The Summer of 2023 Now Down Two Players; Tyler Pitlick Clears Waivers & Sent to Hartford – But Was This Chris Drury’s Master Plan? Adam Edstrom Promoted To Varsity Roster; Laviolette’s Vote of Confidence, BSU Watch Party, Casino Night, Trap Game Ahead Prior To First Meeting with Isles, Stan Fischler on Rivalry, Standings & More

Another one of Chris Drury’s “Summer of Six-Figure Signings” was cut loose by the Rangers on Tuesday, February 13th. Once clearing waivers a day later, Tyler Pitlick then received a Valentine’s Day gift from his general manager – a one-way heart-shaped bus-pass to Hartford, CT. While this news is awful for Pitlick, it’s also amazing news for Adam Edstrom – and perhaps for the Blueshirts themselves.

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on Never a slow news day!

Admittedly, this will be a short one tonight (or at least a short one for me – as I’m still hitting 5,000 words – ugh!) – and as I try to lighten my load in preparation for Thursday night’s Rangers vs. Canadiens GAME REVIEW.

Let’s jump right into it.

Pitlick’s Rangers’ tombstone is now in “The Bone Yard.”

Following Nick Bonino being waived several weeks prior on January 24th ( ), and the Rangers (Chris Drury) then agreeing to a mutual parting of the ways with the veteran on February 6th ( ); a week after the Bonino/Blueshirts split, the organization also decided to waive another one of their “Summer Six-Figure Salary Signings,” another NHL vet to boot, Tyler Pitlick.

Personally for Pitlick – the timing of this transaction couldn’t have been any worse.

After all, he was waived just hours prior to the team’s annual “CASINO NIGHT” – and where following this transaction – I just hope that he was able to get a full refund on his tux rental!

And just to think – he was also brushing up on his Blackjack throughout the recent Blueshirts’ break!

But as they say, and as a writer who sure loves his adages, here’s another one for you:

“As one door closes, another one opens.”

While the door isn’t fully shut on Pitlick just yet (but only because he later cleared waivers), a door has now opened for Adam Edstrom, who the head coach, Peter Laviolette, raved about on Wednesday morning following the team’s practice:

As I jump around a bit – but just for the record and to say it – once again, it was another Canadian reporter – and not a member of the Blueshirts’ beat – that first broke the news about the Rangers waiving Pitlick:

Not to sound like an asshole (and you’ll know when I’m going for that!), but it’s tough to envision the Rangers missing a beat without Pitlick in their line-up. Photo Credit: NYR

When you look at Pitlick, at the end of the day, the 32-year-old has become a league journeyman, as his brief stop in New York, 34-games in total, was his eighth NHL city.

But unlike his peer Nick Bonino, Pitlick has never had a “true peak” – and as Bones once did in Pittsburgh as the center of the “HBK line” (Carl Hagelin, Nick Bonino and Phil Kessel) during the Penguins’ back-to-back Stanley Cup winning years of 2016 and 2017.

And wouldn’t it be amazing Suzyn if Kessel, who is currently trying out for the Vancouver Canucks these days (he has a strong relationship with their head coach, Rick Tocchet), winds up with the Rangers?

Should such an unlikely event take place, then Kessel would complete the “HBK line” trifecta – as a player who skated for both the black-and-yellow and the Blueshirts.

Plus, the Kessel’s, sister Amanda and brother Phil, would also become the first brother-sister combo to have ever received paychecks from James Dolan – as Amanda once worked for the Rangers in their public relations department (mainly to promote womens’ hockey).

Today, Ms. Kessel is now Kyle Dubas’ assistant in Pittsburgh.

Small world.

But alas, I digress!

Pitlick leaves New York just like how he entered it – without much fanfare. Photo Credit: NYR

To stick with the Bonino and Pitlick comparisons for just a bit, as both of these men were signed as cheap veteran help over the summer (and Pitlick’s cap-hit was only $787,500) – come the finish line of their respective Ranger tenures – both players were eventually replaced by Wolfpack players.

However, while Bonino was essentially replaced by Jonny Brodzinski – a JONNY HOCKEY who is already 30-years-old and also a player who has had the “4A” label affixed to him for years – Pitlick has been replaced by a minor-leaguer who has his whole career in front of him – the 23-year-old Adam Edstrom.

