And now for another programming note…


Raise your hand if you’re concerned about the Rangers start to this preseason. Yup, just like I figured. Pretty much everyone.

The team offered a fair amount of disclaimers today, and many have merit. There were a lot of players in camp. They didn’t play together as a unit until today. And of course, let’s not forget the biggest of all: it IS only the preseason.

All of the above is true. Problem is, there was a healthy amount of skepticism surrounding this team even before it touched the ice surface. Six preseason games later, those concerns have only been validated.

I think this roster as its currently constructed has the potential to be dangerous, provided a number of moving parts fall into place at once — Henrik Lundqvist stays healthy, Nikolai Zherdev delivers as advertised, Wade Redden plays nothing like the way he’s played so far this preseason. The answers all could be there, and if they’re not, you can be sure Glen Sather will jump on the first upgrade opportunity he gets. Maybe that’s Brendan Shanahan. Maybe that’s Mats Sundin. Heck, at this rate, Petr Nedved doesn’t seem so bad, either.

We’ll all know more about this team in the days to come, but outside of a few lucky exceptions, we’ll all be watching from afar. While the blog will be active in chronicling the team’s European jaunt, it will be forced to do so from the comfort of the Stateside Blog Headquarters.

I would love to report otherwise, because I think the stops in both Bern and Prague are both going to be overflowing with storylines. But a European trip is a lot to ask in the current economic environment, and not just for me: of the newspaper reporters who regularly cover the team, only Zipay will be in attendance when the puck drops in Prague.

Either way, I’ll still be in steady contact with the team this week. The Rangers have a series of conference calls set up with Tom Renney. And when the coach names the team captain, we should be able to talk to that individual as well.

I just hope Dmitri Kalinin is up for the task….

About Author


  1. I’m not concerned about the team Sam, I’m worried about what Renney was thinking today. Maybe it was just a last chance to test other things out, but when we were playing split squads and put Zherdev with Gomez and Nazzy, they look really good together. Drury and Dawes looked good with whoever they were placed with. Dubinsky looked really good with Callahan.

    I was at the game watching and I didn’t understand why Renney kept rotating different guys with each other. He had Zherdev – Betts – Rissmiller at one point, and Naslund – Dubinsky – Callahan. It seemed like he was just throwing out random guys together. Even Orr saw time with some offensive guys. I think having Voros and Girardi out there and keeping the lines the way they were earlier in the preseason will be the best thing for this team. I just hope Renney realizes that or I might actually start to question his coaching abilities…which has never been done before.

  2. Truthfully – I’m not worried – lot’s of shots, great offensive playmaking, speed and guts –

    this team has been tops defensivly for the past 2 years – that’ll fall into place.

    We have more depth then we’ve had in years and it’s going to show.

  3. Hey Sam, was it just me or does it seem that Dubinsky is capable of centering anyone on this team? The Devils really struggled to move him off the puck and account for his quickness. That being said, I’d like Renney to experiment just a bit in Europe with the following lines:



  4. ORR,

    Yo just clear one thing up with you. I am not the fan that boos my team or players and never would. I am an optimistic fan, that I can asure you, almost to optimistic.

    I was just mentioning the “whipping boy” as more like who a mojority of the fans will choose. I was just calling it as I see it.

    You have seen me post before?

    I support the team. Other bloggers could attest.

  5. Rozsival is fine after hip surgery, everyone will realize that Malik was much better than he was given credit for after we see Rozsival play with Staal for a few weeks. He covered up for Rozi on many occasions, and then when he coughed up the puck, it was HIS fault and not Rozsival’s. Somehow Rozi got this great reputation while leaning on Jagr and Malik got the shaft.

    For a change, I actually liked the lines Renney started out with today. Gomez/Drury/Naslund are all speed type players, Gomez can carry it in, Naslund will shoot a ton and Drury should be there to bury the rebounds. Dubi/Zherdev/Dawes could be a great line since Dubi and Zherdev both play a hybrid North American/European style, and Dawes could be the recipient of a lot of open ice. Still not sure about the other lines, but I think he’s onto something with his top 2.

    Can’t wait to see some real games to see them start trying!!!


    I see a sh*t load of Rich, and Richards post here, so its tough to know who’s who. I wasn’t saying your that fan, i thought i said in the post but i guess not.

    Its a damn shame that with the team finally together, there next games will be against non NHL teams, and for Korpedo that’s not great. If his BS penalty call costs him a job in the NHL this year, that would suck. I hope he makes it.

    They better win these final two games, cause if they lose, that would be pretty embarrassing. I hope Orr beats up on some Swiss players, that would be pretty funny.

  7. I think the bogus game misconduct on the Korpedo and the ensuing penatly kill threw Renney’s whole line combo/game plan in the crapper.

    Someone should send Redden a telegram telling him it’s time to get his head out of his butt.

    Zherdev is going to be awesome.

    Vally looked much better today then in his previous appearences, where he let the door way open for Miika.

    I really hate it when the Rangers suck against the damn Debs.

  8. Good point mhurley… I was just gonna mention that. Renney had no choice but to throw different combos out there… he lost his (whatever) line center in the first.

    I’m hoping that the “it’s just pre-season” excuse is the real deal. I would imagine it’s hard to get “up” for these games any but especially this season when the schedule they’ve been given is a real bear.

  9. See I missed the first period and didn’t find out that Korpedo got a GM up until like a few minutes ago. That would explain why he was just rotating guys through the lineup. It was definately tough to get anything going after that up until late in the game. The league took back the misconduct after the game since they reviewed and didn’t think it was warrented.

    BTW, Zherdev’s goal was pretty sick for those who saw it. Nazzy’s goal was pretty nice too. The difference was that we scored by attacking with speed. We’ll score a lot like that/in transition. I really think we’ll be able to score a lot easier and better than last year because we aren’t holding onto Shanny and Jagr.

  10. Also whats with everyone ripping on Kalinin already? Yeah he has his flaws, but hes also very good at moving the puck up. I’d rather have him doing it than Rozsival, especially because he’s faster than Mikey and doesn’t really get caught too much defensively.

