Rangers move on without Sundin (and Potter)


The Rangers’ first practice back from their West Coast trip was the first chance for the team to address definitely forging ahead without Mats Sundin.

The reaction: Oh no! We’re doomed!

OK, no one said that.

“We would have loved to have him join our team, there’s no doubt about that,” Markus Naslund said. “But you never knew what it would take. We never knew if we had to lose a couple of guys and who knew what the chemistry would have been. I like what we have going on here. Guys are playing well off one another. It’s a close-knit group. I think it’s a positive that we get to keep this group together.”

While Tom Renney said the Sundin possibility was little more than “speculation and innuendo”, more than one player admitted it felt like the passing of a trade deadline, with an anxious build-up giving way to a sense of relief. And as Scott Gomez said, even if the Rangers would have benefited from Sundin, it never felt right to him to openly campaign for it.

“It’s something you  can’t do,” Gomez said. “It’s not right to the next guy to think that you want someone. You don’t want to sit there and talk about it. It’s something you learn early on. If it happens, it happens. Great. He’s one of the best players. But to talk about it is not even fair to the next guy.”

Some other notes:

<li>Corey Potter was returned to Hartford after making the three-game swing through California as a spectator. Renney allowed it was a possibility Potter can be recalled, but it’s clear that the coach isn’t ready to sit down any of the current six defenseman while they’re healthy.

I’m reluctant to proclaim Potter as a savior. He’s a young defenseman who is likely going to make some mistakes while making the adjustment to the NHL. But he certainly wouldn’t be the only one. And I maintain that his presence on the roster could create a needed sense of urgency in the other six.

<li>As for one of those other six, Dmitri Kalinin, along with Nikolai Zherdev, missed practice with an illness. Both are expected to play tomorrow, however.

More later…

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  1. Lundqvist lost the game last night for the Rangers. The defense played like the way the hyena likes, and they didn’t protect him, but the 3rd girl was his fault. One of his typical december soft goals, and it stood as the game winner.

    Trade Betts, Prucha, and Sjostrom for Joel Lundqvist, and James Neal. Neal separated Brassard’s shoulder in a fight, and he’s out for the rest of the season. He has more balls than Orr, and anyone else the hyena ruins, and turns into wimps.

    Of course Potter is going to Hartford. This is another chance for the hyena to ruin his confidence. He hates youth.

  2. Trade Drury, Dubinsky, Rozsival, and a 1st round pick for Phaneuf, Bourque, and a 2nd round pick.

  3. Christ, Potter sits and then departs, while Kalinen continues to look like a shinny frozen pond back-up defenseman. What the fuk are Sather and Renney seeing when they see this wimp and moron play the same dead-head game, every time out? No chance for Potter to play? How the hell could he be any GD worse than Kalinen? Smoke the money, it’s blown – get a real NHL D up here and quick you spoiled, arrogant, vain executive suite eggheads!

  4. Bob Mckenzie of TSN was recently speaking of the development of players in the AHL ( i dont remember if it was ‘his” opinion or someone elses he was speaking) he said something to the effect of :

    there was a time when there was 21 or so NHL teams and there top development league (the AHL) had less than 20 teams(800 jobs)…now there are 30 NHL teams and 29 AHL (1200 jobs) teams…the level of play in both leagues has been diluted- and due to trickle-up talent- even more so in the AHL…players do not progress as much “well rounded” as they used to and…more and more teams will rather have their players do it at the highest level…the NHL

    I don’t know whether I agree or not but the dilution has to be admitted…I think the AHL actually dropped to around ten teams in the 80’s

  5. To land Phaneuf you’d need to send: Marc Staal, Dubinsky, & TWO 1st round picks. Then Sutter MAY consider it.

    I probably wouldn’t though. If it were my decision…you’d have a better chance of getting Iginla. Phaneuf is a pimp. It’d have to be Ovie coming the other way.

  6. How can Renney not do something about Kalinin and Redden? Pathetic. They must be benched. They suck. Kali especially.

  7. Salty – I respectfully disagree. Lundqvist is earning his pay but he hasn’t stolen a playoff series yet has he? In my view, that is a prerequisite to getting a contract as the highest paid goalie in the league.

    Again, this isn’t knocking his skill set or performance, I do think he is one of the best goalies in the league.

    I’m just pointing out that when talking about cap issues, you have to throw Lundqvist’s contract in there as well.


    He could easily me making much more if he signed elsewhere. Are you telling me Hank is not worth his contract? How much is he worth to you?

