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RUMOR MILL

Tuesday - October 25th

Either Josh Jooris (New York Daily News) or Dylan McIlrath are likely to find themselves on waivers when Pavel Buchnevich returns from back spasms.

The team is expected to cut the roster down to 22 players, and as such one of the two will need to be either moved or sent down.

  MORE RUMORS...

Question Of The Day

September 29th, 2017

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

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  BIRTHDAYS

Leroy Goldsworthy - 1906
Kjell Samuelsson - 1958
Doug Lidster - 1960
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  RANDOM RANGER

TOM LAIDLAW
(1980-1987)
  Born: Apr 15 - 1958  
  Pos: Defense  
  GP: 510  
  G: 20  
  A: 99  
  Pts: 119  
  PIMs: 561  
 
Michal Rozsival seems to be the most likely player to be replaced

The Best Defense Is A Good Offense
Posted by Toby Ivey ≡ 10:13:40 PM - July 8, 2009

One of the issues last season was undoubtedly the Rangers' power play. Ranked second last in the league during the regular season, they not only managed a pitiful 13.9 percent - Detroit lead the league at 25.5 percent - but they also gave up the second most shorthanded goals of any team, an embarrassing 14 against.

Chris Drury lead the Rangers with 10 power play goals last season, good enough for just 39th in the league and Markus Naslund's 8 put him in a tie for 75th league wide, simply not good enough for a team looking to compete at the highest levels.

You could certainly argue that coaching contributed to the poor showing, the Rangers went from eighth in the league through Tom Renney's first two seasons, to a less stellar 22nd in 2007-08, before dropping down to 29th last season. But to put all the blame on Renney - or his power play designate Perry Pearn - would be overlooking other major contributing factors.

Even after John Tortorella took over the reins, the problems continued. In the final 21 games of the season, the Rangers went 13 of 93 on the power play, good enough for just a 14.0 percent conversion rate.

Clearly the Ranger's problems on the man advantage go beyond the coaching staff.

After receiving his pink slip, a clearly frustrated Renney pointed out that the roster he was given was far from perfect. Michal Rozsival has for the most part, failed to live up to being a first string power play quarterback. He's picked up points here and there, but too often he's not made the quick and concise play, or when offered the shot, he's elected to pass the puck.

Enter last Summer's big name free agent signing, Wade Redden. After two sub-par years in Ottawa, Rangers' GM Glen Sather opened the checkbook and gave Redden perhaps one of the five worst contracts in the league since the Cap was put in place. The then 31 year old blueliner, not only didn't bring the promised offense, but became a liability in his own end as well. Compounding the issue, Sather then went and re-signed Rozsival to a four year deal at a premium of $5M per year.

In all fairness, Rozsival's contract probably wouldn't look half as bad if Redden wasn't also on the roster. His durability and relative steadiness most nights, has allowed the Rangers to bring up the likes of Dan Girardi and Marc Staal with less immediate pressure on the youngsters. It's just that he's really just a second tier defenseman who has been thrust (and paid) to be a top tier guy.

Perhaps not surprising then, that it's Rozsival's name that's the one that is most mentioned in the rumors this Summer. While Wade Redden's contract - and performance - remain the bigger issue, it is likely that Rozsival will be the one moved, if the Rangers are to make a change.

So who realistically are the candidates...

Sergei Zubov
The most talked about option has been former Ranger Sergei Zubov. After a season in which he saw just 10 games with the Dallas Stars due to injury, Zubov has reportedly decided to consider moving on from the Big D. With a home in the New York area, and his previous ties with the team, it's not surprising that the Rangers are in the mix.

But what can we really expect from a soon to be 39 year old defenseman who has missed 108 games in the past two years while registering just four goals. Zubov's best days are clearly behind him, and any sort of encore with New York is likely to be superficially effective at best.

Paul Mara
Tried and true, the Rangers would certainly know what they're getting in Mara, and for the most part it's a 2nd/3rd pair d-man that has added a little jam to his game. Mara hasn't done much on the power play, and is clearly not the answer to that particular problem.

Derek Morris
Late last season the Rangers acquired Morris in a deadline deal that saw them part with Nigel Dawes and Petr Prucha. It was a relatively high price to pay for a rental defenseman, and one who failed to score a goal in 25 games as a Ranger. In fact, Morris hasn't done much of any kind of scoring since the 2002-03 season when he had 48 points for Colorado - Both Redden and Rozsival have scored more each season than Morris since that year.

There is a possibility that he could regain some of that form next year, but with his career on a downward trajectory, it seems unlikely.

Matt Gilroy
The 2009 Hobey Baker award winner was richly rewarded by the Rangers with a two year, $3.5M contract. Gilroy showed could vision on the ice, and finished his NCAA career with a solid 37 points in 45 games. While respectable, they're certainly not the best stats we've seen from an undrafted college blue-liner - Thomas Pock had twice as many goals, and 41 points in his senior year, and far short of Tom Preissing's 23 goals and 29 assists before turning pro.

Some prospect camp observers already think that Gilroy has a good shot at making the Rangers out of camp, but it's hard to imagine that he'll be able to produce right off the bat.

Mathieu Schneider, Chris Chelios, Patrice Brisebois, Bret Hedican and Teppo Numminen
They've had some impressive careers, but these five veterans - in every sense of the word - are well past their best. Schneider did manage to get 9 goals last year, but was previously let go by Glen Sather early in his tenure as Rangers GM. The other four combined for just 8 goals, with the defensively weak Brisebois picking up 5 of those.

Clearly there isn't much out there on the market this time round, and spending dollars chasing a sub-par option likely only puts this team further into the hole they've put themselves into. Perhaps the best scenario in this case is to try and get some production out what they already have, as they try to work one or two of Gilroy, Del Zotto, Sanguinetti or even Heikkinen into the mix.

With that said, it's hard to see Sather standing pat. The Rangers' GM has consistently worked his team up against the Cap, and looks to be heading that way once more. It's to be expected that the Rangers will add at least one veteran d-man, and possibly two if Rozsival is indeed dealt.

Whatever the case we can only do what we always do at this time of year as Ranger fans - anxiously await news on the wire, and hope for the best.


Profile of the Author:
Has been an active follower of the New York Rangers since the 1996-97 season. Began OutsideTheGarden.com in 2001, and has continued to collect data and provide analysis on the team through to the current day.

 Additional stories from Toby Ivey:


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