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July 23, 2007


I would bring Marty Straka along slowly. I was watching clips from last season and boy this guy is underrated ( not by ranger fans , but by the rest of the media) he gets dirty, kills PP's and still skates well. if his shoulder isn't 100%, let him rest and give the Hossa's (if we keep him), Callahans and maybe Dawes a little experience.

Can't waut till the season starts!!

Great summary of the situation in Rangerland. BTW, we also know that we have a pretty good coaching staff. Some on this site don't agree, but to use a word from the last thread, the coaching staff has "chemistry". They are no nonsense guys and have the respect of the team. I'm looking for a lot of raised sticks at the end of games this year. With all the "don't knows", the "best guesses" all look pretty good.

Here is what wouldn't make sense: putting Betts as their 3rd line center. The guy has no scoring ability whatsoever. If Callahan is on the 3rd line with Betts centering him, we can count on Ryan not to score at all. Now is the perfect time to bring in Dubinsky to center the 3rd line between Avery (whom he has the same attitude as) and Prucha. That is a legitimate 3rd line with scoring and physical play. Then let Betts play with Hollweg\Orr and Dawes. Hossa has talent, but when he's not with Jagr he's invisible. I'm sure Dawes would be great with Jagr too if Straka went down.

As for Callahan, if you put him on the 3rd line with Betts as his center, you stunt his growth, the way we've done with plenty of prospects in the past. Now is the time, with the great mix of veterans, to incorporate Dubinsky, Dawes, Callahan, Girardi, Staal. Looking at this team, here are the best lines possible:


Callahan will learn playing with Drury and Shanny, nothing could be better.

As for the defense, someone is going to go. I believe if Kasper really is in the shape people are reporting, these would be the best lines:


Strudwick\Hutch\Pock backups.

As for special teams, do people not understand that Straka on the point doesn't work, nor does Rosival? THe problem with those players is they hold the puck and pass too much. We need a QB on the point, and the only person I see fitting that build is Staal. Rosival is too indecisive, although I like him a lot, he doesn't anchor the PP well. Just my two cents, go Rangers, hoping this year is something special!!!!

great post! A couple of points:

1. I hope Renney & Co. don't jerk Prucha around. He's a good player who can score some goals.

2. Hossa has no value to this club unless he plays with Jagr. He doesn't come to play unless he gets ice time on the first line. Unless the Rangers plan on using him there, they should carefully weigh their options with him.

Forget Kaspar!


First; the "third line" doesn't mean that thay should get the third most points. It means they get more ice time than the fourth line. Remember when the Betts line started each period. That didn't make them the first line. A solid defensive line is fine for a third line. It may make some sense to have Dubinsky, Prucha and Callahan on a fourth line, easing them into the high powered NHL offense. If they start to produce, watch how fast they become a third line...their minutes will go up.

With respect to a PP QB, yes it sounds good. However if you don't have a canon on the point it doesn't mean that your PP will flounder. You must set your PP to the skill set you have on your team. The number of blocked shots are way up, so shooting the puck into the net from 45 ft out is not going to happen very often with our defense. However, good passing D'men with quick puck movement can effectively set up snipers like Shanny, Prucha, Drury, Jagr and a few others. You see the PP through Souray's eyes and the like, but he isn't here and we don't have anybody ready to fill that role, so we adjust.

Thanks Dubi, I feel refreshed. Great summary but, like the title of an old Traffic tune, "Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring"!!

Great overall job on your start of the year summary Dubi. There are still some intangibles, but I feel that we have enough raw talent both here and in Hartford to get the job done. I'm really looking forward to the start of this season...

I would hope that at 1.6 million per year that Prucha is'nt going to be getting 4 or 5 minutes per night on the 4th line.

dane byers will be on this team this year. hollweg will be in trouble.

Can't say I agree with how the lines will be constructed for next season. While Coach Renney may have said that he'll play both Drury and Gomez with Jagr, the truth is that it's Gomez' job to lose. He is a lefthanded shot that will make a forehand pass to Jagr's stick. He is a set up man first not a shooter unlike Chris Drury.

