Fischler….take him or leave him…


But he offers his thoughts this week on about the future of some players. Heaven forbid I make anyone jump or link elsewhere, so here it is, in full. Talk amongst yourselves.
But first, to make up for the horror of this ugly looking post, I give you a picture. Name that Ranger, who is among those named below.

I now give you Fisch…

• SCOTT GOMEZ: Unlike others in the media, I remain one of the foremost fans of The Gomer. His forays up the ice are uniquely artistic. We know his limitations, but I contend that his assets overweigh his debits. Plus, I disagree with those who say he is not a first-line player. Just get him a winger who can convert his passes and you’ll see what a first-liner he can be. My advice to Scott: Listen up hard to John Tortorella and all will be well between center and coach.
• WADE REDDEN: No, he’s not Nick Lidstrom nor Zdeno Chara. But Redden’s play improved under Tortorella, and there’s potential for him to re-up another notch next season. I expect him back and I anticipate Wade being among the top four defensemen.
• CHRIS DRURY: It will be interesting to see whether the coach keeps him as captain (Remember how Brent Sutter removed the “C” from Patrik Elias). It appears that Chris is in the coach’s good graces, and he might be even better in 2009-2010. Don’t expect him to be traded.
• NIK ZHERDEV: The gifted-but-not-always-productive-Russian faded badly in the homestretch under Tortorella. Even though Zherdev wants to return as a Ranger, I suspect that Torts leans heavily towards keeping Nik Antropov.
• PAUL MARA: I liked his gritty play in 2008-2009, and I love his attitude toward New York. If it comes down to a choice between Mara and Derek Morris, I’d keep Mara. However, knowing Tortorella’s past tepid attitude toward Paul, I can see Mara going bye-bye.
• COLTON ORR: This is a tough one — in more ways than one. Every club needs an enforcer, and CO is the master of the KO. But, he lost significant ice time under Tortorella and, as one writer recently noted, Brodie Dupont could be a better replacement. Me? I’d keep the slugger.
• BLAIR BETTS AND FRED SJOSTROM: How do you lose two of the best penalty-killers in the NHL? And where does Lauri Korpikoski slide back on to the roster? This is a vexing question for Sather.
• MICHAL ROSZIVAL: He’s trade bait, and does more things well than a lot of fans would like to believe. There could be a general manager out there who covets the veteran defenseman.
• NO BRAINERS: There should be little to no discussion about retaining the following, all in the young and not-so-old category: Marc Staal, Ryan Callahan, Brandon Dubinsky, and Dan Girardi
• HARTFORD: A lot will depend on training camp, but my two favorites at the moment are Artem Anisimov and Corey Potter. We shall see!


Perhaps you’d prefer this instead (though maybe not because you have to pay, but we here at Rangers Report are all about bring you the news!). Got this from the folks at ESPN.
“ESPN Insider just kicked off a new offseason NHL series today in which writers identify each team’s statistical shortcomings and suggest how to fix them.”
They’re starting with Atlantic division. You have sign up for Insider to play….Visit here or here

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  1. You can’t take Orr out of this lineup…you do that and the rangers would qualify as a girl team.

  2. Honestly, what did Fischler say there that and Ranger fan with a basic working knowledge of the team couldn’t have said? Absolutely nothing.

    That said I must have missed the Laurel Babcock introduction, thanks for posting and welcome!

  3. Jane's Addiction on

    even if redden got better under torts it still wouldnt justify paying him all that money, gotta send him down to hartford and move on, he has reached his ceiling and isnt getting any better, id rather have a defense corps of youngens, let them learn together and deal with the mental lapses of young D-men, they will be tight knit and in the long run we will have the best D-corps in the league with staal leading the way!

  4. Laurel Babcock on

    Thanks Salty….hey, I said you could leave him, right :)

    And El Sid, you are correct.

  5. “Honestly, what did Fischler say there that and Ranger fan with a basic working knowledge of the team couldn’t have said? Absolutely nothing.”

    Dead on. Does Stan get paid for that? Outrageous.

  6. I happen to like Fischler, the man is 75 years old & has been involved with hockey since Lord Stanley gave the first cup.
    I think he has good stories to tell from the good old days.
    Give the old guy a break !

  7. Not Carp ... on

    Laurel, you rule! You rule. And if I was Carp … I’d tell you that you rock, too.

  8. Stan is living off of his long legacy. Great writer and hockey historian, but he is just too old. Take him for what he is: A walking hockey encyclopedia.

    The only hope the NYR have is Redden improving under Torts. Maybe fear will be his motivation. He isn’t gonna get sent to Hartford with that contract. Not to mention the message that would send to other UFA’s in the future. The NYR will most likely move Rozy and a prospect in an attempt to sign a goal scorer. Quite possibly St Louis.

