Kovalchuk? Or not?


I’ve banged the drum enough about the pros and cons of Ilya Kovalchuk’s free agency. There are some pros. But …

First of all, he’s way more Amar’e Stoudemire than LeBron James. In other words, he’s in the upper crust of NHL players, forever playing in the All-Star game, probably a Hall of Famer one day, but not even in the conversation of best player in the game. Yet, like Stoudemire, he will demand the same type of money as the best player.

And yes the Rangers — who are not interested — really need offensive players. And there isn’t another one of these around this year, and probably won’t be next year.

But …

If it’s true that he’s turned down 12 years at $63.6 million (as Larry Brooks reported) from the L.A. Kings, who could contend for a Cup, then what would it take for a non-contender like the Rangers to get him?

Assume it would be more than that. Also assume it would be a lot more, since he turned down around $10 million a year from Atlanta. Let’s say, conservatively, it’s $8 million per. So when the Rangers boot Wade Redden to Hartford in September, they have the cap space for that with some relatively minor roster tweaking. Plus the Garden has all this extra cash sitting around since LeBron decided to go south.

Assume they feel Kovalchuk can be a big-game player, and a team-carrying guy.

Assume they decide that they don’t need a playmaking center more than another gunner, not to mention any of their other plethora of holes, and think, hey, maybe we should go after this guy (they won’t).

It will still take a 10-year comittment, at the least. This guy is 27. How is that contract going to look when he’s 34, 35, 37?

I’ll tell you how it’s going to look. It’s going to look worse that Redden’s or Chris Drury’s. That’s how it’s going to look. Especially if he turns into a 30-goal scorer later on.

They’ll be in cap hell, and if the world doesn’t end in 2012, then it will be 2018 and we’ll all be screaming “How could they have handcuffed this franchise like this way back in 2010?”

And we’ll be talking about One Cup in 78 Years.

And no end in sight.


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  1. Gift of GAB-orik ( Proudly re-signing with Boneheads! ) on

    so close…. yet so LeBron. Oh wait… we’re not talking about that anymore…. i’ll rephrase.

    So close, yet so Redden.

  2. “They’ll be in cap hell, and if the world doesn’t end in 2012, then it will be 2018 and we’ll all be screaming “How could they have handcuffed this franchise like this way back in 2010?”

    And we’ll be talking about One Cup in 78 Years.

    And no end in sight.

    Again.”….they’ll be there without him with this gm, so it’s got a chance to be better with him than without him. They could win a Cup in a couple of 3 years with Lundqvist, Gaborik, Staal, Kovalchuk, and their core.

  3. Gift of GAB-orik ( Proudly re-signing with Boneheads! ) on

    There was an article in the NY Post…. citing reasons that Dolan and the Rangers should go after Kovalchuk.


    The longer this thing goes on…. the stranger it gets. Who the heck knows what’s going on in the executive suites at MSG. Or in the Dolan compound in Nassau.

    Trying to take the sting out of losing… you know who… maybe they try to get Kovy. We’ve beat this to death though… so i’m leaving it at that.

  4. with that reasoning why would any team want him. You can always buyout, trade, or waive players. Start with the biggest cap mistake ever, REDDEN. He’s the #1 problem.

  5. Gift of GAB-orik ( Proudly re-signing with Boneheads! ) on


    i agree with you that the Rangers issues go higher than the team on the ice. Yea, the roster is an issue… but certainly not bigger than the guy who is putting the roster together year after year. The deals we’ve made, or haven’t made due to various cap issues and contract snafus. I have ZERO confidence that Slats knows how to put a good team together. This isn’t Edmonton circa 1984. He can’t ride that train anymore just like we need to get over 94. It was over a decade ago. Time to forge some new memories. One that puts Sather in the PAST.

    9 losing seasons from the Knicks in a row, 10 years of mediocrity from the Rangers, with what was it, 6 years of no playoffs? I can only wonder if Dolan wasn’t a millionaire from cablevision and newsday… if he’d stand for this crap if he was JUST the owner of the teams.

  6. I’m so on the fence about this. I read Brooks’ article this morning, and my first reaction was, “You’re crazy, Larry!” But he makes a very good point about top-end talent making it to free agency. It just doesn’t happen very often. I think the Rangers got lucky with Gaborik in that his injuries made him high risk. I still think it was a great move last summer, but how often is that going to come around? While they’ve got Lundqvist and Gabby on this team, they’re not going to be finishing in dead last to get a number one pick, either. So where else are they going to get a high end player? Make a trade with a team like Chicago or Pittsburgh IF that option is ever available. So, what do you do? Do you sign Kovy for a lifetime contract like the Devils offered so his cap hit is less than 7 mill and hope that a player like Derek Stepan can step in next year and dish it to Kovy and Gabby better than anyone else they have? Or do you hope that Gabby is still game-breaking enough in 3 years and build a legitimate cup-contender that way? I think it’s a crap shoot either way.

  7. FYI – if you look at what Brooks said about the Devils’ offer, 17 years for over $100 mil, front-loaded so he gets 100 mill in the first 10 years (assume, say, 10 mill over the final 7), you’ve got a cap hit of 6.47 (less than Redden’s). Now, I think that would come off the books when he retires, right?

  8. Gift of GAB-orik ( Proudly re-signing with Boneheads! ) on

    Chris, yes it would. Though i doubt NJ’s 17 year contract gets approved. The NHL wasn’t crazy about the DiPietro contract.. and took issue with Hossa’s front loaded deal. Trying to snake around the CBA… not long before that loophole is closed i imagine.

  9. GAB – Dolan doesn’t care if the Knicks and Rangers are doing well. Because of the team’s location, he still makes plenty of money every year. Too many businesses that buy tickets for every game (especially the Knicks). If you want to see his attitude towards winning change, then all of the fans need to stop supporting the team. That’s the only way, and NY is too big a market for that to ever happen.

  10. Here’s a better question, tony. How much would you be willing to eat into cap space for Kovy?

  11. Not a penny more than Gabi gets, and no more than 6 years. He can make back the difference in off-ice deals. Either he appreciates the opportunity or he doesn’t. I’d like him in Blue if he’s willing to fit.

  12. dont you guys ever learn…spending money on a bunch of top free agents doesnt work…

  13. No question he’ll make us a better team. But like the Carp said, we’ll be paying for many years with no cap space.
    I don’t think anybody will give him what he wants. Well many the Knicks. He should have taken the 100 mil from Atlanta.

  14. oleo, there’s a difference between getting top end free agents and selling off your young talent to get free agents. That is, at least, one thing that Sather has not been doing for the last few years. The young guys are still in the system (at least the ones that are good enough to make the team). Think back to what the Rangers did both in the off season and during the season to win the Cup in ’94. They brought in who they had to (granted, they were the right moves). A guy as big and skilled as Kovy is, in my opinion, better than Marian Hossa, and bordering on Jagr-like. Thoughts otherwise?

  15. If Gaborik gets hurt, this is a lottery team. This team needs GOALS. It needs Kovalchuk.

    Plus, if it’s a 17 year contract, there will be new CBA’s well before then with cap increases/decreases and amnesty buyouts.

  16. and how will you be able to resign those free agents (Callahan, Dubi, Anisimov) next season when you have to pay Kovalchuk as well improve A LOT of other parts of the team.

    signing kovalchuk might not even be enough to get us into the playoffs this season considering we have 2 defensively challenged kids in MDZ and Gilroy and another rookie in McDonagh back there.

  17. Drury and Rozsival will be off the books in two years. Redden will keep being dumped to the minors. That’s a lot of space to sign Cally/Dubi/Ani, and then you’ll have the other players on entry-level deals.

    Signing Kovy makes us a contender immediately, assuming Hank stays healthy.

    TBH, one of Cally/Dubi will be traded next year, probably because of Dubi holding out and I love Cally, but he’s replaceable. Assuming all goes well in GM land, we could have a lineup like this in a couple years:

    Grachev – Anisimov – Gaborik
    Kovalchuk – Stepan – MZA
    etc etc etc

  18. Carp,
    You are an Oracle, and maybe the first one in the history of Mankind were an offering is not required, before the message.
    Thanks for keeping us sane in a crazy ranger fanatic ny hockey Space.

  19. I agree, oleo. Build a core first, even it means taking your lumps for another year or two. Then go get free agents to complement that young core.

