Rangers & Coach Hirings

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

First off, I'd like to thank Dubi Silverstein for giving me the chance to contribute to the "Rangers Roundtable" in what is known as the bible of New York Rangers Hockey - The Blueshirt Bulletin. It is the most informative source of the New York Rangers and their happenings that you'll ever find! Thank you very much Dubi, hopefully we'll meet at a game next year and the first one's on me!

Getting back to the Rangers, with their first pick the Rangers snapped up defenseman Michael Del Zotto, who by all accounts was ranked to go higher in the draft (was ranked in the top ten a year ago). I think it's a great pick. He's a puck mover, got lots of offensive potential, and he loves to hit (exactly what the Rangers need). Glen Sather and his staff did a little wheeling and dealing to pick up and extra draft pick in this years draft as well. Overall it was pretty much a balanced draft with 3 defensemen (Del Zotto - 20th overall, Tomas Kundratek - 90th overall, and Mitch Gaulton - 171st overall) and 4 Forwards (Derek Stepan - 51st overall, Evgeny Grachen - 75th overall, Dale Weise - 111th overall, and Chris Doyle -141st overall). Hopefully we won't have to wait long for Del Zotto to crack into the bigs.

Other Rangers News: Jagr, Jagr, Jagr. What's going to happen? Who really knows, but I feel the same today as I did at the end of the season. It comes down to these factors; Money, Terms of the contract, and Desire to stay in New York. I said it all along, if you lose Jagr (even though he underachieved last year) - who is going to step up to the plate? Jagr still commands respect when he has the puck and as a former defenseman who played against the likes of Gretzky, Lemieux, Etc. - Jagr has that intangible of keeping the opposition's defense scared to death when he comes barreling down on them. It's a tough call for both sides. Now, if that isn't enough, I hear the Rangers are interested in maybe acquiring Mats Sundin? Please! I know he's a future Hall of Famer and there is still plenty of gas in the tank... but at what cost - salary wise? He's not going to come cheap, that's for sure. Also, he's older than Jagr (37 years old). Finally, I'm here to again continue with the "Sean Avery must re-sign with the Rangers" ordeal. I'm all for it, but he has to re-sign at a reasonable price. I'm hoping it will work out for both sides (He needs NY & NY needs him). There is a lot of baggage with Avery, but one thing I keep in my mind is his record with the Rangers when in the line-up (50-20-10) and without him in the line-up (9-13-3). That's hard to argue with! I hope things work out and fall into place for the Rangers. They are not too far off in building a Stanley Cup Champion.

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that the Chicago Wolves coach, John Anderson, had done what he could in his coaching carreer and that it was time for a shot in the NHL. Well, he got that shot with the Atlanta Thrashers and I congratulate John for his hiring and I wish him well (He deserved it)!

Oh, and one last thing - Barry Melrose is back in the NHL. What was the world's worse secret, they finally announced Barry as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning. It's a great choice, in my opinion. Barry was my last coach and I remember how well organized he was and was able to get players to play hard. I was on my way out and played very little, but my observations were nothing but positive about Barry. Good luck & it's about time!

Over and out for now, please check back next week and don't be afraid to leave some feedback!

*Pictures in all blog posts are taken from Yahoo! Sports & Getty Images


mark said...

Chris, I agree with you on BLUESHIRTBULLETIN.COM all the way, I'm on there daily checkin' out the links. Now, on to the team. We don't need to overpay anymore UFA's. This team has lots of holes to fill, any idea where they should start? I like Huselius on the left of Gomez and Prucha on the right, they gotta give him that much. Bring up Korpikoski and Byers. I like Commodore as a 5th dman bringing up Potter who's a physical kid himself, that is if he has a good camp. Redden will be cheaper than Campbell, putting him with Staal would be amazing. I do hear they're looking at Bouwmeetser, but what could they give up, Backman? Too good to be true. Your thoughts????

