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July 28, 2006

Comments

I just read Greenstein's article for the first time just now, I wish a trade like that could actually happen. I would do that in a heartbeat, but its so one-sided I'm not going to hold my breath.

One trade I would like to float for the board:

Buffalo Sabre RW Maxim Afinogenov

He may be available due to the Sabres cap problem and all of the remaining arbitration cases still pending. I would trade them Prucha and another prospect to get him. Any thoughts???

Based on Maxim's numbers from last season vs Prucha's and how much money they both make(or who knows what the arbitrator will award Maxim, in the end he will be more expensive than Prucha is at this moment) ... where do you believe that trading Prucha AND a prospect for him is a good deal for the Rangers to make?

Prucha for Afinogenov? No way. Have you watched Afinogenov play, or are you going by stats only? He can be one of the most frustrating players in the world to watch, because he's super fast and puts on some amazing moves, but NEVER seems to finish. Fans got on Sykora in the playoffs for not finishing, I can only imagine the reaction they'd have to Afinogenov. Plus he's streaky and has occassionally been accused of not putting in his best effort every night. Don't get me wrong, he's not the worst player the Rangers could pick up, and he can be really fun to watch, but he's certainly not worth Prucha, nevermind Prucha and a prospect.

Afinogenov’s NHL goal totals:

16 in 65 games as a rookie
14 in 78 games
21 in 81
5 in 35
17 in 73
22 in 77

He’s a shifty dude, but he can’t finish. And he’s about to turn 26.

I’ll take Prucha.

30 in 68 and about to turn 24.

Angry, just about summed it up...

Prucha is a finisher, Afinogenov is far from that.

To all-

I floated this trade because I think that Afinogenov has finally arrived with this past breakout season. Yes, in the past he could drive one crazy with his inconsistent play and uneven effort. However, watching him play last season, I thought he really began to put it all together. The reason that I prefer him to Prucha at this point is simply his size. I believe his skills are very similar and comparable to Prucha, but he is a couple inches talller and THIRTY pounds heavier while still having GREAT speed and elusiveness.

Don't misunderstand, I LIKE Prucha, I'm just not sure that he will be able to withstand a full NHL season at 162 .lbs. Afinogenov is much bigger and stronger and I do not see that changing much as Prucha ages. He really does not have the body type to add much weight.

Angry-

Thanks for the small stat sheet. Just curious, did you only list goal totals for Afinogenovs career to hide the fact that he had 51 assists last year? Assists are an important stat. What really jumps out at me is how with the exception of one year he has been VERY durable. Maxim really blossomed in the new NHL and I would expect at least point per game production with the Rangers, plus a valuable shootout option for the Blueshirts.

IMO I think that Afinogenov is the better player, thats why I suggested this trade. By the way, I should have clarified in my earlier post that it should be a mid-level prospect with Prucha in the trade.

No harm, no foul TommyG...

I think it would only be fair to allow Prucha a 2nd full season before we really try to compare his potential/abilities to more experienced players.... Right now he's a very cost effective goal scorer for us... We should be reluctant to cap his skill/effectiveness after only one NHL season and just 13 minutes per game of ice time (if anything that makes his accomplishments that much more impressive).

Devils hire Claude Julien as the coach. Is it me or does it just seem that the Devils are in love with former Canadiens?
Lemaire, Robinson, Burns and now Julien.

"Just curious, did you only list goal totals for Afinogenovs career to hide the fact that he had 51 assists last year?"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

No, I didn't even think to look at assists. In fact, that 51 surprised me. Really came out of the blue. Here are his assists:

18 in 65 as a rookie
22 in 78
19 in 81
6 in 35
14 in 73
And 51 last year in 77 games.

any chance of this chat being done in a more organized matter?

perhaps using PalTalk? or another chat software?

just would make it easier to follow if you ask me.

Jess-

How do the Ranger brass really feel about Jessiman? He is clearly nowhere near the level of a Dawes or Immonen at this stage, Do they think they have a guy who could be a player, or not? Just the limited amount Ive seen him he looks big but tentative, not all that aggressive or fast. Im not sure he has the raw goods. What do you think?

