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July 30, 2008

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Re-post from BB+

The first 5 pre-season games are scheduled in 6 days!!! That seems to indicate the Rangers will be playing a lot of different players. I guess that they will have a 40+ man roster and get a look at everybody...for a little while. It also looks to me that the Rangers may have the roster pretty well firmed up, maybe only 1-2 spots actually open. With the last two pre-season games in Europe, I guess the team will be bringing only their final roster.

Ok i have more of a question then a comment. Ok so what happened to Michael Sauer? I mean you never here about him anymore, so what hpppened to him?

Sauer suffered a torn ACL in the playoffs and will still be out of action when the season starts.

Eligibility to sign a pro contract is confusing... After this year's draft, it was mentioned that Grachev and Kundratek could be signed next summer, because they had been NHL drafted BEFORE they had been selected in the junior Import draft.
Skokan is only 19, but he can sign an AHL pact ? - is that because the had 3 years Major Jr.? Skokan was already in Junior when drafted by NYR...

I don't worry about the new acquisitions, but this whole European tour scares the hell out of me. Los Angeles and Anaheim opened the 07-08 campaign overseas and they both struggled mightily throughput the season. Coincidence? I hope I'm only overreacting.

Well last season we started right here in the states and we still struggled so...

Good news about Skokan on a quiet day.

Shanny?

we started over seas in 94 maybe that could help

If a junior player at the start of a junior season turns 20 sometime during that calendar year, he's considered an overaged player. Since Skokan was born in 1988 & turns 20 in 2008, he's overaged (even though he isn't 20 just yet). I believe teams in junior can keep 3 overaged players, but those spots are limited.

The Rangers will need to be very fortunate & have a few things to go right for them if they're going to be better than last year...

Wade Redden must reverse his recent decline. Dmitri Kalinin must be healthy and return to form. Niko Zherdev needs to demonstate he is ready to fulfill his vast potential. Markus Naslund must prove he is still a productive scorer. And at least a couple of the young forwards must step up and become top 6 players by scoring at least 20 goals.

Will all this happen? Maybe or maybe not. But even if it doesn't happen, and the Rangers flop, I still have to give Sather credit for steering the Rangers in the right direction this summer.

The "Jagr" Rangers had peaked, and a team built around this aging superstar was never going to win the Cup. And as long as Jagr was on the team, the Rangers would have had to have been built around him. Desperately hanging on to a declining nucleus is the worst way to go.

The biggest risk the Rangers have taken this summer is signing Redden to a long term deal. At 31 age shouldn't be the issue, but Redden's play has declined in recent years. Whether he is actually wearing down or it was a team thing in Ottawa is unclear. The Rangers did need a #1 on the backline, and Rozsival is immensely better suited to be a #2. Stahl, Sanguinetti and eventually Del Zotto can develop at their own pace. If Redden remains close to the player he has been for most of the last decade, then this could be a great stabilizing move for years to come. And Kalinin, if healthy, is an inexpensive upgrade over the Maliks & Backmans of the world. The problem for now is that, despite the upgrade in talent, the Ranger defense still lacks both grit and elite offensive skill.

Upfront the question marks are larger, but there were fewer long term commitments made this summer. The very real possibility exists that the Ranger offense will be among the worst in the league. I hope that isn't the case, but Dubinsky, Zherdev, Dawes, Prucha, and even some of the third line candidates like Callahan or Fritsche must step up to keep that from happening. Additionally, the Rangers sorely lack grit & size. Orr & Voros taking a few shifts on the fourth line does not translate to establishing position in front of the net or digging out pucks from the corners, which needs to come from every line. The Ranger forward lines have some nice ingredients but are at best a work in progress.

All this said, I much would rather watch the Rangers rebuild than watch them in decline, even though we will likely absorb a few lumps along the way.

