So long, Big Fella

69

You probably can guess some of my feelings on this. I relished covering Jaromir Jagr — because he was a thrill to watch play hockey; because he was an engaging and intriguing personality; because he’s a legend of the game, and those don’t come around every day.

But do I think the Rangers made an enormous mistake in letting him go? Actually, I don’t.

Look, I’ve said it before that I’m sure Jagr was a handful. I’m sure he was moody. I’m sure that as much as he tried to buy into the Rangers defensive system, it was more a sacrifice of circumstance (he couldn’t score) than of choice (as in, no one chooses to not score).

At some point, the Rangers sat down during their organizational meetings in La Quinta, Calif., and assessed the offseason ahead. Some members of the brain trust thought Jagr should stay. Others thought it was time to turn the page. The reasons for and against are probably pretty obvious.  For because he’s Jaromir freakin’ Jagr. Against because well, he’s Jaromir freakin’ Jagr.

Yes, Glen Sather said, all of this could have been avoided if Jagr just hit the 84 points he needed and the Rangers would have had him back again at a discounted rate. Then all of Jagr’s idiosyncrasies remain just that — amusing fodder for reporters and fans, and even his teammates. But if it’s a matter of writing a big check to a 36-year-old player coming off the worst season of his career (albeit one in which he was still a monster down the stretch), all the added factors that went with having Jagr on your team probably no longer seemed worth it.

And like I said, the Rangers at least seem to have a plan. Between Zherdev and Naslund, Drury and Gomez, and Redden and Kalinin, they are a sleeker, more mobile group that will employ an up-tempo style –  all while still trying to shut down teams on the other end. I’m sure they’ll be competitive. They might even be better.

But I can’t imagine they’ll have a player who could dominate the game the way Jagr still did at times last year, not to mention a player who was equally as entertaining in speaking his mind.

That might not be enough to justify bringing him back. But it’s still enough to know I’ll miss having him around.

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69 Comments

  1. Lots of new faces for you to learn Sam.

    I think it was time For Jagr to go. Time to turn the team over to Gomez and Drury.

    My favorite Jagr moment was him hanging up that article that said the Rangers would be the worst team in the league in 2005, and then went out and shocked everyone that year.

  2. Thanks for a lot of great memories Jags, best of luck wherever life takes you!

  3. It was time to move on. That being said, I won’t forget the positives he brought to this franchise over the last 4-5 years. He was awesome to watch and funny as hell to listen to. Wish him the best (in Russia).

  4. Tony from AZ on

    Good luck Jags,
    It’s time we all turned the page. I really think we’re going to be better – REALLY !!

  5. I wonder if the Russians will lowball him now that they aren’t competing with a deep pocket NHL team?

  6. MarkNaslund on

    Monster down the stretch? 18 points in his last 20 games made him a monster? Watch the highlight of game 1 vs. the Pens when Jagr spiraled away from Dupuis and left him alone in the slot. Watch the highlight from game 3 vs. the Pens when Jagr gave up on backchecking Hossa. Key goals against, bad timing. Say what you want about his prolific goal scoring career, his play the other way was horrific. The only way a team will win a cup with this type of player is if they have Mario Lemieux in his prime as a teammate. Goodbye JJ and good luck. You being off the roster makes us a legitimate cup contender.

  7. I hope Danny Girardi has gotten over his boy Tyutin leaving. I wonder what the d-pairs are going to look like.

  8. Jaromir Jagr…good luck where ever you may go…i hope you find a new and better home in the NHL…maybe win a few more cups before you go home…many Ranger fans will still be watching you and hoping for the best for you. You will be missed. Check back with us in 9 or 10 months to see how much this team really did need you.
    Best of luck and God Bless, where ever you go.

  9. Jonathan Probber on

    I’m bereft. I feel the same as I did when I learned Eddie Giacomin got traded to the Red Wings. I certainly hope Sather has a vision for this team without Jagr, because I certainly don;t see it now. Lots of new ingredients, but the dish may or may not come together. I guess that’s always the risk though, eh?

  10. I just want to point out what Jagr looked like before he came here from Washington:

    2002–03 Washington Capitals NHL 75 36 41 77 38 6 2 5 7 2
    2003–04 Washington Capitals NHL 46 16 29 45 26 — — — — —
    2003–04 New York Rangers NHL 31 15 14 29 12 — — — — —

    The season that he got here:

    2005–06 New York Rangers NHL 82 54 69 123 72

    — Before the Rangers 70ish points a season – after 123, so there is nothing to say that Naslund wont come alive and score 100 points in his first year here. Just because he has declined in the last few years (on a crappy team mind you) there is no reason to lose faith that he can be resurrected in the same way Jagr was. Lets hope!

  11. Good post Sam I agree whole heartedly. I am very eager and excited to see this team take the ice, but at the same time very saddened and nostalgic.

