Friday, July 31, 2009

Stan Fischler's Talk With Coach Torterella

Torterella addresses everything from his expectations from Gaborik to his wish list. All credits of this article go to Stan Fischler, MSG, etc. View the original here.

A Talk with Torts

The Maven interviews the Rangers' coach

Tagged as: John Tortorella , NHL , New York Rangers , Rangers Analysis

By any stretch of the imagination, John Tortorella has been an incomplete Ranger; a work in progress, so to speak.

How could it be otherwise?

John TortorellaThe Blueshirts' coach missed 61 games of the 2008-09 season before replacing Tom Renney.

Translated, it means that he coached a mere 21 regular season contests and only — sadly! — seven playoff games.

If The Maven were sitting in a British pub, I would say, "Johnny Boy, we hardly knew ye!" However, I'm in Manhattan so I'll just say, "Let's talk."

But before we do, let's say that all of us are only now just getting to know the New Englander. (Actually, I consider Torts a Brooklynite with a Boston accent.)

Little by little, John's modus operandi is emerging after finishing last season with a 12-7-2 mark and a playoff berth.

We know that the 51-year-old Bostonian is the polar opposite of Renney, both personality and style-wise.

Torts practices no-nonsense, tough love, a la Mike Keenan, the last Rangers Stanley Cup-winning coach. He calls a spade a spade, often a lot louder than a player might like to hear.

He wears his emotions on his sleeve, jacket pocket and — as referees might attest — on his brow as well.

As both a baseball and hockey historian, I call John a "Latter-Day Leo Durocher."

And that's my highest compliment since I grew up following the bombastic-yet-lovable Leo (The Lip), who managed both the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants. (By the way, Durocher also was a brash New Englander, from Springfield, Mass.)

In The Big Apple we love brash but — as Torts knows full well — "chutzpah" (brazenness) is not enough.

The Faithful want wins. With that in mind, The Maven believes that Tortorella's mere presence will guarantee a 10 percent Rangers improvement right off the season's first slapshot.

But enough of me, let's hear what The Coach has to say about some salient issues which I raised in our conversation:

  • THE TORTORELLA STYLE: "We're going to play with tempo; an attack-type style. Defense starts when you don't have the puck. We'll have an intense forechecking system and every player will be held accountable. I believe so strongly in the team concept. Players will get time through merit and they will need to understand what 'merit' is right away. One thing is certain; no organization takes care of its players as well as the Rangers. That goes for the practice facility to the way we fly; everything about it. We take away every crutch from the players. We've got a new coaching staff and it's going to be a wide-open camp. We'll give guys who had been stuck in the minors, a chance to step up here. My eyes will be open and I'll be objective."
  • BLENDING UP-TEMPO WITH DEFENSE: "When I coached the Lightning, we played a real aggressive style. Having said that, a club doesn't win unless it's sound defensively. We don't want to spend time in our zone; but we won't trap.We have good, young defensemen in Marc Staal and Dan Girardi. They are the foundation of our defense, but I'd like both of them to add some bite to their game. And by that I don't mean running people into the boards, but a little nastiness. Marc needs the kind of bite his brother, Eric, has in Carolina. Wade Redden is going to play well and so will Michal Rozsival. They'll both be in better shape. Plus, we have some good kids coming up."
  • Marian GaborikEXPECTATIONS FROM MARIAN GABORIK: "He's one of the most dynamic game-breakers in the league and he can be that for us. And let's not forget, he played for Jacques Lemaire, one of the best coaches in the game, and that means that Marian also can play well away from the puck. He taught Marian and Marian also can kill penalties. I believe that top players should play a lot and he will be. Right now, it looks like either Chris Drury orBrandon Dubinsky will be his center. I know a lot of people have mentioned Gaborik's injuries from the past, but he says he's healthy and we checked him out."
  • DRURY AND THE CAPTAINCY: "Chris will be the captain. I've already had talks with him — he's a quiet guy — and we're still getting to know each other. As for the alternate captains, I haven't decided on anyone yet."
  • IMPORTANCE OF SEAN AVERY: "I didn't realize how good a skater he is. That's most impressive. The biggest thing about Sean is that he needs to be a big part of the club. He has to believe that he can be a good player. My responsibility is to show that we believe in him as a player. Sean and I have stayed close during the summer and he knows how I feel. If he crosses the line, he won't play. He's certainly made strides; I can even put him on the power play. As far as my benching him during the playoffs, I wouldn't change my position if I had to do it over again. Remember, he took one penalty in Game Five against Washington and then a second that could have cost us the game. After that we had a great conversation, but in Game Six he tippy-toed around the ice. After that I told him I want him right on the edge. Yet he can't do stupid stuff and cross the line. Otherwise, I'll have to reel him in. I don't want him to tippy-toe — just don't cross the line!"
  • THE MOST IMPORTANT THING A RANGER SHOULD KNOW COMING TO CAMP: "We've already put it in two letters sent out to them — conditioning. They'd better be in top shape because the first two days are going to be grueling. The style we play means that the guys will have to be in great skating shape. What worried me last season is that a lot of players tired as the first (playoff) round went on."
  • IMPROVING THE POWER PLAY: "The biggest thing we need is to have someone to settle it down. We need a quarterback just to have poise and not make a bad play; a turnover. One of our biggest weaknesses was a lack of poise and our building can be tough. Redden has to be one of the guys who can settle it down and Rozsival as well."
  • CHRIS HIGGINS' VALUE: "He can give me goals off the wing and I hope thatAles Kotalik can as well. Chris will fit into our forechecking system and I can use his speed. I see him as a 'utility guy,' who can kill penalties, can skate and score. I'm looking forward to seeing what he does in camp."
  • RYAN CALLAHAN: "He was a pleasant surprise. He gave us good minutes in a lot of situations; did everything we asked; a lot. But he's not a real big guy and he can't do it all alone. That's why we'll need others to step up and do some of the things Ryan did last season."
    • HIS WISH LIST: "I'd like to get a number one center and I know that Glen (Sather) is always looking around. Meanwhile, Dubinsky has the potential to be a really good player as he matures."
    • HENRIK LUNDQVIST AND STEVE VALIQUETTE: "Hank plays too much and I don't expect him to play as much as last season. He's a great goalie, but he has to understand what it takes to win in the playoffs; we have to win in the playoffs. He's got to be fresher in the playoffs. He has to win rounds. Hank was great at the start of the Washington series when we needed him. Later he was tired. As for Valiquette, he's a good back-up who understands his role."
    • TORTS' FAVORITE THING ABOUT NEW YORK: "The other day I told my wife that I still can't believe that I'm preparing to run a camp for a team in New York City. I love the people, the building, the pressure of it all. It's the NEW YORK RANGERS; AN ORIGINAL SIX TEAM IN THE WORLD'S BIGGEST VENUE. For me, coaching this team is a privilege!"

    The Oilers Officially Give Up On Heatley

    Edmonton announced today that they are no longer interested in heatley saying "enough is enough" "we tried and now its time to move on"
    wow-now the Sens GM Murray, who has been called things such as greedy and worse, is in a predicament.
    Sather better jump on it quick!

    The Forth Period Reporting The Sharks Shopping Marleau and Cheechoo

    The Forth Period website is reporting the Sharks are shopping Marleau and Cheechoo. Who thinks we should make a move for Marleau? In my opinion he is that truely skilled number 1 center we need. Lets make a trade for him Sather, and then after a few minor adjustments this team will really come out of the gate strong. Finally a Stanley Cup contender. We will see what happens. Im counting on you Sather!

    Zubov With The KHL-Official

    Yep, its on One less rumor to consider now...Where's Danny boy??

    Thursday, July 30, 2009

    Update: Zubov Likely KHL Bound

    BeyondTheBlueshirts is reporting Zubov is close to signing a deal to play in the KHL next season.
    Oh well we didnt really need him anyway allthough it would have been nice. Another spot opens up to a young defensemen trying to make the team.

    "According to Sport Express, former New York Ranger Sergei Zubov, who’s spent the last dozen years playing in the Lone Star State with the Dallas Stars, is close to signing with SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL. The paper reports that the 39-year old defenseman has received interest from nine NHL clubs and several teams in Russia, and has even considered retirement, but could now be days away from signing with SKA and head coach Barry Smith. If true, Zubov would join another former Ranger, Darius Kasparitis, on patrol on the St. Petersburg blueline."

    Monday, July 27, 2009

    Stan Fischler On Kessel, Heatley, Young D-Men...

    This guy is great. Between him, Sam Rosen, and Al Trautwig, watching the Rangers play is just a fantastic experience in my opinion. They are all very kind, informative personalities. Anyway, heres a response of his posted today.


