No cards to report

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OK, we’re way past April. Way past May. On the way to July. And still no post-season report card. WTB?

Here’s the deal, and it’s honest to God.

I started doing report cards multpile times when the season ended, and each time I stopped and balled up whatever scratch paper I was using for notes, and winged it into the trash. And I deleted every post I began with the list of names on the Rangers roster when the season ended.

I’ll tell you why. Too many guys on the team would have gotten decent grades for a team that finished ninth in an awful conference. That’s just a fact, and it tells you all you need to know about the team you love. A good portion of the roster played as well as it is going to play. This, as currently constituted, is as good as it can get.

Understand? The elite goalie was pretty darn good for 82, and especially so in Game 82. The mega-scorer, whose only question was health, was pretty healthy and scored about as much as could be expected. The rookie D-man was sensational for a teen. The young veteran defenseman who is supposedly going to be a stud got better and better as the season went on. The young center did just fine, as did another rookie defenseman.

The fourth line, as it was at the end, exceeded all expectations and got tons of ice time (again: indictment on the roster). The waiver pickup played on the first line and quite well at times. Get the drift?

We all know what’s wrong with the roster. It’s bottom heavy. If the fourth and third lines remain intact going into next season, that’ll be just fine. If the No. 1 line and No. 2 line remain as those, without upgrade, then you can expect more mediocrity, perhaps another run at a playoff berth, and nothing more.

I asked John Tortorella on breakup day how careful the organization needs to be when evaluating the whole season, careful not to get too wound up in what happened the last few weeks rather than what happened the first 70 games or so.

“You’ve got to be careful here,” he said. “When you lose, you don’t just blow everything up and cause more problems for yourself. I have a number of things that I think we need to fix here. I think people (in the organization) are going to ask me about a number of other things to fix that I’m going to fight because I just don’t think they need to be fixed. I think you can cause more problems for yourself when you don’t get in and you say, ‘We’ve got to change this, we’ve got to change that.’ Sometimes it’s just execution.”

But the top needs to be fixed, obviously, and that might not be entirely possible this summer given the cap restrictions.

Going back to the non-report card, obviously some players had sub-par to awful seasons. You know the names. Redden, Jokinen will almost surely be gone by opening night (Jokinen sooner). Some of the junk was already tossed: Higgins, Brashear, Kotalik. I don’t know if Lisin gets another chance, but I doubt it. I don’t know if Prospal comes back. Or even Christensen.

We know, barring a big trade, that Dubinsky and Callahan, Staal and Girardi all will be back, and all got better as the season went on. Drury, if his contract was a third of what it is, is a good player and a decent captain. They like Rozsival more than their fans do. A lot more. Avery didn’t know which end was up, and that’s not entirely his fault.

So, yeah, most of the team, on a player-to-player basis, did just fine. But as a whole, it was mostly lousy. There just weren’t enough top-line players. And we’ve said that all along. For years, actually.

I disagree with the coach about it being just execution, though the execution of system — of forecheck, and of D-zone play, especially — could certainly stand improvement. The coach’s grade, by the way, would be in the group with Drury and those who weren’t good enough. I agree with him, that a lot of the players they had should come back. I agree they need to find some character players to add. And more youth.

But I don’t think this year a lot is going to change.

What do you think?

—————————————

For those of you who need hockey, who need Rangers hockey, and who need winning Rangers hockey … tonight’s MSG “Countdown” is “Rangers Game-winning goals.” Should be nothing but good news, right? The ends of good (maybe great) games. Should be a good watch. It’s on at 8 p.m.

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157 Comments

  1. fran June 15th, 2010 at 6:42 am

    CR

    I hate to bring this up, but Tim Connolly though a master with the stick, also turns out to be unusually brittle for a major league player. He has sent an awful lot of time in sick bay.

    __

    Fran

    Uh, I was just posting the ESPN insider in response to someone’s request. I want no part of Tim “Injury Scratch” Connolly.

  2. bull dog line on

    Girardi did not get better as the season went along. he is the same player he was 2 years ago. that is when he peaked as a player. he is what he is, and that is a far as he is going to go.
    If Staal remains the same poke checking ” reliable” DMAN he was this past season, can we finally say that is all he is going to be. we keep waiting for this ” potential” to come to the forefront, and all I see is a second pair, soft DMAN.
    the top 6 need an overhaul, and the D needs to get tougher.
    after all, they do have an ELITE goalie, the best non playoff goalie out there.

  3. Hockeyman Rangers on

    Carp do you anything would change if we had a owner that cared more about winning. And less about how he can make more money???

  4. I have to agree with the organization about Roszival, i still think the fans are too hard on this guy…agreed he needs to shoot the puck more-he definitely has a lack of confidence but hopefully another year removed from his hip injury helps him gain some more confidence….he played very well down the stretch….

    i know prospal loved playing in ny and would prob come back at a cheap price but if we want to get younger and give players a chance let him walk and let a kid prove himself in camp and earn a spot like MDZ did this year…..

    how many days until camp!

  5. bull dog line on

    Sid the Kid stats against the Rangers and SHUTDOWN Staal.
    6 games played, 8 goals, 6 assists, for a total of 14pts.
    who is it he is shutting down, Max Talbot?

  6. Bull Dog, I think you are being a little tough on Staal but I do agree that he is simply not as good as most people think he is and that he still has a way to go to become elite (our favorite word). I used to be a big Girardi fan but his progress has stalled (no pun intended). I think he’s gotten exposed with more ice time over the last 2 years. He is not 1st pair player. I think they will resign him but I would not give him anything over 2 years. If Blowszi made $3 mil instead of $5 mil there would be a lot less complaining about him.

  7. bull dog line on

    Tom,
    sometimes you need to let a man go, and that is what the Rangers need to do with Girardi, let him go.
    Staal has the famous hockey last name, so he has been given the great shutdown title before he has earned it. if his last name was Smith, he would be considered an average DMAN.

