Monday, June 30, 2008

Jagr to the Leafs?

Laine Brown at The Bleacher Report says...

"I have heard from several sources that Cliff Fletcher is talking to Rangers GM Glen Sather about trading Jaromir Jagr's rights to the Toronto Maple Leafs. It would give the Leafs a chance to possibly unload some of the players that they wanted, such as Bryan McCabe or Pavel Kubina.

In return, the Rangers would get something for Jagr instead of losing him to the open market."

...anybody else sick of all these rumors coming from so-called sources? I guess I'm part of the problem by setting up links to this garbage, but rumors are part of the fun of free agency. And if I want to give Ranger fans as much info on the Rangers as possible I've got to give you anything and everything I can find. No matter how absurd.

...12p.m. can't come soon enough.

Rangers to Convince Hossa They're A Cup Contender

Kevin Paul Dupont at the Boston Globe reports...

"At this point, it looks as if Slovakian right wing Marian Hossa will sleepwalk into offers of $8 million a year or more, and according to a variety of sources, he is leaning toward signing with a club that can be considered both a short- and long-term contender. In other words, welcome to Detroit. But don't discount the Rangers or Canadiens trying to convince him they're in the Cup hunt for keeps, too."

...hey Glen, how about trying to convince Ranger fans we're a cup contender by not signing Hossa for $8 million and leaving only $14 million for our other huge holes.

Rangers & Jagr Still Talking; Sundin in Sweden

Sam Weinman at The Rangers Report says that the Rangers and Jaromir Jagr's representatives continue to talk "with length of a contract and bonus clauses presumably being a major part of the conversation." Weinman also says that Sundin is in Sweden which means it doesn’t sound like the Rangers have an elaborate recruiting trip planned for the free agent center anytime soon and that Sundin "is still contemplating his future, and might not make a decision one way or the other for some time." basically we know nothing. Just kidding Sam great job reporting as always.

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes reports that the Rangers may have problems signing Jagr and Sundin to incentive laden contracts because this is the fourth year of the CBA and no performance bonus "cushions" or overage to next season are permitted.

Bob McKenzie at TSN has more on this significant part of the CBA.

***UPDATE*** Steve Zipay at Blue Notes is now saying "contrary to TSN's assessment, performance bonuses are allowed. That lack of a CBA provision is not pertinent."

Is Tampa Shopping Boyle?

Erik Erlendsson at the Tampa Tribune says...

"We are really going to have to keep a close eye on things right now because word continues to circulate that Dan Boyle is on the block. This doesn’t come as a shock because Boyle was nearly dealt at the trade deadline and the payroll keeps jumping up and up."

Boyle has a no trade clause in his contract and according to reports isn't likely to waive it.

...with all the recent activity by the Lightning, which includes the possibility of signing Brian Rolston, it doesn't look like Boyle fits in anymore.

...the Rangers were very interested in Boyle at the trade deadline, so if he's willing to waive his no trade clause maybe Sather should make a call. However, Boyle's contract is almost $7 million a year for the next six years, which would be a big time hit on our cap space.

Rangers to Be Big Spenders this Summer

Spector at Fox Sports gives his list of the potential free agent big spenders this summer...

"The New York Rangers have traditionally been big spenders in the UFA market and this summer could be no different, especially if they're unable to re-sign captain Jaromir Jagr and elect not to re-up other UFAs like Sean Avery and Brendan Shanahan. With over $20 million in potentially available cap space and one of hockey's biggest markets the Rangers could have little trouble signing some of this summer's best free agents."

...with all the reports out in the blogosphere on what the Rangers will and won't be doing this summer, I really have no idea what Sather's plan is. It doesn't seem like he's been doing anything, but I've got to think he's got something up his sleeve. Or at least I hope he does.

And the Rangers Sign...Zaba?

The Blue Seats reports...

"New York Rangers president and general manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has signed goaltender Matt Zaba to a contract extension.

Zaba, 24, appeared in 28 games with the Charlotte Checkers and Idaho Steelheads of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) this past season, registering a record of 15-8-2, along with a 2.64 goals against average, .915 save percentage and three shutouts."

The Blue Seats also reports that according to the Vancouver Province the Canucks are interested in signing goaltender Stephen Valiquette. This is the second report in a week that links Valiquette with Vancouver (see here).

...this report should shut up all the Ranger fans complaining that Sather isn't signing any of the big free agents. By the way that comment is dripping with sarcasm for those of you without a sense of humor.

