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September 27, 2009

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Redden is by far the most overpaid underachiever in the NHL. Calling him an underachiever isn't quite fair however because that implies that he has the skill and is not using it. Certainly he is lazy and good do better but even at "the peak" of his game now, he barely belongs on an NHL roster.

I still hold out a sliver of hope for Rozi, though his hockey IQ seems to be dropping every shift.

Can't blame them for having big contracts but certainly can blame them for not playing up to an NHL basic level. This whole defensive situation stinks and it stinks from the head: Sather. Don't know where his mind has been for the last decade but I wish I knew when he'd be gone...

Wouldn't Grachev make a better linemate for eventual 4th line center Anisimov than Voros? Wouldn't Lisin make a better linemate for Anisimov than Brashear? Wouldn't this make a pretty good 3rd line?

How about Michelletti saying what a great play Redden was making, banging on the ice, asking for a drop pass from AA, then WHIFFING the slapper. And this was after his gaffe in front of the net that AA recovered, gave to Rozi, who then completed the giveaway for the Caps' first goal. I think Joe M. is in reality Redden's agent, cause he sure gave us some "homer" accounts of what WASN'T happening in the game. Tell the truth, Joe!

And I can give Rozi some slack because I've seen him fight through injury, criticism, and a lack of support over the years, but Redden? Sorry. He is taking up some major space on this roster.

I have said it for over a year now, Redden and his salary are THE problem in Rangersland. Torts is giving him every opportunity. If I'm not mistaken, Redden had the most ice time yesterday. If Torts thinks Girardi needs work, then he is blind when it comes to Redden. What is the fascination with Redden? Does a coach see it as a personal challange to "coach" a player such as Redden "back to his potential"? Facts are what they are, truth is what it is and our eyes are not failing us, we see what we see. The guy isn't worth $6.5MM and he may no longer be able to play in the new NHL. Just how many games do we have to play before the coaches see what is so obvious. Torts talked the talk about accountability. Now it's time to walk the walk, but it appears that Torts needs a seeing eye dog.

As I have been unable to see any Rangers pre-season action and can't wait until my Center Ice package kicks in on Friday, I have to depend on just reading about what's been going on. While I'm excited to finally see Gaborik, Anisimov, Gilroy, Del Zotto play, I just cringe when I read very familar words regarding Redden & Rozsival. Those words are "lazy", "fumbling", "out of position"....if that doesn't describe a continuation of their play from last season I don't know what does. Again, not seeing Aaron Voros play this pre-season, his play too sounds like a repeat of last season...I don't know what the "love affair" is with this guy is, but maybe he just plays himself off the team while Grachev gains the experience in Hartford and earns himself a shot with the big club. In his career, Voros is known as an "early" starter than fades rather quickly...he did that last season and became invisibible after the first month of the season....so maybe give him a month, a month of experience in Hartford for Grachev, and the rest will be history. Got the lounge chair and TV all warmed up for the season opener...LETS GO RANGERS !!!

I think you are being a bit unfair here and kind of stretching it a little to find a way to dig into Tortorella. I also understand the media is having a difficult transition between Renney and Torts (I'd actually say the media is having the most difficult transition compared to the organization, the players, and the fans). But you simply cannot get on him for sending Grachev to Hartford. Having him up here and buried on the 4th line would have been a bigger disgrace and I would have expected far more lengthy diatribes from all the NY media about how doing so would be ruining Grachev's development. Tortorella has also repeatedly said the roster decisions are not entirely
up to him. Voros also being on a 1-way deal means you lose him for the entire season most likely if you waive him to Hartford. Some may gladly hope for that anyway. But it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever to eliminate your options before the season even begins. There is no way that there would have been articles written praising Tortorella today for cutting Voros and burying Grachev on the 4th line. So to use it against him here is a bit of a stretch to me. It serves no purpose to make a horrible business decision like that and does Grachev a disservice to try to play him in a role for which he is not suited and in very limited minutes.

The same goes for Del Zotto. I must say I love what I have seen from him in camp. However, if he is on the bubble then he should go back to Junior. Like Grachev, if he is going to play greatly reduced minutes and/or get scratched on and off throughout the season then there's no point of keeping him here. He's a bit tougher of a call to make since Rozsival, Redden, and Semenov have not been having great camps. But realistically I think DZ needs to be in the top 6 with no doubts or back to London. They can call up Sanguinetti or Potter if they need to change things up a bit. I think Sanguinetti fits better into the #6/#7 spot than DZ. His only crime seemed to be coming to camp and playing Tom Renney hockey (well, that and the 15-lap debacle). I think he would really benefit from having Torts push him everyday, since now Bobby needs to unlearn everything he's been told since he was drafted here and get back his offensive jump.

