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Posts Tagged ‘Wade Redden’

aacg015chris-drury-with-stanley-cup-6-9-01-photofile-postersThe consensus has been that if the Rangers were to sign Mats Sundin, they would move around spare parts (Prucha, Fritsche, Kalinin, etc.) and/or a big-name blueliner like Rozsival or Redden to make room for the big Swede.

Now, according to Adrian Dater at the Denver Post, the Rangers might trade their captain, Chris Drury.

Here’s one thing I’m hearing from people in the know: The Rangers are so intent on getting Mats Sundin that they may well trade Chris Drury to make room.

I would not be happy about this.  The other players, well, here’s my rundown:

  • Prucha: I would miss the little guy, but I’d be OK with it.  My sister would not be (She says, “If they trade Prucha I hope they lose every game the rest of the season!”  Uh, thanks Barry Melrose.)
  • Fritsche: Meh.
  • Kalinin/Redden: good riddance/peace out
  • Rozsival: we had some good times, but we’ve hit a rough patch lately, and maybe it’s time we go our separate ways.

But Drury?!  NO!  Put aside the fact that Drury might be the most only clutch player on this team.  (See Saturday’s shootout goal for the latest example).  Yes, his goal scoring may be down so far this year.   BUT, if the Rangers think they can get rid of his playmaking, defense, and heart… they are sorely mistaken.

This would be a big mistake.  I mean, Sundin is no spring chicken (whatever that means).  We’re talking about a 38-year-old power forward.  For the Rangers, this is a guy who is more likely to be the 2nd coming of Pavel Bure, Eric Lindros, or Wayne Gretzky.  Great players at one time, sure, but they were all just slightly better than average “the-sun-is-setting-on-my-career” players once they came to Broadway.

The Rangers should be happy to get Sundin, but should not be willing to part with Chris Drury.

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I guess you could call this a Season Preview but we’ll just call it the Game Preview. Also, today is my birthday!

Back on October 5, 2005, the New York Rangers played a game for the first time in over a year. The NHL was finally back after a lock-out that led to the cancellation of the entire 2004-05 season.

It had been 8 years since the Rangers had last made the playoffs–when they lost to the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1997 Eastern Conference Finals–and the idea that the Rangers were going to end the drought was ludicrous. That year, almost every “expert” had picked the Rangers to finish 30th in the NHL.

Honestly, did you have much faith in that team? Look at the lineup they sported for the 2005-2006 season opener against the Flyers:

Rucinsky-Nylander-Jagr
Straka-Ruccin-Hossa
Moore-Betts-Ward
Hollweg-Lundmark-Ortmeyer

Rozsival-Malik
Poti-Strudwick
Tyutin-Kasparaitis

Weekes
Lundqvist

Admit it. You looked at that team and thought, “We’re screwed!” But Slats was keeping his word; the Rangers were rebuilding. We couldn’t expect greatness in the first year. Honestly, I would have been content no matter what happened that season. But what happened that year stunned everybody.

The Rangers sat in first place in the Atlantic Division until the very last day of the season when they were passed by both the Devils and the Flyers. More importantly, for the first time since 1997, the Rangers had made the playoffs and Jaromir Jagr broke the Rangers single season records for both goals (54) and points (123).

Now fast forward to this season. The Rangers come into the game with a 2-0-0 record with two wins over the Tampa Bay Lightning last weekend in Prague.

Here is the line up that the Rangers sported for the first two games of the season:

Naslund-Gomez-Drury
Dawes-Dubinsky-Zherdev
Prucha-Korpikoski-Callahan
Voros-Betts-Orr

Rozsival-Redden
Girardi-Kalinin
Staal-Mara

Lundqvist
Valiquette

Only two, yes two, players from the 2005 opening night roster are still on the team. Only one of them actually played in that game! Petr Prucha was called up from Hartford soon after the start of the season and stayed up for most of it. But still that is only 3 players that remain from the October 5, 2005 to October 4, 2008. Speaking of Petr Prucha, of all the players currently on the roster, he has the most games played and most goals scored as a Ranger.

Looking ahead to this season, the Rangers are a younger, faster, more offensive minded team that can still shut things down when needed. The problem is that almost every offseason move the Rangers made is counting on the player playing better because of a change in scenery. So far, Naslund and Redden have scored goals. Zherdev has shown how wonderfully he can control the puck but has not finished. He does have the potential to set up many goals for Brandon Dubinsky. I really hope Zherdev doesn’t end up like Matt Cullen did with the Rangers.

There were some questions heading into this season about Dubinsky. Would he have the dreaded sophomore slump? Would he be able to produce without Jagr on his wing? We’re only 2 games into the season, but Dubinsky doesn’t look like he’s going to hit the proverbial wall any time soon. He was arguably the best player on the Rangers throughout the Preseason and has skated very well with new linemate Nikolai Zherdev.

Some other young players that must prove themselves are Nigel Dawes, Ryan Callahan, and believe it or not, Petr Prucha. Dawes and Callahan will most likely thrive in a faster and more offensive minded environment. As will Prucha who is scratched for tonights game. But Tom Renney has to give Prucha more ice time. At least some more time on the Power Play.

