Guest blogger: HWIRTH … Rangers-EV Zug in review


(Editor’s note: Is it really 20 years since this? October 4, 1991: Mark Messier, traded to NY Rangers by Edmonton with future considerations (Jeff Beukeboom for David Shaw, November 12, 1991) for Bernie Nicholls, Steven Rice and Louie DeBrusk and a big, giant bag of cash, October 4, 1991.)


The Rangers wrapped up their 2011 preseason campaign with an ugly 8-4 loss over EV Zug at raucous Bossard Arena in Zug, Switzerland. The tilt ended a four-game in five-day through four countries road trip for the Red, White and Blueshirts.
1) A wild first period saw six tallies. Zug jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead off a PPG goal by Pirnes and a real bad softie allowed by Biron from a long high shot by Camichel. However, Captain Cally cut the lead to 2-1 with a tip in goal from Dubinsky. Then, the four-forward PP reared its ugly head when former NHL first-rounder Josh Holden scored a SHG on a move around Richards. The Rangers fought back scoring twice in the final 1:12 with goals by Rupp, using a great deflection of a MDZ shot set up by MZA. Then, Anisimov continued his great camp with a beautiful 1 on 3 goal to tie it up.
2) Things settled down in the second until a failed PP by the NYR opened the door for Zug to score two goals. Bickel got beat to the slot by former NHLer Glen Metropolit who tipped in a goal. Immediately following, Zug scored using the big ice for a set play out of the corner as Holden scored his second of the game beating Eminger and Del Zotto to the front of the net. Feds made it 5-4 on a rebound from an Anisimov rush. Artie, who is having a great camp, was their best player in Zug
3) Clearly, mentally and physically tired, the third period was a defensive mess. Goals by Pirnes on a breakaway beating Bickel and Bell through the middle and Brunner who scored on a 2 on 1 after a botched pinch by Del Zotto and Eminger led to a 7-4 lead. Following the play, Torts talked with MDZ. With 4:45 left in the game, Torts went with an empty net that lead to an easy Schneider ENG.
4) The prominent story in the early stages of this season will be on D as stalwart (pun intended) blueliner Marc Staal remains a huge question mark. Staal will remain home until the team returns from Europe. They didn’t want to risk 12 hours of flying for two games. Remember, they are off an entire week when they get back and there is no air travel to the Coliseum where they play on the 15th.
5) The issues on defense continue. Michael Sauer was scratched and unable to compete in Switzerland. Still recovering from a shoulder injury after an earlier knee issue, Sauer might fall behind. It is difficult for most young sophomore D-men to continue progressing each year and this stuttered start makes it even more daunting. Look for them to do something about the lack of depth on the back end.
6) The guy that will be happiest seeing Stockholm, Sweden on Tuesday is John Tortorella.  It’s hard playing all these preseason games in a row to work on the nuances of the game like special teams play.  After a mental health day on Tuesday, expect Wednesday and Thursday, especially after this one, to be long practices filled with lots of power play work and video sessions. As for that PP, the five forward alignment is very dangerous in both senses of the word especially when Brad Richards, not known for his defensive work, is on the point. I think that experiment lasts until a key shorthanded goal is scored.
7) Martin Biron didn’t play his best game ever but nonetheless, if both men stay healthy, the goaltending position will once again be the rock of this team. Biron is the perfect backup to the self-demanding, extremely serious King Henry.  Biron is one of the funniest men in the NHL, a good teammate, and most importantly ready to go at any time. With Biron on the bench, Torts feels comfortable playing for the long haul and resting Hank when needed. I think there will be a three-four game stretch at some point this season when Biron will be hot and allowed to play consecutive games and win.
8) Thought on Sean Avery/Eric Christensen battle. Very interesting that Sean Avery was once again scratched for this final preseason game.  With final cuts coming 3 PM Wednesday, it’s important to know that the team confirmed (meaning they wanted it public) it was a healthy scratch not an injury. Is this a sign of the future salary cut paring of the Grate One? Christensen at $925K is cheaper, better in the shootout and more flexible as a LW/C. The difference of a million dollars could bring back the defensive depth they are clearly looking for.
9) Interesting debate by fans over the impact of playing non-NHL competition on Olympic size rinks in preparation for the upcoming season.  Pro: Avoid some of the nonsense that takes place in preseason when AHL players looking to make a name for themselves cause unnecessary fights and make illegal hits.  Con: Coaching staff will need to snap this team to attention this week before the games vs. Anaheim and Los Angeles. Also, jet lag and tired legs could become an issue to watch.
10) Kudos to Rangers equipment and training staff members Cas Marques, Jason Levy, Jim Ramsey, Bruce Lifrieri, Reg Grant and the rest of their crew for their tireless efforts and organization to make the road trip as smooth as possible for the players.  As a former NHL PR member myself, I know how hard long road trips can be normally on them let alone when it’s in multiple countries on consecutive days.
11) Loved the atmosphere in these European League Arenas.  The different rhythmic cheering, singing, and drums all add to the excitement of the game. However, hockey is difficult enough to follow on television and with all the painted advertising they allow directly on the ice it makes it even harder to follow the puck and play.
12) Lastly, I want to thank Rick for allowing me to babysit the blog for today’s game. I love having the opportunity to write about the best sport in the World. Oh, and follow me on twitter at @HWirth.

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  1. Great write up, HWIRTH, thanks!

    I have to say, I’m almost glad it ended the way it did. It gives Torts a great reason to adjust their noses before it really counts. Not that he needs any! :-)

  2. Great write up, thanks.

    I cant help thinking Christensen is being showcased – esp now it looks like we are going to need to trade for a d-man because of Staal and Sauer injuries/lack of fitness and apparent lack of qulity in Bell & Bickel. Or will they just call-up Erixon or McIlrath for a few games till the other 2 are fit?

