Wacky Wednesday Produces Several Wild Trades; The Loophole Golden Knights Big Winners (Be Jealous – But Don’t Hate!), Rangers Dip Their Toes in the Water with Wennberg; But Will The Blueshirts Make a Big Splash? Who The Former Swedish Krakhead Knows, Two Members of the Alum & A Pen New Drury Trade Targets, Bad News for Brodzinski, The East Runs Through Sunrise & More

You have to give credit where credit is due – and in this particular case pertaining to Alex Wennberg – all of the credit goes to Larry Brooks of the New York Post. Brooks, the only reporter on the beat with sources today (even if there are conditions attached in his continued relationship with the Rangers’ front office – but we’ve already covered on this site, and to the point of ad-nauseam, how Jim Ramsay is a no-no topic ever since his firing), first reported over two weeks ago that Blueshirts’ general manager, Chris Drury, was interested in Wennberg of the Seattle Kraken. On Wednesday, March 7th, Brooks was proven correct, as the man sitting in the big chair at 33rd and 7th finally landed himself the projected (and perhaps “full-time” for the remainder of this season) replacement for Filip Chytil.

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. What a great day to be alive – that is – if you’re a fan of the Vegas Golden Knights.

It’s also a great day to be alive for any gambler who at the start of the season, placed a future wager on a 2023 Stanley Cup Final rematch in 2024 too!

But we can talk all about the Golden Knights, the Florida Panthers and every other major trade that went down on Wednesday after first talking about our beloved Blueshirts.

I hope to be proven 100% wrong on this – but while Wennberg is just a depth acquisition – even so – I don’t see this addition really improving the club at all. Of course, in a way, such commentary is a positive thing – as the Rangers still remain on top of the Metropolitan Division. While I don’t think that anyone needs such a reminder, but here it is regardless – it’s the top-six, and not the bottom-six, that needs a major kick in the ass And yes, I am talking about Mika Zibanejad! Photo Credit: NYR

Following several weeks of speculation, and where other potential names to replace Filip Chytil were also bantered about, the candidate that Brooks deemed most likely to land in New York, Alex Wennberg, was finally acquired by the Rangers at 4PM Wednesday.

When breaking this trade down, let’s use my standard three-step process – what the Blueshirts officially said, the facts that the team omitted from their press release – and of course, last but not least – the opinions from a ranting Rangers’ fan madman!

Here’s what the franchise posted on their website, courtesy of https://www.nhl.com/rangers/news/rangers-acquire-alex-wennberg :

New York Rangers President and General Manager Chris Drury announced today that the team has acquired forward Alex Wennberg from the Seattle Kraken in exchange for the Rangers’ own second-round selection in the 2024 NHL Draft and a conditional fourth-round selection in the 2025 NHL Draft (originally belonging to Dallas).

Wennberg, 29, has tallied nine goals and 16 assists for 25 points in 60 games for the Kraken this season. Wennberg leads Seattle with four game-winning goals and his 65 blocked shots rank first among team forwards. He ranks seventh on the team in points.

The 6-2, 190 pound forward has collected 90 goals and 240 assists for 330 points in 693 career NHL games across 10 seasons between the Kraken, Florida Panthers and Columbus Blue Jackets. Last season, he tied for the second most goals of his career (13), recorded the third-highest scoring season of his career (38) and set a career-high with four power play goals. While with the Blue Jackets in 2016-17, Wennberg notched a career-high 46 assists and 59 points.

The Stockholm, Sweden native has accumulated 42 playoff games, recording seven goals and 10 assists for 17 points. In last year’s postseason run with the Kraken, Wennberg tallied seven points (2G-5A) in 14 games.

On the international stage, Wennberg helped Sweden finish second at the IIHF World Junior Championship in 2013 and 2014.

Wennberg was originally selected by the Blue Jackets in the first round, 14th overall, of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

Going back to the days of “Senile Sather,” when he served the franchise as both their President and General Manager (today, he just gets paid to be James Dolan’s advisor – and there’s no reason for me to rehash all of my negative opinions on this very sore topic for the 9867786678967th time tonight either); the Rangers, and unlike 99% of the league, never release any salary-cap information in their press releases – and despite the fact that salary-cap hits drive all trades in this era of the NHL.

