« Rangers Still Searching for a Spark | Main | Coaches' Q&A With Ranger Fans »

November 27, 2007


Great stuff Dubi. It is always interesting to hear the players take on things.

Does Jagr want any cheese with his whine?

Jags, just shut up and play.

It will be interesting to see who Renney sits on Thursday. My gut hopes it is Hossa, as i am hoping to see these lines go for a full game. Remember the kids line was full of potential right before Cally went down:

Straka Drury Jagr
Avery Gomez Shanny
Prucha Dubinsky Cally
Hollweg Betts Orr

I still would like to see Dawes rotate and fight it out with Pruchs or Cally for an ultimate spot.

WHAAAT!!!! The Habs golie, Huet is leading all goaltenders. Thats friggin stupid, he didnt diserve to be in the last game last season, and now he can possibly be the starter?????

VOTE FOR HANK, he's the best in the league. VOTE VOTE VOTE. Even if we dont have any fowards, we have to have Hank in there at least.

I don't feel that Jagr is whining at all .. I love how candid he is ... he is simply telling the truth ... What? He can't speak his mind and how he really feels and why he believes he is struggling?

He could lie and give an answer that doesn't really explain anything like "It is what it is" which is so popular by most athletes nowadays ... but no, he speaks from the heart and he is accused by some of whining? Whatever ...

Great article Dubi, I always enjoy Jagr's sense of humor and candid answers to questions ...

Whining? Jagr's analysis of the team's and his own game has always been as informative and candid as any athlete on any team. He knows where he is effective and where he is not, and says it. I wonder if some of his critics actually play hockey, and to what extent they would be willing to honestly assess their own performances.

Matty, of course Jagr is allowed to speak his mind. And fans are allowed to speak their minds too. Here you have the two side by side, and I'm sure you're astute enough to come to your own conclusions.

Blaze -- if you didn't realize what Kris King was up to, that's only because you don't read Blueshirt Bulletin -- we had an article on Kris recently.

I think it was bound to happen, keeping Jagr happy that is. It's a sticky situaton, do you sign a guy who has chemistry with your star player for 2 years more than he deserves and will be 2 years after he can contribute much or do you sign the players who will put you in the position to be a strong contender for years to come, the Rangers did the latter of the two and I agree with them. It is becoming alarmingly clear to me that this was bound to happen as it did in Pittsburgh and later DC. I like Jagr a lot, I think he is a great talent and one of the all time greats but perhaps his ego can't stand not getting his way? He is an all time great and all of those players who are should be able to adapt to their teammates ways, despite of how old they are at the time. Great players make the players around them better and Jagr simply doesn't seem as though he is putting in the effort right now playing with Gomez, Drury, Hossa or Dubinsky as he did with Straka and Nylander. While this may be a team built to take a big run for the cup this year, it is beyond this year as well. Thanks to Hank, we will be strong contenders for years and being built for now as well as the future is the best plan, ie: signing Gomez and Drury and not Nylander. Through interviews in the offseason to now, Jagr seems to be the only one who wasn't 115% behind those signings and nonsignings. I may be over analyzing all of this and talking giberish but I want Jagr to stand up and take one for the team or even take control of this team as previous captains for this franchise have taken. My point is, if he wants to be happy and productive, he has the skills and assets on this team to be.

