Guest blogger: Doodie Machetto

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So what happens when the injured heal?

One hundred and ninety three man-games lost to injury this year. By the end of the year, that number will likely climb high enough that it will be more than the past three seasons combined. My wife (whose fandom is more than casual but less than intense) has even noticed that there are significantly more injuries this year than in the past. OK, what she’s actually noticed is that there are a lot of rookies playing in their first NHL games and getting their first NHL points (things she gets really excited about). But when even my wife notices, there are a lot of injuries.

Fortunately, many of the injured players will be returning soon. Barring any setbacks, Ryan Callahan is expected to make his return to active status on Feb. 1 against the Penguins. Likewise for Dan Girardi. Figuring out who will sit for those two is pretty simple: Evgeni Grachev and Michael Del Zotto don’t come back to New York after the All-Star break. Problem solved… for now.

In their last game against the Florida Panthers, the Rangers had 8(!) players out hurt. One of those players is Alexander Frolov, who is done for the season (and as a Blue Shirt). As for Derek Boogaard, you just can never tell with a head injury, although, you have to think he would have a hard time finding the lineup over any of the guys currently there, let alone over the guys who will be returning. But that’s still 6 (7 with Boogaard) potential players who could come back. The original timetables for Brandon Dubinsky, Ruslan Fedotenko, and Erik Christensen all line up for an expected return by the end of February. Also, even though Vinny Prospal hasn’t skated in a game all season, I believe he would still be eligible for the playoffs if he isn’t active by the trade deadline. That isn’t to say there is still a very strong possibility that he might shut it down for the season and possibly call it a career. That’s 4 potential starters returning to the lineup at the same time.

You can’t go back to what the lines were at the beginning of the season, not only because I don’t think anyone can honestly remember what they were or because we started with a couple of guys already hurt (Prospal hasn’t been in a game all season), but because of what we have learned throughout the course of the season about some of the guys already on the roster. Derek Stepan is for real. Brandon Prust doesn’t just fight. Dubinsky is the MVP. Chris Drury has clearly lost his way (and his pants). And as Carp frequently says, “[Brian] Boyle = Monster.” So you have to start making decisions of who you pare down, and from where.

Obviously, some of the guys who are in the lineup will be Whaled. Chad Kolarik and Kris Newbury have been good stopgaps, but I don’t think you can argue with a straight face that either of them are superior to the returning four. And while Newbury brings some more “jam” to the game than Christensen or Prospal, it’s not anything that can’t be replaced by Fedotenko or even by demoting Sean Avery back to the 4th line. And speaking of the 4th line, you have to think that Drury starts watching games from the press box (maybe he can sew his pants while he’s in there). Even his “intangibles” are readily replaceable at this point by a majority of the team, a true credit to John Tortorella and the rest of the coaching staff, both in New York and in Connecticut. The tough part is that Drury is the captain, and by sitting him, you are functionally stripping him of the captaincy.

After that though, things get pretty tricky. You have to sit a legitimate player at that point. The only guys who would be considered, in my opinion, are Sean Avery and Mats Zuccarello. Zuccarello has been very good since being called up and is lethal in the shootout. Imagine a shootout lineup of Zucarrello, Christensen, and Wojtek Wolski! Avery, however, is better suited for a 4th line role than any of the returning players and could find himself there with Zuccarello getting temporarily Whaled. He could always be recalled if they needed him. If Prospal doesn’t return, I think Zuccarello is here to stay.

There is also another very large X-factor: Glen Sather. Sather is hardly one to sit idly by in the month ahead of the trade deadline. With our incredibly inexperienced defense corps, I have a hard time imagining Sather doesn’t pull the trigger on a trade to bring in a veteran player. What he trades in exchange is a mystery, but I’m very confident that there will be a trade. Tortorella has frequently expressed his pleasure at the youth on the team and how happy he is that they have retained this young core group. I think part of the reason he says it so much is to not-so-silently hint at Sather that he doesn’t want any of the pieces traded away.

As for predictions: I don’t believe Prospal returns. As a result, only Newbury and Kolarik get Whaled, and Drury watches from the pressbox. I would be OK with this. If Prospal does return, I think unfortunately it is Zuccarello that finds himself riding the buses again. However, I’d much rather it be Zuccarello playing and Avery finding himself watching games with Drury.

Now, I put it to you:

1) Do you think Prospal returns?

2) Which players do you think will sit/be Whaled when Fedotenko, Dubinsky, and Christensen return?

3) If Prospal also returns, who do you think sits for him?

And please, PLEASE, can the discussion not be focused entirely on Sean Avery?

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294 Comments

  1. Great post! There will most likely be a trade of some kind for a veteran defenseman whom we should be able to get without sacrificing core assets.

  2. onecupin71yearsandcounting on

    Great post Doodie.
    I do not want prospal back.. the team doesn’t need an injured aging vet playing himself into game shape, will he block shots? avoid hits?
    I think Christensen may be trade bait.
    Drury is a lost cause, although he may get a lucky bounce and score an important goal in the playoffs. Go with the youth movement !!

  3. And This One Will Last A Lifetime on

    The decisions are not as hard ads you make them out to be.

    EC, Dubie, Feds…will all be upgrades from Kolarik Newbury and Drury.

    Prospal and Drury are done. If Zuccarello gets scratched or whaled it would simply be a wrong and dreadful move/decision that they NYR would loive to regret.

    Then you have these guys, 4 lines deep, but I have no idea how the lines would be actually set:

    -Gabby/Stepan/Wolski
    -Dubie/AA/Cally
    -Prust/Boyle/Feds
    -Zucs/EC/Avery

  4. Personally, I don’t see what Christiansen brings to the party? Really, except for a few SO goals, does anyone really miss him? Prospal coming back is a long shot @ best. You can’t bench your captain, I don’t care how much Torts claims he has accepted his new “role”. He won’t be a healthy scratch. Mats stays because he does so much in addition to score in the SO (and believe me, other teams will do their homework on his move). The team obviously really needs and has needed for a few seasons, a PP quarterback on D. I’ve read in previous posts that Kaberle would be a good fit. Not sure I’d do it because he’s still prime enough to warrant a few good, young players in return. Perhaps they can trad Sangs (who?). Oh, one quick tangent, how about the play of Sauer? This kid has come in and been solid!!!!
    Calli, Dubi, Feds come back & perhaps Sather trades EC & Sangs for Kaberle (yeah, the Leafs I’m sure are chomping at the bit for those 2 guys). Drury plays 4th line center with Avery & someone else. Mats has to play minutes as does WOlski. Good problems to have I might add.

  5. good post brotha,

    Prospal was activated off of IR, im not sure what that actually means as far as him playing but i can only assume its means he’s almost ready to return.. from what i gathered from torts interview hes only a few weeks of conditioning away save another flare up of his knee. I personally would kind of like to see what he can bring to this team (and gabby) down the stretch.

    The who to send down/bench debate is hard also. I mean the obvious answer is Drury, but i dont know if castrating him anymore is what the coaching staff is going to want to do if they believe hes in it for the long haul and next year. I think Christensen is benched regardless when hes back, hes expendable at this point with zucs and wolski and also doesnt fit the role of 4th line/energy line. Avery will most likely be demoted back to 4th line duty wich im ok with if he gets atleast 10mins a game. I wouldnt be completely suprised to find Anisimov on the 4th line as well. And that might not be a terrible thing if it involves drury sitting and actually rolling 4 lines. The coachs know what they are doing and im sure will make the right choice.

  6. The reality with Drury is that he’s gonna play on the 4th line for the rest of this season. They’re not gonna bench him and they’re certainly not gonna strip him of the C.

    No way is Zucc going down. Not a chance. My guess is Christensen is the odd man out. Zucc is a better, more consistent all around player.

  7. I posted the other day and will again. The Rangers track all scoring chances created.

    Since his callup, Zuccarello was in on between 30-40% of all scoring chances. Total.

    That was before his 3 assist night in the last game.

    I don’t like to criticize something somebody worked hard on, but that was a real faulty conclusion.

