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September 27, 2007



I'm enjoying the heck out of my first Blueshirt Bulletin. Thanks for the great work!

personally i believe staal is last man out of the defense but they probably will carry 8. Anisimov is the favorite for the 3rd line but probably will start in Hartford.

Dubi, are you sure Montoya's bonuses count against the cap? My understanding was that in addition to players over 35 and players who've played over 400 games that spent more than 100 games on the IR the previous season, players on their entry level SPC could also have their performance bonuses deferred? I could be missing something in the CBA, but check out sections 50.2.b.i.C.2 and 50.5.h.ii. Sam seems to be suggesting the same in his blog update this morning. Mind you, I don't recommend the Rangers take advantage of the option, and agree that Montoya's better off in Hartford (at least to start), but my understanding was that his bonuses can be deferred, making his salary somewhat more managable, should it need to be.

Mitch - I'm be looking forward to your Pack updates this season. We'll be up in Hartford for opening night, and hope to get to a few more games this season than we did last, but it'll be nice to get an extra in-person perspective for the games we can't make!

Great read above! Can't wait for the season. These preseason games don't do anything for me (probably because I can't find 'em on the satellite, though I'll try again Friday night).

More shameless promotion: Enjoy reading the new Blueshirt Bulletin every chance I get. The Vic Hadfield Q&A was priceless. Wish I could join everyone Oct. 1 for the golf outing. Also, I learned what a cut-up Beck is. I guess most of you know that already. If you haven't subscribed yet, what's keepin' you?

As for my two cents: Keep Staal and Dubinsky. I hate to think of losing Pock, but if it's in place of Staal, then there's no choice. And the goalies: Montoya goes to Hartford and is playing regularly in case of injury. His salary will be an issue, apparently, but the Rangers'll have to find a way if he's needed.

I too believe that staal is the future of the team and he makes us better in the short term as well, so we should have him playing serious minutes this season in the NHL, regardless of what that means for strudwick or pock.

hopefully they will waive strudwick though

Chris- No chance Strudwick gets sent down.

Laurie- I don't think anyone would qualify for 100 games on IR in the previous season? ;-)

I hope they keep Pock. He has played well enough to be with the big club this pre-season. I know they'll keep Strudwick, so either they send down Staal or they keep 8 D-men. (I hope it's the latter, but wouldn't be devastated by the former).

Dubi over Anisimov for many reasons:
1. Dubi is a year older, has more Norh American Professional experience.
2. Dubi is physically more developed.
3. Dubi is a perfect fit with Prucha and Callahan

Anisimov over Dubi: Well, it would be a lot less confusing here if we didn't have a player and an editor named "Dubi".

Laurie, there are two things at play with the performance bonuses -- one is the amount counted against the cap during the course of the season, which is the full amount of potential bonuses; the other is the actual amount of bonus money paid out, which is determined after the season. In both cases, the team is given some wiggle room. In the former, the team can exceed the cap during the season by 7.5% of the ceiling to allow for bonuses. In the latter case, any actual bonuses paid above the cap level count against the following season's cap.

Montoya's potential bonuses put the Rangers over the 7.5% limit, so part of it will bring the ceiling down during the season no matter what. Shanahan has $2.8 million, Girardi $200k, and Staal $100k. That leaves $677,250 of bonus overage -- Montoya has $850,00. So Montoya will cost the Rangers $475,000 more than Valiquette under the cap, reducing their current available space from just about $2 million to just about $1.5 million. That assumes Staal makes the team -- if he doesn't, Montoya would impact the cap by $100,000 less.

Since Montoya is unlikely to meet any performance bonuses, the impact on next season's cap is not going to be an issue -- I'm not sure what the bonus clauses are, but I doubt they're of the "easily achievable" variety that Shanahan got as a loophole. I don't think 10-12 games is going to earn him and extra $850,000.

No matter how you slice it or dice it, his bonuses are too much to handle under the cap for someone who will play so few games, especially when he doesn't stand to benefit from playing so few games.

Dubi, thank you for finally making sense of something I've been trying to figure out for a while now. While Montoya's bonuses are technically deferrable, the Rangers current cap and bonus situation makes it impossible to do so. It all makes sense now. I never even bothered to work out the math on what that 7.5% number would be, it always just seemed plenty big enough. Thanks for taking the time to explain it!