PGHas

I have been told by a couple of folks within the Rangers that while they have not given up on Jessiman that "there is concern regarding his development".

Now you know I was opposed to his selection due to my time over at the NYTRF but I think he is also hurt by the new rule changes and has been equally as slow to adapt to them. It is no longer the huge power forward game anymore so it remains to be seen how he will develop (and how the Rangers will find a use for him) over the next couple of years.

I am not going to label him a bust just yet but IMO he faces challenges from Dupont of Calgary and Cliche (who is getting serious raves for his performance at the Canadian WJC camp). Both players are expected to have monster seasons for their respective junior teams this year.

I did favor Dupont over Cliche but nowadays I think both players are almost dead even with the only edge being that Dupont plays for Kelly Kisio who is a solid teacher.

Any possibility you will consider changing the name of your monthly broadcast? While it is a general term, I find it a bit unoriginal. Among other things, the FourthPeriod.com is a very widely known website. While I'm not claiming they have the trademark, TFP and Blueshirt Bulletin readers deserve a better named segment. Please consider some different naming options.

There has been a lot of "trade Prucha" type talk. To be honest, I really don't understand what the problem with Prucha is. He socred 30 goals, costs us almost nothing, he hustles, and most important, is Jagr's little pet project. I know we talk a lot about chemistry, but I feel that any trade with Prucha has to come hand in hand with it's effect on Jagr. Jagr loves the kid, they're roommates, and has quite possibly the most fragile ego in the world.

That being said, if we trade prucha, there had better be a doozy of a one sided deal on the table. Otherwise I'd say he's untradable.

Jagr aside, he's also untradable because he's the face of the rebuilding Rangers just like Lundqvist. If we trade him before he shows himself to be to small to be durable in the NHL, then the fans will lose faith in the rebuilding Rangers.

All of that nonsense aside, for cripes sake the kid just had a 30 goal rookie campaign. He can finish. How about we let him show us otherwise before we kick him to the curb. I mean, come on, the kid hasn't even developed into the first line player he may turn into yet. Give him time.

TRADE...TRADE...TRADE!!! We are rebuilding, right or did I miss something? I guess "trade fever" always hits in the off-season. Until the Rangers pull the trigger on something, I'm just going to look forward to the upcoming season.

I am open minded to a different name if you come up with one...just let me know...

Completely agree organgedan... I truly can't believe that people are ready to cap off a rookie's potential after just 1 season...

If people were concerned about Moore's trading sending a bad signal to prospects, what kind of message would a Prucha trade send? Not a good one. We have quite a few smallish forwards in the works... The last thing we want them thinking is that their size is going to seal their fate despite their production.

If people are wondering why there is all this talk about trades then they need to point the finger at their fellow fans.

So many a Ranger fan has gotten the idea that the team isthisclose to being a cup contender that they are more than willing to sell off a Prucha or most of the prospects. It seems that only Lundqvist is untradeable for Ranger fans.

To be brutally honest I for one think the worse thing to happen to the Rangers was all the winning early last season. It created a false sense that the Rangers were fixed and because of that the support for rebuilding started to disappear.

Had the Rangers been a close to 500 or less then nobody would be talking about trading a Prucha or even a Montoya. All we would be talking about is how year 2 of the rebuild is going on.

The early winning last season was NOT a bad thing, Jess. It was a very valuable experience in the type of team-effort and commitment necessary to win. The team came together beautifully, and the success was well-deserved. If ill-advised trades are now made, if for some unfathomable reason management is looking to part with a player like Prucha, then that is not the fault of the fans, Jess; to me, that would signal, quite frankly, that management just doesn't know what they're doing. Let's hope that's not the case.

Throwaway

Hate to say this but ill-advised trades were in fact made during last season like the ones for Sykora and Sandis. In neither case were the youth given a shot which supposedly a rebuilding team does.