  8. Girardi is certainly replaceable and I would have no problem if they did, but I wonder if salary cap issues make that difficult.

  9. ZzZz NYR ZzZzllo " Bring on the season already!!! " … says Greg L. on

    Carp , why do the grades? I agree. Its the past. We can’t keep dwelling on last year cuz all its gonna do it remind us of GAME 82 in a frickin shoot out!!! I liked yer summary and Im gonna go with ya on this one and scrap the whole idea. Dam season ending so dramatically that just thinking about it gives me goose bumps of pain and agony.

  10. Carp
    What’s your take on Kovalchuk? If they eat Redden’s salary (let’s not debate IF, just assume it happens cause without that no need to discuss)that get’s them most of the way there on the cap. Let Girardi walk and you have just about enough cash to make it an even wash, if they structure the contract to around an $8 mil per cap hit.
    Do think they should go after him?

  11. About the grades-I don’t know how official these ratings really are…

    The team was good enough to make the playoffs, so I think they underachieved. But I do believe they will get better. Just by virtue of their young players maturing and producing more in terms of their different roles. Staal, I think will get better. He needs to figure out what exactly are his strengths, so does the management. Girardi has plateaued. But who do you replace him with? Any specific suggestions? It all depends on what contract he demands, if the money is reasonable, he should stay, if he demands too much, I’d wouldn’t hesitate and let him walk.
    Anything else would depend on who is available and by how much. I think that with good trades and assigning Redden to AHL, our cap situation isn’t horrible. What I wouldn’t like to see is them trading away anyone who is young and promising just to patch their holes up for the next season. The team has started to draft better. I am willing to wait, so, I’m sure, are most of the boneheads.

    One thing I can tell you for sure, no matter what happens, we will be back rooting for them.

  12. bull dog line on

    CG,
    I know its not my response you were looking for but, I would do it. he is still young, has a lot to prove and he is dynamic player. those are the kind of players that winning teams have right now. the kind of players the Rangers do not have enough of.

  13. Good morning all! Carp, that was a pretty dang good non-report card report card. And ilb, this is about the most accurate thing I’ve ever read anywhere :)

    “One thing I can tell you for sure, no matter what happens, we will be back rooting for them.”

  14. I agree bull. Rangers will never be bad enough to draft that kind of talent with a top pick. And that level of free agent (top ten in the whole league talent) is RARELY available on the free agent market or via trade (and a trade like that would leave a lot more holes in the roster).
    I would hope they find a way to make it work.

  15. Doodie Machetto on

    Carp, great post. Nice to see something of substance to break up the summer monotony. You timed it well. In a couple of weeks we get the draft, then free agency, and before you know it, we’re at prospects camp, training camp, preseason, etc.

    I agree with your post, but perhaps an interesting way of doing the report cards is one that would illustrate your “indictment of the roster” belief: Grade the players based on their roles on the roster. So, for instance, grade Dubinsky as a first line center, not for what you rightfully expect from Dubinsky. Grade Christensen the same way. Grade Drury and Jokinen as 2nd line centers. Grade Anisimov and Boyle as 3rd/4th line guys. Callahan as a 2nd line winger. Prospal a first-line winger. Avery as a 2nd/3rd line wing. MDZ as a PP QB. Grade Staal as a #1 shut down defenseman. Grade Rozsival as a 1st pairing defenseman and Girardi as a 2nd pairing guy. You get the idea. Pretty quickly, you’ll see that the only guys who were worth their mustard as far as what was expected of them in the organization are Gaborik, Lundqvist, Prust, Anisimov, and Shelly.

    That kind of a report card would be more interesting because it would point out the complete deficiency of our lineup.

    One last thing: just to clarify your thoughts on Prospal and Christensen, you aren’t including them as part of the garbage that has already been tossed like Higgins, Kotalik, Brashear, and Lisin not getting another chance, right? I think Prospal is a solid player to hang onto, but his price tag will probably just be too high. Same for Christensen, and with him knowing how his NHL career is on the border at this point, I think he can be had for very reasonable money. If anything, he’s shown that he is capable of playing at a good level, certainly more so than a lot of fringe NHLers we have had come through in the past couple of years (Greg Moore, Jason Krog, etc.). In other words, if there was an injury, I’d rather have him on hand to play 2nd line minutes than to promote someone like Prust.

  16. bull dog line on

    Doodie,
    interesting idea you had on the report cards. I agree with your comment about the guys who were worth there mustard, except for Anisimov. I am not sure about him. he was invisible for long stretches, and than boom, there he was.
    Dubi, I may have included in that pack because he was moved around from position to
    position, and missed 15 games and still produced 20 goals.

  17. Doodie Machetto on

    bull dog, the thing is, Anisimov was pencilled in on day one as a 3rd/4th line center. In that role, I think he was fine. Yes, he had a stretch of the season while the team was playing roster roullette where he was a bit underwhelming, but I think a lot of that had to do with the terrible linemates he was perpetually being stuck with.

  18. bull dog line on

    Doodie,
    I understand why you included him. I guess I am not sure what I think of him, is he just a third line player, or should we expect more. he shows flashes, then you don’t notice him again for games. probably part of having been a rookie.

  19. Doodie Machetto on

    I’m not talking about his future potential, just what was expected of his role this season. They did not expect him to be a top 6 forward this year, and as a bottom 6 forward, I found him to be adequate. Not exceptional, because he did disappear for stretches, but adequate.

  20. bull dog line on

    Do you think he has top 6 potential? I f he does that really fills a big need on this team,a quality top 2 lines center. where do you stand on Kovalchuk, Doodie?

