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SLY WILLIAMS
08-08-2010, 11:06 AM
No Rangers' plan for better Redden


Opening with a question to which I am certain the Rangers have no answer: What if Wade Redden is one of the team's two or three best defensemen in training camp?

There's no doubt the plan calls for Redden to be waived at some point during camp so his $6.5 million albatross of a cap hit can be removed from the ledger when the season commences, no doubt whatsoever.

The construction of the roster, including the recent signing of Alexander Frolov and trade for Todd White, indicates GM Glen Sather expects to have Redden's space available, and so does pretty much everything the organization is communicating this summer to anyone in the industry who will listen.

But what if Marc Staal remains unsigned through camp, certainly a possibility given the utter lack of progress in the talks with the unsigned Group II free agent who may not be as antsy to get in as Brandon Dubinsky was last year?

What if Steve Eminger, too expensive at $1.125 million to be a seventh, is no stiffer than he was for Anaheim last season when he was a healthy scratch 18 times for a team that didn't make the playoffs?

What if John Tortorella is no more impressed by Matt Gilroy's work in his own end than he was last year, when the coach sat the rookie the final eight games of the year in favor of Anders Eriksson?

And what if Redden, who knows his NHL career is on the line here, who knows that if he is waived through the league in September he will never get back, what if Redden plays assertive, sharp hockey beginning with the first scrimmage and maintains his level? What if Redden outplays just about every defenseman in camp?

Then the Rangers will be in a state of severe stress. Then, incorporating that $6.5 million onto the season cap would mean that Sather would have to slash the roster in order to leave enough space to match on Staal, who at that point would become a very inviting target for an offer sheet.

Rest assured there isn't a single Rangers' ghost roster that includes Redden, who has been a ghost his two seasons in New York. But what if this 33-year-old, 13-year NHL veteran, who was told at his exit meetings that he would have to earn his spot on Broadway or face exile to the minors, has dedicated this summer to training for a last stand?

What if Staal isn't there? What if Eminger is no better than he was last year (and why would he be)? What if Tortorella doesn't believe in Gilroy?

What if -- don't laugh -- Redden plays well?

What then?

Esa Tikkanen, all but done at 33, had enough left to excel on a 1998 training camp invite and thus earn one final NHL contract and a spot on the Rangers, before going 0-3 with a minus-5 in 32 games.

Which is to say you should expect the 35-year-old White, yet another middling veteran coming off a bad season who somehow winds up on the Rangers when the team is allegedly getting younger, to play well enough in training camp to make the team and preserve his NHL career, at least for a few months.

The trickle-down effect of both the Frolov signing and White acquisition is this: if Tortorella doesn't have Vinny Prospal in the middle, if Tortorella has Prospal on left wing, then the coach is going into camp consciously cutting Sean Avery out of the picture.

Yes, it's true, Avery needs to earn his time. But it's equally true that Avery needs to be given the opportunity to earn his time and a meaningful role. If he can't do it, if he's not up to it, if he can't be the consistent force he was the first time around and that he was the two weeks before he went down with a knee last season, then it's on Avery.

But if Frolov, Prospal and Dubinsky are slotted as the team's top three left wings going into camp; if Erik Christensen, Artem Anisimov and White are slotted as the top three pivots; if Marian Gaborik, Ryan Callahan and Chris Drury are slotted as the top three right wings; and if Avery is sharing fourth-line time with Derek Boogaard, the fix will be in.

And then it will be on Tortorella.

So this Mats Zuccarello-Aasen, do you think he'll be as happy making the jump from Europe to be blocked out of New York and into Hartford where he can count on his $67,500 minor-league salary, as say, Ilkka Heikkinen?

Rangers had been interested in Shaone Morrisonn before the stay-at-home, mean-edged defenseman signed with Buffalo for a two-year deal worth $2.075 million per, but didn't have the space to pull it off.

