Saturday, May 30, 2009

Rangers Prospects Year in Review

Jess Rubenstein over at The Prospect Park does an outstanding job recapping the seasons of the Rangers big time prospects...

"Grachev may have been the best prospect but overall the 2008-09 season just might have been the best collective season for Ranger prospect since the early 1990's. Of the 12 prospects we got to follow this season we believe that there are 7 prospects who if they continue their development could wind up as Rangers."

Rubenstein looks at Grachev, Del Zotto, Stephan and many other college and junior prospects.

...its an amazing treat for Ranger fans to have such a valuable resource as The Prospect Park to keep an eye on the Rangers young guns. Thanks Jess.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Rangers Sign Swiss Forward reports that the Rangers have agreed to terms with free agent Swiss League forward Andres Ambuhl.

Ambuhl, 25, skated in 50 games with HC Davos of the National League A in Switzerland (NLA) this past season, registering 17 goals and 24 assists for 41 points, along with 90 penalty minutes. He established career-highs in games played (50), goals (17), assists (24), points (41), and penalty minutes (90).

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes adds that the Oilers, Leafs and Hawks were interested in Ambuhl and that he's likely to get an invite to camp and possibly a spot in Hartford.

...first it was Finnish free agent defenseman Ilkka Heikkinen, now its Ambuhl. What's up with the free agents from overseas?

Matteau! Matteau! Matteau!

Today marks the 15th Anniversary of the Stephane Matteau Game 7 double overtime winner against the Devils in the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals and continues their series on the Rangers 1994 Stanley Cup by looking at that historic goal...

"...Stephane Matteau, who had won Game 3 of the series with a double-OT goal, swooped in and beat Scott Niedermeyer to the loose puck. Matteau then carried the puck behind the Devils’ cage and emerged on the other side, where defenseman Slava Fetisov was charging towards him.

Matteau proceeded to put a wraparound shot off Brodeur’s stick and over the goal line at 4:24 of the second overtime to set off a wild celebration, both on the ice and in the stands at MSG.

2-1 victory in Game 7 for the Rangers! 4-3 series win for the Rangers!

Matteau! Matteau! Matteau!"

...i still get goose bumps.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Rangers Sign Del Zotto reports that the Rangers have signed 2008 first round pick D Michael Del Zotto to his first pro contract...

On the signing Del Zotto said...

"It's definitely unbelievable being part of this organization. This is just a baby step, though. It's a first step in trying to make the team and take it further."

Del Zotto, 18, skated in 62 games with the Oshawa Generals and London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) this season, registering 13 goals and 50 assists for 63 points, along with 78 penalty minutes. The two-time OHL All-Star finished the season ranked sixth among all OHL defensemen in scoring and assists, while his 50 assists tied for 11th in the league overall. He also ranked fifth in the league with 32 power play assists.

For more on the signing visit Blue Notes.

...didn't see an amount or length of contract, but I'll get you guys the details as soon as I can find them.

Zherdev Turns Down KHL Offer, Wants to Play in New York

James Mirtle over at From the Rink reports that Nikolai Zherdev has turned down a contract offer from a KHL team...

"Rangers forward Nik Zherdev, a restricted free agent, has turned down an offer from KHL club Salavat Yulayev Ufa and wants to play in New York next season."

...the Zherdev situation is a real interesting one. I was leaning towards not wanting the Rangers to sign him, but after reading Inferno's blog post at Ranger Review the other day I'm not so sure about that any more.

Renney Named Associate Coach of Oilers reports that the Edmonton Oilers have hired Pat Quinn as their head coach as well as naming former Ranger head coach Tom Renney as associate coach.

...while I was very critical of Renney, he definitely deserved another shot and its great to see him land on his feet. to figure Jagr is going to be even more interested in getting out of his contract with Omsk to play for the Oilers now (see here).

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Brooks: Rangers Interested in Knuble

Larry Brooks at the New York Post says that Mike Knuble will emerge as a person of significant interest to the Rangers and the interest is likely to be mutual...

"Knuble, who had a previous tour of duty on Broadway as a fledgling during the Dark Ages, scored 27 goals for the Flyers this year, 11 on the power play. He always is around the net, a quick stick impossible to move, and would provide the presence that coach John Tortorella covets and the Rangers lack. He's also a leader, a character player who would ease some of the burden on Drury inside the room.