@Paulinflorida,

Friday's game is on the NHL Network, not sure if that affects Center Ice or not.

While I must admit that I have seen only 2 pre-season games, I think I smell a Tortorelle rat in the house. To cover his butt for not stepping up and bouncing Redden, he now picks on Girardi? I have no idea what Torts "expects" of Dan, but he is not a 1st pair D'man and NEVER will be. He is a good 2nd pair guy. We saw him flatten out last season and I feel what we saw is the real Dan Girardi. Don't get me wrong, he's fine and will play a consistant defensive game, but that's all. But then again, who cares? He came out of nowhere, was free to us and we simply need to accept him for what he is, and that's not bad compaired to some of our defense. But Torts must see things differently, I guess. He sees Redden and Rozsival as his #1 pair! Well, Johnny Boy, you better hope that Hank is the world class goalie you think he is because he will need to be if you continue to give those two 23 minutes per game.

The opening night line-up will be a strong tell-tale of what you are going to be like this season. You better have 11 forwards and 7 D'men suited up. You'll have 2 D'men who shouldn't be in the NHL, 2 second line guys, two rookies and one budding superstar. So you're going to have to make the 5 good ones play most of the minutes, just to give your offense a chance. I sure hope you worked on the powerplay, you will need it. And if Voros, Redden, Rozsival, Brashear, Semenov & Kotilik take "lazy" penalties, your defense will be tested and you will lose. And don't look to the skies with your eyes wide open, this is your team, you put these guys on the ice.

I know Avery will miss the first game and maybe the second. But Voros over Grachev? Just stupid. Send Boyle down, he's not going to get what he needs in the NHL anyway. Grachev could be the swing man for Avery. Or just waive (trade) Voros, we all know what he brings...NHL experience at doing nothing. What will Semenov bring? Just a defensive Voros. Sauer or Potter should be the 7th D'man.

If Redden continues to play he usual game, I will gain respect for you IF he sits most of the remainder of the game. However, if Semenov plays his usual game, then you're down to 5...good luck. It sure is easier to talk the talk then it is to walk the walk, isn't it?

Every time I see Semenov, I think that a garbage can would make a better defenseman. You can include Rosy and Redden as well.

All this conjecture about Torts is utter BS. Hey, I like Girardi but he had some pretty bad games last year too! Wade Redden doesn't look like a superstar out there but he's certainly not the worst D on the ice(Rosy is-no kiddin'). Sure Redden is not worth all that money but that's what Slats signed him for so get over it. The contract for Rosy is even worse--5 mil for a pathetic D who shows no interest at all. Send his ass to Siberia--please! Good decision on Grachev, his ability to read and react quickly at the NHL level is not there yet and a stint in Hartford won't hurt him. He needs to get in better shape too, he looked too slow at times. A few tweaks and he'
ll back better than ever. All D make mistakes which is why you need backchecking forwards. I like Torts take no prisoners approach, makes me feel like we are getting somewhere.

Chris QCT - not so sure we'll see Sanguinetti in a Ranger uniform any time soon. While Torts did make some positive comments about him ("good kid, works hard"), he was pretty clear in the reasons that he got sent to Hartford, "everything about his game is a step behind, needs to improve on speed in all areas of the game (ie. decision making)". Doesnt sound like something that will change in the near term.

So guess Semenov will make the team, would have to think he'd accept anything that the Rangers offer him.

That one year rental of Zherdev not looking so good right now....

I have to agree with Chris here. There is no reason to eliminate all options by cutting Voros or Boyle right away when you can bring Grachev right back in a month if one of those guys stink it up. The Rangers for the first time in a long time actually have a lot of depth with guys who are NHL ready or close to it. Don't start bitching about roster decisions that have to be made in September and are easily correctable. No one has been traded, no one is gone for good. Keep your options open and give guys a chance to play their way out of their jobs before you move on to the kids.

You have to look at this season as a building process. If you can get guys like Gilroy, Del Zotto, Anisimov, Lisin, Grachev, Sanguinetti a good amount of experience over the course of this year you are building your future considerablly moving forward. Add that to a core of Staal, Lundqvist, Dubinsky, Callahan, Girardi and you have a solid 10 guys who would have been home grown buildig the foundation of your team for years (all under 30 mind you). Prospal and Higgins are on one year deals so if the young guys get it done there will be spots available in the future.