    I used to be weary of [his contract], but that is no longer the case. He’s the real thing and I do think we have him locked down at a pretty good rate considering the burden he carries, stealing wins for this team.

  8. I’ve bought into the “dilution of talent” in the NHL before. And I still believe its still a big factor.

    That said…in the last 20 years, moreso in the last 10, youth hockey world-wide has sky-rocketed. If a kid was 7-8 years old when he got into hockey, he’d be in juniors now, and those that were getting into it 15 years ago would be in the AHL.

    There’s an expected “talent curve” when leagues expand. No question. Or at least there should be. But in a short-term memory world, no one has the patience for it to catch up.

    So I agree that there’s a “dilution”. But I think it’s just a matter of time until the talent can catch up to the demand. And the worst thing you could do would be to expand further until the current demand is satisfied.

    The talent is there. But it’s still in it’s childhood. And in youth hockey leagues that are still searching for the talent from the administration to the training/coaching of these kids.

    The league expanded to fast, and expanded “backwards”. The expansion shoulda started at the bottom and worked its way up.

  9. When talking about the dilution of talent, one must not forget the IHL existed during the 21 team NHL days. You had the “A” and the “I” as developmental leagues, moreso in the AHL. I think the North Stars used an affiliate in Kalamazoo and there were about 15 or more teams in the IHL (Going from memory). If you add the IHL and AHL teams to make one minor league the total number of players was probably similar. Its the NHL that added too many teams and about 180 roster slots for players that would be in the minor leagues.

  10. Don’t for a second think that Tom Renney has the ultimate say on who plays and who sits on a regular basis.

    Dimitri Kalinin in the line-up is a reflection of Glen Sather and his ego.

    He already admitted fault to waiving Rissmiller; if Kalinin sits then that opens the door to more conversation around Slat’s TERRIBLE and HUMILIATING off-season acquisitions.

    BTW, slats… how’s that Barnes and Hutchinson for Cullen trade working out? Just another bad deal swept under the rug.

    I know Cullen wanted to leave and we free’d up some cap space in doing so, but why does it seem that every other team that makes a deal like that gets a player in the return that develops into something other than an AHL replacement?

    Not to mention, Fritsche has become an after thought; someone we traded for, btw.

  11. Another aspect to consider in regards to the level of play in the AHL is the influx of Europeans into the NHL over the last 20 years. A number of Europeans play in their home leagues prior to coming over and make the jump to the NHL directly.

  12. It is really interesting, how people like to use +/- column towards their advantage. Last year Marek Malik was one of the few + defensemen on the rangers’ roaster. Although he became a whipping boy with people saying that +/- column doesn’t mean anything. Please explain why do we have to look at +/- column today?

  13. Brandon – i don’t believe the nonsense that Cullen wanted to be traded. he denied it when the rumors were out and strongly said he wanted to stay. of course the deal was horrible but the Rangers were in salary cap hell and had no choice. Fritsche was a throw in and the fact we got rid of Backman’s contract made it a good part of the deal.

    if only sather didn’t sign kalinin, redden, and rozy to those contracts. come july we need to hide his checkbook with the cap coming down

  14. Twister, I never was a fan of whipping on Marek Malik. In fact, I always thought that the constant booing was undeserved.

    Yes, he made glaring mistakes, one of which cost the Rangers the Buffalo series, but he was consistently good. His +/- showed it.

    Kalinin is consistently bad, and his +/- shows it.

    Considering the post you are writing about isn’t on this blog, it would make more sense to post the comment there?


  15. dave – why can’t you just let the link in your name have your site instead of spamming it with every post.

  16. LI Joe, I disagree with your comment on the last blog. Yes, Schenn and Doughty were top picks and doing well. But Stamkos was number 1 and is floundering. Good picks come from everywhere. Zetterberg and Datsyuk were 7th and 5th rounders. Lundqvist was a 7th rounder. Girardi was undrafted. Bottom line, if they’re ready, play em. Nobody comes into the NHL as a rookie, regardless of age, without some growing pains. The Rangers want someone who comes in like a seasoned vet, it doesn’t happen. Instead of spending big money on FAs, we could have played a young kid and developed a good young player.

  17. Kalinin should honestly just play forward. Hes too soft to play D but he loves to join the rush. The problem lies in the fact that we have no NHL ready defenseman in our system.

    Sanguinetti is absolutely brutal on defense. He can hit, but holy crap is his overall play in the D-zone awful. Potter is borderline and I feel like he can play but won’t make the situation any better. Sauer is always hurt. Baranka was a little better than Potter, but we let him go to Russia so he’s gone for 2 years. Then theres the duo of Fahey and Denisov who were both just depth signings.

