Rangers Nothing More Than an Extremely Expensive Question Mark

Laugh all you want Manhattan, laugh about how you have another “Mr. New Jersey Devil”. How you stole another Devils franchise player… Go ahead and add Bobby Holik the list that already includes Bruce Driver and John MacLean. Get a good laugh about how you AGAIN lured “big name” free agents by offering more money than anyone else could even imagine. Laugh now before the season starts, because it may be yet another VERY long offseaon with no Rangers playoffs games in Madison Square Garden for the sixth consecutive year.

The New York Rangers are absolutely nothing more than a big time question mark. Have there been upgrades to their roster? Yes. You can listen to GM Glen $ather all you want to about how the grossly overpaid additions of Bobby Holik and Darius Kasparaitis add the grit and muscle that the team terribly missed for the past few years. About how Holik and Messier will be able to provide the leadership and accountability that New York has been missing for years now. The bottom line is, the Rangers 2002-2003 roster still lacking LOTS of depth that make an NHL franchise successful.

Lets start with the forwards. Some big time names come to mind; Pavel Bure, Eric Lindros, Bobby Holik, Mark Messiser and… Um… Lets see here, Rem Murray? I don’t think so! The fact of the matter is, this team has a gaping hole when it comes to their wingers. Gone from last years wing corps is Theo Fleruy and Mike York. Two players that made up one of the major reason the Rangers were winner before December of last season, the FLY line (Fleury, Lindros, York). The left side of the Rangers is the most troubling. The number one left winger on this team is Matt Barnaby, oh but don’t worry, number two is (another former Devil) Krzystof Oliwa, and number three Nils Ekman. Hmmm. Sounds more like a boxing match at MSG not a hockey roster. The centers on the Rangers seem scary on paper, but they are make or break. Eric Lindros is not the player everyone wants him to be. His health will be a question for the rest of his career, if he goes down the Rangers could follow. Holik is maybe one of the best two-way centers on earth. But lets be honest, this guy has never scored 30 goals or 65 points. He may help out with face-offs and grit but is that kind of player worth $9 million dollars per season?!?!? Mark Messier should be on social security not playing hockey. He would have been better off taking an assistant coaching job with the Rangers than trying to be a #3 center who gets more days on the injured reserve list than he does score points. Petr Nedved’s scoring woo’s continue. Rangers management and fans are fed up with him. New Yorkers would boo louder at a picture of Nedved than they would of Osama bin Laden on MSG’s jumbotron. He’s nothing more than trade bait, but wait… Who is trade for this guy so they can pay a NUMBER FOUR CENTER 4 MILLION BUCK!!! If the Rangers plan on moving Nedved, they will have to pick up at least half of his salery. The right wings aren’t anything special beyond Pavel Bure. Bure will score buckets of goals, but will play no defense, he was a distraction in the Panthers locker room, his former teammates were thrilled to see him traded to the Rangers because of his selfish play and attitude. With the Rangers badly needing help in their own zone if Bure doesn’t drop this “I’m the world” attitude, he will do as much bad as good for this team. Radek Dvorak has never been the same since his Czech buddy Jan Hlavch was dealt to Philly as part of the Lindros trade, and he just had very major knee surgery this offseaon. Who knows if he can put the pieces back together. Counting on Jamie Lundmark to be a solid #3 right winger is optimistic at best, he’s played well for Hartford in the AHL but has really shown no evidence that he can be an NHL regular. Same goes for Rico Fata on the right side. Lets not forget Sandy McCarthy to add to the possible New York goon show on Broadway.

Defense, Defense, Defense. What wins campionships?? That’s right DEFENSE! Why have the rangers missed the playoffs for 5 years in a row? Well, having an overpaid blueline of a array of #5 defenseman sure didn’t help any. Brian Leetch is still around. He will be the key. Everyone knows that Leetch can change a game jumping into the play scoring critical points, but that’s not going to get the Rangers to far. Leetch must set an example to the other offensive minded players like Tom Poti and Vladimir Malakhov that defense is what is going to get the team points, not pinching on the blueline when there is no need to. Kasparaitis will help, but he can hit and that’s about it. He defensive skill are about par for the course. Hanging hopes on Sylvain Lefebvre, Tomas Kloucek, and Dale Purinton is not a way to sure up the defenseman on this team.

Ah goalies. The Rangers didn’t really want Mike Richter back. They dealt his right to the Oilers about 3 hours before he became an unrestricted free agent because the Rangers thought they could land Curtis Joseph. Cujo wanted to play on a team that can win so he went to Detroit in hopes that the can step in where Dominik Hasek left off. The Rangers also made a pitch for Eddie Belfour, but he ended up with Toronto. That left the Rangers to settle for Mike Richter. At least GM Glen Sather got him to take a pay cut. Lets be honest though, rubber knees Richter is not the goalie that he once was when he won a cup in 94 for the Rangers or when he won a world cup for Team USA in 98. His inconsistent health is his new trademark, and you can be assured he’ll still be seeing plenty of odd man rushes game in and game out. If Richter falters, 19 year old Dan Blackburn will be thrown into the fire. He played okay last season when he took over at seasons end when Richter went down, but this is not yet a goalie that can lift New York into the playoffs.

Coaching is going to be possibly the biggest question mark of all. Bryan Trottier has never been in charge of an NHL bench. Now he must get the Rangers into the post season. Can he get this team to play defense? It doesn’t seem as though he even wants them to! He says he wants to employ an very offensive style of play that has failed former Rangers coaches! He must be crazy! If he has a master plan of an up-tempo, Goals! Goals! Goals! Approach this team is doomed.