Sanguinetti in a New York State of Mind

Adam Kimelman at has a great piece on Bobby Sanguinetti including this quote...

"The biggest thing is coming in (to camp) in the best shape possible, be ready to play," Sanguinetti said. "I know what I'm capable of and the reason why they drafted me, the confidence they have in me. … I need to continue to show that I'm getting closer and closer to becoming a Ranger and that you want to compete for a job and that you're serious about it, and that you're going to come in and work your hardest and earn that spot."

...I haven't been this excited for a prospect since Pavel Bren...nevermind.

...seriously, this kid looks like the real deal. We've already seen Staal make the jump from junior to the NHL, why not Sanguinetti.

Wild Trade Rolston's Rights to Lightning

Michael Russo at the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports...

"Hours after Brian Rolston said he intended to become a free agent when the market opens Tuesday, the Wild traded the veteran forward's rights to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday night for a conditional draft pick."

Despite this move Rolston is quoted as saying he will be a free agent on July 1st. Tampa's new ownership is really going for it.

What We Have Here Is a Failure to Communicate

Larry Brooks at the New York Post says that Glen Sather needs to fill Jaromir Jagr in on the Rangers plan...

"THE New York Rangers ' perfect 2008-09 world would feature Jaromir Jagr and Mats Sundin combining forces on the first line with Chris Drury moving to left wing to skate with Scott Gomez on the second unit.

It's anybody's guess why Glen Sather hasn't made the effort to communicate that vision to Jagr, who has every right to be miffed over what can politely be described as the GM's cavalier approach to the captain's impending free agency, but trust me, the Rangers will be giddy if they can retain Jagr and unite him with Sundin."

Brooks also reports that Chris Drury would have no problem moving to the wing on the second line with Gomez.

Dubi at the Blueshirt Bulletin says not to laugh at Brooks' master plan as he predicted on the same day last year that the Rangers were targeting both Gomez and Drury.

...if Sather can get away with one year deals for Sundin and Jagr, as well as re-signing Avery (hey Glen did you see the deal that Malone just got, pay Avery his money), I'd be pretty happy with that.

...then he'd have to sign some defensemen. If he's fully recovered I wouldn't mind seeing Rozsival back, but they better get a physical defenseman as well like a Commodore.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Blogs: Don't Forget, Bold Predictions & Dear Glen

Jess Rubestein at The Prospect Park reminds Ranger fans not to forget all the free agent mistakes we've made before they freak out on Tuesday when the Rangers aren't signing the top guys.

Grosek18 at the Battle of New York makes some bold predictions about where the top free agents will be going on July 1st.

The Manic Ranger Fan pleads for Glen Sather to re-sign Sean Avery.

Malone & Liles Sign reports on Ryan Malone...

"The Tampa Bay Lightning have agreed to terms with forward Ryan Malone on what is expected to be a seven-year deal exceeding just over $31 million, Sportsnet has learned."

TSN reports on John-Michael Liles...

"Sources tell TSN that Liles and the Colorado Avalanche have agreed to terms on a four-year contract worth an average of slightly more than $4 million per year."

...scratch those two off your list Sather.

Mara Top Free Agent Defenseman?

At, Scott Burnside lists his top free agent defensemen which includes a Ranger you might not have expected...

Paul Mara

It's hard to imagine the Rangers won't be looking to bring the 6-foot-4, 212-pound Mara back to New York, where he's been for a season and a half. But if the Rangers land a blue-chip blueliner, they may not have room financially. And with Marek Malik and Michal Rozsival also poised to hit free agency, there will be some changes along the Rangers' blue line. But if Mara is on the move again, he won't have trouble finding a new home. Back in Phoenix in 2005-06, Mara had 47 points and got consideration for the U.S. Olympic team. He's bounced around a bit and his production has dropped off during stops in Boston and now New York, but Mara could be a valuable addition to a team looking to add defensive depth with minimal maintenance.

...did Burnside actually write "It's hard to imagine the Rangers won't be looking to bring the 6-foot-4, 212-pound Mara back to New York"? You know what I find hard to imagine? That this guy gets paid to know absolutely nothing about hockey.

...Mara isn't even the top defensive free agent on the Rangers. And while I have nothing against Mara, and I don't feel that the Rangers utilized him properly, it's hard to imagine the Rangers would ever want to bring him back.