Also, just because Torts criticizes a player publicly doesn't mean his Ranger days are over. He killed Leclavier for years in Tampa. He embarressed him, stripped the C from him and called him out in the media. And he made him a better player for it long term. The media in NY is already pissed with the guy so they are going to get on him for anything and try to make any small issue into a big one. He and Brooks go back years so he is going to look to stir up trouble with Torts. Regardless of whether the press likes it or not he has an obligation to the players first, not to the media.

One thing to note here also. Tortorella's system is going to lead to more injuries than Renney's system. It's pretty much inevitable that we'll se some of these guys when you put together the new system, the condensed schedule, and Tortorella's lack of patience. If a player got cut from camp the past few seasons, we never really saw them again. But I think we're gonna get to see all these bubble guys during parts of this season....IMHO.

Girardi in not Leclavier. What you saw from Dan last year is all he has. What we saw is far, far better then anything Redden has shown. While Rozi has problems, to claim he is worse then Redden just doesn't hold water. Redden and Semenov should not be in the NHL, at least on a team that expects to make the playoffs.

If Torts is expecting a lot more from Girardi, I'm afraid we will see Dan traded. I sure hope Torts isn't setting Girardi up as his wipping boy. I never liked Tortorella because of his mouth, his BIG MOUTH. Many times what he says in public should be a locker room or an in his office comment. He gets baited by the media and just can't seem to control himself. The bench incident last year is an example of his inability to control himself. Then he has the nerve to require his team to play under control. He knows his hockey, no doubt. I hope he can outlast himself, but the NY media will have a field day with this guy if he can't keep things tight. Renney needed some of Torts passion for the attack and Torts needs some of the outward calm that Renney showed to the media.

Tortorella already criticized BOTH Roszival and Redden a couple of weeks ago for their poor showings IN camp and in the early pre-season games ... he is rightly taking Girardi to task ... I expect him to criticize Henrik if Henrik lays an egg ... what's the problem here?

Let's get real ... we all know full well that it isn't up to Torts 100% who stays and who goes, specially NOT when it comes to Sather's big UFA players ... Voros has to go through waivers to be recalled, Grachev at this point in time benefits WAY more by starting in the AHL(a move that is agreed upon by almost everyone who covers prospects) since it's believed that he'll adjust to the speed and physicality of the pro game and will most likely be back in a couple of months or after the Olympic break ... Have Roszival and Redden been bad? Yes, of course ... I'd rather never see Redden wear Ranger blue ever again, he annoys me more than Brashear being on the team BUT I'm also realistic enough to see the business side of this ... this player isn't getting waived, and neither is Roszival ... the only way out of town is through a trade and/or a buyout .. and as of right now a buyout incurs a cap hit for double the years remaining on said contract ...

so it would be understandable(and more likely) if management, and not the coach, made the decision that Redden and Roszival both get one more season to turn it around before they seriously start shopping them around and/or consider buying them out(which I'm sure it's the last thing they want to do as they would most likely want to avoid the cap hit) ...

We can all hate Redden for making Tom Poti look like Jeff Bukeboom. For all of those who hate Redden, you must distribute equal hatred for the 'mastermind' who gave him a 6 year deal at a $6.5 cap hit.

Everyone quit needs to sipping the Dolan/Sather kool-aid and wake up and realize this team will never win under Sather and pray they don't win under Dolan. Otherwise prepare for Ranger games to be like Knick and Yankee games and us die hards will be relegated to the newly rennovated, seat lessened blueseats for the 'cheap' price of $60 a ticket (but we'll have a sportsbar up there!!!!).

What Sather does is get a glutony of 2-3 players to fill 1 role and hopes 1 sticks. alla voros, rissmiller and that cbj who didn't last very long who came over with zeherdev. He did it again with prospel, kotalik as a hedge ansimiov. It's like betting 5 horses to win in a 6 horse race.

For the fans 1 of the worst thing that happened was making the playoffs.
1- It squeezes the fans' pockets even more for tickets. We knew they weren't a contender by any means. Season prices are absurd and the re-sale market for holders marking up games just to break even is more out there.

2- Making the playoffs also helped justify Sather's existence. He can go to Dolan and say "but we made the playoffs" which between the lines reads "I made you more $$$". He made knee-jerk trades at the deadline (Morris..was super wasn't he?!!?) to cover up more bone head moves from the off season (Kalnin). Where would that team have ended up if Avery hadn't done himself in?!?!


Get ready for another season of frustratring, justenoughtomakeyouwatch hockey as presented by media outlets Dolan owns.

dubi in catching up on my reading, just realized you are somewhat moving on.

even though i did not agree with you on all things (examples drury and refs out to get rangers) i still appreciate your passion for the team. also thought quite a few were way too obnoxious back in the days of everyone being allowed to post so i'm glad you put a stop to that.

good luck to you in whatever you choose to do.

