Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Lundqvist: It's Going to Take A Few Weeks to Get Ready (Updated)

Update, 4:45 p.m.:
Dan Rosen at NHL.com was also able to catch up with Lundqvist today and the Rangers netminder spoke with him about the importance of the Martin Biron signing...

"When I'm not playing, we have a great goalie to step in and it's going to push me to play even better because if I'm not playing well enough he will take my job," Lundqvist said.

...i almost fell off my chair when I read that. I don't care how bad Lundqvist plays, no way Biron is taking his job.

Original Post:
Jesse Spector at the Blueshirts Blog spoke with Henrik Lundqvist about already being in mid-season form after just two informal practices...

"The way things ended last year, after a few weeks, you just wanted to get back and come back as a winner," Lundqvist said. "I'm getting there. It's going to take a few weeks to get ready."

...the one thing I'm always the most impressed about with Lundqvist is his will to win. I don't think there's another player on the Rangers that wants to win as much as Lundqvist. And that's not a shot at the other players (well maybe at Redden) but he seems to take every loss so hard.

Spector also has quotes from Ryan Callahan and Matt Gilroy.

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White Wants to Put Last Year in the Past

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes has this quote from new Ranger Todd White, who has not been cleared for contact yet...

"Two years ago, I had a great year (22 goals, 73 points) and I still think I can play on a high level like that," he told me today. "Last year was a tough year (7-19-26, averaging 15:14 per game) and I just want to put it in the past. I just want the opportunity."

...if White can bounce back from his injury and with the Rangers lack of a true #1 center he will have a real opportunity to make this team.

Zipay also notes that Artem Anisimov looked good scoring on Lundqvist and Marian Gaborik isn't expected until after Labor Day.

Training camp starts on September 17th.

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Lundqvist & His Bus

@RangersTribune has been tweeting from the Henrik Lundqvist bus event today and sends this picture along...


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Callahan, Boyle & Gilroy Join the Mix

From @thenyrangers...

The boys are back on the ice for another informal workout as Ryan Callahan, Brian Boyle, & Matt Gilroy have joined their #NYR 'mates todayless than a minute ago via TweetDeck


...surprised Boyle and Gilroy weren't there yesterday. Both of them need to make an outstanding impression on the coaching staff this preseason if they want to start the year with the Rangers and not in Hartford.

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No Staal for Ryan Trade on the Horizon

Lyle Richardson at The Hockey News says despite some internet rumors the Rangers will not be trading Marc Staal to Anaheim for Bobby Ryan...

"Don’t hold your breath awaiting that deal. The Rangers and Ducks share a similar issue – blueline depth – so swapping Ryan for Staal won’t help the Blueshirts in that regard. The respective management teams of both clubs repeatedly insisted they won’t trade either player and would match any offer sheets for them."

...Ryan is a stud, but the Rangers would be severely short-handed on defense without Staal. Plus, I very much doubt the Ducks want to rid themselves of Ryan.

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Tuesday Headlines

Bergen Record - Blueshirts sign ex-Sabre Tim Kennedy

Newsday - Rangers rookie Aasen isn't short on speed


New York Times -
Rangers Sign Kennedy

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Banner Contest Entry #4


The fourth entry in the banner contest comes from Jeff. He actually sent this to me before I even announced the contest because he thought the generic banner I had up was so embarrassing. Sorry the resolution is a little off as I had to resize the banner to fit but if this wins I will have Jeff change the pixels.

I will be accepting entries until Friday, Sept. 3rd. Please e-mail them to nyrfan94@yahoo.com. For banner contest guidelines click here.

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Day 1 Pre-Training Camp Workout Recaps

Jim Cerny at nyrangers.com has a nice recap of today's first Rangers pre-training camp workouts including this from Artem Anisimov on recovering from his broken hand surgery...

“The hand feels great, there are no problems at all,” said Anisimov, who appeared in all 82 games as a Rangers rookie last season. “I’ve been working hard in the summer and I am in good shape. I am ready to go and am very excited to start training camp.”

...big year for Anisimov in my opinion. Really looking for him to take the next step in his development. Would like to see him centering the second line by the end of the season.

Cerny also reports that new Ranger Steve Eminger said he would be interested in wearing the same #7 he wore in Anaheim with the Rangers. That was until someone told him that number was off limits.

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes also has a recap that includes quotes from MZA and notes on Chris Drury and Vinny Prospal going at it a bit.

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Kennedy Looking Forward to the Challenge (Updated)

Update, 8:45 p.m.:
Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants has more from Kennedy including this...

“From what I saw last year, (coach John Tortorella) likes guys who can skate and compete,” Kennedy added. “I think that’s what I can bring to the table and what I hope to bring to the team. They’re a fast-paced, up-tempo team. I thought it was a good fit for me.”