Because of these Dynamics, don't be surprised if you see Hossa playing on Jagr's left side, Straka playing with Drury and Shanahan (Straka on the receiving end of right handed passes), and Avery playing the middle between Callahan and Prucha.

Straka is a terrific passer and skater, and will augment the North South games Shanahan and Drury possess. Hossa will do the dirty work down low for Gomez and Jagr and be a defensive presence.

As far as Avery is concerned, he is a perfect third line center. He is fast, persistent, physical, and a pest. That line could be quite annoying to play against if Prucha decides to backcheck. If he doesn't, don't be surprised if Dane Byers gets a shot at some point next season to play with Callahan and Avery. He proved himself to be a quick, physical forechecker last year in Hartford, that displayed offensive upside.

The Defense will likely be trimmed prior to the season starting, but I like the depth back there.

Hoping all the pieces fall into place.



Couldn't agree more Rick. Those are the lines that make the most sense to me also. I just hope Renney is considering this configuration a viable option.

Please guy's forget hossa he stinks,he played a few games with Jags but after he was hurt he didn't do squat.If the only way a player can be useful he has to play with Jags then he is a waste to the team and the fans.He stinks move on with youth.Lets go Rangers.

Everyone keeps forgetting about Alex Bourret but honestly other then Dubinsky wouldn't he be ranked ahead of guys like Dawes, Byers, and Korpikoski regarding our prospects? I feel like he could surprise and have a solid camp and if not make the team he should tear up the AHL just like Callahan did last year. Frankly if guys like Shanny or Straks get injured this year i won't be too worried knowing of the depth we'll have in our system.

The same goes for our defense if u think about it (Liffiton, Baranka, Staal), though depth is not an issue for us right now at defense, if anything it's too congested right now

Dubi good summary, but when you say it you don't get flack & lectures , nor big disagreements, INTERESTING. You've developed "chemistry";-)


Good summary... but each time you mentioned Renney's name, it was for something that I dislike about his coaching.

We all know Renney's quotes about "having requisite experience", and how he had to be forced (through injuries) to give some kids a little playing time last season. OK, so they (Girardi & Callahan) played extremely well and outplayed most of the vets...they PROVED they can play and they belong here.

Now Renney's hemming and hawing about whether they actually won jobs last year. He's itching to be able to pull the plug so he can insert another of his useless vet reclamation projects (Isbister, Krog, Dupuis, J.Ward, Hall, A.Ward, Nieminen, Ozolinsh, etc.,etc.). When will this b.s. end?

The team turned around last year mainly due to Avery, Mara, and the kid's improved play over the vets they replaced.

Renney should be looking for ways to insert MORE kids (Dubinsky, Dawes, Byers, Pyatt, etc.) not less.


Avery is NOT a perfect center, because he can't agitate from that position. As I've said before, he becomes a non-factor at center.

I'd rather see Hossa score his annual 10 goals for another team.
If I were the coach, Hossa would be underachieving for another coach.

But if he has to be on this team, then I'd rather see him score them on the 4th line, NOT the first. Hey, my grandmother could have scored 10 playing with Nylander and Jagr.

Let somebody play with Jagr and either Drury or Gomez who can score 30 or so (Prucha).


I also am upset that Callahan and Girardi aren't locks according to Renney. IMO they should be. I also am not a fan of Hollweg but he seems to be the darling for Renney and others.

Instead of Strudwick I would rather see Staal and Liffiton. Why was he signed?? He was good at taking Henrik's dog for a stroll?

Renney can't say they are locks becuase what kind of message does it send to everyone else; know matter how hard you try you'll be in the AHL. Unless it's Jagr/gomez/Drury, then the coach always takes the no one is a lock attitude. I expect Callahan and Girardi to bulk up and be ready for the challenge.