  8. We were talking about this the other day on one of the Rangers message boards. I look at this in terms of depth chart and present the following:

    1 – Gaborik
    2 – Callahan
    3 – Dubinsky
    4 – Boyle
    5 – Wolski
    6 – Stepan
    7 – Prust
    8 – Avery
    9 – Drury
    ——————–
    10 – Anisimov (Could be traded, particularly if a more experienced center is coming the other way)
    11 – Prospal (Will his knee hold up and can he perform at an NHL level given the injury and his age?)
    12 – Fedotenko (If Prospal’s knee holds up do the Rangers need him?)
    13 – Zuccarello (Will his play continue to impress Torts or does he need more time in Hartford?)
    14 – Christensen (Could become redundant, particularly if the Rangers trade for a top six forward)
    15 – Newbury (Gritty, but more of a depth player to keep in Hartford)
    16 – Kolarik (Has some upside, but also more of a depth player for Hartford)
    17 – Dupont (Not quite ready for the NHL yet in my opinion)
    18 – Grachev (Not ready for the NHL and could be traded)

  9. One additional observation related to the topic of Drury. There has been a great deal of banter among Rangers fans about “stripping” him of his captaincy. This will not happen. What could happen and would cement a positive Rangers legacy for Drury is if he were to voluntarily pass the Captain torch to either Callahan or Dubinsky. This would be a hugely symbolic gesture that would no doubt put the fans in Drury’s corner and pave the way for a buy-out of the remaining year of his contract in the off season.

  10. I haven’t totaled it up but in 17 games since his callup, Zuccarello has 11 points
    – plus 3 shootout goals.

    He must be among their leading scorers in those 17 games, if not THE leader scorer.

    For a team that struggles to score, it is mind boggling to suggest he’d be benched or demoted.

  11. HockeymanRangers on

    I would like to see Prospal come back for some games to see what he does again with Gabby. I would also like to see Zuccarello stay. He does some great things all the way around, I would rather see Zukes stay instead of Christensen. I don’t know what to do with Drury you almost have to feel bad for the guy. Can they really sit him?? I WOULD LOVE TO SEE CALLAHAN AS OUR NEW CAPTAIN. Yea Binsky is a close second I just really like everything about Cally. Also who would of thought that Boyle would also be a captain contender???OK it may be to soon for that but he is a “MONSTER”. I just hope when all the regular players come back we can score more goals and move up in the standings. It would be nice to be maybe a 4th seed so we can make into the second round comfortably (is that possible comfortably???) I am not saying we get knocked off in the second round hope fully the entire team become monsters and bring that shinny cup to NY.

  12. WoWo-ekuh - Its Just Pain on

    Good post Doodie. Definitely things to think about. I think a lot of it depends on how/if Sunkist returns to the lineup.

  13. There are two big questions that have yet to be answered. 1) whether the Rangers will bench or even trade their poor-performing captain or despite that, leave him on the 4th line b/c of his “valuable playoff experience and leadership” 2) Will Sather go out and try to steal a top 6 forward and pull off a great trade.

    As i’ve said many times, if the Rangers are going to get a bonafide #1 center next offseason (aka Richards) then the Rangers can trade Anisimov and think nothing of it simply b/c he would destined for the 4th line next season as Richards, Boyle and Stepan are clearly above him on the depth chart.

  14. Rod, Zuccarello would be a function of waiver eligibility. I don’t believe he would have to pass through waivers to be Whaled. Every one of the returning guys would.

    As I said, I think sending him down would be temporary. He should get a call up when whatever trade Sather pulls off goes through or when there is inevitably another injury.

    I think he should stay, absolutely, but I just don’t see the team carrying two healthy scratches. I just see them sending him back to Connecticut to play big minutes and calling him up as needed.

    Just my opinion.

  15. Great Post!

    @Warren Mason – Great observation about Drury and handing over the captaincy to Cally or a a troika of alternates as paving the way for a more graceful leadership transition. It seemed that Sam Rosen and Joe M. went to great lengths to extoll Drury’s locker-room leadership before the Panthers game, and how highly Drury is respected in the room. But honestly, in any work scenario, how long will your colleagues respect your leadership in place of declining contributions?
    Drury could still be a leader on this team, but his continued lack of output given his pay level is going to become corrosive over time. Were going to have to make sure Dubi/Prust/Boyle/Cally can stick around.

  16. Animated Stick Tap on the post. Nice job.

    If Zuccarello get’s Whaled or Scratched or Traded or anything other than what he is currently doing my heart will be broken. That little man is a HUGE part of this team right now.

    Great Call Warren on Drury voluntarily giving the Captainship to Callahan or Dubinsky (or even Boyle/Prust at this point). He has to be embarrassed about being run out there every night with whatever player is making his NHL debut.

    The way the season ended last year I would welcome a Skills Competition Lineup of Woksi, Zuccarello and Christensen.

  17. Artie-Art, Sanguinetti was traded already during the offseason.

    For those that say the team won’t strip Drury of the captaincy, I’m not saying that they officially would. But making your captain a healthy scratch is the functional equivalent. What exactly would he be captaining from the press box?

    As for Christensen, I think he isn’t exactly necessary at this point, but as Carp has suggested, Gaborik just seems comfortable with him at center. I think he (rightly or wrongly) probably goes right to centering Gaborik upon his return.

  18. Good post, Doodie. Thoughtful, as usual.

    In terms of the players. I think Prospal will give it a try, weather he can play or not, is a different story. I believe MZA earned his ticket to stay in the lineup. It’s his to lose. As far as the rest of them- I think they will all be tried in different games and different scenarios. I tend not to over think it too much, it will play itself out. Besides, unfortunately, who said there will be no more injuries?

  19. Drury will play out this year, and I agree, Torts will unlikely to sit our captain. He will not retire after the season, they will buy him out, I believe. That’s just the way it is.

  20. It will be tough finding trading partners at the deadline since there are so few teams out West that are truly out of the playoff picture. In the East there are few viable trading options since I doubt theyd make deals with the Isles and Devils. Then they’re left with the Leaves, Sabres, Sens and Panthers as trading partners. I know Blueshirt Banter has done a good job of analyzing possible trade targets on those teams and the rental (and I firmly believe that the Rangers should be looking at the rental market) players on many of those teams isn’t really appealing.

    I wouldn’t be so quick to put some of the younger assets, particularly AA on the block if Richards does in fact sign. There’s always the chance that Boyle or Stepan regresses next year. And there’s always the chance of moving one of those 3 to wing should the need arise.

    As for the lineup when/if players return, it would be tough to sit Zuccs or Whale him at this point. I’d see Feds maybe getting bumped down to the 4th line and the scratched list consisting of various combinations of Avery, Drury and EC. Avery might have the 3rd most assists on the team but he also has many stretches of 3-4-5 games where he doesnt contribute. Based on this season hes been a 4th line guy that can play top 9 minutes for a game or two but hasn’t brought the consistency of most of the other wingers. Factor the lack of use for him on special teams and he’s pretty far down on the depth chart.

    As for the guys who have spent most of their time in the AHL, leave them there if the NHL roster is healthy.

  21. GOALS for GAB-orik on

    Chris Drury’s pants are not old.. they simply tear at the mere sight of Brandon Prust.

  22. GOALS for GAB-orik on

    If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is there to hear it… Brandon Prust did it.

  23. One of the offseason moves I’m curious to see play out is if Redden refuses his AHL assignment and negates his contract. I think a large factor in him accepting his AHL role this year was because of his newborn. From many accounts he’s played adequately down there. There’s no chance the Rangers use him on the NHL roster for the remainder of his deal but I believe if he refuses aasignment next year they can terminate his deal and becomes an unrestricted FA. I’m unfamiliar as to the timeline of when that would need to be completed and how that matches the FA period. I do know that the window for buyouts is pretty narrow and any buyout with Drury is going to come very early in the offseason.

  24. Unless Anisimov really picks it up, It’s inevitable that he will be traded sometime in the next 6 months. For those who don’t agree, please show me where Anisimov fits in the top 9 next year if we acquire a #1 center. Which one of these guys, should lose their spot to Anisimov???

