Friday, July 31, 2009

Is Avery the Most Disliked Player In Hockey?

In response to the "Top 10 Most Disliked People in Sports" poll released by Forbes (where no hockey player is listed), Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy asks his readers who they believe are the most disliked players in the NHL. And of course Sean Avery is at the top of the list...

Sean Avery, New York Rangers: Even if this wasn't alphabetical, he's the top of the list. From his behavior on the ice as a preeminent pest to his legendary diss of his peers and former girlfriends, he craves the role and plays it better than anyone in hockey. He's also lobbied in the past that the NHL needs to market its villains; something we actually agree with.

...the longer Avery is at the top of this list, the longer he will be an effective player for the Rangers.

The Ultimate Rangers Man Cave

...what is Tony Siragusa doing in this video?

Zherdev's Arbitration Day

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes looks at today's arbitration day for Nikolai Zherdev...

"Depending on the decision in this case, which is expected to be announced on Monday, the options are:

The Rangers reject the award and lose Zherdev, who can declare himself an unrestricted free agent and become one of the top commodities left on the market. It would be an acknowledgment that last July's deal for Zherdev---who arrived with Dan Fritsche in exchange for defensemen Fedor Tyutin and Christian Backman---was a loss.

Or, the Rangers accept the one-year deal. That's unlikely unless the dollar figure is reasonable enough for the Rangers to trade Zherdev before October, when teams must meet the salary cap, and receive something, perhaps a draft pick, in return.", na, na, na, na, na, na, na, hey, hey, hey, goodbye.

Rangers In Discussions With Dubinsky

In an article on the end of Nikolai Zherdev's time with the Rangers, Larry Brooks at the New York Post notes that the Rangers are in talks with Brandon Dubinsky...

"The Post has learned the team is in conversations with Dubinsky's representative regarding contracts of varying lengths, though neither party would characterize the state of the discussions that will accelerate upon the conclusion of Zherdev's final 96 hours."

Brooks adds that Dubinsky's agent is certain to cite Ryan Callahan's deal during negotiations.

...its about time we're hearing news on a deal with Dubinsky. I was starting to get worried. I think Dubinsky is in-line for a bounce back year after a bit of a sophomore slump.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Zubov to KHL

TSN reports that Sergei Zubov has signed with SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL.

Zubov was drafted by the New York Rangers in 1990 with the 85th overall draft pick and helped them capture the Stanley Cup in 1994.

...very happy to see the Rangers not make another mistake on the blueline by signing Zubov. As I've said, for nostalgia it would have been great, for results on the ice...not so much.

Cablevision Moving Ahead With MSG Spin-Off

Emi Endo at Newsday reports that Cablevision Systems Corp. will move forward with spinning off its Madison Square Garden unit into a separate public company.

The assets of the new MSG will include the New York Knicks basketball team, the New York Rangers hockey team and Radio City Music Hall.

The Dolan family, which controls Cablevision, would also control the new MSG through its ownership of shares.


James Dolan said in a statement...

"This spin-off will create two distinct companies, each with enhanced strategic flexibility, its own defined business focus and clear investment characteristics. The new MSG will be an attractive combination of sports, entertainment and programming properties, while Cablevision will continue to house a portfolio that includes industry-leading telecommunications services and popular programming networks. We believe that the combined value of these assets has not been fully realized, and that this transaction will be beneficial to shareholders as both Cablevision and MSG freely pursue their own individual business plans."

Leetch, Richter Top 10 American Born NHLers

John Grigg at The Hockey News takes a look at the Top 10 American born players, where he has Mike Richter checking in at #10 and Brian Leetch at #2.

Chris Chelios and his three Norris' and three Stanley Cups is ranked #1.

Former Ranger Pat Lafontaine also makes the list at #3.

...while I think there is a legitimate argument to be had whether Leetch or Chelios is the top American player, no way does Tom Barrasso (#5) deserve to be ahead of Richter. Sure Barrasso had one of the greatest rookie seasons ever for a goaltender and has won two Cups, but who would you rather in goal for a Game 7 in their prime? Exactly.

Just Say No To Zherdev

Over at, Allan Muir answers a question about the likelihood of the Rangers walking away from Nikolai Zherdev if his arbitration award is too high...

"I don't doubt that there are a couple teams out there who look at Zherdev as the bad boy who just needs their loving touch to turn his life around. And they may be right. But he's a lousy fit for a Rangers team that needs to re-shape its identity under Tortorella. Doesn't matter what the arbitrator rules, they should just say no."

...if the Rangers can get 20-25 goals out of Kolalik they will not miss Zherdev in the least. If not, the Rangers could be a worse offensive team than last year. Nah, that's not possible. Right? all seriousness, Zherdev is just not a maximum effort Tortorella type guy (see Ryan Callahan) and does not fit in with what the Rangers are trying to do. No matter what his arbitration award is.

Rangers Get B+ For Off-Season Moves

In his graded look at the off-season activity of Atlantic Division teams, Wes Goldstein at CBS Sportsline gives the Rangers a B+...

"...Gaborik is a risk because of his propensity to get injured, but he has a clean bill of health and the numbers he puts up when he's not hurting can be remarkable. The Rangers need much more offense, especially with the man advantage to be taken seriously, and Gaborik has to be an important piece. So do the other newcomers Ales Kotalik and Enver Lisin, because New York will have at least nine new faces on its roster and right now no one who is an obvious choice to quarterback the extremely problematic power play. Grade: B+"

...while it pains me to give Sather high marks for the job he is doing, he actually has addressed most of the team's needs this off-season. Now if he can just somehow turn Redden into Brian Leetch we'd be in great shape.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Rangers Sale Talk

Stu Hackel at Slap Shot wonders if the Dolans will have anymore to say about the exploration of a possible spinoff for the Madison Square Garden unit when they announce Cablevision's second-quarter earnings tomorrow...

"Why would Cablevision have a more clear perspective on the sale now than it did three months ago? Because since then, the Montreal Canadiens sold for an N.H.L.-record $550 million, a very surprising figure in a recession. 'Many suspect that the New York Rangers would be able to garner that amount or more considering the recent success of the team and its location in the Big Apple,' Magpily writes."

...sell Dolans sell.

Anisimov Talks Off-Season

Steven Gelbs at Rangerscast interviews Rangers prospect Artem Anisimov on his off-season so far and his chances of making the team out of camp...

