Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Video: Callahan Injured In Rangers Win

The Rangers moved to 3-3 on the season with a 2-1 over the Flyers last night at MSG and are now third in the Atlantic Division. One huge negative coming out of the game is the potential loss of Captain Ryan Callahan who left the game in the third period with what looked like a shoulder injury.

Early in the third period, Callahan and Max Talbot started pushing and shoving and just as we were getting our popcorn ready for a  dosey doe Callahan and Talbot fell to the ice. It looked fairly innocent at the time. But, Callahan got up holding his left shoulder and skate right off the ice.

I hope I'm wrong but it definitely looked like it could be a dislocated shoulder. After the game the Rangers didn't have an update on Callahan's condition.

If you missed the game, or the third period, here's video of the incident [via SB nation].

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Rangers Rumored Interested In Subban, Should They Be?

via Flickr
Montreal and restricted free agent PK Subban are apparently still very far apart when it comes to signing a contract extension. Subban has yet to play a game this season and based on the way contracts talks are looking, it doesn't sound like he'll be playing in Montreal any time soon.

As you'd expect, this has got the rumor mill going. Several teams are rumored to be in the mix for Subban; including the Rangers and Flyers.

I don't think the Rangers should be in the mix here. There is one main reason why Sather shouldn't even be picking the phone up. Ignore the fact the Canadiens are going to want an arm and a leg for Subban. Ignore the fact that as the NY Rangers Blog points out, this could cause problems down the line for the Rangers attempts to sign their own restricted free agents.

The main reason the Rangers should not be inquiring about Subban is the fact he seems to be a problem in the locker room. Last season alone he got into physical confrontations with four of his own teammates (David Desharnais, Mathieu Darche, Louis Leblanc & Tomas Plekanec). The odd skirmish at practice is often seen as no big deal. But, when the same player is involved time and time again you have to think that maybe he is a problem.

Last year the Rangers seemed to have real good chemistry and a lot of the players seemed like they really were friends off the ice. To me, that's important. If you are friends with your teammate you will be willing to do anything for him and want to do your best not to let your team down. If you got a guy like Subban on your team, no matter how talented he is, there's a serious chance he's going to significantly screw up alter that chemistry.

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Arnott Fails Physical, Deal With Rangers Called Off

Well, that was short lived.

The one year deal the Rangers were apparently prepared to sign Jason Arnott to has been called off as Arnott apparently failed his physical today. 

This isn't something you hear about often. The last time I recall hearing a player fail a physical was in 2009 when Kyle McLaren was traded by the Sharks to the Flyers and the deal was called off when McLaren failed the physical.

According to ESPN:
Arnott reportedly underwent arthroscopic knee surgery this past summer after playing through both a knee and shoulder injury last season.
I wonder if any of these injuries were what led to Arnott's failed physical. Disappointed to be honest because I was a big advocate of the signing as it would give the Rangers more size up the middle and a veteran who knows how to win faceoffs.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Rangers Sign Jason Arnott

via Flickr
TSN reporting that the Rangers have signed the 38 year old veteran center, Jason Arnott, to a one year deal. According to the initial reports Arnott is on his way to New York to finalize the deal which is believed to be a cap hit of around $1.6M.

I actually was advocating for this signing prior to last season and now that it's happened a year later I'm very please. Obviously if the Rangers are going to rely on this guy heavily for offense they are in trouble. But, he's a big body who has been around and has a Cup.

Arnott is a good faceoff man and will likely see power play time, where he will hopefully stand in front of the net and screen the goalie and bang in a few rebounds.

If Arnott can come in, play in the bottom six, win more faceoffs than he loses and get anything more than 25 points this will be a huge help to the Rangers.

Video: The Bigger They Are, The Harder They Fall! Lucic Drops Carkner

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Video: Colton Orr Back In Style, Drops Big John Scott

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

When He's On, He's On!

That was a hell of a game last night for the New York Rangers and Marian Gaborik. In a game the Rangers desperately needed to get some points in after losing the first two games of the season, they showed up to play.

Marian Gaborik was the star of the show, ending the game less than thirty seconds into overtime with his third goal of the game. Gaborik had scored his first two goals in the first period to give the Rangers an early 2-0 lead.