  3. Morning!
    I don’t know how many of you agree, but the Europansie rink IMO seems much nicer than the tiny North American rinks. So much more freedom of movement for the players. The game speed is awesome and it makes a much more exciting game… North America rinks make the game seem claustrophobic. There can be no real “trap” system played in Euro game, there is just to much room. The pretty passing play’s and open ice allow for great plays and sweet goals.

  4. UKRanger: Erixon will probably be here before mid-season like McDonagh last year. Mcllrath was sent back to juniors and can not be called back until after the junior season ends.

  5. staalwart

    Agree with you about the rink size, but please no painted ads on ice surface, and they play pretty good hockey down here in our Ice Plex rink in
    next door Rockledge.

  6. My view of Avery vs Christensen is that almost everybody in the organization except Tort thinks Christensen should be gone and Tort is trying hard to get Christensen, whom he likes for some reason, to showcase his talent.

    I think Tort wants Christensen, Sather wants Avery. Most fans want Avery, TV analysts like Maloney and Deneyko clearly said that Avery should stay.

    Having an extra million at the deadline could tempt Sather to make a bad trade.

  7. Staal Wart- I grew up watching and playing on European rink. In fact, it took me some time until I started to really appreciate and enjoy North American hockey.

  8. Christy just doesnt bring it every game for me, too many times i watched a game and then had to check the boxscore to see if he was even in the lineup. At least with Avery you get the forechecking, hitting and the yapping.
    Avery has a cap hit twice that of Christy; is Avery twice the player? No. But you’ll get more from Avery on the ice and you’ll get more from Christy if traded than you would if it were the other way around.

    @HWirth, thanks, i wasnt sure about McIlraths status – would have love to seen him stick, maybe next year.? I agree with you about Erixon, give hima month or two playing AHL and iron out the kinks then bring him up like McMonster last year.

  9. Richards is very good at shootouts, so are Wolski and Zuccarello, so there is no need for Christensen. And I think we will have fewer shootouts this season.

  10. I want to be clear that I do love the north American style…but the open ice totally changes the game from a grind it out/slug it out style into a free flowing game with so much more opportunity for offense and pretty plays.
    That being said…
    That swiss team would have been destroyed on a north American rink with so much less room

  11. I would not change it back to European style either….No way.

    Staal Wart, that swiss team would’ve been destroyed by NYR today, on European rink, if they had to play again…

  12. hey guys. goodjob neuwirth. i hate the ads on the ice too. like the big rink but am so used to the NA rinks. i guess its what youre used to.

  13. Doesn’t the team already have enough guys who are exactly like Erik Christiansen? Hasn’t that been one of the biggest problems for the past 16 seasons?

  14. Nice write up. If anyone remembers the NHL visited the idea of making the rink Olympic size but to do it here in the American arenas is simply impossible. To many NA arenas have other events and to take out the sitting required for the Olympic rinks just can’t happen.

    We got Christensen off of waivers I believe, there is no one who would trade for him unless it was a team trying to get to the cap floor. Like someone said he takes way to many nights off. If you do a little searching you will find that Tortorella said “I know what Avery brings I wanted to see what Christensen could do in different positions” not sure which site but some sites left that out of the column.

    I think the Rangers needed to do something on defense b4 the season even started. I think it’s great how much youth we have and we can all dream that they will ALL be NHL players. That probably won’t happen and we are going to need help back there. Forget the fact that our D doesn’t bring any offense, we need better defense,

    Lastly mark my words we should have brought back Jagr. Whether you liked him or not look what he’s doing for the PP in Philly. Ever article this morning notes how bad our PP is and how much work it needs. Granted he would have taken a spot from a young guy but the points he puts up, along with what he teaches to players is invaluable. Nice article about how Jagr is working out in Philly and how much he is teaching the young kids about work ethic. Thats right people Jagr teaching them about work ethic. It’s not just his skills that made him last this long. He is a different player.

  15. Noah, Associate Alternative Assistant Captain on


    NYP_Brooksie Larry Brooks

  16. Noah, Associate Alternative Assistant Captain on

    That sound you hear is 24/7 getting a little less entertaining.

  17. wow… and just like that there goes Avery! Our first line is doomed now! :)

    bull dog line is dancing naked on the street right now after hearing the news on Avery

  18. bull dog line is dancing naked on the street right now after hearing the news on Avery

    Blowduer too.

  19. Can’t believe it took Torts this long to convince Slats to kill off Avery. That’s been a long time coming. And it’s probably a mistake.

    Christensen better [FINALLY] come through in more than the shoot-out.

  20. Tort’s never liked him, he never had a chance. More then likely he just finally convinced Sather to put him on waivers.

  21. I disagree about Jagr coming back. Memories are short, but his circumstance was not how easily he put pucks in the net, that was a given and he was marvelous…but it came at the expense of the diminution of several other players. Recall the Roszival complex? Every one stops what they are naturally doing to try and find the great man whether that skater was in position to or not…they’d pause and look for him. He’d stay on ice so long that he had to creep off and took his sweet time doing it. He affected Tyutin also to quite an extent.

    I will be following his actions with Philly with interest (and relieF)

  22. The Devils are going to pick him up, and he will make the Rangers pay. Never know might happen!!

  23. Noah, Associate Alternative Assistant Captain on

    No chance the Devils take him, not with Kovy and Brodeur still there.

    I pray that if he is somehow claimed (I doubt he will be), he is out of the conference or, at the very least, the division.