Here are the facts that the Rangers omitted from their press release:

On July 28th, 2021, Wennberg signed a three-year deal with the newly founded Seattle Kraken worth $13,500,000 overall.

In other words, Wennberg is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer – which is often the case whenever a non-playoff team unloads one of their better players to a contender.

As part of the trade, the Kraken are retaining 50% of Wennberg’s annual cap-hit, the prorated portion left remaining of the $4,500,000 that he earns this season.

As a result, the Rangers are now a few dollars shy of having $3,000,000 available left to spend between now and Friday’s 3PM trade deadline.

However, the Blueshirts could open up more cap-space dollars and in two different ways to boot – by either returning one of their AHL players back to Hartford – or by trading someone on their roster.

As you already know, while I was championing for Adam Henrique (now formerly of the Ducks – as he was traded to the Oilers on Wednesday) – Wennberg, and unlike Henrique – does have a lot of familiarity with several members of the roster – and the two highest-paid forwards on the team for that matter.

As you may have been able to deduce, Wennberg, a Swede, played with Mika Zibanejad for several seasons (early 2010s) in their home country, as both worked their way up the hockey ranks for Djurgårdens IF during their up-and-coming years.

This duo also competed for the Swedish national team in international tournaments.

Once making it to the NHL, Wennberg began his career in Columbus, where during the 2017-18 and and 2018-19 seasons, he played alongside of “The Breadman,” Artemi Panarin.

Further down the roster, Wennberg also has familiarity with Erik Gustafsson – and yep – because of where they were born too.

Similar to Zibanejad, Gustafsson was also on the same Djurgårdens IF squad that Wennberg played for, while also competing on the same Swedish World Championship (IIHF tournament) teams.

Another fact that you probably won’t find anywhere else?

Wennberg, and his wife Felicia, became parents in September 2021 when their son, Rio, entered this world.

Why bring up such a thing?

Perhaps Wennberg can help Missing Zibanejad get out of his funk – where these days – the only explanation that I have when trying to figure out what’s plaguing the ghost in the #93 jersey is that ZibaneDAD is feeling the effects of his newfound fatherhood!

With Wennberg, the Rangers finally replaced Filip Chytil’s roster spot – a #72 who only played in nine-games this season before being officially ruled out for the season on January 28th. Photo Credit: M$GN

As we now hit the opinion/takeaway segment of this trade, let me preface what I’m about to say next with the following:


Furthermore, this can’t his only trade of this deadline either – DUH!

With that out of the way, my first reaction to this trade was “blah.”

My second reaction?

We waited months on-end for Drury to replace Chytil’s $4.4M missing cap hit – and Wennberg was the best (projected) third-line center that the general manager could find?

Of course, and to be fair, perhaps I have some “anti-bias” to this swap too – as I did just say this on Monday night:

Presently, there are 40678638478637836783674863 rumors about what the Rangers will do.

To narrow some of these rumors down, it seems like Drury has inquired about Yanni Gourde, Jordan Eberle and Alex Wennberg of the Seattle Kraken (and these reports both originated in Seattle and by the Canadian reporters who talk to their fellow countrymen who serve as agents – or in other words – none of this is being leaked out of Drury’s New York office – aka the usual) – and where for the life of me – I don’t see why the Rangers (nor their fans) are clamoring for Wennberg.

Put it this way: Do you think that Wennberg, who Seattle has now put on the shelf for the trade deadline, and his nine goals in sixty-games played this season, is really a difference maker?

Prior to his sickening injury sustained, Blake Wheeler scored 9 goals and picked up 12 assists for a grand total of 21 points in his 54 games played. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Again – I get it – this trade was for depth – nothing more, nothing less – that is, unless your name is Jonny Brodzinski – as JONNY HOCKEY is the most likely “victim” in the aftermath of this trade.

While we all know about the struggles of the Ranger’s second line (and why the Blueshirt beat reporters STILL continue to refer to Kreider/Zibanejad/Right Winger Du Jour as the first line is beyond me) – this trade for Wennberg was made in the hopes of improving the bottom-six.

