“As Reported By Elliotte Friedman”: Rangers’ GM Chris Drury Shows Interest in “Peter Lateralette;” But Count John Hynes Creates a “Shallow Hal” Scenario, Two HC’s Hired, NYR Makes a Trade; “What If Questions” Starring Jack Eichel & Matt Tkachuk (For the Last Time!), Let’s Go Marc Staal, NYR Villains Book & More

According to the latest reports that are out there, where it should be mentioned that nobody talks to Rangers’ general manager Chris Drury – you know, the man (besides Glen Sather!) who will name the 37th head coach of franchise history – Peter Laviolette, perhaps the safest pick of the lot, has now emerged as the leading candidate. But I must ask, how is Laviolette any different than Gerard Gallant? In my eyes, you may as well refer to Laviolette as “Lateralette,” in the event that should he receive the gig.

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. Any news?

It’s that time of year again, where every reporter on the Rangers’ beat starts off each and every single one of their articles with this sentence:

“According to Elliotte Friedman…”

(I even saw Larry Brooks, who I do respect, do this too – following his fan-fiction/dream scenario articles where the Pittsburgh Penguins hand over Mike Sullivan to the Blueshirts on a silver platter.)

I won’t bore you with another one of my redundant rants on the worst crop of beat reporters that the Rangers have ever had (only the Hall of Fame Brooks does a good job, but with all of the recent and unfortunate downtime, even he has been playing fantasy general manager – but to be fair – I guess that we all do); but seriously – do any of these beat reporters have any pride (not that kind) in their work?

It’s a shame that a younger generation, today’s generation, will never know anything else, now in this attention-deficit-disorder age – where tweets are more valued and read than actual news stories.

RIP Hugh Delano. RIP Shirley Fischler. RIP Walt McPeek. RIP Trent Frayne.

Once again, and in the effort of fairness – I guess you can’t blame the horrible beat reporters either. Their editors seem fine with their never-ending regurgitation and with their writers just quoting whatever some guy in Canada said, whether it be on his “32 Thoughts” podcast, his Twitter feed or his columns on Sportsnet.ca.

The days of competing for scoops are just as dated as the Rangers’ four Stanley Cup wins. It’s all about selling salacious headlines for your paywall website.

And just like anything else, standards have eroded across the board.

As mentioned last week, just read any article from the New York Post these days. More times than not, you’ll see two or three errors, whether it be factual or grammatical. Even the proof-reading profession has gone the way of the dodo bird – but don’t fret – I shall proofread this blog two-times over – and I have an amazing editor that meticulously dissects my books prior to publication.

Speaking of…

I’m now 65% complete with my latest foray into the art of authoring, “The Top 100 Most Hated Villains of New York Rangers History” (working title).

While I will soon explain some of my recent tweets, in regards to both Matt Tkachuk and Jack Eichel, which have been met with all sorts of responses and feedback; a lot of my recent thoughts and opinions about the Rangers is because of my current mind-set.

This may be tough to understand if you’ve never done it before, but should you ever embark on such a time consuming project, whether it be something at your real job, a book, a script or something else; then you’ll know that when you’re knee-deep in the middle of it – whatever you’re doing takes up all of your focus. You’re just zoned in and that’s all you can think about – until you finally reach the finish line.

There are two major themes and “callbacks” throughout “The Top 100 Most Hated Villains of New York Rangers History.”

The first one is comical, yet painful – “Ranger Killers.”

Whether it’s Jean-Gabriel Pageau, John Druce, Akira Schmid, or heck, even the former annual circus at M$G – it’s just amazing how many men (and events) have terrorized the Blueshirts over the years. Most of the players talked about in the book had the best games of their lives against the Rangers – and where statistically, when compared to all of the other teams that they played against – no one got torched more than the team from the Big Apple.

The second theme is all about “what if questions.”

For a franchise that’s nearly 100-years-old, there are thousands-upon-thousands of “what if questions,” where some of them are small, but mainly massive.

Once you get through “The Five Stages of Rangers’ Grief,” and finally reach the fifth-and-final stage, acceptance; all you’re left to do is shake your head and just laugh about it.

The book covers a ton of these “what if questions,” where in my eyes, the biggest one of all?

