Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Larry Brooks at the New York Post:
The Rangers have conducted thorough internal discussions regarding the feasibility of bringing Sean Avery back to Broadway and appear to be on the verge of allowing Dallas to send Hockey’s Public Enemy No. 1 to Hartford in what would be the first step of the process, The Post has learned.
The organizational meetings included management personnel, coaches and players. They yielded a consensus that Avery’s return to the Rangers New York Rangers is very much worth pursuing and that his injection into the lineup this season would be a constructive move.
Update 10:14am ET: From Steve Zipay at Blue Notes:
Should the Rangers reacquire Avery—-who hasn’t played since Nov. 30 after being suspended for an inappropriate televised remark about former girlfriends and would first have to pass through waivers twice—-it could pretty much detour any other significant deals before the trade deadline.
I think the Rangers could be kicking the tires—-team execs speak a lot—-but I can’t believe this is anything but a long shot for this season, especially after Avery’s remarks about some current Rangers as a Star.
Update 11:36am ET: An overview of all the speculation and issues from Stu Hackel at the NYT Slapshot blog.
Update 12:19pm ET: Deadspin today is looking forward to Avery return, and speculates on his recent behavioral therapy—
The details of his treatment haven’t been specified, but I imagine it’s Avery being shuffled around from doctor to doctor trying to explain that there’s actually nothing wrong with him, and the NHL is just antiquated and boring. Then they show him a picture of a black splotch on a white piece of paper, give him some Prozac, and then pump him full of positive reinforcement before he goes off shopping for chinchilla-lined pea coats.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
The team is tight. Confidence is seeping out of the room in the manner of a balloon slowly leaking air. Frustration is mounting.
What’s more, there is a sense of widespread belief within the room that the team’s creativity is being stifled by a system whose tenants are becoming more conservative than Sean Hannity. The Rangers appear to be consumed with not making mistakes rather than attempting to force the opposition into making mistakes of its own. They seem obsessed with limiting scoring chances against, as opposed to generating chances themselves.
They seem, that is, to be following the game plan.
If Renney thought his players were inattentive during the first half hour of practice, the head coach had every right to put his team through the punishing bag skate. The Rangers would be better off, however, if Renney actually exerted his authority during games by enforcing accountability by benching repeat offenders.
from Arthur Staple at Blue Notes,
An old hockey term for a punishing assortment of wind sprints and no-puck drills to punish hockey players for poor performance.
Or, a new term for the Rangers, who went through 35 minutes of brutal sprints and exercises today, when Tom Renney decided his team’s inability to drive to the net and create scoring chances had driven him to his breaking point.
“I had a pretty good practice lined up,” said Renney, who had not dropped such a hammer in any of his three-plus seasons as Rangers coach. “We were planning to do some good things. But maybe we did the best thing we could have done for ourselves today.”
continued and the title of the post is “The Bad Skate”. Hope it is just a typo…
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
“I don’t know what the right words are, but my heart is pounding out of my chest. Can you tell?” Graves said.
Always the consummate teammate, Graves said it was his hope to go off the ice with his former teammates Mike Richter, Mark Messier and Brian Leetch. However, it was Messier who made Graves stay on the ice to absorb the final applause from one of the most adoring and appreciative crowds I have ever seen.
“Mess is Mess,” Graves said. “He gets greater joy out of other people’s success than his own. That’s just the type of guy he is. That’s Mark.”
more and watch the Graves tribute video below…
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
They and we are honor ing a role model at the Garden tonight, honoring a superior Ranger who was and is a greater New Yorker than he was a hockey player, honoring Adam Graves for who he is as an individual, and not merely what he was on the ice.
He embodies all the qualities we wish for our children to inherit; generous, selfless and genuine. He is the friend you’d trust with your life.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
And so here are the Rangers 51 games into the regular season that’s been far more successful than we ever envisioned, that’s for sure. But it all somehow seems so empty, doesn’t it?
Where is the color?
Where is the edge to their game?
Where is the player who can be expected to step up his game in the tournament?
Where is the player with the capability of inspiring his teammates?
Where is the player an opponent is going to have to worry about stopping in a best-of-seven?
via the Pioneer Press,
The Minnesota Wild have acquired forward Dan Fritsche (FRIHT-chee) from the New York Rangers in exchange for defenseman Erik Reitz, Wild general manager Doug Risebrough announced today.
“Dan is a versatile player who can play center or wing, a determined player who makes the game harder on the opposition, and a winning player — he’s won a Memorial Cup and a World Junior Championship for Team USA,” Risebrough said in a statement from the team.
from Mark Hermann of Newsday,
This might be the first time in sports history that a team finishes first and then sneaks up on everybody. Who knew that the top of the standings would be such a good hiding place?
That is the spot the Rangers have been finding themselves in, even if most of the hockey world and the world at large has not quite found them yet. They have been at or near the top of the Atlantic Division standings all season—they are one point behind the Devils right now—but it really doesn’t seem that way.
When hockey observers talk about the elite teams in the NHL, they generally don’t mention the Rangers. To be honest, they are not the type of club that takes your breath away. They are not very flamboyant, witnessed again by a 3-2 win over the Hurricanes at the Garden Tuesday night. Still, they are pretty good.
via Aaron Portzline of Puck-rakers,
New York Rangers winger Dan Fritsche, a former Blue Jackets player and a native of Parma, Ohio, is on NHL waivers, The Dispatch has confirmed.
from Stan Fischler of Game On,
Despite the uncontestable—it’s all there in the arithmetic—the fact that this 2008-09 Blueshirts edition is NOTICEABLY better in points and stands twelve wins over .500, scores of Doubting Thomases—coach Tom Renney excluded—abound.
The Thomases and Nervous Nellies worry about scoring; they fret over the power play and the absence of a MONSTER (Chris Pronger) defenseman. They suffer migraines over Nik Zherdev, wondering if he’ll ever do a reasonable facsimile of Allie Ovechkin.
No problem. Concern is the norm in a playoff race featuring the challenging likes of Washington, Boston, Pittsburgh and New Jersey, to name a few that fail the Pushover Test.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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