Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Breaking (My Heart) News -- Taking Lady Liberty a Little Too Literally

Apparently, GM Glen Sather recently took one of those Circle Line tours to the Statue of Liberty where he misconstrued Lady Liberty's welcome to immigrants by deciding to welcome the outcasts and underachievers of other teams to MSG's shores in favor of expelling players that actually played like they enjoyed wearing the Rangers' sweater.

To wit. . . .

Out Go the Incredibles Expendables --
  • Petr Prucha . . . . exiled to the graveyard known as Phoenix (cue the sobbing and rending of garments by NYR fans).
  • Dimitri Kalinin . . . dispatched to Phoenix.
  • Nigel Dawes . . . banished to Phoenix (Brodeur sighs in relief).
  • Erik Reitz . . . gone on waivers to Toronto.
  • Aaron Voros . . . Hartford via waivers (note to Aaron -- take pugilism lessons).
Of the 4, fan favorite Petr Prucha will be missed the most. I hope he finds greener and happier pastures than this franchise offered especially after former coach Renney tried to ruin him. With his salary, he was a logical choice to be traded. The others -- who cares. Thanks for playing; you didn't make us wince much.

In Come Some New Stiffs ---
  • Nik Antropov (29) from Toronto. He has been invisible all year. He averages perhaps 50 points a season. He does have 46 points so far (25G/21A) so he becomes the Rangers 2nd leading scorer which is not saying much. The Rangers actually stole him from Toronto for a couple of draft picks. Another Russian player like Zherdev who may or may not give his all on a nightly basis. I'm sure Coach Tortorella will love this guy. Career stats here.

  • Derek Morris (30.5) from Phoenix. Ah, yes, let's give up 3 players for this underachieiving -13 defenseman. Hey, Redden, did you know you have a twin? Not only that, he is a UFA, so he may be a rental especially if he does not perform. He's also 4 years older than Reitz and Kalinin and does not score. Other than that, he is a steal. Career stats here.
My gut reaction (and looking at the bright side) -- MSG faithful will now have 3 defensemen to boo. Let's hope I eat my words here.

The potential good news --- Sean Avery being picked up from waivers via Dallas. He better produce and not have more than his usual 4-5 offside calls per game because Prucha was sacrificed at the salary cap altar to bring him back.

Bottom line --
  • Rangers unloaded 2 mediocre defensemen (Kalinin and Reitz) for an older, mediocre defensemen who has convinced some Ranger fans (at other boards) that he is better than Redden. I'll believe it when I see it.

  • Rangers obtained Avery and Antropov for Prucha, Dawes and Voros. We'll see what these two can bring to the table after their forgettable seasons so far. The Rangers forwards are now bigger and edgier. Let's see if they can score and do the dirty work that Tortorella requires. I'm dubious about big Nik.
Finally, what did we learn about the gambler GM? Only that he has the cohones to trade expendable young players and replace them with older, underachieving cast-offs. Meanwhile, the team still is saddled with large, heavy-weight contracts that likely will outlast Sather's tenure as GM.

Oh, and let's not forget . . . Sather's summer acquisitions are all gone -- Voros, Rissmiler, Fritsche and Kalinin.

And finally, in case you need reminding, the Rangers still have
their All-Star line-up of Immovable/Untradeable Objects --
  • Michal Roszival
  • Wade Redden
  • Scott Gomez
  • Chris Drury

Pick one: (i) the final resting place of Ranger playoff hopes,
(ii) where the Ranger stiffs sleep, or (iii) Glen Sather's think tank.

After 1 p.m., the Rangers website was down off and on because of volume. Numerous Ranger related websites and blogs had "technical difficulties." Nothing like a trading deadline to erase any remnants of the apathy that has been prevalent recently.

Tomorrow's game against the Isles -- a BIG game -- is going to be interesting. Captain Guerin is gone to the Pens. Sunday's matinee homecoming for Avery v. the Bruins portends to be quite the battle as Boston wants to right its ship with the Devils nipping at their paws. Meanwhile, with all conference foes (Pitt, Carolina, Florida and Buffalo) trading to stay in the hunt, the Rangers need to garner points.

Feel free to weigh in.

--- Tony


  1. Nothing like selling the future for a small grasp at the present. Folly, thy name is Glen Sather. I gotta put together a post but am too disgusted at this moment. Everyone else got better, the Rangers got worse.

  2. I don't see it as such a big loss. Slats is carefully walking the line between raised ticket prices/ playoff appearance and downward spiral/ unemployment.
    Considering the status of the contracts and the players:

    -Dawes took a pay cut to play here this year, but he's really not shined as he should have when all his overpaid counterparts sandbagged. A rebate and deking Pronger out of his skates once, still doesn't make Dawes the guy the organization would have hoped they could count on for sniping and scoring. Hes in a place now, where contributing inconsistently, getting muscled off the puck, and floating around the offensive zone looking for scraps and deflected passes will be seen as more of a positive. Liked the guy, but guys like Cally and Prucha ruined it for him by stepping up like they did when they had the chance.

    -Poor Prucha - stepped it up and still got the shaft. I feel bad for the guy but that's precisely why we needed to deal the guy now. With all the dirt kicked in his face by Renney & Co. , he was sure to leave at the end of the season for a place like Chicago, which has been flirting with the Rangers about trading for Pruchs season after season...Our insistence for Seabrook was always the deal breaker for the Hawks. In an org like that, Pruchs would have gladly taken a few K's less for consistent ice time and worked his way up.

