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September 26, 2007


Is this Lessard tough?

To answer your question Johnny YES! to say the very least. I can see him being a heavy weight for years to come.
I happy that there leaving him up and Orr as well. Now lets see who will take a swipe at the champ (sadly he wins fights) Mr Orr

Orr is way better then Lessard, lessard is a good fighter but he doesnt have a right hand like Orr.

Hopefully Simon plays that game. Our 4th line can be Orr - Hollweg - Lessard. That sounds just about right, and play Strudsy as well. You never know what these wackoffs might do.

If I were a betting man, Lessard plays Friday and gets immediately sent down after this game. The Islanders are going to play like this all season long, to compensate for their lack of overall talent. This doesn't bode well for the Rangers, because their game is skill-based, not necessarily gritty hockey. Don't get me wrong Avery provides plenty of sandpaper, and Shanahan is as tough as they come. But who else up front would you consider a tough player? Hollweg and Orr are mere fourth liners, I am talking about the players that will actually get a bulk of playing time. The Islanders, for all of their bush league crap, have a pretty gritty set of forwards and a few headhunters on defense, in Witt and now Sutton. I don't fear the scoreboard against the Isles, because surely most of these games will fall in favor of the Blueshirts. But the war of attrition, against this filthy team, led by this assinine coach of theirs will make these games dangerous.

If what you say about the Isles this upcoming season is true, then we need to have a guy like that on our team full-time. We can ill afford to have one of our skilled guys go down at the hands of a dirty hit. And I can't wait to see Avery run DP the first and every chance he gets. Potvin Sucks

Alumni note: Josef Balez was waived by Vancouver.

Someone please refresh my memory.

How many players on a NHL roster? 23?

Can't see Staal up as a 7th defenseman when he can get monster minutes in Hartford. I can see Staal as the 5th or 6th guy moving up after some time in the bigs and Strudwick or Pock as the odd man out.

If the current 7 NHL d-men (Rosy, Malik, Tyutin, Girardi, Mara, Pock and Strudwick stay and the 12 forwards (Jagr, Gomez, Straka, Drury, Avery, Shanny, Betts, Orr and Hollweg, Prucha, Callahan and Hossa stay with the 2 goalies (Henrik and Vally)....

That's a total of 21 spots. That leaves 2 left among Dawes, Dubinsky and Anisimov if there is 23 spots.

IF...big IF...thats the case then it appears to me Anisimov goes down as he has the least experience of anyone and is still getting acclimated to the North American rinks and style of play as well as the culture shock/language barrier. That said, in the two games I went to at MSG, Anisimov and Dubinsky, when they played, stood out a heck of a lot more than Dawes did and they did it without playing with Jagr and Straka.

If there is only 22 spots then it is a little more academic.
Anisimov probably goes down and Dawes gets his last best chance to make the Rangers keep him.

I can't see keeping both Dubinsky and Anisimov to share a center spot unless one of them gets shifted to wing to take the place of an Orr or Hollweg.

That said, 4th line minutes are not enough to help develop a player. Don't know how or where Hossa will fit in should Dubinsky and Dawes make it. They all need ice time and maybe one goes back to Hartford and is the first call-up should Hossa or some other forward get hurt.

If I was a betting man I say Dawes cold be the odd man out....but hey...I have been known to be wrong.

Lessard isn't even under contract with the Rangers -- he's on an AHL-only contract. Even if he hadn't been sent down in the group today, he wouldn't be playing on Friday unless they signed him to a contract, and with the Rangers already close to the 50 contract limit, the chances of that were just about non-existant.

Why is Sauer cut

Laurie- Since he is in the rangers camp on a tryout basis, I think he can play in pre-season games (just like Mark Smith, except he has an AHL contract).

It comes down to this, as I see it:

Anisimov and Lessard and Montoya will definitely be sent down, probably on Saturday. (I still think Lessard might dress on Friday or he would have been sent down earlier, since it's not like he is a serious threat to crack the lineup.

That leaves the rangers with three options:

Rangers Keep 8 D-men. Keep Dawes, send down Dubinsky.


Rangers Keep 7 D-men. Keep Dawes AND Dubinsky. Send Down Staal.


Rangers Keep 7 D-men. Keep Dawes and Dubinsky. Send down Pock (lose him for nothing on waivers).

No way we send down Strudwick. No way they keep Montoya on the team unless Valli goes on IR.

I guess a 4th option would be sending down Dawes, but I think that seems unlikely as he has nothing left to prove in the AHL. I think they'll give him some time to prove himself and if he doesn't work out, they'll send him down and/or trade him.

