Tag: Larry Brooks

Gary Bettman

Larry Brooks seems upset with the owners


If there’s one writer out there you can bank on for being very much on the players’ side of things in a labor battle, it’s Larry Brooks of the New York Post.

In his Sunday column, he lays into the owners and commissioner Gary Bettman and offers up his own help for the situation.

Brooks says the league should offer cap escrow on all current contracts at 3.2 percent and up to as much as 5 percent. He says doing that would help get a deal done for the season to start on time. But…

But no. The league not only hasn’t made that sort of an offer, its people have repeatedly indicated the NHL’s requirement of immediate and dramatic take-backs from the players, or else.

Or else they won’t allow the league to open for business. They’re quite something, these corporate entities lined up on the NHL’s side of the table, a group absent the intention of honoring their collective word.

Ouch. Safe to say Brooks won’t be getting invited to any parties by James Dolan or Ed Snider any time soon.

Report: Kreider playoff eligible, no deadline to sign with Rangers

chris kreider 2

Larry Brooks of the New York Post has broken some key news involving Rangers prospect and Boston College scoring sensation Chris Kreider.

Brooks reports that, since Kreider was on the Rangers’ reserve list at the Feb. 27 trade deadline, New York faces no deadline to sign him in order to secure his playoff eligibility.

This contrasts what CBC’s Elliott Friedman wrote in his most recent “30 Thoughts” column:

The timing of the NCAA’s Frozen Four final is a major headache for the Rangers. If Chris Kreider’s Boston College team makes it to the title game (the semis are Thursday), things will finish around 10 p.m. EDT Saturday night.

But, to have Kreider for the playoffs, he must be signed by the end of the regular season, which is the same evening. Usually, this process needs about 24 hours. You can bet teams are verrry interested to see if New York is given any latitude should BC get that far.

Brooks confirmed “with multiple sources” that, according to bylaw 28, players are eligible to play in the playoffs if they are on their respective team’s reserve list as of 3 p.m. the day of the deadline — which Kreider reportedly was.

The report also states that, back on the 28th, Rangers GM Glen Sather told The Post he “intends and expects” to sign Kreider at the conclusion of the Frozen Four.

This could be a big development for the Rangers. While some scoff at the idea of a 20-year-old with zero NHL experience making a playoff impact, Kreider has played with NHLers on a big stage (the 2011 World Hockey Championships), scoring 2G-1A-3PTS in seven games as Team USA advanced to the quarterfinal round.

PHT Related

NHL exec calls Rangers prospect Kreider “legitimate NHL player” — will he be this season?

Columnist: Tortorella has to stop dumping on Dubinsky

Dubinsky Stache

In Saturday’s 4-3 shootout win over Toronto, New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella took yet another “tough love” stance with forward Brandon Dubinsky.

Dubinsky was benched for seven minutes after gaffing on a read that allowed Toronto to score midway through the first period. Torts eventually sent him back out (Dubinsky responded by scoring), but then benched Dubinsky again in the third period, giving him just 43 seconds of ice time.

This isn’t the first time Tortorella’s admonished the 25-year-old. But according to the New York Post’s Larry Brooks, it should be the last.

From The Post:

Dubinsky has to answer for himself and his largely sour season. By no means is this nine-goal, 30-point year on the coach’s shoulders. But benching and demoting Dubinsky within the rotation (a tactic meant to punish, teach and motivate), which has been part of Tortorella’s approach since Thanksgiving, hasn’t yielded dividends.

The Rangers are going to need Dubinsky to be a reliable, hard-edged and productive player in the playoffs. He has been that. Last year Dubinsky was the team’s best forward in the five-game first-round defeat to the Capitals, even moving back to center when Derek Stepan struggled in his first best-of-7.

The most puzzling aspect of the Tortorella-Dubinsky relationship is that Torts seems to punish Dubi more severely than the other Rangers.

Brooks notes that on Feb. 24, Michael Del Zotto committed a “ridiculous” penalty that Tortorella publicly criticized…yet the young defenseman didn’t miss a shift.

