Uh, oh … Guess what day it is … Guess. What. Day. It. Is


Yes, it’s hump day.

But it’s also the first day of training camp for ya boys … or at least the day they officially report for physicals.

The Rangers begin training camp today with a new head coach, but minus their new No. 1 center.

Derek Stepan, 23, who emerged as the No. 1 center last season, remains an unsigned restricted free agent who will not attend without a new contract.

Standing in the way are that Stepan has no leverage as a restricted free agent who had no arbitration rights – unless an unlikely offer sheet comes from another team, which could force the Rangers to do something drastic – and that the Rangers have only $2.18 million to spend under the salary cap, according to capgeek.com.

The Rangers can go 10 percent over the cap until the end of the preseason, and they will gain approximately $1.7 million in space if/when, at the end of camp, they waive Arron Asham and Darroll Powe, who already were waived once in July. They could also place Ryan Callahan and/or Carl Hagelin on long-term injured reserve for some temporary cap space since both are coming off shoulder surgery. But once placed on LTIR, a player must miss 10 games.

Coach Alain Vigneault and his new staff, including Ulf Samuelsson, Scott Arniel and Dan Lacroix, will not get the players on ice until Thursday. Physical exams are scheduled today, and on-ice testing Thursday. Then the players will skate in groups starting Friday.

The Rangers open their six-road-game preseason Monday and Tuesday, in Newark and Philadelphia, respectively, as the final phase of Madison Square Garden’s renovation is completed. They open the regular season Oct. 3 at Phoenix, starting a nine-game road trip.

Here we go. Dale’!

Photo by Getty Images.

On a much more serious note, please say a prayer or take a moment to reflect on the 12th anniversary of that most horrible of days and what it meant to all of us, what we lost, what we learned, the heroes we discovered.

I know I will think back to that day, which was also the day the Rangers were to report to camp in 2001, when they almost stayed at the World Trade Center Marriott. (I was inside the Garden when the second plane hit). And especially the way the Rangers conducted themselves in the days and weeks after, the way they helped people heal, and unlike other sports teams, did so anonymously, without inviting the TV cameras to follow.

They did New York proud, the Rangers did.






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    And that story about the Rangers helping is just another reason I am proud to bleed blue. LETS GO RANGERS

  2. Have to admit, slightly disappointing to see the news full of talk of Syria and the new iPhones, rather than tributes to that terrible day that shook the world. R.I.P.

    On a brighter note, as of today we can start talking hockey for real!

  3. Good morning, boneheads!

    I remember everything. Almost too well. Still feels surreal. The hardest thing for us, doctors was waiting for injured patients to arrive so we can help. Over 48 hours in the hospital. Not a single patient. They were all gone.

    Makes one realize what’s important in our lives. Have a great day.

  4. Nazem Kadri signs two year $2.9 million contract. He had identical stats as Stepan..18 goals 26 assists = 44 points. Step’s agent will lose traction on this announcement.

  5. Step’s agent will argue that was Kadri’s first full season though, he’d only played 50 games (19 points) over 2 seasons prior to that, Step had played 2 full 82-game seasons and scored 96 points.

    Even so, the only leverage is a hold-out and that helps no-one, not the team, player or new coach. I’m hoping we’ll see a 2yr $3.25m per year contract announced shortly, but i’m not holding my breath!

  6. That Kadri deal, made by one of the worst front offices in the world, was thankfully hamstrung by some other awful deals they made (_see_ Clarkson, 6 years @ $36.75M) but most importantly, it set a very real standard for Derek Stepan and hopefully will allow him to be at camp very shortly.


  7. Step has about as much leverage as the guy at the wedding in Braveheart who’s wife is whisked away to be de-flowered by the local English noble. (another Hollywood lie btw)

    Take the deal, prove him wrong and get yourself a big raise in 2 years time.

  8. Gravy, Just Gravy on

    The Rangers might not do everything right from a hockey perspective, but they do everything right from a public relations/community perspective.

  9. Rob in Beantown on

    Bryzgalov and Tim Thomas are apparently interested in the Florida job. Interesting that Bryz has supposedly gotten KHL offers but wants to stay in the NHL

  10. _Take the deal, prove him wrong and get yourself a big raise in 2 years time._

    I wonder what percentage of the fanbase advocating this will call him and his agent selfish when they ask for $6MM per.

  11. Gravy, Just Gravy on

    Mister D, you mean these people wouldn’t take half of their market salary for 2 years to get what they’re really worth down the road?

