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November 29, 2006

Comments

Dubi, please don't place a picture of an incredible looking women while im reading hockey. I had trouble focusing on the rest of the article. Actually i forgot all about the loss for about five minutes there. Any chance Mitch could get her on the four on four, or maybe just a one on one?

Damn Vlo, you took my words just before I posted them.
She's not very clever? Do I care?

I just wish Dubi would stop invading my privacy and stop posting pictures of the girls I have dumped on the website.

It just is not right.

vlo, sorry to distract you, but Mitch told me that this is the way to get more subscribers. Bob, the only way to answer your question about whether you should care about her cleverness to ask you another question: what do you have as wallpaper on your computer? Jess, if she's a former flame of yours, then the Czech guy was right, she's not very clever.

I guess I inadvertantly put an elephant into the room when I posted this article -- although that's probably the first time anyone ever called Tatana an elephant.

Okay...the balcony is now open...

Vlo/Bob:

I will look into geting her on for a chat after I have my own personal one on one with her...of course you will have to pay for my divorce and you know how costly those get.

Jess:
You dumped this chick? What happened did you max out your credit card on her 900 number? I thought you liked red-heads? Me, I could care less...as long as they have a pulse as they say...

Dubi:
I didn't say to get more pictures of babes that look like that. What I told you was to get more pictures of babes that read the site on line, or attainable babes in Ranger's gear...What's better than some young thing in just a Ranger sweater...well except with maybe a beer in her hand...

Mitch, don't know the cost of a divorce just yet. Getting married this summer though, we'll see what happens (LOL)!

P.S. Good game betwen Sota and the Sharks so far. Boy, i love watching San Jose play. The only thing that stinks is that versus puts the score and time across the top of the screen. It's really annoying.

P.S.S. Jess if your throwing girls like that away, I'll be your wingman anyday, just call me Goose!

Oh one last thing. Mitch and Dubi, I buy my copy of the Bulletin at my local card store. Would i better support you guys by subscribing or continuing my purchases at the store? Just wondering.

Vlo,

Dubi will have to answer that one. I'm not qulaified to answer it.

BTW, I am working on some MAJOR cool people for the next two months. I already have committments from a couple that will blow you folks away and I'm working on still others that are even bigger.

One thing that I have to say because it's so INCREDIBLY important. All of these great things that we are able to do from Jess keeping you all up to date on prospects, to the great articles from all the beat guys that are unfiltered to even my dopey contributions and these web chats that you are getting for free come at a cost. Dubi doesn't reimburse Jess for his travel and not for me on the things that I do to get these guests for you. Jess and I do it because we beleive in Dubi's vision for this magazine and are putting up our own time and money to help it succeed. I just talked to Dubi and there are very few renewals and new subscriptions coming in. Dubi didn't get the money that he does have by being a stupid business man. He got it by being smart and succeeding against the odds. he is not going to pour all of his earnings from that success into this if there isn't proper support for it. I genuinely beleive that Dubi is a humble and proud guy and wouldn't ever make a plea to you like this, but I know I speak for Jess as well when I'm asking you if you care about this publication at all renew or subscribe now. It's not like Dubi is asking a million dollars for the subscription. Considering what you get access to it's the bargain of the century, but I am afraid it won't go on forever and the Ranger universe would not be the same without it. PLEASE, support the work and effort that Dubi and the rest of us who share his dream and subscribe now...

Sorry to interrupt your "fantasy" hockey musings with a couple of hockey comments:

Dubi, I think you give the Rangers more credit than they deserve for their effort Tuesday. Even with the lead, even with the shot advantage, their effort seemed largely lackluster to me.

Since I firmly believe Renney must find a way to get Hollweg a regular shift, and I see the beginning signs that the team is possibly regressing in its approach , I've revisited the idea of rearranging lines 2-4. Dubi, any idea of what the +/- is for the Cullen/Shanahan/Prucha line as a unit at even strength this season? Once I hear your answer, I'll follow up.

And Vlo, you might want to check out Quentin Tarantino's take on the whole "wing man" theme before making that offer to Jess.