You know if hutch gets picked up by another team that would mean we gave Cullen awya for nothing ye i know its because of hsi salary but we couldve got somebody a alot better than Hutch for cullen

Ant- Sauer needs some time in the AHL (as he'll probably be a 1st pair guy). He did better in camp than anyone could have expected (not including you, Jess, but he probably lasted longer than even you expected).

Mark - good point. I'm not even thinking in pre-season mode anymore. Bring on the regular season already! ;)

Rangers will send down Dawes before Dubinsky

Balej has to clear waivers before reporting to the AHL's Manitoba Moose

"This leaves Marc Staal in the running, still battling it out with the seven other NHL defensemen, while Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, and Nigel Dawes are still battling it out with a dozen NHL forwards."

With the exception of Anisimov, this is pretty much where we expected to net out with the prospects. Thrilled to be (just about) proven wrong on Mark Smith, BTW.

Marc Staal better make the team. I think his style of D (big stay at home D)is just wat we have been lookign for on this defense. I think he can turn this into a championship D. I am nto saying he is going to be a norris trophy winning D man or even in line for a calder but i think wat he would add to the D is needed to make a good run. They are comparing him to pronger and I think he is ready to stepup and show wat he's got.(And i am certian he's do a better job than pock of struds)

Hutch for Cullen: It didn't cost us anything so we can't loose anything. BTW, because we OVERPAID for what Cullen really is, no body wanted him at that price except CAR.

I still think we may be looking at a Mara trade down the line. While none of the defensemen have looked outstanding, Mara has not stepped up to distinguish himself. I think we are looking for a bonafide hitter or hammer. Kaspar didn't or couldn't do it, same with Liffiton. No one else in the system as of no is that kind of D'man and we don't seem to have the "Golden Gloves" type in the system either. Yes, Orr can do the job, but I think we would prefer to have a marginal contributor vs the one-dimensional player Orr is. This is the time a GM earns his money. Check out other teams to figure out who they might put on waivers that we may have some interest in...then pull the trigger and make that trade. If the Rangers move Mara for a combative forward then Staal and Strudwick will make the final roster. If a deal is still in the works by the deadline, then Staal will be reassigned.

Cullen trade also brought back Joe Barnes; don't rule out him showing up in a year or 2

You can't just trade Mara because you want to... Who's going to take a 3 million dollar defenseman who was -16 and had 23 points last year? If Sather manages to pull that off, all the power to him. Just can't see it though

my prediction is only Dawes sticks with Pock & Strudwick. Trades & callups will be the next options. Everyone wants Dubinsky & Staal, but patience will be the NYR keyword.

Just to add to the Mara convo......I think he over played and out played himself last year. He looks like an ok player, if he started scraping or hitting like he should be for his size then OK. But thats not the case hes there for his slap shot and thats ok at best for a point guy. the rangers have been trying to get someone for the point for years. Ozolish Cullen Mara thats all ive been hearing for years that we're going to use him for the point or hes a great point guy.

Dubi stays up and Staal. They would be stupid if they didnt. I like Anizmov also. He looks like he likes drive the net and carrys himself well. You never know. Is he even still up ?????

I just read the official announcement on NYR.com. There was no mention of Hutchison going anywhere. His name was not part of the announcement. The roster of still-in-camp players provided on the website included Hutchison. I don't think he will make the team but there's no need to jump the gun on things.

And by the way Cullen was just to dump salary ONLY

Ranger bill - still on the justification for the Cullen getting rid of I see. I listed previously 6 or so forwards that will have pk duty + 2 possible others. I'm really only happy with the 1st 3 I listed as pk possibilities. A large portion of our pk should be 3rd or 4th liners but many of those are not really suitable for pk duty and consequently others will play far too many minutes (see Drury and Shanny to name 2). And one of the 3 I listed 1st people can't wait to get rid of next yr (Straka). People on these boards never really consider the pk and never consider how many minutes some guys might have to play when guys like Dawes (who is one dimensional at best) are added on to the team.

Strudwick will stay up but I think they'll use him as a 7th d-man, a good locker room presence and useful as a replacement or against specific teams. In my mind it's Staal vs. Pock for the 6-spot, and from what I'm reading this preseason my feeling is Pock might end up splitting time as an extra d-man and occasional fourth-liner.

As for Dubinsky, Anisimov, and Dawes: Between Dubinsky and Anisimov, both centers, consensus seems to be that Dubinsky's more ready, so Anisimov will likely go down. As for Dawes, I see 6 or 7 wings ahead of him in depth: Jagr, Straka, Avery, Shanahan, Callahan, Prucha, and Hossa (who I'm forever iffy on). Since the first 6 of those 7 names are all people most fans would want on the top 3 lines, I think Dawes is out in the cold until someone gets injured. He'll have a much better shot next season, with Avery a UFA and Straka and Shanny both possibly retiring.