You had a great season in the American Hockey League last year. Do you feel you are ready to make the jump to the NHL?

Last season was very successful for me. I was flattered to be invited to the all-star game. That was my first time participating in something like that. I received good experience playing North American hockey last year. I played 80 games for Hartford, scoring 81 points which, in my opinion, is a good indicator. I have been living in the U.S. for two years now and I feel that I have gained enough experience. I understand the style of North American hockey and I like it very much. I now feel I have the strength to play in the NHL.

...with the Rangers being thin down the middle Anisimov is going to get a chance to make an impact this year. Let's hope the kid can step up the way Dubinsky did in his rookie year.

Blackburn Reflects on His Time as a Ranger

Dan Blackburn, who is now running the first Rangers Goaltending Camp, discusses his all-too-brief NHL experience in an exclusive interview...

For more on Blackburn here's an article I posted in December 2007.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Grachev Not on Russian Junior Team Due to Injury?

Beyond the Blueshirts takes a look at why Ranger prospect Evgeny Grachev was not invited to take part in the Russian Junior team's summer evaluation in Lake Placid...

"That leaves two possibilities: First, that he’s still recovering from whatever injury it was that kept him off the ice for the final day of development camp earlier this month. No details were provided at the time, but the obvious hope is that the absence wasn’t related to the suspected concussion that knocked him out of the final two games of his postseason run with the Brampton Battalion.

The second possibility is that the Rangers requested that he be excluded from the camp because they believe he’s got a good shot at forcing his way on to their roster this fall didn’t want him to risk injury..." you always hate to hear the word concussion when dealing with a young player. Especially one with Grachev's talent. Let's hope the Rangers just asked for Grachev to be excluded.

MSG to Replay Classic Win Vs. Pens

Tomorrow, Wednesday, July 29th at 7:00 p.m., MSG will replay the Rangers 3-2 SO victory over the Penguins from Oct. 25, 2008 when Nikolai Zherdev (who?) tallied with 8.1 seconds left to force OT, and Henrik Lundqvist stopped Sidney Crosby in the shootout.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Blogs: Brashear, Sale, Boring, Heatley, Third Jersey, Dubinsky & Photo Album

The Dark Ranger says the criticism of Donald Brashear must come to an end.

Scotty Hockey gives an update from the Rangers Summer of Savings sale.

Mike over at Rangerland talks about how boring late July/early August is for hockey fans.

Inferno at Rangers Review gives his blessing for the Rangers to get Dany Heatley.

The Manic Rangers Fan looks at a possible Rangers third jersey.

The Broadway Blues and Outside the Garden look at why Dubinsky hasn't been signed yet.

At Save Prucha, Brian posts a very amusing photo album.

Rangers Sign Klassen reports that the Rangers have agreed to terms with free agent defenseman Sam Klassen.

Klassen, 20, skated in 72 games with the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League (WHL) last season, registering two goals and 18 assists for 20 points, along with 92 penalty minutes. He established career-highs in games played, goals and plus-minus rating (plus-27). Klassen ranked fourth among team defensemen in assists and fifth in points. He also finished fourth on the club with 92 penalty minutes, while his plus-27 rating ranked seventh on the Blades.

...the Rangers have really been stockpiling their minors this off-season. I guess if doesn't cost that much why not.

Naslund Treated Like A King in New York

In an interview with Jim Jamieson at The Providence, Marcus Naslund talks about his time in New York...

Q: When you signed with the Rangers year ago, had you made a decision it was time for a change or were you still open to returning to the Canucks?

A: I hadn’t made a decision prior to July 1. I was still talking with Mike (Canucks GM Gillis). I was hoping and expecting to have a choice about coming back. But after July came around, more and more I had the feeling it wasn’t meant to be and it was time for a change. Looking back, it was probably the right thing. I had a great time in New York. I was treated like a king there.

Naslund also says having a secondary role with the Rangers allowed him to relax.

...i thought Naslund was a solid (not great) signing last year. What was even more solid was him retiring allowing the Rangers to take his salary off the books.

...hat tip to Puck Daddy for the link.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Higgins Appearing on the 12 Angry Mascots Show

Newly-acquired Rangers left wing Chris Higgins will be making his comedy club debut at Comix as part of the 12 Angry Mascots comedy show on Thursday, July 30th at 7:30 PM.

Comix is located in the Meatpacking District at 353 W. 14th Street, just east of 9th Ave. $10 for advanced tickets and $15 for day of show tickets. You can purchase tickets by clicking here.

12 Angry Mascots is a monthly sports-themed variety-talk show showcasing New York City’s best sketch actors and comedians. Higgins will be participating in the show’s celebrity interview segment. Past guests have included New York Jets safety Kerry Rhodes, New York Giants lineman David Diehl, and Green Bay Packers running back Ryan Grant.

Here's a promo video for the show with Higgins...

Brooks: Chelios Does Want to Play in NY & Zherdev's $4.5 Million Bid for Arbitration

Larry Brooks over at the New York Post says that Jeremy Roenick was right when he says Chris Chelios wants to play in New York and that Glen Sather has known this since July 1. now Roenick and Brooks say Chelios wants to come to New York. Translation: Chelios wants to stay in Detroit.

Brooks also reports on Nikolai Zherdev's bid for his salary arbitration hearing...

"Nik Zherdev, we're told, is submitting a bid for $4.5 million in his salary arbitration hearing that is scheduled for Friday. Rangers have not submitted yet their number, but could come in under the Goodbye Guy's $3.25 million qualifier.

Expect the award to be fixed at between $3.85 million and $4.15 million and expect the Blueshirts to run -- not walk -- away from Zherdev and the failed experiment."

...Zherdev could get between $3.85 & $4.15 million?!?! I thought the salary cap was supposed to stop outrageous salaries for marginal players?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Getting to Know Ulf Nilsson

The Hockey News has a getting to know feature on former Ranger forward Ulf Nilsson.

Here's an excerpt...

Greatest Sports Moments: "One of the most memorable matches I played was with the Winnipeg Jets. Playing against the Russian national team in Jan. 1976 in Winnipeg. And we beat them 5-3 and Bobby Hull scored three goals and I scored two goals. Against the legendary line of Boris Mikhailov, Kharlamov and Vladimir Petrov. Also, my first year with the Rangers, we went to the Stanley Cup final against Montreal. That whole season was a lot of fun for me. I had quite a few good games, both on the road and in Madison Square Garden. Unfortunately, I broke my ankle in February ('79)."