    And like Dubi Rules said, Malik got ripped for most of Rozsival’s mistakes. Now I’m not sure if it was because of the injuries Mike had the last two years, but he made plenty of awful plays that Malik had to make up for. Doesn’t mean Malik was great, but it just added to the fact of why people hated him because he was made to look even worse than he was. Rozsival should take his place this year as the whipping boy of the d-line because Staal won’t be able to make up for things like Malik could. I don’t think they have that kind of chemistry and Staal likes to join the rush, leaving Rozy back by himself when he screws up.

  11. I thought the team as a whole was a bit off today…I didn’t like the line combos at all…
    I really liked the previous combos…
    I think they were
    I think these were the lines…
    I forget the 4th line but the first three are more important anyway.
    I also think the players have alot on there minds with traveling to Europe and what not…which easily affects focus
    Hank also didn ‘t look good at all…I don’t want to give credence to the whole knee thing but he was just bad…
    Vally played very well.
    Redden and Rozi…I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt but they are running out of time…and quick!
    I hope Staal is ok after blocking that shot…we don’t need him going down.
    Potter looks really good…again. If I look at just todays game I’d have to say he was in the top 4 of the defense…with Redden and Rozi at 5 and 6
    Korpido got shafted that call was rediculous and caused the crazy line combo’s we saw the rest of the afternoon.

  12. I think Redden and Rozy should never ever be paired together. It was really bad watching them play together. Its just asking to give up goals and I think that attributes to why Redden didn’t look all that special today. Like if he didn’t have a pass to make, he’d throw it to Rozy, who would completely screw up the pass or something stupid like that.

    I also agree with you that our lines were better before. I think putting Korpedo on the 2nd or 3rd line would be better and just using Sjostrom – Betts – Voros on the 4th. It would show whether or not Betts can net some points since Sjostrom and Voros are solid on both sides of the puck. Orr would only be needed for fights against tough teams.

    Henke was noticably hurting. He couldn’t get up as fast from the butterfly and Jim Ramsay spent the rest of the 2nd period and most of the 3rd talking to him or was right next to him on the bench. Thats really not good for us Rangers fans. I personally think he should just take some time off to let them heal for the first few weeks. Vally can carry the team for that long and we need him in order to do anything in the playoffs. Wasting it for now will just make his knees worse and he won’t be able to play down the stretch.

  13. jonny – Redden couldn’t stay up on his skates a few times. that seemed to be on him, maybe skates or ice I don’t know but he did look terrible

  14. Even if Redden stops looking bad, he was still a really stupid signing–too much money and too many years when we have Sanguinetti and Del Zotto almost ready.

  15. I agree 100% it was a dumb signing, but if paired with the right guy, I don’t see Redden as that much of a liability. Playing him with Rozsival is just an awful idea and I think it only happened because Girardi was scratched. Also, Del Zotto needs another two years at least and Sanguinetti just isn’t good.

    I mean I think we’ve seen that hes just awful in the defensive zone. He’s great with the puck and he does hit, but he’s a defensive mishap waiting to happen because he has almost no idea where to be in the defensive zone. Del Zotto is bigger, faster, just as good with the puck, and even though he’s a bit jumpy in regards to transition play, he is much better positioning himself in the D-zone.

    Also, the more I look at our roster, the more I think we should just rotate 4th lines. We only need 6 D until Kalinin goes down (which is almost a given), but having a 4th line of Sjostrom – Fritsche – Voros against fast teams and Rissmiller – Betts – Orr against fighting teams might actually work out for us. Both lines are solid defensively and the 1st can pitch in offensively. Renney just needs to get over his love with having Betts and Orr out there every game.

  16. Sam, you’re starting to sound like a crybaby. The season hasnt even started and you’re “concerned” about a 7 game preseason in as little ast 9 days?

    C’mon, quit your whining.

  17. OK, just got back home. I was at the game today, and I have to be honest, that was the worst I have ever seen the Rangers play. Seriously, it was an embarrassment. Here are some of my observations from Section 221:
    -Obviously, the King looked more like the court jester. Sad showing by Hank, and raises alarm about health issue rumors.
    -Redden had a terrible game. He falls on his ass and leads to a 2 on 1.
    -Rozsival avoids a check at the blue line, Devil player is able to maintain possession, and 2 quick passes later it’s in the net. That goal could have been avoided if Rozy wasn’t trying to protect his vagina.
    -Another note on Rozy. He gets beat, gets a hooking penalty…sound familiar? I guess old habits die hard.
    -Kalinin made a poor showing as well. I’d rather have Malik, and I’m being completely serious.
    -Dubinsky is a total stud.
    -Zherdev is an impressive talent, but needs to find a happy medium between flash and function. Guys can hardly deke the whole team and go end to end in my rec league, let alone the NHL. Zherdev will make it around 1 or 2 players, but eventually gets stopped or coughs up the puck. He needs to simplify his game. He does have a great shot though, and his move after a sweet feed from Dubi was impressive. The kid has hope.
    -Rangers lineup lacks grit. Lots of shots from the point, but with nobody in front of the net, they’re easy saves and make AHL starters look like Vezina candidates. Drury seems to be the only one with enough balls to get in front of the net and hunt for rebounds. Rangers need to play a grittier game.
    -Shanahan is sorely missed. I know, I know, he’s too old, he can’t skate…bulls*it. Rangers have nobody who will pull the trigger. Everyone plays hot potato trying to pawn the shot off on someone else. It happened repeatedly on the power play. At very least, he could park his big ass in front of the net and provide a screen or deflection. God knows nobody else will do it. With Rozsival and Kalinin, we’re gonna need his PK skills.
    -Good for Korpedo for throwing the body. Leaving all of the bruising for Orr isn’t gonna work.
    -I like Naslund’s game. It’s not as flashy as Jagr, but it gets the job done.

    I’m glad I got these tickets for free, because this one was a real stinker. I seriously hope this is not foreshadowing the season to come.

  18. Joe,

    We are much grittier than last year. They showed it earlier in the preseason. Rissmiller, Voros, Callahan, Dubinsky, all those guys are tough guys. I think the lack of grit today was due to the line juggling that happened once Korpedo went out because up until this game, we were running goalies left and right.