When I look at both of these transactions, I’m left wondering – was this Drury’s master-plan from day one?

(And yes, that’s what I truly believe too!)

Similar to jury-rigging a broken appliance/piece of equipment just so it can temporarily work for you in the meantime – it feels like Drury knew what he was doing when he signed both Bonino and Pitlick on the cheap.

While I wouldn’t exactly say that the Rangers “ran Bonino and Pitlick into the ground” – and then discarded both of them like how NFL teams do with their running backs; it does feel like Drury, who at the time, needed a cheap fix – signed both of these guys and once their usefulness had worn off – BOOM – younger, and now ready-and-able, players were called-in to replace them.

Then again, and to give you every angle as well – I don’t think that it was ever the plan for both the Rangers and their AHL affiliate to ship the Wolfpack’s captain to New York.

Filip Chytil’s injury opened a spot, a door if you will, for Brodzinski – and since that time – he’s never walked back through it to the other side.

But I do believe that the Blueshirts were waiting for someone in Hartford to breakout, and in this most recent instance, it’s BIG ED.

(And as noted about 67896789678969768976896 times before – it was never going to be Brennan Othmann – as he fits a top-six role – and not a bottom-six/fourth line roster spot.)

And like any other Stanley Cup contender (and winner) from the salary cap era, and while the Rangers do have Will Cuylle on the main roster – you always need that one young guy to give the team a shot in the arm too – and with Edstrom standing seven-feet tall (on skates) – that’s one hell of a big shot.

Another thought?

Perhaps this same line of thinking also applied when the Rangers signed Jonathan Quick – where hadn’t he worked out like everyone and their mother expected prior to the season’s commencement – then perhaps we’d be talking about the recall of Dylan Garand right now too.

I’m happy to see Edstrom get a shot – but what does REMPESTEIN need to do in order to get his?

As of this writing, it’s not known yet if the Rangers will afford the same deal to Pitlick as they did with Bonino – by offering him an outright release.

But, and as noted, Bonino and Pitlick are in two different boats – and where Bonino, who hasn’t hooked up with another NHL team since receiving his release, is still holding on for one last run in the top league in the land.

For Pitlick, he may be more agreeable when being asked to play in Hartford.

Not only will Pitlick be looking for a new contract this summer (and there’s a good chance that Bonino retires come the Summer of ’24 too), but a good run in Hartford won’t only lead to a “Black Ace” role with a Stanley Cup contender – but it will go a long way when looking for employment for the 2024-25 campaign.

As they say, “we’ll see.”

It’s also unknown if Pitlick will return to the Rangers this season either – and where such a scenario isn’t looking too good at the present moment.

In a pair of corresponding moves, and as Mrs. Panarin seemingly enters her tenth month of pregnancy (how fitting, considering the number that her husband wears), the Rangers returned Matt Rempe to Hartford (who following his “rookie lap” from Monday night – is still looking to play in his first NHL game of his career) and then recalled Alex Belzile.

Should Mrs. Panarin bake herself a human loaf of bread between now and Thursday night’s game against Montreal, then it will be Belzile, and not Rempe, nor Pitlick neither, who slots into “Lavy’s Line-Up.”

To close the “Blueshirts’ Book” on Pitlick for now, and to sum up his Rangers’ run, he basically won the team’s twelfth-and-final forward spot in training camp. However, Jimmy Vesey later won that spot following the fourth game of the season and Pitlick then only became an every game regular once both Filip Chytil and Kaapo Kakko went down with their respective injuries.

At one point, Pitlick looked like he had a good chance of becoming part of one of the best fourth-line trios in franchise history – or at the very least – the best Rangers’ fourth-line trio since the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons.

However, and aside from his defensive work, where really, is 100% replaceable – he didn’t bring anything different to both the team and his line – and as Goodrow and Vesey do.

In his 34-games, Pitlick only scored four points – one goal and three assists.

Despite the recent winning ways for the Rangers, and where you can’t hang a fourth-line and/or Pitlick specifically for a lot of the stagnant and dormant activity (that finger gets directly pointed at Mika Zibanejad); the Blueshirts were overdue for some change – and where that change now comes in the form of Edstrom.