Subtracting Antropov, Markus Naslund, Nikolai Zherdev (probably), Paul Mara, Aaron Voros, Blair Betts and Colton Orr from the roster leaves the Rangers with 110 NHL goals on their team. It doesn't matter that Knuble will be 37 on July 4. It matters that he can score and probably is affordable."

...he's always around the net? As a Ranger fan, I'm not sure what that looks like.

...Knuble has scored 114 goals (49 on the power play) in his four years with Philly. That's an average of 28 goals a year. I can live with that. Plus at 37 the Rangers may be able to get him at a discount. How's two years for $4.5 million? Knuble made $2.8 million last year.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Blogs: Worthless Scouts, New Rules, Zherdev, Cleaning Out the Closet & Russian Rumors

Jess Rubenstein at The Prospect Park talks about how fans only remember scouts failures and not their successes.

Jerry at has had enough of the outrageous trade rumors posted on the blog's message board and has come up with some new rules.

Inferno at Rangers Review says it could be costly for the Rangers to lose Nikolai Zherdev.

M Hurley at My Blueshirt Heaven tries to clean out the Rangers closet.

Beyond the Blueshirts reports on rumors from Russia which include Zherdev and Antropov.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Rangers Sign Heikkinen reports that the Rangers have agreed to terms with Finnish free agent defenseman Ilkka Heikkinen.

Heikkinen, 24, skated in 54 games with HIFK Helsinki of the SM-liiga this past season, registering eight goals and 26 assists for 34 points, along with 22 penalty minutes. His 34 points ranked third among all SM-liiga defensemen. He led all HIFK defensemen in goals (eight), assists (26) and points, while finishing second on the team overall in assists, fourth in points and seventh in goals.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Fan Reviews Avery's New Bar

Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants has Ranger season-ticket holder Dave's take on opening night of Sean Avery's new Tribeca nightspot, Warren 77...

"Anyway, so we walk in and the first person, and first cool moment of the night, we see is Shanny standing against a wall talking playoffs with someone. The place was crowded, but not too crowded. So, as we make our way towards the bar, we pass Avery, who was chatting with some of the people. He was all Vogued up with his outfit, too. A nice, button down with a zipper kind of vest. He's about 5-feet-10 but real stocky. We get to the bar and standing right in front of us is Henrik. I didn't notice him at first because he had a black fedora on but my wife, who is madly in love with him and would've left me there for him, noticed him right away. He was talking with Larry "Ratso" Sloman and a few other people about music and hockey. We got there late, so we didn't hear him play. Someone said that he played an acoustic set earlier in the night. So, we bellied up to the bar literally right next to him. He was really nice, talking with everyone, and even signed someone's CD. We introduced ourselves to him and, like I said, was really cool. He's tall, about 6-1. We even met his girlfriend Therese."

...definitely click on the above link to read the entire account. Dave pretty much had a dream night for any Ranger fan. courtesy of New York Magazine. Which has a review of the bar here.

Matteau's Other Double OT Goal

In honor of the 15th anniversary of the Rangers 1994 Stanley Cup, continues their series on the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals between the Rangers and Devils with a look at Game 3...

When the words “1994”, “Stephane Matteau”, and “double-overtime” are used in the same sentence, one inevitably thinks of Matteau’s magical goal in Game 7 of the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals that lifted the Rangers into the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1979.

But that wasn’t Matteau’s only connection to double-overtime magic during that epic series against the New Jersey Devils back in ’94. In fact, on this date 15 years ago, Matteau provided the Rangers with a 2-1 series lead over the Devils when he whipped a backhand shot past Martin Brodeur at 6:13 of the second OT to give the Rangers a 3-2 victory at The Meadowlands.'s amazing how overlooked that goal is.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Avery Scores at Scores

Over at the New York Post's Page Six, they report on Sean Avery attending the re-opening of the famed strip club Scores...

"...he enjoyed a lap dance from a busty Brazilian. After Avery exited, the dancer chased him outside and insisted he take her number before the valet retrieved his car."

Page Six also reports on the grand opening of Avery's new TriBeCa bar/restaurant, Warren 77, with Henrik Lundqvist.

TSN has an article on a calmer Avery. can you not love this guy?

