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May 31, 2007



Does this mean that the Rangers were actually TRYING to sign Russell? Jess spoke very highly of him. Perhaps they were not going to bother, and they snookered Montreal into the deal?

so I'd assume this deadline also applies to these 2005-draft, junior-hockey guys: Seymour, Koverko, Flatt?
What about Hunter, who re-entered the draft last year?

forgot to post my second question - what happens at midnight to a player who doesn't re-enter? is he free? or is there a later deadline after which he is free if still unsigned?

Habs signed him to a 3 year deal:

Going back to the Messier issues from the previous post:

I'd like to touch upon something Bob said. It seems like people (no one specifically, this is just a general statement) want to jump down Messier's throat. Okay, I can understand the "I am destined to be the Ranger's next GM" issue, but the Cold-FX thing? C'mon, do we treat all our one-time saviors like that?

I'm not losing sleep over this... We have 3 guys ahead of him in the depth charts...


What was the likelihood that Russell passes them?

I never saw Ryan, but I saw his brother on TV in the memorial cup hand he has rockets on his skateblades. I guess Ryan is not as good as his bro?

Jess will be angry.

jess should be angry.sather will gladly throw money at garbadge like shitsbister,krog,ozo,etc.but when it comes time to sign a kid,he turns cheap,just like he did when he let umberger go to philly to score back to back 20 goal seasons on a shitty team.

hmmm... moose as AGM? what's next? gravey as the zamboni driver? 1994 was 13 DAMN YEARS AGO. let it go. and the cold=fx thing is a disgrace imo. i read about 10 years ago (S.I. maybe?) that messier was supposed to have been paid about 50 mil from his years of playing up until that point in time. man, when is enough money enough?

Glen strikes again. Di**head

Ok seeing how the whole world thinks I am going to be upset that the Rangers traded away the rights to Russell let me tell you my side and then you can make your own mind up.

Did I like Russell? YES Very Much

Did the Rangers make a mistake not signing Russell? Yes but they make one draft error a year it seems and Russell is it.

I have compared Russell to Prucha only with more attitude, I loved his heart as nobody worked harder at both ends of the ice.

Besides being the 2nd leading scorer among the prospects he was a consistent scorer during his WHL career which is better than any other prospect except for Dawes.


Each of those three are different, if he was going to replace or pass anyone it would have been Prucha because not only is Russell better defensively but he also will fight.


Rangers are not going to sign Flatt (they should give him an AHL contract), Koverko (lack of offense doomed him) or Seymour (same as Koverko).

Hunter broke his leg during the WHL playoffs BUT the Rangers still have a year since he was drafted by the Rangers last year. I think they will wait and see how he recovers.


Ryan is a good player in his own right but sadly is overshadowed by his brother Kris. Ryan also has had some bad luck as he got hurt at the wrong time which cost him consideration for Team Canada.


Not really all that angry mainly because this is the time of year where decisions some good some bad are made. I am happy for Ryan because he will get a chance with the Habs and time will tell who was right.

Have to disagree with you on this one Jess. I've seen Russell play on TV several times and truthfully I was never that impressed with him. I think he's a marginal NHL player but maybe I'm wrong on this one. Well see.

It is now the interesting time as we get to see who now either re-enters the draft or becomes a free agent.

For example A.J Thelen who was the Wild's 2004 first round pick (12) was not offered a contract by the Wild. He is a 6'3 212 defenseman who has a ton of talent but has not lived up to his potential. He is worth a good look because there is no question he has skill.

There will be a list tomorrow


No offense but seeing a player on TV does not tell you the whole picture as you miss a lot.

I have seen Russell live play and I think he will become more than a marginal player at the NHL level. He does all the little things you want from a player and does them well

jess,are there anyother notable drafted players who were not signed?

It would be interesting to know what happened with Russell. It is doubtful the team just didn't want him. I could see where the team offered him money commensurate with his draft position and Russell wanted money equal to a first- or second-rounder, and the team didn't think he was worth it, or didn't want to set a precedent of giving big money to players drafted in a middle round.

Especially in the cap era, entry-level salaries are important. One of the advantages of kids is that they can produce while making low salaries. If you have a kid you think is not a sure-fire prospect, and he is making $600-800K, that is a big cap hit should he ever make the pros and not perform on a top line immediately.