Avery to Be Scoring Force This Season

Stan Fischler at thinks Sean Avery will be a scoring force for the Rangers this season...

"Avery and Tortorella are made for each other. I can see John placing Sean on a line with Gaborik. That move could turn Avery into an offensive force as never before."

...while Avery's scoring ability is vastly underrated...a scoring force? I think not.

Rangers Sign Lisin for $790,000

While I was on vacation the Rangers signed newly acquired forward Enver Lisin. Today via Twitter, Steve Zipay tells us its a one-year $790,000 contract.

...great another border line NHL forward under contract. There is going to be some competition for the fourth line. Where's Blair Betts when you need him.

Boston Finally Signs Morris

TSN reports the Boston Bruins have signed defenseman Derek Morris to a one-year deal worth $3.3 million.

See here for events leading up to signing.

...that's more than I would have wanted the Rangers to sign him for.

Friday, July 24, 2009

What Are the Rangers Doing With Dubinsky?

That's exactly what Jess Rubenstein at The Prospect Park wants to know...

"Here we are almost a month after Brandon Dubinsky was qualified by the New York Rangers but there remains no deal in place. It makes one scratch their head because the Rangers themselves are the ones who make it sound like they need Dubinsky but can not get any deal done."

Rubenstein also thinks the Rangers should make a run at Minnesota Wild back-up goalie Josh Harding, who he thinks is an up-grade over Steve Valiquette. do have wonder what Sather is thinking here. Is he looking to package Dubinsky with say Roszival to dump salary? But with the Rangers so thin at center, who is he looking to get back Lecavalier? Or maybe he's just playing hardball. Which would be a slap in the face.

Lundqvist A Top Swede in NHL

Mike G. Morrale at takes a look at the top 10 Swedes currently playing in the NHL, where Henrik Lundqvist checked in at #3...

3. Henrik Lundqvist, G, N.Y. Rangers: Lundqvist became the first goalie in NHL history to win at least 30 games in each of his first four seasons in the League; in 2008-09 he went 38-25-7 with a 2.43 goals-against average and .916 save percentage. He was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy in each of his first three seasons.

...while Lundqvist has been amazing for the Rangers since coming into the league, i think he needs to take his game to the next level this year or you have to start wondering if Lundqvist can lead this team to a Stanley Cup.

Morris to Bruins?

Over at the Bruins Hockey Blog, Mike McMahon says according to two sources, the Bruins have signed defenseman Derek Morris to a contract.

However, McMahon later updated this post to say Morris’ agent, Brad Devine, has told several media outlets that the Bruins have not signed his client, but the team is one of several teams expressing interest.

Finally, McMahon adds that he again spoke to his two sources who both again confirmed that Morris was Boston-bound.

...not sure what this all means other than Morris is probably not returning to the Rangers. Too bad, would have liked to see Morris back. Nice shot, good veteran presence. Unfortunately no cap room.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

So Who Are the Alternate Captains?

Rob Cristino at wonders just that and thinks Marian Gaborik will be first on the list as well as two others...

"Aside from Gaborik, the next likely recipient of the “A” would be Brandon Dubinsky. Putting Dubinsky ahead of Ryan Callahan is a tough move to make, as I believe Callahan is the better skater and overall player, but when it comes to vocal leadership, I see Dubinsky with the slight edge."

...for me, I'd love to see Dubinsky and Callahan get the "A"s. I think they deserve them and it shows a commitment to building from within.

...this is the first of what should be about 100 articles on this subject. What do you guys think?

Gaborik on Hot Seat

John Kreiser at takes a look at a player from each of the 15 teams in the Eastern Conference who'll be under pressure to perform as soon as the puck drops. And guess whose on there from the Rangers...

Marian Gaborik, New York Rangers -- The Rangers freed up some salary-cap space by dealing center Scott Gomez to Montreal, then used it to sign Gaborik to a five-year contract. No one questions Gaborik's skill -- he's among the best offensive players in the NHL -- but his health is another issue. Gaborik missed all but 17 games with Minnesota last season due to leg and hip problems that required surgery. If he stays healthy and plays like the player who had 42 goals for the Wild in 2007-08, the Rangers could contend for the Atlantic Division title. If he has more health problems, they'll be hard-pressed to make the playoffs.

...that didn't take very long. And he wasn't even on the team last year that collapsed in the playoffs.

Disaster Written All Over It

Ryan Dixon at The Hockey News says this season has disaster written all over it for the Rangers...

"Henrik Lundqvist aside, the Blueshirts are a team in desperate need of dependable talent.

We say dependable, of course, because they used free agency to add the electric Marian Gaborik, who will shock no one if he plays less than 60 games this year.

After that, the Rangers are thinner than a model trying to make it in Manhattan.

Whether glancing at a forest of second-tier forwards or a shady blueline, it’s apparent things could get ugly at MSG."

...i couldn't be happier to see this article. Whenever the so-called experts are down on a team, take it to the bank that team will have a successful season. Just remember the 2005-2006 Rangers that were picked to finish dead last in the NHL coming out of the lock-out. While that season ended with a thud in the playoffs the Rangers exceded all expectations.

Avery Joins Commonweath Utilities

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes notes that Sean Avery has signed a one-year deal with Commonweath Utilities to collaborate on designs and pitch men's apparel.

Here's a link to the full report at WWD.

...being in Dallas must have killed Avery. No way he was presented with these opportunities while playing for the Stars.

Roenick Says Chelios Wants to Play for Rangers

Ted Kulfan at the Detroit News reports that Jeremy Roenick has said that Chris Chelios wants to play for the Rangers...

"(Chelios) wants to play in New York, for the Rangers and Glen Sather," Roenick told the Arizona Republic.

Chelios said last month he hoped to land with an Eastern Conference team.

...luckily what usually comes out of Roenick's mouth is complete garbage.

...however, this does sounds like a move Sather would make.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Vacation All I Ever Wanted

Ok boys and girls, going on a much needed vacation until Thursday so the lights will be out at The New York Rangers Blog until then. In the meantime make sure you sign up to follow me on Twitter.

For the latest Ranger news while I'm gone visit Blue Notes and Ranger Rants.

Zherdev: Tom Renney Trusted Me More than Tortorella

Beyond the Blueshirts has a great translation of a Nikolai Zherdev interview with a Russian website. Zherdev discusses arbitration, John Tortorella, the KHL and many other topics...