I respect that Renney isn't saying that 2nd year players, who didn't play the full 82 game season with us last season aren't locks for next season ... like MikeA what message does that sent to THEM not to the rest of the team ... he wants to make sure that those kids come as hungry and as motivated as they did during the last training camp and is only human nature, specially with young players to slack off a little if you feel that you have a position locked up no matter what ... so while I do not believe that they are going back to Hartford I also approve of Renney's words

I find it hilarious that some fans look at point production as the only factor that a player possesses. I totally agree we def need/needed to get rid of Betts, Hossa, Hollweg, Rachunek and Ortmeyer. lets replace em all with the top 5 point producers in the leaugue. Or better yet lets get rid of all the defenceman too and just have all forwards. that way we'll have all players who go for the net, that'll surely increase production. Just surround the team with only 100 pt + players. I know it makes a lot so sense to me too


Talk about stupid. You just said that if Betts plays 3rd line center the "season is lost" and Staal will "save the season". So let me get this straight...Betts, a 15 point per season center will cost us everything and a guy who has yet to play a professional game will save the day. Now, tell me who is stupid! If you want to write this stuff, go over to the Islander website, if there is one, and join the rest of the stupids in the world.

I think Renney is jsut sayiing they are'nt locks as no one is really a lock but we all still know, including Renney himself, that they will be starting in October


"I find it hilarious that some fans look at point production as the only factor that a player possesses. I totally agree we def need/needed to get rid of Betts, Hossa, Hollweg, Rachunek and Ortmeyer. lets replace em all with the top 5 point producers in the leaugue."

When we have better players who will produce more points IN OUR OWN FARM SYSTEM, then YES, let's get rid of Betts, Hossa, Hollweg, Rachunek and Ortmeyer.

You're like my grandmother who never put out the good silverware but used the old stuff instead. Eventually the good silver gets tarnished if you don't use it.

I also think the kids should play as well if i could pick the lines they would go like this...




PS. To a poitn i agrre that staal can "save the season" although i do not think we are s.o.l without him but i think him in the lineup would bring this team to a new level

i echoe baron's comments.there is no denying that the kids who deserve to play in this organization do so only as a last result when all other options are exhausted.there is no denying that girardi and callahan were brought in when and only when all of the scrubs renney tried were miserable failures!!you could make a very strong case that avery,the king,callahan and girardi are the reason that the rangers made the playoffs.to say that callahan and girardi's spots on the team are not locks is a little crazy!!while i would have said it differntly like they have to earn their spot or have to play themself off of the team,i think renney is trying to make sure that their heads don't swell up too much.i would not however be surprised if renney played betts on the third line with callahan and prucha and then when cally is not scoring because betts cannot pass,claim that cally should be sent down to find his game,while prucha gets demoted to the fourth line and his boy hossa and his 18pts gets third line duty with betts and avery.on the defense i don't believe that staal has a snowballs chance in hell to make the team even if he is the best dman in camp.they will go with strudwick instead and even hutchinson.as far as renney is concerned,i don't like his in game coaching ability and the fact that he is afraid to play young players.i also feel that just like with roger neilson not being ABle to take us to the next step,renney is also not the right coach to take us to the next level.


I think your 3rd line will get crushed. Two rookies and a 170 lb. gorilla? Any good defensive line will totally shut down your line. The line spells "scoring", but defensively will be subject to many turnovers and pucks coming the other way in a hurry. I simply would flip Prucha and Avery. Drury is going to make the players on his line better and Avery can help protect the rookies. However, if I'm going for scoring this is my line up:

ok for one wheres straka?? number two two rooks on your third line with avery? how is that line any better?? callahan is tough and so is dubinsky they both will drop the gloves, hit, and backcheck so wats the problem defensively with that line? the only thing i would do is switch avery and callahan if that gives the second line more scoring and makes callahan better...but i dont see your arguement of how this line is defensivly weak...

I think Renney said that Callahan and Girardi aren't locks to make the roster because:

1) it would make them complacent. Part of the reason rookies/young players bring so much energy is because they know they're fighting for a job every day.

