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September 27, 2006

Comments

If only Dawes was to be given a chance in the NHL this season.... such a shame Renney is against playing the young guys

and the winners can show off the award to their teammates in Hartford.

Dubi, it was so interesting to read the story on www.nhl.com about ice hockey in Australia. I already knew that they are powerhouses in field hockey but ice hockey in this part of the world ?????? It is quite amazing isn´t it !!!

And you are saying about a rink in Singapore ??? I ve been probably three times to Singapore and this place is so hot so humid and the last sport you thinking about there is playing a puck on an ice rink !! I am going to Australia on December 29 th and on my return trip I will make a stopover in Singapore and I will try to find the location of this rink...Can´t even believe that :):) Overall I am so excited to come back to Australia after twelve !!! years now and meet my beloved friends (koalas !!!) :):)

Now my usual question : Is there any coverage from tonights game via Internet, probably live scoring and player stats on www.nhl.com ??? I heard that Brendan Shanahan will be rested tonight with some slight groin problems.. ! Would really like to know if the Rangers will play with a near line up close to opening night in one of the remaining preaseason games ???? I can´t even understand that JJ didn´t get the chances to test his schoulder in a real game and giving him the chance to get his timing before starting the regular season !!!

"If only Dawes was to be given a chance in the NHL this season.... such a shame Renney is against playing the young guys"

Yeah, I mean, Dawes is still in camp, which means he's guaranteed to go back down, right.

And Renney was so against playing Prucha, Moore, Hollweg, Hossa, et al last season!

I think some folks may be overlooking the genuine opportunity that will lead to NHL games for the kids. Unlike past years, we start the season with at least 2 open roster spots, Ort's and Ozo's. In the past, we had every spot filled and moreso with Vets, so only once the injuries occurred did we add youth. Rosi wont be back so fast, so thats a 2d D spot.
Even if only 1 of Dubinsky, Immonen, Dawes, Moore and Korpikoski are here next Thursday, I truly expect to see alot of all 5 during the season, and a couple to evolve into regulars. And I do think getting top-2-lines minutes in Hartford is valuable development in the near-term. that's my opinion...

Sorry, but I think whether or not a player benefits from playing in Hartford depends on who that player is. Korpikoski, Girardi, Baranka and even Dubinsky have spent almost no time at even the AHL level, so while Dubinsky looks ready to make the jump and probably could, all of those guys might in fact benefit more from playing large minutes in Hartford. However, Dawes, Immonen and Pock have all proven themselves at the AHL level and probably have very little left to gain by playing another year in Hartford - in fact, I would suyrmise that what Dawes and Immonen and Pock need to develop into NHL players - good ones at that - is loads of playing time at the NHL level. I would love to see Dawes get top-six forward minutes, Immonen centering the third line, and Dubinsky centering the foiurth. unfortunately none of that will happen, and part of that is because there are too many vets, but part of it is also Renney's "that's that" attitude about certain players like Marcel Hossa, who if he was considered on a level field with Dawes and Immonen would have been sent the way of Balej long ago. Instead, he gets repeated opportunities to show us he can't really do anything like his brother does, or anything at all.

And of course in the post game interview, despite how well Immonen, Dawes, and Dubinsky played, whose name emerged from Renneys mouth first as to who he thought played well?

"Hossa played a really strong game."

Really? I never noticed. Ever.

Just remember who told folks about Dawes and Dubinsky first and where you can find this kind of info every month:

http://ordinaryleastsquare.typepad.com/subscribe/

Next issue I will tell you guys who to keep an eye on this season and why as Dubi is letting me do a new feature which I have not named (any suggestions from the readership is gladly welcomed) but will be a report on all the prospects.


Didn't think Dawes played well at all. Immonen was ok. Dubinsky played well.
Dawes has mostly played himself back to Hartford.


You need to remember that taking Hossa, not even 25, off this roster is sending him away from the team. Do you really think Dawes looks NHL-ready enough to banish Hossa? Hossa has shown good defensive ability and good powerplay ability, and is nearly impossible for anyone to knock off the puck. Sure, he has squat for finishing ability (I'd say this means he belongs in the AHL, but people don't like that), and he's good but not great defensively.

But he's contributing more to the team than I think Dawes is ready to.


But if, in December, Hossa is still failing to score and Dawes is lighting up the AHL, guess what will happen? See ya, Marcel, hello Nigel. Guaranteed. But the team isn't ready to give up on Hossa because he looks like a solid two-way second liner waiting to happen. He deserves another month or two.

