Dale Purinton

Who Stays, Who Goes?

Extreme Views by RangerExtreme

There just has to be more trades to come. Sather has spent a lot of time this off-season collecting a lot of fringe NHL players who if not for expansion wouldn’t have jobs in the big league. There simply is no room for these players unless his plan is to acquire as many low budget bodies as possible in order to find a combination that works.

In addition Petr Nedved still isn’t signed yet. Every day that goes by, you get a sinking feeling that there might be something cooking I think it would behoove the Rangers to keep Nedved and move him to left wing on the first or second line.

Considering the Rangers have the most pathetic left side in hockey it would bring some respectability to the position and also free up the logjam at Center. If Nedved is not traded out and moved to the left side York would become your 3rd line center. Another reason why I suspect a trade might be looming large is there are way too many defenseman.

In addition a sad reality is that defensive tough guy Dale Puriton’s days are numbered as a New York Ranger. There simply is not enough room for him on the backline especially when Thomas Kloucek comes back from injury. Dale will most likely sent down to play with the Hartford Wolfpack or as used as an additional player to be traded in a future deal.

Although I don’t agree with the potential Purinton move entirely, Dale didn’t impress coaches by instigating more then his share of fights last year while the Rangers were in the offensive zone and he leaves the Rangers short on Defense every time he drops the mitts. In Ranger eyes he is a liability.

With the possibility of Peter Smrek or Mike Mottau making a run at the opening night lineup there is just way too many bodies vying for a defensive spot on the Rangers. It is my opinion that if you have any hopes of rebuilding a team do it through these guys instead of obtaining players like David Karpa and Darren Van Impe.

Karpa is very prone to giving away pucks in his own end of the ice and not as tough as his PIMS would lead you to believe. Also Darren Van Impe who was picked up on waivers from Boston in all reality doesn’t help the Rangers anywhere other then taking up a spot where youth should be.

Van Impe was probably the player Sather was alluding to as the replacement for (ahem) Kim Johnsson. So in all likelihood the Rangers must believe Smrek and Mottau are not ready, or they feel that a priority is to have a veteran pair like Karpa and Van Impe as their 5th and 6th defenseman. In my opinion they should play these young guys (Smrek, Mottau) on Defense instead of sitting on them for yet another year. Let’s see what they can do NOW.

The goaltending issue has been ignored for so long that maybe there could be a deal in the works down the road. Richter is coming off two seasons of back to back knee surgeries and he isn’t getting any younger. The Rangers invited Petr Skudra to camp. Whom frankly couldn’t stop a beachball with a boat oar in net, and the very thought of him being announced as the opening night backup goalie is truly frightening. The Rangers need a goalie to play the bulk of games if Richter does goes down or the season is certainly doomed for sure.

Recently there have been reports that Sather has been trying to coax Bryan Berard out of retirement even though his vision is still grossly impaired. My advice to Slacks is stop trying to get something for nothing and just leave well enough alone. The defense with the addition of Ulanov and hopefully with a healthy Malakov won’t be that bad. I don’t know how good it will be but I will assure you it can’t and won’t get much worse then last years.

All in all I don’t think Sather is done trading. I hope he is. I’m still recovering from the Lindros debacle.  Already there are 10 players gone from last year’s MSG opening night game lineup. So if anything positive can be said is Sather is indeed rehauling a very embarrassing 2000 New York Ranger Team and more importantly ridding himself of Neil Smith acquired players. Sather is now full force, retooling the Rangers with his own unique cast of characters. For Better or Worse…

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