2) especially in Callahan's case, they AREN'T locks to make the roster. I say especially Callahan because he has only 14 regular-season NHL games on his resumé and a few guys like Dawes also challenging for a spot on wing (yeah, I know Dawes is a RW and Callahan's a LW, but it's about a roster spot and not a specific line spot).
Of course, one could say the same for Girardi, if you assume Mara, Malik, Tyutin, and Roszival are locks on D. That leaves Girardi, Staal, Hutchinson, Strudwick, Pock, and (apparently) Kasparaitis...about 6 guys fighting for 3 spots if you don't count Hartford guys. Yeah, I'd pick Girardi over any of those guys (Staal because I haven't seen him play an NHL game yet), but he still has to earn his spot over those guys in camp.

I put only offensive lines together, just scorers. Totally forget defense. I did make a mistake, Straka in place of Betts. For those on this website that think every line must be a scoring line, well that's mine (even though it is silly and would never come to be). You seem to equate defense with "drop the gloves, hit and backcheck". Rookies ofter force a pass into an area that was not smart to try, they will get caught too deep, they will make cross ice passes, they are prone to making mental mistakes, they will misjudge the speed of an opponent and many other little things. That's why coaches look for young players that are considered "NHL ready". Even experienced players make plenty of misques. So that is what I see wrong with your third line. Every line needs to have that defensive quality to it if a team is positioning itself for a cup run. Gomez and Drury are excellent examples of first line players that have those qualities. Avery's speed and experience help him in the defensive part of the game and his grit, coupled with both Callahan and Duninsky's should make them a difficult line to play against.

I, like you and many others, are looking forward to the development of this team. We are all discussing what we hope will be a very exciting team and a very successful season. We do have some holes to fill and some tough decisions to make. It will produce much spirited discussion. That will be fun.

Baron, you make a good point about your grandmother's good silverware, I totally agree with what you're saying. But for God's sake, don't put her out on a line with Nylander and Jagr! She won't get 10 goals, and probably wind up with a fractured hip before the end of the first period. You know the doctors said she can't take a hip check anymore...


"She won't get 10 goals, and probably wind up with a fractured hip before the end of the first period. You know the doctors said she can't take a hip check anymore..."

OK, so I exaggerated... maybe 5 goals... but she'll have more assists than Hossa, Hollweg and Betts combined.

Furthermore, she rarely takes a hip check because she's really nasty with the stick. :-)

1. Straka- Drury- Jagr ..... in my opinion this would be the ideal first line because jagr is a passing right winger who would be able to set up Drury (who is noted for his goal scoring) and his buddy straka

2. Shanahan- Gomez- Avery.... this would be the ideal second line because shanny is a noted goal scorer while gomez
is a noted passer and will feed pucks all day to shanny while avery will fulfill the lines dirty work with a goal scoring touch
3. Hossa- Prucha- Callahan.... this line to me will be very effective because Hossa adds size to work along the boards prucha was actually brought up into the league ment to be a center therefore he can center while callahan has the gionta like goal scoring touch

4. Hollweg- Betts- Orr.... all players on this line each have characteristics of an energetic hard hitting fourth line that has the obility to change the momentum in a rough game

1. Rozsival-Malik... both work well together and are effective defencemen when play is full strength
2. Mara-Tyutin...mara (offensively skilled) will even out well with tyutins defensive play style
3. Girardi- Hutchinson/Staal/Strudwick...girardi is a very solid young defencemen while i believe Hutchinson deserves the spot in quarterbacking our 2nd line power play with mara

I'm tired of hearing that the youth in hartford can all perofrm at the NHL level better than Hossa or whomever. We don't know that. Hossa is a physical presence, with good hands, good skills, and a good lineage. He was just finding his game when he had the first major injury of his career....ask any player--coming back from one of those will have you tentative and worried. Remember what happened to Kloucek??? Hossa comes back and outplays his brother in the first series--his first playoff series. Nerves, injury, but what the hell let's dump him despite his relative youth, his chemistry with Jagr (there it is--some chemistry with aplayer helping), etc so that we can replace him with someone else who will be going through the same growing pains???

