New Kakko On The Blockko – But Does The Finn Have “The Right Stuff?” Rebuilding Flames Get a Haul From “Win-Now” Canucks in Elias Lindholm Trade, Should Chris Drury “Overpay” or “Stay?” James Dolan, Jeff Gorton, Larry Brooks, Trouba v. Johnson; Get Well Fischler, The Ridiculous Stadium Series Cash Grab & More

While I suggested three weeks ago in this space that the Blueshirts should trade Kaapo Kakko (but had no sources to confirm such a hunch – or did I?) – it’s now being reported that Rangers’ general manager Chris Drury is listening to offers for the second-overall pick of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft – if not promoting and engaging such talk with his peers under his own volition.

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on How are you holding up with no Ranger hockey?

For me, and due to the bye week/All-Star break – it feels like forever since the Rangers have last given up two-goals within a time-span of two-minutes or less!

But as mentioned over the weekend – with the new “real-life” work hours of 3PM-11:30PM – this bye week couldn’t have come at a better time for yours truly!

To be honest, since I last left you (when the team officially announced the shutdown of Filip Chytil), there’s really not much news that has taken place in the mean (and idle) streets of Rangerstown, USA.

(In case you missed it, then you can find that blog here: )

Rather than confirmed news (outside of the horrendously priced Stadium Series swag, which we’ll later get into) – instead, it’s been nothing but swirling speculation – and where Kaapo Kakko is seemingly at the eye of the storm.

However, while I’ve been championing for the Finn’s New York departure for a bit now; at the same time, I’m also hesitant to buy what the rumor mill is currently selling.

After all, Larry Brooks, of the New York Post, the best on Blueshirts’ beat today, isn’t as reliable as he used to be, and where let’s face it – he doesn’t really have that much competition for the “best of the beat” title either.

Let’s revise that: HE HAS NO COMPETITION AT ALL.

And this will be our first topic, of many, for tonight – and where yes – expect a whole lot of tangents and jumping around all over the place too!

Who’s Jim Ramsay? Photo Credit: New York Post

If you’re a regular reader of this website, then you know that I hold Mr. Brooks in the highest of regards.

He’s the best on the beat today, is the only one with real sources and is the only reporter that is respected by anyone involved with this organization – and that goes from the tippy-top (James Dolan) and all the way down to the idiots in marketing, who still push the “NO QUIT IN NEW YORK” slogan on the gullible ears that are willing to absorb such nonsense – and perhaps ears that afterwards – are now jealous of Vincent Van Gogh’s.

But now more so than ever, and I have said this many times over throughout the years – in order to maintain his relationships with the Blueshirts’ brass, exclusive relationships at that – Brooks doesn’t mind being a conduit for the organization when necessary either.

We saw messenger pigeon Larry fly to his keyboard whenever Glen Sather needed something to be made public – and usually during contract negotiation time with a player.

Just check the archives of this site for all of it (as I covered all of this stuff in real-time), but here’s how the cycle usually played out:

— Brooks, with his own two eyes and one heart, writes a piece promoting a player and why the Rangers should re-sign this soon-to-be free agent.

— The Rangers, no longer able to outbid anyone due to the salary cap, sees what Brooks has written and then say, “WHOA NELLIE, PUMP THOSE BRAKES BROOKSIE!”

— No less than 24-hours later, Brooks pulls a complete 180, where he devalues the player’s monetary worth in his writings – and then off-hand suggests a trade to a terrible team or market.

— About a week or two later, the player “settles” with the Rangers for less than of his original asking price, as Brooks had successfully swayed the court of public opinion – and since these agents know who butters Brooks’ bread – they also know how far the Blueshirts are willing to go – and where more times than not – these players don’t want to leave New York in the first place.

While sometimes there’s an extra step or two involved – this is how it has usually played out many times before.

Just ask Mats Zuccarello.

If you were to believe everything that Brooks has ever written, then Josh Anderson would be a ten-time Ranger by now! Photo Credit: Getty Images

Let me be clear.

Larry obviously has his sources and doesn’t make things up – but he also has no problem interjecting his thoughts, akin to playing fantasy general manager, from time-to-time too.