    For a team to claim him, they would claim him at this full salary, correct? Not at the amount the Rangers are on the hook for?

  24. No according to some site….I gotta look which one, the Rangers will still be on hook for some money.

  25. He’s going to wind up a Devil, or Penguin, or even a Flyer!! You watch….these teams know he will drive the Rangers nuts all year.

  26. On the way through he would cost someone $1.925m, on re-entry it would be 50% of that. I’m betting Sean would then be the first NHL player to be payed by 3 NHL teams in a season – doubt it will happen though. If he gets Whaled i’d expect him to refuse the assignment and become a free agent (unless he’s good buddies with Redden?)

  27. His agent tweeted that all options are open including Europe. He won’t go to Hartford. At least I don’t think so.

  28. Hockey should not be in the position where a player is being carried just for shoot-outs. Pathetic.

  29. let’s blame Jagr for ruining Tyutin’s and Rozi’s career, now?? LOL

    now i have heard it all!

    Roszival sucks with or without Jagr! And Tyutin never turned into a player he was hyped up to be…which is so typical of the MSG brass…to throw dust in fans eyes (i.e our new, hyped-up batch of young players)

  30. Now Brooks and others are tweeting that Weise is going to picked up off waivers!! Apparently willing to loose him for nothing??

  31. I will be sad to see him go but really the most important issue at the moment is our defense – who are our opening night’s 6 d-men?

  32. CCCP…I won’t bash MSG brace they do it themselves, but thats my point about all this youth they have now. There all going to be great NHLer’s?? Are defense is suspect at best, and without Staal, even worse.

    The Jagr thing would have made our PP very formidable, and there are ups and downs with every player. Just throwing the idea out there, because my belief was he would have helped in more ways then one.

  33. Cynar

    i will be the first person to take Jagr back…trust me. But Torts is a d-head and he loves driving people outta town… Mara, Avery, Zherdev… Torts and Jagr together would not make a happy couple.

  34. Jagr said today that he wanted the Rangers to pay him like Drury and Gomez. Obvoisuly Rangers did right thing to let him go. Now thou he just wanted a team to let him fit in. Philly blew him away with the money, so he went there. Not that we had that kind of money, but just interesting how his changed over the 3 years outside the NHL.

  35. where do you guys think Avery goes? i dont see any team picking him up, dont think he’ll go to Hartford….id say Europe over KHL.

  36. I started questioning Tort’s coaching last year. His head is becoming to big for this team. He handles making sure the team is well conditioned and stuff, can’t deny that. But players are becoming a problem in his system, and it’s vetrans who he has a problem with. The kids come here and don’t know any better. Just have to wonder if his system becomes to much, and the kids want out?

  37. Rangers 1st-line winger waived. Or as many people call him here.

    Think the Isles could pick him up?

    Probably would be a good agitator for them and fit in with Capuano’s crew.

  38. Islander, Flyers, Devils, Penguins, all have a chance to pick up a player who is going to make the Rangers f*** nuts. Pretty tempting to the Isles who aren’t even at cap floor yet??

  39. I didn’t have a problem with Jagr leaving per se, more with the people that were brought in to replace him or at least his salary (Redden and Naslund). The Zherdev trade was a gamble, certainly one that goes a way in proving the fallacy of the “change of scenery” logic behind many trades.

    As for Avery’s hastened exit out of NY, I could have lived with him being the 13th forward (which is certainly what Christensen will be), but for a guy that saw his role diminish with the infusion of youth and certainly not looking like he’d be part of the team beyond this season I can’t say this move is completely unexpected.

  40. if the kids wanted out Callahan and Dubinsky wouldnt be here….Flyers wont get him because they just tried to get rid of their lockeroom problems..getting Avery does not help that. Devils will buy Brodeur his own buffet place before they get Avery. Penguins…ye right. they just had the whole Matt Cooke situation, they really dont need anything Avery can offer. Islanders maybe. but I highly doubt Avery would play for them.

  41. I started questioning Tort’s coaching last year. His head is becoming to big for this team. He handles making sure the team is well conditioned and stuff, can’t deny that. But players are becoming a problem in his system, and it’s vetrans who he has a problem with. The kids come here and don’t know any better. Just have to wonder if his system becomes to much, and the kids want out?


    So under his watch the Rangers have jettisoned Gomez, Drury, Redden and Rozsival, whom most fans would have personally driven to the airport in order to get them off the team. In their place he’s elevated the roles of youth and homegrown talent and gotten the leaders of the team to buy into a hardworking identity that fans and critics of this team have been saying they’ve lacked for years. I can live Avery being a casaulty of this methodology.

  42. >>…but Christensen over Avery is a bad move.

    Is it because you know better than the people running the Rangers?

  43. YES!!! Never liked him…no class as far as I’m concerned. Even though the “fatso” comment on the most overrated goalie in NHL history was pretty funny…At the very least EC will win us a couple of points in the skills competition and the way the last couple of years have gone they are big points!

  44. Flyers let Carcillo go for far less money than Avery’s cap hit will now be. They also have Scott Hartnell who is the same type of player but can play hockey a lot better.

    I don’t see the Isles picking him up. They’re going with younger players and the token vets they’ve brought in over the years tend to be far more respected players like Weight, Guerin and even Marty Reasoner.