Its STAAL NOT STAHL

Dubi and Drury always park infront of the net so thats 2 lines already covered orr and/or Voros do it as well thats 3 out of 4 lines have atlesta a player who goes to the front.Gomez doesnt but naslund and prucha does so thats your 4th line.So no you wrong that something rangers doesnt lack.As for size yea they on a small side but we have hard hitting players and we have Orr wholl knock almost anybody out when the bell rings.

As for Rangers being the worse scoing in a league.Are you serious?What would make you say that?Essp as you said pretyt much Jagr was a no help for us.They will do good Naslund and Zherdev going to step up.Me personally i think Jagr was the heart of this team but they can make up his 25 goals byt then again Jags was doubled team so now theyll have to find a way to score with having someone covering them at all time.

As for elite offensive skill Dman Redden and Rozie are good enought to be just that.Rozie wouldve had a lot more goals nut he always wanted to pass the puck to Jags for some reason.STAAL will become a good Offensive Dman.

I think our PP will be very important this year. If we go out there looking for the best opportunity rather than looking for a certain player...I think we will be fine.

Staal , not Stahl geeezee is this guy really a Ranger fan!!?? What alot of crap your post is . Jagr is Jagr , don't trash him for making us better.

ant, it looks silly when you correct someone's spelling, and then spew out a bunch of run-on sentences and misspelled words yourself.

I'm sure Jxmarts probably just got done watching "The Mighty Ducks 2" and simply confused Marc Staal for Gunner Stahl, whom if i might add, should have went blocker side.

hahaha "Mighty Ducks 2"

coulda been worse, could have reffered to him as Jarred, but why the hell do we care what is spelled right and what is spelled wrong, now granted I know how to spell stall (lol) instead of everybody playing kreskin and telling us what the season holds give me lotto numbers because thats gonna be far more lucrative, and since you have already seen the future you should know that also, if you can't give those numbers out then shut up and be like the rest of optimistically waiting for the begging of training camp in a month.

Sorry about the Staal misspelling... it was a long post & I was lucky to catch the spelling errors I did.

I didn't mean to trash what Jagr has done for us at all. If it came across that way, I apologize.

What I am saying is that a Ranger team with Jagr as its nucleus had already peaked, and building around a player in decline will not lead to the Stanley Cup.

The analogy would be the GAG line in mid-70's and the 7 playoff less Leetch years post Messier. The GAG line & Brian Leetch (and Jagr too) are highlights in Ranger history. But if you want to win, you have to be wise enough to know when your nucleus has gone as far as it will & when it's time to move forward.

As for the "Ranger offense will be among the worst in the league," I just mentioned it as a real possibility...

My whole point is that the Rangers are counting on quite a few young players to step up & a couple of key veteran players to stave off their decline. If they come through, then great! But if not, then we might have to live through a few bumps in the road of rebuilding.

Is your objection that such a possibility is not real? How can you know for sure that Zherdev will improve, and that say, Dawes, Dubinsky & Prucha (or any youngster on the roster) will notch 20 goals for us? How do you know Naslund will get the 25 goals he has last year & not continue to decline as he has every year. How do you know Redden will be the Redden of 3 years ago & not the Redden of last year?

The answer is that you don't, and I don't know either. There are real question marks on this team & it will be interesting to see how it all turns out. I'll be watching with hope, but I won't be surprised if they struggle at least at early in the season.

Finally, as for the lack of grit & size upfront, I think the loss of Jagr, Shanahan & Avery makes the Rangers very thin in terms of forwards who can win the physical battles necessary to gain & maintain puck possession, especially among the top 6 or top 9. We think of Jagr as an all-time great scorer, but he was also a horse when he wanted to be.

As I look through the Rangers list of forwards, I worry about those grinding battles for the puck, although some of them will give a good effort. If you don't win those battles, you won't have the puck enough to score no matter how skilled your forwards are.

is today the last day posts are available here?

or is that tomarrow?

I am a huge fan of Skokan but I have to question why he was signed now instead of him spending another season with Rimouski.

