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Sunday - January 10th

While the Rangers are monitoring the Pierre-Luc Dubois situation in Columbus, the cost for acquiring him would be high says Larry Brooks in theNew York Post.

He suggests it'll take someone like Kaapo Kakko, Alexis Lafreniere or K'Andre Miller...plus.

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Kevin Rooney 1/16
Left ice in 3rd period on opening night and is day to day after a heavy collision with Isles Johnston
 
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Question Of The Day

September 29th, 2017

How many rostered players were on the ice for opening night 2016-17

Answer...
  BIRTHDAYS

Lou Fontinato - 1932
Maxim Kondratiev - 1983

  SEARCH BIRTHDAYS
  RANDOM RANGER

MELVILLE VAIL
(1928-1930)
  Born: Jul 5 - 1906  
  Pos: D/LW  
  GP: 50  
  G: 4  
  A: 1  
  Pts: 5  
  PIMs: 26  
 

Avery's Injury Presents Opportunity
Posted by Mark Owens ≡ - October 11, 2007

by Mark Owens

On the surface, losing a sparkplug like Sean Avery for 4 weeks appears to be bad news for the Rangers. Replacing Avery�s grit, tenacity and agitating skills will be next to impossible � there just aren�t that many players like him in the league. The Rangers already missed him in the remaining 53 minutes of Saturday night�s 2-0 loss to Ottawa.

However, the injury creates opportunities for several players to define their roles.

Including:

1) Marcel Hossa: to crack the lineup for what might be his final audition;
2) Martin Straka: to jump-start the second line;
3) Brandon Dubinsky: to prove he can play at the NHL level; and
4) Nigel Dawes: if promoted, to claim the roster spot he probably earned in preseason.

Renney is giving Hossa a chance to rekindle last season�s chemistry with Jagr (or was it Nylander?) and claim a spot in the everyday lineup. If he fails to impress, they need to drop him from the lineup and promote Dawes, especially if Martin Straka doesn�t click with Scott Gomez and Brendan Shanahan. Dawes displayed great chemistry with them in the last two preseason games, picking up one goal and four assists.

If Avery didn�t get hurt, Dubinsky might have been a few games (or shifts) away from healthy scratch or Hartford shuttle. Renney has already lessened Dubinsky�s role, dropping him to the fourth line for parts of the first two games, replaced by Blair Betts.

I understand Renney�s desire to �protect� Dubinsky and the team in key situations, but Betts is not a third-line player and Dubinsky needs quality ice time (with quality linemates) to showcase his talent.

Renney tried using Betts as center for both the second and third lines last year and it just didn�t work due to his lack of play-making ability. Betts is a very valuable role player and is ideally suited for fourth-line duty, with more ice time late in games when protecting a lead.

If Dubinsky isn�t going to receive quality ice time with the Rangers, they should send him to Hartford to play full time and promote Dawes to take Avery�s spot on line two. That would enable Straka to center a Smurf-ish line three with Petr Prucha and Ryan Callahan until Avery returns.

The Rangers need to get a long look at Dawes and Dubinsky to measure their value for the stretch run, and to determine where they fit in the team�s long-range plans, especially with the prospect of losing Avery, Straka and Shanahan to free agency or retirement after this season. If Renney decides he cannot count on them this year that will determine what moves, if any, Glen Sather makes before the trade deadline.

The Rangers will need Ryan Hollweg to be more of a factor over the next month with his physical play and ability to get under opponents� skin. If he cannot play a smart, physical game without hurting the team with poor positioning and stupid penalties, Renney should consider promoting Dane Byers, who has a nice combination of size and skill. Byers may actually help the struggling power play by stationing himself in front of the net to screen the goalie, pick up a rebound, or at least occupy a defender (Paul Mara�s shot from the point may also help the power play).

Come playoff time, when the stakes are higher and fighting all but disappears, there is a very good chance that skilled players such as Hossa, Dawes and Byers replace Hollweg and Colton Orr in the lineup. The ability to roll four skilled, dependable lines against the likes of Ottawa, New Jersey and Buffalo in a tight playoff contest is when the Rangers� depth and player development will really pay off.

What happens when Avery returns from injury? Hopefully by early November the top two lines (and all four lines) are clicking on all cylinders and Avery returns to the lineup as the third-line left wing, or center if Renney decides Dubinsky should return to Hartford. This is not a knock on Avery, just a sign of the Rangers� terrific talent and depth.

Either way, the team will receive an energy boost when Avery returns, much like when he arrived last February.


Profile of the Author:
A Rangers fan since 1979, Mark has attended more than 200 games at MSG, including the 1994 playoffs and Game 7 when Messier, Leetch and Richter led the Rangers to the Cup.

 Additional stories from Mark Owens:


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