“Just because you ARE a character, it doesn’t mean you HAVE character….”


First prize to the reader who can identify the source of the above quotation.

And speaking of character, the Rangers officially lost two popular locker room presences yesterday with the departures of Jason Strudwick (Edmonton) and Martin Straka (HC Plzen). Neither move was much of a surprise, and the argument could be made that both players needed to be cut loose for the sake of  the team’s long-term growth.

Strudwick’s case is a little more complicated since he provided the Rangers a fairly effective seventh defenseman/13th forward option while also serving as one of the locker room’s calming influences. Moving forward there is the chance that seventh defenseman spot goes to a rookie, but in the interest of not letting a young player sit for too long, more likely is the team carries six defensemen and only summons a player from Hartford on a need basis. Needless to say, this also has benefits on the team’s precarious cap situation as well.

But back to my point: how much does character count? Do the Rangers miss the professionalism of guys like Straka and Strudwick, or are those elements easily replaced? And even if they’re not, does it really have an impact on wins and losses?

The short answer is that there is no substitute for talent, and even if you have 23 guys with the perfect attitude, it doesn’t mean you can’t finish in the cellar of the division. But the other part to consider is it’s a long season, with various influences potentially tearing at a team’s fabric. Players like Markus Naslund and Wade Redden will be expected to fill the leadership void left by Jaromir Jagr, Straka, and Brendan Shanahan, and we’ve been given little reason to think they won’t succeed.

But you never know until a team is in the throes of another mid-winter struggle.

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    But the interesting thing to me isn’t Strudwick’s presence in the locker-room, it was actually on-ice, being somewhat of a “steady as she goes” guy. Physically, could back anyone up. Did everything necessary for the team. And off-ice, Dubinsky seemed to be under his tutology on how to fight. Obviously, Orr could teach him too. But Strudwick seems to have a natural nack as an ultimate “team” guy – does everything necessary, loves to teach to the young guys and pump the team up even when he’s not playing. His impact wasn’t obvious, but his presence will be missed.

  2. The Wolf to that chick from SNL. Right after they drop off Marvin’s body to the dump. DUH

  3. blackS4 (steve trac) on

    that sucks. I liked Struds. He was a “fill in the gap” player that played where ever the team needed and I liked that he was mentoring Dubi to fight. So long Jason…

  4. I just shot Marvin in the face. Still one of my favorite movie scenes. You must of hit a bump.

  5. DoodieINhisPANTS:
    “He had a whopping eight points in 66 games”
    Not to be a jerk Sam, but how many professional games have you played? How many points did you accrue? Right.

    Doodie, weren’t you the guy that never eff’ing shut up with the “And Avery’s never scored 20 goals in his life” crap? How’s that different from Sam’s comment, besides yours being from a bitter old man?

    You were being a jerk, right. And a hypocrite, right. Now have a nice day, jerk.

  6. I think it’s very important to have those types of players on your team. It’s also important to have a natrual goal scorer, a stellar goalie, solid D, a game plan, coaching, TALENT, physical-ness, etc. If losing struds to FA hurts the Rangers, then we have MUCH bigger problems long-term than we first thought.

    Great guy, great pro, great mentor, great 7th dman, great stache, not so great singer. Going back to hometown to continue his career and be MORE than a 7th man and play more than 7th man time. Good for him.

    Actually…I believe we’ve already replaced Straka’s presence with Naslund.

  7. You can’t replace Shanny. He’s part of a dying breed in the NHL. He’s part of a generation of players that remember the game in a different way. There’s a few guys still around that play the style, played in THAT NHL. (Tkachuk, Nolan, JR to name a few).

  8. “can’t replace” = leadership/off-ice stuff.

    Replacing him on the ice? Different story.

  9. Rob, thats awesome. Did you see someone’s comment below it?

    “In other related news, a study has found that the level of occupancy during an arena shutdown is slightly less than the level of occupancy during a New Jersey Devils home game.”

  10. “In other related news, a study has found that the level of occupancy during an arena shutdown is slightly less than the level of occupancy during a New Jersey Devils home game.”