    Dubinsky-Richards-Gaborik
    Wolski-Stepan-Zuccarello
    Prust-Boyle-Callahan

  25. Blueshirt in Paris on

    Christensen “trade bait”?? Nobody wants him. Count me as one of those nobodys, I don’t see what he really brings to the table as well besides the occasional point ans SO goal.

    Drury higher on the depth chart than MZA? What games have you been watching?!?!

  26. Blueshirt in Paris on

    oleo, you have a point. But I would think they would need to see if they can sign Richards first.

    But AA should have some value, young and promising and can step right in and help.

  27. Nice job Doodie.

    1 / I’m curious to see what Prospal has to contribute. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if he comes back and makes a significant contribution.

    2 / Trade EC for a draft pick or a bag of hockey pucks. While I like fedetenko’s game he could be moved too.

    My thoughts:
    • Anisimov will break out. soon. Trading him is crazy talk.
    • We’re not winning the cup this year. Why trade for vets? The culture/identity the rangers organization is building will payoff in a few years.
    • PRUST for C ?
    • Put Drury behind the bench next year (?)

  28. i believe gabbys struggles are directly related to prospal not being on his line. with that said, i would like to see him back. but i am not betting on it.

    i would love to see these lines if he does come back

    prospal christensen gabby
    dubi stepan cally
    wolski boyle MZA
    drury/avery AA prust

    i wouldnt mind switching step and boyle. boyle between dubi and cally could be really tough to play against

    oleo, if those are the rangers lines next year i would be very happy!

  29. Blueshirt in Paris

    if the Rangers choose not to sign Richards, then Anisimov gets traded for in the offseason for a different #1 center or he gets traded now for a center.

    The only other move I can think of that really makes sense is trading Anisimov and Carolina’s 2nd round pick to Florida for Stephen Weiss. Weiss is still fairly young, has been his team’s captain and leading scorer for the past 2 and a half seasons, should see a boost in production due to playing with Gaborik and Dubinsky/Wolski and is pretty good at faceoffs.

    Not to mention Weiss has 2 more years left on his contract after this one with a very nice cap hit of 3.1 mil

  30. doodie, you’re entitled to your opinion, and it wasn’t without thought.

    In case you haven’t noticed all the little things he says about him,
    Tortorella loves Zuccarello – and rightly so. He goes nowhere.

    Incidentally, I was one who originally wouldn’t have minded seeing AA moved in the right deal.
    Not so much anymore. For one thing, supposedly Messier loves him.

    And there’s always the chance he gets shifted to wing even if they bring in Richards.

  31. Rod,

    I would love to see MZA stay in the lineup. And you know what, by the time all four guys are back, the deadline will be upon us. Sather will make his move and MZA will probably stay (provided he isn’t the guy being moved).

  32. JT, Prospal being activated was a paper transaction. Since the Rangers sent five guys to the Whale, they had to have 20 active on their NHL roster … so they activated Prospal. It doesn’t mean his return is imminent. He could return shortly, but that’s all speculation at this point.

    While I love Doodie’s discussion, and all of your conjecture, the chances of everybody being healthy at the same time appear to be very slim.

  33. Carp, I agree. The big caveat with this is that everybody currently in the lineup has to stay healthy until about the last week of February.

    Christensen was 4-6 weeks from December 31. Dubinsky was 3-4 from January 19. Fedotenko was 2-4 from the same date. Those are the estimates I was working off of.

  34. Oleo, now it’s definitely a possibility that AA is trade bait, I still don’t see why the Rangers would be so quick to trade him even if they do secure Richards. The first question would be, what would the Rangers trade him for? IMO, the obvious spot would be a top 6 winger but would there be enough cap space to fit an established top 6 guy if they signed Richards?

    The amount of ice time, the use of him on special teams and late in games/OT suggests that the coaching staff feels pretty confident in him. I know he’s was moved down to the 4th line for a little bit earlier in the year but he hasn’t been benched nor has he really drawn the ire of Torts. As for where he fits in a top 9 role, I’d make room for him on the top 9 over Prust. I love Prust’s game as much as everyone here does, but AA’s got substantially more talent than Prust. Essentially he’s already matched his production from last year in 30 less games.

    I don’t see Stephen Weiss as being that dramatic an upgrade for down the road. This year yes, next year probably. Beyond that, I don’t know.

  35. Zuccarello is not getting traded Doodie.

    They try not to say too much but they think he’s a rock star.

    and I think they’re right.

  36. avery is garbage on

    regarding drury and the captaincy: they should have stripped it from him while he was injured, like they did with rozy. the fact that they didnt means hes probably finishing out the season in the active lineup.

  37. avery, I think they thought Drury had more left in the tank. Lord knows I did. I thought, and openly said, that he would outscore Christensen in a points per game basis. He really doesn’t have anything left. He’s slow, his shots have nothing on them and are all straight into the goaltender’s chest, and he doesn’t appear engaged anymore. If that “C” wasn’t on his chest, I think he would be benched before Newbury.

  38. The Rangers have absolutely amazing depth at LW. We have Wolski and Dubinsky for the top 2 lines and they are unarguably better than Anisimov. You then have Prust who is an absolute machine who scores timely goals and along with Boyle and Callahan/Fedotenko is a coach’s dream checking line.

    Then you look at our prospects. Carl Hagelin, who is forgotten by most Ranger fans, is quite possibly the best player in the NCAA and not far away from MSG. Then we have Evgeny Grachev, who has seen time here and has been on fire in HFD in the last few games. Chris Kreider will probably go back to BC but he is supposed to be the most dynamic prospect we’ve had since Brian Leetch and will be at MSG in 2 years as well.

    Whether its now, or 2 years from now, despite his age and room for growth, I just dont see why trading him in a deal for a #1 center is not the best course of action.

  39. Doodie, similarly, if this was training camp and Drury wasn’t the captain, do you think he’d make the team?

  40. CTB, he would have to because of his NMC. There is simply nowhere else for him to go but on the team.

    Without the NMC, I think he would get moved, possibly to Phoenix. 5 million salary next year, but 7 million cap hit. I don’t think they would bury another 7 million in CT on top of Redden’s 6.5.

  41. Cally,Dubi,Boyle and Trouble on

    Great article. Thanks for posting; this site gets me through the morning.

    I highly doubt ‘Clutch’ is riding pine, but if by some act of god he did, I think the below lines are pretty exciting:

    Avery-Prospal-Gaborik
    Dubinsky-AA-Cally
    Wolski-Stepan-Zucc
    Fedetenko-Boyle-Prust

    I’d like to see Boyle on a higher line, but how do you break he and Prust up? Or is this thought dated now that Boyle>=BEAST?

    By the way:
    Prust doesn’t read books.
    He stares at them until he gets the information he wants.

  42. Carp Great post. Agree with most of what you said, but man what’s your problem with Avery. On any given night he really gives his all notwithstanding his stupid penalties

  43. I’d argue that AA is around the same stage, maybe even further along the growth curve than Dubi was in his 2nd full year. Remember Dubi was getting top 9 minutes in his rookie year, AA was mostly a 4th liner in his rookie year. AA at 40 points is a decent 2nd year, 1st year in a top 9 role.

    Wolski’s inconsistency has kept him from being more of an impact player throughout his career and I think AA is a much better 2 way player than him. AA has also scored a few timely goals, an OT winner against Buffalo, the tying goal against Dallas a few weeks ago, a crucial goal against the Pens their last game in Pitt, the SO winner against the Caps this week.

    Again, I know you can’t win games without hardhat guys like Prust, but Prust is also a huge candidate for getting injured throughout the course of the year with his style of play.

    As for a top line center, are we talking about a 80-90 point guy or a 60-70 point guy? I’d move AA for the former but not the latter.

  44. Loneranger- I don’t think Carp said a word about Avery…
    But what he said makes total sense- Prospal was reactivated as a paper transaction.

    Agree with most- trading AA is a bad move and will hurt us in the future. Signing Richards isn’t a foregone conclusion by any stretch, and even if they do sign him, one needs to look at our situation 2 years down the road.

  45. Doodie, right of course. I forgot to add, ignore the NMC, the captaincy and all of that. Just on his play, if he was a mid 30’s player, with a more appropriately sized contract, do you think he’d make the team. Think of like a Fedotenko situation from this year.