Throwaway, I did not look today but the last I saw both Prucha and Shanny were a minus -3. I did not look for Cullen but its a safe bet he is also a minus 3. I looked a couple of days ago and that was before the Atlanta game. Can't say how many more GA added on in that one. Shocking to see the league leading goal getter at a minus 3 isn't it? Then again Kovalchuk had been a minus most of his career.
I also think that Dubi should post various photos of Tatana after a loss. Kinda takes the sting out.
Jess, you still have that 900 number?

Tatana was born in Trnava and grew up in Opocno. She is a High School student, her future ambition is to attend university, graduate, have a modelling career which she hopes will enable her to travel; and to be a good parent one day. Her hobbies are: Tennis, volleyball, horse riding, ice skating and many other sports, she also enjoys dance and listening to music with a nice melody. Tatana likes to spend time with her many pets, she has: cats, guinea pigs, rabbits, a bird and a turtle. Favourite food is Chicken. Personal motto would be ‘Always be an optimist’.

What the heck is ice skating ??? I like ice hockey ! I had a great time in Prague during the lockout with JJ playing for Kladno...There were a lot of nice girls there, so Dubi that´s not the right one for us here at the board.....:)

I would like to see the elephant instead....

I think the Rangers played one good period ( well maybe 18 minutes worth), the 2nd, aided by penalties against the Thrashers. 18 minutes of hockey won't win you too many games.
I thought that Renney was outcoached as Hartley made sure his team dictated the style and tempo of the game. Renney over played his star players and left his energy line on the bench too long.
The duo of Rachunek and Ozo are dreadful . They make game turning mistakes in EVERY game. Time for one or both of them to sit in the stands or get traded away. I get nervous every time they hit the ice. When will Renney hold them accountable?
Henrik ,after starting spectacularly, looked tired and was beat on goals he hasn't been allowing lately.
Dubi ,please keep posting Czech models . The subscriptions should go through the roof

Ah hem. Way for forget your female readers, guys. ;)

I was trying to change the subject for you Laurie, but to no avail.

Ok,Bob, I'll work off your numbers, on the premise that they're close enough, even w/o factoring in any SH goals for and against and goals while on another line. My sense has been that the 2nd line isn't producing a whole lot as a unit. Shanahan is the guy to build around, so maybe he needs a better complement. His shots are super-quick, and generate some good rebounds, so it might be time to give a guy like Hall a shot with him. Hall's only attribute that I've been able to see is that he has good hands in front of the net. There might be value in having him in front, setting screens for Shanahan, redirecting some shots, and pouncing on rebounds to score some "ugly" goals. If Hall can't succeed in that role, then I'd be prepared to get rid of him completely, because he adds little else to the team. Of course, it would be nice to have a better play-making center to go with them, but the pickings are slim; I wish Betts was a better fit, since I'd like to see Cullen, Prucha and Hollweg stir things up as a 3rd line. I know the reunion of Betts and Ward is all the rage, but I'll be a lone dissenter in saying I don't like it. I think Betts played more aggressively during his brief stint with Hollweg, and that with Ward he falls into a rut and they have many soft, invisible shifts. Let them do their thing on the PK together, but I think over time Hollweg brings more to the table and the team is better with him getting a regular shift.

I'm not thrilled with having to rearrange things 1/4 into the season, but again I'm seeing some warning signs that I don't like, and I'd rather be proactive than react too late.

Laurie:

I'm kind of surprised by your remark about forgetting the female readers of this site. I know you put the winky face, but I think Dubi thinks of the female readers all the time. I mean, come on. He's posted prime beefcake on here many times. Don't you remember that he recently posted a picture of me at the Garden with the Heart & Soul Award. Hey, a couple of beers and I could be Tom Cruise or Matthew McConaughey...if they took a Tie Domi beating with the ugly stick... :)

Throwaway:

We don't often agree on a lot of things but you make some valid points. I happen to think that the line with Ward, Betts and Hossa is playing very solid defensive hockey right now. The problem with the line isn't the players on it as much as the players on it don't put it in the net even remotely consistently and it's not liek they aren't getting their opportunities because they are. I would though move tehm to 4th line and construct the third line the way that you have it as Cullen, Hollweg and Prucha. I think that would be a great banging, energy line that might put it in the net a bit morefrequently than the currently construed line exists. The only problem with your example is who plays 2nd line Center if you move Cullen down and Hall up? The only answer to that is Jarkko Immonen who seems to be finding his game again in Hartford. I know many of you would say Brandon Dubinsky, who will be our guest on Monday for the 4 on 4 and is a big faorite of mine, but I really want to see Brandon get a full year in Hartford before giving him a leaders job like that next season, especially if Straka retires as is rumored.