Original Post:
Jesse Spector at the Blueshirts Blog was able to speak with newest Ranger Tim Kennedy who had this to say about joining the Blueshirts...

"It's nice, being form (sp) here, I always watched the Sabres and Rangers because we have the MSG channel," said the 24-year-old Kennedy. "It's a great place to play and a chance to be close to home and join a top-flight organization and that's what I'm looking for. ... (Dubinsky and Gilroy said) that it's a great place to play, an awesome experience being in front of 18000 people a night, and I'm looking forward to that challenge."

Kennedy played with Brandon Dubinsky and Matt Gilroy for Team USA at this summer's world championships in Germany.

...for the price, I guess you can't go wrong here. Unfortunately, the Rangers just made it that much harder for a home grown guy like Byers or Weise to make the team. Which I'm not all that excited about.

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Video: MZA at Rangers Training Facility

For MZA interview click here.

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Rangers Working to Get Kennedy (Updated)

Update, 4:50 p.m.:
It's official.

Update, 1:25 p.m.:
Gross now tweets that Kennedy's deal is one-way, one-year deal for $550,000.

...why would they only do a one-way deal? The Rangers had all the leverage and they give him a one-way deal. Now the guy has to clear waivers if they want to send him down to Hartford. Unless I'm missing something. I do love the amount of the deal though.

Newer posts are below this one.

Update, 1:20 p.m.:
Gross and Arthur Staple both analyze the signing.

Update, 12:12 p.m.:
Jesse Spector at The Blueshirts Blog confirms the signing.

Update, 11:50 a.m.:

Gross now tweets that an announcement on the signing is expected later today.

Original Post:
Andrew Gross tweets...

Tim Kennedy to #NYRangers rumors are legit.less than a minute ago via mobile web


Tim Kennedy who had 10g, 16a in his rookie season in Buffalo became a UFA when he was bought out by the Sabres earlier this offseason after he was awarded a one-year, $1 million contract during his arbitration hearing.

...this kid could turn into something, but right now do the Rangers need another 3rd line player?

...this signing will almost certainly mean the end of Redden. How else could they afford Kennedy?

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Meet Lundqvist

From @thenyrangers.com...

Use #MEETHANK for chance to meet Henrik Lundqvist at noon tomorrow & win 2 seats on @GrayLineNewYork bus tour. Deadline to submit 6pm todayless than a minute ago via TweetDeck


You can also do this through Facebook as well.

TheNYRBlog Fantasy Hockey League Update

Ok TheNYRBlog Fantasy Hockey League is officially filled up.

We will have five separate divisions with 10 teams per division. We will be using Yahoo! and will be doing a rotisserie style and an autodraft (sorry to those who wanted a live draft, but I think this will be the easiest for all involved).

My plan is to have the fantasy season end the third to last week of the season, then have the five division winners square off in a one week rotisserie style winner takes all battle royal for the ultimate TheNYRBlog championship.

The divisions will be named Messier, Leetch, Gilbert, Giacomin and Redden (kidding it'll be Richter).

I will be sending an e-mail to all the participants later this week with more information including finding four other commissioners.

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Get Excited Pre-Training Camp Workouts Start Today

Steve Zipay tweets...

11 Rangers on ice at pretraining camp workouts: Lundqvist, Drury, Grachev, Dubi, Redden, White, Prospal, Aasen, AA, Valentenko, Emingerless than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®


...this was a nice pick me up on a Monday morning. Let's Go Rangers!!!!

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Rangers Fan Blog Round Up

Jess Rubenstein at The Prospect Park reports on Ryan Bourque's outstanding preseason start.

Scotty Hockey continues to churn out teams in his 'Peepin' Foes' series.

The Rangers Pundit wonders if the Rangers are really as bad as The Hockey News thinks.

Greg Caggiano at From New York to San Francisco warns Ranger fans not to drink the MSG Kool-Aid.

M. Hurley at My Blueshirt Heaven compares the Rangers with the Mets.

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Lundqvist's Knee Feels Good Again; Being Honored by Gray Line NY

Rose over at the Henrik Lundqvist Blog has an outstanding translation of a recent Swedish Henrik Lundqvist television interview where he speaks about his ailing knees...

"It sounds like I'm a senior citizen, haha. No, but I had trouble with my knee, along with my groins.

That's the reason why I didn't participate in the World Cup. But I took a cortisone injection a couple of weeks ago, and now it feels good again."

...first I'm hearing about the groin maybe Torts should pencil Biron in for 25-30 starts.

Rose also gives us a heads-up on a Lundqvist appearance tomorrow as he will be honored by Gray Line NY with a bus in his honor.

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Banner Contest Entry #3


The third entry in the banner contest comes from Paul. Let's hope I need Paul to re-design the banner after the Rangers win their fifth Stanley Cup this season.

I will be accepting entries until Friday, Sept. 3rd. Please e-mail them to nyrfan94@yahoo.com. For banner contest guidelines click here.