“What if the Rangers had drafted Mike Bossy in 1977?”

This is a question that I’ve fully answered in my other books, including “The New York Rangers Rink of Honor and the Rafters of Madison Square Garden” and “Tricks of the Trade.”

But yeah – had the inept Rangers’ general manager of the time, John Ferguson, not been so ignorant, when he twice passed over Bossy (15th overall) for Lucien DeBlois (8th overall) and Ron Duguay (13th overall) – then who knows?

My belief? The Rangers’ Stanley Cup drought doesn’t reach 54-years – and perhaps equally as important – there’s no Islanders’ dynasty either.

But like Brooks, who is now suggesting that the Rangers have never recovered from their trade of Marc Staal (more on that below); I too am now playing the “what if”/fantasy game!

What a loud-mouthed hypocrite!

At this time, let’s get out of the past and into the present – and recap all of the latest news, notes and rumors since I last left you.

Despite the other 31 franchises having either their team president or general manager (and sometimes both) publicly address their fans following the end of their respective seasons; Chris “ZOOM ZOOM” Drury remains hidden from the public eye. Photo Credit: NYR

One more time, and in the effort of full disclosure:

All of the news that’s hitting the streets of Rangerstown, USA is coming out of Canada, where more times than not, it’s Elliotte Friedman breaking the news.

(And I still want to know how Friedman broke the Drury/Gallant shouting match story – despite being in Toronto at the time. I guess the regular crop of Rangers’ beat reporters were too busy posting pictures of what they ate for dinner to notice. I asked Friedman about it, but like Drury, I received a “no comment!”)

In addition, I’m led to believe that most of Friedman’s information is being leaked to him by agents – and where I highly doubt that Drury has muttered one word to him.

After all, and as you’ll soon understand – Friedman never played college hockey with Drury!

Let’s talk facts first, speculation second.

As the Rangers near Week 4 of their search for a head coach; two teams have completed their own searches.

On Tuesday, May 30th, the Washington Capitals hired Spencer Carbery, following his past two seasons spent behind Toronto’s bench, as one of Sheldon Keefe’s assistants.

For whatever reason, the brain-trust at the New York Post had Carbery pegged as a strong candidate for the Rangers’ gig – but you may have missed it – due to their non-stop and created-in-their-own-heads “SULLIVAN WATCH!”

In my eyes, as just an outsider-looking-in (Drury doesn’t tell me anything either, nor did I ever play for Boston University!); if the Rangers were going to hire a first-time head coach (and who knows, that may still be the case, although I wouldn’t bet on it); then I believe that Kris Knoblauch would get the nod.

Put it this way: If you’re Knoblauch, who has had a successful tenure with the AHL farm team in Hartford; then how would you feel if your general manager passed you over in order to hire another person with no NHL head coaching experience?

Knoblauch, who will turn 45-years-old on September 24th, won’t hang around forever.

Like most men in his position, he’s putting the work in, but eventually, and at one point, you want to be rewarded for that work.

Should the Rangers hire a veteran head coach (and that’s what it’s looking like right now), then that decision would be easier to accept for Knoblauch.

But I will say this – if Knoblauch isn’t at least promoted by Drury to the NHL assistant level, then I do wonder if he’s doing some wondering himself.

Possible landing places should Knoblauch feel “cock-blauched” in New York?

The Seattle Kraken and the New Jersey Devils, as Knoblauch has relationships with the head coaches of those two teams (Dave Hakstol and Lindy Ruff).

In the case of the Devils, they will be looking for a new assistant head coach, as Andrew “GO AWAY, I CAN DRIVE THIS GOLF CART, HICCUP” Brunette, who scored the first-ever career goal for the Nashville Predators franchise, was named as their head coach on May 30th.

Currently, only the Rangers, Blue Jackets, Flames and Ducks have head coaching vacancies. There could be another opening in Toronto, but new general manager, Brad Treliving (hired on Tuesday, May 31st), has yet to comment on the fate of Sheldon Keefe.

When it comes to the facts, we know that Carberry and Brunette are now off of the board.

And oh yeah, the coach that I’d like, that “TURK” fella, won’t be considered by the Rangers either!

