Kukla's Korner Hockey
640AM in Toronto reports Sean Avery claimed by the New York Rangers.
added 12:05pm, Bob McKenzie of TSN confirms.
From Damien Cox at The Spin:
Suddenly, it appears that Marty St. Louis, rather than Vinny Lecavalier, may be the Tampa Bay Lightning star that could be on the move.
Multiple teams are calling Lightning GM Brian Lawton about St. Louis’ availability even though the veteran forward has a no-trade clause in his contract. One of the most interested clubs may be the New York Rangers, particularly since St. Louis’ former coach, John Tortorella, is now behind the New York bench.
St. Louis would become the No. 1 forward available before Wednesday’s NHL trade deadline if the Lightning were to ask him to waive his no-trade status. Not only is he still an elite and productive forward, the 33-year-old has Stanley Cup championship experience and will be heading into the final two years of a contract next season that will pay him a very affordable $4 million in salary.
via TSN Ice Chips,
The Stars placed exiled forward Sean Avery on waivers Monday. The team that claims him, likely the Rangers, would split the remainder of his four-year, $15.5 million contract with the Stars. If no team makes a claim, Dallas would likely return him to the minors.
I heard Bob McKenzie on one of the numerous radio shows today and he said the Rangers would have to clear some cap space in order to put Avery on their roster.
Update 3:30pm ET: More at TSN—
The New York Rangers may well have cleared the way to allow Sean Avery to make his return to the Big Apple by assigning forward Mark Bell to the Hartford Wolf Pack of the AHL on Monday.
Avery was placed on waivers by the Dallas Stars’ earlier in the day, with all signs pointing towards the Rangers willing to pick up the controversial forward for his second tour of duty in New York. By sending Bell to the AHL, the team has freed up some space under the salary cap.
From Steve Zipay at Blue Notes in Newsday:
Here’s how Mike Murphy, the league’s senior vice president of hockey operations, responded to my inquiries about the process in waving off/reviewing Brandon Dubinsky’s goal at the 17-second mark at MSG last night. Essentially, the review was made, and the call was correct, but there were communications breakdowns:
“As the on-ice officials were coming together and concluding that Brandon Dubinsky’s stick had made contact with the puck above the height of the cross-bar and that their call on the ice was “no goal”, the play was being looked at both by the Toronto Video Room and by the in arena Video Goal Judge at Madison Square Garden.
It was the opinion of both that the call made by the on-ice officials would stand, as there was inconclusive video evidence to overturn this call.
There were, however, a number of errors made in the video review process as it applied to this play.”
from Jay Greenberg of the NY Post,
New coach John Tortorella says the problem is not lack of offensive talent, but tension created by the four-month slide necessitating a change behind the bench. But if the new coach thinks Chris Drury is tense, wait until the meeting when Glen Sather - who, much to the disappointment of the chanting fans, will not be fired any time soon - explains how tight the Rangers will be this summer against the salary cap.
Meantime, Tortorella sees his responsibility to pat enough backs to get the New York Pitty Pats into the playoffs, quite a task for a coach wrapped so tightly himself he has barred players and media from stepping on the big Ranger logo on the practice locker-room carpet.
In his mind, that might score some intangible points of pride. But the Rangers, hanging on to a playoff spot by one point, need tangible scores as soon as Naslund predicts they are coming.
“It is [a lack of] confidence,” said the winger. “That being said, we now are willing to take chances at the right times.
“We are putting more pressure on teams. It’s just a matter of time until they start going in, and it’s not a matter of weeks.”
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
You see, one of these days Glen Sather will announce that he actually retired in 1992 but hasn’t bothered to inform anyone yet. Then the Rangers may have a chance of going somewhere. The Tortorella signing unusually was clever, even for Sather.
This coming after the Scott Gomez ($8 million US), Chris Drury ($7 million), Wade Redden ($8 million) and Markus Naslund ($5 million) signings were not.
That’s like messing up the cycle of free agency for the still irrelevant Sather. But getting Tortorella, man, this guy’s a pistol and when he’s comfortable enough to be himself, New York will eat him up with a spoon. He will be that delicious. He gives good sound byte. Even if he can’t change that dysfunctional roster which got a little bit stranger yesterday with Sather’s latest bit of sleep-walking, the claiming of Mark Bell on waivers from the Maple Leafs.
The hiring of Tortorella is different from most NHL hirings.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Ask Tom Renney if he has any regrets, as The Post did this afternoon, and the former Rangers’ head coach, says he certainly does.
“I would have pushed harder for Glen [Sather] to give Jags more money so we would could have kept him, and I should have pushed harder at Christmastime for Shanny,” said Renney, alluding of course to Jaromir Jagr and Brendan Shanahan.
from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,
When freshly-hired New York Rangers coach John Tortorella refused to discuss Sean Avery the other day - the same Avery who Tortorella used to roast during his TSN gig - most everyone suspected the awful truth: the Rangers were probably desperate enough to bring Avery back into the fold.
Now comes word from an NHL source that the Rangers are so intent on bringing Avery back they gave Tortorella a condition of employment: you can have the job but you’re almost certain to be coaching Avery before the season is done.
The New York Rangers have claimed Mark Bell from Toronto according to Fan590.
Update 12:30pm ET: From TSN—
Although he has been claimed by the Rangers, he will not be in the lineup tonight when the Blue shirts face the Maple Leafs on TSN.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
“I’m not a four-line guy,” the head coach of the Rangers said yesterday after conducting his first practice. “Your best players need to be your decision-makers.”
And so beginning here tonight against the Maple Leafs, it will be on Scott Gomez and Nik Zherdev, united at yesterday’s practice, to prove to Tortorella that they are horses worth riding, and not stallions. It will be on Chris Drury to prove that he can handle the ice time without diminishing returns, and on young buck Brandon Dubinsky to make a statement on left wing with Drury.
It will be on Wade Redden to provide evidence that he belongs on the power play, the specialty unit that Tortorella himself will handle while assistant coach Jim Schoenfeld takes on the penalty kill assignment.
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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.
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