    LOL Brilliant!

  11. Beer Me! July 11th, 2008 at 9:16 am

    You can’t replace Shanny. He’s part of a dying breed in the NHL. He’s part of a generation of players that remember the game in a different way. There’s a few guys still around that play the style, played in THAT NHL. (Tkachuk, Nolan, JR to name a few).

    Beer we also can’t leave out the likes of Drury and Gomez…
    I’m sure that Drury’s even keel and somewhat quiet demeanor can definitely have a calming effect…
    Both he and Gomez have been around a while and though not a veteran of Shanny’s caliber, they are the new standard bearers.

  12. did u see this comment as well!!

    “No big deal. The Rangers don’t play there again for a few months.”

  13. Good point staal. I think we’ve got all the leadership/calmness we need. I hope.

    newark sucks.

  14. I think beer me is trying to mention that the guys from shanny’s era were the first group that were really outspoken, especially against the league. They were really the first to step up and say things in favor of the NHLPA and not let anything stop them. You don’t really see players who are that outspoken as they were mostly because the new guys don’t have to be thanks to them.

  15. Right Jonny – It’s also apparent in the leadership of the NHLPA. To me, it seems like the players have more of a voice now than ever before.

  16. Good for Struds. I liked him on the Rangers in his fill-in role. You always heard good thing about him coming from the locker room.

  17. Hey, I’m driving north through Binghampton and I have these important “signed renewal” documents on me that maybe I took by accident during my NJ Devils interview…anybody know if someone needs them? If not I throw out into woods….at an undisclosed place
    thank you

  18. SO who’s the seventh defensman, assuming the roster does NOT change. Pock? Versatile player because he could fill in 3rd or 4th line wing (in the situation injury occurs), or he could play 6th defensman. But he would be subject to re-entry waivers with movement between NHL and AHL. So, does that mean Denisov was brought in as the 7th Dman? I don’t know anything about him or his NHL readiness.


  19. Kaspar, where are you and Ozo driving to? Secret Russian training facility for elite athletes such as yourselves and Ivan Drago? I thought you and the 65million rubles would be in Russia.

  20. “Kaspar, where are you and Ozo driving to”

    Season starts in a month I have some time…plus I have to dispose of Ozo’s body

  21. True

    like they say in the old country
    “я предупредил что он и он не слушало”

    And dont worry he’s not dead; I just need to dispose of his useless body

  22. Hey beer
    I see that picture before….That picture even scares me!!

    too bad they wont have me…I could hit someone hard man

  23. I don’t know if anyone posted it yesterday or not. But Struds’ deal is 1yr/$650k.

  24. SeamusORiley on

    did anyone feel that although struds was a good presence in the lockeroom, that he was a liability on defense?

  25. yes and no. depended on the pairing sometimes. depended LARGELY on the opponent. He’s a slow and steady guy. I can’t recall any times that he pinched and got beat. Maybe beat due to lack of speed, but not b/c of poor decisions. KISS to damn near perfection some nights. It all depends on what you expect of the guy.

    I don’t know if I’d call him a “liability”.

  26. I would DEFINITELY call Malik a “liability”. Due to being the complete opposite of what I mentioned above.

  27. ““Just because you ARE a character, it doesn’t mean you HAVE character….””

    hamida, hamida, hamida….Ed Norton?

  28. onecupin67years on

    Sam, “you talking to me ?,I don’t see no one else here”
    Its time to turn the page on Straka,who forgets to shoot the puck and drove me crazy,the Rangers have to have a body to replace Strudwick,and if the team doesnt develope a MEAN streak they wont win a thing ,it was a pity the pounding jagr went through every game last year,can’t do that that Crosby.

  29. it was a pity the pounding jagr went through every game last year,can’t do that that Crosby.

    Thats one thing you really can’t deny about Jags. guy took an absolute BEATING everytime we played a divisional rival and no one EVER paid…

  30. nevermind the NHLPA stuff. it was Shanny who was most responsible for the rule changes that have made the games faster and more exciting, especially when you look at the old games of the 80’s on the NHL Network. the new rules have really made the game better.