Mark there is a way to miss 100 games during previous season.If you miss all prseason games whole season and playofsf (with the team playing 7 games each seriesuntil the cup) :)

Mark... 100 games... 100 days, what's the difference? ;-)

I have a hard time remembering a time when the Rangers had this kind of problem. Yes, the cap creates a part of this, but most importantly we are REALLY discussing YOUTH entering the big club. I think I'll be satisfied with what ever comes down the road. I happen to be a Pock fan and would not like to see him traded. I'd rather let Mara go, even if thru the waiver wire. My best hope would be to trade Mara for some young guys or draft picks (not sure anybody thinks he's worth $3M) and play Montoya and cut Valiquette and Anisimov. I think the versatility that Dawes, Straka and Hossa provide is worth having all three with the big club. We will lose Shanny and Straka next year, so even part time duty in NY will be good for Dawes and Hossa. Dubinsky needs a full year in NY so he is ready next season. Imagine, the NY Rangers preparing for a cup run this year and at the same time getting ready for the next 10 years or so of cup chasing! How 'bout that!

Rangerbill- Did you mean to say the versatility of Dawes, Straka and Hossa? Or did you mean Dawes,Dubinsky and Hossa or something else?

Why would u cut Anisimov?

To me, the answer is simple, but unpopular. Send down Dubi, Staal and Anisimov for now. The opportunities/needs to bring back players from Hartford will occur early and often. Unless they are outperformed, to a point that others earn positions ahead of them, all 3 will contribute to this season in good time.

cwede -

Are you Tom Renney in reality? Because that post could have been taken right from the coach's mouth.

Bury the kids and then go out looking for another Krog or Isbister project to fill the void.

I can see that scenario happening against all our wishes, but I hope and pray that you're way off base.

I saw on the news in the fantasy hockey league that Renney is going to try Drury centering Jagr and Straka... Any truth to that? They also said that Gomez would center Shanahan and Callahan so I don't know how much faith I should put into what they said..


I ment Dawes, Straka and Hossa. My reasoning: All three can play on the first line. All three bring a little something different to the first line. All three can play on the 2nd (not Hossa), 3rd or 4th lines and two of the three will be here next year. The versatility is what Renney can do with the three of them in the line up DURING any particular game. Maybe a better word would have been flexibility.


No matter how good the kid looks, this is his first year in North American hockey. I'm not saying he won't be a fine player for us. I'm simply saying that from a coaches perspective, he is still more of an unknown quantity and quality than Dawes, Dubinsky, Hossa and/or Prucha. The Rangers have to get down to a 23 man roster and he seems to be the one with the least risk (in terms of not producing at the NHL level) to send down. He may very well be back up in 2-3 months and by then somebody may have played themselves out of a job. I haven't seen the kid play, I base my opinion on what I've read. It sounds to me that he will be a second line center with a potential of a first line guy. Great! Let's not rush when we don't have to. Drury's slot will open in 3-5 years and if Dubinsky and Anisimov produce, the Rangers have the opportunity to trade one of their top two centers in two years and maybe improve the team in the process. I just love the situation we are in with what appears to be a plethora of very good, young talent.

cwede I'm right behind you. And I think Sather & Co might be on the same page. They have to try to stick to their game plan & philosophy with the entire organization. Whatever they do, they'll be changes during the season.

How about these lines for opening day...

Straka - Gomez / Drury - Jagr
Callahan - Drury / Gomez - Shanahan
Prucha - Avery - Hossa
Orr - Betts - Hollweg

Rozsival - Mara
Tyutin - Malik
Girardi - Staal

Monty / Vally

What do you think...You can also switch up the D for the obvious Rozi / Harry...Tyuts / Danny..and Marc / Pauly.

baron, You're pulling our legs now, right? Not even 24 hours after Renney sent Hutchinson and Smith packing so that these young guys can compete for jobs, you're back to Krog and Isbister?

Sorry Baron, but I mean it. C'mon. These kids are 21, 21, and 20.
These are 2 kids with NO NHL, or even North American pro experience, while Dubinsky has one year. There is NO urgency to have them here this very minute.
Sending a 21 yr old to the AHL is not, in any way, 'burying' him.
Did you read my post? The second part was exactly that these kids should be ones to fill the inevitable 'voids' when they occur, unlike last year with Isbister, Krog or duPuis.

