The first cut is the deepest


With apologies to Rod Stewart (and Sheryl Crow)…


And besides, these will actually be the second cuts…

Either way, the Rangers will make a substantial roster trimming today in time for Hartford to open its formal training camp. I suspect the bubble players will stick around for a while, meaning everyone from Corey Potter to Petr Nedved to Lauri Korpikoski will probably be on the plane to Basil, Swtizerland tomorrow. But it could be a telling day for the likes of Artem Anisimov, Hugh Jessiman, and maybe even Greg Moore.

We’ll know more later for sure.

And speaking of Nedved, here’s my story in today’s paper about how “the center’s apparent resurgence might impact Blair Betts”:

Here’s Betts on the matter:

“He’s a great player that has made his name in the National Hockey League. I’m not exactly sure if I’m competing for a spot with him,” Betts said. “If they’re looking to have him play on the fourth line and be on the power play and put the puck in the net and things like that, that’s their decision. My game’s not necessarily to go out there and score every night. It’s to play good defensively and be good on the penalty kill and things like that. Hopefully they have plans for me.”

<li>Not surprisingly, Brendan Shanahan has been skating and working out on his own as he remains in free agency limbo. What is surprising — to me at least — is that he’s been skating and working out at the Rangers’ practice facility, “according to Larry Brooks.”:

So maybe that door remains ajar after all….

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  1. Re-post

    I love how up and arms many are over pre-season games. I definitely find it quite comical. It is one thing to be so upset if you are a Hartford Wolf Pack fan, because basically that is what we have been seeing. I am not going to be too critical until after at least 7 regular season games. All these games are is a chance to give the staff a look at the youth of the organization. Some kids are obvious candidates to make the jump and others just are not NHL ready yet. No sense in throwing someone in who is not ready. But I forgot, many of us on this board are former NHL scouts and know what is best of the team. So I apologize, it was silly of me to say that any of your are overreacting. Carry on :)

  2. I’d like to see both Fritsche & Sjostrom “make” the top 12 forwards. Though I’ve always loved his hands & toughness, Petr Prucha seems to be lacking confidenmce. I hope he turns “it” around.
    Don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the hockey analysts & pundits don’t think much of our team. Many predict NYR not to make the playoffs. The writers for The Hockey News pick the Blueshirts no higher than 6th in the East & as low as 12th. It’s puzzling to say the least as the same writers when speaking about the Devils, note (& rightly so) Brodeur as their primary asset to their success. Am I missing something, as The King, if not the top goalie in the East is a close second to Brodeur. Also, like the “flavor of the week”, the Flyers seem to be the darlings of the hockey world.
    I also don’t understand current the apparent anti-Ranger feeling in the hockey world, particularly when viryually every player that comes to the team raves about how the players are treated

  3. “My game’s not necessarily to go out there and score every night.”

    Now, now Blair…I think you meant “any night.”

  4. Brooks in the Post Suggests that Drury could be moved to wing on the top line and Dubi becoming the second line center. I have no issue with that. Dubi needs to get 16-18(at least) minutes a night.

  5. Zherdev-Gomez-Naslund

    this lineup makes the most sense. Rissmiller produced about as many points as Nedved, is bigger, but slower, but he sure can throw some monster hits like he did tonight on Meszaros.

    This gives us a monster hard hitting agitating energy 4th line that can score some goals. We get a quick hard hitting 3rd line. And we get 2 very potent offensive lines.

    “2.5 assists” Betts must be gone!!!

  6. Whatever we think there’s a whole other back story going on here. Shanny still working out in NY. No further news from Sundin (incidentally another one of Eklund’s 48 hour deadlines passed this week – that guys a joke!)
    Was it Sather’s decision to ice a team of so many youngsters and possible trade bait last night or Renney’s to rest the star players before a busy weekend?

  7. Betts hater!, he is great with faceoffs and a good penalty killer. Since we take soo many penalties we need Betts.

  8. I think Bob’s lineup makes a lot of sense.


    Ship Prucha out, keep Korpedo and Byers and I would keep Pock or Potter as the 7th dman behind Staal/Rozsival, Redden/Girardi and Kalinin/Mara.

