Guest blogger: Papa Bear, The Livermore Lad

238

The Winds of Change are About to Blow

While there has been much debate during the past two weeks among we Ranger faithful on how to proceed into next year, there is also a unanimous sentiment ringing constant, loud and clear which is indisputable; we Boneheads are a proud group — proud of this particular Rangers team and coaching staff and all they accomplished; proud of their collective spirit, consistent effort and steadfast solidarity; proud of their tenacious grit, dogged determination and defiant “never say die” attitude; proud of how across the roster, each team member sacrificed and gave above and beyond, game after game, always for the greater good of the team. What a captain! What a coach! What a goaltender! What a selfless team!

What this year’s group lacked in talent compared with teams of past era’s  (the Emile Francis teams of the ‘60/70’s;  the smurfs of the 80’s under Herb Brooks; and the Cup & President’s Trophy winners and of the ‘90’s under Neil Smith/Mike Keenan/RogerNeilson) was more than made up for with their extraordinary heart and soul.  Removing the ‘94 Cup winner from consideration, the team of 2011-2012 will for me  go down as the quintessential Ranger team, easy to watch and easy to root for.

It was a pleasure to be a Rangers fan this year — unquestionably the most successful season since the Cup year of ‘94 and, perhaps the most surprisingly successful season in franchise history. This year’s club steamrolled our pre-season expectations with a blind ambition, gritty personality and unwillingness to cave during times when previous Rangers squads would have indeed folded the tent. As sure as the sudden ending to the playoffs was painful to endure, we are equally certain that the future for this team and organization looks remarkably bright.  There is excitement, optimism and a resolute confidence pervasive among ownership, management, coaches, players and fans alike. The organization is undeniably on the right path, positioned well for sustained growth and, dare I say, likely to be “in the hunt” for Lord Stanley’s hardware on an annual basis.

While there is great optimism, we can also be assured of this; raising the bar and moving upward will not be an easy process, nor will it occur without the attendant bumps, bruises and likely detours along the way. Although, this current collection of players and coaches may actually be perched and in better position for long term success than were the teams of the early 1990’s, which consisted of a group of older highly-talented mostly past-their-prime players, and a management team which often operated  in a divisive, distrustful, backstabbing, egotistical self-serving way. (see Neil Smith, Mike Keenan, Bob Gutkowski,  et. al).

As for the process of moving forward, let me start with one big hooray for us! The collective mistrust the fan base holds for our aloof and barely visible President and General Manager Glen Sather, (aka Wizard of Oz), is now tempered by our confidence of knowing the long dark period of “let’s build our team with mercenaries obtained through free agency signings and by trading away prospects for over-the-hill veterans” appears to have ended.

Clearly, it didn’t require a hockey PHd to recognize this approach was wrong — we fans knew it; the management and coaches knew it; ownership knew it; the rest of the National Hockey League knew it; because the results often screamed it — “high priced veterans are motivated to collect their paychecks — not necessarily to perform”! Besides, the alleged justification for this flawed approach  — “this is New York, the fan base has high expectations and will not tolerate a rebuilding process” — was pure gobbledygook!  Why on earth would we Rangers faithful not tolerate the ups and downs of a  “build from within philosophy” especially after having witnessed with envy the annual success of our friends across the river — to the tune of three Stanley Cups!  We are no different. We hope to become a perennial championship caliber organization and certainly are willing to be patient during the up and down process of getting there.  Nevertheless, it is a bright and fine day when you realize no longer are we subjected to the anger and frustration of watching and rooting for a “past their prime, blasé, over the hill, run through the motions, happy to collect my pay check” roster filled with the Valeri Kamensky’s and the like of the current NHL. (Can you guess where I stand on Alexander Radulov debate?)

Hopefully, management will continue to improve the team by adhering to its current philosophy — a holistic and balanced approach — of scouting and drafting solid amateur prospects; maintaining a robust minor league player development program at Hartford; allowing prospects the opportunity to compete for available roster spots; acquiring players to meet needs and fill existing gaps at reasonable costs through free agency and trades.

In this league, there are no simple solutions or short cuts to magically guarantee success from year to year.  There is risk inherent with each and every decision. As the ongoing exchanges of the last two weeks bear witness, there are unlimited ideas on how the Rangers brain trust should move forward. I guess one mains junk is another man’s gold.  We Boneheads are pretty much in agreement on where the gaps exist, but the answers on how to fill them, probably not so close. The debate on what to do, how to do it, who should stay, who should go, who should come has been informative, humorous, sometimes contentious, and always entertaining.

Everyone has remedy — whether it be to cure to an anemic offense with the addition of a sniper or two; build depth in the forward lines by signing third & fourth-line players who possess grit, speed and some measurable degree of offensive skills; improve the defense skill and depth by adding a rugged, physical, front of net presence and/or a legitimate power play quarterback/ shooter / mobile puck carrier.  The differential is found more in the who, not the how— who stays, who leaves, who comes. With all the debate, time and heartfelt effort devoted to this discussion, is there any doubt that the decisions of the next month are enormous and of critical importance to the both the short and long-term success/non-success of the club?

I could finish by detailing my personal plan of action — but honestly, why bother? My only qualifying attributes in considering such matters are simple and meaningless — I love this game, I love my team, I’m a fanatic.  Sure, there are times when I’m frustrated in my armchair and know that I would be a far better scout, coach and GM for this team. But as of yet, they haven’t accepted my resume! From a philosophical and tactical approach, I’ve grown spending  most of my post mortem hours in this space during these past two weeks, for sure. Now, when I consider and evaluate the recommendations on trades, signings and player cuts put forward by our group Bonehead GM wanna-be’s, I simply apply the common sense principle espoused by our leader our blogfather —  “I’ll do it, only if it has the chance to improve the team.”  The binary nature of the answer (yes or no) assures that for each decision, I have a 50 percent chance of success! I like those odds. The question is, can Sather and his henchmen do better? They better!

Let’s go Rangers. I don’t really care if we lose the off-season,  as long as we’re playing in June every year!!

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238 Comments

  1. Excellent work Papa Bear.

    Love the tweet about Avery having trouble with retiring. Of course he is. 6 months ago 18,000 people were chanting his name at MSG and would do so again in a heartbeat if he pulled on the sweater. Tough to discard the guy the way they did, he was very important to this franchise for a long time and really was the first player of the “black and blueshirt” era, one who would sit in the blues with the fans when scratched, one who would do anything to help his team win even though sometimes that meant him not being the greatest teammate or person in general. I think as fans we always appreciated that. I understand he has loads of shortcomings and issues and maybe wasn’t always the best fit, but is there a chance, say, that he could have helped this team at certain junctures in the playoffs more than, say, John Mitchell? The guy did play an entire game against Pittsburgh 4 years ago with a lacerated spleen. And boy could he take the Devils off their game.

  2. Peter, in short, no. The Avery you are thinking of is the Avery of 4 years ago. Devils, like all teams, have learned to ignore his carcillo. Rangers took enough penalties as it was.

