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October 22, 2007


UGH!!! I don't regret the signing of Gomez one bit, because I realize that there will be a post-Jagr era. But this is not working. I know it's crazy, but is it time to think about dealing Jagr? Could it be that Jagr is the problem? Could it be that Jagr is showing signs of getting old? I personally like Jagr as a Ranger. A lot. But is the Ranger team of the future no longer a team of the present for JJ?

Let the personal attacks commence. . . .

I'm certainly not the first to say it, but I don't think Renney has had enough faith or patience in his lines. But, going down early in most of the games (and being forced into adjustments) hasn't helped matters. Avery and Straka injuring themselves early in two of the games has made a mess of the lines. Taking a ton of penalties has hurt developing line chemistry, too.

But, why doesn't Prucha get a look with Gomez and Jagr on the first line? I haven't seen anyone suggest that. Sure, Prucha's not a big guy for around the boards, but with Gomez and Jagr possessing the puck, and carrying it into the zone, they could use a guy who tends to go straight for the front of the goal. Besides, Prucha can keep up with Gomez, and Prucha's shown previous chemistry with Jagr.

Not a bad point CW, however I think he is too good to trade at this juncture. I think Stratk should center Jagr and Hossa when he get's back cause clearly this isn't working. Maybe Betts wouldn't be such a bad fit either? While Dubinsky has looked good, I think you put either Gomez or Drury between the kids.

CW--I'm not going to personally attack you, but you've been trumpeting the "trade Jagr" for awhile, so I'm just going to ask you to give it a rest. Why? Because let's talk some hockey and business:
1. The Rangers like having big name stars--it generates buzz for the sport, particularly in a town (NY) with a lot of Eastern European immigrants who like the Czech team.
2. Jagr has made it clear he plays poorly in places he doesn't want to be. Why would a team want to take that risk? He loves playing in NYC.
3. Arguably, Jagr, when he's playing at his peak, is one of the top five forwards in the league. Why would we want to give that up? He's healthy, etc. This will work itself out. Patience.

I get so tired of people talking about trade X or trade Y from the position of their office desks. These aren't fantasy teams--there's the salary cap, the egos of players, the egos of GMs, etc, etc. So many people on this board (and others) make it sound like we can just trade Malik or trade Jagr or whomever like it's that easy. It isn't.


I caught most of the pack's 2 games on B2 networks this weekend, Brooks suggests that Scatchard could be the answer, not from what I saw!, he did'nt play for much of the 3rd period last night, he had very little impact on the game, he was slow and the Marlies defence were more than a match for him, however Byers, Moore, Korpikoski and Anisimov all played well this weekend.

I agree with almost everything Brooks said (scary). I've been saying since the summer that Gomez and Jagr wouldn't work, and that Gomez and Drury should play on the same line. We know from past history that given the right kind of linemates, Jagr doesn't need a star or a "playmaker" to put up big numbers. Scatchard and Hossa might be just the kind of foot soldiers who'd become 60-point scorers teamed with Jagr.

Well Larry Brooks said everything that I have tried to say since the season began but I wouldn't use Scatchard, I would use Petr Prucha.

The guy battles hard, is Czech, can finish but I don't know if he can win the faceoffs necessary to be a center.


Jon, no one is too good to be traded, Gretzky was traded to LA at 27 coming off of a 149 pt season, different circumstances I know but still.
Jagr doesn't look "into it," looking like he's just gliding along, on few shifts this season have I seen him put fourth the effort that he has in the 2 previous seasons here. I just hope this isn't the Jaromir Jagr that wore out his welcome with the Pens and never really was with the Caps.

First of all, where were all you naysayers when Gomez was signed? Oleo said he wasn't posting here at the time but what about the rest of you? Nothing but euphoria on here for that deal. Personally I liked it and still do. Sather may have overpaid for him which of course hurts the cap but who else was there?

