Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Back To The Future?

I've been getting some inquires on why I haven't posted anything on the draft. What is there to report?

Every pick the Rangers make will be a sure-fire star. The Hartford graveyard is loaded with them. Sure, Marc Staal is the real deal. However, Staal is the exception and not the rule. There is Thomas Pock, Ivan Baranka and Dave Liffiton, three pretty good defensemen who could not crack the Rangers light hitting, porous defensemen. Baranka, supposedly gave it up and went to Russia.

There is Hugh Jessiman, selected number one by the Rangers and 12th overall, in the 2003 draft. He has yet to play a single game for the Rangers and is the only first round pick from 2003 not to play in the NHL. Of course there is Dan Blackburn, drafted number one by the Rangers, the tenth overall pick in the 2001 draft. He played all of 63 games for the Rangers, overplayed and misused and eventually injured beyond repair causing an early retirement.

So now we have Michael Del Zotto as the first round pick and 20th overall and he is the power play quarterback of the future. But wait. I thought Bobby Sanguinetti, first round pick in 2006 was the quarterback of the future? Or is it Marc Staal, that is the quarterback of the future? Of course, Sanguinetti is going to have to fight his way out of Hartford and the clutches of Jim Schoenfeld to get to the big stage. Regardless of how it turns out one day we can drool with a blue line pairing of Del Zotto and Sanguinetti, now that will be music to my ears.

I actually saw the Stealth GM on TV the other day. However, it was at the draft in Ottawa. Do you think he would show up if the draft was held in New York? But he is busy according to the New York drive-by media. He is supposedly working on bringing 37 year-old Mats Sundin, who has never won anything in the NHL, to New York to team up with the 36 year old line-mate Jaromir Jagr, who hasn't won anything since 1992. Since 42 year-old Gary Roberts is now a free agent wouldn't he be a steadying influence on the other two kids on the line?

But no talks on Sean Avery, who seems to be heading back to LA, where he can continue both of his careers. What a wonderful move bringing in Sundin. This will cause a one year, at least, setback to Drury, Gomez, Dubinsky, Dawes and any other young player on the horizon. But no sweat. Gomez still has six years left and Drury has four and any hope that the Dark Ranger has of Drury finally taking over this Ranger team will vanish for another year. Back to the future?

Welcome to Hartford all you fine Ranger prospects----


A-very sharp internA-very Sharp Intern
Breaking the Ice -- New York Rangers left wing and guest editor Sean Avery shares his thoughts on interning for Vogue ...

What did I learn over the last month? Or, as everybody seems to want to know, What's working at Vogue really like? Here's what it comes down to: I make millions of dollars a year at a "job" that I consider to be pure fun. The people at Vogue don't have that kind of salary. What they do have is a group of people working creatively and relentlessly because of their strong passion and love for fashion. I would challenge you to find another workplace — outside of sports or nursing — that has that.

I hope to play hockey for several years to come. But after that I want to be a part of something creative — either styling or editing at a magazine. Being guest editor for this week is really the first time that I've been responsible for putting content together myself. And it's opened up a new interest that I didn't even know I had...

VIDEO MV DAILY BLOG The blog had an interesting reaction to Avery's work at Vogue: Sean Avery, still gayer than me. So 'outed' just might be the operative word, because it does not look good for Avery staying with the Rangers. John Dellapina of the NY Daily News recently reported "Rangers on verge of letting Sean Avery go to free agency"
Rangers GM Glen Sather spent the entire, 30-minute seventh round of the NHL draft sitting with Avery's agent Pat Morris Saturday...

"We had an interesting dialogue, and there appears to be disagreement over what Sean's value is to the New York Rangers," Morris said...

“Their record is 50-20-10 with him in the lineup and 9-13-3 without him in the lineup,” Morris said. “And he can skate, which is needed in today’s hockey. He can hit. He can fight. He can score. He plays with passion. He would like to remain a Ranger but is prepared to leave if Glen feels differently.”

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  • jb said...

    The should rename the Hartford Wolf Pack the "Grave Dancers."

    Over at the Prospect Park blog. They have a poll to "Grade the 2008 draft."

    The results so far:

    - I like it: 29 votes (25%)
    - I am not sure: 23 votes (20%)
    - I did not like it: 9 votes (7%)
    - Ask me in 3 years: 52 votes(46%)

    Seems like many share the view that how are prospects turn out depends on how they are developed in Hartford. Slats and Schoenfeld are playing the part of grave diggers as the shovel dirt on many of their past picks.

  • blow-me-down said...

    I don't doubt the quality of the draftees this year, really I don't. No way am I sure, how could anyone be 'sure'? It's not their talent and potential that concerns me.

    The only thing that I have really been thinking about over the last few years is why some prospects sit in Hartford for so long. I'm not down there watching the Wolfpack play, but how come pretty well no prospect ever rockets up the ranks and into MSG sooner rather than later? Wouldn't we, at some point, get someone up to NYR fast, I mean, other teams do it.

    I'm really impressed by Dubinsky and Callahan, and I like Dawes and think he has the tools. I like these guys and want them to succeed.