So go ahead Manhattan laugh all you want, the reality of this years NHL season is that the closest place where you might be watching hockey playoff action is a quick drive through the Holland Tunnel, at Continental Airlines Area. Go Devils!

Have a nice week,

-MattNJD


49 Responses to Rangers Nothing More Than an Extremely Expensive Question Mark

  1. TML_4EVER says:

    you go, you have it all down right, i like the part with the goalies, both cujo and belfour wanted to go to winning teams, and they didnt pick NY, why dont they save the money, and put it to use for the 9/11 thing.

  2. RangerJohn says:

    Why the hell are you ripping on the Rangers so much?? Damn, you must really hate the Rangers for making up for all the years that Holik was underpaid.

    Holik got screwed over by Lou last season. Holik was willing to sign a multi year extension for 5 mil per but “Lou the Jew” wouldn’t pay his best center that.

    MacLean was a Devil at heart and wanted nothing more than to stay in New Jersey to finish out his career. So, naturally he was traded at the deadline to the Sharks. The following summer the Rangers signed him. I can’t remeber for how much but he did have a 30 goal season.

    Sure the Rangers have a weak left side but the centers and right wingers can make up for that.

    Bure is a good fit for this team. Last season, when he was with the Rangers, he was back checking. He would skate back into the defensive zone and deliver a poke- check at the right time. 20 points in 12 games really ain’t too shabby. He’s gonna score more than the Devils top line combined.

    Defence is way too boring. Let’s just play soccer on ice if you want to see 2-1, 1-0 games. I would rather see a shooting gallery with 5-4 games than an extremely boring 2-1 game. Having a goalie in the league with a GAA of less than 2.00 is not right.

    I say that the Devils started the downfall of the game in 95 with the trap. That is the most riduculous concept even introduced to the sport. Let’s just throw the puck down the ice and when they come back with it lets take it back and do it again. Granted it the most boring thing out there and the fans are getting screwed, but if it helps us win

    we’re going to do it.

    “The closest place where you might be watching hockey playoff action is a quick drive through the Holland Tunnel, at Continental Airlines Area.”

    Maybe so, but if your team can’t score and if Broduer has an injury. Playoffs ain’t coming to Jersey.

  3. mikster says:

    Reasons why i posted this: 1) Came from a Devils fan. 2) To creates a great discussion. 3) Emotionally written.

    I think it’s a fun article Matt, and i am a Rangers fan…good job.

    I am not too sure about the “LOTS” of depth lacking, but let’s see.

    Forwards:

    You looked at a magazine and saw the depth chart. A depth chart is just the same as a roster chart.

    Nedved/Lundmark-Lindors-Bure

    Lyashenko/Samuelsson/Lundmark-Holik-Dvorak/Lundmark

    Murray-Messier-Samuelsson/Lyashenko/McCarthy

    Barnaby/Oliwa-Lyashenko/Lundmark/Fata

    A player can play any position if he does well in it. Since the Rangers have a lot of centers, the extra centers can be moved to the wing. A line doesn’t need to have all three players that score. A line needs chemistry. So, let’s say Rem Murray is on the 1st line, but the line scores goals and does well defensively. Does it really matter that Murray is up there? No, who cares…the line has chemistry and it’s doing well.

    I think the Rangers have enough talent to use upfront and their best skill is physical strength and speed. Lindros, Bure, Nedved, Dvorak, Messier, Murray, Lyashenko, Lundmark, McCarthy, Barnaby, Oliwa, Samuelsson, Ekman. That depth chart that you looked at could have major changes after training camp and pre-season.

    Looking at Nedved’s career, i wouldn’t call him a 4th line player. Nedved can’t be the top center anymore though. He can’t win the big face offs anymore. He won’t pruduce as well by playing 1st or 2nd line center. But, right now Nedved is only a left winger who has great passing skills and a lethal wrist shot. No one will depend on him anymore and he won’t play as the big player anymore. He could easily be a solid 1st/2nd line LW. I think he would do extremely well with Lindros and Bure (who wouldn’t). He can regain is 60 point range again, which is perfect for a 1st/2nd line winger.

    You are clueless about Holik. Would it be normal to pay a two-way forward who scores 25 goals and win big face offs $8 million dollars a season? No, and that is what he would have gotten from the Devils. If Lou was less of a scrooge and smarter, he would have re-signed Holik when Holik wanted to be re-signed long-term for around $6 million dollars. He showed disloyalty to Holik and Holik did the same in return. The Rangers had to battle it out with the Leafs and in the end, Holik decided to take the $9 million dollars and stay in the NY Metro area. There is no real point in complaining about Holik’s overpyaing salary. He was going to be overpaid bythe Devils or Leafs anyway.

    Also, the Devils play a heavy defense. Holik led the Devils in shots last season. He can shoot the puck, he can score, and with the kind of PP the Rangers will have this upcoming season, Holik could net 30 goals. He also has wingers with offensive skills, so it could happen. I hope it does so everyone can stop complaining about his 25 goals a season career.

    Dvorakfaced two injuries on his knees last season. One was minor and the other was major. His best skill is his speed and if he can’t skate as fast as he always had, then he will not produce. If he is healthy, he can net 20-25 goals (maybe another explosive year) and make good defensive plays. Sounds good to me.

    Bure’s Florida teammates were a bunch of sissies sucking on their thumbs. He always had to work his ass off in keeping the team alive in goals and always had the highest goal percantege of the team. Bure was made captain, and the GM and Coach must be retarded to do such a thing. Where were his teammates? Nowhere doing nothing, and he always had to score for them. So, you never seen a pure goal scorer in the NHL? All Bure can do is score 55 goals this season and use his speed to backcheck, which he did in the 12 games he played with the Rangers.

