14 Days To Go!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Ah! 14 days to go and this years New York Rangers squad will be in camp. Training camp, in the NHL, is a test of physical and mental wills. I, myself, participated in a few of these in my day and I can tell you that it's no fun. Yeah, it's great to see your teammates, but once camp begins it's almost like you wish the season would start already! No matter how hard you train in the offseason, by the 3rd day of 2-a-days, your body is sore and fatigued. You almost feel like a bruised banana from head to toe.

Today's athletes have progressed so much compared to 20-30 years ago. They have better instruction, monitoring, and off-ice training than we did. One key factor in training camp is your head trainer. In the Rangers case, that would be Jim Ramsey. Jim, I'm sure, will be on the top of everything throughout training camp. Proper off-ice conditioning, stretching, and taking precaution with any minor aches and pains (so they don't become major) is essential. Simply put, training camp in the NHL is tough, long, and boring... but it should be! The season is hard and tiresome, so you need to be prepared physically and mentally. As a former player, I can tell you that it gets you ready for the long haul!

Now, on to the Rangers. It's going to be an interesting camp. I won't go into specifics at this point, but there are some key questions that need to be answered. The Rangers have overhauled this team dramatically over the past 2 seasons and GM Glen Sather has brought in a ton of talented players on this current roster. Glen has done his job, now it's up to coach Tom Renney and his staff to put the pieces together. The coaches and brass must find out who plays with who, what the forward lines are going to look like, who will be the defensive pairings, etc. Also, which player or players will surprise and try to take the job of a veteran? For some players, their job is secure. For others, maybe not. That is why training camp and the exhibition games will give coach Renney a chance to mold the pieces as quickly as possible. I look forward to seeing how things are gonna shape up for the Blueshirts and hopefully they gel quicker this year than last season!

Oh, and by the way, nice to hear that classy Joe Sakic has re-upped for one more year with the Avs (and to think the Rangers almost had him...). He's a star and an auto-matic Hall of Famer. Over and out!

Images thanks to Google Images & NHL.com

23 comments:

JOHN said...

Kotsy

I am in total agreement that Slats has moved alot of dead weight off the Rangers. The 2008-2009 team should be swift and quite a bit more " drive to the net" than last years team. I am looking forward to a power play that shoots from the point. I also feel Tom Renney needs to recognize that this new team will be able to play an up tempo style and allow it to happen.

Kotsy's Korner said...

john: John, the change in the roster sure leans towards a faster up-tempo team. Last year the team was forced into the defensive style they played (not by choice) because of the lack of scoring. I have always believed in a shoot first policy on the power play. If the offense is there, then the up-tempo game will flourish.

Leatherneck said...

hiya Chris...thank goodness..i am jonsing too..chuckles...this roster i dont think is what will start the season..i have a feeling we are a trade or two away..from the roster that will start the season..in fact..i urge them not to trade..but alas..only 1 trade i see as a necccesity..thats for a hard hitting and intimidating d-man..but going back to the last discussion..i still think..lets grow our own..the one thing we dont have in the system,,is that d-man i mentioned..but there are a few good options still available to us..ie potter..i would also like to see byers get a good chance to prove himself as well..now...whats your take on jessiman..whats his story...why hasnt he made an impact yet?...you think he is done as an NHL canditate?

Kotsy's Korner said...

leatherneck: A d-man that we are looking for (the great intimidater)is like hitting the lotto, other than Mara your guess is as good as mine as to who can fit that role. Byers and Potter have good numbers in Hartford, but it must translate to the big club. Hugh Jessiman is big and strong, has decent skills. I can't put a finger on his inability to crack the lineup as its been 5 years since being drafted 1st pick, 12th overall. Time is ticking on some of the boys on the farm.

Leatherneck said...

you think he has a chance?..jessiman that is..and what role you forsee for him if you were a coach...you see a trade coming..shanny getting signed?.. whats the latest rumors you are hearing?..glad i found your site

Kotsy's Korner said...

leatherneck: I know Shanahan has been waiting patiently. Rumors are that he would like to remain a Ranger even in a diminished role. I hope it happens, he's been a class act his whole career. As for Jessiman, If not this year then when? Jessiman needs to find that special something that catches the coaches eyes, otherwise no chance. Rumors are just that - rumors. Rosival and his salary being dumped for Sundin... Gomez to Vancouver in order to find cap space for, you guessed it, Sundin. It's all pure garbage till it happens. Right now I think every team is waiting for training camp to see how they stack up.