  12. Tony from AZ on

    Come on guys, we’ve been down this road before. Players getting traded (Brad Park) players retiring etc. We miss them & wish them luck
    BUT PLEASE – don’t compare Jagr leaving with Steady Eddie Giacomin getting traded ! Let’s face it. #68 will never hang from the Garden rafters !

  13. Agreed Tony, yes it is kind of hard to see Jagr go, but I can not speak for all of you, but I am PUMPED with the new roster.

  14. Thanks Jagr. for getting us back to the playoffs after a long drought. good luck next year but hopefully not in pittsburgh.

  15. Tony you are right on. no comparison between Eddie G leaving and Jagr leaving. with the cap era very few will have the type of career where they do all their good stuff here

  16. From prev thread..

    “And like someone else has said the team struggled finding someone to gel with Jags last year.”

    I don’t know who the 1st person was either. But here’s a thought. How many centers did Jags really ever “gel” with? We know in NY it was Nylander. There was a guy…Lemuix that he played ‘ok’ with. Who else may have centered him there? Stevens? I’m really asking, cause I’m not 100% on that roster up until his departure. But he sucked in Wash, and held his own(scoring more there in dismal years that he did last year). How long do you wait for him to “gel”? And don’t say: ‘he played well with dubi’. Once again, he put up some of his worst #’s of his career. (better in wash, how’s that sound?)

    Note: was crazy sick with Nylander in 05-06. don’t hold onto the past for too long, or you might risk the future.

  17. This is a HUGE stretch for those that are still weeping. Another reason to be optomistic to those who are glad to see the next-gen Rangers. In the NHL these days you need every advantage you can get. And with the 3-point system, it adds even more. Figure it out yet? We have 2 guys with a bunch of skill(we’ll see what it turns out to be in regular game-play), but with the exception of Theodore coming back to the East from COL, (and unless I’m missing someone) none of the EC goalies have seen too much of Z and Nas, in a breakaway competition…the shootout.

    Hey, scratch and claw if ya have to. philly snuck in and went to the ECF.

  18. Abdul-Haseeb on

    I’m pretty outraged at the disrespect Jagr has been shown by the fans and in the media. If this was Wayne Gretzky, or Sidney Crosby who was treated like this while they still had something left in the tank, there would be outrage. Jagr out produced Hossa in the regular season and in the first 2 rounds of the playoffs. So the Rangers go chase after Hossa for more money and more term. Then after they can’t sign Hossa they still don’t contact Jagr. And this all while he is supposed to be the Captain of the team. Then they sign Naslund for a 2 year deal, something which was NEVER offered to Jagr.

    To top it off they go and sign Roszival and Redden for long term big money deals when those guys would likely be replaced by the kids in the system within a few years. They would have been better off re-signing Roszival and Malik before July 1 and saving a ton of dough. I could understand the amount of money if these guys were amazing defensive defencemen, but its not worth it for offensive defencemen, especially when they should be letting Marc Staal develop into that offensive role. That money would have been better spent signing Jagr FIRST.

    Its outrageous. I really think this is a product of Sather being stubborn and Brisson giving Jagr bad advice (he was probably dreaming of the commission he would pocket from the Omsk deal).

    The Rangers organization, the fans, and the media will be in for a rude awakening when they find out what life is like without one of the all-time best players to play his position. No more will the top defenders of other teams ignore Gomez and Drury.

    And once again, the Rangers do sideways moves with the roster for the sake of movement (last year it was Nylander and Cullen for Gomez and Drury; this year its Malik, Jagr, Avery and Straka for Redden, Zherdev, Jamtin and Naslund). The new guys will take time adjusting, and the line chemistry will be in shambles.

    I haven’t even gone into the effects of what dumping Avery will do…

    The special teams coaching was a disaster this year. A big part of Jagr’s drop in production was the poor performance of the special teams. And its not all Jagr’s fault as the second unit also played poorly.

    Oh yeah, and then theres the fact that this really kills Brandon Dubinsky’s development. Under Jagr’s wing it looked like Dubinsky could become another Vincent Lecavalier as Jagr spent a lot of time with Dubinsky after everyone left the ice at practice, and was teaching him techniques hes learned along the way.

    I’m really disappointed with the way you’ve characterized Jags, Sam. The only problem we had in the last 3 years was Aaron Ward, and that was because he couldn’t separate playing the game from his emotions, and took Jagr discussing strategy with him as an insult. He didn’t split the locker room like Messier or even Gretzky did (I do remember when Messier had his interviews with the press after he shut the door on the Rangers in 1997 he was asked if he was leaving because of Gretzky and Messier said “its not only that”, meaning Gretzky was one of the reasons Mess left).

    Jagr was one of the most honest players we’ve ever had. He was a great Captain for us.

    He brought the playoffs back.

    He and Nylander single handedly blew out the Thrashers.

    He (along with Avery) was a big part in almost sweeping the Devils.