Malone Close to Signing with Lightning reports...

"A day after trading for their rights, The Tampa Bay Lightning are close to signing Ryan Malone to a long-term year deal that will exceed $30 million...An announcement could come as early as Monday."

They also report that Tampa is also close to signing Gary Roberts to a one-year deal.

Stan Fischler at has more on the free agent frenzy.

...all I see is other teams getting in position to sign or re-sign free agents, while the Rangers are just pissing their free agents off.

Rangers Free Agent Fall-out

Steve Zipay at Newsday and Larry Brooks at the New York Post each have articles on how the Rangers are not showing the love to their free agents...

Zipay on Jaromir Jagr...

Jagr said the level of interest from the Rangers is difficult to determine. "Perhaps Glen had different plans which did not work out. Maybe it's a negotiating tactic ... But now that I've waited so long, why not listen to the alternative offers? So far, we've only been talking to New York and Omsk."

Brooks on Sean Avery...

Slap Shots has learned that Sather late last week granted permission to Avery's agent, Pat Morris, to negotiate with any interested NHL team in advance of Tuesday's official opening of the free-agent market.

Sources confirm that not only is that process under way, but that four or five teams have indicated their interest in signing Avery to a contract well in excess of the last deal proffered by Sather to No. 16. It's believed the Rangers have come in at approximately $1M a year less than the four-year, $16M deal Avery is seeking and will be able to get.

Joe McDonald at New York Sports Day says the Rangers are making a huge mistake with the way they're handling Jagr and Avery.

...why do I get the feeling this team is going to look very different next year. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Orpik Rejects Pens Offer

Dave Molinari at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting...

"Orpik, poised to enter unrestricted free agency Tuesday, rejected a contract proposal from the Penguins yesterday. While its details were not immediately known, Orpik is expected to command a salary of well over $3 million if he hits the open market."

...this is a good news, bad news scenario. Good because Orpik may be available July 1st, bad because its going to cost over $3 million to get him. Although the salary cap was just increased so his asking price won't be as painful of a hit on the Rangers cap space.

Rangers Not Interested in Tucker

Mark Everson at the New York Post says...

"Several teams are believed to have inquired yesterday about Tucker, whose buyout makes him unrestricted immediately, but neither the Devils nor the Rangers are thought to be among the earliest suitors."

...this news gives Ranger fans at least a glimmer of hope that we might re-sign Avery as Tucker would be a candidate to replace him.

Brooks: Jagr Unlikely to Return

Larry Brooks at the New York Post reports...

"It is becoming increasingly likely that Jaromir Jagr has played his last game as a Ranger, if not in the NHL.

For while No. 68's agent, Pat Brisson, told The Post yesterday that Jagr would prefer to sign a new contract with the New York Rangers in lieu of reaching unrestricted free agency on Tuesday, he made it clear the winger is seeking a multi-year deal GM Glen Sather doesn't seem willing to offer."

...after reading the Jagr quotes John Dellapina provided in the below post, I've come to the conclusion that Brooks just makes this stuff up.

...Jagr says that he's not sure what he's doing and that he's received an offer from the Rangers that he's contemplating. What in the world is Brooks talking about?

Friday, June 27, 2008

Jagr Conflicted

John Dellapina at The Blueshirts Blog says that Jaromir Jagr, who scoffed at the notion that he has the equivalent of a $35 million offer from Omsk, has no idea where he will end up...

Jagr on the current contract offers...

“I know what are the exact sums offered by both sides and that´s the difference between me and you, journalists. Sometimes I must laugh at what´s been published in a papers. I really don´t know where you get those sums guys. It would be nice to get that kind of money, but it won´t happened.”

On his plans...

“Now it´s really complicated. One day, I´m almost sure to stay in America. The other day, I´m closer to Russia.

“I really don´t know what will happen over the next days, weeks. Sincerely, I don´t know. And I´m not bluffing, i just really have no clue.”

On what he needs to hear from the Rangers...

“I realized already that I was playing my best hockey when there had been the most pressure on me. I need to hear or need to know: This is your team, you are the key element and the team will do as you will do. Than I can play my best hockey. And I feel I can still play on the highest level.”

...the most telling quote is the last one. If the Rangers come to Jagr and say we want you back but this is now Drury & Gomez' team, Jagr's gone. However, if the Ranger say you're the man, he'll be back no matter what the offer is from Omsk.

Valiquette to Canucks?