  3. Fair enough Lev. I think my point was let’s not throw the guy under the bus, he was important to the Rangers for some reason since the lockout.

  4. Well said and well written Papa Bear. Those are my sentiments exactly. My one issue with Sather is, why did it take so long to realize buying a Cup can not happen with the core of the team the way it was. To fan of a team, there’s nothing better than building a team out of your youth, knowing how they came up in your system and have bought into it. From the Yankees of the 90s where much of the core group was home grown or brought in when young, or the current Mets team, watching those kids grow into something makes us all proud. How much do we all love Captain Cally? His grit and determination making up for his average hockey talent. Or young D like Staal or McD and yes, even MDZ. Watching them make mistakes and learn from them. And knowing that you at least have a 50/50 shot at them developing into star players. Now that we have a great core in place, it’s time to build around them. Much like the 90s Yanks who brought in a Clemens or Cone or Tino, it’s time for the Rangers to upgrade the talent around the core. Trade away the players who you feel have reached their peak and it’s just not high enough (Dubi), or some of your depth that you’d gotten over the years, and upgrade the talent level with some younger rising stars. Fill in “need”. A big, stay at home defensemen to let guys like MDZ and McD create. Another sniper to take away some of the pressure from the second and third line guys who feel pressed into having to score more often and it takes them off their game, and more depth on those other lines. I like John Mitchell, but there’s a reason he’s not made it with other teams, and that he’s limited talent. Time to find real scrappy 3rd and 4th liners. Look at what NJ and LA did with their 4th line and that’s what we need to go after. We also need a real good faceoff guy. I think half the problems with the PP was that we lost more draws than we won and it hurt our setup. And one coaching philosophy change….SHOOT THE PUCK!!!! Any time the team is held under 30 shots, Torts should make them do Herbies. We are so close…I can taste it…but….so are about 10 other teams….so we have to act prudently, but quickly.

  5. Valery Kamensky? Another bad europansy. That was his fault that we did stink in early 2000… No other names need to be named. And what exactly Radulov has to do with Kamensky, a great player who Rangers knew was already way past his prime when they signed him?

  6. Peter, to me, the turnaround of this team was two fold. One was Hank in goal, the other was the grit that Avery brought to a franchise that was just a bunch of faded stars collecting a paycheck. I think a lot of what Avery brought rubbed off on guys like Dubi and Cally and a lot of the young leaders on the team. Did he go over the line? Of course. But the team needed an Avery at that point. But, now, the team has outgrown him. We have guys who do what he did but better and without the baggage. And we know our coach doesn’t like him. And if the choice is between Torts and Avery, Torts wins every time. But I think Sean for putting some spark and spunk into this team and changing the attitude.

  7. Radulov I think is going to be another Zherdev or at best Kovalev. I guy with immense talent who for whatever reason, attitude, personal problems, will never develop into the type of player that he should be. I don’t think he’d fit in with Torts either. I’d stay clear of him. I just think there’s better choices.

  8. Steveknj- To answer your question, it took Torts to convince Sather that his team needs to be built on youth and from within.

    To play a little bit of Devil’s Advocate: Do you think a guy like Semin would last one second on a Torts team? I know I don’t. But a grit guy like John Mitchell makes the roster. I’m not a huge Mitchell fan, an I wouldn’t mind an upgrade at his roster spot, but he knows how to work the puck along the boards, and that’s all Torts needs from him.

  9. steveknj, Repeat after me: Kovalev was one of the key players in the ’94 Cup run. Without him, they would not make it to the Finals that year. Setting him up as a negative straw man is disrespectful and ignorant of the Rangers’ history.

  10. Lol, Kovalev? If Radulov is projected to score more than 1000 points in NHL, and help us win the Cup the way Alex did in ’94, they should go all in after him. Let’s not put those two in the same sentence yet. I don’t doubt Radulov’s talent. And I can deal with him breaking the team rules in Nashville, I believe we have enough leadership in the room to show him what’s right. My worry is this guy has shown a couple of times that he marches to his own drum. Things did go smoothly in Nashville, he decided to ignore his contract and went to KHL. The season was over in Russia, let me see if I can play in the playoffs back in US. What if things don’t go well with Torts for awhile ( you think?). Are we sure he won’t do tge same? Look, I’m all for adding the scoring, but be careful not to add someone who may decide he doesn’t want to be here when things go wrong.

  11. Radulov is a terrific player and while I would pass on him, he is not as much of a Europansy as Zherdev.

    Parise is far and away the most logical choice, plus you can keep the prospects for a possible Iginla rental at the deadline (or someone else).

  12. I’ve been doing my thing … workin’ a lot. Have to present in front of some executives in Cancun next week, so we’ll see how that goes.

    Otherwise, just been having fun watching the Choke Job (aka Lebron) and the Heat lose … which is awesome.

    How’ve you guys been?

  13. I have also been enjoying the Choke Lab a/k/a Miami Feet lose three-in-a-row to the Boston Eclectics. That has been very gratifying. Similar to the gratification I feel when the New Joirsey Dweevils lose to, well, anybody.

    Enjoy Cancun. Spring Break!!! Bet the Fiance is excited about that trip!

  14. She unfortunately doesn’t get to go (she’s a teacher finishing up her school year). Hopefully she gets to go on future trip (next one is Dublin)!

  15. “# kovie June 6th, 2012 at 8:26 am

    steveknj, Repeat after me: Kovalev was one of the key players in the ‘94 Cup run. Without him, they would not make it to the Finals that year. Setting him up as a negative straw man is disrespectful and ignorant of the Rangers’ history.”

    And then Kovalev completely disappeared and had good seasons (with other teams) only when he felt like playing. Yes, he had a couple of key goals during the ’94 Cup run, but was a he a long term star with the Rangers? No. He just wasn’t consistent. Obviously, he’s a player you like for whatever reason, but I had high hopes that this guy would be a superstar, and that never happened. I fear Rudalov is going to be the same player.

  16. “Neil June 6th, 2012 at 8:17 am

    Steveknj- To answer your question, it took Torts to convince Sather that his team needs to be built on youth and from within.”

    The youth movement started under Renney actually and was more a product of the Cap than anything else. I think when Sather finally realized that he could not build a team the “old” way, spending a fortune on players and screwing up the cap, he had no choice but to build from within. And he’s done a great job of it, without the advantage that teams like Washington, Pitts and Chicago had…..high draftpicks.

  17. Czechthemout!!! on

    Kovy

    I second that. It’s amazing how some “fans” have short memories. Kovalev was a really good player for the Rangers,especially in the playoffs. Could he have been better? Sure he could have. But let’s not forget that he was saddled with playing under Colon Cancer who ran him and Zubov out of town. Funny thing happend as soon as he was traded, he became the player we all thought he would be.

    Neil

    Really? So all Torts needs from an NHL forward is for him to just work the puck down low? It’s funny, some of you guys watch the playoffs and see how much ALL the forwards on the Kings( and particularly the fourth line of the Devils which killed us) have contributed on the score sheet and you still continue to accept and spout nonsense.