(As of this writing, Gallant, who was previously linked to the Columbus job, is now gaining traction in Calgary – but for now – it’s all just speculation and rumors.)

The Nashville hiring of Brunette meant the firing of John Hynes, which also means there has been a new monkey-wrench thrown into the Rangers’ mix.

Let’s talk about Count Hynes.

It’s always been my belief that if you want to throw John Hynes off of his game, then all you have to do is approach him with a cross, some silver and a garlic clove.

Since we live in a thin-skinned world, and where no one can take a joke anymore – I guess I have to issue a disclaimer before proceeding.

Yes, I know it’s not nice to comment about people’s looks. But if you know me, then you already know that I have no problem with joking about myself.

Heck, I could smuggle a Mexican family across the border in my beer belly! And the bags under my eyes (from not sleeping) are bigger than the bags of a Black Friday shopper!

With that said, I have never seen another human being in my life that looks more like Dracula than Drury’s college pal, John Hynes.

Perhaps Hynes has a vampire lifestyle like me (I love working the graveyard shift and keep late hours), which would explain his deathly pale white skin. And maybe like me, he has skin that doesn’t bronze or tan, but turns beet-red whenever under the sizzling summer sun.

But whatever the case, if you told me that Hynes drinks blood and sleeps in a casket, then I’d 100% believe you!

Perhaps the Rangers’ beat reporters can get us this scoop, you know, after Friedman says it first!

However, this isn’t a story about Hynes being the NHL’s version of Bela Lugosi.

It’s about the Rangers’ head coaching search.

Chris Drury, along with his former co-worker in the Rangers’ organization and now GM of the Sharks, Mike Grier, won the 1995 NCAA championship at Boston University. Two other men won that title with them, two men who have also been linked to the current Blueshirts’ vacancy, Jay Pandolfo and John Hynes. Photo Credit: Boston University

It should be stated, what new Nashville general manager, Barry Trotz, did to Hynes, was disrespectful and in poor form, but then again – the hockey world is a cruel business.

With multiple head coach openings in the league; the Predators, whose season ended on April 14th, waited six weeks to fire Hynes, who still had one more year remaining on his contract.

While Drury didn’t handle Gallant’s firing with much tact either; at least following his public no comment, the general manager only allowed Gallant to hang in the wind for several days, as opposed to weeks on end.

In other words, Gallant, and like the other head coaching candidates, all had a leg-up on Hynes when trying to find employment for the 2023-24 campaign.

But in the case of Trotz, maybe he was just looking for his perfect candidate, and once Brunette was made available, then, and only then, did he decide to pull the trigger on Hynes.

That’s life.

Prior to the Predators making Hynes their prey; it had been rumored for a week that the Rangers had narrowed down their coaching search, and where Peter Laviolette had emerged atop of the pack.

But to quote Mike Francesa, “WAIT A SECOND!”

As Hynes became available, and akin to a record scratch – now all of the talk is centered around Hynes.

As previously mentioned several times on this site during this quest for Coach #37; this could be the last time that Drury ever hires a head coach – and for both positive and negative reasons.

The lone positive? Whoever he hires goes on to become the next Al Arbour, and remains with the club for the next 1,500 games and then retires.

One of the many negatives, and the most likely scenario? Drury picks the wrong guy, and like his mentor, Jeff Gorton, then feels the wrath of both James Dolan and Glen “It’s Not My Fault, Keep Paying Me For Another 22-Years” Sather.

That’s why I, and why many of you guys and gals too, believe that Drury will go with the safest pick on the table, and if possible – someone that he has a previous relationship with – a relationship that he did not have with Gallant – and where in the effort of fairness – “The Turk” was also the best possible option when he was hired.

(Holy dashes Batman!)

While there are better candidates (based on their track records) available than both Laviolette and Hynes, in Mike Babcock and Joel Quenneville; unlike Babcock and Quenneville – Laviolette and Hynes carry no excess baggage.

(Although I do believe, should Drury choose one of the exiled coaches, then it will all blow over after their detractors are done bawling their eyes out, as they then move on to their next target.)

