TDR is a working professional in entertainment and is obsessed with the game of hockey. More four years ago, this site emerged as a means (or an outlet) to tell some truth'isms about the game post-lockout, rather than the crud fed to us through knuckleheads like Jimmy Dolan and his lemmings universe. Today, there are a hundred Rangers sites and is thankful and grateful to all those that have come after him, but honorable thanks go to his fellow Dark-writers, Graying Mantis and J_Undisputed. And "Let's Go Rangers!"
Bio of Graying Mantis
Graying Mantis is in fact a graying legal practitioner by day (and sometimes, alas, by night). In the cobwebs of his memory, he recalls starting to follow the Blueshirts in 1970 and remembers watching pivotal playoff games against the Blackhawks on a snow-covered Hartford t.v. channel in their 1972 march to the Finals. Giacomin, Gilbert, Ratelle, and Hadfield seen skating on a small B&W TV screens always will be among his first Ranger memories. He is grateful beyond words for the opportunity to work with his colleagues here in their never ending battle to inform and entertain. Most of all, he appreciates the chance to engage with fellow hockey fans.
Bio of J_Undisputed
"J_Undisputed is an Information Tech Professional; a student, and on and off in his dreams, Mike Richter. He caught his first glimpse of Rangers Hockey when an overtime preempted his favorite pro wrestling broadcast on WWOR-9 one late saturday night when he was 5 and he's been hooked ever since. He's been watching the Rangers for 30 years despite family attempts to make him an Islander Fan (Rest easy...they're out of the will). What started as a minor annoyance has become a life long passion (and at times, a frustration...But he wouldn't trade it for anything). Lets Go Rangers!"
Bio of General Ganz
General Ganz is a cynical yet well-informed student of the human spirit. He's a professional of sorts, with a post-graduate education, some experience working in real companies, and some limited athletic ability. The total small package. He got picked on a fair bit as a kid, and he experienced his first human-non-relation kiss in his teens. He also grew up on the other side of the tracks, thereby helping to cultivate a healthy contempt for dreamers and optimists whose rosy upbringing gave them something to smile about, even when "life produced lemons." Like it or not, his only mission is to point out the potholes you're lucky enough to miss on your drive to work. To find the blemish on your daughter's carefully-stitched (and not-yet-paid-for) wedding dress. To take that little smidgen of hope that your favorite hockey teams fill you with, and pour orange paint on it. Oh, and he is a Blueshirts fan, and takes most of his fashion direction from Ron Duguay (whose name he dropped as a way to close the deal on that first kiss).
The first major cuts have been made to the team. Some of them could be seen a mile away. Others might seem a little premature. Still others could be seen as borderline. For right now its hard for many of us to complain as we have been screaming YOUTH YOUTH YOUTH for the last couple of seasons... and it could appear that management is listening. At at any rate, it appears Wade will have company in Hartford...
Chad Johnson - I've been pulling for this kid, since I first saw him play. Hes got a great glove hand, but there's no way he'd get enough playing time here anyway. None expected him to outshine Biron for the backup position. That softy let in against the Devils probably didn't help, especially when Torts had no faith in him to begin with. Hang in there "veint y nueve", shine in Hartford.
Dane Byers - Another kid, I've been pulling for to make the team for a while now. Better skills than he usually gets credit for; Stands up for teammates (even though he's not much of a scrapper), and he knows the basics of working around the net. Unfortunately, camp isn't a situation that favors him...Team guys often look lost when everyone's out for themselves and stepping all over each other to impress the coach... The scrap with Clarkson was night the highlight material Torts was looking for. Better to come up later into a more stable dynamic where he knows whats going on, though I will say between the injury bug and cuts like this... its starting to look bleak for Dane.
Evgeny Grachev - Lots of people had high hopes for this kid. Me, I really didn't see what the big deal was about this kid, for the limited time he was in camp. He didn't look that steady on his skates or like he really knew where he fit in. I'll chalk it up to nerves, but color me less than optimistic at this point, based on what I saw so far.
Dale Weise - He seemed to have a lot of energy in the games he played and was kind of all over the place. For as much as much as I saw of him during the game, I hardly remember any of it. He looks like he had an idea of what he wanted to bring to camp, only brought the basics and and tried to oversell.
Mats Zuccarello - For what little I saw of Zuccs, he looked like another young kid with some heart and was trying to play in a way that made everyone forget how small he was. Its the right attitude, but there's a lot of kids that will fill the camps of every team like that in the upcoming years. The best small guys never made anyone forget they were small, but they made everyone see how good they were at using what they had. Like using their size to squeeze through spaces and battle for the puck or go unnoticed around the crease, chip like crazy at rebounds.
Kris Newbury - Not really mind blowing that he got cut. He's an energy guy and not high on the depth chart in terms of skill. I loved watching him pummel Salvador and the fire he showed. Unfortunately, it won't impress Tortorella.
Jeremy Williams - Another no-brainer. I barely even noticed this kid was out there.
Brandon Manning - who? exactly...
Garnet Exelby - Hmm. This is kind of tough. I have to admit that I was never really a fan of Exelby as he always seemed like a bit of a cheap-shotting hick to me... or a better version of Ryan Hollweg. Good for an occasional hard hit, but many times questionable. The reason its difficult is that in the preseason games so far, hes the only Dman that seemed to have a clue about protecting his Goaltender. Ah well I suppose its ok, I mean Jim Ramsey is a really good medical trainer, right? Looking at it for what it was, Exelby was never really brought in as a viable option (it would take him a lot to earn a contract and if he did, he would be asking for more than entry level salary for a kid with that same potential) but more as control subject to up the stakes for the kids playing for a contract or guys paid more than their worth *Cough*Rosival*Cough* but who's salary would raise another red flag if they were waived after Redden.
Alexei Semenov - I don't think he was horrible. Hes a big body and he's fairly agile for a big guy. He's thrown down once or twice to stand up for a teammate last preseason, if I am remember correctly (that already gives him an edge on Girardi-- Yes, I'm still pissed about that) I think Semenov could be a cheaper version of Roszival.
Till the next round of cuts,
P.S. - I know noone's got any sympathy for Redds because of his salary, but I have to say I think it was kind of $hitty to not even let the guy get in a preseason game or two. Ok he probably wasn't going to be any different, but at least spare the guy that bull$hit of "its up to Wade, whether he stays or goes.. and he's going to have to show us something...." I understand that its business, and that either way, he's still collecting a hell of a lot of money from the team... but as an athlete, a family man (congrats to him and his wife).. allow him to compete and give the guy a chance at redemption and dignity. Looking at how quickly some of these guys were cut, how hard would that really have been?
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