I for one am really interested in how this team is goign to be constructed next season. You have to figure that Immonen, Dubinsky, Pock probably Baranka, Staahl and possibly Sanguinetti will be up and I think you are going to see Callahan stay this season. My guess is that there is going to be giant turnover after this year...

Mitch:

I agree with you that the likelyhood of a big turnover in players is great. My fear is that instead of seeing the likes of Immonen, Dubinsky, Pock, Baranka, Staahl etal. with the NYR is that the "brain trust" will trade some or worse yet all of them for "name" players. I hope my fears are unfounded, but when you consider the overall player development track record of the Cablevision owned teams, you'll understand where my fear comes from. Simply put, while I don't trust Slats one bit, I trust Jimmy Dolan even less!

Mitch-

Do you include Dawes as someone who will be up next season? I think Sanguinetti will have another year in Juniors. What about Korpi or Moore? I agree there will be turnover, but with Jags around will they let Straka (UFA) or Nylander(Signed) go? Where does Shanny(UFA) fit in? I think all have proven that they can still play. At forward:Hollweg (RFA) and Ortmeyer (UFA) will probably be signed. Hossa, Betts, Ward, Hall and Orr are probably on the bubble and will have to have excellent home stretches to be back. Ranger management and Renney seem to like all those guys, so I don't know what they will do.

On D: Ozo and Rachunek both should be gone as they are both UFA's and I don't see either one being in long term plans unless some of our long term D-men are traded (Kaspar, Malik, Rozy- I think Ward and Tyutin are safe.) Then there is POCK, if he doesn't get playing time this year, I think he would want to bolt, but he is an RFA. Weekes(UFA) I think will be let go opening a spot for Montoya. On the minor league front the following don't have contracts for next year: Valliquette, Richter (he'll bolt if he doesn't get a sniff this year, I'm sure), Falardeau, Helminen, Lampman, Liffiton, Taylor, Weller and I'm sure Purinton who has an AHL contract. Decisions will need to be made about the farm team, I'm sure. How many of those prospects will stay with the Rangers? I think a lot has to do with who is brought back at the NHL level and whether or not management spends money on any new blood.

I wouldn't want to bring anyone new in, rather give the kids a chance. I'd bring back Hollweg and Orts(if healthy), Shanny and Straka. I'd say sayanora to Betts, Ward(though I like those two) Orr and Hall(maybe bring him back). On D I'd bring back Pock and let Ozo and Rachunek go. I'd let Weekes go as he's too expensive a backup.At the minor league level, I'd try to bring back Richter, Helminen, Liffiton (only guy with grit) and Weller (to be the next Gernander down there). Valli, Farladeau, Lampman and Taylor are not going any further and would just take spots away from prospects.

Anyway, unless the Rangers hire me as a consultant, I doubt any of my logical thinking would be accepted.

I'd also let Hossa go. I know that won't be a popular choice among the faithful, but tough decisons need to be made. (Can you believe I forgot about him?)

Also, can anyone tell me if there is a website that publishes the lineup for the Wolfpack on a game by game basis? I can look at the boxscore and try to figure it out, but since I can't watch the games, I'd like to get an idea of who was scratched and why, who was playing with who and how much ice time everyone is getting.

"Jason Pominville set a nice pick on Shanahan to allow Numminen to get a clear look."
-John Buccigross

ESPN is the worst thing to happen to sports. Ever.

