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June 24, 2007

Comments

Propers to Jess for giving respect to Glen on the AC pick. A lot of the vets who populated the old NY Times board have been labled as "Sather-bashers," and, to be fair, there's a nugget of truth in that. Been accused of it myself a time or two. But Jess made the stand up play here - by all appearances, Glen made an extra effort to identify a talent, showed the patience of Job in not trading up, and pulled the trigger on a great prospect.

Jessiman was just purely a bad decision. Montoya at #6 was a reach. But in all fairness, Sather & Co. have put together three very solid back-to-back drafts that, while maybe a little thin on clear top liners, resulted in a farm positively stocked with legitimate NHLers. If the decision is made to make a run next season, we can deal for a part or two without stripping the cupboard, and Glen deserves some of the credit for that.

Like commentator after commentator said in the last issue, the 2007-08 Rangers have the best and deepest pipeline in memory. And if Glen had to take the lumps for his first few hideous years, then he gets some credit for the last three.

u guys think siberian express will play this year in new york

Ralph- Yea he'll probably be in New York playin next week for that rookie camp.

As for the rest of rangerland, anyone else worried that it's becoming more and more likelier of Nylander being an ex-ranger come next week?

With only 2 picks in the first 4 rounds and in a weak draft at that, I think we should do a "rating" in about 3 years. The first pick was a "no-brainer". The second pick was a judgement and only time will tell. The only thing I was suprised by was the lack of a Rockstrom late round pick. Maybe that is also a sign of how weak this draft really was. Time will tell.

rangerbill94

"The only thing I was suprised by was the lack of a Rockstrom late round pick."

I'm thinking Hagelin might fall under the category of a "Rockstrom late round pick".

Jess and Dubi, are you willing to go on record now, if you had the choice to pick Esposito or Alexi Cherepanov who would you have picked??
I did not realize that Montoya makes 1,834200 per year and Jessiman makes 1,084000, thats a lot of doe to be playing/trained in the minor leagues.
I think Montoya will be a Ranger this year. He will back up Henrik, get his value up with NHL experience and then be traded.

Steve, that's a tough choice. If it was me, I would've given the edge to Espo and selected him, only because I don't hold it against players for having one bad year, not after being so good up to that point. Talent will always rise to the top. If he faltered this season because he lost his linemate Radulov, in the NHL he'd get linemates at least as good as Radulov, maybe better. But I think in the overall scheme of things, AC will be better off for being in New York and Espo for being in Pitt with Crosby and Lemieux.

With respect to Montoya's salary (and Hugh's) -- what you quoted is their fully loaded NHL salary under the cap, which includes achievable bonuses. They actually make a lot less in the minors, where they can't achieve those bonuses. But the way the cap treats their contracts locks them into the AHL -- or at least, that's the case for Montoya given that he'd be no more than a lightly used back-up in the NHL. Hugh is in the minors for a differest reason altogether, but even if the Rangers wanted to force feed into the NHL (which they don't), he'd be a sporadically used spare part, and his salary under the cap precludes him being used that way.

Great draft coverage guys, best anywhere.

For all the bad things Sather did in his first few years, this team has been run superbly since the trade deadline in 2004. Seeing the level of talent available and then considering we got Alex Borrout (sp) for a third-round pick and a throw-away veteran UFA, that is great value.

I have to agree that Cherepanov is a steal, and it hard to imagine what other teams were thinking when they let him pass. I know nothing about junior players, but to see a 17-year-old kid put up those kind of numbers in the Russian pro league is astounding. Plus he dominated the world junior tournament, so its hard to say he scored in the Rssian league only because he had great linemates or something. By all appearances, he looks like a legitimate Evgeny Malkin- or Ilya Kovalchuk-level player (Ovechkin is a cut above those guys, I think).

For all the raves about Esposito, his junior numbers were not incredible, certainly not what you would expect from a kid expected to blossom into a first-liner. I think Chereperov has a much higher upside.