    Nobody in the history of hockey, I don’t believe, ever bought the core of a Cup winner.

    Even the ’94 Rangers, who brought in all those ex-Oilers and ex-Blackhawks, had a home-grown core first: Leetch, Richter, Amonte, Weight, Kovalev, Patrick, Sandstrom, Turcotte, Granato, Marchant, Mallette, Zubov, Nemchinov, Karpovtsev. Then traded a bunch of those parts for Nicholls, Gartner, and eventually all the old Oilers and Blackhawks.

  20. he is 27 or 28 years old.

    If we lock him up for 6 years AND subtract Redden’s salary, this would be terrific AND it makes us a cup contender. Why?

    1. Add in 50 goals
    2. Take pressure of Gabby
    3. Young guys take natural step forward
    4. Lundqvst improves even more with rest
    5. We are tougher
    6. We had a GREAT defense next year which IMPROVES sans Redden.

    When we make the playoffs GAMES can be stolen. Philly showed that again. Lundqvst CAN steal big games; especially if he is rested.

    We could end up 3 or 4 in the East and anything can happen once in.

    It would be a great signing for us if we can limit it to 6 years.

  21. Gift of GAB-orik ( Proudly re-signing with Boneheads! ) on

    Kovy on team > Kovy not on team
    Kovy on team Cap issues for future
    Contenders for years > 1 cup
    Kovy = Greater chance to compete for cups.

    Argument= SQUAT, cuz he’s not coming anyway. Just another pipe dream.

  22. Absolutely go for Kovi. Who cares about the cap later on?!!!

    MSG has more money than God and if 5 years from now they are handicapped, they can dump him and his salary cap just like Redden will be dumped.

  23. TheRealMikeyNJ on

    no to lebron kovalchuk

    Hwo many years do we have to coplain about buying stars and watchingit not work

    Rather take our lumps again this seasoin and let the rookies play, build our core , have cap sapce

    Forget the primadonna

  24. One more thing. They went for Gomez and Redden and because they were busts they now won’t go for the real deal. that’s insane.

  25. Regarding the rookies, Kovi is just one player. The Rangers can still build their core and Kovi wants to win so bad he can taste it. This is not Niki Zherdev we are talking about.

  26. Gift of GAB-orik ( Proudly re-signing with Boneheads! ) on


    you make a great point. When i look back on last season, as mediocre as we were at times… how many games did we lose by 1 goal? How many 30+ save efforts from Hank were wasted cuz we couldn’t score? *18 games lost by 1 goal last season.*

    too many times last season a lack of offense cost us points. if we had better offense, and won half of the 18 games we lost by 1 goal, we would have had 18 more points, and been contending for the division title.

    i know alot of things could have happened… but offense certainly helps. Kovy can help.

  27. exactly Carp

    someone please explain then how the Rangers will be able to resign Callahan, Anisimov and Dubinsky and still bring in additional complimentary players to make us a true contender and fit all that under the cap.

    you guys make it seem like the Rangers with Kovalchuk would be a division winning team, we would still have to wait 2+ years until our prospects are on the team.

  28. Why do I get the feeling Kovalchuk doesn’t want to play for the devils. Apparently the devils have had the best package on the table and yet he hasn’t signed.

  29. Seamus, yes, if you can get him for six years, by all means. But he’s not coming for six years unless the money’s ridiculous, and I don’t think the Rangers can maneuver the cap enough to give him ridiculous money.

    If he wants 10 years, bye-bye.

  30. I’ve been saying not to Kovalchuk all along. He’s going to want too many years at too much money even with Redden in Hartford. He’ll be hogging all the cap space where we could be plugging holes on a dismal Rangers team.

    Make Bobby Ryan an offer sheet!

  31. Here is a quote from Spector’s hockey which I agree with him, haven’t ranger fans learned enough with paying high salary to a star.

    SPECTOR’S NOTE: Didn’t we discover during the last CBA that the Rangers efforts to bring in top talent inevitably failed to make the team a playoff club? And isn’t the Rangers more pressing need right now is a quality center for Marian Gaborik’s line? If the Rangers actually pursue Kovalchuk by burying salary in the minors to free the cap space to sign him it would seriously handicap this team for years to come whilst doing nothing to address the Rangers actual roster needs (a top line center and a skilled puck-moving defenseman). I’m not knocking Kovalchuk here, merely pointing out he’s not what the Rangers need.

  32. Can anybody tell me, in the history of free agency under the last two or three or four CBAs, how many offer sheets have been tendered to RFAs?

    What is it, five, 10?


    Because it’s a waste of time. The rights holder matches.

  33. Gift of GAB-orik ( Proudly re-signing with Boneheads! ) on


    what he fails to mention in that post, is the salary required for Kovy(or at least close to it) is the same salary it would take for a top line center, and puck moving D man. Acually… that could conceivably be MORE than signing Kovy. That would handicap us just as bad.

    EC is skilled enough to play with Gabby. He is not a legit #1 guy, but he’s who we have, and what we’re going with. We also have some talented kids in our system, both at Center, and on D.

    So Ek can kick rocks with his crap and ‘insight’.

  34. Gift of GAB-orik ( Proudly re-signing with Boneheads! ) on

    my apologies… Spector… not Ek.

  35. Murray has openly said he’s going to match any offers and $5million cost way too much compensation. We going to have to stick with this team and make a trade deep in the season with “Reds” captaining the Wolfpack.

    The kids like Grachev are going to have to crack the lineup.

  36. i really dont understand why so many people here are so impatient and think there is a quick fix.

    If the Rangers make the playoffs it will happen b/c of the huge strides made my the young players, not b/c John Madden was signed, Ilya Kovalchuk scored 50 goals or the Rangers got a top line center this offseason.

  37. Gaborik is going to have to be healthy for the playoffs that’s for sure. We can even afford Lundqvist to miss a bit of time with Biron.

  38. Off the Kovi topic and onto something as likely..

    if Im Donald Brashear,im workingout running on the treadmill,Im getting my blood spun by ARods DRs,with intentions of tuning up every guy in training camp,starting with Prust and Boogaard,then im looking to beat McIlrath into a hugh jessiman-like state of effectiveness.

    barring some Sather shenanigans Brashear will be at camp no?
    just thinkin..

  39. DarrenDreger

    In an effort to squash whatever Bobby Ryan trade rumours still exist. Ducks gm, Bob Murray wants the spec to end. He’s not trading Ryan.

    about 3 hours ago via UberTwitter

  40. Gift of GAB-orik ( Proudly re-signing with Boneheads! ) on

    bringing Kovy in as a rental and losing young players is a quick fix(a la NJ) signing him to 6 years is not. That’s an investment in your future. Artie or Grachev with Kovy? could be nice to see. but we won’t.

  41. That’s a good point, Carp. I remember when the Rangers tendered an offer sheet to Joe Sakic – front loaded with, what I think, was a 12 mill signing bonus, thinking that Colorado couldn’t afford the signing money to match it. I was actually excited about it, but Colorado STILL matched it and the Rangers were left with nothing but spinning wheels.

  42. “Kovy on team > Kovy not on team
    Kovy on team Cap issues for future
    Contenders for years > 1 cup
    Kovy = Greater chance to compete for cups.”

    Sounds a lot like Washington’s thinking for trading for Jagr.

  43. Gift of GAB-orik ( Proudly re-signing with Boneheads! ) on

    From a NY Post article when the Devils traded for Kovy.

    The Devils GM didn’t say so, but his players believe Lou Lamoriello declared his pursuit of his fourth Stanley Cup with Thursday night’s rental acquisition of Atlanta’s Ilya Kovalchuk, the NHL’s top-since-2001 goal-scorer.
    “We felt Kovalchuk was a player that could come and fill the need we felt we had with reference to an explosive scorer, someone who could add a different dimension to our power play with his type of shot,” Lamoriello said.

    The trade did not address the Devils’ issue of adding an offensive center ”

    did not address the issue of adding an offensive center… gee that sounds familiar!!

  44. Gift of GAB-orik ( Proudly re-signing with Boneheads! ) on

    Jagr put the Rangers on his back, and carried them to the playoffs. a few complimentary pieces… but when Jags got hurt against the Devs… we were totally sunk.

    No Jagr= No playoffs.