Lance Hornby at the Toronto Sun says...

"...6-foot-6 Etobicoke native Steve Valiquette, is expected to depart the Rangers after his most active year in the NHL (13 games behind Henrik Lundqvist), but could be joining the Vancouver Canucks."

...i'm shocked to hear this. I would have thought Valiquette wanted to stay. And if he does sign with Vancouver, I can't imagine he's going to get anymore playing time behind Luongo.

...i hope this doesn't facilitate the Rangers signing Kolzig. I'd rather see them give Hartford netminder Miika Wiikman a chance to win the backup spot.

Where Are They Now: Kelly Kisio

Kristen Odland of the Calgary Herald has a story detailing what Kelly Kisio's been up to...

"Tuesday afternoon in the Hitmen's dressing room, King announced Kisio's move to step down as the Western Hockey League club's head coach.

For a decade, Kisio has been the team's general manager and during his time, the Hitmen haven't missed playoffs.

Under Kisio's tenure, the Hitmen racked up a record of 440 wins, 256 losses, 57 ties and 40 overtime losses."

...great read for anyone interested in what a former Captain is doing.

Live Web Chat with Steve Zipay of Blue Notes

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes will be holding a live web chat today at 1 p.m. Subjects will include free agency and Ranger prospects.

Anisimov, Grachev, Prague, Traverse City & Straka

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes says he has been very impressed with Artem Anisimov at Prospects Camp. He also reports on Ranger draft pick Evgeny Grachev being selected by the Brampton Battalion in the Canadian junior draft, opening in Prague next year, Ranger prospects playing in the Traverse City tourney and Straka leaving.

...great reporting by Zipay.

Straka's Not Gone But He's Gone

John Dellapina at The Blueshirts Blog feels that despite Martin Straka's agent saying rumors of Straka’s having signed with his hometown Czech League team in Plzen have been greatly exaggerated, there is no reason to doubt that Straka, indeed, has agreed to return home to complete his playing career. However, Dellapina doesn't feel this would crush the Rangers...

"Fact is, it is difficult to imagine how the Rangers would have tried to re-sign a 35-year-old Straka. They’d like to clear lineup space for younger forwards such as Ryan Callahan, Nigel Dawes and Petr Prucha and have major interest in upgrading up front by signing somebody like Ryan Malone."

...whether Straka has signed with Plzen or not he won't be back with the Rangers.

Jagr Offered 3 yr. $35 Million from Omsk

Larry Brooks from the New York Post reports...

"A reliable third party source yesterday told The Post that his connections in the Czech Republic believe that Jagr has recently received a three-year contract offer for the equivalent of $35M after-tax US dollars from Omsk of the Russian Super League. The captain is believed to have received the formal offer this week from Omsk GM Anatoly Bardin after months of conversations."

Sam Weinman at the Rangers Report thinks this contract gives the Rangers an easy out if they have any doubts on Jagr as they can't come close to matching this offer.

...the ball is going to end up in Jagr's court as he can take the money and run or hang around and hope to win one last Stanley Cup.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Blogs: Bon Jovi, Brian Rolston & No Draft Coverage

Scotty Hockey reports on a new perk for New York Rangers season ticket holders.

Cliff continues's series on free agents with an actual report on Brian Rolston.

Mike Savino at The Rangers Pundit gives his reasons for not covering the draft as well as a review of Sean Avery's Vogue internship.

Rangers Show Interest in Mike Green

Eklund at HockeyBuzz reports...

On Mike Green...

Here's your first offer sheet rumours for the day...I am hearing that Green WILL get a sheet if he goes past July 1, and some teams are so worried that they are trying to trade for Green's rights. One rumour that I am hearing is that the Sabres may offer up Afinogenov to Washington for Green's rights in a deal that could go down this weekend IF the Capitals feel that Green is out of reach..Other teams interested in Green (and yes all 29 are interested, but these are the teams that I am hearing specifically) are San Jose, Toronto and the NY Rangers.

...the Rangers better be interested. The 22-year-old defenseman RFA had 18 goals and 38 assists for the Capitals last year.

...Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy has more on Green's negotiations with the Capitals.

NHL Salary Cap Increases for '08-'09 Season


"The National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association announced today that the Team Payroll Range established for the 2008-09 League Year, pursuant to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, provides for a Lower Limit of $40.7 million, an Adjusted Midpoint of $48.7 million and an Upper Limit of $56.7 million."