As for any predictions, I think the Rangers will fight for control of the Atlantic with the Penguins for the majority of the Season. They will probably end up finishing in second place in the division which is good enough for 4th or 5th in the Eastern Conference.

Tonight, the Rangers will hold their true home opener against the Chicago Blackhawks. This team made a big splash in the free agency market by signing Brian Campbell to an 8 year contract for about $56.8 million. They also improved in goal with the addition of Cristobal Huet. This team is young and looking to prove themselves. They were very close to making the playoffs last season and you can be sure that New Captain Jonathan Toews and Sophomore Patrick Kane will skate circles around our defense at least once.

Hopefully the Rangers can find their scoring and break out against Huet who they have been fairly good against in recent memory.

I will be at the game and I might snap some pictures. I’ll post them later tonight if I can along with the recap.

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I actually look like this.

I actually look like this.

Is this introduction and season preview horribly late? Yes. Is this probably not going to be published until after the season technically begins? Yes. But do you care all that much? Probably not. If you’re that pissed, blame Eric.

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Rory, and I’m an angry, sarcastic, die-hard, 3rd-generation Ranger fan born in New York and raised in New Jersey. In addition to the Rangers, I love coffee, stiletto heels, and curly fries. Most likely due to my Ranger-fan-in-Jersey upbringing, the New Jersey Devils are the bane of my existence, and it is my personal belief that one of the most important things Lundqvist can do in his career will be to pummel Marty Brodeur in a team brawl until he oozes donut jelly from his man boobs chiseled athletic form.

That being said, I do hope y’all will find what I write, at the very least, amusing, as I do love ranting and raving about my beloved Rangers to anyone who can hear me, whether they want to listen or not. And this is a Rangers blog, so if you’re here and don’t want to hear(read) it, then, um, yeah that’s your business.

So anywhoozle, you’ve all read all summer about every reason why or why not we should or shouldn’t have let Jagr, Avery, and Shanahan go; and the same goes for signing Naslund, Redden, Zherdev, and blah blah blah. So I’m not going to bore the piss out of you by rehashing what you already know. But, since you are taking the time to read this, I’ll at least sum up my overall feelings. In bullet points! Yay!

  • I loved Jags. I don’t care about the prima-donna reputation or him sitting out in shootouts. I loved that man for everything he did for this team: bringing us back from being a league-wide joke. Not to mention his willingness to be open and honest about how the team was doing, good or bad, his humor, and, yes, that massive ass. So Naslund is going to have to work extra hard to win me over, which is his ultimate goal, of course.
  • Last year’s power play was basically a piece of butt crack lint with some spray glitter on it, so if Redden ends up blowing (Ed. Note: Not shooting the puck), oh well. How much worse could things get?
  • Love him or hate him, Sean Avery was, at the very least, entertaining. I’ll miss his borderline unsportsmanlike ass.
  • We signed a lot of key guys and spent a lot of money on the premise of them “benefiting from a change of scenery”. Not exactly a good plan, if you ask me.
  • In dumping both Marek Malik and Christian Backman, us fans have no immediate option for booing at MSG. I nominate Dimitri Kalinin, he seems to be shaping up pretty well for it.
  • The Rangers owe Brendan Shanahan an official ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Just letting it drift away and not saying anything is like breaking up with someone by just not calling them anymore and resetting your Facebook status to ‘Single’. Uncool, and super un-classy.
  • Lundqvist’s preseason had been somewhat worrisome, as is the situation with his knees slowly deteriorating. But the last couple of games he’s gotten his form back, and looks Kingly for the start of the season, so I’m willing to push that worried feeling to the backburner for now. He’s poised to make NHL history this season, potentially the first NHL goalie to post 30 wins in his first 4 seasons. Pretty awesome.
  • Speaking of Lundqvist, on an un-Ranger-related note, Eric made fun of me for drafting him to my fantasy team (go Bea Arthurs on Ice!), but I think this is Joel’s year to bust out and have an awesome year. You can quote me on that. But only if it comes true. (Ed. Note: Great Success will have great success this season.)

Alright, I’ve rambled enough. If you’ve made it this far, I applaud you. I’m very excited to be here at 5-Hole, and I hope y’all are just as excited as I am for this upcoming season.

LET’S GO RANGERS!

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The Rangers signed Wade Redden, formerly of the Ottawa Senators, to a 6 year contract worth about $6.5 million per year. Redden is 31 years old, and had 6 goals and 32 assists last season while logging an average of 22:12 of ice time per game. The Rangers hope Redden will be the Power Play quarterback they’ve been missing.

In other news, the Rangers will be bringing back MIchal Rozsival for 4 more years at $5 million per year.

The Rangers now figure to (finally) have a solid core of defensemen, and will (finally) have some depth at the position. My guess is that Redden, Rozsival, Staal, Tyutin, and Girardi will form the core, and that Bobby Sanguinetti will get the call up to the big show. Christian Backman is also on the roster and should see some ice time (unfortunately).

In other other news, the Rangers added some more size up front with the signing of 6’4″ 220 lb. Patrick Rissmiller away from the San Jose Sharks.

I should also note that the Rangers re-signed backup goaltender Stephen Valiquette. The terms have yet to be disclosed.

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