I should add to that last comment that I don't think Renney will use Straka, Avery, or Callahan as a center, simply judging from the fact that preseason lineups have seemed to move away from those experiments.

somebody said something about lessard not being able to play yet he has already played in the preseason

anyways basically the team is set except for dawes and anisimov. remember prucha was on the rangers roster as a rookie without playing any games in North American and anisimov was drafted in the 2nd round. plus the rangers are very high on him. staal probably will be going down for a few months to get used to the pro game but will be on the rangers post-season roster.

Dubinsky and Staal will not only stay but be in the opening night lineup. Staal has been one of the top three defenders for the Rangers in the preseason! Of course he'll be suited up opning night. Dubinsky as well. Pock would probably get plucked off waivers, so I'm thinking Dawes gets sent down until they figure out what to do...

In addition to Hutchinson and Barnes we also got a 2008 third round draft choice for Cullen.

I think the Rangers will only keep 22 players for salary cap reasons.
I'm guessing Pock and Struds as 6 & 7 D-men. That means Staal will be in Hartford until a probable mid-season call-up.
As for the forwards, the top twelve are set and they'll probably only keep 1 of Dawes, Dubinsky and Anisimov, with Anisimov being an obvious odd-man out. It's hard to imagine that they'd send down Dawes but Dubinsky plays a more important role as third line center, unless Renney wants to start playing guys out of position...

I can't wait to see the opening day lineups

Lessard has been sent down. Not playing him makes sense when both Simon and Brenan both playing

Call me crazy but I would have given Mark Smith a two way contract or a AHL contract. You never know when you might need a veteran like Isbister was last year. I thought he played pretty good against the Devils. Just a thought.

Anisimov is about one season away. He will be Cherepenovs center next year.


This was Sauer's first Ranger camp (he was injured in 05 and attended the USA camp last season) so he lasted kind of where I expected him to (serious).

If you read my tale of the tape comparing Staal and Sauer you will see why I say here and now that Sauer will spend about half a season before coming up. Sauer is the best Ranger defensive prospect.


I see Staal spending about 10 games with the Rangers at the start of this season and THEN if he has not made an impact he goes to Hartford to play major minutes rather than 10-15 as a 5-6 pair.

I also think people are making a mistake tying Dubinsky and Dawes as fighting for one roster spot. One is a center the other a wing so they could push someone else off the roster.

Let us be really brutal and blunt so far Shanny has been playing like his game is leaving him. Unlike many others I believe that IF Shanny sees that he can not play at the level he is used to that he will retire instead of being a liability to the team.

I can see Dawes, Dubinsky and Staal making the team none of the veterans have stood out enough to bolt their name plates into the locker room. I believe there are roster spots for these 3 to grab IF they step it up a tad more

Jess the rerason for the tie in as you know is Avery or Straka would be moved to center if Dubinsky was sent down or kept at wing if Dubinsky stays. So if Dubinsky stays and no other injuries or the Shanny scenario you painted doesn't materialize, there would be no room for Dawes as a top 9 forward. With Straka, Drury, JJ, Avery, Prucha, Gomez, Shanny, Cally, Dubinsky. It is unlikely the team would keep Dawes as a 4th liner or in the press box. Same with Dubinsky in reverse.

I think most are forgeting Sather's in charge. He'll be looking for deals right up to the deadline. Pock & Dawes might be two of his chips, but not by sending them to Hartford.

I'm thinking (hoping actually) that Hossa gets packaged with either Mara or Malik for a couple of high picks.

That would free up cap space and roster space for Dawes, Staal and Dubinsky to make the team and play regularly.

Dawes/Betts/Hollweg or Orr

Pock/Mara or Malik

Before you make alot of trades/assumptions about what is going to happen don't forget to monitor the expiring contracts and whjo is set to replace them...Z

do not rule out the possibilty of artem anisimov being on the rangers opening roster. He is the most unknown player out of the bunch but has the largest upside. The Rangers love his game and feel that he has the potential to be a number 1 center in this league.