Personally I think three months to a year in the AHL will teach him to score and score decently well. I just doubt it will happen for us.

Jess:

I hope you don't mind my throwing in my two cents, but how about something like "Gold Mining" or "Mining for Gold" or "Treasure Hunt" Considering your role with this publication as "The Prospector" it might be appropriate.

Pghas:

I was going to write the very same thing. How in the world after the game the other prospects had that he can point out Hossa when he was virtually invisible the entire game makes no sense. If Renney was on the ball, don't you think Hossa would have at least been one of the 3 Stars of the game? I guess the old saying applies. You know the one I'm talking about right? The one that says, "Love is blind."

All:

I don't know about you and what you are witnessing, but it seems like a repeat of last year that Straka cannot seem to buy a goal when given an opportunity. I hope he can find the scoring touch soon.

I thought this was a very important game because as a long time fan, you have to feel great that this team is going to be good for a long time. Time to start squirreling away the money now for play-off tickets...

"Do you really think Dawes looks NHL-ready enough to banish Hossa?"

Yes. Absolutely. Hossa is tough to knock off the puck in the few games that he shows up to play. And then he is unable to set anyone up, unable to get off a decent shot, and unable to score. Montreal knew they had nada with him. We've now awarded the guy 65 NHL games or so, and he's produced squat. What Nigel Dawes still has to gain at the AHL level is nothing. Think Marcel would light up the AHL the way Dawes did?

And by the way, we wouldn't lose Hossa. Sure he'd have to clear waivers. And he would, easily.

I don't know, nothing I can say will convince someone who wants to believe the coach. What is the point of developing talent and letting it rot in the AHL. Personally, as much respect as I have for Betts and Ward, I think even those guys should be looking over their shoulders at Dubinsky, Dawes and Immonen. I used to think Prucha wa destined to be here last year and Renney was just trying to motivate him. now I'm startnig to think those of you who said Renney lucked into findnig this kid were right.

I wonder if the organization is polishing up the, um, apple that is Hossa, in order to facilitate a deal. Of everyone on the ice tonight, Hossa did the least.

Jess

Again, you are revealed to be a seer and a prophet. Hollweg is getting time at 4th line center, (as you pointed out earlier in the summer). I think the combination of Hollweg, Orr and Moore make for a very good energy 4th line. In fact, unless the organization feels that Dubinsky's development won't be hurt getting 4th line minutes, and prefers to send him to 1st line center in Hartford, Hollweg might very well be the best option for 4th line center. Which makes the whole Dubinsky vs. Immonen debate that's flared up around the Ranger fandom somewhat moot.

I'd love to see Immonen centering the third line and Dubinsky centering the fourth line. Both kids would provide more upside than Betts.

If Renney legitimately believed what he said about Hossa after the game, then we may be nearing the point where we have to question his ability to evaluate players.

Dubinsky looked the best of the kid forwards tonight. Like Korpikoski the other night, he looked quick on the transitions and strong on the puck, which is what's needed to succeed in today's NHL. I'd love to see a line with those two playing together for the varsity, and I'm prepared to be a little more patient waiting for it -- I just hope those making the decisions are up to the task.

But most important of all tonight: how about that Henrik?!

I'm hoping that this award tonight is a consolation prize, the Miss Congenialty trophy,if you will. I find it hard to believe that Dawes had the best Camp, unless Camp and PreSeason are exclusive of each other.

Dubinsky, Orr, Moore and Immonen have all outplayed Dawes in the preseason games I have been to. Who is MSG trying to kid here?

MHurley

The Lars-Erik Sjoberg Award is voted upon by the writers.

With all this talk about Dawes and Dubinsky, how come no one mentions Immonen? In the last couple of games, the guy is flat out beating Dubinsky and Hollweg for the last center spot--he's comfortable on the bottom and top lines. He's the most complete prospect out there, yet no one considers or recognizes that he's higher in the pecking order then Dawes and Dubinsky.

Mitch

The Prospector is also part of the name for the BB fantasy team I have so it is not a bad idea.

I also have Prospect Park sent to me so perhaps you can toss it into the mix on the 4th.

Jas

Thanks for remembering what I said about Hollweg. Last season I used to get so ticked off everytime JD and Sam would make a big deal about Hollweg taking a draw.