  18. I still love that story about Keenan leaving Kovalev out on the ice for like 7 straight minutes at me point … classic.

  19. Um, short memories … Kovalev had zero points in Game 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 of the ECF in ’94 … And, no, he never ever became the player “we thought he would be” … one of the saddest wastes of pure skill ever. Should have been an all-time great.

  20. Tell me again where Kovie became the player he was supposed to be?:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexei_Kovalev

    Had a could of good years with Pittsburgh, one good one with Montreal. Otherwise, he was decent, not great. But he had the talent to be great.

    With the Rangers, he was average. Remember during his Rangers years, scoring was still up, and not once did he even break 60 points. He was a pretty good playoff performer though.

    I think you are remembering the talent, but not the actual results.

  21. Czechthemout!!! on

    Miami

    I watched that game. It was against Ottawa. I almost died laughing when during the post game, Kovalev said that he thought Keenan left him for so long on the ice because he thought the he was playing well.

  22. Czechthemout!!! on

    Carp

    Short memories? Kovalev scored 9 goals an 12 assists,21pts in 23 games in ’94 playoffs. And as a Ranger, he averaged a point per game in the playoffs. And in game 3 of the 94 playoffs, who made the play to Matteau for his overtime goal?

  23. Czechthemout!!! on

    Miami

    I don’t think he scored on that shift but he may have scored during that game. Don’t recall.

  24. Steveknj, aren’t they all disappeared, mess, graves, leetch, their utility dropped post 94. Yet once kovalev was traded, he flourished. Perhaps, you r looking at the wrong place. Not everything in lifis europansies fault.

  25. Vitaly, thanks for the article. Makes it official. Two thoughts:

    1. Radulov, a whiner, attitudinal problem-type player, hopefully, feels Nashville is a two-bit, amateur hour type town and doesn’t want to play THERE, but would like to display his talent in a real city. Perhaps, the theory goes, he would man up and play the way he should play, given the opportunity in a real place.

    2. I state that theory because after 13 years of this pathetic loser, out-of-touch-with-reality, stuck in the 1970’s, Grant Fuhr-he’s-voted-for-the-Vezina-for-the-last-25-years, Sather, there has NEVER been a bargain he has turned down. If he can get someone cheap, he does so. Reminds me of his deals with Avery, Jagr, so many. It’s an addiction to him. He just has to do it.

    So, boneheads, I have to believe we will own Radulov’s rights within the week and he will bring him in. It’s a ‘deal’.

    Does he fit our team’s mentality? Will he play our ‘style’? Will he even consult his great coach? Does he consider locker room attitude?

    This guy is a terrific player, no doubt. So many of our players are great character people. Is he?

  26. stevieknj, I don’t agree with all you say, but your post of 8:08Am is vibin’ with me. Those are the parts we totally need. What scares me is that this is usually the point where Sather brings in Brashear, Derek Morris, Roszival (part 2, 4 years $20M again), Redden, and Drury (as captain, no less).

    I hope and pray he gets what our needs, as you highlighted are. You got ’em all It is blatant. Can he see with his rose colored glasses?

  27. Czechthemout!!! on

    One more thing on Kovalev, he also was the teams 3rd leading scorer in the 94 playoffs behind Leetch and Messier. Sure looks like he was an unimportant player that season to me.

  28. A little comic relief for us Rangers fans while the Devils are losing on national television and the Islanders….well…

    Liz: Dennis, wake up. God.

    Dennis: Huh? What?

    Liz: You’re gonna burn the place down.

    Dennis: I wish I had burned the place down. There’s no reason to live anymore.

    Liz: What happened?

    Dennis: The Islanders lost tonight.

    Liz: *Doesn’t that happen a lot?*

    Dennis: I knew you wouldn’t understand.

  29. Oh, that comedy is courtesy of 30 Rock and the best character ever, second only to Dr. Spaceman, Dennis “The Beeper King” Duffy.

  30. With all this Kovalev defending, sounds like you guys are talking about Gaborik but being positive for once. Since Gaborik was the 3rd leading goal scorer behind Malkin and Stamkos….

  31. Sioux-per-man on

    Carp – what are your thoughts on Radalov?

    Thought to be a first class talent, but really doesn’t have the numbers in the NHL to back that up yet. Do you feel Sather will take the risk and make him an offer he can’t refuse?

  32. On Kovie,

    He really DIDN’T flourish. He has a couple of nice seasons, but flourish?

    You guys are living on ONE nice playoff run, and as Carp pointed out, he was no where most of the ECF. So much potentional, so much coasting. We had him here twice and both times he had the same problems. Sorry, I really wanted to love the guy, but he just didn’t perform as he should have for most of it. My son even had a Kovie jersey after ’94.

  33. I think if you can get Radalov for next to nothing…take the risk. If you have to give up some proven value or one of our top prospects, I’d pass. Would you trade JT Miller for him? McIlrath? Stepan? Anisimov? Erixon? I would think it’s going to take some of those guys.

  34. A couple of facts about Radulov:

    He is 25 years old, 6-1 200 lbs. Plays with an edge. Has first line level talent. Is coming off a 3 year $2,657,300 entry level deal.

    Last 3 years in NHL:
    Season Team Lge GP G A Pts
    2006-07 Nashville Predators NHL 64 18 19 37
    2007-08 Nashville Predators NHL 81 26 32 58
    2011-12 Nashville Predators NHL 9 3 4 7

    Last 4 years in KHL:
    Season Team Lge GP G A Pts
    2008-09 Ufa Salavat Yulayev KHL 52 22 26 48
    2009-10 Ufa Salavat Yulayev KHL 54 24 39 63
    2010-11 Ufa Salavat Yulayev KHL 54 20 60 80
    2011-12 Ufa Salavat Yulayev KHL 50 25 38 63

    This guy can score at the NHL & KHL level. The question is where does he want to continue his career KHL or NHL? He will probably not make as much in the NHL but will not have to deal with all the ‘BS’ of playing in KHL. Just as J.Jagr about that and why he came back to NHL.

    If he is willing to accept less ($3.5-$4M) to play in the NHL, I don’t see why NYR would not take a flyer on him for a low round draft pick. At worst we’ll keep Hagelin on the first line and put Radulov on the second and have a more balanced team.

    What do you guys think??

  35. Ahh, those stats got messed up. Hopefully these are better:

    Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/-
    2006-07 Nashville Predators NHL 64 18 19 37 26 19
    2007-08 Nashville Predators NHL 81 26 32 58 44 7
    2008-09 Ufa Salavat Yulayev KHL 52 22 26 48 92 26
    2009-10 Ufa Salavat Yulayev KHL 54 24 39 63 62 44
    2010-11 Ufa Salavat Yulayev KHL 54 20 60 80 83 27
    2011-12 Ufa Salavat Yulayev KHL 50 25 38 63 64 1
    2011-12 Nashville Predators NHL 9 3 4 7 4 3

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=77322

  36. bull dog line on

    Czech,
    yes, Kovalek did score on the shift, and the game was against Boston. they lost the game 5 to 1.
    the Avery comments earlier were the funniest Avery comments I have ever read here.