    No one is counting on Lundmark, where did you get that idea? There is so much depth at center and on the RW that Lundmark (playing well all three positions) could be moved to the LW. With the Lindros line, Lundmark could boost his offensive skills and make that line deadly.

    I wouldn’t call the defense all that bad at all. Now that the Rangers have good defensive forwards (Holik, Dvorak, Murray, Lyashenko, Samuelsson), the defense should work better. Leetch, Poti, Malakhov, Kasparaitis, Karpa, Lefebvre, Chebaturkin, Bouchard, Aufiero, Mottau, Kloucek, Purinton, and Tjutin will all be in training camp. Karpa has always been a solid 5th/6th defenseman, and that is what he’s supposed to be. He showed some good things last season, and bad ones, but he can have a good comeback. Lefebvre is a stay at home defenseman, Kloucek is a Kasparaitis like player who is much stronger and bigger. Poti will be the other PP quarterback. Malakhov will do some offense, hitting, and play and all round defensive game. Purinton showed some good signs in the last 6 games of the season. Bouchard is a tough stay at home defenseman. Mottau is a Poti like player but can hit well. Aufiero is a stay at home defenseman, and Tjutin will probably not make the team, but he is a top 20 prospect.

    The Rangers also made a pitch for Eddie Belfour, but he ended up with Toronto.

    You have no proof of that and i consider it completely false. Sather wanted either Cujo or Richter. If he didn’t want Richter, he would have signed Dafoe.

    Trottier, Schoenfeld, and O’Reilly make up a solid and hard working coaching staff. The defense should be better (especially with Schoenfeld), and the PK should be a lot better since Trottier created the Avs special teams.

    It was a fun article, since it came from a Devils fan. You’re way too anti-Rangers though.

  4. mikster says:

    It sickens me that people are looking at New York and telling NY to give money or do something for 9/11. New York was not attacked, the USA was attacked. USA should be giving something to 9/11 and they have. The concert gave $33 million dollars, and there were other charities that helped the needy, though some disgustingly gave that money away.

  5. greatone2857 says:

    yet another uninformed devils fan trying to make them better than the rangers. rangers left wingers:PETR NEDVED,RADEK DVORAK,JAMIE LUNDMARK,REM MURRAY,MIKAEL SAMUELSON,MATTHEW BARNABY,NILS EKMAN,KRYSTAVF OLIWA. that is plenty of “depth” at left wing. right wingers:PAVEL BURE, SANDY MCARTHY,ROMAN LYASHENKO,RADEK DVORAK,JAMIE LUNDMARK,MIKAEL SAMUELSON, ROMAN LYASHENKO,RICO FATA. again plenty at right wing too. you are taking TREVOR KIDD’S word for that. he hasnt been a distraction for the rangers! DEFENSE: LEETCH,MALAKHOV,POTI,KASPARAITIS,KLOUCEK,LEFEVBRE AND PURINTON ALL CAN PLAY GREAT DEFENSE. and how can you talk about offensive defenseman? scott niedemeyer, brian rafalski and oleg tverdovsky. now on to your devils…. who is your numer 1 center? patrick elias?scott gomez? great news, and name the devils wingers that have at least 5 years nhl experience. go ahead…. oh you cant think of any? jeff friesen? nah, anaheim shouldnt be in the nhl to begin with. DEFENSE: scott stevens and ken daneyko are ancient, and beyond that you have offensive defenseman and COLIN WHITE!

    if you wanna post a comment devil fans, wait till may and june for you can eat your words!

  6. saiklo says:

    The only comment I have is that Nedved can be a #2 center, he just needs to play on a line that has quality players and a responsible two-way winger.

  7. mikster says:

    don’t jinx the Rangers.

  8. MyCaptain11 says:

    FOR ANYONE TO COMPARE A SPORTS PLAYER OF ALL THINGS TO OSAMA BIN LADEN SHOWS WHAT TYPE OF CLASS YOU HAVE…WHICH IS NONE OR VERY LITTLE! you were apparently making a joke with that comment, but it’s not very funny at all! no player, no matter how much he is paid or how much he struggles, deserves to be mentioned in a stupid*** phrase like that.

    secondly, the FLY line last season was all because of lindros. fleury and york had major slumps offensively late in the season. for york it was the 3rd straight time in as many seasons he wore down because he overworked himself too hard. as bure and rucinsky proved, replacing those 2 guys around lindros is no problem.

    getting back to nedved i’m willing to bet all the money in the world he starts the season on the left wing, thus he becomes our #1 left winger as of right now. he will play with the top line if rucinsky doesn’t come back, or he will play with holik and dvorak on the second line. as it looks right now, murray will be the teams checking line center. there is no way nedved would ever play on the checking line. bet you didn’t think about that, huh?

    speaking of holik, bobby never had a defined role as to his ice time on those teams. ftorek and robinson rotated those centers frequently. and before them, how could holik put up offensive stats with lemaire running show and his defense-first mentality? as i said before, holik can have the impact on the rangers that michael peca had on the islanders when he was healthy last season, maybe even more. he finally will showcase whatever offensive ability he didn’t get to show in nj.

    on defense, malakhov played really well for the rangers until after the olympics, then he struggled. as i said before, it’s a little difficult to judge how poorly the d-men on this team played because ron low was as clueless about defense and special teams as any coach in the league.

    ummm, correct me if i’m wrong, but didn’t richter look pretty damn good in the olympics playing in the predominant offensive system of herb brooks? and btw, who else other than larry brooks said that the rangers were pursuing ed belfour before signing richter?

    and finally this is compliment to him: CAN BRYAN TROTTIER BE ANY WORSE A HEAD COACH THAN RON LOW? ANYONE WHO KNOWS HIM AND KNOWS THE GAME WILL SAY ABSOLUTELY NOT.

    p.s. – don’t be angry at the rangers or their fans just because “sweet lou” screwed up the last 2 offseaons; first not resigning mogilny one summer, then not resigning holik the next.