He played center in juniors and it is his natural position.

ALL

Interesting to see the debate a raging over which prospect had the best camp/preseason.

I will make it ever worse as each has had his momements like most rookies BUT that Dawes, Dubinsky, Immonen and Moore remain on the roster says a lot about all 4.

If the Rangers carry 7 dmen then I believe 2 of those kids will start the season with the Rangers.

I'd like to believe that Renney is talking Hossa up in preparation to trade him, but I suppose that's wishful thinking. This reminds me of that NY Lottery ad in which the baseball manager defends the guy with no skills who won the lottery and bought the team. "Next question!" I happen to like Hossa a bit more than others on this board, but to not give some of these other kids a shot in order to retain Hossa is just ponderous.

Let's be accurate here: immediately after his comment about Hossa, Renney then named Holleweg and Orr as playing strong games, and then said everybody played well.

I'm astounded that Renney is a guy who is obviously a brilliant individual, and works round the clock 365 days a year, instilled a work ethic second to none in the NHL, is well-liked by the players, and was a key in turning around this franchise last year, and here are fans so quick to question his judgement.

Last night, the game was about positioning and checking and discipline. Myself I didn't notice Hossa (or too many other players) standing out with brilliant offensive moves, but if Renney thought Hossa played well, I'll take his word for it.

Paul:

I agree with you in principle that fans in general (that means there are those who don’t so please don’t jump on me) are quick to emotional judgments rather than thinking them through on fan sites.

Regular readers of this site are well familiar with the fact that I have argued many times that we need to have a certain respect for the people in charge because they are in charge for a reason, i.e. they know far more than you and I will ever know if for no other reason than the information that they are exposed to and their knowledge of the players, organization, league etc.

HOWEVER, it does not exempt them from being questioned when they make statements that seem out of sorts to those watching the same events. This, BTW, also ties in to my point yesterday that all manners and respect still need to apply.

Tom Renney has been extraordinarily nice both to me personally and to my family. He has never shied away from any question that I've ever asked him and he’s answered them as honestly as his position allows. Obviously he isn’t going to answer certain things and that’s totally understandable, so I’ve always tried to give him the benefit of the doubt. In this particular case though, I just don't understand his statement of pointing out Hossa first and foremost and then throwing in Orr and Hollweg. It made no sense to me whatsoever.

Considering the contributions from Dubinsky, who I thought played a high spirited and inspired game; from Colton Orr, who threw his body and made a couple of really fine plays and Nigel Dawes who played a strong game. BTW, I don't know what Nigel was thinking but it was my favorite moment of the game when he was behind the Boston net and he threw himself into Zedeno Chara. He slid off of him like a bug on a windshield. It speaks to his heart and desire and I loved that, but hell it was pretty funny…very slap-sticky. But back to the point, how Tom Renney has Hossa on the top of his mind when in my opinion he did absolutely nothing, makes no sense to me whatsoever UNLESS, as others pointed out its all part of an intentional marketing plan to try and build him up so that he has some trade value. Trade value which I can’t see bringing back very much because other GM’s and Personnel Directors are not stupid and they watch tape too and know who and what he has to offer.

I guess we’ll all find out about this in more detail by the end of the week when these last minute trades all go down.

Frankly, it's good to keep in mind that Hossa himself isn't more than 24 years old, which in my book makes him part of the younger generation of this team. And obviously, Renney sees in him something that others haven't; perhaps it's that he can at times turn it up. Also, I'm failing to see how this guy is any worse than guys like Jason Ward and Betts, both of whom also have an interesting habit of disapearing at times.

As far as the waiver wire is concerned, I'd be willing to bet that if Hossa ends up on waivers, he gets snatched by the Thrashers, who would try to jumpstart his production by reuiniting him with his big brother.

I love reading the detailed arguments, discussions and opinions on the prospects and the overall makeup of the roster, but I'm not going to get into particulars because others have already done that better than I ever could. Instead, I choose to take a step back and offer my (perhaps) simplistic, overly optimistic big-picture take on the 2006/07 Rangers: The state of the union is strong. Very strong.

Honestly, I am thrilled with the organizational depth right now. I understand it's only preseason, but nearly every single one of the kids who plays in these games at least look like they belong in the NHL, and some look like they can become stars. What a far cry from the way it used to be!

I believe the talent is in the pipeline, as well as the work ethic, character and an adherance to a system of play. Wow - I never thought I'd see the day. To think of where the Rangers were just a few short years ago and to see where they are now is massively encouraging.