Jeff said...

Hey Kotsy, thanks for your last comment on my blog. ;)

I believe that we don't need Sundin anymore at that point. The guy is playing with the NHL and the teams, that's a shame. He will be more a burden now if he lands on Broadway, one way or another. All the rumors around Rozsival traded to clear some space for him are nonsense in my opinion. How could it be possible to let Rozsi go? We don't have enough depth at the blue line to allow that!

Passed the first surprise to see him signed for 5M$, we must recognize that it will be good to have him in the line up next season. Redden will bring some stability in defense. I mean, Rozsi will be able to focus more on his own game, he will be more peaceful if I can say. Both Redden and Rozsi will share responsibilities as to build a core we didn't have recently. Rozsi went through a bad 07-08 season, most of all due to Malik's problems, Backman's inability to fit in the mold, Staal and Girardi in their rookie season and Mara's injury at the end of the regular season. That's a lot for one man.

I don't know what do you think Kotsy, but for me, our defense will be one of the best in the last seasons. Of course a big boy like Orpik would have been great, but we have some talents anyway. Kalinin is the question mark, he has some good hitting skills, I hope he will be able to show them.

And for the attack, well... That looks like more to a funfair for the moment with all those changes. But that's definitely exciting, we can only go forward, a first line Naslund-Gomez-Zherdev is worth our last year's first line Straka/Avery-Dubinsky-Jagr. Without forgetting we gain some depth on the wings. And our PP units can't be worse...

I won't be against Shanny back for one year, but we'll need to be careful with his knees, hips, back etc... 82 games were a bit too much for him, he totally disappeared when PO time came.

Can't wait to go to Bern to watch that brand new team on the ice! My first Rangers "live" experience...

Kotsy's Korner said...

jeff: Jeff, be sure and bring a camera when you go to the game in Bern. It would be great to see pictures on your site. The Sundin story is getting really boring. If and when he decides, I'm sure it will allow GMs around the league to breath again.

As for the Rangers, the pieces are in place. There is a lot of talented players acquired over the last 2 years. The defense looks pretty good on paper and there is speed up front with the forwards. It will be interesting to see how the pairings on defense end up as well as the forward lines. My guess is it will take some time to gel. I hope it happens sooner rather than later.

Leatherneck said...

Is there anyway we can see some of the games from traverse city on the internet chris?

Kotsy's Korner said...

leatherneck: I checked around and could not find anything mentioning the (Prospect Tourney) being televised. I did check out the Rangers roster and it looks pretty good. It also looks like they (Rangers) should have some new blood on the way in the near future.

JOHN said...

Kotsy

Wow!! You, and the others, who ware against the Sundin soap opera may be correct! Read this:http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL/Toronto/2008/09/05/6669891-sun.html

Leatherneck said...

Hey there Chris, What did you think of Renny's interview? Sounds like its going to be a very interesting camp..eh..Also next years free agent lists...going to be an interesting next 2 years to watch this team...i am getting a feeling that theres still going to be some major changes coming down the pike

Kotsy's Korner said...

john: John, some unkind comments by Ron Wilson towards Sundin. At least that's how I read it between the lines. Hey, I'm not denying his mark in the NHL or his history with the Leafs. I just stick by my guns that he's not all that they want you to believe he is.

--------------------------------

leatherneck: I think Tom Renney's interview was a good one. He basically discussed all the topics that we have been talking about here on my blog. It's all going to be about training camp. The pieces are there they just need a good fitting.

Leatherneck said...

wow..kondratiev..is back with the team...suprised

Mr. Hockey said...

