Pride. Passion. Tradition. The New York Rangers Thread.

Discussion in 'Ice Hockey' started by otterulz, Aug 4, 2005.

  1. otterulz

    otterulz Member

    Arsenal, Atleti
    South Korea
    Jun 20, 2002
    LIC, NY
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Ok, I'm sure many of you scoff at the title but hell, I hope I'm not the only Ranger fan here. I know Ian is one, so for all you Broadway Blueshirt fans, this is the place to talk about the past and the present. Does the lockout year count as a playoff-less year too?

    Well, it's a different NHL from the one that we remember. Everyone seems to be equal now and superstars that we've grown accustomed to are now elsewhere. Sadly, the Rangers haven't made the big signings I would have hoped for; in particular for Scott Niedermayer. God knows defense was the main problem for the Rangers the past whatever years.

    However, Slats hasn't been totally lazy and has made some moves:
    Bobby Holik (Ronald McDonald as I like to call him) had his contract bought out and then signed with the Thrashers.
    Kevin Weekes was re-signed after signing him last summer.
    Martin Straka who played for the Kings was also signed. I think this move would've been great if it were 4 years ago and he was on the Penguins, but whatever; what the hell do I know?
    Marek Malik, defenseman who played for the Canucks was signed.
    Thomas Pock who I vaguely remember was re-signed.
    And last but not least, left wing Martin Rucinsky was reacquired after being on the Canucks. Is it me or does this feel like the 5th time Rucinsky is a Ranger again?

    I think buying out Holik's contract was a good move, but just comes to show how different this NHL is now. I think we set the standard as to why the NHL was ********ed up by offering a 3rd line center a $9mil per year contract. The rest of the moves don't really do much for me. Selfishly I was hoping Leetch would resign with the Rangers. Instead he's now a ********in Bruin. The Islanders traded for Mike York who I would've loved to see back in a Ranger uniform. Unfortunately Dave Scatchard, my favorite Fish Stick to hate was traded. Now I can't watch Sandy McCarthy kick his ass. Seems like the biggest splash is being made by the Flyers who just signed Forsberg as well as Derian Hatcher, Mike Rathje, and some others.

    I would really like to see Tom Poti go. He's a tall piece of ******** and on top of being ugly, can't play defense. Mike Dunham is another piece of crap I would like to see go. This guy is my Braden Looper; my scapegoat. Or keep him on the bench and only play him against the Islanders who he's amazing against. Well, there's still lots of time to put together a team and if Slats doesn't get things moving, I think we're gonna be back to miserable at the Garden, just like we left off.

    LET'S GO RANGERS! :eek:
     
  2. Dante

    Dante Moderator
    Staff Member

    Nov 19, 1998
    Binghamton, NY
    Club:
    Juventus FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm so disappointed with what has happened so far this season, I truly believe that we'll miss the playoffs yet again.
     
  3. Lewie

    Lewie New Member

    Mar 20, 2005
    Queens,New York
    I also have a feeling that we'll miss the playoffs.
     
  4. otterulz

    otterulz Member

    Arsenal, Atleti
    South Korea
    Jun 20, 2002
    LIC, NY
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yeah, I'm kinda having the same sick feelings about the future of this team. I don't know what Slats' game plan is. You figure at a time like this for the NHL, he could sign at least one valuable superstar. Missed out on Modano, Forsberg, Niedermayer, Pronger and such. Amonte was let go. LeClair was let go. What about those guys? I know we still have young guys like Jozef Balej and Maxim Kondratiev (sp?) but if we're gonna put out a team where Rucinsky is our main offensive threat, then looks like the only I'll be going to this season is Leetch's first game at The Garden.
     
  5. Dante

    Dante Moderator
    Staff Member

    Nov 19, 1998
    Binghamton, NY
    Club:
    Juventus FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The Rangers were the king of spending and now look, they won't shell out anything for a decent player. What happened?
     