There would have been no opportunity for Aaron Voros to force his way onto the roster, so the Rangers did the winger a favor by dealing him to Anaheim. But if taking back Eminger effectively closed off the opportunity to sign Morrisonn, then the trade did no favors for the Rangers.http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/rangers/no_rangers_plan_for_better_redden_AAYW0XtKLjxTqn3H C5YOEK

SLY WILLIAMS
08-08-2010, 11:30 AM
How can Larry always turn something he and others would say is a positive in to a negative?

Redfish
08-08-2010, 11:58 AM
At 33, and two seasons with the club, Ranger brass has seen enough of Redden to conclude he will never surpass Girardi, Roszival, and Del Zotto on the depth chart, so this article is largely "pie in the sky" fear reporting to drum up reader interest. Plus, one way or another, Staal will be at camp prior to its end. His only other choice is to choose a path which keeps him off the team and ice through December; a very unlikely proposition, in my view.

McDonagh, at 80% of Redden's performance level today, is a better investment given his developmental upside, than letting Redden take a spot from him --- and, here, again, I think Ranger brass has already formed ideas about whether a spot for McDonagh over Redden makes sense for the team. I suppose that leaves a potential 6th or 7th d-spot for Redden but, capwise, the Rangers had to opt for more offense (Frolov) than keep open a spot for Redden. Eminger will be given every shot to play the 6th d-an role; I'm just not sure where Gilroy fits in.

The more salient point, in my view, relates to Avery. He was never a favorite of Tortorella even before he took over from Renney; and the signings of Prust and MZA or, as Brooks' opined, more 3rd line ice time for Drury, simply squeezes Avery out of the picture. This is his year to either put up, or shut up --- I hope he is given ample time to perform consistently this year, he is a clear attribute to the team, I think. But Prust seems to have quickly gained favor with Tortorella without the volatility Avery brings, and more ice time for the captain would replace any lost production. Not to mention the Rangers signed MZA at a contract price implying he is expected to make the club.

It will be nice to move on from this Redden contract problem; the course of this next year will also likely see resolution of Roszival's and Drury's contract as well, afterwhich the team should be positioned to bring in much greater production than what these individuals are producing.

Itsev0lutionbab
08-08-2010, 12:28 PM
I think it's time for the environment to change over at MSG, but it probably won't for years. It is time for Dolan to hold people accountable for their mistakes within the organizations including himself. We all know that the Redden signing was atrocious, and now we have a way to fix the whole situation by burying him in the minors. I get sick and tired of seeing him stroll onto the ice thinking he is entitled with his big contact and never seems to make a play, just taking up space. I can live with the mistakes from the young guys because it is evident that they are going to play a big role in this franchises turnaround, and why not send them out there and get the experience.

Sandman
08-08-2010, 08:23 PM
How can Larry always turn something he and others would say is a positive in to a negative?

this doesnt even sound like he spun anything, it seems just plain made up.

all he needed to say was "what if redden's not washed up", and took an entire page to describe the planets that would have to align for him to come back.

and instead of saying "what if redden comes back in good shape" or "maybe the rangers can get something out of redden", he blasts the organization for not having a plan if this is a case.

In fact, he detailed all the other PLANS THEY HAVE and went over how badly each plan would have to flop and fall through for Redden to get his shot.

this is bullcrap journalism.

call wade and ask him what his workout regimen has been this off-season, ask him what his diet is. hell, make up something about his dog dying last season. his article is grounded in nothing.

runnermjr1296
08-08-2010, 11:31 PM
What if?
1. Pigs fly
2.Ranger fans start to embrace dennis potvin

dashripdot
08-09-2010, 08:24 AM
If "ifs" and "buts" were candy and nuts, we'd all have a Merry Christmas.

-- Don Meredith

Bleeds MSG
08-09-2010, 11:25 AM
This article = another reason I don't respect Larry Brooks.