  21. Doodie Machetto on

    I think he has 2nd line center potential but I do not think he will achieve that potential next year. He needs to work a little more on his play without the puck and his play in the defensive zone. Offensively, he needs to become a little bit stronger on his skates and work on his shot. I think his play-making and vision are pretty good right now, as well as his work ethic in the offensive zone. I think that’s why he worked so well with Prust and Shelly. He didn’t have to worry too much about contact, could work a good cycle with a couple of hard workers, and could find those guys with the puck when they went to the right places in the offensive zone.

    I also remember him needing to improve his faceoff ability, but I could be mistaken on that.

    I am against signing Ilya Kovalchuk because of how many holes this team has all over the roster and the poor salary cap structure of the team.

    What about you?

  22. bull dog line on

    I want Kovalchuk, salary cap be damned. the best teams have the dynamic players, the Rangers have 1, Gaborik, they need at least 1 more highly skilled player to even think about competing. the one big thing I like about Kovalchuk, is that he has a lot to prove, he should not be one of these money grab bust free agents. all he is going to cost is money.

  23. I don’t think grades need to be given out because I don’t think the grades will be fair. How many Fs will there be?

    Do you give one to a guy like Christensen? Wouldn’t you expect more than 8 goals and 26 points out of a #1 center? Don’t take into account that he was a waiver pickup. He was the #1 center. Did he play like a #1 center? No. F

    What do you give Drury? Wouldn’t you expect more than 14 goals and 32 points out of the team’s leader? Well, he plays decent defense and is decent on faceoffs. SO WAS BLAIR BETTS. You expect more from the team captain. F.

    I could go on, but you get my drift. I’ll bet there are people out there that would give these guys Cs and Bs when their play didn’t deserve it. So, forget the grades. We know how the team did (which is what matters most anyway) and that was not good.

  24. Doodie Machetto on

    It’s not the dollars now, it’s the dollars later. I think the term he is looking for is too much. I don’t want Kovalchuk for 10 million when he’s 37.

    They need to spend money rebuilding the defense instead.

  25. Unless they convince Dolan to spend the money on Kovalchuk, or any big ticket free agent for that matter, I’m afraid we’re stuck with Redden. I doubt Dolan will bury him in Hartford and eat the money unless there’s a monetary/cap need to do so. So signing Kovalchuk comes with the added benefit of improving the D by subtraction.

  26. bull dog line on

    Kovalchuk is still young, if you can stay away from the 10 year contract, say maybe 7 years. you are still going to get 5 prime years out of him. I think you take the gamble on him, the pay off could be to great to pass up.

  27. Doodie Machetto on

    GCBlue, I don’t know how much addition by subtraction there would be. Redden, as terrible as he is, is more overpaid than bad. I think he is currently better than Gilroy, Sanguinetti, Heikkinnen, and Potter. Now, three of those guys have more potential for improvement, but as of now, I don’t think it’s an improvement to replace Redden with one of those guys.

    I still think they should have signed MA Bergeron last summer. The guy is a great PP QB specialist. No doubt he will command a higher salary this year with his solid year for the Canadiens.

  28. Doodie Machetto on

    bull dog, I also question his heart. I think he would just be another player coming to collect a check and retire here.

  29. bull dog line on

    now Marleau fills a much greater need, but I would stay away from him. he is 30, so you might only get 2 or 3 prime years out of him, and would be stuck on the back end of the contract. the only way I would consider Marleau, is if you could get him on a 3 year deal. doubt Marleau would ever do that though.

  30. Carp

    That was an interesting analysis and for the most part I can appreciate what you are driving at, but it is more than just the performance of individual players.

    Much more. For example…the intensity effect of players who seem to all ( more as each game was played) take the easiest way out ( Those long passes from way way back that went no where near their target, and when they did..bounced off the blades? How about this playoffs?.I only saw in all those games, one pass bounce of a receiver’s blade. They made the long pass effectively..Rangers never came close, because there was no power behind them, nor accuracy. If it reached the general area of target, that was OK ( for the passer..he seemed satisfied….because next time he did the same thing. WHO? Rosz, Redden and DelZotto at first,,,,,everyone later on.
    2. No one with gumption to go to the net AND STAY THERE.

    This season past was an exercise in how NOT to play at the major league level, and as far as I’m concerned THE FAULT LIES WITH THE C O A C H I N G. Listlessness was the order of the day and their moves were so predictable, that it was a wonder they won as many as they did. Prust and the other guy (* I’m done in..his name escapes me, but you know who I mean)…they were a breath of fresh air to a team that was on life support. The dump and coast is not what we saw in the playoffs. ( Oh..and forget about matching up with the Flyers…their play is well beyond what Rangers have been icing. Unless something drastic happens I see a virtual
    repeat of last season…sorry to say.

  31. bull dog line on

    Doodie,
    thats one of the things I like about him is that he has a lot to prove. his heart has been questioned,and his play off production has been questioned. I think he would be hungry to prove everybody wrong.

  32. bull dog line on

    fran,
    I agree to an extent on the coaching. Torts tried to play safe is death, but he did not have the horses to do that. so maybe in the short term going to a more defensive system would have been wise, in the long term that would have just prolonged the Rangers from joining what is winning in the NHL now, and that is attacking and skill.

  33. Not sure why he gets a bad rap for his heart. If he was just about the money, he could have taken the Atlanta $10 mil and no pressure. I don’t think anyone gives him $10 mil for 10 yrs now (and I’m not saying the Rangers should either) but maybe he’s not looking at this as his last contract.

  34. I am for signing Kovy if it means Rozi/Redden are gone (Rozi at draft, Redden before training camp).

    Gaborik can’t do it himself and he’ll get hurt… AGAIN.

    WE NEED GOALS!