    And Shanny won’t be missed. Last year our problem was we shot too much from awful areas. I agree sometimes we make too many passes, but we didn’t pass enough last year when we needed too. I think this team is much better at knowing when to shoot and when to pass. Last year we did everything opposite. When we needed to shoot we passed, when we need to pass we shot. Plus we have guys that are fast enough to keep up with our playmakers. Sometimes its better you make that extra pass to a guy that has a better angle and you keep the goalie moving from side to side so hes off his angle.

    I’ll agree we passed too much on the powerplay, but we had no angle to shoot. The other games we seemed to move the puck around much quicker with a purpose and we had success. As long as the puck gets moved fast and we have Voros or Dubi or even Dru and Nazzy in front, our PP will be fine. I think these guys are really just looking forward to getting to Europe instead of worrying about today. At least thats what I hope.

  19. Joe in DE – Henrik did look pretty bad as did the team itself. Rozy coming off hip surgery but of course that begs the ? why sign him for 4 yrs and that kind of $. Redden kept falling down.

    we are taking a step back this yr no doubt about it. hopefully in 2 or 3 yrs will be the better for it. so again please say no to Shanny. we’re not winning the cup with or without. time to move on.

  20. I was also at the game today. I noticed a couple of things at the arena:

    1. I don’t want to completely start ripping the guy in the preseason but the thing that scared me with Redden (other than his horrible defensive play) is that he really just looked lazy out there. I kept my eyes on him when he was behind the play or going off for a line change and he showed absolutely no hustle or urgency. I hope it’s just because it’s the preseason and not the fact that he has his huge contract locked up already.

    2. I thought the lines looked pretty good. I’ve watched every preseason game and have been at all the ones at the Garden and I don’t understand the love affair with the Naslund-Gomez-Zherdev line. THEY HAVEN’T SCORED A GOAL! Granted Zherdev’s goal today came shorthanded and Naslund scored on the PP, I think, but hey, they both got their first goals of the preseason AFTER they had all been split up. It just seems to me like Zherdev isn’t this ultimate finisher/sniper type player that we all seem to expect. He likes to handle the puck and wheel around and seems to be a better passer than I expected. I just don’t think there is enough puck for Gomez and Zherdev together. On the other hand, Dubinsky actually has a great shot and can cope better with Zherdev’s free-wheeling style of play.

    3. The call on Korpedo was BS.

    4. Lundqvist looked bad. I really hope he’s not hurt.

    5. Rozsival looks even lazier than Redden. I just get this feeling with Rozsival whenever I watch him this year that he just doesn’t belong anymore. His pass first attitude (it shouldn’t even be called an attitude, more like a religion or an undying devotion) seems to be an out of place relic of last year’s team.

    6. We have definitely been playing a lot of games in a short time span and I hope the laziness I saw was related to fatigue. I’m fatigued just watching all these games.

    7. The power play looks exactly the same as it did last year. If you showed me video tape of last year’s power play and the power play so far this year I would think you were showing me clips of the same game. The only thing that has changed are the numbers on the jerseys.

  21. I think our Powerplay hasnt been that bad. Considering the fact that we’ve only scored 12 goals in 6 games anyway. 5 of the 12 have been on the PP.

    We need to score more at even strength. And i think we’re lacking there because of all the line juggling.

    Hootin Tyutin …

    I agree with the line combos. I dont see why some people loved the original Naslund – Gomez – Zherdev line? I think these 2 lines will do much better now, and if it wasnt for the juggling today bc of Korpedo’s GM. The lines would have been fine today.

    The Rangers looked fatigued bc of the schedule, and it didnt help having to double shift some players to compensate for Korpedos loss

  22. LI Joe, I totally agree. I liked the Redden signing. My take on our defensive situation was that after last year, we were unsatisfied with Rozy’s ability to QB the PP, and he would be replaced since he was a UFA. I was all for the Redden signing, since he could fill that role for less than the even more egregiously overpriced Brian Campbell. Then we would go out and get a stay at home banger type D man like we had in Beukeboom. Instead we signed both and never filled the other role. I would have been OK with Rozy or Redden, not both.

    I don’t know if the angle on TV is different than in person, but there were PLENTY of opportunities to shoot today, and lanes open to get shots through. On several occasions, the Rangers took too long to try to get the perfect shot off, only to have it poke checked away. Also, Weekes and Clemmenson were giving up plenty of rebounds, almost on every shot, but there were no Rangers down low to bang them home. My coaches always said that getting a shot to the net is never a bad thing. I’m calling it right now, this team will miss Shanahan’s 20+ goals and skills on the PK. I say that for 2 reasons. 1) We take a lot of penalties. We only have 2 bona fide forward penalty killers now in Drury and Betts since Straka and Shanny are gone. 2) In typical Rangers fashion, at least one of our players will bust. Maybe Zherdev, Prucha, Korpi…who knows. Shanny is a lock for 20+.

    As far as grit, it means very little when the guys supplying the grit can’t do anything else. Voros, Rissmiller, Fritsche, Betts, Korpi and Orr can’t all be in the lineup at once. My guess is that Rissmiller gets the axe. He was invisible today, except for when he put the team down a man. Orr can fight, which means he will sit in the playoffs if we make it that far. Voros is a half a step above Hollweg. Callahan and Dawes provide grit by throwing hits, but getting good dirty goals too. Dawes laid out a dude today 1/3 bigger than him. We’re going to miss Avery in that dept.

  23. This team is going to start wobbly, wobble further, really wobble, then finish the first month well under .500 …… and you know what? Renney will be still searching for line combos that make sense arounf Groundhog Day. And the number of dimwits lining up here to defend him will stretch eight time around the circumference of the earth.

    Wade Redden is going to be eaten alive by the blue seats in a way that only Allen Stanley, Bob Nevin, Rod Seiling, Willie Huber and Marek Malik can understand. He’s rich, lazy, unmotivated, here to retire. Excellent! Recipe for success!

    Bright spots? Dubi, Staal. Average? Gomer, Drury, Henke. Disappointments? Zherdev, Naslund, Redden, Kalinin, etc., etc., etc.

