Friday, July 31, 2009

Zherdev's Arbitration Situation By The Numbers

Today is Nik Zherdev's arbitration hearing. The Rangers have offered Zherdev a qualifying offer of around $3.25M, which has been rejected by Zherdev. It is rumored that Zherdev wants at least $4M per season and from the interviews that he's done this summer (here & here) it seems that he and his agent are very confident that they will get the number that they want.

I decided to take a look at the players last season who produced similar to Zherdev (58 points) who are in the same age range.David Booth and Travis Zajac signed their contracts this summer and Michalek signed his long term (6 yrs) deal last summer. These three players have the highest cap hits from the players that I compared Zherdev to, but they all signed contracts that are at least four years in length.



[Click on image to enlarge]

When looking at the above list of players, who would you prefer Zherdev over? Other than Zajac and Weiss, I would take any one of those players over Zherdev - but maybe that's just me.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hockey News Video Discussing Zherdev Arbitration

The first 2:45 or so of the video discusses the Nikolai Zherdev situation. Zherdev and the Rangers go to arbitration tomorrow, July 31st. However, don't expect to hear the results of the arbitration hearing until at least Monday (in my opinion).

Sergei Zubov Signs Contract, KHL Bound

Update (7/30 @ 3:50PM)

TSN confirming what was rumored earlier:

After a 16-year NHL career, Sergei Zubov is heading home as the 39-year old blueliner has signed with SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL.

As I posted back on July 10th, the day that Paul Mara signed with the Canadiens, the Rangers were rumored to be interesting in bringing Sergei Zubov back to the Big Apple.

At the time I said (and I still feel this way) that bringing Zubov back to New York would be a significant mistake. Zubov in my opinion is way too injury prone at this point in his career to be considered by Sather, he's played in a combined 56 games over the past two NHL seasons in Dallas. [Career Stats]

Beyond The Blueshirts reported this morning that Zubov is close to signing a deal to play in Russia next season:
According to Sport Express, former New York Ranger Sergei Zubov, who’s spent the last dozen years playing in the Lone Star State with the Dallas Stars, is close to signing with SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL. The paper reports that the 39-year old defenseman has received interest from nine NHL clubs and several teams in Russia, and has even considered retirement, but could now be days away from signing with SKA and head coach Barry Smith. If true, Zubov would join another former Ranger, Darius Kasparitis, on patrol on the St. Petersburg blueline.
Despite the fact that I don't want Zubov back in New York, I really appreciate what he did for the Rangers in '94 when he helped bring the Cup to New York. I also respect that for over a decade he was a premier defenseman in the NHL who was extremely talented. Despite the fact that he has been so injury plagued over the last few years, the fans in Dallas wanted him to retire a Star. While looking for images of Zubov, I found this excellant post from Defending Big D.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What Glen Sather Should Do With Zherdev



Interview with Artem Anisimov

Artem Anisimov is one of the young prospects that the Rangers have in their system who is hoping to make the Ranger roster coming out of training camp. He is the favorite amongst the forward crop to make 2009-10 their NHL rookie season. NYRangerscast did an interview with the center who is currently training in Russia. They were kind enough to send the interview over to us, I encourage you to also visit their site as they've done some other good interviews (like the Matt Gilroy interview which we had posted here last week).

What has this summer been like for you? What have you done and what do you plan on doing before coming back to America in September?

ANISIMOV: Before training I simply rested, hung out with my relatives and friends, and went house hunting with my girlfriend. In the beginning of June I started my training in the gym and jogged. The Rangers gave me a special training program which I am using to prepare for the season. I want to come to training camp at my maximum level of preparation.

John Tortorella has been talking about Rangers players having to be better conditioned next season then they were last year. What are you doing to prepare for what’s sure to be a very tough training camp?

I am training intensively, working on my form on the ice and in the gym. In the gym I do various types of weight training and besides that I am constantly jogging. Also, I swim five times a week and try to play tennis as often as possible.

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.

You got a little taste of the NHL last season, playing in one regular season game and one playoff game. Do you think that experience will help you as you try to make the Rangers this season?

The first game in the regular season against Atlanta gave me tremendous experience. After that game I was sent back to the farm club, but I understood what I had to work on and what my goals were.

As for the playoff game with Washington, I cannot describe it in words. After these two games I truly knew what it meant to play in the NHL. It was a priceless experience which I am hoping will help me.

Finally Artem, tell Ranger fans what the best aspect of your game is? Shooting, passing, skating or something else?

I keep working on all the components of my game since I need all of them on the ice. After each practice, I stay on the ice working on my shooting and when I participate in the drills I try to accurately make passes. I still have to improve my skating. But if I had to isolate the best part of my game, it would probably be passing.


Thanks again to NYRangerscast for sending us the interview, which we had originally linked to via the PuckCentral Twitter account yesterday.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Interesting What Some NHLers Do In Their Free Time

People always wonder what NHL players get up to in their free time. Well, I bet not to many of them have the same hobby as Riley Cote of the Philadelphia Flyers.