Colorado Mark,

Yes, I did forget Dawes. he will make the team next year for sure as well. I think Korpi is probably another full year away. Shanny, defintely will get resigned. I wouldn't be surprised one bit if he's resigned before this year is out. As far as some of hte other things you mentioned. Trust me on this one, there is no chance at all that Montoya gets anywhere near the NHL next season. He needs a couple more years in the minors before he's ready. he's very erratic and in my opinion hasn't been the same player since he took a pretty harsh spill on his head in the middle of last season. I wouldn't be so fast to write off some of the guys that you did as the management likes them and they don't cost a lot of money for role players, i.e. Betts and Ward.

I do agree though that Kevin Weekes will probably be gone and Valliquette signed to take his place. That might happen this season by the trade deadline if a team is close and needs a goalie. Valli is having a good season and could do a nice job as a 10-15 game NHL goalie. he also works the player door at the Civic Center better than any other player I've ever seen...but I digress...

BTW, I also like your idea about Weller and I think that is going to happen. As far as getting info on games, my suggestion is to check the box score and read Bruce Berlet in the Hartford Courant for as much news as anyone is going to be able to provide for the stuff you're interested in. Some of your other comments I disagree with, but overall I think you're not too far off...

Eric:

I'm not a big fan of ESPN myself, but I don't understand your point in knocking Buccigross who loves hockey and works very hard to promote it...

Don't even get me started on Buccigross. Sure, he likes hockey. But the guy finds more ways to write about music than hockey. AND I have a hard time taking anyone serious who writes that hockey should get rid of fighting altogether, make the nets bigger, go 4-on-4 full time, and have all the players design their helmets like the goalies do.

I know he is a real hockey fan by some of the things he says. But you too would say some intelligent things if you had Melrose and Ferraro feeding you info all the time and getting you into NHL Charity Golf Tourneys.

Sometimes I feel the guy should be Commissioner of Roller Hockey.

Mitch-

Thanks for the response. I think your right about the Wolfpack. Berlet does a good job and the box scores give me an idea, I'm just a lineup junkie and like to know specifics as to who is playing with who and of course I'm lazy and don't want to figure it out myself.

I agree on Montoya as well. I just was thinking that was what the Rangers would do. I think the Rangers should try to trade Weekes as much as he's a good team guy, and try to make Valli a good backup as Henke looks like he can be a stud of Brodeur-like proportions, taking the lions share of the work (almost like Weekes used to be for Carolina.)

I personally like Betts and Ward, but if Shanny and Straka (both deserve to be back) are brought back, I am just looking to find lineup spots for the kids like Immo and Dawes and Callahan. If we bring back Betts, Ward, Hall and maybe even Orr and Hossa, who loses their spot in the lineup? I think Hollweg is a crucial piece of the puzzle so he would be a priority. I think Ortmeyer has proven his worth more by not being in the lineup than he did all of last year. So looking ahead:

Straka-Nylander-Jags
Prucha-Immonen-Shanahan
Dawes-Cullen-Hall/G.Moore
Hollweg-Dubinsky-Ortmeyer
Tyutin-Ward
Staal-Pock
Malik-Roszival
Baranka
King
Valli

I would guess that one or two of the Betts/Ward/Hossa/Orr group might stay as spares. I don't think Malik is going anywhere.

I appreciate an intelligent discussion, so I'd love to hear your point of view as to what the personnel will look like next year. My thoughts on the minor league people are just hunches as I have no idea how they are doing in Hartford, but I'd love to know what you're thinking on those prospects as well.

By the way- Weller seems like a great character guy. I remember the pre season games fromlast year and he seemed to be a solid, physical guy like Hollweg. He does seem to be a great leader and the players seem to respect him.

Colorado Mark, unfortunately i believe your way off base. The majority of the team you see play this year will be back. There might be 2 or 3 roster spots up for grabs come next summet, but they will be filled by free agents, and possibly, just possibly a player from within the organization. If you look at the line up whose leaving. Straka, maybe if he is sincere in his desire to retire and spend time in his homeland. Nylander, longshot. Jagr loves playing with him. Shanny definetely and hopefeully will return. Cullen has three more years on his deal. Prucha (He goes, I go). Betts and Ward. Maybe Ward, but the staff likes him alot and is a key on the penalty kill. Hossa, this reclamation project isn't going anywhere. Hollweg, great spark plug, every team needs a plyer like him. Orr, he should be gone but he won't be replaced by anyone in the system, look for them to sign a top heavyweight. Hall, yeah right, see Hossa! The Rangers gave up Dom Moore for this guy, he'll be in the lineup no matter what.