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Saturday, August 28, 2010

McIlrath Looking to Complete His Game

Jess Rubenstein at The Prospect Park was able to sit down with Rangers 2010 first round pick Dylan McIlrath to discuss numerous issues including what areas he needs to improve on...

"I’m looking to complete my game as a whole, fine tune my hands and feet while also adjusting to the pace of the NHL."

...i don't know McIlrath from a hole in the wall, but he seems like one of those players who's quiet and soft spoken off the ice, but as soon as he steps into the rink he becomes this tough, physical d-man.

...great interview by Rubenstein.

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Staal's Priority Is to Finalize Deal with Rangers

Marc Staal's agent agent Paul Krepelka of the Orr Hockey Group said this to Craig Constance of the Sporting News about negotiations with the Rangers...

“The report of an offer sheet is absolutely unfounded and our priority and focus is on finalizing a deal with the Rangers,” Krepelka wrote in an e-mail to Sporting News.

...i look high and low for every piece of Ranger news and I've never seen that an offer sheet had been sent to Staal. You'd think, if true, a beat writer would have already reported on it.

..i don't know about you, but I'm starting to get sick of these no real information Staal negotiation articles.

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Friday, August 27, 2010

NHL Approves Kovalchuk to Devils (Updated)

Updated, 4:04 p.m.:
OK maybe it hasn't as Gulitti is now reporting that the NHL has NOT approved the contract.

...and here we go again. This will be the last post on the Kovalchuk signing until I see him in a Devils uniform taking a stupid penalty for tackling Avery after "The Grate One" insults his mother.

Original Post:
Tom Gulitti at Fire & Ice tweets...

OK. This is a little late because others are saying it's done too, but I did get second confirmation on league thumbs up.less than a minute ago via web


...looking forward to Avery chasing Kovalchuk around the ice six games this season.

...sorry to post Debbie news but I thought this signing merited a post.



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No Banner Contest Entries this Weekend

Similar to the guest blog post contest, I won't be posting banner entries over the weekend as the traffic is usually down and I want everyone to be able to see all the banners and leave their comments.

So for the weekend, I'll put the boring banner that started whole contest back up.

I will be accepting entries until Friday, Sept. 3rd. Please e-mail them to nyrfan94@yahoo.com. For banner contest guidelines click here.

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Frolov to Wear #31

Laurie Carr from Beyond the Blueshirts tweets this out...

Alexander Frolov told Sportbox.ru he'll wear number 31 with the #NYR.less than a minute ago via web


...31 seems like a goaltender's number to me, but whatever.

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MZA Prepared to Play in Hartford

In an interview with a Norwegian website, Mats Zuccarello-Aasen says that he's prepared for anything during training camp including being sent to Hartford.

On playing in the more physical NHL, MZA adds...

"Everyone is talking about that it's so physical game in the NHL. Physical games are everywhere. It is perhaps somewhat more intense in the NHL, since the path is less than what we have in Europe."

...similar to Grachev, I just don't see a spot on this team for MZA. He will really need to light it up, while another player falters for him to make the Rangers out of camp.

...i have expressed all summer long my concern about MZA being able to hold his own in the more physical NHL, but he seems prepared for it which can only help.

...h/t to reader Tim W.

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Banner Contest Entry #2


The second entry in the banner contest comes from Juan who hosts the Rangers Brazil Blog. Juan said he sent it in more to be funny, but I'm posting it anyway. Let me know what you think.

I will be accepting entries until Friday, Sept. 3rd. Please e-mail them to nyrfan94@yahoo.com.

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

TheNYRBlog Given Kudos for NHL Teams vs. Bloggers Stance

Earlier today, I posted about the Rangers lack of respect for bloggers and how I actually agreed with their stance not to credential bloggers. Well, Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy (whose story on NHL teams vs. bloggers elicited my post) gave me a stick tap in a post on NHL guidelines for bloggers being leaked...

"We're honored it sparked a healthy discussion about access today, with smart writing from folks like Justin Bourne and Dan Levy and Eric Mirlis and James O'Brien. Special stick-tap to Kevin DeLury of New York Rangers blog for offering a bit of a contrarian take and mentioning something I spaced on in the original post: There's a very large percentage of bloggers who don't need, want or desire access to the press box; that want to be fans on a soapbox or caustic commentators that aren't beholden to a team employee dangling a credential like a carrot. To them, we raise a glass."

...wow and I'm honored to get such a ridiculously nice mention from Greg, who runs by far the best hockey blog on the web.

Rangers Preseason TV Special Sept. 4th

Update, 11:14 p.m.:
The Rangers have informed me through Twitter that Bill Pidto & Dave Maloney will be hosting the show.

Original Post:
@MSGnetworks tweets this out...

