effort to win. I will admit that some guys are more clutch than others and show up in key moments while others fold. We haven’t seen enough of Avery to know if thats true. But our record with him compared to our record without him I think has a lot more to do with the team itself and how its structed than Avery. I mean it doesn’t take into account that when hes out of the lineup, we had to plug that hole and bounce lines around and stuff. There are so many factors that go into it that I just think the stat is stupid.

  42. “I mean, you really think that the Rangers managed to negotiate an entire contract with both Gomez AND Drury in less than a day? Of course not. They were made the offers ahead of time, but the signings weren’t “official” until July 1. ”

    —–

    Actually, yes I do. Talking to a player prior to his contract being up is tampering. Notice all the stuff about Sundin, who does/doesn’t have permission to talk to him. Pretty much standard in all professional sports (NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL).

    That said, I’m not naive enough to think the Rangers didn’t say to Drury or Gomez’s agent a day or two before the deadline “hey, you’ll be hearing from us and be by your fax machine at 12:01AM on the deadline.”

    Interestingly, just looking at the old Drury press release and I don’t think I ever picked up on the fact that he has a No Trade clause.

  43. Mats Sundin & Darcy Tucker?? God help the Rangers. Let’s get a new Jagr and Avery with the same problems, but even older!! Okay, great idea…

    Crap.

  44. Doodie…

    Not official BUT with Mara in the line-up, the Rangers have been 43-24-14, not dressed they’ve been 15-8-3.

  45. Im sure Jagr could get a comparable or better deal in Russia next year after he hits for 90 points this year.

  46. Doodie Machetto on

    So, the in the lineup record is similar. But the out of the lineup record is pretty much identical.

    What about Callahan? I bet his is similar to Avery. He came up last year while we were winning, went down this year while we were losing, and came back when we were winning.

  47. When was avery out? Did it coincide with Hank’s dad illness? Who else was out of the lineup while “moolah doolah” was out?

  48. “It’s all about the moolah doolah” – Sean Avery’s famous last words.

    I just looked real quick. And I’m purely playing the devils advocate here, and sure, it’s looking for excuses… But…

    Avery missed from 10/7 – 11/2 and we went 3-5-1, already under .500 We were trying to find combos for centers b/c the staff held onto too many prospects too long in camp(sure, not his fault). But we stumbled because of the new centerman not meshing with jags, or vice versa.

    He missed 11/26 – 12/22 and we went 4-5-2. again, under .500 I believe this was the start of Hanks dad’s problems and also the beginning of the Malik falling out. But I could be off on the timing.

    I’m just trying to paint a different picture. There’s lots of reasons/excuses that could probably be found. I’m just not as interested as I thought. But the only thing avery has going for him is THAT STAT. Show me 1 more reason that he’s worth (appx) $3.5-4m over 3-4 yrs.

  49. SeamusORiley on

    interesting replies regarding Avery and that number….I have not thought of it in that scenario…

    Well, I will be happy, as many as you know, if we resign Malikenstein.

  50. But, anyone with experience please chime in, I’m wondering how do you say:
    “THANKS FOR 3.5 YEARS, SERIOUSLY. BUT NOW IT’S TIME FOR US TO MOVE ON SO GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!”

    this is how u say that in russian…

    “spasibo za 3.5 goda, ser’ezno. no prishlo vremya dlya peremen, tak chto poshel ty k chertu”…. word for word lol

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