  9. MattNJD says:

    Look, I have pleanty of class. I live less than and hour away from Groud Zero and I was and still am very deeply affected by what happened a year ago. I am not going to get into political issues on this site but I was in NO way using Osama bin Laden as anything more or less than something to make a point. I’m sorry if you were offended but don’t insult my class

  10. PanMan says:

    First of all, we Ranger fans knew that we lacked toughness, grit and defense long before July 1st (or before Sather said anything about it) so that means we aren’t currently fooled by the GM.

    As for the depth we lack, just look at what we had last year. Not much if you ask me, especially in the second half with the injuries. Now look at this year. If that’s not depth, then no team in the league has sufficient depth!

    We are also very versatile with our forwards. Most, if not all, forwards can play at least 2 of the 3 forward positions.

    We dominated for half the season last year with a one-line team, no PP or PK, and no coach. Now this year we have several solid lines, a new and improved coaching staff, and a much better PP and PK.

    As for Nedved, he’d be a solid number 2 center on any team (except Colorado). Last year was an off year and I’m sure he’ll put up some 70 points this year, especially since he has bulked up.

    On the defense, we have many puck movers, some hard hitters, and a lot of depth. What more can you ask for. Kasparaitis is perfect for us even though he is a 1-dimensional player. He plays the 1-dimension that we lack.

    The goaltending can only get better with a stronger team infront of a healthy Richter and a more experienced Blackburn.

    This is the best Ranger team from the past 5 seasons and it should make some noise, especially since NYI, NJ, Tor, and Bos will move down the ladder in the East.

  11. platinumx15 says:

    so what if the 2-1 1-0 games are boring? you actually think the team cares about entertaining fans rather then winning? if thats the case, it is not the right attitude that a coach should have..i rather want my team (leafs) to win rather then see an entertaining game

  12. cwhockey says:

    I’d just like to chime in and say that I don’t give a rat’s behind about the Rangers (or the Devils). I’m not taking a pot-shot at either team, so don’t take too much offense. I just don’t care. But you have passion about your teams and that is to be commended.

    I have my opinions about the Rangers, but just not enough concern to actually write them down. I just thought this was a good spot to point out my complete and total apathy towards the Rangers and the other NY area teams as well. I felt I had to bring up this point since I’m sure a few others feel the same way. But it is enjoyable (to a degree) to see a debate like this.

  13. SabresFanB says:

    …the Rangers are probably going to be on Buffalo’s heals all year. It’s going to be an exciting race for the cellar.

  14. clivediggs says:

    Matt,

    As a Ranger fan, I enjoyed reading your posting so much, and you made me join the HTR community just so I could comment on it. So here are my comments:

    Although you bring up some decent “paper-based” arguments, you don’t know the team well enough to make those judgements other than on pure (negative) emotion. Now if only you Devils fans spent that much energy on the Devils.

    “…the closest place where you might be watching hockey playoff action is a quick drive through the Holland Tunnel, at Continental Airlines Area” – you must be inviting Ranger fans as Devils fans can’t fill up the arena by themselves.

  15. mikster says:

    It’s ok Matt…you just showed your class and i fully respect it now.

    You started something good here Matt! Good job in pissing all the NYR fans off, hehe.

  16. aaron says:

    LMAO! Oh, that was classic!

  17. Sands says:

    OK Matt, You are a retard…. Yes, the truth is the Rangers have a chance to miss the playoff’s again. Very True. If Lindros goes down…. Yeah we are in big trouble. And we need one more Defensive D-Man

    BUT FIRST,

    BURE,

    This kid has been dieing to play for NY, His heart is here, He back checked every game and ummmmm look at the numbers with the Rangers. His pace was 140 Points when he came to the rangers. Cut that in half it’s 70 points. I hate to tell you buddy but…. He’s scoring 50-60 goals next year.

    NEDVED,

    The joke you made…. uh ha ha NO, what you said was messed up…. Watch your mouth. Nedved I wanted to go believe me your right, But he’s not going anyplace. The Rangers need a wing man for Holik, Nedved will have to be that because there is no one else. I wish Flury would have been signed for 3 mill a year then we could have traded Nedved for a pick. But he’s here and if you look at his last 5-6 seasons he has had a bad year then 3 70 point years, another bad year, then another 70 season the next. Last season he had 40….. He will brake that next season.

    LEETCH,

    Watch him this year. He doesn’t have the C on his chest, He will be back to his former self like he was the beginning of last season, before mess went down. If Leetch had the C. Then you would be right about him, other wise… shut ya mouth.

    RICHTER,

    Your right, He’s not the goalie he was in 94, he’s better. BELFOUR? hahahah thank God Mr. HeadMess is not here. Richter is a better goalie. CoJo… great goalie… Still no CUP. (not saying Richter’s better), ummm whats the chance of getting hit in the head 2 times ina row witha puck? he had bad luck, His knees on the other hand… i heard of… ummm no problems.

    1 thing makes up a Playoff team. HEART, not skill, cause if you don’t care and your great, it doesn’t matter. If you want it and you play hard, you win.