Just Announced!!!!! @thenyrangers Hockey Night Live Rangers preseason special on Saturday September 4th at 11pm. #NYR, #NHLless than a minute ago via web


...sweet can't wait to watch Butch Goring and Ken Danyko discuss the Rangers. Seriously, can we get a real Rangers hockey show. Awful, just awful.

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The Rangers Hate Bloggers

In a piece at Puck Daddy, Greg Wyshynski talks about the always interesting "should bloggers be credentialed by teams?" argument and here is what he reported on the Rangers feelings regarding giving bloggers access to the team...

"According to multiple sources speaking on background, a New York Rangers blogger affiliated with SB Nation was credentialed by the NHL for the 2010 Draft in Los Angeles. The Rangers were reportedly upset at his presence because the blogger was associated with a "Fire Sather" rally in March that targeted the Rangers' beleaguered general manager. The Rangers, and other teams, viewed this as a writer "crossing over" into "irresponsible" fan behavior.

It was someone the Rangers do not credential, but the NHL did; so the Rangers, and like-minded teams, suggested a change in policy that would offer them more control over access to their personnel away from MSG."


...this may shock some of you, but I agree with the Rangers here. They don't have to allow access to anyone. Why should they be forced to give access to a group of bloggers they may not be comfortable with?

...it is a very difficult situation, because anyone can start a blog (look at me). How do you define the parameters of who is credentialed? Traffic? Quality of posts? Schooling? Just because a blog gets 5,000 hits a day doesn't mean the writer won't act in an unprofessional manner when around the athletes.


...and in the case of the Rangers and the above said blogger, why in the world would Sather give access to someone involved with setting up a rally calling for his firing?


...having said all that, despite the Rangers stepping up their social media game this summer, they are woefully behind the times with bloggers. Wyshyski reports that the Islanders have a "Blog Box" where credentialed bloggers have limited access to the team. That's actually pretty cool. I'd like to see the Rangers possibly set something like that up for some of the serious bloggers (again don't know what the parameters would be).


...at the end of the day I don't care either way. I don't want to sit in the press box or want access to the team. I'd much rather be in the crowd with the Garden Faithful or at home listening to Rosen while cheering on my beloved Blueshirts then pull out my computer and pass along my thoughts to the readers.


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Will Hornqvist Deal Lead to Staal Signing?

Jesse Spector at The Blueshirts Blog wonders if the recent Predators signing of Patric Hornqvist to a three-year, $9.25 million contract will give the Rangers and Marc Staal a jumping off point in contract negotiations...

Here are the similarities Spector mentions between Staal and Hornqvist...

• Hornqvist is 12 days older than Staal.
• Both were drafted in 2005 - Staal in the first round out of the Ontario Hockey League, Hornqvist in the seventh out of Sweden.
• Despite the disparity in their draft slots, their entry contracts were quite similar - Staal’s three-year pact was worth $2.48 million, while Hornqvist made $2.14 million over the past three seasons.

...i don't care what the similarities are. Let's get this done already.

...unfortunately for Staal he has no leverage right now. He must be dying for a team to send him an offer sheet.

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Fantasy Hockey 100

I thought I'd pass this along to everyone participating in The New York Rangers Blog Fantasy Hockey League, Greg Wyskynski at Puck Daddy put together a Yahoo! Fantasy Hockey Top 100 List.

Henrik Lundqvist checks in at #15, while Marian Gaborik is at #24.

Just an overwhelming response to the fantasy hockey league so far. We may need to setup at least four separate leagues!!! We may also have to go roto style not sure we can get an even amount of teams to make head-to-head work.

I know a lot of you want a live draft, one idea that was mentioned was setup the different leagues based on who wanted to do a live draft. Still could be very difficult to setup draft date with conflicting schedules, so plan on auto pick for now.

Remember if anyone else is interested in joining e-mail me at nyrfan94@yahoo.com.

Remember to follow me on Twitter & Facebook or e-mail me at nyrfan94@yahoo.com.

Zipay Live Chat at 1pm

Steve Zipay at Blue Note will host his weekly live chat today at 1pm. To participate click here.

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sfDisplay.com Raffle Winners Announced

A few weeks back I posted that one of the blog sponsors, sfDisplay.com, was sponsoring a raffle and giving away two prizes: a XL Hockey Jersey Display Case and a 20 Hockey Puck Display Case.

Well, because of the overwhelming response they added a Sport Card's Display Case as well.

And the winners are...

John Haley - Large Hockey Jersey Display Case
Doug Engler - 20 Hockey Puck Display Case
Ken Donnelly -Sport Card's Display Case


Also ANY reader who would like a COUPON for FREE SHIPPING + 20% off your whole order, please email: pyee@sfdisplay.com

He will send you a coupon code. This is a great coupon as they never offer two types of discounts and this is only being offered for my readers.

