The first weekend of camp


I’m not sure what to make of it all.

First, I appreciate the Rangers being cautious with Marc Staal, especially, but also with Brandon Prust and Michael Sauer and Artem Anisimov. Again, especially Staal.

Concussions are the scourge of sports — I’m actually working on a story with former Giants footballer Dorsey Levens about concussions today — and the thing we know for sure about them is that you never know for sure. You never know the severity, of when it’s absolutely OK to play again, about when the symptoms will resurface, about what kind of hit it might take to cause a relapse or another concussion.

So, on the surface, and with zero medical evidence or intelligence or qualifications whatsoever, but completely because of my experience with so many serious concussions in the Rangers’ recent history (and other teams’ recent histories) I’d probably be more concerned about Staal than the Rangers are … or at least more concerned than they are letting on.

It appears that Anisimov and Sauer are going to be fine. Prust had surgery, so you’d assume eventually his shoulder will be 100 percent. But a bum shoulder for a guy who fights 15, 18, 20 times a year, almost always against much bigger (less useful) opponents, to me that’s a concern, too. And let’s remember, the Rangers don’t have a heavyweight anymore, don’t really have a fighter.

The other thing I’m not sure about is where, other than on the third D pair, will a rookie be able to make the team? I think Tim Erixon has a shot, and the Rangers do need to find a third pair. I’m assuming Michael Del Zotto will be one of those. And maybe Erixon is the other. Or maybe he doesn’t make it, and another young D-man does, or Steve Eminger joins the top six. But I don’t see a spot anywhere for another rookie, except as a fourth-liner, and I am very much against a rook playing 4-5 minutes a night instead of playing a ton of minutes in juniors or the minors.

Then again, injuries (or a trade) could change all of that, right?

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  1. The NYR now have Rupp, who more than handled Colton Orr on at least two occasions. You can probably find it on youtube…

  2. I think Rupp and Prust will be a good tag-team this year, and we’ve seen that Aves, Sauer and Dubi will drop them when absolutely necessary – i wish we could have McIlrath sooner, but i think we are tough enough right now and the biggest issue from last year is finding the guys to get the anaemic powerplay going – i hope Richie and Erixon are those guys (with a DZ redux too).

  3. I absolutely loved what I saw from Carl Hagelin at Traverse City. I think the kid is NHL ready. I hope he makes the team, but I do understand what Carp is saying. But, this is not an 18 or 19 year old kid. He spent 4 years playing for one of the TOP hockey programs in the country at the Univ. of Michigan. He is 22 years old. He is ready and I think he has NHL skills. Thoughts????

  4. Carp, with more medical qualifications on the topic than you have, I have to agree- it’s a concern. Especially considering that his symptoms lingered for months after the hit.

    Erixon, from what I was able to see during Traverse City tourney, has a very good chance to make the team.

    And agree with CW- Rupp can take on plenty of heavyweights. He is also a smart fighter who knows when to fight. He embarrassed Bolton last season twice. And Bolton beat up on Prust at the end of the season, iirc.

  5. This is a major concern with Stall. Concussions are unknown injuries, not just when you can be cleared to play but more worrisome is how or what will cause the next one. And if he still had symptoms from a February hit, I’m not too confident he’s gonna last a full season. It would be a shame because he is just now becoming the force on this team, especially against the opponent’s top lines!!

  6. I am not excited that Vick has a concussion. I am, however, brutally saddened by the news that Stauhel has concussion symptoms that linger.

    And since you all care *so much,* what a weekend. My fantasy baseball team really eeked it out on Sunday. It’s very fun for me because when I entered this baseball league i was really treated as a second class citizen. My team was given to me with a horrendous crop of players and all year I have been swapping no name players for no name players and somehow beating all these behemoth clubs. And so begins the final…..

  7. I beleve we need to break up 1 or 2 of the defense pairings especially the Sauer-McDonagh which makes little sense to have 2 shutdown defensemen together and have a 3rd paring of 2 offensive defensemen.

    On PK sure put them together, but even strength it doesn’t make a lot of sense.

    so pair up one with Erixon, the other with Del Zotto and play them about same amount of icetime, unless one pairing really looks better than the other.

    Eminger will be 7th and will play when injuries, suspensions hit or when somebody needs a healthy scratch.

