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August 30, 2006



One more year...we have Shanahan for 1 year deal; do the same for Leetch. Let's give it a big run in '07, and Rachunek/Ozolinsh are terrible.

Hey if the Rangers are going to bring back legends to play then why not Harry Howell as well?

Sorry Ed but just say no, Ranger fans don't let fellow fans resign Leetch

What you all seem to forget is that Leetch @38 is still better than most d'men, and wouldn't it be nice to have an experienced point man.... Z

Leetch at 38 is better than most d-men? Says who? He isn't as defensively responsible as he used to be, his shot is nowhere NEAR how it used to be, and he spends 2/3 of the season injured. I love Leetch, but at this point I'd rather play Rachunek.

Sentimentality aside, it continues to make sense to sign Brian Leetch to a 1 year deal with potentially an option year. Please do not be fooled by the overachieving seasons that both Mailk and Rozsival had last year. With no red line anymore, Leetchie still makes that all important first pass out of the zone, which is key in the "new NHL". Power play point also needs work, what with a mixture of pointmen last year. I know he's not 29 anymore (see Chelios!!), but please do not tell me Leetch is not an improvement over Rachunek, Lampman,Richter. What better defenseman role model to work with Tyutin and at some point Sauer, Staal and Sanguinetti.

As long as "sleepy" Slats, Maloney and most importantly, Renney and Pearn lay the
groundwork, this should be a no brainer for all. If the Devils had cap room, he would already be on their roster. Let's get it done for $1.75 or $2 million!!

Also, with Jed out for awhile, my feeling is that this is Greg Moore's opportunity to seize a roster spot. He is mature, a leader and probably most suited to NHL at this point. No reason to sign a forward (who's left, Yanic Perrault?) when you have the players in your system.

By the way, I prefer Ron Harris over Harry Howell! What night are we retiring Poti's number?

Poti's number is slated for retirement on the 10th. That is, the 10th of never, which is the week after Lindros' number his hoisted to the rafters...

Joe McG...I will tell you that Leetch is not an improvement over Rachunik, Lampman or Richter. But the issue is, can any of these guys beat out the current top seven D's we already have! It looks to me that the pairings will be Malik-Rozsoval; Kasparaitis-Tyutin; Ward-Ozolinch(Pock). Bring in Leetch? Let me just point out that Rachunik's lifetime NHL stats are 0.39 Points/game and a plus 55! I'm not sure that he will even make this team. Leetch has nothing to offer. He will not be around by the time Sauer or Staal will be ready and Kaspar is Tyutin's mentor at the present time. Brian was a great player for us, but when we let him go he was no longer the player he once was. The talk between rian and the Rangers should be regarding "his night" at the garden!

Our sources have only told us that Leetch is talking with a 'NY area team'. We assumed that meant the rangers, but right now, no one's talking. What we were told is that things should be decided BEFORE camp opens

Let Leetch retire in peace...he didn't have great runs with Boston nor Toronto. Obviously they didn't keep him, with reason. No other team is really talking to him. He was a great player. He is a Ranger's legend. But he will never live up to our expectations, those immortalized in our memories of '94 and his Conn Smythe performance...thank you for your hard work and for all the memories Brian!!!

Joe McG - you can advocate bringing Leetch back all you want, but it is absolutely NOT a no brainer, as you say. The number of people who are against it attests to that.

At the risk of sounding too wishy-washy, while I'm firmly against bringing him back, I also don't think he's completely washed up either. So I'd rather they don't resign him, but if they do, I don't think he'll embarass himself or the team.

The problem as I see it is that Leetch's presence could hold other guys back, and he would inevitably take ice time away from other players who deserve it more. Also, the chord was cut a long time ago, and I think it should stay that way. Onward and upward, with no looking back, I say.