  6. Own Goal Hat-Trick

    Jul 28, 1999
    ColoRADo
    Uh. salary cap? :D
     
  7. jec1

    jec1 Member

    Sporting Clube de Portugal
    Portugal
    Aug 27, 2004
    Los Angeles ATM
    Club:
    Sporting CP Lisbon
    Nat'l Team:
    Portugal
    i thinks it there time to rebuild if they get young players that might be good in the future all these big talent can ruin a team chemistry thats why i think philly wont have a good year this year.
     
  8. Dante

    Dante Moderator
    Staff Member

    Nov 19, 1998
    Binghamton, NY
    Club:
    Juventus FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    And they'll be well under it if they continue to spend, or not, the way they are.
     
  9. Jacen McCullough

    Nov 23, 1998
    Maryland

    The Rangers have decided to do the one thing they refused to do over the past decade: Rebuild the right way. The teams running out throwing money and years at guys like Modano, Satan, Amonte, etc, will learn, just as we did, that you don't build a winner by assembling names. I just pity whichever team gives money to LeClair.

    There are two moves/non-moves that I was upset with. As I noted in another thread, Brian Leetch should have retired a Ranger. We have a ton of good defensive prospects and no real defensive leader/teacher. Leetch would have been both. The second issue was letting Mike York get away. If he was on the market, he's the exact type of player the Rangers could have used. He's consistant, durable and hard-working.

    Of the moves the Rangers HAVE made, I can't really complain. They are now strong at the center spot with Straka, Nylander, Lundmark and maybe Mike Green (in that line order). They are ok at RW, with Jagr on line one and probably Balej on the second line. They just signed Niemenen, who adds grit and has underrated skills. He's also relatively young (27) and has won a cup. They also picked up Jason Ward, who played on the same line as Balej with great success in the minors. There's always a chance that Immonen comes over to the US this year, and he might crack the lineup as well. Rucinski, while not a world beater, gives us a legit left wing for the first line. LW is the worst position depth wise for the Rangers. Picking up MR is a short term option to give the Blueshirts at least one really good line this year. Garth Murray also might see some time this season.

    In the back, we have no true top pair. We have TONS of possible top defensemen, however. A lot of defensive prospects should get thrown into the fire pretty early. Some of them, Pock (23) and Tyutin (22) already have some game experience from last season, and they did quite well with it. Tom Poti, if he's not traded, will likely be expected to step into a leadership role, and he'll likely share the top defensive pairing with either Kasparitus or new signing Marek Malik. Amongst the prospects, I would expect to see Kondratiev get some time (he's played with Tyutin for years, so they might pair two rookies to get that chemistry, and both are highly rated prospects). David Liffiton and new draft pick Marc Staal also have outside shots at getting NHL ice time. A lot of this depends on whether or not Rachunek comes back, as he is highly rated by Sather.

    In goal, the Rangers are pretty set. Kevin Weekes will likely man the posts to start the year, but I can see them giving plenty of starts to guys like Lundqvist (he didn't finally come back just to sit on his ass), Blackburn and Labarbara (I don't think we'll see Montoya until next season at the earliest).

    I also like that they brought on Adam Graves in a coaching/PR position. He's going to be working with prospect development, and I can't think of many former players I'd rather have in that position.

    Basically, the Rangers should/could possibly look something like:

    Line 1- Rucinski Straka Jagr
    Line 2- Murray Nylander Balej
    Line 3- Nieminen Lundmark Ortmeyer
    Line 4- Ward Green Immonen

    Bench forwards: Who knows.

    Defensive pair 1: Poti Malik
    Defensive pair 2: Kasparitus Pock
    Defensive pair 3: Tyutin Kondratiev

    Bench defenders: Purinton or Strudwick (if Rachunek plays, it would probably bump either Pock or Kondratiev into competition for the extra defender spot).