This is what Cote had said on his Twitter account prior to the tattoo, "going to tattoo my first ever tattoo on my boy gemma. a nice flyers logo on his leg. probably wont be so nice when im finished with it. ha"

Work in Progress:



Final Product:


The photos are also from his Twitter account

Monday, July 27, 2009

Video of Sean Avery At Bonnaroo

I'm a huge Sean Avery fan, but what the heck is up with those boots? I thought you were into fashion :)

Rangers Sign Another Defensive Prospect

Update: According to CapGeek.com, Klassen signed a 3 year entry level contract with the Rangers that has a cap hit of $550K for each of the three years.

In an official New York Rangers release this afternoon:
New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has 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.
More links to give you some knowledge about Klassen

WHL Bio
HockeyDB statistics
Some videos: Big Hit, Fighting Brayden Schenn, Fighting Brian Sommers

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Who Rangers Fan Should Follow On Twitter


On Friday I created a list of the best people to follow on Twitter and it quickly made its way around the internet getting attention from PuckDaddy and Kukla's Korner and being "retweeted" all around Twitter.

Prospect Park, a fellow Rangers blogger, gave me the idea that I should create a list with all of the best Ranger fans, bloggers, beat writers, etc. that are on twitter.

In my original hockey followers list I filtered out most of the people who don't just post relevant news (ie. those who talk back and forth w/ others, those who post non-hockey news, etc). This list has not been filtered in the same way, so some of these twitter accounts talk about non-hockey subjects, etc. Feel free to follow/unfollow these people as you experience who provides the information that you want.

The list below is in no real particular order. To follow these people, just go to Twitter and in your internet browser address bar put the name below after the "/". For example, my Twitter account name is "PuckCentral", so my Twitter account url looks like this in the url bar: http://twitter.com/PuckCentral

Here's the list:

PuckCentral
TheProspectpark
NYRangerscast
byndblueshirts
blueshirts
TheNYRBlog
rangersreport
NHTProductions
BattleOfNewYork
pathoffman35
NYRNation
stevezipay
StanFischler
newyorkbuzztap
rangerstribune
rangercrisis
RangrGirl11
livestrongray
NYRBlueBulletin
TheSchwab12
Joe_Fortunato
jrs1940
rangerblues
AdamReichert
SNYRangersBlog
NYRFanatMSG
TheManicRanger
Newsday_Rangers
NHL_NYR
NYRangersHKY
nyrangers
thenyrangers
NewYorkRangers
pickledotcom

blueshirtfr

checkershockey
HtfdWolfPack
AddiesDad
dbmaven
AGrossRecord
5holeblog
JimCerny
Blueshirts11
jambodelta99
JordanSchoem
NYRangerRoundup
bleedblueesq
HFNYRangers
howie9416
maverick4880
truebluefan329
kevinbaumer
BlueSeatBlogs
MGaborik10 (Marian Gaborik)
Breakthecycle2
JFeigs
STS2694
Yankees1987
akfiorentino
kc2npu
NYRmoneybags10
JDanielFrench
Stevey26
mleetch352


Feel free to recommend any other NYR twitter accounts in the comments section or via Twitter


And if you already have Twitter, just use the button titled 'retweet' at the bottom of this post to send this list via Twitter to all of your followers




Saturday, July 25, 2009

Bruins Sign Derek Morris


According to TSN the Bruins signed UFA defenseman, Derek Morris, who finished the end of last season with the Rangers. Morris received a generous one year contract which will pay him $3.3M next season.



Friday, July 24, 2009

Hockey Fans Get On Twitter

Personally up until about two months ago I thought that Twitter was possibly the dumbest thing that was ever invented. Honestly, I still think it's lame to update your Twitter account to say stupid stuff like "walking dog" or "at the gym" - who cares?? In my opinion, it was basically a rip off of the feature of Facebook at the top of your profile that says "What's on your mind?", which was also basically a tool used by people to let others know what they are doing. Once again, how important do you think that you are that the rest of us honestly care what you are doing?

But, there are some very useful benefits to Twitter that I've discovered since joining it a few months ago. I'll focus on it from a hockey fan's perspective, since that's what you are if you are reading this blog (well, at least that's what I would expect). If you "follow" the right people you can get a lot of useful information (ie. trades, signings, waiver claims, injuries) before they are reported on any of the major media outlets or websites.

Many of the major hockey sources now have twitter accounts that are updated regularly and often the updates are just seconds after news is confirmed.

If nothing else, sign up for it and give it a try, it only takes a few minutes. I've put together a comprehensive list of hockey websites, beat writers, players, agents and bloggers that have the best information (in my opinion) and update their pages with the least amount of non-relevant information (like "I like chocolate ice cream!").