  37. Vitaly

    if you can get Radulov for something like the rights to Zuccarello and a 2nd rounder than obviously you do it, but I would wait to see how the Parise situation pans out.

    If you can sign Parise, then you have to have make that move, regardless of the cap implications down the road as those can always be fixed with a trade or two…

  38. bull dog line on

    you know the Rangers played 2 rounds before the ECF in 94, and 1 round after. I wonder how Kovalev did in the finals in 94? I seem to remember 4 goals and a couple of assists. you may also want to check out Kovalev bailing Campbell out in the Quebec series in 95.

  39. I think you need to sit down and talk with Radulov and see where his head is at. If he can commit to your team for the long haul then you get him, sign him to a 2-3 year deal. See how he does and go from there. This guy has ELITE talent. He is a proven scorer and plays with an edge that fits into the fabric of the NYR. At worst he will be a 60 point guy with 20-30 goals.
    If the price to get him is not high, I don’t see the downside. If he begins to act up, bury him in the minors and he will leave for Russia. The team will be off the hook for his salary. Wipe the slate clean.

  40. bull dog line on

    Radulov is worth a 1 year gamble. enormous talent. Parise should be the priority, and Radulov if that fails. I have changed my thinking on Nash. I no longer want to trade for him.

  41. Just had a bit of a scare here in Israel. All of a sudden a city wide siren went off all over Jerusalem. Luckily was just a drill though.

  42. Vitaly: Those stats look good. I mean, man that kind of talent is hard to come by. It’s his head and attitude that scare me. I really hate the idea of adding something toxic to this team that just becomes a distraction.

    Great job, Lev! Way to keep your composure. Glad to hear you are safe. Never fear. Israel is a safe place. No street crime!

  43. “I have changed my thinking on Nash. I no longer want to trade for him.”

    Let’s hope this is what Sather is saying too.

  44. Manny: Torts won’t let him become a distraction. See what he did to Avery last year when he beginning to do so.

  45. “Just had a bit of a scare here in Israel. All of a sudden a city wide siren went off all over Jerusalem. Luckily was just a drill though.”

    That’s actually happened twice to the Devils in their last 3 games. “WHAT IS THAT HORN???”

  46. I don’t believe that one enigmatic Russian will derail the “process” this team is going towards.

    You would think that with all the positive forces in the locker room that he would gravitate towards the others and not the other way around especially with guys like Callahan, Richards and Hank there.

    A one year gamble on him is certainly not much of a risk, although Parise has to be option A, B and C.

  47. Ah, Kovalev. I used to really follow him closely because he was all of a year older than me. I saw all of that skill and thought, “this guy can score 60 a year.” Crazy skill! Imagine Callahan with that skill.

    The most talented player the Rangers ever drafted. Also, the most disappointing. What a waste of skill.

    Radulov is no Kovalev in any way. Doesn’t have the level of skill, or the lack of motor. Players talk. I am sure Radulov is not ignorant of who Torts is. If they are going to get him, big if, sign him for a short contract and make him earn the larger one. I could live with that. If he disappears, so be it. No large investment made. However, even though he was a KHL star, he still hasn’t done more than Stepan in an NHL season. So, I wouldn’t exactly throw a truck of money at him. Not saying he is no better than Stepan, but if plays and scores all of 60 pts next year (30, 30), that certainly doesn’t warrant a huge contract. That gets Dubi money, not Gabby money.

    Ultimately, I am not sure Radulov would even want to come to NY with Torts here. That could be career suicide if he shows up unprepared for camp and doesn’t play with the energy that Torts finds acceptable. I guess we will find out what is what.

  48. Right, I agree Vitaly, but if Torts is going to have to banish Radulov then that’s a problem I don’t want to end up having. The annoying blog traffic alone is not worth it.

  49. What Manny said. The team is very tight right now. Everyone seems to buy into the program. I worry about a guy with a lot of talent who doesn’t want to buy into the system just bailing if he doesn’t like playing that way. And I’m not really sure he’s proven to be a minimum 60 point a year person. The KHL talent level is probably somewhere in between the NHL and AHL. But for a 4th rounder or below and no other compensation, I think it’s worth a try, assuming he doesn’t eat up a huge amount of cap space until he proves himself.

    And, I really am not convinced Parise is coming to the NYR. First of all, he plays for the Devils and is their captain. That might pull him away from wanting to play for the Rangers. Plus his dad played for the NYI at a time when the hatred between the NYR and NYI was at it’s most intense. So Parise might have the same feeling toward the Rangers. I’m not sure that throwing a boat load of money at him would be worth it, if he comes to the Rangers just for the money. I’ve seen too many athletes do this and it usually doesn’t end well.

  50. oleosmirf June 6th, 2012 at 10:37 am
    Vitaly

    “if you can get Radulov for something like the rights to Zuccarello and a 2nd rounder than obviously you do it, but I would wait to see how the Parise situation pans out.”

    Zuccarello already signed with the KHL.

  51. Thanks, Manny. I honestly feel safer in Israel than I do on most streets in NYC.

    On Radulov: imo him going to KHL is more of a career suicide than him playing for Torts. If he cant play for Torts he cant play in the NHL. Simple as that. If I was in his shoes (skates) Id want to prove myself. He leaves now and he will never get this chance again.

  52. bull dog line on

    not true about when J.P. Parise played. that was the very beginning of it. the true hatred was started in 79, and worked its way through the 80’s. it will always be about the money for the players. if the Rangers offer the most, he will come. its that simple. it will not have anything to do with him having been a Devil, and his pops an Islander. it will be about the money!

  53. He could easily play in the NHL if he can’t play for Torts. He could coast by on his talent and score 55 points a year for several more years. No idea if that is his personality, but he can do that. Also, no idea if the NHL or money is more important to him.

  54. “Zuccarello already signed with the KHL”

    the Rangers still hold his rights and his KHL contract has an out clause. Obviously he is worth very little, but it would be a nice throw in, considering he will obviously never play for us again.

  55. Actually the fact that it is the Rangers, the Devils most hated rival (honestly they are not ours) is really the only strike against Parise coming here. Its actually the perfect setup for a guy like him – young, very talented, hard-working team with a bunch of American players, needing basically that one more top six guy to put them over the top, an elite goaltender who has at least another 6 years in the tank and probably more, he knows and likes the coach, and they can pat him. That it is the Rangers and he is coming from NJ is the ONLY strike against him coming. Just depends on how big of a negative that is for him.

  56. And if Parise came here he would be good. he has never been one to dog it and I cant see that happening now. He woudl be a fantastic addition. Richards/Gabby/Parise as our top line? Really?

  57. How do you know Radulov would not fit with NYR? He never played for a coach like Torts. What if he relishes the opportunity and becomes a start? It’s a risk worth taking if the price of getting him is not high and now that Nashville has come out publicly and said he is not welcome back, that just killed what Nashville can get for him.