    The only defenseman we have that I’m extremely excited to see develop and who will be a difference-maker in the NHL is Del Zotto. He wasn’t the #2 pick in the OHL draft for nothing and now that he put on some weight (hes like a little over 200 now) and is further developing his defensive game, he’s going to be legit. So any answer to our defensive problems is going to have to come from the outside because unless one of those guys becomes a solid defenseman overnight, then we aren’t going to get our answer from Hartford.

  18. LI Joe,

    Do you click people’s names for the website? I know I don’t.

    I used the link because I don’t want to rewrite my entire post, and any further comments about it shouldn’t really be written here, it floods the comment area here. It’s hard enough to find a post without having people respond about a different post here.

    Johnny D,

    Potter and Fahey excelled in the preseason, and would be an upgrade, at least in the short term, over Kalinin. It wouldn’t hurt to give one of them a consistent shot, because I doubt they will play at what averages out to be -1 every two games.

    I understand Fahey staying in Hartford because he needs to pass through waivers. But what do they have to lose by playing Potter?

  19. The plus/minus stat is significant because it is the only stat to reflect both offensive and defensive ability. Just going by goals scored can be misleading and often is, in the case of a player who scores 30 goals, seemingly good, but his opposite wingers score 35 goals against him. At least plus/minus considers a player’s all around game and value. Who is on the ice when the Rangers score at even-strenth? Who is out there when the opposition scores at even-strength? Also, even-strength is the best indicator of ability, not how many goals a player scores in 5 on 4 or 5 on 3 situations. I want to know who can cut it without an inherent advantage. It is the most telling information we can obtain.

    Just don’t fall into the trap of buying into numbers posted during “extra attacker” situations. I discount them, what a joke they are, to be included in plus/minus stats.

  20. Well first off, it was only the preseason. They did play well and I’m not saying they can’t in the regular season, but I’m not going to use that to judge how well they’d do. But I do agree that they would be a slight upgrade over Kalinin and probably play slightly better than Redden, Rozsival, and Girardi have been the last month or so.

    I’m not saying not to give him a chance, I’m just saying people are screaming at Renney to do something and bring guys up, but Potter isn’t going to solve our defensive issue because even if he was really good, he’d be the only one. We need Sather to bring in guys from other teams to make the situation better.

  21. Oh and my brother just brought to my attention that even though hes 36, had we not completely treated Kasparaitis like crap, we’d have a d-man who would strike fear in the eyes of opposing players. Shame that we forced him to come back early from a knee injury so he couldn’t keep up until the next year, but he’d be an upgrade over the guys we have.

    The only guy that steps up at the blueline at the right time is Staal. Girardi does, but he always seems to do it when its a borderline odd-man rush and ends up taking himself way out of the play.

  22. Johnny D,

    My point is that if they let Potter play, he may excel. You never know until you try, and it’s not like he would be a downgrade from Kalinin. Remember, Girardi was undrafted and is now a solid player. They have to be given the chance. And I also liked what I saw from Potter in his one appearance this season.

    As for adding guys from other teams, the only players we will be getting are players they don’t want. You aren’t going to get a solid defensemen for scraps. If you want a Bouwmeester, you’re going to give up two of Dubinsky, Staal, Girardi, Dawes, Callahan and Korpikoski, plus one or more draft picks.

    I didn’t take into account salary cap issues.

  23. me33
    You’re right! I forgot about the IHL…its been re-born recently ( but very small) it had expanded into the lo 20’s by the 1990’s in fact…I think many current AHL teams (Milwaukee and Houston…) were from the IHL when it folded ( late 90’s early 2000’s??)

  24. jonny – i agree about the bad signings of kalinin, redden and rozy and would rather potter and a couple of 1 yr contracts who were better than kalinin. i did not and still don’t expect to be cup contenders this yr. as it is on defense we have too much invested for too long a period and mediocre at best production.

    re the top end dmen you mentioned. yes gems can be found anywhere. but most often those guys are not nhl ready at age 18 or 19. zetterberg and many others weren’t. the top 5 or 6 picks in draft are usually more physically ready as well as mentally. and drafted by real bottom feeders who’s fans are desperate for a look at the future. while we’re not cup contenders we are not bottom feeders either.