  9. CCCP

    The sweet isn’t as sweet without the sour, you know the drill…. come to a decision on Camp Bisco yet? I’m frothing at the mouth, can’t wait to get my dilated pupil groove on.

  10. there seem to be too many players on this team that us fans can agree could be let go/traded/what have you, but the thought of losing them makes you cringe a bit for what the team would be without them. Colton orr- without him the garden may not see a fight all year except for occaisional mara scruff. Betts and sjostrom- as despensable as these guys seem, can you really let go of the best PK in the league? if this isnt a defensive team that can kill the many dumb penalties they take, what are they? Without antropov is there a true scorer left on the team (sad that im calling him a true scorer, but…)The list goes on and you could probably pick someone at every position to make this case except for in nets.

  11. “It appears that Chris is in the coach’s good graces”

    Like I care what that stick-wielding lunatic thinks! Glen put a full no-movement clause in my good graces! That’s all that matters!

    “Drury might be even better in 2009-2010”

    Captain Clutch has a career year every year! I might even score with TWO broken hands this season! Maybe I’ll even throw in a torn ACL too! What a leader! What a winner! And don’t think you’ve seen the last of my clutch dump-ins!

    “Don’t expect Drury to be traded”

    Uhhh…thanks Nostradamus! Mr. Fischler, I’d like to introduce you to Mr. Full No-Movement Clause! I don’t know what makes you more senile- forgetting my FULL no-movement clause, or saying that doofus Redden has “potential”! Ha-Ha!

    Why are we talking about next season anyway when I’m still enjoying the best part of this season…the offseason! It’s a good thing you didn’t post this on Sunday, it would’ve ruined my Flag Day! But I’m not gonna let this ruin the rest of my summer!

  12. Wow Laurel — all is buttercups and rainbows with the Rangers apparently. How many years exactly do we have to wait for Gomez to find a winger to finish his amazing passes? Redden has potential to achieve next season after four straight seasons of going downhill? Who knew this team of tiny third liners was really that good? Betts and Sjostrom are irreplaceable? Are you Glen Sather in disguise?

  13. Stan is the best of all the writers in the NY area. But as GM with the cap he is not.

  14. DanNYC June 16th, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    “Or Heatley can take Redden for a car ride….”

    This might just be the funniest thing I have ever read on this site.

  15. Fischler never says a bad word against the team he covers…he did with the devils and he does it with the rangers…all of his analysis, all the time, is the same thing, every player on the roster is just waiting to break out if they’re not already playing all-star hockey.

  16. Salty

    Still undecided on Camp…50/50

    Shpongle Dj set, Ott, YB (main reason for me to go)… I’ve seen them all before and I am not sure if this time around it will be any different…

    If we decide to go (which probably end up being bunch of dilating pupil loving boys and girls) ill let you know. Here, you can use this email and I guess everyone else as well) to keep in touch… just in case… wink-wink… shoot one right now if you can.

    Most likely I’ll be heading to London in October for the brand new Shpongle Live Show! The true religious experience!

  17. onecupin69years and counting on

    I don’t give a cat’s meow for what Stan says about Redden, Gomez, Drury and a few others.Just because they are on the team doesn’t make the team better, they’re the wrong parts for this team,and heaping tons of cash upon also kills any incentive to produce,what are they going to do, take the money back? Gomez has 2 /3 rings? does he really care if he wins with NY? He’s playing for the money and the NY lifestyle.

  18. Fishcler thinks Valliquette can be a starter in the NHL. Enough said.

    Vally’s the man, but c’mon, he sure as sh*t is not a starter.

    Fish says a lot of dumb things, he likes to say stuff that he knows nobody will say. That’s why every time he opens his mouth, Al, Chico, Deb or anyone else always has that “what the fugg” look on their face.

  19. bull dog line on

    again with the, “we can’t afford to lose ORR”. stop it already. he can’t skate, therefore he is not intimidating on the ice. they need a Milan Lucic type. the rangers should draft Zack Kassian, and let him play. He is a tough kid who can play the game.

  20. Laurel Babcock on

    Well, if I ever had any thoughts of asking Fischler for an interview, I guess this post sure killed that chance.

    Hey onecup, let’s leave the kitty’s meow out of it huh! Now you’re gittin personal!

  21. Dane
    June 16th, 2009 at 5:34 pm
    DanNYC June 16th, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    “Or Heatley can take Redden for a car ride….”