    I don't yet fully believe that the Hartford to NYR/Renney development process is good as many other people seem to. It will be good to follow the progress of the 2008 draftees, especially those that go to Hartford right away. NYR can't do a lot about what happens at organizations such as University of Wisconsin, or various Canadian juniour franchises. But we can watch what happens down at Hartford.

  • jb said...


    Good point about "no prospect ever rockets up the ranks and into MSG sooner rather than later."

    If even a blind squirrel can find an acorn every now and then how come our GM doesn't get lucky and draft a young player with rocket potential? Slats still acts like a blind squirrel though, one who stores his prospects for next season in Hartford and then forgets where he put them.

    Lundqvist is lucky he never spent a day at Hartford. That would have been the kiss of death.

  • blow-me-down said...

    What I meant to say was to watch whoever went down to Hartford from the recent development camp. Obviously our recnt draftees are not going there right away. but really, one of them better get a fast-track to the big team within the next two years, otherwise there is something goofy going on, and it should be construed as lack of developmen (since I personally don't really think the scouting and the draft was bad, actually think it was quite good).

  • blueknight5754 said...

    dear rp,

    i have been a fan for as far back as i can remember (im 35 now) and i ve stuck with them through thick and thin...when they were loosing to pisssssburgh and mario and company...with ron dugay's hair flying around..and i never gave up the ship..i always was a fan! things now have reached the boiling point with cable rates keep going up and yet they make some of the worse moves ever...they wont talk to avery who in my opinion was the heart and soul of this team but yet they are talking to matts fucking sundin?????? i mean no offense to you rp but are we running an aarp convention?? so i hear by decree that (and i know that ill get a lot of flack from you ranger fans) if they add this old worn out hart of glass and dont re-sign avery im DONE!!! as god as my witness..ill root for your grandson and his team instead...rp ive HAD IT with this team and the ownership..ive been frustrated with them since dolan took over and ran checkets out of town!

    james h.
    bronx ny
    ranger fan 8/73-6/26/08 rip!

  • jb said...


    I know Mike, the Ranger Pundit, has called Avery the spine of this team. And if they let him go that will make them spineless. It's frustrating to see Dolan/MSG throwing money away hand over fist with the Knicks and then not pay to keep Avery. I know there's a salary cap, but Avery is the most exciting, energetic player they have, plus he is a fan favorite.

    Losing Avery will completely sour Rangerland, who will descend on Renney et al. like a plague of locust if they don't produce. It could get very ugly this year unless they somehow pull a rabbit out.

  • mike said...

    blow me down and blueknight-I guess, to steal a phrase, what ever happens in Hartford, stays in Hartford.

    James you are too young to cash it in.

  • Section 335 said...

    1 - It is never easy to develop talent while keeping a team in the playoffs. Sather has done a pretty good job in doing that. I have major problems with the coach and think he needs to be replaced, but Sather has given him quality players, old and new, to put on the ice. We have no idea what power Sather really has over Clueless. I would hope he had the power and the guts to change. In my personal opinion, Shanny should be made the assistant coach with a view towards giving him the job.

    2 - If Hossa is not a possibility, then signing Sundin would be very smart. He is still a point a game player, with not only 30 goals a year but a 12% scoring percentage. Put on wing, with Gomez or Drury, he could get 25% more shots and 40 goals. I would rather have Sundin than Shanny on the ice at this point in their careers. Sundin at center would open the ice up for Jagr too.

    3 - They should sign Avery. The NHL hates us anyway. Bettman is, of all things, an Islander fan. Enough said.

  • mike said...

    section 335
    Item 1)I like Shanahan as an assistant. Methinks you give the Stealth too much credit. He should be savvy enough to know that Clueless can not take this team to the next level.

    Item 2)Sundin would get too much ice team which will stifle the developement of the young guys and not improve the team that much.

    Item 3) Aah, we agree. Only the Stealth wants to remove The Detriment, too strong a personality and too strong for Clueless. Maybe Avery has some enemies in the locker room after his tussle with Malik. Maybe.

  • blow-me-down said...

    1) I wonder if Renney is really in sync with what is coming into the organization. As I said, we have some great youth in the system. I want to see at least one of them be considered a guy who can go to Hartford for a brief period, then put on a Rangers jersey and let's go. All this trepidation and tentativity (two really showoff words in one sentence, I'm rockin') with players is getting stupid.

    2) I love Sundin. Would love to see him on NYR. I bet he would play like a maniac just to piss of the new regime in Toronto. The only gotcha I can see with him is the leg, but when they are both working he is a very formidable player. I have to qualify that I want to see him instead of Jagr, not along with him. That negates the ship listing to the old fart side too much (I should apologize to myself and others with that old fart quip).

    3) Sign Avery. Not for $4 mil though. Sweet talk him, soothe him, use the energy you may have saved up to woo Jagr and use it on Avery instead. See how simple it is?

  • mike said...

    blow-me-down-Boy, you guys are tough on the social security guys.

    However, I do like your logic and analysis. I like Sundin and no Jagr. Can't have a line over 100 years old, those old guys you know.

    I don't think the Stealth is a smoozer, he is more, my way or the highway.

    Good comments.

  • Section 335 said...

    I too would take Sundin over Jagr. He has more left in the tank.