One last thing: I'm not so sure Rosival and Malik overacheived last season, as Joe McG says. Both of these guys showed talent in the past, and Malik in particular was an underrated D-man with Carolina. The rule changes last year and the overall commitment from the Rangers forwards to play team defense put Malik and Rosival in position to play up to their potential, which they did. I think you'll see more of the same this season.

I really hope they are wrong about signing someone to replace Ortmeyer. We have young, cheap kids that will gladly fill his role. Dellepina just won't quit with this Leetch stuff. I think he's going to get a percentage if Leetch signs ;-)

I'm with RangerBill on this one. Leetch is coming off a horrible/injury plagued season. He also does not seem itching to play this season. He's scoping things out from afar, taking his time, not letting his intentions be known, you don't know if he is contemplating retiring yet or not. Sound familiar? Sounds like Messier. He also has his issues with Sather. It just doesn't seem like a good idea at all.

I like the atmosphere and attitude of this team now. I think Leetch will mess that up.

With respect to Ortmeyer, let me place this on the table. Orts is a great plus to our team. He will be tough to replace. However, I see no need to "sign" somebody else out there to fill his spot. I think our starting lineup may look something like this, at last at season start. Nylander between Straka and Jagr
Cullen between Shanahan and Prucha
Betts between Hollweg and Ward
Immonen between Dawes and Hall
Extra wings: Hossa and Orr
That leaves the fourth line getting limited ice time. If they make good progress, then my hope is that Immonen will replace Cullen, the Betts line moves to fourth and Cullen centers the third line with Dawes and Hall. Ortmeyer does not need to be replaced and as for Greg Moore, if he can crack the lineup, fine. My feeling is he will need some time to adjust and Hartford is the right place for that.

Joey Crabb signed with Atlanta
Players seem to be leaving in pairs... Crabb and Rucchin in Atlanta, Grenier and Guenin to Flyers, Wiseman and Giroux to Caps, Paiement and Sparre to Boston camp ... I guess Ranger scouting has earned some respect with those teams.

You guys all have your points and most importantly, valued opinion. The proof will be in the pudding, because I still have a sneaky suspicion that if he isn't on Broadway, it will be in the Swamp, Mausoleum, or on Broad Street. Like I slightly alluded to, Chris Chelios still straps them on pretty good, even though they are 2 different types of players. Leetch has always kept himself in great shape,and Toronto still regrets not resigning him according to most fans and scribes up North. Guys, please, please re-read your comments...Rozsival, Malik, Kaspar..yikes!

Not that Leetch plays a physical game, but we are still way, way too European; especially on Blue Line.(Ward excluded) I am not saying that he would be around to PLAY with Sauer, Staal or Sanguinetti, but getting him back in the organ-eye-zation is start (see Graves).

Like I said, we shall see...he might be manning the point for one of our division rivals 8 or 9 times against us this year.It's not about "let's move on", it's a need for us, and the move should be made.And, oh by the way..if we had more John Dellapina's out there, hockey would be much better off. And why isn't he writing column in News on Sundays, as opposed to Devil lover and worst hockey satirist yet, Sherry Ross???

Happy Labor Day weekend to all...camp is on the horizon!!

Shanahan and Prucha are two players that need a set-up man. Cullen is by no stretch a feeder. He had more goals than assists last year. Would rather have Nylander between those two guys. And have Cullen centering for Jagr and Straka. Or even Straka at center. He'll set up Jagr more than Cullen will.

How about an off-the-wall idea. Sign Leetch to take Ortmeyer's place as a 4-th line wing and penalty killing forward. Limited minutes for a 38 year old. Ortmeyer was a great shot blocker, but wouldn't Leetch do a respectable job as a PK forward (not defenseman)? He's got offensive skills that might contribute from the 4-th line. WE know we have lost BOTH Moore and Ortmeyer (some are saying for the season) from a first rate PK last year. OK, probably a wacko idea, but its better than me trying out as a goalie for the NYI Jess!! Feel free to ask about how many pucks I have taken to the head....