If the translations are even close to correct, boy does Jagr have a gigantic problem! The self-pity is beyoud understanding. It matches his self-esteem! Imagine, nobody can play his style! This is a side of JJ I haven't seen before. I know that sometimes translations come out sounding different than what was ment, but this doesn't sound like that. Speaking of Gomez, he said; "It would work with him somehow, but not the way it was expected to work,"??? What the heck does that mean. From other comments like, "Straks would wait for me, give it back to me" or "I need to play my game. I can’t dump and chase the puck -- I don’t know how to do that" and "You’re flying up and down the ice without the puck. I felt like I was in an elevator -- up, down"; all this sounds like he doesn't want to work to score goals! It also says he can't or doesn't want to keep up with Gomez. His shifts may get shorter than he likes and he may get tired faster (poor Jaromir). Then he says "Seriously, without the puck I’m useless out there." We all agree, you have been almost useless out there. The Gomez game is NOT dump and chase, so I don't know what he is trying to say. Gomez brings the puck in with speed and looks for his wings to 1) go to the net, 2) trail the play, so he has two different things he can do to distribute the puck. That is why I feel Prucha and Callahan would be a good fit for Gomez, but that's another story. Then he claims that Shanahan is a natural goal scorer, like he isn't!!?? Jagr is more a natural goal scorer. I know he is referring to the fact that Shanny tends to stand and shoot off the pass and JJ tends to skate with the puck and shoot on the move. But as he gets older, you would think he would make an attempt to let someone else bring the puck into the zone, especially when the opponents seem to knock the puck off his stick with regularity. And a slow Drury would be better for JJ? Renney is moving toward a N-S game and JJ wants to play an E-W game.
As I posted before, and now I'm even more sure, we should have lines that have fixed personel, stop hunting for chemistry.
Hossa/Betts/Hollweg or Orr

Just play whatever line is up next on the PP and role the 3 offensive lines. I consider all three lines as a #1 line, so whoever is playing well that night, gets the most ice time. If Jagr can't adjust, then Renney adjusts his ice time. Everybody wants ice time, but you earn it. That's another form of accountability and, right now, I think that is just what the doctor ordered.

Matty i learned how to ignore people like that its wonderful lol u should do that too. :)

and I'm sure you're astute enough to come to your own conclusions.

I do Dubi, which is why I have a perpetual headache from rolling my eyes so much ;))

I really find it fascinating how what *I* got from the article was Jagr's honest assesment as to why he's struggling and how he seems determined to make it work, and how even though things aren't rosy right now, that he still has a positive attitude while others see him as whining and having low self-esteem, and how now it's turning into the Jagr at the end in PIT and while in WAS, ect ... Yeah ... It's kinda like reading a poem, where everyone gets a different meaning to it when you read it ... Groovie ... did I spell groovie right? somehow I feel a Y should go in there ... oh well .. off to nap

Let me add one more thing. The Rangers, as an organization, are aiming at a far bigger target then a cup this season. They are focused on the future and Jagr is not part of that picture. Therefore, it is of no concern to me if Jagr makes his target this season or is not offered a contract for next season. I hope we win a cup this year, but that is not THE most important thing. And, neither is Jagr. Life goes on and the club has to make decisions based on what's best for the organization. Right now, I hope JJ can pull out of this funk and help carry this team. If he does, we have a good shot at a cup. If not, we begin again next season, fresh and ready to go, with or without JJ.

There we go poepl bringing back pitts and DC right away.
Jason if you so quick to say Jags is doing what he did in pitts let me ask u this:Do u have a tv with a clear picture?Jagr looks frustrated because hes in this slump you can see that during games and interviews.Now let me ask you did you see that in pittsa or DC.My guess will be no he did not look frustrated he just didnt care.Jags cares about this team a lot more than he did in pitts or DC.Jags played thru pain and injuries in the past including broken shoulder.

Jagr sounds like a prima donna because he's set in his ways, and probably knows better than Renney what he needs. He needs a line that plays his style, Straka& Prucha. But I bet either Drury or Dubinsky will be there instead of Prucha. But Prucha should at least be on the PP with him. Sometimes I feel Renney is trying to reinvent the wheel instead of rolling it!

They look like open, candid comments to me. There is not much to disagree with what he said. Although, he is sulking and the longer this goes on, the worse he will perform. As Larry Brooks wrote last week, Jagr needs someone who sees the game the same way he does. Right now, only Straka does.