As for the main winners please send an email to pyee@sfdisplay.com with the email address you entered the raffle with. Please include the choice of color, your shipping address and contact information. Also if you want you can choose any other item from their website for equal or lesser value. If you wish not to have that item. Please email them with specifications or visit: http://www.sfdisplay.com/.

Banner Contest Entry #1


Ok as you can see the first banner is up which was submitted by Bill. Let me know what you think.

I will be accepting entries until Friday, Sept. 3rd. Please e-mail them to nyrfan94@yahoo.com.

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ticket Plans and Rangers on TV Tonight (Updated)

Update, 5:03 p.m.
The Drury game is on MSGPlus. Check your local listings for channel.

Original Post:
@thenyrangers tweeted these two messages out today...


Join the Family! #NYR Partial Plans On Sale Now. Visit http://bit.ly/9JcrBh for more info on available plans.less than a minute ago via TweetDeck


...man they must be hurting if they need to publicize ticket plans. It used to be impossible to get those things.


#isitoctoberyet? Watch hockey at 8pm on @MSGNetworks. #NYR vs #Devils (3/25/10). Drury ties game w/16secs left in reg, Lundqvist has 35savesless than a minute ago via TweetDeck


...an actual Captain Clutch sighting.

Here's my recap of that game.

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Rangers On National TV

The NHL released it's national television schedule with the Rangers featured prominently as always.

NBC
2/13 - Penguins @ Rangers, TBA
2/20 - Flyers @ Rangers, TBA
3/6 - Flyers @ Rangers, TBA
3/20 - Rangers @ Penguins, 12:30 p.m.
4/3 - Rangers @ Flyers, 3:00 p.m.

...ummm Gary the Rangers play teams other than the Pens and Flyers.

Versus
10/18 - Avalanche @ Rangers, 7:00 p.m.
11/9 - Capitals @ Rangers, 7:30 p.m.
11/17 - Bruins @ Rangers, 7:00 p.m.
12/15 - Rangers @ Penguins, 7:00 p.m.
1/24 - Rangers @ Capitals, 7:00 p.m.
2/1 - Penguins @ Rangers, 7:00 p.m.
2/7 - Rangers @ Red Wings, 7:30 p.m.
3/1 - Sabres @ Rangers, 7:00 p.m.
3/30 - Rangers @ Sabres, 7:30 p.m.
4/7 - Thrashers @ Rangers, 7:00 p.m.

...way too many Versus games for us Ranger fans to suffer through.

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TheNYRBlog Banner Contest

Ok since you guys are so in love with the new banner I have decided to do a contest to design a custom banner for the blog.

Here are the guidelines: it must say The New York Rangers Blog - Doing the dirty work in front of the net for Ranger fans, be 980px × 135px, and in a jpeg or gif format.

Please submit designs to my e-mail: nyrfan94@yahoo.com by September 3rd.

I will post the entries on the blog every day to get your opinions to help make my decision easier.

Sorry no prize for this one other than having your hard work displayed every day on the most informative New York Rangers blog on the web.

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White's Versitility Could Land Him on Roster

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes says this about Todd White's chances of making the Rangers roster out of camp...

"Todd White has been pencilled (sp) into internet ghost rosters as a center anywhere from first line to fourth. He'll be in Hartford before the fourth line. $2.3 mil for so little ice time? White's also played left wing, though, and has been a pretty good PKer. If he's healthy, that versatility and savvy could land him a roster spot."

...i've said it from Day 1 of the trade, if White is healthy and has a strong camp he is on the team. I don't see how he's not.

Zipay also weighs in on the Mount Puckmore controversy.

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The Rangers Mount Puckmore


This summer Puck Daddy has been running a "Mount Puckmore: The four faces of..." series and today they look at the Rangers.

The four faces they have of the Rangers are Frank Boucher, Mark Messier, Brian Leetch and Jaromir Jagr.

...while I can't deny how influential Jagr was to reviving the Rangers franchise there is no way he should be one of the four all-time faces of the Rangers. Where's Bathgate, Giacomin, Gilbert, Howell or Patrick?

Scotty Hockey has his own Mount Puckmore.

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TheNYRBlog Fantasy Hockey League

I've received a couple of e-mails recently asking me to start a fantasy hockey league for my readers, which I think is a great idea so let's do it.

I'll set it up through Yahoo! with a head-to-head format and an auto draft. Not sure how many teams will be in the league until I see the response. If it's overwhelming we could do a couple of leagues.

If you can think of a better format let me know. I'll work on getting a prize for the winner.

Every Monday I can recap the scores and standings on the blog.

Should be lots of fun so anyone interested, please e-mail me at nyrfan94@yahoo.com.

Remember to follow me on Twitter & Facebook or e-mail me at nyrfan94@yahoo.com.

Prospal's Road to the Rangers

Newyorkrangers.com brings back their "Road to the Rangers" series by featuring Vinny Prospal.