    He was the best player against the Eastern Conference champs– he willed us to win in Game 4 and he played one of the best games I’ve ever seen him play in a losing effort in Game 3. Think about that. This is one of the legends in the league and his best performance couldn’t help us win– means there are big problems elsewhere.

    He broke club records for Goals and Points

    He led us in scoring every full season he was here

    He was also the best player in a star studded disaster in 2004

    He led the league in playoff scoring well after the Rangers were eliminated

    The whole “this will tie up our cap” issue is bogus. The cap will go up again and as this year, most of the big talent will sign before they go unrestricted.

    I just hope Jags decides to come back to the NHL to get a proper send-off from a classier organization and fan base.

  19. Im definitely gonna miss Jagr, but like Sam said, his attitude and the fact that he had his worst season since being a rookie, was it really worth a 2 year deal? Especially with his pouting in the media about being “the guy”. Best of luck, hopefully in Edmonton, as I want to see him play next year. If this is the case, we will have the Stars and Oilers to pull for along with the Rangers. Im definitely pulling for JJ as he was huge in getting the Rangers straightened out.

  20. Naslund, Zherdev, Rissmiller, Dawes, Callahan, Gomez, Fritche, Drury, Dubinsky, Prucha, Sjostrom, Voros, Orr…

    or

    Straka, Jagr, Shanahan, Dubinsky, Avery, Gomez, Prucha, Dawes, Callahan, Betts, Orr

    Hey, I loved watching Jagr play. Not as much as I loved watching Messier in his prime, but Jagr could bring me out of my seat and I could always say, “Get Jagr on the ice, Renney”.

    When I think of how the Flyers gelled after bringing in a lot of pieces from other teams, I think about how this team now has a bunch of poeple that need to get the job done as opposed to one.

    Gomez, Drury, Hank, Redden, Rozival, Orr, Naslund, Zherdev and even Dubinsky, Dawes, Callahan and Staal also have their job to do, it’s not up to one player to get it done.

    I think this means we will have a better “team” outlook as opposed to Jagr, Hank, Avery and Shanny getting it done.

    It think Sather made the right moves and should be commended.

  21. PruchaOverated on

    Abdul did you say Jagr was a great capatin? That is a complete joke! I have to admit he is a great player no doubt. Great captain no way. Fact is on the Rangers Jagr as time went on started to retard the development and progress of the team. He not only stunted the growth of other players, that whimp Tom renney would also defer to Jagr on coaching decisions. I am a fan of Jags but it was definitely time to go.

  22. Abdul-Haseeb you said we should have resigned Malik taking away credit from everything you just said (not that it was that intelligent to begin with).

  23. Abdul-Haseeb on

    @vogs:

    Naslund (reclamation project, could be a huge bust and dead money during 2nd year), Zherdev (could be a superstar, could be terrible, could bolt to Russia), Rissmiller (probably an improvement over Hollweg but we have tons of guys in the system better than Hollweg), Fritche (not needed, again, look at our system)

    We had guys who we knew fit in and if Slats tried re-signing everyone before July 1 we could have fit everyone (Redden, Kalinin and Naslund would be unnecessary in that case) and still have done the Zherdev trade.

  24. Abdul-Haseeb on

    Fred,

    Malik would be fine as a 6th man– I’m in Canada and I’ve gone to Sens games and I’ve seen them on the TV a lot, and lately Redden hasn’t been any better than Marek.

    Even if you don’t sign him, Staal already took most of his minutes so it wouldn’t have been a big loss anyways, could have been replaced by someone in the system.

  25. Abdul-Haseeb on

    PruchaOverated,

    I’m not saying Jagr had some great ability to rally anyone. He was a good guy with the media, he had a good relationship with the coach, and he didn’t stir shit with the locker room. If you can do those 3 things, you are doing what most people would want their captain to do.

  26. Abdul-

    I understand your frustration. I absolutely loved watching Jagr play hockey and knowing he was going to be out there on the ice every single game was comfort enough to think we should win this game.

    He is one of a kind, he could be put on the ice, get into the zone onsides, give it to Jagr and let him bully his way into the front of the net.

    But that’s just the point. Hockey isn’t played like that anymore, the Rangers have a coach who coaches a certain way. And that way is north/south, put the puck to the front of the net or get it back to the point for a shot, it’s not the most exciting and neither is the rest of the NHL outside of Washington, Pittsburg or Detroit, but that’s how the league is going. Most hockey games are all played that way and the team that has the best talent will win in the end.

    Washington, Pittsburg and Detroit are the examples. They have the talent. They have the best players in the game right now on their roster and because of it they make the finals.

    I think Sather got two players, Naslund and Zherdev who are goal scores and can win games. Couple them with Drury and Gomez plus hard workng kids like Rissmiller, Dawes, Dubinsky, Staal, GIrardi and the best goalie in the east, if not the game, then the Rangers have themselves goals and expectations heading into camp.