From alan Muir at Sports Illustrated:

New York Rangers
2006-07: 42-30-10, 6th in Eastern Conference
Style: Aggressive mix of skill and grit.
Strengths: High-end scoring depth, goaltending.
Weaknesses: Fair-to-spare blueline corps.
MVP: Henrik Lundqvist (left). On a team of hockey royalty, King Henrik rules. The offense will shoulder its share of the load, but the two-time Vezina finalist legitimizes them as Stanley Cup hopefuls.
Don't count on: Marcel Hossa. The Rangers have experimented with the strapping (6-3, 220) winger on the first unit with Scott Gomez and Jaromir Jagr, but he's no Mike Knuble in the making. Hossa will work hard for his minutes, but unless he enjoys banking shots in off his backside, he will be blessed to break 40 points.
Kid to watch: Marc Staal. A defensive-minded blueliner, Staal brings a physical presence and a keep-it-simple approach that makes him easy to coach. If he doesn't open the season with the big club, he?ll get the call soon enough.
Overview: Every team talks about being Stanley Cup contenders. The Rangers are the real deal. Adding Chris Drury and Gomez on the opening day of free agency addressed a major concern down the middle and bolstered an already staggering array of offensive options. The defense isn't necessarily bad as much as it is non-descript. It lacks an obvious presence like a Niedermayer or Lidstrom, but it is capable (ninth overall last season). That said, chances are it won't look the same heading into the playoffs as it does now. Expect the Rangers to challenge for the President's Trophy.


So you would play Straka at 3rd line center? Now we are back to 3 natural pivots. Sending Staal down will not be fatal. However, the three you sent down leaves us with 3 goalies, if your going with a 23 man roster. If we go with a 23 man roster, then Montoya, Anisimov and either Staal or Dawes goes. If we want 8 D'men then another forward needs to go. My three to be sent down are: Montoya, Staal and Anisimov. Two and possibly all three will be back during the year. However, because of what we are discussing here, I think there will be another trade and it will be a defenseman. Either Mara, Pock, Malik or Strudwick. I would have no problem with Mara, the rest we need to get something potentially good for. I see Mara as a third pair D'man and at $3 Million I put him in the same position Cullen was in. (Sorry, LI Joe)

"I saw on the news in the fantasy hockey league that Renney is going to try Drury centering Jagr and Straka... Any truth to that? They also said that Gomez would center Shanahan and Callahan so I don't know how much faith I should put into what they said.."


It could be that when Gomez and Drury were in Boomer's show last night Boomer made a comment about Renney starting out with Shanny this season and Drury with Jags ...


Are you really surprised? You know that if Dubinsky, Staal and/or Dawes stay up here it won't be because Renney believes in them, oh no, why give Renney any deserved credit when you can put him down instead?


I meant ... Boomer made a comment about Gomez starting out with Shanny ...

Ok, do we wait for the SI curse to kick in now, or are we safe because we weren't on the cover?

Nothing this preseason has changed my initial opinion re: the kids. Dawes and perhaps Dubinsky have nothing more to gain from more AHL experience, and for Dawes, I'd say we're approaching the time for him to $#!t or get off the pot.

Before anyone tries to tear by head off, let me explain what I mean by that. Dawes has convinced his notoriously conservative AHL coach that he's ready. Pearn thinks he's ready. Renney played him in an elimination playoff game last year. Clearly, everyone in the organization thinks Dawes is "ready." But make no mistake that "ready" does not necessarily equal "able."

I love Dawes. I think the kid's got a bushel of guts and, with a little more confidence and experience, he'll be damn near impossible to knock off the puck (his center of gravity is lower than a limbo bar, for god's sake). He's got a sniper's wristshot and a quick, quick slapper. All of that said, maybe he just can't put it together at NHL speed. Its time to find out, IMO.

Long story short (too late, I know): Dawes stays up, and gets some shifts with the #1 line. If it doesn't work, he can be sent down without clearing waivers. Then at least we'll really know. If that means Dubinsky starts the season at Hartford ... well, raise your hand if you really think that top minutes in the AHL would HURT Brandon at this stage?

On the D-side: including Staal would probably give us the best blueline corps, but again, he'd be getting top minutes in Hartford and potentially gelling with Baranka, Liffiton and Sauer. That can't be bad. And Thomas Pock was good enough doing yeoman's work last season to earn a longer regular season look.

Just one man's opinion, and damn but its nice to be presented with these sort of quality problems ...

I have to say it's nice to hear a half of chorus that Dawes needs to stay up, Dubinsky & Staal won't wilt getting sent down. Mara, Pock & Strudwick probably can handle the 5th & 6th D spot. Yes you read it right , Mara might need to see the skybox. If anyone needs to poop or get off the pot , it's him. Too bad A Ward & Jagr didn't get along.