Those who had New York Rangers tickets were not disappointed as the game was filled with seven goals, a fight, end to end action, hard hitting and some solid goaltending.

The Rangers are back on the ice tonight when they take on the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers are winless this season and will be without Braydon Schenn who was suspended one game for a charging call on the Devils Anton Volchenkov on Tuesday night. The Flyers will also be without Scott Fartsmell who is out indefinitely with a leg/foot injury.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Rangers Better Start Getting Points

The Bruins come into the Garden tonight with a start to the season that is the polar opposite of the Rangers. The Bruins beat the Jets in a shootout on Monday night after knocking off the Rangers in the season opener in Boston on Sunday.

The Rangers on the other hand have had about as shitty a start to the season as you could imagine; losing Saturday to the Bruins and then were beaten fairly easily 6-3 on Sunday at the Garden by the Penguins.

I didn't see the Boston game on Saturday, so I can't pretend to compare what they did in that one to what they need to do tonight. But, I can tell you they sure as hell better show up willing to play better than they did on Sunday against the Pens. On Sunday for a good three-quarters of the game if you told me the Rangers thought it was the NHL All-Star game I would've believed you. The forecheck was weak most of the game and it seemed like the defense lacked any tenacity in their own zone. Penguins were allowed to skate freely through the center of the ice with and without the puck. Lundqvist wasn't terrible, but at the same time, he didn't do much to help his team prior to being pulled midway through the game.

Stu Bickel who was to blame for the second goal on Sunday against the Pens has gotten the wrath of most fans. But, let's be realistic the Rangers didn't lose because of Bickel's gaff on the second goal. The Rangers lost because they were pretty awful. Marian Gaborik was invisible as was Derek Stepan.

Rick Nash who scored a short-handed goal in the loss on Sunday was in my opinion the best Ranger on the ice. In the first period he threw a couple of big hits in one shift, he used his body down low on a few occasions and he looked like the only NYR forward with an ounce of creativity.

One team is going to start the season with a three game streak, the Rangers are hoping that it isn't them.

In a shortened NHL season, the old saying you can't make the playoffs in the first month of the season but you can certainly miss them because of the first month, is even more true than usual.

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Monday Morning Hockey Links

  • recap of last night's 6-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins
  • If you missed Brook Orpik's hit on Kreider at the end of last night's game, you can check that out over at The Pens Blog. Of course after the hit many on Twitter were complaining to which I responded "to the people yapping about Orpik please stop, it's hockey, you play till the buzzer. Nothing wrong with the hit."
  • Apparently, after the game, John Tortorella echoed my sentiments.
  • Rick Nash's first goal as a New York Ranger was a short handed goal at MSG. [Video]
  • Lundqvist's possible save of the year candidate on David Krecji on Saturday in Boston
  • Here are the Rangers fights from the weekend:
    • Mike Rupp vs Shawn Thornton (Bruins) [Video]
    • Stu Bickel vs Gregory Campbell [Video]
    • Arron Asham vs. Tanner Glass [Video]

Friday, January 18, 2013

NHL Season Starts Tomorrow, Anyone Else Having Hard Time Getting Excited?

Let me preface this post by saying I am a die hard hockey fan. My wife will be the first to tell you I am pissed off when the Rangers lose until the next time they win. I watch 82 regular season games per year plus every playoff game if my beloved New York Rangers make the playoffs. When I heard the news on January 6th that the players and owners had reached a deal and the lockout was over I was super happy.

As happy as I was (and still am) that the lockout is over, I'm having a hard time getting pumped for the 2012-13 NHL season. It starts tomorrow when 28 of the 30 NHL teams are in action. I'm hoping that the second the puck drops Saturday my juices start flowing and I pick up right where I left off when my Rangers were eliminated by those scumbags their rivals, the New Jersey Devils in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

But, despite the fact hockey starts again tomorrow, something just is not right. I can't put my finger on it. You see, I'm pretty much a one sport fan. I live, sleep, breathe, drink and eat hockey. I read everything I can about the NHL, listen to hockey talk radio and watch out of town games as often as I can. From the minute the Stanley Cup is hoisted in June until the minute NHL training camps open in September I miss hockey. Once NHL training camp opens up, I am super pumped for the season to start and watch every minute of pre-season hockey (you know the games we aren't supposed to care about).