The list below is in no real particular order, but I did list the ones that I feel are the very best at the top of the list. To follow these people, just go to Twitter and in your internet browser address bar put the name below after the "/". For example, my Twitter account name is "PuckCentral", so my Twitter account url looks like this in the url bar: http://twitter.com/PuckCentral

Here's the list:

PuckCentral
kuklaskorner
wyshynski
mirtle
tsnbobmckenzie
DarrenDreger
Real_ESPNLeBrun
Russostrib
CapGeek
NHL
dchesnokov
ESPN_Burnside
RealKyper (Nick Kypreos)
NYP_Brooksie
Jay_Grossman
TSNjamesduthie
SteveZipay
ChrisBottaNHL
CraigCustance
kausatoday
walsha
benhankinson
martinhavlat
KevinWeekes
SpectorsHockey
Rossi_on_Pens
BenThrashers
OnFrozenBlog
TheProspectPark
StanFischler
rangersreport
DobberHockey
MattBarnabyESPN
morrisonHNIC
SNYRangersBlog
JapersRink
OilersNation
HockeysFuture
CanesCountry
JKFischer
TheFourthPeriod
NYRNation
DefendingBigD
Buccigross
TheHockeyNews
FrozenNotes
illegalcurve
htmbigcountry
andystrickland
Pokecheck
globehockey
hockeyfights
hockeychannel
HockeyNow
BigDHockey
canescorner
hockeywildernes
aportzline
darenmillard
nucksmisconduct
Sullivan26 (Steve Sullivan)
NHLdigest
BlueJacketsBuzz
motherpucker
mlse
Sean_Leahy
ongoalanalysis
predsontheglass
AGrossRecord
JimCerny
earlsleek
insidehockey
habsinsideout1
TGfireandice
MichelleKenneth
philabright
DP_57 (David Perron)
commie22 (Mike Commodore)
FanballNHL
Steve_Dangle
Forechecker
HockeyWebCast
TheoFleury14
EricEngels
EJHradek_ESPN
DNFlyers
nateewell
bmcnally14
ajcthrashers
GlobeKPD
AnthonySan37
DownGoesBrown
hockeylogic (Tom Chorske)
TheConfluence
drosennhl
DaveLozo
sroarke_nhl
ChiBlackhawks
HackswithHaggs
DonLagreca (talks all sports, Host of NHL Live)
jtbourne
dstaples
NHLdilo
NHLschuylerb
sbaicker
helenenothelen
JonathanWillis
HabsBlogger
GenePrincipe
ice_chip
eduhatschek
TSNRyanRishaug
ToddNHL
NortonSports
NYDNRangers
emcerlain
BizNasty2point0
Proteautype
GMMikeGillis
ChrisKuc
adamjahns
TimSassone
adater
dantencer
JasonGregor
katiestrangnyi
HockeyScanner
SunGarrioch
ian_mendes
jimgintonio
jonjordan
jonas640
martybiron43
GeorgesLaraque
BrandonPrust8
MRichie18 (Mike Richards)
TheNYRBlog
friesensunmedia
garylawless
botchoncanucks
reidder
NYDNRangers
simmonssteve
LightningTimes
erlendssontrib
NormSanders
lkorac10
MAGodin


Updated list, moved some names around, added a few people that are new on Twitter and deleted some accounts that I recognized were either deleted or not updated enough.



And if you already have Twitter, just use the button titled 'retweet' at the bottom of this post to send this list via Twitter to all of your followers




Islanders Goalie Situation


The New York Islanders turned some heads Wednesday when they announced that they had signed goaltender Marty Biron to a one year deal worth $1.4M. A month ago this wouldn't have been surprising but since the Islanders had already made a splash in the UFA market by signing Dwayne Roloson to a two year deal, this certainly wasn't the next move that most were expecting.

There were plenty of jokes made yesterday about Biron playing LW alongside Tavares and DiPietro riding into the sunset with over a decade left on his contract. But, the more that I've thought about this, the more sense that it actually makes (We can still continue to laugh at that 15 year contract though....right??).

Some on the internet have commented about how none of these goalies will want to play in the AHL. The turth is none of these guys are going to the AHL. On top of that they all have one way contracts so are guaranteed the money that they signed. Obviously Rick DiPietro is not going to be ready to play at the beginning of the season, if at all (no matter what the Islanders continue to tell their fans). So, they signed Roloson & Biron and got themselves some stability in net.

You can say what you want, but this is certainly an upgrade over Danis & MacDonald. They have three goalies capable of being the number one for a total of about $8.4M. Obviously the Islanders would have prefered if DiPietro was bewtween the pipes and they didn't have to spend money on a third goalie, but this is the hand that they've been dealt.

If all three are healthy a three goalie tandem situation is a pain in the neck (especially for practice purposes), but right now it doesn't look like DiPietro is in their plans. As far as Biron signing the one year deal for only $1.4M after it was rumored that he was seeking $3M+, he was running out of options; it was either take this or go to Russia.

At the trade deadline if DiPietro is healthy (doubtful) or the Islanders aren't making the playoffs (not likely) then maybe another team has a need for a legit goalie. Biron will be a cheap option (money wise) and he'll be a UFA next summer. If nothing else, maybe Garth Snow has given himself an asset that will be worth something to him down the road. But for now, this deal might not be as terrible as it looked yesterday, in fact, it might be a good move by Snow.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Chris Higgins Live @ NYC Comedy Club Tonight

For anyone interested, here's something I saw over at Ranger Rants:

Anybody looking for a chance to see new Ranger Christopher Higgins up close, he'll be at the Comix comedy club at 14th Street just east of Ninth Avenue in the Meatpacking District next Thursday (July 30) at 7:30 p.m. Higgins will be the celebrity interview for the 12 Angry Mascots show.