  45. Tort’s didn’t jettison anyone!!! Tort’s, like every Ranger fan already knew, inheritated a team that needed change. Sather has been doing what Ranger fans have been saying for years. Let’s develop the youth, and stop trading young for old. I give Tort’s credit for the teaching he has been doing with the youth. But please don’t say HE is the one who changed this team. I’m not even a Sather fan, but he is the one who changed this team. Sather did a good job of bringing in a coach who knows how to handle the youth this team has brought into the league. My only point is that the way this man, sorry coach, handles the veterans on this team, is “not so good” putting it lightly. He’s had problems in the past with veteran players!! Look at the other teams he’s coached. He’s a good coach, but has a big head, and that’s what cost him his coaching jobs in the past, and will cost him here. He has an attitude of his way or the highway, and it wears on the players. When the Rangers start to tune him out, he’ll be on his way to coach another “young” team. Just my opinion, but thats how I see this guy.

  46. CT

    Gomez trade was a genius move by Slats… and Drury had to be bought out in the last year of his contract due to the obvious decline in skill…redden, again, it was a logical move if this team was to move anywhere…and Rozi..well, Rozi is Rozi….so i doubt any of that can go on Torts’ resume.

  47. My beef with this is that out of Weise, Avery and Christensen, I’d think you’d manage the assets in that order. That is, EC would be the most expendable guy there. I don’t have a huge problem with them waiving Avery to keep EC although I think its a mistake, but I think it is particularly stupid to also lose Weise. I’d think that keeping Dale and waiving the other 2 would have made more sense. Not to mention they didn’t have to waive Weise when they did.

  48. Don’t think for one second Avery will try and stick it to the rangers. I bet he ends up playing in conf. Montreal and isles my two guesses

  49. 1. Avery an Islander? Garth Snow HATES him (like most of the rest of the free world).
    2. Avery has completely worn his OWN team out.
    3. Don’t think for a second that the NYR brass forgot about that L.A. incident.
    4. Avery is NOT a changed man.
    5. Avery uncensored + HBO= UNMITIGATED DISASTER!!!
    6. EC is as good as gone too.
    7. Staal injury is forcing NYR to find a Dman.
    8. Who will be paid with Avery & EC’s money.

  50. Fuck Tortorella! I hate his guts and hope he gets canned. Christensen loving, double standard retard.

    This love affair with Christensen is beyond sad and pathetic.

  51. Like Zipay said it’s a childlike grudge by Torts against Avery. This is the one part of Torts I don’t like. You can’t tell me Avery is not better than EC or Weise. On some nights he even brings more than MZA. He is not the most talented player and he is often not a heady player, but he can forecheck and work behind the net and agitate. Avery did bring a lot of this on himself, but he is signed and the Rangers have to pay him so they should just let him play out the season in NY and be done with him.

  52. CCCP/Cynar,

    It probably falls somewhere in between, with who’s pushed the franchise to go younger but Torts has been pretty vocal in the past 2 offseasons about his feelings about wanting to get younger. I’d be willing to bet that if Renney hadn’t been fired or they hired a similar coach to him that favored vets over youth, they would not have purged the roster of so many of Sather’s mistakes.

  53. The Avery story, if true, seems short sighted. Come playoff time, or when the Flyers are in town for example, Zook, Christensen, Wolski barely get into the offensive zone and are hardly noticeable.

    I think this is a personal beef with Torts. Can Zook score more than Avery? Sure. Does he have the all around game, quickness, grit, corner work, behind the net work? No way. Christensen is a pretty boy with a nice shot. When the chips are down and the game gets gritty, he disappears. Wolski is more inconsistent than Avery on average. Is this all about the shootout? Jeez.

    I am still confused why Gaborik, Richards, and Avery isn’t at least given a test. Avery and Richards were friends in Dallas (one of the few who liked him) and I would argue Avery is the best Ranger behind the net. He is very fast and we know he hits people. He also had 21 assists last year. He will keep dcks off of Gabby and Richards too.

    There has to be more to this story. Remember when Avery was benched in game 3? game 4? was it game 5? against the Caps 2 yrs ago and that basically cost us the series. All cuz Torts got his panties in a bunch with Avery, right around the time Torts had that bench incident in DC.

    Sounds to me like a personal vendetta. If everyone is saying we just waiting for a young kid to come up, fine I get it. But saving $1mm in favor of Christensen over Avery (again, if true) seems myopic.

    One guy’s view…

  54. Leetchhalloffame on

    Except for the carcillo-bomb Bob hit the nail on the head. Just don’t get the love affair with EC. He’s a dog. I realize Avery isn’t Gordie Howe but at least he shows a passion for being a Ranger on and off the ice. Guaranteed he’s picked up by someone in the East just to bust the Rangers nuts, probably the icelanders or philty. Bonehead move here.

  55. I think the sad reality here is that the salary cap and neccessity of having a shoot-out specialist dicated this move, to a certain extent. Torts is no fool and knows that, if the past two years are anything to go by, the Rangers are going to need to be good in shoot-outs to make the playoffs. Also, with Staal out, they’re going to need cap space to deal for a veteran defenseman.

  56. “He?s had problems in the past with veteran players!! Look at the other teams he?s coached. He?s a good coach, but has a big head, and that?s what cost him his coaching jobs in the past”

    After extensive research, I’ve compiled a list of the other teams Torts has coached and his “achievements” due to his big head:

    Tampa Bay – won Stanley Cup


  57. ..all this furor over a couple marginal players. WTF good is Avery’s grit if we are playing with only 4 legit NHL Dmen?!?!

  58. The Avery story, if true, seems short sighted. Come playoff time, or when the Flyers are in town for example, Zook, Christensen, Wolski barely get into the offensive zone and are hardly noticeable.


    Avery being in the lineup really prevented the Flyers from taking the first 4 games of the season series last year and stopped the Caps from winning the first round in 5 games.