  58. Vitaly, I hear what you’re saying. I want to know what we have to give up but I would take a next-to-free Radulov over many of the more expensive options out there. Still want Iginla, Konopka *and* Gaustad on this roster and I still want to drop an offer sheet on Kane.

  59. I’m all for Konopka. He shouldn’t be expensive and is a total pest. I’m OK with Gaustad if the price is right.

    While on that topic I would not mind signing Steve Bernier (from NJ). He could be a good 4th line pest with some skill as well at a very cheap price.

  60. bull dog line on

    do not want Iginla unless he cheap. aging player. do not wan to pay price it would cost for maybe a year or two. Gaustad and Konopka are redundant. pick one or the other. like the idea of Kane. if you are ever going to put an offer sheet out, thats the kind of player you do it for, and the Jets are the type of team you try to take advantage of.

  61. My problem with Bernier, aside from the Rupp incident, he seems to be pretty easy to swat aside for most guys. He isn’t as tough as he presents and I am just not impressed with his play. That said, that Devils 4th line has produced like crazy and I would love to have a 4th line like that (which we did last season).

    Konopka I think is an absolute must. He’s cheap and can take over some of the fighting responsibilities for Prust and he’s an absolute faceoff whiz as we saw. He’s a great fit.

    Gaustad, I think is going to get a slight raise and what the heck, why not sign a guy like him? He’s already proven that he’s movable.

  62. bull dog- you’re right about Kovalev in ’95, 11 points in 10 games.

    Leetch and Kovalev are the only 2 players drafted by the Rangers to score more than 1000 points. Amonte, for example, scored 900. Kovalev is #71 on the list of All-time NHL Point leaders. Most of the guys above him are in HOF. Let’s not call his career a failure.

  63. “It’s a risk worth taking if the price of getting him is not high …”

    This is the key to the whole Radulov thing. I’ve been against it under the assumption that we’d have to move something of value, be it a high pick or player/prospect, and once you do that it becomes harder to sink him if he’s a bad fit because then you wasted _______. If we give a 3rd for his rights and can Whale him if he’s a dog, absolutely take a shot.

  64. bull dog line on

    I am not for anything that closes the Rangers window of winning, even a little. trading for Nash may get the Rangers closer to winning, but it also closes there window of winning a bit, based on what you are going to have to give up. same with Iginla. right now, the way they are built, the Rangers probably have a good 5 to 7 year window in which they could contend for the cup. based on how young they are, and what is coming up the pipeline. if you trade a bunch of them for a Nash, or iginla, you may have a better chance at winning now, but if you fail your window closes quite a bit. I would go free agent market ( Parise), or stay pat for awhile and see what may shake out later.

  65. If Radulov comes here, it needs to be for the right price, and not as the first scoring option. They still need to go after their other plans- Parise/Nash/Iginla or whatever else they have cooking.

  66. His career is a failure from the perspective of his talent level, not overall production. His talent level should have put him the top #25.

  67. The Devils paid less than $1.8MM for their entire 4th line. Gaustad himself would probably cost atleast 1.5x that much. Not a good investment for this team given the minutes that Richards/Stepan/Boyle will be getting above him.

  68. bull dog line on

    ilb,
    Kovalev also had 100 playoff points in his career. maybe he was not as good as he could have been, but he was still real good. 1000 pts is nothing to sneeze at.

  69. Czechthemout!!! on

    Parise has done nothing of substance in these playoffs. He is the captain of that team and has not stepped up this series nor in most of the games against the Rangers. I know Parise doesn’t dog it but it sure seems that he is not quite the same player he was before his injury. Would I pay him 90-100 million over 12 years? OH HELL NO!!!! PASS!

    I would rather trade a few replaceable players like AA/Dubi/MdZ for Nash for six more seasons, than sign someone that will certainly be a major burden to this team and it’s salary cap structure. Nash will be 33 when his deal expires. No different than Gabby and when his deal expires, Richards will still be on the books at the age of 38-39.

  70. Mister D , Gaustad is finishing his 4 yr deal where he made $2.5M last three years. At 30, he will want to get paid. Someone will overpay him, but it won’t be here. I hope.

  71. bull dog line on

    you have to get past your Devil hatred and just look at the player. Parise is everything the current Rangers stand for. hard working, and selfless. plus he adds something the team really lacks, skill! to me if he wants to come to the Rangers, its a no brainer.

  72. But bull dog, would you rather have Parise now, and for the next 9 or 10 years at around $8M per, or would you rather wait a year and attempt to get a guy like Corey Perry or Jordan Staal?

  73. ILB: Totally agree. If we didn’t have Boyle, I’d absolutely be interested in him as a 3rd line center / PK guy, but we have that. In an uncapped league, he’d be an awesome 4th liner. As it stands, he’s a really nice player that doesn’t fit our roster or cap situation.

  74. Parise now. If Parise, Staal and Perry were all available right now, I’d still pick Parise now.

    (Now if you want to go back a year and ask if its worth holding out for a chance at Parise and then one of Perry or Staal … well … different answer. But its hard to argue right now given how this past year went.)

  75. Explain the Doctor. Why Parise over Perry? Because Perry had a rough Sophomore season?

  76. Czechthemout!!! on

    Mister d

    Kovalev’s career was stifled and almost destroyed by Colin Campbell. The same Colin Campbell who ran Zubovout of town. The same Campbell asked Neil Smith to get Shane Churla and Marty McSorely Matty Norstrom, a terrific dman and Ian Laperrier a real good agitator and checker. The same Campbell who played Bill Berg as if he was Wayne Gretzky. Was Kovalev all that he could be? No, but he certainly all the forwards ever drafted by this team in the 37 years that I have been a fan.

  77. Czechthemout!!! on

    Wow. Cory Perry is by far the better player than Parise. It’s not even close. Jordan Staal is not.

  78. bull dog line on

    dont for get, this team needs a least one quality Damn, if not 2. if you put your chips in on Nash, how do you go about getting the Dmen you need. all Parise is going to cost is money. you are going to need, more than likely, to trade for D help.

  79. bull dog line on

    Czech,
    100% right on Kovalev. though Carp will be taking issue with that shortly.

  80. bull dog line on

    the same Colin Campbell who took Jari Kurri and moved him to center. the same Colin Campbell who took Luc Robitaille and moved him to right wing. two of the most prolific goal scorers, at there position, in the history of the NHL and Campbell changed there position.

  81. Czechthemout!!! on

    The defense on this team is not the issue. We have a good to great defense already. It will only get better when Erixon makes the team and if they sign Justin Schultz which by all accounts is on the top of the Rangers FA wish list. The biggest issue on defense is not having someone who can shoot the puck from back there. Schultz,Erixon and even McD if given the chance can help that. The issue is at forward. We don’t have enough size and skill up front. Nash addresses that and so does Kreider, who is going to become a big time power forward in this league. We also need some depth at forward and I don’t mean Rupp and Mitchell. I mean NHL quality players,not scrubs.