  8. billybleedsblue on

    Nice job Manny! It’s been a while since I have been involved in fantasy baseball madness, but man it was always super-satisfying to beat somebody’s stacked team with the “bad news bears.” You might need to over-manage, but it can be done. For over-managing, see Tony La Russa.

    Orr, I watched that KFC episode last night, and couldn’t believe that I’d not seen it before. Oh, and, HILARIOUS! The “hoppity hops” were… just… well… LOL. I think legally they couldn’t call them “Hippity hops” because that’s what I remember them being called as a kid. Although hoppity hop is pretty darn close. Those guys are so funny, it hurts!

  9. I would look to trade Hagelin to say Detroit or Minnesota for a 2nd round pick. We simply have too much depth and too many better prospects and veterans in AHL, he will just waste away here.

  10. billybleedsblue on

    And, why all the hate on Vick? Didn’t he serve out his sentence? Didn’t he do his time? Did the punishment NOT fit the crime? Shouldn’t a man have the opportunity to rehabilitate and change himself for the better?

    In other news, suck it Eagles!

  11. bob- i agree that it should be balanced like that but it depends. some d men play one side. emiger played good on either side i think so he fit very well. not sure who but gilroy i think and another guy were switched and they couldt handle playing their off side. handling it on teh backhand screwed them up. mdonagh and sauer work very well togther and mcdonagh is not just a shutdown guy. erixon is very good2 way so he shouldbe fine if paired with dz on the 3rd pair. plus i think they are gonna get mcdonagh to play more an offensive game. he is good enough that he shouldnt be dropped to 3rd pair just because dz is an offensive d man. staal also is expected to produce offensively. hes had som good moments carrying the puck around the net and creating chances. he has more offense than he shows sometimes.

  12. Billy – I agree on ALL Counts.

    I do not hate on Vick for this reasoning: What he did was horrible. That is a fact, however, for our criminal justice system to work we have to believe in rehabilitation – if we don’t believe in rehabilitation then we should just kill everyone criminal offender from people who speed to serial killers (I hate the death penalty). Vick did his time and is doing everything he can to get his life back together. After where he came from and how much trouble his brother has ended up in, I think we should support him rehabilitating himself and becoming an example of what *NOT* to do.

    In related news – SUCK IT EAGLES!

  13. I despise Vick! I don’t care if he was a huge Rangers fan, and gave me a Victoria’s Secret Angel for my birthday to keep!

    Of course, I’d thank him, and pretend to forgive him, because I wouldn’t want him to take that Angel away! But, on the inside, I’d totally be cursing him to hell n back!

    Go Dogs!

    Bob, what’s your problem with Hagelin? Unless I’m mistaken, you’ve mentioned trading him at least three times or more.

    The kid has barely played and we’re have to trade him? Alright, lets trade him for a 2nd round pick. Then in two years, we can trade the 2nd round pick, and just do it over and over until we find a superstar.


  14. BAD news on Staal – if symptoms start to re-surface, it can be a bad sign of lingering issues – I think of course that Crosby is an excellent example of this …. they (his handlers) are taking the ut-most precautions with him because of who he is. Many of these players go back well before they are ready. Perhaps the Crosby situation will be the new norm for other teams to follow?? I really think that all professional clubs need a common set of protocols to begin to deal with this issue. I also hope Shanny has some success in helping to enforce the head shot rule –

    WHo will be in Albany on Wednesday? I will have the Rangers White out early this year – should be a blast – Maybe we will see some real hockey at least in the first period?

  15. >>…and we’ve seen that Aves, Sauer and Dubi

    Two of those three I’d rather not see fight.

    [Heads Up!]

  16. billybleedsblue on

    Holy cow, we have pre-season hockey this week! Thanks Carp! I knew you would make this happen!!!

    Manny, LOL I couldn’t have said it better. Good work! :D

  17. I think as the pre season moves along the Rangers will try to make a move or 2. The have some extra young players (like how does MDZ do during training camp) and some veteran players (like Avery, could someone be interested in him) that somewhere along the line they might be inclined to package some players for an offensive defenseman? Or maybe just stock up on some draft picks. One way or another they have some good talented players, both young, and older, who some other teams would have interest in. If you guys could get your hands on an Offensive Defenseman who might you try to get? If you could get that guy who would you move?

  18. Parise-Richards-Gaborik

    Trade: Stepan, Hagelin and a 2nd round pick for Parise

  19. Anyone listening or watching a blog on this mornings scrimmage? Boyle is turning out to be a great pick up!! Does anyone remember where we got him from…LA?? He’s becoming more then a fourth line player, and being so physical he probably could play with Gaborik!! Coach said he was going to give a lot of different people a look at that position.