  12. Right. I mean, its different for me in that I’m in a high-risk, short career profession like accounting, but c’mon Step. You’ve got sooooooo many years to make money. I’d play hockey (or do accounting) for free!

  13. Rob in Beantown on

    Obviously not Gravy. They should take less than what they’re worth for the good of the company, so the company can pay other people more.

  14. Carp I have a question for New Yorkers? The islanders move to the Barclay Center in 2 years.

    How long until Brooklyn fans become Islander fans?

    Will they still have gate issues, without the Rangers fans attending?

    What are everyone’s thoughts on the Barclay center and hockey?

  15. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    I watch nearly all those documentaries re: 9/11 disaster and I still feel a terrible sadness in the pit of my gut. A terrible, terrible day.

  16. There are really two things that could happen.

    1.) Stepan signs a Two-Year Deal in the PK Subban range and in two years they re-evaluate and if he continues to perform he gets overpaid in the next deal of 6-8 years.

    2.) Stepan signs a six-year deal, now, and the Rangers overpay for 2 years but, if Stepan continues to be near elite Centre category, they underpay for the last 4 years.

  17. I’m flying out to Madison tomorrow. If I see him around, I’ll let him know the entirety of the fanbase supports him in this.

  18. Sounds like a few road bumps for Pietrangelo and the Blues. If that’s true, you do everything you can to Offer Sheet that young man.

  19. Sioux, my personal prediction is that Brooklyn hockey fans with strong allegiances to the Rangers won’t switch. The Islanders will probably get new fans in Brooklyn who are new hockey fans or hockey fans without an allegiance to a local team. The Islanders being in Brooklyn will ultimately be good for local hockey and good for rivalries.

  20. Manny – Step has the weekend off. I’m taking him fishing in Wisconsin, the King Salmon have started to run up the river. You should come with :)

    Not talking any contracts. Just quality father/son time with a #StepFan Family catching a few fish. Perhaps tell a few fish stories along the way.

  21. Funny story, I actually live only 10 blocks or less from the Barclay’s Center now. When the Islanders play there I will be able to run down there after the game ends and still have plenty of time to start punching Islanders fans in the face!

  22. I agree Rob, in 20 years new fans have to fold in and call them their own.

    I’m a bit jealous. The closest NHL Hockey for me is 4hrs away if I want to go to a game. Thank God for Center ice and the Fighting Sioux.

  23. Larry Brooks ?@NYP_Brooksie 1m

    Told that there has been no progress in #NYR talks with Stepan. Hence, first-line center will miss today’s opening of camp.

    BOO! HISS!

  24. Manny if I can pull off meeting Taylor Swift with my daughter, my son feels I should be able to pull off a meet and greet with Stepan since he has the weekend off :)

    You’ll have to check out the pic we got with Taylor over the weekend. Actually scroll down and watch the youtube video of a 14 year old girl finding out early in the morning from the Radio show :)

  25. I’m sure this has been asked a billion times, but can someone point me to instructions on how to get a little picture dealie next to my name? Its time.

  26. Mister D, go to this website: https://en.gravatar.com/

    Create an account using the email address you use when you post on this blog. Then you can upload a picture. Whenever you post here using that email address, it will show the picture.

  27. Hey look! Doodie’s back. Doodie you should have seen, in hindsight, my Fantasy Football Depth Chart for my draft. It was Epic!

  28. Biron’s “personal matter” not surprising considering the very public dislike between him and Vigneault.

  29. that 2-6-1 road trip to start of 9 games will be 0-8-1 if step is missing. this first month will be a del zaster and bury this team. game over season over.

    i’m backkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

  30. Wicky

    “The feathers symbolize the outstanding rewards that students, faculty, staff and alumni will achieve for academic, athletic and lifelong excellence. The determined look in the eyes symbolizes fortitude and never giving up and the focus necessary for sustained academic, athletics and lifelong achievement. The paint on the cheekbone symbolizes that life can be a battle and we have daily struggles. The color green symbolizes the development of young people and their growth at the University of North Dakota. The color yellow symbolizes the sun which provides humanity light and warmth in order that life may continue. The color red symbolizes the lifeblood that has been poured out to make our state and peoples great.”

  31. Step’s agent: “The things that come to those who wait are actually the things that were left behind by those who got there first.”

  32. Biron has been sent packing to prepare for buyout to free up room to accommodate Stepan contract, and Moose is Hank’s new rommate, at league minimum. How Swede it is…

    I mean, why else would their be 33 consecutive tweets about “hedberg is here, biron is ‘on personal leave’?”


