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May 15, 2008


This actually works in Baranka's and the Rangers favor as if the kid can stay healthy and play a ton in Russia then it might restart his development.

For the record, Baranka got hurt not because he was injury prone but because he made plays with contact.

The kid was snakebit nothing more nothing less.

I also now think it will help the Rangers decide which direction to take with this year's draft.

I call it the year of defenders, project players and more smaller forwards.

I believe the Rangers can get themselves a high quality defenseman at 20

I maybe the only one of this school of thought, but its not always having the highest draft choice that makes a team granted the flightless diving birds did it, but look at the redwings when in the last oh I don't know 15 years have they had a high draft choice? now granted they have ben bodiling water from the fountain of youth for quite some time now but we have had some high draft choice and how many of them worked out for us? hank was round 7 I could be wrong but wasn't staal round 2? giradi was undrafted and they have worked well so far. i think higher draft choices feel more entilted where as lower round draftees work harder to prove there worth.

IMO, the Rangers really need to focus on picking up defensemen in this year's draft. What the system currently has in quality on defense, it sorely lacks in quantity.

I'm sorry to see Baranka go. He was one of my favorite prospects to watch in Hartford the season before last. I hope it works out for him -- and for the Rangers in the future. Jess, did he offer any insight as to why he made the decision? We can all speculate, but I'd be curious to know what his take on it was.

You could be right Paul, but it works both ways. It's nice to get draft picks right no matter what round they come in. I saw a stat on ESPN that compared the post-season goal production from first round picks. Philly is in the lead with over 30, Detroit in dead last with 1. Zetterberg was 7th round, 210 overall. Datsyuk went in round 6. There are great players to be had everywhere, but I do think the chances of picking a winner in round 1 are higher than later. Hugh Jessiman anyone?

What team is Baranka joining?

It would be nice to see Baranka come back after a year or so of development in Russia. Is the contract he signed only a one year or more? Where does anyone think the fourth Staal brother is going to be drafted? I wouldnt mind seeing us pick him up if it didnt mean passing on a sure thing to get him, but the three already in the nhl are good. it might give us ab edge in picking up a third brother in coming years.


Staal was drafted 12th overall a few years back. There are a few gems in the later rounds as you mentioned and there are quality players after the first round.

The most troublesome trend, and I think Jess? Dubi? pointed out is that the Rangers first round drafting history isn't great.

Is Jessiman the only first round draft pick that hasn't played an NHL game from that year? Moving up to draft Staal was a great move, but the jury is still out on the recent drafting decisions of the 2004 draft, Montoya & Korpikoski when Zajac, Wolski, Green, and Mezaros and 2003 draft of Jessiman.

Has there been anything from the front office about this? Or is it just the nature of drafting?

Marc Staal was a 1st rounder at approx number 11 in 1st rd. I would not mind trading down to end of 1st or early 2nd to get the 4th Staal. Before this year his projections were very good.

With transfer problems with Russian players and maybe Europeans as well it would seem to be a good thing to draft North Americans in the 1st 2 rounds.

The only first round draft choice on Detroit is Brad Stuart (third overall 1998) and he's played all of nine regular season games with them.

After this year does Baranka become an UFA or b/c he is in Europe does this year of service not count against his NHL deal?

Do you think he has a future with the Rangers?

After this year does Baranka become an UFA or b/c he is in Europe does this year of service not count against his NHL deal?

Do you think he has a future with the Rangers?

After this year does Baranka become an UFA or b/c he is in Europe does this year of service not count against his NHL deal?

Do you think he has a future with the Rangers?

sorry about the triple post :) my browser kept refreshing for some reason

Baranka is a RFA until he either signs another contract with the Rangers and it expires after a certain age or his rights are released.


That age depends on the length of any future contracts signed with the Rangers and accrued seasons.

If he doesn't sign another contract with the Rangers, he will remain Ranger property until and unless they release his rights.

I think Laurie is right. We have to concentrate on the D. Philly has 7 forwards who scored 20 or more goals and others in double figures, and they can't handle the Pens with a D, that without Timonen, is about as skilled as our D. Carolina was the exception when they won the cup with an average defense corp. Pronger/Neidermeyer OR Savard/LaPointe/Robinson come to mind.

If the Pens beat the Red Wings, then my theory goes out the window, b/c our defense will never be as good as Detroit's is right now regardless of who we sign.

I'm not sold on Malone, who might turn out to be another Stevens when he leaves all the skill in Pittsburgh.

I could see loading up for one more try with Jagr, Avery, and replacements for Straka and Shanny, b/c our window of opportunity doesn't look bright long term, what with the stars of other teams in our division being in their low twenties, while we have no true young stars on the way other than Staal. Maybe the Pens will sign Hossa, and give us a shot to get Jordan Staal in a couple of years, who might want to play with his big brother Marc? If we can't get a shutdown D, a shutdown forward would be nice.