...that's an increase of over $6 million from last season.

...according to Steve Zipay at Blue Notes the Rangers now appear to have approximately $22 million or $23 million in cap room to extend current players or sign free agents.

Save Sean Avery

A new website has popped up dedicated to bringing Sean Avery back to the Rangers. Complete with a petition. So if you're interested visit

Avery, Mara & Parenteau

Sam Weinman at The Rangers Report says this is his last non-hockey blog post on Sean Avery and then offers a link to a Men's Vogue video of Avery (see video here).

Weinman also has this quote from Paul Mara regarding his contract talks with the Rangers...

“There’s been no movement on that front,” Mara said from Cape Cod. “I don’t think we’ve been proactive, but I think they know I want to return.”

Finally, Weinman reports that the Rangers have announced that P.A. Parenteau has been re-signed.

...hey, we've finally signed someone.

Conflicting Reports on Straka Signing with Czech Team is reporting that Martin Straka has announced his intention to leave the NHL and return to his native Czech Republic to play hockey next year with his home town of Pilsen, where he will also be a team manager.

...thanks to Dubi at the Blueshirt Bulletin for the translation.

However, is now saying...

Martin Straka has not signed a contract with HC Lasselsberger Plzen, his agent said Thursday, despite an announcement to the contrary from the Czech club.

"Marty has made it clear that he will wait until after July 1 to evaluate all his options and make an informed decision at that time," Ritch Winter, Straka's longtime agent, told The Canadian Press on Thursday.

...thanks to bpette for the heads-up.

...once I know more I'll let you know.

History of the New York Rangers: The 1920's

Greg Caggiano at The Bleacher Report starts off his series on the glorious history of the New York Rangers with the 1920s.

Talks With Wild & Rolston Gone Quiet, Pens Engaged w/ Orpik

Michael Russo at the Minnesota Star-Tribune reports...

"The Brian Rolston negotiations have literally stopped short.

According to Wild assistant general manager Tom Lynn, Rolston's agent, Steve Bartlett, has not returned a phone call since last week."

...looks like Rolston is headed for free agency.

Rob Rossi at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review says...

"Today could bring developments involving on-going dialogue between the Penguins and representatives for defenseman Brooks Orpik.

The sides are actively engaged in discussions aimed at keeping Orpik in Pittsburgh."

...paging Mike Commodore.

I Want to Be Like Malk

Steve Zipay at Newsday says that Rangers third round pick Evgeny Grachev wants to be like the Penguins Evgeni Malkin...

"Drafted Saturday in the third round (No. 75 overall), Grachev, who played for Yaroslavl Lokomotiv-2, a Russian junior team, is physically similar to Malkin, perhaps slightly bigger at about 6-3 and 210 pounds, and has another advantage: He has no legal obligations to Russia."

For video of Grachev at the Rangers Prospect Camp click here.

...this kid's been getting a lot of press since he was drafted. Hopefully we got a steal in the third round.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Blogs: #13, Marcus Naslund & Bizarro World

With Mats Sundin rumors running wild, Scotty Hockey looks at the five players in Rangers history that donned the #13.

Jerry at says, in his own weird way, that without former Vancouver Canucks linemates Brendan Morrison and Todd Bertuzzi, free agent winger Marcus Naslund is only a shell of his former self.

Bird over at Hockey Bird tells Ranger fans not to be concerned with the crazy happenings around the Rangers recently (NHL taking ownership away from the Dolans, Avery's Vogue internship & Glen Sather).

Video: More From Prospect Camp

Rangers On Demand has the following video...

Watch highlights from the scrimmages as Rangers prospects show their speed, grit and determination when facing off against one another here.

Rangers prospect Bobby Sanguinetti talks about his experiences through prospect camp and his thoughts about playing for the New York Rangers here.

Rangers Draft Pick Evgeny Grachev discusses his first day at prospect camp, the excitement of being drafted by the Rangers and who he models his game after here.

Rangers Prospect Brodie Dupont explains what he has learned through past prospect camps and how he has helped younger players with their development here.

Rangers draft choice Dale Weise discusses the maturation process of going through this years draft and the areas of his game that have improved here.

Rangers 3rd Rounder Could Be a Player

Ryan Kennedy at The Hockey News gives a run down of the more intriguing picks of last weekends draft, including one from the Rangers...