And yes, while some young players who could - and most likely SHOULD - make the NHL roster won't this year, it's actually because the guys ahead of them have earned their spots. (Well, except maybe Hossa, who I believe is the exception to the rule.) This means there is healthy competition, which is exactly what the Rangers lacked for so long.

The other really encouraging sign is that the coaching staff - both in NYC and Hartford - has shown it can usually get the best out its players. Rozsival, Prucha, Lundqvist, Orr, Hollweg, Betts, Ward, Dominic Moore, and now the prospects too, seem to have all improved under these coaches, which bodes extremely well for the future.

Folks, we're on the right track here. Big time.

Mitch:

Of course, I don't think coaches can't be criticized or are wrong. I think Renney is trying to boost the confidence of marginal players like Hossa by saying nice things about them.

While I'm not in love with Hossa and would not be concerned if he was waived, I do think that too many people have unfairly made him the team whipping boy.

Hossa is big, strong, controls the puck well in the corners and does a lot of good things except finish, but good teams are filled with those type players on the third and fourth lines. He isn't any worse than Jason Ward or Betts (whose value is as a face-off man) and I think he is better than players like Dom Moore. Nobody ever complains about Ward and people loved Moore. It's not like Hossa makes a lot of money or was drafted high and failed to live up to expectations.

It's like fans saying Roszival isn't that good, he only was +35 because he was lucky to play with Jagr.

It is becoming more and more apparent that we need to
make several trades to open up spots for several
youngsters. And why not, most teams do it--Predators
got rid of Adam Hall to make room for the likes of
Radulov and Upshall. Why is this Rangers organization
so reluctant to do the same? Betts is being outplayed
and outfaceoffed by Immonen and Dubinsky and Helminen
is not too far off and yet again Betts displayed total
inability to score or create offense. Pock and
especially Baranka have been playing great. Maybe it
is time to start thinking about trading the someone
like Malik who is slow, boring, lacks offensive
ability and doesn't play physical.

Straka yet again is showing that he cannot finish, if
he continues to struggle it would be a good idea to
trade him.

As for Staal maybe what they should do is to send him
to Hartford on as many conditioning stints as
possible, then play him 10 games or more then when he
turns 20 in January send him to Hartford for the rest
of the season.

Management should start thinking of 2 for 1 or 3 for 2
prospects trades to get slightly better quality and
reduce the overcrowded effect in Hartford where many
bright prospects have very little icetime.

As for Renney's comments about Hossa, here are some
possibilities:

1. increase trade value
2. make Hossa have more confidence and not be afraid
to play it too safe being scared of making a mistake
3. Hossa didn't play bad and was good defensively and
didn't make any mistakes and did go to scoring areas,
but didn't receive a pass
4. maybe he did something that Renney wanted him to do
5. maybe Renney wants Hossa critics to shut up

I didn't hear Renney mention Hossa after the game last night -- was he interviewed right after the game and said that? Hossa's name has not come up in any Renney press conference that I've been part of. Meanwhile, Dawes, Dubinsky, Immonen, Staal, Moore, Baranka, Montoya, Korpikoski, Jessiman, Prucha, Hollweg, Lundqvist, Tyutin -- I'm sure I've forgotten a few -- these are the guys people are talking about. Obviously Larry Brooks went directly to Renney and asked about Hossa, but otherwise, everyone seems to take him for granted as a spare forward.

tdchi -- You have to believe someone has contacted Atlanta about potential interest in Hossa. If they don't want to trade for him but would be willing to take him on the waiver wire, that tells you something about Hossa's value on the open market. I say waive him -- addition by subtraction works for me.

"With all this talk about Dawes and Dubinsky, how come no one mentions Immonen? In the last couple of games, the guy is flat out beating Dubinsky and Hollweg for the last center spot--he's comfortable on the bottom and top lines."

Immonen is also 24 years old, while the likes of Dubinsky and Dawes are 20 and 21 respectively. The fact that Dubinsky is still around, speaks volumes about the kid's upside.

Dubi:

MSG interviewed Renney on TV as he was coming off the bench. Asked who played well, he said Hossa, then the Holleweg and Orr line, and then said everybody. He also said some good players will be sad to be sent down. Asked about the PP, he noted that he was not worried because of who didn't play. He was very pleased with Lundqviist.

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