No promises but mention you heard about the show here on Ranger Rants, there might be a discount.

Sean Avery's Latest Fashion Venture


It didn't take long for Sean Avery to get back to working on his fashion career and padding that resume.

From WWD (a website I can safely say I've never even heard of until about 5 minutes ago):
Vogue’s most famous intern has graduated to his next fashion industry gig.

New York Rangers player Sean Avery has signed a contract with Commonwealth Utilities to serve as a design collaborator and marketing pitchman for the New York-based men’s wear label. Avery has agreed to work with the fledgling designer brand for a year — with the potential for an extension — and will be compensated with a percentage of sales.

“Hopefully, we’ll sell a lot of clothes and make some money,” Avery said. “But, I’m also hoping that this will allow me to learn a lot about the business. I’ve taken some steps learning about other aspects of this industry and this is where’d I’d like to eventually end up. I’m a fan of Commonwealth Utilities and I think I can do a good job here.”

The sartorially astute Avery made a media splash last year when he was a summer intern at Vogue during the National Hockey League’s off-season. He attended runway shows during New York Fashion Week, including Marc Jacobs and Narciso Rodriguez.

Avery’s interest in fashion is in contrast to his reputation as an aggressive and pugnacious player on the ice. A 2007 poll of his NHL peers named him the “most hated player” in the league.

New Line Cinema is said to be developing a film about Avery’s experiences as a Vogue intern, with the working title “Puckface.”

At Commonwealth Utilities, Avery will first be contributing his design sensibility to the spring collection that will be shown during New York Fashion Week in September. “He’ll be coming in and going over the inspiration and fabrications and overall direction,” said Anthony Keegan, a former Donna Karan design director who cofounded the line with Richard Christiansen last year. “Muse sounds a bit feminine, but that’s what Sean will be to us in a way. He’s hip and cool, and I think he’ll really help us focus our brand.”

Commonwealth Utilities showed its first collection for fall ’09 and the line has been picked up by a dozen stores, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Odin, Fred Segal and Camouflage in the U.S.; Beams and Isetan in Japan; and Matches in London.

The company is owned by Keegan and Christiansen, with the latter also the founder of Chandelier Creative, a boutique New York advertising and branding agency with clients such as Givenchy, Old Navy, Hudson’s Bay Co. and Nars. Lorenzo Martone, fiancé of Marc Jacobs, works as a strategist at the agency.

Avery will likely be featured in an advertising campaign for Commonwealth Utilities, Keegan said. He also will wear the label regularly to help promote it, and when time permits, will help sell the line to retailers. (Rangers training camp starts in September.)

Avery attended a meeting Wednesday with buyers from Holt Renfrew to help push the collection. “I want to get really involved and be very hands-on,” Avery said of his first retail sales meeting. “I think it went well. I think retailers are in a tough situation as far as budgets, and a lot of stores want to be safe, which is frustrating. Hopefully, some of them can be open-minded and realize there are a lot of great young designers that deserve a chance.”

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

MSG's Annual Sale This Friday

Got this message in my inbox today and now I see it on the Official Rangers website. This might interest some of you Rangers fans, the opportunity to save up to 90% off of team apparel. I've been told that in the past they have some great deals - even jerseys that are well below retail price.
Rangers fans are invited to come down to the Madison Square Garden Mall on Friday for deeply-discounted Rangers, Knicks, Liberty, MSG and Radio City Merchandise.

This annual sale, featuring discounts up to 90 percent, runs all day from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Past sales have provided fans with an opportunity to purchase Rangers jerseys, hats, jackets, sweatshirts, t-shirts and much more.

Only cash and credit cards will be accepted on Friday. No checks, and all purchases must be made on site.

Prices will be as marked on the items with no additional discounts given. All sales are final.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Rangers Sign RFA Enver Lisin

New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has agreed to terms with restricted free agent forward Enver Lisin.

Lisin, 23, was acquired by the Rangers from the Phoenix Coyotes, in exchange for Lauri Korpikoski on Monday. He skated in 48 games with Phoenix last season, registering 13 goals and eight assists for 21 points, along with 24 penalty minutes.
Official Release

Update: According to CapGeek it's a one year deal for $790k, pretty decent numbers as I expected it to be closer to the million range.

What The NYR Blogs Are Saying


  • The Prospect Park takes a look at the Rangers 2009-10 schedule, the importance of Stephen Valuqiette and the Brandon Dubinsky contract situation.

  • Blueshirt Banter focuses on the Rangers prospects, in particular Evgeny Grachev.

  • Ranger Crisis has edited some video to put together a piece on new Ranger Enver Lisin.

  • Ranger Rants looks at the possibility of Yankee Stadium hosting a Winter Classic in the future.

  • Save Prucha has an NHL Photo Album to show you what some of your favorite NHL stars have been up to in the offseason.