The piece includes a recap of Prospal's career as well as audio clips of the veteran forward.

...i'd be thrilled if Prospal can give the Rangers the same effort as last year. Unfortunately, he seems to alternate good and bad years so he might be in for a tough one. Let's hope not.

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Don't Adjust Your Computers

After two and a half years of staring at the same blog design I decided to change things up a bit. Nothing too drastic. Just enough to give it a new feel without a crazy redesign.

What do you think?

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Del Zotto Picks Coke In the Taste Test Challenge

@thenyrangers tweets out this photo of Michael Del Zotto during a photo shoot for Coke Zero...

...look at Del Zotto selling out to the man. Assuming we're going to be seeing this commercial on Gardenvision all season long at MSG.

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Bourque Starts Off With a Bang

Jess Rubenstein at The Prospect Park recaps Ryan Bourque's first preseason game in which he had 1g and 2a in the Quebec Remparts 4-1 win over the Chicoutimi Saguenéens.

Bourque, who was wearing an "A", was also a +3.

...yes it has gotten so bad I'm posting about preseason QMJHL games.

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MZA = Hlavac

Mike Humme at ESPN New York recaps E.J. Hradek's (ESPN) list of key prospects to watch for in camp including Mats Zuccarello Aasen...

New York Rangers: Mats Zuccarello Aasen

The undrafted 22-year-old (he turns 23 on Sept. 1) opened some NHL eyes with his play for Modo in the Swedish Elite League as well as his Olympic performance for an overmatched Team Norway. In fact, Zuccarello Aasen led the Swedish league with 64 points in 55 games. (Before you get too crazy about that, keep in mind former Ranger Jan Hlavac was the league's fifth-leading scorer as well as its top goal producer.)


...hey if MZA can play like Hlavac did with the Czech-mates (Nedved & Dvorak) I'd be pretty excited. 47 goals and 59 assists in two years from 1999-2001.

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Nothing New on Staal Negotiations

From new Daily News Rangers beat writer Jesse Spector...

25 days until training camp, so there's plenty of time, but the Rangers have "nothing new" to report on Marc Staal contract talks.less than a minute ago via web


...thanks for depressing us Jesse.

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Biron Trending Up, Prospal Down

Timo Seppa at Puck Prospectus takes a look at one breakout player and one declining player for each team in the Atlantic Division based on their projection system...

Trending Up: G Martin Biron

Last Season: - 7.8 GVT | VUKOTA Projection: + 2.6 GVT

Veteran netminder Martin Biron wasn't fully appreciated by Flyers fans and management for very solid seasons in 2007-08 and 2008-09 -- last we checked, .915 and .917 were above-average save percentages. After a dismal campaign in a backup role on Long Island, look for the 33-year-old veteran to bounce back to a solid performance level with the Rangers, while getting a chance to spell Lundqvist on a regular basis. Biron's experience and quality should entice head coach John Tortorella to lean on Lundqvist's backup more frequently than in recent campaigns, when only lesser options were available.

...as has been said numerous time if Biron can find his game under Allaire he could be the best signing this offseason.

Trending Down: C Vinny Prospal

Last Season: + 9.1 GVT | VUKOTA Projection: + 6.4 GVT

After his third tour of duty in Tampa Bay ended very poorly -- his 0.4 GVT tells you just how dismal it was -- Prospal got a chance to redeem himself in New York. Though many observers figured the Czech centerman would benefit from lining up with high-scoring winger Marian Gaborik on a regular basis, the fact is that large portions of Prospal's bounce-back season were spent with lesser linemates, so kudos to the 13-year veteran for producing anyway. Unfortunately though, Prospal tends to be highly inconsistent from one campaign to the next, so don't be surprised if 2010-11 is another dip on the roller coaster.


...i was down on the Prospal signing as I'd rather see a youngster get his spot, but his leadership and desire cannot be denied and I'm hoping for another great season from the veteran forward.

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Third Jersey Coming in November

From @stevezipay...

Rangers will unveil "third" jersey in November: Confirmedless than a minute ago via web


...now the question is what is it going to look like. Most rumors are that it will be away blue with New York written diagonal across the front. Which would be pretty boring if you ask me.

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And The Winner of TheNYRBlog Guest Blogger Contest Is....

...Brett Crawford for his post Quit Staaling.

An absolutely great effort by Brett, who obvious did some outstanding research, made sound points and started a great discussion in the comments section.

For Brett's efforts he will be able to chose a t-shirt of his choice from Glass Bangers. (Brett I will e-mail you with details.)

I did also have to give out an honorable mention (sorry no prize) to K. Donnelly for his post Captain Gaborik and the 79 comments it brought in. I wasn't sure to be excited for the ridiculous amount of comments or pissed because it took a guest blog post to get that many.