I was hoping we would pick Maxim Morovev (sp) the other Russian kid, with the second round pick, but I only say that because he was listed high on draft boards, not because I know anything about him as a prospect. I don't think we need another goalie, but it takes 5-7 years for a goalie to develop. Plus, I'd have to take Allaire's word if he thinks the kid has talent.

As for the bottom rounds, considering it is a weak draft, any of them developing in an NHLer would be a big surprise.

Jess & Co
was the rumor true that Sather was willing to trade his picks 2-7 for #30 from Phoenix?
If so who were they after?

Stevek-

The important thing to remember when comparing Esposito and Cherepanov head-to-head in the future is that each player went to the perfect team. Esposito went to the Penguins where he can play with Crosby, Staal, et al. Cherepanov went to NY where he can assimilate to the U.S. faster and easier than in any other city in the country. Heck, the NY Post already photographed him at Brighton Beach! These things cannot be discounted when comparing the two. They both SHOULD do very well.

mshiver-

I agree 100% about Slats taking credit here. Yes, he has earned his criticism in the past, but we have to throw sunshine his way when it is merited. A few years ago Sather seemed washed up, but can anyone here show that he is not one of the 10 best GMs in the league? His deadline deals this past season, our cap situation, and now our draft?

I hadn't heard any such rumor, but Gord Clark did say they took the goalie in the second round because the forwards they wanted were taken earlier in the round, so look at the list of forwards in the second round and take a guess -- there were eight of them. Maybe it was the Swedish kid they had a line on via Rockstrom.

Dubi

IMO, taking Cherepanov over Esposito was the obvious. If Cherepanov wasn't there, I believe the Rangers would have grabbed Backlund or Petrecki. I honestly never believed Esposito was an option. The biggest question to me was whether or not the Rangers would trade up, or press their luck and hope he fell to them. Fortunately, it was latter, and everything worked out. Once he got by the Caps, I thought the Rangers might try to move up. And, once he got to #10, I felt the Rangers should deal up for him. Good for Sather and his patience to not get held up in a deal.

BTW, just as an aside note, one of the more enjoyable reads regarding Cherepanov, is going to various sites for the main NHL Draft threads and reading, (first) the timeline of Cherepanov falling to the Rangers, and then reading other organizations' MB's, just to see the wave of emotion as players were selected. Honestly, reading a couple of the Ranger draft threads, I felt myself still getting caught up in the emotions of that night even two days later.

I'm not getting too excited about AC yet. No doubt he has immense talent but he does have issues. Had to laugh listening to McLean, ex of Columbus complain about Zherdev, who was also highly rated and a pain in the ass. Kovalchuk had to be benched and he sucked in the Rangers first round sweep. We tend to get excited about scorers but they also have to learn to play in the defensive zone and I would bet that AC is deficient here. Always more fun to score than play D, which seems to be a real problem for Russian players, unless they are D. I remember getting very excited about Brendl too, but I'd heard a radio report from Calgary which talked about his immaturity and poor eating habits. That turned out to be more important than his skillset which was considerable. They should send AC to apprentice under Schony, who will teach him how to play a complete game. I hope he is a star, but he'll have to earn it just like everyone else. If it was up to me I would have taken Esposito. He can play the game with the magnificence of A Lecavalier. If they both develop as people expect then a lot of GMs will be embarrassed. Personally, I think this draft may produce more first round duds than ever seen before. The biggest one could be VanReimsdyk(sp) who I was not iompressed with in the little glimpse I had of him. Also Kyle Turris played Tier II where he looked great, but will he look that great against the big boys?

I'm with paulf on the goalie selection in the second round. With how much Lundqvist has progressed the last couple years, I would pretty much pick whatever goalie Allaire tells me to.