    The Maven Responds (7/27)

    New blood headed to Rangers?

    Tagged as: NHL , New York Rangers , The Maven Responds

    Nick: Hey Stan, with the Bruins signing Derek Morris and getting really close to the the cap, what do you think the chances are that they will leave Phil Kessel out there on the market. Also, do you think Glen Sather is exploring all options to try and bring Kessel to New York in any way possible (trade, RFA signing, etc.)?

    The Maven Responds: Dear Nick – My sense is that the Bruins will try to keep Kessel ON THEIR TERMS; ergo cheaper than Kessel's camp would like. Of course, it is possible for Sather to trade for Kessel, but it comes down to what demands Boston would impose for a deal. Sather, like all general managers, always explores all options to improve the team.

    Bill: While the Rangers have a lot of young, potential talent on the blueline, how often and successful has a team started a season with two or possibly three defensemen with no previous NHL experience?

    The Maven Responds: Dear Bill – During the 1946-47 season, the Toronto Maple Leafs boasted three rookie defensemen; Gus Mortson, Jim Thomson and Bill Barilko. They won the Stanley Cup in 1947, 1948, 1949 and 1951 with that core. Barilko scored the Cup-winning overtime goal against Montreal in 1951.

    Kyle: Hey Stan! Just wondering if there is any chance of Dany Heatley donning the Rangers sweater next season? Thanks Maven! All the best, Kyle.

    The Maven Responds: Dear Kyle – There IS a chance that the Rangers will get Heatley, but it is a very, very, very remote one. Ottawa's GM Bryan Murray is backed into a corner now. He would have trouble bringing Heatley back to the Senators, but few teams want him and Heatley does not want Edmonton; unless all else fails. Should Murray bring his asking price way, way down, Glen Sather might be tempted to go for Dany. It remains a long-shot.

    The Maven

    Rangers Add Another Young Defensemen-What Does Sather Have Up His Sleeve??

    20 yr old 6' 2'' 200 lbs stay at home defenseman playing in Saskatoon. Plus 27 rating last season. Yet another young defensemen? Now I'm sure Sather has something good cooking for us in New York...

    Rangers agree to terms with blueliner Klassen
    Former WHL player was plus-27 with Saskatoon last season
    New York Rangers
    Jul 27, 2009, 1:54 PM EDT
    New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has agreed to terms with free agent defenseman Sam Klassen.

    Sam Klassen
    Klassen, 20, skated in 72 games with the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League (WHL) last season, registering two goals and 18 assists for 20 points, along with 92 penalty minutes. He established career-highs in games played, goals and plus-minus rating (plus-27). Klassen ranked fourth among team defensemen in assists and fifth in points. He also finished fourth on the club with 92 penalty minutes, while his plus-27 rating ranked seventh on the Blades.

    The Watrous, Saskatchewan native recorded a season-high, three-game assist streak from November 22 against Brandon to November 30 at Prince George, collecting six assists over the span. Klassen tied his career-high for most assists in a game with three assists in the final game of the streak. In addition, he recorded one assist and 10 penalty minutes in seven postseason contests with Saskatoon.

    The 6-2, 200-pounder has skated in 182 career WHL games with Saskatoon, registering four goals and 47 assists for 51 points, along with 247 penalty minutes.

    In 2007-08, Klassen established career-highs in assists (24), points (25) and penalty minutes (103). He also had a stretch of seven assists in eight games from November 13 against Brandon to November 30 at Lethbridge, and recorded a career-high, four-game assist streak (six assists) from February 20 vs. Prince Albert to February 26 against Lethbridge during the 2007-08 season.

    Klassen made his WHL debut with Saskatoon on December 16, 2006 against Swift Current, and collected his first WHL point with an assist on the game-winning goal in the final minutes of regulation on December 30, 2006 vs. Regina. Prior to joining Saskatoon during the 2006-07 season, Klassen recorded 11 points (two goals and nine assists) and 74 penalty minutes in 32 games with the Humboldt Broncos of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL).

    Tuesday, July 21, 2009

    Adam Graves' Interview * Gaboriks Injuries A Plus+

    From a member t3hg00se over at

    "Had Two Hours with Adam Graves, Ask Away.

    I just came from a two hour lunch with Adam Graves, which was with no doubt, a defining moment in my life. This man lights up a room. He is intelligent, kind, and the most humble person I've ever met. These simple two hours with him have absolutely changed my life.