Two of Drury’s summer of six-figure salary signings, Blake Wheeler and Nick Bonino, are gone.

Prior to being released from the team, Bonino, in his 45 games played, led the league among forwards in blocked shots (78).

Fast-forward to today, and Wennberg, in 60 games played, leads all forwards in this department with 65 shot denials.

In a way, since Wennberg’s scoring totals and status as a premier shot blocker rival Wheeler and Bonino respectively; Drury, who spent less than $2,000,000 on this pair, is getting something similar, and for similar money, in the former Krakhead.

In-between Wennberg’s familiarity/friendships with the FAT CATS, the holes that he can fill and his depth scoring – still – I just thought that Drury could have found something better when looking to replace Chytil – rather than replacing what the long-in-the-tooth veterans, both Bonino and Wheeler, brought to the Blueshirts.

While Wennberg is most certainly an upgrade over the team’s (now projected to be formerly) third line center, Brodzinski – is it really by that much?

I don’t think that black-and-white stats can accurately describe the energy that #22 brings to the club, but in 43 games played this season, Mr. Hockey has four goals and eleven assists – and while averaging much less ice time than Wennberg too.

And of course, as the captain of the Pack for the past few seasons, not only does Brodzinski have the all-important chemistry factor with his varsity teammates – but he’s been there for all of the call-ups too – names such as Matt Rempe, Adam Edstrom, Will Cuylle, et al.

And while Wennberg does have a bond with Mika and Artie – similar to Brodzinski – he won’t be playing with them either.

But what does Wennberg have in common with everyone?

In every scouting and media report, Wennberg is known as a “pass-first” player.

In other words, it should only be matter of time when Wennberg, while on a two-vs-one odd-man rush, turns over the puck following an errant and boneheaded pass!

And when that day happens in the near-future – then Wennberg will have earned his Ranger stripes!

Matt Rempe may also suffer from this Wennberg “trickle-down” effect. Photo Credit: M$GN

Unlike others today – I have no interest in giving you a projected/PROPOZED line-up right now – because after all, it’s my belief (and it better become a reality too!) that Drury isn’t done yet.

While we’ll get into the potential “big splash” trade in just a bit; for now, Wennberg looks like he’ll be replacing Brodzinski on the team’s third line – which as a result – means that a fourth-liner will either go to the press box or be returned to Hartford.

As said a few times in this space throughout the past few days – I can’t see Rempe being sent down – and not just because he’s marketable – but because you can see and feel his presence in every game that he plays.

In other words, I think that Adam Edstrom becomes the odd-man out.

And should the Rangers make another trade where no player goes out, then that will be another man of this current roster that joins Zac Jones in his usual press box seat.

(Of note, and because I haven’t mentioned it yet; on Tuesday, following the Rangers’ 4-2 loss to the Panthers, the team returned Alex Belzile to Hartford. And not for nothing, how Belizile received three-weeks of NHL paychecks, while also not helping the team accrue cap space, is beyond me – and especially with the team at home – and not on the west coast – as that’s when you carry “insurance policy” players.)

The best of luck to Wennberg moving forward-  but where I still maintain all of my doubts about him.

But don’t get it twisted – this is a fine trade – as Drury didn’t give up anything of value.

I was just hoping for something more valuable with this rare chance to expose the NHL’s LTIR salary cap loophole – but I guess that Drury isn’t Kelly McCrimmon – or at least not yet – as Friday will determine that.

And what a transition, as prior to exploring all of the Rangers’ rumors following a wild Wednesday, let’s talk about what actually happened on this day first.

While both the Lightning (Nikita Kucherov) and the Golden Knights (Mark Stone) receive the lions’ share of credit for exposing the LTIR loophole – and where many have alleged that these two clubs have shelved their best players in the regular season in order to spend more money when acquiring top players at the deadline – don’t forget – it was the Chicago Blackhawks (Patrick Kane) who first walked through this door – and much like the Bolts and Knights that followed them – all three of these clubs then went on to win the Stanley Cup. Photo Credit: NHL.com

Following Wednesday, there is a lot of hatred, vitriol and let’s face it – all-out jealousy too – for the reigning-and-defending Stanley Cup champions, the Vegas Golden Knights.