My personal opinion on the UFA situation, is that it has disaster written all over it. If the NYR are going to make the next step towards the Cup, they need Nylander to re-sign and have to sign one of the stud free agent centerman and as well as aquire some type of solid d-man. The longer Nylander remains unsigned, the more I am starting to worry that none of the above will happen.

I like the first pick as previouly said it was a no brainer.#2 if you listen to Benoit he was a good pick but after that why did they not go after size and nastiness .We have none on the big club and none in the minors.If it was a weak draft for talent why not take a chance on a BIG and NASTY with the last 3 picks.I guess sather didn't see who won the cup and notice all the size and nastiness they had.You can have great talent but without alittle size and meaness you aren' going any where.Maybe they have a trade in mind to bring in what we haven't had in years.What would we give for a young Beuk to be out there.

Brett -

Agree with you about the UFA's. We very well may find ourselves with Straka and Dubinsky as our top two centers. But that would only be a disaster in terms of trying to go for it all this year (and might not even be). What it would leave us with is a ton of cap space and plenty of room to work younger players into the lineup who will contribute for the next 10-12 years.

If Nylander does not resign He is the moron. The Rangers are giving him his raise and good years so its not Slats. If He doesn't resign with us, I want to see where He goes that He thinks He is going to play with a guy like JJ. Amazing all of a sudden He is the Swedish Gretzky. Hey Michal you had career years because of JAGR! I hope Sather does not move from His offer and if Nylander does not take it, good riddance. Use the money for Drury or Gomez.

Nylander is nothing without Jagr I dont know if Nylander hasnt realized but the past two years playing with Jagr he has had career numbers so if he wants to walk go hell regret with watever team he signs with. hopefully Slats can sign Nylander and if he cant bring in a big UFA for 2nd line maybe you can give Dubinsky a chance or two long shots would be Immonen if he doesnt go to Finland and Tom Pyatt but he did play good in The World Junior championship!!!!!!

Another option for the Rangers if they cant sign a big UFA like Drury or Gomez for 2nd line could be Jozef Stumpell.

Some more back up plans the rangers could target are Tkachuk or Slava Kozlov even thought theyre both pretty old

It's funny to me reading about some people's upset and/or comments of impending DOOM about whether Nylander re-signs or not because just a few months ago, heck weeks, a lot of the sentiment was "give the kids a chance, forget the UFA's!!" and now is "we won't get none of the big UFA's!"

it's just funny

Screw Nylander, wasn't he one of one Ranger player who didn't salute to the crowd after the Atlanta sweep? We can do well without him if that is his attitude!!

I am not afraid of Alexi Cherepanov and his defence, If Jagr learned to play defence under Renney, after so many years in the league, I think this kid is going to learn too....As for Brendl, he was always out of shape and a head case like Esposito is now. He was also a 4th overall pick, AC was 17th, thus a less risk choice.
Alexi Cherepanov will also have a chip on his shoulder and have something to prove, because he was drafted so late.
As for me, I am not sure who the Rangers should have picked, The only thing I know is that Espo was a wiz kid who was one of the youngest to play in juniors at age 15 just like Tavaras...also he was billed up to be one of the "next great one", and he is a center, which the Rangers need down the road. But I heard that during the combine he did not take it seriously, scouts were talking more about his new hair due than his workout, not a good sign...
Also the Rangers have had good luck with Russians that they themselves have drafted like Kovalev, Zubov...

steveK

The reason I think taking Cherepanov is a no-brainer is because his upside is greater than that of Esposito. IMO, Esposito is a 2nd line center, and, he will put up points in Pittsburgh because he's skilled and will play with either Crosby or Malkin. The word on Cherepanov is that he has great vision, soft hands and an overall awareness of the ice offensively.

Time will tell whether we've made a good choice but at first blush, looks good.

When did Sather suddenly acquire a brain? Anybody can answer that?

All I can say is better late than never!!

10 of the top 30 picks were from the USA. Congrats to the levels of USA hockey that help produce such quality players.

