Tag:New York Rangers
Posted on: August 18, 2011 7:32 pm
 

National TV schedule is out; light on Predators

By Brian Stubits

So the national television game schedules were released by the NHL on Thursday, and all in all it's what you would expect. It features a lot of the Red Wings, Bruins, Capitals, Flyers, Blackhawks, Rangers and Penguins -- the usual suspects.

It's clear why they are on the tube so much. They have earned it with their play on the ice and the fan support off it. It's only smart business for a league that is the lowest of the USA's four major sports leagues in interest and viewership.

But how about the teams making the fewest appearance? It's some of what you'd expect. The Columbus Blue Jackets, at this point, will not grace the networks of NBC or Versus (or whatever the station will be named this season), not even once. The Florida Panthers will be seen nationwide on one occasion -- a date with the Penguins. Those are pretty understandable. It would be nice to see a little more of them, but it makes sense. They are rebuilt rosters, but have been bad for some time and don't exactly have large followings (we're being kind).

Next on the list, though, is the Nashville Predators. The Preds will be seen on national TV just twice. The only thing against the Preds is that they are in a small, southern market. But the quality of the team warrants a few more games than this. It's possible they will get flexed onto national coverage late in the season, but either way, it's a shame they are being left out save two games. After all, the Predators did make it into the second round of the playoffs last season, hockey's equivalent of the Elite Eight.

While upset, the people over at the Section 303 blog, a Predators destination, aren't surprised by the stiff.

Staying in the Western Conference, the Minnesota Wild will get quite a bit more air time despite not making the playoffs for the third straight season last year. In all, the Wild will be broadcast from sea to shining sea 10 times.

Here are the U.S. channel schedules, starting with NBC. I hope you like the Keystone State battles. (Source: NHL.com)

NBC schedule
Day Date Visitor Home Eastern time Notes
Fri. 11/25 Detroit Boston 1 p.m. N/A
Mon. 1/2 N.Y. Rangers Philadelphia 1 p.m. Winter Classic
Sat. 1/14 Chicago Detroit 12:30 p.m. N/A
Sun. 1/22 Boston Philadelphia 3 p.m. N/A
Sun. 1/22 Washington Pittsburgh 3 p.m. N/A
Sun. 2/12 Washington N.Y. Rangers 3 p.m. NBC/VS Flex
Sun. 2/12 Philadelphia Detroit 7:30 p.m. NBC/VS Flex
Sun. 2/19 Pittsburgh Buffalo 12:30 p.m. N/A
Sun. 2/19 San Jose Detroit 12:30 p.m. N/A
Sun. 2/19 St. Louis Chicago 3 p.m. N/A
Sun. 2/19 Boston Minnesota 3 p.m. N/A
Sun. 3/4 Boston N.Y. Rangers 3 p.m. NBC/VS Flex
Sun. 3/4 Philadelphia Washington 7 p.m. NBC/VS Flex
Sun. 3/11 Los Angeles Chicago 7 p.m. NBC/VS Flex
Sun. 3/11 Boston Pittsburgh 7:30 p.m. NBC/VS Flex
Sun. 3/18 Pittsburgh Philadelphia 3 p.m. NBC/VS Flex
Sun. 3/18 Washington Chicago 7 p.m. NBC/VS Flex
Sun. 4/1/ Boston N.Y. Rangers 3 p.m. NBC/VS Flex
Sun. 4/1 Philadelphia Pittsburgh 7:30 p.m. NBC/VS Flex
Sat. 4/7 Buffalo Boston 3 p.m. NBC/VS Flex
Sat. 4/7 Washington N.Y. Rangers 3 p.m. NBC/VS Flex
Sat. 4/7 Philadelphia Pittsburgh 4 p.m. NBC/VS Flex
Sun. 4/7 Chicago Detroit 4 p.m. NBC/VS Flex

Now here's the full schedule for Versus/NBC Sports Network.

Finally, here's how it will go on the NHL Network.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: August 18, 2011 5:05 pm
 

Rangers' Sean Avery reportedly cleared of charges

By Brian Stubits

Rangers agitator Sean Avery is going to be safe from criminal chargers after all, according to TMZ.com. It was later confirmed by Rangers Newsday writer Steve Zipay.

Avery was arrested earlier this month and spent the night in jail before posting bail the next morning for battery on a peace officer at his Los Angeles-area home. The officer was responding to a noise complaint at Avery's house and when it was reported that Avery pushed the officer at the door and closed the door. It was also alleged Avery called the offers "fat little pigs" and threatened to fight them.

Instead, after an investigation, it is being determined that nobody was pushed. From the TMZ report:

We're told the officer who made the battery report did so after his foot was caught in Avery's front door -- and multiple witnesses have corroborated the story.

According to sources, police don't believe it's appropriate to charge Avery -- and agree the matter would be best handled by an informal meeting with the L.A. City Attorney, who's expected to officially close the case ... without prosecution.

Zipay added to it with a statement from the Los Angeles D.A. office saying the cops "never presented us with a case ... they closed their investigation."