But this goes a long way with me. Comments like this are hard to come by. It is always interesting how players seem to be more open to discussing situations with foreign newspapers than with the US media. Gee, I wonder why. Someone will get a hold of these comments (Melrose/Keith Jones) and blast him for them. Then in their next segment, they'll complain about how athletes cannot give anything but cliche answers and wonder why that is.

i'm surprised nobody has suggested this. It sounds stupid at first, but a Gomez for Nylander trade (if Gomez doesn't have an NTC). Caps would get a younger playmaking center, and Jags would get Nylander back...
That and I would be able to take my Nylander shirt out of hiding

Ant, I agree he didn't care about his team in DC but he did in Pitts. An unhappy Jagr is a player you don't want on your team. He is a little too outspoken about his unhappiness though. What ever happened to going out with who the coach tells you to and playing your best. I agree, he has played through injuries but this is hockey, not baseball. Everyone does. Hell, Brian Leetch played with a partially seperated shoulder in 94 and won the Conn Smythe.
My point about Jagr is that he is the captain of this team, he needs to set aside his own unhappiness about his linemates and comprimise with who he is sent out there with. He has the talent but I have yet to see the drive this year that he has had the previous full two in NY.

Its minor but its a sin that Huet is the leading vote getter. He is 7-6 hahahah yeh thats an allstar. If hank isnt the starter than he will surely get picked to be on the team. Fan voting is so stupid. If we dont vote 100k times then he wont be the starter. Its so dumb. Sid has that many votes more than anyone. He isnt that much better than everyon. He is not 104k votes better than Vinny Lecavalier. So stupid, but hey all sports do that. Least its not like MLB where the all star game counts. Now that is dumb.

hartnell gets 2 games for that hit. I knew he wouldnt get much because he is significant to the flyers. If it was someone like Riley Cote he would hav gotten like 10 games. Colin Campbell is a wimp. For two games they will do it again.

What Jagr says is 100% true. He didn't say anything objectionable.

i dont want nylander back, the money was more important than the team to him, as it is with most, but he expressed his desire to be payed a lot or not be here, ill take the latter. He is too old for what he got and im glad they didnt give him that much. Drury and Gomez will be playing with younger snipers years after jagr and shanny are inducted into the HOF.


The reason nobody suggested Gomez for Nylander is because it's stupid. Nylander has a long term contract as does Gomez. However, Nylander doesn't have a long time left in the NHL unlike Gomez. We don't need Nylander and we don't have to fix Jagr's problem. Jagr needs to fix Jagr's problem. If JJ is unwilling to "adjust", I would adjust for him. The "C" goes to Shanahan! These aren't little kids in a house league. These guys are paid big bucks and they need to make the adjustments that the team and coaching staff requires. Don't want to change...fine, get 8 minutes per game and make the best of it. This is professional sports and the goal is to WIN! I'm tired of all this "can't we just get along" stuff. This team is winning within a system that seems to be working. We need more scoring and a better PP, so if JJ can't seem to find it within his abilities to help out at maybe the cost of his ego, some of these up and coming young guns will be glad to be given the opportunity. Remember folks, "there is no "I" in "TEAM"". And if you think that is just a cliche, then you've never been involved in a real team.

I appreciate Jagr's honesty.

So I took a chance and emailed Gary Bettman in that new NHL Radio show on XM .. the NHL Hour which airs today from 4p to 5p for the first time ... I am highly doubtful my email will be read on the air as it's not the type of thing the League likes addressing ... but regardless ... I wrote it and sent it in because I am sick and tired of the League's inconsistencies when it comes to the suspensions they hand out to players for certain incidents ...

This is what I wrote:

"I am extremely concerned about the inconsistency shown by the League when it comes to handing out suspensions for players who have delivered dangerous and careless hits that have resulted in head injuries. Two examples are Randy Jones and Scott Hartnell, both players for the Philadelphia Flyers. These players deliver hits to players in vulnerable positions which result in head injuries(Bergeron being severely injured and his career is put in jeopardy) and yet they each get only 2 games each.

How are these suspensions supposed to be deterrents to prevent future incidents?

A few weeks ago a Canuck player broke the leg of a Wild player by swinging his stick and only got 4 games ... How is that fair when he used his stick as a weapon? How is that use of the stick any less severe than what Chris Simon did to Ryan Hollweg last season? The only difference is that the Wild player was viciously slashed on his leg instead of in the face, it still resulted in a major injury.