Evgeny Grachev, C – Yaroslavl Lokomotiv (Rus.): Whether the Rangers can entice this 6-foot-3, 200-pound battleship over to Broadway is the big concern, but as a third-rounder, Grachev is certainly worth the risk. Drafted 75th overall by the New York Rangers.

According to, Grachev attended the Prospect Camp today.

...for more on Grachev, click here.

Jagr to Penguins Movement Starts

Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy reports...

"Many hockey blogs have influence, but few could actually act as a catalyst for a puckhead revolution. The Pensblog already has. So when the boys decide to get passionate about something, you must pay attention; and today, they declared that "it's time to officially start the Jaromir Jagr Movement" for Penguins fans:"

...i guess old habits die hard.

Sundin: New York is My Desired Destination

Greg Caggiano at The Bleacher Report writes...

"It is now official; just days after getting permission to talk to Montreal and New York, Sundin told reporters today that the Rangers are his desired destination."

...not sure how accurate this report is as Caggiano didn't link to a newspaper article. So until I actually see an official quote from Sundin I will treat this as nothing more than a rumor.

Renney on the Draft & Free Agency

Video: More from Prospects Camp

Rangers On Demand has the following video...

Rangers recent signee Tomas Zaborsky works out at the training facility during prospect camp here.

Rangers recent signee Justin Soryal works out at the training facility during prospect camp here.

Renney's Thoughts at Prospect Camp

Dubi at The Blueshirt Bulletin has Tom Renney's reactions to some of the prospects he is watching this week at the MSG Training Center as they go through work-outs and scrimmages...

On Bobby Sanguinetti...

"So much of it's contingent on what we do in the next week to ten days," Renney said, referring to free agent signings, about the young defenseman's chances of cracking the NHL this fall. "What type of an opportunity he does get -- he has to go through a process, Traverse City , main camp, and take it from there. We'd certainly like to get him in as many pre-season games as possible, have a good look at him, and give yourself enough of a chance to make an informed decision."

...great job by Dubi getting Renney's thoughts on our top prospects.

Does Sundin Make Sense?

Sam Weinman at The Rangers Report doesn't think so...

"The other consideration here is that center is the one area this off-season the Rangers DON’T need to address, but bringing in Sundin might just give the Rangers the excuse to try Chris Drury at wing, which they tinkered with in spots down the stretch.

So I don’t think it’s a question of position as it is a philosophy. I’m not one of those people who thinks a team needs to field a team full of 23-year-olds, but I do think if you’re going to look outside your organization to strengthen yourself, you’re better served investing in a player who can give you more than a year."

...not sure why the Rangers need an excuse to try Drury at wing. Drury has been a center his whole career, and a successful one at that, why the Rangers would consider bringing in a 37 year-old to replace him at center is beyond me.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Blogs: Rozsival Not So Bad, Not Again & Youth Movement Year 4

In his report on free agent defenseman John-Micheal Liles, Mike at wonders if Liles is really better than Michal Rozsival.

With the report that the Rangers are interested in free agent center Mats Sundin, Jim at Hockey Bird is afraid the Rangers are going back to the days when Glen Sather sought out the most desirable free agents and threw money at them.

And finally, Michael M. Ramos at Outside the Garden looks at Year Four of the Youth Movement for the Rangers.

Cheap Alternatives for Rangers

In his article on which free agents the Rangers should target, John Merrigan at The Bleacher Report says...

"...if the Rangers believe that 'offensive defenseman' Bobby Sanguinetti will fulfil his hype, the Rangers could target a cheaper alternative to Brian Campbell. They could look to sign John Michael-Liles, who wouldn't demand a contract larger then $3M and would be a nice stopgap until Sanguinetti is ready."

Merrigan goes on to say...

"...Orpik may be overpriced. A better alternative could be Mike Commodore, who is essentially the same player as Orpik, but has less hype and should be cheaper."

...i like the idea of going after the cheaper alternative. For too long the Rangers organization has gone after the big money free agent and it never seems to work. Cheap doesn't always mean worse when it comes to free agents.

...if you click on the Bleacher Report link and read the whole story, the best line Merrigan has is "The Rangers also need to target a hard hitting defenseman like Brooks Orpik to the fill the void left by Paul Mara." Did he actually say fill the hard hitting void left by Paul Mara? Obviously this guy has not watched a Ranger game in the last year and a half.