Or maybe Ryan decided that with the depth of small wing prospects on the Rangers, including Prucha, Callahan and Dawes, he had a better shot elsewhere. Or that he stood to get drafted higher this time around and make a bigger salary. The draft system gives a lot of leverage to the kids.

Russell might not be as good as his brother, but his potential suggests he is going to be worth more than a 7th rounder someday. Why not just let him progress in the organization for another year and see? He'd probably still be worth a 7th next year, but he could be worth a 4th.

Every year, teams opt not to sign a number of guys who they've picked in earlier drafts. It's nothing new, though it does indicate that you've wasted a pick. Since these guys generally get signing bonuses of some kind, it's a way of saving money.

Most of these guys drift back into the draft. Occasionally, there's a high pick who won't sign (Michael Rupp was Isles' first-rounder, never signed, was chosen by NJ in 3rd round; Jarrett Stoll of Edmonton was second-rounder with Calgary, didn't sign, went to Oilers in second round). Taking one of these guys can be a bargain - or a waste.

Aother Reason the Rangers did not sign Russell might be that they couldn't...
I might be wrong on this, but I think there is a maximum of 50 players that a NHL team can have in its roster, thats including all its signed draft choices with professional contracts, I kind of remember this from last year when the Rangers did not resign from Hartford the likes of Alexandre Giroux, Colby Genoway, and Chad Wiseman.

So if you add up the signed players you get:

1. Al Montoya, G 2. Marc Staal, D 3. Alex Bourret, RW 4. Jarkko Immonen, C 5. Nigel Dawes, LW 6. Brandon Dubinsky, C 7. Ryan Callahan, RW 8. Bobby Sanguinetti, D 9. Dane Byers, LW 10. Lauri Korpikoski, LW 11. Daniel Girardi, D 12. Tom Pyatt, C 13. Artem Anisimov, C 14. Hugh Jessiman, RW 15. Thomas Pock, D 16. Ivan Baranka, D 17. Michael Sauer, D 18. Brodie Dupont, C 19. Tomas Zaborsky, LW 20. Greg Moore, RW 21. Lee Falardeau, C 22. Bruce Graham, C, 23. Dwight Helminen, C, 24. Chris Holt, G, 25. David Liffiton, D 26.Darin Olver, C 27.Hannu Pikkarainen, D 28. Jake Taylor, D, 29.Michael Busto, D.
plus Ranger Roster 30.Avery, Sean,31.Betts, Blair, 32.Hollweg, Ryan,33.Hossa, Marcel 34.Isbister, Brad, 35.Jagr, Jaromir 36.Lundqvist, Henrik 37. Malik, Marek, 38. Mara, Paul, 39.Nylander, Michael, 40. Orr, Colton, 41. Ortmeyer, Jed, 42.Prucha, Petr 43. Rachunek, Karel, 45. Rozsival, Michal, 46. Shanahan, Brendan, 47. Straka, Martin, 48.Tyutin, Fedor 49. Valiquette, Stephen, 50. Weekes, Kevin, 51. Ozolinsh, Sandis.52. Darius Kasparaitis.
Maybe subtract Artem Anisimov, because he is in Russia and Tomas Zaborsky has not signed a pro contract yet, So we get to 50.

I included the UFA's because they are still under Ranger contract until the free agency period.

At the NHL level: 14 signed, 5 RFAs all likely to re-sign (Lundqvist, Avery, Prucha, Hossa, Rachunek), 2 UFAs likely to be re-signed (Shanahan, Nylander), 3 UFAs may or may not re-sign (Ortmeyer, Weekes, Strudwick), 2 UFAs will not be re-signed (Isbister, Ozolinsh) -- total of 21-24 contracts. At the AHL level: 18 signed, 6 RFAs all likely to r-sign, 2 UFAs not like to re-sign (Richter, Weller) -- total of 24 contracts. In addition, Hartford has ten players who were playing on AHL contracts, two remaining under contract, the rest free agents, but none of these count against the 50-man limit. They also have two drafted college graduates to decide upon over the summer (Reese and Roche).