I am not happy, and haven't been happy, with the inconsistency that I see when these suspensions are handed down. I specially do not like the explanations of them because they make little sense.

I am sorry if this email seems abrasive, but I am concerned for the players on my team not being protected by the League. The League frowns on fighting and has the instigator rule and yet I see them do very little to protect it's players from being so disrespectful toward each other.

Maybe I am wrong, but I can't help but feel that had it been a Sidney Crosby, who is so nationally advertised by the League in the U.S. and Canada, that somehow the penalties to these players would've been much more severe, and believe me I am not just one fan who feels this way."

Chances of my email being read???? Zero .... =P

I simply cannot believe how much grief JJ is catching for his honest assesment of his struggles. Are those who criticize him honestly prepared for life after JJ? Is the team? Who on this roster consistently demands the sort of defensive attention from the other team as JJ does on nightly basis? Who has the ability to control the puck in the offensive zone the way he can? Most teams strive to put the most talented players on the same lines (Pittsburgh, Ottawa, Tampa Bay) so their best players can live up to their potential, yet we expect JJ to produce all-star numbers with Dubinsky and Hossa on his line? Thank god Straka is back - the difference is immidiately noticable. Can you blame JJ for being happy that his prefered linemate of many years is back? Sorry for the rant.

Every team should be constructed so that the best players can play to their strengths. Lesser players adapt. Jagr should not have to adapt as he's one of the best players. DC made no attempt to allow Jagr to do his thing, which is to control the puck on offense. Forechecking and defense take a lot of effort, and energy can't be wasted by someone like Jagr who you want expending all his energy in the offensive zone with the puck. That way he can wear out the opposition. That said, he just hasn't looked right this year other than the one game against the Devils a week or two ago.

Ack, please tell me you're being sarcastic in your forechecking and defense comment, please! I want him to come back and play D, EVERYONE should, otherwise what good are you to have out there? You may score goals but your lack of D could very easily contribute to a goal against. As a winger, defensive contributions are less than a centerman.

Sorry, typo on my part. Last sentance should read:

As a winger, the effort for a defensive contribution are less than a centermans.

I was at the season subscriber event in the Wamu theater last night. Tom Renney, Perry Pearn and Mike Pelino fielded questions from the audience. John Giannone and Dave Maloney were on the "stage" with them and emceed the event.

A fan asked about Marcel Hossa and talked about his lack of production as a first line player this season and how the only time he scored as a Ranger was during a couple of short streaks.

Perry Pearn responded and said Hossa did skate in the shadow of his brother and that Marcel just lacked the confidence to take his game to the next level. Pearn also inferred that Marcel was running out of time to find a way to get that confidence and start to play/score in a way commensurate with his talent.

All in all an interesting evening and I got Dave Maloney and Adam Graves to sign my "Losing the Edge" book.

I said hello to Mitch Beck and listened to Ms. Hurley ask a few questions of Tom Renny.

All three coaches said they preach "playing in the paint" over and over and over again to their charges and are hoping their "work in progress" will finally get that to sink in.

They said the team was going to have to learn how to score the dirty goals in order to win in the playoffs.

Bottom line: Pearn said the loss to Buffalo made the players understand what was needed to get to the next level and everyone would draw on that this year. Pelino said the team would get stronger every month and Renney said they were laying the foundation for a very good team for years to come.

Pearn, who was with the Senators while they were building up to a contending team said he talks to his friends back there frequently. He was told that Ottawa currently has but one or two players at their Binghamton AHL affiliate that could play in the NHL.

He then stated that there are 8 or 9 guys in Hartford the Rangers think can be making the jump in the next few years. He said that was exceptional.

Renney said the commitment Artem Anisimov has made to learning English and wanting to acclimate himself to the North American culture has been exemplary and that the kid is doing everything right to make his way to the NHL. Renney also said Anisimov is paving the way for Cherepanov to come over next season and "possibly spend some time in Hartford".

This was all good stuff. My brother and I and the other people from section 404 in attendance thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.


Great question. Please let us without XM know how it goes.

Nice report Ron, glad you had fun. Glad to hear that our farm system is right now better than Ottawa's.