If Hossa were Isbister, I'd agree. If he were over 27 I'd agree, but really he's just finding his game. Think of how many shootout victories he gave us. He might just be at the cusp og his career.

Lastly, playing with Jagr doesn't make every player better. Shanahan struggled playing with Jagr on the first PP unit; Isbister could not be better playing with Jagr. Jagr frees up hossa to play a little looser, drive the net more, and get a clearer shot off.

I'm not a Hossa "lover" I'm just suggesting that maybe showing him the door just yet isn't the smartest move.


i agree im not a Hossa "lover" but i do think he has talent

have any of you people realized that he has never played on a 2nd or 3rd line.... he either played the goal scoring role or the defensive stay at home role

i think its time hossa has tried a 2nd or 3rd line role. he has great hands and he work extremely well along the boards and in the corners because of his size...plus he did well for us in past shootouts

not signing him would be a HUGEEEEE mistake

to everyone who is knocking renney for saying that girardi and callahan are not locks, um no coach in their right mind would say that. that are young players and you want them to think that they have to earn a spot. same goes for staal. and dont be suprised if it is artisimov who is the 3rd line center.

that should be wouldnt say that

I agree with most of the posters on here who defend Renney when he says that guys like Callahan and Girardi aren't locks and the farm guys hafta earn their way into a roster spot with us. It does send a good message to the young guys to work their butts off and judging by last year's success it seemed to do the trick.

At the same time, I CERTAINLY DON'T THINK it sends a good message when scrubs like Isbister, Krog, or Ozolinsh were wasting roster spots in quite a few games last year, especially when Callahan and Pock and Dawes were forced to sit in Hartford. My only concern is if Renney pulls stunts like this again, though i'm hopeful that because of our financial situation we'll be less likely to take up guys on waivers than last year.

If Girardi and Callahan don't make the Rangers, the whole build-from-within doctrine should be considered folly. Girardi was among the team's best defensemen throughout his stint in New York, and Callahan is the kind of high-energy guy with a scoring touch that the Rangers need. They're both examples of numerous minutes in all situations with the Wolf Pack being far more beneficial than 5-6 minutes a night in New York. Dawes was the ONLY other Wolf Pack player ready for the NHL at the end of last season. Hopefully Dubinsky, Byers, Bourret, even Liffiton, continue to progress, but they're not going to do it getting limited minutes on Broadway when they'd be best served playing 20-25 minutes in Hartford. Ditto for Staal. Nothing worse than a young defenseman getting burned a few times to ruin his confidence. Not to mention wasting away at 8-10 minutes a game. Staal showed well in the playoffs with Hartford two seasons ago, and Corey Potter excelled much of the time after being called up from Charlotte last season. Sauer also has had good reviews, but force-feeding any of them in New York would be a major mistake.

jarkko immonen is another 3rd line center possibility that im willing to go with

Promoting Shoenfeld was the right move. Resigning Hossa at whatever price if it goes to arbitration would be wise. He has shown talent & improvement as a 2 way hockey player. Guys like Orr & Hollweg unless they show more, will be 1st to be gone. They are many different messages the 'kids' have to understand while believing the NYR are on their side to succeed. The message from mgmt and their actions with the young guys just has to remain positive. Letting Hossa go is not a positive message, especially with the #s he put up when playing with Jagr & Nylander. I'd like to see Straka center Prucha & Callihan.

I love it. EVERY KID IN HARTFORD IS BETTER THAN WHAT IS ON BROADWAY?!?!?! Renney is dead on. Callahan (who I like) hasn't played a full NHL season yet. Same for Girardi. Let's give these kids credit, but don't anoint them as NHL stars yet. I can't tell you how many posts I have read that were swearing that Jarko Immonen was the next Ron Francis and the only thing holding him down was stupid Tom Renney. Imo didn't play because he is a career minor leaguer. Sorry to break it to you guys, but so is Dawes. Marc Stall may be good, but maybe he is not as good as Eric or Jordan. Just like Brett wasn't as good as Eric Lindros. I wish them luck, but let's SEE them do NHL wonders before we poo-poo Tom Renney and Glen Sather for their personnel decisions.