And that doesn’t make him bad or anything like that.

Hell, all of us play fantasy GM – and as I do too – and just as recent as two weeks ago when I first suggested these three trades on this site:

K’Andre Miller, a second round pick & Tyler Pitlick to Ottawa for Tarasenko (50% retained) & Jakob Chychrun (25% retained).

Kaapo Kakko, Zac Jones & a first round pick to Anaheim for Frank Vatrano (50% retained), Adam Henrique (50% retained) & a depth d-man of your choosing (Radko Gudas is the apple of my eye).

A fourth- and fifth-round pick to Minnesota for Pat Maroon.

Earlier this week, Brooks, who was kind of talking out both sides of his mouth, reported that Kaapo Kakko had been linked in some trade talk – and where Chris Drury’s biggest target was center Elias Lindholm – now formerly of the Flames and currently of the Canucks (more on this deal below).

Brooks’ report was picked up throughout the league and where the Canadian scribes, who break most Ranger news (mainly because most agents, ones with loose lips at that, pump maple syrup in their veins like these reporters too), confirmed – and then added to – what Brooks had said.

But even if Lindholm was the Rangers’ biggest target – that’s now off of the table.

However, what’s still on the table, or should I say block, is Kakko himself.

When I first saw what Larry had written, my immediate reaction was that this is going to piss off the entitled Finn.

And why do I call Kakko “entitled?”

Easy – and it’s stuff that I’ve said before, including the fact that he’s whined about his previous two head coaches, demands top-six and power-play minutes (and once receiving them, he does nothing with these never-ending opportunities) and acts like he plays like a second-overall pick – despite many today in the league now saying that you should view Kakko as a bottom-six NHLer and as a result – to accept that fate – and not a destiny befitting of a second-overall pick.

And even today, now installed in the Rangers’ top-six under his third head coach, Peter Laviolette – Kakko, now in Year Five, where the word “potential” has been replaced with “reality” – what’s his biggest strength?

Reminding you that he earns more money than Jesper Fast?

I can only imagine Kakko waking up on Tuesday morning and finding out that he’s being shopped around.

Such news is devastating for most players – and I can see Brooks’ report hitting Kakko with all of the force of a TROO TROO TRAIN hit.

And like many – I’m sure that Kakko knows that Brooks only reports the news that the Rangers want out there.

An example of news that the Rangers don’t want out there?

We’re all waiting for Brooks to file his report on why Jim Ramsay, an employee of 29-years, was fired by the organization.

And Brooks has nothing to say about James Dolan’s latest lawsuit filed against him either.

But hey – maybe there is a chance that Josh Anderson, now in Montreal, can finally be traded to New York this year!

Oh wait – Brooks doesn’t dare report how Chris Drury replaced his former boss, now the head-honcho of the Habs, Jeff Gorton, either!


What’s crazier – the fact that this picture isn’t even five-years-old yet – or the fact that Glen Sather still collects a paycheck from this organization? Another non-Brooks story? Everything that I’ve ever written about Sather on this site, including his 24-year tenure with no championships, his “if I had the Rangers’ payroll, then I’d win the Stanley Cup every year” quote (he didn’t even make the playoffs in his four-years prior to the salary-cap) and how he was the longest-tenured general manager (and executive) to never win a championship in the history of NYC sports. Gee, I wonder who leaked information to Brooks all of those years?

I found it humorous that something that I first suggested during the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline is now “BREAKING NEWS” around the league.

And really, it didn’t take a genius to figure this out – which is how I was able to come up with this theory so quickly!


The fact that there is some bad blood between Chris Drury and Jeff Gorton – a story that received headlines league-wide this week.

A man backstabs his friend, his mentor and his boss for his own job and the guy who lost his job is pissed about it?



This “story” only picked up traction this week in light of Chytil being shutdown for the season – and as everyone scrambles to come up with centers that the Rangers (Drury) should be looking at.

One of these players is Sean Monahan, currently of the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge.

When I first threw out the name of Adam Henrique to you a few weeks back (and funny how everyone else, including Brooks, is mentioning him today), it wasn’t random.