  • The Rangers Tribune analyzes John Tortorella's "shut up and play" philosophy

Monday, July 20, 2009

Rangers Tickets Available Already

Want to make sure that you get to see the games of your choice this season? Well, tickets are already available on Stubhub. When I checked this morning Preseason tickets were available for as little as $13 a ticket and individual regular season tickets were available for as little as $49 a ticket. Want season tickets, but are still on the Rangers waiting list? They are also available here.

Other sites to check out for tickets RazorGator, TicketsNow and TickCo.

The Official Rangers TicketExchange also will have plenty of tickets available as we get closer to the season, none are available yet though through that site.

There's plenty of time before the season starts, but sometimes it's just never too early to have those tickets in hands.

Another Zherdev Interview Surfaces

Last week an interview with Nikolai Zherdev by a Russian newspaper was translated by Beyond the Blueshirts and we had it posted here on PuckCentral.

Once again we have another interview that has been translated by Beyond the Blueshirts from a recent interview that Zherdev did with Sports day by day (all in Russian).

The more that Zherdev talks the clearer it is that he already has made up his mind that he has no intention of playing in New York next season. At this point, I don't want Zherdev and his 'just a job' mentality back as a Ranger.

- 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?

- 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.

- Now, at the threshold of the [arbitration] hearing, is your mind uneasy?

- Not especially. My agent Alexander Tyzhnykh and I are sure we’re right. I believe that I deserve more [than the $3.25m qualifying offer]. Look at my statistics for the past season. I don’t think that I’ll be left without a team. My agent has assured me that several NHL clubs are waiting for the the situation with the arbitration case to be settled and will show substantial interest in me.

­- Is it true that there’s a possibility of your returning to Russia?

- It’s impossible to rule anything out. The KHL is a strong league, in which it’s not at all disgraceful to play. There is interest in me on the part of Russian teams. After July 31st, I’ll weigh everything and make the best decision for myself. But, to be honest, as an ambitious player, I would still like to stay in the NHL.

- And what kind of contract will suit you? Would you agree on five million a year?

- First of all, I would like to sign a long-term agreement with the club, for 3-4 years. To have some semblance of stability. As for the number — the bigger the number on the contract, the better.

- Where have you spent the first half of the summer?

- In the Crimea. At my parents house in the small town of Chernomorsk. It’s nice here — the sea, the air. At the same time I’ve been keeping in shape.

- The World Championship was mixed for you. After the second shift of your first game you broke a finger on your hand. In your heart, did you not regret that you arrived in Switzerland?

- Of course, that incident didn’t make [the experience] more positive. But as you know even with the injury I was on the ice, giving everything I had in each game. I did all I could for the team. And I became a world champion. So what regrets could we speak about?

- In New York, you rent a spacious apartment in the heart of the city in Manhattan. How much is the rent for your place?

- It’s no secret that real estate is very expensive there. I paid $10,000 a month. But it was well worth it. After all, they don’t call New York the center of the world for nothing. Here it’s possible get a good rest.

- Have personal fans of you appeared in New York?

- I was a little amused by a poster which I saw at one of the Rangers home games. It was held by a girl and on it was written “Niki, I want to marry you.” But don’t think that I only had personal fans, but [also] fans who often approached me and said that they liked my style of play. The majority of Rangers fans call me “Z” or “Niki”.

- Since you’re already familiar with life there, have you thought about remaining overseas after your career ends?

- No, life in America doesn’t suit me. The difference in mentality is too great between us. I dreamed of getting to the NHL for many years. My dream came true. But now, as soon as the season finishes, I’m immediately drawn to Kiev. All my family is there. The NHL is just a job.

- I recall an incident last season when you came to blows on the ice with Steven Stamkos of Tampa. Why were you so upset with the first pick in the 2008 draft?

- He hit me from behind. How else would a normal person react? I could have suffered a concussion. Or become disabled. Adding to my annoyance was that the referee, most likely, slept through the incident. He decided, at least, that Stamkos hit me without breaking the rules. So I fought for the first time in the NHL. I vaguely remember that I fought with him for a few seconds, but then both of us fell down.

- What do NHL players not like to talk about amongst themselves?

- About hockey, probably. Because there are plenty of topics for discussion.

- Coming to Kiev every summer, do you follow news about Ukrainian hockey? Have you heard, that a candidate for the post of coach of the Ukranian national team is Michael Krushelnyski, a Canadian with Ukranian roots who is currently under contract with Chekhov Vityaz?

- Frankly speaking, I don’t always manage to follow it. Kiev is dear to me, but don’t forget that I was still a teenager, 13 years old, when I left for Electrostal. I’d play for the Ukrainian national team with pleasure — if the level of development of hockey here was comparable with Russia. In the meantime it’s not even worth talking about, unfortunately.



NHL.com: For a Limited Time - 20% Off Player T-Shirts & Select Jerseys

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Rangers Quote of the Day

John Tortorella's opinion on Donald Brashear joining the Rangers and possible problems in the locker room :
if there are players who have a problem with Donald because of Bettsy or anything else that's happened in the past, I expect the issue to be dealt with and settled. I don't care how, I don't care where, but get it done so that when we come out of the locker room, we do it as a team.
Read more from Larry Brooks

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Interview With Matt Gilroy


NYRangersCast did an interview with Matt Gilroy, the Boston University free agent defenseman who signed a contract with the Rangers in April. [Link]

Gilroy has a shot at being on the Rangers roster when the season starts in October.