    Richter,

    Leetch,

    Mess,

    Holik

    and Bure, have all shown and said they wanted to be in NY.

    P.S. Holik was offered maybe 100,000 less by the Devils. Yeah we over paid him!

  18. MyCaptain11 says:

    well then, thank you for clearing that up…i sincerely hope no one else says something like that on this site.

  19. MyCaptain11 says:

    by the way…the truth is i respect your opinion outside of the joke. i respect all opinions that are more than just one phrase. i don’t like it but i respect it.

  20. saiklo says:

    You did overypay him by a mile, regardless of what others were willing to waste.

  21. mikster says:

    Leafs offered 9 million as well.

    Holik was going to be overpaid by the Devils anyway, so why not? Who cares what he makes now, he was going to be overpaid…might as well get him if you have the money.

  22. mikster says:

    “Lou the Jew” is totally unacceptable as it offends HTR members who are of Jewish faith.

    Our rules are 3 strikes for making unacceptible comments that are offensive as well. I am not the one being offended, but i did receive complaints about it. RangerJohn, you’re given a strike. You can reply to make an apology or to explain why you don’t deserve to get a strike. We could take your strike away then.

    Regards,

    HTR Staff

    ————————————————-

    Hey bud, rules are rules and you have to use them in order to make them work. Big deal, you got a strike (could be removed), so it’s nothing bad, but just avoid those kind of statements. So…nothing really happened, it’s just a warning. It’s hard to get 3 strikes, i wouldn’t worry about it.

  23. SabresFanB says:

    I wish i had $100,000

  24. Sands says:

    don’t cry about it because we are right….. We understand, you lost a great player….. Your upset…. It’s going to be ok….

  25. NYIchooch75 says:

    I have to agree with a lot of what was said. However, I disagree with a couple of things. As much as I hate to admit it, the Rangers are going to make the playoffs. I think Trottier is going to whip the team into shape, and he has surrounded himself with very functional assistants. Because he has never coached at the NHL level is unfair. Peter Laviolette never did and he was a breath of fresh air to that organization. Another thing that comes to mind is they have exceptional depth at center. Lindros, Holik, Messier and possibly Nedved. They have extremely gritty, tough forwards like McCarthy (their best player last year), Barnaby (who looks to have finally found a home), Holik and Oliwa. That being said, they do have some question marks…

    WAIVER: Before I continue, let me just say I aware EVERY team has holes and question marks (including my Islanders), but this is a Rangers post. That being said…

    Toughness on defense. Poti, Malakhov, Leetch & Lefebve. Not scary at all. Sorry, they are just not going to clear the front of the net. Out of those 4, Lefebve is definitely the better stay at home.

    Penalty kill: A huge weakness last season. Adding Holik, Kaspar, Oliwa and having Barnaby is not going to help. Too many dumb penalties from these players, not to mention Purinton who needs to use his head some.

    Bure: Yes, Bure is going to score 50-60 goals this year. Yeah, he may get 90-100 points. BUT, he doesn’t back check. Ron Lowe last year, trying to get the media off his back, showcased Bure in the penalty kill role for ONE GAME. He is not, and never will be a two-way center. It is something you just can’t defend.

    Health: The biggest question mark of all. Richter, Lindros and Messier all have had problems the last couple of years. A combination of any of those players spells doom on the season. But, it is a risk every team faces going into a new season. I just pointed it out because of the injury history of those players.

    All in all, I think the Rangers will challenge for the division. A 90 point, 40 win season is not out of the question. Shit, Carolina made the cup last year. CAROLINA! On paper the Rangers are scary, but once the season starts it is all played out on the ice. Food for thought: Islanders-Rangers, Conferene Finals, 7 games…just think about it…

  26. saiklo says:

    I am not a devils fan genius, and I personally think Holik will be another Nedved style bust on Broadway. I mean, if I just got a 45 million dollar contract, I wouldn’t try anymore.

  27. GreatWhiteNorth says:

    I see the Rangers as a long-running experiment in fiscal irresponsibility. No matter who the GM is, their philosophy has always been to throw insane amounts of money at players. It hasn’t worked yet, and I don’t see it working ever, unless by some miracle, all the Rangers can get along and play as a team. But when they’re all overpaid, and don’t seem to care about anyone but themselves, then I don’t see that happening.

    Prove me wrong Rangers.

  28. mikster says:

    Good comment by an Isle’s fan.

    The defense is tough with Malakhov (his hits were hard as it put away Tkachuk as well in the Olympics), Kloucek, Purinton, Bouchard, and Aufiero. Lefebvre and Karpa could possible be on the waier draft, so two young tough stay at home d-men can make the team. Also, you forgot to add Kasparaitis. The defense is tough.

    Adding Trottier strategies of PK, which made the Avs PK really good, with Rem Murray, Lyashenko, Holik, and Samuelsson…those are solid penalty killers. Also, discipline was lacking with Lowe last season. With Schoenfeld, O’Reilly, and Trottier, the players will listen to them and do what they say. They got away with it when Lowe was coach. Plus, without Fleury’s PIM’s will subtract a lot of PK for the Rangers.

    Bure DID back check with the Rangers last season. It’s easy to back check when you have blazing speed.

    Health is a question mark for any team.

    Rangers would woop the Isle’s butts in a Game 7!!!

  29. mikster says:

    They already did in 1994. Besides, you’re a Leafs fan…i am sure you wouldn’t have complained if Holik signed Quinn’s $9 million a season dollar offer when the devils offered $8 million. Out of three off-seasons, this has been the first for Sather to spend bucks.