    This might just be the funniest thing I have ever read on this

    wow thats just hysterical. teehee

  22. ely- yea stan only gets on a player when theyre off the team. other than that, its all peachy. still, i like the guy. hes old as moses grandpa, and still does a pretty good job coverin the team. it could be worse. just imagine watching the smurf head cangeilosi or goring. i thought stan looked pretty foolish after he talked crap about aves and then does an interview with him when he gets back and kisses his ass. im sure sean finds him amusing anyway. stan would be fun to go to a nipjoint with. get the old fart a lapdance.

  23. mike in ia (hey, I got it right!) your last post makes me want to quote from one of my favorite Seinfeld episodes, but I fear what that would unleash here. Let’s bring a little bit of class back to the lockerroom eh boys :)

  24. Does anyone take Fischler seriously? Besides, how objective can the man be when MSG is signing his pay cheque?

  25. Johnny LaRue on

    Seeing as Laurel has now probably posted more lifetime entries than Josh Thomson, her picture should now replace the perpetual 26 year old.

  26. yea kassian would be the best choice the rangers could hope for. they would have to trade up bigtime though. idk who they could trade to get in the top ten but slats has almost no leverage. we probably stick with the 19th pick.

  27. my bad laurel. wont happen again. yea put your pic up laurel. right under the blogfather himself, and replace thompsons head. and can i ask what other blog do you have?

  28. Laurel Babcock on

    Aw, thanks Mike!…as for my picture guys, I don’t even have one on my other blog (here it is again since you asked, thanks! Yes, pets and animals. Kinda like blogging here!)

    Not that I’m embarrassed about myself, I’m fabulous! But I kind of like to maintain my aura of mystery….and mainly not get recognized by you all in bars :)

  29. bull dog line on

    it is good to read that some people on this blog know there stuff on the draft. I agree that Kassian is going to slip into the top 10. i think that Carter Ashton may end up being the Rangers pick. He has good size, and skill, may end being a good goal scorer in the NHL.

  30. Laurel Babcock on

    Calling it a night here in Rangersland folks…new post up tomorrow morning. Enjoy!

  31. Fischler is an idiot, and a homer for whichever team he is shilling for at the moment.

    Loves Gomez, Drury, and Redden? Well, that’s because the same people pay his salary that pays theirs! He’s hoping to cash in on his own $6.5M payday, because he contributes to the team as much as Redden does!

  32. alex b (the poster formely known as czechthemout!!!!) on

    Way to to be provocative there Stan! That was really insightfull.

    Anyway, here’s my take as a fan of this once again downtrodden team.

    Rozy– The most tradable of the HORRID FOUR! He is not as bad as many of us think he is. His biggest problem is his indisicivness(SP). His contract is about 1-1.5mill too much. I do think he can be moved but not for alot coming back all the rival GM’s know the predicament the Rangers are in with regards to the cap. If it were up to me,he’d be gone.

    Chris Drury– Captain Croch is not going anywhere unless his wife who is from LA LA land wants to live out their. But once again I just don’t see much coming back in the way of a good prospect. More like a bad but smaller contract in return.

    Wade Redden– The worst of the horrid four.In truth, Sather should be fired for this signing but he won’t be, because Dolan has a man crush on him. This guy is going knowhwere except possibly Hartford where the Rangers can stash this mistake.

    Scott Gomez– One of the most four most overpaid players In the NHL. What sucks is we have three of the four. He is the youngest of the four horrid ones and if his contract was 2-3 million lower wouldn’t be so bad a contract. He is more usefull than most here give him credit for. I think he can be productive with the right wingers to pass to.

    Zhredev– Imense physical talent woth zero hockey sense. This guy scored 68 points without knowing what to do with the puck most of the time. He is still very young and maybe we can workout a trade with another team for him for maybe a second round pick which in this draft maybe a very good trade.( assuming Gord Clark can draft better than cigar puss).

    Nik Antropov– I would bring him back for around the same money he made this year. I thought he was effective in his brief time here and he gives us something we don’t have enough of,size in front of the net. He can also score 25- 28 goals, good numbers for a second line winger.

    Mara– Thanks for all you’ve done as a Ranger, but if you can get more money than the 1-1.5 million you’re worth somewhere else, good luck to you.

    Morris– I now know why you’ve played for so many teams in you’re career. No thanks!


    Betts—The best penalty killer on the Rangers is The KING!
    Players like Betts are a dime a dozen around the league. He brings nothing to the table as a forward and his defensive game is not enough a reason to keep him here instead of a kid from the Pack who has more upside.

    Sjo– See above!!!

    As for the draft, I would like to see teh following players in order of preference drafted. Players who seem as a farfetched fantasy are listed if the Rangers were to trade up as high as #3.