    Is this great? Not by any stretch, but it's serviceable. Our first line should be good. Our second line should be inconsistent (I love the idea of having a veteran leader like Nylander centering a pair of talented young wingers). Our checking line should be very good, and skilled enough to score the occasional goal. Our fourth line will likely suck. Defensively, the group should get better every week as they gain more experience.

    This is not a playoff team, but I don't think it's built to be. This team is built to do well enough to get people watching, while it prepares for the future. Next offseason, there will be another big crop of free agents (thanks to the lowered age for UFA status). Those free agents will be younger. At that point, players like Rucinski, possibly Straka and someone like Kasparitus will make way for some decent free agent signings. Those signings will have some very talented (and by that point, game-tested) young players around them. That's what the team is angling for. They want to build a team that will be able to compete for years. I don't think Sather and co have been perfect by any stretch (Number 2 should be back in blue). But I do think they have a vision for this team, and I really like the way it seems to be going. Sorry for the long post.
     
  10. Jacen McCullough

    Nov 23, 1998
    Maryland
    Forgot to mention that there has been a rumor going around that Roman Hamrlik is going to sign with the Rangers. If that happens, I could easily see the D-Lines all looking different. Line 1 would be Hamrlik and Malik, 2 would be Poti and Kasparitus, 3 would be Tyutin and Kondratiev/Pock/Purinton/Rachunek (choose 1 of the 4).
     
  11. otterulz

    otterulz Member

    Arsenal, Atleti
    South Korea
    Jun 20, 2002
    LIC, NY
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I understand rebuilding. I've been asking for it ever since Slats would desperately make trades to try and bolster the Rangers into the playoffs. But at the same time, I think it would be nice to have that one superstar or top name player that the Rangers can rely on to get points and for leadership. I would figure someone like Michael Peca.
    Yeah, I think every Ranger fan will agree with you that Leetch should've come back to Broadway. The guy clearly didn't want to go to Toronto and he's still a top defenseman. I'm sure he would've come relatively cheap. As for Mike York, I just loved him for what he showed as a Ranger. Guy is underrated and showed signs of absolute brilliance (still remember some sick turnaround goal being tied up by a defenseman against Dallas a couple years back). However, the one knock on him I thought was his durability. God knows he's hard working but it seemed like when we got into the second half of the season, he'd wear down. Either way I would've loved to have him back. I feel weird about him being an Islander.
    I guess the moves they've made aren't so bad. The Straka move I'm not too sure about. It's a veteran presence but I don't know how much he has left. I like Rucinsky coming back as I seem to remember him and Jagr made a potent combination. However, is Jagr coming back? I thought I read that he was looking to play in the Czech Republic because of the new contract limitations and stuff.
    Here's where I thought Leetch would've been perfect. He could easily teach these guys a thing or two. I hope Kasparaitis comes back as well. He really upped his game last season after he had a terrible first season on Broadway. It was a shame he had to injure his knee because he looked like the Kasper of old. As for Poti.......I dunno. Maybe I'm being too harsh on the guy but it felt like he was a reason why the Rangers defense had holes in it.
    So does this mean Dunham isn't a Ranger anymore? Don't toy with me on this. :D LaBarbera signed with another team I believe so we won't be seeing much of him. I hope Lundqvist has come along because the last I saw of him, he didn't do too well in a Ranger uniform. Is Blackburn also fully recovered? Did he play during the lockout? Weekes is a solid veteran and I'm actually pretty excited to see him in goal. I hope we get a chance to see Montoya in the near future too. But I dunno, seems like goalie prospects lately haven't really lived up to expectations i.e. LaBarbera, Lundqvist.

    As for Graves, I'm glad he's just back at The Garden working with the team in some capacity. I don't know how much of an influence a role like his possesses but as you said, there's no one better. Plus I think the role also consists of community outreach or something along those lines. #9 should be retired.
    You know how fickle Ranger fans are though. I think after a year without hockey, many of us will be restless. If Slats has a solid plan that has potential, fine, I'll wait and let him do his thing.