  30. Sands says:

    Well,…. First. No player takes his money and does nothing. It would disgrace you from any sport. ummm Nedved buddy, he played good, had one bad season. I’m guaranteeing a better season of around 65-70 points for him next season. Watch and learn little boy, watch and learn.

  31. big_booty says:

    You are the one that sounds “uninformed.”

    “PETR NEDVED,RADEK DVORAK,JAMIE LUNDMARK,REM MURRAY,MIKAEL SAMUELSON,MATTHEW BARNABY,NILS EKMAN,KRYSTAVF OLIWA. that is plenty of ‘depth’ at left wing.”

    Depth it may be, but it’s just not all that good.

    Nedved: Inconsistent, plays no defense, player the fans most like to hate.

    Dvorak: Still labeled a “promising prospect” after a decade of professional hockey, and recovering from a destroyed knee.

    Lundmark: Decent prospect, but don’t go making him into the second coming of Brendan Shanahan just yet. You might want to see him play against NHL talent first.

    Murray: When you’re labeled a “defensive specialist,” that’s kind of a nice way of saying you’re a journeyman.

    Samuelsson: Decent, not great, but Ranger fans seem to think they’re getting Alex Tanguay when he hits the ice.

    Barnaby: The league’s answer to the Marquis de Sade, only excels at getting beat up.

    Ekman: Who?

    Oliwa: Yeah, he might strike the fear of God into Patrick Roy.

    “right wingers:PAVEL BURE, SANDY MCARTHY,ROMAN LYASHENKO,RADEK DVORAK,JAMIE LUNDMARK,MIKAEL SAMUELSON, ROMAN LYASHENKO,RICO FATA. again plenty at right wing too.”

    No, not really. Repetition is all.

    Bure: Is what he is, will probably score 50 and end up being minus-25.

    McCarthy: Merely suffering from a case of Chris Simon syndrome.

    Lyashenko: I guess you listed him twice because it would take two of him to get some quality play.

    Fata: Who?

    “DEFENSE: LEETCH,MALAKHOV,POTI,KASPARAITIS,KLOUCEK,LEFEVBRE AND PURINTON ALL CAN PLAY GREAT DEFENSE.”

    If you consider giving up more shots and more goals than your team has, then you’re right on the money about this group. If that’s not what you mean, then what the hell are you smoking?

    Leetch: I watched him get stripped of the puck, cough it up, and make bad giveaway passes all in his own end all last year. Not the player he once was.

    Malakhov: The only one who had a half-decent season on a horrible team, and the only one who attempted to actually live up to his job title.

    Poti: I watched him get muscled off the puck by the likes of Justin Williams and Marty Murray. What does that tell you?

    Kasparaitis: Lives for the hit, consequences be damned.

    Kloucek: Still has promise, but if they pair him with Kaspar it would be the worst thing for Richter/Blackburn.

    Lefebvre: One of the worst signings in recent memory for the Rangers. He forgot how to play hockey when he left Colorado.

    Purinton: Please, he’s an oak tree on skates, that’s all.

    You over-value your team too much. Sounds like a severe case of homeritis, which can be terminal unless treated.

  32. NYRrule says:

    Damn this guy sounds like a Devils fan trying to deflect attention away from his sorry ass team!

  33. NYRrule says:

    Thats why your not a hockey player and never will be.

  34. DaAvs says:

    It seems a lot of Ranger fans are being oblivious to the fact that he had some points. Shifting postions isn’t a meager thing, granted it’s easier to go from center to a wing. But it’ll take an adjustment. Instead of attacking ‘his devils’ take a minute to counter act his points. Trottier was a good assistant coach. But first year head coach is still a question mark. Richter’s health has become a bit more then a small worry. And Blackburn’s readyness isn’t exactly upto par jsut yet. Their defense isn’t hard hitting or well rounded yet. Maybe a year will improve their chemistry and ability. Or maybe it’ll resemble the same defense it was last year (I watched Kasper, he’s a good #3 defensemen not a #1, just look at the Penguins defense for so long). Left Wing is a concearn and shifting requires time. He has one main point I agree with, it’s still a big question mark if they do make the playoffs. As a fan of this site, I ask Ranger fans to counter-act the points instead of the person (this excludes Milkster and a few others who did go after the points. More so for those who just attacked him because he was a Devil fan and think it’s just in spite).

  35. NYRrule says:

    So I guess the “insane amount of money” the Wings threw at their players was fiscally irresponsible too huh? What did that get them? The Stanley Cup? Oh right! It did! Everyone seems to forget how much money the Wings have thrown at their players. Winning the Stanley Cup makes people forget that.

    The Rangers have had a poor coaching staff the past few years. John Muckler? Ron Low? Two perennial losers as far as coaching goes. Trottier is a rookie coach but he has played on winning teams as a player and coach his whole carreer. With the right combination of coaches, the Rangers will be just fine.

  36. mikster says:

    Nedved: Three 70 point seasons, one 90 point season, two 60 point seasons in 10 seasons. Nedved never hit a -10 in his career (only his rookie season with the Canucks he was a -21). Not a valuable center anymore, but a valuable winger on any team.

    Dvorak: Rushed by the Panthers. Played on a poor offensive team. Kept as a defensive player. Had 200+ shots the past two seasons. Still young and has yet to reach his prime. Blazing speed, but his injury may hinder his game.

    Lundmark is not a “decent prospect”. A decent prospect would be somone like Ribeiro. Lundmark is a very quick learner, very smart offensively, blazing speed, great tape to tape passing skills, and incredible work ethic. He could earn a spot by Messier’s, Holik’s, or Lindros’ side because of his offensive skills. No one is making him the second coming of Shanahan like they do for Rick Nash. Every Ranger fan wants him to earn a spot, and no one is comparing him to anyone yet.

