Tuesday, December 15, 2009


How sad is it that the next 2 game for the New York Rangers are now more about avoiding falling into last place in the Atlantic Division than it is about facing the Islanders?

How much worse is it for Ranger fans to look at the NHL standings and see the Phoenix Coyotes having a record that is 9 points better than the Rangers? How is it that a team that has no ownership and no money to spend is doing better than the Rangers?

Of course we can argue that while the Rangers have the money, they do not have an ownership either thanks to whatever you wish to call what the Dolan family has done to Madison Square Garden.

There are times when you look at the Ranger roster and wonder if Glen Sather set John Tortorella up to fail as it is very hard to picture that some of the players added during the off-season were Tortorella's kind of players.

Ales Kotalik came to the Rangers with the rep of being a one way player who does not always show up wanting to play. Tortorella by now knows this because if not for his record on shootouts; one has to believe that Kotalik would be in the press box keeping Aaron Voros company.

Kotalik is an older version of Nicky Zherdev and yet the Rangers still signed him which leaves you scratching your head. The excuse was to get Drury going and as we can see that has not happened.

Enver Lisin has had the excuse of a fractured foot going for him but now that the excuse is gone you are seeing him basically as a 4th liner. When the trade for Lisin was first made the excuse was that the Rangers were afraid they that they were going to lose Lauri Korpikoski for nothing.

Well Lisin has been playing like they got nothing for Korpikoski and one has to wonder if the only reason he remains on the Ranger roster is because the Rangers fear that Lisin will not report if demoted.

Aaron Voros is back where he spent most of last season which is in the press box. Donald Brashear is not making us want to cheer him as he has been either hurt or the honest call is watching his fighting skills disappear.

In the meantime Colton Orr has just as many or more game winning goals (1) than all but 2 players on the Ranger roster. How really sad is that to see and what an indictment of the current team this really is.

The players that Tortorella has been clearly identified with having a hand in bringing in have been Marian Gaborik and Vinnie Prospal. Imagine what the Ranger season would be like if neither were on the Rangers?

Here the Rangers are in 2009 and they still lack the very same things they lacked when Glen Sather was first hired in 2000; there is no first line center and there is no shutdown defensive stopper. 10 years of Sather and neither need has been addressed.

The easy thing to say would be to call for Glen Sather's firing but unless someone can figure out a way to convince James Dolan to do that it will not happen. That the Rangers are one of the few teams in the NHL that do not have a person with a hockey background to oversee the efforts of Glen Sather is why this endless cycle of pretending to be a playoff team will not end.

In the end the only thing that will force a shakeup (and even this is a longshot given the Dolans) is for the Rangers to wind up at the bottom of the NHL for a couple of years. With the dead weights known as the Redden, Drury and Rozsival contracts tying up the Rangers then the best hope is for the franchise to keep sinking.

If the Rangers have no money to spend then maybe the light will go off in the Dolans and they (we pray) will see what a mistake that Glen Sather has become to them. That they have wasted almost as much money paying off lawsuits as they have paid in bad Ranger contracts.

And yes we are going out to purchase a lottery ticket knowing we have a better chance of winning that then the Dolan's seeing the light.


Hockey Canada has been holding their camp to see who they will take to the World Under-20 Championships and not one Ranger prospect is attending the camp. The Rangers have not had a prospect on Team Canada since Marc Staal was on the 2007 team.

It is a combination of things that has led to this drought of Ranger prospects, a couple of deserving prospects were not given invites like Michael Del Zotto and Ethan Werek. The other is that in all honesty those 2 were the only ones deserving of being invited to tryout.

Team USA's camp will open on Thursday with 3 Ranger draft picks and one Traverse City invitee trying to make the team. Derek Stepan (2008 2nd), Chris Kreider (2009 1st) and Ryan Bourque (2009 3rd) are the draft picks with Luke Walker the TC invitee.

With 16 forwards invited to the camp and 13 expected to be named then unless someone gets injured at the very least we expect the Ranger draft picks to make the team. Luke Walker was a long shot to begin with but his recent injury to his mouth area is going to make his efforts a true long shot.


One game to report and that was Tomas Kundratek's Medicine Hat Tigers traveling to Kootenay to play the Ice and losing 6-4. Kundratek had a secondary assist on the Tiger's 4th goal but it was a meaningless goal given how it was scored with just 32 seconds to go in the game.

It was Kundratek's 20th assist of the season and 21st point.


Finally for those who are not aware former Ranger captain Kelly Kisio runs the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL; they are a first class franchise who's fans are just as classy as the team they support.

Brad Curle who is the team's media relation's person sent us an email to let us know that the Hitmen and their fans stepped up this past weekend to help those in need.

The Calgary Hitmen are pleased to announce the final numbers from Saturday’s 2nd Annual Shake Up The ‘Dome.

Fans were asked to bring a non-perishable food item to the game for the Calgary Inter-Faith Food Bank. In addition 12,000 boxes of Kraft Dinner were donated by Kraft as noisemakers with fans encouraged to donate their box back at the end of the game.

“We would like to thank our Hitmen fans for supporting this tremendous cause,” says Hitmen Director of Business Operations Mike Moore. “A total of 9,810 pounds of food was collected with an additional $1,110 for the Calgary Inter-Faith Food Bank.”

The food bank results follow on the heels of another major Hitmen charity event. Sunday’s 15th annual Petro-Canada Teddy Bear Toss saw 16,755 teddy bears tossed on the ice when the Hitmen scored their first goal. Many of those stuffed toys have already been given to over 50 local charities.

“This has been a down year, so these bears will help,” said Scott Evans, who is the warehouse general manager for NeighbourLink Calgary, an organization that provide hundreds of impoverished families with a network of care when and where they need it most. “It’ll put some Christmas cheer on kids’ faces for sure.

And the Hitmen are not done, the jersey's worn in the Teddy Bear game will be sold to help raise even more money for Food Bank.

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