For everyone talking about Renney not rushing prospects its more of an organizational thing than Renney's refusal to play kids. (Remember the unknown Petr Prucha made the team) Remember when Shmuckler was coaching the Rangers and he put in promising prospects, Manny Malhotra, Marc Savard, to name a few. He ruined Malhotra's chance of being a top line guy and it took Savard 6 years to finally become a star.

The Rangers don't need Staal or Dawes yet. Are they good enough to play in the NHL right now yes but let Staal learn the system in Hartford and let Dawes learn how to play defense. Dubinsky on the other hand should be centering the 3rd line but don't be surprised if Renney favorite, Blair Betts, a former top prospect in Calgary, gets a chance to play on third line while Dubinsky centers Orr and Hollweg. It's not a popular decision or one I would make but it is a possibly.


Many people (including myself) believe the Aaron Ward and Jagr fight was over the situation against Washington where it is believed that Ward called him a N*****. That wouldnt go well in a Rangers locker room especially with Kevin Weekes on the team.

rich never heard that and hard to believe. A Ward is a liberal they are suppose to be pc. But then again...


Your post is totally unsubstantiated and libelous to boot. Unless someone on the team who was there told you that it's irresponsible to write it. Why not write that they were arguing over each other's spouses or significant others that would be just as ridiculous, but accusing someone of racism in a statement like that is just awful. Please refrain from making postings like that. THANK YOU...

as him i mean brashear

Rich, I've never heard anything remotely close to that. Jagr started the argument by yelling at Ward for dumping the puck instead of looking to move it to an open man. Whatever Ward said back, which I've heard was questioning his leadership, Jagr wasn' t upset about it -- he was upset when Ward went public with the story after he was scratched. Doesn't make sense for Ward to use the N-word at Jagr anyway, and it doesn't make sense that no one would have said or done anything about that, since whatever Ward said was yelled down the length of the bench.

I think that the rangers should send down staal,dubinsky,callahan,dawes,anisimov,girardi,tyutin,and prucha.They should bring back mark smith,marty rucinsky,jason krog,andrew hutchinson,peter nedved,arron ward,sandis ozolinsh,try to aquire mike peca and adam foote from columbus,and maybe even federov.That would be a great team that with some of our other additions can contend for the stanley cup.Oh and avery and his big mouth should be traded to help free up the some of the cap space neede to fit those contracts in.This way all those kids can go down to hartford and get some much needed seasoning because they just aren't yet ready to play here yet.

Who cares about Ward and Jagr's feud, it's old news.

ok Bill you're right about the ##'s, I wasn't counting Hutch as gone yet.
I didn't expect that move but I like it.
Of course a goalie goes, so only 2 more skaters go, unless they only carry 22.
It won't be Dawes.
Whether it's Staal, Anisimov, Dubinsky matters mostly to the good for who gets sent down, because that guy will play.
If they keep Staal, he should play. Send down Dubi and Anisimov for now, rotate Staal into the 3d pair, and Dawes into the 4th line with situational spot duty on an Offensive line.
My absurd thought re center ice, which I mentioned here last month, and got laughed at, is Straka at C w/Jagr and Hossa. Gomez w/Shanny, Drury with Callahan, (or vice versa), Prucha and Avery on either line. THAT presents a challenge to coaches who hope to match.
Hey, I am not a genius, just a fan. 1 week to go!

it was speculated on MSG and especially in washington. remember brashear got no additional suspension as after the automatic one he got for picking up his 3rd misconduct. He has a bad history and he punched another player after he was ejected. plus ward got an unsportmanslike penalty which you wouldnt get for simply trashtalking just watch Sean Avery.

Oh, it wasn't clear from your original post, Rich, who was calling whom what. Anyway, I can assure you that Ward and Jagr were arguing on the bench about Ward dumping the puck instead of passing it, and the subsequent fallout was about Ward going to the press with it. It was not about Brashear. And you surely must know, after what Brashear has gone through in prior incidents, that if Ward called him that, Brashear would have complained to the league about it, and we would have heard about it in the news.

Common sense would say that if that was what Ward said and the refs overheard it, a) he would have gotten more than a two minute unsportsmanlike, and b) the league would have taken a different measure than in choosing not to suspend Brashear for it. Ward obviously said something, and earned his penalty not for trash-talking, but for going out of his way to get in Brashear's face. And Brashear wasn't suspended becaus the league pulled their usual cop-out, which was that he was already sufficiently punished with the major, misconduct, and automatic one-game suspension.

