This and a quarter will get you a stick of gum

45

For laughs, I dug up “my blog entry from this day last year”:http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/2007/09/14/instant-karma/, when at first glance Scott Gomez and Jaromir Jagr looked like the second coming of Lennon and McCartney.

Here’s my favorite part:

“Both Jaromir Jagr and Scott Gomez tried to downplay it, but it was hard not to notice how comfortable the two appeared with one another on the ice. Officially, Gomez scored one goal in the 30-minute afternoon scrimmage, although another one trickled past Chris Holt that the referees never saw.

And even when not scoring, the line, with Marcel Hossa on the left wing, had possession of the puck for several long stretches in the offensive zone.”
A couple of reactions to this: One, who is this Marcel Hossa I was talking about? Is he still available? But mostly, it just shows that there’s only so much you can deduct from the first day of training camp. Because just as I was convinced Jagr and Gomez would last all season together, I was equally impressed by Gomez with Nikolai Zherdev and Markus Naslund today.

nikolaizherdev-1.jpg

Granted, given the benefit of hindsight, I will say this new line makes more sense since all three of these players rely on speed through the neutral zone while Jagr was content to slow the game down. But again, there are just too many variables to consider when figuring out why a line does or doesn’t work. And the first day of training camp isn’t the day to do it.

“Chemistry is probably the hardest thing to explain in hockey,” Gomez said.

Regardless, it is apparent the Rangers have an exceptional talent to work with in Zherdev. There is some baggage there, as I’m sure you all know. But when I asked Tom Renney today what his friend Ken Hitchcock had to say about the player he had for a season-plus in Columbus, Renney said Hitchcock was complimentary.

“He thought we were getting a real talented player,” Renney said. “He felt he had a lot to offer up offensively. There are some quirks in his game that suggests mayber over-handling the puck and not distributing it as quickly as he should. But the one thing Ken said was that he really came a long way in his game of being more of a North American style player. He was really happy with his performance. He saw him going only north and up.”

Now, I’m sure Hitchcock had his reservations about Zherdev, otherwise Columbus wouldn’t have traded him away. But there’s also the likelihood that the team feared losing him to Russia anyway at season’s end, and that New York’s offering of Fedor Tyutin was too good to pass up. The Rangers, meanwhile, have a coach with a softer touch in Renney, and they have a proven track record in making Eastern European players feel at home.

“Whatever those options are at the end of this year, we hope that we’re the No. 1 team on that list of options,” Renney said. “And that will only happen if he feels he’s had the opportunity to grow and assert himself.”

Zherdev is already getting that opportunity alongside Gomez and Naslund to start this preseason. That’s the line that was together today, and it’s slated to be a line again Monday night at the Garden.

Beyond that, well, let’s just take this one day at a time.

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45 Comments

  1. JEEVER

    “Orr, you notice everybody leaves work/school/computers by this time every day? I’m trying to make the end of my day go as quick as possible, and the board is DEAD.
    Its 1 thing if Byers was playing a hard, physical, intense game. If he took a cheap shot, that’s a different story. but that’s just dumb OVERALL.”

    What-choo talkin boot Jeever. I don’t get it ?

  2. Not to bring in other sources but Blueshirt Bulletin called Petr Prucha “dynamic”…so not only is a BEAST but he’s also dynamic!!!

  3. Hossa is playing in the KHL. He leads the league in points, which tells you about the talent level there.

  4. I remember when Hossa had a little time with JJ and Nylander. He looked pretty damn good until he hurt his knee. He also had a good run in Montreal as I remember. I think Hossa’s shortcomings were that he was stuck with two stiffs, and the odd miracle puck that ended up on his stick NEVER went in the net. I am not wishing he was here so much as I thought he was better than most people did. Not to mention he played well in the last Olympics.

    Forget that stuff, let’s look to Zherdev, I am intrigued.

  5. All pro’s look good on the first day, thats why they are pro’s.

    Saturday night will be more telling, for Prucha that is.

  6. sam, how about jamtin? ive heard very little talk about him.

    just watching the prospects game right now, hard to tell how good people actually look. Anisimov has looked good and just put in a rebound goal, i hope to see him in a real Rangers jersey this year at some point.

  7. I dont necessarily think the Rangers should do this but the idea is kind of interesting …

    Trade Rozsival to LA for O’sullivan, then claim Schneider of of waivers for half of his contract.