  59. LMAO!

    Fire Torts because he waived our two goal scorer. Hahaha! I’ll never understand Rangers fans.

    The best part of this is, Avery and EC were fighting for the 13th spot. LOL!

    Honestly, who gives a shyte? Why is this something to get bent out of shape over? With or without Avery, we’re the same exact team.

    I’m not an EC fan, but this is really a non-issue for me, and it should be for everyone else.

  60. Tortorella’s hated Avery from way back…I’m sure everyone recalls his comments while working as an analyst. It’s a safe bet that Avery was on an uphill slope with Tortorella from the moment he came to the team. For most of last season Avery was relegated to 6 minutes a game while all of Tortorella’s favorites were given far more ice time and yielded (comparatively) less production. There wasn’t a doubt in my mind that Tortorella has been doing everything he could to marginalize Avery in order to convince Sather to jettison him from the team. There isn’t a player in the NHL who’ll produce anything worth a spit if he’s getting 6 garbage minutes a night.

  61. What “love affair” with Christensen? Can anyone find any public comment from Torts on the guy that is anything warmer on the scale than “mild indifference masking probable dislike”?

  62. I think everyone is making too big a deal of the Avery antics, as always. Avery was waived for a much simpler reason. His $1.9 mil cap hit is extremely high for an extra forward that brings grit to the table. John Mitchell could play a simliar game at half the cost. We are in a “Moneypuck” (like the term?) era where production to cap value is looked at carefully. He was not producing for a near $2 mil contract.

    As for the Grate One, I don’t see anyone taking him for that contract along with the headaches that come with it. I also don’t see him riding the busses of the AHL. He’ll either go to Europe where he might fit in better or walk away and continue his outside interests.

    As much as I really liked Avery and what he brought to the team, I think the signing of Rupp and having the depth down below makes this one a no-brainer.

  63. If the only reason they got rid of Avery was for the money to get a D-man, that would make it alright. But to replace Avery with Christensen is a joke!! If you replaced Avery with Wesie NOW THAT would make sense. It appears, saw it in a tweet, that Weise is going to be picked up by someone. This move is all on Tort’s. Like someone said, Avery has become a Ranger thru and thru. On the ice, off the ice, he really embraced what the Rangers wanted from him. It wasn’t until Tort’s started this benching thing did all of this start. Something “got his panties in a bunch” and Tort’s won’t let it go.

    Somewhere in here is the Rangers trying to get a defenseman. Let’s see what Sather has up his sleeve. Hopefully there’s more to it, then we just waived Avery, AND Weise, and replaced them with pretty boy.

    Oh yeah, how about this Tort’s fact. The Rangers had to have a sit down with the guy, because he wouldn’t talk to Larry Brooks from the NY Post. Whether you like him or not he writes for a very good paper here in NY. He asked some questions that Tort’s took exception to so he stopped talking to the guy. What a jerk*** move that was. I hope nothing but the best for NYR, but I’m not sure this is the coach to get us there.

  64. okay lets not get too crazy with avery story, not make it or brake it move in my eyes… with prust,boyle,rupp in the line up where are you gonna put him? 2 mil off the books gives some room to pick up someone who will score more than 3 goals and create less drama… honestly what would it matter if it would be ec or avery out?

  65. As for Christensen, I see a lot of comments about him. I wouldn’t be shocked if they look to waive him as well as we move along in the season. If one of Bourque or Hagelin show improvement and/or a vet like John Mitchell outplays the AHL competition, they are cheaper and potential better value for the Rangers at that 4th line spot.

  66. wicky© (Our D is a bunch of poussins and belongs in MAMBY PAMBY LAND!!!!) on

    Morning ILB and all!!


    I agree with the sentiment of some that avery was way more valuable to the rangers his first time around than the last one. He is a way better hockey player than EC though. Anyone would be naive if they did not think for a second that some personal feelings were involved in this. I think if avery had played fabulous, he would be with the rangers (not that much personal feelings involved), but there were enough personal feelings involved if the decision were “closer”.

    That being said, does anyone else think it could also be a dollars decision? I mean a trade or waiver claim in the works to get a D man where we clearly CLEARLY need help?

    Weise is gone??? Go riddance for the byers punching bag version 2.0!

  67. Noah, Associate Alternative Assistant Captain on

    Ditto ORR. No idea why this move is creating such a furor about Torts. It seems that, more than anything, this was simply a salary dump to account for having to likely bring in another d-man for Staal. Avery made $1 million more than Christensen so the ax fell on Avery.

    I hate Christensen as well, but none of this will change the core of this team in 2011-2012. Let’s alllllllllll relax and take a breath and shed one tear for not being able to see Avery on 24/7 this winter.

  68. the cap hit argument falls short for me since they signed Mike Rupp for essentially the same money and he’s nowhere near the player Avery is. When Avery got the minutes Rupp got with Pittsburgh, he put up more points and was more versatile. Rupp’s going to be a 15-20 point guy at best who’ll rapidly play himself into disfavor.

  69. Noah, Associate Alternative Assistant Captain on

    This is more of a bummer to me.

    stevezipay Steve Zipay
    Vancouver has claimed Dale Weise off waivers

  70. and that 15-20 point estimate is extremely generous. I’d say it’s more like you get 10-12 points out of Rupp. by November, he’ll be playing 6 minutes a game.

  71. While the final decision may have been Avery vs Christensen, the thing that made Avery expendable was the addition of Rupp. Rupp is a better hockey player and with Rupp and Prust on the team there is no need for Avery, who can not play on the PK or PP, doesn’t score and can’t play defense.

    All those fretting about losing Avery do you really think he makes the team better?

