OK, manly beard men …

59

I’ve already gotten a whole bunch of “after” beard shots … even without asking. That’s OK. That’s OK.

So the rest of you who entered by sending your “before” shots, now is the time to send in the “afters.”

email them directly to me at rcarpini@lohud.com.

If you haven’t sent befores, don’t send afters … it’s too late. We will let you know how and when to vote for your favorite.

Don’t forget that the winner gets a free beard trim from Sal’s Hair Station in White Plains … or a pack of disposable razors autographed by me (and Jane). I still think that’s what the loser should get. We also might have a couple of prizes to throw in. We’ll see how the contest goes.

I’m going over to breakup day at the practice rink. John Tortorella is scheduled to address the media at 9:30 a.m. — I’m sure that’s to tick off us writers who usually don’t get out of bed by then. I’ll have some player reactions, too, later.

In the meantime, here’s my column from The Journal News and LoHud.com today.

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59 Comments

  1. Good article. Brooks wrote about trading for Marty St Louis. Why would you trade for that, when you could just sign Brian Gionta and the 40 goals he scored on Gomez wing?

    Does Dolan bury Redden in the AHL, and sign a sniper? Lou Lamirello is leaving the Devils? Could he be brought in to replace the irreplaceable Glen Sather?

    Am I making sense or just dreaming?

  2. THE PUCK DROPS HERE on

    I love Hank and I think he is a great goalie but I also think he goes down too easily and then they shoot over him. He needs to be more of a stand-up goalie. They should get rid of Benoit Allaire, he’s taught Hank all he can learn. Get a new goalie coach (even part-time) who is more a stand up guy (Giacomin?)to work with The King.

  3. reached the finals twicein 30 years aka onecupin 69years on

    Please no St.Louis, he’s past his peak.
    Ask that schmuck Tortorella if he regrets going after the fan and did Sather or Dolan say anything to him about the incident?
    Carp ,if you went after a fan what would TJN do to you?

  4. Hey guys – saw this today and thought it was apropos for some of the thoughts that went down during the series ..

    “Shallow men believe in luck, believe in circumstances…
    Strong men believe in cause and effect.”
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)
    American writer, activist

  5. st louis is just what we dont need. just look at this way would we have won the cup with st louis in the lineup instead of zherdev or naslund? no. unless we can get a highly skilled player not over 30 go for it and get it sather, but st louis or gionta will not be good enough. we could look at the gilroy signing as maybe a precursor to moving one of the defenseman on this team for some offense or either gilroy is trade bait to go with a bad contract or hes gonna fill the roster spot left. does anyone know how many years gilroy was signed to? it just seems stupid for sather to do that unless he was prepared to make some moves in the offseason. but i think in 2 years they’ll be better options for us with naslund off the team, drurys contract will only have 2 or 3 years left, and easier to move, and better players to sign. could be worth just not doin much this summer but you know sather just has to sign somebody. lets hope he does one thing, and thats say bye to morris, voros, and zherdev, and we resign cally, doobs and antro. if he can add at least 2 or 3 guys from the pack without having to trade someone like korpi or girardi i’ll be happy with it. you know if he wants to dump some big contracts, the other team will want some of our prospects too. sather has no bargaining power because of the position he put us in.

  6. Oh – and we’ve been discussing the possibility that conditioning issues played a part in this season. Maybe they were under / over trained – so that come game time they were not always ready to go?

    Thoughts?

  7. No St Louis. The last thing we need is a 5’7″ aging forward. Besides, he will not come cheap and who are you willing to give up for him? I say pass.

  8. Anyone of us who watched the Rangers all year long knew in our hearts that they wouldn’t go far in the playoffs. Lack of scoring, lack of toughness, no big banger on D and overpaid, under performing fat-cat vets was a blueprint for disaster. FIRE SATHER!!!!