    Shanny brought together, on his own initiative and his own money, the movers and shakers of the game to put together the ideas that hatched the new NHL rules.

    He would be a Commish who would be respected. but the owners would never allow it.

  31. And for the record, this quote to me actually speaks much more to last year than this year, when there were an awful lot of “characters” in the room but the alchemous team never collectively had any character. In fact, I would use this quote to illustrate just how much better I think this year’s team could be.

  32. t was a pity the pounding jagr went through every game last year,can’t do that that Crosby.

    Thats one thing you really can’t deny about Jags. guy took an absolute BEATING everytime we played a divisional rival and no one EVER paid…


    Salty and Onecup
    You’re right! Do you remember that Pitt-Ottawa playoff game where right at the end, Ottawa had no chance to win, Sidney drove to the net hard even with the lead…Redden met him and to Reddens credit smacked him good a couple of times…I mean the games over right? well here is why Pens were good and Ottawa sucked…Malone comes charging in and pummels Redden who never had a chance and all the while thats happening Chris Neil ( Mr Tuff guy) stands with Crosby barley holding onto him…I’m yelling “The games over! Your guy is getting his ass kicked PUNCH CROSBY ALREADY!!!” but he didnt…I mean so what if you get a penalty, even a match( so Ottawa plays without neil?) I mean the message would be loud and clear “you punch out one of my leaders I punch out yours” but nothing happened…sickeninhg

  33. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Kasp, completely agree with your point. Just to play devils advocate, Neil may have also thought instigating a fight, in anyway, with Crosby would lead to a 1game suspension. Less than 5min left, hurting the NHL’s poster child? That may have been his thinking too….or, he could’ve been demonstrating the Sens late season roll-over and die attitude. Both plausible and just wanted to add the other possible perspective.

  34. Pock will most likely be the 7th d-man. As long as he starts with the Rangers, there will be no issue with waivers until/unless he gets sent down. I noticed someone mentioned something about re-entry waivers but that only applied last season. Since the season ended, hes allowed to move wherever before the season starts (mostly due to pre-season rosters).

  35. onecupin67years on

    The Rangers need to get tougher,I hope these swedes are tougher than the Czechs,Prucha is another punching bag ,and no one ever backed him up. If your going to lose make sure the winner paid the price to win!

  36. We got Voros and Rissmiller, which is already a step up in toughness. Redden can drop the gloves (usually doesn’t but he gets involved in things) and Kalinin hits a bit too. We’ll be tougher.

  37. Tont from AZ on

    I always like my men with an edge, and Beer hears that loud and clear. Me and “Binkie’ go a ways back at East Side Club 227 E 56th St.

  38. Supposed to be a Major signing coming out of NHL.com soon, according to Spectors Beat, Guessing its Sundin. Stay tuned. Binkie was what they used to call me earlier NAMBLA22@aol.com

  39. Doodie Machetto on

    Sam, guys and friends, We seem to have a ‘Squeaky Guitar’ that is both racist, and downright Nasty. Maybe sometime in the Sin Bin would ‘Tune him down”.

  40. As posted on RDS.ca/nhl

    “National league of hockey could lose another player with the profit of Russia.

    A Russian daily newspaper reports that Ska of St-Petersburg made an offer with Brendan Shanahan, so that this last continues its career in the Russian continental league.”

  41. Doodie Machetto on

    Shanny indeed goes to Russias KHL…Two years at 6.55 mil per.We also hear that Filatov and Cherapanov are interested in staying home.

  42. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Did Shanny actually sign in Russia? Wow. I don’t want him back on the Rangers, but if he did sign there for 13million, that may say more about his motives than we thought. Some additional newsfeeds that he’s friend with the coach or GM Barry Smith?

    Also, I’m starting to think Cherapanov is full of Sh!t. On this video (the day he was drafted) he discusses his interest and excitement to come to the NHL “like Malkin” for 2008-09. And then this week says “Who said I was coming to the NHL, BlueshirtBulletin?”
    No, Cherri, you did ass-monkey.