  27. Ya know, I don’t believe for a second either Jagr or Avery were interested in coming back unless of course the Rangers payed out their nose for them.

    I just think we would have seen the same team again next season, the same team that lost to Buffalo in 07 and the same team that got beat 4-1 by Pitt. in 08. The same Buffalo team that got beat the next round handidly and the same Penguins, who I still say aren’t as good as everyone thinks they are, that got beat down by Detroit.

    If that’s how “good” the Rangers want to be, then that’s not the team I want to root for. WHat they did this offseason is say we want to be better, and I like it.

  28. Abdul-Haseeb on

    vogs-

    In the back of my mind all I’m thinking is “1997!” (2008!). They bring in Gretzky (Gomez) who performs around the same level as Messier (Jagr). Then in the contract negotiations they don’t want to give Messier (Jagr) more than Gretzky (Gomez), and on top of that Messier (Jagr) is the Captain of the team. Messier (Jagr) bolts, Gretzky (Gomez) performs well but can’t carry the team because theres no chemistry with way too many changes from the 96-97 (07-08) season to the 97-98 (08-09) season and beyond.

    Maybe thats not a logical conclusion, but really, if you think about it, all of the major changes they’ve made were at best sideways moves, which could end up blowing up in their faces if chemistry isn’t there. The philosophy that they are carrying out this year is the same one which saw the team struggle during the first half of the season which contributed to the poor offense of the whole team.

    To me the future of this team has always been the Staals, the Callahans, the Dawes’, the Dubinskys, the Girardis, the Tyutins. Even if we had kept the same core of veterans, we would likely have been much better because the kids would have improved with their added experience and maturity.

    Look at the Penguins– they did absolutely squat from the end of 06-07 to the start of 07-08 and they were significantly better. They didn’t even need Crosby to be an elite team.

    Sure we don’t have that amount of talent in our young guys, but in the playoffs we played terrible and we were still in it during most of the games we played against them. Had our PP coaching been working we would have likely won that series. You put a better PP plan together + more mature young players = a very good team.

  29. just an FYI for you guys, Nazzy played under Renney in Vancouver and started flourishing in his system. Thats one of the key reasons why he signed here.

  30. right Tony. it would be like that commercial with the hockey coach.

    “he gave 100% thirty percent of the time, and he gave 30% one hundred percent of the time.

    don’t forget how he got here folks. by dogging it in Pitt so much that they got rid of him for 3 nobodies. and then dogging it in Wash so much that they had to take anson crapola and PAY Millions to get rid of him

    big fella my ass

  31. “right Tony. it would be like that commercial with the hockey coach.

    “he gave 100% thirty percent of the time, and he gave 30% one hundred percent of the time.

    don’t forget how he got here folks. by dogging it in Pitt so much that they got rid of him for 3 nobodies. and then dogging it in Wash so much that they had to take anson crapola and PAY Millions to get rid of him

    big fella my ass”

    you clearly don’t know anything about Jagr’s career. He left Pitt so they could save money and would’ve been a Ranger to begin with if Patrick didn’t get pissed off by Sather. Then he was going through a lot of troubles in his personal life when he was in Washington. Plus he didn’t play with the best players there anyway. The guy was a Ranger and he loved being here. I loved having him here. I don’t get why people bring all the hate, but he did turn this franchise around and you can’t deny that.

  32. Blue404Seats on

    Jagr was a great captain… dont fool yourselves… he didnt lead by word of mouth but he led by example… fact: 2/3 of communication is non-verbal. He brought NYR back to the playoffs like he promised, if he wasnt here for only ~3 yrs he’d be hanging from the rafters.

    #68 Thank you

  33. SCHNEEEEEEEE on

    does anybody think that jagr might have missed his clauses in his contract on purpose like the 84 point thing? because if you watched the whole season then you know that jagr only really started playing like himself at the tail end of the season, he coasted through out at least 3/4 of the season, you saw the way he played in the playoffs that he could dominate if he really tried

  34. btw, not that I was in support of bringing Jagr back, but I guarentee he’s not a Ranger because of his agent. His agent was probably like “wait, hossa is testing the market, lets see what you can get”. Then when Hossa signed for less, he said lets pull a Sundin and wait because we have the Russian offer. Now Jagr is out. Its not even his fault. It seems with most European players and even young players overall, their agents run the business side of their careers. Jagr is a guy that just wants to play the game and have his agent deal with the money. His agent probably told him what to do economically even though he really wanted to be back here. Shame it has to be that way, but its the story with most players and their agents.

  35. JonnyD, great tidbit you noted that Naslund brought up in his conference call today about playing for Renney years back in Vancouver.