  45. Rangers – (Redden + Brashear) + Kovalchuk = 6th place at best.

    thats how much work this team needs…

  46. Does IK make the Rangers a better team? Yes
    Are they more fun to watch? Yes
    Does he put the Rangers over the top now or within the next few years given all the other unknowns???
    No, not now.
    He provides a potential window of opportunity at a very high price when there are too many other questions.

    Does Staal become a top tier shut down guy?
    Does the necessary secondary scoring emerge?
    Do Hank and Gabby stay healthy until the other guys are ready??
    Do they develop the grit to make the long run that winning the Cup requires?
    Will we have the space to resign some of the core players once we’re ‘ready’?

    What he will probably do is screw up your cap structure for a long time. Been there done that.
    He’ll seriously hinder your flexibility to fill a need come an injury or when you really now what that final piece is.

    Do you sell your soul to win the Cup?- Yes

    Do you do it on a coin flip chance?- NO

  47. Are the Rangers even obliged to invite Brashear to training camp? Given Sather’s recent comments, I can’t see what there is to be gained by his attendance.

    Carp – I’d only argue offer sheets under the current CBA are relevant, as without a cap, the downside of matching was even less significant. Clearly, still a lot of GMs too afraid to upset their counterparts by doing it anyway – plus, as I listed on the last thread, I think there are 12 teams this year who simply can’t sign anyone (for a cap hit over $4.6m) that way because they don’t own the picks needed for compensation.

    Top of my head, offer sheets tendered post-lockout:

    Hjalmarsson (TBC)
    Penner (Ducks let him walk)
    Kesler (matched)
    Vanek (matched)
    Backes (matched)
    Bernier (matched)

  48. onecupin70yearsand counting on

    Long term contracts are awful, but, the rangers aren’t even going to get a sniff at the 1st pick anytime soon , so they will always be looking for a trade or a UFA for improvement.

    Unless they step in sh_t and draft players who become stars they will remain mid pack and mediocre.

    They should attempt to sign Kovalchuk, but not for life.

  49. I say, get Kovalchook.

    Who cares! Maybe if we sign Chook, then that means both Dredden, and Blowzy are rubbing each others back after a hard fought game in the AHL.

    Sounds good to me! Minus the back rub!

  50. LW-

    Interesting points on your post regarding the offer sheet stuff, I’m not concerned that we are going to lose Staal but I was curious to see who thought a 1st and a 3rd would be acceptable for him if he were signed at 4.5M.
    (Although that would never happen because we would match it.)

  51. wicky (Stick checkers R Us!!!!) on

    quick blurb here while I’m on lunch… The only reason I would consider kovi is gabby’s injury potential is a bit higher than some other players I think. I believe pavel said we are a lottery team if we lose gabby and I would have to agree, some of you might like that, but I certainly don’t.

    If i could acquire ryan for sure and maybe gagne (injury prone also) I would do it. I like the richards idea from dallas, but Idk why they would trade him.

    Still need grit on back end.

  52. side show sean on

    we’ll never know will we but i don’t think so. the sooner side show sean is gone the better for the rangers and us fans.

    July 10th, 2010 at 6:55 am
    side show sean,
    I don’t know what you are getting at by quoting me about Avery. But you can quote this:

    “If Avery doesn’t get scratched in the Washington series, the Rangers win that round.”
    July 10th, 2010 at 6:55 am

  53. ZzZz NYR ZzZz "Rangers Rule!!!! " … says Greg L. on

    Kovalshmuck is not worth $10 million per. He is not. Ive watched Russian players evolve over the past few decades and this guy is going down the Afinogenov path . He was brought in the league with great expectations and has yet to deliver. He has never won the art ross ,Hart ,Lester B ,rookie of the year, never scored 50 goals . He was exposed in NJ . Don’t get me wrong here , I want him to do good. I bought 2 of his figurines when he was a rookie cuz I knew he would be worth lots. His ego is huge but his superstar status is a little on the fence. He looked normal playing on a real team in NJ and he is easily distracted ( Avery).

    Oh Yeah Carp , you we off on two points ..”probably a Hall of Famer one day” and ” what would it take for a non-contender like the Rangers to get him?”

    Hall of famer …whoaaa easyyyy . Zherdev scores more than him ,bet? Believe me if he is considered then Malkin,OV,semen ,Datzuk,Nabokov and Kovalev all make the Hall too!!!???

    Non-contender!!??? Non non contender??? NO contention whaaaaa???? huh????? easy big guy…..you say that too loud and Hank will hear ya!!! Then you’ll be in trouble!!!! Non contender with Hank and Gaborik and US being the New York Rangers!!????? Whaaaaa???? This is crazy talk.

  54. ZzZz NYR ZzZz "Rangers Rule!!!! " … says Greg L. on

    “If Avery doesn’t get scratched in the Washington series, the Rangers win that round.”


  55. side show sean-

    Usually you put the post you’re responding to first -then your response

    Don’t mean to come across the wrong way but I’ve had trouble following some of your posts because of that.

    Probably just me though.

  56. Greg – if Kovalchuk stays in the NHL, I’ll take that “Zherdev will score more” bet. And I couldn’t quite tell in between the punctuation if you were referring to Kovalchuk or Afinogenov, but Kovalchuk has definitely scored 50 a couple of times.

  57. Kovy is real good not great, but by far the best out there. six yrs max sounds right but he will not go for it. done deal

  58. “If Avery doesn’t get scratched in the Washington series, the Rangers win that round.”

    That’s such a lame excuse. Face the facts, Washington just took a few games to wake up, mainly OV.

    Excuses, excuses. Just like Gabby not getting chosen in the shootout, nothing but excuses!

  59. Kovi for 10 years is a no brainer…We don’t know if he is going to be productive after 34 or 35 especially as drive decreases.

    We will be Ranger fans in 10 years and we don’t want to destroy our CAP by keeping Kovalchuk beyond his 34th birthday; it would be foolish. I think most all of us say nyet to a longer than 6 year deal.

    Perhaps he really wants to play in NY or he would have taken money from NJ or on the west coast.

    He can make a fortune in NY with endorsements and appearances.

    Babe Ruth, Walt Frazier, Joe Namath, and Mark Messier all came to NY to BRING a win.

    Is Kovalchuk cut from the same cloth? He is the best free agent I’ve seen.

    I enjoyed watching MDZ and other kids over the season. I’m looking, not for quantum leaps, but forward steps. I expect Anisimov to do well, and Callahan got a huge education.

    I do worry about salary cap issues as mentioned earlier, regarding Callahan, Dubi, and Staal, though I think Staal is going to be a NY Ranger for a long time.

    It is going to be a fun year, regardless of what Kovi does.

    If he wants 10 years, I pity the team that is locked up for that long.

  60. ZzZz NYR ZzZz "Rangers Rule!!!! " … says Greg L. on

    SeamusO said his #2. was to take pressure of Gabby if we signed Kovalchuk . GREAT IDEA!!!! Best one ive heard!! SeamusO ,I love this guy!!!!

  61. ZzZz NYR ZzZz "Rangers Rule!!!! " … says Greg L. on

    LW3H , If Kovalpunk signs here ….noway!!! Im with drawing the bet . I was a little queezy writing that Kovalchoke didnt score 50 . Apparantly he did.

    ORR , Avery helped win us the game before and then he was scratched. Lost us the series. I’ll never just say it as a excuse. It was fact .I saw Avery at his best and the idiot(Torts) benches him then gets suspended the next game!!!!???

    …am I nevous that Z is on Philthy philly? Yeah and when i see him in that jersey …I’ll probally start hating him. What a sick world we live in.

  62. Greg, a fact can be proved, you have no proof, it’s only speculation, and it’s your opinion.

    So, it’s an excuse. You’re too heartbroken over that series that you need an excuse, and you can’t accept the fact that NYR just blew it.

  63. oleosmirf

    you think anisimov is going to get that great a raise? based on what?

    you say no to free agents yet you keep beating the drum for mikko koviu next year. sounds like you are speaking out of both sides of the mouth eh?

  64. if he will take a 63 year deal for $1 mill per year, then fine

    otherwise, fuggedabootit

    he is not a player who lifts his team to success, witness his many years in Atl with other star wingers and no results

    it is Dmen, centers and then goalies that are more important first.