    Rem Murray: Solid 3rd/4th line center who does solid defensive work, smart defenisve plays, and works the PK really well. Just what the Rangers needed, and Sather addressed that need.

    Samuelsson: I never seen a Rangers fan think of him as a Tanguay. He is just a solid and physically strong two-way forward. Good on the PK as well. He could work well with Holik, but probably he is a solid 3rd line winger.

    Barnaby: Got him for free (Ciger is not in the NHL anymore). Draws penalties well, gives the team PP’s, gets beat up but doesn’t back down. A player you’d want on the ice with your team.

    Ekman: Energenic Swede with good speed, scoring touch, but will most likely play in Hartford unless he shows he is worth playing in the NHL.

    Oliwa: You have to have a fighter on your team. Oliwa gives a big break for McCarthy and McCarthy can show more of his “”””offensive”””” skills.

    Seems to me that Nedved is a perfect winger who can score 60+ points, maybe even 70 with Lindros and Bure. Second line could be anyone who plays well with Holik and earns the spot. Third line is simply set and solid, same with the fourth.

    Bure: He is what he is, exactly. He has a 50 goal potential this season (with or without Lindros) and had a +9 with the Rangers in 12 games. He never got a -25 or a -20. Because of his goals, Bure’s +/- rating will most likely finish with a +. Anyone who has speed can back check.

    McCarthy: Perfect team player, can score the once in a while surprising goals. Stands up for his teammates. One of the best goons in the NHL to have. I’d take him over Brashear any day.

    Lyashenko: Can play all three positions. Young, and very very smart defensively. Scouting reports still say he could be a future Selke nominee. Also a solid PK, and a great swap for Malhotra (who could produce offensively and defensively). Lyashenko adds quality depth as a youngster.

    Fata: Still only 22 years of age with amazing speed, great AHL season. Has a chance this season to make the NHL. If not, then another season in the AHL where the term “career minor leaguer” will be used.

    Leetch: I hardly believe you watched him play all of 82 games. He is not that good defensively, but overall, he is good defenseman and the best quarterback in the NHL for PP. A player who ages, usually won’t be the same as he was……(duh).

    Malakhov: You said it well. He also found his hard hitting game. He should have a solid season since his contract is expiring.

    Poti: It tells you that Schoenfeld and O’Reilly will toughen this 25 year old. If Poti fails, he will be dealt to somewhere. He is the other PP quarterback the Rangers needed. He is still young so….can judge his career.

    Kasparaitis: Reaching his prime years. He hits when he can, and Holik, Samuelsson, Lyashenko, or Murray will take his position.

    Kloucek: Still so young, should have a strong training camp and pre-season. Next Beukeboom type d-man, which should make Leetch smile.

    Lefebvre: To be Released.

    Purinton: Played excellent against the Flyers for the last game. He is still young and could always turn out into a physical stay at home d-man.

    You underrated everyone by making negative comments and a couple of positive ones. You always have to do both when talking about players.

  37. MattNJD says:

    Sands,

    Retard? no. I really don’t understand your message. You seem to almost be agreeing with me without even knowing it. Some of your reasoning is also very silly. For example, assuming that Bure is going to score 70 points simply because of about 20 games he played last year is nuts. If we could base stats on 20 games, how many would we have given Iginla last year after 20 games??? 160?? It just doesn’t work that way. Will Bure score 50 goals in NY? I certinly would not put it past him, but my point is that he is a defensive nightmare, and the Rangers need help in there own zone more than another 50 goals. I like the point you bring up about Fleury. I think Theo is going to be the best pick up of the offseason. If he gets his head straight with the Hawks, he will score WAY more points than Nedved could dream of. Leetch, who knows… Its up to him to show Poti and Malakhov to play D. Ricther, is absoltly not better now than he was in 94. Not even a comparison. And the point that I made in my article is that the Rangers didn’t even want him around anymore. They settled for him. And if you have never heard of him having knee problems, then you simply don’t follow hockey. I Love you point about teams needing heart to get to, and win in, the playoffs! I coudn’t agree more!! The problem is, the Rangers have lacked it for the past 5 years.

  38. jnyfive says:

    Before we go and complain that the Rangers overpaid for Holik, lets just remember that the Devils offered 8.5 and closer to 9 but Holik claimed that not offering him a contract last season and the fact that he got bashed by a henchman for Lou instead of Lou himself during arbitration made him not want to resign. But just don’t forget that the offer was made for similar money by NJ but Holik wanted… yes that’s right… to play for a winner. Darius would have gotten the same type of offer from the Islanders and if he signed it would have been “a great signing by the Isles” and something like “it brings them closer to a Cup”. But lets bash the Rangers since they actually got the players. Let’s forget that Toronto offered 8-9 for Holik too. Let’s forget that it sounds like a lot of jealous or upset fans that their teams did not sign either player.

  39. booty says:

    Not bad Mick, but you’re doing the exact opposite. Instead of underrating, you’re completely overrating everybody. Example? Nedved is a “perfect” winger. Nedved and the word perfect should never be used in the same sentence. And Brian Leetch is no longer the best power play quarterback in the league, though I’ll admit he used to be. Finally, you think McCarthy is that great? He’s not the same ever since he lost weight to concentrate on scoring. Don’t get me wrong, I liked him when he was on the Flyers, but he’s not that feared any more as a goon. You’re crazy to say that you’d take him over Brashear.