  35. Doodie Machetto on

    I think they should honestly just wait out the next two years until Drury and Rozsival are gone. Rozsi can probably be dealt before then to a team looking to cut salary because his cap hit will be higher than his salary and he is a serviceable defenseman. A team like Nashville would be a good fit for him. they are under budget constraints, and he would only be required to fill in a 2nd pairing role, at most.

    Once the $12 million from those guys is free, as well as the 6.5 from Redden, which you have to assume will be in Hartford by that point, the team can probably make a solid addition or two and be in a good place, considering our prospects would have had some more development time. You figure MDZ, McDonough, Staal, are all keepers, one of Sanguinetti, Heikkinen, or Gilroy will show us something, and we have good offensive prospects coming in Stepan, Kreider, and possibly still Grachev. We tank a couple of years and hopefully get another stud offensive prospect or an actual shut-down defenseman and we might be in a position to sign a couple of key free agents to make a serious run.

    Kovalchuk is just the kind of player that will cause our franchise to stall. He will add a couple of extra wins, enough to keep us from really improving through the draft. There was a point during this season where we stood a real chance of finishing 4th from last.

  36. Doodie Machetto on

    GCBlue, he turned down the money from Atlanta because he wanted even MORE money from them. They offered him 10 years 10 mil per. He wanted 12 years.

  37. Great post Carp. This team has enough role/character/grinder players but the top end talent is light years behind the top teams in the league both East and West.

    Just in the East the Pens, Caps, Flyers are better. The Sabres might not have a great player like Crosby or Ovechkin but their overall team talent is deeper.

    I think the Rangers match up with the Devils (with Parise as their elite forward) and the Senators (good talent but either aging like Alfredsson or underachieving like Spezza).

    If the Rangers fail to add premium talent either by signings or in house development, they’ll be passed by the likes of Tampa with Stamkos and Hedman and god forbid the Islanders if they ever get their ownership and arena issues straightened out.

    Certainly an emphasis has to be put on adding scoring talent. I would have been a bit insulted if I was Gaborik when Torts said he thought he needed him to be better in big games. Had Gaborik gotten better support during games 12-70 those last dozen or so games of the season wouldn’t have had to be “big” games. Better scoring will put less pressure on Lundqvist, allow Torts to feel more comfortable in giving him 15-20 games of rest and maybe even help forget some of the terrible contracts that will inevitably still be on the team (we won’t be lucky enough to extricate all of Captain Pizza and R&R). Having a team that can transition the puck out of their own end cleanly (a big issue for them last year) and maintain possession in the offensive end for sustained stretches will also alleviate some of the problems on D.

    Now, I’m not saying the personnel on the blueline are great, in fact I’d prefer to keep just Staal and Del Zotto out of the regular 6 or 7 guys from last year, but they’re stuck with at least one of R & R and Girardi will be probably be re-signed because he might give them a hometown discount and for economic reasons it’s better than giving up an extra million or two in cap space for an external option. The only problem is Staal and DZ are the only guys capable of playing as top 4 D, and with DZ you’re still going to entail some risk with him being a sophomore and more of an offensive defenseman. Girardi/Gilroy/who’s ever left of R&R are more 3rd pair guys. So the defense does have a similar problem as the forwards, not enough top end guys, too much average talent.

    If a lot of salaries can be moved, then Kovalchuk isn’t the worst guy to target. I kind of give him a mulligan for his time on the Devils. New team, new style and despite another strong regular season the Devils weren’t going anywhere this year again. They’re relatively thin down the middle, their defense player for player is very average they just play a great team style that works well in the regular season but as a whole they lack the extra gear to get it done in the playoffs. The mistake would be shedding just enough salary to sign him but then giving themselves no wiggle room down the road.

    A possible option however is to give him a Marian Hossa type contract. Lower the annual cap hit and deal with the tail end of the deal years from now. I think a lot of GMs that signed the 6, 7, 10 year deals figured there will be a new CBA that will allow for easier buy outs or some sort of salary/salary cap sharing down the road.

    Otherwise the current crop of FAs isn’t too enticing. Overpaying for Marleau and Plekanec wouldn’t be too smart either.

    If they could truly commit to rebuilding, then I’m ok with that. I doubt they will and the risk you run there is that you will have wasted Lundqvist’s and Gaborik’s best years on bubble teams. The post-lockout NHL is quickly becoming a young players league. I looked a while ago and saw that all but 2 of the top 20 or 25 scorer in the league this year were 30 and under. I think Alfredsson and Marty St. Louis were the only ones over 30.

  38. bull dog line on

    Doodie,
    I think he turned down Atlanta because he just wanted out of there. I would be for an all out rebuild, but in reality, the R angers would never do such a thing. and as CT put it, you risk wasting Hank and Gaborik in there prime.

  39. I agree bulldog. I think artificially pricing himself out of ATL was a way to come up with an excuse for him to leave. If I recall Kovalchuk or his agent was expecting the league max for salaries ($12MM I think). If Crosby/Malkin/Ovechkin/Datsyuk/Toews/Kane aren’t earning the league max then there’s no reason why Kovalchuk should be. Also not many teams have either the cap room in terms of dollars or roster spots or the actual team budgets to sign anyone for the league max.

  40. Kovalchuk’s salary, even if you remove Redden’s contract, would not allow any room to improve their defense. And that remains their biggest problem. With all the young talent in the minors, it’s much more likely to get help on the offense than defense. D takes much longer to mature. They should look into different alternatives to help their offense (Richards, Plekanec etc.)

    Fran, we’ve been mentioning their passing skills all season long. It’s tough to blame it on the coaching only. The passing as well as receiving, are the skills that should be prerequisite to playing at the NHL level.
    The next couple of weeks should be interesting. The buyout period started today, that will lay out what the teams are trying to target.

  41. I am not sure many of you know this, but Heikkinen signed a one year contract with a KHL team on May 21st. He is out of the equation.