  25. This is so absurd. Kalinin has had what one or two good games this year? What if Kalinin feels even worse right before the game then you’re stuck with 5 dmen. I recall back in 05-06 Kaspar got banged up right before the game started and due to the team only carrying 6 dmen they had to use only 5 dmen vs the Red Wings.

  26. that is why we need to move prucha even via waivers. give some cap relief and also allows 7 dmen on roster

  27. Looking ahead…next week is going to be BRUTAL! We play on Monday(a week from today), then we’re off until that Saturday. I hate those long lay-offs. At least teams should start to catch up.

  28. they could use more room if they want to make a move around the deadline. if they had been quicker on the trigger with rissmiller and now prucha they probably could have had sundin. cap management is not sather’s forte (among other weaknesses)

  29. Marek Malik didn’t really get a fair shake in NY largely for 2 factors:

    1. He was 6’6″ ogar who didn’t like to play physical.
    – It just wasn’t part of his game; had he been 5’9″, it wouldn’t have been an issue.

    2. He was completely and totally unemotional, both in body language and facial expression; something the average NY’er can’t really relate to.

    For all his inefficiencies, I can cite many positives, both in overall game (great first pass out of zone) and game to game instances.

    He was run out of NY for a guy who’s half the player in Kalinin.

    Makes Malik look like Messier

  30. LI Joe,

    Personally, I think having Korpikoski and his $1.1 million on the fourth line when he should be getting first line minutes in Hartford is hurting more than Pru’s $1.6 million. Prucha is already screwed because of the way the organization handled him, so just let him play 4th line minutes, and send Korpo down to get more ice time.

  31. Agree Brandon. People just booed him because he was slow and didn’t hit (for the record I didn’t boo him). He wasn’t a bad defenseman and is actually doing pretty well in Tampa.

    Its actually pretty funny because the previous whipping boys, Malik and Poti, are actually doing really well now that they are gone. We booed Poti because he was hyped up to be the next Leetch and wasn’t. The guy had 48 points one season with us in a time when d-men scoring wasn’t very high and he still got booed. Lets see what happens to Kalinin when he’s gone…my guess is KHL.

    And graves, his knee was shot because the team rushed him back. They wanted to get rid of him for that whole contract issue him and Holik had from pre-lockout so they told him either you come ready for camp or we’re ditching you, so they wanted him to think like he actually had a shot. Last year in preseason he looked like he was moving around a lot better since he had all that time to rest it and build it back up again.

  32. Phalanx (Chris in MA) on


    Just don’t fall into the trap of buying into numbers posted during “extra attacker” situations. I discount them, what a joke they are, to be included in plus/minus stats.”

    Powerplay goals (both for an against) do not count towards a player’s +/-. Only when you are on the ice for an even strength or shorthanded goal (for or against) does +/- get affected. So in reality, its not a completely useless stat.

  33. Can you believe that Holik was making $9mil/yr in NY? 5yrs $45mil.

    Not a bad hockey player. But $9mil?!

  34. Beer me!
    interested to get your take on next CBA

    I get the feeling Bettman/owners will cry that they’re broke ( economy etc…)….and they will attempt to crush the NHLPA into a new buyout/sin-forgiving agreement

    whats your take??

    Isnt it 2010-11 when it expires?

  35. As coach John Stevens sees it, the Flyers were never that far off their game, but have refined it to a point where they are playing “aggressive defense first and capitalizing on the offense that comes from good defensive play.”

    Sounds familiar. The right personel within this strategy is golden.

  36. Unfortunately, having the right personnel means having players who don’t miss wide-open nets, who can hit the broadside of a barn, and who can pass accurately. The Rangers seem to be missing a handful of those kind of players. Sad, but true.

  37. CBA talk. Love it. The current CBA expires on 9/15/11. There’s a window this season and next that all parties will be working on this. There’s going to be plenty of changes to it. Just “tweaks” to multiple parts. Nothing drastic. Don’t forget that the CBA is more than an explanation of salary constraints.

    Travel, drafts, waivers, injury disclosure, scheduling, rules/competition committee/officiating, are all built into it and most of those I just mentioned have little or nothing to do with the cap/salaries itself. These are the areas that seem to be what delays the process.

    The cap is really all mathmatics, not my strong point. But it has a few key factors that you can unfortunately only forcast so much. Currency exchange, etc.

    I think the NHLPA is 10x stronger than it was going into the current agreement due to the (loss for word…) atrociousness(?) of their leadership. With Paul Kelly in the lead, a former DA, their in a much stronger position going into the next one than they were this one. He’s been ‘touring’ the NHL since he took office, and seems to have a really good pulse on what the players are thinking. (he has regular articles/interviews on thn.com if interested)

    I think another buy-out period is very likely, but would come at a cost to the NHL. More than just dollars and cents. For the NHLPA to allow members to be bought out of some very player-friendly deals, they’d have to be ready to give something back to the players. Lower escrow payment, no roll-back, etc.