    Who's the coach anyway? Still Tom Renney? Are there any rumors of a coaching change at all? I'm not saying he's not fit for the job, I just don't want Bryan Trottier and his 80 page essay.
    Your post was greatly appreciated.
     
  12. Jacen McCullough

    Nov 23, 1998
    Maryland
    I think they're banking on Jagr to be that guy, while Straka, Rucinski and Nylander would be the veteran "A" guys.

    You may have answered some of your own questions here. Jagr is on the fence about coming back, and the Rangers just happen to sign a winger he's played well with before from his country (Rucinski) and a center who he's played well with before (Straka)? Those two signings could very well be angling to get Jagr back in blue. I'm not too concerned about the Straka signing. They only inked him for a 1 year deal. If he doesn't cut it, they can look in a different direction next offseason.

    Poti is a guy who, in my opinion, has a chance to thrive in the new NHL (with the rule changes). Not too many people share my opinion, and there is a rumor floating around that he will be traded to Vancouver, so who knows. On the continuing Ranger rumor front, it's looking very unlikely that Karel Rachunek will come back to the NHL. He's happy back home, and from what I've heard, he isn't even humoring the idea of coming back. There is also (this hurts to even say it) a strong rumor that Sather is looking to sign John Leclair, and another less-likely rumor that he's looking to sign both Leclair AND Lindros. Heaven help us if he does that.

    I've heard NOTHING about Dunham. Every bit of news from the team doesn't even mention him. It's spooky. After the past two seasons, I think it's safe to say he aint coming back. I believe he's a UFA, and the Rangers just have no need to offer him a contract with Weekes and the young guns. I also haven't heard anything about Labarbara going anywhere else. That would have been news, as he's been the top goaltender for the Hartford Wolfpack for a while now. I don't see Labarbara as a star NHL goalie anytime in his career. I think he projects as more of a solid Glenn Healy type backup, but that's still a valuable thing to have.

    Montoya, though signed, I think will finish his college career and then report to the Wolfpack. He needs games in the minors before making the jump. We won't see him this season. Blackburn is a remarkable story. He had to completely redefine his style (or any style) of playing the goalie position in order to restart his career after nerve damage in his shoulder. Check out this article for a good read on Blackburn: http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/columns/story?id=1989377

    As for Lundqvist, he's NEVER played in a Ranger uniform. He's been playing in Sweden for his whole career (he's 21 or 22 I think). You're thinking of Holmqvist who got some games last season. Holmqvist is a nobody. Lundqvist is one of the top goalkeeper prospects in the league. As young as he is, he's been dominating the Swedish league for a few years now. The main reason the Rangers drafted Montoya is because Lundqvist would never commit to come over to the States. He decided that now was the time. If Lundqvist, Blackburn and Montoya all pan out into great goalies, the Rangers should have some interesting trade options. Picture Vanbiesbrouk/Richter times three.

    I think it's still Renney, and I've heard no rumors of anyone different coming in. That said, Renney is not the best coach for this club as it's built right now. Ever since the great veteran purge of the last season, there has been one name that makes perfect sense to lead this team. I want Ted Nolan.
     
  13. jec1

    jec1 Member

    Sporting Clube de Portugal
    Portugal
    Aug 27, 2004
    Los Angeles ATM
    Club:
    Sporting CP Lisbon
    Nat'l Team:
    Portugal
    ted nolan would be perfect im surprised he wasnt given a chance with other clubs when he left buffalo.
     
