Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Cynical Summer Night

It's Monday night, the temperature is way too warm for me so I figured I would go to my happy place and think about hockey. Yay. What better way than to take a pre-Wednesday look at the 2009-10 New York Ranger roster? This is based on what-seems-to-be the certainties that Antropov, Betts, Sjostrom, Orr, Mara and Morris are all gone for good. I will be around for much of Wednesday and will bring my usual commentary, but I must offer a warning - I don't see Sather doing too much. There simply isn't the money or the talent out there worth wasting what cap space there is. That space will be worth so much more come the trade deadline and next season's free agent crop. So, without a big trade or signing, here's the roster as I see it:

Offense
Drury-Gomez-Zherdev
Avery-Dubinsky-Callahan
Byers-Anisimov-Korpikoski
Voros-Boyle-Owens/Ambuhl

Defense
Staal-Girardi
Redden-Rozsival
Gilroy/Potter/Sauer-Heikkinen/Sanguinetti/Del Zotto

Goal
Hank
Valley

Looks grim, huh? I mean, it's nice that a half dozen or so new youngsters will get spots but this team looks like one in transition - maybe by the time the MSG renovations are done in 2012, it will have some firepower and be one helluva a team to watch (the building blocks are there). For now, notsomuch.

I was having a chat with Mr. X of the Blue Seats who laid Tortorella's plan out thusly: "As was his M.O. in Tampa,the extra players have no roles and the high end players will eat every available minute." I happen to agree with him, no matter what Mr. U.S. Assistant Coach claims in the press. If he didn't say the kids would get a look, they wouldn't work hard. If he didn't say they had just as much opportunity as the vets, then us season ticket holders would be outraged and not re-up. When the shined up p.r. drivel loses it's luster, it is almost certain that we will see the desperate coach go back to his old ways and means. That means, with the roster as is, we can look forward to another season where Gomez gets 24+ minutes to circle incessantly before going offsides. Wade Redden eating up power play minutes and giving up shorthanded goals. Hank being ran with no repercussions. Few goals and fewer fans in the seats.

Sather told Newsday that "I thought [Redden] played very well in the playoffs. When we signed all these guys, everybody was excited about them, you guys included." I'm sorry, I don't think I know a single person who was excited about signing Redden. I know plenty of folks who were pumped for Drury and Gomez but, at the same time, I wasn't one of them and I know a good number of others who agreed. But if Sather thinks that Redden and company are worth playing, you can be sure that his coach will play them. Being fired sucks.

Now, all of this could change - Sather could shock the world, blow up the roster, get some big-name bodies that are worth the jersey he puts on them and Tortorella may shock us all and be true to his word. We could see big budget players getting the minuscule minutes they deserve and accountability for folks not named Avery and all of that other heart-warming rhetoric Torts has spewed. But, call me a cynic, but I just have a hard time buying any of it.

12 comments:

Dennis said...

There isn't a way in the world Sather/Torts would move forward with this squad as is. There isn't a single marquee big name player on the team. I think something radical is coming. At the very least we will see one big time player, otherwise this team as is will actually be worse and softer than last year, if that's possible.

j0ehoe said...

Maybe it's just me, but did you feel that Zherdev worked best with Dubinsky last year?? Z's game is really too much like Gomez (he's a playmaker, but with a better shot but no killer sniper instinct).

Avery also seemed to do well on Gomez's wing.

I also wouldn't be surprised to see Boyle get some 3rd line or higher minutes at times, since he'd really be our only big body who can stand in front of the net.

Seeing Voros' name there angers me so much.

Sammael said...

#1 good to see Dubi and Cally on there
#2 why in the hell is Z even allowed back after that BS he pulled in the playoffs last year?!?! After he said the playoffs were too fast for him I lost that last ounce of hope I had for him.
#3 @Dennis - who was our big marquee player last year? Naslund?
#4 I'll admit it.... I was excited about Redden... you can blame me. I had been saying fo three or more years that we needed to get a PP QB and yeah, I thought he would fill that role. I hate myself for that.

I'm feeling sad after reading this article. :(

TheMetalChick said...

Oh its possible, Dennis... things could be much worse than they have been for the Rangers. Trust me, I know how much worse it can be. And the Ranger fans who remember the 90s know, too.

You say there are no big name players, but there are- the best one is your goalie, but the other guys are big names, too- you just arent happy with them. It happens (cough Yashin) but you either suck it up or you buy them out... there is no getting around it because, like it or not, other teams dont want your problems.

And the money you might spend on a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th big name players is all going to other guys on your team. Its not like the Rangers will not spend for biug name players, at least be thankful for that. The thing is, it is impossible for you to pay other big name players while you are paying Redden, Gomez, Drury, and Rozival. IMO Scotty Hockey is spot on... I dont think the Rangers are going to tie up more of their cap space paying FA money (which is inflated) to get a big name on your team... unless its someone willing to take back one of your big five who is NOT named Henrik.

I predict the Rangers will sign a scorer. It will not be a flawless gem and it will come at a price, but I dont think its realistic for Rangers fans to expect much more than that if the rest of their contracts remain. Fans cannot generally expect teams to push it to the cap when the cap is going down the following year.

Anonymous said...

Z will be back because Antropov will be going, going, gone.

Pete said...

It seems like an extremely Sather thing to do, so, I'm going to make a prediction that Sather is going to try to use Gaborik's tendency to be injured to low ball him and get him signed up here for a year or so. I don't know HOW he's going to do it, mind you, but, it just seems like something he'd do. It's my prediction.

Dennis said...

Sammael, the Rangers didn't have a Marquee player last year either (besides Hank) but I think before the season began management thought Drury and Gomez and Naslund were the big names and talent they needed. Now they know they are 2nd, maybe 3rd liners at best and something radical needs to happen. Maybe this team can grind out a 50/50 season through the Spring and hope to do a big move before the playoffs, but I just can't imagine Scotty's roster list being final. I look at it and just want to cry for my future misery.

Hartichoke said...

GOMEZ GONE GOMEZ GONE GOMEZ GONE!!! I DON'T EVEN KNOW OR CARE WHO WE GOT FOR HIM, BUT THATS A WHOLE LOT OF PAYROLL FREED UP RIGHT?

noah said...

GOMEZ WON'T BE PLAYING 24+ MINUTES BECAUSE WE TRADED HIM FOR CHRIS HIGGINS!!!! WHEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

Graying Mantis said...

I like how the Rangers adding youthful depth on defense so they have some bodies to trade and/or develop.

Our Scotty here will be celebrating the departure of Mexicant all night long.

Something is going to happen either tomorrow or Thursday -- Heatley? Cammalleri? A Sedin twin? Should be interesting.

I think this means that at least one of the Russians -- Antropov or Zherdev -- is going.

Anonymous said...

what's annoying is that Gomex will prolly go for 100+ points next year...

Fitz said...

Dubi, Cally and Avery that would be a GREAT line. Only line on the team that would play with heart