Sunday, May 3, 2009

Ha det så bra Markus

Brooksie reported - but could not confirm - that Markus Naslund is calling it a career.

As I said when we signed him last summer, Naslund should have retired with the lockout. He truly was a game-breaker who was wonderful to watch back when the Canucks put him out there with Morrison and Bertuzzi but time goes by and the force faded with age. There were moments this season when you could see some evidence of his former superstardom but they were few and far between. Nazzy looked completely lost and a step behind come playoff time, which was when he was needed most. Perhaps he will completely step away from the game or will have a farewell tour in Sweden with Modo ... either way, his time in New York is through.

Inferno at Rangers Review sees this as the first domino to fall in a massive restructuring. While I am not so sure that is possible, I agree with another point that he made in that the money saved will help re-sign some of the team's free agents. Seeing as they made up most of the top performers - Callahan, Dubinsky, Betts, Sjostrom and Antropov - any little bit will help.

As for who will replace Naslund on the roster, I think that it is the perfect chance to promote from within - not only is it cheaper but this team needs to get away from the mercenary mentality and actually build a winner.

The pieces are there and Dane Byers might be the man to step up. Byers, who was hurt most of the season in Hartford, had seven points in nine games before his injury and returned for the playoffs where he had four points (three goals and an assist) in the six postseason games. He is a big, strong winger who could look fantastic across from Ryan Callahan - giving the Blueshirts a more talented, but just as relentless version of the Ben Eager/Adam Burish combination who looked so good for Chicago last night in Game 2 of their series against Vancouver.

Speaking of such, I am watching most every playoff game (gotta get my fix somehow!) and have decided to just root for a Original Six final. Of the eight teams still playing, there is no way I could ever pledge my allegiance to Cindy so the Pens are out. It would be nice to see the team that beat the Rangers go all the way, giving a little vindication, but Tom Poti keeps me from jumping on the Cap bandwagon. Ray Whitney is a personal fav but not seeing Pucky anywhere on their jerseys keeps me away from the Canes. The Ducks, well, are the Ducks: even though the Mighty is gone, they are still a product of the evil empire that is Disney. As for the Canucks, I'm sorry but those twins are creepy - astoundingly good, but creepy. That leaves Boston, Detroit and Chicago and you just can't go wrong there. Keep your silly baseball rivalry out of the hockey equation and root for former Ranger Marc Savard. I will go on the record and say that I feel that Nick Lidstrom is one of the top five defensemen of all time and it is easy to Commit To The Indian when they are so exciting to watch.

So what about you guys? Who are you throwing your support behind?

Oh, and one last thing - as you can see programming here at the blog has slowed but I can promise that it won't go away. There is always stuff to talk about, but it is nice to be able to catch up a little on life away from the rink. I am sure that Ranger season subscription packages (with their inevitable price increases) are coming, as is the Stanley Cup and the ensuing offseason. So stay tuned!

10 comments:

Ryan McFadden - The Manic Ranger said...

I'd like to see the 'Hawks. But as long as Crosby and the Pens don't win I'll be content.

Pete said...

My personal choice for the finals is Bruins/Blackhawks, and I am definitely a Savard fan.

Schram said...

Gonna have to agree with you, original six.

Chicago vs. Bruins

I can't root for Cindy, Ovi, nor a another Detroit cup...ugh I'm sick of them already

Duniyadnd said...

I'll go for the Caps, as much as I hate to say it out loud, just because Ovi is a hard working, hockey God in the making and it can do nothing but to help promote the sport to outsiders.

selfish crab said...

Hawks. Almost entirely by elimination of the other teams. It's hard to stomach rooting for yet another successful Boston team. Can't root for another southeast division cup winner. Anti-Pen sentiment needs no justification. Red wings and Ducks have already won it--boring. Nucks vs Hawks, well I think the original six idea plays.

What's amazing about the 'Hawks is their total lack of nerves. They don't give a shit about who the other team is, who the other goalie is, what the score on the scoreboard is. Can you think of another team that goes into a third period, down 3-0, and thinks to itself, I want to score 3 goals against roberto luongo, la di da, and then proceeds to do so? They had one of the best records against last year's Red Wings cuz they didn't care they were the red wings and just played their game.

Chris said...

Im behind Boston, but thats only because I live up here. A mere 15min drive from the garden (notice, lowercase 'g'... 'G' is reserved for THE Garden

rib said...

Blackhawks as they have sucked for SO LONG. That and it's good to show that management is the problem sometimes and when good management is in place, good things happen to teams. That and lots of high draft picks...

Michael Bérubé said...

Can you think of another team that goes into a third period, down 3-0, and thinks to itself, I want to score 3 goals against roberto luongo, la di da, and then proceeds to do so?Or another team that thinks, "hey, down 4-1 to Mikka Kiprusoff, no problem," or that thinks, "down 2-0 to Luongo? c'mon guys, let's score five on him in fifteen minutes!" They've made believers of me -- the Hawks are definitely the most exciting team in the postseason. Now if they can just stop digging themselves these two- and three-goal holes. (And why Cam Barker was jumping up on a 4-on-2 with 1:30 to play in game one, I don't know. Somebody told him the Hawks were down by one? Anyway, that's how the Canucks got that fatal 3-on-1 the other way.)

Go Hawks-Bruins. The last Original Six final? Thirty long years ago, Bowman's Canadiens and Shero's Rangers.

Sammael said...

the Hawks baby! They have so much great talent now, they are def a formidable team. Nice to see they finally have a goalie that can stop some pucks to give them a chance!

Daniel said...

naslund leaving is not going to hurt the rangers, but help, more cap space and that means we can resign or step up. as for the finals? who i think it will be? wings and bruins, who i want it to be? hawks and bruins