Kots-nice work on the new blog,and thankChrist no talk about 13-It was getting to the point,where it was as boring as round ball and putting me to sleep faster than watching two innings of a baseball game!!!and they were rumors!!!I got to tell you trying to look into a crystal ball and looking at a make believe line-up for THREE YEARS from now,when we don't know what we'll have three weeks from now--was enough to make me realize that--were all junkies--we all have different feelings about certain topics(John likes 13-I hate 13)(the Neck likes to project on future rosters--I like to make my decisions based on what I see) but were all junkies anyway --For the best game played and for our guys!!With having nothing but rumors to sink our teeth into,I decided to head out to the deep blue sea for some off-shore fishing.This Hanna storm roughed things up a bit, but when I got back I was ready to go --while I was gone I see that this friggin KHL is telling the NHL that we can shove the agreement about players under contract down our throats!!!I didn't trust them in the 60's and I trust them less now!!!The Troll best watch his back with these guys--I feel we should cut bait with this group-stop drafting players who don't want to be here-as far as our guys going there for the power-ball size contracts....hey if you want to play there than go play there--I'm sure more than a few will miss being here a hell of alot more than we will ever miss them!!!Thank you for reminding us that it's just two weeks away---Then all of us (junkies) can get our first rush of a new year and talk about OUR GANG and not what we think goes on behind locked doors that we are not privilaged to have a key to !!And I'd have to agree 100%with you Renney cannot monkey around with the lines--looking for the right mix,and taking until Christmas to do so ,like last year--Ifeel he is the RIGHT coach for this team,but alot of mistakes were made last year(its easy to spot them after they were made)and thats why I always felt that he should be given the benafit of the doubt...he has to walk that line without a net...and don't forget,he had to make his captain happy(maybe now that 68 is gone,setting linemates may not take three and a half months??)
To steal one from JD....TWO WEEKS...OH BABY!!!

Kotsy's Korner said...

mr.hockey: Fans that happen to read and respond to my blog are true fans of hockey especially the Ranger fans. What I have learned is not only their passion for the Rangers, but the knowledge they have for the team. The thoughts and ideas I read are not just off the cuff. They are well thought out and presented to me in proper perspective. I might not agree all the time, but it sure makes for great debate. Yeah, hockey is on its way!

Rocco said...

Before reading this post, I never really thought of giving "credit" to Slats for re-tooling the Rangers. I just had this feeling that he does nothing and the Asst. GM (Jim Schoenfeld?) does all the work. I at least know this was the case when Don Maloney was here. Long story short, you're right Kotsy. Slats has done a nice job in reconfiguring the team and I'm PUMPED for the season to start! LETS GO RANGERS!

Kotsy's Korner said...

rocco: Rocco, Slats has been in the game a long time. I played against him when he was coach and gm for the Oilers. I finally met the man himself a couple of years ago and had some nice chats with him the past few years. Like most he keeps his cards close to the vest and doesn't look for the fanfare. He's just interested in getting the job done. To often we make judgments on coaches and gms. In Slats case he has done his job in bringing in the talent. It's up to the players to perform and not just cash a paycheck.

Leatherneck said...

Hiya Chris..whats your opinion on this..would Montreal consider trading Mike Kommisarek...he is good..and am sure an expensive proposition..if the Canadiens are willing to part with him..and..the other is Kyle McLaren..which I see us being able to get without breaking the bank and both will fill a need for our defense that we so desperately need...and I concur with you..I would love to see Mara put on a bit more weight and go from 210 or 212 as stated on the Rangers site to 225 and hit more...and even..drop the gloves more...heck..Orr can work with him so he can fight and not embaress himself...I dont recall Mara fighting well..but it will help

Kotsy's Korner said...

leatherneck: Leatherneck, I would love to have that beast from north of the border. Kommisarek is probably untouchable, but we can dream!
As for Mara I think he's a little heavier than we think. I have seen him drop the gloves a few times in career and he holds his own. Hey the defense core is solid, just not spectacular and maybe one of the youngsters makes the jump to the big club.(that would be nice)

Leatherneck said...

is Kommisarek a free agent next year?

Kotsy's Korner said...

leatherneck: Leatherneck, Kommisarek is going to earn 1,700,000 this season. Yes, it is his final year under this contract.

Leatherneck said...

http://www.nhlnumbers.com/freeagents.php?team=none&pos=none&summer=2009&status=none very interesting to note the players on there..i just by luck just now found it..it'll be a yummy free agent period next year..lol...

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