I’m fine with them – and respect the hell out of the organization too.

But of course, there are many non-Vegas fans who hate team #31 – but only because they have been savvy, calculating, and above all else, successful.

When Vegas first hit the scene for the 2017-18 season, the hockey world was giddy – and especially road-tripping fans who wanted a weekend jaunt in Sin City.

Ditto the players.

Then tragedy struck just a few days prior to the team’s first game, as a result of the mass shooting where 58 people were killed on October 1st, 2017.

While the Golden Knights were always set-up for success (where as a result, their shrewd expansion draft maneuvering crippled the Kraken’s attempt four-years later, as every general manager in the league learned from their 2017 mistakes – and dared not to repeat them in 2021 – and where of note – not one pre-draft trade was made either); it was the tragedy that united local fans, already thirsty for hockey, that much more.

Come June of 2018?

The Golden Knights, in year one, reached the Stanley Cup Final – an unprecedented moment in all of sports history.

Players and coaches from that team, which ultimately fell to the Washington Capitals in five-games during the championship round, always credited their swelling fan base, one that was even stronger and bonded as one after the tragedy, for the bulk of their success.

In other words, following their first year in the league – no one was upset with the Knights.

Instead, everyone was proud of them – and most certainly their fans too.


The complete opposite – which I guess is a good thing – as it tells you that the Knights are now fully entrenched in the league – and where the idea of hockey not working on The Strip sounds as ridiculous as a Sieve Vagistat made-up chart.

While Chicago did it first when they shelved Patrick Kane for reinforcements, Tampa did it better – and more boldly too – and when they did the same with Nikita Kucherov during the 2020-21 truncated season:

As I said then and as I’m saying again now – until the NHL does something about the LTIR loophole – then I don’t blame any general manager for exposing it. Why more GMs don’t do the same is their problem – and their public display of ignorance. Photo Credit: Nikita Kucherov

Since Kucherov publicly flaunted and taunted non-Tampa fans by wearing an “$18M Over The Cap” t-shirt following the Bolts’ 2021 Cup victory; this practice, started in Chicago, is now largely credited to Tampa.

In Vegas, where the house never loses and where the fix is always in, the Knights have perfected this practice.

In the 2021-22 season, the Knights placed Mark Stone on the LTIR in order to set up the then Vegas debut of the recently acquired Jack Eichel.

A year later, and Stone was right back on the LTIR, which then allowed Vegas to trade for Ivan Barbashev.

Come the 2023 Stanley Cup Final?

The former Blue was a key part of the first Cup win in Vegas history.

Today, not only is Captain Stone (who amazingly is always 100% healthy whenever the playoffs start) and his $9,500,000 cap-hit on the LTIR (and that’s 11.4% of the team’s cap space) – but so is Alec Martinez’s $5,250,000 cap-hit too (6.3% of the team’s cap space).

And let’s face it:

Whoever the Knights play in the first-round of this year’s playoffs – will it shock anyone if these two players, who eat up nearly 20% of the team’s cap space, are 100% healthy by puck drop?

But again – I’m not hatin’ – I’m just statin’ – and I’m quite envious of McCrimmon and Co. too!

On Tuesday night, and prior to the wild 24-hours that would follow, the Knights made the first big trade of this deadline week, as they received Anthony Mantha from the Capitals in exchange for both a second-round and fourth-round draft pick.

In addition, the Caps are responsible for half of Mantha’s $5,700,000 cap-hit too.

Between exposing LTIR loopholes again and the Caps allowing Vegas to spend nearly an extra three-million smackers by Friday to boot; McCrimmon, with an ungodly amount of cap-space in his war chest – did it again – and for the full details, check out: https://www.nhl.com/goldenknights/news/vegas-golden-knights-acquire-defenseman-noah-hanifin-from-calgary-flames-as-part-of-three-team-trade

In one of the best examples of “the rich get richer,” no less than 24-hours after trading for Mantha, the Knights then traded for arguably the best defenseman on the market, the Flames’ Noah Hanifin.