And while it’s worked out for another “Ranger Killer” this season, Jonathan Quick; Henrique, another “Ranger Killer” featured in my latest book – his infamous status wasn’t a reason why either.

The main reason?

What other viable and realistic options are out there?

I was never that high on Elias Lindholm to begin with, and deep-down, and this is just my own speculation and not any sort of fact or anything like that – I just feel that Chris Drury has had enough Europeans for one lifetime.

This is just a generalization (and of course, there are plenty of exceptions to this too), but there is truth in the fact that North American players grow up watching and playing the NHL style of game, whereas for the Euros, they grow up watching their homeland’s brand of puck – and more times than not – there is a transition period when adapting to a whole new world.

(And why wouldn’t this be the case?)

Drury, who as mentioned, served under Gorton during the former GM’s tenure, saw all of these high-end Euro busts that the Rangers have suffered through in recent years, including Lias Andersson, Vitali Kravtsov and to a lesser extent (and for different reasons), both Filip Chytil and Kaapo Kakko.

The Rangers’ GM is also aware of Will Cuylle, a Toronto-born Canadian, and who in his rookie year, has made the transition look like a piece of cake – and that’s not something that even Alexis Lafreniere, born in the French-speaking part of the Great White North, can say.

Furthermore, it was going to take a lot to land Lindholm, presently on the last-year of a six-year contract ($4,850,000 AAV/$29,100,000 overall) – and where in every definition of the word, was only going to be “rental” for the Rangers – as the Blueshirts don’t have the money that the 29-year-old Swede will be looking for this summer.

How big of a haul was needed in order to get the Flames to move their pending UFA – and to a division rival no less?

I’ll let the Canucks, who successfully traded for Lindholm late Wednesday night, tell you all about it.

(I always like sharing what the “winner” of a trade has to say after their big deals – and yes – and as many GMs have said over the years – the “winner” of a trade is the team that lands the big fish – and especially a team like the Canucks who are presently in “WIN NOW” mode themselves.)

The following comes courtesy of

Vancouver, B.C. – Vancouver Canucks General Manager Patrik Allvin announced today that the club acquired forward Elias Lindholm from the Calgary Flames in exchange for Andrei Kuzmenko, Hunter Brzustewicz, Joni Jurmo, a first-round pick and a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2024 NHL Entry Draft.

“First of all, I want to thank Kuzy for all that he did for the Vancouver Canucks. Andrei worked hard at improving his game and trying to adjust to life as a pro in North America,” said Allvin. “In acquiring Elias Lindholm we feel that he vastly improves our hockey team. He is a proven front line performer and will give head coach Rick Tocchet some more options when putting together our top two lines.”

Lindholm, 29, has appeared in 49 games with the Flames this season, registering 32 points (9-23-32) and 21 penalty minutes. The 6’1” 202-pound forward was named alternate captain for Calgary this season and led all Flames forwards in time on ice per game, averaging 20:45. After an impressive start to the season, Lindholm is set to make his NHL All-Star debut in Toronto this weekend.

In 792 career regular season NHL games split between Calgary and Carolina, Lindholm has collected 545 points (212-333-545), 197 penalty minutes and a +21 plus/minus rating. The Boden, Sweden native has also appeared in 27 career playoff games, tallying 17 points (8-9-17) and 12 penalty minutes. 

Internationally, Lindholm has competed for Team Sweden on numerous occasions and including a gold medal in the 2017 World Championships and two silver medals in the 2013 and 2014 World Junior Championships.

Lindholm was initially selected by the Carolina Hurricanes in the first round fifth overall in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

For the sake of posterity, here’s how the Flames broke the trade on the Tweeter Machine:

When you look at what was required to trade for a WIN NOW RENTAL, then the “Rangers’ Equivalency” would have had them part ways with Kaapo Kakko, a 2024 first-round pick, Matthew Robertson, Zac Jones and a conditional fourth-round pick.

And despite how I have also been pushing the WIN NOW mantra on you guys and gals all season – such a package isn’t worth it for Lindholm.

We’re not exactly talking about a Mark Messier or a Wayne Gretzky here.