  72. Cynar,

    Christensen is the perfect replacement for anybody that’s going to spend the majority of the season munching on all the free popcorn he can eat in the players suite. That’s where Avery was headed. And Christensen’s salary allows them to bank about $1M in cap space over the course of the season which could come in handy around the trade deadline.

  73. Noah, Associate Alternative Assistant Captain on

    BTW Zipay did not say Torts had a childlike grudge against Avery. A follower said that and he was simply responding to him. Careful about misquoting tweets!

  74. Not for nothing, but EC had 11 goals, 27 points in 63 games, and Avery had 3 goals, 24 points in 76 games. Both playing probably around the same minutes.

    Keep in mind that the bulk of Avery’s assists were early in the season, and EC came up with huge shootout goals, which you can argue, if not for those, we *might not* have made the playoffs.

    Prust sayin’

  75. mike rupp is a better player then avery by far. avery is a disruption on the team. great skater but hands like brashear.

    the avery exit is irrelevant. losing weise may hurt down the road. 23, good size, and improving…

    if christensen stinks he will be gone in 20 games, replaced by bourque or hagelin or others. these moves are strictly noise.

    getting staal healthy that is another story…

  76. I think we all agree it was a money thing, and we all hope Sather is going to make gold out of s*** but if you really had to choose between the three we picked Christensen? Gotta question that, and of course feelings come into with when you have a coach like Tortorella. He is an emotional guy, and he maybe let his feelings about Avery make the move to waive him. I just don’t see the Rangers waiving both Avery and Weise, then keeping Christensen.

    I’m truly hoping there’s more here.

  77. Personally, I couldn’t care less about Avery. I’m much concerned about guys like Dublowsky and MDZ. Those are the guys that have to prove themselves this year…and obviously Richard$$$$$$$$$

  78. Torts is obviously a Republican and could not come to a bipartisan agreement with the Democrat Sean Avery.

  79. Hey Rupp fans,

    Avery put up more points than Rupp last year when Rupp was getting at least double Avery’s ice time. Avery has outscored Rupp in every season of their respective pro careers and put up more penalty minutes in that time. Rupp is a slow, plodding skater with no hands.

    Yeah, you’re right. Great move.

  80. Blair Betts placed on waivers according to Kevin Allen. If healthy, NYR should jump on that. At $700 k, he bring more to the table than EC at $925K. Betts is one of the best penalty killers in the League. Pair him with Cally and they could be top 5 in League again.

  81. thanks Noah for pointing that out, i was going to point it out myself…people putting words in other people’s mouths..

  82. wicky© (Our D is a bunch of poussins and belongs in MAMBY PAMBY LAND!!!!) on

    I find this whole thing humorous with the fact that all the torts lovers claim it has nothing to do with any “ill” feelings towards avery and avery lovers say it was because torts hated him.

    Reality is in the middle ground folks. Torts has never been a fan of avery and that is a fact. If torts could find a way to be rid of avery he would. If avery had played well and earned a spot on the team, he would be on the team. Fact is he was in a mix with EC and several whale forwards for the 13th forward spot (personally I wanted snozzberries for that spot) and because he did no differentiate himself from them, avery and his 1.9 mil in salary are gone form the 13th forward spot and I’m sure torts is not broken hearted about it!

  83. Especially with Staal, and the whole concussion thing, let’s hope Staal comes back soon. But if not let’s hope we get another defenseman out of this.

  84. cw makes some good points. would have been interesting to watch a season of avery on hbo however. i suppose snow would not welcome avery. i dont know why montreal would want him with his previous comments about francophones. he doesnt really have many options except a possible western team like columbus/minnesota? who knows?

    Avery is not going to like Hartford much, every career minor league scrapper will try to start with him down there to make a name for themselves. I can see him retiring early and getting into fashion now.

  85. NYR_FAN,

    I think Dubinsky proved himself by leading the team in points last year and MDZ is still one of the youngest players on the team who could still turn out to be useful player.

  86. taking avery off the roster really makes this one of the youngest teams in the league even more so.

  87. Bob- watch your language…

    Let’s not forget we are talking about a forward who would be scratched most of the time. First, for what Avery could bring to the table during a limited amount of games, could easily be replaced by recalling Newbury or Mitchell. Prust and Rupp made Avery’s services redundant. And $1M off the book now could mean $3M contract at the deadline.

    Avery will not be picked up on waivers- the team would be on the hook for his full $4M salary, half of that on recall waivers.

    I suppose they felt they needed more potential offense an SO prowess, so they kept EC.

  88. I’ll assume everybody on the ludicrous Fire Torts bandwagon was also a card-carrying member this time yesterday too. Because waiving what has become a marginal depth player alone is roughly 8 billion miles short of being a fireable offence, regardless of your feelings for Avery (and I’m not anti-Avery at all).

  89. >>Blair Betts…If healthy, NYR should jump on that.

    Betts? Why are Rangers fans obsessed with mediocre players?

  90. What alot of you are forgetting is, like him or not, he was a fan favorite! If this turns out to be a move were we ultimately get a defenseman then fine. But if we did this for Christensen, a guy who really hasn’t done anything, except win a few shutouts then YES the fans have a right to be upset.

    Avery was liked by a lot of fans! He has a restaurant in the city, and a lot of people got to meet and great the guy on a regular basis. So let’s hope they did this for more then just Christensen.

  91. Avery’s value was to the fans, entertainment. it was great watching him go up against Brodeur/Clarkson/Kovalchuk or Hartnell/Richards/Name a Flyer and then his battles with the Isles.

    He was an exciting player to watch because there was always the possibility of something happening. But I guess to the team it is a sideshow.