At the present moment, Laviolette is the safest choice imaginable, and where should things not work out; Drury, in an attempt to maintain his job security, can claim that he hired the best possible candidate.

And while I personally don’t want to see Laviolette or Hynes behind the Rangers’ bench; at least Laviolette would make sense. A Hynes’s hiring in NYC would feel like something from the old days – the days when NYC was controlled by William Tweed’s corrupted Tammany Hall.

As we continue this coaching story, I do want to make mention that the Rangers’ beat (outside of Arthur Staple who reported the fact, but not the reasoning), haven’t said one word about Jim Ramsay’s firing, nor have explained it. I guess we’ll have to wait for Friedman to take some time from his busy schedule and tell us why Rammer was canned. Photo Credit: Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images

What Hynes has that Laviolette doesn’t have (sans a chilling white pigment), is a previous and existing relationship with Drury, which dates back to their college days at Boston University – and the reason why Drury is reportedly talking to his former teammate today.

However, outside of Sieve Vagistat as head coach; I can’t think of a worse candidate than Count Chocula – assuming that “Bryan Trottier Part II” isn’t in the cards.

While this is a “fan thing” more than anything else; I do not want to see anymore former Islanders and Devils behind the Rangers’ bench.

Take that silliness out of the equation; what has Hynes done?

In his parts of five-seasons with the Devils, followed by his parts of four-seasons spent with the Predators; Hynes, with a career-losing record of 284-255-63 (or 284-318) has reached the playoffs four times. He’s never made it out of the first-round.

That’s who you want to bet on to lift a sorry bunch of Rangers?

Hynes time spent in the AHL, previous to his NHL jobs, where he served as the head coach of the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins – and where he wasn’t a hit either.

During his five-years in Scranton (2010-2015), his Pens never won a championship (Calder Cup) either.

So I must ask – what does he bring to the table, outside of telling a few fart-and-dick jokes with his old pal, the Pizza King of Connecticut, Chris Drury?

And really, whose the next name that Drury will talk to?

I can see it now:

— Ron Hainsey, who also grew up in Connecticut, and who played “NES HOCKEY” with Drury during their formative years. As Wince Mercogliano and Mollie “I don’t give a shit” Walker would say, “According to Elliotte Friedman, Drury was impressed with Hainsey’s two Fat Marios, one Skinny Mario and one Normal Sized Mario left-wing lock system.”

— Moishe Goldberg, who taught Drury the art of the kosher pizza.

— Vito Martinelli, who used his family’s connection to get Mrs. Drury out of parking ticket, when she illegally parked in a handicapped spot.

— Sheamus O’Reilly, Drury’s bartender, and a man who abides by the code – “every third drink is a buyback.”

At what point is this coaching search about finding the best person possible – and not someone who Drury knows?

Ready for one of my infamous conspiracy theories? Then try this on for size:

Prior to Hynes becoming available, many Ranger fans groaned at the thought of another retread. While Laviolette does have a Stanley Cup to his name (2006), what’s often lost in his lone championship victory is that it took place during a chaotic and messy 2005-06 season, the first following the 2004-05 lockout.

To be fair, while I would’ve done back-flips off of the Empire State building had it been the Rangers who had won the Cup that year (and just go with the joke – as the only back-flipping I’m doing these days is if I get hit with a tornado-sized gust of wind); at the same time, what has Laviolette done since?

Better question, how is replacing Gallant with Laviolette anything but a lateral move?

Another question? If Laviolette couldn’t work out in Washington, then what suggests that he’ll work out in New York?

Perhaps by finding a candidate as bad as Hynes, should Drury eventually go with Laviolette (or even if he goes with Babcock or Coach Q.), then the decision will be met with a positive reaction and an overwhelming amount of fanfare.

This is called “Shallow Hal 101.”

If you’ve never seen the Jack Black and Jason Alexander classic, where Black played the titular role of “Shallow Hal,” then let me explain.

There’s a scene in the movie where Black, whose character believed he was a “Legendary Lothario,” and as if he were Fabio; was trying to pick up women at some dinky nightclub.

Black thought he had spotted a dime-piece when checking out a gaggle of women. However, as his friend pointed out to him – the best-looking female out of the bunch was surrounded by “dogs,” women with lesser looks, as a way to prop herself up and stand out amongst the bunch.

