Mara back for one year

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Paul Mara said he had opportunities from other teams to make more money. But the reason the defenseman accepted a one year deal for $1.95 million — which is roughly two thirds of what he made last season — is that there was no other place he wanted to be.

“There was interest from other teams but I wanted to win in New York. So there was stuff left on the table, but it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t win,” Mara said by phone just now. “After all the signings and trades, people are excited and ready for it. Everything we have brought in is the pieces of the puzzle to win a Stanley Cup.”

Now Mara is part of that puzzle, which I’ll admit comes as a bit of a surprise. The defenseman never seemed to be one of Tom Renney’s favorites — based not only on some healthy scratches at points last season, but also Renney’s reluctance to use him on the power play. Mara spoke glowingly of Wade Redden just now, and he probably knows his chances of playing the man-advantage have diminished even more with Redden’s arrival. But he still didn’t want to pass up a chance to win next season.

“I always wanted to stay in New York,” Mara said. “The coaches are great, the players, the trainers. First and foremost I told my agent this is where I wanted to be.”

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285 Comments

  1. Contrasted with the article below Mara’s comments bring a small tear to my eyes. . .

  2. Sammy I think Mara was scratched because I think they were trying to make a trade for Ed Jovy from Phoenix. After he declined to wave his no trade clause Mara played the rest of the season. Mara is a classy guy. I’m glad he is back. Now bring back Strudy too!

  3. Ok, I was just checking the cap situation for the rangers. The rangers have roughly a little over a million dollars left for cap space. The rangers still have a hand full of RFA’s to sign. I don’t know how they are going to sign these players unless there are more small trades in there plans. Here is the updated cap for the rangers if anybody is interested.

    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/cap-central/team.php?team=NYR

  4. oops, it just updated showing the rangers are a million over the cap space so there is definitely more moves to make, no doubt.

  5. Thats what you call a TEAM PLAYER
    Class act all the way

    And Might I add, the ONLY NJ Born player on the Rangers
    Love it.

  6. tomg-

    Bro I’m not sure but Mike Sauer,Bobby Sags,T.Pock and L.Korp might not make the team so there salaries wll not count against the cap. Plus OUTSIDE The Garden. com had Rissmiller making 600,000. NHL Number.com has not updated there site when they do that might be a more accurate site for salaries

  7. reginald dunlop on

    salaries of players in ahl do not count against the cap…….so if you stick hollweg in hartford, take his cap number off the rangers total

  8. Cap…

    There are 16 forwards listed….including RFA’s….you’d have to think trades or Hartford for at least 2 or 3 of these guys

  9. Pock, Sauer and sanguinetti will be in hartford so that is roughly 2 mill off the cap. Sjostrom, Fritshe and dawes are rfa’s which will need to be resigned you think, plus the extra forwards the rangers got in trades or signings. There is definitely more trades coming, probably small ones but definitely more trades you would think.

  10. I also like this signing. Especially at this salary, if a young guy proves he can step up and play regular minutes, Mara is easily moveable at this price. Hopefully Renney & Pearn use him on the 2nd unit Power Play assuming the 1st unit will be Redden & Rozsival on the points. He has a cannon and is a master at sneaking down for the back door pass, something we’ve seen very little of in his time here due to the way he’s been utilized. So the D appears to be Staal-Rozsival, Redden-Girardi, Kalinin-Mara… with guys like Potter, Sanguinetti, Sauer possibly competing with Kalinin for the 6/7 spots. Not ideal but not terrible either and sure beats having Malik, Backman and Strudwick (love the guy but he’s not an everyday player).

  11. my question: why are we paying Jagr for next year? ($725,000.00) That’s curious.

  12. Doodie Machetto on

    That comment from Jagr makes him officially my favorite player that wasn’t on the 1994 cup team.

  13. Really classy move by Mara–who was damn good in the playoffs.

    The Jagr quote is priceless–as many of his quotes over the years were. I’ll miss him wearing the blue, but I’m glad I won’t have to see him in a Pitt or other NHL jersey.

  14. It’s very nice to have Mara back, but with the small cap room we say goodbye to Shanahan. Cheaper players like Stachewick (struds) might have an opportunity to re-join the team. I was hoping to keep Shanahan for veteran purposes. So long Shanny, welcome back Mara!

  15. Doodie Machetto on

    I heard Straka had asked for 1 year, 3 million and basically got laughed at.

    I would’ve laughed too.

  16. Doodie Machetto on

    Oh, and with Jagr’s and Tyutin’s departures, the only two players remaining with the team that saw ice for us prior to the lockout are Thomas Pock and Steve Valliquette. They had a whopping 8 games between them.

    That’s a ridiculous turnover in such a short period of time. Too bad all of those players we acquired by selling our team were such duds.

  17. Mara, fine, whatever. Number 6 d man if no rookie outdoes you. If you make the team, shoot more, and on net. And, try hitting someone once in a while.

    I see 15 fwds and at least 7 dmen right now. More deals to me made?

    Jagr, awesome player, horrible captain. Would have been a better A than C. Will miss his game when he really tried. So that means only 30% of the time.

    At the end of the day though, he was ALL about the moolah doolah.

    The new nyr will be able to grow together and find an identity w/o jagr. This means upside potential is way more than it could with 68.

    Guys comparing jagr to Eddie are shameless.

    Liked watching him, but we will go further in the next 2 years than we did in the last 2.

    Still like to find a crushing d man….

  18. right, Newman. he was such a coveted palyer that NO ONE wanted him on the open market. that says it all.

    30 NHL GMs told him to go eff himself

  19. It is wonderful to witness,as a Ranger fan, the admittance of the teams management that a major overhaul was needed on our top line and top defense to compete with the Penguins,Canadiens, and ultimately, the Red Wings. I am so happy that our direction has shifted back to Sweden for overseas players as well. I have a renewed sense of competing to win the big prize. Well done Mr Sather.

  20. Jagr wanted a 3 THREE yr contract. there is an interview in the CP

    “Jagr had hoped for a three-year deal that would bridge that gap to his planned return to his native Kladno, where his father is set to open a new arena with his son playing for the local club.

    “I wanted to go home in three years so I was looking for a three-year contract if I wanted to stay here,” said Jagr. “But it looks like with the new CBA, it’s tough for older guys to sign long-term contracts because teams are worried you’re going to get injured or retire and they’re stuck with the salary on the salary cap.”

    eff him. no wonder all NHL teams told him to go stuff it

    selfish prick

  21. because you can blame the guy for asking for 3 years. his agent probably tried to up the price too. I still don’t get what all the Jagr hate since most of us wanted him gone anyway. Now he’s leaving an hes selfish. If he would’ve gone to any other NHL team he would’ve been a traitor. I guess the guy can’t win. Better Russia than another NHL team anyway. I guess he felt he coudln’t play anywhere here if it wasn’t the Rangers.

  22. bs. he said he liked the Edmonton offer, but it was only 1 year. for 7 or 8 mill.

    he demanded 3 years, so the NHL GMs said eff you, get real, get lost

  23. our d is still way too soft in my opinion. mara’s not a bad player but id rather have seen a kid get a chance, but when kalinin gets hurt (as he always does) guess they will. i know next year’s off season is a ways away but i hate to think that we may not be able to sign jay b. from florida or gaborik b/c of reddens contract, tho i guess there are always ways to shed salary

  24. Power Surge on

    I hope retaining Mara precludes acquiring a D considerably better than Mara, because Mara – the NHL’s most UNFOCUSED D, is AHL journeyman timber, and will be rotting in Hartford, soon enough, as about three kids bypass him on the depth chart. Wish he were gone, but this could be a blessing in disguise. GO SANGUINETTI!

  25. Looking at the rfa’s the rangers have on there roster is the reason why i question why sather would sign Rosival to a 5 mil a tear contract, it makes no sense unless he is going to make more deals. I wasn’t crazy for giving redden 6.5 for 6 either.

  26. next year Dubinsky and Callahan are restricted free agents, i think that not playing with Jagr will hurt Dubinskys production, what do you think the Rangers would do if some team signed Dubinsky to a 3-4 year contract at about 3-5 million a year. Same situation with Staal in two years

  27. Class act right there. That made me have a new respect for Mara after reading that. I know we all can debate his worthiness back and forth.. but the guy has a wicked shot, and you all know that. With the new blueline we have, who knows, maybe he will flourish. Class act!

  28. “I hope retaining Mara precludes acquiring a D considerably better than Mara, because Mara – the NHL’s most UNFOCUSED D, is AHL journeyman timber, and will be rotting in Hartford, soon enough, as about three kids bypass him on the depth chart. Wish he were gone, but this could be a blessing in disguise. GO SANGUINETTI!”

    Mara is an AHL journeyman? haha wow you clearly don’t watch then. He’s a solid defenseman. As a #5, he’ll be fine. The guy hasn’t been in the AHL since he was with Tampa a bunch of years ago so I have no idea where you are getting that from. Hes a lot better than most people give him credit for when hes given the right opportunity. He needs to get on the PP and btw, he shoots wide most of the time on purpose so the puck and bounce back in front (watch Straka’s goal in the first game of the year last year when Malik did that).

  29. SeamusORIley on

    jagr said he gave his all in the playoffs but coasted during the season so he wouldn’t burn himself out…

    and..

    apparently, from reaching the # of points that would have held him in NY for another year!

    Cheers for Mara! He hit well during the last 1/3 of the season and especially in the playoffs. How many guys love the Rangers so much that they would be willing to take less money just to stay here? Reminds me of Messier. oh, oops.

  30. Not sure if this has been posted, but Jagr’s deal is only 5 mil a year to play in Russia. Not 35 million like reported.

    So I guess it wasn’t about the money after all…

  31. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    5million in Russia is like 7million here, but more importantly…

    Will they no longer play ‘Sweet Caroline’ after wins at MSG now?

  32. The 5 million is tax free, so its like 9-10 million here.

    I still think he wanted to stay but ultimately needed to be the highest paid guy. Those things dont jibe.

  33. Damn, “Mara has a wicked shot.” What, with maybe 2% of his shots on net? About as usefull as baseball guys striking out “with a wicked swing.” This guy is also the blindside pass moron of the NHL. Anyone remember the classic blind, center ice pass directly leading to a goal in Boston goal, last season? Worst and dumbest turnover of the entire NHL season. So what does Renney do – just throws him out there again, on his next shift! Just one of multiple horrrendous, panicky giveaways, he commits over a season.

    And notice something else about this plug – he NEVER has a good game. NEVER! Just poor-to bad-to atrocious games. Oh well, at lest he has a “wicked shot,” and is too scared to bring the puck up ice, or lead- pass it, when regrouping behind the net. What next, Malik and Bumstead Strudwick invited back for more patented dumb ass, clumsy stumblebum hockey, too? It gets really old, this coddling of players who play as though they are wearing the opposition uniform, on most nights.

  34. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    I completely agree with that…mara and Staal were the best D-men in the playoffs, easily.

  35. Let me get something straight here:

    – Everyone was saying “no” to Campbell because he is soft and disappeared in the playoffs and big games. Then Chicago goes out and signs him to an 8 yr deal. If that had happened here people would be moaning and groaning.

    – Mark Streit had impressive numbers LAST year, he’s only had a few seasons in the NHL. And last season, in his contract season, he played with Kovalev, Koivu, Higgins, Ryder, etc. He won’t have that same personnel on the Island.

    – Orpik obviously wasn’t leaving Pittsburgh because he turned down the larger Rangers offer.

    – So that leaves Redden and Rozival, two of the safer picks and although not as offensively gifted as Campbell, are not known to “disappear” during the playoffs, just the opposite.

    So it was either the untested Streit, the “soft” Campbell or Rozival and Redden, when you look at it that way the Rangers made the right moves.

    On offense – Hossa wasn’t coming here, either was Jagr and either was Avery or Straka. These guys left.

    So it’s either Malone, who Tampa got their hands on early, but wasn’t going to replace the goals Jagr scored and is not as good as everyone says IMO. Or the Rangers go out and find players who will score goals and have a track record of doing so, Zherdev and Naslund, Fritche.

    Lot’s of turnover?

    Redden, Kalinin, Naslund, Fritche, Voros, Rissmiller, Zherdev to play with Dawes, Callahan, Gomez, Drury, Betts, Orr, Rozy, Staal, Girardi, Mara, Henrik, Vally, Dubinsky, yeah there’s some turnover, but so was Avery, Dawes, Dubinsky, Callahan, Mara, Staal, Girardi, Backman, Sjostrom at one point in the last two seasons.

  36. Pock is traded I say. Remember how unhappy he was at being unable to play? He feels he’s NHL ready, the Range obviously do not. I think he will be moved. You don’t want a guy who has lost hope in management to be in your AHL club – lockeroom woe.

  37. Pock’s days in the NHL are over. He has zero upside. His game was built for college and he just cant translate it over to the NHL.

  38. Good job for Mara, I knew there was a reason I liked him… when I tell Jo about those quotes she will lighten up on him too I bet

  39. To those above who talked about Mara in the play-offs…

    RIGHT ON!!!

    I wasn’t a big fan, but he really showed me something this past post season. I think it’s a steal at that price and a no-brainer… especially given the cap situation. Who knows… maybe he can build on his performance in the play-offs… maybe not. But either way a good signing and he’s showing some REAL class with his comments.

    Way to Go MARA! I’m happy you’re sticking around!

  40. Mara may be classy but how many of us will care about that when he is constantly getting caught flatfooted or not using his body around the crease. Class can’t stop younger, faster opponents.

  41. Mara played well and tough during the playoffs. he is not great but a 3rd line D man, good resigning…

  42. I know I’m beating a dead horse here, but I’m from Ottawa, and I’ve heard several eyewitness accounts of people seeing Wade Redden do coke. The radio talk shows talk about it here like it’s a well known fact. They never actually say “cocaine”, but Ottawa’s had a lot of problems with that in the past 5-6 years. Sure, Emery and McGrattan were in deeper than Wade was, but I’ve never heard of a little coke problem.

  43. Mara, for all his “greatness” is the 10th (!) best D in the Rangers organization, right now. Malik ranks ahead of him, Strudwick, incredibly, is no worse.

  44. Why should I care if Wade Redden does coke? Quite frankly, I could care less what he does with his personal life as long as he puts up some half decent numbers and plays some solid D.