...hat tip to Puck Daddy for the links.

'92-'93 Disappointment Led to '94 Cup continues their series on the 15th Anniversary of the 1994 Stanley Cup by looking at the reversal of fortune from the disappointment of the 1992-93 season to the jubilation of 1994...

"Regardless of the bigger picture, at least in April 1993, the idea that a Stanley Cup championship year would emerge from the ashes of the previous season’s debacle seemed crazy. Since divisional play had begun in 1967, no NHL team had ever won the Cupone year after finishing last in a division (the Rangers would become the first and only team to do it). In many ways, the most historic aspect of the Rangers’ 1994 Stanley Cup championship was not the fact that it ended 54 years of frustration, but rather than it unfolded in the wake of an unprecedented debacle."

...i think most Ranger fans forget about how bad that '92-'93 season was. also a has a recap of Game 2 of the Rangers/Devils 1994 Eastern Conference Finals.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Zherdev Considering KHL

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes says that according to unconfirmed information Nikolai Zherdev could soon move to one of the top clubs of Continental Hockey League.

...maybe Zherdev should consult with Jagr before going over there as things got so bad for Jagr he actually considered returning to the NHL to play for the Edmonton Oilers.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Re-live 1994 Eastern Conference Finals

If you guys are suffering from Rangers hockey withdrawal, is flashing back to the epic 1994 Eastern Conference finals between the Rangers and Devils starting with Game 1...

"A perfect 6-0-0 record against the Devils during the 1993-94 regular season meant nothing. An 8-1 postseason mark heading into Game 1 of the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals was irrelevant. Even three one-goal leads in said Game 1 did not guarantee the Rangers a single thing.

All that mattered was that New Jersey’s Stephane Richer scored at 15:23 of the second overtime to hand the Devils a dramatic 4-3 victory over the Rangers in the opener of the Eastern Conference Finals on this date 15 years ago." that Spring of '94 was a fun time to be a Rangers fan.

Avery: Rangers Need Scorer

Katie Strang at Newsday reports that Sean Avery says the Rangers' most glaring need during this offseason is a pure goal-scorer...

"We need scoring, we need that one guy," Avery said. "We're going to need that go-to guy. That was the difference, obviously, in the first round, no question. I didn't score as much as I should have or had the previous year in the playoffs, but you have to have that guy that scores the big goal."

...ya think? the next day or so I'll let you guys know what my off-season plans for the blog are.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Avery & Duguay To Host Radio Show at NHL Store Tomorrow

Sean Avery, Ron Duguay and former NJ Devils defenseman Ken Daneyko will host a special edition of the weekly SIRIUS XM Radio talk show, Ice Breakers from the NHL Powered By Reebok Store, 1185 Ave. of the Americas (@ 47th street), New York, NY, 212-221-6375, on Thursday, May 14, from 5-7pm to discuss the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Fans in attendance will be able to pose questions directly to the hosts live on the air.
For more on Sirius XM NHL Radio click here & here.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Newest Rangers Blogger

I'd like to welcome the newest addition to The New York Rangers Blog Family my second daughter (why does god hate me?) who was born yesterday amazingly on Mother's Day.

Updates will be few and far in between the next couple of days as I teach my newest little Ranger fan how to update the blog. Once she gets the hang of it the blog will be updated more often.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Zherdev Breaks Hand At Worlds

Beyond the Blueshirts is reporting that Rangers restricted free agent Nicholai Zherdev broke his left hand during the World Championships...

“I have a broken bone in my left hand. I’m very upset,” Nikolai told a correspondent. “I very much wanted to finish the championship. Now I’ll support the guys.”

BTB adds that Zherdev sustained the injury in his first game of the tournament, last Saturday’s qualification round match-up against the USA. Despite the injury Zherdev played two more games for his country, earning a single assist and finishing a +2.

...wonder if the injury will have any bearing on the Rangers decision making this off-season?'d think a guy who's a free agent might think twice about pushing through an injury at the Worlds.

...hat tip to NYR Blogger for the heads-up.

For more on what should be a very busy off-season for the Rangers go to

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Cablevision to Sell Rangers?

The Hockey News is reporting that Cablevision Systems Corp has said it would “explore the spinoff of its Madison Square Garden business.”