The price for the 27-year-old riveting rear-guard?

A meaningless late first-round draft pick (Vegas trades them every year), a conditional (which most likely will be met) third-round pick and Daniil “Who?” Miromanov.

The most craziest thing above all?

It’s being reported that the Knights aren’t done yet – and where many are claiming that McCrimmon has one more trick up his sleeve as he targets a big-name forward on the market – including perhaps Jake Guentzel (who we’ll get into more in just a bit) of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

If you’re a fan of the Knights, then how can you not love your team – and where I don’t think that I have to remind you about the fact that the club just won the Stanley Cup last season either!

For everyone else?

I understand the negative feelings – but you have to tip your cap to the Knights.

Seriously speaking?

Can you name another franchise in sports, and whether it be from the past or today, that’s done everything right – and so fast – as the Knights have?

Once again – kudos to the Knights – and in a way – they operate like how a fan would – by exposing every loophole imaginable – while also garnering a reputation for their dedication to winning – but at the expense of showing no loyalty too.

Don’t believe me?

Then just ask super-agent Allan Walsh – but I’ve talked all about Marc-Andre Fleury, and the sword in his back, many times before on this site!

Up next, a look around the league and then the rumors in Rangerstown, USA.

Vladimir Tarasenko, one of the few Rangers to have success during last year’s playoffs, won’t be returning to New York for the 2024 playoff run.

Elsewhere around the league, the following big trades were also made on Wednesday – and I’ll give you my quick thoughts on all of them:

(Of note: For the complete details of every trade, as I’m just assuming that you know them by now, then check out SportsNet.ca – or Emily Kaplan’s work on ESPN.com.)

— Vladimir Tarasenko was shipped from Ottawa to Florida in exchange for two conditional late round picks.

I absolutely hated this news when I first saw it hit the good old Tweeter timeline.

While I knew that it would’ve taken a lot of hoops for Drury to jump through in order to return Tarasenko to New York, while also knowing that VLAD THE IMPALER wasn’t long for the Senators either – I was just hoping that #91 would land in the Western Conference.

Not only did Tarasenko remain in the Eastern Conference – but he was dealt to the 2023 Eastern Conference champions too – and where as crazy as this may sound – the Rangers, and like the other six Eastern Conference playoff teams – their road to the Stanley Cup may be in shitty Sunrise, Florida.

Sunrise, Florida, who long before the Arizona Coyotes in their present state, made playing in front of 4,000 or less people every night the standard.

And to do the Barry Horowitz act (self-pat on the back), what did I say at the start of the season?

In case you forgot, I said, “Tarasenko signed in Ottawa today. Expect him to be dealt at the deadline when the Senators fall out of contention.”

What am I forgetting?

I followed that sentence with “and expect him to return to the Rangers!”


The Panthers, already a juggernaut and who enter this postseason with a ton of playoff experience (and hopefully for them – a healthy Matt Tkachuk too), now seem destined for a rematch with the Vegas Golden Knights.

In a way, this feels like Detroit vs Pittsburgh all over again (2008 and 2009) – and where like Pittsburgh – Florida will look to successfully extract their revenge.


What other club besides the team formerly known as the “Puddy Tats” has a better top-six than Florida?

The answer?


Adam Henrique and Sam Carrick were traded to the Oilers by the Ducks, where as part of the deal, the Bolts, who have Mikhail Sergachev’s cap-hit on LTIR, took on some money for a draft pick.

I thought this was a win-win-win deal for all three parties – and where yes – I really wanted the Rangers to land Henrique (and Frank Vatrano and Radko Gudas too – who as of this writing – are still available).

The key prize for the Ducks was Edmonton’s first-round pick – but of course – that pick could fall as far back to 32nd-overall – but to get a first-rounder for Henrique was always Pat Verbeek’s mission.

And as a Ranger fan, it just makes you wonder why Drury didn’t feel the need to satisfy Verbeek’s ask.