  9. also, i dont know how gilroys contract works. does he have just a 1 way contract or could he be on the pack filling in for sanguinetti or sauer or whoever makes the team. he did get a nice contract and he is 24 so i got the feeling he was a good choice to replace morris or mara. i dont know the protocol of player contracts and movement and all that

  10. I believe that they were in no condition at the start of Tort’s regime to skate hard for 60 minutes. But, they seemed to improve as the season ended. But, I think they were still no fully conditioned, which is why we need to wait next season and see how well Tort’s system will be.

    Overall, they do not have a true finisher in this lineup, just just a bunch of 2nd line and 3rd line players.

  11. No more small guys. Even if Antropov isn’t perfect, his size and skill made a difference. If they don’t want him, they still need size and skill, not more short and gritty.

  12. septemous- they certainly were ok in game 7 up until halfway through the 3rd, and by that alone, they couldve played much harder in games 5 and 6. it seemed as if not only were they tiring out but they had to work extra hard, almost double that of the capitals because of the difference in the skill level. our passing was bad and we spent a lot of time chasing the puck. game 7 was rope a dope for the caps. they took it easy and got a lucky goal but we outplayed them and outworked them, but couldnt get any decent chances. i think some guys on the team have struggled more than others with the new style. such as zherdev and naslund. you would think zherdev would of firt right in but he couldnt handle it.

  13. Greg-thanks for the link. I always hated Lup-dicka. He didn’t really state anything more than the obvious. Unfortunately Dolan, the moron, is probably happy with 3 playoff paydays. I highly doubt that he has any thoughts of moving Sather.

    We are also at fault. Other teams’ fans don’t go when their team doesn’t perform. Even during the non playoff years, the Rangers averaged over 17,000 per game. I go. I love having a few cold ones and rooting on my favorite team. The payback hasn’t been there but we all still go.

  14. Greg_Section_403 on

    yeh, Lupika is a tool, but good column.

    Dolan cares more about raising tix prices next year and he will use ‘making the playoffs’ as a justification.

    Hey, look, it’s not our fault. We are fans (whic is short for fanatics), so logic and reason doesn’t usually apply to what we do.

    Yes, we’ll go, cuz we love hockey and the Rangers, but that does not give Sather, with Dolan’s blessing, permission to run the Blueshirts into the ground and make them a joke of an organization. (GMs around the league are still laughing at the Redden signing!!)

    We really need an organized season-ticket holder boycott…maybe we’ll get it started on facebook, the FIRE SATHER GROUP — NO 2009-10 SEASON TICKETS PAYMENTS UNTIL SATHER IS GONE!!

    doubt it would work, but it would be fun as hell!!

  15. Shoryuken on Wade Redden on

    What about Alexei Morozov from the KHL? He was the leading scorer there, and it isn’t exactly a garbage league talent-wise.

    Anyone know if he can be had? We’re not getting Gaborik or Hossa, we need to be thrifty due to Sather’s stupidity.

  16. There are bigger problems for the Rangers franchise than just the players, it’s the New York mentality. (1) Overpaid veterans who have no enthusiasm to win left in their careers. They’re more concerned about living close to the practice rink and getting back to their families or they want to live in Manhattan so as to get partying early and often. Dedication to hockey is minimalized, other NY issues take over.
    (2) The team doesn’t take many long road trips and don’t ever build a team chemistry that holds up during the tough times. With so many, non-roadtrips to NJ, LI, or PA they never really bond, they want to go home and sleep in their own comfy beds or get partying(see #1).
    (3) Bad ice, bad arena lighting – can’t build a solid foundation of ice on the 5th floor of a building built over top of a railroad station that is vibrating 24 hours a day with trains rumbling in and out. The ice will always be worse in spring, during the playoffs, when its most important.
    (4) Opponents gear-up to play in NY, the world’s stage. Plus opponents always want to celebrate a victory in NYC after the nights game, so they always play hard.

    Believe me or not, these issues matter.