Wrath of Sanity said...

I was happy with the Rangers draft. Not so sure how I feel about that whole Sundin situation. I could see him here for a year maybe, if they think they have a legit cup run and want another solid player... but I don't know. And lastly, I'm going to miss Melrose on ESPN :(

Kotsy's Korner said...

mark: Mark, thanks for your comments. I am very impressed with your knowledge it sounds like a you did your homework. I think Gomez needs a little stability with set linemates. I like what I saw in Korpikoski in a limited role in the playoffs. I would prefer to see Orpik out of all the defenders names being thrown around. I guess it all comes down to economics and terms of the contracts, that will be the final say.


wrath of sanity: WRATH, drafts in all sports are a crapshoot, but I agree the Rangers did as well as anyone could of imagined. Sundin worries me, aren't we basically exchanging one for another(meaning Jagr). Sundin will want at least 2 yrs at at least 7-8 million that's a lot for a 37 yr old about to be 38. Who will carry the torch for Melrose's absence?

Crock said...

Don't know too much about the drafted players but trust your knowledge about them and if you think they are heading in the right direction then great.

See Straka just left the Rangers today to go back to his hometown. It seems like there is as much money to be made overseas as there is here. But it is not the NHL is it.

Jagr and any one else that wants to go ..... bye, bye.

I agree with your thoughts on Avery and totally agree with them. They both need each other and like you have said he is not going to have that NY atmosphere off the ice in any other city is he ??

See the salary cap has been increased for the up and coming year which may help in getting some of these guys resigned.

Mats Sundin may be a future Hall of Famer but for all his great years he has still never played on a Stanley Cup contender has he ?? Like you say he is getting older and he may not be be able to handle the fast pace of playing with the Rangers and living in NY.
Takes a special person to play in NY for the Rangers and be able to handle the media at the same time !!

Will have to check out this blueshirt bulletin.com and see what that is all about.

As always thanks for the great info and we'll check back in a few weeks.


Jeff said...

Sorry for being late, I was a little busy these days.
It's well known that Sundin would like to play on broadway and I might be agree on a one year contract if in the same time that mean we (really) go for the cup next year. I don't see the benefit, despite he is a great player, to sign Sundin on a two years deal(without Jagr). Actually, I'm ok for the one year deal ONLY IF Jagr is there on the side of Sundin, and with another good winger, we could have a devasting first line next season.
If Jagr leaves, well why going after Sundin? Do we realy need him? Maybe we should focus on another player. No I don't mean we should go after Hossa, but with the cap that goes to 56,7M$, that is very tempting. Bringing Sundin shouldn't be some kind of lure to hide our lacks in defense for example. And on this point, I have only thing to say: Brooks Orpik. That is the main UFA Dman we should go after. far ahead Campbell. I learnt early today that Orpik has declined the Pens's offer...

Concerning Avery, I'm becoming more an more sceptic. If he's looking for big bucks, I'm not sure we should agree, especially on a long term contract. You mention Kotsy, Rangers's record with and without him in the line up, but I don't know where I read that (maybe from Fischler at game on), actually we can say exactly the same about Malik. And Avery is often injured. I do love the guy, but I don't want him to be a burden for the team. And we should also focus on the fact our locker room will be younger next season, without Shanahan for example. I don't want to see Avery influencing our youngsters in the bad way. But that's just my call.

By the way Kotsy, as promise, I started to put videos on my blog, even a full game between Rangers and Leafs from 1970... Here's the link:


Still thinking on a english version of my blog... ;)

Mr. Hockey said...