The New York Daily News then reported that Carl Hagelin, who struggled with defensive positioning throughout the Leafs game, got an earful from Tortorella for his lackluster play….but also didn’t miss a shift.

Larry Brooks tears the Islanders a new one

Philadelphia Flyers v New York Islanders

The Islanders are in the midst of another frustrating and failing season and after missing the playoffs again this season, the fifth straight time they’ve done that, the franchise is hurting all over again.

New York Post hockey guru Larry Brooks takes aim on the Islanders for being irrelevant to the hockey landscape, not just in New York but across the league.

Brooks hammers the team on how they’ve handled recent drafts (taking Josh Bailey over the likes of Tyler Myers and Erik Karlsson among others in 2008 as well as picking Nino Niederreiter over Jeff Skinner in 2010), coaching moves, and seeing players like Michael Grabner and Kyle Okposo regressing badly. Brooks saved his biggest shots for owner Charles Wang and GM Garth Snow.

The team has no identity beyond Wang and Snow’s shtick. There may have been a fair amount of chaos under Ted Nolan, but at least his teams always were in their opponents’ face, and the same for Scott Gordon’s teams until he lost the room.

Now there’s nothing.

They have taken the treadmill to obscurity. They are the team that doesn’t matter.

Ouch. Some Isles fans may want to get angry about how Brooks hammers on the team, but there’s too much truth to get upset with the messenger here. The Islanders are poised to have yet another top-five draft pick this summer and after so many similar picks in the past only John Tavares is showing he was worth it. That’s a dire way to look at things and doesn’t leave Isles fans feeling good about the future.

Rangers to put Staal on LTIR, gain cap space

Marc Staal
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Interesting bit of news from the New York Post’s Larry Brooks about some salary cap finagling in the Big Apple. According to Brooks, the Rangers have a series of moves in place to gain an additional $3.975 million of cap space — by putting assistant captain Marc Staal on Long Term Injury Reserve.

It’s believed once the Rangers make the necessary moves to come as close to possible to the cap — including the potential recall of Mats Zuccarello from the AHL Whale in the aftermath of the groin injury suffered by Wojtek Wolski in the first period of last night’s 2-1 shootout victory over the Ducks — they will then sign and register the contract of free-agent defenseman Anton Stralman, who has agreed to terms on a one-year deal worth $900,000.

Once that’s all done, New York will reportedly put Staal on LTIR (which he already qualifies for, having been sidelined for at least 10 games and/or 24 days.) The key for the Rangers is getting as close to the $64.3-million cap as possible before putting Staal on LTIR, because they can only gain the difference between Staal’s cap hit and the amount of cap space available at the time he goes on. Isn’t the CBA fun?

Brooks also notes that Staal’s been plagued by headaches since suffering a concussion on Feb. 22 and that head coach John Tortorella says his status remains unchanged.

So without getting too far ahead of ourselves, let’s drum up a trade rumor!

Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Suter (an impending UFA) is making $3.5-million this season. With the Preds breaking the bank to extend Pekka Rinne (likely putting Shea Weber next on the “to do” list), Suter could be made available. His agent, Neil Sheehy, will resume contract talks with Preds GM David Poile in the coming weeks, but note what ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun wrote today:

“If the Preds don’t have Suter locked up as the Feb. 27 trade deadline approaches, Poile will have a mighty difficult decision to make. He didn’t move pending UFA Dan Hamhuis a few years back and saw him walk away to Vancouver in the summer. If the Preds aren’t in a playoff spot Feb 27, it’s a no-brainer: You move Suter and maximize his asset value.”

Potential hiccups:

1) Poile’s made it clear he wants to keep Rinne, Weber and Suter.

2) Even if Nashville can’t get Suter signed, they might be in a playoff spot/no position to trade him.

3) LeBrun suggests Suter could be looking for “at least $6.5 million” on a new deal, which could be way out of New York’s wheelhouse (the Rangers will already have three players making $6.5-million-plus next year: Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards and Henrik Lundqvist.)

4) New York might not even want Suter.

5) This may be based entirely on the fact I really like Suter and would want him on my team.

So there definitely are issues with what’s proposed above.

But hey, it’s always fun to speculate.