  17. Greg_Section_403 on

    Dreadnaught :

    a couple of your items can be changed:

    #1 — stop signing washed up free agents. period.

    #2 — I don’t buy that. Devils don’t take long road trips either and they live closer to their practice rink in S. Orange NJ than many rangers live to thier rink. Most teams in the East don’t travel much.

    #3 and #4 — can’t do much about these 2. you play with the hand you are dealt and good teams overcome these obstacles.

  18. we already signed st. louis. his name was theoren fleury. we all know how that turned out.

  19. Next year in Camp we have on D:
    Booby Sang
    Gilroy
    Sauer
    Potter if we resign (he’s RFA)

    On Forwards we have:
    Anisimov
    Byers
    Dupont
    Moore – if he’s recovered
    Parenteau
    Rissmiller

    I’d say next season, if Sather doesnt work some magic and move one of the 7 mil dollar men, we fill with our own instead of trying to go out and spend what little we have left. Sure trades will be made, but its time our team stops trying to buy an answer. Especially this year, it isnt out there, and if it is we cant afford it, so build from within.
    Get younger
    GEt bigger

    AA should make the team

    IF MAra and Morris are gone Bobby S and Gilroy should/could hopefully fill in, or Sauer, Potter if there ready

    Maybe even bring up Mikka Wikkman from HArtford to backstop Hank casue who knows if Vally is staying or will be even offered anything

    I just dont think next year shoudl be a spending year in any sort of way

    I’d rather sacrifice a year with youth development then spend and trade away what we already have

    And St Louis for Staal, Dubi, Cally or anyone – FORGET IT!

  20. This year’s team did care, and maybe Prague bonded them a bit. But they didn’t have the “I’m gonna kill myself for you” kind of dedication when times got tough.

    After Federov’s goal where was the offensive desperation and crush on Varlamov? They buckled, Drury did not respond or try to rally the troops in any noticable way. They simply folded up the tent and went on home.

    It’s better anyway, now I don’t have to stress over this team for a few months.

  21. Cross Check Charlie on

    I said before the season started that the team did not improve itself over the previous season so how can they expect better results?

    After watching Zherdev play (when he felt like it) it’s almost comical to recall that the team was gushing over getting a potential 40-goal scorer. Sure, he can score 40 – maybe in the ECHL.

    It was obvious that Naslund was in the twilight of his career, but the old excuse of putting a former productive player in new surroundings would revive his game was proved to be a a falacy.

    We won’t even get into the signings of the now gone and forgotten Kalinin and the wish he was gone Redden.

    Thanks for the salary cap hell, Glen. Light up another cigar and brag how you’d put together Cup winners every year if you were allowed to do so in New York. And, when are we going to see those compromising pictures you have of Dolan? That has to be the only reason you still have a job.

  22. I don’t see any reason to bring Torts back next year. His “system” was nothing special. He didn’t elevate a single player’s game. His development of young talent is poor. (He probably killed whatever confidence Zherdev had in his game, and who knows what Mike Sauer is thinking after Torts sent him packing.) He doesn’t lead by example and often proves to be a hypocrite. (Like he did with Avery’s scratching.) And overall, he isn’t a very out-of-the-box thinker.

    All of his moves were predictable. He did nothing unconventional. His line combos were unimpressive. He still started Redden on every pp and still used Staal mostly as a shutdown guy.

    I mean, when the pp is as anemic as the rangers’ has been all year, would it really have hurt to try putting a big body like Staal’s in front of the net? Did Lundqvist always have to be pulled after the 4th or 5th goal, or could Torts have recognized early on in some games that Henrik just didn’t have his best stuff and needed a break? Maybe throw him back in the second…or let him finish out the first period, play Vali in the second, then put Lundqvist back the for the 3rd?

    I mean really, all the talk about how Torts was such a break from Tom Renney, that he was a lot like Keenan, blah, blah, blah. What a joke, the guy is so overrated.