THN adds that companies occasionally announce their intentions to spin off as a way to gauge the company’s market value. However, it's unclear whether Cablevision intends to sell or not. If they do, it could potentially put the Rangers in new hands.

Time Warner Cable is mentioned as a possible buyer.

Another possibility is the Dolan family, Cablevision’s principal owner, selling its cable business and putting its focus on running the Rangers, Knicks, MSG network and its venues.

...the beginning of this report started out so promising with Cablevision possibly selling the Rangers, but ended with a thud with speculation that the Dolan's could decide to drop its cable business to focus soley on running the Rangers and Knicks.

Young Core Leads Way for Rangers takes a look at the Rangers four youngsters that make up the core of the Rangers team...

"Forwards Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan, along with defensemen Marc Staal and Dan Girardi, are four key youngsters who were challenged, and ultimately thrived, after Tortorella took over the coaching reigns in late February."

...i find it odd that the Rangers would put out a story like this when both Dubinsky and Callahan aren't under contract and could, theoretically, end up with another team.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Assigment Roster Fix

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes asks Ranger fans to fill out the Rangers roster for next year while staying under the cap.

"So, today’s mission, assignment, puzzle, whatever….
1. Add eight forwards and two D-men for $17 or $18 mil….

2. Sub/add players as need be with numbers, be they fantasy or not: Example: $1.6 mil per for Callahan and Dubinsky, that’s $3.2…Sjostrom for $1, add Sauer for $880, toss in Zherdev and some youngster or free agents (St. Louis? Komisarek? Kovalchuk?) and $$$, shake and stir and come up with a grand ghost design…

3. Keep in mind that 2010-11 looms. Staal, Girardi RFAs, etc...strong possibility the cap goes down, so be careful with long-term deals..."

...the only person's answers I care about are Sather's, but good luck everyone.

Wednesday Headlines

Newsday - Naslund's retirement a truly dignified act

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Grachev Excelling In Playoffs

While the Rangers are out of the playoffs, Jess Rubenstein at The Prospect Park continues to follow Ranger prospects in the playoffs including Evgeny Grachev whose inspired play in Game 3 of the OHL Championship helped his Brampton Battalion get back in the series after dropping the first two games...

"Grachev as we said was credited for just one assist as well as a +2 but we wish there was a stat that showed other things such as power plays generated for your team. If that was the case then Grachev was a +2 there as he drew 2 key penalties against the Spitfires."

With that assist Grachev now has 11 goals and 14 assists in 19 playoff games.

Rubenstein also looks at defensive prospect Tysen Dowzak of the Kelowna Rockets.

...unless Sather is able to pull off a cap miracle this off-season the Rangers may have to rely on Grachev to be the team's sniper next year.

Drury for Marleau?

Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy comes up with the thought (not rumor) of San Jose Sharks captain Patrick Marleau being traded to the New York Rangers for center Chris Drury.

On why this makes sense for the Rangers...

"Marleau, 30 next season, has one year left at $6.3 million before becoming a UFA. Drury, 33 next season, is signed through 2012 at a robust $7.05 million cap hit.

The deal would make financial sense for the Rangers, jettisoning a contact that -- in hindsight -- is regrettable, in exchange for a pending UFA. You don't like losing a character guy like Drury; but Marleau in a John Tortorella system could be a revelation, if the pressure of playing in New York doesn't crush his soul."

Marleau had 38 goals, 33 assists and was a +16 last season for the Sharks.

...the only reason this makes sense for the Sharks is if they're trying to shake things up after yet another playoff flop. This is a winning situation for the Rangers cap and personnel wise.

...i hate to say this about Drury because he does play hard every night but his time with the Rangers has been a disappointment. The Rangers haven't gotten out of the second round of the playoffs in his two years, while his clutch goals have been few and far in between. Not to mention his contract. But that's on Sather.

Web Chat with Zipay @ 1:45pm

Steve Zipay over at Blue Notes will hold a live web chat today starting at 1:45pm. To participate click here.

Tuesday Headlines

Newsday - Rangers' Naslund retires

New York Post - Naslund retires with integrity

Daily News - It's official: Rangers forward Markus Naslund retires

The Journal News - Naslund retires after one year with Rangers

New York Times - Classy to His Last Day, Markus Naslund Retires

The Bergen Record - Naslund calls it quits

Monday, May 4, 2009

Naslund Officially Retires reports that Markus Naslund announced his retirement today, ending his 15-year National Hockey League career, which included a Lester B. Pearson Award (2003), five NHL All-Star Game appearances (1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004) and three NHL All-Star First Team selections (2002, 2003 and 2004).