    This way we can split up Rozy’s 5 million dollar contract between Schneider’s 2.8 (half cap hit) and offer O’sully somewhere in the ballpark of 2.2 – 2.8 million as well.

    just a thought

  8. hossa doesnt lead the league in points. nice try, though. he does have more points than jagr though. does that tell us something about their talent levels?

  9. gotta love trade proposals like the one for O’Sullivan. what the other team needs and wants doesn’t matter as long as it helps our Rangers.

  10. Sam – Good job with the long work day today and getting info about Zherdev!

    LI Joe – This trade proposal is at least based in sense, since LA needs a defenseman, and Rozsival is younger than Schneider. As you, I don’t think they would be giving up O’Sullivan for one player who can’t match his skill level, unless they are really at a contract impasse.

    Beer Me! – If the house is anywhere close to Lafayette, maybe you could lease it if there’s no sale to be had?

    Three spots left in the fantasy league on Yahoo! Come on people! ID 13439 password rangers

  11. No Hossa just sucked. He was given chance after chance due to his last name. Outside of a short run when he got hot playing with Jagr he was a complete waste of space.

  12. Since I ‘m an insomniac I’m watching a replay of the Rangers-Lightning Prospect tourney game (on the Nhl Network) and I am incredibly impressed by Anismov. He is a bull who drives hard to the net and he has a terrific snap shot. He is also solid in his own end.

  13. Anisimov will crack the lineup this year: mark my words! Dubi is a top 6 forward, IMO, and I think he could play wing… hmm:
    Naslund – Gomez – Zherdev
    Dubinsky – Drury – Prucha
    Callahan – Anisimov – Dawes
    Sjostrom – Rissmiller/Fristcheheche – Voros

    What do ya’ll think?

  14. There are some quirks in his game that suggests mayber over-handling the puck and not distributing it as quickly as he should.

    Boy, doesn’t this sound like a young Kovalev?

    Re:Hossa, A couple of years ago I thought he was going to net 20 easily but those bricks in the gloves proved me wrong.

  15. “how about jamtin? ive heard very little talk about him.”

    I have a feeling he skates like happy gilmore.

    pig – Its not far. And I hope it doesn’t come down to that. I just don’t want the headache. Ready to move on.

    Pavel – Don’t see anisimov up without an injury on the roster.

    I thought Del Zotto looked great. And though it’d be a long-shot, I could see him in the NHL before Bobby S.

  16. Hossa has 7g/3a/10p in 8 games in the soft serve league *cough* KHL. Straka has 5g/2a/7p in 4g in some Czech league.

  17. Pavel
    I’ll take those lines you made up and run with them.

    Would Orr be the other extra forward?
    if so That means Betts,Korpi,Jamtin are all…AHL bound? traded?

  18. I’d say AHL bound, but keep Betts/Orr as scratches and use when necessary. Korpi had the one playoff goal, so don’t let it fool you. He isn’t ready.

  19. Sorry to look too far ahead, but I can’t get over this…

    Just like I mentioned the other day, that as much as I hope Dubi(and others) play well, we should hope…not too well.

    I say that because currently, under next years cap we have appx $40mil committed to salaries. We can’t expect the cap to go up another 6% or whatever it was this year. So if you’re working with a cap of $57mil, you only have $17mil to spend.

    Now that may sound like plenty, but now we have to consider how many players will need to be signed. Let’s just leave out the names who are signed, and who are not for now.

    There are only NINE players under contract. Yes, 9. So in order to fill out a 23-man roster, you need to sign FOURTEEN (14) guys with $17mil. Sounds absurd right?

    At this point, we may as well try to sign Sundin, trade for gaborik, and grab anyone we possibly can. Because we’re in serious trouble after this season. And if Zherdev DOES breakout and score at will, say goodbye.

  20. Sam. Thanks for slowing everyone down. It’s hard to know, really, until November or so what kind of team we’ll have this year. As I said before, if no one gets injured in camp (especially a key player like Gomez, Hank, Drury, etc), I’ll be happy.