    It’s not going to be easy to get a new one inforce. But I think both sides are in FAR better argument positions next time around having gone through it once, and hopefully learning from some mistakes.

    I think if they really want to get a long-term, accurate, positive to all parties, low-risk CBA they should do so without Gary Bettman in the room. Maybe in 2017? 2018?

  38. jonny d – poti was booed because he was VERY WEAK DEFENSIVEY – remember the name of the position is DEFENSE.

    Brandon – great 1st pass eh, that is wht Sather wanted Redden (ugh)

    Beer Me – re CBA i think the owners will get an even more friendly (to them) since the players will know the owners have to qualms of stopping play again. so everything is in play, salary rollbacks, counting top ahl salaries in the cap (ie no loner hiding salaries there), etc. buyouts would prob be the same as thet are now 2/3 of salary. but since cap will be more restrictive and to keep big money teams in line they’ll allow the buyouts without a cap hit – so expect redden at least to be bought out. one more thing that might happen and players may push for is more revenue sharing to keep 30 teams somewhat viable.

  39. i mean 1 time buyouts without cap hit like was done with holik not every yr buyouts. and also meant no qualms.

  40. Beer me! The rangers over pay every body and every thing !
    They play yo-yo with the farm system up down -up down , they expect a rookie to play and have him play error free game. the pressure to win now! interferes with player development . So they won 2 out of three but we make a big deal of the heroic loss , how well they played , that’s just reinforcing the losing attitude.
    show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser

  41. joe – agreed. The owners probably have the strongest hand of the 3. A work stoppage for at least 1/2 the league would give them a chance to get back on their feet.

    It’s a shame that an owner of an NHL franchise can lose money just by turning the lights on for practice. But they’re equally represented in these discussions so it’s their own fault. You don’t have to be a genius to get rich. But you’d better smarten up if you want to STAY rich.

  42. If I were a player, the 2 things I’d be most fearful of would be another roll-back or additional escrow payments.

    If there’s 1 thing the players could do to show ‘good faith’ to the league (not that I have an opinion if they even SHOULD either way), would be to increase their escrow payments.

    I’d like to see a “luxury tax” added to the next CBA. I’d also like to see a % of a players salary be paid by a team that has traded a player if the deal requires such. A la the Jagr deal. One of the single greatest trades made in the history of the NHL. I hate slats as much as the next guy. But that sh!t was a downright steal. Right place at the right time I guess though.

  43. if cap becomes a lot lower in a couple of yrs again a lot of vets could be on outside looking in. and that’s even before a new cba gets put in. once they count top ahl salaries that will lower the amt avail to the rest. and players have to fear the overall loss of jobs that contraction would bring about – although i think that would be great for the quality of play

  44. Call me an anarchist…but I was hoping last lockout would shatter the league…and it would come back down to 24 teams…

  45. Redden is, at present, the worst UFA signing. He was signed under the premise that he could/would re-assert himself in a new “environment”; he needed to get away from Ottawa. Well, almost half the season has passed and his play has been nothing more than embarrassing. Talk about lacking emotion. This guy is flat-out lifeless.

    How long until mgmt recognizes that the experiment is a failure? Is there any reason to think he will improve?

  46. What would be the bad idea of merging at least three, maybe all SE teams (Tamp- Atl-Fla-Carolina) into one team that played say 8-10 games a year in Atl-Miami-Charlotte-Raliegh..etc etc??
    They’s probably sell out more that they can now with three or four cities trying to sell out 41 games a year…call them the South East Dixies or something….

    Just an idea

  47. Redden isnt the worst ufa signing Sather is just a bad judge of talent and spends dolan’s cash freely

  48. Pavel and LI Joe

    Interesting point about lowering the # of teams back to 24 — however with interest in hockey growing in the U.S. and the ability to fund youth leagues worldwide, the number of eligible players will only grow. If you have that many good players, cities that want a team deserve it.

    That said, if a city demonstrates it doesn ‘t want a team — half-filled arenas, ticket give-aways on TV nights to make the arena appear full, low Neilson ratings, etc….. let a city that wants a team have them.

    Wow that’s my longest post ever.