    Matt Duschene– The next Steve Yzerman in my opinion. I seen him play about 6-7 games this year and he is the real deal. He is Grachev’s center and it would make a damn good first line of the future or even the present to have them both. I would trade Anyone in the orginizaion for him except, HL,Cally,Staal,Grachev,MDZ.

    MP Svensson– Great Great player as well. reminds me of a slight more timid Forsberg. He’s faster than Forsberg and is bigger. I’ve seen him play more than a dozen times and every time he is on the ice you notice him. May be available at 6-9 if things break right.

    Dimitri Kulikov— Fantastic player who was outstanding in the world juniors. Can play right away in my opinion. He maybe there at 10-13. This guy and MDZ may give us the best PP point since Leetch and Zubov!

    Ashton Carter– Only saw him play one game. He did stand out but I can’t argue about him much. The stuff I read about him Like.

    Zack Kassian– Watched some of his clips on YouTube. Not the best source for scouting but he looks like a beast who might be a more offesive version of Milan Lucic.

    Scott Glennie– Very good right ups on him.

    Jeremy Morin– Very good player who can score! Watched him play for the US wjc team. He was the best player there for the US in my opinion. Needs to imrove his skating a bit. Maybe an option if we trade down.

    Jordan Caron– A slightly bigger Canadian version of Morin.

    So there you have it!

    lets hope we make out well on the 26th.

  33. You know what is going to hurt…this kid Zach Budish is going to go to a team like the Penguins, Sharks, Wings, etc. in the later part of the 1st round because they can take chances and he will turn out to be a monster.

    We can’t we have to go for a “sure” thing because our draft record is horrible.

    The rich get richer.

  34. If Ashton, Kassian and Shore are gone, I’d go for Ferraro. Unless they trade down and can get some combo of Tim Erixon/Budish/and the biggest gamble; Toni Rajala.

  35. bull dog line on

    I suspect the Rangers are going to draft size and skill up font in the first round. There are some good Dmen in this draft, but i think the Rangers go forward in the 1st round. They do have a 2nd round pick (no.17) in the draft. It is compensation for Cherapanov.

  36. Personally, I’d say Fischler’s assessment was spot-on, aside from his assessment that Torts will take Antropov over Zherdev. In that circumstance, Antro is going to make AT LEAST what Z is making, probably even more. He had career-highs in all his stats, plus he’s just an immense body to have out there.

    alex b – Granted, Lundqvist CERTAINLY helped the PP. But I don’t see how you can deny the job that Sjos and Betts did. That PK saved more its share of games last season. And this is coming from someone who was calling for both of them to get the hatchet last fall in favor of getting offense on fourth line. If it’s not broken, then don’t fix it. Aside from goaltending, the PK was one of the few perennially bright spots from last season.

    I also don’t get your point about Zherdev. If anything, I think the kid has more sense than most of his teamates. He learned early on that he was one of the only guys(aside from Gomez)who could bring the puck into the zone. I’d bash him for not using his linemates enough, but who the #$^% were they? You’ve got Voros for a third of the season, which is sort of like playing next to a cement block -sure the puck will ricochet in every once in a while. Then he gets moved up to Gomez, another puck carrier, who despite his passing prowess couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn door with his shot(and that’s when he shoots); Naslund who was sucking wind after the first 20 games; and Dubinsky, went from a point-per-game player to being the most invisible guy out there before the last 20 games of the season. So before you bash the kid, put his play into context with the rest of the dreck.

    Bottom line, is the Rangers were a VERY flawed team from the get-go last year. That was in part because of the cold war between Slats and Jagr that didn’t get resolved early on. Had either side said ‘this is it,’ perhaps they could have traded for the RIGHT pieces during draft day, instead of the day before the UFA signings commenced…and the other calamity was the death of Cherepanov, who was the great white hope for NY. He was the A1 top-flight prospect that was supposed to pick up where Jagr’s production waned. If he wasn’t in the pipe, I could almost guarantee the Naslund signing and Tyutin deal wouldn’t have been done.

    So we’ll see what he does to mitigate all the square pegs and circular holes. I don’t have a lot of faith he’ll do the right thing, but stranger things have happened…

    …regarding Duchene…I’ve opined that the Rangers consider(or attempt) moving up to number 3. The Avalanche don’t seem married to the pick and would probably move it for an up-and-comer, a prospect and the Rangers’ first. If that happens to mean parting with Callahan and Del Zotto, do the Rangers do it?