    We’re fans. We’re not inviting him to our house for dinner or asking him to marry one of ours sisters, we’re just going to watch him play hockey.

    As I’ve said before, if it helps him to play better, I’ll cut the lines for him.

  45. dont know if its true, but if the “number one” defenseman on our team for the next 6 years has a cocaine problem, that should be an area of concern as sooner or later it will catch up to him and affect his play. see theo fleury if you have any doubts about that.

    even if he has no coke problem, redden has lost a step and it is not going to be long before he is the new malik, more skilled with the puck sure, but he can’t keep up with elite skaters anymore thats why the length of his deal is so absurd.

    another scary fact is that right now staal is probably our toughest defenseman

  46. Playing for St. Louis Blues in 1999–2000 Demitra made a significant gesture toward his teammate Scott Young in a last game of regular season against Los Angeles Kings. Young needed one goal to launch his 300 000$ bonus for scoring 25 goals (he had 24 at the time). Demitra himself was in pursuit of 90 points plateau for which he would collect 500 000$ in bonuses (he had 89 at the time). In the waning seconds of the game Demitra rushed toward an open net. He did not shoot, instead he passed the puck to Young. However Young’s shot was blocked by defenceman Jaroslav Modry and both players ran short of the bonuses. Asked by reporters after the game why he gambled his 500 000$ Demitra simply said:” Scott just needed this goal.” General Manager Larry Pleau still awarded both players with bonuses.

  47. Who cares about athletes and their drug use. Theo Fleury did heroine and coke, and he kicked ass!

  48. hope thats sarcasm pavel, fleury had about 30 good games before he self-destructed. dont think redden is that bad, but even without a drug problem he is not a number one defenseman in the nhl and if we can’t sign bouwmeester and/or gaborik next year b.c. of redden’s contract ill be pretty pissed

  49. You guys crack me up – in the span of 2 hours I have read that Redden, our new veteran dman, brought in to train the yoots on defense, is a coke-head. LOL

    and… he’s “not long to be the new Malkin” , “has lost a step” and “can’t keep up with the elite players of the league”. Oh? Who can keep up with Ovechkin, Crosby and Malkin? Young kids can, and we got em coming up or already on the roster.

    Ya got another alternative? The guy hasn’t had one shift and he’s already a has-been. Hysterical!

    All I want from Redden is 3 high quality seasons, and then he can let Staal, Girardi, Sanguetti, Del Zotto or whomever have the top four spots and he can slide down in the order for two seasons. He needs to get our PP going, mentor our kids and play decent defense and I will be pleased.

  50. Well said Vogs. Well said indeed.

    We’re not asking this guy to come in and score 30 goals, 80 pts and carry us on his back to the Cup Finals. We’re asking for a little better than average. In this league if you’re a better than average defenseman, you’re the elite. The pickings are slim, which is why the entire league drafted DMen in the first round this year. Not a coincidence.

  51. No joke, Brandon. “He’s not a #1 defenseman on the NHL”

    OK, who is? Brian Campbell? Nick Lidstrom? Sergie Zubov? Dan Boyle? Mark Streit? Dion Phaenuf? Rob Blake?

    I mean take a look at the entire Rangers defensive core as a group and it has gotten better I believe.

    This was the Caps defensive Core – Green, Poti, Erkstine, Jurcina

    Pittsburgh – Orpik, Gonchar, Gill, Letang, Sydor, Whitney

    Philly – Jones, Smith, Hatcher, Coburn, Timonen

    Are you really telling me that Redden, Rozival, Staal, Girardi, Mara, Kalinin is any worse than those examples. Ok, maybe we don’t have a Sergie Gonchar, which makes Pittsburgh that much better or A Timonen like in Philly, but maybe Staal turns into that or Sanguetti?

    Where’s the faith people?

  52. Fruity Cupcake on

    From what I’ve read about Wade Redden’s off-ice contribuations, the guys is more Gravy than Fleury. Could be WAY wrong, but it just doesn’t jibe that a coke-user (me me me, now now now) spends his spare time doing a lot of good for others.

    And they say Torornto is tough!!! The guy hasn’t recieved his number and the NY fans are already digging for dirt!

    Who knew paul Mara was such a team guy? Maybe he can stage an intervention for Redden @@

  53. Great move by Mara.

    The only thing for Slats to sort out now is the logjam of forwards – we have 12 signed to contracts, plus Dawes, Fritsche and Sjoey to sort out their RFA deals. We’ve hit $53m so far so once those 3 are added in there’s only about a million left under the cap. However that would be 15 forwards, 2G and 6D and i haven’t included Korpi or Parenteau who will both get a good look in September. So at least 2 forwards from that group will be in Hartford and we’ll need a #7D, maybe Pock or Potter.
    Slats has got to be looking to do a multi player trade for another scorer or he’s expecting the youngsters to man the wings on the 2nd line.

  54. LAst question for the weekend:

    HAs anyone heard anything about Shanny?
    HEard a rumor he call Pitts, but there not interested.

    Im sure Sather will not keep all the forward we have, as it is impossible, does he bring Shanny back for one more year? OR leave him out to dry and not even make him an offer?

  55. Doodie Machetto on

    Mikey, not that I expect Shanahan to return, but at this point, I don’t think the numbers will work for him to even be able to return.

    I’d love to see him take a job in the office, in Hartford, or Perry Pearn’s assistant spot with the big club.

    Here’s my count of our salary:

    Forwards (not counting our RFAs): 27.38
    Defense: 17.927
    Goaltenders: 7.6

    Adds up to 52.907. With Dawes, Sjostrom, and Fritsche to resign, I figure some moves will be made. I figure it will take 1-1.5 million for each. Let’s play the high side for argument’s sake: 4.5 million total. That means we need to clear a little over 700k in cap space, just so we can ice a team. Let’s look at our lineup positions:

    Centers: Gomez, Drury, Dubinsky, Fritsche, Betts, Rissmiller
    Wings: Naslund, Zherdev, Prucha, Dawes, Sjostom, Callahan, Voros, Orr, Hollweg, and Rissmiller.

    Clearly, some players have to go. Fritsche isn’t that strong in the circle, so I think they’ll try to move him to the wing. Rissmiller has played both center and wing, and he isn’t exactly great at either, so I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Blair Bettsky on Broadway, barring a great camp by Anisimov or Korpikoski (fingers crossed!).

    Even so, there is a lot of salary that needs to be shed, more than just cutting Betts and probably Hollweg will be able to accomplish, especially if any of our Hartford guys are to get into the lineup. Voros should probably end up in Hartford as well, but what a contract to give a guy just to send him there. Maybe they will replace Orr with him. He’s a little more skilled, but definitely less able to throw down.

    Poor Dubinsky. He’s going to go from having Jagr and Straka as linemates and seeing first line minutes to having two dregs and seeing third line ice time.

  56. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Playing with Shjo, Cally, and/or Dawes might not help Dubi on the scoreboard but should help him develop as he becomes the horse to carry the puck, learning to run his line/offense the way he finds comfortable, not Jagr’s way.

  57. Doodie Machetto on

    Truefans, I’d rather he get icetime instead of his own style at this point. He was so confident because of how well things were going and how much ice time he was getting that he was developing a swagger.

    What do you think will happen to his confidence when he goes from averaging 16-17 minutes of top line time to 10-12 minutes of third line time? I’d rather he get comfortable in the league before he start deciding how he likes to play. Besides, he showed glimpses of his own style BECAUSE of that confidence, frequently driving to the net from the outside, using his size to shield the puck.

  58. Doodie Machetto on

    What happens when your ice time gets drastically cut like that from one season to the next, after you had a great rokie campaign? You turn into Petr Prucha, who can’t put the puck in the ocean, despite having shown flashes of brilliance in his first two seasons.

  59. Peter Samponaro on

    i dont disagree that redden can be effective for a couple years, but i dont like that we will have to eat 6.5 mill for at least a couple years for a 5th or 6th defenseman. and i have no idea if the cocaine stories are true, i was simply saying if they are i would be concerned and that is not the kind of player i would want on our team. hopefully those reports are way off base. i would much rather have signed a mid level defense for 3-4 mill for two to three years then redden to 6 years for that much money after he has played poorly the past two seasons. i also wouldn’t have signed roszival for that much money, but its done and now i will root for these guys. i just dont want to miss out on gaborik and bouwmeester b/c of redden and roszival. and none of the defenseman we signed are tough players who will clear out the crease

  60. Power Surge on

    Another point re Mara, as well as Malik, Hollweg, Strudwick, Betts, and the departed Backman. What do they have in common? What they have in common is that they could NEVER play for a high-hockey I.Q. team like the Detroit Red Wings. Look at the above list, and tell me you do not see some of the dumbest and most clumsy excuses for NHL caliber players, anywhere. How can an organization expect to seriously contend for the Stanley Cup with so many dead-heads dressing, every game? See, it’s not Mara’s “wicked shot” which is his calling card – it’s his lack of any hockey sense or generalship which pulls his own game, and that of his teammates down. Same for the others listed above. They all have some positives, but these are greatly outweighed by the lack of even a fundamental hockey-playing apptitude.

    Mara, in fact, has one of the finest physiques in the game, I would say – he LOOKS like a hockey player, maybe even a sharply-conditioned boxer. But what is lacking between his ears gives the physical advantage back, and then some.

    To me, it is not so much which players the Rangers add, in a given off-season, so much as which deadbeats they subtract. They still have seven, by my count, deficit brain power dolts to subtract, before the additions can and will make the definitive difference we are all looking for. Look at the Detroit roster and tell me which of the above-mentioned players would even be considered for replacing someone currently on the Detroit roster? You win the Cup by playing intelligent, cohesive team-oriented hockey, as much as on superior talent. The Red Wings excell in both departments. The Rangers, getting ever more talented and young, still have a long way to go to in the overall hockey I.Q. department. It is way past time to clean out the dead wood which has festered here beyond all reasonable patience.

  61. you point out one mara mistake and say he has no hockey IQ. Not to mention we aren’t signing him to be a #1 or 2 guy, but a 5 or 6 guy. Your probably one of the same idiots who think messier is the best captain ever or getting jeff beukeboom like player is exactly what we need now. Mara is fine. He played well down the stretch and has been pretty good as a ranger. Maybe you should lace him up and challenge him one on one if you think he’s that bad.

  62. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Doodie, I completely agree with your Dubi point and there’s no doubt time spent with Jagr helps a lot of players (Nylander, Straka, Avery, Prucha, etc…). I also hope they don’t assign Dubi to 11min a night duties and ruin his development as they did with Prucha. Uggg.

    If Dubi sees PP time and gets put with decent wingers (NOT Orr, Hollyhood, Voros, etc…), by virtue of being a better playmaker than Drury, I believe he’ll continue to develop. Should be a very exciting team to watch, focused on transition hockey and breakouts. Not the most skilled team but I hope they turn out one of the NHL’s best efforts similar to what they did in 05-06.

  63. Just wondering, any news on Shanny? I’d love to get him back at a low price

  64. Danny Fritsche filed for arbitration according to Eklund. I know the source is awful, but I don’t think he is making this up lol. So the he can’t be offered an offer sheet, not that he probably would.

  65. I foresee lots of 2-1 and 3-2 games next season. they won’t blow people out, and they may scramble to stay above .500, but they will be more of a “team”, now that most of the czech clique and its sulking boss are thankfully gone.

    more of a north south style, a bit more physical play, more basic style (shoot and screen/rebound) on the PP, and more in tune on all lines with the system that Renney wants.

    less bigname bull, more hard work

    less flash, more dash.

  66. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Jbl, sounds great! Where do we sign up?

    Anyone know the deal with Cherapanov? I know he’s spending this year under the amazing tutolage of JJ, but will he make it to camp and a couple exhibition games?

  67. Power Surge on

    One bad game? How is it, living in Siberia with no TV set? I will tell you how it is, really watching the Rangers, this past season, dress SEVEN minor league caliber players, every time they took the ice. It is NO FUN, IF you are a Ranger fan. “Jonny,” when you learn to spell your own name correctly, maybe we can talk. LOL.

  68. Doodie Machetto on

    Power surge, I agreee that Mara is nothing more than a 5-6 defenseman. However, he was our 2nd best defenseman in the playoffs, and definitely was playing like a 3-4 guy. He really raised his game.

    Mara can play on any team in the NHL, excluding Anaheim, Detroit, and San Jose. You show me any other team with 6 defensemen that are clearly better than him.

    Outside of our 4th line and backup goaltender, who else, in your opinion is a fringe NHLer on our squad? Becuase the way I see it, most teams’ 4th lines and backups are fringe NHLers as well.

  69. Right on about Mara. I mean look at the first round last year, and how awful the Devils defense was. You don’t think they would of liked Paul Mara. Paul is solid 3rd pair guy, and he gave us a great deal because he wanted to be here.

  70. Sorry for a 2nd post, but Paul also is making less money then Dimitri Kalinin who will also be on the 3rd pair if he can stay healthy.

  71. Doodie Machetto on

    Truefans, start thinking of Cherepanov as Jan Marek. I’d be shocked if he ever comes over.

  72. Mara was possible our worst dman against Pitt. Whenever he and the stache were on the ice, the Pens were able to control the puck for so long I could’ve sworn they were on the power play. Knowing the amount of pressure that is put upon hockey players in Ottawa, I wouldn’t be surprised if Redden turned to drugs to help himself deal with it. I don’t care what he does away from the ice as long as he shows up with his A game. Honestly, I think Fleury used drugs throughout his career, they just didn’t become a “problem” until he lost his game.

  73. Power Surge on

    The problem with Mara is that when he plays aggressively, he makes glaring mistakes, primarily dreadful giveaway passes in his own end. This often leads to his playing tentatively, which is most evident in his hesitancy to make crisp, timely outlet passes, or skate the puck out from behind his own net. You can see his lack of confidence and his fear of making (repeated) mistakes.

    Say what you will, pro or con, about Mara, but, in fact, the Rangers have 3-4 young D’s ready to bypass Mara on the depth chart. There is an excellent chance Mara will not survive training camp on the big roster. He is pushing 30 and now and on the downside of a career that never had much upside. It looks like the GM is finally enlisting the services of more younger players with innate natural ability, over older mediocrities like Mara with (bad) “experience.”