This year, it's just not the same. Maybe it's the fact I'm getting old (now almost 30!). The fact I have important stuff going on in my life - a wife, a house, a career, a busy life. But, part of me knows it can't be that because I've always had other stuff going on that should've distracted me from hockey just as much and it never has.

Nope - sadly, I think a lot of the reason why I can't get pumped is because I'm pissed off. That's right - super pissed off. I don't even know who to direct my anger towards to be honest.

I'm mad at Gary Bettman. The tyrant who runs the National Hockey League, the man with all the power who despite helping grow the league and break records in all types of categories including growth and revenue has been in control now for three lockouts! Even New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie, who as we know blames labor unions for virtually all things wrong in the world today, placed the blame on league leadership. No other professional league does this. Despite the fact the NHL and NHLPA have a CBA that is good for the next eight years, fans know it's likely going to be another bitch-fest between the owners and players the second the next collective bargaining agreement is up for discussion.

I'm mad at the owners because it is they who caused the disaster to begin with! Giving players guaranteed contracts into their 40s (source), signing goalies who can't wipe their ass without pulling a hip flexor to 15 year deals (source), paying guys $6.5 million to play in the minors (source), giving a 31 year old goalie a 12 year deal and then making him your backup after two years (source) and signing two players for a total of 26 years and $196 million in one day! (source) And after all of that (and a whole lot more!) they bitch and moan that the system is broke, needs to be fixed and they aren't making enough money. Boof**kinhoo!

I'm mad at the players. I may blame them the least, but they are to blame, because they get paid a shit ton of money for the most part and in the end were fighting tooth and nail over petty crap just to say they didn't give in.

I'm mad at the fans because they let to the NHL do this to them. After all of the bitching and moaning about how no one cared about them and how the billionaires and millionaires were fighting and the little guy was the one getting screwed they come crawling running back. After their empty promises to boycott everything and anything NHL they do this, this, and this.

I'm mad at myself. Mad because I know that by the time the first whistle blows on Saturday night in Boston for an offside call I'll already have forgotten how mad I am. The passion will be back like it always is, I'll be screaming at my TV for the Rangers to shoot the puck on the Power Play and by the time a Ranger is being interviewed between periods I'll be on the internet  looking for New York Rangers tickets.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Rangers & Sharks Make Minor Trade

In a trade involving minor leaguers, the Rangers acquired forward Brandon Mashinter from San Jose. In return, the Sharks acquired Tommy Grant and a conditional pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.

According to Hockey's Future:
Mashinter plays with physicality and grit while working the boards well down low but has to drive the front of the opposition's net more often. The hulking winger needs improvement in his skating stride and defensive game to develop into a power forward but needs to get in the high traffic areas to score not trying to be a shooter or a sniper. He projects as a third or fourth line checking forward if he gets to the NHL.
Last season Mashinter played 65 games for Worcester (Sharks AHL affiliate) recording 33 points (16 goals, 17 assists).  In 2011-12 he recorded two Gordie Howe hat-tricks on Dec. 30 and Feb. 4. (source)

Something tells me you won't need New York Rangers tickets to see Mashinter play this season, he's added depth for the Whale.

Redden Waived, Next Step ... Buy Out

Just 48 hours ago this would not have been possible. But, thanks to the new agreement between the NHLPA and NHL that has gone into effect, the Rangers placed Wade Redden on waivers today.

If Redden clears waivers on Thursday afternoon (which he definitely will), the Rangers will exercise a compliance buyout.

When Redden clears tomorrow afternoon and is officially bought out he will become a UFA. The question isn't will Redden play in the NHL again, the question is which other NHL city will Redden play in this year and call his home. 

Similarly, as expected, Montreal also placed Scott Gomez on waivers. When he clears, he will be bought out like Redden and become a free agent.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Looks Like Redden Could Be Bought Out This Week

According to Pierre LeBrun of ESPN the NHLPA and NHL have come to an agreement on players who were being sat out this year in order to be bought out this summer.

News broke Sunday that Scott Gomez was told by Montreal not to bother showing up to the mini-training camp. Similarly, the New York Rangers planned on doing the same thing with Wade Redden. As Bob McKenzie wrote last week, the Rangers had three options as to what to do with Redden and the most obvious was sit him out the entire season and then buy him out this summer.