  46. Don’t miss Christensen. Prospal’s done. Hopefully Zuc’s here to stay. AA, too. I think he’s one small step from kicking ass.

  47. Why would Avery sit or go to the Whales? Yes he’s not scoring but he’s been great in the all the minutes he gets (from 11-21m).

    Drury in the press box? While Drury is not my favorite Ranger, throughout his career he’s always been that special clutch player. In many ways I feel sorry for him getting 10 mins a game. I always thought there will be a time (end of the season or playoff heroics) that he will finally create some special moments and get endeared to Ranger fans. But this seems more unlikely since he gets so little ice time.

  48. Oleo,

    I don’t disagree AA quite possibly becomes the odd man out.
    But there are any number of ifs…..
    Wolski to name just one. Looks pretty good but he’s far from cemented himself.

    It’s why I think they go into the off-season to sort out their forwards.

    I do think they’ll grab a d-man likely for a pick and/or for a Connecticut castoff.
    Kennedy – who’s been marooned – almost for sure, maybe one of the kids that was just up and didn’t look out of place.

  49. oleo: Re trading AA cuz Richards is coming. What if you move in a package for say a power forward (or crease clearing Dman) and then fail to sign Richards in the off-season? You then have Stepan and BB as your only valid centers.

    Not good. Too risky in my books.

    If AA is to be moved, it’s done in the off-season only after Richards is signed.

    Just for the record, I’m not advocating all of this cuz I’m reluctant to be tied to yet another big-ass deal for a guy heading towards the downside of his career.

    I do see the merit, but IMO it’s one those high risk/high reward moves Sather boosted about when he came to NY, none of which, to my recollection, have reaped any rewards. I suppose the law of averages suggests that the Rangers are due, but obvously, that’s not guarantee.

    In other words, the Rangers need to think very carefully about pursuing Richards this summer. I almost hope the Stars resign him so that entire possibility is eliminated.

    I like to think that Stepan, who’s been very impressive and clearly shows signs of being a capable 1st line center (he truly reminds me of Stevie Y) and AA, I think, has the ability to be a fine 2nd line center.

    Meaning what’s wrong with staying the course? I get the allure of Richards, especially with Gaborik floundering this year, but the youth movement is proving to be quite encouraging. By signing Richards Rangers will be indicating one of 2 things:

    1) They believe they are ready to take the next step (ie from PO contender to Cup contender)
    2) Their skill level, especially at center, remains questionable, especially from a top end perspective

    I don’t know if either is true….

  50. Rod, I’m glad you’re starting to post regularly. Welcome.

    CTB, in that hypothetical, no, I do not think he would make the team.

    lone, the thread today was written by me, not Carp.

    Also, I don’t want to rehash the Avery issue, but “On any given night he really gives his all notwithstanding his stupid penalties”

    Right now, EVERYBODY on the team (save maybe Drury, who I think should sit before just about everyone on the roster except some of the deeper Whale callups) is giving their all every night, on every shift. You might be able to convince me that Christensen doesn’t, but let’s see when he gets back what his effort level is. The difference between Avery and all of the other players is built right into your statement about him: all of the stupid penalties. The other players don’t take them. Well, Dubinsky does, but Dubinsky brings so much more to the table than Avery that you can overlook the occasional bad penalty.

  51. Well said Jim. I don’t disagree.

    If they get a clean crack at him, Richards is here.

    The coach wants him, and few would argue Torts isn’t entitled after the work he’s put in here.

    It would absolutely signify they’re taking the next step, and there’s also a lot to be said for how a veteran like Richards can deflect the heat from these kids, let them continue to develop naturally.

    Also don’t forget Richards isn’t the only UFA set to come on the market.

  52. I think Artem Anisimov is really starting to show some promise lately. He has played a more physical game on the forecheck. Remember, he is young. If he puts on some weight and keeps working he could be a real prize.

  53. Rod: Yeah, the Torts/Richards connection sure makes one think he could be headed to NY. I think if the Rangers want him, they’ll get him, unless they have a bottom line $$ wise and another team blows that out of the water (and if so, then so be it).

  54. Eric Christensen to me is just about the same under achieving type of player as Brad Isbister used to be….. you might find one team willing to take a shot but he has all the tools and talent and rarely see them put together to produce a goal when you really need it….. i dont really count a goal on a free breakaway in the skills competition something that would make me wanna jump out of my seat and try to make a deal for him….

  55. Doodie- it’s quite possible that Drury gives his all every night too, I’m just afraid that along with his totally shot confidence, that is all he’s got.

  56. “Also don’t forget Richards isn’t the only UFA set to come on the market.”

    While Richards isn’t the only one, he’s easily the best center, and probably the best forward as well. I suppose a case could be made for Hugh Jessiman (I KID, I KID). Also, there’s no guarantee he hits the market. If the Stars get their ownership situation figured out by June 1, he’s staying in Dallas.

    Kaberle, McCabe, Jovanovski, and Bryzgalov probably round out the top 5 of the 2011 UFA class (though not necessarily in that order).

  57. Well, after Semin signed one more year with the Caps, Richards’ UFA value has just gone up. That may make the situation even more complicated.

  58. Doodie- it is very sad to see, I think he totally stopped believing in himself, I do feel bad. I hope he does something to at least feel better about his whole career before it’s over.

  59. Richards is by far and away the best forward UFA on the market this year, should he even reach FA. Two teams with a lot of cap space to burn during the summer will be Buffalo and St. Louis. St. Louis desperately needs offense and has a nice core of forwards that could benefit from Richards tremendously. With new ownership and Buffalo you might see a larger commitment to spending. And if Marc Savard is forced to retire because of his concussions, his contract plus Michael Ryder’s expiring deal could open up cap space for Boston to make a move. There are going to be plenty of bidders for Richards that could presumably make a move faster than the Rangers.

  60. I am not advocating trading Anisimov for a 5th defenseman or strictly a rental player but if i can package Anisimov in a deal to get a guaranteed top 6 player, you have to make that move.

    Stephen Weiss is a 60+ point player on a bad team. If I can bring that guy in for Anisimov, Carolina’s 2nd round pick and some mid-level players/prospects like Weise, Kundratek, Werek etc. there is no logic behind turning that down given how incredibly deep our farm system is and Anisimov’s role on our team is minimal once our injured players return.

  61. CTB- I almost wish he signs elsewhere, even if it meant we’d have to wait a bit longer. One thing you can’t deny- his connection with Tortorella. Imaginary or not, he may feel that Torts may be the only way for him to win another SC.

  62. oleo, Weiss isn’t going anywhere. Feaster already cleaned house and Weiss was not a part of that process. He’s a young player with a very manageable cap hit. I don’t think Florida is interested in moving him. McCabe, on the other hand, is a goner by the trade deadline. Probably Vokoun too, although they’ve expressed interest in resigning him.

  63. Prustisms are the best.

    Brandon Prust doesn’t Floss. He just replaces his teeth with other people’s teeth. Daily.

  64. Weiss best season was 61 points. AA played 135 NHL games and has 54 points. Exactly what Weiss had during his first 135 games. Anisimov has a bigger body and is already playing very important, every situation minutes. Can you say with an absolute degree of certainty that Anisimov in 4 years will not topple 61 points? At the moment, he is already more versatile player than Weiss. And he is still 22. Yet, you’re ready to give him up AND 2nd round draft choice.

  65. True Blue Mike on

    Don’t count the Panthers out so quick, they are a decent team and i don’t see them trading Vokoun if they have a chance at the playoffs.
    ===========================================================

    Doodie,
    Do you honestly think Zuke will be sent down? At this point sending him down even if just for a minor stint with the whale would be an atrocity. He is one of our best players as of late and he has for me been the number one star in at least 8-10 games. He has won games for us and he makes space for other players to play. I think these are the lines when everyone returns.

    Zuke-Step-Wolski
    Avery-Prospal-Gaborik
    Dubinsky-AA-Cally
    Feds-Boyle-Prust

    Drury and Christensen, Pruchad. And “IF” Avery is not effective you swap Christensen in for Prospal, move Prospal to left wing and you still have a good line.