  14. Y&B POWER

    Y&B POWER New Member

    Apr 22, 2002
    Ramat-Hasharo Israel
    Club:
    Glasgow Rangers FC
    was dissapointed when i heard the Crosby lad didn't sign with the rangers but nevertheless if we won't make it to the playoffs this season it'll be the time to kick some asses(and the same considering the Knicks as well :mad: )
     
  15. jec1

    jec1 Member

    Sporting Clube de Portugal
    Portugal
    Aug 27, 2004
    Los Angeles ATM
    Club:
    Sporting CP Lisbon
    Nat'l Team:
    Portugal
    the rangers will have a good year
     
  16. otterulz

    otterulz Member

    Arsenal, Atleti
    South Korea
    Jun 20, 2002
    LIC, NY
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Jozef Balej was resigned as was Tom Poti. I hate Tom Poti. Am I the only Ranger fan that feels this way? I'm probably being unfair but I dunno, I just hate this guy.

    After reading a Q&A chat session with Slats on www.newyorkrangers.com, it seems as if he has a plan to really rebuild and start this team from scratch, or at least from the youth he picked up during the trading spree of '04. He really wants to use this system that revolves around the youth and draft picks while picking up a couple of reliable veterans here and there. I guess it's refreshing in a sense that we're going this route, but at the same time hard to watch teams like friggin Atlanta load up on talent as well as other teams. Lets just hope that with the new restrictions now imposed will bare a resemblance to the cash strapped environment of Edmonton and the man can work his genius that led to 5 Cups.
     
  17. otterulz

    otterulz Member

    Arsenal, Atleti
    South Korea
    Jun 20, 2002
    LIC, NY
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Ok Ranger fans, tickets are now on sale through www.ticketmaster.com. Of course the hottest ticket is Jan. 12th vs. Edmonton aka Mark Messier Night. I of course tried to get tickets but to no avail. I checked eBay and craigslist and such and man are they going to make one helluva profit. However, I did manage to get tickets for the home opener and the first game against the Bruins in which Leetch (hopefully) will make his return to The Garden.

    Pre-season also begins Tuesday against the Isles. I believe that game will be on FSN. Should be exciting and seems as if training camp is going pretty well.
     
  18. Jacen McCullough

    Nov 23, 1998
    Maryland
    Blackburn sprained a knee in camp. I've got to believe this is the end for the poor kid. He was already #5 on the depth chart, and a bum knee is the worst thing for a goaltender to have (ask Richter). After all he went through with the nerve damage, learning to play with a 2nd blocker and basically re-learning how to play the game, I'd hoped it would've worked out better for him.
     
  19. otterulz

    otterulz Member

    Arsenal, Atleti
    South Korea
    Jun 20, 2002
    LIC, NY
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yeah, with all the talk of him becoming the Rangers goalie of the future, plus seeing him in action makes it tough. Still, I don't think I would want a guy without a catching glove playing goal for us. Whatever happens though, I wish him the best.
     
  20. otterulz

    otterulz Member

    Arsenal, Atleti
    South Korea
    Jun 20, 2002
    LIC, NY
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Well, the Rangers played their first exhibition game of the season, and first hockey game in over a year last night against the Isles at the Coliseum. Rangers lost 5-1. The team looked sloppy and took a ton of penalties. This of course was expected due to the rule changes although it was a bit disheartening to see the Isles much more adjusted. The new NHL wanted more offense and by the looks of things, that's what they're gonna get. I'm sure it'll be tough at first and there will be tooooons of penalties called from obstruction and what not, but things look smoother. There are definitely more chances generated and a lot less clutching and grabbing. The skill players should be able to use their skill a lot more now and we might go back to the days when there were multiple 50-goal scorers.

    The Isles dominated the game, especially in the opening minutes. They scored 3 goals on their first 3 shots, beating Kevin Weekes. Lundmark added the lone Ranger goal which looked like it sparked the team. However, they didn't put away their chances and came away with the loss. For one reason or another, the game went to a shootout at the end, my guess just for entertainment purposes. I know many don't favor the shootout, but even for a meaningless game you could hear the crowd was pretty into it.