I don't know Scott, I remember the old dynasty when they were trying to pull a rabbit from a hat and in one game in Florida, they used Leetch as a forward. I seem to remember losing the game. I can't say that I never thought about using Brian as forward but when they tried it, just did not work.
I am also intrigued that even a hint of Brian returning brings a flood of messages on the board. So much passion both for and against.
I said it before, Brian could be an asset if used sparingly, somplace about 12 minutes a game. He could also use some rest and maybe suit up for 55-60 games and leave the door open for a young buck to get some ice time and experience. That's just my opinion and as I can see on the board, we all have one. I'm sort of on the fence, if he is back I will support him and if not, I wish him well. One stipulation with that wish, No Devils, Ice-landers or Flyer's.

fauxrumors, John Dellapina is in direct contact with Brian Leetch and his agent, he named Leetch's agent as his source, and did not have to make any assumptions on which New York area team Leetch was talking to. Folks, if it seems like John is pushing this Leetch thing, the truth is, he's the only reporter who can pick up the phone and get Leetch without notice, so he's the only guy who knows what's going on from Leetch's point of view. He's a reporter -- he doesn't care who signs where, he just wants to get the scoop.

I actually did speak to Brian Leetch about 6 weeks ago and he told me they'd been talking to the Rangers at that point.

Ok can we stop with the rumors already and deal with some actual fact.

The Rangers are in serious talks to sign Lurker Kev to replace Ortmeyer. They did talk to Throwaway but his asking price according to his agent Bob Merchant chased the Rangers off.

The Rangers did announce that they have gotten a restraining order on ChrisQCT for his repeated "Resign Adam Graves" protests, it appears the final straw was Chris hanging from the Empire State Building swatting down NYPD helicopters.

Finally we are saddened to report that Dubi Silverstein has been traded by his children to the New York Islanders for a Mickey Mouse hat to be named later.

I hope that this clears everything up for all.

Actually Jess, I had demanded a no trade clause for Throwaway and they turned me down. They wanted a 2 way deal with the right to send him back to Elmira Jackals of the UHL.
I just heard a new rumor that Ed Mcgrogan has been spotted in front of the Garden selling Brian Leetch jerseys. Must mean he has the inside scoop.
Just want to set the facts straight.

Jess, I wish I could respond to your statement, but I have to wait for Mr. Wang to get back from his vacation and ask his permission.

Now, can you stop kidding around and get your darned stories in? We're going to press next week!

Now that I have gotten your attention time for the serious stuff:

Leetch: Oh please when will people stop living in the past? Leetch will be 38 and sorry to be so blunt but it is time to move on. It was this addiction to veterans on their downside of their careers that led to the 7 years of losing.

Ortmeyer: I understand people like the guy but cmon he was a 4th liner and while this will sound cruel the truth is the next energy player to come along will make Ortmeyer a forgotten man. Funny how at the end of last season Ortmeyer was seen as a man who was about to lose his job but he got sick and that was forgotten. Folks there are players like Greg Moore and Brandon Dubinsky who offer the same kind of energy BUT WILL OFFER MORE on both ends of the ice. Heck Dubinsky is going to have Ranger fans chanting Dubi Dubi Dubi just with his "take no prisoner's" attitude.

Crabb: sorry but he is not really NHL material as several others were ahead of him potential wise. I agreed with the Ranger's decision not to sign him as I believe that they need to hold a roster spot for those who will develop into legit prospects.

John Dellapina: I met him at the Entry Draft and unlike the clown who writes for the Post, Dellapina does in fact care about what is written under his name. IF he is pushing for Leetch, right or wrong I do give his info a huge amount of credibility to it.

FYI one-time NYR prospect and Wolfpack, last year and 04-05 in Charlotte,
Juris Stals is staying in Europe
(yes I know he was already off the Rangers' radar ...)
Aug 31, 2006
Juris Stals Signed with the Dynamo Moscow of the Russian League.