Here's the interview in MP3 format

Friday, July 17, 2009

Rangers Forward Lines if Season Started Today

Barring any other changes made by Glen Sather in the next few months, the New York Rangers forward lines will likely look something like this:

Gaborik - Dubinsky - Callahan
Higgins - Drury - Kotalik
Avery - Anisimov - Lisin
Brashear - Boyle - Byers

Dubinsky has to be re-signed (get it done already!) as he's a RFA, as is Lisin, who was just acquired this week from Phoenix.

The only position that is a lock in my opinion is that Marian Gaborik will be on the first line (knock on wood: as long as he remains healthy). The rest of the players are all interchangable, on any given night Brandon Dubinsky could be the first line center or the third line center, just as Callahan could be a top line player or a second line winger.

Evgeny Grachev, Jordan Owens, Andres Ambuhl, Tyler Arnason and Aaron Voros also have legitimate shots at making the team but in all likelihood the only positions currently up for grabs are spots on the third and fourth lines.

I actually think that the Rangers will carry 13 forwards most of the season because I think that in John Tortorella's system, many nights Donald Brashear could be a healthy scratch.

What do you think?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Korpikoski Signs With Coyotes

As you know Lauri Korpikoski was traded to Phoenix by the Rangers earlier this week for Enver Lisin. It didn't take long for Korpikoski to sign a 2 year deal with the Coyotes.

Prior to the trade reports had surfaced in the media that Korpikoski was possibly heading to the KHL because he could get a $1.5M contract there and the Rangers had only offered him the minimum qualifying offer of just over $1 million. It now looks like those reports/rumors could have been a load of hogwash.

Why do I say that? Well, Korpikoski's deal to play for Phoenix for the next two years is for $1.4M total, meaning he's a cap hit of just $700k per season (in my not so expert opinion, this is a much more realistic salary for Korpikoski, I thought that anything over $1M was way too much). Something tells me that he didn't just sign that deal because he can't wait to play in the desert or because he is so excited to play for Wayne Gretzky. In my opinion, the reason the Rangers and Korpikoski couldn't get a deal done was because Korpikoski wanted a muli-year deal and the Rangers only wanted to offer him a one year deal. Either way it really doesn't matter now, the past is the past, but it's just a thought that maybe all of those "reports" weren't what they were cracked up to be.

Korpikoski radio interview the day after being traded [Link]

Rangers Make Minor Trade

From NewYorkRangers.com:
New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has acquired defenseman Nigel Williams from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for defenseman Brian Fahey.
I'm not going to pretend to know anything about Nigel Williams, but at the same time I don't know anything about Brian Fahey either. Basically, the Rangers traded a 28 year old career AHL defenseman for a 21 year old AHL defenseman that Hockey's Future had listed as the #3 prospect in the Colorado Avalanche's system.

Hockey's Future also says that "Williams possesses a big 6'4 225 lb frame. He has unusually good puck-handling and skating skills for a player of his size." The Rangers added yet another prospect defenseman to their system, which is not a bad thing, especially when the kid is a beast.

Hockey's Future also gave Williams a "Prospect Grade: 7.0 B" , which basically means he has the potential to be a second pair defenseman in the NHL someday. Sounds like a good deal from a Rangers stand point, but not sure exactly why the Avalanche made this deal.

Short Stay In Phoenix For Nigel Dawes

Nigel Dawes goes from the desert to the freezer (when I think of Calgary I can't help but think of the movie Cool Runnings when they arrive at the airport in Calgary for the Olympics). I think that the addition of Korpikoski this week made Dawes expendable as both are left wingers. But, if the report by TSN is true that Dawes was seeking a contract for less than $1 million per year then I'm a little surprised that they didn't re-sign him.


According to TSN:

Nigel Dawes' brief stay in Phoenix has come to an end.

The 24-year old was claimed off of waivers by the Calgary Flames on Thursday.

Dawes, who is a restricted free agent, was one of 20 players that filed for salary arbitration earlier this month. He was reportedly looking for a one-way deal for less than $1 million, but was instead put on waivers by the Coyotes.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mike Sullivan Named NYR Assistant Coach

According to Blue Notes:
The long-awaited deal for John Tortorella's former assistant coach, Mike Sullivan, to join the Rangers is complete and is expected to be announced Thursday, according to a source.
If you remember back to February when John Tortorella took over for Tom Renney as the New York Rangers head coach, that's when it was first mentioned that Mike Sullivan would be joining John Tortorella behind the Rangers' bench.

At the time the rumor was that the Rangers had agreed on a contract with Tortorella but there was a hold up because Tampa wanted compensation for Tortorella who was still under contract with Tampa until June. It was then rumored that the holdup was a clause that Mike Sullivan (Tampa Assistant coach) had in his contract, which stipulated that he had the option of being John Tortorella's assistant if Tortorella becomes a coach for another NHL team. It now appears that Tortorella wanted Sullivan to come to NY and be one of his assistants but the Lightning wouldn't allow it, so Jim Schoenfeld said that he would take over that position for the remainder of the season.