  65. I don’t completely agree with the notion that the Rangers would have beaten Washington with Avery in the lineup.

    First, they couldn’t score a goal at the end of that series and were only ahead in the series because of their goalie (and Washington’s Game 1 goalie, now an unsigned UFA who I no longer mock because of what he’s been through in his life).
    Second, I blame the coach’s erratic behavior (water bottle, suspension) after scratching Avery as much as anything.
    Third, Avery could have cost them that series in the game before he was scratched, and was lucky to have gotten away with his side-show antics in that game. He deserved his benching.

  66. ZzZz NYR ZzZz "Rangers Rule!!!! " … says Greg L. on

    ORR , it is a fact . It is. We were up 3-1 with AVERY…yeah with Avery in the line up!!!! Avery in da housweee being BAD. Avery was dirty ,mean ,bad!!! Avery was heart and soul. OV and semin the girly were screwed!!! Come on , you saw it..we had ’em…then YANK!!! PULLED…BENCHED. by Torts!!!??? I’ll tell you this fact..If Esa Tikkanen was bench when the Oilers won the cup …..they wouldnt have won. Don’t believe me? Go ask Wayne Gretzky .Avery was out Tikkanen and then some!!! He was our factor…our thorn . He even got Kovalfiretruck to fight!!!! Avery being bench gave washington a SIGH of relief and momentum…get it? Torts blew it ..its all his fault.

  67. ZzZz NYR ZzZz "Rangers Rule!!!! " … says Greg L. on

    Carp , Avery was bad but it was our only shot at distracting the Caps. He got away with that late penalty ? …cuz the Caps didnt score…but when Torts benched him…the Caps had relief..right? You can’t say the Caps didnt .

  68. What if Kovy gets hurt? Then we have a huge cap hit of a player on the sideline. With the money we save from signing Kovy and dumping someone like Redden in Hartford, we are flexible in bringing in players. What is wrong with having say 2 or so possible 20 goal scorers at a much less cap hit per player and shorter terms?

    If we sign Kovy, the minute he struggles for an extended period of time, people here will be up in arms that we signed him. I feel like signing this guy is like doing a deal with the Devil. Lets not give into temptations for once.

    Stay the course with youth and home grown talent.

  69. ZzZz NYR ZzZz "Rangers Rule!!!! " … says Greg L. on

    Baring Avery being a total idiot ..he could have won the Conn Smythe the way he way going. He was stuiped and selfish to take the retalitory penaty. He went over the edge and got away with it by them not scoring on the PP. To Bench him the next day is ludacis. No player is gonna act like Avery so why give a lesson in the middle of a Stanley Cup run? Isnt winning everything?

    If I were coach ….Id said to Avery ” You just go out there and show me why I should n’t kick yer azz all training camp if we lose. Go out there son and be smarter but dont lose your thirst!!!” Pat pat on the back!!! Lets show why the Rangers are the best!!! GO GO GO GO GO!!!!

  70. ZzZz NYR ZzZz "Rangers Rule!!!! " … says Greg L. on

    So just saying it is a fact we lost cuz Avery was pulled. We lost every game sinse he was pulled .Us losing is “the Fact” that it was the wrong time to punish Avery . Not an excuse …a fact.

  71. The fact that Kovalchuk has turned down all the millions tells me one thing…he’s not a team player, he cares more about money than winning…and he’ll probably go to the KHL…

  72. Gift of GAB-orik ( Proudly re-signing with Boneheads! ) on

    Kovalchuk scored 52 twice, and has had 5- 40+ goal seasons. He’s averaging over a point per game played, so he contributes. 9 career playoff games, 3 goals, 5 assists, 8 points. 25 career playoff penalty minutes, the bulk of which is thanks to Avery, and him getting tossed out of that one game.

    What if he gets hurt? that’s and endless question. What if Hank gets hurt, or Gabby, or Callahan, or Avery, or Torts, or Jim Ramsey… blah blah blah.

    Injuries cost teams games. Callahan’s fire and energy would be missed, his forechecking as well. Gabby being hurt stifles our offense, as we’ve all seen. If Hank goes down, so will our hopes for the season.

    You can’t worry about that, he’s not injury prone. And if you throw 6 and change at a guy who IS, you can’t argue 7 at a guy who’s NOT.

  73. Gift of GAB-orik ( Proudly re-signing with Boneheads! ) on

    Except Philly, who miraculously overcame alot of games lost to important guys on their team. Having an elite goalie helps… but it’s not the end all be all. Guys still gotta play, you still have to score.

  74. Greg – It’s a FACT that we would have gone to the finals if we won game frickin 82 in that shootout.

    “If Esa Tikkanen was bench when the Oilers won the cup …..they wouldnt have won.”

    you can’t argue that logic Yogi

  75. Gift of GAB-orik ( Proudly re-signing with Boneheads! ) on

    J.S. Giguere was a hero in Anaheim, and called an elite goalie… where is he now?

    Turco? Emery? you get the point. Every year a new ‘star’ is born, then fizzles out, and teams find a way to win with 2nd 3rd and 7th string goalies.

    Chicago seemingly scored 5 goals a game… i like their chances with REDDEN in net.

  76. I agree with one thing. Torts has mishandled Avery. he is at his best when he is yapping and scrapping. no pest can restrain from occasionally crossing the line. you have to live with that and hope to minimize it. but to rein him in so much that he becomes just another zombie on the wing is stupid coaching.

    and after Torts got all p.o ‘ed in Wash and threw the water bottle, he should know better than anyone that you cannot always keep the fire under control

  77. side show sean on


    avery missed 1 playoff game against washington. so quit the excuse making. the rangers were not good enough to win and sean had two games still to play to strut his stuff. he failed and the team failed.

    deal with it like an adult and quit with the excuse making. that act is getting old fast.

  78. Avery winning the Conn Smythe? For doing what? Did he even have any points.

    Everyone overrates Aves’ abilities. Remember how great he was against Atlanta? Then remember how irrelevant he was against the Sabs?

    You can’t prove that we would have won if Avery was not scratched. It doesn’t matter that we were up 3-1. Was Avery scoring goals? No! Who was scoring the goals? Nobody!

    With him in the lineup or not, nobody was getting the job done. Case closed!

  79. “Jagr put the Rangers on his back, and carried them to the playoffs”


    I didn’t say anything about the Rangers. What did Jagr do to improve Washington? Not much and so not only did they trade him to the Rangers, but paid half his salary.

  80. I have to agree that the Avery benching seemed hypocritical seeing what Torts did

  81. >>The fact that Kovalchuk has turned down all the millions tells me one thing…he’s not a
    >>team player, he cares more about money than winning…

    Or, it could simply mean that he has not received an offer from a team for which he really wants to play. Maybe, just maybe, he’s delaying and hoping that the Rangers will come calling?

  82. Carp –

    Sorry man, I disagree. First of all, I don’t think the Rangers can get Kovy at 8M per. But if they could, I think it would definitely be worth it even at 10 years.

    There’s no way the cap hit would be worse than Drury’s or Redden’s. First of all, at 34-35, he’s still going to be more productive than Drury, IMO. He’ll probably turn into a 50-60 point guy, maybe even more. He’ll score 30 goals until late in his career most likely. And at 1M more, it’s probably worth it, especially considering the cap and other salaries are likely to be higher 8 years from now. I think you have a point for when he’s 37, but that’s one bad year in a sea of 9 good ones.

    The only worry I would have at a long term deal at that much money is the unknowns. What if his production drops? What if the Rangers have the chance to get that first line center, either from free agency or from within, and cannot afford to get/keep him because of Kovalchuk? I don’t think that will happen – We know the Rangers can carry at least 3 big contracts because they’ve been doing it for the last 4 years. But looking that far into the future – there’s Staal, Callahan, Dubinsky, Del Zotto, Anisimov, others – of course you want them to develop and turn into great players, but you also want the leeway to sign all of them if that happens.

    All things considered, the concern I had above probably shouldn’t preclude the Rangers from bringing on Kovalchuk if he would play at 8M per (which I don’t think he will for the Rangers). Having “too many good players to re-sign” is a concern one can only wish for with the Rangers right now, and it would be ridiculous not to get a guy who will still be great when all those players will be in their prime because of that fear.

    At any more than 8M, though, the deal would have to be shorter.