    Adam started by talking about his earlier day, back in 94', old teammates, etc. But eventually gave us the floor and said "Play GM". Lucky for myself, most of the other fans (9 others) were just casuals, one of which just finding out we have acquired Gaborik. So needless to say, I took the floor with most of the conversing and the questions. I picked his mind for as much as I possibly could, and as you know he is extremely high with in the organization and within Sather's circle of advisors.

    To answer some questions off the bat

    He thinks that without a shadow of doubt Michael Del Zotto will be penciled in next season. *Edit, He also says that he feels MDZ runs a power play with skill he hasn't seen since Zubov. In his exact words "This guy can run our power play from an armchair he's so fluid."

    He feels that Derek Stepan will be our first line center in a few years, and at absolute worst a top-6 center, and said with utmost confidence that he was the best prospect at our development camp.

    He doesn't feel that Michael Del Zotto is a better player than Sanguinetti, he just feels Sanguinetti is taking more time to develop.

    He is extremely impressed by Grachev, and thinks he is knocking on the door of this team, and knocking hard.

    He said it is highly unlikely we trade away any of our defensive prospects, Glen has stated he wants to build this team from Henrik out. He wants to fill in our forwards with our prospects, young guns, and free agents, while growing our D-men at home.

    No one truly knows what is going to happen with Zherdev, he doesn't feel the arbitrator is going to award anything over $3.6, which he feels is tough to walk away from for a quality player like Zherdev. He doesn't feel like Zherdev has a motivation issue, he feels like if Zherdev returned with us next season, he's going to pot 80 points. I pointed out to him that with Zherdev returning, we have a logjam at RW, and he feels Zherdev could be converted to LW. What he hinted on happening is he feels Callahan will play with Gaborik, but on the LW.

    He thinks that Pavel Valtenko is a stud, and that most fans have thought of him as a throw in.

    He thinks that McDreamy has put our d-prospects into the range of ridiculous.

    On Redden, he feels, like I do, that Redden was a force under Tortorella. He says he personally knows that Redden is in fantastic physical condition, and that he thinks he will shine under Torts next season.

    On Rozsival, he feels that if he doesn't use his shot next season, he's going to see the bench.

    On Higgins, he feels he's going to pot 25-30

    On Gaborik, this was extremely interesting. The thing that Adam was most excited about with Gabs was his conditioning. He feels that Gaboriks injuries have a huge huge upside as well. Gaborik is coming into his prime with no mileage on his body (from the lack of games). He's going to come into the best years of his career, and he's going to stay in them for a long, long time. He says our medical squad has looked at him, and his condition is fantastic, he's in amazing shape, and his surgery was a great success. He says that Gaborik was the vital piece this team was missing last year, and will be a force whether or not we get him a true #1 center.

    On #1 Center, he feels that Gaborik will work really well with Dubinsky. He feels Dubi is ready for his major breakout season, and who better to do it with than Marian? But even after saying this, he said the prospect is there that it won't work. And asked me who I thought the Rangers should trade for and who would fit well with this team. I told him I feel Patrice Bergeron would be a fantastic target because of his Cap hit, speed, playmaking ability, and availability. Boston is in cap hell next season, and moving Bergeron gives them enough room to squeeze by. Graves said he felt that was an excellent suggestion, and an option he would not be surprised with the organization going with. He said that the organization has the ability to pull the trigger on some number one's as we speak, but knows it's not the time. They want to see what Dubinsky can do first. He didn't seem shocked that I brought up Bergeron though, like he was waiting for me to say it, like he had heard it 1000 times before. He left me with the impression that Bergeron was definitely on our radar.

    On Aaron Voros, he had a conversation with Torts and told me that he feels Voros is going to get another really hard look. He thinks that he could fill a good 3rd or 4th line role on this team.

    *Edit, On Marc Staal, he feels Staal is going to take a huge offensive step next season. He said all the tools are there, he has a powerhouse of a shot, and is a fluid passer, he just needs to have the opportunity to do it.

    *Edit, On Byers, he feels he is a lock for next season, and is a fantastic hitter that will play well under Torts.

    This was a humbling experience, one that I still am speechless from, and I would be honored to bring his word to your ears with any questions you may have, I know I've definitely forgotten plenty."

    wow graves is a really nice guy. class act. not to mention humble.
    anyway i really enjoyed his insights aswell.
    it seems if his predictions are correct the nyr are in for a bright future!
    gabby going into his prime years? many years? injuries were a plus? best condition of his career?
    YES! Very exciting thoughts here!