Heck, we are kind of talking about a Petr Nedved here!

(And for more on him, check out: )

I think “THE PIZZAMAN” dodged some food poisoning by not giving up what Vancouver gave up for Lindholm. Photo Credit: Colony Grill (Try the hot oil diarrhea pizza!)

To tie all of this together in a long-winded way, I never thought that Lindholm was a realistic option despite Brooks’ suggestion/report – and after seeing the package that Vancouver gave up – I’m glad that Drury shied away.

Furthermore, since it was COMMON FREAKIN’ SENSE that Jeff Gorton is not going to help out “Et tu, Drury?” (where else will you get a non-gambling Julius Caesar reference in the hockey world?)then, and even if Drury wants/wanted to mend fences with Gorton – what’s it now going to take to land Sean Monahan after seeing this Lindholm trade?

And even if Gorton can put all personal grudges and feelings of betrayal to the side, then you know that he’s going to want something nearly as big as what Calgary got for Lindholm – and especially with the pressure of the huge market that he’s in.

And Drury as a potential customer?

Drury would have to overpay out of his mind to get Monahan – and where maybe these insanely priced Stadium Series articles of clothing can be an incentive?

You know, the $40 scarves and $120 hoodies:

Even if I had POWERBALL winning money, then I’d still wouldn’t buy any of this shit out of principle. While I don’t wear scarves anyway, $40 for something that costs $1 to make – and something that sponsors give away for free? What a freakin’ racket – and the FANATICS merchandising monopoly over NHL fans is criminal. Photo Credit:

With Lindholm out and Monahan a pipe-dream, then that my friends, is why I think that Adam Henrique has to be the center that Drury acquires – and a center that we all now know is required, due to the Chytil shutdown.

This now brings us to another debate that’s raging like your grandfather’s hemorrhoids.

Should the Rangers, who haven’t played .500 hockey since December 5th, even be BUYERS in the first place – and where speaking of those two words, “first place” – it’s woefully apparent that the Rangers’ present standing in the Metro Division is as hollow as a dead oak tree.

I’ve talked about this before, but the short version for tonight:

The Metro Division has never been weaker since its 2013 inception.

Between perennial playoff teams like the Capitals and Penguins aging out, a rebuild in Columbus, a “sophomore slump” in New Jersey, the Islanders being the Islanders, and the surprising Flyers, who were supposed to be even worse than the Blue Jackets but are contending with the Blueshirts instead (and currently skidding like them too), all in haphazard states – being at the top of this division doesn’t mean what it used to.

And the eighth team of this division?

The Hurricanes are surging – but can anyone really take them serious come the playoffs – and not only because of their recent history – but also because they can’t find a goalie who can stay healthy for more than 24-hours at a time?

So while the Rangers are in first-place in their division (for right now), and while yes, “ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN IN THE PLAYOFFS” too – do you really buy this team, as presently constructed, as your 2024 Stanley Cup champions?

This team is one injury away (Artemi Panarin) from joining the Blue Jackets at the bottom of the division. And even if Panarin goes on to win the Hart Trophy this year – there’s nothing to suggest that his regular season success carries over to when it matters the most – and I only say this because we’ve seen this movie, and its sequels, several times before.

But, and as a “Rangers’ Historian” (thanks Stan Fischler for bestowing this title upon me – a title where for $45878475897489748979857894795878 in my pocket – then I can afford a Stadium Series Scarf too), these are the Rangers.

They are always go big or go home – and sadly, it’s usually both at the same time.

It’s also why the February of 2018 “THE LETTER” was so monumental and historic – hell it was UNPRECEDENTED.

At this time – try to distance yourself from what you just read.

Instead, go back to my 41st birthday, June 13th, 2023 – the date when Peter Laviolette was hired-and-installed as the 37th coach of franchise history.

Do you remember what happened during his introductory press conference?

If not, then I’ll remind you.

No less than three times did Laviolette say that his goal was to win the Stanley Cup – in 2024.

So despite the current circumstances and stink around this team these days – there’s just no way in this world that you can think that this team will be SELLERS at the deadline.