  74. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Some of you guys are insane. Mara’s fine. He was better down the stretch than Rozi, Tyutin and Girardi. Mara may not use his body well for hitting but he doesn’t get beat for breakaways against like the other guys. You also have to realize the team can’t afford to bury 2mil in Hartford so he’s gonna play. He’s a solid 5/6 guy.

    Its funny, being so critical of Mara, I wonder if you ever saw Rozi miss his coverages left and right or if you watched Tyutin and Girardo giving up those plentiful breakaways?

  75. Striker “Vanguard” Alexei Cherepanov denied reports that he should come to the main training camp “Rangers” in September.

    “I do not understand what it! Who has circulated this news? Blueshirt Bulletin? Strangely… And that I must respond to this, but?

    I am no one shall be notified that I should come to the camp “Ranger”. And as you imagine it represent? I have another year contract with the “Vanguard”. I intend to fully comply with the terms of the contract, so I plan to start in September with the team in KHL, rather than go abroad.

    The current summer recruited forces. Having visited the home, in Altai, congresses abroad. Well, and several adjusted its own plan of training. And do not be surprised, because every year to acquire new experience, try to address errors “, – said in an interview Cherepanov

    http://www.sports.ru/hockey/5145807.html

  76. reginald dunlop on

    Mara was not the problem…..watch the tape his partner, backman was a bum………….

  77. true fans the team can afford to bury a contract in hartford as it only counts real $ not cap $. only then the guy might be stuck in Hartford as Pock was last year because if they try to bring a guy back and he’s claimed it will count 1/2 against our cap.

    unlikely it will happen with Mara

  78. MARA can be moved at the deadline. If a young D gets a chance and shows he is ready for regular work, or two can show it, Mara would be the type of guy looked for as depth for a team going into the post season. The reason I say this is he is good enough for the top 6 on most teams AND the most important part, he is only signed for one year, he would cost very little and nothing long term for a team to “rent” him. The Rangers could get like a 4th or 5th round pick for him…its not like he is signed long term, I think its smart going into camp with 6 guys who has HELD jobs in the NHL on a top 6.

  79. Oh yeah, and the same goes for Kalinin (sp) just one year on the books…at the most I think Sather sees these guys as stop gaps untill kids are ready, and I would be shocked if both made it to the playoffs with the Rangers.

  80. After reading through all the posts in this thread, my old friend vogs makes the most sense. Great analysis on his part, especially the defense although I thought Sather overpaid some for Rozsival and would have preferred 3 instead of 4 years.

    Rozi was hurt in the second half of last season plus he most likely was catering to Jagr plus he was the #1 guy. He did play good the 1st half. Now, if he can stay healthy, he doesn’t have the #1 responsibility any more, he doesn’t have Jagr to cater to, and hopefully will shoot more.

    If Mara isn’t used properly, there’s only one person to blame for that. In fact, he can’t have the excuse that this isn’t his kind of team like he could of when there were two trains of thoughts, Jagrs vs Gomez’s and Drury’s. Any questions about who I’m talking about.

    Yes, kudos to Mara for thinking of the team above himself and wanting to win here. Hopefully, the fans will give Mara a lot of latitude before booing him. Maybe that’s why Mara took a pay cut to play in NY. Only kidding on that one.

    Seriously, no reason Mara can’t be an asset to this team. Had a good playoff and should carry it forward to this coming season.

    Finally, Glen was smart in parting with Jagr on cordial terms. Maybe Sather gave Jagr some $$$ to convince his new teammate, Cherepanov, to come to NA next year and also prepare him to play in the NHL.

  81. Anyone know if there are any press conferences this week to maybe introduce Naslund or Redden or anyone for that matter?

  82. Great, “Some of the people around Mara are bad, or played poorly down the stretch.” Also, one person, above, noted that “ALMOST NO ONE has a decent fourth line in the NHL,” therefore, by inference, it is ok for the Rangers to employ Mara and other mediocre to poor journeymen in these departments, too.

    NO IT IS NOT ALRIGHT – not for an organization focused on winning the Stanley Cup. The Rangers had perhaps the WORST fourth line in the entire league, last year, going with Hollweg-Betts-Orr for almost the duration. About a month prior to the regular season’s end, the last time I checked, they were a collective -30! That is one hell of a hole to put your top three lines into, and a lot of extra pressure on them.

    Here is what I have caught on to, and maybe some others also see this….
    It is better to go with kids who have natural, albeit raw, in some cases, talent and ability – kids who have a better than journeyman potential upside, than to continue to wallow in the mire with established veteran mediocrities who just grunt and grind every night and who do not separate you, on quality, from the opposition.

    Mara, Hollweg, Betts, Strudwick, Malik, and the departed Backman, individually and collectively, put the Rangers in one hell of a hole throughout the season, and in the end, the team could not overcome the net deficit their play represented. They should all be cleaned out as quickly as possible, the replacement parts – looking really impressive in many cases, are ready to be plugged in. It is not like this organization has a bare cupboard, in fact, this organization is now LOADED with impressive young talent just waiting for the chance to prove they can contribute at MSG, far beyond what the above group of sad-sacks ever brought to the mix.

  83. Thanks for being a team guy Mara. THAT’S the kind of influence you want on your younger players. Not, “I’m worth this, or I’m worth that”. Not, “If you can’t offer me 2-3 years I’m going to leave the NHL”. I’ve wanted the NYR to pick up Mara before BOS singed him as a UFA (after finishing a contract in PHX 3yrs ago). He’s not a flashy player, not a great player. Understood that he didn’t have the best season last year, and understood (just like Marion) that another 1yr deal may set him up for a payday next season if he can pull his game together. Nothing wrong with being a SOLID 5th man. The price of dmen go up every year. Good luck this seaon Paul.

    On Jags…I’m still breathing sighs of relief. I’m excited to see the team turn another page.

    “That’s a ridiculous turnover in such a short period of time. Too bad all of those players we acquired by selling our team were such duds.”

    I think the necessity outweighs the ‘ridiculousness’. You wanted garth murray & co. to be your Rangers? Even if the players received in return didn’t pan out, it gave us the ‘push’ we needed to break out of a rut.

    TonyAZ – you friggin kill me dude. Good stuff.

    I’m exctited for the season to start. I’m excited for every season to start though. Doesn’t always end the way you’d hope, but it beats … well, almost anything.

  84. Mark – Zipay reported that Fritschie filed for arbitration. A little better source I’d say. I have NO idea what he’d be awarded, but we’re not exactly in a position to have to bend over for a 3rd line winger eh?!

  85. Power Surge on

    Some here apparently do not understand that fringe/on the bubble “team players” put on a “showtime” pumped-up team attitude because they know they are expendable and could get the axe at any time. Buying more time at the NHL level is the real game they are playing.

    Talking up the team concept is cheap – the game is still on the ice, where the marginal-ability guys like Mara too-frequently fall down. Don’t be so easily taken in by “hot air balloon” press quotes attributed to guys who know they are half-way out the revolving door. “Class Act” my butt, Mara and some other retread expendables are having AHL refuse bin nightmares.

  86. Power surge…did mara beat you up when you were younger…what is wrong with you? He waas the most solid d in playoffs and is u look at the mistakes rozi and girardi made in the playoffs, you would tetract your statements. He will be a top 5 d on this team the whole year and you will eat crow for all the bad things you say

  87. id be pretty upset if fritsche gets 1.5 million seeing that he is a fringe 3rd line/4th line player. prucha at 1.6 million could be one of the best bargains in the nhl if he is used with a playmaking center (ie not drury) and given sufficient pp time. while no one would argue that zherdev is more talented than prucha, he is making about a million more than prucha and prucha has more goals over his first 3 seasons and only 12 less total points (and prucha has never gotten the ice time that zherdev has). no reason why prucha shouldn’t get a fresh start this year and be on one of the top 2 lines

  88. the fact that the pylon-like pansy Malik, the big softie dork, was the Rangers first line Dman most of the past 2 seasons, tells you all you need to know about the outlandish undue influence that Jagr exerted to the detriment of the team.

    good riddance to both of them.

  89. Fritsche made 750,000 last year so I take my last comment back. He better not get 1.5 million. Hopefully he gets a million even.

  90. is anybody watching MSG right now? 6/6/08 8:13 pm
    Rangers vs. The Russians is on… pretty cool… i never knew they played against each other…

  91. Doodie Machetto on

    “the replacement parts – looking really impressive in many cases, are ready to be plugged in.”

    Dude, our Wolf Pack defensemen all are not that good. Pock and Hutch are fringe NHLers, both of whom weren’t good enough to stay in the league. Sanguinetti is a sieve. The guy might as well play forward with how poor his defense is. Potter had a much improved season in the AHL, but the guy is still no where near NHL readiness. Baranka is gone. The boat has also sailed on Liffiton. Where are all of these NHL ready defensemen you point to? Mara definitely has them all beat. And have you ever thought that the reason it was hard for Mara to play well is because he was paired with Dregs like Strudwick, Backman, and Malik? It’s harder to play well when you have to think about how terrible your partner is, plus, you don’t have any established chemistry because your pairing keeps getting changed.

    I’m sorry man, but you’re just wrong here.

    As for the 4th line, you can definitely say that it was a weakness that needs to be improved. I think you were responding to something that I had said, but you definity misunderstood my statement. You said our 4th line is made up of fringe NHLers. I said that almost every 4th line is made up of fringe NHLers. However, you took my statement out of context to mean that most 4th lines are BAD. I didn’t say that at all, just that they are fringe NHLers. Our fringe guys were definitely worse than the rest. No doubt about it there. The issue appears to have been addressed with the additions of Rissmiller, Voros, Fritsche, and Sjostrom last season. All of them are significant improvements over any member of HBO.

    You also pointed out that the line is a combined -30. Most of that falls on Hollweg and Orr, who are a -12 and -13 respectively. Betts was only a -4. Not that I put any stock into plus/minus anyway. If it were a legit stat, Malik would’ve gotten Norris consideration his first two seasons in NY.

  92. onecupin67years on

    Hawks Vs wings at Wrigley field New years day is official,so there won’t be a Ranger Vs. anyone at Yankee stadium,maybe Betman got back at the Rangers and the Dolans, but I think just as the NHL had Pittsburg and Crosby in Buffalo last year ,betman wanted the cup winners showcased this year.

  93. Baranka isn’t necessarily gone, hes just playing overseas. We technically still own his NHL rights since I think we extended him an RFA offer sheet.

    And yeah, whos 4th line is really amazing? Betts is a great PKer and probably our best faceoff man. Orr is there to fight and has because a much better hockey player since he came up with the Bruins. Hes there for protection anyway but showed he had decent hands for a slower 4th line wing. Without Hollweg there, it will be fine. Plus they should only be playing a handful of minutes every night anyway. I can’t stand people that think every line needs to be a bunch of top NHL players or realistically think we can win by rolling four scoring lines. Its not gonna happen. Plus I don’t think you can just come out and say they are stupid hockey players. Malkin turns the puck over a lot in key areas, does that make him a dumb hockey player? I don’t think so.

    BTW, Can you name anyone on Detroits 4th line? Probably not. Either way Anaheim won with George Parros on their 4th line and plenty of other teams won cups with 4th lines that were pretty awful in actually hockey skill. Are you telling me that he isn’t a fringe NHLers?

    About the outdoor game, Wings vs. Hawks is a much better matchup than anything we would have. You have to understand that they are trying to grow the game. Chicago lost a lot of fans thanks to Wirtz but now with them getting back on TV and actually looking like they might be competitive this year, its the perfect matchup. Cup champs against the up and coming contenders. Makes perfect sense.

  94. Pete – I’m laughing at the suggestion that Redden could become “the new Malik”. Come on, I’m pretty sure the hockey gods (you can’t touch them, but they’re among us) personally broke the “Marek Malik mold” so that there would never ever be another such model gliding, err…I mean grinding, over shiny cold slippery surfaces ever again.

  95. I’m really really confused about who is good in Hartford, and who does not deserve having their name even stitched onto a Rangers jersey. I’d like to see these guys play, but I haven’t because I live a zillion miles away.

    From what I read, I do believe that Pock will never make it. Yet, there’s an example. I’ve heard folks say Renney treated him with no respect and demoted him unjustly. I hear other folks say he will never be more than a middle of the pack AHL career player. Whoo – there is quite a spread between AHL journeyman and up and coming NHL fixture. I’m confused.

    And Hutchison. I’ve seen posts on various boards by people whom I really respect, and some of them sing his praises and others say there is a reason why he is still in Hartford.

    Maybe I’m crazy to ask for yet another opinion, but what is this thing with these two players? Are they good, are they crap, or is there a problem up at NYR?

  96. We still own Baranka’s NHL rights and he will be an RFA if he chooses to come back after his 1-year contract is up.

    A lot of reports were singing Hutchinson’s praises about him improving the defensive side of his game – but he is a UFA now so could go anywhere. I thought Pock might crack the roster this year, especially when we shipped out Toots and Backman, but with Kalinin and Mara signing i think he is destined for the #7 slot or a year in Hartford.

    You have to think that with Mara and Kalinin signing 1-year deals they will be looking for Bobby S, Mike Sauer and some of the other young D-men to be NHL ready for 09/10 season.

  97. Power Surge on

    Pock is no longer a viable NHL top-six D because he was treated worse than a pig on a train to the slaughterhouse by the GM who shuttled him back and forth between NY and Hartford so many times no one can count that high, then contracted “healthy scratch” disease so that the completely washed-up (“but more experienced”) Sandis Ozolinsh could prove, YET AGAIN, how washed-up he was for an entire month. Kas also got his final NHL gasp at the expense of Pock playing time. I hope Pock represents the last example of the Rangers treating a young player so disgracefully as to completely undercut his confidence and his career development.

    Do I even have to dignify and respond to those here who are lobbying for the continued employment at MSG of Mara, Malik, and Strudwick-types over the Sanguinetti’s of the world? That is the perfect formula for eating Boston and Chicago’s dust, to mention just two organizations which seem to “get it,” when it comes to rolling out the red carpet for their best YOUNG propects and players. Mara is a #6, fringe NHL D, at best – a glorified, overrated AHL stumblebum, at worst, while Sanguinetti could turn out to be a #1, even better than Staal, yet I am supposed to get on the bandwagon wanting to see Sanguinetti’s NHL debut forestalled, yet another year.