    Granted, it’s highly unlikely he’ll be fired over the summer, but if there’s one thing we can all hope for, it’s that he doesn’t stick around as long as his predecessor. (My prediction is that he’ll be gone before next Christmas.)

  23. Hey Carp, and others, what are your thoughts on Mara re-signing at a discount compared to what he could get else where because he likes being a New York Ranger? That’s what he did last year…why wouldn’t he be open to doing it again?

  24. THE PUCK DROPS HERE on

    Torts isn’t going anywhere. That would make Sather wrong. Plus, I think Torts is entitled to a full season, plus training camp.

  25. Charlie, Slats wasn’t for the salary cap, however I sure recall plenty of Rangers fans cheering on the owners and criticizing player “greed” during the lockout.

    If hockey fans don’t like what the salary cap has wrought, they should look in the mirror. The biggest reason it exists today is because fans excepted the owners’ and their puppet Gary Bettman’s propaganda campaign and eventually forced the players to capitulate and accept this idiotic, anti-competitive scheme.

  26. Methinks Rissmiller will swap AHL/NHL spots with Voros (let’s hope) or he’s backup in case Betts/Orr sign elsewhere.

  27. “[Torts] didn’t elevate a single player’s game.”

    Tortorella is certainly not above criticism, but that statement is simply not true. Callahan and Dubinsky, given far more ice time than under the previous coach, both improved markedly after the change. And Girardi, while still liable at times in his own end, was a much better player once Renney left.

  28. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO ST. LOUIS!!!!!!!!!!!

    They dont need another AGING, SMALL player!!!!

    Please dont give up Staal, Dubi or Cally!!!!!

    GLENN IM BEGGING YA!!!

  29. Cross Check Charlie on

    Phil,

    What did Slats do before the salary cap? If I remember correctly, they didn’t make the playoffs.

    Now, he’s got the team where they can’t make a play for a top-flight player because he’s got all the cap money invested in the likes of Redden and Rozsival and Drury. What a great GM we’ve got.

    You can’t blame either coach – Renney or Tororella. They did what they could with a bunch of nothing. Who ever heard of putting a defenseman in a center’s position on the power play? You’ve got to be kidding. Staal isn’t even a scoring defenseman and you want him in the slot on the power play? They’ve got to acquire forwards that can score. Oh wait! They can’t because they’ve got all of the salary cap money invested in a bunch of crap.

  30. If the Rangers trade any of the three hound dog Brooks mentioned for St louis I’m ditching the Rangers until management is changed..

    Yes everyone has key short term UFAs and traded players to compliment their youngsters but its the home grown guys who are the key players below…the Rangers have UFAs long term and our youngsters that we do develop are being blocked and we dont draft too good either…

    Homegrowns in final 8 In decending order oF signifigance:

    Chi: Toews, Kane, Veersteg,Kieth,
    Wash: AO, Semin, Green, Backstrom
    Pitt: Crosby, Malkin, Fluery, Staal
    Ana: Ryan, Perry, Getzlaf, Hiller
    Det: Datsyuk, Kronwall, Zetterberg, Franzen
    Bost: Bergeron, Kreci, Wheeler,
    Car: Ward, Staal
    Van: Bieksa,Sedins

  31. Mike Sullivan, a former assistant coach for the Bruins and assistant in Tampa for the past two seasons, is expected to join Tortorella’s staff. Sullivan, like Tortorella a Massachusetts native, played at Boston University and for 11 seasons in the NHL. Assistant general manager Jim Schoenfeld, who filled in as assistant coach and was head coach for Game 6 when Tortorella was suspended, will return to his job.

  32. Mike G- no to Mara. He was our best D at times during the season but it’s time for Gilroy/Sauer/Sangs/Potter to be given a fair shot. No to Morris also. If a miracle occurs and Rozi and or Redden is gone…..well we can only hope. Same with Drury and or Gomez.