  24. Joe in DE – maybe Shanny is missed 1st half of season. but he will be 40 in Jan. he was terrible in last 2 yrs 2nd half of yr. yes injuries but that happens to older players. he was a real detriment in playoffs and should have sat out more in jan and feb to get better. and he won’t come cheap. figure $ 3 mm after getting more than $ 5 mm last yr incl bonuses. and I really hope the bonus provision doesn’t come back into play if players ratify because then he will hurt our 09-10 chances directly.

    I think he’s coming back at some point just hope I’m wrong. And I liked him a lot in 1st season here. and he had a great career. I would love him in the organization but only if wearing a suit.

    bottom line we’re not going to be as good as last couple of yrs. maybe playoff borderline but likely one and done. so really is time to move on. we’re in a bit of reloading with goal of being good in 2-3 yrs. Shanny is not part of that plan.

  25. Laurence, I wouldn’t be so quick to throw Naslund and Zherdev under the bus just yet, especially Naslund. His game is hard working and he has a great shot. He could have a very productive year here. Same goes for Zherdev. He scored 26 goals on a BS team last year. The kid will produce, I’m just concerned that he will cost us as many goals as he tallies.

    Talk about bright spots, Staal blocked a shot with his chest today. Play was blown dead immediately and Jim Ramsey came out to check on him. He got up and skated to the bench. Granted he lost his stick and his breath, but he took a slap shot to the sternum like a champ…in a preseason game. The dude is all heart.

    On a side note, Potter didn’t look too bad today. At least, no worse than Kalinin, and takes less than 1/3 of his cap hit.

  26. LI Joe, I agree with your assessment of Shanny’s performance last year. Yes, he was hurt. But so was Rozsival, and Avery. Shanny has been around this game long enough that he knows his body. If he says that he still has another season in him, then I believe him. A salary dump of a 4th liner we don’t need would allow us to pay him 1.5 up front and the CBA would allow 1.5 deferred until next year, which shouldn’t have a significant detrimental effect on our ability to sign players. Especially with a 1 year deal like he’s asking, it’s a low risk situtation, unlike we have with Redden where we’re married to the guy.

    If Prucha doesn’t produce in the first 15 games, his time here is over, and we’re going to need to look elsewhere for the production. There is only so much you can ask rookies and sophomores to step up production to pick up the slack.

  27. LI JOE

    Something apparently was wrong with Reddens skates, i don’t know why he didn’t just get a new pair. but then again, its only pre season, like everyone’s saying.

    I totally forgot aboot Staal getting hit with the puck. If he’s hurt that would suck.

    Im not ready, and will never be ready to rip on Redden. Im gonna wish him the best, and hope he gets his game together. You cant just rip him apart over pre season games. Give him a break, everyones made mistakes so far, Hank, and Vally let in some soft goals, Rozi with that pathetic giveaway, Gomer not being able to clear the puck three easy times on the PK, Pruchs missing the wide open net, Parenteau missing a wide open net, and on and on and on, blah, blah, blah. Its pre season, lets just forget aboot it.

    You wanna worry, then start to worry if Nyr loses one of those games against the Swiss teams, cause that would be horrifying. Id actually be ashamed to put on a Rangers jersey, or shirt if they lost those games, well if people actually knew what hockey was that is. I just hope they totally dominate, and take these 5 losses out on the Swiss teams.

    Things could be worse, you could be the Leafs, blowing a two goal lead in the 3rd period with 3 minutes left, taking two penalties, and having the Sabres tie it up, with 5 seconds left, and win it in OT, like they did tonight. BTW, Hollweg fought in that game. He fought in all the games he’s played in.

    Cant wait for Voros vs Hollweg, that should be GREAT !! I highly doubt he’d fight his good buddy Orrzie.

  28. Maybe we can give the Kings Prucha, Rozsival, and Pock for O’Sully, and one of there capable, but not so flashy d men.

    That would give us a 3rd line center, if Dubi goes up to the 2nd line. I know its not gonna happen, and its so NHL 09, but im a big fan of the Kings prospects, they draft a lot of cool players, that id love to have on Nyr like Kopitar, Brown, Boyle, Johnson, Doughty, Hickey, and O’Sully. Kings would be morons to not lock him up, they need him like a cure for cancer.

  29. Joe in DE – right now unless the players ratify there is no bonus deferral. I hope it stays that way to keep Shanny away. I have a big problem with saying $ 1.5 mm is insignificant toward next yrs cap. but if allowed we should pay Shanny # 3 mm to play 4th line in a cap league. I don’t think so!

    my point is Shanny will have minimal difference. Unfortunately i think Sather and Dolan are in line with your thoughts so I still think will happen.

    what i am also saying is this yr is a transition yr. short term pain long term gain. Shanny does not fit into that philosophy. I hope jhe signs elsewhere and soon.

  30. Joe,

    How many good hitting d-men are there out there that aren’t actually liabilities? A lot of people around here seem to think this is 94 and hitting d-men grow on trees. Fact is Beukeboom style players would get killed in the new NHL because they can’t hold and hook, which was pretty much their game. They would get skated right around or be in the box every time they touched the ice. I agree we need one, but the amount that are able to keep up in todays game is small so we’ll have to draft them.

    Also, there really wasn’t much room on the PP to shoot. I sit pretty much right behind the goal net and the Devils players were there blocking the lanes. It didn’t help that we looked lazy and slow because like I said, they moved the puck much quicker in previous games and were able to get shots off. This game they were just a step slow and the Devils had time to setup to block the shooting lanes. And I think we will draw a lot more penalties than we take. In all of the other games before today we were flying at full speed and drawing hooking/holding/tripping calls. This isn’t like last year where we were pretty much the slowest team in the league.

    Voros can put the puck in the net. He’s not there just to hit. Same with Rissmiller. Everyone is so down on Rissy already because he isn’t a flashy guy. He does the little things right though. Hes a great role player to have on your team because he takes few penalties over the course of the season and hes not a liability on offense, like the other guys we had on our 4th line the last couple of years. Guys like him, Voros, and Fritsche can hold the puck and make solid passes so they aren’t liabilities when we get offensive chances.