  66. I suppose the Torts connection runs strong, but money talks and a couple of those teams that I mentioned can have a big offer on hand the moment that the FA period begins without having to think twice about re-signing/releasing their own FAs.

    I believe a Drury buy out would take place pre-July 1st but what if he doesn’t get bought out and they try to talk retirement? Are they going to try to work out a deal with Redden where they can release him from his contract if he refuses an AHL assignment? What RFAs or UFAs can they retain if they sign Richards? There’s a lot of unknown variables the Rangers would have to work out in order sign him and I think that works against the Rangers from being able to make the first move unless they can convince Richards to wait for them to sort things out.

  67. GOALS for GAB-orik on

    Brandon Prust once had an awkward moment… just to see what it was like.

    Nails say they’re tough as Prust.

    Coppertone made a new sunblock… it’s SPF Prust.

  68. Mike, I see Zuke being sent down in only one set of circumstances:

    1) Everybody is back healthy by about February 15.
    2) Sather hasn’t made a trade yet.

    In that case, I see him being sent down purely to free up as much cap space as possible ahead of any potential move.

    After the deadline, he’s back up for sure.

  69. GOALS for GAB-orik on

    Manfried, nice one!

    I’m starting a facebook page to get Linda back to Rangers Report!

  70. The Drury situation could decide what happens w. Richards.
    It simply must be resolved, I can’t imagine Rangers in a gear up maybe for Cup year allowing it to linger.

    Oddly the injuries to Dubi N Cally help cap-wise. Both were having career year, atleast Dubi certainly was, and now their numbers won’t command top $’s…

    Does anyone think Boyle doesn’t deserve an enormouse raise?
    He’s making 500k and is playing like a $5M man.

    Anisimov has shown a lot since his early season disappearance.

  71. ilb

    I am absolutely fine with giving up Anisimov and the possibilty he is a 60+ point player in 4 years b/c Derek Stepan and Brian Boyle should be entrenched in the Rangers lineup for the next 5+ years.

    Why wait 4 years to see if Anisimov is going to be a great player, when I can 1) bring in a sure thing now and 2) instantly replace him with our ridiculously deep farm system. If the Ranger were to make the trade I proposed, you’d forget all about Anisimov the next day.

  72. CTB- they may offer Drury a trade before they buy him out. I’m sure he will agree, providing Sather finds his dance partner. Drury deserved that much, players don’t like to be bought out.

    I think Redden will continue to play in AHL, his full cap hit, however counts during the summer, it will easily account for 10% over the cap allowance. That may interfere with what they can sign during the offseason.

  73. Carp You stated earlier “As for predictions: I don’t believe Prospal returns. As a result, only Newbury and Kolarik get Whaled, and Drury watches from the pressbox. I would be OK with this. If Prospal does return, I think unfortunately it is Zuccarello that finds himself riding the buses again. However, I’d much rather it be Zuccarello playing and Avery finding himself watching games with Drury.” Perhaps I’m reading this wrong. If so I apologize.

  74. GOALS for GAB-orik on

    Carp,

    If you shared some of our Prustisms with Prust… that would be awesome. I think he’d get a kick out of them.

  75. True Blue Mike on

    Oleosmirf what was the trade you proposed? And also don’t think Boyle is this all new amazing player, next year he can be back to his terrible hockey self you just never know with these guys. I still love Boyle though and am so glad he is playing at the level he is.

  76. oleo- I think you and I are looking at AA from 2 totally different angles- you expect him to be an offensive center, I think he will become one of the best two-way centers. We both could easily be wrong. I tend to believe that having Torts, Clark and other people in our management provides us with some degree of comfort that they will do what is best for the team. They’ve proven it so far this year. Bet you Olga would have something to say about it :-)

  77. I think pride would dictate that Redden wants to play in the NHL again. That can’t happen with the Rangers. Terminating his contract is probably the best for both parties.

    I don’t think any team would take Drury on for his cap hit unless they really need to hit the floor where his actual salary is less than his hit. Still, I think it would be hard to convince him of a trade either way.

  78. I think we need to beef up the list and then let Prust pick his favorite…..can anyone say youtube remix?

  79. Boyle is not a top 6 player nor will he probably ever be but there is no reason why he shouldn’t be a 30-35 point player and a defensively responsible 3rd line center for the next 8-10 years.

    Stepan, on the other hand,

  80. Also, for all the fuss made about Boyle’s breakout year, he has just one more point than AA. Sure it’s been because of Boyle’s goals, but AA was part of a pretty good line with Cally and Dubi for a while. They are both used for offense and on the PK. AA is still a more fluid skater and Boyle has better command of his size, but that’s something I think AA can grow into as he matures.

  81. Rod- you’re right about Dubinsky and Callahan. Their injuries may help us cap-wise. However, I also think that Sather helped that issue significantly by signing Marc Staal to a contract at just below $4M. It will be hard for any agent to justify signing Dubinsky and Callahan at that, let alone above that, number.

  82. Stepan on the other hand is already a 50+ point player and looks like he can be a special player and an all star in the next 2-3 years. With those two guys entrenched at center, the other center should really just be a revolving door of proven veteran players just no crazy contracts.

    I suggested trading for Stephen Weiss and giving up Anisimov (who has MUCH more value for Florida than he does for us), Carolina’s 2nd round pick in 2010 and a few mid-level prospects like Weise, Werek, Horak, Kundratek, Valentenko etc.

  83. Name this player:

    Rookie year (99-00): 82 GP, 26 G, 24 A, 18 even strength goals, 8 PPG, 0 SG
    00-01: 79 GP, 14 G, 17 A, 9 ESG, 3 PPG, 2 SHG
    01-02: 81 GP, 20 G, 41 A, 17 ESG, 3 PPG, 0 SHG

    3 more years of 40-50 point production then falling out of favor with the NHL

  84. Yea dude – you nailed it. I like how it makes Prusty good for all seasons. Not just winter.

  85. Personally, I don’t see the allure of Steve Weiss. I get his value – he’s a good center, but IMO he’s a good 2nd line center and therefore, redundant on the Rangers. Trading AA in a package to get him is essentially a lateral move. Perhaps not immediately – Weiss currently is a better player than AA and Stepan, too, for that matter. But IMO not that much better. I think if you move AA to get him it’s because you believe AA won’t progress much further than where he is now.

    I mean, look at his numbers: 13 goals and 33 points. AA has 10 and 26 – there’s not a whole lotta difference. Yes, the former is on an inferior team, but he’s also the number 1 center and while I couldn’t be bothered looking it up, I’ll bet he gets more icetime than AA and let’s not forget that the Rangers offensively aren’t exactly blowing the doors off the opposition very much.

  86. Good post, Doodie! Seriously :)

    Disagree with one thing, MZA is not going anywhere, even temporarily. The kid is here to stay. If you’re Torts, you don’t even take the 1% chance that Whaling him might ruin his confidence.

    Long live MZA!

  87. My understanding of it is AA is very well liked, by management and by the young core players.

    And the Rangers are very wary of upsetting the good karma they have going now.

    They see him in practice everyday. There are parts of his game he hasn’t fully shown in game action.

    Lundqvist for one thinks he has the best shot on the team, says he’s deadly.

    I don’t know if he mistakenly overlooked Gaborik or not, but that’s what he said.

  88. Anybody who wants to see Zuccarello on the fourth line – or worse Whaled – is not seeing the impact this guy is having. I know he’s small in stature, but he’s the best passer we have on the team and he creates scoring opportunities. He needs top 6 minutes. Anything less I think you’re defeating the purpose of having him here.

  89. Oh, so we now include Valentenko too? I suppose Weiss’ value has gone up even more within the last 20 min. One thing is for sure- trading Valentenko will get Wicky’s boxers in a bunch very fast :-)

  90. GOALS for GAB-orik on

    When an unstoppable force meets an immovable object… Brandon Prust moves that object.