Here's an excerpt where Zherdev takes a shot a Tortorella...

- Nikolai, do you suppose that it’s a plot of Rangers coach John Tortorella to tell the team’s management that he doesn’t see you in his game plan?

NZ - Anything’s possible. There’s no point in blaming a person without evidence. It could be that the coach has nothing to do with it at all. Why even start guessing? Though the previous coach of the team, Tom Renney, trusted me more than Tortorella. But John didn’t tell me that I didn’t suit him.

Zherdev adds that he believes his run on Broadway is finished. He expects that an arbitrator will rule in his favor when the two sides state their cases on July 31st, and seems convinced that when he does, the Rangers will walk away, leaving him an unrestricted free agent.

...guy, the reason Tortorella didn't trust you is because you *ucked at the end of the season. Don't blame the coach. Look at yourself in the mirror.

Stars Financial Troubles Could Mean Richards to Rangers

Larry Brooks at the New York Post has an interesting item at the end of his interview with John Tortorella on Donald Brashear where he talks about the possibility of the Rangers landing Dallas Stars center Brad Richards...

"There is, however, widespread belief that Dallas owner Tom Hicks' financial problems -- his team canceled prospects camp in order to save money -- will force the Stars to cut payroll . . . with the cutting to feature former Tampa Bay Conn Smythe winning first-line center Brad Richards, who has two years at $7.8 million remaining on his deal.

It would take a newer new math to figure out how the Rangers could accommodate Richards under the cap, but there is no doubt that Sather will try if Dallas has to move him."

Richards, 16 goals, 32 assists in 56 games last year, still has two years left on his contact at $7.8 million per.

...tough to comment on bringing Richards here without knowing who would be going back.

Q&A With Grachev

Alessandro Seren Rosso at Hockey's Future has an interview with Rangers top prospect Evgeny Grachev. Here's an excerpt...

HF: You just participated in the Rangers' prospects camp, do you expect to be a New York Ranger in the upcoming 2009-10 season?

EG: This will be known only in September, after all the training camps and the preseason matches. Now my main aim is to prepare well for the next season and get myself in a great shape right on time for the Rangers' training camp.

...would really like to see this kid give the Rangers coaches something to think about during camp in September.

Sunday Headlines

Newsday - Arthur Staple: Torts: Softness will end, 'shut up and play'

Friday, July 17, 2009

TV: MSGNetwork Looks at Rangers/Devils Playoff Rivalry

Tonight at 8:30 p.m., MSG will air another "Fans' Most Wanted" program focusing on the Rangers/Devils playoff rivalry. Here's a preview...

"Knuckles" Nilan Arrested

Tony Catinella at The Patriot Leger reports that former Ranger enforcer Chris Nilan was arrested on a charge of stealing a bathing suit from a Lord & Taylor store.

On why he stole the bathing suit Nilan said...

“I just wanted to save a few bucks.”

On Nilan's ensuing scuffle with security guards Catinella notes...

"When Braintree Police officers Michael Want and Matthew Crowley arrived, Nilan was still struggling with the security guards even after they knocked him down. The police officers managed to subdue Nilan and place him in handcuffs."

The case was dismissed Thursday in Quincy District Court and Nilan was ordered to pay $100 in court costs and to stay away from the store.

...first the guy steals a bathing suit then he's taken down by Lord & Taylor security guards. Yikes. Knuckles, what happened to you? Oh yeah, probably too many right crosses to the head.

...anyone interested in seeing Nilan doing the perp walk click here.

...hat tip to Rick Carpiniello at The Rangers Report.

Tortorella Talks Power Play

Larry Brooks of the New York Post recently spoke with John Tortorella about the Rangers power play...

"There's no question point-play was our biggest weakness last year. We have to figure it out. We have to find out whether we have a quarterback here. Right now, I'm not sure, but I'm not ruling out [Wade] Redden and I'm not ruling out [Michal] Rozsival, either."

...i really feel Rozsival can be the QB on the power play. Tortorella just has to be on him to shoot. If Rozsival can gain confidence in his shot (he has a cannon) the power play would improve exponentially.

New Rangers Choosing Numbers

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes reports on what jersey numbers the new Ranger imports my be choosing...

"...the next Ranger to wear No. 10 will be Marian Gaborik. Among those who wore 10: Earl Ingarfield, Edger Laprade, Sandy McCarthy, Steven Rice, Bill Fairbairn, Guy LaFleur (1988-89) and Ville Nieminen...Don't believe any Ranger has worn 87. That might be Donald Brashear's choice...If Christopher Higgins keeps his Montreal 21, he'll be in this company: Sergei Zubov, Pete Stemkowski, Ray Ferraro, Bill Moe, George McPhee and Lance Nethery, to name a few...Ales Kotalik wore 12 with the Sabres. That's available. I think. Don Maloney, Andy Hebenton, Bryan Hextall Sr., Eddie Olczyk, Mike Keane, Dixon Ward, Ralph Taylor and Hartford Wolfpack coach Ken Gernander have no more use for it."

...ok eveyone can start ordering their jerseys.

Renney Reason For Rangers Not Signing Shanahan Last Year?

Tom Gulitti at Fire & Ice (Devils blog at The Bergen Record) says former Ranger coach Tom Renney may have been the reason for the Rangers not re-signing Brendan Shanahan last year...

"...word has it the Rangers are interested in bringing back Shanahan after choosing not to re-sign him last summer. Head coach Tom Renney's departure might clear the way for Shanahan's return." that statement is out of left field. Would have liked Gulitti to expand on it a bit. But I guess he's not a Rangers beat writer so it's not his job.

...also if that's the case, can we bring Renney back.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Rangers Trade Fahey to Avalanche

TSN reports that the Rangers have traded D Brian Fahey to the Colorado Avalanche for Nigel Williams.

Williams was Colorado's second selection in 2006. He had 21 points in 70 games for the Lake Erie Monsters last season.

...wasn't Fahey fighting for the final defensive spot on the Rangers last training camp. Now he's traded without ever getting a chance. What the heck happened down in Hartford?

Dawes, Ortmeyer Find New Homes

TSN reports that former Ranger Nigel Dawes was claimed off of waivers by the Calgary Flames. Dawes, a restricted free agent, was reportedly looking for a one-way deal for less than $1 million, but was instead put on waivers by the Coyotes. His arbitration case with the Flames will be heard next Wednesday, if the Flames don't sign him before then.