  83. Problem is that while the Ranegrs do need to get a great young core to build around, they really other than Hank and Gabby have no elite talent. Or at least it does not appear they do. You are relying on Dubinsky, Callahan, Anisimov, Grachev, Kreider to become elite scoring forwards and I do not think that is what any of them are. I think some of them are solid second line players, maybe even first at times, and outstanding bottom-6 forwards. But even once these guys reach their maximum potential, the Rangers will still need more elite players than they now have. Kovalchuk scares the you-know-what out of me every time he touches the puck against us. He is a top five player, really behind only Crosby, Malkin (maybe), Ovechkin. Even if our home grown core has an outstanding year, though, what you’ll still be looking to add is elite talent which the Rangers would have to completely bomb in order to get.

    If the price is right (I’ll bet he’d take a lesser offer from us to come here over NJ – look what he already passed on in Atlanta), you have to think about it….

  84. Give me chemistry, give me synergy. As much as I want to win I don’t want to be the Yankees.

    Good afternoon, Sally!

  85. You guys keep bringing this “buying stars and watching it not work” carcillo

    When was the last time this team had anyone close to Kovalchuk and Gaborik caliber players?? When?

    Legless Bure? Liquid brains Lindros? Alcoholic Fleury? I play when I wish Kovalev? Remind, when?

    Jagr was fun… Kovalchuk could be as much…

  86. ACD and Tony, best, most accurate posts of the day.

    ZzZz, Conn Smythe, not so much.

    mike k, you kind of made the argument for me, while disagreeing with me. If you could get him at $8M per, and truly believe he’ll have nine good years and one bad one at age 37 … go for it!

    I think he’d be Drury by the end of such a contract. And arguably — i said “arguably” — not the competitor that Drury is.

  87. Jagr’s cap hit was also something like 5 mil b/c Washington was paying something like 40% of it.

    If we were on the hook for all of Jagr’s contract you need to subtract Straka or Nylander…

  88. Straka and Nylander were a huge part of the success when Jagr was here… This team doesn’t need to subtract any major parts to fit in the missing piece…demote Redden…problem solved.

  89. CCCP

    but you will need to the year after when you have 3 guys in your top 2 lines that are RFAs and will demand at least 7 mil between them and thats before they address any other FA acquisitions…

    Lets say you trade Rozsival and let Gilroy walk…still not enough…

  90. Here’s the way I see it:

    27-33 (6 years) – 40+ goal guy.
    34-36 (3 years) – 30 goal guy
    37 – 20 goal guy

    While Drury has some defensive assets Kovalchuk does not have, he never scored 30 goals for the Rangers, and didn’t even score 20 last year. And just by being such a goal scoring threat, Kovalchuk opens up the game a lot more than Drury. Perhaps saying he’s “worth” 8M for 9 years is a stretch, but I don’t think the contract would be a weight on the team like Drury’s or Redden’s for 9 years, yes. I do think his contract is better than Drury’s for 9 of those years.

    My issue with such a contract was the unknowns – will the young core exceed our expectations (and consequently demand more money)? Will Kovalchuk die out like Lindros or Bure? I doubt it, since he’s a big man and not a speedster (like Bure) and isn’t a concussion machine (like Lindros), but I could be wrong.

    But it’s all academic since the Rangers aren’t interested. I can’t blame them, anyway. Kovy’s probably gonna get something like 8.5-9M for 10 years or 10M for 6. That’s my guess.

  91. all praise sather on

    avery for the conn smythe? are you out of your mind? you need to stop drinking the cool aid man, hes a nuisance. no other team would touch him, doesnt that tell you something? we will be a better team when hes gone

  92. At 8M you probably do it, but it isn’t going to happen

    I still prefer the other route

  93. silly DarrenDreger tweet-

    Kovalchuk should simply declare, publicly his want to play for the Rangers. I bet Slats would clear the deck and make it happen.

    or Larry Brooks column

    -doesn’t take much to stir things up

  94. Totally agree with Carp on the cap hell situation that sort of deal will eventually create. And if the Rangers did do that, they’ll have plenty of company in cap hell – teams like Detriot, Philly and Chicago all have long term deals with guys who will still be impacting their caps while delivering little (if anything at all).

    It suggests, perhaps, that with the new CBA, there will be a provision to get out of these contracts. Perhaps even they’ll end up mirroring the NFL and guaranteed contracts will be abolished.

    Not that I’m suggesting the Rangers risk cap hell on something that may happen sometime in the future.

    Regarding the Bobby Ryan for Dubi and Gilroy rumour, could not such an offer fetch someone like Sam Gagner of the Oilers? Even with Ryan (or Kovalchuk), it still leaves the Rangers with Erik Christensen as their number 1 center and that is one HUGE hole, IMO.

    Imagine Gaborik, Gagner and Kovalchuk as your starting PP front 3?? Mmmmm…

  95. and I must say I appreciate Carp not playing up the hype for the sake of web hits

  96. I hate doing this but…

    How does Pissburgh manage to keep Cindy, Malkin and Fleury and still be the team to beat every year…those three players make 23.5 mill

    Redden, Gaborik, Hank make 21.75 mill. If Redden is demoted 21.75-6.5 = 15.25

    Now, lets say we give Kovalchuk 10 mill that will bump the cap to 25.25 which is exactly 2 mill more than Cindy, Malkin and Fleury are making together… still with Drury and Rozi and Voros (Eminger) and Brashear on the books… so you want to tell me that 2 million dollars is such a big deal? Gilroy is about to make 2.1 million dollars… is he more important than Kovalchuk?

  97. I’d still rather have a handful of 20 gp season guys than one monster scorer that at best won’t probably break 60. And the lingering cost that goes on beyond some folks lifetime ( like mine for instance)
    And the guy is mortal ..what guarantee is there that he doesn’t break something crucial and be lost for the season
    (and possibly a career.) NO way – I believe it would be disastrous for Rangers, and not worth the risk factor. Those numbers are beyond reason.

    And don’t forget…not all of those goals are critical ones or game savers..many of them come on top of a blowout which they would be winning anyhow.

    count me out for one.

  98. he turned down ATl and no one else is offering that type of money so that offer is irrelevant. presently the market is much lower so he can be a spoled baby and go back to Russia or lower his demands. WIther offer him $8 or 9 MIll a yr for 2 yrs or More years nad lower per but no more thne 7 years.

    He has issues but he would help the rangers a ton, he is a legit stud, they have 1. 2 studs is way more then 1, they have enough other pieces including a stud goalie to be very good if they get kovalchuk, better then people think.

  99. And This One Will Last A Lifetime on

    we can use Kovlachuk, he scores goals
    we need goal scorers

    we have great goaltending
    we have average to better than average defense (and we are young there and will improve)
    we have some size, and good defensive forwards, even some playmakers, but only one goal scorer

    if we can’t get Kovy, we should get Frolov. He will score 60% of the amount of goals of Kovy for 40% of Kovy’s salary

  100. I hate myself that I keep refreshing hoping to see a post or headline saying “Kovalchuk signs.”

  101. wicky (Stick checkers R Us!!!!) on

    It’s hot and I’m in a misconduct kind of mood.

    I think for the most part free agency has killed any long term team chemistry. Even if it hadn’t, I do not see chemistry anywhere on the rangers. Cally and dubi and AA are “home grown” rangers that most of you salivate over and they have great chemistry right???? Ummm no, avery and cally have more chemistry (at least they went to PT together) than any of the young guys. I understand you are talking about on ice chemistry, but you get that from knowing the guys you play with on and off the ice. You have to be around them off the ice as well. How many different limos did they take to games???

    You can’t get chemistry on the ice if the coach changes lines every other shift.

    And why should it make a difference if your roster has young guys from your system or young guys from another system, or free agents? I mean the object is to win right?? Am I wrong? If I can field a team under the cap that is full of free agents or players that started in another system and it is the best one I can put on the ice, then play THAT team. If the home grown guys are the best, then fine, put THEM on the ice. This home grown argument is ridiculous!!! If the talent is there play it, if not, don’t play it! How hard is that really? Grachev from all accounts couldn’t handle HTFD last season, and you want him on the big club??? Stop sniffing glue!!! Byers??? You kidding??? Sauer, ummm not at this point. Some of the other guys may be ready at some point, but have not proven they belong or have earned a spot as of yet.

    If some of them earn their spots, great I’m all for it because they then give us the best chance to WIN and have proved it by earning the spots. To just give guys spots because they are home grown instead of a player that is a free agent and gives us a better chance to win, is just stupid!!!!!! Stop crying jackwagons!!!! HELLO, YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME!!!