  91. Of all the lineups I have seen here, the one that makes the most sense, IMHO, is the one submitted near the start by ‘And This One Will Last A Lifetime’. It’s a hard thing to ascertain how someone is going to come back from an injury, including and especially hardened hockey veterans (i.e. – Prospal) who are already starting to decompose. That’s why you need to think about going forward with what you know (obviously superceded by any trades) and not mess with what has been pretty good chemistry to date. If it was earlier in the year, there certainly would be time to consider all options.
    Then it comes down to EC or Drury as the odd man out. EC, for the rest of the regular season, brings more to the table than Cap Clutch – his versatility (1st line with Gabby or 4th line with Avs and possibly Zookie) will give Torts more options while hopefully not exposing a defensive liability. His SO prowess just gives him tie-breaker pints in this comparison.

  92. Thanks tiki, was losing my mind with talk of MZA to Ct.

    The guy is their leading scorer since he came up!

  93. True, Doodie.

    Gab, if you continue this, Im going to lose a lung from laughing and coughing continuously :)

  94. Rod – MZA is our leading scorer since coming up?? Holy Hartnell! If MZA continues like this through the end of the year, I really hope we lock him up to a long-term contract instead of letting him go into the final year of his contract next year.

  95. GOALS for GAB-orik on

    Mathmatically…

    Area= BasexHeight

    Prust= FistxFist

    Prust + Fist x anger + opponent, divided by refs = 5 minutes for fighting.

  96. Good afternoon all! Doodie, great post…..you know I am soooooo tempted, but I won’t :)

    and I’m with those who say MZA is here to stay.

  97. Correct Doodie and DJK. I said that in reference to Stepan. I think the kid can be good too, but I also remember thinking that about York. Stepan has the better raw tools than York, but a pretty good rookie year didn’t exactly catapult him into anything more beyond that. As much as I like the kid, Stepan could easily pull a Del Zotto next year.

  98. GOALS for GAB-orik on

    Sorry Tiki!

    Brandon Prust doesn’t cough… impurities dare not enter his lungs.

  99. lone, I didn’t write that.

    I think Prust is at least aware of the Prust-isms. I don’t know if he’s scrolling through and reading them all. But I think he knows we’re doing it.

    Good afternoon, Sally!

  100. GOALS for GAB-orik on

    After the filming of Pulp Fiction was completed… Samuel L. Jackson gave Brandon Prust back his wallet. Remember? It was the one that said Bad Motha ——-.

  101. Jim

    I understand your point but my point is 1) Weiss would go from a 60 point player to a 70 point player due to the fact that he will be playing with better linemates 2) by the time Anisimov might reach his potential (which is not exactly a guarantee) Weiss’s contract would expire and the Rangers will have plenty of cap space to sign another sure thing and 3) The Rangers have so many good prospects that we will still have a great infusion of youth every year going forward.

    This has nothing to do with what I think Anisimov might be in the future, its all about the Rangers taking advantage of their deep farm system and bringing in someone that in all likelihood makes them better now, next year and the year after.

  102. GOALS for GAB-orik- Keep reading Prust!! on

    Carp,

    That is awesome!

    Brandon Prust’s blood type is TK-O-positive.

  103. Tiki: No big deal – MZA will be a RFA when his contract expires. I say keep him at his current salary ($1,750,000) as long as possible for cap space reasons.

  104. There were about 20 players in the league last year that had at least 80 points. Among the 40 G/40 A players (give or take about +/- 5 in each category) you had:

    Gaborik
    Marleau
    Kovalchuk
    Heatley
    Parise
    Kopitar
    Semin

    Again, I like what Stepan has showed, but he’s not really that level of player yet.

  105. oleo – You say Stepan is “entrenched at center” and would enable the trade of Anisimov. So you no longer want to move Stepan to the wing because he’ll never improve at faceoffs?

  106. This is a different player that shows sometimes it takes a couple of seasons to really explode.

    1991-92 53 8 22 30
    1992-93 78 17 31 48
    1993-94 84 24 50 74
    1994-95 48 7 33 40
    1995-96 82 25 79 104
    1996-97 80 21 61 82

  107. ilb

    im not going to turn down a proven goal scorer and someone who has more points than anyone on our team b/c of the 8th d-man on the organizational depth chart. The chances Valentenko ever cracks our lineup as anything more than an injury replacement is slim to none.

  108. Decompose Ulfie?

    That’s a bit harsh (if humerous), do you not think?

    Prospal was frequently this teams best all around player last year.

    I hope he gets back, even 85% will help us a lot….

  109. GOALS for GAB-orik- Keep reading Prust!! on

    Most of us choose right or wrong. Brandon Prust chooses right or left.

  110. LW3H

    as long as someone takes the important faceoffs for him (like Dubi has been until his injury), it shouldn’t be an issue. It might keep him from being a #1 center but he has certainly entrenched himself as the #2 center on this team.

    His problems winning draws still need to be corrected down the line as it hurts the PP as he needs someone like Boyle (who ideally shouldn’t be out there on the 1st unit) to take draws for him

  111. GOALS for GAB-orik- Keep reading Prust!! on

    Brandon Prust once got pulled over. He let the cop off with a warning.

  112. You Prustbyterians are nuts!

    Gotta say, I was in a bar the othernight and some sweetfaced girl was talking about how badass he is.

    When even casual fans like that recognise a role player he has arrived.

  113. GOALS for GAB-orik- Keep reading Prust!! on

    Brandon Prust got perfect grades in school… he forechecked every answer.

  114. you guys do realize the Rangers have a multitude of forwards just as highly touted as Anisimov was in the farm system right?

    Kreider, Hagelin, Thomas, Grachev, Horak, Bourque, Fasth, Werek are all promising prospects that could be just as good (or better) as Anisimov in their 2nd year in the league. Not all of these guys can play on the team simultaneously.

    Why do you think we traded Sanguinetti. It wasn’t b/c we felt he was no good but we coveted Fasth (great steal btw), the extra pick in this year’s draft will enable us to trade for someone at the deadline and we have a great pipeline of defensive prospects that made trading our top dman in HFD expendable and 8 months later, noone seems to care that he is gone despite the fact that had he not gotten hurt, would be a top 6 d-man in Carolina.

  115. Rod,
    Understood, by decompose I guess I meant in body, not skills.
    If you want the eternal optimist perspective it might be that Prospal = Playoff Messiah (aka – unknown who would lead us to the promised land of Stanley’s Cup. . . . i.e. – Bobby Sheehan in ’79 or George McPhee in whatever year it was in the mid ’80s when he was thrown into the playoff mix and flourished). Prospal is not an unknown but he is unknown to this particular group as now constructed.

    I would rather have it that way then bring in a guy as a playoff mercenary and break up some part of this team, even a little . . . . okay, Drury can go.

    Back to the currently proposed team (with EC) – There way not be a prototypical 4th line. In fact each line can be productive and interchanged. It may be a beautiful thing if everything works out. . . . unless it doesn’t

  116. Kreider is the main prospect I’ve read that has the best shot to be a top 6 if not first line winger. Grachev’s growth is not as fast as we would have liked but Anisimov did much better at the same stage of his career where Grachev is right now (2nd year in the AHL, Anisimov was basically a point per game player). The rest are all longer term prospects and are probably not in direct competition with Anisimov for a roster spot. If they get Kreider signed to an entry level deal then he gets a shot in camp but there’s no guarantee he makes the team next year.

    Sanguinetti was traded because the Rangers were never confident he’d learn the defensive side of the game well enough to make it in the NHL. After Del Zotto made the team last year that effectively ended Sanguinetti’s Rangers tenure. Judging how he hasn’t been called up by Carolina this year, they’re not too confident either.

  117. I know what you meant Ulfie, and hear what you’re saying….

    He does know these guys though, and he’s a real smart passion player.

    Take him any day if he can just skate!

  118. Great post Doodie. I think IF Prospal is a go, then you have to sit Christensen. MZA is doing a lot of good things for this team right now, not to say that EC wouldn’t, but MZA has been a contributor in many games consecutively, and you’d like to think he’s only going to get better as he gets more acclimated to the NHL game. EC had a bad habit of taking games off and going MIA when the team really needed to get something going. That’s not going to fly come playoff time.