Sundin, what are they out of their minds? This guy is another overpaid Leaf dump who may have had a H.O.F career, but I assure you this guy was a no show many nights in Toronto.As I said H.O.F sure --but because of what he DID- not because of anything he may do in the next 2 years--aka another mutt who would hurt us not help us!
I would have liked to see Straka stay. I know his numbers were way down from his past seasons, but this guy played hard killed penalties, and blocked what seemed like as many shots as Drury. He never played a LAZY game and thats something nobody could ever say about 68. I know 68 is getting credit for giving up his scoring numbers because he was on board with Renney's defensive system--well I say nay -- I saw this guy play all year and there were only a few handful of times that he got back and actually broke up some plays -- go play for Russia and tax-free $$$$
I'd love to see Sjostrom play his way onto a top line. Alot of beat guys say his 'O' is lacking -- let me tell you I've watched tapes of the games this guy has played in and when it comes to playing and skating hard and going to the net and following up your own shot this guy dosn't have to take a back seat to any Ranger! plus he'll take the body just as good as any of our hitters. I really think Sather stoll this guy from Maloney. Renney can not let this guy rot on the 4th line- I know he plays that line as much as any coach does, but he deserves a shot with some speed and offensive talent and I feel this guy will be someone we can count on
I wish Malik wasn't so stupid with Renney last year because he could play defense. Yeah I know he made some bonehead passes ( who the hell dosn't ) but the guy plays and the Rangers won. I think he got booed most nights because it was the thing to do ! I'll bet alot of of FANS?? booed him because other people were-- they didn't know why they were booing him.
Backman??? I was so tired of hearing the t.v guys tell us how much Renney liked his game ????? what game this guy ain't no Ozalinch but I'd say JD slipped one by us. what made it worse is that Strudwick was a scratch for this guy( until Renney realized he was a mutt ). If they keep Mara , it better be on short leash -- very short, because HE AIN'T THAT GOOD.
Try this on -- If Avery gets singed after July 1 I'd love to see the speed and presure but on other teams in both ends of the ice with a line of Gomez-Avery-Sjostrom. I know they want a 7 million dollar winger to go with Gomez, but I'd still love to see it.

Kotsy's Korner said...

crock: Crock I am not positive on the Straka story, is he gone or not? His agent has denied any talk of his leaving at this moment(I like Straka, but if he goes oh well). Now, as for Avery I am biased because he's the kind of player I would have loved to have played with (pain in the ass, but effective). The Blueshirt Bulletin rules... check it out.


jeff: Jeff, I realize that Avery can be troublesome. Every team has a player similar(Ruutu, Neal, Tucker, Hartnell) - Just pure pains in the ass if you have to play against them. Sean Avery, to me, is the best in the league at combining talent and getting under the opponents skin. This kind of player is tough to come by. I do agree that if he wants too much then it's time to go, but I say that begrudgingly. It's a tough call for the Ranger brass. As for Sundin, I am real scared of this possibility and I will leave it at that for now. Orpik is the first priority on the backline, in my estimation. They need some serious toughness and solid defensive play (He is the man for the job). And Jeff, trust me, I Still believe an English version of your site would be received well by Ranger fans.

Jeff said...

According to a guy (and Ranger fan) I know in CR, Straka isn't not a Rangers anymore, all the news from there are very confusing. Last year already, he showed he was homesick from his country so it won't be so surprising to see him go. And since any confirmation or deny is coming from Sather it's very conceivable. A loss for the Rangers (if the news is confirmed...;).

Kotsy's Korner said...

mr. hockey: Mr. Hockey, where does one begin? First off, I really don't want to discuss Sundin until we know for sure one way or the other. As for Straka I have a lot of respect for him, however if it's time to go then so be it. Now, we get to number 68, if it's true about the offer from the Continental Hockey League (Russian League) he'd be a fool not to take it. 35 million $ tax free you got to be a complete idiot if pass on that! But remember he will be hard to replace - period. Sjostrom are you kidding me? I like his speed and hustle, but 1st line? You are reaching on this one. Avery is a tough pill to swallow. I want him to continue his career as a Ranger but at what cost financially? I know that certain baggage comes with his style of play, sometimes you got to take the good with the bad. Forget all you mentioned on defense. I'm sure it will be Orpik or Campbell, or maybe both.


jeff Jeff, I would not be surprised if he went back home. However, his agent (Rich Winter) over here denies any report of a deal in place to go back home. I've always liked Straka. He's been a good soldier with every team he's played with. If it ends up being the truth, then that's okay with me.