As Mitch said, this is too serious of an accusation for you to base it on unsubstantiated speculation that, frankly, defies all common sense as well as all known facts.

czech you had an epiphany? Why not get rid of all the high priced players and go for the league minimum? Great post,how long did it take you ? What will you do if Dubinsky gets sent down?

anyways i'm sure no-one in New York misses Aaron Ward.

imitation-do i have the honor of that great hockey mind imitation,responding to me?WOW you have just made my evening,because i have come over to your side.I think dubinsky sucks!He is not now nor ever going to be ready to play in the nhl.And you did not read my post i guess.I think that not a single one of the teams prospects impressed me enough to warrent them being in the nhl.Even Staal has been a disapointment.You were right all along imitation and i am sorry!

I don't miss Ward but he is no racist.

czech apology accepted. I glad you finally have seen the hockey lights. Now Sather can trade some kids to get the missing pieces.

rangerbill -don't be so quick to want to get rid of Straka after this yr. I'm sure Shanny, Mara and Malik will all be gone which opens cap $ and room for youth. Straka is a very valuable player to this organization. Offense, defense, pp and pk.

Also I thought either or both of Drury or Gomez have a no trade clause. Neither one has played a game here in the reg season and you're looking to trade them in 2 yrs? If we have an abundance of centers someone can be moved to a wing.

rangers need a big time defenseman and that will be Wade Redden

I am pretty sure that all the "sources" talking about what A.Ward said to Donald were actually fan blogs and not one credible source, in fact as Dubi stated it is common sense that had he said it(since the refs clearly heard what he said or he wouldn't of been penalized) then it would've been made public by the League and Donald as he certainly wouldn't of kept his mouth shut about a racist comment being directed at him.

Imitation, while A.Ward and Jagr didn't get along ... Aaron was horrible for us while he was here ... IMO he tried to do too much where in other teams he was before and was effective he wasn't doing too much ... He continued the trend in Boston because he was horrible there too ... so personally for me, I don't miss him even though when we originally got him I thought he would be a good fit.

Matty I haven't seen much from Mara either & now they're strapped with his contract , and next year thankfully he's gone. Maybe he'll step up this season, but I doubt it. I'm not sure what happened to A Ward, but even Jagr says there is an adjustment when going to a new club. Let's see Mara adjust.

If someone had claimed Hutchinson, it would probably be in the news, as was the waiver claim today of Karel Pilar (by Chi from Atl).
Wolfpack cut all the walk-ons, and sent down the Charlotte signee tryouts - and cut Eric Hunter (?will Donnie bring him to Phoenix/San Antonio to join Dylan Reese?). Also Mike Busto went Charlotte.
When Montoya, Hutchinson, and 1 or 2 of Staal/Pock/Dubinsky/Anisimov join this group, it should be a very strong AHL team:
Current roster -
Goal (3): Chris Holt, Miika Wiikman, Matt Zaba
Defense (8): Ivan Baranka, Clayton Barthel, Ryan Constant, Darius Kasparaitis, Dave Liffiton, Corey Potter, Michael Sauer, Jake Taylor
Forwards (15): Joe Barnes, Alex Bourret, Dane Byers, Brodie Dupont, Mitch Fritz, Bruce Graham, Hugh Jessiman, Lauri Korpikoski, Rick Kozak, Mark Lee, Francis Lessard, Greg Moore, Mike Ouellette, Jordan Owens, Tommy Pyatt
My picks to go to Charlotte: Ouellette, Lee, Owens, Barnes, Constant, Barthel, Zaba, Holt (if Montoya stays up, Holt may be the guy in Hartford)

Roc, don't get your hopes high on Wade Redden. We might get him, but trust me, you don't want him, not at the price he's gonna cost. I'm from Ottawa and I get to watch this guy play game in game out, and his play in the past 2 years has been atrocious. The rumour going around Ottawa is that he has off-ice issues, none that I will mention here because they are still just rumours. If that is the problem and he can straighten himself out, then he's a bonafide number one defenseman. But as Ranger fans, we've had to live through Stevens, Fleury and Ozolinsh, so we know how hard it is to conquer demons. Again, these are only rumours, but many are eyewitness acounts of people associated with the Senators.

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