For the Oilers, it’s the same old story – all that talent (McDavid and Draisaitl) but no rings to show for it – and where goaltending has failed the blue-and-orange ever since the start of the McDavid era – sans the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs when officiating robbed them of winning their first Western Conference Final.

Aside from the goalie issues in Oiltown, another problem for Edmonton in recent years is their lack of a physical and nasty edge. While Henrique doesn’t really fit that bill, Carrick, who shouldn’t be overlooked in this deal, surely does.

I’ve written about 98678968796789687968796 words in the past about how Tampa has become the biggest victim of the salary cap era, as after winning two consecutive Stanley Cups, they were punished for all of their home-grown success in the form of the salary cap; but even if their glory years are now behind them – I was surprised to see them taking on money – rather than looking for another team to take on money for them.

I’m also surprised that this is the way that they are using Sergachev’s LTIR space – as I thought that they may have went out and made a trade with Nashville – and return Ryan McDonagh back to the city where he never wanted to leave in the first place.

For Kris Knoblauch, who started this season as the head coach of the Wolf Pack – and to quote Larry David too – he’s sitting “pretty, pretty, pretty good” right now.

In a rare one-for-one swap, Casey Mittelstadt is now in Colorado while Bowen Byram cries himself to sleep on his flight to Buffalo.

There are a few funny things about this trade, but the funniest story I have for you is the reaction that I keep receiving from Ranger fans, all negative at that – and at my “audacity” of suggesting that Drury trade the Feckless Finn, Kaapo Kakko, out of town.

Their biggest talking point?


In this trade, Colorado traded away their former fourth-overall pick – and where let me inform you – Byram was drafted in 2019 – two spots lower than Kakko that year!

Unlike Kakko, who has received chance-after-chance and has never done anything with any of these myriad of opportunities; Byram, and due to the strong blue line talent that the Avalanche possess, fell to the wayside.

While he’ll never win a Stanley Cup in Buffalo (the Sabres are about to hit thirteen unlucky consecutive seasons without reaching the playoffs – HOLY NEW YORK JETS BATMAN!), Byram will get his individual accolades in the city where printers for tickets shut down in April.

Another Ranger “draft connection” for you?

In 2017, the Rangers drafted some loser named Lias “Crybaby” Andersson with their seventh-overall pick.

And I don’t care what you call me for saying this, but it’s just how I feel – I’m always hesitant about drafting European players – and as fully explained on this site about 8967868767687678676 before – because more times than not – these players, who don’t grow up playing the NHL game – don’t watch much of it either.

Long story short (and you can find the long-winded version in the archives of this site) on my theory?

Give me a North American player, ten-out-of-ten times – and whether they be American or Canadian – rather than a Swede or a Finn.

I don’t have a crystal ball, but I said this right after the 2017 NHL Entry Draft:

“I wish Jeff Gorton drafted the American Casey Mittlestadt instead.”

I’m not going to waste my breath and time writing anymore about that self-entitled miscreant Andersson, as the hockey gods know that I’ve written about a billion words about him in the past – but needless to say – BUST!

While Mittlestadt isn’t exactly the second-coming of Wayne Gretzky either (no shit Sherlock!); at the same time, he’s had a respectable career thus far, as he is already nearing his 350th career game.

And like his former teammate Jack Eichel – he’s finally got out of that hellhole known as Buffalo – and now has a real shot of winning the Stanley Cup with a true contender.

Poor Byram – but at least he got his taste with the silver (2022) – and a taste that’s going to have to carry him for a long time now.

Enjoy the wings.

Will we see this tweet again come Friday? Photo Credit: NYR

As we get to the end here, I do want to remind everyone that the Rangers, idle during the past two-days, will return to their training facility in Tarrytown, NY on Thursday – and where Wennberg is expected to be there.

The Rangers will practice again on Friday – and who may join Wennberg’s Blueshirts there, or at the very least, who will also be in “Lavy’s Line-Up” on Saturday – is still undetermined.

For the Blueshirts, their biggest need is in-house – they need Mika Zibanejad to wake the eff up.

End. Of. Story.

But as we can see, and as it always is, the NHL Trade Deadline is an arms’ race – and in order to make a deep run – you need as many weapons in your arsenal as possible.