Siberian Express says he wants to play one more year in Omsk in Russia but after seeing is idol Jagr he might changer his mind and play this coming season

Lenny et al, there's picture of the final salute at Hockeybird's site and Michael Nylander is clearly visible in the front, at right. He may decide to go elsewhere, but he's always been a gracious Ranger. Were there ANY Rangers that left the ice after Game Six?

Nylander had a career season, true, but think of all the wide open nets that he passed up - those "sure thing" goals, if scored, could have resulted in a few more wins and a higher seed - possibly home ice in the first few rounds.

Do you guys remember the time that Nylander broke in all alone, with the goalie out of position, and he pulled up short and made a blind back-pass to nobody? These types of plays had me pulling my hair out all season long. If Nylander had a scorer's mentality, he'd have had 100 points last season.

We need somebody in that center position who has a sniper's eye, and who is not so anxious to pass up an open shot.

That would take a lot of pressure off Jagr's shoulders and create room for him to work his magic instead of standing still along the boards.

baron:

Conplaining about some times when Nylander didn't score seems a bit silly, given all the points he did score and how well he blends with Jagr. Over 80 games, there are a lot of players who missed a lot of goals. Nylander set a personal scoring record this year.

It's also not right to say Nylander only scored because of Jagr. He will score anywhere (of course, Jagr helps to a degtree) with the new rules because it's nearly impossible to take the puck from him without resorting to hooking.

here is some background an the 8 undrafteds at Prospect Camp
(aside from the 2 Japanese courtesy invites)
http://www.nyrangers.com/pressbox/pressreleases.asp?id=2947
==================
Peter Boldt Defense wears #8, Freshman in 06-07
http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php3?pid=97696
http://dartmouthsports.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=48936&SPID=4728&DB_OEM_ID=11600&ATCLID=651013&Q_SEASON=2007
Born Jan 16 1987 -- Greenwich, CT
Height 6.01 -- Weight 190 -- Shoots R
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2006-07 Dartmouth College NCAA 17 0 4 4 14

