No official word so far about whom the Rangers have qualified from among their RFAs. The one major name on the cusp was Marcel Hossa -- one would have to assume that it would have been news if he had not been qualified, so it might be a good assumption that he was. But you never know. John Dellapina of the Daily News spoke to Glen Sather, who said the Rangers will not break the bank for Zdeno Chara.
Instead they will try to sign a defenseman at a price reasonable enough to give them a shot at Patrik Elias, who will likely leave New Jersey. Colin Stephenson of the Star-Ledger spoke to Tom Renney about Elias and got Renney's boilerplate ambiguity about wanting to stick to the plan vs. evaluating what a particular might bring to the program. "How do we want to develop this team moving for ward?" Renney asked rhetorically. "Is this guy a key cog in the development of our team? Is he too old? Is he just right? And then the cost part of it comes in. The guy has to fit to make sense for me."
Article at hokej.cz about Ranger prospect Jakub Petruzalek. The article recounts Petro's peripatetic season, where he went from Ranger training camp back to his Czech team, then back to his junior team Barrie, and then finished up in Hartford. Petro says in the article that he is not sure what he will do next September, that his agent is negotiating with the Rangers, and that that will determine whether he comes to training camp and gets another chance to play in the Ranger system.
Another article at Hokej.cz carries the following headline: "To play with Jagr would have been glorious, but the Rangers offered me too little, claims Maxim Sushinsky" -- in which case, we can only be thankful that Jagr's center in Omsk during the lockout, an 11 point scorer in 30 NHL games five years ago, didn't sign and bring that attitude with him in a successful season when money was a refreshingly secondary motivation for just about every player.
Still in Czech mode, NHL.com has an article about Jaromir Jagr's home town of Kladno and what a hockey factory it has been.
Join us on the Fourth of July here at Blueshirt Bulletin for some Ranger Fireworks. Mitch Beck will lead a general discussion of anything Ranger-related from 8:00 to 10:00 PM. Let's light the place up!