Baseball’s loss is our gain


There are a lot of grieving baseball fans out there, some of whom are members of my family, and yet it’s safe to say the absence of both the Yankees and Mets from the playoffs is a boost for New York hockey. I mention this because at a time of year when my newspaper usually has room for little more than the word “puck,” they’re actually asking for stories.

With that in mind, keep an eye out for my fairly comprehensive Rangers season preview to run on Saturday. If I’m feeling generous, I may post some of it beforehand tomorrow.

On a somewhat related note, keep an eye out for ESPN Radio’s “New York Hockey This Week” which will be a weekly one-hour show hosted by Chris Botta and Don La Greca. The first show will be Saturday morning from 10:30 to 11:30, although the show will most often precede Rangers pre-game shows during the season.

That’s more hockey coverage than we’re used to in these parts, and it’s a welcome change.  Hopefully it means more people coming to their senses about a game they’ve overlooked for too long.

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  1. HA! Right on Sam. I’ve been rooting against the locals for a while in hopes to steal a back page in October.

    October 2nd, 2008 at 3:29 pm
    “everybody is glen sather now?”
    Yea..except Glen Sather…he’s John Muckler


  2. That dude that used to wear #44 for us was leading the preseason in PIM as of this morning. Way to go guy.

  3. LI Joe – That’s right. I should have thought about the traded deadline because of expensive players who have expiring contracts being moved then. Thanks for clearing that up for me.

    Sam – Well, 10:30-11:30 a.m. does precede the Rangers pregame on Saturday, at least on the television. I don’t know if they’re broadcasting the game on radio, but it still fits the mold. I’ll see if I can wake up early enough for that, if the streaming works on my computer; hopefully not too much drinking on Friday night, save it for Saturday morning!

    I’m so anxious for these cuts! Keep Betts! Keep Korpikoski! Keep Potter! Lose Fahey! Lose Rissmiller!

  4. maybe a bit more publicity for hockey. but i think in ny baseball is a 12 month deal like football is in texas. sad but true and this is coming from a hockey guy.

    people here will go crazy after sunday since next game is fro night.

  5. listen, Shanny aint stupid he is one the smartest guys in the NHL. There is no way something is not going on and he is just sitting on his couch. Something already has taken place or he would be gone. I for one dont care anymore i am ready to be at the garden with or without him. But i know he knows what he is doing.

  6. dr – keep saying it enough and maybe it wil become true. although I sure hope not as it sends wrong signal on the way this organization is going

  7. i really dont care honestly i am just giving an opinion. I for one cant seem to fall in love with this team yet. Last year it was quick i forgot about Nylander and i was happy to have Dru and Gomer. Now i only root for the players from last year and before.

  8. Sam, right on. I remember being a little kid in the early 90s when the Rangers brought in Kocur, Tim Kerr, and of course Messier, it was all back page material.

    If the Rangers get off to a good start it could really make some noise and get some converts; but let’s not put too much pressure on them :)P

    It’s guys like you, La Greca, and Steve Sommers who do a lot of good promotional work for the best game on earth.

  9. I’m sure we are all tired of Having hockey getting Puck-ed
    and put last or left out in favor of all the sports people can understand cause the puck moves to fast for them to follow the game…

  10. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. The only thing more annoying than the lack of respect hockey gets are the people who whine and cry about the lack of respect hockey gets. Best game on earth? It’s all subjective. Get over it guys. The majority don’t enjoy this game like we do. Who cares though? What does the back page of the paper do to affect your life? This game isn’t going anywhere. So who cares if anyone pays attention to it? We do. Isn’t that what matters? Let’s enjoy the games and stop wasting our time complaining about how no one cares about hockey.

  11. Rob, it was brought up by Sam. Good to get the creative juices flowing every once and a while, that’s it.

    It’s fine the way it is, but it’s nice too to be able to talk to people about something else other than generic ” Da New Yawk Yankees” or “Ahh the Mets collapsed…whattya gunna do?”

    NY used to get PUMPED from 89-97 whenever the Rangers were in the playoffs.

  12. Ok, I have lost the last two posts I tried to put up, so let me try this again…

    Spiderpig – I agree whole heartedly with your keeps and cuts. I agree that Korpedo and Betts should stay. I also think that Fritsche and Voros have earned spots up front.
    I think the cuts should be Rissmiller and Orr.

    First off – Korpikoski, has singularly been the most impressive player of the players in camp that are trying to make this team. He has stood out in every game, scoring goals, using his speed, driving to the net and working in the corners. As a fan who has seen him advance from when he was drafted by the Rangers and a fan who has seen him extensively in Hartford to the point he is at now is has been amazing how he has progressed. He is a complete player who is a sound defensive forward – so he can play that part of the game that fits Renneys system, but he is also well rounded to where he can contribute offensively and do the little things needed. Related to this – if Nigel Dawes continues to be invisible – I could see either Voros or Korpedo taking his spot on that second line with Dubi and Zherdev.