  42. I have been saying for awhile that they just need to wait out the next 2 years until Drury and Roszival’s contracts are done. You hope that some of the young players develop during that time, then you use all the cap space you will have to bring in the missing pieces (hopefully there is a different GM at that point). In some ways, keeping Redden on the team for another year might be a benefit in that it prevents Sather from doing something stupid to mess up that future cap space.

  43. Priority Number One: a banger on defense. Enough said.

    ***

    When you’ve been a bottom 10 team in scoring but a top 10 team in preventing scoring for the past 3 seasons I don’t know if your top priority is a banging D. It is an area that needs improvement for the Rangers, no doubt about that, but scoring has been and will continue to be the main issue for the team.

  44. CTB- part their offensive ineptitude comes from poor defense: inability to clear the puck with purpose, poor decision making under pressure, poor passing ability. The forwards are pushed into helping deep in their own zone…Their defense easily crumbles under sustained forecheck. GA itself is a useful number, but it is just a number.

  45. brashear is not gone at least for cap purposes. so continue to add his $ 1 1/2 million in your analysis

  46. ilb, I understand their D has problems with transitioning the puck but that problem then is better fixed with puck movers not necessarily one crunching D. And even if they were to get a Volchenkov or similar player they would still be a below average offense. Ideally you have a couple of D that do a little bit of everything like Keith and Seabrook or you have a top 4 where each one excels in a particular facet like Lidstrom/Rafalski/Kronwall/Stuart for the Wings in 2008 or Gonchar/Letang/Orpik/Gill for the 09 Pens. Still, take away Kane/Toews/Byfuglien/Sharp or Crosby/Malkin/Staal or Zetterberg/Datsyuk/Franzen from their respective teams and you’re left with good D and little offense.

  47. The Rangers TOP PRIORITY should be to add a Top 6 Talent to the Roster next year. Crease-clearing D-man comes 2nd

    Via trade, Via Free Agency, Whatever.

    *In my perfect World…*
    The Rangers Trade Rozy, Trade/Bury Redden, Sign Kovy and sign Volchenchov, then round out the Roster with Wolfpackers

    *In Reality…*
    Trade for Sharp or Versteeg, Sign Exelby for depth, round out the Roster with Wolfpackers because R&R are still on the roster

  48. Meshuggah1902 on

    Why do the Rangers never sign there players before free agency starts, that way they go into it knowing what they need and what they have to spend? Anyone know why the stepan signing has not been anounced? Any news on McDonagh?

  49. Oh, plus I forgot to mention these priorities, somehow ….

    Get Brash’s 1.4 million off the books

    and sign a decent back-up to a .750 – 1 million dollar contract

  50. doodie, i think that’s what I was talking about. Grades-to-expectations. Guys like Prust and Shelley, Del Zotto and Gilroy, Callahan, Anisimov, Prospal, Christensen, Gaborik, Lundqvist, Boyle, Voros … would all get and deserve good grades. Your roster stinks if all those guys did as well as they could be expected and you still were under (actual) .500 and out of the playoffs in a terrible conference.

    Guys who failed, or got bad grades, obviously, Drury, Jokinen, Avery, Redden, Rozsival, Lisin. Dubinsky and Staal and Girardi, I would say, underachieved on the whole, but Dubinsky and Staal were markedly better at the end. Girardi was somewhat better at the end. Rozsival, too, I suppopse.

  51. GCBlue, I am not a CBA expert anymore. But it’s my understanding that Redden can’t come off the books until they demote him during training camp … so they can’t spend that money July 1.

    And I think Kovalchuk at $10M for many years is too much because of all the other big contracts. I don’t think they could do it if they wanted to do it.

  52. wicky (draft Dylan McIlrath in the first round!!) on

    Sorry if some of you had read these two reposts of mine, but I thought they were relevant to the current conversations:

    Hank can be an absolute awesome goalie with the right d men. His d men suck for him to be an elite. The fact remains you can have as many brian leetchies as you want, but without beukes or ulfies it means NOTHING to the goalie!!!!!! How many cups has fatso won in jersey without scott stevens? Leighton was a waiver pick up! How much better would hank be with coburn and pronger in front of him. There is not a goalie out there from juniors on up that doesn’t want a couple of banging nasty crease clearers playing in front of him (or her). It is a security blanket that every goalie wants and needs. Look at how much better AA played with prust and shelley. Way more confident. Same goes with goalies, everyone likes to have some beef backing them up. Right now our D corps is all veggie burger!!!!!

    if staal and girardi (gabby incident not included) play the way they have their whole careers (getting beat down by drummer boy semin from the caps not included for staal) and they are not your “toughest” or most physical d men, then I have no problem with them on the blueline. I mean if you have a couple of true physical d men back there and staal and girardi are you positionally sound guys along with a puck mover or two, then your blueline is A ok. Problem is staal and girardi are our “tough” d men and are nothing more than positionally sound guys on any other team.
    I honestly believe, with staal especially, that with the right vet guy (read experienced in the NHL) can help him develop into a physical hitting d man with an edge. Most here will not want to hear this, but staal would be on hell of a better d man if there was a pronger or sutton or witt or ulfie type on this team to show him how to do it. How is he going to learn that style? from rozy? malik? kaberle? seriously folks. Until he has that guy on the roster to learn from he is just going to be a “positionally sound” d man that we drafted in the first round with potential to be more.

    Have a good afternoon, back to work!!!