    Oh, please, take up girls basketball, or something.

  98. JohnnyD – Right on about the outdoor game. Though I haven’t czeched reliable sources for the ‘official’ announcement from the NHL, the game in Chi-town is a much better idea for those exact reasons you pointed out. I don’t know why people feel ‘disrespected’ that the game won’t be in NY for the 2nd year in a row.

  99. according to some…..
    There is a vast conspiracy being perpetrated by the Renney-Sather administration where they select a young defensemen and do everything to degrade, humiliate and break the kids spirit; everything but strip him down naked and have whole team stand around the kid pointing and laughing…..but only to this one kid, while Tuytin, Girardi and Staal are allowed to graduate up in 2004, 2006 and 2007 respectively……..50% of ranger defense were graduates of the system that keeps Mr Pock down

  100. So I’ve been holding this in while I was away this weekend but
    WOOOO HOOOO!!!!!!!!

    Can’t believe how drastically this team has changed over the last couple of days. INCREDIBLE!

    Sure Redden and Naslund are “questionable” signings with age and recent production… but they are steps in a distinct direction and that has made me so damn happy all weekend… this is incredible. Somehow more exciting than last years signings… it would/will be nice to see this team develop.

    And thanks Jaromir, you brought us out of the gutter and we will forever be grateful for that… but your time ran out here… enjoy RSL and get your boy Chere out here in due time.

    I hope Renney doesn’t screw with our new players… I hope Pearn can get his act together too…

    WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

    I think these moves are for the best.

  101. where did anyone read the outdoor game is at Wrigley?
    And if they wouldnt “ALLOW” two new York/New JErsey teams to play it, for fear of alienating the entire hockey market, ho are they going to allow the same exact thing in another state/region?

    And go MAra!!

  102. Wow, there have been so many moves so far, and I just have to say that I really like the construction of this team. A couple of big name, but cheap, guys on the wings, with defense that sounds solid. I don’t necessarily like how much money was spent on Redden and Rozsival, especially because it looks like we might only have Zherdev for one year, but we’ll see how Sather works it out next offseason, when we obviously can’t sign any big free agents because we signed four guys to contracts of at least $6.5 million per year in the last two seasons. I do hope Pöck gets a chance as the seventh defenseman at the beginning of the season (before he is sent down), since he should be more experienced and talented than guys like Sanguinetti, Potter, and Sauer. If he doesn’t get on the roster out of training camp, then he won’t make it back.

    Now that NHL Numbers is updated, it looks like we have just under $4 million of space with 12 forwards and six defensemen, but that doesn’t include Korpikoski, who is over $1 million, or Dawes, Fritsche, and Sjostrom, who have to be signed. Hopefully, Hollweg will be gone to make room for someone, and probably Orr or Rissmiller (Orr making half of what Rissmiller does). It also does not include any potential bonus overage from last season or the Jagr buyout, if that even counts against the cap, since it was an option year that was signed under the old system.

    With this second report of the outdoor game at Wrigley Field, it looks like that is going to happen. I have to wonder why they would choose Wrigley over Soldier Field when Wrigley seats a little more than 40,000, except for the fact that Wrigley has more history (and might host a World Series this year, which Yankee Stadium won’t).

  103. I’ll admit DET/CHI is a better _match up_ than the alleged NYR/BOS game…. but they blew the golden chance at Yankee Stadium… there are Yankee fans all across the nation that would have tuned in JUST to see the spectacle of the field turned into a rink before demolition, whether they liked the idea or not. I’m sorry, but you throw down the extra couple million it takes to get that done. Once in a lifetime chance… I think DET will very likey be in a similar position next year as well, but Yankee Stadium wont…

  104. Salty – good to see we’re on the same page! :)

    Jagr is actually in the *KHL*, which was formed mostly of RSL teams. It looks like Jagr is going to be their star player! Hooray for them!

    MikeyNJ – It makes even more sense now that Detroit won the Stanley Cup *again*. And Chicago has the two star rookies from this past season on their team. NBC probably hopes that people actually watched that Red Wings-Blackhawks game in the last week of last season that they were forced to show because they ran out of their allotment for Penguins and Rangers games. It’s also two Original Six teams, which ours wouldn’t be if it was two teams from the metropolitan area. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported the game again yesterday.

  105. It looks like our cap is at 52.9million, but that doesn’t include about 900k for Shjo, 600k for Dawes, or whatever Fritsche, Parenteau, Byers, Korpedo or (long-shot) Anisimov might get. So I think we have $1.5million – maybe 800k for Fritsche and then room for one/two young guys to make the team (pending where Hollweg, Orr, Voros, Jamtin, and Rissmiller play — AHL?).

    Go Mara!!! Go!!! Pock deserved an NHL look but Mara’s a ‘fringe’ NHL player who was once given a 3million contract? Wow. Different perspectives are what make this board interesting, and it’s gotten extremely interesting lately.

  106. Sam – Let’s have some fun. How about a bloggers vote on who should be next NYR Captain?

  107. This site gets out of hand when people start talking like they know more about judging talent than the guys whose job it is 24/7.

    I am all for second-guessing and questioning the moves by the brass.

    But when guys start talking crap about Thomas Pock, it epitomizes what I am mentioning above. The guy barely cracked the line-up. He passed through waivers which basically meant that NO ONE wanted him. I am unsure but I think the same thing happened with Hutchinson. What irks me is guys on this site who watch a few AHL games claim they are the experts when most of the other clubs think those guys up for debate truly suck.

    Let’s at least try and be objective in our analyses.

    That gets me back to Mara….

    All the idiots out there saying that he shot the puck wide to get rebounds off the boards to the front of the net: If that isn’t the stupidest comment I have heard on this blog in a long time, I don’t know what is. The guy had 1 goal on 80 shots in 61 games for a whopping 1.3% shooting percentage. And you dopey mofos are saying he missed the net on purpose? I don’t even know where to go with that.

    Mara is a big guy. He hits like he is made of glass.

    He will be lucky to nail down the #6 d-man slot. If any of the kids in Hartford have a good camp (and I am NOT talking about Pock or Hutch), there is a chance that Mara might be the #7 d-man.

    He may be a nice guy and all, and kudos on taking less to stay with the Rangers. But if someone offered me 50% more to work in another town, unless it was Pohunk, Iowa, I would consider it for sure. Why work somewhere for 3 years when I can work somewhere else for the same dough in 2 years. Economically that makes no sense whatsoever. So when Mara is saying, “I had other offers for more, but I wanted to stay here….” I am a little suspect.

    We have like 7 or 8 D that are potentials and we have maybe 15 forwards. I think we should pkg 2 or 3 players for a crushing D man.

  108. Just read a post over at zipays blog that says someones hearing rumblings of NYR and Toronto making a trade? A few of our wingers for one or two of there dMen/ Toronto has 10 as of right now so they need to unload , and we have a plethora of wingers.

    LEts see if this pans out and who goes. Please give PRuch’s another chance Sather

  109. If Shanny stays, he will get the C

    If not, it will likely end up on Drury’s shoulder with Gomez and Naslund wearing the A’s. I’d like to see it on Gomez’s sweater, I think he earned it the most of anyone this season. Redden may get a C depending on how much Cocaine he can smash up his nose between periods. I kid. But Redden will likely be some sort of a problem down the line, I think we can all recognize that… given the NYR track record…

  110. I hope Zherdev can score and Naslund finds some trace of his old form. I’m still worried about where goals are going to come from. We don’t have a top winger.

    Younger/faster doesn’t mean a lot if you can’t score.

  111. Salty & Pig, that makes at least 3 of us who are THRILLED that we get to move on. And it seems like we’re on the same page.

    I’m a little torn about who should wear the ‘C’. I don’t think it would necessarily be shanny if he returns. He didn’t wear it last season, cause he really didn’t have to, and I don’t think he would for this coming season. His ego (which never really seems to be in play) would not be crushed. Nazy wore it for the last 8 seasons in VAN. I would think an ‘A’ would be in order for him, but you never know.

    I can see a deal being struck with TOR. Fletcher needs to get something done up there other than signing Jeff Fuggin Finger for $3.5mil. Youth is the name of the game for him up there. I would think that of all our wingers, he’d be looking for any of: Dawes, cally, sjo, prucha. No one else fits what they need.

  112. “Younger/faster doesn’t mean a lot if you can’t score.”

    Excellent point RobC. But we couldn’t score last season being ‘older and slower’. So it can’t hurt.

  113. Zipay says it is highly unlikely that Shanny returns, and I think he is right, Naslund is enough to have an older wing blocking the path of young guys we don’t need SHanny slowing everything down. If he would take way less minutes that would be one thing, but I think that would just insut him more… but then gain Chelios sat on the bench for the Stanley Cup finals… I don’t remmerbe seeing he was hurt…

  114. Chelios was indeed “hurt” (I think he could have played, but they didn’t want him at 80% or whatever)

    I tell you this much though… if Chelios is on the ice, Talbot never sends that game to overtime.

  115. Beer,
    Make me the fourth excited person – excited this team has a plan and a new look. I don’t care if we have 4 grind-it-out lines (the first being the most talented), i just want to see a fast game from a team that works hard and I think we’ll get that.

    Reading this blog makes it obvious Mara will be the newest whipping boy. He will get boo’d by half-way through the season (for things that aren’t his fault), but mostly because he doesn’t flatten people with his size…and it’s going to be sad to watch his game degenerate because of a bunch of degenerates.

    Youtube Naslund guys – I know most of you have youtube’d Zherdev, but Nazzy’s got amazing hands too. Look at the “05-06 hilights.” He pulls off goals from the goal-line, driving directly to the crease, parellel with it. He pulls off a couple of the Forsberg stamp goals. Pretty nice. I’m excited!

  116. Cool Truefans, and agreed. Though I think it is those with false hopes that will be most dissapointed with Mara. I like Mara, b/c I know what his game is. I wish EVERYONE on the team would take the body. That includes Gomer how MAY have gotten into double digits last year in hits. Sure, Mara’s a big guy, but there are bigger who don’t use there body also. At 1.9mil, there’s almost nothing to ‘whip’ him for. If anything, people should kiss his ass. At least we have an NHL caliber dman as our 6th man. I challenge anyone to go through the other 29 depth charts and find a better 6th man making less than 1.9mil.

  117. I’m #5!!

    I keep thinking about our offense and then I remember…with Shanny/Jags/Straka and Aves we were 25th in league in scoring…I’ll take a flyer on Naslund/Zherdevn and full years from Dawes/Callahan and even perhaps Prucha!
    plus Dubi will be one year older/smarter

    cant see any reason to make Mara a whipping boy, 30% reduction in salary plus undying loyalty? if anything Redden and Rozy will become the new whip-boys

    I wish Shanny would retire too, as a Ranger…or play for scale one year ( easy for me to say)

    The Wolfpack/3rd-4th lines are glutted….trades will have to be made

  118. Naslund was/is filthy. Let’s call it what it is though… he’s 34 and his numbers are dwindling. Anything over 30g out of him would be incredible.

    The truth is just about every big move NYR has made is indeed risky business. Dwindling stars and one potential megastar with a questionable work ethic.

  119. Mara whipping boy? Are you joking? I can already hear the garden faithful calling for Redden’s head. It is not even a question in my mind that at some point over his SIX year contract he becomes THE resident enemy.

  120. In all honesty though, who was Naslund’s centers over the years. Not that Gomer is as good a playmaker as crosby (just puked a little), but I think Gomer can help Naslund get back on his game. Whatever is left of it at 34. I’d say 30goals out of Naslund isn’t out of reach, but we shouldn’t expect a career year.

    Glad to see folks happy with moving forward, and I hope that those that are still upset about Jagr thinking he’s god himself and fleeing, see that its not about us ‘hating’ #68, it’s about wanting what’s best for the TEAM.

  121. Love Jagr, hall of famer, Rescued rangers from oblivion…I actually wish he could play one more NHL game at the garden…he got massive send-off after game 4 this year…we all knew (and he knew he was gone)

  122. And to those same folks that are pissed about Jags not resigning, I offer this advice…

    DON’T BUY A NASLUND JERSEY TOO!

  123. I’ve always been an optimist when it comes to my sports teams, and I really don’t HATE these moves. I guess it’s VERY cautious optimism heading into this year. I just think there are too many question marks up front. Will Zherdev’s head be on straight? Will Naslund continue to decline or have a resurgence? Are we really depending on a kid (Prucha/Dawes/Korpikoski) to have a huge year and establish himself as a top winger?

    Also, is the power play improved?

    Other than Hank, not much is certain right now.

  124. lol Beer,

    as to the new whipping boy, I’ve guessed it was going to be Rozi since the middle of last year. and the fact that he is one of the few remaining Czechs and only European d-man we have left I think seals the deal…

    although if Mara’s shooting percentage doesn’t get above a 2 people will defintely start booing… and if he scores a goal the mock cheers will be comparable to when Marek frickin Malik managed the feat..

  125. Rob C,

    that where I’m at, I want to be optimistic, but there are too many new pieces. I am just waiting to see how training camp goes…

  126. Something we talked about during the season was that in ’05-’06 the NYR were a “blue-collar, grind it out” team. They were far from that this past season. Does the new lineup bring us a little closer to what we had back after the lock-out? A little more “desire” maybe?

  127. I think we could get much closer to a cup with this squad than last year. There, I said it.

    If our big guys can come up big with the game busted open, I think things will be great.

    “Also, is the power play improved?”

    Vastly. Subtract the restrictions of Jagr-centrism and add the QB and “shot from the point” talent of Redden, I would put a hundred dollars today on us doubling our PPGs.

    PP1

    DRURY GOMEZ NASLUND
    REDDEN ROZY

    PP2

    DAWES DUBINSKI ZHERDEV
    STAAL KALI

    Cmon man… those are solid.

  128. Doodie Machetto on

    “Betts is a great PKer and probably our best faceoff man.”

    He’s actually our worst. He took the least faceoffs and had the lowest percentage last season. Drury, Gomez, Dubinsky, THEN Betts. And so he’s a good penalty killer. So what? We can train a lot of guys to kill penalties. I mean, they already started moving away from him by having a lot of guys get some time on the PK last year.