Laviolette is the dime-piece in this scenario, while Hynes is the dog.

And I dare you to find any other hockey reporter, blogger, podcaster, whoever; to make a “Shallow Hal” reference in their work!

Joel Quenneville, once thought-to-be the odds-on favorite for the Rangers’ job, is still alive, but his chances are looking slimmer-and-slimmer by the day. His odds will only increase should Drury be without a coach come the 2023 NHL Entry Draft. Photo Credit: NHL

As far as what happens next – it’s anyone’s guess.

But as said numerous times before – does it really matter who Drury goes with?

While it will matter for his own job; for the fans, I fear it will the “Same Old Script.”

The players will continue to ignore their head coach, and come exit interview time, they’ll blame the coach for their failures again.

Just ask David Quinn and Gerard Gallant about this.

Rinse-wash-repeat and once the calendar flips to May of 2025, we’ll be right back to this same position.

While anything can happen; keep an eye out this Friday.

It’s my belief (one that’s also shared by many), that if the Rangers do name a head coach in the near-future, then it will be on Friday, June 2nd – the day before the Stanley Cup Final.

As you already know, the worst commissioner/president/whatever title you want to use, in all of sports history, Gary Bettman, doesn’t like his teams who aren’t playing for the silver (maybe that’s why Hynes has never won a Cup – the silver would melt him) to make news while the championship round is going down.

Then again, there is so much going on right now, that many of these teams really can’t stand idle for the next two weeks – especially with the NHL Entry Draft and free agency period rapidly approaching.

And before closing on this topic, is it just me, or is it something else – but doesn’t it feel like the NHL calendar has never been as compacted as it is today?

Even with the Rangers season coming to a close on May 1st; due to how they lost and the Gallant firing that followed, the club still remains on the back-pages.

Soon enough, and as mentioned, it’s draft time, followed by free agency, and before you know it, then it’s time for July’s rookie camp and possibly another appearance at the Traverse City Tournament.

Then again, since I’m up against a deadline to get my book done – maybe I feel like everything is too busy right now!

But still, never a slow day, never a slow day.

In fact, we even have a trade to talk about! Let’s get into that, and then wrap up with some Stanley Cup Final thoughts.

Watch out NHL, the Rangers are coming for you! Photo Credit: NYR

On May 31st, the Rangers announced that they had traded Jayden Grubbe, who they previously said they wouldn’t offer a contract to, to the Edmonton Oilers, in exchange for a fifth-round pick of this years’ draft.

In essence (and for a bigger comparison, this is the same type of trade that the Rangers made with Tampa Bay for Barclay Goodrow), this gives the Oilers a first crack at signing Grubbe.

Ironically, Grubbe was born-and-raised in Calgary – Edmonton’s most-detested rival from their never-ending feud known as “The Battle of Alberta.”

However, Grubbe has spent the past four years playing for the Red Deer Rebels (WHL). Red Deer is about a 90-minute drive to either Edmonton or Calgary, as it’s pretty much equidistant from the two biggest Albertan cities.

For the Rangers, this trade is a win, as Grubbe never factored into their plans.

Speaking of trades, I want to say this one last time and then put this to bed – especially since Jack Eichel or Matt Tkachuk will win the Stanley Cup in 2023.

As I have mentioned, there was a time in 2021 (a year prior to Matt Tkachuk being signed-and-dealt to Florida) where the Rangers could’ve traded for Tkachuk.

As I displayed last blog, and as you can find yourself by taking two seconds of your time and using the Google machine; it was once strongly suggested (even by Friedman, which the Ranger beat reporters all ran with, including Brooks) that Calgary was interested in both Kaapo Kakko and Filip Chytil (among other assets), in exchange for Matt Tkachuk – where even then – the Flames didn’t think they’d be able to retain him.

The deal never materialized, nor ever went anywhere, as Kakko was considered as “untouchable” by the Rangers.

But if the Blueshirts hadn’t designated Kakko with that label; then who knows, maybe the Rangers could’ve landed Tkachuk.

When it comes to Jack Eichel, there was more wind in those sails.

Google Rangers + Jack Eichel.