Because of the initial report, Avery's role with the Rangers was in question for next year. He already figured to have a slightly smaller role, so escaping criminal charges allows him and the team to move on and prepare for the upcoming season.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: August 18, 2011 5:04 pm
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Posted on: August 15, 2011 10:10 am
Edited on: August 15, 2011 10:24 am
 

Daily Skate: 2012 free agents; bald man's hero

By Brian Stubits

FREE AGENT OUTLOOK: This year's free-agent class hasn't even taken to the ice, but Kevin Allen at USA Todayis already taking a look to next year's class. This summer, the Devils' Zach Parise was one of the higher-rated restricted free agents to be had, and next year he'll go through the process again after getting a one-year contract in New Jersey, but this time he'll be unrestricted. On Allen's list for next year, he sits second among the available, behind Predators defenseman Ryan Suter ... the other big-time blue-liner in Nashville.

BALD IS BEAUTIFUL: Mark Messier is a hero, according to Bald Celebrity (hat tip to Puck Daddy). That's the site that dubbed the former Oilers and Rangers star a bald hockey hero, eloquently writing this: "It takes a real man to handle the pressure of leading a New York sports franchise; a real bald man. It takes an even manlier, and an even balder man though, to have led the 1994 New York Rangers NHL Team to a Stanley Cup Championship. Does this epically manly and epically bald man exist? Yes, yes he does; and his name is Mark Messier."

CAPITAL WEDDING: There is always one piece of advice I give to guys who are engaged, and it's not run away or anything like that. Instead I say tell the wife-to-be that you want a wedding theme based on your favorite sports team, or Star Wars. Stick to your guns and you get out of the planning process. But that wouldn't work for this guy as he and his wife went all out with a full-on Capitals theme at their wedding, even having festivities at the team's practice facility and getting the Caps P.A. announcer to introduce them. Pretty impressive.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: August 11, 2011 2:52 pm
Edited on: August 11, 2011 10:00 pm
 

Sean Avery -- the horse -- having a good summer

By Brian Stubits

Think it has been a rough month for Sean Avery? Well that all depends, which Avery are you talking about?

There's the one that was arrested after allegedly calling cops fat little pigs and pushing a peace officer. He's the hockey player for the New York Rangers. For him it's been a rough month, no doubt.

But then there's Sean Avery the horse. For him, it's been a great month.

As Len Berman of Buzz60 in New York explains in the video above, the horse won its two most recent races, including coming through on a photo finish as a long shot to win the Vanderbilt Handicap. The best part of the video is hearing the track announcer's call as Sean Avery comes down the stretch for the win: "Sean Avery SCORES!"

As far as we know, though, the horse hasn't done anything to get a rule named after it yet. So the hockey player has that going for him.

Hat tip to NYRangersblog.com

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: August 10, 2011 10:11 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2011 10:27 pm
 

Can Jagr be top scoring Czech player in NHL?

JagrBy: Adam Gretz

It's been over 10 years since the Czech Republic was one of the top hockey powers on the planet, winning Gold at the 1998 Winter Olympics and boasting an impressive list of NHL players. Over the years their numbers across the NHL have dropped significantly. Last season there were just 42 players from the Czech Republic to appear in the NHL, down from their peak of 78 during the 2001-02 season.

Perhaps the best Czech player ever, Jaromir Jagr, (I say perhaps because you can make an argument for Dominik Hasek in that discussion) will be returning to the NHL this season as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers after spending the past three seasons playing in Russia. And also after what was a highly entertaining and, at the same time, maddening free agency courtship earlier this summer.

Between 1997 and 2008, which was Jagr's last year in the NHL, he was the top scoring player from the Czech Republic in the NHL in eight of those seasons, and the two years he wasn't (2002-03 and 2003-04, also two of the worst seasons of his career) he finished third and fourth respectively.

Can he return to the top of the list in 2011 after a three-year stop in the KHL?

The top-scoring Czech player last season was a three-way tie between Martin Havlat, David Krejci and Patrik Elias with 62 points, and 2009-10 it was Tomas Plekanec with 70. In Jagr's last NHL appearance three years ago he scored 71 with the Rangers, which led the team .

I guess the question becomes whether or not Jagr can still be a 60-70 point player at the age of 39. During his stay in the KHL he was nearly a point-per-game player over the three-year stretch, and finished in the top-10 in scoring twice, including this past season. It's obviously a different style of play on a different playing surface and in what seems to be lower-scoring league, so it's not exactly easy to see how the production would translate.

We've seen elite players like Teemu Selanne and Nicklas Lidstrom continue to put up huge numbers in the NHL at the age of 39 and beyond (Selanne, for example, recorded 80 points last season as a 40-year-old), and Jagr was certainly an elite player during his time in the NHL. And even though he wasn't in the league the past three years, he was still playing hockey in what is probably the second-best league in the world. He also showed he can still play against a high level of competition during the 2010 Olympics, as well as the most recent World Championships.

This season he's going to have a chance to be one of the top offensive weapons (along with Claude Giroux and youngsters like James vanRiemsdyk) on a retooled Flyers team that should still score its share of goals, even if they don't look anywhere near as dangerous -- on paper, anyway -- as they did before trading Mike Richards and Jeff Carter.