    Personally, I’m through with HBO, and the lot of them can be replaced by the guys we have signed this offseason: Fritsche to center, Voros to replace Orr’s role, and Rissmiller to replace Hollweg. That would be a significant improvement HOCKEYWISE over all three of those players. The only downgrades would be Voros’ fighting compared to Orr’s fighting, and Fritsche’s faceoffs to Betts’ faceoffs.

    Aaron Voros had the least points out of the new three last season, wit 7 goals and 7 assists. HBO put up a combined 5 goals, 8 assists. And Voros did that in only 55 games!

  129. Doodie Machetto on

    Salty, the PPs lines are on paper. Paper isn’t reality. Look at all of the players we had last season, and yet our PP was crap. I don’t think the lack of a puck moving defenseman was the reason for that. It wasn’t that it was Jagr-centered either. It’s the coaching. Perry Pearn blows. He’s still here. Therefore, I have no confidence in our PP.

  130. Doodie Machetto on

    “ZHERDEV HAD MORE GOALS LAST YEAR THAN ANY RANGER”

    And Jagr and Gomez both had more points than any Blue Jacket. I’m not sure I see your point.

  131. Salty – C is for Cocaine! haha
    I wish I _could_ do backflips. :*(

    Beer Me! – I think we all know who you’re talking about when you say, “but there are bigger who don’t use their body also.” :)
    I was thinking the same thing about the similarity to the 2005–06 season.

    Doodie – I do like Betts and Orr, but just because they were here in past seasons doesn’t mean we should keep them. You make a good argument against them, but they are paid less than the guys we signed, which is kind of odd because it’s probably the HBO which they are looking to demote, but it would make more cap sense to demote the new guys. Like I said before, signings were a little overpriced, so these guys better be in the lineup. I feel like Orr will be kept around as a spare part for when someone gets injured, with Betts and Hollweg leaving us, definitely Hollweg should see by now that his time here is finished.

  132. Doodie Machetto on

    I am pissed about the signings because we’re so locked up for so long. We’re totally not going to have the space for Kovalchuk. Yeah, I know he isn’t a sure thing, but he’s totally worth waiting for.

  133. Salty, the PPs lines are on paper. Paper isn’t reality. Look at all of the players we had last season, and yet our PP was crap. I don’t think the lack of a puck moving defenseman was the reason for that. It wasn’t that it was Jagr-centered either. It’s the coaching. Perry Pearn blows. He’s still here. Therefore, I have no confidence in our PP.

    ……..

    Disagree man. As much as I think Pearn should eat shit and die in a fire… he was the coach when our PP was killer too. I really believe subtracting Jagr and adding Redden changes EVERYTHING.

    I mean, what are you looking for in a PP first of all I guess is a better question… I’m personally looking for movement up top and then low blasts at the goalies feet with guys ready to bury the trash.

    Agreed that paper means nothing… but I think the chemistry will be much looser without any pressure to “get one guy the puck”….

  134. Look, I wanna be optimistic. That power play looks very good on paper. I hope Redden plays REALLY well in New York because he certainly hasn’t been great the past 2 years in Ottawa.

    We shall indeed see. either way, I’m excited.

  135. Doodie Machetto on

    SP: I wasn’t looking from a cap space perspective, but rather an improvement perspective. Besides, Figure Fritsche gets 1.4 million tops from his arbitration. Thats 3.4 million compared to the 1.664 for HBO. An icnrease of 1.8 for that large of an increase in talent spread over three players is worth it.

    Not to mention that if Callahan doesn’t have a GREAT camp, I think he’s headed back to Hartford. The guy is just not that good. He isn’t good defensively, and he isn’t that good offensively. His bread and butter is crashing the net for garbage goals… but he’s so tiny that he can’t really get himself there.

  136. The SINGLE most important person on a PP is your QB. Can we agree on that at least?

    If that’s the case, we’ll be far better off this season even though Pearn is still running (as far as we know) the PP. Redden played Pearns system, and while the talent up front for Ott blows ours out of the water, the pp was successful. The same pp ‘theory’ if you will. It was also not underminded by an egotistical winger who refused not to be the center of attention. I have complete faith that the pp will be better for us in ’08-’09.

  137. Doodie – I agree about cally. He’s another stop-gap player. A great candidate to go to TOR if the rumors have any truth to them. Worthy of maybe a 4th/5th rnd pick in 2010.

    The dude looks like a cat in a bathtub when he skates.

  138. Doodie Machetto on

    “he was the coach when our PP was killer too”

    You mean when Jagr was a MONSTER and basically willed our PP to success coming out of the lockout? Yeah, Pearn had a ton to do with that! And don’t even tell me that PP wasn’t Jagr centered. The WHOLE TEAM was Jagr-centered that year.

    It was 8th two years in a row when Jagr was playing well. Then he had an off year and it dropped to 22nd. But shame on Pearn, because each year he had more weapons available to him. The first year he had nothing. Jagr basically ran the show, and turned Prucha into a 17 PPG scorer. Two years ago, it was essentially the same lineup, but they added Shanahan, and Pearn couldn’t figure out a way for them to play together! Add one more year. OK, Shanahan and Jagr are on the decline and Nylander was gone, but he was given Chris Drury and Scott Gomez! STILL he could get nothing going.

    Blame Jagr all you want, but Jagr was the reason the PP was any good in the first place.

  139. Let’s recognize what the plan was last year and now lets realize that the time is now.

    We brought in Drury and Gomez for the *inevitable* post-Jagr era. And here we are (!!!). Those guys…are our guys, and I do believe in them to be strong leaders. I can’t realistically imagine the Rangers having pulled off much better moves this off season. The kicker is we signed two D to pretty intense contracts. Hopefully, they can be traded off if necessary and if our kids come up promising.

    But we are moving forward here. Risky steps… but what isn’t risky? I think these things needed to be done.

    (Truth = Redden makes or breaks us)

  140. “Truth = Redden makes or breaks us”

    While I can’t disagree with that, I would say too that Redden makes our D better. Even an off-year for Redden is better than Malik on a good year. Or toots on a so-so year…which is everyone in a blueshirt for him. (salary disregarded, obviously) More than anything, it puts Rozy where he belongs. In a 2nd/3rd dman role.

  141. I don’t know if I’d be thrilled with the Rangers giving up youth to Tor. for any of their defensemen, at all.

    In terms of Captain, I think the logical choice would be Drury C with Gomer A and Naslund or Redden with a A.

    I will say this, I like when people don’t expect much of the team (See 05-06) as opposed to us being some Cup winner on paper (see 07-08). Please remember our PP was supposed to be amazing 07-08…and we all know how that played out.

    I think team moves in a solid ‘team’ direction. I like it. The signings of Rissmiller, Voros and Fritsche def. seem to send a message that the HBO line will have to work to make the team. However, I think it really (ok hopefully) sends the message that Hollwegg is out to Hartford or beyond.

    As for Cally he strugged throughout the season, but after coming back from Hartford, I think he did fairly well. He hussled, alot. So, I wouldn’t go out and say he’s tiny–so is Prucha, Dawes, etc. I just don’t see him getting bounced down. He’s fast, he hits and he hussles= all things Renney seems to love.

    Redden will for sure be the whipping boy. 6 years and a lot of money= easy target with ALOT to prove.

    I agree with Salty, I like the look of our power play alot. I’m overall excited. No, we will never be able to replace Jagr, but the air of change, is beyond refreshing.

    As for Shanny, part of me wants him to retire b/c I will surely be sick to my stomach watching him become a Flightless bird (as rumored) or a Devil. Just no.

  142. Doodie Machetto on

    I like how everyone forgets that the only reason our PP was good over the last two seasons before this disaster was Jagr. Yes, his ego is why the PP was bad last year, not the coaching.

    I got news for you. He wasn’t producing. You think the coaches would’ve had any truck sitting him on the PP? What would he do, produce less? No. Pearn and Renney were just dumbfounded because they had rested all of their hopes on him, and it wasn’t working. They couldn’t do any REAL coaching to try and fix things.

    And who was our PP QB the two years prior when the PP was 8th two years in a row? Marty Straka! Are you kidding me? He was the WORST. So don’t tell me that subtracting Jagr and adding Redden magically fixes things.

    The two most sought after defensemen this year were Campbell and Redden, and look where their team’s PPs were: 12th and 14th. Yeah, that PP QB suuuure made a difference!

    And how many guys would qualify on Anaheim as a PP QB, 3? maybe 4? 20th.

    The teams that did well on the PP were the ones who had a lot of motion, who moved the puck around both by passing and skating. Detroit, Montreal, Pittsburgh, their PPs were perpetually moving the puck. And it wasn’t just one guy who decided where it went (the PP QB), it was everyone just passing the puck and then moving to open space, or receiving the puck and then moving to create lanes. I have YET to see that form our PP in the 3 years since the lockout. I just saw Jagr be great for two seasons, and lousy the third.

  143. You mean when Jagr was a MONSTER and basically willed our PP to success coming out of the lockout? Yeah, Pearn had a ton to do with that! And don’t even tell me that PP wasn’t Jagr centered. The WHOLE TEAM was Jagr-centered that year.

    No, exactly. Pearn IMO is completely irrelevant to the PP. My point was not that he had anything to with it, but that he also didn’t fuck it up either when it was working.

    We lived by the Jagr sword and died by it as well. With Jagr gone I expect the PP to take on a life of it’s own… point is though that when the PP was working Pearn also didn’t make that happen but it DID happen under him…there’s no reason we can’t be successful under him with Jagr gone and with a real QB up top in Redden.

  144. Go ahead and make the case that In 2007-2008, Malik, Strudwick, Mara, and belatedly, Backman, didn’t keep Sangs and Hutch on the farm, and had nothing to do with Baranka coming up for one game, making an assist and then being shipped out, immediately. Please – just do it, I haven’t had my belly laugh yet today.

    Look, as long as Strudwick-types are around some kid is being blocked from advancing – period! Look, when a clown like Backman is acquired, it is INSTEAD of a kid being promoted from the farm. Why does this have to be rocket science to some? And yes, full credit to the GM as regards timely and early promotions re Girardi, Tyutin, and Staal – absolutely high marks, there. But there was and still is old, journeyman dead-wood to clean out – unless you want to dispute that and make a case for further retention of the Mara’s, Strudwick’s, and Malik’s of the world?

    Look – Sanguinetti is going to beat the pants off Mara in training camp and we all know that it doesn’t matter, Sanguinetti is headed to Hartford “to gain experience.” What Sangs could do from the point on the Rangers pathetic power play Mara hasn’t even heard of yet. But Sangs is 20 – 21 in mid-season, and Mara, bless his journeyman grunt little heart, is around 30. That’s it – he qualifies to give us another year of extremely sloppy and stupid play.

    Age and experience are what matter most around here, not ability. Just don’t complain when Mara costs the Rangers one or two games a month, on balance. I won’t be sympathetic and I even might say “I told you so.”

  145. I have YET to see that form our PP in the 3 years since the lockout. I just saw Jagr be great for two seasons, and lousy the third.

    exactly… dont you think the coaches will now be more prone to try a new method? Doodie do you think for one second I support our coaching staff? Not a chance in red hell…. but I have a littl emore faith in things changing now. Swapping Jagr out and Redden IS magic in the sense that anything is now possible. The only thing we know right now is that EVERY SINGLE SHOT will NOT be coming off the right boards.

    Jagr handcuffed the PP, coaching was too pussy to swap him out because he had been succesful in the past. With him no longer there… they are forced to try a new apporach = -good- GREAT thing.

  146. you guys do realize that sure these moves are risky but now our team is completely unpredictable to defend. Last year everyone knew jagr was getting the puck and either him or shanny were the “threats” on the powerplay. Now we have a bunch of guys on our top two lines that can score. We don’t have a focal point on a line like we’ve had the last three years so teams don’t know how to matchup with us.

    And about nazzy, he was a center for awhile and moved to wing when he played with the sedins. Him and morrison rotated at center when bertuzzi was around.

  147. power surge, mara is 28 I believe? Also no crap sangs will be better, but he’s nowhere near ready defensively for the NHL. He needs one more year in Hartford.

  148. That reminds me of something else Johnny. We added 2 guys from the west with some moves right? In today’s NHL with no ties, we gained a little in that dept. Jags never wanted to shoot, everyone and their grandmother knew that shanny was taking a shot in side the circles, and well, we just don’t have enough Marcel Hossa’s eh? So Z and naz will help in that dept. A bit of a stretch there, but it’s still a positive.

    Power Surge – why the hate towards Mara? “LOOK”, Bobby would get all of 15min a night in NY. He’ll play 25min down in htfd. That’s where the benefit is. Sure, he can come up here or there if someone’s out for more than a week. But it serves us much better having him in htfd next season.

    I know most people said the same about Staal at this time last year, so you never know. But with Kalinin and Mara on 1yr deals, you’d have to think the brass has thought of this. That includes dealing one of them (much easier on 1yr deals remember) to bring up Bobby should he go all Jason Krog, and tear up the A.

  149. Power–I’m sorry are you a Hartford regular or something?

    I don’t know, and tell me you personally know, that Sanguinetti is ready for NHL level play. Kalinin was paid for ONE year. Mara for ONE year. My guess, Sanguinetti will get a look at camp, be sent to Hartford to get as much TOI as possible and then get a spot 09-10′. Staal is not the norm for defencemen to jump onto the big league. And I doubt, that if Sanguinetti has a HUGE camp they wouldn’t dump one of the others into Hartford . But from the reports, Sanguinetti needs to work on his defense. I’d rather him be ready than rushed —see Tom Poti for your rushed examples..we all know how well that worked out.

  150. Mara and Kalinen are both 1 year deals so if Bobby S doesn’t make it this year, the door is wide open next year. If he is ready, Mara would probably be the 7th D. As far as the next whipping boy…who cares. 1/2 of these booing morons are the same still chanting Potvin sucks.

  151. Doodie Machetto on

    Salty, I’m not saying that overreliance on Jagr last season wasn’t a problem. What I’m saying is that the coaching staff didn’t even TRY to fix it. They didn’t even know how. Pearn basically said for all three years: well, I’ve got Jaromir Jagr. You can do whatever you want. And SURPRISE! for two years, it worked really well. How hard was it to look at your team, decide who the best player is, and then tell him he can do whatever he wants? So, he tried it again last year, and it wasn’t working. So how did he fix it? He didn’t! He wouldn’t even know where to begin! He has done NO COACHING, WHATSOEVER. Jagr coached the PP the past few years, not Pearn.