    Brad Richards An Option?

    So Dallas Stars GM Tom Hicks finds himself in some economic troubles. Moving Brad Richards would be a great move for him. But, he would be looking for something like Dubinsky, and Del Zotto, plus include Rozsival, and/or the Rangers would need to waive Redden. I would keep Rozsival and waive Redden, this way the Stars shed salary, and the Rangers dont gain very much if any. I think he would be a good addition to center Gaborik. The last couple seasons though have not been his best do to injuries. He is older, but definatley would get the job done better than Dubinsky can, in my opinion. I mean, yes, we want to play the youth and become a younger team, but Richards will just put up more points than Dubinsky ever will. This is just a rumor at the moment, as the Rangers may or may not be shopping for a new #1 center.
    PS-Brad Richards won the Stanley Cup with Rangers coach Torterella in 2004.

    Sunday, July 19, 2009

    Callahan Predictions?

    Callahan took of last season scoring 22 goals and ranking 4th in the league in hits. As he was rewarded with a decent raise, what should we expect this year from him. Im going to guess about 25-30 goals.

    Hockey's Future Interviews Evengi Grachev

    So major points in the interview:

    HF: You just participated in the Rangers’ prospects camp, do you expect to be a New York Ranger in the upcoming 2009-10 season?

    EG: This will be known only in September, after all the training camps and the preseason matches. Now my main aim is to prepare well for the next season and get myself in a great shape right on time for the Rangers’ training camp.

    HF: Who impressed you most among your teammates in the camp?

    EG: Honestly speaking, I think that no one really shined and moreover we’ve got little time to look at one another. And plus the guys weren’t in their best form as it was only the start of July.

    HF: And how comfortable you are with English language?

    EG: I don’t say that I can talk freely, but I understand and can explain myself and thus I don’t have any particular problem.

    HF: What are your plans for the rest of the summer?

    EG: I am still in New York and I’m making plans for the rest of the summer as we speak. But nothing is clear yet.


    This kid could be great for us lets see how he does as a rookie in the NHL

    Saturday, July 18, 2009

    New Dany Heatley Rumor?

    Ok so Steve Zipay of Newsday posted yesterday a trade rumor on a radio talk show that he heard. He says he doesnt usually believe these sort of rumors but this one he did.
    The rumor: Rangers offered Ryan Callahan, Mike Del Zotto and Ryan McDonagh for Dany Heatley.

    Take this with a grain of salt as its a talk radio report.
    Look, Dany Heatley is a great player, an elite in the league. But these guys shows heart and potential like none other. I would hate to see any of these 3 leave the Rangers organization. But again, how believable is this source?

    Friday, July 17, 2009

    Mike Sullivan Announced Assistant Coach + Shanahan Returns?

    New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has named Mike Sullivan assistant coach.

    Mike Sullivan, a Rangers draft pick in 1987, re-established his ties to both the team and John Tortorella on Thursday.
    "Sullivan, 41, begins his first season as an assistant coach with the Rangers after spending the last two seasons as an assistant coach with the Tampa Bay Lightning. He served as an assistant coach under John Tortorella with Tampa Bay during the 2007-08 season. Prior to joining the Lightning, Sullivan served as head coach for the U.S. Men's team at the 2007 World Championships in Russia. He also served as assistant coach for the U.S. Men's Olympic Team at the 2006 Olympic Games in Torino, Italy.

    Sullivan began his coaching career in 2002 as head coach of the Providence Bruins in the American Hockey League (AHL). He led Providence to a 41-17-9-4 record and first place in the AHL's North Division through the team's first 71 games, before being named assistant coach of their parent NHL club, the Boston Bruins.

    The following season, Sullivan was named head coach of the Bruins (NHL), and led the team to a 41-19-15-7 mark and the Northeast Division title. In two seasons as Boston's head coach, he posted a 70-56-15-23 record in 164 regular season games.

    Prior to joining the coaching ranks, Sullivan skated in 709 career NHL games in 11 seasons with the San Jose Sharks, Calgary Flames, Boston Bruins, and Phoenix Coyotes, registering 54 goals and 82 assists for 136 points, along with 203 penalty minutes.