Also worth your consideration?

When it comes to the Eastern Conference, and outside of Florida – no one has made a big move yet – and where you have to expect other contenders such as Boston, Toronto, Carolina and to a lesser extent, Steve Yzerman in Detroit too, to cannonball themselves into the trade pool.

And yeah – it’s also an end of era too – as for the first time in the salary cap era – both Washington and Pittsburgh, two of the Rangers’ most fiercest playoff rivals since the inception of the worst three words in hockey, “the salary cap” – are SELLERS – and not buyers.

As we inch closer-and-closer to 3PM Friday, while the Rangers need the best proctologist in the land to remove Zibanejad’s head from his ass; roster-wise, their biggest need, and as it’s always been the case ever since “The Letter” from 2018, is at right-wing.

What I’m about to say next comes from an amalgamation (not a bad word at 5AM – nor when after working a 12-hour shift at the “real-life” job either) of reports from the big-four at this time of year, Kevin Weekes (NHL Network), Emily Kaplan (ESPN – and yes – she’s made it), Elliotte Friedman (SportsNet, and who has become Bob McKenzie’s successor in this department) and Pierre Lebrun (TSN).

This quartet, and along with everyone else, is reporting that Chris Drury is looking for a right-winger – which tells us two things:

One, he’s not done yet and two, no shit!

With Tarasenko off the board (and I guess Patrick Kane too – but that book has been long closed – and especially with Detroit in playoff positioning), three of the Rangers’ alumni are still being talked about for a return run:

1) Anthony Duclair (San Jose)

2) Frank Vatrano (Anaheim)

3) Pavel Buchnevich (St. Louis)

When it comes to “THE DUKE,” I just don’t see him as a big-splash – and on the Rangers – he may be better suited on the third line anyway.

He’s also the least rumored name to return – and similar to Wennberg – I just don’t see him moving the needle.

I’ve talked a lot about a potential Vatrano return, and ever since December for that matter – so by now – you already know that’s who I want back.

However, the big four are all saying that Verbeek has set an ungodly price for double-sevens – and where Vatrano, despite having no chance of ever playing for a championship in Disney Land – is happy with his current living arrangements.

So while many Ranger fans would like to see THE RIFLE shooting at opposing Ranger goalies – unless a change in heart takes place in Anaheim, from both the GM and the player – this potential return is growing more unlikely by the minute – but suffice to say – the idea isn’t dead just yet either.

The Blues, now undergoing a rebuild, have made it known that they are willing to trade Buchnevich for the right price.

If you’re familiar with my previous writings, then you already know that I have no interest in seeing Buchnevich back – and where for the life of me – I don’t understand why I have people writing in and telling me how Buchnevich can wake-up Zibanejad – and how #89 is a successful playoff player.

I don’t know if fans of the Russian are lost in romanticism and revisionist history, but here are three facts that you need tattooed on your brain:

1) Only Mika can wake up Mika.

Nobody else and no matter what name you can conjure up from the past or present.

2) Buchnevich as a playoff performer?

He never scored one goal for the Rangers in the playoffs! What are these morons talking about?

3) Lifetime?

Buchnevich, in twenty post-season tilts, has only scored one goal.

In other words, for every 100 playoff games, #89 is good for a goal in 5% of them!

I mean what’s next?

Asking for the return of Pavel Brendl too?

And oh yeah – there’s also this rumor about Buchnevich as well – and one that many believe to be true:

I can’t confirm this, but when I first posted this two-weeks back, I had many write in to say that they heard the same. But again, NO CONFIRMATION – and take this for what it is – a RUMOR.

And yep, I saved the biggest story for last – Jake Guentzel.

No offense to Guentzel – but this would be my wet dream trade – and where if should such an idea even have a .000001% chance of happening – then many millennials would cry if Kakko was sent the other way!

According to everyone, and their mothers too – the Penguins, and despite Sidney Crosby’s requests, will be trading Jake Guentzel – the 29-year-old pending unrestricted free agent – and who carries a $6M cap-hit.

Lost in a lot of the hoopla?