    And also, the people that are suggesting a trade of Michal Roszival are being very shortsighted and are also forgetting that Tom Renney is a coach that preaches defensive responsibility first! The Rangers have only 6 NHL-level defensemen on the roster! You can’ just trade Roszival (and no, getting Mathieu Schneider off waivers is not an answer either…there’s a reason he’s on waivers!). Yes, we did overpay for Rozy, I’ll give you that much…but the guy is very solid and just had a tough second half last year. I think he’s ready to step up this year as a leader of the defense and have a real solid season.

  21. Rozi will have a better year simply because Jagr is not here. He will shoot more and do more things because he will not defer to Jagr for everything.

  22. Joe and Spider

    The LA/Ranger trade makes sense and could be worked out. I just really think O’sully could do real good in NY. I think that if they havent agreed by now, then LA could be looking to deal him from now until the deadline.

    If they didnt have so much cap space, he would have gotten a offer-sheet by now

  23. I don’t know about all of you, but I have turned down a few different things on Saturday just to watch some pre season hockey. I am fuggin ready.

  24. For the first time in over a decade, I’m (relatively) happy with D. I wouldn’t want to do anything to change it going into the season. Now, if it should look like sh-t come xmas time, then we can trade them ALL!

  25. “Sorry to look too far ahead, but I can’t get over this”

    Hey Beer!

    maybe they’ll all stink the joint out we’ll finish out of the playoffs, everything will go bust and we wont have to worry about guys getting increases…..its a win-win situation either they succeed and have to figure out the cap or they implode and …well, who cares?

  26. Very true, BM. The cap is going to be quite frustrating when Dubi, Staal, Callahan, etc need extensions… I guess management is hoping our youngins can step up for Kalinin and Mara (they’re only on 1 year deals, right?).. but I’m still FUMING that we gave Redden 6 years.. ugh.. he have a NTC? lol

  27. Those stats might be even better as i don’t think the 2nd assist is credited in the KHL or Extraliga….

    I like what we are hearing about Prucha, he scored the highest on the fitness tests and he’s being described as dynamic. If he plays well in the pre-season as well as practice then thats got to leave Cally on the 3rd with Dubi and a LW (Voros, Korpi, Fritsche, Rissmiller?), then Betts, Orr, Sjostrom on the 4th.

    I think Jamtin has a ticket to Hartford, it just depends on when Renney decides to send him there. I can’t help thinking unless Rissmiller and Fritsche stand out they too could be on the bus to Hartford or out of the door. Without those two players there could be $3.5 in the pot for D#7 and Another forward (Shanny, Sundin?).

  28. kaspar…That’s about the response I expected from you. haha

    I like Redden, and I think he will make our team better. But I do agree that 6yrs is 3yrs too many.

  29. In getting ready for preseason hockey I just went to see if msg was showing anything Rangerss related. I went to good old channel 621 and all of a sudden my guide said rugby (which would be cool but I don’t get the channel :( Anyway I paniced and started trying to get to the dtv website to find where my beleoved Rangers hockey may have gone… finally I found it on channel 635… but for a short time I was very frigthened that my packedge had somehow dorpped MSG…

    I can’t wait for Sat.
    Very happy that Prucha is looking good. I really hope he gets a chance to return to his rookie form.

    I don’t want anymore trades now. I understand we are in cap trouble next year, but let that be a worry later on, right now given the inability to mesh last seaosn I want them to know these ar the teammates and to move forward from there.

  30. SAM – Can you ask Prucha today what he did in the offseason to get into such great shape?

    Who he may have worked-out with? Where?

    Has he taken down the Jagr ‘Fat Head’ off his wall yet?

  31. Yeah man, Hockey is BACK!!!!!! I will say this again as well, NHL 09 for 360 is an AMAZING game!!! If you don’t own it yet, go out and do yourself a favor.

  32. beer – they could always do an Anaheim with a vet salary or even better pull a kaspar on someone next yr.

    somerset – LA has several recent top end draft picks who are dmen. they could have picked up Schneider off waivers but didn’t. If they trade O’Sullivan it will be for other young assets not Rozy.

  33. Li Joe …

    Agreed, i just dont think Schneider is a good defensive D-man (plus he’s 39). Rozy is way better defensively and just turned 30.

    I’ll stop proposing trades !!

    Im new to this site this summer and dont want to piss-off the regulars with my off-the-cuff hair-brain trade proposals!!

    * I just know Sather stalled that same offer for Rozy for a couple of months before finally giving it to him and there’s rumors that Sather has a hard-on for O’Sully. *

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