What's wrong with Shea for a Winter Classic? It's plenty cold there to insure good ice:)

Lukas Zeliska Center Trinec Czech-Jr. 38 23 29 52 236 +15

Jess~ Just been through BB this month, great issue.
Any feeling on Zeliska, he seemed to have more penalty minutes then 90% of our prospects.

As an aside, unfortunately, Sather has to rely on the draft and free agents with other GMs rarely trading(unless a prior Ranger or a known relationship with him). The consensous is that he tries to win ever trade. Additionally, not sure how he can justify the pay days for some, yet not Avery.

Lastly, if you make the playoffs and believe you have a team you can win with (quoting Renney, Jagr & Shanahan), how do we explain our big trade deadline acquisitions of Ozolinsh, Backman & Co to solidfy the team. You must never stop trying to get better. This team obviously has not won with what has been in the room. Renney needs have a better grip on what it takes to win. Additionally, just watching the remainder of the playoffs, the coaching staff does not make enough in game adjustments or show the passion required as seen in Babcock or Therien. None of the remaining teams play a stye anywhere near the Blueshirts. We stubbornly sat on the same power play units for 70 games. Frustrated fan.


Baranka did not go into detail as to why he signed with the Russian team. However my experience with him suggests that he was simply unhappy with the direction he was heading with the Rangers.

Ivan will not complain about what happened. In a way his being such a nice guy is also he own worst fault.

LI Joe

I would think real hard before trading down to get the youngest Staal because so far he has not lived up to expectations. He is ranked about 40th depending on who talk to. I would move up in the second at worst but I would consider moving up in the 2nd round.


In my book once Gord Clark and even Tom Renney took control over the Ranger's scouting department and development then the 1st round picks have gotten better.

Jessiman and Montoya were Maloney picks, Staal, Sanguinetti and Cherepanov are Gord Clark/Tom Renney picks.


Zeliska is playing (as it has been explained to me) at a lower level in the Czech leagues. Had he stayed in North America I think we would have seen a true idea as to his development and potential.

I was disappointed in his decision as had he returned he would have been given a chance to play as a first liner in the WHL which just might have told us where he truly stood.


Did anyone followed on a season Immonen (sp?) had in Finland? Is his rights still belong to the Rangers?

Kovazub94, I may be wrong, but I believe Immonen's rights are set to expire soon, July 1st I believe.

Oh, and here are his stats for this past season:

2007-08 JyP HT Jyvaskyla FNL GP:54 G:26 A:37 P:63

Jeff L.

Thank you for finding this info. These numbers look very impressive.

Great numbers in a slower less physical league. . . . . .he should stay there.


Not if you compare it to AHL. With these numbers from a young player in AHL and a lot of posters here would be screaming for bringing him up for another shot at NHL... Maybe you're right but I don't think he doesn't deserve another chance at NHL.

immonen and baranka will probably never play another game in the NHL (unless they rip it up in Europe and sign as a UFA later in their career) That is the biggest problem with drafting Europeans. Not every player has the desire to play in the NHL like a kid growing up in North America.

Baranka had a chance to make the NHL this year but chose to return home. From now on when drafting Europeans the Rangers must find out their desire to play in the NHL before drafting them and don't waste a pick on some of these players.

Hopefully with these games overseas and with games available online more Europeans will become NHL fans.

i just bought 2 pairs of dockers. hopefully VS. can stop airing that commercial now.

If u guys didnt know Spartak Moscow had to forfeit this season becasue of the money issues.There owner or someone who was supposed to buy them died in a plane crash.

So its not guaranted that Baranka will even play next season.


All young hockey players dream to play in the NHL no matter their origin. Now, as opposed to NA players, European players who don't make it in the NHL have an option to go back and play at home instead of lingering and wasting time in AHL. And lately it pays them better as well especially for playing in the Russian league.

I don't think you're right questioning their desire. In many cases the teams are to blame for mis-managing their assets. From players perspective if they feel NHL ready but instead they are made to stay in AHL because of some roadblock it's not wrong to go back home (have their family close, be more comfortable with language, culture, tradisions etc) and make more $$ on top of it.


There are times when you do not think before you speak and this was one of them:

Baranka had a chance to make the NHL this year but chose to return home. From now on when drafting Europeans the Rangers must find out their desire to play in the NHL before drafting them and don't waste a pick on some of these players.

Any hockey player who ever laces up skates dreams of playing in the NHL as did Barnaka. I knew this kid very well and he busted his backside to trying to make it to the NHL.

Baranka had some bad luck people, when he played the folks in Hartford loved him. If he lacked the desire as you are implying then he would not have gone though repeated rehabs every time he suffered an injury.

You do not meet these kids from Europe, you do not realize all they go though trying to make it to the NHL.

Oh and if some food for thought, what if in 2000 the Rangers followed your advice and this prospect at the time was so-so about coming over to the NHL.

Then the Rangers would have passed on drafting Henrik Lundqvist.

This year that would have meant the Rangers passed on Carl Hagelin who is going to be a Ranger in the next 2-3 years.

Oh and FYI, Baranka choose to play in Russia not return home to Slovakia, it is a big difference.

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