Rangers Are Buyers. Who Would Have Thought?

The Rangers have wisely gone out on Trade Deadline day and spent away prospects like Dawes and Prucha for Derek Morris. Gave away a second round pick and a conditional for Nik Antropov.

Wow. The Rangers carry the torch for the Yankees in baseball offseason. Big stunner.

Are these 2 players going to fix the lack of production that the Rangers currently face? I doubt it. The reason the Rangers "needed" to go out and get these players is because of the fat contracts they currently have with Gomez, Drury and Redden. Trading for 2 average players and selling away future assets to get them isn't going to fix past blunders. This is a lesson learned the hard way by the Capitals. In 2002 the Capitals bought Jagr, bought Lang and tried to buy a stanley cup. Much like the Rangers have been doing. That failed big time, so the Caps rebuilt. Look where the Capitals are now, a division leader (with no one close) and a team fighting for first in the conference with its best days still to come.

The Rangers on the other hand have accrued a team good enough to lose in the first round of the playoffs, keep pushing the salary cap with overpaid underperforming players and secure a draft pick in the bottom 15 of every draft, giving them average prospects, until the team is firesold.

Many teams in the east have gone the way of re-building. Pittsburgh and Washington have rebuilt and are on their way to stanley cups, Atlanta, Tampa Bay and the New York Islanders are currently in stages of the rebuild. The rebuild takes patience and foresight. These teams are building the painful and time consuming way.

The Rangers just don't get it. Stop spending to make the playoffs, start building to win championships.

Rangers trade deadline grade: F-


Pens fan check in on trade deadline eve.

(Sweet jersey there Tampa--image from NHL.com)

I go out of town for the weekend, and come back to CF-Tabaracci running the show on dangleblog-CF/PF. Give Caps fans an inch--just kidding--good to have the caps spin on this blog up and running.

Although the Pens have a big game against the Panthers coming up (good lord, I can't believe I'm typing that) they can't look past tonight's tilt with Tampa. The cliche has been thrown out there daily, but at this point gotta win games at a 2 out of 3 pace for the most part.

Sid is out for the 4th consecutive game...which by the way, the Pens are 4-0 thus far without Crosby this year. TRADE CROSBY FOR A BAG OF PUCKS!!!!11

And in a CFPF sidestory, we should hand out contributing blogger job apps to the BOLTS, because as CF-Tabaracci has pointed out, they are essentially the TB Capguins(a look at the score sheet will show: Eminger, Hall, Halpern, Malone, Melichar, Pettinger, and before tonight Roberts--and I also forgot Heward, Kolzig and Recchi, good call CF-Tabaracci)

As shown in the pic above, the BOLTS have unreal 3rd jerseys, I wouldn't say they are quite up there with 90s StL Blues jerseys...but still pretty hideous.

Go Pens.

Trade fan vs Deadline fan: The countdown is on for the 3 pm(EST) deadline tomorrow that has snuck up on CF-PF bloggers fast.

From the Penguins front, they waived Satan today, and it seems to be a move intended to get his attention. Although he has picked it up recently, he hasn't been gritty, he hasn't been a two-way player(think Kovalchuk only a tad less talented) and he has been an enigma to say the least. His 3.4 mil cap hit will most likely deter anyone from grabbing him, hence why it is most likely a message. I doubt Shero will be upset if he has an extra 3.4 mil of cap space before the deadline is over though...

Other than the big rumors out there, and names being thrown around as "deadline movers," the deadline has been relatively quiet. We will definitely be keeping an eye on what the Florida Panthers do, they definitely have a say in how the EC Playoff picture is going to look in the coming week.s

In general NHL news, VS mentioned that Roberts was released, Backstrom (G for Wild), Avery officially joined the Rangers and that Vanek was coming back.

Also, this being my first chance to chime in on the Whitney trade...I must say thus far Kunitz has impressed me. Losing Whitney hurts, yes. But, it was starting to look like he just may not live up to his expectations year in and year out. Tangradi could turn out to be the centerpiece of the deal...Shero says he is very raw, but definitely has some upside and ability as a power forward, but this all remains to be seen.

PS: Idea...any thoughts on liveblogging games for both teams? Probably not every game, but some of the more important ones, playoffs, etc. My worry is it may cramp the main page, but with links and jumps(things we are working on--be patient)...could work. If CFPF team isn't able to make it down to Verizon(I'm sure Ted would prefer only 1/3 of the blog there) for the game this Sunday, maybe a good time to test run the idea. Feedback greatly appreciated.


1st pick?

Who would you take with the first overall pick in the 2009 NHL draft? There are 2 consensus picks, John Tavares of the OHL and Victor Hedman of the Swedish Elitserien.

John Tavares - A very highly skilled forward. Dubbed "the next next one" by the Canadian Media (apparently Crosby is the next one). Tavares was the star in Canada's gold medal victory in the world junior tournament. Tavares broke Gretzky's 25+ year old goal record for most goals by a 16 year old in the OHL. He is touted as a player who will come into the NHL and score 100 points immediately, much the way Crosby and Ovechkin did.