  20. From Bus Stop Brooksie…

    “It is impossible to read anything positive regarding into Sean Avery’s status with the club off yesterday’s lineups.

    For even with Prust unavailable, Tortorella chose to assign Avery to a line with AHL center John Mitchell and junior-bound, first-round draft choice J.T. Miller while using Andre Deveaux, a big AHL free-agent signee, with Brian Boyle and Ruslan Fedotenko.

    Avery and the also endangered Erik Christensen were the only two forwards off the 2010-11 playoff roster not to skate with NHL mates. Christensen centered wingers Christian Thomas and Carl Hagelin”

  21. I don’t know a lot about Doughty, but one thing I have heard is that he is way over rated. Has anyone else heard that, or can anyone provide a little more info on the guy? I know he is young and apparently very immature.

  22. Doughty is a bit of a risk taker with his choices to pinch on the play and go out of his way to deliver big hits, but he’s a total package when it comes to size, skill and aggressiveness. He got a Norris nomination at 20, he should be just starting to move toward his ceiling but his contract impasse with the Kings might set him back a bit.

  23. Trade: Stepan, Hagelin and a 2nd round pick for Parise


    I doubt that works in NHL12. And I doubt that works in a world where the Devils have never made a trade with the Rangers for spare parts let alone for franchise cornerstone players.

  24. Bad news folks: Frances Bay, character actress known for playing sweet old ladies, gave up the marble rye today. She was 92.

  25. It took a few watchings of Happy Gilmore to see that the nursing home attendant was Ben Stiller…you’re in my world now grandma

  26. Parise may end up being traded this year some time especially if the Devils are out of the playoffs hunt early. And their financial situation at the moment makes it even more probable. But it won’t be to the Rangers.

    I do not see any compelling reasons to trade Hagelin at the moment. Or anyone else, who hasn’t seen a minute of NHL time, for that matter.

  27. Cynar- Avery’s contract isn’t movable. Any team that trades for him will take his full contract, Dallas won’t have to pay half of it anymore.

  28. Yea – give Ilb the Seinfeld reference. She also was the bag lady. Lived in Florida – Del Boca Vista, baby!

  29. Yes the Bills game was awesome! Spent the rest of the day on my neighbors porch, yelling “GO BILLS!” at everyone that walked by. Made some new friends!

  30. I think there will be a trade for a defenseman. Sadly, it won’t be Doughty, he has no leverage and the Kings will get him signed.

  31. Latona, I already had lunch. About 6 hours ago :-). Lamb kebob on pita with tahini sauce. In the famous small place in Muslim quarter. That’s all they do for the last 25 years. Nothing else on the menu. Delicious doesn’t describe the situation properly. All for around $2.

    Hey, Sally! Mrs said hello.

  32. Marble Rye lady died! LOL, I just thought of her last night when I found out from the Emmys Jill Clayburgh of Bridesmaids died last year. RIP

    Mickey, did you save some chili for me?

  33. Agreed, CCCP! Unless he had come to either NY team! But then again, he’s not really a very good QB, according to advanced statistics! So to prison 4 life!!!

  34. Sally, Tom Brady, the criminal that has outsiders shot at during his wedding, wants you to drink and drive!! But we know you’re too smart for that! :P

  35. You know, there’s a reason they call Buffalo a drinking town with a sports problem. No worries though… No one was driving. We did play a lot of flip cup though. What can I say? I like to live dangerously…

  36. As far as Avery goes, he is still a good player, but this whole attitude thing just doesn’t look like he will change that. That said what he did to Broeduer is priceless!!!! They had to make a rule to stop him!!! That is f*******ng Hiliarious!!! When he can play with that edge and use his speed he still is a good player. This year, like Carp said, is up to Avery. Does Avery possible want that top spot? He could have that top spot if he plays to his capabilities and controls the attitude just a little bit. He can still let loose but it’s gotta be on that edge.

    So Doughty would fit perfect along side Staal, who could cover for a risk taker, yes?? I don’t know if we could financially afford him due to his salary cap hit, but his age would make him a good fit. Just an idea, and if he is the full package, he sounds like a guy you could build a team around, after Gaborik is gone. Not that he will be.