Abundant hockey intelligence…Excellent decision making…Understands the defensive side of the game…Played for Team New England in USA Hockey’s select 16 and 17 festivals…Won the Angier Hockey Trophy at Taft School in 2005…
Played for Sodertalje in the Swedish under-20 Junior Elite League recording three goals and seven assists in 2006
High School: Attended Greenwich Country Day School for his freshman year before attending Taft School for the final three years of high school.
2005-2006 Stats: Sodertalje in the Swedish under-20 Junior Elite
46 GP - 3 G, 7 A, 10 Pts.
===========
Adam Bourque-Leblanc Defense
http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php3?pid=89503
Born Apr 8 1989 -- Amqui, PQ
Height 6.01 -- Weight 179 -- Shoots L
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2005-06 Baie-Comeau Drakkar QMJHL 55 4 4 8 52 4 0 0 0 4
2006-07 Baie-Comeau Drakkar QMJHL 37 2 12 14 56
2006-07 Shawinigan Cataractes QMJHL 29 0 10 10 40 4 1 0 1 4
===========
Jonathan Carrier Defense
http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php3?pid=80411
Born Nov 5 1988 -- Repentigny, PQ
Height 6.03 -- Weight 196 -- Shoots R
Regular Season Playoffs
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2004-05 Gatineau Olympiques QMJHL 55 2 4 6 40 9 1 0 1 4
2005-06 Gatineau Olympiques QMJHL 52 3 8 11 73 16 0 2 2 12
2006-07 Gatineau Olympiques QMJHL 39 5 10 15 73 5 0 1 1 8
===========
Justin DiBenedetto Center
Born Aug 25 1988 -- Toronto, ONT
Height 5.11 -- Weight 175 -- Shoots L
http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php3?pid=80258
Regular Season Playoffs
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2003-04 Milton Icehawks OPJHL 1 0 0 0 0
2004-05 Toronto St. Michael's Majors OHL 64 3 6 9 37 9 0 0 0 0
2005-06 Toronto St. Michael's Majors OHL 61 17 13 30 58 4 1 0 1 11
2006-07 Sarnia Sting OHL 58 28 35 63 46 4 2 1 3 4
===========
Jack Downing Forward
http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php3?pid=99419
Born Jan 24 1989 -- New Canaan, CT
Height 6.02 -- Weight 195
Regular Season Playoffs
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2006-07 Omaha Lancers USHL 40 9 5 14 36 5 0 1 1 0
===========
Andrew Callant
http://www.collegehockeystats.net/0607/rosters/manm
#1 Andrew Gallant SR G 6-3 200 L Summerside, Prince Edward Island / OCN Blizzard (MJHL)
http://www.collegehockeystats.net/0607/teamstats/manm
## Goaltending | GP Minutes GA Saves Shots Save% GAA Record Win% GS SO %Time | Overall
1 Andrew Gallant SR | 26 1509:00 48 617 665 .928 1.91 19- 2- 5 .827 25 4 88.2% | +:1052:05 61.5%
===========
Brad Roberts Goalie
Born Jul 31 1982 -- Cassville, NY
Height 5.10 -- Weight 190 -- Shoots L
http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php3?pid=77582
RS Scoring RS Goalie Stats PO Scoring
Season Team Lge GP G A PIM Min GA EN SO GAA W L T Svs Pct GP G A PIM
2002-03 Army NCAA 31 0 0 4
2003-04 Army NCAA 25 0 0 0 1424 78 0 0 3.29 7 15 3 704 0.900
2004-05 Army NCAA 16 0 0 0 962 47 0 1 2.93 5 9 1 375 0.889
2005-06 Army NCAA 36 0 1 0 2168 91 0 5 2.52 12 18 6 910 0.909
2006-07 Youngstown Steelhounds CHL 41 0 0 21 2309 104 0 2 2.70 23 12 4 888 0.895 5 0 1 2
===========
Ben Rosen Defense
http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php3?pid=94019
Born Jan 7 1989 -- Syosset, NY
Height 5.10 -- Weight 184
Regular Season Playoffs
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2005-06 Green Bay Gamblers USHL 2 0 0 0 2 -- -- -- -- --
2005-06 Omaha Lancers USHL 10 0 1 1 10 -- -- -- -- --
2006-07 Des Moines Buccaneers USHL 38 1 6 7 43 -- -- -- -- --

I too was hoping the Rangers would draft size or grit in the later rounds... especially on defense where the Rangers are sorely lacking at every level in their system. However, I do subscribe to the Best Available Player theory because it does you no good whatsoever to draft to fill needs with players who can't play (re: Flatt & Koverko). The numbers indicate that Max Campbell and Carl Hagelin have talent... It's anybody's guess if they will ever develop into NHL players, but they do seem to have a chance, which is all you can ask for at that stage of the draft.

My only complaint would be about the seventh rounders. Both of them were huge disappointments, and it's very rare that players that flounder in their draft year make it to the NHL. I would've taken a chance on size with at least one of those picks. But then again, when my only complaint is with the last pick or two, I've got to give Sather & Co. credit for doing a good job.


so there are 2 more goalies for Allaire to work with on top of who they have. Where they're going to find guys with top six potential will probably have to happen thru UFAs.

Need to sign #92 at a reasonable number (2@$4.5M). Great work ethic and fit with this team's personnel. As far as the other UFA's, Rangers need to be careful not to compromise the team's long-term cap situation when Thornton, Igilna et al become available in 08. I think Lang would be a good short term fallback if the big three are not available. Credit to Sather and staff. Great job building prospect depth but some of these guys need to make an impact or be turned into value through trade market.

lennynyr... Why are you so negative.. Everytime you post it seems you got an attitude about something... It's really very boring...Z

SteveK

In response to your question I still take Cherepanov over Esposito.