In Don Maloney's continuing quest to rebuild the NYR out in Phoenix, the Coyotes signed Ryan Hollweg today.

Dubi, I have the utmost respect for you, as you know, but you seem to have a personal distaste for Torts that prevents you from seeing the big picture. Ask Prospal about Torts calling him out--for all the stories about that, Prospal wanted to play for him again. This is JT's MO, and the players know that, and you know it.

Grachev will be back up. Often. But he will also get plenty of time and leadership opportunity down in Hartford. If Voros plays like he did last year, he will not play for long. And I suspect that once Avery is healthy, Boyle will be gone.

Do I think delZotto should be up here--yes. Having watched his game, I know he is well above the ability of his junior rivals. He will bore in the junior game.

As for Redden and Roszival; Roszival has mental lapses, no doubt about it, and he has been particularly dreadful this preseason. Redden has mental lapses and terrible positioning and has been equally dreadful. But does Torts have the final say on cutting them--we all know he doesn't and so you can't blame him for Sather's foolhardiness.

G

great post by Matty above

Hey Gartner lover: most tickets are above $65 anyway, but I get your point.

I seem to remember numerous people (fans, not reporters and maybe not on this site) complaining about Renney's lack of passion and how the Rangers needed a fiery coach who would yell every so often. Now that the Rangers have that, people seem to be annoyed with Tortorella's fiery nature. hmmmmmmm.....

ntb the NYR need a coach with brains and balls. Talkerella took a timeout with 7 seconds left after an icing by the Caps in a 4-3 loss. He better not do that in the regular season, and he better be a lot smarter in the post season if he and they make it. This is another flawed roster put together by Sather & his coach. They both can't handle the fans & press getting on them, but they have no problem doing the same back.

Rangerbill- Torts has a big mouth? Who cares besides you, dubi and Larry Brooks. Mike Keenann had a big mouth too and we won a Stanley Cup that he played a big part in. I love Torts fire & passion and you can see ir rubbing off on the players in that third period against Washington on Sunday. Think a Renney team woukd have come back like that? And BTW Bill, I think Redden got a second star recently, didn't he. Has Rosy earned such an accolade? Case closed.

No problem with Grachev being sent down. Not only is he just 19 years old, but he's only played that one year of major junior in North America. I'm confident that this is a case where the seasoning and experience of AHL hockey will actually do the prospect well.

Other thoughts:

Drury better wake the hell up.

Kotalik better start skating and hitting the net - HE'S the guy who stole Grachev's spot.

I will cheer for Donald Brashear; I'll also cheer for Colton Orr if and when I see him in a box score - great guy who worked hard to improve his game and it showed...sometimes.

Let Dubi center Gaborik and Prospal; Anisimov needs and deserves the third line minutes.

Run Drury with Kotalik and Higgins (who I think we're going to love) on the second line.

Callahan and Avery with Anisimov.

Lisin is not responsible enough for more than a fourth line role yet (with Brash and - gasp - Voros/Boyle); let him get some quality time on the PP, however.

Semenov is a corpse.

Redden has been better - almost to the level of a $1.5 million defenseman.

Roszi has been awful.

Girardi will wake up when the season starts.

Gilroy and Staal could be a really good first pair.

And if Torts wants to fight with the media and create an us vs them mentality, let him do it. It's his ass on the line.

Fire Sather.

Bones - no argument from me on Torts. I actually find him refreshing as oppose to Mr. Nice Guy Renney. As for the roster descisions, let's all remember that Torts has a boss who gets the final say as to who stays. As for Redden getting a 2nd star, was that in some Midget game? ;)

I also second the motion on Matty's comments. The coach has "inherited" this team which has many flaws due to some bad player signings by his "boss".

As in any business, which this is, the "boss is the boss"...right or wrong the "boss" has a lot to say when all things are said and done. If your "boss" tells you to do something, usually one will obey because he/she is the "boss", even if you disagree..happens all of the time doesn't it?

In Tort's case, he can march into the office of the "boss" and say this player or that player has to go and can very easily be told by the "boss" that it ain't going to happen....especially when it comes to the big UFA's...right or wrong it's the decision of the "boss". To say this is "Tortorella's Team" is misleading. On the ice for any particular game it's Tort's calling the shots from the bench, but ultimately the "boss" is making the decisions off the ice.

I'm sure Tortorella had his say with the Gomez move, but that was only the "tip of the iceberg" in regards to the big contract UFA's that he inherited. Not to totally defend Tort's, but the hand of cards he got dealt was not very good was it?