  49. I’m not going back to read the 500+ posts that I missed, but I would like to put forth my opinion on the Sharks game. I did not make it past the second intermission, but the part that I saw was definitely dominated by the Sharks, and I thought it was going to be a slaughter after the first two goals. Still, we scored a somewhat lucky goal by Callahan. It seems to me that the Sharks have two fourth lines, but they make up for it with all of the talent on their top two lines and offensive defensemen. We played a strong game and had some chances, but still no power play goals, where that obviously would have made a big difference. Sure, Zherdev scored shorthanded, but it was really four on four, essentially.

    On the whole trip, it’s good to see hard-working players like Callahan, Dubinsky, and Dawes on the scoresheet again. Hopefully, our true goal-scorers can start to compliment them, as well, besides Zherdev, who has been the most consistent scorer all season. Saturday’s game was also a good warm-up for a potentially better offensive team in the Capitals.

  50. speed – well you’ll have to post longer since a few posters lost a bet and can’t post for 2 weeks. i just think the nhl owners and bettman overexpanded (by a lot) and did for all the wrong reasons (expansion fees). it has hurt the overall quality of play. if many of the lowest ability players (approx 130 worth with losing 6 teams) went away the quality of play and rivalries would both increase. and both would be a very very good thing

    obviously if i lived in phoenix or miami i would feel different. but i live in NY and since I’m a huge ranger fan would not mind at all if my local LI team disappeared.

  51. Just a thought on

    Does Redden have a “no movement” clause in his contract. Meaning he can’t be sent down.

  52. LI Joe – It seems possible that the Islanders may at the very least be relocated if they can’t secure that new arena deal, since their attendance sags against every team but the Rangers, even when they were a playoff team a couple of seasons ago.

  53. no movement is just for trades as far as i know. i challenge anyone to name a worse ufa signing than redden, he is a 4th or 5th defenseman at best and we have him for another 5 years at 6 mil per. sather and any of the scouts/coaches who said they should sign redden should be canned immediately. this team isn’t winning a cup with that bad a player accounting for such a large percentage of the salary cap (he’ll count even more next year when the cap goes down)

  54. AustinRangersFan on

    Redden does have a “no movement” clause in his contract. It SPECIFICALLY stipulates that he cannot move the puck up ice on the rush. Interestingly, it has a “no impact” clause as well.

  55. “While Tom Renney said the Sundin possibility was little more than “speculation and innuendo”…..SAM is that tue? Or is that the coaches usual talk until your deaf, confused, and disgusted approach? Ask him if he’ll submit to a lie detector test ;-)

  56. When Redden was with Ottawa he was never anything more than “almost positionally sound” defensively…he was tuff enough to fight occasionally but where he excelled was as a part of a dynamic offensive attack; especially on the PP as one of the points of a 5 pointed star, if you will..as the Sens began to become (or try to become) more defensive minded his stock fell

    This doesn’t excuse Sathers ridiculously long offer but his biggest mistake (like with Holik) is offering outrageous $$$$ to someone who excelled within a set-system…then removing him from system “A” and thinking he’ll make an impact while playing in system “B”…Holik was never the same after leaving NJ

    Coach and GM usually need to be on the same page when plotting personell…I dont think our two guys are…

    all this being said;and whoever may be to blame; I have to agree with Pete..there has not been a worse free agent signing this year

  57. ….I should add that I was all for him coming here ( not for six years mind you!!) but I assumed alot of things were going to change on offense

    I was wrong

  58. what Sather assumed

    (from espn on July 1st 2008….)
    At the end of Day 1 of the NHL free-agent shopping season, New York returned top defenseman Michal Rozsival and added prime pickup Wade Redden to help him on the blue line.

    Redden, who had a down year with the disappointing Ottawa Senators last season, weighed several offers throughout the day before agreeing to terms with the Rangers on a six-year deal that will pay him $6.5 million per season.

    “In our opinion he’s the best first-passer in the game,” Rangers general manager Glen Sather said. “He moves the puck up exceptionally. He’s somebody that we had targeted immediately. He was our No. 1 guy on defense, as well as Rozsival.

    “We wanted to get them both signed, and we did. We’re quite happy that we’ve got them. We think that’s going to help us move the puck to the forwards as well as anybody in the league.”

    ahh hindsight…..my wish for christmas, these guys just try and “earn” their pay cheques…

  59. if it makes you guys feel any better, the rangers currently have 1 mil in salary cap space, and will need some more in order to make some moves before THIS season is over, so i guess Kalinin WILL begone by then, the question is when…my feeling is Kalinin & Prucha will probably be traded by the deadline freeing up a total of 4.7 mil in salary cap space prior to this season’s offseason, not to shabby for ANY team (assuming they don’t take on new salaries) Lets not forget Fritsche and some of the other rangers who might be expendable…the real problem lies within the bloated contracts of Redden and Rozsival, I know Sather thought he was being smart by locking them up now when in 2-3 years those contracts would seem pitiful, but I don’t think ANYONE thought those two would be that bad….oy!