    Now, he has no Jagr. So now, he can either coach the PP, which I don’t think he knows how to do, or he can punt to one of his players again, and let them sort it all out.

    Basically, my point is, I was more confident about the PP going into last season than I am going into this season. Weren’t you? Our PP that had ranked 8th added Gomez and Drury, Staal was probably going to make the team, Rachunek was gone… Jagr was a MONSTER down the stretch and in the playoffs. Didn’t Our PP on paper last year sound MUCH better than the year before? And it fell flat on it’s face because the coaching staff (Perry Pearn) has NO idea what it(he) was doing.

  152. Drury and Gomez allegedly have leadership character traits. However, both are proven sidekicks, but neither are proven leaders. We have no idea if they are capable of captaining a team yet. Maybe they are, maybe they are not. It takes a special kind of player to make a great captain. Sometimes the player leads with his play, other times with his voice and in the rare instance (a la Messier) he does both.

    Scott Gomez doesn’t strike me as much of a captain. He doesn’t have that kind of maturity or swagger. Drury holds himself like a captain, but is a church mouse of a personality. Whether he is like this in the locker room is a different story, but his demeanor indicates as much.

    To me, we don’t have a “captain” right now. A few assistants, but no captain.

  153. I’m looking forward to next year but I’m not sure I see much upside to our PP other than the addition of Redden. If I look at the Jagr/Shanahan stats and then the Naslund/Zherdev stats, I don’t see the new combo being statistically any better. Who knows Jagr might have flourished on the PP with Redden….

    Overall, I think Naslund is a downgrade from Jagr. Zherdev looks interesting but truthfully scares me because despite being a top scoring wing, he posted a nicely negative +/- and has every year.

  154. Doodie,

    I disagree about Callahan. He’s earned a spot on the team and is here to stay. He was one of our most consistent players in the second half of the season and was a noticable presence in the playoffs (i.e. short handed goal against Devils). He’s a big body, plays physical and has a nose for the net. He’s also mature, articulate and team-oriented, which goes a long way with a coach like Renney.

    I’d argue his status with the team is much more secure than Nigel Dawes, who in my opinion, disappears from time to time and lacks size and consistency.

  155. People on this blog are saying Callahan doesn’t skate well, doesn’t hit, and his only attribute is crashing the net and scoring garbage goals?

    You guys are all certifiable. Cally has more heart than any other Ranger save for Dubi. And he is the only forward who can hit and get points, again, save for Dubi. Name one other guy on last year’s roster who has the physical presence and the ability to make things happen in the offensive zone? Maybe Avery is the only other person I can think of, with an outside vote for Sjostrom who is still unproven in a Blueshirt.

    The #1 catalyst in the Penguins series was Cally. He was hitting everything. He made something happen every shift. I got $100 says he easily makes the roster this year, unless he is traded (which I think would be a STUPID move).

    Callahan had a big knee injury this season too. That kid is getting better and better.

    Prucha is better trade bait than Cally.

  156. Doodie Machetto on

    JJP: I think the Naslund signing was definitely not a good choice.

    As for Zherdev, I think that this is a good team for him. Renney seems to know how to get his young players to work. The team itself has a good, hard-working culture around it right now. As much as I dislike some of Renney’s choices, both before and during games, I will definitely credit him with the hard work he seems to get out of his young players, and the work ethic that seems to be around the team. I think that will rub off on Zherdev.

    Something else I’ll credit Renney with is that he is good at turning forwards into good two-way players. Even Jagr was backchecking last season. That says a lot. I think Zherdev will pick that up too.

  157. Couldn’t agree more Newman. My sentiments exactly. Cally, at times, was the only noticable Ranger in the Pens series.

    He plays hard and well at both ends of the ice and is a rare kind of player in this NHL — one who care score and play physical.

    Is says a lot when a guy is sent down to Hartford to work on his game (post injury) and comes back up a better player for it.

    Not even a question of whether or not he’s on the roster next year. He’s an automatic with a capital A.

  158. Doodie Machetto on

    “He’s a big body”

    Dude, he’s 5’11, 185 lbs. That’s a pretty average body. Yes, he has a lot of heart and throws a lot of hits. So did Jed Ortmeyer. In fact, I’d say Callahan reminds me of Ortmeyer, with better hands. And I stand by my statement that he scores garbage goals. That’s his style. I don’t have any problem with that style, it’s just that he isn’t big enough to be effective with it. If he ever cracks 20 goals, it’ll be a one shot deal. I’d be surprised if he ever scores more than 15.

    When talking about security of lineup spots, you can’t compare him to Dawes because they play different sides, so they don’t compete with each other. But you say that Dawe is streaky and disappears for long stretches. Dude, Callahan is MUCH worse with that. Callahan will score 3 goals in two games, then not score for the next 5 or 6, then not score for another 10. Dawes, by contrast, coming down the stretch, was one of our most consistent players. Plus he was really good in the shootout. Dawes is also an EXCELLENT passer of the puck, somehting Callahan isn’t very good at, at all. So, overall, I think Dawes is a much better player with Callahan, and he has much higher upside as well.

    As for comparing him to Prucha, I think Prucha has much more skill and upside offensively, but he is just TOO small. We have enough smaller guys, and I definitely think that trading Prucha would be a good idea, although it should have been done when he was worth something.

  159. cally is a good third liner, nothing more, which is fine. dawes was a ghost in the playoffs. for those talking about kovalchuk, he isnt available for another two years so still a chance you can add him, but to be realistic he is going to command about 9-10 million a year if he hits the open market so that could be real tough especially as he is a free agent the same year staal and dubinsky are rfas. and is redden a step up from malik, backman, etc? of course but those guys weren’t locked up for 6.5 million for 6 years. look he may be good for a few years, but leave it to sather to give a player who has struggled for 2 straight years a raise, justifying it on the benefits of a change of scenery. someone else may have given redden that money, just wish this was the time where someone actually did

  160. Doodie Machetto on

    Are we watching the same Callahan?

    So he threw some hits, big deal. So did Hollweg. So did Ortmeyer. So did Dominic Moore. Granted, Callahan’s hands are a bit better than those guys, but not by much. He isn’t that good. At all.

    But automatic? If it’s automatic it’s purely because our complete lack of depth on the right side. If he played left, I think he’d be left out.

  161. Doodie,

    Callahan doesn’t disappear. He comes to play every night. You always notice him out there. Disappearing for the score sheet is not the same as disappearing from the game. He has an on ice presence.

    If I can’t compare his security to Dawes, you can’t compare his ability to Jed Ortmeyer. They’re not even close to the same player. Ortmeyer was a reckless fourth liner who played on heart and heart alone.

    Calahan has talent beyond his physical play and can indeed put the puck in the back of the net.

    I’d argue we have many players like Dawes and few like Callahan. We just picked up two wingers who are upgrade to a guy like Dawes but who play nothing like Cally, which is why I argue his place on the team is more secure than Nigel’s.

    The kid can play, which is why he was brought up in the playoffs two years ago and why he was able to come back from Hartford again this year. He’ll be a mainstay in the lineup, so get used to it, and we’re better for it.

  162. Cally is automatic — it’s not even up for debate b/c the Rangers have been high on him since they brought him up. Playing physical is a big deal actually. You can’t just say that any guy who plays physical is a fourth liner (Hollweg, Moore, Ortmeyer). I.E. Part of what makes Ovechkin so unique is that he combines talent with physical play.

    For that reason, you can’t just throw aside this attribute of his game. In fact, that’s an aspect we have lacked collectively for the past decade.

    Will Callahan score 30 in season? Probably not. Will he carry us on his back to the Cup finals? Probably not. Does he have the intangibles we need to win and can he contribute offensively? Absolutely.

  163. No I come to defend Dawes…In his first “almost” full season he proved to me that he will be an offensive force in this league; he averaged only around 12 minutes a game, had second highest shooting percentage on team, 14 G 15A in 60 games? After getting yo-yo’d for a year and a half?
    Tremendous upside….give the Dawg man a top-siz spot and sick him on fat Marty ….ruff ruff

  164. Doodie Machetto on

    “If I can’t compare his security to Dawes, you can’t compare his ability to Jed Ortmeyer. They’re not even close to the same player. Ortmeyer was a reckless fourth liner who played on heart and heart alone.”

    Dude, that makes no sense. A comparison of depth on the left and right sides has nothing to do with playing style.

    Put it this way: If your team had the following left wings:

    1) Kovalchuk
    2) Zetterberg
    3) Ovechkin
    4) Heatley
    5) Dawes

    Dawes would never play. But, if your team had the following right wings:

    1) Callahan
    2) Orr
    3) Belak
    4) Jannsens

    Callahan would be your first line RW. My point is we have a lot more guys who play on the left side than we do on the right, and therefore, Dawes’ job security is much less because he has to actually compete for his roster position. With Jagr and Shanahan gone, and only Zherdev to replace them, Callahan moves up the depth chart by default.

    But that doesn’t mean his playing style is any different. Of course I can compare what he plays like. Ortmeyer was an all heart player (like Callahan), who skated pretty well (like Callahan), that killed penalties (better than Callahan), hit anything that moved (like Callahan). Again, the only difference is that Callahan has better hands. But they are garbage goal hands, and he is too small to make a career on scoring garbage goals.

    If we had kept Jagr and Shanahan, and still added Zherdev, Cally would either be buried on the 4th line or on a bus to Hartford, no question.

    Bottom line, the guy is a decent third liner, but let’s not start praising him like he’s the second coming of Pat Verbeek.

  165. I guess I see the game a little differently then you guys.

    Brandon Dubinsky has demonstrated the ability to be a legit force in this league.

    Nigel Dawes is a nice player, but a force? Now that’s a major stretch. IMO, he’s a 3rd line player.

  166. Doodie Machetto on

    Brandon, your missing my point on comparing him to Ortmeyer. The point is that he isn’t particularly talented. Ovechkin, even without the physical part of his game, would still score 40+ goals and 40+ assists in a season because he has so many offensive tools besides his physicality.

    Callahan doesn’t. He can’t pass worth a lick. His shot sucks, and he needs a long time if he wants to release a good one. He can score garbage goals, only. Oh, and one empty netter last year.

  167. Doodie Machetto on

    I’m with you Kaspar. Dawes has all the tools offensively to be a solid 2nd line player. He can pass and shoot really well. His release is quick and accurate, and he skates fast and hard. Plus he has moves.

  168. SAM!? You stuff yourself with hot dogs over the weekend or what? Got ANYTHING to share?

  169. Doodie Machetto on

    “Brandon Dubinsky has demonstrated the ability to be a legit force in this league.”

    No doubt about that either. I think Dubinsky has Vinny Lecavalier type potential.

    But I think you meant Callahan. Callahan is about as good as he’s gonna get.

  170. Your point is we have more guys that play a specific side. My point is we have more guys that play a specific style.

    We have a handful Nigel-esque player and one or two “Cally’s”. Based on style alone, we’re finesse heavy, excluding the fourth line which is notoriously a checking line in the NHL.

    I don’t think Cally is the next coming of anything. This debate was brought upon by you questioning whether or not he will make the team. I think he’s automatic — that’s really my only point.

    His worth is not measurable in stats.

    To compare him to ortmeye is a stretch. I think Cally is a much stronger skater, with better hands and most importantly a better hockey IQ.

  171. I see why Brandon likes cally so much; same reason I do…its that spirit that we all realize was missing last year ( unless Avery was running amuck)

    I mean there wasn’t too much hitting going on (smart hitting not like Hollweg that ignoramous)and so yes I am excited to see if these kids ( dawg man, Dubi and Cally and I include Prucha in this too) can get a full-time shots and see what kind of players they evolve into.

    I’d do something like this ( I’m not sure of the RW/LW correctedness but here goes)

    Gomer-Naslund_Prucha
    Drury-Zherdev-Dawes
    Dubi- Sjostrom-Callahan
    Betts- Voros- whatever

  172. There’s one thing that is for sure. This is saying that the roster will look the same at the start of camp as it does today, 7/7. There will be second guessing. That goes for everyone from slats/renney/us fans. We have SO many wingers. Everyone leaves out Jamtin. I have no idea if this guy is good enough to crack the lineup or not. But we have almost twice as many players as positions open. Should be interesting.

  173. Doodie Machetto on

    I’d do this:

    Naslund-Gomez-Zherdev
    Dawes-Dubinsky-Prucha
    Sjostrom/Korpedo-Drury-Callahan
    Voros/Sjostrom/Korpedo-Fritsche/Anisimov-Rissmiller

    Honestly, I wouldn’t mind letting Sjostrom go. Brings too much bad Marcel Hossa karma.

  174. Well at least we both know where we’re coming from now.

    Personally, I’d like to see Gomez play with Zherdev. Gomez could create a lot of room for that kid, and with his hands, he could put 35 in next year with the right amount of space.

    When experts said he was a bit “selfish” — I considered that an upside. We have too many guys who love to pass and not even who like to shoot. I welcome anyone who’s a bit selfish.

  175. Just Another Fan on

    Kaspar:
    I see the line up as follows:
    Gomze-Zherdev-Naslund
    Dubie-Dawes-Callahan
    Drury-Prucha-Sjoostrom
    Betts-Voros-Rissmiller
    (reserves= Orr, Fritsche, Korpokowski)
    unless Cherapanov is ready this year. Then go goes right to either line 1 or 2 and bumping right down the line.
    Rozy-Staal
    Redden-Girardi
    Mara-Kalinin
    (Pock-Sanguitti in reserve)

  176. Cally and Dawes both have pros and cons. Dawes _might_ have the tools to play 2nd line hockey but I really doubt it. I thikn they are both career 3rd liners..at lesat on this team.

    Callahan I think needs more time to really be judged accurately. I see a raw hockey player in him. The guy plays physical and (I hate to use this term, but) he reall does have a nose for the net. I also think he’s much less risky than some of the other options going forward as far as 3rd liners go for now. Cally’s numbers may dwindle at times but to say he “disappears” is wrong… he is always noticable on the ice.

    I’m defiitely looking forward to seeing Dawes/Dubi/Cally line develop…

    Brandon I think really sums it up:

    “Will Callahan score 30 in season? Probably not. Will he carry us on his back to the Cup finals? Probably not. Does he have the intangibles we need to win and can he contribute offensively? Absolutely.”