More change should eventually take place prior to the trade deadline – or so I hope.

After all, Edstrom is a fourth-liner too, and as said with Zibanejad – this top-six and current power-play isn’t enough for a deep postseason run.

Last but not least, and while not trying to disrespect Pitlick either – I thought that the Rangers lost more when they parted ways with Bonino than with this news of the day.

At least Bonino brought something to the team (shot blocking and faceoffs), where with Pitlick – it’s tough to find something unique that he brought to the club – and along with the “Drury Master-Plan Theory” – is why Edstrom is now here today.

And since the general manager doesn’t do press conferences – then we’ll never know if this was his original vision/intention either.

The Rangers held their annual casino night this past Tuesday. Original Photo Credit: NYR

Whether Laviolette misspoke on Monday when he said that his team were going to practice on Tuesday or whether it was the snowy weather in New York itself – come Tuesday morning – the team had the day off – but they were working come nightfall during the franchise’s annual “Casino Night” fundraiser.

From all accounts, “Casino Night,” and as it always does, went off without a hitch and was once again an overwhelming success – and where based on all of the smiling and laughter – not one tear was shed for the departing Pitlick.

Come Wednesday morning, and as shown in the video linked above, the team held another practice and where the head coach spoke afterwards.

There were only two things of note from Wednesday’s events.

One, the power-play units were returned to their original quintets, and where the bench boss, during his “LAVY’S LOUNGE,” said that he felt that the PP1 unit, one of the best in the league during the past few years, had to play through (and hopefully snap) their current zero for their last seventeen slump – and in addition – finally end their eight-game drought too.

Two, Laviolette confirmed that Pitlick’s dismissal was a complete corresponding move in order to give Edstrom a go of it.

While Laviolette didn’t seem as broken up about losing Pitlick as he did with Bonino (and that was to be expected, as Laviolette had a previous relationship with Bonino – and was also a driving force when the Rangers first signed him), the head coach was excited to see what Edstrom can do.

For me, I just hope that Edstrom gets some time – and even if he completely shits the bed on Thursday night – then gets a few more games.

After all, you can’t assess a player after only one game played – and whether that player looks good or bad.

And how about it for Edstrom?

Should all systems remain a go, then the Mountainous Swede will get a chance to play during Sunday’s outdoor game against the Islanders.

But prior to the big game at Metlife, the worst NFL stadium in the league – the Montreal Canadiens.

In case you forgot, then it was Montreal goaltender, Sam Montembeault, perhaps a future entrant for my second volume of “RANGER KILLERS,” who shone against the Blueshirts on January 6th at the Poutine Palace. In the Habs’ 4-3 shootout win, Montembeault, who channeled every Canadiens’ goaltending legend of years’ past, recorded 46 saves through 65-minutes – and then went a perfect 3-for-3 in the shootout. For the complete GAME REVIEW, then check out:

While everyone is looking ahead and talking about the first Rangers vs. Islanders game of the season (and the horrible NHL scheduling too – after all – these two teams were done playing each other last season by Thanksgiving – and this season – they don’t meet for the first time until the Presidents’ Day weekend – and outside in a gimmick game to boot); the Blueshirts, currently on a five-game winning streak – must, no NEED, to handle the lowly Canadiens on Thursday night before even thinking about the blue-and-orange tenants of the IBS Arena.

For your consideration, the following – the league’s standings following all games played through Wednesday, 2/14:

Photo Credit: ESPN

As you can see, the Blueshirts, third-best in the league, ON PAPER (and we know how that goes) should be able to handle the third-worst team of the Atlantic Division.

One way to earn such a victory?

If Mika Zibanejad finally decides to earn some of his salary this season.

If not, then how about the power-play waking up from their Rip Van Winkle slumber?

But if neither of these two events should take place – then the Rangers, and as it’s been recently, will need their bottom-six to propel them to victory.

Nothing has been said yet about who gets the nod in net – but to go back to my prediction from during the break – I think that Jonathan Quick has to get this game – just so CZAR IGOR is fully rested, prepared and ready to go on Sunday against the Islanders.

And really, shouldn’t this always be the case – your back-up starting against a bad team and then your starter playing in the big game?