  43. Doodie- Filatov has already signed a contract with the Jackets so not sure what your saying when you say that.

  44. Doodie, my bad, he is gone, sorry fella. As far as Cherapanov goes, he was picked late by us last year because I heard he really was a head case. This team has a very soft defense, and we lost size with Jarg and Avery gone. Avery was hot too.

  45. Harvey Keitel might have made this exact line immortal in Pulp Fiction; it was Fast Eddie Felson(masterfully played by Paul Newman) who originally pointed out to Tom Cruise that “just because he was a character, didn’t mean that he had character” in 1984.

  46. I love how this NAMBLA jerk can overtly flaunt his tormented hormonal imbalance in public, but a hetero-guy can be “entrapped” by undercover “sting” sadists who apparently prefer not to pursue druggies, violent criminals, diseased-criminal-illiterate illegal alien vermin, or the terrorist cells, so rampant in our country, in deference to “busting” (for profit) any red-blooded white American tax paying male for so much as propositioning a chippy-looking female in their employ, on the streets. This almost happened to me, recently, except I backed- off, spotting the unmarked, tinted-glass fuzzball car, just in time. Only in Soviet Amerika.

    Infiltration of the normal and productive among us by the degenerate swine intent on pulling us down to their level of sleaze in the name of “equality” is what this country is fiercely protecting in civil law suits, now, to the enormous cost of the rest of us who have not prostituted our standards of morality, decency, and conduct, just yet.

    I bet this clown can’t even spell P-U-C-K.

  47. Doodie Machetto on

    OK, so, someone is imitating me. They didn’t say anything bad or anything like that, it just wasn’t me.

    I think Shanny should retire instead of going to the KHL.

  48. Yeah Shanny is really gonna take his wife and kids to Russia, mwahaha, yeah right.

    Leave Cherry alone, that Bardin asshole is playing mind games, like the John Lennon song.

    As far as im concerned, anybody who bashes BB is cool. Mwahaha you all should have seen Dubi (Not Brandon) cry, and whine like a little loser after he read what Cherry said.

    Cherry is honoring his contract, whats so wrong aboot that ??? Its Bardin, and all these other morons who keep thinking he’s coming over. Like ive been saying elsewhere, everyone should worry next year, if he’s saying the same thing. As for now, he’s NOT a Ranger, not until this season is over.

  49. Yo Yo ORR guy that was banned from BB but came back then got the boot cuz we didnt pay for it. You still owe me !!!! Muhhaaahaaaa , ya can’t escape !!

  50. Doodie, Me wonders why doth thou NOT protest too much. Hey Oee, You,re Not Bobby, GO BACK IN YOUR CAGE AWHILE LONGER. As for NAMBLA, Que Sera, Sera…Sing it Doris. Alot of closet cleaning today, eh.

  51. lecavalier just signed an 11 year deal worth 85 mil. Talk about that (less than a mil more than drury).

  52. Doodies grandma and an elephant…Whats the difference, Fifty pounds and a black dress. is father came here from the OLD Country, and tried to get into a legit business, ‘Thru the Roof”.

  53. Its obviously a quiet time in Ranger hockeyland……think i’ll check back when camp is a bit closer.

  54. Just remember the real one here has the “!”.

    I’ll be back when there’s some news.

  55. Thinking along the lines of this post’s title “Character”, has anyone given any thought to the fact that Naslund was the Captain in Vancouver during the whole Bertuzzi/Moore disgrace?

  56. Who am I kidding? I’m not going anywhere.

    JJP – Naslund was actually the REASON for Bertuzzi flippin-out. Naslund was hit the last time the 2 teams had played. High, from behind, I don’t remember. But Bert was responding to the hit on his captain.

    Not that that justifies it at all. Bert is a scumbag that should rot in hell.

  57. Paul Newman…aka “Fast Eddie Felson: in The Color of Money in the restaurant scene.

    “Human moves, kid”…”cab’s on me”

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