  177. Blue404Seats on

    Dawes and Callahan are two totally different players. If there was a gun to my head and i had to pick one on my team, it would be Callahan. Dawes has great hands hes a true scorer. Hes has a sneaky shot, and is a great passer with some o.k. moves. Callahan shot may not be the best but its not terrible at all. He is very fast, intelligent, and tenacious. Comparing him to a much less talented, hands of stone player in Jed Ortemeyer is ridiculous.

    Would I rather Dawes in a shootout or breakaway? Definitely. Would I bet on Dawes scoring more goals. Most likely. If the puck goes into the corner, who is coming out with it? Callahan. Its playoff time – who stepped up their game and who shy’d away from hits? We all saw Dawes true nature in the playoffs. Stats are irrelevant.

  178. “Honestly, I wouldn’t mind letting Sjostrom go. Brings too much bad Marcel Hossa karma.”

    The difference Comrade Doodie is that I actually saw the “Sho-man” burst in on goal, shoot and score (one time I think) I’m still waiting for Marcel Marceau to that! I saw everything happen to that clown….fumbled the puck away after making incredible move, fall straight down after getting great set-up pass; one time I think the puck exploded on him I swear!!

  179. i think the fans target will be either Rozy or Redden most likely the former. unless the team gets off to a real good start the Avery is gone backlash faction of the fanbase will blame one of the high priced dmen. i’m not a boobird just calling it like i see it.

    i’m not sure though if Rozy will be physically ready at beginning of season from his surgery

  180. Naslund-Gomez-Zherdev
    Dawes-Dubinsky-Prucha
    Sjostrom/Korpedo-Drury-Callahan
    Voros/Sjostrom/Korpedo-Fritsche/Anisimov-Rissmiller

    …….

    I’d like to see it as well… but I think they are going to continue to try to squeeze Drury into the #2

  181. Doodie Machetto on

    We have too many forwards, period.

    We have 5 NHL centers, and one in Hartford waiting for a shot (Anisimov). That’s 6 guys for 4 spots.

    We have 10 NHL wings, 2 AHL wings that have played for us already (Korp/Moore), 1 AHL wing that came very close (PAP), and a Swedish guy that we don’t know much about, beyond that he has some offensive talent and that he was 2nd in PIMs in the SEL. That’s 14 wings for 8 spots.

    Defensemen is the one thing we can be pretty certain about. Sanguinetti is at least a year away, despite what our buddy Aaron Ward thinks about Paul Mara. Pock and Hutch are fringe NHLers, and Hutch hasn’t even been resigned yet anyway. He’s like the Jason Krog of defense. Great in the A, bad in the N. As for Pock, I still have no idea why he resigned with us. But, it’s safe to say he’ll either spend a lot of time riding the pine in NY, or being in Hartford the whole season. I’m guessing the latter.

  182. “When experts said he was a bit “selfish”—I considered that an upside. We have too many guys who love to pass and not even who like to shoot. I welcome anyone who’s a bit selfish.’

    Brandon;
    Bingo!You said it all man! Thats what I always loved about Shanny, no thinking or looking around timidly just “Thwack!”
    How many times did you yell “Shoot the *$^&ing puck you idiot!:” at Shanny? Never.

  183. I think that Dawes has MUCH more potential to score goals than Cally. I guess 1st, it depends on what type of player you’re looking for to fill what hole.

    Dawes being a midget has a disadvantage. Most little guys that come into the NHL take time to adapt. They have to keep their head on a swivel at all times, thus taking away from their play-making ability b/c they can’t battle in some areas of the ice where grown-up size people can play. St Louis never scored more than 30 until he was 28years old. Dawes is currently 23. As well as Cally. (Dawes is about 6 weeks older).

  184. Doodie Machetto on

    ““Shoot the *$^&ing puck you idiot!:” at Shanny?”

    yeah, but I did start yelling “PASS the *$^&ing puck you idiot!” at Shanny.

  185. “yeah, but I did start yelling “PASS the *$^&ing puck you idiot!” at Shanny.”

    yeah, well….Passing is not aloud anymore

  186. Guys talk about winning the cup and then say Hutch, Pock, or Sanguinetti should be playing the point for the year…umm? Hello? Mara’s got experience, he’s not that bad. At $1.95mil it’s actually a good signing.

    If Jagr was the reason for the PP success, isn’t he also the reason for the PP failure? Therefore, addition by subtraction my friends!

    For all you guys disliking the Naslund signing (JJP, DOODIE), what other forward with top-line experience (and top-line potential) was signing for $4million or less?

  187. Doodie Machetto on

    I’m just worried about our kids in Hartford. I’d love to get the Korpedo up here for a few games after seeing him in the Pittsburgh game. I’d also love to see what PAP and Anisimov can do. But there are just too many players in front of them.

    Hopefully they get a shot this year.

    Back to work for me. Good talk today guys.

  188. Would I rather Dawes in a shootout or breakaway? Definitely. Would I bet on Dawes scoring more goals. Most likely. If the puck goes into the corner, who is coming out with it? Callahan. Its playoff time – who stepped up their game and who shy’d away from hits? We all saw Dawes true nature in the playoffs. Stats are irrelevant.

    ………

    well said.

  189. Doodie Machetto on

    OK, last post to answer Truefans’ question:

    Michael Ryder. And to a lesser extent, Miro Satan.

  190. If a kid gets kept down because we signed/traded for Naslund and Zherdev thats a SIGH you hear…

    if a kid got kept down cause we signed Ryder or Satan thats a CRY you hear

  191. I’ll tell ya, I DO have high hopes for Zherdev playing with Gomer. Zherdev is only 23 and has a bunch of seasons under his belt. Coaches have had the chance to see what works and what doesn’t work with him. I doubt he woulda been brought in if they didn’t think he was a good fit.

    Really mixed reviews out there of what to expect from NYR this season. It’s so hard to tell.

  192. Doodie,

    Ryder played 70 games with an extremely offensive, fast, breakout team and only had only 14 goals. Naslund played with the “defend until the opponents die from boredom” Van Canucks and still had 26 goals. He’s also got a much more established career. I was hoping for Naslund AND Ryder, but I’d take Nazzy over Ryder anyday.

    Well said, Kaspar.

    Youtube Naslund if you haven’t yet. He’s not going to play like that because he’s 3 years older, but this guys’ got hands. We didn’t get another Shanahan who just shoots – this guys skates, passes, stick-handles, and shoots.

  193. Mike from CT on

    I still laugh everytime I read that someone wants Prucha on the 1st line. I hope not, kid can’t hit the ocean, misses wildly, and is constantly picking himslef up. heart can only get you so far and he has already climaxed. I hope im wrong but we need to see something else before they put him on the 1st line. Last year was dreadful from him, it hurt to watch.

  194. Really mixed reviews out there of what to expect from NYR this season.

    …..

    I expect a hard working team that puts on a good performance and has a real chance to win almost every night starting no later than December. I expect Lundqvist to be nominated, yet again, this time with a legitimate chance at the Vezina. I expect Drury to prove me wrong about him, and Gomez to (continue to) prove me right about him. I expect Zherdev to *completely dazzle* the MSG crowd at least 10 times. I expect Rozsi to focus more on his defensive game. I expect Redden to leave much to be desired at $6.5, but to still be rather effective.

    *Mostly: I expect this team to make it to the 3rd round of the playoffs. Bookmark this thread.*

  195. I think we should expect more from Fritche and Rissmiller, both are big players, and Fritche uses the body. The kid should be in the lineup on a regular basis as a third line winger because he does have some hands and can skate.

    I think we could have a real good 2a or 2b line with Dubinsky, Fritche, Dawes. This line will score goals and will hit.

    First line of Gomez, Naslund and Zherdev and let Naslund be the defensively responsible one, let Zherdev and Gomez score.

    Drury I don’t care. He didn’t show me much last season. He needs to be better this year or he will hear the boo birds.

    Captain? I would like to see Gomez get it. He’s more colorful than lame-o Drury. I can’t get excited about Drury as captain, he shows no emotion most of the time. I want someone who will speak to the press honestly about their team as well as have some charisma.

    Question: which forward corps would you rather have?

    Briere, Richards, Carter, Lopul?
    Gomez, Naslund, Drury, Zherdev? I may even substitute Dubinsky for Drury
    Kovalev, Koivu, Kostistyn, Higgins?
    Crosby, Malkin, Satan, Sykora?

    Personally, I’d take the Flyers forwards – more playoff suited and young

    Now what goalie would you rather have?
    Lundqvist?
    Fluery?
    Biron?
    Price?

    I’d take Henrik –

    Defense?

    Bouillon, Hamrlik, Komiserik, Markov
    Staal, Redden, Rozival, Girardi
    Coburn, Jones, Timmonen, Hatcher
    Gonchar, Sydor, GIll, Orpik?

    Tough one, I think it’s pretty even, Pitsburgh has a tougher D, but not as mobile, Philly same thing, but more mobile, Montreal pretty well-rounded with Komiserek as a monster, Rangers have good offensive capabilities, but lack hitting.

    Overall I think the Flyers and Habs have the best rosters but not the best goaltenders. I think Pittsburgh had all the tools this season, but lost some this summer and Fluery will have to prove himself all over again. The Rangers have the best goaltender comparable defense but lacking up front in size and grit on their top two lines.

    Rangers have too many question marks, per usual, but also have more upside. We’ve seen what the other rosters can do. Dubinksy, Fritche, Dawes, Zherdev, Naslund, Gomez could be a real solid forward corps and tough to handle night in and night out.

  196. I know a couple of people who are really high on Fritsche. One of my buddies played with him in juniors and swears this guy has 2nd/3rd line written all over him. I’ve heard this all before about countless players, but he may be actually be the “dark horse” of the off season moves, “can play either wing” and might cost one of Cally/Dawes their position.

  197. A few things:

    First, on our boy Avery: http://withleather.uproxx.com/post.phtml?pk=6261

    Second, Dawes versus Callahan…whoever said it above really echoed what I was going to write before I got sidetracked: Callahan kept his pace, hitting, attacking up in the playoffs. Dawes did not. If you want a hardhat, fight in the corners, can go 25 games in the postseason pounding people, it’s Callahan. I like Dawes, don’t get me wrong. But he is 1 dimensional.

    Third, Bertuzzi signs with the Flames for 1.95mm. The guy had 14 goals last year. That is the $hit that is out there right now.

    Fourth, we need to all just get used to the idea that this team will need to find their identity and then gel around it. We are still 3 full months away from lacing em up for real. A lot can happen. I see a good mix of youngsters and adults.

    LGR!

  198. Vogs, good commentary. Disagree with one point, the defensive players will be both Naslund AND Gomez; both being very solid 2-way centers. Naslund is also 3times the goal scorer Gomez will ever be. Gomez can fly coast-to-coast and never lose the puck, but put a goalie in his way and he doesn’t know what to do with the biscuit. Naslund doesn’t have that problem, much more natural goal-scorer…you’ll see.

    Salt in the wounds, is that really you? You should change your name to Fresh Daises or something. 3rd round? Rozi and Redden playing well? Drury?! Bold predictions. I can’t disagree with you, because I really want to see those things. But will the team find the chemistry necessary? The defense could be just as bad as last year (6 to 10 oddman rushes and breakaways against a game…penalty shots gallore in the playoffs). OR, the defense could turn this team into a Detroit like transition/breakout team that controls the puck more oft than it defends from it…I hope you’re right.

  199. “I can’t get excited about Drury as captain, he shows no emotion most of the time.”

    Calm and steady is as effective with a group of young unbridled talent, as ‘in your face’ ‘pump you up’ is effective with a group of vets looking for that extra push in OT or the Cup Finals.

    Nazzy, Dru or Gomer could all captain this team. I think Gomer is better off without the burden to tell you the truth.

  200. “very solid 2-way centers” … and solid 2-way players. Naslund will play wing though, like he has for a couple years in Vancouver. Zherdev will be the defensive liability. I guarantee that line will be exciting though. None of that Jagr loafing around, maybe I’ll skate hard into the offensive zone, or maybe I’ll just wait for everyone to try and stop me as I side-step 3 guys who skate back into position anyway.

  201. Beer!

    I agree, but to add, your captain has to produce and back up anything he says in the lockeroom, I’m skeptical Drury can do it, but with Jagr gone maybe I’m wrong.

    However, I agree Gomez might be better without the “C” on his sweater, so maybe Drury is better suited in this case.

  202. Hey man… this is all I really wanted… some quality moves in the right direction… as far as I’m concerned everyone is on a clean slate now that Captain Crutch is out of the picture, and that includes Tom Renney. We have a completely new team surrounding our $7M centermen. I think anything can happen right now.

  203. Very refreshing to hear salty.

    It’s funny, cause now we’re on the same page with regards to Renney. Like a said a few days ago, I just wanted him to have the chance to coach a team without Jags (or Messier for that matter) and see just what he can do.

    It’s make or break time for him. 9th place at the deadline = new coach. BUT….only if Hank stays healthy up to that point. “As he goes, so go we”.

    Hank is now THE most important person on the team. Right?

  204. *But will the team find the chemistry necessary?* The defense could be just as bad as last year (6 to 10 oddman rushes and breakaways against a game…penalty shots gallore in the playoffs). OR, the defense could turn this team into a Detroit like transition/breakout team that controls the puck more oft than it defends from it…I hope you’re right.

    ………

    There is no reason why not IMO. There is no tug of war here, I think this squad will have a much easier time finding the same page. Chemistry really is not *that* hard to develop when you are ass tight with people day in/day out on and off the ice. Even the worst teams seemed to have the “chemistry” we lacked, they just didn’t have “talented chemistry”. I think the Jagr/Shanny split room goes way deeper than a lot of us would like to admit. With those guys gone, I think this team is going to find a stride rather quickly. Again, chemisrty is really not THAT hard to find… hopefully Renney can allow it to happen and not mix things up too much at the start. I think we’ll be cool as long as Renney doesn’t try to outsmart himself.

    So pumped. This team is going to be fun to watch. I didn’t think it would be possible to be any more pumped than I was last off season…but I am… and I don’t think I’m alone.

    The future is right now.