We could have signed Nylander and kept him until he's 40. That would have been more of an overpayment. We got back a 27 year old center, it's up to Renney to find the right linemates for him.

Why that instead of finding the right center for Jagr?? Maybe because Jagr is an elite player, which Gomez is not, so Jagr should be able to adjust him game to fit any center he works with.

Some of you want to try him with Drury instead? I have no problem with that but doesn't mean a hill of beans since it's Renney's problem to solve.

I would throw Jagr's name out there and see what other teams would be willing to give in return. With the heavy contract and the advancing age, I don't expect any team to make an offer that the Rangers would welcome. Jagr will most likely end his NHL career as a Ranger. He needs to step it up and work his butt off adjusting to either Drury or Gomez. Personally, I see Gomez meshing beautifully with Prucha and Callahan, hope Renney tries that combo, then leave it alone for 10 games or so to see how that line plus the other two offensive lines work out.

Renney's major headache is the power play. Worked good in one game where they scored 3 PP goals in the 3rd period. Other than that, been a bust.

Team has enough talent to got at least a couple of rounds in the playoffs. Unless some deals are made, don't see any Cup this season. With the great farm system, the Cup won't be far away.

Unfortunately, I have to agree that so far Jagr has looked like the unhappy, pouting player he was in Washington. He may or may not still love playing in NYC, but he sure doesn't look like it on the ice. Renney needs to convince him to meet Gomez half-way with their games and to develop a style together, rather than each trying to assert some sort of domination that inevitably ends with one of them losing the puck 5 feet from the goal. Personally, I think Jagr needs to be fed the puck more on the move, not just slipped it along the boards where the other team is far too familiar with what he is about to do. But what do I know?

Finally, as Dubi points out above, every Ranger simply needs to start finishing at a much greater level. This is why you make millions, boys. Earn it.

I think management needs to light a fire under people. You know what I wish existed in sports? You sign a contract, and you have certain expectations based on the games you play. If you're a superstar, you MUST have at least # goals and # assists.. if you fail to meet that, you do not get your full paycheck.. then you'd have some effort on the ice!

The idea of putting making Prucha, Straka, Scatchard, Byers, etc. our first line center makes me cringe and shows the point this season has reached, at least in terms of panicing. I dont think it's going to do Straka any good centering a line in terms of wear and tear, he belongs on the wing at this point. Prucha could be decent at center but it'd be difficult to have him being parked in front of the net and then having to come back and be the first forward back, and if he's Jagr's center he's going to have to be solid coming back on "D".

I don't really have any suggestions at this point, I do like the idea of Gomez and Drury on the same line, but I also don't like the idea of having Betts as more of a 4th line center, Straka centering a top line, or any of that. If doing that meant making Dubinsky the 2nd line center, I'd be comfortable with it, or even if it was when Avery came back and he was going to center the 2nd line, but otherwise I don't like the idea much than what we've got right now.

Lenny, just because someone was unable to predict something three months ago doesn't disqualify one from making an observation today. The Gomez signing looked like a great move during the summer. Jagr said it looked good on paper, but they still had to execute on the ice. Now it's fall, they've taken to the ice, and Gomez has shown me nothing so far. Renney echoed universal sentiments when he said trying Gomez with Jagr was the obvious combination. Jagr has had problems getting his shots on net, as I've noted, but Jagr has shown me what he can do over the course of time -- I haven't seen Gomez do anything yet.

Jagr isn't going anywhere. He shouldn't go anywhere. He remains the most important part of the team behind the goalie. He's not pouting or misbehaving. The attitude of the team remains good.

Stachard with Jagr? That's crazy. I'd try Dubinsky first, although it's too soon to be giving up on Gomez as Jagr's center. They are great players, they can adjust. Jagr isn't going to stay at a 13-goal pace.


I agree but when does it come to the point where Renney needs to accept the fact that Gomez and Jagr aren't meant to be.

Unless he sits the 2 of them down and says Jagr were not cycling any more and Gomez you can't try to skate through the opposing team, they need to seperated ASAP.