    Renney got his first taste of being an NHL coach in the mid-90s with the Vancouver Canucks. If I remember correctly, Renney had previously worked for Hockey Canada at the time and was Team Canada’s coach at the 94 Lillihammer Olympics. This was before the NHL pros participated and it was thrilling with it going to a shootout and a famous shot of Forsberg’s attempt on the shootout – I think this pic was put on a Canadian or Swedish commemorative stamp at the time, dont ask me how or why I remember these things.

    Renney took over the Canucks I believe after Pat Quinn, who took their team to the 94 finals against us, was let go. I don’t think Renney even lasted through his first full season in Vancouver. Mark Messier had been signed away from the Rangers the previous summer. He brought his reputation, from his Ranger days with Roger Nielson, as a coach-killer, pardon the pun.

    The Canucks sputtered out of the gate and I believe Renney was canned and Mike Keenan was hired to take his place after Messier made a big push to ownership to grab Keenan only a few years removed from his Cup with the Blueshirts.

    Looking back on his time with the Canucks, Messier said he enjoyed mentoring some of Vancouver’s young players in the organization, which would have included a young Markus Naslund 0 who eventually became captain there.

    It is funny that when Sather came to NY in 2000 he brought Renney as Director of Player Personnel at the time. After the horrible Bryan Trottier coaching fiasco, Sather fired the ex-Islander and tried to put assistant coach, Jim Shoenfeld behind the bench, but Jim was loyal to Bryan and didn’t take it, leaving Sather to be the coach and GM for a short period in early 2004.

    In order to concentrate on the big trade deadline in 04 when the Rangers essentially cleaned house, he gave the interim coaching reigns to Tom Renney, who just tried to be professional and guide the ship with an assortment of hodge podge player prospects and the remaining vets for that season, notably Mark Messier, who had been blamed for getting Renney fired in Vancouver.

    That summer the interim tag was taken off of Renney by Glen Sather and he was given full reign and control to pick his own assistants. Many fans were used to expecting the big names stars and coaching names, so Renney’s less than sexy persona, short and poor NHL coaching record had the Ranger fans depressed and haven hit rock bottom.

    Who’d have thunk Renney would still be the coach 5 years later, having gone to the playoffs each full year he was the coach and having been an excellent coach, communicator and vital person to the organization.

    So Naslund remembered playing for Renney briefly in Vancouver along with Messier, which has to have had a major affect on this future superstar and captain of the Canucks for several years.

    Now Naslund has signed with the Blueshirts, eager to play for seasoned coach now in Tom Renney. Naslund’s previous role as a young player in Vancouver is now reversed and he takes on a Messier like role to the young guys on the team. Naslund comes to the Rangers as it stands now being one of few veterans on the team and one who many of the younger players on the roster may look up to.

    It is kind of funny how the circle of life works and how things come full circle.

  36. I still can’t believe the Jagr bashing is still going on. The man pretty much single handedly brought us out of the depths of the basement to a contender. He is a future first ballot hall of famer and to say he took shifts off is rediculous. How many games did he miss due to injury in three seasons as a Ranger??? He played through all of his injuries including seperated shoulder in 2006 against the Devils. He came out and tried to play the next game with one arm until he couldnj’t do it anymore. If that doesn’t show heart or if thats not captain material then i feel sorry for whoever else wheres the C for the rangers next year. Just because hes not a rah-rah-reehe guy doesn’t mean he doesn’t know how to lead. Remember when he garunteed that the rangers (who were picked to finish dead last in the conference) were going to make the playoffs. He delivered. Say what you want about last year but who was his linemates a rookie center and who ever else they thought was fit to play on his line. Not once as a Ranger did Jagr bitch and moan about the defensive philosophy of this team. Jagr was a great player and an even better person during his tenure as a Ranger. I for one am sad to see him go but i am also excited for the new regime to start Oct 4th. I will just miss seeing number 68 dominate the puck and the ice because there is noone else on this team that can come even close to what Jagr brings.
    lets go rangers!!!!

  37. Sam,

    Last summer when the Rangers had signed Gomez & Drury early in the free agent period they wound up having a press conference to introduce them as Rangers, putting on the jerseys for the media and answering questions.

    Do you know if the Rangers are planning to do this soon or in the next week or so, to introduce mainly Markus Naslund to the NY media, but also Nikolai Zherdev, maybe Danny Fritsche and Dmitri Kalinin?

    Just wondering as I would like to catch the press conference, see them done their Ranger “blues” for the first time as see what numbers they will be wearing this season.

    Also wanted to see if they would introduce Drury as their new Captain this summer of if they would wait till Opening Night for the ridiculous drama like they did with Jagr when he became captain and with Leetch when he became captain after Mess left.

    Do you know what number Naslund will wear on the Rangers? He wore #19 on Vancouver but that is Gomez’ current jersey number. Will he just flip the numbers and be #91?

    Finally, several reporters, including yourself, I believe asked Sather if he was indeed done in terms of the free agent and trade market and making changes to his roster this summer. He gave a coy response and seemed to say that we still may see stuff in the next few days/weeks.