I'm not even going to start on the D. May guess is a similar situation to this year. Management and the coaching staff all talked about taking a step back and the possibilty the team could be introducing 4 or 5 more rookies to the lineup. Of course they keep Dawes and Pock after camp (Purely a political move) only to have them in street clothes night after night. Maybe one or two of these guys makes the team next year and maybe will squeeze in a game or two. The let's rebuild through the system and esatblish this team for a long period of time theme is gone. Management has become drunk with last years success! So Colorado, I'm not trying to dash your dreams, because i share the same ones you do, i just think a heavy dose of reality was necessary.

Actually Vlo, I am sure you are right. My post was again, what I would do. It was also in response to Mitch who said that next year Dawes, Dubinsky, Immo, Baranka and maybe Staal would make the club. I then posted that I thought if that was the case we'd have to jettison some people. Mitch even said that Ranger management liked a lot of the guys I was writing off. So my question was where the heck do the new guys fit in? I didn't even bring up the FA possibility. I'd love to see us promote from within. I don't have a problem with Betts and Ward, and I could live with Hall, but if this team doesn't win the cup, I can't imagine that changes won't be made. But what changes?

Jason Ward (While affordable and a good team guy at $637.5K now, I expect him to leave because we have guys to come up that do the same for less...i.e. Greg Moore)
Weekes (Assuming that he isn't dealt at the deadline...which I think he will be...If he's willing to take a significant pay cut to stay he'll be back or Valiquette will be brought up to play 10-20 games)
Ortmeyer (I know I'm goign to get slammed for this, especially since he's a friend, but if I were guessing unless he has a phenomenal second half I think he'll be gone. He doesn't get a lot of money $551,760 but I've just got a hunch)


So what about the rest:

Kasper who is signed for $3.3mm (Not a chance in hell)
Cullen will be back
Jagr, do I even need to write anything?
Lundqvist, I expect them to resign him to an extension if he finishes this season strong
Malik, unless he's traded at the deadline, will be back for more with Lurch
Nylander, here as long as Jagr says he can
Prucha, I'm betting hard money right now he is gone by the trade deadline this year.
Rozy, He's here
Toots, he isn't going anywhere
Ward, second verse same as the first.
The only unrestricted players in Hartford are Martin Richter (He may not even last the rest of this year in Hartford...no chance) and Vali, who I answered about before.
Immonen signed for next year will be in NY if he isn't traded
Jessiman, I like him personally and hope he turns his game around but he'll be back to Hartford next year.

If I were guessing for next season...apart from them actually signing a free agent and barring possible trades, I think this is how we'll look next year.

Straka - Nylander - Jagr
Shanny - Immonen - Dawes
Callahan - Cullen - Ortmeyer
Hollweg - Dubinsky - Moore

Tyutin - Ward
Rozy - Baranka
Pock - Staahl

That's with very little thought and also doesn't take into account include any free agents out side the team and it takes no accounting of trades...


Vlo/Mark;

My computer which has been all screwed up chopped off the top half of what I wrote


I was writing for about 15 or so minutes and it chopped off everything...man am I pissed.

I'll try and redo it for you here.

I want to say upfront that I disagree with you Vlo about the team. Now don't get me wrong I know the business and I don't exactly drink from the team Kool Aid at each chance but there are certain things you are not taking into account when saying that the team is refusing to keep to the plan. I disagree with you totally. I have seen the kids play down there and they jsut aren't ready yet. Hell they can't even score at the AHL level. They're all very young and talented but clearly not ready for prime time just yet. There is also the factor of business. The Garden crew needs the place hoping into the early summer for financial reasons. Remember this is a business. having a team win 10-20 games max for the season is not going to put asses in the seats and the team would lose money and they aren't about to do that. I look at this team this year as a stop gap till the boys in Hartford become men.

Take a look at next years' RFA's and UFA's and you see something interesting.

