Summertime Blues

Friday, July 18, 2008

It's been 10 days since my last posting and I'm basically bored. I can't wait for hockey to begin with the "new look" Rangers (and I really mean new look... read further on).

Soon, the season will start and the boredom will end. A couple of weeks ago I was watching the NHL Network (It's about time we had a channel dedicated to hockey) and the New York Rangers were on. The game that was on TV was the 4th and final game of the 2006-2007 playoffs against the Atlanta Thrashers. I was at that game and I remember Jaromir Jagr putting the icing on the cake with an empty netter. But, what struck me most was the players who congratulated him: Marcel Hossa, Michael Nylander, Marek Malik, and Michal Rozsival - all of which are goners (except Rozsival), including Jagr.

I did a little digging and checked the 2006-2007 opening night roster, as well as the 2007-2008 opening night roster, and then finally got to where the Rangers roster will be in 2008-2009 (Only the Shadow knows!). Talk about a quick, but under the radar, transformation! The Rangers have definitely changed the core of this team from 2 full seasons ago. There are currently only 4 skaters (not including goalies) on the roster that were in the line-up opening night 2 years ago! Those skaters were Nigel Dawes, Petr Prucha, Blair Betts, and Michal Rozsival. Last season's line-up on opening night has 11 skaters that are still on the roster (again, not including goaltenders).

2006-2007 Opening Night Roster
(2 seasons ago... what a change, right?)

F - M. Cullen
F - M. Nylander
F - B. Betts
F - J. Jagr
F - J. Ward
F - A. Hall
F - B. Shanahan
F - M. Straka
F - M. Hossa
F - P. Prucha
F - N. Dawes
F - R. Hollweg
D - K. Rachunek
D - M. Malik
D - A. Ward
D - M. Rozsival
D - F. Tyutin
D - T. Pock

This upcoming season's opening night roster is going to be interesting. Gone from last year's roster are Jagr, Straka, Avery, Hollweg, Tyutin, Malik, and maybe even Shanahan. There will be plenty of jobs to be won or lost in training camp & preseason. I know I was a believer in tweaking this team, however I have to admit they got younger and faster. I will give it up for Glen Sather, the Rangers could not get out of the 2nd round 2 years in a row - so it was time to change it up. Out with the old and in with the new! The only problem I see is chemistry (Much like last years squad early on). Also, familiarity could be an issue as well. This process might take months, half a season, I really don't know. One thing is for sure, there will be a new look for the New York Rangers.

One other quick note, I will be attending a golf outing next week. The Ron Greschner Foundation, 7th Annual Golf Classic. It's a fantastic day and helps raise a nice amount of money to benefit Autism Research. If you have the time, please make sure to check out the website:

Over and out!

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


Wrath of Sanity said...

The turnover on this roster from 2 years ago is ASTOUNDING! I am really curious to see how the team will play this year. It will be very hit or miss in my opinion.

Kotsy's Korner said...

wrath of sanity: Wrath, it really took me by surprise and I am absolutely shocked at the turnover. I would of never believed some of the comings and goings (Jagr,Avery,etc...) but in the end we, as Ranger fans, have to accept the fact that change was necessary. I just would not have noticed this major overhaul if not for viewing the clinching game 4 in the playoffs against Atlanta 2 yrs ago.

Mr. Hockey said...

I have to agree with you Kots--Sather is taking the chicken by the neck--I ain't winning with you--Lets see if we can win without you!
I really have to question the whole thing about the "lockeroom"--Last year Ward was brought in because he knew what it took to win and would be a plus in the "lockeroom"--Story is that he told 68 that he was playing like a mutt and not like a captain!--Now thats a leader--next stop Boston!
Avery comes in and we all hear the stories about his "lockeroom" problems on the west coast--Now I don't know what happens in the "lockeroom", but I do know what happens on the ice and as far as leading by example--he looked like a leader to me! But as the beats wrote ---off ice distractions?????"lockeroom" issues with the kids??????--next stop Dallas!
Strudwick--how many times did we hear what a great guy he was in the "lockeroom"---the guys loved him--the coaches could count on him---what a great example he was for the kids---how he helped them answering their questions and helping them on road trips--next stop Edmonton--and they got him on the cheap!!
So I'm really starting to think that all this stuff that the beats write about when it comes to the "lockeroom" don" mean jack when it comes to making a move!
I'm really going to miss Hollweg-- the way we scored last year those 4 points are going to be hard to replace! Maybe Dane Byers? I'm sure he'll get at least as many points.
I was watching the Ranger - Atlanta series from 2007 also__you noticed the difference in the roster(it was unreal)- I also noticed----and I did so because one of the beats said--it might not be a bad idea NOT to resign Avery, because he was PLAYING FOR A CONTRACT and I guess he didn"t feel he would continue to play with the same intensity once he got his $$$$$---Well guess what in the 2007 playoffs I doubt if Avery was thinking about a new contract let alone PLAY FOR ONE---thats what I noticed in that series how he played- how he got right on somebodies shoulder and yapped in their ear after the play- I loved it!!
It really is going to be different--I hope for the better.

Kotsy's Korner said... Mr.Hockey what can I say that you haven't already said. I agree with you the about the locker room fantasies. If you are winning nobody cares, but lose a few games and lets look for some dirt. I think no matter who we liked or disliked as a player, it was time for change. One thing is for sure - you're gonna need a program for the new names and numbers for your 2008-09 Rangers.

Rocco said...

Nice post, Kotsy. Looking @ that '06-07 roster, I don't believe we were so good with that team! I'm much more excited about this year's team then any of the last 2. Obviously, the biggest change, was letting Jags go. It was a tough move but I'm glad we did it. Now a lot more guys can carry the bulk of the work...and yea. Chemistry is going to be the talk of the town come the beginning of September. Hoping it won't take too long for everyone to click.

Kotsy's Korner said...

rocco: Rocco, it's really amazing how the majority of the players from 2 yrs ago are no longer with the Rangers. It's like we fell asleep didn't think about it at all. In the end the roster from 06-07 & 07-08 couldn't get out of the 2nd round of the playoffs. Putting player bias aside, change was needed and change is what we got. Jagr played his cards wrong (overplayed his importance?), now he's gone. Chemistry will be a huge factor this coming season and I am looking forward to seeing it all unfold.

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