"I understand people like the guy but cmon he was a 4th liner and while this will sound cruel the truth is the next energy player to come along will make Ortmeyer a forgotten man."

Jess, I fully agree with you on that one. Funny, but, that's also the sentiment I had about the Moore-for-Hall swap.

Jess... What? Whan did I say we should resign Adam Graves? Was this back from the old RangerFanCentral days? ;-)

Seriously though.... Are there any other options available out there instead of Leetch? While I do not want Leetch back, we do have a glaring need for a PPQB. I think Sather and Co. would not mind having Leetch back overall. But I don't think the price would work out. I'm not sure who is left out there on the market, but I'm thinking not much or they would be taken already. I think this hole will have to be filled either through development (which is going to take some more time) or via trade. This makes Leetch attractive, but I still would not make that move.

We should've never gotten rid of Poti! (Just kidding)

Can Rosival play the point regularly on the PP? Or Tyutin? I'd take a long look at those two guys in that role in training camp.

Tyutin, in particular, to me seems like a player who would respond well to having more responsibility heaped on him, as well as getting a confidence boost from the coaching staff's show of faith.

Chris QCT

I'm with you regarding a PPQB. I see a related problem with respect to the PK and the absense of Moore and Ortmeyer. A weakened PK and a potential problem on the PP combine to represent a serious problem. My hope is that Tyutin and Pock will be able to provide some help in this area. However, they are both learning thier position in the NHL, which only adds to the problem. I believe that somewhere about 15-20 games into the season everybody will know if there is a PP problem. If it looks like the problem originates at the blueline, I think the Rangers will pull the trigger and trade for that QB. However, I will also point out that with Jagr on one line and Shanahan on the other our PP may end up just fine without a strong QB. By the way, I don't think Ozolinch is a QB type point man. A QB needs to control the play, crisp passes, good puck movement, sees the ice and sets up players. A good shot is not the only thing the QB needs to have. Again, I point to Rafalski as a great QB. I may be wrong, but Ozolinch doesn't seem to be that kind of player to me.

Our PP QB's are already on the roster. No need for Brian Leetch.

Ozolinsh may, with a full training camp, learn the Rangers system to be an effective All-Star, and do not forget that Rachunek played the point in Russia last year.

Ozo is not an improvement over Leetch, and you will miss Orts. Pock as 4th liner/spare d'man makes sense to me... Z

Ozolinsh won't be available until January at the earliest. It's also highly unlikely he ever skates for the Rangers again. And, no, there are not PPQB's on the roster already. Rozsival, Tyutin and Rachunek are not capable of running a PP. None of them have the on-ice vision, the passing ability, the ability to keep pucks in the zone, or the ability to find open space that Brian Leetch does. Leetch played on a bad Boston team last year, and was expected to be a top defenseman. He still put up more points than the likes of Tyutin or Rozsival, in 20 less games. If the Rangers sign him, pair him with Ward on the 3rd D pairing, keep his minutes around 15-18 a night and nowhere near the PK, you get an upgrade over Poti, who he's essentially replacing. And, considering that the likes of Staal, Sauer, Baranka and Sanguinetti are at least a year away from making the Rangers, I don't see this as a step away from the current process.

Right on jas!!!..Tommy G> Ozolinsh???? are you guzzling Latvian "hootch". Man how quick we forget. This guy's a mess. He needs to be back playing in Europe or "buried" in Charlotte. He totally threw off team chemistry, and started "stick handling stuttering" whenever in front of MSG crowd.While a one time All-Star defenseman,with no defensive skills whatsoever, this would be the biggest mistake of a rebounding Sather regime, if he ever dons a Blueshirt jersey again. It took us time to realize Poti mistake, now please, let's not make same mistake with "Bozolinsh"!!