    Another keep – Betts. In the past season I have been one of his biggest critics due to his lack of offense. However, defensively, he brings so much to the game, plus he sacrifices his body for the puck, is their leader on the PK and good example to players around him.

    I think that if you put the right wingers around him he can contribute more. I also think having more offensive players populating the 3rd line and his line as wingers, then the overall production of the 3rd/4th lines will increase.

    I believe the way the 3rd and 4th lines stand right now, the 3rd line may be Fritsche-Korpikoski-Cally (which I absolutely love – they all are gritty players who win the battles in the corner, are not afraid to shoot the puck, can drive to the net and can all play responsible hockey defensively. The 4th line I would like to see would be Voros-Betts-Sjostrom. I feel that Orr should be scratched and Rissmiller sent down. The size and hands of Voros would help create room for that line. Sjostrom, who can also be a good PKer, has tremendous speed and can drive to the net. Both Sjostromand Voros can pop in some goals too.
    Let me note – I think that Renney, since he loves ORR, will decide to scratch or send down Sjostrom instead. However, Sjostrom has a ton more offensive upside than Orr.

    CUTS – Why the hell did Sather sign a 31 year old grinder with one decent year in the league to a contract paying him $1million a season? I have been asking this question since they signed him in July. Voros seems a younger version of Rissmiller who can put some pucks in the net and is a better overall player/agitator than Rissmiller – who has been invisible throughout camp. He must get sent to the minors, waived or traded I would think.

    Next cut, as mentioned above, I would cut Orr, who has improved overall as a player over the last few seasons, but still is lacking in the skill department. I feel that Sjostrom is younger, quicker, has more potential ofensively. Orr shoudl only be added in the lineup if we face a team like Philly who may start some of their big fighters – that it is when it may be worth it to play Orr, though Voros may be able to take on that role too.

    On defense, I would cut Fahey, who has played well and servicibleand keep Potter, who has stood out and gotten better as the preseason has progresses. He is young, big and has a physical element to his game lacking on the blueline. I would like to make him a 6th dman, playing on the last pair with Mara, but if anything I think Renney may keep him as a 7th dman or rotate him in and out of the lineup with Kalinin or Mara during the season.

    Lastly, let there be no more mystery- name Drury your captain, it is the right decision, You can name Gomez assistant and although I would like Dubinsky to get the other A, I think it will go to Redden, maybe Nazzie.

  13. Avery talking about screening Broduer, disdain for Don Cherry, internship at Vogue, no high school, people questioning his heterosexuality, possibility of playing for a Canadian team; a few laughs (link in name).

  14. Hockey has a lot of fans in the media – La Greca, Neil Best from Newsday is huge too – but they’re forced to do other sports to make money.

    Regardless, it’s good to see ESPN Radio talking hockey. NHL Live on XM and NHL Network is a great show too (as are all of XM Home Ice’s programs).

    As I was born a Mets fan, I hoped they would collapse again so hockey could get some coverage. After all, baseball is the most boring sport since basketball.

  15. spider i was just about to post that. the 20 questions at end are pretty interesting

    orts i don’t see orr getting cut. if anything he is a deterrant. may not play every game but will be on team. Dolan would have a fit if orr got sent away after philly ran all over us without him. Agree on drury and gomez re C and A. other A could be any of Redden Naslund or even Rozy or Betts with very outside possibility of Dubinsky

  16. Didn’t read all the posts but the assertion that we should dump prucha ie. scratch, is ridiculous. Am I frustrated with prucha? Absolutely. Is he currently a better option than any of the rookies who will make the team in place? Yes!
    As for switching Dawes to the top line with Gomez and Drury (suggested by bob), and moving Naslund down with Dubinksy and Zherdev I think that this might work! Dawes is a pure goal scorer at heart. He is not a play maker as much as he is a finisher/potential finisher. He needs to develop confidence and to play with good set-up men. Given a chance on the top line I believe he could flourish. I really think that Dawes can thrive with the responsibility of a first line winger and that he can be a sniper with gomez as the set up man, and drury in front looking for the rebound. Also putting naslund on the second line adds some more experience/depth and potential offensive dominance to the line. I like it! Thouhts?

  17. Dawes has good chemistry with either Drury or Gomez. I LOVED that line on the PP last year. He’s a great playmaker. It’ll come. He’s a slow starter and good finisher. I’m not worried about him.

    I don’t mind waiving Fahey. They way I look at it; he’s no spring chicken and Potter actually has a long NHL career ahead of him and has done everything he can in Hartford. If Fahey gets claimed, the Pack still have Bobby Sags/Kondratiev/Densinov/Busto and especially Sauer when he comes back to log tons of time. Bobby S and Sauer should be playing 20+ minutes a night. The #s 5-6 spot can be patched together down there.