  33. New York Rangers @NYRangers
    However AV said he did not watch video from last year bc he wants to have open mind with the players–back to the “clean slate” theme

    Really? AV is going to coach this team and he didn’t watch any video from last year?

  34. Hipster – you could be onto something there!

    Makes perfect sense to me, Hedberg would be a solid back-up.

    But Biron was so much fun as a fan. I’ll miss Jacob and his interviews.

  35. AV’s watched a lot of hockey last year.

    I’m pretty sure he knows how to fix a broken power play. Not sure he needs to watch a video of how it DOESN’T work.

    Just saying….

  36. So the guy that employes 100 interns and coaches to maintain everything from toenail clippings to offensive zone starts doesn’t watch video of his players from previous seasons?

  37. I wouldn’t say that, Sioux. The Canucks PP was only *ONE* better than the Rangers PP. Meaning, he watched a crappy one and was unable to fix it.

  38. Chew on this stat. The Canuck power play was a whopping one tenth of a percentage point higher than that of the vaunted NYR pp last season.

    Oh brother.

  39. @NYRangers 2m

    “That’s a pretty safe bet”-a laughing Alain Vigneault when asked if @HLundqvist30 has “locked up” the No. 1 goalie spot


    Any guesses as to what Torts response would have been?

  40. Torts: “Every spot is up for evaluation. Every spot. What part of ‘every’ don’t you understand, Brooksie? I’m happy with Henrik, but I stand by what I said. Any other questions? No? Good.”

  41. czechthemout!!! on

    Av sucks! I think the players are already tuning him out.

    What a dope! He should watch video of their PP. AV can learn a lot from watching how Sully ran a great PP.

  42. “Hey, Pat, you’re about three years out of your Modern Poetry class at, where did you go, Notre Dame? Stop coaching.”

  43. so, is slats going to basically wait till he can put cally on ir before he signs stepan? this is such a poor way to start a new year off . i dont want boyle traded for nothing or anyone else waived,tradedjust to sign stepan, but he had all friggin’ summer to figure it out

  44. Rob in Beantown on

    You don’t really consider speaking French to be a “technical difficulty” do you Carp? Because that’s offensive

  45. …Dreger?
    Sometimes, I’m thinking prohibitively, that, if people could be able to write only what they really know about, so many blogs and twitters would be a one clean-white, empty pages. Can you imagine?
    Thankfully and fortunately, we have more then few exceptions…

  46. Dear Abby: Friend asked me to fill out a foursome today at St. Andrews and I had to decline due to a balky Achilles. Does that mean that I owe him one, or did he pull a Putin on me, knowing I that I was injured and assuming, at no cost to him, that I couldn’t participate?

  47. I’m trying to remember any politician, anytime ever who answered a question with “I don’t know.”

  48. Ouch, coos. My only chance to play there was after I tore my ACL. Went out with one of those massive braces they used to give you, couldn’t turn at all, or hit the ball, or walk. Terrible experience. Would love to go back.

  49. I know, Carp, I just use it for some thoughts generalization… CCCP mimicking Orr double unbelievable.

  50. Carp, if I ever get another invite there when healthy, I’ll see if we could finally tee it up. Bring earplugs and bug spray – he’s an insurance agent. :)

  51. Pressers will be lighter and perhaps more enlightening, and certainly longer this season. But they will no longer be “Must See TV.”

  52. I think Torts would love to have Boyle as his shot blocking player-coach dummy. Boyle (as well as Cally) really were effective and fearless at this.

  53. Vinegar: “We have to get everybody on the same page.” Grrrr! The song is gone, but the malady lingers on.

  54. “We have to get everyone on the same page,” sounds like a horny Congressman lamenting Page cutbacks

  55. czechthemout!!! on

    Boyle and a third to Vancouver for a first round pick in 2014. This a rumour I heard from my source who was right 3 times and wrong once. Move is possible to create cap space for Stepan and another move later.

    Before I get ripped to shreds, I want to state it is just being talked about.

  56. coos, LOL, there is no wonder, I was born in Russia from Jewish parents, grew up in Latvia, study some German at school and University, used to live for a years in Italy and Sweden, have Indian daughter-in-law, French son-in-law and always had a tremendous passion to English language and literature, not knowing more than few words, when I came here. So,..?

  57. czechthemout!!! on

    Just passing along what I heard. If I were Van, I would not maje that trade. Way too much for a fourth line player but Torys loves hIm so you never know.

  58. Rob in Beantown on

    I hope it isn’t true. I will miss the Boyler if he is traded. But him being traded would not surprise me at all.

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