    Fact is from top to bottom we have a more physical team than last year. These guys aren’t afraid to run the goalies and crash the net. We had a major problem with that last year. I honestly think we have the potential to be better than last year. However we can also fall on our butts and be miserable. Its definately a high risk, high reward team, we just have to hope that everyone works their hardest every shift because we will definately be hard to defend since we don’t have a real point of offense to work around.

  31. I guess the best way to sum up what I was trying to get at is that our greatest strength is that other teams won’t know who to try to shut down. But at the same time its our biggest weakness since we don’t really know who to go to. Our style of play this year suits the new NHL a lot better and we have the potential to be a much more competitive team against the Pittsburghs and Philly’s since we’ll be able to keep up with the speed of the game and possess the puck better. The problem is we have just as good of a chance of failing and being in 12th place. Maybe I’m too much of an optimist, but I think too many people are writing off this team already since the potential to be a very good team is there. Time will tell though.

  32. I thought this was going to be a transition year, but the Rangers made a few weird signings for that policy. It’s hard to have so many big contracts and try to be bringing up young players to stay here for awhile because there won’t be as much room to pay them. I’m having a bad feeling that this team will just be plain bad, but there’s also a chance to be surprising; there’s just no telling at this point.

    I stopped watching today after 4-0. Hopefully, they were just looking forward to the plane flight and they will take the next two games seriously. It’s not like the preseason is over yet. There’s a high chance of a split against Tampa Bay in the opening games, but hopefully we can take both, since we should be a better team, but like I said, I have little clue about us at this point.

    Also, I know there will be these feelings, but I don’t want to hear complaining about Tom Renney if this team fails to make the playoffs. He made surprising strides with the Rangers in his first two seasons, so there’s no need to crucify him if they don’t make it this year, especially with lowered expectations and more raw players.

  33. Jonny D, point well taken about the big D men. Phaneuf comes to mind, as does Brooks Orpik. Niklas Kronwall’s huge open ice hits are a great compliment to the smooth steady style of Lidstrom in Detroit. Kinda hard to overlook Chris Pronger and the rest of the Ducks that hammered their way to a cup in 07.
    Physicality is certainly not lost in today’s NHL.

    It’ not that I’m down on Voros, Rissmiller, Orr, Betts and Fritsche. They’re good players, but I think we’re trying to make chicken salad out of chicken poop in a way. We have this surplus of 4th liners/possible 3rd liners, and we’re banking on significant production from them. Realistically it’s not going to happen. 4 4th liners doesn’t equal 1 first liner. I’d rather have a team built with well paid, consistent performers than a team of maybes and whims.

  34. spider –

    some signed only 1 yr like kalinin and mara as well as rissmiller. naslund for 2 yrs is fair not great but not terrible.

    I think Redden contract was way too high in terms of yrs and $ as was Rozy especially coming off hip surgery. Doubt both will last through life of contracts here. maybe neither will.

    my hope is with some of youth like Dubinsky and Staal more in 2 or 3 yrs than this yr although both will be pretty good this yr as well. and more so some of Hartford, junior and Cherepanov if he ever comes here. so that is why I am far more optomistic in 2-3 yrs than this yr.

  35. JOHNY D

    Honestly all i can think of is Gauthier with the Kings. He’s a heavy hitter, and nearly ended Straka’s career in 06, but somehow Straks managed to get up and not miss a shift. He’s kinda like Strudwick if i remember correctly, semi solid, but faster.

    Throw him in the O’Sully deal, that would be nice.

    But your right, this team needs a hard hitting D man. To bad Nyr couldn’t trade down to get Phaneuf in that horrible draft, but eh. There’s not many good ones available. I thought for sure Orpik was gonna sign here, after we dumped Tyutin, and Backmans contract, but i was wrong.

    Remember Sundin is still out there, i think if Slats wants anyone, its gonna be him. I still don’t mind that at all, plus it would mean trading Rozival, and probably Betts. Maybe Pruchs, but who knows.

  36. Joe from DE,

    It’s definately not lost, but we’re in a transition period in the league. A lot of the slower hitting D-men are being phased out and the younger d-men are learning to be solid skaters as well as physical players. Its just not easy to find right now. If you look at the top hitters in the league like Exelby, Orpik, Phaneuf and most others, they are all (or at least mostly) under the age of 30. Its a new build of D-man. Guys who can hit and skate as well as join the offense. In like 3-5 years you will see a lot more since most of the d-men drafted are that style (Del Zotto will be that guy for us).

  37. Cherepanov will definitely be here soon, as long as we keep him away from this whiner Dubi over at BB+. God forbid he posts another article bashing the kid, maybe he wont wanna come to spite all Nyr fans, for having one of our bad seeds get in touch with him.

    The good thing with him, is like Sam said the other day, Jags is still interested in the team, and Dubi, and he’s showing Cherry the way, so he wont spite us either by telling the kid that the NHL is for the devils (Not the team). I just hope he has a good year in OMSK, and gets anything out of Jags that he wanted. This kid could potentially be the steal of that draft, and for ONCE, i would love to have a 1st round pick that EVERYONE could say “damn, we had our chance to draft that kid, and we didn’t do it” kinda like how we are with Huge Jessiwoman.

    Can you imagine a line someday, with Cherepanov-Anisimov-Grachev, that would be nice. But im more interested in seeing Cherry play with a guy like Dubi.

    I had my doubts that Dubi wasn’t gonna be as good as everyone thinks. But he looked great in the pre season, and i hope he really steps it up this year and provides scoring that this team needs, besides the 4 stars of the team. It would be great if him and Dawesy can pot 25 each at least. Cally, i cant tell whether he’s gonna be a scorer or not, but i expect him to at least have 15 goals, we need someone to replace Avery’s 15. I just cant wait till the season starts, and im hoping everyones healthy and al lis well, and this pre season was nothing compared to what’s coming.

  38. This team is way to soft, reminds me of the smurf’s in the past. Redden and Rozi suck, what a terrible job by Sather. Why no Oprik or Salvadore or some forwards who can also fight, besides Orr?