Victor Hedman - A well rounded defenseman who has had his game compared to Nick Lidstrom. Currently in his second season in the Swedish Elite League, playing as an 18 year old against grown men, he has 21 points in 43 games and is a surprising +22 on a team that has allowed 24 more goals than they have scored. Keep in mind that in Europe, leagues use a larger ice surface that makes scoring less abundant.

I guess it would depend on the team that has the luxury of drafting 1st overall. A team like the Islanders needs everything except goaltending, they have used a 1st overall selection in the past to select DiPietro and then promptly signed him to a 15 year deal despite his history of injuries. They basically need EVERYTHING else. Right now, they'd be a competitive team in the AHL, and they're looking to deal players like Guerin and probably Weight and Witt as well.

If you take an example like the Blues or the Kings, both of those teams would almost certainly take Tavares because both of them have gone through re-builds where they have stocked VERY high end defensive talent with the likes of Pietrangelo and Erik Johnson in STL and Doughty, Hickey and Jack Johnson (trade from CAR) in LA. When you look at these teams upfront, both of them could use a 100 point center. The only center in STL projected to put up 100 points in the future is.......? Berglund? No dice. The Kings have a better option in Kopitar but after that, who's next on the list? Moller? Boyle? Not much depth. Tavares for STL or LA.

If you look at a team like Pittsburgh or Washington (neither will be in the top slot, but it's an example) both of these teams would certainly take Hedman. In fact Washington has taken Hedman before, just not the more skilled of the 2 brothers. Both of these teams are STACKED to the teeth in offensive talent. Players such as Crosby, Ovechkin, Malkin, Backstrom and Talbot. Ok, maybe not Talbot, but you get the idea. These teams don't have many blue chip defensive defensemen. In fact I'd say the only top tier prospect defensive Dmen in either system would be Alzner (Orpik is young, but not a prospect or a blue chipper). These teams have the offensive rearguards in Green, Letang and Goligoski, but these players lack the true 2-way value that Hedman projects to bring.

Do you take the mentality that you would draft the best player available? Do you draft the best player for your system? Do you draft based on your immediate needs? If you are the Islanders, who do you take and why?


Caps Lay One Down at Home

Offense sells tickets. Caps have 11 straight sellouts.
Defense wins championships. Caps take 6 minor penalties to the Panthers 2, reflecting the final. Panthers 6 Caps 2.

1st period summary: Caps take 3 penalties, Panthers score 3 PPG. Ouch. Remember that Boston post the other night? I detailed the PK troubles, and how if the Caps stayed off the PK, there was a chance for a regulation win? Caps give up a PPG inside 5 minutes left in the 3rd to allow Boston to steal an OT point. Caps stole one with a Semin floater on Saturday. Not so lucky on Sunday.

I still like Neuvirth in net. Kid seems pretty sound technically. Have to like how the team is built in net with Varlamov and Neuvirth. Both net minders have looked very solid at the NHL level, both are VERY young, both play a different style of goal and both seem to be ready for duty. Also a great thing is that neither were drafted before the 20th overall pick, kudos to GMGM and the scouts on that one.

I'll leave this one on a high note. The ONLY good thing about today's loss is that giving the Panthers 2 more points makes it that much harder for the Penguins to get into the playoffs. Who would have thought after last year that we would be saying that this late in the season? While Pittsburgh enters Monday sitting in the 8th spot, remember that Buffalo is behind by 1 point and has a game in hand. Carolina is 1 point back with no games in hand but they do meet with Pittsburgh in Carolina on Saturday April 4th. Canes and Pens have Friday April 3rd off, but Pittsburgh will be in Florida the next night, Sunday April 5th, and the Panthers will be sitting waiting with Saturday April 4th off and will have been at home since Sunday March 29th. Carolina also sees the Capitals 3 times in March, so the Penguins will be doing some indirect cheering.


A little bias?

Please watch Don Cherry make an ass of himself. This is the most biased opinion I've heard since the last time I talked to a Yankees fan. "Act like Joe Thornton (Canadian), Sakic (Canadian), Iginla (Canadian), Shanahan (Canadian), Bobby Orr (Canadian), Yzerman (Canadian), guys (Canadians) like that." "Act like Jason Strudwick (Canadian)."Who would have guessed that Cherry could roll Canadian names off his tounge in a matter of seconds?


Yeah. Everyone.

Ovechkin is a "goof" and conducts himself along the same lines as Sean Avery. .....Seriously? Avery? The same Avery that was demoted from the NHL when the Stars were struggling?
Placing Avery and Ovechkin side by side and attempting to compare them is a joke. Both of them are flamboyant, and that's where the comparisons end. Ovechkin is a world class talent, Avery is a world class moron. The best comparison to Sean Avery isn't Ovechkin, it in fact is Don Cherry.

Both of them are flamboyant idiots. Both of them publicly bash people who DON'T deserve to be stepped on. Both of them lack appreciation for world class players. Last but not least, NEITHER of them are appreciated by the American hockey fan base.

Questions of the Week: Will Don Cherry ever praise Ovechkin's goal scoring ability or his leadership?
What would Don Cherry do if Ovechkin won the Conn Smythe? Suicide Watch?