According to Zipay's blog:
Martin Straka, who broke a finger on his right hand blocking a Zdeno Chara shot from the point on Saturday, will be out an estimated four to five weeks, according to coach Tom Renney. Straka saw the doctor yesterday and won't have surgery.

Well, personally, I think Drury could work with Hossa-Jagr. Let's imagine lines like this:
Dawes-Dubinsky-Shanahn (Dawes replaced by Avery when he returns)

Until Straka mends this is what makes the most sense to me. Others, of course, will disagree.


Maybe the rangers can bring up Artem Anisimov to replace Straka.
1. he played well in preseason
2. he is big
3. he plays european (russian) style hockey
4. Jagr prefers/plays better with european players...Canadian/American centers do not work well with Jagr for whatever reason...so I think Anisimov should center Jagr.

I will only post the following and that is ... I haven't seen Jagr pouting, not trying, or looking or acting like he doesn't love NYC or love being a Ranger.

Have I seen him frustrated and upset at times? Out of position at others? Yeah well most of our top, and highly paid, forwards have looked that way to me just as equally. They aren't scoring and have won 2 games, if he was out there laughing it up then some people would be on his ass for not giving a s@#%.

Behind Henrik he's our most important player, and the two of them have carried this team since we started up after the lockout. Quite frankly I am sick and tired of people mentioning what happened with Jagr in PIT and WAS as a basis for their comments when he has been nothing but a great teammate and player for us here even when he was operting at less than 100% for most of last season.

Ok, so that's more than I meant to post but I got mad >_


I agree with Anisimov but is he ready yet? and when Jagr played his best hockey of his career can you tell me who was his center?


Those lines are fine for me but Renney would never have Shanahan on the 3rd line

I don't think there is any negativity for or about Jagr. I was speculating on his performance alone. I get the idea that his attitude is NOT the problem. I didn't mean to imply that at all. I thought (and still do) Gomez was a good signing. I am surprised that he and Jagr can't click.

How do we know anyone is ready unless you play them...Look to last year with when we brought up Ryan Callahan and Dan Girardi, did we think they were ready? There are a lot of 18 and 19yr olds getting a chance to play now in the NHL...if it does not work out send him back to Hartford. Look at Boston how many 18-19yrs are on the team, and the guy who just beat us Kessel just became 20. Pitts took a chance with Jordan Staal last year.

As for Jagr's centermen from the past, Jagr is the first to admit his style has changed from when he was in Pittsburg... Why would you think Crosby would make a good centerman for Jagr??? I for one don't think so, different styles again.

I second every word you wrote, Matty!

Give JJ a break, c'mon

The chemistry problem lies in the fact that Renney has been juggling his line combinations TOO MUCH so far. You need to leave Gomez and Jagr together for a good 15-20 game stretch to get a decent sample of what their chemistry can be. And at the same time, leave Drury with Shanahan, and given the injuries to Avery and Straka, you can rotate in a different winger on each unit, but keep those 2 combos together and actually give them a chance to work it out.

Stevek, Petr Sykora seems to be enjoying Sid the Kid as his centerman and I think that anyone would. Same thing with centerman like Gretzky and Lemieux, they distribute the puck on the rush so well that no matter who they play with will have a high point total year. Keven Stevens for one had incredible numbers playing with Mario and despite being hurt for most of his Kings tenure, Tomas Sandstrom put up some nice numbers too.

Straka is looking at being sidelined from 4 to 5 weeks too by the way, report from Steve Zipay.

Jagr was at his best in his last years in Pittsburgh when he was on a line with Jan Hrdina and Kip Miller - both of whom had 50-60 points seasons with him.