  82. “Cory Perry is by far the better player than Parise.”

    No argument on that, but Parise is a better fit as a LW and Perry (you’d think) will cost even more, right?

  83. Jordan Stauwl will probably (if he leaves the Penguins) end up getting paid like the first line center that he isn’t.

    And yes, maybe Kovalev’s talent should’ve got him 2,000 points, but 1,000+ isn’t a failed career by anyone. Hardly in the Zherdev category.

  84. Rangers should do +one+ of the following:

    1) Sign Parise for no more than a $6.5m cap hit. (YES PLEASE!)

    2) Make a trade with Edmonton for the number 1 pick. It would involve trading one of our top 4 D and our 1st rounder.

    Yakupov > Radulov

  85. Agreed Czech. If you can steal a guy who’ll get a limited contract like Schultz, absolutely, but I don’t get allocating major resources to Weber or Suter at this point (unless the plan is to flip Girardi or Staal for a top 6 scorer).

  86. bull dog line on

    I do not doubt that Schultz, and Erixon will become good players. but they will be rookies when the season starts. I think they need to add a youngish veteran player on D. Parise helps you with your scoring problem while only costing money. Nash is going to be money and players off of current roster, who then would need to be replaced.

  87. “1) Sign Parise for no more than a $6.5m cap hit. (YES PLEASE!)”

    Might get us in the top 10?

  88. Zach is a stand-up guy. He likes NYC. He likes Torts. I believe the Rangers are high on his list; much like Richie put the Rangers near the top of his list.

    Would he take less to come here? Apparently, Richards did….not saying it’s a guarantee…

  89. Czechthemout!!! on

    Bull dog

    It’s amazing that Robitallie couldn’t play for Campbell but as soon as he left, he resumed his scoring again. I laugh thinking back to how Campbell tried to make Luc a checker and complained that he doesnt play a complete game. I actually think the Campbell is the reason this orginization went to hell because of his reign of error!

  90. Why didn’t Kovalev rise to the greatness we all predicted for him? Well, why didn’t Rangers become a dynasty like Devils or Red Wings after their ’94 Cup win? Why did they instead become like Lightings or Ducks or ‘Canes, a one season wonder? It never crossed your mind that the answer to all these questions is the same? Coaching & management?

  91. bull dog line on

    czech,
    that group of Rangers probably had one more cup in them. the 95 team arguably had more talent than the 94 team. having added Verbeek, and Nedved, while losing Tikkanen.

  92. Zachary Parise (it rhymes) is the #1 free agent this off-season. He is going to have money thrown at him from teams with cap space all over. He’s also a CAPTAIN. Many, many teams want his leadership. I doubt he takes less to come here unless he absolutely thinks he can win MORE than once with the Rangers.

  93. “you have to get past your Devil hatred and just look at the player. Parise is everything the current Rangers stand for. hard working, and selfless. plus he adds something the team really lacks, skill! to me if he wants to come to the Rangers, its a no brainer.”

    A+ Bulldog!!!

  94. No to Gaustad for the reasons ilb explained.

    No to Parise for the reasons czech explained.

    Dont wait for next years free agents if you have a deal ready to be made with one of this years free agents. No guarantee next years free agents will be free agents come July 1st, 2013.

  95. “Why didn’t Kovalev rise to the greatness we all predicted for him?”

    When you’re 71st on the all-time points list and you’re a disappointment in some eyes, your expectations were through the roof, then through some clouds that were hovering way above that roof.

  96. Czechthemout!!! on

    Bull dog

    While its true that Nash will cost players that need to be replaced, my point is they are all replaceable. Nash replaces one of AA/ Dubi. Erixon replaces MDZ( if we don’t get Schultz) McD is a better offensive option than MDZ on the pp and so is Erixon. He has a good shot from back there. JT Miller may replace Dubi in the short run, definitely in the long term. And if we get Schultz, it’s a no brainer. And should JT Miller not be ready, we will be able to pick someone up during the course of the season. By I believe he will be ready.

  97. I have no problem absorbing a 7.5 mil cap hit with a NMC for the next 8 years for Zach Parise.

    Having Parise, Gaborik and Richards to go with a completely intact homegrown core makes the Rangers instant cup contenders and gives the Rangers the flexibility to move some of those assets for a rental like Iginla.

  98. Parise is a slightly better Callahan imo. Does adding him make the team better? Sure. Instant cup favorites? I really dont think so. We werent missing another Callahan this year.

  99. bull dog line on

    czech,
    if that is the deal, than sign me up. I think it is going to cost a lot more than that, and its a price I am not willing to pay.

  100. bull dog line on

    lev,
    I dont know whether you are overrating Cally, or underrating Parise, but I do not agree with your comparison of the 2.

  101. Czechthemout!!! on

    If they can’t get a Nash or a Bobby Ryan, I would reluctantly offer Parise an 5year $40 million dollar take it or leave it contract. I think $ 8 million per year is too much for him but hey, you got to do what you got to do to try and fix your holes and not allow your window for winning the Cup to close.

  102. BRING BACK AVERY! HE MAKES US INSTANT CONTENDERS! INSTANT!

    how’s that for funny, bull dog line? :)

  103. Lev

    so you’re saying if the Rangers had Parise instead of John Mitchell they would not be significantly better?

    Maybe all that falafel and shwarma is getting to you?

  104. oleo, read my comment again. Does it make them better? Of course. Does it make them instant cup favorites as you suggested? I dont buy it one bit. Especially with the way he’s played these playoffs.

    Shwarma very well may be getting to me though. Im living on it. Not a fan of falafel though.

  105. I personally agree with Lev. Parise is a better version of Callahan in the goal scoring department. He certainly doesn’t hit as hard as Callahan and he won’t block shots as well or lead as well. If we are going for the “Callahan-Types” then I want Backes or Dustin Brown.

    Parise would make us better but Lev has a point that he might not make us better in the right way. Iginla or Corey Perry would. Another 40+ goals would be a real gift for this team.

  106. mmmm shAwarma!! best shAwarma I’ve ever had was in Haifa, Israel.. place called “Hazan” THE BEST!

  107. bulldog, both are heart and soul of their respective teams. No doubt Parise overall is better. But he’s not 2 times better. He has a little more pop in his offensive game but that’s about it. I have no problem with having 2 Callahans on the team but I dont see all this heart and shot blocking substituting for the missing goals. If we get Radulov + Parise I wont complain though.

  108. My understanding is that you’d love to have 12 Ryan Callahans if not more on your team, so even if that is an apt comparison, you probably sign the guy. But I think he has more offensive upside but less grit than Cally. Maybe?

  109. CCCP, best shawarma on King George St in Jerusalem. 15 shekels for the big thing. Been in business for over 30 years. Although as of 2 years ago the owners (elderly folk) sold it to a bunch of teens, but it’s still incredible.