    Jagr, was lucky with new rules the first post lock out season with an over emphasis on eliminating a lot of clutching a grabbing, unfortunately for us like many other past their prime free agents or traded for players, we got a great offencive player on the downside of his career.

  102. wicky (Stick checkers R Us!!!!) on

    what if kovi is waiting for a certain team to make an offer (no, I’m not saying it is the ranger)!

  103. wicky (Stick checkers R Us!!!!) on

    bring in keenan, the hell with torts. better yet, bring in graves, the hell with both of them!

  104. wicky (Stick checkers R Us!!!!) on

    wait, we can’t bring in graves, he wasn’t “home grown”!!

  105. I can honestly see Kovalchuk ending up somewhere random like St. Louis ( they have some good young guys, No. 1 goalie and plenty of cap space).
    Ideally, his best fit would have been with LA. Imagine the kings with him, Brown, Kopitar, Johnson, Doughty, Quick, etc? They’d be the new ‘blackhawks’.
    If Kovalchuk wants to be a Rangers, cool,. but price HAS to be right. He isn’t worth it for us to break bank over and go further into cap hell ( even with redden off books). Would he make us a contender? Likely, but team still hasn’t adressed a need for a no. 1 center or a crease-clearing dman.
    CARP— idea…how about we have a contest to guess where Kovalchuk ends up?

  106. miked, i think your random team idea is intriguing. i thought for sure he’d sign with L.A. on July 1. I had no idea until recently that he had 2 agents, each one whispering in a different ear.

  107. Coach Beeblebrox on

    Rangers fans need to learn to wait for the elite talent to develop. Wait for Grachev, Kreider, Stepan to develop, wait for Del Zotto and Anisimov to reach their potential. This is not a low to middle quality lot of kids the Rangers are used to having, these kids are the real deal and they are closer to the NHL than people know. They are not 3-4 years away, some are not even 2 years away. Some are ready right now! Just wait, be patient! It is Rangers fans impatience that has allowed Sather to screw around for a decade and get nothing right. Now the scouting department has finally gotten it right, so let it shine. You cannot afford to lock up Kovalchuk for 10+ years at $10 million a year.

  108. you sounded a bit like Herm Edwards there my friend! YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME!!! awesome

  109. wicky (Stick checkers R Us!!!!) on

    I heard a rumour that kovi was going to sign with the blackhawks for league minimum with a bonus of $250.000 per goal he scores next season.

    He scores 40 and the hawks, due to his bonus, have to cut 8 more players next off season to get under the cap again!

  110. wicky (Stick checkers R Us!!!!) on

    1.65 mil and I WILL be here for 4 years!!!! Thank you very much!

  111. wicky (Crease Clearing Blog Goon) on

    another rumour, apparently realizing the bad standard being set the blackhawks are in the process of trading kovi (and the blog rights of olga) to the rangers for donald brashear, all the rangers report grumpy bloggers who think home grown youth is more important than winning, and grabby’s nappy wet towels!!

  112. wicky (Crease Clearing Blog Goon) on

    trade update

    rangers owner jim dolan, hearing of the trade immediately tells GM slatipuss that kovi must go to htfd because he makes the league minimum, so he can not be any good.

    kovi goes on to light up the “A” and score 124 goals. Dolan raises cable rates to compensate.

  113. wicky – I think you know this, but if the best approach were just to pick the best available players each year, your prospects would never even get the chance to “prove they belong” or “earn a spot”.

    You’d just end up signing veteran free agents every year because they were at that point in time players who give your team “a better chance of winning”. And I think we’ve been down that road for most of the last 15 years.

    We might as well advocate signing the likes of Mike Modano, Robert Lang and Bill Guerin if we just want players who are better alternatives for this year than any younger “homegrown” Rangers – but what would that really achieve?

    People who don’t want Kovalchuk (or other UFAs) aren’t necessarily saying the Rangers’ prospects are “better” now or even in the future, but a change in approach would in some ways be quite refreshing.

  114. wicky (Crease Clearing Blog Goon) on


    The blackhawks have announced the trade is done after realizing there were so many rangers report bloggers involved in the trade that they did not have enough of a food and lodging travel budget for road trips.

    Dolan, very upset about not being able to move grabby’s nappy wet towels, posts an open letter on the internet condemning the 18.200 bloggers who ruined the deal (for some reason the number 18.200 is stuck in his head so he uses it without actually knowing the true number of bloggers).

  115. CCBG, sounds like one of those disco/80s rock clubs.

    wicky, $1.65M per year? That’s twice what you make now.

  116. dde, maybe when the Isles move to Winnipeg they’ll be able to get in on the Kovalchuk bidding … and then you’ll be right.

  117. CBGB’s that’s what I thought

    Winnepeg was Staal Warts post from Eklund- but I agree

  118. wicky (Crease Clearing Blog Goon) on

    yes, I do understand that. I just really meant it as more of a just because they are “home grown” prospects, they should not automatically be put on the roster. I would love to see stepan, mcdonut, and weise in the line up instead of drury, redden, and EC for example. But if none of them (and it is an IF) are better than the vets don’t play them just because, go out and acquire someone who makes this team better!

    If I did not convey that properly, my apologies to you and all!

  119. wicky (Crease Clearing Blog Goon) on

    yep, all the wicksters gotta eat ya know!!! I was due a raise!

  120. wicky (Crease Clearing Blog Goon) on

    who is the d man that roughs up dubi a bit in the beginning of this clip then drags him across the net a little?

  121. apology ACCEPTED lol

    but I disagree play them if it will make us a better team tomorrow -if it hurts us today so be it

    as long as it doesn’t hurt their development

  122. tollefsen
    does anyone remember the hit he landed in the olympics?
    does anyone know who was on the ice for that team during the olympics?

  123. wicky (Crease Clearing Blog Goon) on

    excellent my friend, I think he is a RFA. Love to have that guy as a 5 or 6 d man. Good price tag!

  124. Im sorry …

    When you go back and watch that clip at least Girardi grabs Carcillo a little. MDZ skates towards the fight .. Stops .. then skates backwards away from the fight

    Talk about gutless … MDZ was a bigger wimp than Girardi on that play

  125. wicky (Crease Clearing Blog Goon) on

    yep, I wish they would have, they really should have. I like joe m’s calls for the most part. When the canucks rangers thing happened and byers and beiksa were yelling at each other form the box, joe’s comments were priceless. Anyone have the msg feed clip from that incident, all I can find is the TSN one with all the f bombs coming through ferraro’s mic.

  126. wicky (Crease Clearing Blog Goon) on

    yep, both should have pulled a gilroy on that one!!!

  127. For good or bad I might point out that college players are conditioned not to fight unlike the WHL

  128. i’m wondering, as insane as it sounds, and insane as it was..
    did we ever give Gabby props for sticking up for himself?? We’ve scorched Girardi, it spawned about 6 nicknames for him, but, in some strange way, that had to add to Gabby’s ‘street cred’, especially in light of Fozzy telling me her local newscaster called Zherdev a ‘tough guy’ the other night!

  129. wicky (Crease Clearing Blog Goon) on

    true. Absolute kudos for gilroy in that fight and situation. There is a word for that response……TEAMMATE!!! (and a new bonehead phrase perhaps of “pulling a gilroy”)

  130. Wait, CCCP. Where did you hear that?


    oh you guys didnt hear? there was this big big BIG decision! LeBron showed his middle finger to the entire nation! it was fun!

  131. wicky (Crease Clearing Blog Goon) on

    total props to him and I have no problem with what carcillo did either since gabby dropped the gloves first!

  132. If you can get 3.5 million for just watching a fight, imagine what Gilroy is going to get for actually trying?

  133. lol @ Gabby’s ‘street cred’ but I agree

    and Fozzy telling me her local newscaster called Zherdev a ‘tough guy’ the other night? lmao what??

  134. no joke dde, fozzy lives in PA, she said the day they announced zherdevs signing, he was referred to as a tough guy! I almost fell off my chair when i read that!

  135. It’s just an innocent mistake. The Flyers just use a standard press release for every player they sign:

    “The Philadelphia Flyers have signed [height], [weight] free agent tough guy [name] to a [x]-year contract, according to club general manager Paul Holmgren.

    “He has registered [y] penalty minutes in [z] career regular season games.”