(Plus, most of the players that you’d like to sell are impossible to move, due to the never-ending NMCs – and where I believe that even the popcorn vendor at M$G has one!)

And then of course, there’s James Dolan.

Rangers’ owner James Dolan and his good pal Harvey Weinstein. Photo Credit: U.S. District Court.

If you have been living under a rock, and don’t know what hot water that Dolan is now wading in these days, then check out:

Two weeks after this story was first broken, there hasn’t been a true update since – outside of Dolan’s lawyers (Dolan himself hasn’t said a word) denying all charges and allegations.

But with Dolan’s history, and where you have to feel that prosecutors wouldn’t get involved if there wasn’t anything to this; then, and as a man of many adages that I plaster in my writings, another one applies here:

“When there’s smoke, there’s fire.”

But, I also believe in “innocent until proven guilty” too.

I bring up Dolan’s current issues for one reason, this one:

Going into this season, I do believe that Chris Drury’s seat was getting warm.

While not red-hot, I do think there was a ton of pressure on the general manager and it’s not just because of the embarrassing choke-job of a loss to the Devils. Instead, it’s what I’ve been saying for years now – and as I said right after the John Davidson/Jeff Gorton firings:

James Dolan is now approaching 70-years-old (he turns 69 – and it would be poor timing to make a 69 joke right now all things considered – on May 11th, 2024).

As the owner and head-honcho of both the Knicks and Rangers – Dolan, in his now thirty-years of ownership, hasn’t seen a championship won from either of these teams in their past sixty-seasons (combined).

At some point, that word “legacy” starts creeping in.

While no one could’ve predicted the mess that Dolan now finds himself in with Weinstein; prior to that, the mercurial mess was (and still is) at risk of leaving this world without ever winning a thing – sans the silver spoon he got at birth.

And if you know Dolan, or anything about him at all, then you know that he doesn’t want to go out like that.

And yep, and as repeated about 40374078963894678936789678973894 times before on this site – despite Dolan never winning a thing – you can never accuse him of being cheap.

He’s spent every penny imaginable – and I’m sure that fact keeps him up at night when he looks at his bare and ringless fingers.

While we can worry about if Dolan will show up to a championship parade and/or on-ice hoisting of the Cup ceremony once we get there – I do wonder if his present predicament takes some of the heat off of Drury.

After all, Dolan has bigger things to worry about than his hockey team – and a Rangers’ franchise that he rarely pays much attention to in the first place.

If anything, and again, I’m assuming – and not reporting, then I’m led to believe that Dolan wants all things status-quo – and not an extra headache or headline on his hands.

In other words, even if the Rangers miss the playoffs, then I still think that Drury will be safe.

But if Dolan is exonerated and cleared of all charges?

Well that’s a risk that Drury can’t take – and also knowing what Laviolette had said over the summer – then I 100% believe that the Rangers have to – and will be – BUYERS at the deadline.

Another knock against Drury right now?

Look at what Kris Knoblauch is doing right now in Edmonton.

While Knoblauch’s success in Oiltown isn’t a direct correlation to what I’m saying here, nor is it a knock against Drury either – what do you think Dolan will say should the Oilers go all the way, while the safe hire, Laviolette, does what the old coach did and fulfills my preseason prediction – becomes a “LATERAL” move?

In either event, and both due to the Eastern Conference really being up for grabs and even with the Rangers’ recent struggles – Drury has to operate as a buyer.

Plus, you don’t spend all of this money on air-tight NMC contracts – and then give up at the deadline.

After all, what kind of message would that send – not only to both his owner and the fans – but to the core group of players too?

In conclusion, Dolan is desperate for a championship – and Drury knows it.

So does Laviolette.

This now brings us to where we began – does Kakko even have “the right stuff” for a potential trading partner?

If only the Rangers had the first-overall pick a year earlier than when they got it in 2020! And “IT’S SO RANGERS” that despite receiving a first- and second-overall pick in consecutive years, that a true number one center wasn’t available. So on brand!

While many Ranger fans, writers, pundits, bloggers, whoever, all have their ideas on who Drury should move (my ideas are above, but others would like to see Barclay Goodrow and Ryan Lindgren dealt – which is just crazy to me – and even crazier are the people suggesting that both CZAR IGOR and Mika Zibanejad will be traded); what we do know for a FACT is that Drury has dangled the “Kakko Karat” out there.