Sullivan's Coaching Bio from Wikipedia:

Sullivan began coaching professional hockey during the 2002–2003 season, when he became the head coach of the Providence Bruins of the AHL. In his only season, his team had a 41–17–9–4 record.

Sullivan was hired as the 26th head coach of the Boston Bruins in 2003 by then-general manager Mike O'Connell. His first season with the Bruins was highly successful, as he led them to a 41-19-15-7 record, 104 points and a first place finish in the Northeast Division. They were eliminated however, in the first round of the playoffs to the Montreal Canadiens. After the lockout, Sullivan and the Bruins struggled to win in the new NHL, as they ended the 2005-2006 seaon with a dismal 29-37-16 record, missing the playoffs and finishing last in the Northeast Division. He was subsequently fired by incoming general manager Peter Chiarelli on 27 June 2006 and was replaced by Dave Lewis.

On May 31, 2007, he was named assistant coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning. He has also served as an assistant coach of the U.S. Olympic hockey team at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy.

Announcement expected tomorrow, not sure what has taken the organization so long to announce this, it's been anticipated that Sullivan would join the Rangers during the offseason since Tortorella took over the head coaching position.

Update 3:30pm July 16th:

Official Rangers Release:

New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has named Mike Sullivan assistant coach.

Sullivan, 41, begins his first season as an assistant coach with the Rangers after spending the last two seasons as an assistant coach with the Tampa Bay Lightning. He served as an assistant coach under John Tortorella with Tampa Bay during the 2007-08 season.


It's believed that Sullivan will be Tortorella's only assistant coach.

NYR 2009-10 Regular Season Schedule Released

The NHL today announced the 2009-10 NHL Regular Season schedule for all 30 NHL teams. The New York Rangers will open the season on the road against the Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins, not an easy way to start the season. Their home-opener will be the next night against the Senators, a quick start to the season with back-to-back games for the Rangers. The regular season will conclude for the Rangers the same way it did last season, with the final two games against their Atlantic Division rivals, the Philadelphia Flyers.

Other interesting dates to circle on the calendar:
October 12th vs Toronto - Colton Orr returns to the Garden (I'll bet anyone that Brashear and Orr re-acquaint themselves that night)
October 24th at Montreal - First game against Scott Gomez since the trade this summer
October 26th vs Phoenix - Petr Prucha (Dawes & Korpikoski) return to the Garden
November 27th at Tampa - John Tortorella's first game against his old team