  60. evan – that is a bit misleading since the cushion they have is because they currently have a 22 man roster. and rismiller is signed for next 2 yrs so he could be back (then again could be sent down again as well). re prucha and kalinin if both gone too that lowers roster to 20. so replacements even at minimum salary would have to come from somewhere. and some like Z will get an increase.

  61. They just GAVE a goal to Crosby in OT in Bufalo as he deflects it with his stick WAYYY over cross bar-you can see the puck going over the SHOULDER of a Buffalo d-man.

    I HATE the NHL and their bias for Cindy. As soon as it happens Cindy looks at ref as if he knows it wasn’t legal what a freakin joke.

  62. Off topic –

    Did anyone read Buccigross’s latest column on ESPN?

    I admit that I used to like NHL2Night back in the day. His columns initially weren’t bad either, a little hokey with the music references and such but not bad. Ken the Otter, funny.

    These days though, I can barely get through a single column. The gimmicky shtick of references to alt music and mediocre former Swedish players is tired. On top of that, Buccigross’s steadfast defense of Barry Melrose really shades my view of his objectivity as a journalist.

    Case in point, in response to yet another letter on the debacle in Tampa he slammed the organization again. Obviously that situation is a train wreck. Obviously. Melrose seems to have avoided all culpability in ESPN’s reporting. However, I look at these comments, his defense of Melrose and wonder if we both watch the same sport –

    “I don’t know how the Lightning’s front office could have looked at its roster in the preseason and seriously thought it was a playoff team.”

    “…gave Gary Roberts $2.4 million coming off a three-goal, 38-game season.”

    While I wouldn’t have looked at TB and said to myself Cup contender, the playoffs didn’t seem out of reach with a core of Lecavalier, St. Louis, Prospal. Expectations for Stamkos were above board but the kid will most likely turn out alright. The Malone signing was too high, as was the Gary Roberts signing but I would still classify Malone as a decent good, solid role player. Does anyone else remember Melrose and Cherry raving about Malone and especially Roberts during the playoffs last year?

    If Melrose had any real class he would have declined comment on the whole TB experience, smiled on camera and said “it just didn’t work”.

    While Buccigross picked TB ninth in his preseason rankings, read this about Stamkos prior to the start of the season –

    “Whatever happens in Tampa Bay, watch Steven Stamkos play hockey. The rookie of the year chase is over. Stamkos has a first step on loan from whatever god you worship. He is sturdy and has personality and flair. I would put him in a lot of key situations right now. He can handle it, and he is already the third-best forward on the team.”

    Now read this –

    “It is almost always a difficult decision on whether or not to keep these 18-year-old players, but it probably shouldn’t be. If I were running an NHL team, I would almost never keep a high draft pick, 18-year-old player, especially if my team were nothing but average……..Tampa Bay is a bit of a mess, and Stamkos is in the middle of it. I actually don’t think that will matter. He is obviously self-assured and well trained. He will be fine as he continues to get stronger and gain experience in the NHL. He looks like a quick study. He is a great skater and has a great shot. I’m not blown away by his vision and playmaking skills.”

    Buccigross goes out of his way not to slam the kids character but does a 180 on his evaluation of his abilities. Pretty crappy when you look at it in more depth and in light of his former colleague’s dismissal.

    ESPN’s hockey reporting couldn’t get any worse between Buccigross and Burnside. Ughh.

    I’ll get off my soapbox now.

  63. IMO, Redden would be much better in a non-defensive-intense system… I thought he had a solid game in SJ… the last half of the third (as did the whole team when they abandoned the Renney system).

  64. JJP – Well, at least Buccigross thought that the Lightning were not a playoff team at the beginning of the season when they had Melrose at coach, so he did not change his opinion there. I’m not sure where you see the “180” on Stamkos, since he is always saying that Stamkos is good, just that the Lightning should have handled his development differently. Obviously, everyone with ESPN is not liking the Lightning too much right now, unless they really wanted to work with their good friend Barry again.

  65. if you’re a subscriber…you really need to go read today’s article in Blueshirt Bulletin. It has a descriptive breakdown of Redden’s performance in SJ. It’s VERY telling.