Bones

Keenen was not one to take his player problems to the media. He also had Messier, along with another bunch of leader-type guys on the club. My problem with Torts is he makes too much public. This NY media loves desention in the locker room. Fuel that and this team will be dealing all season with distractions. Add to that the Olympic Games this year and there could be a firestorm in the NY media. Calling out players in the media does have it's place. I have not seen any reason to start that now. I think Torts is a very good coach and I like his strategy. I think he and Sather have built a good team. Adding a "go to" guy and building on secondary scoring was a good move. Sending Grachev down is OK, he could use the extra ice time. I think this team has the potential to go deep into the playoffs. However, New York is New York, after all is said and done. I like the fire Tortorella brings and I sure hope it rubs off on some of our players. The response we saw in Washington is good, as you point out. However, he needs to control all of this and, sadly, that is not his history. When he got here I heard him admit that he made some mistakes in TB and he has learned from them. Well, he needs to call out players, embarress them, when the time is right. The time is never right in the pre-season. The first step is to bench such a player, then if the media brings up the benching, deal with it in a low key way. If it continues (the player doesn't seem to be getting the message) then don't dress him out. If the media brings it up, THEN dress the guy down. Everybody know that Torts biggest problem is his big mouth. The media knows they can get to him. He must be the control guy. No distractions, just focus on the task at hand. Build your team, don't tear it down. He requires discipline from his players. I want to see that same discipline in his dealing with the media.

Geeez... Can we let the guy coach maybe half a season before jumping all over him?

Nothing has really even happened yet! Tortorella is the exact type of coach this team needs. Accountability, hard nosed, aggressive, straight forward. This is what we have all been screaming for around here. No matter what happens...win or lose...this season will not be boring. The team will not be standing around like pylons for long stretches of the season. Redden will not be getting the most PP time if he goes another 60+ games without a goal. The team will be allowed to forecheck and go into the offensive zone with a mandate to be hard on the puck.

He likes to test people. You want to know if Girardi has another level to his game? Well, we're gonna find out now. I have not noticed Girardi making too many mistakes. But at the same time, Torts seemed to be saying that Girardi came into camp knowing he had a spot and maybe has not given everything up to this point. He was basically the only veteran d-man that Torts had not said anything about up until then. Maybe you all should read about the relationship Keenan had with Brian Leetch. He was all over Brian just about everyday and all that led to was the Conn Smyth and Stanley Cup. Torts is going to push these guys mentally and physically. He's going to test their limits.... for sure.

I could care less if he curses out Larry Brooks everyday. The standards and core team concepts that Tortorella is bringing here are what we need.

Rich--I'm not kidding--second star! Who would have thunk it. However, on the Rosy giveaway to Laich, I thought Redden was too lax in getting back to prevent that goal which he might have been able to do if he had hustled more. I want Torts to continue to light a fire under his Ass!!!! Bill- no doubt Torts will lose it after a bad loss and say something stupid or go ballistic,however, you gotta take the bad with the good as far as Torts is concerned. The guy HATES LOSING, like all us Italianos! It'll be a little like an episode from The Sopranos.

Bones

Amen, to that! I can't wait for this thing to get started. Friday seems like a light-year away. LGR!

BONES the coach believes in free speech for himself, but not for the fans nor the media. He's uno via. He needs to Shut up & play.He can talk and brag when he accomplishes something here. Right now talk is cheap. I wish him good luck.

Rangerbill94,

What Mike Keenan are you remembering? He didn't make it public his disappointment with some of his players? Really? At one point he was so upset with Kovalev's play on the ice that he told the media that it would benefit the team if Neil Smith traded him out of town ... He took a lot of different players to task through the media, while he had very dominant player personalities on the team, he himself did a lot of the talking as well

Matty

You're right. However, his media usage was AFTER private discussions followed by more poor on-ice performances. The media should be a last resort kind of thing. No doubt, Iron mike voiced his opinion. Torts sometimes opens his mouth before he puts his brain in gear. That's my only point. Heck, you could see that when he was a commentator, even the other guys on-stage would hold onto their seats when Torts was asked a question. And everybody laughed about it!

Just read some good news. Matts Sundin has retired. I for one am greatful for that.

For all Direct TV Center Ice customers, NHL.com has an e-mail link to allow you to voice your displeasure that Comcast has cut off Direct from airing the VS channel. FYI, Comcast owns VS so by jacking up the rates to hostage levels, Direct was forced to drop the VS channel.

Bottom line, all Direct TV people will not see any VS games and be blacked out on those broadcasts.

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