I’ve made the Rico Fata jokes about Kakko before and where NHL history also tells us this – if there’s a high-end draft pick bust somewhere – then there will always be a team willing to take that player on as a reclamation project.

(Just ask Jamie Lundmark, Manny Maholtra or Pavel Brendl!)

This has been going on ever since the early days of the NHL – and even more so now – when you can get these players, once full of potential, for dirt cheap against the almighty salary cap.

Kakko is presently on the final year of a two-year contract that pays him $2.1M annually, and where come this summer, he will become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights.

The Rangers?

They have plenty of youthful wingers waiting in the “wings” should Kakko be dealt, where of course, and outside of a Cuylle promotion, then Brennan Othmann is drawing the bulk of the attention.

Obviously, I have no personal interaction with Kakko, nor can speak to his mind either, but I do wonder if one of oldest theories in this town applies to him, you know, this one:

“Not every player is cut out to play in New York City.”

If other GMs believe that, then they will be willing to accept a fair (and hopefully less than fair offer) where Kakko is on the other side of it.

And let’s just say that Kakko gets dealt to either Ottawa or Anaheim tomorrow – and for the players that I listed above in the trades that I’d try to execute.

Even if he goes on to realize his potential, and then becomes a 35 goals, 90-points player – would it have ever happened here in NYC?

I think that you have to at least take that into consideration.

At the very least, we know that Drury is – as that has to be his pitch to rival GMs who are looking at his trade block.

One last “bonus” piece before going home.

Ivan “Ching” Johnson, who is featured in my first book (check the PLUGS segment to buy it if you haven’t already), won two Stanley Cups with the Rangers (or 50% of them in franchise history) as the team’s top defenseman. Between that and his 1958 Hall of Fame induction – the Rangers currently spit into the faces of anyone who wants to see his #3 rightfully hung in the rafters of M$G. I’m still wiping the saliva away. Photo Credit: NHL Archives

As all of you guys & gals know, aside from doing both this site and writing books in my free time, I also do some freelance work for Stan Fischler, where “THE MAVEN” has featured yours truly in such places as and “The Hockey News,” among other venues.

And as mentioned earlier – he’s officially deemed me as a “RANGERS’ HISTORIAN,” while also referring to me as “MAVEN JUNIOR” – and I will always cherish that.

(Plus: He also wrote the forewords to two of my books – and in turn – I’m forever grateful.)

Simply stated: The man’s mind is to be marveled.

Anyway, and with my shameless self-pat-on-the-back aside; the other day, Stan asked if I could give him a few words for a future piece, a test article if you will, comparing legendary Rangers’ rearguard, Ching Johnson, to a player that plays like him today, current Blueshirts captain, Jacob Trouba.

For what it’s worth, Stan has a bevy of people that he goes to for stuff like this, just so he can get every angle possible.

For example, while I might come up with something new, someone else may have come up with something that I didn’t. (And that person is usually George Grimm – a hell of a friend – and an even better author!)

This process just makes for a better all-encompassing article.

Sadly, and due to my new work schedule, I couldn’t give Stan what he wanted prior to his deadline.

However, and since no writer likes their words “to go to waste;” I’m going to share with you what I sent to Stan – and where yes – I did have a word-count to adhere too – as I could go all day talking about Ching Johnson – and as I did in my first book, “The New York Rangers Rink of Honor and the Rafters of Madison Square Garden.”


Long before the “TROO TROO TRAIN” there was the “CHING CONVOY!”

The New York Rangers, set to celebrate their one hundredth birthday in two years’ time, may not have many Stanley Cups to show for it – but darn it – at least they are consistent!

As one of the oldest teams not only in hockey, but in all of professional sports too; the team from the Big Apple has always been known for its state-of-the-art goaltending, boasting such luminaries including Lorne Chabot, Dave Kerr, Chuck Rayner, Gump Worsley, Eddie Giacomin, John Davidson, John Vanbiesbrouck, Mike Richter, Henrik Lundqvist, and the man in the barrel today, Igor Shestyorkin.