  33. I’d like if Morris and Mara stayed. Morris really had an accurate bomb from the blue line. I WISH some how, some way they could get rid of Redden.

  34. Charlie, the argument that we didn’t make the playoffs until after the salary cap was implemented has already been dissected and debunked countless times.

    Indeed, take away the points awarded for shootout victories and you basically have the same mediocre team with the same mediocre record.

  35. Riguere, Torts did not elevate Cally or Dubinsky’s game.

    Dubinsky was a monster at the start of the season, until he took a couple of weak penalties on long island and ended up in Renney’s doghouse. And Callahan has been playing the same hard-nosed consistent hockey all year.

    No one emerged as a different player under Torts. In many ways you can make the argument a number of players actually regressed.

  36. I think Torts elevated Dubi and Cally’s game because he started giving them more and more ice time, while lazy Euros like Naslund and Zherdev were getting less.

  37. Just to add some levity, from an article on ESPN. I wonder if Semin was involved:

    Ted Leonsis smiled from ear to ear outside the Washington Capitals’ dressing room.

    Ten years after buying the NHL club, the Capitals owner finally has a playoff series victory under his belt.

    “I’m not a virgin anymore!” said Leonsis.

  38. Yeah lets fire Torts

    DUMBEST thing said so far

    Torts will get a full year, period

    Im very excited to see what Torts thinks of our boys in Hartford, his input into what he knows we need, and the subsequent actions that Sather takes with Torts input instead of Renney and PEarn.

    Either way we’ll be atougher team next year with hima t the helm fulltime

  39. Torts’ hockey being more exciting than Renney’s isn’t saying much. And elevating a player’s ice time isn’t the same as elevating their game.

    No one under Tortorella suddenly looked like a new player. No one took their game to that next level. A few players did however look worse, if not completely invisible at times.

    That’s a fact that even his staunchest fanboys can’t deny.

  40. The hockey the Rangers played under Tortarella had to be better…I actually had people watching the games with me…under Renny they’d all fall asleep in beteen the 2nd and 3rd periods…..

    Hey…I’m not Married to the guy…give him a full year and we can argue again thats all…

    in the meantime lets start a Fire Sather campaign

    I’m not gonna say that this blog got Renney fired but the stream of anger was evident only here for about two months until it bubbled over in the media at the very very end…

    Lets do it again

  41. Phil

    Your argument falls apart when you look at Callahan’s numbers down the stretch. And that is a fact you can’t deny.

  42. Off topic ( but not Seinfeld) but a nice moment.
    From Adam Proteau’s hockey news article 4-27-09

    “The most touching thing I saw in Columbus wasn’t witnessed by thousands, or even dozens of people the night of Game 3.

    It happened after the game, in the hallway of Nationwide Arena, as Red Wings coach Mike Babcock walked back to Detroit’s dressing room from his post-game press conference.

    As a lot of coaches do this time of year, Babcock could have kept his head down and not acknowledged any person standing there in the corridor. But as soon as he saw Ryan Salmons – the 19-year-old, terminally ill cancer patient and Blue Jackets fan signed by Columbus to a one-day contract – Babcock stopped walking and proceeded to spend a good 10 minutes with the young man.

    It was a truly classy move from Babcock – and something to consider the next time you or one of your drunken pals think of screaming some nutso, below-the-belt comment at him or one of his coaching colleagues when they visit your home arena.”

    hard to root for Randy Carlyle after reading that….

  43. Callahan’s numbers down the stretch were consistent with the rest of the year. He had the same hustle, the same grit…he showed the same intensity, same skill level, same finishing touch. He was the same player under Tortorella that he was under Renney. The only difference is he was getting more ice time.

  44. They were mediocre under both coaches…if you’re mediocre at least play exciting…

    Watching Renney coach was tiring and excrutiating…He also wished people gone; got what he wanted, got fired and threw the rest of the team under the bus….the team he wished for…

    To hell with him…he’s not as nice a guy as he tries to appear.

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