Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Hugh Jessiman is a guy that will most likely not come close to cracking the lineup come October. He is one of those players who has the potential to be great, but is yet to take the necessary steps to further his professional hockey career. For Sather and the rest of the Rangers scouts to pick this guy in the first round, they must have seen greatness in him; which leads me to believe that Jessiman is not a lost cause just yet. If he does in fact have a greatly improved season and at least a decent training camp, he can and most likely will be called up for his size (6'6, 230lbs.) in case any injuries occur to Mara or Kalinin (which is a big possibility). If the guys in the front office saw something in that kid, than I will go along and say the potential for him to make the NHL is there. However the task is solely in his hands, and if he wants to pull that Rangers sweater over his head this season, than he better get his game in shape and work his ass off.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Moore is yet another candidate for the 4th line, as his skill has improved over the past few years and being selected as an AHL All Star this past season. We'll definitely see and hear more of this kid during the Rangers training camp.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
2008-2009 Schedule, Sjostrom Close to Signing
The above hyperlink will get you to NHL.com, where the full NHL 2008-2009 Schedule is accessible for all teams. The Rangers opening home game at the Garden will be against the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday, October 10th. The Rangers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins will compete in the NHL Premiere on Oct. 4-5 in
In other news, Freddie Sjostrom is rumored to be aiding the Rangers financially by taking a pay cut from a reported $800,000, for a two year $650,000 deal. Nigel Dawes' deal, which I reported earlier at $600,000 was a bit high, as he took the deal he was offered at $587,500, signing on for one year with the Rangers. That leaves the Rangers with approximately $1.5 million in cap space. That almost ensures that neither Mats Sundin (or any other high profile player) nor Brendan Shanahan will be able to be signed, unless Shanahan takes a significant cut to remain a Blueshirt. Signing Shanahan would cause greater harm than good, as having him take up a wing spot on the 3rd or 4th line would just cut back the progress of our young prospects. Shanhan has done a lot for the Rangers and was a pleasure to have on the team, I just cannot see Tom Renney or Glen Sather giving up much needed cap space to sign a player who in the long run will deter the improvements of young players.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Dawes had a productive rookie season with the Rangers, having scored 14 goals playing limited ice time. Dawes should net in at least 20 next season playing regularly with Drury or Dubinsky or whichever center's line he ends up playing on. Dawes signed an alleged one year deal worth somewhere in the $600,000 range.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Damn it Feels Good To Be a Ranga'
What's up all you Ranger fans out there, I am a band-spankin' new blogger for all us devoted, die hard Blueshirt wearing fans of New York City's finest, NYR(PD). Next season, the Rangers can look forward to success, that's right, you heard it here on The Dark Ranger first, I am gonna go out on a very, very far limb and say that our beloved New York Rangers will win the Atlantic Division title next season. I know it's a bit early to say this, but with the players they have, it is simply inevitable to have this group succeed and reign over the teams they will face. Gomez, Drury, Naslund, Zherdev, Prucha, Dubinsky. Those are the main scoring threats on the Rangers, and any of the other 29 NHL teams would be more than happy to have them on their first or second lines. It is imperative that these talented forwards lead the entire team with their goal scoring abilities, as the rest of the bench will simply ride their wave of success. With all the amassed 3rd and 4th liners on the Rangers roster, it is essential that the main group of guys hustle night in and night out, never leave anything on the ice and always play with heart and desire. With that being said, the Ranger's will have one of the strongest depth charts in the NHL (especially with all of the prospects in Hartford: Sanguinetti, Grachev, Anisimov, Cherepanov).
Redden, Roszival, Stall, Kalinin, Mara, Girardi. This is a tough, mobile group that is standing in front of one of the NHL's elite goaltenders in Henrik Lundqvist, who is just beginning his already celebrated NHL career (3 time Vezina finalist in his first 3 seasons!). Not only do we have the KING, but we have the JOKER as well, as funny-man Stephan Valliquette is more than able to cover for Henrik when he's needed, giving the Rangers yet another piece to an already tastyyyy pie. With a team that packs such a swell 1-2 punch in both offensive scoring threats and defensive coverage, including goaltending, the Rangers should be a shoe-in for the playoffs, TO SAY THE LEAST!! Of course, there have been Ranger teams in the past who have had such expectations as these and who have crumbled (2000-2004), but with many players on the roster under 25, the will to win is greater than ever. If all goes to plan and the likes of Dawes, Callahan, Prucha, Zherdev (especially Zherdev) and Naslund find their scoring touch, there's no doubt that the Rangers would be a serious Cup Contender. That being said, if those players don't in fact mature and score a minimum 20-25+ goals, than New York will be up shit's creek without a paddle. If Lundqvist plays the way he has been, the defense is just as good if not better than last year's squad, and the players that need to lead (Gomez and Drury) come to play every single night, than the sky is truly the limit for the Rangers.