Still think Hossa moved down to 4th, Dawes brought up ifcallahan not ready, Hollweg benched, Baranka in for Rozi (based on Dubi's in person evaluation of Rozi's knee) I would like to see the lines as:





On the PP, just go with the line intact without any special team combinations. The special team combinations have not worked.

Matty, just read your letter, nice job. Even if he doesn't respond to it, I'm sure someone will read it, maybe even him.

I have a personal beef with Bettman that goes back at least 20 years. He hired my teenaged daughter to babysit for his kids when he visited Lake George and stiffed her. I went after him but he pulled up stakes before I got there.

When I heard he was commish of the NHL, I flipped my lid and still haven't found it.

"All three coaches said they preach "playing in the paint" over and over and over again to their charges and are hoping their "work in progress" will finally get that to sink in."..
that says what? There has to be icetime reward & punishment for the lines that play in the paint. Otherwise players will do what they feel like, and not pay the price to score. There is something wrong with this picture. Maybe they are saying PLEASE too much. They are the players bosses, & if they don't listen , say thank you, it's ok? Maybe too much sugar, not enough vinegar, and an overuse of 'work in progress'.

that would be cool if the rangers plays in prague next year, with or without jagr. keeping hockey in the states isn't a bad thing though, stan fischler of msg.com said that michigan has the number one ranked team in the country and only has three canadians on the team and the rest are americans. check it out:


lenny i use to work for the NHL. On a larger scale Bettman was my boss. I got to ask him all kinds of questions. He is a suit, a suit that knows nothing with how the game should be played. He knows how to make his image look in a good light that he is doing everything for the game, and even that he does bad. Who stiffs a little girl.

lenny i use to work for the NHL. On a larger scale Bettman was my boss. I got to ask him all kinds of questions. He is a suit, a suit that knows nothing with how the game should be played. He knows how to make his image look in a good light that he is doing everything for the game, and even that he does bad. Who stiffs a little girl?

Good report Dubi, much better than the "usual canned questions and answers" that you find in the local papers or TV interviews.

It is clear to me that JJ would probably play for 1/2 his salary if he good have Nylander back. Hell, I'd chip in to have Nylander back.

Oh Matty, don't worry! I'm sure your passionate letter was edited to read: I'm extremely concerned about.... players for the Philadelphia Flyers.....being so disrespectful toward.....Sidney Crosby.

Thanks for the forum update, Ron (love your View from the Blues column, too!)

AS I've said many times before, it is refreshing to hear Jagr talk about his game. I don't see anything wrong in what he said and it's better than the blase "I just have to take every shift at a time and work out of it" stock comment for the press. Jagr will get things going, I'm sure of it. I don't see any of this as pouting.

Brian: When you say that "money was more important than the team" as far as Nylander goes, I think you are mistaking how the situation went down. The Rangers would have paid him good money and he would have signed for it. The difference was LENGTH of the contract. Rangers probably offered him 2 years (in line with Jagr's contract) and he got 5 from another team (er, two teams?). He's got 6 kids, coming off a career year, so I don't fault him for wanting to get a lengthy contract and I don't fault the Rangers for letting him go (3 years would be stretching his usefulness.) Lets move on from Nylander, but let's not say he wasn't a "team guy" because he took the best contract for his family. This is a professional business outside of the rink. When Nylander was on the ice for the Rangers, he worked as hard as anyone and was a great team player. Even guys who say they sign for less to stay with the team are really only saying that. IF there is a significant difference in contract offers, even the most loyal guys are going to do it. I'm sure most of us would do the same (and I know the stock answer here is "I would play for free and be loyal to the team ")

Jagr is not a prima donna, nor is he whining. he sounds like a guy who knows he has a few years left in his game and he wants to see the best from himself and his team, and it's not happening at the moment. That's called frustration.

On a different front: Dubi, just got the new issue of BB. it looks great, as usual.


LMAO Andrea, that's probably how it'll go lol

rangerman, good post, its great to see american college teams succeeding without many canadian recruits. I go to a DIII school, and there's about two kids from the states on the roster. And I'm pretty sure they're all from california too, and I'm in New York. I mean, the campus is 20 minutes from the quebec border, but still..