Staal will probably not be on the Rangers roster for one reason. Who can the Rangers send down and pass through waivers. Not Pock, not Mara. Strudwick is a definate. Although, Malik will get injured and someone is going to stink it up come november so staal should be up by the time 2008 roles around at the latest.

i forgot to mention the other alternative the rangers carry 8 defenseman keeping staal in the lineup see if he clicks than trade one of the other defenseman

Sorry, but they have to get rid of Strudwick. Why on earth is he on the team? He serves no long term plan. He's a good team guy? He can play forward? He's an experienced d man? Leadership?We've got a glut of forwards, character in the room, and lets not forget no one signed him last year except the rangers. Imagine if Pock played in the games Strudwick played in. He'd gain much needed experience and would be better off for it. We could then have a better chance of trading Pock if we aren't going to use him. If Staal can play third pair minutes (and at least maybe he should start the year with the rangers in that role, he's earned it), it will be invaluable for his development. He could have a year under his belt come playoff time, not the sporadic minutes Renney tends to give rookies. Renney has to take the attitude that HE will develop the kids too, not just hartford. He is the coach after all and kids need to be taught in the pros. Not just expect to be able to play a sound defensive game. They will have their learning curve. Cut Strudwich already and send him down to Hartford. That's probably where his leadership is most needed.

I don't get it, some of you guys simply don't get it. Studwick is here to the the 7th dman because of 2 thinks, 1) his presence as a player who won't play every day tho will be there to step in whenever needed which is not easy at all and 2)to be a leader on the D line as with so many young d men players we need and he will prove very important. I hope staal stay up as much as if not more than anyone but for him to play every 1 out of 4 games, is it worth it? No! Its better for him to play every night in Hartford loging 20+ mins a night. Its Better for his confidence and his development.
Not many players can sit and then play and play effectively like studwick can which makes them incredibly effective and important as a player and a teammate.
As for the record, I hope staal makes it and plays quality minutes everynight but if he doesn't and can't, then I don't see the sense.

Jason: i completely with you however i personally believe the Rangers will consider carrying 8 defenseman for the start of the season. Remember Staal has yet to play a professional game, he might need time to adjust to way the game is played here. The Rangers philosophy on prospects it to have them learn the system in Hartford and when they are needed they are called up. Staal is not needed in New York right now. That said Renney does need to give the young guys, alot more playing time.

Pointless Trivia: Jason Strudwick also scored the first goal in Post-Lockout NHL history.

1. Lessard is a legit heavyweight, but he isn't elite. He's very aggressive & he'll give anybody a good fight, but he gets hit a lot & bleeds. He's not a youngster either.

2. If Cullen hadn't been traded, you'd have to subtract $2.8 million in talent from the roster in some other way (and do it for 3 years). You might suggest Mara, but it would be next to impossible to unload him without taking back equal salary in return. The Devils were in that predicament last year when they had to unload Malakhov, and they were only able to do it by surrending a first round pick. And that was only for one year remaining on his contract. The Rangers unloaded Cullen with 3 years left. If you're thinking that Cullen was traded merely for Hutchinson, you're really not thinking it through. Hutch was just a throw in. Cullen's trade gave the Rangers 3 years of salary cap relief without costing them draft picks, and they got Barnes and a third rounder to boot.

3. Strudwick is perfect as a 7th or 8th defenseman. It's absurd to think that the Rangers would be better served with, say, Stahl or Sauer filling that role. If and when they make the team, they need to play regular minutes. Pock is an entirely different type of player from Strudwick. Strudwick gives the Rangers the flexibility to insert a little grit on the backline when required, which is something the Ranger's D is sorely lacking. Liffiton could have given them some of that ingredient, but from what I've seen of him, I'd rather go with Strudwick's experience.

DUBI.... where's Sather and what is he saying, along with Schoenfeld & G Clark?

JESS.... where are the training camp deals?

Mitch ..... where is your Wolfpack report from last night's game?

You all can say what you want about Hossa and Strudwick, but I don't think either of them are going anywhere. Renney and Slats like Hossa, as does Jagr. He is a good PK man, he accepts assignments whether first line or fourth, and--despite being streaky--he has the hands to pot goals.

Strudwick doesn't just provide a veteran presence. Everyone in the locker room who talks about Strudwick discusses his personality. He's the ultimate team player--he'll step in to the fray or he'll write a playoff blog for fans. I see him coaching for us someday.

I find it interesting, Jess, that you mentioned Shanny, because I said a few days ago that Shanahan was the vet who was realy taking minutes away from a youngster.


I respectfully disagree with your assessment of the Shanahan situation. Do you really think that he's just going to get up and walk away from 5.3 million dollars? There's no way that is goign to happen. On top of that it's pre-season and right now NONE of the veterans are playing up to snuff.

Also, Dawes, Dubinsky and Staahl cannot all make the team. One of them is gogin to have to be sent down unless you cut Tommy Pock altogether and I think the odd man out is goign to be Dawes. You cna't ride him as an extra. He nees heavy minutes on the top 2 lines and last year showed that. Even if talk that the Rangers are only going to carry 22 turns out to be the case I still think Dawes either goes to Hartford or is traded. I think more the former than the latter because if there were to be an injury, i.e. Avery's wrist continues to be an issue, then there is room for him.


Dubi will probably post it when he does his summary today.

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