Dellapina: Jagr, Avery, Draft & Bettman

John Dellapina has a lengthy blog post over at the Blueshirts Blog including subjects such as Jagr's return to the Rangers, Avery not coming back, his lack of draft coverage, and getting off Gary Bettman's back for his lack of knowledge of the game of hockey.

...great insight as always by Dellapina.

Don't Discard Sundin Reports

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes says "Don't discard the Sundin reports." Zipay also says that Malone and Orpik remain on the radar for the Rangers as is Brian Rolston and Kurt Sauer as a low-cost D. A Blue Notes reader mentions Washington Capital unrestricted free agent LW Matt Cook as a potential replacement for Avery.

Zipay also gives an update from prospect camp today.

...I'm shocked to hear that the Sundin rumors actually have teeth.

Islanders, Canadiens Likely Destinations for Avery

Eklund at HockeyBuzz reports...

"Sean Avery has two likely destinations. Neither are Manhattan....The NY Islanders and Canadiens are believed to the best bets."

...i can see Avery going to the Canadiens, but I really can't see him wanting to be a second class citizen on the Islanders.

Eklund also mentions that the Rangers are one of six teams Brian Campbell is considering.

Reports from Prospect Camp

For reports on the happenings at Prospect Camp yesterday visit... from Blueshirt Bulletin.

Video: Rangers Prospects Camp

Rangers On Demand has the following video...

Bobby Sanguinetti, the Rangers 1st round pick from 2006, works out at the training facility during the teams prospect camp here.

Michael Del Zotto, the Rangers 2008 1st Round Draft Pick works out at the training facility during the teams prospect camp here.

Derek Stepan, the Rangers 2008 2nd Round Draft Pick works out at the training facility during the teams prospect camp here.

Artem Anisimov, the Rangers 2006 2nd Round Draft Pick works out at the training facility during the teams prospect camp here.

Rangers top draft choice in the 2008 NHL entry draft, Michael Del Zotto, talks about being selected by the Rangers and the strengths of his game here.

More on Rangers Interest in Sundin

Larry Brooks at the New York Post reports...

"Glen Sather is seriously considering a 2008-09 go-for-it-now first line tandem of Mats Sundin and Jaromir Jagr, sources in Europe and North America have told The Post."

Brooks says that the Rangers have held conversations with both the centerman and his representative, J.P. Barry, after having received permission to do so by Toronto. Brooks also notes that if the Rangers bring Sundin in, Drury will be moved to the wing.

...while Sundin is a great talent, we don't need a center. I'd love to hear Drury's feelings on possibly being moved to the wing. The last thing we need is to piss Drury off.

Sanguinetti & Del Zotto Give Glimpse of Future

Steve Zipay at Newsday has this report from the Rangers Prospect Camp...

"From a corner platform above the practice rink yesterday afternoon, the Rangers' brain trust had its first glimpse of what could be the team's future power-play tandem: defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti on the right and Michael Del Zotto on the left."

Rangers On Demand has video of Sanguinetti during the Prospects Camp here and Del Zotto here.

...too bad these guys aren't ready for the NHL this year.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Down Side to Sean Avery

Stan Fischler at says that the Rangers will not collapse if they don't re-sign Sean Avery and offers these two down sides for Glen Sather to consider during negotiates with Avery's agent Pat Morris...

1. Avery-Morris likely will demand more than Sean is worth -- in both dollars and years.

2. The Rangers may have obtained the most they can from Avery, and everything from here on could be on a downward spiral for Gabbo and the team.

Fischler goes on say say that if Avery's demands are too steep the Rangers should cuts ties with him because they obtained Avery for nothing and they can replace him with a guy like Darcy Tucker. Fischler also says that Avery is injury prone and can be a handful.

...while these down sides are true, the bottom line is that the Rangers win with Avery in the line-up. I don't care if everyone on the team hates him. As long as they keep winning the rest of the team will have to deal with it. $4 million a year I can see Sather's hesitancy to sign Avery, but I think if Sather give him a fair offer of $3.25 million, he'd take it.

...and why are people saying we can replace Avery with Tucker. Tucker isn't half the player Avery is.

Blogs: Bettman Cartel, Cory Stillman & Avery Ranks Jerseys

The Dark Ranger says the Dolans are up against the Bettman Cartel.

Cliff at takes a look at free agent winger Cory Feldman, err I mean Stillman.

Over at Puck Daddy, Greg Wyshynski has an amusing article on Avery ranking the worst sports uniforms.