...would like to see Dawes finally live up to his potential. Maybe he'll summons a little (no pun intended) Theo Fleury magic up in Calgary.

TSN is also reporting that another former Ranger, Jed Ortmeyer, has been signed by the San Jose Sharks to a one-year contract. see Jed comeback from the pulmonary embolism you've really got to root for him to make an impact with the Sharks. Man I loved that Ortmeyer-Moore-Hollweg line.

Re-Signing Helps Callahan's Confidence

Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants sat down with Ryan Callahan after signing his new two-year deal with the Rangers...

"It shows they have confidence in me," Callahan said. "It helps my confidence. If they think I'm deserving of all that cash, it's a confidence boost for me."

Callahan also spoke about Donald Brashear, Marian Gaborik and whether the Rangers are a better team this year than last.

...would love to see Callahan get an 'A' this year. Tortorella seems like a big Callahan fan so don't be surprised if he's named an assistant captain before the season.

Get Ready for Tough Torts

Stan Fischler at takes a look at what a full season with John Tortorella behind the bench will mean to the Rangers...

"What we know already is that whether it's a top-level talent such as Marian Gaborik or a fourth-liner like Donald Brashear, the bar already has been set and there will be no lowering of it; FOR ANYBODY."

Fischler notes the tone at the recent Rangers Development Camp and has this quote from Rangers 2009 first round pick Chris Kreider...

"It was the toughest camp I've ever been in. It was very grueling. Everyone was pushed to the limit."

...i'm really looking forward to a full season with Torts. I know he turned a lot of Ranger fans off last year with his suspension in the playoffs, but I love that fire. I think it's something this team has lacked since the late 90s.

Doctors Not to Blame for Cherepanov's Death reports Avangard Omsk doctors are not to blame for the death of Ranger prospect Alexei Cherepanov, who collapsed during a Continental Hockey League game last year in Russia.

The federal Investigative Committee said doctors with the team had no reason to suspect the 19-year-old Cherepanov suffered from a chronic heart problem and did not prescribe the medicine he was taking. Team doctors will not face a criminal investigation.

...on a purely selfish hockey level, while Grachev softens the blow, Cherepanov's death set the Rangers back big time when it comes to having a big time winger in their system.

...and obviously my prayers are with the Cherepanov family.

Thursday Headlines

Daily News - Rangers and Islanders both open with Penguins

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sullivan to Join Rangers as Assistant Coach

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes reports that the deal for John Tortorella's former Tampa assistant coach, Mike Sullivan, to join the Rangers is complete and is expected to be announced Thursday.

Zipay adds that Sullivan had been under contract with the Lightning through June 30, and Rangers brass were told not to comment.

If you remember, Tampa threatened to file tampering charges against the Rangers for improper contact with Sullivan when the Rangers were in negotiations with John Tortorella in February. See here.

...this was obviously expected. Also expect Schoenfeld to go back to his position as Assistant GM of the Rangers and GM of Hartford.

Rangers 2009-2010 Regular Season Schedule Released has released the New York Rangers 2009-2010 schedule.

The Rangers will open the season in Pittsburgh to help the Penguins raise their Stanley Cup banner on October 2nd, with the home opener on October 3rd against Ottawa.

Other notable games are a return to where the 2008-09 season ended in Washington on October 8th, Marian Gaborik's home coming in Minnesota on October 30th and John Tavares' first visit to MSG on December 16th. has dates to circle including two Ranger games (Pens banner raising and Gaborik's homecoming).

FYI - Winter Classic is at Fenway with the Bruins hosting the Flyers.

...wonder if Ranger players will get any motivation from being in Pittsburgh for the banner raising? Tavares at MSG until December? What's up with that?

Zipay to Host Live Web Chat @ 2pm

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes will be hosting a live web chat today at 2 p.m. To participate click here.

10 Great Gaborik Moments takes a look at 10 great moments in Marian Gaborik's hockey career.

This list unfortunately includes his five goal game against the Rangers.

Sather Cleaning Up Mess

Arthur Staple at Newsday says Glen Sather is just about finished cleaning up his own mess...

"In years gone by, an active summer like this has meant false hopes for fans because big names with big contracts have been coming in, talking about a fresh start and a new era for the Rangers, who are owned by Cablevision, which also owns Newsday.

This time it's a real fresh start. More than a dozen new faces in five months, and some of them were even cost-effective additions."

...what do you guys think? Has Sather done a sufficient job cleaning up his mess?

A Shanahan Return to the Rangers?

CSNPhilly's John Boruk reports that sources have said that Brendan Shanahan has decided not to sign with the Flyers, choosing instead to join either the Devils or Rangers.

...please do not tell me we are going to have to go through another summer of Shanahan debates. He's too old, can't keep up in Tortorella's system and will take a spot away from a younger player. Please no.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Rangers Re-Sign Potter reports that the Rangers have re-signed defenseman Corey Potter.

Potter, 25, made his NHL debut last season with the Rangers on December 7 against Calgary. He recorded his first NHL point with an assist in his next game on December 27 vs. New Jersey, and finished with two points (one goal and one assist) in five games.

Potter appeared in five games for the Rangers last season, picking up his first NHL goal on April 2 at Carolina.Potter spent most of the season with the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL), registering 10 goals and 22 assists for 32 points, along with 82 penalty minutes in 67 games. He established a career-high in goals and tied his career-high in points. He led all Hartford defensemen in goals, and ranked second among team defensemen in assists and points. Potter recorded nine multi-point efforts during the season, including his first career multi-goal game on February 13 against Lake Erie.

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes presumes with a 10% increase he will make $588,500.

...i really thought Potter was going to get a chance last year, but I guess the organization didn't feel he was a ready for a full time role. He will be fighting with a host of young defensemen for one of the two available spots on the third defensive pair.

Rangers Announce Preseason Schedule has announced the Rangers seven-game preseason schedule...

(All times Eastern Standard Time)
Tuesday, Sept. 15, Boston, Madison Square Garden, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 16, New Jersey, Prudential Center, 7 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 18, Detroit, Joe Louis Arena, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 19, Boston, TD Banknorth Garden, 4 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 21, Detroit, Madison Square Garden, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 24, Washington, Madison Square Garden, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 27, Washington, Verizon Center, 12 p.m.