This leaves the Rangers with at least two and perhaps as many as five new contracts they can take on. They may also opt to trade some RFAs (Rachunek, Immonen) or let them go as free agents (Lampman, Taylor, Falardeau) to open other spots up if they need them.

"Russell might not be as good as his brother, but his potential suggests he is going to be worth more than a 7th rounder someday."

Not if that 7th round pick's name is Henrik Lundqvist.

In case not many noticed, Russell is wearing the C for his team. How much was he asking for, and how much did he get? I thought the NYR were looking for character, speed, grit, NS type player. Sounds like he fit the mold. The only question is he too small? Either way why did they draft him, and what changed since then? Montreal signed him for some reasons. This seems to be a money issue only. Thanks to the buttman cap which won't save the teams like the Predators that can't draw enough fans to fill 90% of their seats. That means they're in the wrong market or are guilty of poor marketing., which the cap can't correct. ......

Imitation -- there is an aspect to it that's a bit more than just a money issue, and that is the need for players to bow before the organization and accept their plan for them. In a way, this was a kind of a test -- you were a seventh round pick, our policy is to offer you a seventh rounder's contract, you can either accept that and be part of the organization, or if you reject it then you're not the kind of player we wanted anyway. I'm not saying I agree with this, nor am I saying this is how it went down -- I don't agree with this approach, nor do I have any information that it was the case.

When I first saw that the Rangers were not rushing out to sign Russell, I started to wonder why, and I asked some questions. Unfortunately, I didn't get any answers. But it struck me right off the bat that it might be Russell himself who didn't want to sign with the Rangers because of the draft position thing, that it might be more to his benefit, after the season he had, to let himself go back into the draft, especially in a weak draft year, and maybe get picked in the second, third, fourth round -- whatever, and get himself a better entry level contract. I even thought he might be angling to be drafted by Columbus, where Kris is going, although what actually transpired is that he is going where his Ice teammate Ben Maxwell is, in Montreal.

From Montreal's point of view, the deal makes sense. If they thought they might want to draft Rusty in the, let's say, fifth round, and he was willing to accept a fifth rounder's contract, then they wouldn't have to worry about someone else taking him, and all they use on him is a seventh rounder (and a few extra bucks). And having followed Maxwell's progress in Kootenay, they would have seen Russell play enough to know whether they really wanted him.

Ok story I get is that Russell did in fact want money closer to what Pyatt got because he put up numbers close to his.

In his favor was the fact that Russell had 3 straight 30+ goal seasons. If not for missing games due to injury he would have more than likely been one of the top scorers in the WHL as he was 76 points in just 58 games.

On the Ranger side of the story there is in fact the cap and that 50 contract limit.

There is also the always rumored Sather does not like young players to ask for more than he is willing to pay.

In the case of Russell I have to say that he did deserve money more inline with what those who put up similar numbers consistently.

That the Rangers got back a 7th round pick makes this deal in my eyes a loss because they gave the Habs a solid 2 way player

Dubi & Jess would Gordie Clark want to draft Russell in this years draft with a higher than 7th round pick? Probably , so they got a 7th for say a 5th. Doesn't his contract become public knowledge? What is the right money, & is Sather & his capologist being too frugal compared to the league & what the market will bear? Dolan will just have to keep raising prices so the league revenue goes up, so the cap goes up.

for those quick to bash sather for not offering the money when he'd give it to guys like isbister, you do realize that russell would have to want to sign and agree to the contract right?

people act like every free agent and every gm looking to make a trade just sits around waiting to see what sather wants to do and therefore if we don't get the guy it must be because sather was asleep at the wheel.

ever stop to think that maybe russell didn't feel he'd get a fair shot here because of all the depth we have in the system? russell is an undersized winger, well we've already got prucha, callahan and dawes, how many 175lb wingers do you think a team is gonna carry at the same time? not to mention with the depth in hartford, russell likely was headed to charlotte so his path to the nhl is gonna be easier on a team with less depth

ESPN is reporting that C Matthew Lombardi signed a 3 year contract with the Flames today.


I think I can say this because I doubt anyone else here wanted to see Russell signed more than I did:

How was Russell worth? More than Pyatt (4th round) who was the leading scorer among the prospects, a 2 time gold medal winner for Team Canada?

Was he worth more than Dupont who had more goals and plays a power forward position?