    The Marshfield, Massachusetts native was originally selected by the Rangers in the fourth round, 69th overall, in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft. He began his NHL career with San Jose in 1991 after spending one season with the San Diego Gulls of the International Hockey League. Prior to turning pro, Sullivan attended Boston University, where he skated in 141 career college games and registered 61 goals and 138 points over four seasons."

    Brendan Shanahan, who joined the Devils mid season last year may be back. He never wanted to leave the Rangers but Sather showed no interest in him. There is an open offer on the table for him to come to NY. He says he is still undicided in whether to come back to NY or play again for NJ.

    Once Upon A Time

    A funny little story by a guy named RangerFan89 on the official rangers bulletin boards.

    "Once upon a time, the Rangers general manager was Neil Smith. Smith lead the Rangers to their first Stanley Cup in 54 years. But he was also considered their worst gm in history. Why? Because he traded away his young talent for older, past their prime veterans. It all started one day when Smith found a bag of "stuff" in his office. Smith became addicted, and with it game players like Wayne Gretzky, Theo Fleury, Bobby Holik, Eric Lindros, and Pavel Bure. The team was essentially ruined. As time went by the fans began to call for his head, and they eventually got it. Smith was let go. In comes Glenn Sather.

    People had hopes for Glenn to turn the team around. Unfortunately for the Rangers, Glenn had found the bag Smith was using. He also began to sign players completely out of their prime. And then there was the draft. 2003 was a pretty deep draft, but good old Glenny thought he knew what he was doing. At the 12th pick overall, Sather drafted Hugh Jessiman who was going to be the next "star" for the New York Rangers. After Jessiman, Brent Seabrook, Zach Parise, Ryan Kessler, Ryan Getzlaf, Mike Richards, and Corey Perry were selected. But that was ok. Jessiman would be the savior of the team, according to Glenn.

    As seasons ended and free agency began, Sather would pull out the bag, and go to work. "I think I'm going to sign both Scott Gomez and Chris Drury, and I'm going to give them rediculous amounts of money", he thought. "Lets sign Wade Redden to 6 million per and give him a no trade clause. I think Rosival also deserves to be overpaid as well." "Let's trade away a hard working top 4 defensmen in Tyutin for a lazy under-achiever in Zherdev. I'm sure he will prosper here in New York. And Sean Avery wants too much money. I don't care if he is the main reason this team has made it to the playoffs 2 years in a row. He can go to Dalas. I need that extra cap space for guys like Wade Redden."

    And then one day the smoke cleared and he thought "What the hell am I doing?!" After losing to the Capitals in 7 games, Sather new he had to shake things up. But how? One day he met with Canadians GM Bob Gainey. "Hey wanna try some of this stuff?" "Yea thats good." "Now lets talk hockey. I'll give you Gomez and 2 average prospects for a younger Higgins, your #1 prospect, and 2 other prospects." "Sure, as long as you give me more stuff." And Sather ridded himself of Gomez's contract and signed Marian Gaborik. Then he met with Colorado's GM. "Hey wanna try some of this stuff?" " have any more?" "Yea, I'll give you a defensive prospect for your #3 overall prospect who is much younger and will probably be able to make the team in a year or two." "ok" "

    A Big Trade Brewing

    The Rangers recently aquired prospect Nigel Williams, 6'4" 220lb top prospect for AHLer Brian Fahey. How is Sather doing this?? All I can say is something big is brewing in NY.

    Wednesday, July 15, 2009

    Rangers Announce Regular Season Schedule

    Starting at Pittsburgh and with a home opener vs the Senators.

    Heatley Trade Getting Close?

    According to Eklund a Heatley trade is bound to happen very soon. Yesterday he said a trade would happen last night, so if his sources are correct, a trade should be complete in the near future.

    Considering how Dubinsky has not been resigned my speculation would be he's included in the trade. Ottowa would be looking for a center in exchange in the deal as they would lose one. The Rangers would need to dump salary to be under the cap so Rozsival is likely in the package as well as I dont think the Sens would take Redden for a bag of pucks. He contract is just to big and he does not play up to par. He cannot even provide a veteran presense.

    Heatley is an all-star 50 goal scorer, no matter which way you put it.
    I would love to see something like Dubinsky+Rozsival+A prospect and a pick for Heatley.

    The NY Rangers have a totally different look this year, hopefully including TWO 40-50+ goal scorers, making this team finally a feared team to play.

    Tuesday, July 14, 2009

    New Jerseys?