In two-plus games since Gomez and Jagr were united late in the second period vs. Ottawa, Jagr has attempted 21 shots and Gomez has attempted 14 shots -- their third linemate has added 7 shot attempts. That adds up to 42 of the team's 140 shots in those two games, exactly 30%. Problem is, only 21 of those shots have been on goal -- less than 25% of the team total of 92. Still, Jagr has a goal and two assists, Gomez a goal and an assist, and Hossa an assist, all since they united.

So it's not like these guys are totally incompatible -- the problem is that the puck is not even getting to the net half the time, let alone going into it. You can do the same exercise for Gomez and Shanahan to see how many shots they generated together, and you'd see that there were a ton of them, except that Shanahan hasn't converted but the one (and that was with Jagr assisting, not Gomez).

It's a matter of execution, not how they line up.

Jagr tries to do everything himself. With Chara on you, or Pandalfo, its not the smartest thing to control the puck. But Jagr has so much pride that he tries to do it himself. Like ive said, and i hate to say, more then anyone realizes, Jagr is turning out to be the problem. But if Jags puts his pride on hold and just does what the coaches and players want him to then he'll be alright. Theres no a person in the lockeroom that would call out Jags, especially after the A.Ward thing. But someone at some point needs to tell Jags what he should and should not do.


When the post Jagr, and post Shanny years begin. Who do you think NYR would try and get to replace that little whole?? Or do you think that they will just have minor signings and go with what they got.

I think it was a dumb move dumping Sykora, he's still a great player and has a fantastic shot. He will be big for the Pens. He probably never thought he'd be playing with Sid. Im not looking foward to seeing him tomorrrow.

Sicker will be banging his head and doing a jig to the music of Depeche Mode to pump him up, as he usually says.

I find it so funny, that most moron NYR fans are now saying Jagr shouldnt go in the shootout, when last year, all NYR fans were bashign him for not going in the shootout. That pisses me off.


Artie doesnt even speak english, i highly doubt him and Jags would have any chemistry if they cant communicate. Sign language is pretty hard to do while playing hockey. That would never work. Although i would like to see him get called up from hartford.

Jagr speaks Russian dude...why do you think he wears 68?? The czech republic was under the Soviet Union, so it was manditory to learn Russian in school. Also why do you think he went to Russia to play during the lockout.
Also your auguement does not make sense, so in Hartford he communicates in French with Bourret and Pierre Parenteau

Dubi, I like the title of this piece. The question is, If they don't get this turned around soon, who will be executed?


Maybe the guys in the picture??


Jagr played his best hockey with one of the greatest hockey players ever his name is Mario Lemueix.

Callahan was called up after putting up 30+ goals in his first season in while Girardi was the teams most reliable defenseman.

Yes Anisimov is doing very well but he has only played 5 games give him time.


Jagr has spent time over in Russia and to my knowledge does speak some Russian but how well I don't know but probably not very well.

And with Petr Sykora, who would you replace on the wing, Prucha, Callahan. There is no need for him here.

and i spelt Lemieux wrong again

from what I recall Prucha, didn't speak much english when he came to the Rangers, granted he was a little older, but spent less than 5 games in Hartford.
As I said before, Jagr playing style has changed over the years, if you what I look for his quote in which he says that. Also he was taught Russian in school and spent a year in Russia during the lockout and also converted to Russian Orthodoxy....so I think he speaks Russian, don't you think...


Prucha also lived with Jaromir Jagr and both speak Czech and are from the same country.

I took Spanish in school from 3rd grade onto high school and I can barely speak the language.

I can't speak for Jagr but just because of his religion or what language he was forced to learn does not mean he is fluent but I don't know and you are just assuming without any proof.

Wow, thats pretty cool that Jags speaks russian. But that doens tmean Artie is ready for the NHL. Let him get used to the game over here. The only russian i want on this team in the next year or two is Cherepanov, and hopefully he's ready once he comes here.

I get that NYR fans are all about bringing up every single kid in hartford. But cmon, the last thing we need is another centermen. I still think NYR should give Korp, or Bourret a shot. Dawes should be sent down, give someone else a shot.