  37. i think you are correct bdl. i think the cherry was sathers best pick as our gm. maybe you can say hank, but who knew? i think they are gonna try and get as skilled a forward and pass on all d. they very well could probably trade some of the dmen we been stockpiling in order to get that skilled forward. ya know sather and mngmnt had huge plans for that kid, and it really messed the team up in more ways than we think. hey, i just hope whoever we pick, will be able to make the team in a year or so. i realize its hard to incorporate the prospects when we have no cap room and mostly drafted d men the last few years.

    mike- i forgot about ferraro. how bout louis leblanc? whats up with him mike? you know more than me about these guys. i mention kadri the other day but nobody seemed to like him

  38. alex b (the poster formely known as czechthemout!!!!) on

    tdchi —

    During the time that Betts has been injured,the P.k. has not suffered at all. Torts wants players on the PK who can put the puck in the net shorthanded. Betts and Sjo are not capable of that for the most part. If you get a chance, watch Grachev in the preseason. He is a threat to score on the PK almost every the time he gets a chance. That is the type of PK we need. The Flyers are a good example of what I would want the rangers PK to be.

    As for Z, watch him after he gets into the zone,he has no clue what do with the puck.

  39. tdchi- youre right on about cherry. that hurt us bigtime and sather now has alot to deal with in terms of bad contracts(his fault) and now, after cherrys death, only 2/3 nhl bound prospects. maybe 4 tops. hes gotta try his hardest to grab one of those top spots. and for duchene, yea, its either him or staal, and idk if hes worth it, but from what i hear about the kid, hes got a shot like sakics at the same age, and has high potential. cally could be maxed out for all we know. but still, you know what youre gonna get with cally. and i could live with that anyday of the week. plus we all know how sathers picks all turn out? its a very hard question to answer.

  40. alex b- for as many goals that we would score shorthanded(not many), betts and shoe would prevent alot more. pk is not when you try to score.

  41. we had the best pk in the league. what do you mean you want our pk to be like the flyers?? i’ll live with just killin the damn thing off. our pp is what we need to score on.

  42. nobody on the team knew what they were doin when they entered the zone. zherdev just made it look worse by tryin to puckhandle around 2-3 guys instead of just puttin the puck in the corner and chasin it like cally. hes a good passer though. i get what youre sayin though alex. he was out there doin his own thing most of the time. few times i seen him skate from hank all the way to the other goalie and make a good play. most of the time he started zigzaggin and lose the puck.

  43. Mike I like Kadri a lot but he’ll be gone around 9-11 most likely to Dallas or Ott. He’s a little small but whatever, he’ll grow.

    I just really hope the Rangers don’t pass on Ferraro because they’re afraid Chicken Parm Ray is still bitter over his ending in Manhattan or because Palmieri is a Rangers fan or something stupid like that (see Parise) but who knows.

    I don’t know anything about Leblanc his stats were in 60 games played 28 G 31 A 59 PTS and +7 with 78 PIM. This is what Shan Malloy from TSN.Ca says:

    “If Leblanc had faced tougher competition over the past couple of seasons, he might have ranked higher. That is not to say the USHL is not a good league, but he played midget prior to this season when he could have played junior. However, it is hard to fault a kid with the opportunity to attend Harvard on a scholarship and play for a good coach in Ted Donato. His hockey sense is good and Leblanc has little difficulty playing with other elite players. Leblanc makes smart quick passes and uses his linemates exceptionally well off the rush or on the power play. Although his quickness and agility are pretty good, his skating will improve even more once he gains strength. His shot is fast off his stick and has the accuracy to fool goalies one-one-one. Although Leblanc has not filled out his frame yetm he does play with a competitive edge and will throw checks to make plays. You have to appreciate his work ethic and hustle in the defensive zone – although he could make some better reads at times. Although there are concerns when a player drafted high goes to the ECAC, but he should be in good hands. He has the intangibles and intelligence you like in a player and should develop into a good pro.”

  44. onecupin69years and counting on

    During the 94 playoff run, Fischler covered the Isles and during TV interviews it was clear he hated the rangers, he never had a fair point of view .
    Until Messier and leetch walked into Fischler’s son’s hospital room, (his son was having a heart transplant)and brought the kid gifts (goalie equipment, he played goal) and a teary eyed Fischler publicly thanked the enemy Rangers on TV.

  45. Fischler

    I agree with most of what he wrote, but I’d absolutely keep Orr. Room can be made for him. It’s like owning a gun. You may never need it – but if there comes a time when you do, there’s nothing in this world that you’re gonna need more.

    I don’t share his love of Girardi. To me he is an average everyday D man of whom the league is replete with better folks.

  46. DanNYC – “Or Heatley can take Redden for a car ride….”

    That may be a little messed up to say but its still funny as hell

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