Esposito never rose for the big games like you would expect a star player to do. He clearly missed his teammates from the previous season which made me wonder if his numbers were inflated.

Cherepanov was inconsistent yes but at the world juniors he was a monster. Something else to consider as well which is that Cherepanov is a boy playing in a men's league and he still produced.

The NHL gave us this year in review book which showed stats from every league in the world. I had not looked at the book until today and there is Cherepanov as the 5th leading scoring on his team this year.

Cherepanov is playing in a league that in my eyes is a step below the NHL but 2 steps above the AHL.

PaulF

Sorry but I keep having to say this but the Rangers lack depth at goalie. We need to keep developing players at every position just in case of a major injury.

The lessons of what happened to Mikey and Danny Blackburn do more to show why drafting a goalie is important. IF it was left to me I would draft a goalie every 2 years to keep a developing flow going.

IF I develop one who can really play in the NHL then I have the option of keeping him and trading Henrik or trading the prospect for parts I need.

Imitation

Zero truth to that as reporters at the draft were sharing with each other everything they heard both real and fiction.

Vince Accardi

Why waste draft picks on goons or nastiness if you can sign them after the draft as free agents?

Bones

Not all Russians do not play defense though. Anismov's offense is just starting to catch up to his already solid defense.

Cherepanov is not a one way player either as the Russians are teaching defense these days too.

Brett

Henrik was a world class goalie BEFORE he came to the Rangers. You could have been his goalie coach and Henrik would be where he is today.

Nothing against Benoit but the truth is that Henrik was that good.

Rob

Word I keep hearing is that Nylander is not trying to break the bank but wants to insure long term security for him and his family.

His preference is the Rangers but he is not going to just give them a discount.

I do however tend to agree with you that not signing with the Rangers would make him a moron. Until he joined the Rangers, Nylander was known as no better than a 2nd line center.

Matty

True we are going to see lots of gloom and doom if the Rangers fail to land Drury or Gomez but not from this corner as I talked with Dubinsky's father tonight and the Rangers must really have plans for the kid as he was told he did not have to attend development camp this year just the main training camp.

Daddy Dubinsky told me that Brandon plans on busting his butt at camp this year. Having known the kid as long as I have I would NOT bet against him forcing his way onto the Ranger roster.

Lenny

I will save a story for you about Sather for a day when Dubi is not working and I can put something up. It sheds a lot of light on what really happened when Sather joined the Rangers.

Emscam

Before you think that US hockey has gotten that good you need to realize that all of those US players are heading to college and teams will be able to hold onto their rights for 4-5 years instead of just 2.

Elsie

None of those invited can be viewed as serious contenders for a contract. IF the Rangers really want to bring in someone who deserves a shot then I would invite Moises Gutierrez who the Pens did not sign.

Gutierrez is one of Daddy Dubinsky's Alaskan kids, he is 6'4 227 RW who had 35 goals as an overage player. He has size, he plays defense and has worked hard on improving his overall game.

Craig

Dispute the argument not attack the person please. If you don't like his message ignore him but the way you posted is asking for a flame war that we don't need here.

jess

THe NCAA has helped but the fact remains the US programs, NDT and USHL etc are producing quality and quality at a rate like never before. Good for them.

Sorry... dont want/need a fight...Just want to see happy faces all around... I understand there will be no BB until the fall. There will be some lonely trips to the bathroom this summer....Z

Lennynyr
"When did Sather suddenly acquire a brain? Anybody can answer that?"

You don't need a brain to pick a top 5 rated player when he's still available at pick #17. As many others posted, it's a no brainer, and that is something Sather seems to be eminently qualified for. Thank God Jessiman's little brother wasn't available at #17...

Thanks again for the excellent coverage.

