Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Rangers Cluster Management: Culling the Flock of Weak Stock

Rangers GM Glen Sather manages a cluster of 3rd and 4th line forwardsFlock General Manger has to take his loses and cull weak stock

The evidence that something ain't right at Rangers World Headquarters again went on display this afternoon with the announcement that left winger Patrick Rissmiller was placed on waivers. Rissmiller had played in just two games for the Blueshirts after signing as a free agent from the San Jose Sharks for a three-year deal for $1 million per year. Rissmiller had no goals, no assists, and was a -2 in his two games.

Why the Chief Sheepherder and Flock GM, Glen Sather, stockpiled a cluster of third and fourth-line forwards is anyone's guess. Clustering works if you are in the sheep business, but not hockey. And eventually every sheepherder has to cull his flock of weak stock.

Some reactions to the latest move by the Rangers "Brain Bust":

I was baffled by the signings of Rissmiller and Voros when they happened, and even now they look strange. Three years each? Sure, Voros is looking ok right now, but he started hot out of the box last season and fizzled right after Christmas.

They already had Prucha, Dawes, Korpikoski, Sjostrom, Callahan, Betts, and Orr as extra forwards for the lower lines. They then took on Fritsche in the Zherdev deal. If you already had these guys, WHY take on Rissmiller?

I think this whole mess was a big misread on the part of Sather...
Lynn Zinser at Slapshot:
[Renney] has rotated a set of forwards in and out of the lineup in frenetic fashion. It has not allowed Petr Prucha, Nigel Dawes, Dan Fritsche, Patrick Rissmiller or Lauri Korpikoski to find any kind of rhythm or role on this team. And each game, the Rangers have more than $3 million of salary invested in healthy scratches.

Finally, one choice was made on Tuesday. The Rangers placed Rissmiller on waivers with the intention of sending him down to Hartford.

This all stems from the Rangers going forward-crazy during the free agent signing period in July. They grabbed Markus Naslund, Aaron Voros and Rissmiller in free agency, traded two defenseman (Fedor Tyutin and Christian Backman) for forwards Nikolai Zherdev and Dan Fritsche and re-signed forward Fred Sjostrom as a restricted free agent.

The problem is, the Rangers ended up with too many of the same kind of player, third- and fourth-line forwards with limited offensive upside, and they have struggled to choose which ones to keep...
Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants:
The Rangers will likely use the [Rissmiller] roster spot for a seventh defenseman and it's still likely that another from that forward group may eventually be on the move as well - excepting Korpikoski and probably Dawes...
Steve Zipay at Blue Notes:
If no one claims Rissmiller, who skated in a green jersey today as a spare forward after playing in just two of the first nine games, he would be assigned to Hartford. At that point, the remainder of his annual salary does not count under the cap, only the days during which he was on the 23-man roster.
Pucks on Broadway:
This saves the Rangers approximately $1 million and perhaps paves the way for another defenseman or it may involve Brendan Shanahan and Mats Sundin. Suffice to say this will most likely not be enough to sign either, but it may be a step in that direction.

I still put my money that this will prompt another defenseman on the Rangers roster.
The writing was on the wall from the beginning of the season. Too many forwards, not enough time to go around. Rissmiller has been the one guy that hasn’t earned a spot on the club in the small chunks of playing time he’s gotten...
Maybe this move is one step closer to -- Manic Rangers Fan / Let Prucha Play:
The Rangers are struggling to find the right combination with Naslund and Drury. Lauri Korpikoski has been given a chance as has Patrick Rissmiller who has since been put on waivers (why he was signed in the first place still boggles my mind). Why not give Petr Prucha a real shot at making an impact on the team and developing chemistry with those two for a few games...
update: The Rissmiller deal was for three years at $1 million per year, not the $1 million for one year as originally reported by several sources.

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  • blow-me-down said...

    No, Prucha will never be given a chance.
    As a comparison, think about a guy named Michael Ryder. Great rookie season, and you saw some real talent.He fell out of favour with his coach.
    When that happened, when it was very clear that Carbonneau was NOT going to use him and the relationship was OVER, Ryder was traded. It was messy, but it was done in fairly short order, at least compared to this incredibly inept handling of Prucha going on for over two years.
    Prucha sat while the-total-waste-of-RangerLand Hollweg played.

    This is fat and flabby roster management (not talking about Petr here) and stupid too.

    I think Petr will be traded fairly soon, though. I'll cheer him wherever he goes.

  • blow-me-down said...

    Weird, the flock general manager looks like Henrik L without the dreadlocks. Maybe it's just me.

  • Section 335 said...

    Maybe the Rangers thought they could corner the market on mediocrity?

    After being 42 wins and 40 losses last year, they had a flying start.

  • jb said...


    If the Rangers were a stock, this good start to their season might be considered a bit of a "bubble".

    They've mismanaged one of their best potential assets, Prucha. Slats is weak at managing their player portfolio -- buy high and sell low. This also applies to Redden and Rosy.

    Prucha could have been sold (traded) much higher and has become a wasting asset as Mike has pointed out. So the Rangers will end up selling him low. It's sad. I will also cheer him when or if he goes.

    sec 335,

    Using the player portfolio analogy - Slats loaded the boat with guys with "bankable" skills. Too bad the banks are going bust.


  • tempest said...

    The shepherd with the hair reminds me a little of d-man Mike Commodore when he had his hair long.


    Prucha will be dealt, if they haven't used him by now they won't.