Happy Birthday!


The day of the NHL Draft is finally upon us, and I’ll post what I wrote for the paper today. There will be a ton of speculation, and Clark gives a few clues as to what the Rangers can expect tonight.


Gordie Clark’s work has been pretty much done for weeks.

The Rangers’ director of player personnel has been listening to nine scouts – three in Canada, three in the U.S. and one each in Sweden, Slovakia and Russia – debate the relative merits of hockey talent at every amateur level all over the world.

He has watched hours of film, talked to agents and held spirited meetings with his staff. Yet, when the NHL draft begins tonight at 7 and is shown live from Montreal on Versus, Clark (left) does not know who the Rangers will take with the No. 19 pick in the first round.

“This draft is more like waiting to see if someone we really like slips,” Clark said.

First off, the wish list. The Rangers have been looking for a playmaker since last year’s free agency. The team scored 200 goals last season, with only the Islanders (198) and Avalanche (190) getting fewer. The Rangers were seventh in the league with 2,658 shots on goal, but had the worst percentage (7.5), which means a lot of pucks missed their targets.

“There’s no question that we would love to have someone who could be a potential goal-scorer,” Clark said. “That would be our No. 1 priority.”

However, at No. 19, the Rangers don’t have a lot of control over the situation. If they chose to use the pick rather than trade it away, Clark’s options are completely dependent on what the first 18 teams decide.

So as Clark watches the draft board evolve tonight, Rangers general manager Glen Sather will be talking to other team executives about possible trades.

“Glen will come in and work the other GMs while he’s here,” Clark said. “He’ll say there’s a possibility of moving up, or even say there’s an existing player we’d like, and maybe we’ll make a trade.”

What makes that a little more realistic is the relative quality of the draft this year. Clark said the 2003 draft was a pretty rare event with its quality players, but this draft won’t have that kind of depth.

“There is no real Crosby in this draft,” he said.

Teams with the top 10 picks are pretty unlikely to trade, so what happens in the second hour of the draft could get interesting. It’s happened before. In 2005, the Rangers traded up to get Marc Staal, then a teenager.

“There’s so much more to go on in their lives, and our job is to project what they’ll be like when they are a man,” Clark said.

The draft is expected to last about three hours, and if all goes well, Clark estimates the Rangers need to be ready about 9 p.m.

But that is all beyond the research that Clark puts into approaching the draft.

“By Friday, it’s pretty much over,” Clark said.

UPDATE: This release just put out by the NHL.



TORONTO/NEW YORK (June 26, 2009) — The National Hockey League Players’ Association and the National Hockey League announced today that the Team Payroll Range established for the 2009-10 League Year, pursuant to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, provides for a Lower Limit of $40.8 million, an Adjusted Midpoint of $48.8 million and an Upper Limit of $56.8 million.

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  1. There are two sites mentioning a proposed deal sending Heatley to the Rangers, with the holdup being which defenseman Ottawa is demanding. Also, Phil Kessel to the Leafs a done deal.

  2. “with the holdup being which defenseman Ottawa is demanding”

    If they want Staalzy they have to take on a contract also!

  3. Why all of a sudden are the Rangers willing to include Staal in trade talks? Going into last season he was going to be a superstar D* a la Pronger. Now he’s being included as part of a package? Have Sather and Torts soured on him? Shaking head, trading budding youth again….

  4. A BIG NO TO STAAL GOING FOR HEATLEY. $ather is a moron but he would get absolutely skewered if he included Staal in any trade that didnt bring back a bonafide star. I like Heatley but i dont think he is worth it if Staal is going the other way.

    What happened to the bargaining power over OTT? They want and have to move Heatley soon or else they are paying him 4 mil. The NYR should hopefully be exercising a bit of leverage in this negotiation. Not a lot but at least a bit.

  5. Where's Pavelich? on

    Funny, Clarke’s work been done for weeks, Sather’s been done for three years…who is running this team, anyway?

  6. If they want Staal, I want Heatly and a good young prospect to replace him. Actually, I don’t want Heatly anyway.

  7. If there is a Hugh Jessiman, Sather will find him. I hear that Ferraro’s kid is a pretty gritty player, I know we need scoring, but at 19, you take what you can get.

  8. Leetchhalloffame on

    Fishsticks making all the moves – where the F is Sather?? We should be trading up to get Kassian.

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