    Someone just forgot to make the rare edit necessary for Zherdev’s signing.

  136. Linda – I believe you but any chance you have a link. I’d love to see that with my own eyes.

  137. LW, is it possible they thought they were getting somebody else?

    I think I’ve told you guys this, but Fred Shero, when he was running the Rangers, traded for Cam Connor thinking he was getting Colin Campbell. Swear to God.

  138. That is a great picture isn’t it -Hartnells lucky DanG didn’t hit him with his chin

  139. wicky (Crease Clearing Blog Goon) on

    that is hilarious about campbell. You have any idea if there is a MSG feed clip of that canucks rangers dust up??

  140. LMAO! he’d have shredded him with that chin!!

    DDE, i just sent Fozzy a message asking if she has a link. I’ll try to find one also.

  141. dde, i’m wondering if she got mixed up with zherdev and maybe a possible report of Probert’s death. i just can’t see how ANYONE would call Zherdev a tough guy lol

  142. Linda, no way the Rangers want anybody with the word Value in their name.

    wicky, do you mean the dustup with Keenan and Quinn? When Momesso is running away from Kocur and swinging his stick at Kocur, who does like a jump rope thing over the stick? That dustup?

  143. Carp – Did you ever meet The Fog?

    I love some of his quotes:

    “Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must first set yourself on fire.”

    “Commitment is like ham and eggs. The chicken makes a contribution. The pig makes a commitment.”

    “Take the shortest route to the puck carrier, and arrive in ill humor”

    “I’m like a duck: calm above the water, and paddling like hell underneath”

  144. The league also has a standard press release it uses for Flyers players:

    “The National Hockey League announced on [day] that it has suspended Philadelphia Flyers [position] [player] for [x] games for his [violent offence] on [team]’s [player] during the Flyers-[team] game on [day] night at the [arena name].

    “[player], who was suspended for [y] games on [date of suspension from last violent offence], is considered a repeat offender under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.”

  145. Is it worse to sign a UFA at crazy $$$$ and have a top heavy team? Or is it just as bad to suffer for years, get high draft picks who will eventually command a bunch of $$$$ too? You win one cup like Pitt or Chi and then the next year your team has all kinds of deficiencies. Point is, Chicago and Pitt suffered THEN won cups, but even with rebuilding there is no guarantee of sustained success.

    So how different is it to rebuild, win, and dismantle than it is to buy big UFA’s and maybe win one cup before said UFA gets too old and becomes an albatross to the team?

  146. Misss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack

    All dressed in black, black, black

    With silver buttons, buttons, buttons

    All down her back, back, back

  147. great work LW!

    dde, just saw that scary looking kid from a Ratt video in the original jurassic park!

  148. dde, covered the Fog my first few seasons on the beat.

    The first Ranger I did a story on was Don Maloney, who was a rookie who would not be called up until mid season that year. This was during camp.

    I had played hockey, but never written about it. Fog told me that Maloney was a mucker and grinder. I thought he said mugger. I wrote that, as if he was a goon.

    Of course he came up in mid season, had a terrific second half and a great playoff as the Rangers went to the finals.

    I also remember Freddy missing several games a year or two later, after a drunken tumble down a staircase at home, may he rest in peace.

  149. Carp- great stuff – any chance you could post something like that during the summer lull? I’d love to read it. What/where did you play hockey? Didn’t you say you were a goalie?

    Linda- I love the 80’s

  150. Wasn’t that the Donny Murdoch trade where they got Cam Connor instead of Colie Campbell?

    and wouldn’t that have been Sather on the other end?

  151. dde, it was actually “you’re in love” and milton berle was the uncle of their manager. lol!!

    Carp, sounds like you started covering them when I discovered them, or just before.

  152. carp

    if i do ill email you. hope i dont, lol. i think everyone else i know is safe. or overseas already, lol.

    if you look @ most norway games w/ tollefson in the lineup the team seems more loose and they have more flash to their game. more willing to try stuff. when he would get suspended for a game here and there you could see some were scared to go in the corner. looked like they were squeezing the blood out of their sticks they were so white.

  153. so if croscrybaby, malkin, ovechkin, were ufas like kovaltine, you would pass? ….absurd, they will not likely have the chance to get a guy like him over the next 5 years……

  154. I haven’t read any of the above posts, but there is a simple argument for signing Kovi. In two years the NHL is going to crack down on front loaded long term contracts. This is a chance for NYR, a team that has plenty of money in hand to sign a dynamic player to a long term cap friendly contract. Signing Kovi will not retard the development of our younger players. If Sather can sign the guy, it’s a no brainer. The Rangers will NEVER be bad enough to score an impact draft pick, look at history.

  155. If Zherdev has a good season in Philly I’m just gonna shake my head. I saw his stats from 2 years ago and I didn’t realize that he put up almost 60 points (23-35-58). I know he’s “not a Torts guy” but those stats wouldn’t have looked too bad on last years roster. And who knows, maybe he wouldn’t have hit a slump if he were playing with Gaborik all year.

  156. wicky (Crease Clearing Blog Goon) on

    well, I was kind of anticipating linda’s answer to your question…..but got nothing just like you!

    I wanted to add tollefsen last year when he was an UFA and slatipuss blew it!

  157. On my way to get some beer earlier -had WFAN on
    Steve Somers here you there – he was talking about Brian Monzo, not sure what he does probably on the other side of the glass.
    Anyway Brian’s expecting a baby -and he’s gonna name him Colton Avery.
    Brian played goalie for my roller hockey team way back. Contrats Brian – Colton Avery no shit.

  158. ok ok ok OK!

    Enough of this borderline insanity about Kovalchuk and his God like capabilities.

    HOw many years did he toil for Atlanta? HOw many times did they win the cup? Make the playoffs? Go deep in the playoffs?
    And recall that for several of those years he had some help from Hossa the wandering mercenary in some of his most productive years.

    How much did he help the Devils in their last season’s quest?

    He’s a very good hockey player – there- it’s agreed. But he has never been shown to be a transforming figure on a team (and the only one that I can think of off hand right now that was, was Bobby Orr.)

    Possibly Crosby, but not apparently, Ovechkin.

    He is not worth the money! He’ll do more to damage a team with his outrageous demands than he will eventually help them.. He’s a terrific figure on the ice, but he’s not a God.

    Get over it.

  159. I was against signing Kovy, but now I am on the fence, too. The more I think aboot it, the more I like the idea. In Brooks article, he mentions Fehr becoming the new Union head. Could the next CBA have a “luxury tax” instead of a hard cap? A cap where the “poorer” teams would get $$$$ when the “richer” teams signed the big money UFA’s? Seeing how the NHL refuses to contract and is now funding floundering franchises like Pheonix, it seems that the MLB model would be perfect for the NHL. The NYR could be the NHL’s version of the Yankees.

    And that means go ahead and sign Kovy.

  160. 6 years for 8 million per or leave it

    You gotta make the attempt – He is too good not to

    Imagine how stoked Russian kids like AA, Grachev, Valentenko, and Pashinin would be if they got to be Kovy’s teammate

    You gotta make the attempt – He is too good not to

  161. Peter,

    Wow, Brooks in the NY Post says Sather inquired about Kovalchuk?

    Now where did I hear that?

    Hmmm… let me see……..

  162. if the Rangers sign Kovalchuk, they might be able to afford him this season but they wont be able to in 2011-2012.

    unless of course you are fine with one of Callahan or Dubinsky leaving…

  163. One thing I don’t understand:

    What is it that Kovalchuk actually wants?

    It seems that between LA and NJ, he has been offered everything: the super long contract and the highest salary. Why hasn’t he signed?

    Does he want to come to New York?

    What does he want?

  164. I’d go as high as 6 years, 10 million.

    It works fine for the first 4 years due to the contract of Redden being buried in Hartford. The last two years, in spite of his productivity, will hurt.

    Drury’s contract hurts.

    Larry Brooks’ comparison to Lindros and Fleury is sans CAP hit.

    Plus, he plans on waiting for the bus with Torts this year. No way he lets that one go.

  165. Seamus

    you are wrong…there is no way a cap hit of 10 mil could fit in the 2011-2012 season.

    not when you have Callahan, Dubinsky, Anisimov to resign and Drury still on the books. Not to mention we’d have to get rid of both Reddena and Rozsival THIS OFFSEASON in order to fit that.