Joe McG; no matter how right you are regarding Ozolinch, you're still all wrong with respect to Leetch. As I said before, we may not need a PPQB, time will tell. The best candidates for that roll are Tyutin and Pock. Frankly, Pock played with more poise in the few games he did play than Tyutin did (just didn't get to see him enough to make a determination). If it looks like a PPQB is necessary by game 15 or so, the Rangers have enough assets to be able to trade for someone to fill the role. I'm not advocating a trade, I think we have what we need in the organization, we just have to wait for it to come into its own.

RB94: At least we agree on Pock. I feel he has what it takes, and even though a converted forward, a tad bit better defensively than Poti ever was.An Austrian that plays more of a North American game due to his college days at U Mass.I'll let up a bit on Leetch and let chips fall where they may. Training camp about 11 days away, there's always a possibility that someone will really stand out and surprisingly make the team and improve the backline...Sauer, Staal, Girardi, Baranka??

Let's all put any and all Ozolinsh talk to rest, and if he's still in the area, watch yourself crossing the streets in White Plains!

Can't sit on my hands anymore. Love, respect and value all the comments of true Rangers fans, but....Kasper, Bozolinsh & Rachunek are accounting for 7.818 million dollars in the day and age of the salary cap in the NHL. Hate to start out using the money thing, but look around the league, and that figure gets you a PPQB and/or a respected defensive defenceman that would even make Nick Fotiu look around in front of the net. Sorry, but Kasper does not put too much fear into opposing forwards unless they are rookies w/ thier heads down. Love what he has done for the locker room and the young players developing. That alone can make up for his 3.26+ mil salary if he can stay healthy and out of the box when throwing a solid check. As for Ozolinsh and Rachunek... I almost feel bad that I put Rachunek in the same sentence. Here it is, and JoeMcG I'm with you all the way on this one, and not to say that rb94 your points are not good ones, but the only player on the roster at the moment that can be trusted "QBing" the power play is Pock - think about that. I would love to see the player that Tyutin can become on the point with a player like Leetch sitting next to him in the locker room, instead of the player that could have lead the league in minus short handed assists if not for a certain rookie from Sweden!! All the other comments about Leetch were a blast to read, but come on...taking over for Ortmeyer or waiting for the first 15 games or so then going out and getting what we would all hope to be a player of Leetch's caliber to man the point. Bottom line; we need a proven defensive leader, and one that has Ranger Blue running thru his veins might just be a darn good place to start. Not having to do it with a trade in mid season giving away god knows what Slats is pissed off at the moment with, but with the money we could save on imported Russian vodka (and warning posteds in White Plains!). As for all Rangers fans, let's hope that Malik & Rozsival can repeat thier play from last year... maybe get a little nastier!! Bring Leetch back, in the end give him his night as we all will be cheering for his stellar career (even you forgetting nay-sayers), and on that night thank him for passing on his knowlegde to Mr. Tyutin, Mr. Staal, Mr. Pock, Mr. Sauer & Mr. Sanguinetti.

Hey B21 - I'm a naysayer about bringing Leetch back, but I don't forget how great he was. So don't go there, because it's insulting.

Hey, back at cha Kev - No insult implied here at all. If you don't want me to go there then you probably should not have referred to yourself as being wishy-washy. All of us true Ranger fans that take the time to share our thoughts of our beloved team, have a common goal - and that is to see them 'stay' competitive in the greatest sport in the world. As for how each individual feels here about a particular player - or in the case of #2, a spectacular player - is to each's own opinion which I value greatly. We have all been longing for our franchise to delevlope it's youth to get that feeling back of the player that we can call "True Blue", rather than be acused all over the league as buyers. We see these players that "our team" has developed as "our kids" out there. Your point was that Leetch would take valued icetime away & hold back..... exacly who? See my above comments and add with that that the course the team is taking in the development within, I don't fear bringing back Leetch at all due to the things this team is missing at the moment are the things we are looking for in a player to lead, teach and "QB" our power play. So, if you think putting Ozolinsh,Rozsival or Rachunek out there on the power play taking is not taking up valued icetime (let's put a number on that - 2 minutes), or holding back what I am going to presume is "our youth", then yes, I can relate to you using the term wishy-washy. No offense intended here my True Blue friend, but what they could use is up for grabs in the form of Brian Leetch for nothing - think about that and what the altenative could be. Kev, I love your insights, but this one, in my opinion, is way off - the insulting comment that is.