Cherepanov is an excellent pick, there is little argument with that. I had hear we even put some effort into trading up to get him. If that is true, then having him fall into your lap at #17 kind of makes our good fortune more the product of accident than design. Regardless, it sounds like once AC fell to about #12 the Rangers read the situation right - that nobody was going to take him before they picked. If that is how it played out then credit is due to Sather & friends. Once he did fall to us, I don't think that it was that difficult a decision to select him.

With the late picks I do think it was an important consideration was that they are headed off to college and room doesn't need to be found in the system for them anytime soon. This is not a new approach in the Sather Era. However, I think that at this point where we have a good number of prospects in the pipeline this is a sensible way to proceed.

Jess - Any of the undrafteds any good? Is Peter Boldt a "Rockstrom Special"?

Emscam

No you are misunderstanding me totally here. The main reason why we saw so many USDP players taken in this draft was due not because all of these players were that good but that they are heading to college.

Instead of having to make decisions in 2 years or less, now in this week draft those who selected these players will have as 4-5 years to evaluate whether or not to sign any of these players.

It remains to be seen if these players will be quality products.

Craig

I understand but no offense try being Dubi or myself. Dubi has not taken any time off at all this year other than a day or 2 here or there.

I did prospect reports just about every day though out the season.

I am not speaking for Dubi but myself as I for one really am burnt out and want to recharge the batteries.

There simply is not enough hockey news during the summer to warrant a printed issue. Any news that happens is daily so you get it here.

As for lonely trips to the bathroom well may I suggest that you XXX XXXXX XXXX X XXXXX XXXXX X XXX XX XXXXXXX XXXXXX XXX XXX XXX XXXX (Sorry we had to censor that because there are women and Dubi's present)

T_Bird

Ask anyone and they will tell you how big a Sather critic I have been.

Having said that it is not easy to make a pick like Cherepanov under the circumstances and if anything it is in more ways an even tougher choice given the current climate in Russian/World hockey relations.

If the Rangers fail to sign him then this opens up Sather to tremendous criticism.

Let me tell you folks something else about this pick. There are 29 NHL teams hoping that the Rangers fail here. I got to talk to a ton of people about the Russian situation and they fear Ranger (Dolan) money being able to buy Cherepanov from his contract.

Not every team will spend a million just to purchase rights.

The current transfer agreement will cost NHL teams 2 million each to pay 200000 per player.

No T_Bird this selection is a very risky one with a lot on the line for the Rangers.

Pemoco

To be honest I don't like any of those undrafted who were invited. I mentioned earlier that I would have liked to see Moises Gutierrez at 6'4 227 RW been invited.

I really like Everett Silvertip players as Kevin Constantine (former coach) demands hard work, he demands defense and this overage kid scored 35 goals while doing that. It makes it worth a look don't you think?

yeah, I dont expect any of those walk-on's to have much impact.
I'd rather see the Rangers give the kids they've invested in a shot.
Hartford resigned journeyman goon Lesard, and Jordan Owens.
But what of Junior F's Seymour and Hunter(injured)?
Are Falardeau and Kozak out of the picture?
Has anyone seen Graham? They kep him up as a pro when he was 19, but mostly in Charlotte. He's huge [6'6", 235], as were his ECHL ##'s [33 G in 65 games]
Is Bahensky a prospect?
I guess Roche didn't impress as ATO, but he and D Dylan Reese come from strong programs where they were impact players.
Does anyone have a clear picture of the D roster for Hartford/minors?
Sauer, Staal and Busto coming in; Baranka, Liffiton and Taylor (resigned to Hartford deal) returning. But what of Potter, Degon, Pikkareinen, Constant? and the chatter that Purinton may return as Captain with Weller departing for Europe?
I do enjoy the NHL 'hot-stove' season...

Heard a report on the radio this morning that the Rangers will not be offering Karel Rachunek a contract.

This may open the door for Staal....or there might be a UFA defenseman the team wants to bring in come July 1st.