  66. All Hail King Henrik on

    Had Redden not been signed by Sather, this team (Sather) would be in a position to actively pursue J-Bo right now; with the intent to resign him long term, not merely as a rental player. The EXACT contract that Redden signed would almost certainly be enough to land J-Bo long term. I highly doubt he will make over $6.5 million (might actually get a little less) and the 6 year term is probably exactly what he’s looking for. Imagine, J-Bo at 6 years @ $6.5 million per, instead of Redden at 6 years @ $6.5 million per. One can only dream.

    Had Sather not signed Rozsival, the above still might be applicable (still might’ve been able to land J-Bo, even with the horrendous Redden contract. More difficult to do this for sure, but not impossible/).

    I hated those two signings from July 3rd or 4th or whenver they were announced. EACH one of the contracts is terrible, but BOTH?! WTF are you smoking, Slats? Pass it to the left.

    J-Bo would be the ideal # 1 defensman for this team; someone who can log 30 mins a game and play in all situations. With all the 1 goal games the NYR play, we really need a #1 d-man that can play the last 1:20 of a game, when up 1-goal. All of the other “contenders” and serious playoff teams have such a player, we do not (we rotate 2 or 3 pairs of d-men in the final minute and a half). Staal will be there in a few years, and probably could do the defensive side of it right now, but Renney would never deploy him like that and give him 30 mins a night.

    Our defensive situation as presently constituted is abysmal.

  67. Look who scored for the Coyotes tonight, Lisin, and Hanzal.

    Trade them. Oh wait, the Hyena will ruin their careers.

  68. All Hail – yes reddens and rozys are terrible and indefensible. only one thing though – bowmeister is going to be traded at deadline for a kings ransom and will possibly sign with the team trading for him. so it’s about a lot more than whatever contract he signs for. still no defense re the 2 dmen contracts just saying bowmeister might have been too costly anyway. think 1st rd, grachev, del zotto or something like that.

  69. All Hail King Henrik on

    LI Joe,

    Yes, J-bo will be costly, as all coveted RFAs are. In his case however, I think it would be worth it. I’d give up DZ and Sangs, but would not want to part with Grachev; he’s going to be real good.

    There’s also no guarantee he signs with the team that trades for him. If he doesn’t, we’d be in a prime spot to sign him UFA. I do understand what you’re saying, though. J-Bo is merely one example of many players that we could pursue this year or next, but unfortunately can’t. It all stems from the same place–Sather’s cap mismanagement.

  70. Boumeester is extremely overrated. Paying him what redden is getting would simply make him Redden 2.0. Only thing he has on him is that he’s younger, slightly faster, and occasionally takes the body. In our system he would be wasted though and his flaws would surely come out. If we played more of an up tempo offensive game like we did to start the season, Redden would be fine.

  71. Henrik. Yes – shitty, but very well paid! I thought it would have been in his interests for Pronger to make himself more visible, to show his support for his team-mates? Not skulk in the team bus?

    I can’t see us being players in any big moves now, with the cap unlikely to go up next year we can’t take on any more big contracts, unless they are 3-month rentals and even then we’d struggle to accomodate a high-priced player like JayBo or Gaborik or Kovalchuk. If we areb’t going to play Prucha or Fritsche then we need to clear the cap space they are taking up so that we have the ability to add a quality player at or before the deadline.

  72. UK – I think we’ll most likely be in the position to chase a rental or two. Just a matter of who goes the other way really.

    I’d think by the all-star break we’ll have a much better idea (5 weeks before the deadline) of who’s available on the market. Also give us a chance to really make a decision of what’s most important. Tough dman or scoring winger.

    I haven’t heard any rumors on this, but I really have a feeling that MTL is going to deal Kovalev. UFA at end of season (4.5mil). Then again, Lang, koivu & Tanguay are all UFA’s at seasons end too. Komisarek too, but I don’t see him going anywhere.

  73. And that goal in the Pit/Buf game last night was COMPLETE BULLSH!T. He SHOULD HAVE been suspended for the game in the 1st place!

  74. Going to game tonight… I WILL not, I repeat… I will NOT eat another hot dog at MSG until Renney is fired or hired by the Knicks.

  75. There’s no point in acquiring Bouwmeester unless you get rid of Redden, and Redden only.

    Redden and Rozsival are supposed to be our PP QB’s.. they have great shots, but they’re never in position to take them, or they’re blocked.

    It’s the system. It’s the coaches.

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