Sorry Throwaway but I will disagree because that winning and team building would have been much more valuable if they had the Rangers had found ways to get some of the prospects were given just a taste of the NHL?

BTW Throwaway it has been decided to trade you to Columbus for a couple of younger fans and a bimbo cheerleader to be named later. Thank you for your service as a Ranger fan but the fan base needs to get younger and more bimboish. You do understand I hope

Folks, I am very surprised that nobody has commented at all about the news in Uncle Larry's column today.

Marcel "Don't call me Marion" Hossa rejected a 2 way deal for $650K. Apparently he is threatening to take his 10 goals and inconsistent effort overseas if we don't sign him. As far as I know the CBA in it's current form does not include teams actually buying the ticket for the player to leave does it? Bye-Bye...

Michael Roszival apparently had a deal in place with the team and then renegged on it. According to Uncle larry the deal was $5.7mm for 3 years (that's $1.9mm per for those of you mathematically impaired). While I think his rejection of arbitration was a VERY huge mistake, I do beleive that when you make an agreement you should sign it. If he's discovered that others are getting far more with to some degree lesser stats then he should have considered that and gone to arbitration. But he made an agreement and should have stuck to it. I say we vote him off the island (of Manhattan that is).

Also in other interesting news, The Bruins have issued number 22 to someone else. To me that spells the end of Leetch in yellow and black. I would not be at all surprised if a press conference is called and announcing that Leetch has decided to skate with the "Michael Bolton Figure Skating Tribute Show coming soon to an arena near you. That of course would come after he agrees to a $2mm 1 year deal with the NEW YORK RANGERS!

I have no problem with Leetch coming back if he is going to skate in the 10-15 minute a game range and take on a mentoring role for the young guys. If he still thinks he's a top line D-Man he's kidding himself. From a Rangers POV, he was alousy Captain, but perhaps at this point in his career he's ready to assume the teacher role a little more. He's certainly an upgrade from Ozo, but then Jess skating on the blueline is an upgrade over Ozo except I think they would both have a tough time staying sober to do it.

Now, one last thing. You have to look at signing Leetch 3 ways. Emotionally, what is good for the team and business-wise. From an emotional point of view, even the folks that are saying to let him go have to agree that it would just be poetic justice to have him come home to finish his career. He is still incredibly well loved by the faithful and would be a great thing to see...again from an emotional point of view.

Team-wise, there are great arguments to be made from both sides about it. There are certainly good reasons to bring him back IF he understands and is willing to take the role that he would be needed in. However, there are equally strong arguments to be made to stop living in the past and let a young guy take the spot. The problem from that argument is who, besides Tommy Pock who many argue that he still needs more time in Hartofrd to learn the position from a defensive standpoint, are ready. If you think that Marc Staahl has even a slight chance of making this team you are so very wrong. It means taht you have not seen him play and are just going off of hype. I've seen him play and I've spoken to people in the know and it is universally agreed that he is not nearly ready yet. He's probably 2 years away. Most likely, he plays next season back in Juniors and the following season in Hartford and then on to NY. In the play-offs with Hartford he looked really bad and was benched for a couple of the games because he was just getting outplayed all over the place. I saw a couple of them in person and Dubi has a harder shot from the point than Staahl does. So who takes that role?

From a business point of view, IF Leetch and Slats can put their differences behind them, it is a win-win from a business point of view like I said. The gate to see Leetch back in red, white & blue would be supre for the first part of the season and even though every pair or better season ticket is sold for the coming season, it would probably sell out hte rest of the arena. That is good for the Dolans and it gives the marketing department something to build on.

MY opinon...I'm an emotional and sentimental person and in spite of the overwhelmingly strong (and probably correct) arguments against bringing him back, I would like to see it. I like Brian personally very much. he's been extremely nice to me all three times I've spent a significant amount of time with him. Like I said, all of you ready to chop off my head for saying it, I know what your arguments are and what they will be and you're probably right, but my heart would like to see it happen.