Hey Ron,

It was a very interesting session last night. I think the question I asked the coaching staff about the 1-2-2 trap particulary relates to Jagr and was perfectly illustrated in the game against Dallas.

Dallas goes ahead 3-2 and start using their trap very effectively. Here is the big conundrum for the coaching staff. You need your best scorers out there to get another goal. If you are being trapped effectively, the most obvious way to break that trap is to dump and chase.

If you are a team player, you must realize that and adapt your style for the good of the team. If the player cannot or refuses to dump and chase because, to quote Jagr's mantra, it's "not his game", it is the coach's duty to put players out their who are willing to get dirty and fight for posession down low. You play the players who will sacrifice themsleves in the "paint" to help screen the goalie and to put home revounds and deflections.

Tom Renney has been outstanding in "managing" Jagr thus far. But after listening to the coaches last night and being at the game on Monday night, it is clear to me that if they sit Jagr when they are behind and being trapped, Jagr will regress further into his shell and he may be irretreivably lost.

The coaching staff is between a rock and a hard place with Jagr in a "lose/lose" situation. If they do have the balls to use him less against teams that are sitting in on a lead, he will definitely not meet the contract triggers. In that case, he knows he will be gone and won't give a sh*t.

The only answer is to wait and see if the "Mighty Oak" will bend. The season is getting older. Jagr has to condescend to change his game now. It has to happen soon or it will all be moot.

I too attended the very pleasant and informative seesion with the coaches last night; I raised the Dawes demotion issue with Renney, pointing out that while the Rangers don't mind keeping offensively-challenged skaters on the team because they are solid penalty killers, they don't have the same attitude toward players whose primary gifts are goal scoring! Our team this year in particular had better find room for at least one power play specialist if it wants to succeed to the ultimate prize, even if that player is 5'8" and doesn't kill penalties.

When I further pointed out that Dawes had 2 goals and 1 assist on the power play in one game in Hartford this week, Renney conceded Dawes had responded well to the demotion so I can hope for his return ultimately.

I got to thinking about Jagr and getting him going, so I looked on youtube at the following link:


It's a video of Jagr's ten best plays while with Pittsburgh. When I started it, I fully expected to see things in him that we don't see now - ie, blazing speed, or a better shot, or a quicker first step. I'm not sure I see any of those things in these videos. Fact is, I'm not really sure that any of the moves he displays in these videos are beyond him now. There were a few things I noticed. And all of you feel free to chime in because I'm not some hockey guru, I've just watched a lot of it:

1. The players then weren't nearly as good as they are now.

2. They almost never seemed to double team him - now it seems they always do and yet while that means someone should be wide open, with the Rangers all very conscious of their own end, nobody is. With the talent we have, that's something that should be exploited. On the second play, he dishes to Mcsorley wide open in front. We need to do more of that.

3. Is he not as quick with his hands? Is it his confidence? Because that video suggests the guy would be insane one-on-one and in shootouts, but he isn't the way he used to be. Even two years ago he went right through everyone. Does he need to be "set free" of his defensive responsibilities and told to just go out there and play, forget his linemates and just do his thing? Maybe just tell his linemates to get open or get to the net.

4. More likely, the league has become very suffocating in terms of defense. Maybe the trap, or the concept of keeping all five guys in the defensive zone tight make Jagr's one-on-one game a moot point.

5. One thing I notice about Jagr now versus then - he did score a bunch off the forecheck back then, whether his own or someone else's. Now he really seems to want to get the puck moving into the zone with speed. But I'm not sure it's foot speed that's been his forte in the past - again, it seems like hand speed.

I don't know, watch the videos. What do you all think?

pghas you hit the nail. Jagr is the key to this TEAM, and Renney has to get in his head to bring him back to being Jagr, then Jagr has to do it.

@ Dubi

Is there a link for that article about Kris King? i wouldn't mind reading that.

I'm sort of new to blogs in general.


The comments to this entry are closed.