    Boogaard… who cares about how the guy that plays 4 minutes a game? It’s a peripheral issue. His roster spot could easily be filled by someone who is less of a defensive liability and who could dump in a goal or two every now and again. His fighting ability is worthless come playoff time. Besides, Prust, Avery, Sauer and even Dubinsky are more than capable of delivering pain when necessary. Let’s not kid ourselves, this is not a team that will beat opponents into submission. The sooner they accept that and embrace their identity, the better off they’ll be.

    If you’re talking about filling a 4th line role, then Avery is the obvious choice. He’s not a defensive liability, he’s a strong skater, and he’s hard on the boards. He’s not much of a scoring threat, but pair him with a finisher, and good things can happen. The Rangers are playing a game where they get the puck deep along the end boards, win the battles, and get the puck out to either the point for a shot, or center in front of the net for a quick shot. The scheme is working, and it’s one of Avery’s strengths since he will take the hit and still be able to handle the puck. He does commit a lot of turnovers, but they’re 180 feet away from his goal, so they’re not going to hurt the team or create odd man rushes against.

    AA has proven his worth here as a blossoming forward who seems to get better every season. His path is not much different from Dubinsky’s, who we’re finally seeing breakout this year and his dominance of games. Trading him now doesn’t make sense.

    I still have no idea why we chose McIlrath over Cam Fowler. Even if the end goal was to trade him.

  119. GOALS for GAB-orik- Keep reading Prust!! on

    Rod,
    Ok ok i’m done with the Prustisms for now!

    I’ll keep a few on the back burner for a rainy day :)

  120. How many Brandon Prust’s does it take to change a light bulb? None – He just holds up the light bulb and the world revolves around him.

  121. I kept a list of all of these Prustisms for us Prustbyterians. If anybody wants it I can put it up.

  122. GOALS for GAB-orik- Keep reading Prust!! on

    Daniel Carcillo once lost a fight to Brandon Prust’s reputation.

    OK OK NOW I’M DONE!! haha i couldn’t hold that one.

  123. DD, no need to make it personal with oleo.

    To be fair, I get totally get where he’s coming from on his proposals. For the first time in a long time the Rangers have a wealth of developing talent, in fact probably more than they need to fill their current and immediate future rosters. At some point it would behoove them to see what kind of return they could get on players they deem surplus to their requirements.

    But I personally think with the way that they developed AA since they drafted him and how they’re currently deploying him during games, the organization feel very confident in him and are interested in making him a piece of the core. Weiss might bring a more established track record, but AA is a known quantity to the coaching staff and that counts for a lot as well. I think they’d look to keep AA even if they managed to land Richards in the offseason. Most of their prospects on the offensive side are not NHL ready for next season and maybe even the season after that.

  124. GOALS for GAB-orik- Keep reading Prust!! on

    Manfried… that’s awesome man… good work! It’s gota be quite a list at this point!

  125. We are just over one page. I am just saying….if Prust wants to tack it up in his locker for inspiration………

  126. GOALS for GAB-orik- Keep reading Prust!! on

    We all need to get to a game and get Prustbyterian t-shirts made up with our favorite Prust-isms on them. We’d get crazy love from Rangers fans.

  127. GOALS for GAB-orik- Keep reading Prust!! on

    I’d let Prust give me a black eye… but only if he signs it.

  128. I would definitely rock a Prustbyterian shirt. Especially if it had a priest collar on the front. Priest = Prust (kind of close in spelling…..)

  129. GOALS for GAB-orik- Keep reading Prust!! on

    Not to pat myself on the back Manfried… but i’m on a serious roll today.

    Sorry about the water on your desk :)

    And i get the Priest collar reference… clever and amusing!

  130. GOALS for GAB-orik- Keep reading Prust!! on

    Someone should photoshop this… make it 2 fists, and the Rangers logo instead of the dove.
    And of course… say Prustbyterian. Or the Number 8… whatever.

    Then have our favorite Prust-ism on the back.

  131. GOALS for GAB-orik- Keep reading Prust!! on

    Across the top we can make it say Prustbyterian, underneath it can say New York Rangers

    The bird we can substitute for the number 8 in ranger font, or ranger logo. Either way. BUt the hands should def. be fists!

  132. Yea! Bird being maybe an NY in the background with a number 8 coming out of it …. like speeding through space? Hard to explain.
    Def. Fists on the hands.

    Gotta rock that Thirds color scheme because it’s so sick.

  133. GOALS for GAB-orik- Keep reading Prust!! on

    haha, yea that’s the link that doesn’t work!

    and yes the heritage color scheme is awesome.

  134. HAHA – that link SUCKS. Man I blew it.

    Well I am thinking like: Fists with the Rangers logo in the middle (the old school normal one – not the statute of liberty thing) then fists around it…maybe tattered a bit? (gloves or no gloves?)

    Then we have the number 8 Coming out of the Rangers Logo. Then the text as your described?

  135. GOALS for GAB-orik- Keep reading Prust!! on

    CT… you lost me at tinyurl haha.

    I’m not good with stuff like that.

  136. GOALS for GAB-orik- Keep reading Prust!! on

    Sounds good man… no gloves… Prust is bare knuckles all the way!

  137. I don’t buy the “Drury’s leadership is so respected by the other players in the room” mantra.

    first off, they did better without him, and they became a team with a gritty identity, WITHOUT HIM.

    Sure, they like and respect him as a person, despite his no-personality mumbling and no-fun persona. But they have BETTER leaders, new generation leaders who are even more respected , like Cally etc.

    But I don’t see Drury easily getting the message that he is washed up and voluntarily handing over control. he is too full of himself and stubborn to step aside unless Torts makes it happen by scratching ol’ torn pants often and making it inevitable that Drury steps out of the way. I hope Torts can make it happen thru the scratch route. But in Buffalo their captain Rivet was scratched for many games in a row but still did not surrender his “c” even though he is not a big name, and even Drury has more name recog than him. So it won’t be easy to push drury aside, even though the team would be better for it.

  138. Manfried, I’d love to have the whole list … would post it one day … maybe show it to Prust.

    you can email it to me at rcarpini@lohud.com … but wait a while. we might still have some entries coming in.

    does anybody remember that we did this the days after they hired Tortorella?

  139. That is pretty awesome.

    You think this could be offensive? I guess that crossed my mind. There just isn’t an alternative to the amazing word combination.

    Any thoughts?

  140. GOALS for GAB-orik- Keep reading Prust!! on

    Carp,

    certainly my intention isn’t to offend anyone… is the term Prustbyterian what you are thinking could be offensive? Or use of the logo?

  141. The dilemma in regards to Chris Drury brings to mind another aging veteran who Sather figured was no longer able to play up to standards.

    John MacLean, for those who remember, was catigated and sent to the minor-minor-minor leagues by Sather who tried to force Johnny Mac and his agent to take less than he was owed.

    Basically, Sather said to him “Retire…don’t make me bury you in the beer leagues”

    Now, why Sather chose to single out MacLean while handing millions upon millions to losers (like Vladimir Malakhov) is a mystery. But it brings to mind what SHOULD happen with Chris Drury.

    Drury is done. We’ve seen it for too long now. He’s got nothing left at the NHL level. It’s painful to watch. Painful to think about. And extremely painful to hear Sam & Joe go on about his “intangibles” when even Helen Keller can see the man is completely and totally washed up as a player.

    Sather, IMHO, should tell Drury in no uncertain terms “You can’t do it anymore. Save face and retire. Because there’s no way we can afford to put you in the lineup anymore.”

    It’s almost comical how horrific Drury’s Rangers career has been. Whole lotta nothin’ but chewed up mouthpieces, torn pants, dull expressions, christmas wishes, oily pizzas and a deserving spot on the “Worst free agent signings in NHL history” list.

  142. I guess we could get Prust Ordained through the Universal Life Church. Then we can just claim it’s a real.

    I don’t want to offend anyone. At least not in this manner. I don’t know though – little offends me so I am a bad judge and will defer to anyone smarter than me.

  143. Rod,
    Sorry for the delay. These 90 minute Friday meetings are a killer. Blogging about a passion (da Ranger) in a room full of suits while hosting a call is not the way to stay employed.
    Anyway, your optimism overwhelms me. Prospal for EC = DONE. Still would look to break him in slowly and having 2 energy guys like Avs and Zookie might be the way to go until you see what you got. In any case more talent than I seen around here in a long time.