    There are rumors the Rangers are working on new 3rd jerseys...
    I like the look of the current home and aways, but I always really liked the design of Carolina's and Washington's jerseys. Oh well we'll see what happens.

    Rangers Add ANDREAS AMBUHL From Switzerland

    I dont know much about this guy, but he fetched 41 point for his team in Switzerland in 50 games.
    Please dont tell me we have another mediocre guy signed...Sather?!?

    I Still Want Heatley! + Callahan Resigns 2 years

    We have an extremely deep defensive pool? Staal, Girardi, Gilroy, Heikennin, Del Zotto...etc. Check
    We have an all star goaltender capable of keeping things strong in our end? Check.
    We have major threat goal scorers? Marian Gaborik. Thats it. Not Check.

    Fans will cry out "Even if we could trade for him, what if he doesnt get along with Torterella, or his teammates, or....and wants out just like he did to Ottowa? He's not a good guy..." etc
    Well, I really dont think his personallity would become a problem, as long as he can finish a training session or practice without a major conflict with anyone. I believe he could. So what if he "wants out now" of Ottowa? As rumors have it Sather is not done with major moves this offseason, as he shouldnt be. Suposedly there was a trade proposal that was about to happen, but since Ottowa wanted Dubinsky, Sather backed out...I could do without Dubinsky to tell you the truth. Hes been in the NHL for a few years now and has shown little to no promise or development. If Sather could find a way to do this, Im sure it would have to include Rozsival or Redden for salary cap situations and Im not to sure Ottowa is willing to take either. I would much rather see Redden gone, as he plays "stand around and watch the other team score" hockey. He is not confident with the puck and shows no leadership abilities.
    Gaborik+Heatley would be one of the most feared powerplay units around. Kotalik playing the point, Gaborik looking to get set up, and Heatley just beeing there, would already very significantly improve the powerplay from last year.
    So would you deal for Heatley at this point? Who would you deal? Who do you think Ottowa would accept? I personally would like to see Dubinsky+Redden+A prospect or draft pick for Heatley but it would more likely be Rozsival as noone in their right mind would take Redden's discustingly heavy contract.

    Callahan reached an agreement with the Rangers on contract terms. This kid made a measley $600,000 last year and has proven himself to be a hard working player with a bright future. The terms were two years, $2.2M and $2.4M. What a raise! He deserves it. Unlike Dubinsky the kids got promise.

    Ranger To Play 7 Preseason Games + Schedule

    The Rangers are going to play 7 games this preseason, 3 at Madison Square Garden, in 13 days.
    From the NY Rangers Official Website:

    More news
    Rangers announce 2009 preseason schedule
    Blueshirts will play seven games, including three at The Garden
    New York Rangers
    Jul 14, 2009, 11:53 AM EDT
    New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced the 2009 pre-season schedule today, featuring three games at Madison Square Garden and a total of seven games in 13 days.

    Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals will be back at MSG for one of three Rangers home preseason games in September.
    The Rangers will kick off the 2009 pre-season with a back-to-back set, opening against the Boston Bruins on Tuesday, September 15, before travelling to Newark to face-off against the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday, September 16.

    New York will then head to Detroit to face the Red Wings on Friday, September 18, in the first of back-to-back road games. The Blueshirts will travel to Boston to face the Bruins in the second game of the back-to-back road set on Saturday, September 19.

    On Monday, September 21, the Rangers return to The Garden to host the Red Wings. The Rangers will wrap up their pre-season schedule with a home-and-home set against the Capitals beginning on Thursday, September 24, in their final home game of the exhibition season, and concluding on Sunday, September 27, in an afternoon contest at Washington.

    The 2009 New York Rangers training camp begins with players reporting to New York for physical testing at the Madison Square Garden Training Facility on Saturday, September 12.

    (All times Eastern Standard Time)
    TuesdaySept. 15BostonMadison Square Garden7 p.m.
    WednesdaySept. 16New JerseyPrudential Center7 p.m.
    FridaySept. 18DetroitJoe Louis Arena7:30 p.m.
    SaturdaySept. 19BostonTD Banknorth Garden4 p.m.
    MondaySept. 21DetroitMadison Square Garden7 p.m.
    ThursdaySept. 24WashingtonMadison Square Garden7 p.m.
    SundaySept. 27WashingtonVerizon Center12 p.m.

