Monday, August 08, 2005

Sather Fiddles While Rivals Sizzle

Arguably Jaromir Jagr is the best player in the game and it behooves any GM and coach to keep him happy. Well Jagr must be happy today though it is questionable if this will benefit the Rangers. While their Eastern Conference rivals were signing the likes of Peter Forsberg (Flyers), Ziggy Palffy (Penguins), Miroslav Satan (Islanders) the Rangers were signing Martin Straka, who has been around the block a few times, and Martin Rucinsky, who followed him around the block. Why Straka and Rucinsky Sather was asked? Because along with Jagr they formed the top line of the Czech World Championship team. Hopefully it will work but the Rangers simply do not stack up against their Eastern rivals. The party line is that the youth movement will take hold in the Garden this year. If that is true then what's the plan on the signings of journeymen wingers Ville Nieminen and Jason Ward. In five years of NHL experience Nieminen has scored 39 goals. In 110 games with Montreal Ward has scored 10 goals. Add the previously signed Nylander and the Rangers have only six open spots on the front line and we all know how much time the 3rd and 4th are going to get with Jagr on the ice from 25-30 minutes a night or until he collapses. Besides Forsberg the Flyers signed three big tough defensemen, Derian Hatcher, Mike Rathieand, and Chris Therien. They are so deep they could afford to trade Jeremy Roenick for future prospects. The Islanders lost Aucoin to Chicago and Scatchard to Boston but bounced back by signing Satan, Zhitnik, Brent Sopel and trading Peca for Mike York. It says here that the Islanders are stronger. The Penguins are making it clear they will make a run for it by adding Sergei Gonchar and Ziggy Palffy to the Phenom Sidney Crosby and the redoubtable Mario Lemieux.The Devils may have lost Scotty Niedermayer but recovered nicely by grabbing Brian Rafalski, Vladimir Malakhov and Dan McGillis, all experienced tough defensemen. So the East is strenghtened and it looks like 8 straight years of no playoffs for the Rangers.

ICINGS:Wayne Gretzky signing on as coach of the Coyotes is not a good thing for the great one. Great players do not neccesarily make good coaches. Is this a financial move? After all he is a managing partner. Is this a publicity move to draw fans? Would you pay to see Gretzky coach? Yes, tell me about Robi.



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