  110. Id absolutely love to have him on the team. Love the Cally-ness in him. But not for the amount of money that he will get. Nash/Iginla/Ryan/Perry would work for me more. And Radulov as a supplement. Or again, get 2 supplements (Radulov and Parise)

  111. Czechthemout!!! on

    Bull dog

    I don’t think the deal should be any more than that. Howson the idiot overplayed his hand and the best deal on the table he had is the deal he could have had at the deadline. I don’t think Sather should offer anything more tha that. Perhaps a second round pick? Maybe Christian Thomas? Bu that’s it. I wouldn’t offer any mor than that because it than defeats the purpose of what they are trying to do here. Looking at it a little more closely. Dubi is not a ten goal scorer. He had a tough year and absent injury, will most certainly return to his 40-50+ point scoring level. He will also score 20+ next year with CBJ because he will be put into more of a scoring role. AA is still very young and promising. He may take the next step next year and break 20 goals and 30 assist as well. MDZ, the minute he steps on the ice, becomes the Jackets second best defenseman behind Johnson. The question we should be asking is are we giving up too much? And should we ask for a second round pick back as well from them?

  112. bull dog line on

    last 5 full seasons.
    Parise, 31, 32, 45, 38, and 31 goals.
    perry, 29, 32, 27, 50, and 37 goals.
    very close.
    Cally, 8, 22,19, 23, and 29 goals.
    not so much.

  113. bull dog line on

    Nash, last 5 seasons.
    38, 40, 33, 32, 30. heading down, but very solid numbers.

  114. Ok im out for dinner. Enjoy the game tonight guys and I look forward to reading happy comments while youre all asleep. And then watch the celebration on youtube.

  115. The Rangers went to OT of game 6 of the ECF despite the 3rd best goal scorer in the regular season playing with a bust shoulder.

    After factoring in improvements from normal development, how does Parise not make them contenders now?

  116. Zach Parise nearly scored 50 goals a few years back with Langenbrunner and Zajac on his line. he is not Ryan Callahan.

    They are both captains. They are both American. They are both heart and soul players but the comparison stops there, IMO.

    Imagine what he (Zach) could do with Gaborik and Richards and/or Kreider….

  117. Krutov, with his understated greatness, was one of the very few key members of the Red Machine who decided not to come to NHL, prefering to stay in Europe. The guy never smiled even when scored very big goals.

  118. I tend to trust you, NYR_FAN. Therefore, I will have to get on board with the Parise thing. I am just really worried about too many players being mired in long, long contracts and not being able to give Hank, Hagelin, Kreider, McBust, Del Zaster, etc. what they deserve.

  119. “I am just really worried about too many players being mired in long, long contracts”

    Manny, yes. Very, very valid concern. Though, our cap expert, ilb, seems to think we can fit him in no problem next year.

    We can also make more room by trading a contract like Dubinsky’s….

  120. I just want to plan for the eventual release of Gaborik. What do we do then? If he leaves we won’t have a 40+ goal scorer on the squad if we pick up Parise. Unless Parise goes insane with a great line like Kreider-Richards-Parise or something like that.

  121. Can you imagine if those Soviet players like Krutov, Maltsev, Mikhailov, Kharlamov, Tretiak etc. were able to come to the NHL and play here at the pinnacles of their careers…can you imagine?

    Will Marty be the winningest goalie in history of the NHL still? Would the guys like Esposito, Jagr, Yzerman, and even Lemieux be chasing guys like Ron Francis, Messier and Gordie Howe?

    NHL’s history coulda look a lot different today…

  122. bull dog line on

    CCCP,
    the KLM line I know was. Krutov, Larionov, and Makarov. was there a KLM line before these guys?

  123. There were only four 40 goal scorers in the league this year. If we have a balanced attack with a couple 30+ guys supplemented by some 20+ guys, I think we’ll be pretty ok given our defense and goalie.

  124. @CCCP@ I really can’t. That was a huge loss. Stupid politics ruined a lot of athletic competition for a lot of people really around the world. It’s a big loss to the NHL. Just like the silly color barrier in baseball taints all pre-1945 statistics (and in actuality it took a LOT longer to get the integration to actually occur as I am sure hockey had as well).

  125. I guess you’re right, The Doctor. None of the 40+ goal scorers are still playing are they?

  126. parise will not come here and we wont be the highest bidder wings and wild for sure.

    no radulov under any circumstances.

    i am for hoping we could get weber. i def see suter going to wings and i could see weber not wanting to stay in nashville. as an rfa he will not sign a long term extension there and i doubt the club gives him another 1 yr deal. sign and trade with nashville.

  127. bull dog line on

    I remember all 3 of them, Kharlamov was some player, and Mikhailov was the captain.

  128. exactly, kovie

    that was the line before the KLM… also Yakushev, Starshinov and Firsov (to name a few) deserve a mention as a core of the Soviet 70’s teams… all amazing hockey talents.

  129. Bobby Ryan, clap clap clap clap clap! Bobby Ryan, clap clap clap clap clap! Bobby Ryan, clap clap clap clap clap!

  130. CCCP, perhaps, if KLM & Co were playing in NHL in their prime, they would never become such dominant players. Looking back into 70th, 80th NHL-USSR games, it is amazing just how much they differed in style, like from two different planets. You don’t see this contrast now, everyone’s playing the same game. Isolation helped to develop two absolutely different styles. One thing the Iron Curtain did good.

  131. youse guys are absolutely killing me! I’m still here sitting shiva for THIS year’s team and you are already trying to marry me off to some other new free agents that I barely know…I mean, how do we know if they’re even Jewish?

  132. Wicky© RUPP SMASH!!! on

    “IF” you can trade for the rights of radulov for a 6th or 7th round pick, then you do it and
    IF” he signs for a reasonable contract (2-3 mil???) then you do it; and this is only “IF” you are 95% sure he is not a lockerroom cancer or a total wingnut!

    I still say iggy plan A, nash plan B, and so on and so forth, parise like plan D or F IMHO!

    I do think radulov is a separate deal and not a replacement for the above nash and friends, but would be a compliment to them. If we had one of nash and friends and radulov plus then gabby..I think our scoring issues would be much less obviously

  133. RIP, Vova! I’m pretty sure he played in NHL, though, kovie…

    LMAO@ sitting shiva, Fat Guy! Classic.

  134. bull dog line on

    I was at game 1 of the challenge cup (NHL all stars vs Russians) in 79. great atmosphere at garden. on my best memories of that night was seeing Roger Doucet sing the canadian anthem. it was the 1 game the NHL won ( of 3). booing Gillies, Potvin, Trottier, and Bossy, as well as Bobbie Clarke.

  135. Great point. Fat Guy. Cover the mirrors! Tear your clothes! Get me a darn Stool!

  136. Manny – I’m way ahead of you! I hate mirrors and have none, and my clothes are already torn! I’m like the Incredible Bulk!

  137. Rob in Beantown on

    Is Brodeur definitely coming back next year or might tonight be his swan song?