    Is it true that Prust could survive 90 days in the jungle with just a garter belt and a role of friction tape?? Maybe Prust = (Playoff) Messiah?

  144. Carp Sorry on my earlier Avery comment. Didn’t realize it was a Doodie post. I scan too quickly.

  145. no prob, lone.

    Manfried, Goals, I don’t think the Prustbyterian thing is offensive. In fact, I find it quite hilarious, and we did borrow it from the Blueshirt Banter guys. It’s theirs originally.

    I just want to be careful with the logo and everything. OK?

  146. Totes on the logo – I think once it is actually finished it won’t look anything like the logo on that website – just the idea of the open fists.

  147. GOALS for GAB-orik- Keep reading Prust!! on

    Carp,

    Totally fair. I certainly don’t want to bother any group or affiliation over the logo. I feel if we make the changed we were talking about, it’s different enough not to be a flagrant copy, or offend them. We should be sure to take out any direct references to that link.

  148. Alright – Rule – no offending people. No references or anything that could offend. Just pure, unabashed appreciation for Prusty.

  149. GOALS for GAB-orik- Keep reading Prust!! on

    CCCP,

    not a sign… we’re going to see if Manfried’s buddy can make up a logo… and then we can get shirts made.

  150. I guess we could make the logo into a sign also? Once we have a cohesive logo I believe the sky is the limit.

    Anything you want really. Women’s underwear, ashtrays, plates, silverware, beer mugs, bathing suits, dog collars….and so on.

    How has “Prustbyterian” not been given it’s own Wikipedia page!?

  151. GOALS for GAB-orik- Keep reading Prust!! on

    So the ‘S’ on Supermans chest actually stands for second place?

  152. GOALS for GAB-orik- Keep reading Prust!! on

    Giving Prust 5 minutes to rest after a fight seems unfair for the other team…. he’s rested up and ready to do it again!

  153. GOALS for GAB-orik- Keep reading Prust!! on

    You def. have to give props to the guy who coined the phrase on that page!

  154. check out the torts-isms from feb. 24, 2009 in the archives to the right –>

    and feel free to add those to the prust list.

  155. Sure ill add up a Torts section in case he is feeling down one day.

    yea I made that page in a panic because it didn’t exist! Usually wikipedia will delete your article if you say who created something and it’s recent. So you have to exclude a date or something. They always delete my pages. Maybe I wasn’t the best one to head this operation up.

  156. Maybe this comment has already been made (to tired to look back on how this whole thing got started), but this Prust- I Am Legend thing is a Bonehead version of SNL’s ‘Ditka’ skits. The main difference being that evrything mentioned about the Pruster is TRUTH.

  157. Yea I think it’s like a take off on the whole Chuck Norris thing and the Ditka thing. Prust is way cooler than both those a-holes.

    Also – Reading this old Torts article….funny to see the same comments about Drury almost a full year ago….

  158. Here is a good Torts One…..

    UESBlueshirt February 24th, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    “Torts tears can cure the PP…too bad he never cries.”

    Looks like he still hasn’t cried.

  159. Some of these Prust lines are quite funny. We should compile a list and send it to MSG Network.

  160. GOALS for GAB-orik- Keep reading Prust!! on

    JBytes,

    The list is being compiled as we go. And we want Carp to get it to Prust directly!

    MSG network would ruin it, and end up talking about how Eric and Marc Staal are brothers.

  161. We are working on the list. It’s pretty extensive. After a few days I will give it to Carp. When we grow tired of this and have actual Hockey to talk about again.

  162. HAHAHA they totally would only talk about the brothers…..I guess we will know the bond of brothers this evening.

  163. Ugh – that always happens. We have to keep adding to it and make sure they leave it up. I made a link off the Brandon Prust page but it’s probably not enough. I will plead our case on the argument page.

  164. GOALS for GAB-orik- Keep reading Prust!! on

    Little known fact… Brandon Prust had an identical twin brother. They fought for control of the womb. Brandon was born.

  165. GOALS for GAB-orik- Keep reading Prust!! on

    Prust fought a cold when he was young… that cold hasn’t been seen since.

  166. GOALS for GAB-orik- Keep reading Prust!! on

    Witness Protection Program- Saving NHL players from Prust for years.

  167. GOALS for GAB-orik- Keep reading Prust!! on

    Prust was once called for Jury duty. The accused immediately pled guilty. Which is good, because Prust jumped out of the jury box after 5 minutes.

  168. NIce.

    I put Prust’s entire Wiki page up on the Prustbyterian one. That should save it from deletion for a bit.

  169. UESBlueshirt February 24th, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    “Torts tears can cure the PP…too bad he never cries.”

    Looks like he still hasn’t cried.

    ***

    Wow, that was me back in the good old days.

  170. Ok I just burned 100 calories and broke my computer uploading a picture to that Prustbyterians Wikipedia page. I don’t think I can go on anymore.

  171. Haha, looked back at that old post from 2009. The trade Gomez or Drury debates? Should we package Staal to move one of them? Should we go after Kovalchuk the next year. I did mention Gaborik as a potential acquisition. It’s really refreshing to see how much they were able to revamp the team in the last 2 years.

  172. GOALS for GAB-orik- Keep reading Prust!! on

    We gotta give credit to Blueshirts Banter for coining the phrase. Carp, it was Jim who came up with that?

  173. GOALS for GAB-orik- Keep reading Prust!! on

    don’t want them to think we are trying to rip them off or take credit.

  174. Wikipedia accused me of FAN WORSHIP (duh) and deleted everything I did. I think I am giving up. I might try again Monday with a reference to Blueshirts Banter.

    It might help when we have a whole section of Prustbyterians.

  175. Hey boneheads, just wanted to thank everyone for the good feedback and commentary today on my guest blog. Subtracting about 100 Prust-related jokes, there were still about 175 substantive comments on a non-Rangers, non-hockey day. We’re seriously the best.

  176. wicky(grating CCBG)© (The game’s not over until somebody cries!!) on

    so what are you guys making? I want two of whatever they are!!

    what was the website that had the great prices on heritage jerseys?

    thanks x 2

  177. Maybe some additional Prustian Prustisms, maybe not:
    PainInThePrust,
    PRust Never Sleeps (Neil Young Canadien Reference),
    In God We Prust,
    Just Prust Me,

  178. Btw, Doodie, very nice post. Thought provoking, indeed. I just don’t think MZA will be going anywhere. He is arguably our best offensive player (with Gaborik in his “slump”)…

  179. GOALS for GAB-orik- Keep reading Prust!! on

    Wicky… pro-jerseys.com. had great prices, though it seems they’ve been sold our for awhile now…

    Nasty ordered one from sportsk.com, takes a few weeks to get in, but seems legit.

  180. Hey blasfromthepast…go fly a kite…or post your comments here like the the rest of us….don’t be a carcillo-sucker!

  181. wicky(grating CCBG)© (The game’s not over until somebody cries!!) on

    gabby
    thanks!!

    doodie
    pardon me, but great post!!

  182. Doodie

    Very good analysis of the overall situation, and insights that make sense based upon activities to date.

    It is of course difficult to try and guess what Sather will spring next, because it always seems to be something off the beaten path, and for the most parts until just recently of course, he’s been left at the switch. There;s not doubt that he has a soft spot for older and no longer really productive veterans, but perhaps the success of his “kids” this season will have a regulating effect on his behavior.

    I always look for Zuccharella on the ice because in many ways he’s so unpredictable, and so quick, that one marvels at his puck handling ability at top speed. He’s a fun kid to watch. There is something in the Theo Fleury aspect that comes to mind, the way he bounces back even when plastered. ( Not making any comparison to Fleury’s scoring prowess however, just a general reminder of Theo.)

    One of the things that is quite noticeable about this team,that I do not recall here for many prior years, is the closeness that they all seem to have for one another, and the overall energy that they seem to transmit to one another.

    And if we could just get LQ up off his knees for a game or so, can you imagine the kind of goaltender he would be?

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