...a lot less compact than last year when they had to head out to Europe.

...regular season schedule will be announced tomorrow.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Rangers Sign Callahan, Trade Korpikoski reports that the Rangers have re-signed Ryan Callahan.

Callahan, 24, established career-highs in games played (81), goals (22), assists (18), points (40), and penalty minutes (45) last season. He also won the Steven McDonald Award, voted by the fans as the player who performs “above and beyond the call of duty.”

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes confirms that its a two year deal that would pay Callahan $2.2 million the first year and $2.4 million the second. shock here, except maybe for the money. Seems a bit high. Zipay even has a quote from Callahan's agent acknowledging the big bump in pay.
_______________________________________________ also reports that the Rangers have traded Lauri Korpikoski to the Phoenix Coyotes for forward Enver Lisin.

Lisin, 23, skated in 48 games with Phoenix last season, registering 13 goals and eight assists for 21 points, along with 24 penalty minutes. He established career-highs in games played, goals, assists, points, penalty minutes, game-winning goals (two), and shots (105).

Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants says Pheonix GM Don Maloney is a big fan of Korpikoski going back to 2004 when as assistant GM of the Rangers declared the Rangers had hit a "homerun" when they drafted him 19th overall.

Gross adds that the Korpikoski to the KHL rumors might have been the reason for the trade. to say I'm floored by this trade. I was really looking forward to watching Korpikoski fight for the third line center position this camp. I guess this opens the door for Anisimov.

...for those of you not familiar with Lisin (include me in that group) click here to see all his goals from last year.

Ozolinsh to KHL; Malik Waiting

In former terrible Ranger defensemen news, Spector over at Spector's Hockey reports that Sandis Ozolinsh has signed a one year contract with Dinamo Riga of the KHL, while Marek Malik is still waiting to see if he'll be playing in the NHL next season, but doesn't think he'll be back with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

...thought you guys could use a late day chuckle.

Rangers 2009 Draft Review

Leslie Treff at Hockey's Future takes a look at the Rangers 2009 Draft...

"It appears that the Rangers swung for the fences in this draft. From Kreider to Bourque to Mikail Pashnin (who was the No. 1 overall pick in the recent KHL draft), these are high risk/high reward prospects. The team made a solid selection with its second-round pick, as Werek has late first to early second round potential, but all of the other picks were somewhat of a surprise and risky. Only time will tell whether this strategy works out."

Treff then gives extended remarks on each of the Rangers picks.

...from signing Gaborik to the the team's draft picks Sather has taken a lot of risks this summer. Must be easy when you know your job will, apparently, never be on the line.

ESPN Predicts Rangers to Finish 7th

Terry Frei at ESPN makes his predictions for the Eastern Division for the upcoming season...

7. New York Rangers
Now having said that (with apologies for stealing Gary Bettman's pet phrase), one of the most intriguing stories in the league will be tracking Marian Gaborik's work with the Rangers in the midst of Glen Sather's major reconstruction. There is no questioning Gaborik's talent and the fact that the Wild never took complete advantage of it under Jacques Lemaire, but given the Rangers' spotty free-agent track record and Gaborik's medical file, this could turn out to be anything from a brilliant move to a complete disaster with five years of cap effects. If he's finally over those linked hip and groin issues for good, look out. If not, they'll be pining for Scott Gomez. (Just kidding. Kind of.)

...Gaborik's mentality is going to be tested just as much as his hip next season as pretty much every hockey pundit is saying the Rangers fate rests with him.

Dubinsky for Savard?

Larry Brooks at the New York Post proposed this trade in yesterday's paper...

"It would be so tempting, wouldn't it, for the Rangers to offer 23-year-old Brandon Dubinsky and his $698,000 qualifier to the cap-stressed Bruins for 32-year-old, all-world playmaking pivot Marc Savard, who has two years at $5 million remaining on his contract?"

...a young, talented center for an almost out of his prime center. Sounds like a Sather move.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Gaborik Worst 2009 UFA Signing

John Grigg at The Hockey News explores the worst 2009 UFA signings and says the Rangers signing Marian Gaborik is at the top of the list...

1. Marian Gaborik, LW, New York Rangers – five years, $37.5 million
After managing to move one onerous contract out of town (Scott Gomez), GM Glen Sather simply took on another. Gaborik will count for $7.5 million towards the cap (tied for seventh in the league), more than any other player signed this summer. Unfortunately for Rangers fans, you can expect him to not put up numbers worthy of such a cap hit. Gaborik will be a point-per-game player, but expect that to mean 60 points or so on average. He’s electric on the ice, but can’t stay healthy. Even more discouraging, Gaborik demonstrated a me-first attitude while working to get back to the battling-for-the-playoffs Wild when he admitted to not watching Minnesota games and worrying only about his return. A health risk and a seemingly selfish player; not a good mix.

...this is without a doubt a high risk, high reward signing for the Rangers, but my gut says that it's going to work out for them.

Callahan, Zherdev Arbitration Hearings Set

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes reports that Ryan Callahan’s salary arbitration hearing will be held on Thursday, July 23rd, while Nikolai Zherdev’s will be Friday, July 31st.

...assuming Sather is going to get something done with Callahan before his hearing, as far as Zherdev goes, no way they're going to pay him what the judge rules and he'll end up signing with another team.

Rangers, Byers Agree to Terms reports that the Rangers have agreed to terms with restricted free agent forward Dane Byers.

Byers, 23, has skated in 165 career regular season games with the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL), registering 44 goals and 58 assists for 102 points, along with 421 penalty minutes. He established a career-high in goals (23) and plus/minus rating (plus-23) during the 2007-08 season. Byers tied for third on Hartford in goals and finished fourth on the team in plus/minus rating.

Terms were not announced.

...with Sjostrom signing with Calgary, Byers has a legit shot to make the big club on the fourth line.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Development Camp Review

Leslie Treff at Hockey's Future takes a look at the Rangers Development Camp from last week.

She says the standouts on defense were Matt Gilroy, Ilkka Heikkinen, Tomas Tysen Kundratek, and Dowzak, while the top forwards were Ryan Bourque, Chris Chappell, Evgeny Grachev, Luke Pither, Justin Soryal, and Derek Stepan.

Treff adds that the play of Michael Del Zotto was disappointing as he was often beaten to the puck, displayed poor positioning, and did not have good gap control. However, Jess Rubenstein at The Prospect Park says Del Zotto opened eyes at the camp.