Without the entertaining Jagr in the locker room to deal with LB he is basically useless and sometimes downright harmful to the organization. How can you have what amounts to a "scorned lover" covering the team on a daily basis and writing this crap when he is in that locker room every day with those guys?

commonsense12
08-09-2010, 11:58 AM
Who cares about training camp the guy has been useless for 2 yrs....pass. Down to the minors you go.

bsi
08-09-2010, 01:48 PM
I hate to say it, but fellas I really don't see that we're rid of Redden yet. I have a feeling there's a trade with Drury involved coming, I don't have any rumors of it or anything just a feeling that when we got Todd White that may have filled Drury's role here and that might be where our salary dump comes from. That's just my guess, no proof or even a rumor behind it, just a feeling.

apdamico
08-09-2010, 02:28 PM
So this Mats Zuccarello-Aasen, do you think he'll be as happy making the jump from Europe to be blocked out of New York and into Hartford where he can count on his $67,500 minor-league salary, as say, Ilkka Heikkinen?


The above statement may not be that far-fetched!

commonsense12
08-09-2010, 04:03 PM
I hate to say it, but fellas I really don't see that we're rid of Redden yet. I have a feeling there's a trade with Drury involved coming, I don't have any rumors of it or anything just a feeling that when we got Todd White that may have filled Drury's role here and that might be where our salary dump comes from. That's just my guess, no proof or even a rumor behind it, just a feeling.

I have either thought this or Rozy is gone. I would be surprised if Sather admits he was wrong and puts Redden in the minors.

I also think training camp dictates if MZA, MCD, White, Grachev, Gilroy and Boyle make the team.

I think Stephan and Kreider have at least another year till they make the team.

Redfish
08-09-2010, 04:50 PM
I hate to say it, but fellas I really don't see that we're rid of Redden yet. I have a feeling there's a trade with Drury involved coming, I don't have any rumors of it or anything just a feeling that when we got Todd White that may have filled Drury's role here and that might be where our salary dump comes from. That's just my guess, no proof or even a rumor behind it, just a feeling.

BSI, it did strike me as well that the additions of Eminger and White paved a path for Redden and Drury, respectively, to ultimately leave the club. It is unlikely to be effected before this season begins, though, because there are questions about the performance level for new players. Yet I do think it starts with a pre-season waiver and demotion of Redden, as I believe the Rangers are willing to take their chances with McDonagh and Eminger, for starters. In essence, the Rangers are going with McDonagh, Eminger and Frolov, in exchange for waiving/demoting Redden. That's a material improvement over last year as there were simply way too many games whereby Hank could not give up more than one goal in order for the team to have a shot at two points.

If White proves to be over last year's injuries and performs as a healthy Todd White normally projects, then I would expect the Rangers to work aggressively over this next year (but most likely next offseason) to evaluate opportunities to move Drury, even though he would need to approve any move the club would considers.

bsi
08-09-2010, 07:20 PM
BSI, it did strike me as well that the additions of Eminger and White paved a path for Redden and Drury, respectively, to ultimately leave the club. It is unlikely to be effected before this season begins, though, because there are questions about the performance level for new players. Yet I do think it starts with a pre-season waiver and demotion of Redden, as I believe the Rangers are willing to take their chances with McDonagh and Eminger, for starters. In essence, the Rangers are going with McDonagh, Eminger and Frolov, in exchange for waiving/demoting Redden. That's a material improvement over last year as there were simply way too many games whereby Hank could not give up more than one goal in order for the team to have a shot at two points.

If White proves to be over last year's injuries and performs as a healthy Todd White normally projects, then I would expect the Rangers to work aggressively over this next year (but most likely next offseason) to evaluate opportunities to move Drury, even though he would need to approve any move the club would considers.

I just don't think Sather is gonna send Wade Redden to the minors for the entire year. I think he got rid of Brashear so he wouldn't have to do it again to him this year, I just don't think he wants the reputation of a GM that signs you and then buries you, even if it was Wade Redden who in fact buried himself. That's just my opinion, I don't like it, but it's just the way I think this is gonna play out, otherwise (no offense to Eminger), he would have gotten involved with Sutton, Wizniewski(spelling), or any of the other better free agent defensemen that were available IMO.