  9. We don’t need Betts. Enough is enough. Nedved can score & kills penalties too. He looks a whole lot better than Blair.

  10. “any night”…good one nasty.

    broadway blue – I prefer the analysts to be wrong! They counted on us being a cellar dweller coming out of the lockout too. So much for that.

    I dogged betts quite a bit BEFORE last season. Last season he proved he can be a great defensive player, and lots of teams would jump on him in a heartbeat. That said, he may not fit on a team built of 2-way players(for the most part). I can’t say that he really is a 2-way player. In a ‘fantasy’ world, he should practice skating backwards…could make a decent defenseman. Sergei Federov was an offensive mastermind for a while. But he’s played a fair amount of NHL games on D. I’m pretty sure those names have never been mentioned in the same paragraph…but you get the point.

  11. nedved or betts? ehhh…either. Not convinced either way.

    But he’ll never make it through waivers. So he’d have to be packaged in a deal somewhere.

  12. I agree Andrew – trade Prucha. He’s useless, I don’t care he’s in ‘great’ shape while he can’t score. Sam was right, Prucha could have a hat-trick yesterday. What has happened to this player???

  13. “what has happened to this player?”

    Casualty of a system. It happens. He could thrive in the right environment. Not too uncommon. Just ask Marion Gaborik. That dude should be contending for trophies (if he could stay healthy too)

  14. Yup Prucha is a casualty of the system but…mark my words…he’ll be a Ranger killer down the road…I see it now!

  15. How many lives does Prucha have???. He’s got to go. Keep Shoestring. He needs more playing time.

  16. I agree with that loneranger. I think Sjo does need more time. HOWEVER…I don’t think it should be in this lineup.

    I say that because he’s not getting it in place of the top line wingers(we know that). It would be detrimental to the development of guys (dawes/cally) to take their time away. Sjo is a 3rd liner on most teams and a 4th liner on others, and will skate accordingly. PROBABLY in any lineup. Maybe not Toronto…haha

  17. Drury, Gomez, Dubinsky, Dawes, Naslund, Korpikoski, Callahan, Fritsche, Moore, and Sjostrom can kill penalties.

  18. Shanny come back! You can blame it all on Slats… He was wrong and we just can’t live without you!

  19. Ok, I wrote a book here, sorry in advance.

    Did I read that right somewhere that we had 47 shots on goal last night? With our “C” squad? Holy friggin crap.

    Now, we’re all concerned with the quality of shots we’re getting, that’s understood. But let me dig a little deeper into the shot totals we’ve seen from all 3 squads that have played in these exhibitions…

    The totals are a result of the building process that’s been underway for a few seasons. I’m not even referring solely to the players. Rather the ‘system’, or ‘gameplan’ if you will.

    HOW MANY YEARS did we see a Rangers team take the ice night after f’n night and try to make the perfect play? The perfect pass? The highligh-reel goal? The…you get it.

    The mindset is changing, and its changing across the board. From the players and coaches brought in, to the ‘system'(getting tired of that word), to the rules of the ‘new nhl’.

    The goals will come as the roster is honed, the right players (that we still don’t have, imo) are brought in…or up, and there is no deviation from the plan.

    Someone mentioned above about how DET is so successful, great post by whoever it was. Its taken them DECADES to get it right. But its a sustained ‘system’ as coaches may change (see: NJD). You need to have lots of parts to make it work, and they take time to find and develop.

    Once the idea is instilled in your roster and they’ve all bought into it, its a lot easier to see what you ‘need’, in terms of personel.

    One example I’ll use is Petr Prucha vs Lauri Korpikoski. Maybe this is just me, and what I’m seeing. And granted, its only been a handful of games that I’ve gotten to see Korpi, and its VERY true that you could just have a good camp. Playing against other teams split squads to boot. BUT…from what I see, when Korpi gets the puck, he has a plan. He sees the play before it happens, and gets in position to make a play. Or moves the puck to an area (a hole) on the ice where he can have room.

    I don’t think I need to go into Prucha’s play, we’ve been watching him for a while. And we’re all well aware of his flaws.