...on Del Zotto, I've got to go with Rubenstein's analysis as there's no one who knows Ranger prospects more than he does.

Mara Signs with Canadiens

TSN reports that former Ranger defenseman Paul Mara has signed a one-year deal with the Montreal Canadiens.

Terms were not disclosed.

...Mara really turned into a solid defenseman for the Rangers the last two years and became one of the few players on the team that would actually stick-up for teammate. I wish him good luck in Montreal except when he plays against the Rangers of course.

Sather Worst Actor in a Drama

Adam Proteau at The Hockey News gives out his own unique awards called "The Proteau's Type Awards"...

Runners-Up: Jose Theodore as the No. 1 goalie in Washington; Dany Heatley as a Devoted Team Player in Ottawa; Glen Sather as The Man With A Plan in Manhattan; Marian Gaborik as Someone Willing To Honestly Consider Re-Signing with Minnesota.

...despite my praise of Sather in the previous post you do have to wonder if this guy has a plan sometimes.

Rangers May Have "Won" Free Agency

Michael Farber at Sports Illustrated looks at how teams are faring with free agency and thinks the Rangers might have won already...

"If Gaborik is healthy, the New York Rangers might have "won" free agency because the lowest scoring team in the Eastern Conference (with the Islanders) added a potential 40-goal scorer. The Rangers also foisted Scott Gomez's five remaining years at a $7.35 million annual salary cap hit to Montreal while getting left wing Chris Higgins and two defenseman, Ryan McDonagh and Pavel Valentenko, who should play in the NHL. If a creaky knee or coach John Tortorella's tough love bother Gaborik, however, the Rangers have spun their wheels."

...i've got to give Sather a lot of credit so far this off-season, now if he can only get rid of Redden all will be forgotten.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Zipay: Get Sharp

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes says the Rangers need to approach the Blackhawks about a trade for center Patrick Sharp...

"Let's speculate here. The Blueshirts could still use a proven center who can also play wing.

Sharp is 6-1, 200, and 27, from Thunder Bay like the Staals. He can skate and has good hands. 26 goals in 61 games and a bunch of points in the playoffs. 36 goals the year before.

Sharp is pricey, due $3.9 million for each of the next three years."

Zipay, who says the Blackhawks wouldn't want a big salary in return (ie Roszival), thinks a package of Lauri Korpikoski, Bobby Sanguinetti and a pick could get it done. Zipay notes, if the Rangers can get Sharp, Sather would have to get real creative to keep the team under the cap.

...potential 30 goal scorer, I'm game.

Drury a Big Factor in Kotalik Signing With Rangers

Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants was able to catch up with the newest Ranger Ales Kolatik who said former Sabres teammate Chris Drury was a big reason why he signed with the Rangers...

"It was a big factor, obviously, knowing Chris," Kotalik said. "We had a little talk the other day. He was telling me that it would be to be (sp) on the same team again."

Gross also gets Kolalik's thoughts on Tortorella, Gaborik, the Rangers potential and his offer from the Oilers.

...mark my words this will be the most under-rated move of the off-season. Man did I just set myself up.

Zherdev, Rangers Fueding?

Pierre LeBrun at notes these two very different accounts of negotiations between the Rangers and Nikolai Zherdev...

From Zhedev's agent...

"We were hoping that New York wanted to negotiate with us," Zherdev's agent, Rolland Hedges, told on Wednesday night. "All we've had is a qualifying offer. It left us no alternative than to file for arbitration."

Glen Sather responded on Thursday saying through a spokesman that in fact both sides have had "several discussions" with the Zherdev camp, but "we're now going through the arbitration process after he elected to file last week."

An hour later, the Rangers signed Ales Kotalik.

...not a good way to get a contract with a team. Loved your enthusiasm Zherdev, but I think we've seen the end of you in a Rangers uniform.

Video: Avery's Bar Warren 77 Grand Opening

....was hoping to see something a little more rowdy.

...actually if your interested in seeing some Avery nuttiness check him out judging a cartwheel contest at the Bonnaroo music festival in Tennessee by clicking here.

Gaborik: Rangers Were the Favorite from the Get-Go

In Marian Gaborik's farewell interview with the Minnesota media he tells Jim Souhan of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune this on signing with the Rangers...

"They were there right away," he said. "If you feel that somebody is that interested, then you give them a lot of consideration, and they were the favorite from the get-go."

On playing at the Garden...

"I haven't played there that often, but when I have played there, just Madison Square Garden and the city overall, it's amazing, something special. It's going to be something new for me and I'm looking forward to that."

...i was a little apprehesive when the Rangers first signed Gaborik, but the more I think about the guy the more excited I'm getting.

Rangers Sign Kotalik is reporting that the Rangers have signed unrestricted free agent right wing Ales Kotalik who has averaged over 20 goals for the past four NHL seasons.

Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants reports the deal is three years for $9 million. (Hat tip to Brian)

...and we have Zherdev's replacement.

Rangers Looking Out West For Trade

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes reports...

"We hear Rangers also have paddles in the trade waters out West, no specifics, although people in the info stream suggest San Jose, L.A., Edmonton and Chicago."

...i guess Sather thinks the news of Redden sucking so bad hasn't spread out west yet. Good luck.

More Zubov to Rangers Rumors

The other day I posted an item from Larry Brooks stating that the Rangers were likely interested in persuing former Ranger Sergei Zubov. Now Pierre LeBrun at jumps on the bandwagon...

"Like Koivu, it appears Zubov is ready for a new challenge. After 12 seasons with the Dallas Stars, the soon-to-be 39-year-old defenseman is talking to other teams, as many as six or seven, about continuing his NHL career. It's believed the New York Rangers are among those teams."

...i'll say it again. I'm not interested in a 39-year-old defenseman coming off of major hip surgery no matter how bad our power play is.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Blogs: Rear, Heatley's Dad, Brashear Bashing, Stupidity, Defense & Brashear Praising

Jess Rubenstein at The Prospect Park says Nikolai Zherdev needs a kick in the rear.

The Dark Ranger thinks if the Rangers sign Dany Heatley's father (a former WHA player) they will have a chance to get the Ottawa winger.

Scotty Hockey continues his week long Brashear bashfest with a video of him taking on former Ranger Joey Kocur.