    Granted, the Rangers could use another defenseman – they currently have:

    Staal-Redden
    Roszival-Girardi
    Kalinin-???

    Now will they leave the last defense spot open for competition to be won in training camp or will they move to fill it prior to the end of the summer? They could always put Thomas Pock (though I dont think Renney has any confidence in him) or Corey Potter or Andrew Hutchinson if they resign him as the 6th defenseman.

    If they are going to fill one spot on defense, they should target a physical d-man. They may have to trade to get a good physical d-man who plays sound defense. Orpik was the main guy who fit the bill as a UFA, but he resigned with Pitt.

    Any ideas???

  38. Great post Sam. Even though I’m not a Rangers fan at heart and I only started reading this blog when Sean Avery was traded to New York, I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. This blog really introduced me to the Rangers and it’s a huge reason as to why I know the team so well now. I’ve had a lot of fun paying close attention to this team for the past year and a half and I’m so glad that Avery was able to end up in a city that fully embraced him and understood his role and personality. I’m glad my love for Avery as a player allowed me to realize such an amazing team and group of players and fans. So even though I’m going to continue my ongoing love and passion for the Kings while moving onto casually following the Stars closer than I would other teams, the Rangers will always mean a lot to me and I will continue to support them from afar. Thanks to this blog and every reader who has made it so interesting. I’ll still be watching and reading.
    Liza

  39. Orts – its seems to be that Slats has put out an offer to Mara, its probably half of what he was on last year which is why he hasn’t snatched Slats hand off to sign it. I think if Sauer, Potter or possibly Sanguinetti or Liffiton prove they can make the grade, one or more of them might get the #6 and #7 slots on D – depending on if Mara signs. Not sure where this leaves Pock though?

    Kalinin is only signed for one year presumably because of the expectation that Sanguinetti and one of the other young D-men will be NHL ready by then.

    I think we are all looking at Naslund-Gomez-Zherdev for our first line, but who does that leave Drury with? Korpi? Dawes? Cally? Parenteau? Prucha? I still think Slats will be on the look out for another scorer for our 2nd line either via trade or FA. Will he re-sign Shanny? If so will he plug him in on 2nd line or further down the depth chart?

    Still lots of questions, but at least the major ones have been answered.

    Bye-bye Jags, i will miss you and Straks sending us all dizzy cycling round in the corners – if only you hadn’t forgotten where the net was or how to shoot in your last season you might still be with us.

    Na shledanou, Hodne Stesti.

    (Thats Good bye, Good luck in Czech).

  40. MarkNaslund on

    Abdul-Haseeb,
    Your posts (especially the first one) were some of the worst posts on a message board these eyes have ever read. You obviously haven’t watched many ranger games. To even think of bringing Malik back makes you guilty of Blue Seat treason. Stay on the Senator boards.

    Jonathan Probber,
    Eddie got dumped by management. Jagr was given an offer (probably one year) and rejected it. Goodbye Jaromir. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

  41. Abdul-Haseeb on

    MarkNaslund,

    I guess you didn’t read the rest of my posts. I said he could be used as a 6th guy, or even if we didn’t sign him, it wouldn’t be a big deal– but it wasn’t worth it to let Rozi go to July 1 and have his price be inflated and it wasn’t worth it to sign Redden who could be a huge bust based on his play.

    By the way, I live in Mississauga (near Toronto, which is very far away from Ottawa) and I watched nearly 75 regular season Rangers games (including 1 game in person) + 10 playoff games this past season.

    If you want to talk about treason, JD committed it by giving us Backman :)

  42. Jagr Signs With Russian Team…2 years.

    Thank god we wont have to watch him play in another uniform and can remember him as a Ranger.

  43. CJ thats for sure?

    becuase I am very afrid he will get booed if he plays against hte Rangers and I don’t want to hear that (I don’t want any Ranger fans to be in a postion to make themselves as classless as the Pens fans did)

    I hope Sather is done on d, I want a kid fighting for hte sixth spot at least… if he resigns Mara (for much less then the 3 mil he got last year) I hope Its a battle between kids Mara and Kalinin for the third line and seventh spot.

    Forwards if it is Nas Gomez and Z some other combos are
    Cally Drury Sjo
    Pru Dubi Dawes
    Frische Anisimov Korpikowski

    roll four scoring lines. Let bangers like Rismiller (I don’t know for sure but his number sindicate he is not a scorer) and Orr play when needed…

    Doesn’t matter now because training camp will decide it… I remmeber Renney being close to taking Anisimov last year and saying he was going to get a real good look this year.

  44. UKRanger

    As far as your line combos go, you could see Shanahan on the 2nd line with Drury or on the third line with Dubinksy. I just don’t know.

    I think that since Slats has moved in a new direction I am confused about whether bringing back Shanahan is the best idea.