    The Rangers definitely are a different team. The most skilled player is Jagr followed by Lundmark. Other than that it's still a very young team still learning the ropes. As for Weekes, he settled down after the first period and played pretty well. Lundqvist also played well. Nylander looked pretty good as did Straka, but hopefully the inexperience of their youth won't kill them. I know it's a rebuilding phase so I guess I should be a little bit more patient. It's weird though knowing the past of '94 is now completely gone from this team.

    Anyway, it's good to have hockey back. Hopefully the Rangers will improve upon last night's showing and adjust a lot quicker to the rule changes.
     
  21. Dante

    Dante Moderator
    Staff Member

    Nov 19, 1998
    Binghamton, NY
    Club:
    Juventus FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    EXCELLENT start to the season. Nice win over the Flyers. I know it's only one game in, but maybe this season won't be as bad as I thought.
     
  22. otterulz

    otterulz Member

    Arsenal, Atleti
    South Korea
    Jun 20, 2002
    LIC, NY
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I said that when they opened with an impressive win over Carolina. Then Trottier got the ax.

    Still, you had to be impressed. The penalty kill was awesome although they shouldn't have been that many kills in the first place. They really need to learn how to discipline themselves. I was gonna kill Jagr for his bonehead penalties but he did nice with 2 goals. Lundmark added the vital goal to get the Rangers within one after 2. The team didn't quit, even after the Rangers blew their 1 goal advantage. Forsberg and the Flyers took over the game from there but the Blueshirts didn't quit and they come away with an incredible win.

    I'll be at the home opener tomorrow night so let's hope that goes just as well. And judging by the scorelines, the NHL shouldn't have to worry about goals anymore.
     
  23. otterulz

    otterulz Member

    Arsenal, Atleti
    South Korea
    Jun 20, 2002
    LIC, NY
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Ok, so the Rangers dropped another one to the Caps, this time in regulation, 3-2. The Blueshirts are 1-1-2 on the season. They keep giving up the lead so that's rough. Still, this team competes and they seem to be fearless.
     
  24. The C0SM0polite

    The C0SM0polite New Member

    Jul 20, 2005
    NY
    What a crappy game today.

    They gotta stop the penalties.
     
  25. jamison

    jamison Member

    Sep 25, 2000
    NYC
    I took way too long to get to this thread. D'oh.

    I have been a huge Ranger fan since I was 10, but I didn't pay for a ticket for the last 6 years because I've been too frustrated with this organization. All of the idiot spending and the relentless pursuit of has-beens has killed me, so I stayed away. I felt that if they wanted to cater to lawyers in suits that were too dumb to stop paying $ 250 a seat to watch a '97 all-star team five years past their prime- fook 'em.

    Now that they are building again with youth, I bought a micro plan and will be in the cheap seats for 7 games this year. I'm excited about this season and even if they don't make the playoffs I feel a lot better about the future. Re-building this team from scratch is Sather's chance for redemption.

    Now, if they could only bring back the Patrick Division...

    Reading a story about Blackburn retiring a couple of weeks ago, it was pretty sad. Even when he was getting shelled at 18, he seemed like a promising prospect, and I was looking forward to him being the next Richter.

    Onto Lunqvist, I saw him play in Sweden in February, and he's my new favorite player. He didn't look great in pre-season and is likely still a year or so away, but I'm pulling for the guy, big time. Weekes is a better bet to get points right now, but I hope Lundqvist is the goalie of the future.

    If you look at the roster, 13 of the 24 are Europeans (6 czechs (!), a slovak, two swedes, a fin, 3 russians (if you include Lithuania). Interesting to see how many stick, but I'm encouraged by guys like Hossa (24), Prucha (23), Immonen (23). They had an "Up and coming" PDF file on their site with some of the young guys (Jessiman, etc) and it's good reading.

    On the penalties, we're 19th in the league (of 30) with an average of 18 minutes a game (19th least or 11th most, either way). 18 minutes a game is way too many, but Dallas has been averaging 27.5! I feel better now.
     

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