    Not very encouraging for 2008-09.

  39. “September 28th, 2008 at 1:35 am
    What D-men are available after this season ? Mara, and Kalinin are only 1 year deals, so who knows, maybe there can be someone good to pick up at the years end.”

    Did you forget Sauer, Potter, Sanguinetti, maybe even Baranka coming back.

    I laugh at all the “geniuses” that want Shanahan back or those that are afraid our PK will become 20% worse without Blair “2.5 Assist God of Defense” Betts.

  40. This team is not really soft, there are some some soft players that need to be moved(Betts), there are some small players that need to be moved(Prucha), there are some soft player that can’t be traded(Drury, Redden), there are some players that need to step up and play more physical(all the defense besides Girardi, as well as Fritsche and Sjostrom)

    I think once we trade Betts we are in pretty good shape and all 4 lines are dangerous offensively and 3 of the 4 lines are dangerous physically.

  41. “Can you imagine a line someday, with Cherepanov-Anisimov-Grachev”

    I am not too thrilled with Cherepanov, he is weak defensively, not very big, not physical, not fast, lazy.

    I am much more excited about Grachev-Anisimov-Zherdev line that would be amazing, I hope Zherdev resignsat least a 4 year deal at about 4.5/5 million per year.

  42. Bob, I laugh at all the “geniuses” that think that Dawes and Callahan are gonna score 30+ respectively this year.

    Production is a serious concern for this team. Gomez and Drury have never scored more than 30 goals a season, including years where they won a cup. We lost a lot of production in Jagr, Straka, Avery and Shanahan. Actually, 78 combined goals, or 37% of our total GF last season. Also, put that in the context that 3 of those players didn’t play the entire season. It’s reasonable to wonder where that production is going to come from this season. I highly doubt that Patrick Rissmiller is the answer.

  43. lenny – orpik signed with the Pens for a hometown discount, can’t put a gun to a guys head to make him sign here. usually just overpaying someone in terms of $ and yrs like Redden will get him to sign on dotted line. until we get people (mainly in house) who do us the hometown favor salary wise like the Wings and Pens we will not really be a factor in the cup chase.

  44. Drury scored 37 check your facts.

    Naslund and Drury will score about 30 that already makes up for 35

    Zherdev and Dawes will score about 30 that makes up for about 45

    that already covers the departed fools.

    Dubinsky will get around 25 that is 11 more

    Callahan will get about 18 that is 10 more

    Sjostrom will get about 10, that is 9 more than Orr

    Fritsche will get about 15 that is 8 more that Prucha

    Redden will get about 12 that is 10 more than Malik

    Korpikoski will get about 15

    Rissmiller will get about 10 that is 8 more than Betts

    Voros will get about 10 that is 8 more than Hollweg

    Gomez likely gets a bit more than 16

    Staal likely gets more than 2

  45. bob – Where in your genius plan does Zherdev making $4.5 million per year fit under our cap? Granted, I would do it if we traded Rozsival or Redden only because we can and have defensive depth. I’m not already trading them before I see them play this season, but that’s the only way we’re getting Zherdev back.

  46. bob is obsessed with Betts. Dont be a shanahan hater either whats a matter with you. Atleast he scores.

  47. Naslund-Gomez-Drury


    by my count if this lineup stays relatively healthy they will score about 255 goals. That is 50 goal improvement over last season.

  48. Spiderpig, yes the genius Sather screwed us yet again by overpaying for UFAs which we don’t even really need that much.

    We will difinitely have to trade Rozsival to make room for Zherdev’s 1 million raze and for Dawes’s and Dubinsky’s raises. I (and probably everyone here) would be thrilled if we can also somehow undo the Redden mistake and trade him. Also the cap might go up. Also replacing Kalinin and Mara with Sauer and Potter frees up almost 3 million.

  49. Bob, you’re absolutely right. If EVERYBODY on the team puts up career best numbers, we’re gonna have a great season.

    Yes, Drury scored 37, one season. He averages 22. I’m not trying to be a downer, but I don’t think it’s reasonable, especially as Rangers fans who should know better, to think that everybody on the team is going to perform at or above expectations.

  50. bob, I’m definately in agreement with you, but can you also see this team flopping? That’s what I’m trying to get across to people is that we can be much better than last year. However we can also be much worse. Most people don’t know jack about the guys we signed so they look at their stats and just think they suck. And again, there weren’t any solid hitting d-men that were fast enough to keep up with our team that we couldve signed. Sather chased after orpik and others, but they didn’t want to sign here so we can’t do anything about that.

    Let’s see what happens a few weeks from now when we’ve played some meaningful games. Then we can accurately judge this team.

  51. Joe,

    It’s not about career bests. We just need balanced scoring. Dubinsky, Dawes, callahan and even sjostrom will improve their point totals this year. It’s their turn to step up and I really think they will. Everyone complained about how boring our team was with jagr, but now we get a young fast and exciting team and everyone thinks were gonna suck because nobody knows any of the guys out there. My friends have never watched or even heard of voros or rissmiller and are already writing them off without knowing what they can do. They aren’t going to look like Gretzky out there, but they will hit and net a decent amount of goals. Both can hit 10 since they wouldve reached that total had they played full seasons.

  52. wow… I think I’m gonna go read a Devil’s blog. There will be less Ranger-bashing in that one. I’m so happy I don’t take 3/4s of these comments seriously, otherwise I’d be curled up in the fetal position right now, crying my widdle eyes out.

  53. I might have missed something. Can someone clue me into why some people think Henry is or might have a bad knee, or whatever? Did something happen that I did not hear about, like when and where he got hurt?

    No one from the team or the media has mentioned this possibility.

    Thank god it is the preseason. This team will be fine. They have the talent. If they look like crap and can’t score after playing 10 games together as a unit. Then you all can start the bashing. I will just read the comments and think positive thoughts.

  54. there was a report that he received cortizone shots in his knees a few weeks ago. His exact quote was “I thought my knees would feel better, but they don’t.”

    He did it in the Pittsburgh series and reaggrevated it in the WCs. It looked like it was bothering him yesterday because he wasn’t moving around the same. Maybe he just had a bad game, which is what I hope the case is.

