You know there is a huge reason why I have been not bothering to stick around during the day and see what the Rangers are doing this week. Actually over at Dubi's Blueshirt Bulletin I have seen at least 549 reasons (not counting all the posts that Dubi has had to delete) as to why it simply is not worth wasting the day hanging by the computer.
The first and biggest reason is as Dubi so wonderfully put it: "It never ceases to amaze me how Ranger fans undervalue their own players and overvalue others." Reason number 2 on my own hit parade is "It never ceases to amaze me how Ranger fans overvalue their own players and undervalue others."
And before anyone says otherwise I am not poking fun or disrespecting Dubi here but rather showing the kind of stuff that a Dubi Silverstein or I put up with on a daily basis. This time of the year royally stinks because all one has to do is look just at the Blueshirt Bulletin website and you get a picture of the Ranger fan mindset these days.
Ranger fans want to argue over what moves were right or wrong and yes that is their right but far too many base their opinions on next to no information at all. YouTube Videos I can promise are not the best of scouting tools out there.
Watching a player in a game here or a game there is not going to draw you an accurate picture about players on other teams. You need to see that player as often as possible which unless you are a crazy who does nothing but watch hockey is almost impossible to do.
Yes the Rangers have made some moves, some of them good, some of them I am the first to acknowledge are totally suspect but at the same time I can defend my own reasoning by asking those who know these players better than myself (which is why this week everything here is all me since I am doing nothing but opinion stuff it seems).
As a Ranger fan not a writer I believe the Rangers for the most part have improved the team. I will say today's trade smells of Edmonton Oiler's Old Cronies Club because of who the trading partner was.
You mean you did not know that Columbus GM Scott Howsom was a former Edmonton Oiler assistant General Manager? Ah shucks that was not a factor at all nope not a chance.
The Rangers pick up a very talented but underachieving Nikolai Zherdev along with maybe a tad overrated Dan Fritsche from Columbus for Fedor Tyutin and Christian Backman in what nobody seems willing to call it for what it really is: Give me your problems and I will send you mine.
Zherdev is a prime example of how not to develop an extremely talented prospect as while you are seeing a ton of negative about him what you are not seeing is where the blame for many of his problems belongs. See while people are saying Zherdev is a problem there is just one tiny detail missing here: Uh BJs did you guys forcefeed him to the NHL when you snuck him into your lineup in the 2003-04 season?
Why of course the BJs will tell you that they did nothing wrong just like the Rangers did a wonderful job with Manny Malholtra, Jamie Lundmark and so many young players. Truth be told one has to wonder if the Bluejackets took the time to wean Zherdev into his role as an NHL player then where would he be today?
Oh no let us rush an 18 year old kid into the NHL lineup when he barely speaks a word of English, let us try to have him adjust to the different styles of play with different rules and different ice sizes. Did anyone mention that the Bluejackets went to court in order to be able to keep Zherdev from being forced to play in Russia (honoring his contract) .
Zherdev is very talented yes, he has developed some questionable work habits yes, his play at times can be maddening frustrating yes and his defense at times does not exist. At the same time Zherdev is a product of the Russian mindset at the time that produced Russian goal scorers who only knew how to cherry pick at the blueline.
Maybe Tom Renney can actually reach Zherdev with the help of others on the Ranger staff who speak Russian and understand where Zherdev is coming from. While the Columbus Bluejacket fans are truly loyal and supportive fans, it is very hard for a Russian to feel comfortable where he has very little in common with the community.
The Russians in the New York City area will give Zherdev a place to feel at home whether it is his language, his culture and even a chance to enjoy interests that Zherdev enjoys away from the ice. Do not discount having others like Anisimov who is close to Zherdev's age with the Rangers and the impact it will have.
We think if done right the Rangers may have gotten a bargain.
The other half of the deal Dan Fritsche is a player who I wonder if the Rangers got him just to allow him to walk to create more space under the salary cap. Fritsche is a nice guy but he has struggled to find a real role with the Bluejackets.
The first local kid from Ohio to make the Bluejackets, Fritsche has 22 goals in his last 130 games but where he really would fit in with the Rangers is the question to be asked. As a restricted free agent one is left scratching his head as Fritsche is not a huge offensive scorer, he is not a fighter and his defense is not going to be any better than what the Rangers just signed.
The only thing I can think is that Fritsche was added to the deal to create cap room for the Bluejackets and soon the Rangers. I just can not see a spot for him on the Rangers.
What the Rangers gave up is kind of easy to explain away as over that the Blueshirt Bulletin I brought up that Tyutin was expendable as a Ranger at the trading deadline. Girardi passed him by and with Staal, Sagnuinetti and Sauer in the system the best value that Tyutin had was in a trade.
Tyutin's problems as a player I have always said was not his but the Rangers as they never defined what they wanted out of Tyutin as a player. Tyutin had offensive skills but the Rangers did not help him develop those skills.
Tyutin was always used as the defensive half of the pairings and his chances on the offensive side just did not materialize. We do not think this trade will help Tyutin's potential either but we will wish him well.
The only thing I can say about Christian Backman without getting in trouble is seeya please let the door hit you on the way out.
Avery to the Stars
You know I am not a fan of Sean Avery, I opposed his trade from the Kings because I thought Avery was about Avery first and second. To see the spin from the Rangers about why they did not want to resign him though is a crock in my book.
If you want to say to me that Avery for 15.5 over 4 years was the reason why you did not want to sign him then fine I can agree with the decision. What I will not believe nor will I agree that Avery was not interested in playing hockey but his outside interests.
I know from my own sources that the Stars were not alone in wanting Avery as 4 other NHL teams were serious about signing him. Want to know which team I heard was not serious about bringing him back?
Of course the Rangers and yesterday it was seeing stories that Avery was about only himself, that his disappearing act in the playoffs second round, and even more were why the Rangers did not sign him.
To see stuff about how Avery was a problem now in the locker room makes me say stop. Avery was a distraction? So does that mean the Rangers do not want Jagr back because his contract status was an even bigger distraction than anything Avery was doing.
That I of all people am defending Sean Avery should say something; I defend Avery not because I like him but because to see how the whispers trashing him have shown up is so very wrong.
If anything that Avery choose to play for the Dallas Stars in my book says something about Avery's desire to put hockey first. Dallas is the last place for a career in the fashion industry.
Now before one goes back out on the river the belief here is that the stage is now set for the Rangers to watch Jagr sign elsewhere. Sorry after what I have seen with how Avery has been handled I truly question just how badly the Rangers want Jagr to return.
No Jagr and the Rangers better make a real move for a true leader and replacement for Jagr.
I can not wait for this week to end so I can bring back the prospect news as this nonsense is drowning the kids out
8 hours ago