  53. I agree with the gist of what you’re saying wicky. Girardi I can live without, mostly because I think he’s a 3rd pair type player. He’s like your 4th/5th starter in baseball, 3rd/4th wide receiver in football, dime a dozen type guy. Staal isn’t going to be the most physical guy, but he’s more the player to diffuse plays and recapture the puck. I do think as he still grows he’ll add some snarl but some players have that nastiness about them naturally and some don’t. Still, the key point is that you need a good mix. As I said early, Wings in 08 and Pens in 09 had it. The Hawks D beyond Seabrook and Keith is adequate but not great. Their forwards helped take a lot of pressure off the D because they’re so good at moving and possessing the puck. The Pens this year had too many puck movers (Gonchar, Letang, Goligoski, Leopold) and only one stay at home guy in Orpik, not really the right mix.

    However, I do think there’s a huge difference between someone like Pronger and someone like Witt or Sutton. Even at this stage of his career Pronger is a force at both ends of the ice. As a D he does it all. He shuts down attacks with his reach and positioning and he intimidates with his hits and elbows. On the other side of the puck he can QB the PP and he makes great stretch passes from his own end. Witt and Sutton are plodding D, they can land the occasional big hit but they were also part of an Isles defense that has been among the worst in the league the past several years.

    Ultimately the Rangers need to round out both ends of their roster. The tough as nails defenders and the fancy scorers.

  54. Doodie Machetto on

    Carp, I think your grades are a bit off from what I was suggesting. I was suggesting looking at the position rather than the player. In other words, look at our first line center position instead of Erik Christensen. How would you rate his performance as a #1 center, not how did Erik Christensen do as a #1 center, bearing in mind it is Erik Christensen. 26 points in like 45 games from a #1 center is unacceptable. So Christensen gets an F as first line center. As you go down the roster, the only guys that get an A are probably Gaborik (first line wing), Shelly, Prust (4th line wings), and Lundqvist.

    I guess I’m splitting hairs; either way it shows that the roster stinks.

    Also, you’re right about the cap for Redden. His money is on the books until training camp. However, you are allowed to go 10% over the cap during the offseason prior to camp, which is just about Redden’s salary.

    Someone said it was important to get Brashear’s 1.4 off the books. It’s not happening. After last season, nobody wants him, ESPECIALLY at his salary. We’re stuck with his 1.4 this year, bottom line.

  55. So you’d have two first-line positions getting Fs. At least one first-pair D getting an F. Second line, across the board, would probably be Ds. Everybody else would be just fine for the most part, except backup goalie.
    That’s assuming the second line is something like Drury-Dubinsky-Callahan, and the third line is something like Avery-Jokinen-Prospal.
    Whatever. It’s all fantasy, and no matter how much you stir the chicken salad, it’s still made out of chicken carcillo.

  56. NYRanger4Life on

    Wicky – couldnt agree more. Unfortunately the brain surgeons running the team don’t understand it. Until Sather is gone, it will be the same old same old for the foreseeable futures. No bangers. No grit. No chance to let the Potters, etc….cut their teeth.

    Just Anders Eriksson’s.

  57. But his contract doesnt count toward the cap as long he is lighting up opponents for Hartford.

  58. Right, players that are 35+ at the time the contract is signed are part of the cap unless the player gets traded. Waiving them does not clear them.

  59. cr not true.

    brashear will count on the cap if in hartford. simple reason he signed multi year contract above age 35.

  60. i’m sorry, i forgot who asked if I thought things would be better if dolan didn’t own the team, or I guess the question was, if the owner cared less about the bottom line and more about winning … and that’s too chicken-egg. It’s moot right now. Because no matter who owned it right now, it’s in cap hell with a very mediocre roster.

    you could make an argument, of course, that it wouldn’t have gotten to this point if, if, if, if. …

  61. DC Rangerfan on

    Eklund reports the following rumor on his site….

    I have been holding off on reporting this one….obviously I have been insinuating it…

    It was first told to me as a speculative/theory about two weeks ago…but now I am hearing it from others as well..If nothing else it is interesting to say the least.

    Here is the scenario as it appears to be starting to come together.

    1. The Devils want to keep Kovalchuk.
    2. Martin Brodeur is not a given to keep playing much longer, and will be hired the second he retires to work in the Devils front office.
    3. Kovalchuk would consider staying if the Devils would go out and get Semin to play with him.
    4. Brodeur would agree to play one (possibly 2) years in Washington. Firming up their goaltending situation and making the Caps the HUGE favorite to win a Stanley Cup. Then he could return to work for the Devils, who would be in a much better situation.
    5. Semin is a great player, but the Caps are not opposed to moving him for Brodeur. Interestingly, the Caps signed him to a very short deal.

  62. WTB! So he is just a wasted $1+ million on our cap, in Hartford or on the Rangers. We may as well just keep him up and hope he can strike fear into opponents.

  63. Bwahahahahahaha!!!! Hacklund has hit an all time low!

    Anyway, don’t know if anyone has posted this. Kane took the Cup to Hollywood for some “clubbing”

    “The Cup was the ultimate wingman, as the 21-year-old NHL star — who scored the winning goal in the Stanley Cup finals, hoisted it over his head on his way into Industry nightclub.

    We asked Kane if he was gonna score chicks with the Cup — to which he simply responded, “I better.”

    USA! Love the Kane!

  64. CR, I don’t ever want to see Brashear on the ice in a Rangers uniform again. He is a revolting piece of carillo.

  65. CR9

    Clearly you weren’t watching the game where he dropped to his knees like a porn star after getting punched in the stomach!!

    In the stomach!!!! Where there is protection!!!

    This guy is a total bust. I’d rather keep Shelley, if he plays the way he did in the final few games. If we get the Shelley that looked depressed playing for NYR [rightfully so] then fugg it.

  66. Judging by that interview Sather gave recently, I don’t think we have to worry about seeing him on the ice again as a Ranger. We will see his cap hit though.

  67. Sorry Orr and Stan. He may be revolting, but he could be helpful to us by inflicting pain and instilling fear in opponents.

  68. Did you watch this season, CR??

    Hank still got ran over, Gabby still got hit hard, and we got bullied every night.