  40. mikster says:

    Well, Nedved COULD be a perfect winger, that’s a better way to put it. If he can score 70 points as a winger, than he’s almost perfect.

    Well, i think that Leetch is still the best quarterback in the NHL for PP’s. Given a team with a good PP, Leetch can put up a lot of points. Put Leetch on a team like the Avs or the Wings, and he’ll score mad points. Last year the Rangers power play sucked, and that’s a good reason for Leetch for not having another 60-70 point season.

    McCarthy is still a bull and a goon, not a complete goon, but he can always turn back to be like that. I’d take him over Brashear any day because he is a great team player, better skater, and has more offensive skills than Brashear, plus he fights and wins most of them. Brashear is just a goon who wasn’t well liked in Montreal and not fully liked in Vancouver. He can skate, but no way does he have more value than McCarthy.

  41. mikster says:

    The Devils offered $8 a season, but i think the official was $8.2 a season. Holik wanted out, Lou was disloyal to him and he saw the Devils were not going in the right direction. Now that he looks at the Devils roster, i think he is happy to be out.

    The Leafs had an official offer of $8.5 million a season, but Quinn did say he also offered $9 million a season. In the end, i think the Rangers won Holik because of a better structured contract, probably a higher bonus, the devotion to become an elite team, and the fact that he can still stay home in NJ.

    As for Kaspar, we don’t know how much the Leafs and the Isle’s offered, but it probably went up to $4 million dollars for the Leafs as well. Maybe the Leafs even matched the Rangers offer since Kaspar said that he prefered the way the Rangers contract was structed compared to others. Maybe Kaspar wanted to be paid more this season instead of the next one. Those little details do make a difference.

  42. Sands says:

    OK, We agree on a few things, But first, out of all fairness for everyone in HTR let’s have an apology for the dumb joke you made. That was out of line.

    Second, Yes Richter had knee problems….. last season…. He didn’t have any major problems… he had a concussion. Big difference. Richter is dedicated to his job and NY, he will not hurt his knees again. By the way take it from a Ranger fan who saw 85% of the games. Richter stood on his head. Theo without a dout one of the best pick ups, IF he drops his numbers in the penalty minutes.

    Iginla had half of that 160 like I said, Bure will have more then half of 140. Sorry to tell you. 55 goals and at least 30 assists.

    By the way they did settle for Richter and I think more then half of the fans are happy as hell that he stayed. I rather have him then Belfour. Sather would have been a retard to let him go and get headmess Belfour. By the way If you want to talk about over paying….. CoJo would have been way over paid. A man with no Stanley Cup ring…. Nah that’s OK I’ll take Richter.

  43. NyGa says:

    Matt-

    Great article! Very good points about the Rangers. You are not a retard, screw anyone who doesn’t appreciate your insight into the NHL.

  44. RobbieNumbers- says:

    Yo-stupid,lets get this right,shall we.Driver sucked,john maCclean wasn’t bad,holik is ok.Devil fans talk trash.Stevens and Daneko played hockey with the cavemen.New york is always better then NJ-remember this–your NJ women love our NY clubs and NY guys too.NJ sucks.Just how many fuckin 50 cent tolls are there in NJ.Nice swamp land too.See,NY has whats called WORLD KNOWN PLACEs-MSG,Time square,webster hall,and more.

    Lou is a jackass–The devils didn’t even sell out their arena when they won the cup.The devils DON”T deserve another arena.Oh,and as far as money goes–the leafs wouldv’e paid more for Holik,but he wanted to stay in the area.Talk all the crap you want to about Ritcher-but first,go buy a freakin clue.If marty didn’t have a trap system,or his D men doing the work for him,he;d be nothing.WORD CUP—Ritcher MVP-marty booed in Canada.The only two devils i ever wanted were Guerin(world cup he took it to stevens)and Neidimeyer.Since Guerins in Dallas,Neidimeyer is still signed,he’ll be stuck in NJ for years.And if you ever post another Osama Bid reference to any or about any New Yorker or even any human being..I’ll cross the hudson and hand you your NJ ass!!!.Oh,another thing–the only way the devils have a sort of packed house -is when they do the old WCW trick–give free tixs to the boygirl scouts.I agree with David lettermen–turn NJ into a packing lot for us New Yorkers!!!!!!!!!!

  45. mikster says:

    Well….in movies NJ is always made fun of too. I think some parts of NJ are nice…but life here is very boring…nothing exciting. Beautiful nature where i live and so peaceful and privacy is guaranteed. But, yeah….i’d want to live a life in NYC.

  46. MattNJD says:

    I have already apoligized to anyone who was offended by the Nedved joke. It was used as nothing more than a humor point. I was very deeply effected by 9/11 and in no way take the events lightly.

  47. beefer says:

    I am a huge Rangers fan from NJ. My second favorite team is anyone that is playing the Devils. So there is no reason you have to bash my whole state just because there is a boring team that plays here.

  48. RobbieNumbers- says:

    Sorry beefer–i just got a little outta hand.I guess not all Nj fans are devils fans–I’m sorry.But i do like going to concerts and RAW at that continental arena.

  49. RobbieNumbers- says:

    I posted my response in anger.I keep forgettting that not everyone in NJ likes the devils–cause if they did,their arena won’t be empty-lol.But seruiosly-I do apologize to all you NJ fans who have class and smarts not to follow the devils.Deep down inside,I truly can’t hate NJ-i mean-Giants staduim,continental arena(raw,concerts) the sopranos,and your women who love to ‘visit” NY.And to you ranger fans from NJ-if i did offended you,let me know–I’ll buy you beer and shots at msg when Mark hoists the cup again.God bless NY.

Leave a Reply