  37. LOL Sally! Im comin’ to Buff to visit you in a little over a month!! Tom Brady is going to be very upset you weren’t drinking and driving :P

  38. Michael Vick doesn’t deserve to be discussed on this page. But I have to tell you the story. My secretary’s husband, a retired police officer, is a crazy fan of Eagles. For years. From what I understand, similar to what we are with NYR. Crazy. They have 4 dogs at home. He stopped watching football altogether after they signed Vick.

    Off to have dinner.

  39. Cynar,

    Avery is pretty much good as gone after this year when his contract is up. He was effective in his first tenure with the Rangers, but since his return after the Dallas fiasco he’s played 163 games, the equivalent of 2 full seasons and scored 19 goals, inlcuding just 3 in 76 games last year. The agitating or playing on the edge is balanced out by the poor defense and the lack of respect he gets from the officiating. A this point there’s very little reason for him to get anything more than bottom 6 even strength minutes which would probably translate to about 8 minutes of ice time a game. He’s not going to suddenly reinvent himself as a player at age 31, which puts him at a tie with Richards as the 2nd oldest of the presumed forwards for this year.

  40. Tiki, I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about! Also, next month isn’t good for me… I don’t have much free time at all right now, sorry!

    Hi Ilb & Mrs! When are you guys coming back? And what’s for dinner?

  41. Sally, are you still getting serenaded with “sinner” chants from the jerks outside? LOL, Tom Brady came out last week and endorsed drinking alcohol and driving :) I meant early November, when Im coming to spend 2 weeks with Laurel!

  42. Tiki, that man sounds like a complete idiot. Don’t buy any tickets to Buffalo or anything yet… I’m not sure this is the best time to visit. Maybe we can work something out with a bunch of boneheads next summer?

  43. CT you never know….some players have reinvented themselves at a later point in their career. I think Avery’s problem is he never proved or even got the chance to prove anything to this coaching staff. I think he was looked at as someone you just have to put up with because we can’t trade him, as far as the coaching staff is concerned. I think they should give him everything he wants this year. This is his walking year, and unless he plans to retire ( which is entirely possible) he going to want a new contract from someone. My hope is he turns himself around and becomes a Esa Tikennan type player and frustrates opponents while scoring some goals. At least that’s would I would like to see him do. Again it’s up to him, he needs to show the coaching staff he deserves the chance but maybe that bridge is already burned. Carp do you have any feeling on what Torts really feels about Avery, and would he really give him this last chance?

  44. Sally, dont worry about it. I can wait til next summer. But u never know, even if me and Laurel just train to Buff for a day that you’re free, it’ll be fun. You want pics of Laurel from the wedding in November? She is gonna look sparkling hot, as always!

  45. Read a sad story in today’s NY Times about Ron Johnson, the former NY Giant who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. We know so little about the brain, head injuries and the consequences of playing contact sports over an extended period of time. Glad that the NYR are being conservative with Staal. I feel like we lost Richter and Beukeboom too soon. Would love to see the NHL expand the size of the rinks but that will never happen. Athletes nowadays are bigger, stronger and faster than they were years ago-just watch old highlights of the Rangers or NFL films. Sad that these head injuries seem to be occurring with greater frequency.

    BTW, thanks Carp for the coverage and the interviews of training camp, can’t wait for the season to start!!

  46. >>…Would love to see the NHL expand the size of the rinks but that will never happen.

    I recently mentioned to a buddy how I’d like to see a study comparing concussion numbers in the NHL against various European leagues which use the larger rinks.

  47. Cynar,

    It’s possible he could turn it around, but I wouldn’t count on it. Given the direction the team has been moving in the last couple of years I don’t see why they would give Avery priority over the younger players. He’s proven that he’s about the type of career trajectory that you’d expect from a player that was given top 9 minutes. He saw his productivity improve as he went from his young to mid 20’s, plateau in his late 20’s and start to decline. I don’t think his “pest” skills are going to outweigh a natural aging cycle.

  48. CT your probably right, but he’s there and he does have skills, just ashame not to try to get more out of him for the last year of his contract. You would think he has every intention of trying to impress someone and continue his career, but you never know. Maybe Vogue is calling him about a job, or maybe he wants to be like the Kardishians and just be famous for whatever, or big assets LOL.

  49. Cynar

    2005 Nissan Altima for almost 12 grand?? i bought one like that last year for $300 on the street! lol Though, i had to spend close to a grand to fix it up! my little nephew is driving it right now.

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