    For my $, I deal prucha TO THE WEST and sign Korpi. Hey, its a question mark if Prucha can be that sniper he was 3 seasons ago. Its a question mark if Korpi is ready too. In a cap world, you need every advantage you can get.

    I’m just really impressed with his play, and I hope to see more of it in October at MSG.

  20. sign Shanny he is better than Nedved and Betts combined, even though he plays a different position.

    Dont think Nedved is gonna keep this up forever i dont trust him. I like what Betts does so i say we keep him.

  21. I’ve been saying it all summer, and i dont care if its ONLY preseason … PRUCHA SUCKS. Its time he loses his roster spot to Korpikoski once and for all. Trade him, get a draft pick back (because we can never have too many of those) and give a Hartford guy a chance now.

  22. I think moving Drury to the wing is a big mistake.

    He’s a natural center — part of what makes him such a great player is how complete he is… he wins faceoffs, he’s great defensively, he’s physical when he needs to be and he is always in the right position.

    Wings aren’t as invovled in the defensive play as centers. They’re wingers; hence, they tend to stay on one side of the ice, whereas a center romes.

    Might not be such a big deal to some, but it’s a totally different position and I think Dru is most effective in the middle.

    Side note, I think Voros is going to play 2nd or 3rd line. DOn’t expect to see him on line 4.

  23. On a positive note, I like that the Rangers have a lot of options/decisions.

    Unfortunately, in my mind the only standouts for players on the cusp in the preseason so far have been:

    Korpikoski – confirmation that he can play
    Orr – a good improvement in skills over last year
    Del Zotto – he will be a NHL defenseman some day

    Nedved has made things interesting and Prucha has showcased his standard act (flashes of offensive brilliance and being good at getting leveled at least once per game).

    It will be interesting to see what the final makeup of this team will be with Shanahan and Sundin potentially still out there.

  24. I think Prucha just needs a solid chance. Both his 1st 2 seasons, he had 40+ points. Last year was a bad year for him. So, off 1 bad year, he’s a lost cause? He’s a young guy, dedicated to the team and the game, tries his hardest, but has spells of bad luck.

    People talk about Detroit a lot. John Franzen is one of their projects who’s starting to make a name for himself. He broke in the same time as Prucha, played a similar amount of games, and has 20 LESS points than Prucha. Sometimes a guy coming to the NHL STILL has to develop into the player he can be.

    The general feeling (I’ve seen) is lose Prucha to let Korpi in. So what happens when Korpi slumps or has bad luck? Get rid of him for Greg Moore? Then get rid of Greg for the next Hartford call-up?

    Hockey may be a fast paced game (the fastest in my opinion), but you GOTTA give guys a chance to develop.

  25. get rid of Rissmiller he is not worth one million. I would rather that one million get sent to Garden of Dreams than have him on the team.

  26. dr house…If you were any more right, well, I don’t know. But I can’t agree with anything more ever in my life.

    jeever – its a fair point about Franzen. But his game is far more than scoring points. He does things away from the puck that prucha still can’t figure out.

  27. I think Orr has done just enough work in the offseason to keep his job. But I still don’t think you need him for 82 games. The 24 vs the atlantic is a must though. (this coming from a big fan of colton. One of the nicest people I’ve ever met.)

  28. Rissmiller is just another random guy. Nothing special at all. Why did they sign him anyway? We have 14 Rissmillers.

  29. Prucha’s a career -1 over 3 seasons… considering nearly 1/2 his points came from the PP (and wouldn’t count as plusses), that’s not too shabby. So what’s wrong with him when he doesn’t have the puck?

  30. And Manfred Man who wrote It. They do a good version. I love the idea of a triple D line. Europe should cement the 3rd & 4th lines. The lineup that remains looks pretty good.
    I can’t wait to see this lineup in games and I agree some are way too critical. If this config doesn’t pan out then be critical. Some of the cuts will be making management make some critical decisions down the road. I can’t wait for the full lineup to play. It’s always a real tease not to see the full lineup together yet but that’s what makes Ranger training camp so much fun. Seeing who might be mature enough to stick. GO RANGERS!!!

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