I am having some trouble with some of the moves the Rangers are making with their prospects as they appear to be trying to rush some of them before they are ready.

baals

I misspell words because i type quick i dont sit around checking everyword agter i write i accualy got a life.I corrected him because he misspelled a players name not wards ok balls

I don't have any information, but do we know that Rimouski invited him back? Roster spots for overage players are scarce sometimes, especially for foreign players. The alternative for him then would've been playing in Europe.

for you ill correct my last comment its after not agter and its words not wards happy???Well i honeslty dont care because after tom you wont have to read my misspells so ha ha!!!!

Dang, I just noticed I mispelled Rozsival too!

Jess and others... Is it certain Skokan cannot go back to Junior? A young junior player with an NHL contract can be assigned to juniors and his contract is deferred a year (it seems they dont get paid salary, and their years pro status doesnt begin). Is an AHL pact different?

I don't see why he couldn't return to junior despite the AHL contract. But I would think the only reason he was signed to an AHL contract is because he wasn't invited to return to junior as an overage player. If I'm not mistaken, junior teams can only keep 2 or 3 overage players on their roster & usually those spots go to either team leader types or high scorers. With Skokan being foreign & more of a defensive type, it's possible he wasn't invited. Again, I'm only guessing.

Sundin's decision sometime in August:

J.P. Barry was just on Team 1040 in Vancouver and said Sundin has yet to decide if he wants to play.

The timeframe for his decision is not August 1st, it is sometime in August. As Barry said, anytime in August, sometime before training camp starts.

Barry thinks more teams will get involved if Mats decides to play and right now it is six teams that have interest. Teams have called him and said, we will make room if you give us some time.

Barry said the Rangers are one team that will not go away and Detroit is not in the running.

added 9:22pm, from David Shoalts of the Toronto Globe and Mail,

The Canucks have that $10-million-a-year offer, but Sundin has never been motivated by money and it is hard to believe he would be willing to put up with all that travel on a non-contender.

So that may leave it between the Leafs and Rangers, who have cap room but are not a surefire Cup contender.

In any event, Sundin has to decide soon. A lot of NHL GMs are on vacation right now, but in the next couple of weeks, arbitration decisions on players will start coming in and the GMs will have to finalize their rosters. They simply won’t have time to wait any longer for Sundin’s decision.

jxmarts, elsie

Skokan was one of the leaders on Rimouski, his game was improving with each season and given that Rimouski is hosting the Memorial Cup then the odds are good that he would be invited back.

I do not know if someone with an AHL contract can return to the CHL so I will ask and if this part of the site is still up I will post it here.

If not I will post it over at Prospect Park as soon as I know an answer

Maybe I'm an optimist but every sports team, not even just every hockey team, needs a lot of things to go their way to be successful. Naslund gets someone other than the Sedin brothers to play with, Zherdev gets a fresh start with a great setup man like Gomez, our D gets a veteran that can QB the PP and be a clear-cut #1 defenseman. I don't know how there were so many optimistic points of view last season, and so many pessimistic views this season. Our roster looks a lot better IMO this year than last year and it seems a lot more likely to work chemistry wise. Everyone has a similiar playing style. We probably won't have to sit here and make a 1st year player into a 1st line center just to accommodate one player. That lone is good.

And I'm no capologist but what the hell are we gonna do to get Sundin? Buyout Drury or Gomez? Not happening.

And I'm no capologist but what the hell are we gonna do to get Sundin? Buyout Drury or Gomez? Not happening.

And I'm no capologist but what the hell are we gonna do to get Sundin? Buyout Drury or Gomez? Not happening.

ant... i am not the one who was pointing out grammatical errors in the first place, that was you, which was my point. glass houses and stones dude.

JX and Elsie

I just checked and Skokan was not listed on the Rimouski roster so it looks like JX was right that it does not appear that Skokan was not invited back.

Just saw where Minnesota bought out Mark Parrish. He's only 31 and a go to the net banger with a scoring touch. Could get him on the cheap side. Whaddyallthink, eh?

Just to put things in perspective, the 1994 Rangers played some preseason games in England I believe, and they won the Stanley Cup.

no to parrish overrated

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