As I've stated in previous posts, I want to thank everyone who submitted their thoughts and ideas for the contest. The amount of entries (24) exceeded my expectations 10-fold. I was hoping for five so I could at least have a week of posts and you guys came through as I ended up with five weeks worth.

Finally, I want to thank Glass Bangers for donating a t-shirt to the winner. If you haven't check them out I definitely recommend visiting their site. You won't regret it.

With the success of the contest you can be assured it will be back next summer. So start thinking of ideas now.

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Frolov Talks Why He Chose Rangers Over KHL

Laurie Carr at Beyond the Blueshirts translates a recent interview Alexander Frolov did with Sportbox.ru in which the newest Ranger says this about why he chose the Blueshirts over the KHL...

"The Rangers made a good offer, which interested me. It’s a well-known club with a rich history and, from a professional point of view, I decided that it was the best option for the continuation of my career. Regardless of how the KHL has developed, the strongest league in the world is still overseas."

...i also think Frolov has some unfinished business in the NHL. He wants to prove that last year was a fluke and he can still be a top player in the league.

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Staal Not Likely To Get Offer Sheet from Another Team

In response to a question on why a team in the East hasn't extended an offer sheet to Marc Staal forcing the Rangers to match it and make a roster move to stay under the cap, Adam Proteau at The Hockey News says...

"...it seems clear after five years that, for better or worse, GMs are reticent to use offer sheets as weapons.

There’s been only one offer sheet to an RFA this summer (Chicago’s Niklas Hjalmarsson) and that bid (four years and $14 million, courtesy of the San Jose Sharks) was summarily matched by the Blackhawks.

Unless there’s a change in the next CBA, the only way teams will surrender a valued asset like Staal is if naked pictures of team executives are involved."

...maybe teams aren't extending an offer sheet because they know the Rangers will have to send Redden to Hartford to get Staal under the cap making the Blueshirts a significantly better team.

...in all seriousness, I hate that this has dragged on for so long, but I expect something will be done before camp opens up on September 17th.

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Getting to Know Pete Stemkowski

Mark Malinowski at The Hockey News recently spoke with former Ranger Pete Stemkowski.

Stemkowski played with the Rangers from 1970-77 scoring 113 goals.

Stemkowski's most memorable goal:

"Triple overtime goal (Stanley Cup semifinal Game 6 with New York in Chicago). Something that people still bring up today. We played ‘til about midnight. Chicago was really killing us – hitting goalposts, crossbars. Then around midnight I came in and picked the corner on Tony Esposito and the game was over. It's a thrill for me because people still bring it up today. People remember where they were, listening on a transistor radio, young kids in grammar school. One was stuck in an elevator. One guy was on his way to the hospital, his wife was giving birth that particular night. People always bring it up, it's nice."

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Rangers Hope Minor Fixes Make Big Difference

Dave Lozo at NHL.com reviews the Rangers offseason moves and says this about the team's outlook...

"The Rangers appear to be in the same place they were last season. They are a good but not great team that remains dangerous thanks to having an elite goaltender in Lundqvist. But considering how close they were to making the playoffs last season, there's no reason to believe the additions of Biron, Frolov and White can't make up that small difference that kept the Rangers out of the postseason."

Lozo thinks Artem Anisimov, Michael Del Zotto and Evgeni Grachev are the Rangers three up-and-coming to watch.

...nothing really ground breaking from Lozo here. Pretty much just a review of the Rangers offseason transactions.

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Grachev Not Ready Yet

Chris Proneman at Puck Prospectus talks with Alessandro Seren Rosso, a Russian prospect expert who writes for Russianprospect.com, about Evgeni Grachev and where he ranks when compared to other Russian prospects Alexander Avtsin (MTL) and Kirill Petrov (NYI)...

"I’m sorry to put Grachev at the bottom, but he deserves to stay there. He had a disappointing season in the AHL and it showed that he’s not ready yet. Maybe he should have stayed in Russia one year more even if he didn’t have a chance to play at Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, which was run by Coach Kari Heikkila, who is known for not playing youngsters. He also doesn’t have the same level of technique and skating of Avtsin and Petrov, even if he might have an edge in size."

...why would another year in Russia have helped? He showed he can play the North American game when he tore it up in Juniors. He just needed a year to adjust to the professional game and if he doesn't make the Rangers out of camp I expect a much better year from Grachev in Hartford.

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Del Zotto: It's My Job to Get the Power Play Going

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes was able to talk with Michael Del Zotto about what fans should expect from him during his sophomore season...

“It’s my job to get the power play going,” Del Zotto said. “I’ve got to take a little more responsibility in that regard because I’m the one carrying the puck up the ice and I have to make the right decisions. We got off to a hot start and then teams started recognizing what we were doing and started changing what they do against us. They’ll do the same this season and it’s a matter of quick reactions to keep the power play going consistently. If we can, it’ll make a world of difference…Off the top of my head, I can remember five or six games where we had opportunities to either tie the game or go up and we don’t capitalize and they end up scoring. They get the momentum from the big penalty kill and it kills us.”