It's a bit of a mystery for sure, and it's hard to figure out what to expect. He's certainly not as explosive or fast as he was during his prime, but it's hard to believe his hands and offensive skill have deteriorated to the point that he won't still able to put in between 50 and 60 points, and perhaps more, assuming he stays injury free.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: August 9, 2011 7:03 pm
Edited on: August 9, 2011 9:34 pm
 

Could Richards be the next Rangers captain?

RichardsBy: Adam Gretz

It wasn't a surprise that one the biggest names on the free agent market this summer -- Brad Richards -- landed with the New York Rangers. By now we should pretty much expect it to play out that way. It's not the first time it's happened, and it certainly won't be the last. Some of their recent dips into the deep end of free agency pool, including Chris Drury, Scott Gomez, Wade Redden and Marian Gaborik, has produced some mixed results (to put it kindly), and not the type of return a team generally likes to see on its largest investment (and I think Richards will prove to be, by far, the best of these signings).

Richards, one of the NHL's best playmaking pivots, signed a nine-year, $60 million deal in early July, and brings with him a $6.6 million cap hit through the end of the 2019-20 season. He's a No. 1 center that's managed to produce like one over his career with Tampa Bay and Dallas. He also has a positive history with current Rangers coach John Tortorella, who he played under for most of his tenure with the Lighting, including the Stanley Cup season of 2003-04 where Richards took home the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.

That history, along with Richards' track record, has sparked some discussion in Ranger-land that the 31-year-old Richards could take over as the teams next captain before the puck drops on the upcoming season. Andrew Gross of the Bergen Record (via Crash The Crease) wrote on Tuesday that the Rangers have three potential options to wear the "C" this season: returning players Ryan Callahan and Marc Staal, and the incoming Richards.

Writes Gross:
Tortorella was asked June 30 – two days before the team signed Richards – about his selection process for the new captain. "I think those decisions will come about come camp," Tortorella said. "We’ll have our talks, we’ll see. Maybe our team changes even more this summer, along the way." That last sentence could be interpreted as a vote in Richards’ favor. Or perhaps not, as Tortorella has no inclination to discuss exactly what his selection process entailed. Callahan said when he agreed to his new contract that, regardless of who wore the captain’s "C," there was strong leadership in the room. And he may be the fan’s choice. But Richards could be the coach’s choice.
The Rangers are in need of a new captain because their most recent captain, Drury, was bought out earlier this summer after a 2010-11 season that saw him score one goal in a 24-game, injury-shortened season.

Tortorella took over behind Tampa Bay's bench midway through Richards' rookie season in 2000-01, and coached him up until the trade that sent him to Dallas in the middle of the 2007-08 season. There's a great deal of familiarity here (on and off the ice) and plenty of success, both on an individual and a team level, between the two men to make the potential captaincy a logical fit.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: August 8, 2011 10:32 am
Edited on: August 8, 2011 11:53 am
 

Daily Skate: Top showings at junior tryouts

By Brian Stubits

HAPPY CAMPERS: In preparation for the hockey World Juniors at the end of this year, Team Canada held some scrimmages this weekend Alberta and a few prospects came away with very impressive weekends. Leading the way is Ottawa Senators prospect Mark Stone, who had two goals and three assists in the final game of the weekend, giving him a total of four goals in the camp, the highest total. Florida Panthers top pick in this past draft, Jonathan Huberdeau, also excelled with two goals in the final game, giving him three for the camp. As always, Team Canada will have quite a stock of players to pick from for its final roster that is set to open the Worlds on Dec. 26 in Edmonton. TSN had a wrapup of the scrimmages.

AMERICAN UPDATE: While the camp continues in Canada for the World Juniors roster, the same is going on in the good ol' U.S. of A. America's roster for the Juniors needs to be set, too, and so the 44 players in camp just finished a pair of intrasquad games before taking on Sweden and Finland for a few friendlies. The top performances in the scrimmages go to Kenny Agostino (drafted in 2010 by the Penguins), who tallied a goal and three assists. Austin Watson (2010 selection of the Predators) checked in with two goals and an assist. Rangers top pick in this year's draft J.T. Miller was among those who racked up two points on two goals.

RETURN TO GLORY? You might remember that the St. Louis Blues signed former Sharks star Jonathan Cheechoo to a two-way contract earlier this offseason, hoping he could find the magic that helped lead him to a 56-goal season with San Jose. Cheechoo talked with Mark Emmons of the San Jose Mercury News about what he's been up to, the continued support he receives in the Bay Area and how he (and the Blues) are hoping a new workout regimen will help him regain his old speed and, hopefully, old game.

DISCOVERING THE PACIFIC: For a fun -- and informative! -- link, check out this submission by flyersgoalscoredby.com on the defunct Pacific Hockey League. Did you know that more than 20 years after he became the first African American to play in the NHL, Willie O'Ree played for the San Diego Hawks at 42? And how about the names Tucson Rustlers, San Francisco Shamrocks and Phoenix Roadrunners? Small-time hockey is awesome. This coming from a guy who grew up watching a league with teams named the Sabercats, Gila Monsters, Rage and Fog.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.



 
 
 
 
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