I see you like to talk alot in this blog, usually with no proof to back up what you say, so I will point out that Tyutin is on the team, he is Russian, right?
Also here is some proof:http://www.letsgopens.com/tomas_translations.php?id=51

Do you genuinely believe in God?

Yep, a lot. I…. am an Orthodox Christian {in one of the earlier articles, MF Dnes reported that Jagr was baptized 2 years ago. According to the last Census results, 0.2% of the citizens of the Czech Republic are Orthodox Christians. Incidentally, the other results: without any religious affiliation: 59%, Catholics: 27%, did not answer the question: 9%}

Can I ask why?

I’d prefer not to talk about it much. But at some point in time I felt I needed it, my intuition told me that. And I also met people that I apparently was supposed to meet, so I ended up being an Orthodox [Christian]. I’m not contemplating whether it was or was not meant to be anymore – it simply is like that.

But the Orthodox [Christian] Church, that’s Greece, eastern Europe, and mainly Russia…

I don’t mind it at all. And least I’m brushing up on my Russian in the church – everybody learned the basics in the school during communist times, and those languages are quite similar. In our church, there is such an interesting group of people that believes in something, and their energy is so strong that a person feels really great there.

Why is there a need to bring religion into this conversation? I do not think it should have anything to do with Hockey or that it has any relevance to anything that we are talking about specially given that it can be a touchy subject for some so I would suggest the two of you drop it ...


you just proved my point

"And least I’m brushing up on my Russian in the church – everybody learned the basics in the school during communist times"

Do I know if he speaks russian fluently no but according to this article he doesnt. He knows basic words and phrases that he learned in school and that going to church improves his Russian.

I see you like to talk alot in this blog, usually with no proof to back up what you say,"

When you make opinionated statements you don't need proof of anything.


i am not talking about religion I am just saying that just because Jagr speaks Russian does not mean Anisimov is ready to play in the NHL.

Remember Prucha had FAR LESS competition when trying to make this team 2 years ago.

and Stevek i thought you were quoting Jagr not your life story

anyway, getting back to hockey ... Sam updated his blog and has some Jagr quotes, he asked about the Team's early struggles and Jags(in a playful mood) tried to answer as to why they might be struggling ...

“The thing is, you give me questions, but to answer your question, I would have to ask you more questions,” he said. “We play bad because a) are we not good enough?; b) a lack of confidence; or c) trying too much. There are so many variables.”

“Which one do you believe?” I asked.

“I believe there’s a lack of confidence right now and we’re pressing too much,” he said.

“And what about A?” I said, referring to his first possibility, that the Rangers aren’t good enough.

“If you come back in a month and ask the same question, I’ll maybe give you an answer. I don’t know how good we are really,” he said. “I believe we are good but we have to start playing good. Unless we start playing good it doesn’t matter right now. We don’t play good and I don’t know what’s the problem.”

This was pretty much the nature of the entire conversation, and perhaps fearful of being misunderstood, Jagr asked if I got the gist of what he was saying.

“I think so,” I said, looking down at my notepad. “You said, ‘Trade me right now,’ right?”

Jagr smiled. “No one would take me,” he said.

.............. Link HERE


Jagr took Prucha under his wing ... Fellow country man and had him living with him and Pruchs even practices with him over the summer ... it's almost like he treats him like a little brother so I think that's a big reason why Petr didn't need time in Hartford when he had Jags personally teaching him along the way ...

I don't think Jags would particularly do the same with Anisimov ... he might, but I don't think so ... in any case doesn't Artem need to get stronger to handle the NHL game? He will most likely be here next season or as an emergency call up this season if needed

interesting lines


Nice to see Prucha on the 1st 2 lines but before I question them I'll see it in action first



the DDC line should produce, they know eachother pretty well from playing together in Hartford.

The third line was the line that was together in Hartford most of last season which is why Cally is with them and not on the 2nd line with Drury and Shanny ...

We will see what happens tomorrow

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