Found September 04, 2013 on
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As the offseason wears on, us and Matt Josephs of Blue Line Station (Twitter: 11Matt_Josephs8) will be running a tournament for the Best Ranger since the 2005 lockout. Today’s matchup is #2 Martin Straka vs #3 Marian Gaborik, with the winner taking on #1 Ryan Callahan in the John Tortorella bracket finals.
Martin Straka (acquired – 2005 unrestricted free agent)
Many laughed when the Rangers signed Straka after the lockout, thinking that this lowly addition couldn’t possibly help the Rangers at all. Instead, Straka clicked with Jaromir Jagr and Michael Nylander to the tune of 76 points (22-54-76) in his first season. Straka’s contributions helped the Rangers secure their first playoff spot in eight years. Straka played two additional seasons with the Rangers, finishing his NHL career in New York. Overall, he played 224 games with the club, putting together a line of 65-122-187, which is pretty solid.
Straka’s three years in New York were the last three of his NHL career. He returned home to the Czech Republic after the 2007-2008 season.
Marian Gaborik (acquired – 2009 unrestricted free agent)
Following the Scott Gomez trade, the Rangers targeting the best scorer on the 2009 free agent market, landing Marian Gaborik to a five year contract worth $7.5 million annually. That first season, Gaborik came as advertised, putting up 42-44-86 while playing 76 games. The second year, Gaborik also came as advertised, as he suffered an injury and his on-ice performance suffered to the tune of 22-26-48 in 62 games. Following a rebound year in 2011-2012 (41-35-76 in 82 games), Gaborik really struggled in the lockout year (following offseason shoulder surgery), putting up just 9-10-19 in 35 games before getting shipped to Columbus.
The gripe most fans have with Gaborik is that he wasn’t consistent, but I don’t think that’s fair. In 3.5 seasons, Gaborik had a pair of 40-goal years, and he played with a pretty bad shoulder in the 2012 playoff run. It’s tough to ask more of Gaborik, who put up 114-115-229 in 255 games. He fulfilled his role as top-line scorer.
In need of depth, the Rangers sent Gaborik to the Blue Jackets (with a pair of AHLers) for Derick Brassard, Derek Dorsett, John Moore, and a 2014 6th round pick. The trade got the Rangers to the playoffs, but most will remember Gaborik not for his 40-goal years, but for his struggles coming out of lockout #3.
So who do you think is the better Ranger, Straka or Gaborik? Vote thumbs up for the higher seed (Straka), or thumbs down for the lower seed (Gaborik). Voting ends at midnight tonight.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
The Rangers have finally released their roster for the Traverse City tournament, starting on Thursday:
Forwards: Anthony Duclair, Jesper Fast, Oscar Lindberg, Danny Kristo, Michael St. Croix, Thomas Spelling, Kyle Jean, JT Barnett, Josh Graves, Michael Kantor, Paxton Leroux, Josh Nicholls, Klarc Wilson, Andrew Yogan.
Defense: Conor Allen, Charlie Dodero, Troy Donnay, Ben Fanelli...
Per Steve Zipay, the forward lines for the Traverse City tournament are below:
Danny Kristo, Oscar Lindberg, Jesper Fast
Kyle Jean, Michael St. Croix, Thomas Spelling
Josh Nicholls, Andrew Yogan, Anthony Duclair
Klarc Wilson, Michael Kantor, Paxton Leroux
That top line is not going to be fun for the opposition to play against. It’s truly a shame that these won’t be televised...
Nine straight road games to start the season are probably not the ideal way to start for Alain Vigneault
Two years ago the Rangers went on their first prolonged road trip to start the season as Madison Square Garden underwent renovations. The Blueshirts played their first two games in Europe, which they lost in overtime to the Kings and in a shootout to the Ducks. New York had...
Every summer since I’ve started blogging and writing down my hockey opinions in internet ink, I always try to use the downtime to advance my knowledge of the game. With no hockey to watch on TV, I try to make it a point to reconnect with old friends still in the Show, read up on new systems and tactics, or dive into books illustrating important points in hockey history.
The Rangers prospects took the ice for the first of four games this afternoon in Traverse City, losing to the baby ‘Canes 4-3. The baby Blueshirts scored twice on the powerplay (Josh Nicholls, Oscar Lindberg) and once at even strength (team captain Andrew Yogan). Assists were registered by Jimmy Oligny, Danny Kristo, Jesper Fast, and Michael St. Croix.
Once again, the Rangers will have to start a season with a long road trip since MSG is undergoing the final stage of its 3 year transformation into the world’s most expensive arena. This year’s trek is a 9 game roadie which begins on October 3rd against the Coyotes in Glendale where Brad Richards scored […]
As the offseason wears on, us and Matt Josephs of Blue Line Station (Twitter: 11Matt_Josephs8) will be running a tournament for the Best Ranger since the 2005 lockout. Yesterday, #3 Ryan McDonagh took out #2 Brendan Shanahan to earn a shot at #1 Henrik Lundqvist in the Tom Renney Bracket Finals. Today, #1 Ryan Callahan takes on #4 Carl Hagelin to earn the first spot in the John Tortorella...
A goaltender actually worth his salary: The King
Corey Crawford got $6m per year long term? I think it’s clear at this stage that Henrik Lundqvist is going to get a serious pay rise. Some goaltenders are products of great teams (Crawford, a good but not great goalie may be exhibit A here) and some are great goaltenders who make teams better – a la Lundqvist. Unless he signs a...
No one, not even the most optimistic Ranger fan, would argue that Henrik Lundqvist isn’t and hasn’t been the Blue Shirts most important player since he made his Manhattan debut back in 2005. He is arguably the best player in the league at what is considered by many to be the most important position in […]
By Jim Reilly Eklundâs post speculating that the new Rangerâs coach Alain Vigneault is âquietly pushing for a big trade to change the Rangers cultureâ leaves me a bit skeptical. After all, this is a team that has played 32 playoff games the last two seasons and has won three Game Sevens. I donât believe that Alain Vigneault was brought into the organization...
If you are ready for some live hockey then the New York Ranger prospects will be taking the ice at the annual Traverse City Prospect Tournament starting on Thursday when the Baby Rangers will take on the Carolina Baby Hurricanes starting at 3:30 EDT. Wish I could tell you that there would be some live coverage of the event but that sadly will not be the case.
If there was one decision Mike Gillis had a wealth of options for, it was picking his new head coach this off-season. Sure, they weren’t all great options, but they were plentiful nonetheless. Of the regularly mentioned names to choose from all came with their individual styles, benefits and baggage.
In John Stevens you had the defensive specialist, who is lauded mostly...