Be sure and join us on the 4th for a great chat coming up. It is going to be a blast. BTW, I'm still open to name changes of the event...

I think its safe to assume that Sather and Leetch have put their differences behind them. They have been talking, no question about it. The question is do the Rangers want Leetch back, aqnd frankly, as Mitch said, does Renney have the self-control to keep him at the 15 minutes a game he should be playing, and beyond which he'll likely get less efective. He certainly would be better than OZO, both on the ice and off it from both fan and team perspectives.

Again, these are discussions that really center on where the Rangers' prospects are in their development. If guys are 2 years away, then we need to buy time, and while we have the best player in the world, let's be competitive and make good use of that time.

I have only one question -- who is Uncle Larry, and is he related to Uncle Moe and Uncle Curly? Oh wait, that's two questions. Never mind.

Mitch, no argument, you just took a ditto page from my book. I said a few days back that Leetch is an asset if used about 15 minutes a game. Before anyone gets their thong stuck in the wrong places, lets see if the above mentioned Mitch Beck comments actually happen. I do think a requirement may be Ozo packing a bag for this scenario to actually happen.
Maybe I still get some use from my number 2 jersey after all?
PS, I have a report that Ed McGrogan is salivating, someone please clean up his chin. :)

Mitch Beck did a nice job summarizing the pros and cons of bringing back Leech. Intellectually, I suppose some arguments can be made in favor of it. Ultimately, though, my gut tells me it's a bad idea, that it would be a return to the past at a time when we need to continue to move forward.

Oh, and Lurker, when we meet up for that brew, Jess isn't invited.

Mitch-

Something for you to consider: When Leetch was Captain of the Rangers, or even when he played last season for the Bruins, which young d-man did he tutor and make into a better player?

I am a HUGE Brian Leetch fan, but I honestly cannot remember him working with young Mattias Norstrom, Kim Johnsson, Eric Cairns, Tomas Kloucek etc. over the years. Leetch was an on-ice leader, but not a "teacher". Ulf Samuelson and Darius Kasparitis are two players that come to mind that worked and stayed late after practices with the young guys. Not Leetch, he was usually off the ice with Richter and/or Messier. Thats not a knock on the guy, it just wasn't his role for us.

I'm not sure he can just make peace with Sather, and then become a defensive player/coach for the young up-n-comers for our blueline. Thats why IMHO we have a night for #2 and raise him up to the rafters, but thats it...

Mitch

First off when it comes to credibility the "Slap Shots" report in the Sunday Post is all too tyically non-existent. What Brooks says about player movement has to be taken with a grain of salt because as even Brooks was quoted as saying "I like to stir things up" and for a writer in my eyes that is very dangerous while also possibly damaging.

As for a return of Leetch sorry but unless it is for him to retire (meaning sign and hang the skates up) then NO WAY JOSE.

I understand the emotional attachment to Leetch as Leetch is the last remaining piece of the 94 Cup team. It is a link to good times and someone who was a huge part of the NYC hockey scene for so long.

But sadly it is time to put Leetc where he belongs which is up in the rafters with the other retired heroes of ours. It is time to look ahead for the answers as to how to reach the promised land again not look back.

Yes Staal is not ready to play but what about Bryce Lampman, Ivan Baranka or Tom Pock? Any of them could be NHL ready but resign Leetch and forget about them getting a shot. Even worse it would also give the signal that it is ok to move one or more of those 3 since Leetch is here taking their ice time.

I also have to agree with TommyG that Leetch has never been a mentor as a player so his value as a teacher is non-existent.

Throwaway, good news bad news, good news is Columbus changed their mind and backed out of the trade. Bad news is that the Elmira Jackals of the UHL have agreed to take you on as a fan PROVIDED the Blueshirt Bulletin agree to pay for a behavior bond (Dubi is not happy having to ante up a 1.50 for you BTW).