  166. “Regardless of whether Sather, who has been in touch with the Kovalchuk camp this weekend.”…….true or false………sign him……………..get rid redden,,,,,,,,,,,,

  167. wicky (Crease Clearing Blog Goon) on

    sorry man, didn’t mean to leave you hanging lat night. To answer your question, the sullivan thing was by far my favorite (no offence to avery)!

  168. wicky (Crease Clearing Blog Goon) on

    this line says it all in brooks article:

    but rather more a reflection of the irrational fear the Rangers had of taking a penalty (any penalty) than a window into an individual character flaw.

    Torts needs to take his side show else where if he doesn’t change this tune rapidly!!!!

  169. Torts has more second guessers than, perhaps, any coach in the NHL. I’m one of the 2nd guessers.

    I think that Brooks is attempting to explain away what Girardi did (or didn’t do). I’d rather hear what Girardi himself has to say.

    His contract is tradeable, should the need arise.

    Staal is a great, young defenseman, who is now just coming into his own. We saw an increasingly mean streak in him, and as he matures, I expect to see more of it.

    What I don’t understand about Girardi’s contract:

    What was he seeking in arbitration?? My guess would have been exactly what he got…so why settle before arbitration? just to avoid bitterness OR
    is it because Sather is working on a complex deal involving Girardi?

    He’s a solid defenseman, overall. I thought he would end up with 2.5 to 2.8 over 4 years; his higher number surprised me.

  170. Seamus,

    Yes, Ilya Kovalchuk wants to play here. I’ve heard it – over time – 6 different ways, in spite of what Carp was told – which again, I don’t doubt for a minute.

    People need to realize Kovalchuk considers himself a great player, and feels he doesn’t get the recognition an Ovechkin or Crosby gets. He wants to win & he wants the stage.

    We KNOW (via their own paper, Newsday) the Rangers were interested in him at the deadline, simply makes sense they’d still be interested because now they don’t have to give anybody up to get him.

    Also told you who (Anisimov) the Rangers envision him playing with. They’ve teamed up previously in international competition, though it was short-lived as Anisimov broke his (thumb?). This is perhaps the most exciting part.

    Could be fabulous to see a Ranger young’un for change being set up for success rather than failure, no?
    Just imagine you’re Anisimov trailing Kovalchuk as he jets off at Mach 1. You think he’s going to move his ass or what?

    Sather has wisely waited until the market, the actual market and not just the starting point demands from Kovalchuk’s camp, has materialized.

    Lamoriello’s $117M offer is media-spun fantasy, though I don’t doubt LA getting into the $100M range.
    And there is treachery everywhere right now, I’ve heard as many as 8 teams taking a serious look. So no guarantee Rangers nab him even if they go full trottle.

    But for the last time, the Rangers can afford him, certainly on their own (they just signed a b-baller I never heard of for $100m) and under the cap when Redden is banished, as everyone knows he will be.

  171. I kind of figured Girardi would come in around 3 million and Staal around 4 million.

    I’m a little surprised that Girardi wanted a 4 year deal that cuts into his Free Agency time ….. He must like being a Ranger (which is good to hear every now and again)


    *Every good team has 3-4 contracts above the 6.5 million mark*

    Redden will be in the Minors and Drury only has a few years left. Then its just Gabby, Kovy, and Hank on Big Contracts … No big Deal

  172. I’d like to make one more point before beaching it.

    For those who claim the last thing the Rngers need is yet another big name (and the argument certainly isn’t merit-less) bear in mind not only would this be a long-term commitment & solution, but the Rangers have actually received quite a bit from such players.

    Messier, a worn but still productive Gretz, Jagr, Fleury, even the badly hobbled Bure and concussion-ites LaFontaine & Lindros played very well here before succumbing.

    And I’d just make the argument that aside from Messier (and Jagr that one post-lockout year), Ilya Kovalchuk is younger, sturdier, and apt to be more productive than ALL of them if we can get him. Later.

  173. This my Estimate 2011-2012 Roster (already contracted players and re-signs)

    We have plenty of room for Kovalchuk …

    Redden and Rozsival would be gone and I think Dubinsky would probably be traded to make room for Stepan to Center a line

    Of course we would need a couple of Depth guys to round out the roster, definitely a Veteran D-man

    2011-12 New York Rangers

    Ilya Kovalchuk — $8,000,000 – estimate
    Marian Gaborik — $7,500,000
    Chris Drury — $7,050,000
    Ryan Callahan — $3,500,000 – estimate
    Sean Avery — $1,937,500
    Artem Anisimov — $1,900,000 – estimate (similar to Dubinsky’s first contract)
    Mats Zuccarello-Aasen – ($850,000) $1,750,000
    Derek Boogaard — $1,625,000
    Erik Christensen — $925,000
    Derek Stepan — $820,833
    Evgeny Grachev – ($262,500) $816,667
    Brandon Prust — $800,000
    Dale Weise – ($80,000) $700,000

    Marc Staal — $4,000,000 – estimate
    Daniel Girardi — $3,325,000
    Matt Gilroy — $1,900,000 – estimate
    Ryan McDonagh – ($425,000) $1,300,000
    Michael Del Zotto – ($212,500) $1,087,500

    Henrik Lundqvist — $6,875,000
    Martin Biron — $875,000

    ROSTER SIZE – 20
    SALARY CAP – $59,400,000
    PAYROLL – $56,687,500
    BONUSES – $1,830,000
    CAP SPACE – $4,542,500

  174. Rod,
    You shouldn’t make blanket statements and then allude to them as being your predictions or inside knowledge. Unless you wanna share your sources.

    ‘Yes, Ilya Kovalchuk wants to play here. I’ve heard it – over time – 6 different ways, in spite of what Carp was told – which again, I don’t doubt for a minute.’

    95% of the players in the league wanna play for NYR because they get treated so well and the travel is easier.

    “People need to realize Kovalchuk considers himself a great player, and feels he doesn’t get the recognition an Ovechkin or Crosby gets. He wants to win & he wants the stage.”

    Of course Kovy thinks he is great. Zherdev thought he was worth $4 mil per.

    “We KNOW (via their own paper, Newsday) the Rangers were interested in him at the deadline, simply makes sense they’d still be interested because now they don’t have to give anybody up to get him.”

    I bet MORE than half the teams in the NHL inquired about Kovy at the deadline.

    “Also told you who (Anisimov) the Rangers envision him playing with. They’ve teamed up previously in international competition, though it was short-lived as Anisimov broke his (thumb?). This is perhaps the most exciting part.”

    Just because he is Russian? Where was their “short lived” linemate gig? Some pond in the Ukraine?

    “Sather has wisely waited until the market, the actual market and not just the starting point demands from Kovalchuk’s camp, has materialized.”

    Ummm. . . No. This is nothing more than due diligence. I bet 27 other GM’s have done the same thing (sans Pheonix and perhaps Pittsburgh).

    “Lamoriello’s $117M offer is media-spun fantasy, though I don’t doubt LA getting into the $100M range.”

    EVERYTHING we have heard since NJD were eliminated has been MEDIA-SPUN FANTASY!!!!

    “And there is treachery everywhere right now, I’ve heard as many as 8 teams taking a serious look. So no guarantee Rangers nab him even if they go full trottle.”

    Straight out of Eklund’s vernacular.

    “But for the last time, the Rangers can afford him, certainly on their own (they just signed a b-baller I never heard of for $100m) and under the cap when Redden is banished, as everyone knows he will be.”

    FINALLY!!! I actually agree here. It may be crazy. Franchise suicidal perhaps, but I agree.

    No more condescending “AS I told you” posts please. Reveal your sources, or be treated like Eklund.

  175. cw,

    Are you that dense? I cannot get friends, long-time friends, in trouble with their JOBS just to satisfy your curiosity.

    Your tone is OUTRAGEOUS. I’ve taken the time to try to impart some knowledge as best I can without being too specific.

    Last week Carp told us “No way, No How, Never”. But now there are contrarian reports, right?

    Believe what you want, but don’t get an attitude w/me!

  176. rod

    cwgatti has that tude whenever he posts. so don’t let that “person” stop you from posting for the rest of us

  177. Rod, thanks for the response…there has to be a reason WHY he is still unsigned…I wish we would hear from his agent what is going on…

  178. the Rangers must sign Staal,then go after free agents. otherwise they will lose Staal. they should think of their first priority then move on.

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