Carkner Gets 1 Game Suspension

April 15, 2012

The NHL continues to doll out suspensions in lieu of Saturday night’s physical contest between the Rangers and Ottawa SenatorsBrendan Shanahan announced Senators’ defenseman Matt Carkner will be suspended one game for his actions against Brian Boyle minutes into the opening period.

Just have to laugh at this point. Carl Hagelin gets three games for finishing a check on a player with a concussion history, and Carkner gets inserted into the lineup to injure Boyle and he gets one game.

All these suspensions really stem from Shanahan and the league failing to punish Shea Weber the way it should have. The league received a lot of negative feedback on the $2,500 joke fine, and now it’s “no more Mr. Nice Guy.” Sadly, everyone but Weber will feel the effects.

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Hagelin to Have Hearing With League Over Elbow

April 15, 2012

Game 2 between the Rangers and Ottawa Senators was chippy and nasty from start to finish. Matt Carkner was a lunatic on his one shift, jumping Brian Boyle which led to Brandon Dubinsky to take a third-man in penalty and an ejection, along with Carkner.

Later in the game, Carl Hagelin checked Daniel Alfredsson, and his shoulder appeared to hit Alfredsson’s head and was given a five minute major penalty. Alfredsson left the game with a possible concussion, and according to ESPN New York, Hagelin has a hearing with the league tomorrow.

Hagelin isn’t the only one with a hearing tomorrow, as Chris Phillips elbowed Ryan Callahan in the second period, which resulted in a two minute minor.

A hit like Hagelin’s gets a hearing, but Shea Weber smashing another players’ head into the glass like he was fighting in the WWF gets a $2,500 fine? This league is so backwards.

Have to figure if Chris Kreider will be the guy to take his spot if anything does happen.

Game 3 is Monday night in Ottawa. The series is tied 1-1.

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Tortorella Fined $20K

April 7, 2012

I don’t think many believed the NHL would take a hard stance against Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik for his illegal knee-on-knee Thursday night on Derek Stepan.

But many didn’t think John Tortorella would take the brunt of the punishment. But we were wrong, as the League handed Torts a $20,000 fine yesterday for his post-game comments against Orpik, Sidney CrosbyEvgeni Malkin and the Penguins organization as a whole.

“Absolutely, it’s a cheap, dirty hit,” Tortorella said. “I wonder what would happen if we did it to their two whining stars over there, I wonder what would happen? So I’m anxious to see what happens with the league with this. Just no respect among players, none. It’s sickening.”

He wasn’t done. When asked why players have no respect for each other, Tortorella responded: “Ask the guy who did it, ask him. It’s one of the most arrogant organizations in the league. They whine about this stuff all the times and look what happens. It’s ridiculous, but they’ll whine about something else over there, won’t they? Starting with their two (bleepin’) stars.”

Torts spoke the truth and the League didn’t like it. Do we see some pattern developing? Last week, Philadelphia Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette complained about a late, big hit on Danny Briere in the dying minutes of a Flyers 6-4 loss that resulted in a melee. A few days later, Mike Milbury took the airwaves to bash Crosby and others on the team.

The Penguins are the love of the League. They get away with everything and escape punishment at every corner. I don’t think Orpiks’ knee was overly viscious but was still illegal. Could you imagine if that was Stu Bickel or Brandon Prust injuring Crosby or Malkin. I think the Rangers would forfeit their playoff spot. 

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Kings Acquire Carter, Rangers Interested in Brown?

February 23, 2012

While the biggest domino from the Columbus Blue Jackets still hasn’t fallen, a slightly smaller one did, as Columbus sent Jeff Carter to the Los Angeles Kings for defenseman Jack Johnson and a first-round pick in either 2012 or 2013.

“Jeff is a proven goal scorer in our league,” Kings president and general manager Dean Lombardi said in a statement. “He brings goal-scoring abilities, speed and his age he is entering the prime of his career. We also like his versatility as he can play both center and win. We also want to wish Jack Johnson the best going forward.”

This has to be a blessing from God for Carter, who made it known that he was crushed when the Philadelphia Flyers traded him to Columbus last summer. He’ll now be reunited with former Flyers teammate and friend Mike Richards.