While he could play at right-wing, Guentzel has largely been a left-winger for most of his career.

But, and among what’s left on the trading block – he is the best player available.

On Monday night, I said that I didn’t see Guentzel being traded to New York – just because of the rivalry between the Rangers and Penguins.

Granted, while Kyle Dubas isn’t Lou Lamoriello – do you really want to help the opposition win the Stanley Cup?

However, of the teams currently being reported of having talked to Dubas, the Rangers are among them.

Ditto Carolina, who the Rangers will most likely see during the tournament.

Crazier than the Blueshirts and the Candy Canes looking to make a divisional trade?

The fact that the all-in Canucks, who just traded for Elias Lindholm (then of Calgary), are shopping him around.


Craziest above all?

Vegas has expressed interest too.


The Cult of Personality – and isn’t it amazing Suzyn, that one day after firing Lindy Ruff – Devils’ GM Tom Fitzgerald was hitting the podcast circuit? Conversely? Chris Drury hasn’t spoken to the media once all season – and don’t you dare ever ask him about firing Gallant or Ramsay either! Photo Credit: NYR

For the Rangers to land Guentzel – and even if Brooks has a good track record while also possessing a raging hard-on for the bottom-sixer known as Kakko too – then unless Drury is going to give up one of the big three prospects (Brennan Othmann, Gabe Perreault and Adam Sykora – and where Kaplan is reporting that all three of these kids are off of the table) – then you have to think that Kakko is going the other way.

In perhaps some unfortunate irony, or at least in a historical reference – since Carolina is rumored to be interested in Guentzel (and other big names too) – in a way – this is the Phil Esposito era all over again – but at least this time – the East is wide-open.

For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, then go read “Tricks of the Trade.”

As I go home here, and without a clue of what “The Drury Is Cookin'” either, I do want to praise Kaplan again – as unlike others – she’s honest.

After all, on Wednesday, she admitted that she doesn’t talk to Drury – but nobody else does either -but unlike her – she tells the truth!

I’ll be back once the other shoe drops – and that sneaker will fall – as there’s no shot in hell that Drury sits on his hands with just Wennberg on his to-do list.

And look at the time as my baggy eyes beg for sleep, which 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: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/rangerkillers/

The hardcover version of my first book, available now at Amazon.com

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: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/onegamebook/

To purchase all four volumes on Amazon, visit: Amazon.com – “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 Amazon.com and are presented in three different formats – eBook, paperback and hardcover.

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

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

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

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

To purchase signed copies of all four volumes, visit https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/tricksofthetrade/

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

NYR/FLA 3/4 Review: 62 Games Down; The Final 20 Featuring a Different Roster Ahead, Latest Trade Talk, Potential “Turning Point Loss,” Chris Drury’s Biggest Trade Deadline Yet – But Does It Matter with Missing Mika? Kakko Fails Top-Six Audition (Again) – But Is It 100% On The Finn? If The GAG Line 2.0 Don’t Score Then Don’t Expect Anyone Else To; “Beating The Blueshirts Blueprint,” “S.O.S.,” Pride Night, M$G Radio & More

Jonathan Quick Re-Signed For One More Year in a No-Brainer of a Deal, Latest “LAVY’S LOUNGE,” Final Game Before Trade Deadline Ahead; Rempe v. Tkachuk Next? Don’t Forget Radko Gudas In Potential Swap with the Ducks & More

NYR/TOR 3/2 Review: Original Six Marquee Match-Up Exceeds All Hype & Expectations; Refs Rob Rangers in Shootout Loss, Historical Similarities & Differences Between Two Aging Cores, All Strengths & Weaknesses Remain, GAG Line 2.0 Does All of The Heavy Lifting; “Mika Marchless” Does Nada, Rempe & Reaves Deliver in Anticipated Heavyweight Tilt; Both Come Out as Winners, Mr. Mackey Re-Signed, Laviolette, Kakko on the Blockko, Best M$GN Broadcast of the Season & 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 Amazon.com

For more details, check out: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/tricksofthetrade/

Thanks for reading.


Sean McCaffrey


@NYCTHEMIC on the Tweeter machine

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