But perhaps lost in all of that are the legendary men who have also stood up for these Blueshirt backstops, and of course, I’m talking about the Rangers’ rearguards.

Need an example?

Look no further to the first defensemen ever signed by the first general manager/head coach in franchise history, Conn Smythe, who made it his mission to ink Ivan “Ching” Johnson to the dotted line in 1926.

Wearing #3 for the Rangers, but arguably #1 in the hearts of the fans (Johnson was voted as the Most Valuable Player by New York hockey fans on several occasions and where players from the Amerks were also on the ballot), the southpaw defenseman relished when playing a physical and rugged brand of hockey – and where the 5’11” 210lb d-man had no problem laying the big hits – or blocking big shots either.

Sound familiar?

Hello Jacob Trouba.

Trouba, the current captain of the Blueshirts today, arrived to New York on June 17th, 2019 – a somewhat ironic and fitting date – as Johnson, who won two (or half of the franchise’s four championships) Stanley Cups with the Rangers, passed away exactly forty-years prior on June 17th, 1979, at the age of 81-years-old.

As Johnson was then, Trouba is now.

While Johnson was never truly viewed as “villainous” as Trouba presently is to the other 31-teams across the league; like his long-time predecessor, “The Great Eight” of the Blueshirts has garnered a reputation of delivering the most bone-crushing body blows to his opponents, hits known as stations on the “TROO TROO TRAIN” – while also eating more rubber than Joey Chestnut downs hotdogs on the Fourth of July.

Going into the 2024 All-Star break, Trouba leads all Rangers (and most of the the league too) in blocked shots (142) and hits (112).

Furthermore, the Rangers’ captain is the only player in the NHL today to have hit the century-mark in both of these statistics.

While blocked shots and hits weren’t officially tracked in Johnson’s day – ask any goalie who stood behind him – and they’ll tell you all about it.

But Johnson’s black-and-white 836 PIM accumulated in his eleven NHL seasons (Trouba has 570 of them thus far in his career) only speaks to his rowdy style.

And unlike Trouba – Johnson didn’t have the benefit of dressing up in a suit of armor – as with not much protection outside of wet cardboard – Johnson’s hits not only hurt his opponent – but it hurt him too.

Johnson, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1958, and like Trouba today, endeared himself to Ranger fans because of his hard-nosed hockey.

And such a brand never left him.

Put it this way: Once retired, Johnson served as a referee in 1944. During a game with the stripes, and not a jersey on his back – a player was rushing up the ice towards him, and in an example of old habits die hard – Johnson leveled that player with a thunderous hit!

When asked what he was thinking after the game, Johnson, and with not much remorse, said, “sorry, it was just instinct!”

Due to the guaranteed contracts of this era, Trouba most likely won’t ever have to don a zebra shirt in order to make ends meet in his lifetime.

But should he ever accept such an assignment – then, and for players on both sides – look both ways before crossing the tracks – as you never know when the TROO TROO TRAIN will be coming through!

The two “MAVENS,” the young one and the younger one!

I would like to wish my good pal some good luck right now, as not only is he living in war zone Israel, but he’s also battling against a new strain of COVID-19.

We love you Stan – and even with these two things against him – he’s still writing his heart out.

(And once his Johnson/Trouba story drops on, then I’ll plug it here.)

Another plug?

Check out his autobiography, which you can find here: Tales of Brooklyn

Want a bonus plug?

Then here you go:

My other friends, the good people over at “The Blueshirt Underground Show,” returned with a new episode this past Wednesday night (1/31).

To check it out, click the play button below:

And what a coincidence, as following all of that, that now brings us to…

PLUGS TIME! (Buy a book and support my Rangers’ induced therapy bills. After all, I don’t run ads on this site!)

My fourth title and tenth book is now available!

“The Top 100 Villains of New York Rangers History,” is now available for sale!

For complete information, please visit:

The hardcover version of my first book, available now at

My second plug of tonight’s blog – the mandatory plug for my book, “The New York Rangers Rink of Honor and the Rafters of Madison Square Garden.”