  205. Salty….”The worm has turned…”

    That can be applied to many aspects of this blog and your NYRs….

    Refreshing….

  206. Hank is now THE most important person on the team. Right?

    ….

    I think Henke is the difference between a good team and a great team. Yes, most important. Yes, he could “break us”, but I also don’t think he will make us. He’ sthat important because he can be THAT good and put us over the edge…but if he’s mediocre, I think we will still be “alright”. Our “stingy” D is better, if Hanke WANTS that award finally, it is right there for the taking.

  207. Hey guys,

    Some great reading out here today. I think that there is a great contrast between us going into this season than last, and I think this is a good thing. Everybody and their mother picked us to win the division and the cup with what we looked like on paper last year and i think that ruined us. Now, there is a more quiet optimisum, and I think we will be in for a more steady, less roller coaster ride this year. yes, there are a lot of questions in terms of our youngsters and who will make the team, but this is a good problem to have. whomever does not make the team will either have to gut it out in hartford or maybe be traded. I still think Sather has something going down before the season. I also agree with most on here that Drury would be the best suited Captain, and let eveyone else just do what they do.

  208. BTW, our defense is already much “tougher” than we’ve been in years past. I dunno how many of you guys watched Redden, but even though he’s more offensive, he does throw the body. Rozsival did at times and we’ve seen him throw some big hits, so I just wonder if that injury was around for most of last season. Mara hits, Kalinin hits a decent amount too and we already know about Girardi and Staal. Plus they are much faster on the backline without Malik or Struds or even Tyutin. Not to mention we are 400% faster in the forward position. The key will be getting Zherdev to play some defense but I think just being on a winning team will change his attitude. We have a lot to look forward to for this season as well as the future. I’m not saying we’ll be amazing this year, but a few years down the road we might be looking at a cup contender.

  209. Was our defense stingy, or did they play a 5-man “in the picture” system that limited the total number of shots against us per game? I felt our defense, when challanged on the transition (2on2 or 3on3) was terrible. Our guys were isolated all over the ice for 2-on-1s and, eventually, breakaways and shots all alone in the slot. Will this crew improve that?

    First impression, to me, is maybe – but probably not. The biggest culprit of this last year was Rozsival. He always pinches at the wrong time or finds himself in no-man’s land when team’s cycle against. Ottawa’s Blogger opinions of Redden discuss much of the same. Girardi and Tyutin were also suspect, but mostly second-half of the season and from the red-line back to our end (usually getting beat on the outside). Will Girardo be better?

    Staal and Mara were fine last year, Mara pretty damn good second-half and playoffs. Will Kalinen play better than Malik/Struds/Backman? Will Redden be better than Tyutin? Will Rozsival be better than…well, Rozsival? I don’t know. No one does.

    But one thing I know, for sure, this team will be hungrier, faster, and out-work the team we have watched the last season or 2 and for that I am very grateful!

  210. Gomez I think does have the most of a Captain’s swagger and is going to pick up the slack of “personality” in the locker room. The guy is sarcastic and gives the media a hard time every opportunity he gets, and never lets them forget “I’m the talented one here, not you”. Every stride he takes is assertive and confident, when he picks that puck up, he _knows_ he’s just untouchable. That is the message that we are going to need the rest of this team to ascribe to, as Sean Avery once said, “an arrogance that we are _going to_ win.”

    Drury shows flashes of true leadership, but most times seems nervous to me. I don’t understand where people see his playing style as “collected”. I’m looking for more out of him this season, if they want to give him the C, I hope they make sure he’s ready and willing to take that role on.

  211. Everyone cracks me up with their projected lineups….It’s July 7th….July Frickin 7th. I thought the lineup thing was voted out on this blog during midseason last year and here we are smack dab in the middle of the offseason with a million question marks still out there and guys are putting their lineup cards together….hilarious.

  212. I really just hope that the players who played with Sean remember all the positives he brought to the team and keep that always in the back on their minds. I hope they remember what it was like to have a player like him go out on the ice and “not be nice” and do it with the smile of an asshole.

    I’d like to see Giardi develop a mean streak and maybe beat the piss out of someone early on in the season and take on a tougher role. Also, as much as I think Redden needs to be paired with Staal, I think Girardi can/will learn a LOT from him as well and I hope he siezes the opportunity every chance he gets. Girardi can still go either way IMO… guy needs some quality guidance pronto and we will be golden (after we shed Rozsi’s salary for Hossa, Ilya, or Thorny ;)

  213. Doodie Machetto on

    LeNeveu signed with Anaheim. So what did we get with for Montoya at this point? Sjostrom? Wow.

  214. Everyone cracks me up with their projected lineups….It’s July 7th….July Frickin 7th. I thought the lineup thing was voted out on this blog during midseason last year and here we are smack dab in the middle of the offseason with a million question marks still out there and guys are putting their lineup cards together…hilarious.

    ……..

    Meh, I don’t really think so… at least not speculating top 2 lines, or the PP lines…

    What would you rather talk about?

  215. Doodie Machetto on

    Newman, I think the lineups is just to see what the team basically looks like at this point. At least, that’s why I had made mine. It made me realize what a glut of left wings and centers we have, and how thin we are on the right side.

  216. newman – I pressed hard to end that last season. I’ll let it slide in july ;) lol

    doodie – I saw that too this a.m. and chose not to comment on it. One of most poorly handled players we’ll ever see come through NY.

  217. poopie on my machete on

    effin clueless DM spouting his bs again.

    Poopie pants rides again.

  218. Avery def. has a no trade clause. Should be interesting, I’m just glad he’s in the Western Conference. He and Ott together is going to be something. I just wonder can he get under another goalies skin quite like he did with Marty?

  219. salty – I’m not sure what his NTC includes. I remember seeing that it was “a limited NMC”. It could be something like Kubina’s, that he can only be traded between 7/1 & 9/1 or something. Or it could be something like, he can’t be put on waviers, or some BS. Who knows.

    If you ask me if I think he’ll play the next 4 years in Dallas…I think it’s unlikely.

    peace out for the day!

  220. I thought debating the C was a good topic. I think it is a no-brainer to Gomer or Drury, no one else. I mean you don’t sign those two monsters (Drury a bigger monster than Gomer, right Salty…LOL) and not let them know that this is THEIR team for the forseeable future. I think Drury gets the nod because he is a tad more vocal. Gomer doesn’t show enough emotion. Maybe some of you will respond that the even-keel approach works, but I point to Brian Leetch and discredit that theory.

    We could also discuss pkgs for trades. I hear Toronto and the Blueshirts are in talks. A few of these aggressive 3rd/4th liners (Prucha, anyone of the new guys [don’t know their histories, so can’t comment too well], maybe a farmhand d-man like Pock, Hutch) for a guy like Kubina or Kaberle). Just throwing out ideas, but that is more interesting (to me…sorry) than what the team looks like on opening night.

    I mean, I can go as far as to say: we have 17 forwards: dru, gomer, cally, dubi, zherdev, naslund, fritsche, voros, prucha, sjostrom, betts, hollweg, orr, korpi, anisimov, rismiller, and jamtin. we have like 8-9 d-men: redden, rosy, staal, girardi, mara, kalinin, pock, hutch, and sanguinetti…plus others I am probably forgetting.

    What the starting lineup will look like is total guesswork with zero convinction on anything. I’d like to guess what the training camp roster would like first, including leading candidates for the C (drury) and the 2 A’s (gomer, naslund).

    That’s my 2c.

  221. A better over/under on Avery might be whether he and Steve Ott, or he and anyone else, will drop the gloves during training camp….a la him and Malikenstein.

  222. I think it’s unlikely.

    Very unlikely. I think the common Dallas resident/fan will despise him, and I think Avery will get tired of the Dallas scene fairly quickly himself…all this will contribute to his exit before his 3rd year… I honestly would not be surprised to see him back here.

  223. Does anyone know if Jagrs contract with Omsk has any type of out clause allowing him to return to the NHL this year? I doubt it does but I was just wondering if he could join an NHL team at the trade deadline.

  224. Gomez shows MORE emotion than Drury. Ever see him with his quips at the media and giggling?

    EVERYONE! Hutch is no longer a Ranger unless we sign him as a UFA. Fritsche may not stay a Ranger for very long either (going to arbitration).

    Are we sure it’s not Dr. Poopy Pants?

  225. “I think Drury gets the nod because he is a tad more vocal. Gomer doesn’t show enough emotion. Maybe some of you will respond that the even-keel approach works, but I point to Brian Leetch and discredit that theory.”

    …..

    At what point, in the history of Chris Drury, have you noticed him to be even the slightest bit “vocal”? Or “show emotion”?

    Drury is the epitome of a “Brian Leetch/Quiet/Lead(?)by example”. This is not a secret to anyone in hockey. It is *very* well known, and the reason I think he should get an A, if anything at all.

    Gomez, if you don’t remember, is the guy that got up in Marek Malik’s face for not shaking the coache’s hand. Gomez is the guy who is always up for an interview (although the media guys tend to stay out of his way because they know he will chew on them like a milkbone.

    If you honestly think Drury is more vocal, you’ve just told us all a thing or two about your attention to detail. WAY off base. I also think Gomez doesn’t show emotion because he’s unphazed by most things. Guy is so solid. Can’t wait to watch him lead this team, C or no C.

  226. I can’t wait for November 2nd when daylight savings ends and the blog gets backs on regular eastern standard time.

  227. Naslund/Gomez/Zherdev
    Dawes/Dubinsky/Drury
    Prucha?/Sjostrom?/Fritsche/Callahan
    Rissmiller/Betts/Jamtin?/Anisimov?

    Redden/Staal
    Roszival/Girardi
    Mara/Kalinin

    Need to be signed: Dawes and Sjostrom!! (Loved everything I saw out of this guy since coming over from Phoenix).

    Extras: Korpikoski, Voros, Orr, Shanahan?

    Gone: Hollweg, and maybe Orr and Prucha. Hollweg is def gone. Maybe Orr too, depends on who impresses more in camp for the tough guy role (Orr vs. Voros). Prucha is most likely being shopped at the moment. I loved Prucha when he first came up, but he hasn’t fizzled since then. He does not seem well liked by Renney so I see him on the way out as well. I do not see Betts leaving as Renney and his staff have a hard on for the guy. (I don’t know why, cause he isn’t that good!) I would like to see him go. Proabably depends on what happens with Fritsche and his arbitration.

    The Rangers filled a lot of holes. It sucks that Jagr and Avery are gone. However, the team appears to be well rounded and hopefully Zherdev will emerge as a great scorer skating with Gomez. The Rangers made some good moves, although they should have kept Avery, and the team still needs a crease clearing D man and a big guy up front who can work the boards. Otherwise, I think all of the moves are a step in the right direction.

    The only Hartford guys who might make the club are Anisimov, Korpikoski and Jamtin. Sanguitti, Pock, Byers, Moore and all the other AHL’rs mentioned ARE NOT making the club! They are not better than what the Rangers already have. I am all for giving the kids a shot, but some of you who think that these kids should be every day NHL players on the Rangers are absolutely insane!

    Is anyone else curious to see what Jamtin brings to the game? …especially since he has been compared to Tomas Holmstrom, Sean Avery, and Ville Niemenen. Since Avery is gone, the Rangers need someone to fill his role. Can this guy do it?

    Anyway, LET’S GO RANGERS!!!

  228. The “out” clause in Jagr’s contract can only be exercised with a heavy financial and physical penalty, death by KGB torture.

    There’s almost no cap room to sign Jagr – he’d come over for $1million after living like a god in Russia? Doubtful. He’s worshipped there, he’ll be one of the best in the CHL (perhaps only second in production to his linemate, Cherapanov). Thanks Jags – it was nice while it lasted. Tons of memories: scoring in the first minute on the first shots of season openers. Getting drilled while scoring against Pitts in the post-season. 54 goals. The not-quite Hitler like mustache. Sweet Caroline! Thanks, and good luck.

  229. Tomas Pock is not lacing up this year for the Rangers or in any future years. I repeat, Tomas Pock’s days are numbered.

    He’s not going to be in the lineup and you can’t actually give me one good reason he should be in the lineup.

  230. uh yea, Gomez is way more vocal then Drury… Jo was waiting outside a Stadium once and Drury walked over to her, asking if she wanted anything signed.. she almost died of shock that he spoke… (and offerend an autograph, if you don’t know he tends to try and get through asap… not as a jerk becuase he will sign, but he doesn’t usually hang around like some of the others… Gomez runs through also in case you’re keeping track)

  231. Mara howeve, is a fun guy to get an autograph form. He is very nice and joked with Jo (since he is a Sox season ticket holder nad she a Yankee fan)

  232. I take it back about Drury versus Gomer in the vocal department. I was wrong.

    What I was referring to was Drury’s willingness to mix it up and get physical on the ice. He fought some dude this year, I think it was when one of the D-men got cheap shotted, I can’t remember. He knows when to amp up the on-ice emotion. I don’t see that as much from Gomer.

    I also saw Drury throwing the body a load more times than Gomer. And Drury sacrifices his body for the team way more.

    I love Gomer’s offensive play, but the guy threw maybe one bodycheck all season. He is the offensive leader on this team now. No question. I like him a lot.

    But the intangibles go to Drury…in my book. I know Salty will kill me now.

    I guess we can agree it will be between Drury and Gomer for the C.

  233. I think Drury gets the C give Gomer and a d man the A’s (maybe Dubi and Staal if they are willing to put that seponsibility on the kids)

  234. Guys-, Drury is as boring as watching golf–during a delay. I’ve seen him give maybe 2 interviews this year and he looked like he wanted to shoot himself.

    I like the guy, but I see Gomez wearing the C.

    Gomez is the animated, chatty one who shows the emotion (i.e., Devils-Rangers round one).

  235. that is something that needs to be fixed by the NHL. that bs that Niedermayer and Selanne and Forsberg etc pulled has to stop. now Sundin is acting that way too.

    either a player is on your team roster from day 1, or his cap hit should be a full one. I am talking about vets holding out, for money or indecision, or hiding in Europe.

    case in point, if a guy plays one month for 1 mill, then his cap hit should be 6 mill.

    that will stop this bs of guys playing partial seasons, which is unfair to everyone, especially season ticket buyers, who do not get reductions in their prices for guys jaking it in Europe for 2/3 of a season, then saying here I am. screw them.

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