The Jackals have asked that you wear their costume when attending their games so please send them your size.

my opinion - no trades, no more over-30 guys - let's just sign our pending Restricteds and prospects, and start camp.
There is no urgency for NYR to make any moves yet, we don't really know where the holes are yet. Some teams with tough cap situations may need to make 'bad' trades as openning night approaches, and we'll know better if/what we need.

TommyG and Jess:
I'd like you to think of one thing for a moment when it comes to the statement that you made about Leetch not being a mentor or a good Captain. First, I agree Brian is NOT a captain. It's not in his personality. He leads on the ice and that's it. However, you do bring up a good point about his mentoring other young players back then. If I'm not mistaken, wasn't that 10 years ago that we are talking about? Wouldn't that have made Brian 28 years old himself? If we are both in agreement that he was NOT a good captain and that he leads on the ice and not really off of it AND he was out socializing with Richter and mostly Messier, isn't it safe to say now that he is no longer a young player, his running mates are no longer around and even he recognizes that his role has changed because he sees the clock ticking down on a Hall Of Fame career that he MIGHT be more inclined to nurture that role now? I'm not saying with 100% certainty that he would, but it is 100% logical to assume that he knows that because if you've spent any time with him, and I have, you know that he is VERY smart and VERY aware of his strengths and weaknesses.

Secondly, Jess your 3 examples of potentially ready players is highly suspect. Bryce is a very good pal of mine and he has basically spent the last 2 years injured. He had a VERY serious shoulder surgery and is trying to come back from it. Does he have the POTENTIAL to be an NHL guy? 100% yes. He is almost 100% guaranteed that he is going to be in Hartford this year. He lost a ton of weight and again, hasn't really played much in almost 2 years.

Ivan Baranka is a player I REALLY like. The problem is he is extremely inconsistent. He also spent the final part of the year injured and had to have major reconstructive surgery on his hand after gettting into a fight and breaking it really badly puching a guy's helmet and missing a punch altogether and punching the glass. I think he is certainly going to get a look in camp, but I think he is going to be in Hartford this year too.

I won't even go into Tommy Pock because I've stated how I feel about him tons of times.

The bottom line is that these 3 will probably see SOME limited action this year as call-ups for spot games to see how they handle the next level but none of them are ready yet. Signing Brian Leetch to a 1 year deal would NOT in any way, shape or form hamper their development because none of them are ready yet. Someone has to play that role for one year. Why not Brian? All of what you will say about Brian...he's slowed a step or two, he's injury prone, he isn't tough d-wise anymore are all 100% true. On the other end of the spectrum, he does know how to win, he still is excellent making the first pass, and he is a VERY positive presence and as much as you might hate to admit it, bringing a little piece of team history along with him to these other guys is not a bad thing.

One last thing, before you go and lop off my head for suggesting bringing Brian back, I am not 100% sold on the idea myself. As I stated, it's mostly an emotional decision on my part but there are arguments to be made, and good ones at that, supporting the decision to bring him back. There are also equally good arguments against it. What it will boil down to is his role and playing time and ultimately if he would accept a smaller deal and smaller playing time.

I would not at all be surprised if we learn the answer to this question this week.

Stay tuned...

Bob - I would amend that to "foaming at the mouth"...things seem to be closing in...

Jess, Uncle Larry just reported that Throwaway threatened to retire if traded and will join the ranks of the Russian elite league.

Just say no to Rucinsky.

Mitch:

Thanks for entertaining some alternate names opposed to "4th Period". Off the top of my head, here are a few:

6th Avenue Review
From the Blueseats (or From the Stands)
Blueshirt Shootout

Number Themed:
From the 400s
Blueshirt 4 on 4
Double Minor Drill (4:00 Drill)

Again, I appreciate your willingness to hear alternatives. I'll spitfire a few more out if you don't like any of the above. Thanks again.

Hey, here's an idea why don't we let one lucky new subscriber pick the name each month. There's an idea that Dubi can get behind I'm sure.

Then you should name it the monthy "$30 Telegram"

Bob

Uncle Larry is wrong as the Russian Elite League is paying the BB 75 cents to keep Throwaway Malakhov.

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