One other thought is that the team was happy with the way Jason Strudwick filled in at the end of the season. From what I understand Strudwick is very popular with his teammates and brings an element of toughness to the defense....something that the team is sorely lacking. Strudwick would be cheaper than Rachunek and could probably be signed for a year opening up more room for a Hartford guy this year or next.

Don't forget next year is a bblockbuster for UFAs with Thornton, Hossa (Marion), Iginla and other top flight players reaching the end of their current contracts.

The team may have an eye to the future regarding that.

Jess

I understand you just fine. In the first rd 10 players were US born. NCAA may have had something to do with that total but the US levels produced them. Quality players and every year it gets larger in quantity. As for will they be any good down the road that is why they have the draft and and teams have time but as of right now I'm impressed with the ability of the USA to have this many players drafted.

Jess

Teams have always had the NCAA route to give them time to develop drafted players. That hasn't changed as it was that way before the new CBA.

Emscam

This is just like th e02 draft when there was next to no legit talent in it so every one (including the Rangers) went for the USHLers.

Just because you are drafted does not mean your program is working that well.

And you are overlooking that in the current CBA Europeans are now treated as CHLers with their draft rights only held for 2 days.

Elsie

Seymour was not tendered an offer, he had zero offense playing for Brampton.

Hunter on the other hand was tendered an offer just to keep his rights. He suffered a broken ankle during the WHL playoffs.

Graham: a career minor leaguer

Bahensky: he must show progress this season or should be cut loose.

Roche is not expected to get a contract.

Reese is on the bubble but he is a smallish defender.

You had the Hartford d roster correct but I believe Staal makes the Ranger roster and possibly Baranka as well

Interesting to see Army's Brad Roberts. I had the chance to see him play when Iwas covering Iona College back in the days of the MAAC. He doesn't have the classical size you would love to see in a goaltender, he was quick and did a great job at playing the angles and limiting rebounds. Given his size and the fact he wasn't playing for the strongest team, he is the best MAAC goalie I have seen a couple of them have made it to the AHL. I did find one article detailing how a West Point graduate is able to play hockey given his military requirements.

The following is from an article by Lindsay Kramer of the "The Post-Standard" in Syracuse.

He was given a leave from that program to skate with the Crunch, whose first practice was Saturday. If Syracuse cuts him, he will return to West Point, finish his internship, take officer training and then report to wherever in the United States or across the world he is deployed to serve out a five-year commitment.

If Syracuse, or another AHL or even an ECHL team, wants him, Roberts will be eligible to apply for the Army's new Exceptional Athlete Program. That allows Army athletes with pro potential to serve as recruiters for two seasons - making speeches, handing out brochures in cities they travel to - and then get out of their remaining three years by paying the Army compensation for their schooling.

So far, the two-year-old program has been used by two Army baseball players. Roberts would love to become the third athlete with that option. If not, he committed to the Army for the long haul and it's a promise he's prepared to keep.

Jess

Less euros are picked because of the 2 year window which helps the number of NA's picked overall but 30% of all draftees were from the States and that is impressive, as were the top two overall. For me its great to see more kids getting picked and programs in the US getting better. Expansion did have its benefits in regards to opening up new areas for kids in the US to play hockey.

We see it a bit differently and that is fine by me.

Ron:

Strudwick is not an NHL player under the new rules. He lacks speed. He was signed as a stopgap, can't see him coming back this year.

I'm surprised that Rachunek isn't coming back, but I guess the team wants more flexibility to sign a free agent. Plus, we have six vets coming back and and Staal, so it is a bit crowded.

Strudwick played a full season for the Rangers in the "new " NHL after the lockout year. He played in Europe most of last year on a larger ice surface and filled in very nicely during the teams stretch run to the playoffs.

I am not saying he is a top 6 guy on the 2007-2008 Ranger team.
I am saying he could be signed for insurance at much less than Rachunek or could mentor some of the young defensemen at Hartford.

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