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July 28, 2008


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Is there any way to push the calendar to September? Let's start camp already!

Reading about the 'young guns' who want to make it to the big club only makes me that much more impatient for training camp to start. I don't know about anybody else, but I'm excited about what could happen, good and bad. To say the least, it'll be very interesting. When was the last time a Rangers training camp had so many questions and so much anticipation?

Got to agree, all these changes make for an exciting time for Ranger fans. And the uncertainty of it all this year actually contributes to the excitement. It looks like it could be a fast puck moving team but with a lot of young guys there is still a lot of worry. Renney has his work cut out for him this year so lets hope he knows what he's doing. With Del Zotto and Sanguinetti we have two Italian studs back there. What could be better than an Italian stud? As my father used to say "There are two kinds of people in this world, Italians and those who wish they were."

Personally I am just excited about this season ... I mean so we no longer have Jagr and that's a big loss but I think that Jagr would've been gone in 2 yrs anyway so what's happened now is that the team started the Jagr-less era 2 years ahead of originally scheduled ... I am not so quick to think that it will be a disaster ... Young, hungry team, eager to prove themselves, and giving 110% effort every night? If that's what we are getting then I think it will be a great season ...

As I wrote over at PP, one year ago Giant fans were predicting that their season was going to be a disaster. Yes the Giants had a slow start BUT look what happened.

There is some good things to like about the Rangers even if you do not agree with all the moves made or not made.

I've been following the Rangers since 1963 and I am looking forward to this year more than I have since the Lockout. Jagr, Straka and Avery are gone but they played hard while they were here and helped make the Rangers exciting again. Times change and teams change and the Rangers have made it clear they are committed to change. Time will tell how well those changes will translate on the ice but the team got younger, faster and bigger. Throw in that the Rangers have some young players who will challenge for spots on the roster and things should be exciting. I can't wait for training camp to open to see how things sort themselves out. This should be a fun year for Ranger fans.

I am very excited about what's taken place this off-season...I loved the Del Zotto pick, and was extremely happy when Grachev fell into the Rangers' laps. I thought the Redden pickup was the best fit for the Rangers on D, as I expect him to be paired with Staal and give the Rangers a legit top D pairing, along with serving as a very good mentor for Staal. And, I love the deal for Zherdev. He's the elite talent the Rangers have not had a chance to draft. I actually believe that Dubinsky will end up being his center. IMO, Dubi takes the next step in his development, and proves his success was due to his ability, not just having chemistry with Jagr. And, I expect Lauri Korpikoski to win a spot in the top nine out of camp.

I think I will look into hybranating until october cause the hours are just ticken by so slow.

The first 5 pre-season games are scheduled in 6 days!!! That seems to indicate the Rangers will be playing a lot of different players. I guess that they will have a 40+ man roster and get a look at everybody...for a little while. It also looks to me that the Rangers may have the roster pretty well firmed up, maybe only 1-2 spots actually open. With the last two pre-season games in Europe, I guess the team will be bringing only their final roster.


Renney has said he will field two full teams for the pre-season.

It's really incredible how polished these kids sound. I know they all grow up listening to players give interviews and whatnot, but the polish certainly indicates that these kids are prepping for the show. It's clear to me that the Rangers are drafting on character as well as ability. If Beech (Beach?) had fallen to the Rangers, I am sure we would've passed on him.

It would be great to hear how last years class of prospects faired at Hartford last year. Jess had Put Sauer on par or even higher than Staal, and even with Marc making the Rangers last year, who knows how that will turn out in the long term. But did Sauer live to up realistic expectations before getting injured? And how about the two forwards (if I am remembering right) Dupont and Pyatt? How did they do compared to again reasonable expectations?


All 3 of those prospects struggled in their first professional season.

To answer your question regarding Sauer and the expectations the answer in my mind was mixed according to my sources watching Hartford.

In most cases Sauer was his own worst enemy as he tried to do too much and not play within himself.

My own opinion is that Sauer tried too hard to show that he belonged and wound up doing the opposite. Now my own concern is that Sauer is going to have to fight the injury prone label.

Dupont and Pyatt got a reality check as they discovered the hard way that moving up to the professional ranks is a lot harder than it looks.

It is hard when you go from the star of the junior team to the growing pains as rookies. I think both Dupont and Pyatt learned what they need to do in order to be professionals.

Did they live up to their expectations the answer is no.

It will be interesting to see how they play next season with Hartford as both will now have players on their heels looking to pass them in the depth chart.

Neither can afford to lose any ground if they want NHL careers.

Kudos then to Renney and Sather for creating enough competition that will push players to the next level and weed out the not-ready-for-prime-time players.

Just think about where we were a number of years ago...we went into training camp with a bunch of old guys and could barely get enough youngsters to have two extra lines. Now we can field two complete teams!!! I feel sorry for the coaching staff, they will barely have enough time to evaluate one game when the next game starts. I'm getting excited, when does TC start and does anybody have a roster of the kids going there?

lowtide boos to those two to even allow Nedved to try out. There is absolutely no reason for this sham, except a bleeding heart.If they don't have a guy better than him for whatever spot right now, they should start worrying.

The Rangers have a record of helping their alumni. I think this is an opportunity for Nedved to increase his stock in one of the European or KHL leagues. If he shows well, he may be able to extraxt a few more bucks. Everybody in the NHL knows where he stands and that's nowhere near the front of the line. Good luck Petr, Glen is always glad to help former Rangers out. Take that "out" any way you want to!