    -Kalinen... Does anything really need to be said about this? Maloney did us a favor by allowing us to throw this guy in and shave off some salary.

    - Reitz. I liked that he was probably the only d-man we had besides Staal, that didn't swear he was born to be a forward and then miscast by the scouts, GMs and coaches. The broken foot negated him for the rest of this year anyway.

    The New Guys...

    Artropov - Big kid. Largely ineffective this year. Who hasn't been for the Leafs? He played aggressively enough against us to put the pressure on our smurfs this year. Another positive of this is that Torts asked for size up front and he got it. This beat my idea of taking dawes, prucha, voros, rissmiller and some duct tape and trying to build a franken-Gretzky. If he doesn't work out, hes gone to free agency... if he does, his new contract can be adjusted to fit his worth.

    Morris- Lots of people are calling this guy soft. I'm not to sure about that after watching him drop the gloves. At whatever age, or price he can be easily inserted as one of our best d-men at this point. Also a UFA at the end of the season, hes free to walk or sign for a lower price depending if we want him back or not.

    Contrary to what alot of people are thinking, these moves WERE done with the long term in mind. With the kids we actually want to keep becoming RFA's next season, we need to jettison the extras and clear some space. We get a free look at Artropov and Morris, and first dibs if we should want them back...we did it at the expense of guys who weren't really helping us, consistently playing or were leaving at the end of the season anyway.

    On the downside, no one claimed Voros. DAMMIT! =( You'd think someone would need a new punching bag for the gym or something... I personally thing the leafs made out like Bandits today.


  3. J --

    While you are right about the contracts, I worry that Antropov will be incentivized only because he will be playing for a new contract. If he succeeds with the Rangers, I don't see why the Rangers should re-sign him at big $$ to have him coast like he did this season. He's not Manny Ramirez in this regard. BTW, that the same problem/issue the Rangers have with Zherdev. Perhaps this mix of new players including Avery will get people to click.

    Right now, I like the idea of renting these players (and Morris) and unloading them at the end of the season to free up cap space.

    As for playoffs, I'll wait to see how the team (and its Eastern conference foes) performs over the next week or so before I even begin to think about the postseason.

  4. Gray,
    I agree with what you're saying. Now, I'm not claiming Torts to be a Cure-all for this team but hes a coach that will light a fire underneath a player's butt. When he does, you move your @$$ or you get burned. This is NY and there will always be pressure to play a big name not matter how much they are underperforming. But I Have faith in Tortarellas methods over Renney's "..he's a good person anyway. I'd want him as my neighbor/ I'd lend him my car/ I'd let him nail my daughter.." approach.
    I guess that has a lot to do with my level of satisfaction with these deadline moves. Not the kind of players they have been, but that we have someone who's not afraid to ask them to be more, and bench them if they don't respond or more importantly will interject his opinion on wether they'll be invited back.(wether he's asked or not).
    Even if Atropov is asked back, he won't make the same salary unless we get rid of Drury, Gomez, or Redden. Even taking Naslunds money off the top... Cally, Dubi and Staal are due to re-up soon and all will get raises. We'll also need a back up if Vali isnt resigned. Anything shy of great, will see Atropov take a cut or walk all together, unless the cap goes up.
    - J_Undisputed

  5. The biggest transaction was getting rid of coach clueless and all the negativity he brought to the team and its fans.

    If these new guys don't work out they will be gone next year. If the Rangers don't make the playoffs or bomb early look for a massive overhaul from Tortorella. The guy has brought life to the team and the Garden in only three games.

    That is the big change. The players are just window dressing for this guy.

  6. It's absolutely disgusting seeing Prucha in that F'ing #16 uni.

  7. This negativity kills me. I'm a Ranger fan and was disgusted watching this team earlier this season. These last couple of games (even the losses) have been better than the boring hockey this team played under Renney.

    So your sh*tting all over the trades before anybody (except Avery) has a chance to make an impact. Granted Morris and Antropov are not Leetch and Messier circa 94. Their not Leetch or Messier circa 99. But lets be for real, who is? Who was, is, or could be in that dressing room prior to the deadline??? My point is whats the worst that can happen when you dump one underachiever off for another? Prucha, Dawes and Kalinin were FAR from the "future" of this franchise, so come off that. Antropov is the classic underachiever but we got him for nothing. It just so happens the dude underachieved more goals than anybody on our team and your bellyaching about him. Worry about what you have and not what you don't. It just so happens that with these guys in the lineup we're 2-0 and have scored 10 goals in the 2 games they played. When Prucha hit the ice did he get us results like that. In these 2 games, Sean avery has provided a distraction so our top guys can go to work. And sorry folks thats all hes good at. a nice energy player with an edge. The guy will never score 20 goals. For all you Avery fans, get a clue at what your watching, he is NOT the difference maker. Bums like Brooks, and Greenberg will have you believe he is. This guy couldn't lace Esa Tikkanen's skates.

    Get the hate out of your heart, we as Ranger fans don't need to whine year round. Be happy about something for once in your miserable existence (aside from Sean Avery). I'm not even getting into the other cast aways you mentioned , those guys were bums

  8. WE ALL HAVE PLENTY OF HATE IN OUR HEARTS...especially from November through January this season!

    What do you expect on a site called the DARK Ranger? No one hates the sum of it's parts....we are all here as fans of the legacy , an Original Six franchise. We have lived through years of frustration and when bad moves are made, every one has the right to be overly critical. sound like a Leafs fan!!?



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