You make a compelling case for bringing back Leetch, B21, but there's another factor in all of this that you didn't really touch on. Putting aside for the time being the issue off whether Leetch is still quick enough to be an asset (since I haven't watched him play day-in, day-out, I'll withhold judgment on that), there's still the issue of how his return would affect the dynamic of the current team. LurkerKev used the phrase "wishy-washy" in an earlier post, and you pounced on it, but the truth of the matter is that there is more to this decision than the on-paper analysis you provide. Even if you're correct that, practically speaking, Leetch is the best option available to fill certain Ranger needs on defense, he's still "Brian Leetch" and, as with "Keith Hernandez", there are things that go with that name. Without in any way slighting the extraordinary contributions Leetch made to this organization, the team took steps last season toward forming a new identity, and there is a legitimate concern that re-introducing Leetch into this mix might disrupt things. You and others may well think these concerns are too abstract to matter, or that Leetch's value would override them. But this isn't a clear-cut issue, and I think these are concerns that do need to be addressed and factored into any decision involving Leetch's return; to that extent I stand with the wishy-washy one.

Thanks Throwaway. I agree wholeheartedly with your last post, and really couldn't have said it any better myself.

This whole thing is such a tough call, which is why I used the phrase "wishy-washy." Which I hate, because I'm a New Yorker, damn it, and EVERYTHING has to be black or white! :)

All jokes aside, I can definitely see the argument for bringing Leetch back, and B21 presents a solid one. But I can't help thinking that the ship has sailed, and resigning No. 2 will be a sign that management hasn't learned its lesson about creating a new identity for the present and the future. (Bringing Dvorak back would send the same bad message, IMO.)

On another note - B21, I honestly wasn't trying to pick a fight, but I said your previous post was insulting because you in fact DID insult the people who don't support Leetch's return by saying they "forgot" how great he is/was. Nothing could be farther from the truth, and it's not right to accuse fellow fans of not knowing their history because they disagree with you. But I realize you may not have meant to be as harsh as you originally sounded, so I won't hold it against you. We're all cool here. (Well, except maybe for Jess. What a crank!)

Lurker Kev

If I was you I would be a lot nicer to me otherwise I might be forced to post those pictures of you wearing something that is Orange, Blue and has loser written all over it.

LurkerKev: never took it as picking a fight, and I truly value your opinoins. I just hope that you are not referred to now as the wishy-washy one. As we all know, those are the people that tend to show up 8 minute into the game and are leaving with 9 minutes to play (children in tow does not count). As for the Leetch debate, Throwaway is right on with the fact that it is not a clear cut issue. The fact remains that we need a seasoned and respected leader on the point. I would hope that, in my opnion, Leetch is the perfect choice for this team at this point in Ranger history, not because he is going to hurt the psyche of what the Rangers used to be, but help what the organization has become for the future. What all Ranger fans can finally agree on is that we now have a "farm" to go and get our players from, and a coach that has installed a system and team unity that the players are willing to fight for. With that said, I truly believe that bringing Brian Leetch back would not be the suicide move that it would have been in the past. It is the right move for all the right reasons, for a Ranger "team" that Leetch has never been associated with. Again, "forgetting" was never meant to be an insult, but merely a shot at all of the negative opinions of what Leetch is thought to have become since he left. We will all be there when #2 is raised to the rafters, hopefully with final thoughts of him passing the cup to Henrik rather than hanging up the phone in a hotel room in route to Toronto.

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