At the same time, how bad do you feel for Johnson, going from a decent team in Los Angeles to a God-awful team in Columbus. Ouch.

How does this relate to the Blueshirts? Well, with Carter, who as Lombardi said could play wing or center, it frees them up to shed some salary and deal captain Dustin Brown. The Rangers may see Brown as a cheaper option than Rick Nash. Brown has topped 20 goals in four of his six total seasons, and has 14 thus far this year. He carries a $3.175 million cap hit, per CapGeek.

Could Brandon Dubinsky and a first-round pick be enough to acquire Brown? Possibly. According to CapGeek, the Kings have enough space to add about $2.6 million. That number would leave them with about $1.6 million if they take on Dubinsky and his $4.2 million average.

Lombardi said he has no other trades lined up at the moment, but that could change very quickly.

It’s tough to choose who you’d rather have between Brown and Dubinsky. Even with the poor season, Dubinsky is loved by Rangers fans. I don’t think Dubinsky is as bad as his goal production says, and we’ve seen what he could do. Brown, though, is cap-friendly and has a shorter contract. He’s a New Yorker and his style of play would fit in perfectly with the Rangers.

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Flyers Acquire Kubina

February 18, 2012

Quick post here, as it isn’t really related to the Rangers, but it kind of is…if that makes sense.

Anyway, the Philadelphia Flyers today acquired defenseman Pavel Kubina from the Tampa Bay Lightning for a conditional second-round pick in either 2012 or 2013, and a 2013 fourth-round pick, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

I was pulling for the Blueshirts to acquire Kubina — along with his expiring contract — for the stretch run. He’s a guy who was part of the 2004 Lightning, along with John Tortorella and Brad Richards. The price was a little high, but I would have pulled the trigger on this one. Hurts even more that he went to Philadelphia.

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No Suspension for Lightning’s Dominic Moore

February 11, 2012

According to NHL.com, Tampa Bay Lightning forward Dominic Moore will not be suspended for his cheap-shot against Ruslan Fedotenko. He will be fined $2,5000.

Fedotenko left Thursday night’s game and will not be playing this afternoon against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Moore, a former Ranger, targeted the head on a blind-side check to Fedotenko early in third period, which resulted in a two-minute minor for roughing.

“We’re still pretty angry about that,” said Brian Boyle. “That was a really, really dirty play.”

“He should take a look in the mirror because that was garbage,” Boyle said.

This is just another incident of the NHL still not getting it. Moore targeted Fedotenko’s head, and all indications are that Fedotenko suffered a concussion. What is the penalty? A slap on the wrist.

Brendan Shanahan came into the position and was handing out big-time suspensions. I don’t know what or who got in his way, but he’s gone soft. 

Part of the responsibility must fall on the players, most of which have no respect for the men they play with and are OK with trying to ruin careers. The league has turned into a bunch of goons with no disregard for each other’s safety.

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Prospal Re-Signs in Columbus, Off Rangers Radar

February 8, 2012

There were several rumors floating around that the Rangers could be interested in acquiring forward Vinny Prospal as a trade deadline rental for a playoff run. Those hopes — whether there were any truth or not is unsure — were thwarted Wednesday when Prospal re-signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets. According to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch, the deal is worth one-year and $2.5 million, and includes a no-trade clause.

Prospal, 36, spent two injury-plagued years on Broadway, but was a fan favorite. He gelled with Marian Gaborik and had success on the powerplay, something this year’s squad has been desperately lacking.

In 53 games this season, Prospal has nine goals and 33 points.

Although I wasn’t completely in love with the thought of bringing Prospal back, it really would not have cost the team much. Maybe a mid-level prospect and a 4th round pick. He surely would not have cause a rift in the locker room, as all indications are that Vinny is a great team guy.

But now, the Rangers must look elsewhere, in places with players that should no doubt require more than the Blue Jackets would have asked for in return. After last night’s offense-less performance against the New Jersey Devils, and the month-long saga of an anemic powerplay, a deal is sure to come down before Feb. 27.

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