  92. Betts? Why are Rangers fans obsessed with mediocre players?


    Because Avery is leaving a vacancy for that position?

  93. “Avery put up more points than Rupp last year when Rupp was getting at least double Avery?s ice time…”

    Avery 11:04
    Rupp 10:03

  94. Betts? Good guy, but do we need to get someone who would compete for 13th spot again? Time to turn the page…

  95. Jbytes

    depth, that’s why. Players get injured and I’d rather not have to rely on career AHL’ers or prospects that aren’t ready.

    If someone from our team gets injured you can put Betts in the lineup and move Boyle up instead of someone like Christensen who only plays a good game once every 3 weeks and in shootouts…

  96. Avery actually sat with the fans during some games!! That says a lot about the guy. Yeah he was a goof, and maybe not the greatest player, but fans got to experience hanging out with a player! The hub bub is that he was really well liked, in some parts, and it’s gotten people upset with who has replaced him.

    Makes for great conversation, and I don’t think anyone’s going to be jumping off a bridge or something. Just a questionable move of a fan favorite.

  97. Are we firing Torts already? Lol….There is no doubt he disliked Avery, and like Wicky said, isn’t heartbroken. But if Avery deserved to be on this roster, he would be…

    And, please, do not credit Sather only for the youth move. Torts has as much to do with it as anyone else. We’ve discussed this to death.

  98. JBytes – When you have a cap system, not every player is going to be a superstar. This is not MLB with the Yankees. The idea is to build a team where each player serves a role and Betts at $700K brings a lot to the game, especially over Sean Avery and Eric Christensen. Betts is a faceoff specialist at over 50% leading the Flyers last season. Betts is a great penalty killer and would replace a void left by Chris Drury. If you haven’t notice, NYR PK has been atrocious in Europe. They are missing a shot blocking presence vs. the point. Makes total sense.

  99. CTB, I just meant that I am more concerned with those guys playing than Avery (I mean obviously, right). This is a big year for Dubi, he needs to play the same way and make a difference in the playoffs too. MDZ has to regain his frosh year form.

  100. Those Avery minutes are inaccurate since for the latter half of the season he was averaging 6 minutes a game. I actually watched the games, so I realize that earlier in the season he was playing more frequently. Later on, however, he was lucky to even get on the ice.

  101. Scoring the game winning goal in the only game the Rangers won in the series doesn’t do it for you?

  102. last years stats –

    Rupp – 9 goals 8 assists 17 points
    Avery – 3 goals 21 assists 24 points.
    Both were a minus 4
    Both the same age.
    Avery paid like a 2nd line player (Yes I know we only pay half)
    Rupp paid like a 4th line player which is excatly what he is.
    Rupp 2 Stanley cups – he WANTS to play in NY and will become a fan fav.
    Avery a PITA for various reasons

    BYE BYE Sean and now lets get Sauer and Staal healthy and start the season.

  103. So by definition, Lloyd, Avery must’ve been averaging 16 minutes in the first half of the season then. Was Rupp playing 32 minutes a game at that point?

  104. Betts stinks, doesn’t hit and doesn’t score.

    Can we at least bring back Mitchell instead of Christensen turd?

  105. By definition? lol give me a break

    Rupp was getting consistent ice time, Avery wasn’t. Understand?

  106. Game 4 I believe he was on the ice for the back to back goals the Rangers scored to make it 3-0.

    The other games, he was where most of the other top players were for the Rangers, MIA. Dubinsky isn’t a superstar, isn’t getting paid like one but even a repeat of last season’s production combined with his value to the team in playing all types of situations has earned him his money.

  107. Doodie Machetto on

    Who cares. We will really miss his team worst (among players that scored a goal) 2.2 shooting %. He was going to be a healthy scratch 4 out of 5 nights anyway. They want the cap space to bolster the D with Staal and Sauer out. If they ever want to recall Avery, they can: nobody will even think of touching him, and if they do, he’s their problem.

    I’m much more upset about losing Weise.

  108. Sean Avery trending above Hank Williams JR., Chris Christie, and Amanda Knox!!! On Twitter that is.

  109. Rupp, for what he brings to the table, is by far more valuable at $1.5M than Avery at $1.9M. He will fight heavyweight, which should preserve Prust’s shoulder, he can forecheck, can play center and take faceoffs, he can score an odd goal. I think he will be a valuable player this year.

  110. Pretty telling sign of the quality of the team when you sign a 4th-liner to protect a 3rd-liner

    It’s going to be a very long season

  111. remember when Avery took an extra penalty in some meaningless game and Tortacrappa was yelling nonstop “than f%cking motherf%cker! than f%cking motherf%cker!” It was obvious at that point that this is an inadequate coach.

  112. Didn’t Rupp score a hat trick two years ago? I think it was against some guy named Lunnqvist or something. Never heard of him.

  113. Also just because he is waived doesn’t mean he is getting cut. The Rangers don’t need cap room so he can theoretically stay with the team and they can carry 2 spare forwards like they did at the beginning of last season.

  114. Yes he did, AckP…I was at the game. Still get nauseous…That was a real “confidence builder” for the Rangers….

  115. I was at the Rupp hat trick game. His 3rd goal was into an empty net. Not even the Pens fans realized he got 3. Probably because most of them think if it doesn’t come off of Sid or Malkin’s stick it doesn’t count.

  116. Oh, now it all makes sense: Wayne Simmonds was saying “f’n pack it” to Sean Avery, in anticipation of his being placed on waivers …


  117. This just in: Sean Avery has been claimed by HBO’s 24/7 program and will report to Rangers practice as per usual.

  118. Hwirth,

    A) It’s the pre-season

    B) That “void” left by Dreary, was left at the start of the season, and I think we had one of the best PK’s in the league last season, and had the most shorthanded goals of any team.