DATE VISITING TEAM HOME TEAM TIME

Fri Oct 2, 2009 NY RANGERS PITTSBURGH
7:30 PM ET


Sat Oct 3, 2009 OTTAWA NY RANGERS
7:00 PM ET


Mon Oct 5, 2009 NY RANGERS NEW JERSEY
7:00 PM ET


Thu Oct 8, 2009 NY RANGERS WASHINGTON
7:00 PM ET


Sun Oct 11, 2009 ANAHEIM NY RANGERS
5:00 PM ET


Mon Oct 12, 2009 TORONTO NY RANGERS
7:00 PM ET


Wed Oct 14, 2009 LOS ANGELES NY RANGERS
7:00 PM ET


Sat Oct 17, 2009 NY RANGERS TORONTO
7:00 PM ET


Mon Oct 19, 2009 SAN JOSE NY RANGERS
7:00 PM ET


Thu Oct 22, 2009 NEW JERSEY NY RANGERS
7:00 PM ET


Sat Oct 24, 2009 NY RANGERS MONTREAL
7:00 PM ET


Mon Oct 26, 2009 PHOENIX NY RANGERS
7:00 PM ET


Wed Oct 28, 2009 NY RANGERS NY ISLANDERS
7:00 PM ET


Fri Oct 30, 2009 NY RANGERS MINNESOTA
8:00 PM ET


Sun Nov 1, 2009 BOSTON NY RANGERS
1:00 PM ET


Tue Nov 3, 2009 NY RANGERS VANCOUVER
10:00 PM ET


Thu Nov 5, 2009 NY RANGERS EDMONTON
9:30 PM ET


Sat Nov 7, 2009 NY RANGERS CALGARY
10:00 PM ET


Thu Nov 12, 2009 ATLANTA NY RANGERS
7:00 PM ET


Sat Nov 14, 2009 NY RANGERS OTTAWA
7:00 PM ET


Tue Nov 17, 2009 WASHINGTON NY RANGERS
7:00 PM ET


Sat Nov 21, 2009 FLORIDA NY RANGERS
7:00 PM ET


Mon Nov 23, 2009 COLUMBUS NY RANGERS
7:00 PM ET


Wed Nov 25, 2009 NY RANGERS FLORIDA
7:30 PM ET


Fri Nov 27, 2009 NY RANGERS TAMPA BAY
7:30 PM ET


Sat Nov 28, 2009 NY RANGERS PITTSBURGH
7:30 PM ET


Mon Nov 30, 2009 PITTSBURGH NY RANGERS
7:00 PM ET


Sat Dec 5, 2009 NY RANGERS BUFFALO
7:00 PM ET


Sun Dec 6, 2009 DETROIT NY RANGERS
7:00 PM ET


Wed Dec 9, 2009 NY RANGERS CHICAGO
8:30 PM ET


Sat Dec 12, 2009 BUFFALO NY RANGERS
7:00 PM ET


Mon Dec 14, 2009 ATLANTA NY RANGERS
7:00 PM ET


Wed Dec 16, 2009 NY ISLANDERS NY RANGERS
7:00 PM ET


Thu Dec 17, 2009 NY RANGERS NY ISLANDERS
7:00 PM ET


Sat Dec 19, 2009 NY RANGERS PHILADELPHIA
1:00 PM ET


Mon Dec 21, 2009 NY RANGERS CAROLINA
7:00 PM ET


Wed Dec 23, 2009 FLORIDA NY RANGERS
7:00 PM ET


Sat Dec 26, 2009 NY ISLANDERS NY RANGERS
7:00 PM ET


Wed Dec 30, 2009 PHILADELPHIA NY RANGERS
7:00 PM ET


Thu Dec 31, 2009 NY RANGERS CAROLINA
8:00 PM ET


Sat Jan 2, 2010 CAROLINA NY RANGERS
1:00 PM ET


Mon Jan 4, 2010 BOSTON NY RANGERS
7:00 PM ET


Wed Jan 6, 2010 DALLAS NY RANGERS
7:00 PM ET


Thu Jan 7, 2010 NY RANGERS ATLANTA
7:00 PM ET


Sat Jan 9, 2010 NY RANGERS BOSTON
1:00 PM ET


Tue Jan 12, 2010 NEW JERSEY NY RANGERS
7:00 PM ET


Thu Jan 14, 2010 OTTAWA NY RANGERS
7:00 PM ET


Sat Jan 16, 2010 NY RANGERS ST LOUIS
8:00 PM ET


Sun Jan 17, 2010 MONTREAL NY RANGERS
7:00 PM ET


Tue Jan 19, 2010 TAMPA BAY NY RANGERS
7:00 PM ET


Thu Jan 21, 2010 NY RANGERS PHILADELPHIA
7:00 PM ET


Sat Jan 23, 2010 NY RANGERS MONTREAL
7:00 PM ET


Mon Jan 25, 2010 PITTSBURGH NY RANGERS
7:00 PM ET


Wed Jan 27, 2010 CAROLINA NY RANGERS
7:00 PM ET


Sat Jan 30, 2010 NY RANGERS PHOENIX
8:00 PM ET


Sun Jan 31, 2010 NY RANGERS COLORADO
8:00 PM ET


Tue Feb 2, 2010 NY RANGERS LOS ANGELES
10:30 PM ET


Thu Feb 4, 2010 WASHINGTON NY RANGERS
7:00 PM ET


Sat Feb 6, 2010 NEW JERSEY NY RANGERS
7:00 PM ET


Wed Feb 10, 2010 NASHVILLE NY RANGERS
7:00 PM ET


Fri Feb 12, 2010 NY RANGERS PITTSBURGH
7:30 PM ET


Sun Feb 14, 2010 TAMPA BAY NY RANGERS
1:00 PM ET


Tue Mar 2, 2010 NY RANGERS OTTAWA
7:30 PM ET


Thu Mar 4, 2010 PITTSBURGH NY RANGERS
7:00 PM ET


Sat Mar 6, 2010 NY RANGERS WASHINGTON
7:00 PM ET


Sun Mar 7, 2010 BUFFALO NY RANGERS
7:00 PM ET


Wed Mar 10, 2010 NY RANGERS NEW JERSEY
7:00 PM ET


Fri Mar 12, 2010 NY RANGERS ATLANTA
7:30 PM ET


Sun Mar 14, 2010 PHILADELPHIA NY RANGERS
3:00 PM ET


Tue Mar 16, 2010 MONTREAL NY RANGERS
7:00 PM ET


Thu Mar 18, 2010 ST LOUIS NY RANGERS
7:00 PM ET


Sun Mar 21, 2010 NY RANGERS BOSTON
3:00 PM ET


Wed Mar 24, 2010 NY ISLANDERS NY RANGERS
7:00 PM ET


Thu Mar 25, 2010 NY RANGERS NEW JERSEY
7:00 PM ET


Sat Mar 27, 2010 NY RANGERS TORONTO
7:00 PM ET


Tue Mar 30, 2010 NY RANGERS NY ISLANDERS
7:00 PM ET


Fri Apr 2, 2010 NY RANGERS TAMPA BAY
7:30 PM ET


Sat Apr 3, 2010 NY RANGERS FLORIDA
7:00 PM ET


Tue Apr 6, 2010 NY RANGERS BUFFALO
7:00 PM ET


Wed Apr 7, 2010 TORONTO NY RANGERS
7:00 PM ET


Fri Apr 9, 2010 PHILADELPHIA NY RANGERS
7:00 PM ET


Sun Apr 11, 2010 NY RANGERS PHILADELPHIA
3:00 PM ET