Yes Russell was a more consistent scorer than both BUT his teams never advanced past the first round in the playoffs nor did Russell have any medals to show off.

Would Russell have gone higher in this year's draft? Maybe, maybe not for if the word got out that it was money which kept him from signing with the Rangers then I would safely bet that few NHL GMs would want to avoid what they perceive is a potential headache by drafting Russell higher.

As for his salary, that would become knowledge but not what he gets in bonus money.

I also don't think this is a case of being frugal just that Russell and his agent felt he was worth more than the Rangers were offering.


Why do Sather defenders always try to use Russell's size against him? This is a case of two parties not able to come to terms on a contract and since none of us were sitting in on the meetings how can anyone know who is right or wrong?

Saying Russell is undersized player, his brother is a D man of similar size. Guys like Prucha & Dawes are always mentioned as trade bait, Callahan, Briere, Gionta, St Louis are in the same undersized category. This was a money issue, that another team was willing to pay . If the NYR resigned him, there wouldn't be many questions as to why. Sather made a stand ala lemon lou, & that's a message for all the prospects.I think Sather would have and tried to resign him, but the money got in the way.Maybe if Maloney was still here , he'd still be here.I wonder if Sather offered him to Maloney. All that's left is woulda, shoulda, coulda,... N E X T....

Is it July 1st yet?


Having posted at many boards with Leetch3, the LAST thing I would call him is a Sather defender.

"Having posted at many boards with Leetch3, the LAST thing I would call him is a Sather defender."

Yes, but it seems to me that whenever someone tries to see things from Sather's POV or defend any decisions he makes, or not jump to the conclusions "Sather missed the boat" or anything like that they are labeled "Sather Defenders" and why is that? Is there a rule that if you agree with Sather or do not see anything wrong with something he does, or doesn't do that you are automatically a Sather Defender?

Personally I do not think that the man is this incompetent fool many think he is, nor do I think that he is the devil out to destroy the Rangers organization that some of his most heated critics love to portray him as ... I tend to give the man the benefit of the doubt in what he does until it is proven otherwise ... so as with not signing this kid, I have no problem with it if it was a money issue. We have a cap, it's a reality for ALL NHL teams and all NHL teams have to look at their cap and decide if it's in their team best interests to give in to player demands when it comes to contract issues because I don't think that teams can just go like just go and look at things on a case by case basis although that would be the approach that I would normally advocate but in a cap era there are certain money restrictions on entry level contracts based on which round you were drafted ... if you fell off and were drafted much later than you should've then that sucks but what are teams to do? Bowdown to all players drafted in later rounds who feel they should make more along the lines of players drafted 2-3 rounds before them? If you do that for one then what is there to keep others from doing the same?

Again this is all speculation by everyone ... no one was there, no one really knows what he was exactly asking for and what the Rangers offered and what his feelings for not signing where ... but everyone jumps to conclusions one way or another ... but just because you side with management or give them the benefit of the doubt shouldn't have you labeled as a "Sather Defender"

Funny, I'm just reading the BB and Jess writes that the Rangers will be making a mistake if they don't sign Russell.
Guess they don't read the BB at MSG executive office?


Exlund on XM Home Ice said there are rumors that Jagr is going to the oilers. Anyone here anything about this or is this Exlund shooting his month off again.


excuse me while I got off and have fits of giggles


I will be demanding heads to roll at Ranger offices for their failure to listen to me. Would you like a job as I need someone to fetch my newspaper and onion bagels for me?


If you have to ask such a silly question then you should already know the answer.


Fits of giggles?

Ranger fans do not giggle, we laugh loudly please make that correction or I will be forced to refer you to a 12 step program

Well, lets go with this for a moment...
Jagr to the Oilers. What do they have to offer in return that would interest us?

"Ranger fans do not giggle, we laugh loudly please make that correction or I will be forced to refer you to a 12 step program"

But I'm a girl! I'm allowed to giggle!!!

Ok ... how about my second favorite form of laughter ... the evil mwuahahaha type thing ... is that better?

oh haha, I have to laugh at Brett Hull's bringing up Rachunek's disallowed goal in the Sabres series as he's incredulous over the League allowed Alfredsson's goal which looked more like a kicked in goal that ours ... too funny

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