  138. Bulldog, ’79 series was great, with Myshkin shining in goal in game 3. Canada Cup ’87, however, beats everything else I ever seen in hockey.

  139. bull dog line on

    the bets game I have seen involving the Russians was against the Canadians, during the Canadians dynasty from 76 to 79. it was a 3 to 3 tie. I think it was in 78.

  140. Fatso would’ve retire if debbies won. He’ll be back to have a proper retirement at the Rangers’ hands.

  141. Those didn’t sound like the words of a guy coming back to this group. I’ll bet retirement.

  142. Go get ’em fat guy. I will come over with a baked ziti and we can mourn the loss of this season.

  143. bull dog line on

    when does Kreiders practice only contract end, and his playing contract begin?

  144. It has already, bull dog. The moment he signed during the playoffs, it counted as his first year. He now has 2 year left on his contract.

  145. Wicky© RUPP SMASH!!! on

    I think stoll is a good player and would fit nicely on this team, but I’m not sure we make a play for him. I think if we add a bottom six fwd, I think it will be konopka if he is available due to his faceoff ability. I think the rest of the bottom six will be added from our top six when we add a top six fwd or two.

    Just saying…

  146. Instead of the Cup, I think the Kings should skate aroudn the ioce holding up Alyssa Milano for all to see. Then everyone gets one day with her over the summer. She’d be handed back to her husband with tons of dents.

  147. I am just asking about Latona because we used to e-mail from time to time and then, after the loss, he got sad and then he disappeared. I haven’t even heard from him about lunches.

    I am borderline real-life worried about him.

  148. Latona is a genius. I love his Evander Kane idea. That name should be in the poll up top!!

  149. I like this typically modest and accountable Brodeur quote (from Puck Daddy):

    “I try to give these guys a chance to win. I’ve done that in the first three games. At the end of the day, it’s hard to win games when you don’t score many goals. I try to be perfect but the other guy is a little more perfect than me.”

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/sykora-tallinder-back-devils-la-kings-desserts-tambellini-180223900.html

    See Marty says things like this and then wonders why we get on him so much. And he’s done that since day one and basically looked down his nose at the Rangers and their fans from day one.

  150. What does everyone think?

    Personally, I think that if I could just trade out one move Sather made, it would have won us the Cup this year. I’m going to go out here and say that if, in the summer of 2008 (or maybe it was 09), Glen Sather had done what I wanted him to do and signed Mark Streit instead of Wade Redden, the Rangers would have won the Cup this year. Thoughts? Also, anyone up for trying to pry him out of Long Island?

  151. speaking of the cannibal zombie outbreak, is there any truth to the rumor that Marty was spotted munching on an entire Crip set down under the I-10 in Compton?

  152. Matteau,

    Think of the 20 Ranger play-on games we just witnessed.

    Radulov doesn’t seem to be the type of player who can help them run the gauntlet.

    They need more talent to be sure – but they need more character – not characters.

    I say pass on him.

    Geez – what would he do if (actually, when) the coach got in his face and Tortorella’d him. Would he go back home to mother Russia, crying all the way?

  153. You make a lot of valid points, particularly with Slats, but let’s not forget, he may go down as making one of the greatest trades in Rangers history, Scott Gomez for what would essentially be Marion Gaborik, Ryan McDonaugh and Brandon Prust. Brilliant

  154. Yea Latona is great. Haven’t heard from him in a few days though. Good to know he’s around, Ilb. I know what a HUGE Devils fan he is!

    Just the last e-mail I got from him (*NO EMAIL*) was a bit……predictive and scary.

  155. 87 Canada Cup was fun and great hockey- 1972 Series of the Century was EPIC- anyone who lived through it will never forget it. We think the Rangers had a big heart this year?
    There’s a reason they make documentarys about that series (the NBC recent docu was at least the third thats been done)- I own the dvd collection that includes each game with pre and post interviews- and I still drag it out periodically to watch it. Road games from Moscow were aired on PBS in New York (amazing).My favorite non- Ranger hockey memory for sure.(If the USA-USSR game had been broadcast live- that might have been my favorite.)

  156. I laugh out loud when you guys blame Colin Campbell for Kovalev not scratching the surface of his potential.

  157. Boo-Ka-Boom on

    Hey all,….Just read the guest blog…very nice job Papa Bear. Proud to be a bonehead!

  158. bull dog line on

    much later than I thought, but I knew you would respond Carp.
    do you think Campbell treated him well? do you think he treated Zubov well? was he not the man who pushed for Zubov to be traded? I understand all was not bad under Campbell, but do you understand all was not good? a lot of bad personal decisions were made while Campbell was the coach. for that he should have been held accountable. I guess he was, with his job.

  159. Kovalev could have played for the best coach of all time and he would never have been a “Next one” type of player. Some people have a drive that others don’t. That’s why Daigle never amounted to anything and guys like Prust are sought after.

    As for the Rangers trading for Radulov’s rights, “Bad move, cap’n”. Let the dude go back to the KHL.

  160. “I laugh out loud when you guys blame Colin Campbell for Kovalev not scratching the surface of his potential.”

    I blame Kovalev’s uncle Vlad.

  161. Playing with Jagr was the best thing to happen to Kovalev’s career. They should have stuck together….

  162. Carp, do you laugh as loud thinking about the reasons why 94 Rangers’ biggest achievement in the next 5 year’s was a dismal loss to flyers in ecf, and they needed Gretz for that?

  163. Great post, Bear. I cringe when I think of Parise. Devils-2-Rangers players have bad karma!

    Noooooooo to Parise.

  164. kovie, yes, I do.

    bull dog. Definitely there was a lot that went on and it wasn’t all good at all during those years. Nor was it the disaster some people make it out to be. The trade of Zubov was awful … but I maintain that if Robitaille performed the way he did before, and after, he was a Ranger, it wouldn’t have been so bad. Zubov looked like Mike Green his last playoff series as a Ranger. But i am allowing that it was a dreadful trade that haunted the Rangers for years. No doubt about it.

    Zubov reached his potential. Kovalev did not.

    And I will say this, because I do tend to defend Campbell despite his shortcomings:
    1) He was far better than any coach who succeeded him until the present coach. Not even close.
    2) The hiring of Muckler in his place turned the organization on its ear and set into motion the firing of the GM who won the Cup and the ushering in of the current regime.
    3) He did get to seven playoff series in his first three seasons as a head coach.
    4) I don’t think Campbell was unique as a coach in that he never trusted two guys who quit on him when his career was at a crossroads. QUIT all caps. Those two guys did.

  165. Rose from AZ on

    Just want to mention that Tony is progressing in Rehab and stood up straight and tall and clean shaven for over six minutes today. Thank you all for your kind wishes and prayers, they are most appreciated. And Happy Father’s Day to all.

  166. Ronny from AZ on

    Who,s gonna help me break out of this rehab place?
    Say the word, I,m ready to go home

  167. Tony from AZ on

    Sally we,re still planning on going to the falls & the Hockey hall of fame. But, I want to be walking by then

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