    Nobody is afraid of that old man. And he refused to stick up for his teammates throughout the season, probably out of spite because we all booed him every chance we had.

    Remember when Prospal got hit, and Gilroy stepped up and fought for him. Brash*t avoided that guy the whole night, and decided to fight the other guy, and he got beat up, and dropped by a punch to the gut.

    Brash needs a slap shot to the mouth. Better yet, McSorley needs to make a comeback, and go to the AHL!!!

    Hate him!

  69. Doodie Machetto on

    “Brash*t was the first Ranger player I have ever wanted to get beat up every time he dropped the gloves.”

    Ryan Hollweg for me.

  70. bull dog line on

    Wicky,
    I have been checking some mock drafts, and one guy has the Rangers taking your guy Mcllrath 10 overall. apparently the Rangers do like him. the other mocks I saw had them taking a center named Ryan Johansen. I want Brett Connoly.

  71. DOODIE

    Really?? I liked him before he screwed us in the playoffs, but we didn’t see him with NYR after that.

    He’s one of the dumbest players in the last few years. I mean, every game he was either getting the carp kicked out of him, or he was boarding someone.

    Or pissing on a girl in a bar ;)

  72. Doodie Machetto on

    Yes. He had no talent and was just a liability with his constant boarding penalties. He didn’t even need a stick to play. He added absolutely nothing to the team. To top it off, he couldn’t punch himself out of a wet paper bag. I hated him.

  73. Was he not just resigned to a new contract? I remember the game against the Flyers a couple of years back. He scored two goals in a row. One of them went in off his butt. The Rangers were up 2-0 and promptly lost 6-2, if I remember correctly.
    By the way, Brashear’s cap hit will be $1.3 mil if he remains in Hartford. They save $100K. Enough to order a few new sticks lol.

  74. Good evening all! Despite my earlier bum-outed-ness (wow, that’s a greg kind of word) it’s lovely to see some real rangers talk here today!

    Carp, you got forced into a grade after all, huh….love the immortal question, if….

    Bye Bye Marty! One can only hope :)

    as for this exchange:
    “Brash*t was the first Ranger player I have ever wanted to get beat up every time he dropped the gloves.”

    Ryan Hollweg for me.”

    I will never tell you who my first one was :) I’d get killed here so badly, no amount of admin control could save me!!!!

  75. Doodie Machetto on

    Mama, judging from that, I’m going to guess it was someone big… like one of the ’94 four.

  76. It better not have been Esa, Mama! Better not! If you say Ed Olcyzk, I’d be okay with that.

  77. I still cant believe we got a 5th round pick for useless Ryan Hollweg.

    Seriously, you gotta admit Sather knows how to pull off a trade

  78. Maybe Sather can convince HOTlanta to take Brashear for a 5th round pick???

    Even if they have no use for him, his 35+ contract helps them get to the Cap floor that is expected to go up about 1.5 million next year ….. Coincidence, I think not???

  79. Imagine a Rangers Team where we had Kovalchuk and Volchenkov for literally the same price as Redden, Rozsival, and Brashear ….

  80. Speaking of Brashear…Montreal bought-out Laraque…we should pick him up, give him 2 year 4mil deal and send him to Hartford!

  81. CCCP …

    So do you think that opens up a spot on their roster for an even older fighter who doesnt drop the gloves anymore??? Where’s Eklund with the E5 on that juicy rumor??

  82. Slats should call Gainey to see if he wants to trade for Brashear… I bet Montreal got few more promising prospects to give up for our garbage.

  83. good to see Dylan McIlrath (the Rath of Dylan) being mentioned as our first pick but he’ll probably win the Lady Byng with us!

  84. Well, then….Mama, it BETTER NOT be Jaromir. Do you understand me? Better not be the Jaro! Better not!

  85. btw, shame on you regulars. If you’d paid attention to mama, as you always should, you’d have guessed who (maybe 2?)

  86. Doodie Machetto on

    It’s clearly Avery then. In which case, I would support you, not be angry. I can’t stand that litle jerk.

  87. wicky (draft Dylan McIlrath in the first round!!) on

    I would really like to see us get hedberg as hank’s back up.

    As far as centres go, I really would rate my preferred choices in order as…….richards, marleau, lombardi (not in the class as the other two, but man with his wheels and gabby….interesting).

    i’d like us to trade AA or dubi to LA for jack johnson. I wouldn’t mind adding max lapierre somehow (maybe we can trade brash for him). Pouliot would be another guy i’d be interested in adding with size and scoring touch. maybe colby armstrong. Too bad holmstrom resigned with the wings, he would have been great.

    On D, there are some less expensive physical guys like valabik, tollefsen, and exelby (a bit more expensive). Obviously to me volchenkov is a no brainer. Ideally, drafting mcilrath would be uber smart (probably why it won’t happen). I still think witt is a great fit, but his contract is high (that deal with the isles earlier this summer still makes me think). With slats, you have to think the trade for souray is still lurking.

    I just don’t think kovy will sign here and not sure I would want him especially at 10 mil per season.

    Just random thoughts on possible roster changes that probably won’t happen!

  88. Tank The Season on

    I want no part of Kovalchuk or Marleau. If those guys have proven anything in their careers it is that they are NOT winning players.

  89. onecupin70years on

    I don’t care who coaches, who they sign ,who GM’s .. it’s one cup in 70 years !! Its in the genes.

  90. wicky (draft Dylan McIlrath in the first round!!) on

    been up since 0400 so good night all!!!

    night john boy!

  91. just seems like he wanted a crease clearing tough dman. now he’s up to 3 of them plus several tough wingers. seems to have a blood lust.