I am no hockey expert, let me say that. I am not Larry Brooks or Steve Zipay or Sam Weinman (Even though I am 30 years younger than all of them, at least!) But I have played competitive ice hockey my whole life, I have coached teams to winning seasons, refereed and even water boyed a few times. I watch every game, follow every player and know these coaches and GM's better than they know themselves. I am connected throughout the world of hockey and I know how the system works. The Rangers WILL be a team to beat next year, you can count on that, and if the magic does in fact exist and the Rangers harness the talent that has been brought together by GM Glen Sather (whom, by the way, I happen to think did a terrific job restructuring this organization) then New Yorkers should look forward to a parade down Broadway soon, and I mean soon. The time has come for Lundqvist to win his first Stanley Cup, to bring hockey back to the city that bleeds Blue, to believe in our Blueshirt Boys and throw them our full support and to foresee the future: the future that will have the names of players such as Ryan Callahan, Marc Staal, Dan Girardi, Petr Prucha, Brandon Dubinsky and of course Henrik Lundqvist to have their names etched onto Lord Stanley's Cup. I believe that time is coming, and it's coming soon.
My take on what Tom Renney's lines should look like opening night:
Voros/Rissmiller-Betts-Fritsche/Betts (Dan Fritsche can play either wing or center)
Thursday, July 10, 2008
I am Cindy Schmidt and I am eleven years old. I am a Dark Ranger.
Thanks for visiting my site for up-to-date Rangers news over the last couple of years. It is that time for my loyal devoted readers of Rangers' Darkness to now know my true identity. With over two hundred hits a day, almost 400 posts later - it's time for a break until True Blue hockey season re-emerges come September. I have to go to hockey camp in August and my Dad won't let me take the laptop to Camp Jersey Pucks-n-Stuff, so I'll be without my friends in Blue for a while, surrounded by awful, idiot Jersey Devils fans. God I hate that f*cker Lou!
I know, I know, OMG....all of these signings? And what happened to my team? I miss Sean Avery already- he was the bomb, so..... While I'm determined to be the first professional woman player in the NHL (with the exception of Marty Brodeur or Darcy Tucker), you can get plenty of Blueshirt action from my recommended fellow bloggers - the only true sources of up-to-date Rangerplay:
The Ranger Pundit - give my regards to Mike and gang....realists in the world of Tom Renney and his gang of clueless. Make this a daily...send him cupcakes.
Scotty Hockey - this guy posts more 'Ranger blogs per day' than the cumulative conversations Slats and Jagr had over three seasons! Known to often bitch about the ticket prices, this Scotty is one hell-of-a Rangers fan and some of the most up-to-date info about our Blueshirts. I wonder if he's cute?
Pucks On Broadway - one of my comrades (I think he's eleven years old too!!?), now a big-shot with The Hockey News -- so only believe half of what he writes. Good stuff though.
Slapshot - can you believe the New York Times has one of the best hockey blogs on the planet. Eat your heart out TSN, and by far blogger extraordinaire Lynn Zinser is now my Hillary of the Hockey World -- go woman power!
Newcomers to The Dark Ranger and special mention go to 5-hole, The Manic Ranger Fan, and the Syracuse boys over at the NYRangerscast podcast (now celebrating the exodus of Jason Strudwick!!!!). Everyone should visit these blogs on my vacation.
So there it is in it's full teenage glory. See you in September ready to jump onboard, so until then...and as MSG would tell us over and over with their new soundbites....
I am a (Dark) Ranger.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
He may not be the presence and comedian of Jaromir Jagr and he may not have the points, goals and assists as our three-year Captain, but one thing is for certain.....our newest New York Ranger, former Vancouver Canuck Captain Marcus Naslund plays his best hockey game EVERY game! This is already an improvement.