    If the team wants to get faster and attack the puck more then I don’t see how Shanny is going to help there. With Naslund, Drury, Gomez, Redden, Rozival and Henrik I think we have enough leadership on the team. As much as I want to see Shanny back, I don’t know if that’s the wisest of moves.

    I think Dawes, Jamtin, Prucha, Anisemov, Rissmiller and Callahan could all earn 2nd line time.

  45. reginald

    yea its all over the place…

    not to long after the Rangers said no he signed the deal with Russia… I guess the Ranfgers really were the only NHL team for him… it probably was in huge part to the frickin agent…

    also guys I hear we signed Mara but can’t find confirmation

  46. Jagr brought us back from the depths of years of hockey Purgatory, and for that we all owe him our gratitude & respect, not to mention got to watch one of the best to have ever laced up a pair of skates.
    I would have liked to see him back for a 1 year deal, but am OK with him leaving as well. Best of luck & thanks for the memories!
    Other than paying way to much for Redden, I’m pleased what the Rangers have done so far. There is a potential big upside to several guys with not too much financial/duration risk. Naslund seems like he’s thrilled to be here and perhaps can reclaim his form of previous years, & if so will be a bargain, & if not will still be a very solid player & good teammate.

    And by the way, Sean Avery & his new team will be at MSG this season. I will miss him, but he was not worth 4 years or the $ he got, as he will likely be injured a good part of the time with his size & reckless abandon.

    Defensemen were way overpaid this year across the board and my biggest regret is not getting a strong presence in front of our net.

  47. Matt its on cbc and tsn among other places sorry I thought I had posted it here, but I see I didn’t…

    anyone see a thing about Mara?

  48. the real reason the Pens begged Orpick to stay is they were afraid of having him beat on them… I wonder what Crosby is thinking of Laroque being in Montreal…

  49. Abdul-Haseeb:

    I just wanted to thank you for your great points and clear insights (with the lone notable exception of wanting Malik back). I think you absolutely nailed Sather and his love of “sideways moves”.

    Jagr singlehandedly changed the culture of losing that infested MSG for almost a decade. No, he wasn’t a “leader” in the good ol’ Canadian boy sense. But he led by example on the ice, he led as a mentor to younger players, he led with his wit, frankness, and charisma in the locker room.

    I think the biggest shame here is that Jagr won’t be finishing his career in the NHL, where he was sure to hit 700 goals and 1000 assists.

  50. Agravaine:

    Great point. No Ruutu (OTT), Roberts (Tampa), Malone (Tampa) or Laraque (Montreal) in Pittsburgh anymore. Also out of our division.

    Better keep your head up Cindy.

    Was watching some highlights of Voros. The guy has got size and hands. Nominated for the Bill Mesterson Award in the NHL (won by Rob Blake this past season), Voros was diagnosed with cancer 5 years ago and has undergone a tremendous amount of physical therapy to get to the NHL level.

    I was at first skeptical about this kid because I just thought he was another goon. But he has a great story behind him and I’m glad we are going to get another character guy on our team to compliment the roster.

    Here’s an article.
    http://www.startribune.com/sports/wild/16716836.html

  51. Abdul-Haseeb on

    Tags,

    I regret mentioning Malik– I forgot how hated he was in the market since he barely played down the stretch last season. I personally think he became a whipping boy for everyone (mainly because of his size), but that being said, he was not a key component to our team, and was more or less expendable. That is not a move that I’m upset about.

  52. Abdul-Haseeb on

    vogs, will we be any better in terms of grit and toughness? We could end up being a soft team too (ala 2005-06).

  53. All you posters that hail Jagr as the lone reason the Rangers returned to the NHL playoffs are missing one major point; Sather was the major reason our team sucked for so long!!! Not to take anything away from Jags, he did perform and raised the team up and carried them that year. But Sather has been screwing with this team for almost a decade now and we aren’t any better than a one & done team since!!! Jags will be 37 during next season and if it took a 2-year deal to get him, we’re talking about a 38 year old captain who is obviously NOT the great goal scorer most of you Jagr ass-kissers are claiming. C’mon, the PP sucked because of Jags style and how it effected others, he couldn’t reach 84 points to automatically kick in an option year, he self-proclaims how he coasts in the regular season, had the worst offensive season of his career, wants to beg out of shootouts, lost his confidence as a goal scorer for long stretches of this season. For that, you want him back for 2 more years?? Because, that’s what he wanted. There’s no denying or trashing Jags’ great career and how he once was a player that lifted you out of your seat whenever he touched the puck, but this year, even with the puck on his stick along the half boards, my butt never left the couch cushions!!!! And I watched EVERY game this year! So posters, chill out and open your eyes; it’s time to re-tool the team around younger, hungrier players. Hail Jagr and what he brought to the team for 3-4 years, but be a realist and see that another 2 years of Jagr would not bring us any closer to the Stanley Cup Finals!! Not that this group that Sather has assembled is guarenteed to do that, but you have to try something new. And if he wasn’t smart enough or savvy enough or he didn’t have the desire to return to the NYR, then let’s say thanks, and goodbye!! He’s a veteran, he knows the biz of sports; if he really wanted back to NY, he should’ve told his agent. Sather clearly wanted him but on his own financial terms. If Jags wanted more respect (read into that as more money), then he got what his heart desired with the Russian team