I second that emotion. If the Rangers said "no" to Jagr, where's the point in saying "yes" to Nedved? OK, so it's only a training camp invite, so there's no guarantee of anything. But the whole exercise seems pointless.

All this training camp talk reminds me to lament the day that Glen moved camp from Burlington, VT to the Rangers complex in NY. Living in VT, I used to take days off from work to attend scrimmages. It was a chance for a real good look at touted rookies. What a great time in a very informal setting!

I rue the day...

why waste a spot instead of a kid getting some experience.

Not sure what's behind the idea of a split squad, and a mess of a preseason schedule. This team can't afford wasting time on getting a lineup for opening nite. There are plenty of new guys that I would think Sather is giving a spot to automatically. I'd like to see them get it together a lot faster than game 50 or so.

Why is everyone so upset about NEDVED??? Anyone can try out...that doesn't mean anything...If he makes the team or earns a contract then let the blogs begin :) Z

what is the big deal about Nedved? With the Rangers facing a split squad, a condensed pre-season schedule and a trip to Europe the Rangers need as many bodies as possible and they do Nedved a favor. It doesn't become a problem unless he takes someone's job.

AH YES! Split squad. Nedved playing in Prague in front of hometown crowd..PR for Slats..If he does well, maybe somebody else gets interested that needs to fill cap space and signs him up. If he plays like the last time I saw him, they leave him at the airport.

Nedved maybe a propaganda tool in the N vs K battle. See, we're better because this guy could easily make big rubles but he'd rather get the minimum for the privilege of being in the Bigs.


Thanks for the update on the 3 Hartford rookies, even if its not good news. The competition on one side and the role models (Dubinski centering Jagr's line in his rookie year, Staal playing in all situations) makes for a really good development system, just like you've been saying. Here's hoping the three young men have a bounce back years this season. For power forwards though, doesn't that leave us with just Jessiman and Dupont as two question marks? Are there any other prospects in that role? Soryal?
Thanks Jess,


The kid I would watch in Hartford would be Soryal as those I have talked to about him rave about his hand skills (scoring not just fighting).

I watched some tape on him and was really impressed by his ability to deflect pucks. His eye/hand coordination is impressive to say the least.

When you have someone like a Tom Webster (former Ranger coach and current Calgary scout) telling people 2 years ago to watch Soryal it says something.

Others have compared Soryal to a very young Shanahan (who people never once thought would become who he did), others said a Dale Hunter.

When I talked with him myself I was very impressed by both his maturity but also his intelligence. His answers were well thought out and gave the impression that Soryal is a true student of the game.

As for his fighting skills, I for one think while he may not be the biggest dog on the ice he will cushion the blow for the Pack after losing Fritz and Lessard.

As for Jessiman, this has to be the season where he brings it all together once and for all. He must be consistent all season or time to cut him loose.

Dupont is going to hear the footsteps of Soryal this season and Dale Wiese next season.


I would not go that far because the Russians saw Nedved's performance last season and were not that interested.

Even worse is that Nedved's friends like Rucinsky are not willing to offer him a contract.

What Nedved will bring to the Rangers is a hero worship presence to the Eastern European youngsters.

To kids like Zherdev, Skokan and Zaborsky defying the Communists makes Nedved a legend to them. Maybe we are not realizing what Nedved could be doing for the Rangers.

Rucinsky is general managing over in Europe? Somehow I missed that.

Others have compared Soryal to a very young Shanahan (who people never once thought would become who he did), others said a Dale Hunter.

Jess, I'm excited by what I've seen of Soryal on YouTube, but is it really fair to say this? After all, Shanny was a number 2 overall pick. So he at least had expectations of excellence - granted, perhaps not hall-of-fame greatness - from the time he was 17 years old.

Does anyone know more about this?

[Former Bruins star Bobby Orr has filed a grievance with the NHL Players' Association against Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro, the Star has learned. Orr alleges his player agency spearheaded negotiations with the Islanders in 2006 on behalf of the goalie, but was fired shortly before he signed a 15-year, $67.5 million contract extension. Orr is fighting for his agent fee. A source says DiPietro will argue that when he signed with the Islanders, he had not signed a SPAC (standard player agent contract) with Orr.]


Rucinsky is expected to play just one season more for Sparta Prague and then move into a management position.


The main comparison with Shanny is that Soryal plays a similar style like a younger Shanny did when he first came to the NHL.

It is not a trash on Shanny nor is it an overhype of Sorayl.

Hey Jess -

I certainly didn't interpret your words as a trash of Shanny. From your lips to God's ears, as they say. Would love to see Soryal develop into half the player Shanny has been...heck, even one-third of the player would be pretty damn good!

"All this training camp talk reminds me to lament the day that Glen moved camp from Burlington, VT to the Rangers complex in NY. Living in VT, I used to take days off from work to attend scrimmages. It was a chance for a real good look at touted rookies. What a great time in a very informal setting!"

I moved to Vermont in '04. I got here too late :(

Would have loved to have seen those scrimmages.


I just want to take a second to thank you for your patience on the regular site. You held the comment section open far longer than any mere mortal could have. Thank you so much for the time and effort you and others put in on the regular site. Lets get the season and BB+ going!!!!!

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