Yes....Jags was brilliant in the playoffs and that was reason enough to re-sign the Captain. In both rounds he played hard and it reminded us of what he can/could still be when he wants to.....but do NOT forget that we complained about his will and desire all the way to the playoffs. Not only did Mr. Perimeter (thanks Pundit) hold us in his clutches of lazy, he held back the team with his 'perfect-shot' perimeter play. Enough is enough. Slats gave some of us our wish. Thank you for bringing the Blueshirts back to 'legit' on Broadway, Jags -- but it is time for that Russian contract where you can play half-a-game most of the season and still make the big bucks tax-free. Run with it. Skate with it. Play with it. Gamble it. We love you, Jaromir - but not for another two-years. Love hurts.
Marcus Naslund is our new guy -- Battle of the Potential Captains with Chris Drury (my vote), Scott Gomez and now former Canuck-Captain Naslund, plus a couple of new kids on the block and an actual blue line to support our Hank. Our Staal, Girardi, Callahan and Dubinsky kids aren't babies anymore either.
I think I like this team.
Here's the official Canadian press on Naslund -- and it's worth hitting the Vancouver blogs -- who are very upset over his leaving.
THE CANADIAN PRESS Thu Jul 3, 6:51 PM ET NEW YORK - Markus Naslund is heading to the Big Apple.The former Vancouver Canucks captain has agreed to an US$8-million, two-year deal with the New York Rangers. "It's not an easy thing," Naslund said on a conference call. "I've been in Vancouver a long time. I've been a captain there for the last eight years. I have very fond memories of playing in that city and all that comes with that. "The fan base that's there, the organization has treated me first-class all the way. It's definitely a big step but it's a step that I'm excited to take." The Canucks released a statement thanking him for his years of service. "As an organization we would like to thank Markus Naslund for his 12 exemplary seasons in a Canucks sweater," said Canucks GM Mike Gillis. "Markus is one of the greatest athletes to ever represent the Canucks both on and off of the ice. His on-ice success sees him leave the organization among the club leaders in almost every offensive category. "We are very grateful for Markus' commitment to our community, our fans and our team over the years. Markus and his wife Lotta have given generously of their time over the years to many worthy causes ..." Naslund's new contract, which includes a $1-million signing bonus, will pay him $4 million next season and $3 million in 2009-10. "I think for anyone who dreams of playing in the NHL, playing for one of the Original Six teams with the history and tradition, it's special," Naslund said. "It was very appealing to me and my family to live in New York and be part of what's going on there. ... The overall picture was very appealing to me." The 34-year-old unrestricted free agent forward had 55 points (25-30) in 82 games with the Canucks last season. Naslund was drafted by Pittsburgh with the 16th overall pick in 1991. He has recorded 823 points (371-452) in 1,035 career games with the Canucks and Penguins.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Not to get DEFENSIVE or anything, but.....who is our CAPTAIN and who is taking care of our team at the moment? Disappointed Rangers fans across the globe unite!
Never to question the brilliance and arrogance of Blueshirt GM Glen Sather, we have signed Wade Redden from the Ottawa Senators and re-signed Michal Rozsival to reinforce our blue line. Despite Redden's play last season, I do believe this to be a solid addition to our lineup --- the Senators suffered in spotty goaltending and at a certain point in the season, everyone gives up -- Wade's track record is one of a solid top five defenseman to play quarterback to Staal, Girardi, Tyutin and Rozzy. Maybe Bobby Sanguinetti may be ready for the big leagues. Fine.
Where is the goal scoring?
Either we re-sign Jaromir Jagr now or we wait for Mats Sundin to decide what is happening with his career. Here is the problem in waiting for Sundin.....HE IS THE ONLY GUY LEFT. Everyone else in our''wish list' are signed with other teams at this point. Let's take a snapshot, simplified look at what's happened in the last 17 hours:
No Sean Avery (accepted the 16 million - 4yr offer from the Dallas Stars. we are idiots)
No Martin Straka (back to Czech-land)
No Brian Campbell (now a Chicago Blackhawk)
No Marian Hossa (one year in Detroit -- wants to win a Stanley Cup)
No Brian Rolston (now a NJ Devil)
No Mark Streit (now a NY Islander)
No Brooks Orpik (still a friggin Penguin)
Though, we did sign Aaron Voros (a Sean Avery wannabe) & Patrick Rissmiller. Who? This is the operative question as we are more-or-less a skeleton of the 2/3 full team we were last season. Rangers fans are screaming and we can only hope that Sather and the DOLAN Empire has made a secret deal with both Sundin and Jagr (brillliance if so) -- and are playing hard to get with the media to draw attention to it.
If all of this is an act and Sather & Co. have secret deals in place, then good press never hurt anyone. But if this is all we have.....
...does someone want 2 season tickets in the 117 section?