And yes, while I know that the Islanders have their own issues – and where “The Patrick Roy Effect” has yet to take place – you always want to dress your best line-up against your arch-rival – and especially during a big gimmick cash-grab game that’s being aired nationally.

Another point to consider?

You don’t want Quick sitting out for nearly two-weeks either.

The biggest FAKE NEWS and photoshopped picture of all time – after all, there’s no such thing as a clean subway car! Photo Credit: NHL

I was originally going to write a bit about Rangers vs Islanders – but everyone and their mother have already done so – and where I think my good pal, “THE MAVEN,” Stan Fischler, wrote the best of the lot:

Maybe I’ll chime in more thoughts about NYR vs NYI on either Friday or Saturday night – but really, and maybe it’s because of my season-long daily disclaimer where I continue to pontificate that the only thing that matters is the playoffs – but for whatever reason – I just can’t board this hype train.

To me, the luster of outdoor games is long gone – and it is what it is – a cash-grab gimmick.

And as I said/explained in this space on Monday night ( ) – it’s not really a fan-friendly game either – at least it isn’t in-person.

Furthermore, win-or-lose, and should you consider this game to be more than it is – then not much can be learnt from it anyway – as this one game of eighty-two is played under completely different circumstances than the other eighty-one games that are contested during the regular season.

And I know that much is being made of the fact that the Rangers are 4-0 whenever playing under the cold skies – but really – what does that have to do with this particular game?

After all, this game features completely different rosters – and the first time that the Blueshirts (and the Isles) have ever played at Giants’ Stadium too.

In addition?

The Rangers won their last outdoor game, their fourth, on 1/1/2018, a 3-2 overtime victory over their “WINTER CLASSIC RIVALS,” the Buffalo Sabres.

A month and change later?

“The Letter” – and where we are still waiting for that letter (and prayers) to be answered – which would be the fifth Stanley Cup win in franchise history.

Place your bets: Will Sam Rosen and Joe Micheletti mention Jim Ramsay’s return to M$G on Thursday night? PROMO CODE: NOSHOTINHELL

As usual these days due to my new (and I guess regular now) work schedule – see ya at 5AM Friday morning with a RANGERS vs. CANADIENS GAME REVIEW.

As noted above, I hope to be back prior to Rangers vs Islanders.

Lastly, and as noted on Monday night, I’m attending a watch party for the outdoor game at my local watering hole – so that GAME REVIEW blog will also be posted on this site long after the fact – but it will get done – and with a ton of Labatt Blue beer in me!

With that said, 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!)

On Wednesday night, our good friends over at “The Blueshirt Underground Show” returned with a new episode.

You can watch it here:

Speaking of BSU, and to remind you once again, they are also hosting a Rangers/Flyers watch party on 2/24:

Photo Credit: BSU

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:

NYR/CGY 2/12 Review: Will & Grace! CZAR “What Goalie Controversy?” IGOR Posts First “NYET NYET” of the Season; Will Cuylle’s Lone Goal Holds Up as Game-Winner, Time for “Unlucky #13” To Get a New Number, Crazy Standings, New (And Now Abandoned) Power-Play Produces Same Results – But At Least the PK is Humming, BIG ED Marvelous Again, Bottom Six > Top Six; Baby Bread Insurance Policy Revealed, Lavy, SB, M$GN & More

NYR/CHI 2/9 Review: “Jekyll & Hyde” Rangers Scalp Hawks in OT; Have a “My Dog Just Died” Reaction Afterwards, No Postgame Hugs from the BFF, Winning Ways Extended To Four Straight (And For the First Time Since T-Day), “The Stairway To Heaven” Perspective; Yet All Problems & “Controversies” Remain, Fox Snubbed, Brooks Downs Dreger, Lavy’s Lounge, M$GN & More

NYR/TBL 2/7 Review: TRUE GRIT! Rangers’ Bottom Six (And Six-Figure Salaries) Carry Blueshirts’ FAT CATS To An Impressive Victory Over Bolts; Send Out an APB For Mika Zibanejad, Goalie Controversy Intensifies; Quick Shines & Should Go Four in a Row, Sickening Sergachev Injury Sustained, Laviolette, Lundqvist Stars on TNT; Boucher Channels Rosen & More

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

Now on sale!

Don’t forget to order my 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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