  55. Jonny,
    I see what you’re saying, but the way I see it this team will not be the offensive juggernaut that it is supposed to be. I think the 250 goal prediction is lofty, as that would have put us top 5 in the league last year. With our PP as weak as it is, I just don’t see it happening. We’re going to win low scoring games. Hank had an impressive 2.23 GAA last year, so if we score 3 goals a game we’re in fantastic shape. The problem is we haven’t been able to. Sjostrom may not even make the NHL squad, let alone score 10 goals. Prucha may not last until Thanksgiving.

    I hope that I’m wrong on all accounts, but optimism should be taken with a dose of realism too

  56. definately. That’s why I said we have just a good of a chance of failing and being in 12th place. Some people are already writing this team off though which I don’t think you can do yet.

  57. btw, this year our PP all falls on perry pearn. Last year I’ll give him the fact that he had Jagr and Shanny so players were timid, but he has no excuses this year.

  58. I am optimistic because Straka, Malik, Shanahan, Jagr, Strudwick, and Backman are gone. I will be even more optimistic when useless Betts is gone, I would even stop calling Renney “Hyena” if he cuts off the umbilical cord between Betts and his uterus.

    Jonny D, sure the team can flop, any team can, even the most star studded. Last season’s team flopped, they were boring, predictable and low scoring.

  59. “I think the 250 goal prediction is lofty, as that would have put us top 5 in the league last year. With our PP as weak as it is, I just don’t see it happening. We’re going to win low scoring games. Hank had an impressive 2.23 GAA last year, so if we score 3 goals a game we’re in fantastic shape. The problem is we haven’t been able to. Sjostrom may not even make the NHL squad, let alone score 10 goals. Prucha may not last until Thanksgiving.”

    I didn’t even count Prucha because as much as I loved him, it is time to trade him and move on. And like I said 255 goals that is without any serious injuries, which I am sure will happen and we will somewhat miss the mark, but hopefully not bu more than 20 goals.

  60. bob last years team sucked but we still made it to the 2nd round. We had the ability to just give it to jagr and let him carry us down the stretch, which is why we didn’t end up in a worse position. There wasn’t much risk of missing the playoffs. This year, the risk is much higher, but so is the reward. If things go downhill, we don’t have that guy like jagr who can carry us. That being said we are a better, more balanced team without him.

  61. I think the risk is not really higher. The other teams will have a much harder time figuring us out with all the new players and with at least 2 good scoring lines.

    Also remember how other teams didn’t have to worry defensively at least 8 minutes even strength every game when Hollweg-Betts-Orr line was showing off their mighty shutdown skill. Well hopefully those 8 minutes now are used to the optimum with scoring and hits and defense once Betts is gone.

  62. the fourth line pissed me off soooooo much last year. 15 minutes left in the 3 period down a goal and renney puts the fourth line out. We should have won alot more games if it wasnt for Renney’s man crush on the fourth line.

  63. plus sanguinetti needs a lot of work before he can play D in the NHL. Also say what you want about redden, but he times his blue line step ups pretty well. It’s the straight one on one matchups when he screws up. Hopefully he’ll be better though.

  64. Sanguinetti should be very good after 1 year in AHL and he likely will be more physical than an average NHL defenseman. Potter and Sauer are physical, Girardi is one of the most physical defensemen in NHL.

  65. Wait a second, Betts was only 50.3% on faceoffs last year that means Rissmiller beats him in that department as well with 50.9%.

  66. I’m not concerned about sanguinetti’s physical abilities, but he is clueless on how to cover guys in the d-zone. I’d rather have a soft d-man that is always in position than a bruiser who leaves guys wide open.

  67. I just wish that Renney would give these guys time together to get something going…

    I dunno it just seems like a replay of last season… Jagr with Gomez… Nope Jagr with Drury… nope Jagr with Dubi… Yes.

    This time around it’s not just one guy… it’s all 4 lines!!!

    Seems like we need some consistency to figure things out. Maybe just pick some lines and stick with ’em. Constantly changing might show you a little something here or there but the variables are too many to figure out in just one game no?

  68. these guys are easier to do that with. We don’t have the baggage of jagr and shanny and trying to work around them. All these guys have shown that they can work together. Yesterday it was just more of it because of the bad call kicking out korpedo.

  69. I understand Renney have to mix up his lines and how that sux in a pre-season game but can we really blame the loss and lack of ANY kind of cohesion yesterday on guy getting ejected who’s not even officially on the team.

    Again, I get it… it’s just pre-season but jeez if these guys are “easier” then shouldn’t they have had one decent game?

  70. I’m amazed at how so many people can see into the future!

    Grachev/Anisimov/Cheraponov will be a TOTALLY great line! Yeah! 100%! None of them have played in the NHL and Anisimov hasn’t been too impressive in preseason.

    The Rangers will score 255 goals! Yeah! No doubt! Drury is a 3rd line center, always has been. He just happens to be able to get dirty for some goals… on BUFFALO, one of the highest scoring teams in the league. Dubi and Dawes should be able to score 20, hopefully… but Callahan? He’s a career third liner. Sjostrom? Really? OMG HE SKATES SOO FAST HEZ AMAZEEN!

    I HOPE both of those “Statements” indeed come true, but let’s work with what we’ve got and see what happens.

  71. orr,
    bouwmeister should be a ufa this summer but b/c of redden/roszi signing i dont see how we can pick him up. also b/v of signing those two idiots itd be really tough to get gaborik to sign let alone keep zherdev if he has a good year. now none of those players could become available, but id rather have a shot at signing them then having redden for the next 6 years and roszi for the next 4. Redden was built to play in the prelockout nhl and that has shown each year after the lockout and he will only continue to be exposed. i also think he may have a no movement clause which realistically means the only way to get rid of him is to put him in the minors as he blocked trades on ottowa so id assume he’d do it again.

    i dont see dawes putting up 30 goals and cally is certainly not gonna put up 25. have to hope naslund and zherdev put up numbers and we dont allow a lot of goals

  72. spider – still stand by my statement that Bob (who for last yr has posted on newsday) is yenner. the hyena comment was a yenner specialty. thankfully, the language has been toned down though

  73. onecupin67years on

    Well it seems that from the point of view from this site, is that the Rangers have their work cut out for them.
    Gomez ,Drury, Naslund, and the others will probably score what they have averaged.But, how the teams plays as a whole is still unknown and hopefully they won’t suck as much as they have in the preseason. If they have a great year its a bonus, but I think they will have a tough time making the playoffs, but remember the Giants last year.