RFA's:
Betts (If I were guessing he'll be back with his affordable $550K slary)
Hall (on the bubble. Will depend how he does the rest of the way out. If he plays mostly like he did in the first 1/4 of the year, he'll be gone.)
Hollweg (Will be back...the team needs the human wrecking ball)
Hossa (Also on the fence...moves up to a keeper if he comes a as a pakcage with his brother)
Orr (No way)
Tommy Pock (Might stay if he's assured he'll play all next season)

Colorado Mark -- You seek an intelligent discussion on a topic where, unfortunately, the only intelligent answer at this time should be "I don't know." Aside from the impossibility of anticipating what kind of personnel moves will shake out before then, a problem you guys acknowledge, I'm not aware of any credible poster on this site who sees these Hartford kids play enough to give a legitimate opinion at this point. I wish there was someone, because I'd like to know, for instance, why 4 or 5 forwards are mentioned for next year, but Korpikoski is not among them. Aside from Renney's general comment about his need to grow up, is there any specific reason all these other guys are listed ahead of him? Because quite frankly, from what I saw in the pre-season, I'd rather see him up here next year than any of the others.

Mitch, i looked at your mock lineup and i see many rookie skaters. It is my deepest hope that these players will be given these roster spots, but i really don't see it at all. The only to see whose right is to have this conversation in October 2007, but when management fields a team with Shanny and Jagr, there is no way they are taking a step back for some growing pains. Again i hope i am wrong and would love to see these kids get a real crack, but i don't see at all. Remeber the Rangers didn't sign any big free agents this year, but they did try. Contracts were offered to Chara, Mckee and we signed Cullen, Shanny, Ward and traded for Hall. That's one fifth of the team right there. Just my opinion, but your lineup has a better chance of playing during training camp scrimmages than opening night.

P.S. I counted 8 rookies in your lineup. Let's make the over under 4. Ill take the under. Whoever loses buys the first couple of rounds at the home opener next year!

Throwaway:

I see between 20-25 games in Hartford this year. Last year I saw almost all of them. I think I havea pretty good handle on what is going on over there. The reason that Korpikowski, and I know him personally as we bowled together not too long ago, is that he is trying to make a big adjustment in his game. In Europe he was primarily used as a Checker and told not to shoot much. He is expected to be a scorer here and he needs to work on that aspect of his game. I can understand why the Rangers see him as a scorer because he has a hard shot that seems pretty accurate to me, but Korpi told me it's a big mental adjustment for him and it's goign to take time. He's hoping to be a first line guy in Hartford by next season and then in NY by the follwoing year. Remember he's pretty young too.

Vlo:
I mentioned in my response that I was speculating and NOT taking possible trades or free agent signings into account. I may very well be wrong and a couple of the young guys may be gone at the trade deadline depending upon who is available and where the Rangers braintrust (I know it's a hard word to swallow for me too at times) feel they are at. I also might be rushing some of these kids along and the team may feel that they need more time in Hartford to get stronger and work on their games more. Remember, as of right now other than Callahan nobody in Hartford is scoring on a consistent basis. They're playing decent defensive hockey but that too is not consistent. Montoya at times has been brilliant and then he's giving in to softer shots than Lindsay Lohan is.

In response to the offers that were made to free agents, I don't know how many of them were very serious. Could you imagine the negative press had they not taken a shot at those guys at all? The only one that I think they made a VERY serious offer to was Elias. I also think they're being very smart and staying cautious with the cap. The only perosn I think they really overdid it with was the deal they signed Cullen to, but it's forgivable considering the way he had been playing prior. He jsut hasn't lived up to the expectations.

I do agree though that we're being VERY premature thinking about next season, but I was just speculating when I brought it up. As for the over and under bet you want to make, I'll be happy to take you up on it after the seaosn is over and I'll say we make it dinner at the play by play...

Speaking of subscriptions, has any progress been made about offering the Bulletin on-line as well as hard copy?

I travel a bit and the post office isn't very good about holding or forwarding mail that is not first class mail. That is the only reason I have not subscribed yet. You all do a great job and hope you will add this feature in the near future.

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