Mr. Hockey said...

I'm starting to get a feeling that everyone is getting too concerned with Avery and all that comes with him--Let the size of the contract be the only question--The guy plays his heart out for the crest on the sweater,so that squares the baggage question--As far as wondering about the locker---All of us are a million miles away from what goes on there (the sports guys are half a million)-- Young kids or not --Shanny to keep him on a short leash or not--I can not believe he would be a bad example for the kids, not the way he gives himself up for the good of the Rangers--All we as fans can be concerened with is what happens on the ice - not what happens in a place that we only hear about or read about -- The locker room is for ranger personell only I'm sure that when it hits the fan and problems are addressed we never know about it because I doubt any of the beat guys see or hear it first hand--I really like the way we look down the middle. Thats why I hope Sather is just playing golf and not answering any calls from Toronto--Kots as far as my man Freddy I know the first line is just me talking, but you have to admit he has more game than alot of people seem to give him credit for -- he has to get off the fourth line, get some pp time and I think he will really become a fan favorite with his hard working style of play.

Jeff said...

Was just a thought on Avery and his possible bad influence on the youngest Rangers, he has such an ego, I prefer to see vets around him, just in case ;). I do love to see him play with the heart like you say Mr Hockey. We need him on the ice. And I would do anything to see another season of Avery/Brodeur confrontations, this love story isn't over yet in my opinion. And now with the cap rising again, that wouldn't be so unconscious to sign him 15-16M$ on 4 years (sorry, contract again). A lot of UFAs will be overpaid this year anyway.

Jeff said...

My skepticism (my fear) on a long term deal with Avery the other day, was probably because the 07-08 season showed so much promises, I want every thing's going fine, we have so good players. And this wait for the free agency is killing me... ;) I just realize I do want want Avery back next season at 200%, the team will be stronger, no doubts.

Kotsy's Korner said...

jeff: Jeff, this is what's great about being Ranger fans. The right to agree, disagree, or just plain old debating the subjects at hand. Even though I was fortunate to have played with the Rangers I'm still a fan and love to hear other opinions. Again, not to beat a dead horse - but I'm an Avery guy. But it comes down to economics and length of contract.
One more thing, as a former player the locker room policing is way overrated. You do need checks and balances, winning takes care of everything. Let the free agency begin!

Mr. Hockey said...

A 16 million dollar swing between the haves and have nots ! Can anyone tell me why the NHL had a lockout ?? Looks like they are headed right back to where they started . Kots- I was watching the NHL ch. last night -- had a game from 4/16/87 Leafs vs Blues. Even though the outcome of that game was decided 21 years ago-- I'm telling you I was glued to the set . No doubt you would not be able to play by the girls rules they use today not many of the skaters in that game would.-- But who the hell cares ! Stand up goalies-names you could spell and pronounce ( your was the toughest ) battles for the puck - fighting for space- clutching , holding , grabing ,hacking , knocking the snot out of anyone who wanted the space on top of the crease- and this game was end to end action-- the one thing I didn't see during the game was DIVING !!!!! no actors just players. I'll say this aside from the Rangers- Devils series (a rivalry) that came played 21 years ago was more exciting , had more action , was more fun to watch than any of FINALS between the Wings and Pens !! I guess I really don't understand the game that much otherwise I would understand why the NHL felt that the type of hockey I watched last night-- was no good - to boring- can't get baseball fans interested-just not enough room for the ladies to skate and not pay-- I doubt that it happened, but I wish that the troll G.B. tuned in to the NHL network to see that game , he was watching the Cub and Sox-- I'll bet my last wood stick on it!

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