  18. I still don’t see why rissy gets all the hate, but being one of the few that actually watched him in San jose, I guess everyone doesn’t like his quiet style of play. The guy won’t impress you, but he won’t disappoint you. You may not see him, but that’s because he’s doing his job. He’s no Gretzky, but you guys should at least give him a shot to show NY what he’s got. He’s a solid playoff performer as well so he helps us there.

    FYI to those who don’t know about Voros, gaborik asked to have him moved up to the first line and he played pretty well with him and stayed for awhile.

    My cuts are still wiikman, fahey, and potter so you can show off either prucha or sjostrom to other teams. Then deal one for a prospect or pick and bring up fahey as a 7th man. Potter stays in the AHL to further develop and comes up post deadline to get a bit of NHL action.

    Also to answer why we have 3rd/4th liners. It’s all based on potential. Sjostrom was a high 1st round pick that never really panned out. But at the same time he went on a tear playing 2nd line in phoenix with mueller and hanzal (I think or vrbata). He shows flashes of talent bit doesn’t have consistency. Voros can be put ok any line to crash the net and stir things up. Finally, we only have so much money to spend on guys, and while I agree we have too many, these guys play tom renneys style. They hit, skate fast, forecheck hard, and bring it every night. You don’t see these guys take shifts off. Some like rissy and voros also add goals and scoring opportunities by crashing the net and getting rebounds or opening space for other more skilled players. Fritsche is the most underrated guy since he has great speed and underrated hands.

    All I’m gonna say is give the new guys a shot before you start judging them based on a handful of games in the preseason no less.

  19. also GB, Dawes is actually a great setup man. Sure his best attribute is his shot, but if you watched him last year, you quickly saw his ability to make hard passes in tight space. See the first Montreal game from last year when Dawes made a sick pass to hit drury and gave us the 4-3 lead after being down 3-0.

  20. So its ‘rumored’ that sjo could be the guy on the outs if korpi gets a spot. I wish it were rissmiller instead. But I guess I have to give the guy a shot. 4-5 preseason games isn’t enough to dog a guy yet. Same goes for kalinin, but I already have my doubts about him from HAVING seen him in the past. But its a fresh start for a lot of guys.

  21. from

    “FURTHER UPDATE (1:45 PM local time): Just heard that Potter and Fahey were the players seen going in to talk to Renney, and later talking to Perry Pearn. Can’t be sure if that means they’re both going down — they could have told one that he’s the staying and the other that he’s going. On the other hand, no one else was called in — not Korpikoski or, say, Sjostrom. But maybe that just means that that decision is still being weighed.”

  22. I still have this feeling there is a trade in the works – we’ve just got too many forwards.
    The brass may decide to send down players who don’t have to clear waivers in an attempt to trade those who do before calling the players you sent down back-up to the big club to take their place.
    I think Rissmiller with his $1m is an obvious trade target and Prucha may be a casualty because of his $1.6m and lack of goals so far, although i think he may get a chance to prove his worth before he is either traded or given a regular spot.
    Don’t forget as we get further in the season the cap hit for salaries is reduced, so feasibly Sundin or Shanny could sign after a couple of months for a smaller cap hit….

  23. Fahey and Potter were the last 2 cuts. They didn’t have to pass through waivers and that weighed in making the decision. That is exactly what I thought would happen. This is excellent news to me, and I am excited that Korpi will be centering the third line.

  24. There will be a trade before the MSG opener. It’s going to be Prucha or Dawes gone (please Prucha) in a salary dump.

  25. King Henrik steals the back of today’s AM, full blown out picture with “I Am Tradition” headline.

    It’s not the post or the daily news but made my morning to see it when i came out of the subway.

  26. As many have mentioned above, zipay from Newsday is reporting that Fahey and Potter were send down to the Pack, but neither has to clear waivers which is good, especially in Potter’s case, since we don’t want to lose him.

    I, like the rest of you, am baffled that they are essentially carrying 5 full forward lines and the bare minimum of 6 dmen.

    Now this may be a temporary thing if Sather does work out a trade between now and the home opener at the Garden. Perhaps Sather will try to create space and salary by making a move this weekend or next week between when they get back from Europe and they open at home. If this is true, Potter, for example could get called back up for the home opener and possibly the remainder of the season.

    Something has to be done up front, unlses Renney alternates a line of 3 guys in one game and then scratches that line and inserts the other line for our 2nd European game Sunday. Just a guess…but15 players up front are too much. I understand keeping one extra forward, MAYBE two, but Three is crazy.

    I would get rid of RIssmiller, forst and foremost. Then I think the Rangers will try to move either Prucha or Sjostrom. If one is moved, the Rangers would only be carrying one extra forward at that point which would be more realistic. If Prucha and Riss are traded, line may adjust to this:

    Voros-Betts-Fritsche (I like the scoring on the wings here)
    Orr – extra fwd

    This would leave room for the Rangers to call Potter back up and leave him on their roster as 7th dman.

    Your thoughts?

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