  92. let kovalchuk go to russia..

    marleau only at the right price no more then 4 years and that will never happen.

    they have some good young players that should improve and more on the way, that is the way to go…

  93. CR9 – I thought the same about Brashear at the start of the season and he did his damnedest to prove me wrong. He was a lumbering oaf who fought no-one of importance and instilled no fear in the opposing team or inspired no enthusiasm in his teammates. He is gone, AHL or otherwise, unfortunately his cap hit remains unless he can be traded or someone picks him up on waivers. Voros will be gone somehow too, Weise seems to be a better, younger, cheaper version and Prust and Shelley seem to be well favoured to return.

    I would like to know where they see Anisimov fitting next season? does he get 2nd line duties or maybe even 1st?
    Will they sign Christy for 1 year with a view to Stepan making the team the following year and Anisimov also moving up the depth chart?

  94. Good morning, boneheads!

    Was looking for more news about McDonagh, couldn’t find any. But if it’s true, great news. That makes Gomez’ trade well worth it.

  95. So the final tally of the Gomez trade:

    – his $7+MM cap hit gone
    + Gaborik’s $7 MM signing
    – Higgins and Kotalik’s combined $5MM cap hit or in the form of Jokinen (assuming he’s not re-signed)
    + controllable mid to high ceiling D prospect

    So in essence you net out +$5MM in cap space and a solid prospect. Now that trade and the Calgary trade were clearly CYA moves, but they really helped in the end.

  96. Oh, yes, I did yesterday. I had to wait 40 mins at a AT&T store because Apple and AT&T sites failed.

  97. I got through eventually at 9pm last night. We need to get that thing for all the ‘heads, so we can do video conferencing.

  98. sign michalak from phoenix a poor mens volchenkov and at half of what volchenkov will get. also i would like to bring in a joe corvo for pp help with del zotto on the point. btwn those 2 u could get them for the price of volchenkov.

    any thoughts.

    i also like colby armstrong up front. dont break the bank. this fa class is not deep. dont overpay

  99. I was telling to associate at the store that I bet tomorrow you will able to get through on the website with no problem. I guess everyone just wants to be “first”, kinda like a blog :)

  100. “telling to” = “telling the” or “talking to”

    Couldn’t make up my mind.

  101. I hope I don’t get Carp’d BUT

    I was watching the countdown last night on MSG and after Matteau scores, they celebrate, they show Keenan yelling what looks like if you read lips “Edzo” and then he hugs Eddie O… who knew that horrible nickname has been around for that long!

  102. How far back are we talking?? Is it Holik ???

    I really like the idea of bringing in Z. Michalek. I was hoping he was part of the trade package when Prucha, Kalinen and Dawes went to Phoenix for Morris.

    If we do manage to get rid of R&R this summer it would be smart to bring in 2 Veteran D-men to replace them on the roster (so Corvo and Michalek could work), and use the last spot for a rookie to get some time

  103. Obviously any Veteran D-man we sign this summer should be on a 1 year deal since we have about 2-3 rookies looking to make the jump any year now

  104. I was around Eddie O the whole time he was a Ranger and we’re still friendly, and I never heard “Edzo” until the NBC/Versus folks decided to put a non-stop talker between the benches.

    Sorry about no post yet. Maybe later. I’m hoping to speak with Gordie Clark this afternoon if I can fit it in.

    I think I know Mama’s secret. But I’m not telling.

    Good morning, Sally! How was the 2-4-1?

  105. Doodie Machetto on

    From a story about the Preds signing Blake Geoffrion:

    “Anybody can play one game in the NHL, but what we’re looking for here is a career, and that’s what Blake wants,” general manager David Poile said.

    Really? Anyone? I’d like my one game please.

  106. plus I didn’t want to carp Jason.

    My friend’s eight-year-old came up with this one:

    How do you wake up Lady Gaga?

    … Poker Face

  107. UK – Agree with your take on Brash.

    Since Mama is only 30 years young, she has to hate a recent Ranger…and since Jaromir never dropped the gloves, Im going to guess Scott Gomez.

  108. Anybody know anything about Riley Sheahan (6’2 – 202lbs) for the upcoming draft??

    Was ranked 5th in the midterm rankings and fell to 22nd by the final rankings.

    Was there an injury ?? Im always curious how somepeople drop that many spots (barring injury)

    Might be a nice 2nd round steal ??

    Scouting report says:
    “He’s so mature for a kid his age — I’m overwhelmed with that. He’s equally good in all three zones and goes to the front of the net. He’s very conscious in the defensive zone and down behind the net in the defensive corner — he makes certain his team isn’t outnumbered. In the neutral zone, he makes all kinds of things happen but will get back and turn a transition if needed.”

  109. wicky (draft Dylan McIlrath in the first round!!) on

    I love these original names of posters now!!!

    maybe
    I did not really mean to sign all of them at once just thinking outloud if you will for options. We have to have one for sure and I really think 2 is the best way to go.

    somerset
    what 2 or 3 rookies looking to make the jump? I’m just curious.

    CCCP
    thanks for blabbing about my night job!

  110. wicky (draft Dylan McIlrath in the first round!!) on

    Does anyone know if semin is going to be available form the caps???? I still can’t believe he beat staal in a fight.

  111. WICKY …

    If McDonagh signs I would say he could be a late season call up this year and almost a Rangers definite next year.

    Plus you have Sangs, Potter, and Sauer all chomping at the bit to make the jump for good

  112. wicky (draft Dylan McIlrath in the first round!!) on

    somerset
    thanks, I wasn’t sure. I haven’t seen any of mcdonut (thanks orr) so not sure how he plays. The other guys haven’t really impressed me with what I have seen (opinions vary). We need physicality back there and none of them really seem to have it, but maybe I just haven’t seen enough of them. Kind of like the byers thing, I mean everyone said he is going to be awesome and I saw him get in 2 fights at the NHL level and lost both.

    Is valentenko still in our system? What kind of d man is he?

    Thanks

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