"I would like to sincerely thank Glen Sather and the New York Rangers for giving me the opportunity this past season in New York," said Naslund. "I would also like to thank the Vancouver Canucks and all of their fans for their support over the 11-plus seasons I was a part of their organization, as well as to the Pittsburgh Penguins where I began my NHL career."

...unfortunately for the Rangers this was the best move Naslund made all year. I kid Marcus.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Naslund to Retire

Larry Brooks at the New York Post reports that Markus Naslund has told his Rangers teammates he is retiring despite having one season at $3 million remaining on the two-year, $8 million free agent contract he signed last summer.

Brooks also notes, but can't confirm, that Naslund notified GM Glen Sather of his decision at his exit interview on Thursday.

...Naslund definitely wore down as the season progressed and probably realized his best days are behind him. He was a solid signing, who brought veteran leadership to the team, but I'm not crying about his retirement because the Rangers can really use the cap space.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Valiquette Has Deal for Next Year

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes has confirmed that Steve Valiquette is under contract for next year for $725,000.

...seems like this was part of his existing contract. Not sure if this contract has been factored in everyone's salary cap estimates for next year.

The Free Agents Speak

Rick Carpiniello at the Ranger Report was able to catch-up with a number of Ranger free agents including Paul Mara...

“I love New York, I love playing for the Rangers and this is a place where I want to play for, hopefully, the rest if my career. But we’ll see what happens.”

...lot of tough decisions this offseason. Should be interesting.

Game 7 Loss Highest Rated Rangers Game Since 1997

Jeff Z. Klein at Slap Shot reports that Game 7 of the Rangers vs. Capitals first round match-up drew the highest TV ratings since 1997...

"The Rangers’ 2-1 loss in Washington on MSG was the most-watched game of the series, getting a 3.02 rating, which translates to some 225,000 households tuning in. That beat out Game 4 as the highest-rated Rangers telecast since April 22, 1997, when the Blueshirts played the Panthers in a first-round game. Tuesday’s telecast peaked from 9:15 to 9:30 p.m., when 328,575 households were watching."

...don't get too excited hockey fans I guarentee you that rating was still lower than World Series of Poker re-runs on ESPN2.

Jagr: Edmonton Would Be My First Choice

TSN reports that Jaromir Jagr, who plans to play out the final year of his contract with Avangard Omsk of the KHL next season, says he hasn't ruled out a return to the NHL in the future and that the Edmonton Oilers would be his first choice...

"If I ever go to (the NHL), they would be my No. 1 pick because they showed the interest first. I never forget that and I respect that. They would be my first pick."

...doesn't Jagr know that Gretzky and Messier don't play in Edmonton anymore?

Tortorella Should Take Notes from Schoenfeld

Jim Kelley at says John Tortorella needs to only look at his assistant coach Jim Schoefeld on how to grow up and feels that his apology is a start...

"Jim Schoenfeld came to know that. It's why he moved to rein in Tortorella where years ago he might have actually encouraged him. You can't help but wonder if Tortorella will ever get to that same point. His actions in Washington were wrong and he knows it. Maybe today was the first step toward redemption."

...if Tortorella continues to be involved with incidents involving fans he's going find himself out of hockey real quick.

In the article Kelley mentions the Schoenfeld/Don Koharski incident. Here it is in all its glory...

Rosen on WFAN

Rangers broadcaster Sam Rosen was on WFAN's Steve Somers Radio show last night to discuss the Rangers playoffs and potential offseason moves. To listen click here.

Friday Headlines

The Journal News - Rangers' Tortorella regrets suspension, promises changes

Newsday - Torts admits he was wrong in water bottle incident

Newsday - Avery: Tortorella will make me a better player



Daily News - Rangers: Keep 'em or dump 'em?

Daily News - Rangers' Avery, Tortorella prove a lot alike

Daily News - Lupica: Sundown on former mecca

The Bergen Record - Rangers back apologetic Tortorella

The Bergen Record - Rangers' free agents