...the power play has to be better than it was after the hot start last season. A decent power play could have led to at least five more wins. Which would have easily put the Rangers in the playoffs.

...with a seasoned Del Zotto and adding Frolov I expect the Blueshirts power play to be much improved.

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Rangers Giving Away Signed Drury Stick for His Birthday

From @thenyrangers...

In honor of Drury's birthday we're giving away an autographed hockey stick signed by Chris. Send us a bday wish for Chris & you could win!less than a minute ago via TweetDeck

...let's hope that when Drury blows out his candles today he wishes for more goals.

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Lundqvist Still Suffering Some Knee Pain

HockeyExpressen.se reports that despite three months since Henrik Lundqvist's last game he is still feeling the same pain in his knee he had at the end of the season...

"I took a syringe to cortisone in the knee a month ago , so now I hope that it will work , says Rangers star goalie."

...it's seems as if Lundqvist's knee is always a topic of conversation during the offseason and then he goes out and plays 70+ games. So until he's not in the lineup I'm not going to be too concerned. Yet.

Lundqvist on what he expects out of the Rangers this season...

"I think we will lose some top teams . There will be war at the line just like last."

...but let's hope the results are a little bit different.

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Stepan & MZA Will Most Likely Start Season in Hartford

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes says prospect Derek Stepan will not be sent to the WHL this season and that it's either going to be the Rangers or Hartford.

...smart decision by the Rangers, not sure what a season in the WHL will do for Stepan. If he doesn't make the Rangers out of camp he'd be much better off learning the professional game in Hartford. Plus the Rangers could then call him up if he tears it up down there.

Meanwhile, over at VG Nett (a Norwegian website) an NHL expert says Mats Zuccarella-Aasen is expected to start the season in Hartford.

"I hope Mza will be on the ice in the first (home) game against Toronto. But I do not think he can manage to take a place in the team. A season in Hartford (the Rangers' B-team) will not hurt "Zuke" at all - it will only help him, "writes one of the growing number of NHL experts who have opinions about Mats Zuccarello Aasen.

...when the Rangers first signed MZA I thought for sure they'd find a way to have him in the opening night lineup, but as the summer has gone on I really don't see a spot for him right now unless he has a ridiculous camp forcing the Rangers to make a tough decision.

...h/t to reader Matt D. for the link.

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Rosen Ranked Among All Time Best NY Sports Announcers

Neil Best at Newsday lists his 25 best New York Sports announcers of all time and Sam Rosen checks in at #17...

17) Sam Rosen
It is sometimes said that there are 25,000 hockey fans in New York and they’re all watching the Rangers. Yet, 26 years on the same job says a lot. And doing it with style and with an inimitable flair fosters an indelible bond.

Rosen is a play-by-play addict. If he’s not doing the Rangers, he’s broadcasting football for Fox or hockey for the NHL Radio Network. He’s also done boxing, “Giants Journal” and has ably filled in on Knicks games. And if he’s doing neither, he’s calling someone for another gig. Rosen has had a cherished and glittering career.

But if you ask him about his most memorable interview, he’ll say it was with Jimmy Carter after he won the Oregon primary in 1976. Rosen was then working for the UPI Radio Network.

...being able to watch games on Versus and NBC as well as Islander and Devils telecasts reminds me of how lucky we are to have a talent like Rosen calling Ranger games. He will forever be the voice of winter for me the way Bob Murphy was in the summer.

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The Avery Rule Rulz

In the wake of all the NHL rule change talk, Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy looks at the 10 best player-inspired rules changes including the Sean Avery Rule.



...please Sean, on behalf of every Ranger fan I beg you to return to the form shown in this video. We can't take another year of Avery Lite.

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Frolov's Playing for His NHL Future

Wes Goldstein at CBS Sports takes a look at 11 contract year players who need to make their moves this year including Ranger newcomer Alexander Frolov...

Alexander Frolov: He's a talented forward who many believe can get better, even if Frolov has had a couple of 30-goal seasons and five more with at least 20 in seven years with the Kings. But Los Angeles is building something special and really didn't want the 28-year-old around. So Frolov was left to walk and drew more interest from KHL teams than NHL clubs. The Rangers took a $3 million chance for one year. Frolov could turn out to be a steal for New York, or he could be in for a long year under coach John Tortorella. Either way, he's playing for his NHL future.

...i'm in the camp of Frolov having a comeback season. He has too much to lose not to be at his best. The fact that the Rangers were the only team interested this off-season shows that the league is down on him, so if he wants that big contract next year he's going to have to prove he deserves it.

Goldstein also lists former Rangers Nikolai Zherdev (PHI) and Chris Higgins (FLA).

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