Good mid-summer write up Dubi. The 3rd line center has been my biggest concern. Out of everyone mentioned I like Brandon Dubinsky to fill that hole.
I still feel uneasy about losing Nylander and Cullen.
I will also admit (how many will agree?), I would also feel more secure had Weekes still been our back-up.

the Rangers do NOT have enough muscle up front or on D who can actually play the game and contribute points...

they will get pushed around again this year unless they add some...Orr is not the answer, nor is Hollweg...

Are the Rangers coming to Lake George again this year for mini-camp?????


"I wish them luck, but let's SEE them do NHL wonders before we poo-poo Tom Renney and Glen Sather for their personnel decisions."

And how do you get to see them do NHL wonders if they are NOT in the NHL???

You have to give them the chance to show what they can do. When they get that chance they will run with it, as Girardi and Callahan did last season.


I keep hearing how Shanahan had no chemistry with Jagr during the short time they were paired, but Hossa had great chemistry...Does anyone think that Shanahan would have had fewer points than Hossa did playing with JJ?

Hossa had 10 goals TOTAL, about 6 or 7 playing with Jagr's line. Shanahan would have done that in 2 weeks playing on the first line. Hell, Prucha would have scored 30 playing with JJ all season.

Hossa is nothing but a career underachieving scrub who probably had his career year last season.

We're wasting a valuable spot which could be taken by a scoring winger when Hossa plays on the first line.

Wow, we haven't even hit training camp and already the genuises in their basements are criticizing Renney for stuff he hasn't even done yet. He hates kids! Oh, the humanity!

Reminds me of all the posts ripping Sather for trading Prucha and every other kid for vets. Oh wait, he didn't do that. Never mind.

Dubi, good analysis.

With all do respect baron, who is the better assessor of talent. Schoney, Renney, and Sather or you and I here on the BB? Imo had his chance, so did Dawes. Neither of these guys are as good as Betts or Hossa. Neither of them can do one singular thing really well such as Hollweg (physicality), or dare I say it, Orr (pugilism). I honestly believe if the kids were so good, they would be playing. Imo is 24-25 yo? Don't you think he would have made it to the NHL by now if he was so good? Why hasn't any other team traded for him if he is so good? It seems like people believe that the Ranger management is purposely leaving better players in Hartford. That is absurd.

"It seems like people believe that the Ranger management is purposely leaving better players in Hartford. That is absurd."


You are right on, Dubi, with the line combos. The great part of this team is their depth, which will allow Renney the ability to change line combinations throughout the season to find chemistry, re-energize slumping players/lines, or replace injured players. I agree with some of the posters that Hossa, Betts, Hollweg and Orr are not the greatest. However, those guys have very specific roles (e.g., forecheckers w/ some scoring ability, faceoff/PK specialists, and ruffians), which are, nonetheless, vital to the success of this team. With the forwards, my only fears are (1) what chemisty the lines will have after all this off-season activity and when Renney tweaks combinations to get his matchups and (2) how will our new 3rd line center perform. Avery is not a natural centerman, but rather is most effective at wing and standing in front of the goal...not concentrating on protecting the high slot from odd-man rushes.

On the blueline, we still lack the brutality of a Cup team. If Kaspar can make the team with his slimmed physique (and hopefully, quicker step), then problem solved. But in all likelihood, he will not. As much as I hate Malik's footspeed issues, his chemistry w/ Rozy keeps him on the 1st pair. Mara w/ Tyutin is also doable. I think the 3rd pairing as a free-for-all is the best bet. Whoever wins out at camp gets the last 2 starting spots. My impression is that it will be a vet (Strudwick) and Hutch (with Girardi, Staal and Pock waiting in the wings).

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