Inferno at Rangers Review notes the utter stupidity of the Rangers not being interested in Zherdev.

Toby Ivy at Outside the Garden looks at possible candidates to add offense to the Rangers defense.

Brian over at Save Prucha says after initially hating the move, now understands the logic behind Sather sign Brashear.

Rangers Agree to Terms With Boyle reports that the Rangers have agreed to terms with restricted free agent forward Brian Boyle.

Brian Boyle, a first-round pick in the very deep 2003 NHL Entry Draft, has recorded eight goals in only 36 career NHL games.Boyle, 24, was acquired by the Rangers on June 27 from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for a third round pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Boyle appeared in 28 games with the Kings last season, registering four goals and one assist for five points, along with 42 penalty minutes. He established career-highs in games played (28) and penalty minutes (42).

Terms have not been disclosed.

...and the Rangers lock-up the scoring center they need. No?

Korpikoski to Jump to KHL?

Hockey Bladet (a Swedish website) is saying that Lauri Korpikoski may be looking to sign with a KHL team.

...not sure if this website has any credibility but this would be a blow to the Rangers as I'm sure they were looking for Korpikoski to step up this year and take a larger offensive role.

...hat tip to reader Jari Nikkola.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Rangers Express Interest in Re-Signing Morris

The Fourth Period reports that Derek Morris' agent has acknowledged that the Rangers have expressed an interest in re-signing his client...

"Yes, they have. Glen and I have had a couple talks," Morris' agent, Brad Devine, said. "They're definitely in the loop."

...i liked Morris on the team when he came in. Nice veteran presence who could work with some of the younger defensemen the Rangers might need to rely on this season. A two year deal for about $2 million per sounds good to me.

Gilroy Responds to Questions from Fans had a great feature where fans where able to interact with Rangers free agent signee Matt Gilroy.

Here's an excerpt...

Brett from Commack, N.Y., asks: What are your expectations for yourself in the upcoming season with the Rangers?

Gilroy's response: I just want to come in, have a good camp, hopefully make the team and go from there. That's all I can expect right now. All I have is an opportunity, and I'm just thankful for that opportunity right now.

Rangers Done With Zherdev?

Larry Brooks at the New York Post reports that Nikolai Zherdev's decision to file for salary arbitration probably means that his first year with the Rangers will most likely be his last...

"Now, with Zherdev seeking a contract believed in the neighborhood of $4.5M, there's little doubt the Blueshirts would walk away from an arbitration award that's even a nickel more than $3.25M, and thus make the 24-year-old winger an unrestricted free agent."

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes wonders if the Rangers don't re-sign Zherdev who is going to replace his 23 goals last season.

...while Zherdev was a complete flop in the playoffs and down the stretch there were long stretches during the season where he was the best player on the team. If the Rangers don't have a plan to replace Zherdev those goals will be sorely missed.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Kovalev Signs With Ottawa

TSN is reporting that Alex Kovalev has signed a two-year, $10 million contract with the Ottawa Senators.

The 36-year old broke into the league with the New York Rangers after a stellar international career that saw him collect gold for the Soviet Union at the 1992 IIHF World Junior Hockey championship as well as gold for the Commonwealth of Independent States at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France.

Kovalev continued his winning ways upon entering the NHL as he helped the New York Rangers capture the Stanley Cup in his second year in the league.

...there goes the scoring winger Gomez always wanted.

...first they bring in Perry Pearn, now they don't re-sign Kovalev. The Canadiens might actually have a worse power play than the Rangers next year. Nah, that's not possible.

Rangers Sign Higgins reports that the Rangers have signed the newly acquired Chris Higgins to a contract.

ESPN reports that it is a one year deal for $2.25 million

...this was pretty much a foregone conclusion but I'm excited nonetheless.

Canadiens Hire Perry Pearn

The Canadien Press is reporting that the Montreal Canadiens have hired former Rangers assistant coach Perry Pearn as the team's newest assistant.

...well that's one team's power play the Rangers won't have to worry about next year.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Callahan, Zherdev Take Rangers to Arbitration

TSN reports that Wingers Nikolai Zherdev and Ryan Callahan of the New York Rangers were among 20 players who elected to take their teams to salary arbitration, the NHL Players' Association said Sunday.

The deadline for teams to decide to take players to salary arbitration is Monday at 5pm et. Hearings will be held in Toronto from July 20 to August 4.

For an explanation of the arbitration process read Steve Zipay's post at Blue Notes.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Grachev Staying Focused has a great piece on why all eyes at Rangers summer camp are on top prospect Evgeny Grachev...

"All it took was an impressive camp, a 40-goal season in major-junior, and OHL Rookie of the Year honors in the past year to cement Grachev’s status as an elite prospect for the Rangers. And while last year’s prospect camp was a way for Grachev to introduce himself to the organization, this year’s summer camp -- taking place this week in Westchester -- is a springboard for the talented 19-year-old to audition for a spot on the varsity roster when training camp opens up in September."

On what he expects this summer Grachev said...

“I just want to have a good summer, get in good shape, and try my best to show my best in camp. Then we’ll see what happens.”

Here's a bizarre video the Rangers attached to this article of Grachev just skating in circles. Which is well chronicled at The Sports Hernia Blog...

...i can't get more excited than I am right now about the future of Grachev. And hopefully that future starts in September.

Rangers Likely Interested In Zubov

Larry Brooks at the New York Post says because of the Rangers lack of offense from their defensemen Glen Sather is likely to check in on Sergei Zubov...

"...the general manager does have an obligation to address the situation at the power play point, also known as the black hole.

For if the Blueshirts are counting on either Michal Rozsival or Wade Redden to be dramatically better than they were last season (and, in Rozsival's case, the year before last, as well), they are setting themselves up for disappointment and failure.

To that end, Sather is likely to check in on old buddy Sergei Zubov."

Zubov, who will be 39 in three weeks, is coming off hip surgery.

...i'd be all in for acquiring Zubov maybe five years ago. But there is no need to bring in a 39 year-old defenseman coming off major hip sugery.

...however the nostalgia would be great.

...and this is another example of how the Redden signing is killing the Rangers. Not only did the they handcuff themselves cap-wise they now need to spend even more money to continue the search for a power play quarterback they didn't get with Redden.

Friday, July 3rd Headlines

Newsday - Gaborik healthy, excited about playing in NY

The Bergen Record - Gaborik feels 'great'