  54. I’m still a little stunned at the complete, sudden overhaul of the team, but a few points:

    – I think its Sam’s main concern too, but this team just went from one of the most colorful NY sports teams in a while, to one of the most BORING. But then again if this boring hodge podge wins the Cup, I could care less how quotable they are. However the drama and humor from guys like Jagr and Avery certainly made the losing streaks a little less painful.

    – Sather is getting too much of a free pass for the BS he’s slung at the media and fans for the past year about how much he wanted Jagr and Avery back. Whether you like the moves he made or not, he’s a terrible liar and its not worth trusting a single word out of his cigar chomping mouth.

    – For someone who put a franchise on his back, taking it to 3 consecutive playoffs and nearly winning an MVP, Jagr deserved to be treated better.

    – In two years will a 36 year old Marcus Naslund be any sort of replacement for a 38 year old JJ? Is it even close? Or will Naslund–whose stats have been declining every year since a career high in 02-03–be a healthier version of Martin Straka?

    – What do these moves say about the development of Brandon Dubinsky? The kid was always projected as a 2nd or 3rd liner at best, somehow he steps into the 1st line role, does it convincingly, and then we don’t re-sign his either of his two linemates?

    – If Shanny comes back it must be at a much diminished role, mostly special teams. I’d love to have his leadership around, but on the ice there isn’t much room for him. Last year’s team was built to win then, this team, while still competitive, is mostly about the future.

    – It is now officially Tom Renney’s team.

  55. Ace – how could you possibly call this team boring? They haven’t played yet. Sheesh!
    I’m with you on the fact it’s Renney’s team. I’ve been looking forward to seeing no Jagr clogging up the pipes with political differences and influence where it does not long. I’m giving Renney a chance, let’s see what he does.

  56. While it’s time to move on from Jagr, it’s still sad to see him go. Look where this team was coming out of the lockout. Hadn’t sniffed the playoffs in almost a decade. And that season Jagr put the team on his back and not only brought them back to the playoffs, but he also brought respectability back to the organization. For that, I will always be fond of Jagr. Good luck to him in Russia.

  57. I don’t actually feel sad seeing Jagr go, though I do appreciate what he has done during his first two years with the Rangers. Notice I said his first two years. There are players that I simply love ranging from Andy Bathgate to Rod Brind’Amour and others; Jaromir Jagr will never be one of those for me. I can appreciate his talent, but that’s about it. I think it is extremely shocking that people have such relaxed standards that they still profess the utmost respect for a player that admits to coasting for a large part of the season. Why the hell would anyone want that, you could and you will have so much better.

    Whatever Jagr’s talent, it is very disrespectful for an athlete in any sport to not give an honest effort. Pretty presumptuous of him to throw it off like it’s no big deal. Thanks for the lack of respect, Jagr. If you think it’s okay to f@ck around during the season so you can be some great hero later, then I really disagree with you. I really will not miss Jaromir Jagr.

    Bring on the new crew, with all the fun that a team of equals can be.

  58. Fruity Cupcake on

    Like most of you, I’m going to miss Jagr’s sense of humor and the excitement of watching him. One time, with gifted first-row seats behind the visitor’s bench (1-0 SOW over Boston that day) I was SHOCKED at just how FAST and hard he played. Glad I had that one chance down, from the Blues to see him up close and kicking ass.

    Having said that, Scott Gomez can now open up and be Captain Drury’s happy sidekick. I once thought the only thing that seperated Mike York from his Calder Trophy was Scottie Gomez’s “aw shucks” smiling personality. I’ll look forward to more of that in the years to come, as he now has the floor.

    Good luck and tear up the league in Russia, Jaromir. Hope you remember Ranger fans fondly.

    Welcome to Wade Redden and Markus Naslund. They’ve both said the right things so far and seem to be both class individuals and upstanding guys. But don’t forget to bring your offense, fellas.

  59. Abdul-Haseeb:

    A big man who doesn’t hit will always hear it from the fans. But in Malik’s case it went way, way beyond that. He was slow-thinking and slow-moving on the ice, seemingly always out of position, getting beaten, making bad passes, showing up in the crease a split second after the other team scored, and deflecting pucks on his own net.

  60. I’m going to miss jagr, avery, and straka. Over the years, I really felt like I got to know those guys. Good luck to them in the future. I can only hope this new lot can provide us with some big wins and perhaps just as importantly, some good memories.

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