As mentioned previously, the book is now available in hardcover, in paperback and in Kindle formats. To purchase a copy of the book, visit this link:

For those still looking for signed paperback versions of the book, I have re-ordered more copies. I now have a few signed copies for sale at $25 a pop (includes shipping price) through me directly. Here is all the information on that:

Order “The New York Rangers Rink of Honor and the Rafters of Madison Square Garden” Book Today

My four-volume set of books, “One Game at a Time – A Season to Remember,” is a game-by-game recount of the Rangers 2021-22 campaign.

My second title as an author, “One Game at a Time – A Season to Remember,” is now available in eBook, paperback and hardcover formats.

To obtain signed copies, visit:

To purchase all four volumes on Amazon, visit: – “One Game at a Time.”

The greatest volume-set of books on Rangers’ history today!

“Tricks of the Trade – A Century-Long Journey Through Every Trade Made In New York Rangers’ History,” a four-volume set of books that meticulously covers every trade made in franchise history, is now on sale.

All four volumes of the title can be purchased on and are presented in three different formats – eBook, paperback and hardcover.

To purchase Volume I: Conn Smythe (1926) – Craig Patrick (1986), visit

To purchase Volume II: Phil Esposito (1986) – Neil Smith (2000), visit

To purchase Volume III: Glen Sather (2000-2015), visit

To purchase Volume IV: Jeff Gorton (2015) – Chris Drury (2022), visit

To purchase signed copies of all four volumes, visit

Here are my last few blogs, in case you missed them:

Filip Chytil Officially Shutdown For Season; Rangers Release Statement (And Where the “C-Word” Isn’t Mentioned), The Irresponsible Gary Bettman, Drury Makes Two Transactions, Lundqvist Beats Isles & More

NYR/OTT 1/27 Review: Wolf Pack’s Mr. Mackey’s Big Game Saves Blueshirts; Rangers Enter Break with a Much Needed & Most Unusual Win – But Nothing Has Changed, Trouba Suspended; Lindgren Injured, Power-Play Problems, Ride Quick’s Hot Hand, M$GN & More

NYR/VGK 1/26 Review: Take Your Pick – “Deja Vu” or “Same Old Script!” Blueshirts Blown Out Again; Every Flaw Remains the Same, “Lateralette” Joins David Quinn & Gerard Gallant, Chytil’s Return Shutdown After Another Concussion Scare; Nick Bonino Goes Unclaimed, WHO’S WORSE: Mika or Lafreniere? Lindgren Out, A Decent ESPN Broadcast & More

If you haven’t already, subscribe to this blog for the next update:

Now on sale!

Don’t forget to order my recently released four-volume set of books, “Tricks of the Trade!”

If you don’t order through me, all four volumes are now available on

For more details, check out:

Thanks for reading.


Sean McCaffrey

@NYCTHEMIC on the Tweeter machine

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4 thoughts on “New Kakko On The Blockko – But Does The Finn Have “The Right Stuff?” Rebuilding Flames Get a Haul From “Win-Now” Canucks in Elias Lindholm Trade, Should Chris Drury “Overpay” or “Stay?” James Dolan, Jeff Gorton, Larry Brooks, Trouba v. Johnson; Get Well Fischler, The Ridiculous Stadium Series Cash Grab & More

  1. Good news — only three (3) gambling spots during the Super Bowl! yes!!!!! Wish Kakko the best whereever he may end up!!! Drink something other than Buffalo Trace!! Try real Bourbon!!!!!

    1. I drink all kinds of whisky lol, Buffalo TRace is right up there for me with Basil Hayden, Makers Mark, Michters and yes, Proper 12 too! What do you recommend?

      1. Your choice of Michters is good! Try Elijah Craig or Eagle Rare! The toast barrel of these are a little more expensive but worth it. Blantons is great but too much price wise. I enjoy reading your blog. A lot of truths and some laughs in there too !!!!!!! Don’t stop!!!!!

        1. Blanton’s is out of my range – especially when wolfing it down when writing lol.

          Had the Craig, it’s okay, just haven’t got a taste for it like the others.

          Thanks for the support

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