    Korpikoski Traded For Lisin of the Coyotes

    Enver Lisin - 13 goals in 48 games last year. Decent player.
    I hope this is just leading up to something better from Sather.
    More later

    Saturday, July 11, 2009

    Zubov Deal Getting Close?

    So defensemen Sergei Zubov is suposedly getting close to a contract deal with the Rangers. At 39 years old he is able to play well on the powerplay. Over the past serval years, when playing an entire season he is capable of putting up around 12-13 goals. Why Sather? Dont do it. This is not the top line center that the Rangers desperatley need. Go after an offensive for that could compliment Gaborik in the center position, such as Marleau or Sharp. I really hope that happens before this... :(

    Friday, July 10, 2009

    Fresh article by Stan Fischler

    From, by Stan Fischler. No copyright intended. I just though this was a very well written article by him. I really like this guy, very to the point, educated, well thought out, and nice.
    "Sometimes the most unobtrusive of moves turn out to be the ones worthy of fanfare months after they happen.

    The signing of Henrik (I Prefer Henny) Lundqvist is Exhibit A.

    When the Rangers invited him to training camp in his rookie season, little was known about his NHL goaltending potential. In fact, at best, it was expected that Henny would be the backup to Kevin Weekes, then expected to be the Blueshirts' starter in goal.

    So, what happened? Weekes became an afterthought and Lundqvist earned himself a bushel-full of Vezina Trophy votes, although he's never annexed the prize.

    The Maven predicts a similar outcome for Glen Sather's latest acquisition, Ales Kotalik. Then again, I'm partial to hockey players named Ales. Oilers winger Ales Hemsky is one of my artistic favorites and, quite frankly, I always had Kotalik tabbed as one of the Buffalo Sabres' most underrated forwards.

    I expect that Kotalik will become a linemate for the prize offseason acquisition on Seventh Avenue, Marian Gaborik. You can write this down and check me out sometime around Thanksgiving; Kotalik and Gaborik will make beautiful music together on New York's front line.

    Already, this is a better Rangers team than at this time last year; now it's only a matter of guessing at Sather's next move.

    So far, so (very) good!"

    Byers Resigns With Blueshirts

    And will likely be a solid 4th line checker if he makes the team.

    Rangers Sign Kotalik + Status Of The Team Thus Far

    To a 3 year 3 million dollar contract.
    This is a great signing, considering its fairly cheap and it addresses power play scoring woes of last year. Kotalik has put up 20+ goals in recent NHL seasons, nearly half on the power play, where he plays the point. He has a great slap shot and wrist shot from the point. Also known for great hands in the shootout.
    I still believe General Manager Glen Sather is not done with big moves this offseason, although he may be done with Nikolai Zherdev, who recently filed for arbitration along with teammate Ryan Callahan. Zherdev will likely be awarded within the $3.75M range, but the Rangers are now likely to leave him behind. Ryan Callahan will likely be awarded around $2-$2.5M, and the Rangers should accept if a deal is not reached before his hearing.
    The NY Rangers are in need of secondary scoring, but more a #1 center, perhaps one talented enough to compliment recently signed superstar Marian Gaborik, who, if healthy should put up 40-50 goals this season in NY. Among others, there are rumors of a trade with San Jose with Patrick Marleau, who can provide scoring as well as set up Gaborik. There would have to be a package deal including Redden or Rozsival to free up enough cap space, and most likely a talented prospect or high pick for next years draft to sweaten the pot. I would much rather see Redden gone, as I have no real comlaints with Rozsival and considering how Redden screened Lundqvist on the game winning shot in game 7 of last years playoffs in round one with the Washington Capitals. Redden was “defending” Federov, who has an extremely dangerous wrist shot.
    Overall, assuming Sather is not nearly done with major moves, I would say he has been pretty successful thus far. Moving Gomez was the perfect move to change the look of this team, dumping a huge mistake of a $7M+ contract for a decent 20 goal scoring playmaker. The return, Higgins, among a few others, is a great cheaper replacement.
    Brashear…. :( ((( I will never forgive the hit on Betts in the playoffs last year, no matter how much he “enforces” “Protection” of Gaborik. Hate this move…
    More to come very soon

    Rumors: Steve Zipay of Newsday is reporting Rangers may be done with Zherdev and trade talks with “the west” are currently in action.

    Things still in need to be addressed: A #1 center, secondary scoring, a powerplay QB [Might be Kotalik, or a young prospect, or maybe even a new aquistion in a future signing or trade?]

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