    Take it the fugg easy broseph, i never said anything about the NHL, and them being the Russian version of Heatley-Spezza-Alfy. Im just curious to see how those players would do together, and can probably dominate in the AHL. I think the line was Cherepanov-Anisimov-Filitov (Blue Jackets), but replace him with Anisimov, and boom, you got a sweet Russian line, throw in a couple of russian cheerleaders, like Sharapova, and Kournikova, and your looking at some good times

    I don’t agree at all with anyone who thinks Cherepanov will make the jump from OMSK to the NHL. Maybe some kids can adapt the the North American style of hockey quickly, but im expecting him to go right down to Hartford.

    Im guessing we’ll be able to see Grachev in Hartford, i don’t understand that though, i thought he was going to the OHL.


    Jay-Bo is a bit overrated. He’s a good solid D-man with some offensive talent, but everyone is making him out to be a HOF D-man.

    Nyr should just sign cheap but solid D-men for the next few years until Sanguinetti, or Del Zotto is ready to step up to the big league.

    Anyone think Del Z can replace Kalinin or Mara next season ? Bogosian, Schenn, Pietrangelo, and maybe Doughty might all be playing this season, right out of Juniors, so who knows, maybe he’ll be ready after this year. That would be awesome.

  75. im not saying “Jay-Bo” is a savior but he is younger then redden and id say going to be better going forward. but like i said these signings also impact our ability to get offensive players like gaborik

  76. Sam- The biggest concern I got with this team are you guys in media and some un-knowledgeble fans.

    You guys call for a big turnover on the roster pretty much during the entire last season. Now you get what you asked for and the team don’t cometogether after 1.5 week of camp, wow lets find some scapegoats. Nice work!

  77. i dont think this was the turnover anyone was asking for Ola

    dont think anyone would have said they wanted to sink 11 million into redden and rosi

    but ur in the fact that its still too early to decide this team wont do well. nor should people decide prucha should be gone simply b/c he hasnt scored yet

  78. Ugh, Slats please sign Sundin !! In my eyes its the only way we are gonna get rid of Rozsival.


    Del Z looked better than Sags in my opinion, and the thing is, Del Z played against a team that was playing there entire NHL roster for opening night, besides Alfy, and he looked pretty damn good. Sags looked good to, but Del Z really stood out.

    But you never know, i think Staal had a good showing in camp for Nyr, then the next season he wasn’t to good, but last season was good enough to make the team and have a great rookie season. So who knows, i hope they both turn out to be solid draft picks. I cant stand to see another bust.

  79. Prucha should be gone because we need to move on and he needs to move on. We have enough forwards, and we need to get bigger, and honestly Prucha never showed great chemistry with anyone yet. And we need to lower the payroll.

    Betts needs to be gone because he flat out sucks.

    The rest of the guys need further evaluation. Sjostrom and Rozsival being the prime targets for trade because they are easily replaced by Potter and Byers.

  80. I think Sanguinetti, Potter, and Sauer (unless something goes really wrong with any of them) should easily make the team next year. While Kalinin and Mara will likely be gone and Rozsival should definitely be traded. We can’t afford him. Would also be nice to trade Redden maybe for Commadore because Collumbus really lacks offensive defensemen and I am sure their payroll is pretty low.

  81. easily replaced by byers. Seriously Byers aint that good. If he was sooooo good how come he didnt make the team huh?

  82. I dunno, I wasn’t impressed with sanguinetti. He didn’t move the puck quickly and was really hesitant on offense. Plus he was caught out of position a lot. Hitting isn’t everything for a d-man. Del zotto looked much more comfy back there and while hid positioning wasn’t great, it wasn’t bad either.

    It’s make or break for sjostrom I think. The guy clearly has a lot of talent, it’s just a matter of if he gets an opportunity to show it. Playing 4th line minutes with betts and Orr again is just wasting his talent.

  83. Bob

    I’m from Ottawa, so I can tell you that Redden and Commodore are both overpaid defenseman. Taking on Commodore’s contract would be just as ridiculous even if he makes less. As much as I think Redden is grossly overpaid, I think Commodore(and Jeff Finger for the Leafs)were the two defensemen teams most overpaid for this offseason.

    And do you really think Sauer will be ready by next year? There wasn’t all that much talk about him during training camp. I had personally lost a bit of faith in him, but I haven’t had a chance to see him play much. I really hope he comes around.

  84. DR HOUSE

    I agree on Byers. Dane is basically another Ryan Hollweg. We don’t need another Hollweg in the lineup, with Voros here. Im sure Voros would add just as much if not more offense than Byers. Byers, Moore, Parenteau, these are the guys that i feel wont make this team, and are destined for life in the AHL, unless traded. But that’s just my opinion.

    And if Sauer, and Potter make the team next year, and replace Mara, and Kalinin, would we have the youngest Defense in the NHL ??

    I really wanted Commodore on Nyr, but we cant overpay for a guy like him.

    I hope Korpedo tear’s apart the Swiss teams, if this kid doesn’t make the team, id be really pissed, to be honest. Im not expecting him to have a Prucha rookie season, but i think he can be a nice surprise for this team. I hope he can be.

  85. Well Commodore is 2.75 million cheaper, is younger, bigger and a whole lot more physical than Redden.

    Sauer was ready last year, problem is he still hasn’t recovered yet fully from torn ACL, I hope he fully recovers and makes the team next season.

    Byers is somewhat similar to Hollweg, but is much bigger and also managed to produce good numbers in AHL–something that Hollweg failed to do. And who said we have to choose between Byers and Voros, we can have both on the 4th line.

  86. sabresownforever on

    Dear Rangers,


    Buffalo Sabres

Leave A Reply