After these two players made the news as casualties of the new CBA - not just being buried in a minor league hidden from the NHL, but prohibited from playing hockey to avoid injury - it was reported the NHLPA were discussing the issue with the league. Seems odd to me that this wasn't discussed during the lockout which cost us almost half a season. One would think that somewhere along the line someone had to think to themselves how the new amnesty buyout would effect players with atrocious contracts who would be bought out next season.

TSN is reporting the deal between the NHLPA and NHL means:
teams are now eligible to exercise an "accelerated compliance buyout" on one player with a salary cap hit of $3 million or more before the regular season begins on Saturday.
If a compliance buyout is used this week, a team will have only one left to use next summer.
To be fair, we all know that neither Gomez nor Redden lived up to their contracts. Both players were severely overpaid and never lived up to the contracts Sather signed them to you. It doesn't day the NHL director of scouting to see that. However, it seems extremely unfair to the players if they were forced to sit out a year to await a buyout this summer. Don't get me wrong, these guys are going to be laughing all the way to the bank (not that they haven't been doing that for the past few years), but sitting out an entire year basically would've forced these two veterans to the brink of retirement. Hard to recover from that much of a lay off from any competitive sport, nevermind a professional league where you are already reaching the last few years of your career.

I've said before that Wade Redden is still an NHL defenseman. When he was sent by the Rangers to Hartford it was my belief that Wade Redden would easily make any NHL roster as a top six defenseman. The problem is, he wasn't the number one or even top pairing defenseman that his contract signified he should be.

The Scott Gomez era in New York ended miraculously in the summer of 2009 when somehow Sather sent the overpaid Gomez to the Habs in a deal that landed blue chip prospect Ryan McDonagh - who is now arguably the team's best defenseman. Now, perhaps he and Redden will continue their NHL careers somewhere at a contract more in tune with what they can bring to a team.

In order for a player to be bought out this week, he still must clear waivers first. The Rangers and Montreal will take the full cap hit on each player for this season, less the $900,000 for not burying the player in the minors, but suffer no cap hit next season or beyond.

Do the Rangers and Canadiens owe these players anything? Probably not. But, I think that for the cap hit of $900k this year, both teams are likely to buy out their respective player and allow them to pursue their career elsewhere rather than forcing them into a likely early retirement.

Something tells me after they're bought out and re-signed elsewhere they still won't have any problems affording New York Rangers tickets!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Del Zotto Signs Two Year Deal With Rangers, Sign Gilroy

The Rangers also signed UFA Matt Gilroy, who played last season with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Gilroy played two seasons with the Rangers after signing as a free agent out of college in 2009.

The Del Zotto deal is reported to be $2.55 per year for two years.
Just hours ahead of the first day of the delayed 2012-13 NHL training camp the Rangers signed restricted free agent Michael Del Zotto to a new deal. The details of the contract haven't been released but it's reported to be a two year deal.

Based on the length of the deal, I think the Rangers are probably paying a little less for each of the two years than they would've had to pay had the deal been stretched out for another year. If I were to speculate about the salary, I'd expect it's for around $2.5M per year.

Getting Del Zotto re-signed was important for both sides because according to the NY Daily News "he would not have been allowed to participate until he signed, and without arbitration rights, he would have remained under the club’s control until he inked or the team sought a trade."
  • In other NHL news, the Montreal Canadiens told former New York Ranger, Scott Gomez, not to bother showing up for training camp. If you're a Habs fan you might want to not read this next part - the Rangers traded Gomez to the Canadiens in June 2009 in a deal that brought Ryan McDonagh to the Rangers. Since then, McDonagh has flourished on the Rangers blue line and Gomez struggled offensively in Hab land.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

NHL 48 Game Regular Season Scheduled To Begin January 19th

According to Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night In Canada:
NHL sends memo to clubs indicating no camps before Saturday (and may not open until Monday), 48-game season to begin Jan. 19
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Rangers' Sauer Won't Play This Season

According to Larry Brooks, when the NHL season finally gets underway in the next few weeks, all New York Rangers will be ready to go except Mike Sauer.

As you may recall, Sauer has been out with concussion symptoms since this massive hit by Dion Phaneuf early last season.

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