    Do you think we *really* need Blair Betts, of all people?? I mean, really?? No way. Total waste!

  119. RT @nhlrulebook: The NY Post is reporting that Sean Avery will be waived. Presumably in front of a distracted Martin Brodeur’s face.

  120. Stranger Nation on

    Opening Day Line-Up ??

    Boyle – Richards – Gabby

    Dubi – Artie – Cally

    Rupp – Step – Prust

    Feds – Newbury – Wusskie/EZ/Mitchell

    Not sure where to start with D pairings given top 2 of 4 out and Bell/Bickel looking very AHL

    McD – Girardi
    Em – MDZ

  121. we basically just got rid of decent assets and kept 2 liabilities in Eminger and Christensen.

  122. I see bob is still as clueless as usual.

    anyone who complains about Stu Bickel being waived must have absolutely no concept of the game. The guy is never going to play a game for the Rangers unless someone gets hurt in warmups…

  123. Several things come to mind regarding Avery. I recall that if he were to leave the Rangers, Dallas would be off the hook for their part of his salary making it less likely his being picked up by anyone. Rupp was brought in because he is a big body that can score sometimes the big body wins over Avery’s small body. Avery is small potatoes my big cocern is the defence and how much scoring and defence we get out of them. I think the first 2 games in Europe will be brutal especially after plying on olympic sized rinks.

  124. oleosmiirf, my pinkie has more clue than your brain. Not upset that Bickel is waived, I am upset that Eminger wasn’t waived after playing like he doesn’t even belong in ECHL.

  125. wicky© (Our D is a bunch of poussins and belongs in MAMBY PAMBY LAND!!!!) on

    I will say this, avery stood up for his teammates more than EC or OPG ever did.

    That being said I agree with ILB and lets move on and I hope there is a D man on the way with this recently created cap space.

    No to betts, no to weise, yes to snozzberries

  126. Relax, boys…Don’t start personal attacks. Bell/Bickel on waivers is a strategical move. Too many players on waivers now, it’s unlikely anyone will pick up both of them, or any. The will unlikely to be sent down to AHL and will stay with the team until Stall/ Sauer are back. But what it allows to do is to send them to AHL within 30 days without clearing waivers again.

  127. What in the bloody hell is all the uproar about? This is one of the most entertaining things about this blog. Everyone is freaking out over a move that isn’t going to equate to a damn thing on the ice- good or bad! Our fourth line is penciled in as “insert dime a dozen player’s name here” across 3 spots. I’m more concerned with the fact that 2 of our top 4 dmen are hurt and the third pair is up in the air. That’s gonna matter a helluva lot more than if our 4th line has EC or Avery on it. Did we watch these two play over the last 2 seasons?

  128. wicky© (Our D is a bunch of poussins and belongs in MAMBY PAMBY LAND!!!!) on

    correct and well said

  129. I think Avery will not get claimed and Rangers would be too scared of him becoming a cancer in Hartford, so I think he is going to be either with the Rangers or in Greenville ECHL.

    Screw you, Tort you clueless excuse of a coach.

  130. BIG TRADE COMING!!! I think the NYR are waiving these guys because there is a limit on allowable pro contracts. They need to bury Avery and EC to sign Komisarek. That is my prediction. Or Kubina. Either way, it sucks because they both suck. But, we only have 3 NHL ready Dmen now. It must be done. Komisarek or Kubina. I would prefer ANY NHL D man without a K to start his name.

  131. wicky© (Our D is a bunch of poussins and belongs in MAMBY PAMBY LAND!!!!) on

    oh I’d take kronwall off of the red wings hands for them

    Irony would be getting rid of one cutberth (avery) to get another cutberth (komisarek)

  132. Well, Lloyd, if you’re saying he averaged 6 minutes for half a season and the stats show he averaged 11 over the full year, I’m all ears as to how he couldn’t have averaged 16 in the other half.

  133. CW – I tend to agree with you on this one. I think it could be a defensemen that’s got a big contract and is inconsistent. I’ll give you another K to cringe about, Phillip Kuba from Ottawa.

    I believe Kuba and Kubina are on walk years at around $3.5 mil.

    Wouldn’t cost much but some depth and adds NHL experience on backend.

  134. Avery is officially on waivers——>
    The only thing that makes me upset about it is that mama will be in tears when she lands in Sweden today…:-)

  135. I am only upset that we again missed an opportunity to get some value in return for a marginal/possible asset.

  136. When Staal comes back, we will only need to fill 6/7 position on defense. You really want to pay $3.5M for that?

  137. CC, I thought he could be a poor man’s Callahan. In his few games, I really like how he played. So, personally I’m more upset over losing him than a 30-something year old has been.

    Still young too. Only 23, I think. Just needs to stop dropping the gloves, or at least stick to the guys that are his size.

  138. wicky© (Our D is a bunch of poussins and belongs in MAMBY PAMBY LAND!!!!) on

    so the nucks now place oreskovich on waivers to make room for weise…I’d rather have oreskovich than weise any day!

  139. Losing Weise is sad because he had potential. Losing Avery is less sad because we already KNOW what he can, and will, do.

  140. “Avery put up more points than Rupp last year when Rupp was getting at least double Avery’s ice time.”

    LOL WTF is it with the lies —again!

    Avery played 11:14 / game

    Rupp played 10:03 / game

  141. Avery an Islabnder? he wont even be in the NHL. he didnt see it coming and Ii predicted it last year.

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