Heck, even Sieve Vagistat, in his infinite wisdom and as a self-proclaimed Drury confidant, said an Eichel trade to the Rangers was going to happen. (Of course, he stated that his “Spidey Senses were tingling.” I wouldn’t doubt that he buys Bud Light at Target.)

Unlike the Tkachuk for Kakko rumors, it was 100% reported that both the Rangers and Sabres were talking.

The Rangers balked for two reasons. One, they didn’t want to include the four-year-older Mika Zibanejad in the deal. Two, they didn’t want to overpay either, especially with doubts regarding Eichel’s neck surgery.

(One more time – I never had a doubt that this surgery would be successful, because it had previously worked for WWE and UFC athletes, athletes that put much more stress and pain on their necks than hockey players.)

While Buffalo took a lesser package as presented to them by Vegas (but with the benefit of hindsight being 20/20, what they received wasn’t really that bad either – and they still have a pair of draft picks which they’ll use during the 2023 NHL Entry Draft); it was thought that unless the Rangers were going to overpay, which Zibanejad would’ve been, then the Sabres didn’t want their biggest star to go to their “WINTER CLASSIC” and New York state rival.

Another player that Drury didn’t want to include in this trade?

Vitali Kravstov.


For those who bombard me with “BUT, BUT, BUT, THESE TWO DEALS WOULDN’T FIT UNDER THE CAP,” let me address that.

At the time, neither Zibanejad or Adam Fox were re-signed to the huge deals that they’d later receive. Furthermore, neither were the lesser-paid Kakko and Filip Chytil.

But it’s true – for an Eichel trade to work, then Zibanejad would’ve had to go.

In addition, Tkachuk, who the Rangers could’ve received prior to the enormous eight-year contract that he received in his sign-and-trade deal with Florida, wasn’t making that money yet.

And while it’s really not worth going down this rabbit hole any further, because I’m becoming what I hate – a hypocrite dealing with a hypothetical (but again, it’s only natural at this time of year – and where my mindset is with the book that I’m working on) – had the Rangers went with Eichel and Tkachuk over Zibanejad and Kakko, you would’ve had the money to pay Tkachuk – by not signing Vincent Trocheck.

My last point, and to all the people who deny that these scenarios were ever on the table, the following:

This wasn’t a Joe Sakic in 1997 situation, when he signed an offer-sheet with the Rangers.

In other words, to get 100% concrete evidence that both of these trades could’ve been had, we’ll just have to wait until these general managers are let go, and when they either write books or hit the podcast circuit.

Until then, all of these front-office executives will remain tight-lipped – and where Drury is already known as the second tightest-lipped GM of the league. (Lou Lamoriello, who Drury emulates, has him beat.)

I’ll try to never bring this up ever again, as I’m sure you’re sick of the “what if” stuff too.

Plus, knowing the “Rangers’ Curse” – Eichel’s neck would’ve broken off of his body and Tkachuk would go without a goal during the playoffs, just like Artemi Panarin.

Sadly, we just have to accept reality – the Rangers stink!

I never liked Gorton’s trade of Marc Staal – but I understood it. However, when will the Rangers ever receive their “future considerations” from Detroit? Hmmm!

As a gambler, if there was one wager that I wish I could’ve made, then it was a bet on what Brooks’ headline would have been, following the Panthers winning the Eastern Conference Final.

Similar to a New York Post article written by Phil Mushnick, where you know that he’ll bring up the Superbowl Half-Time show, Serena Williams vs “guerilla warfare” and his love for MetLife PSL seats; in the same vein, you had to know this was going to be Brooks’ headline:

Photo Credit: NYP

Brooks, who took a timeout from writing his fiction about Mike Sullivan becoming the next head coach of the Rangers (and where the words “maybe” and “perhaps” opened every paragraph in his latest push to get Sullivan hired), suggests that the Rangers have never replaced Marc Staal.

Listen (and the blogs don’t lie – you can check the archives), I wasn’t a fan of the Staal trade, and unlike the majority of the fan base – I was a huge fan of his.

However, the Rangers were in a state of rebuild at the time, and much like Henrik Lundqvist (who was bought out that same week), the pillars from a now bygone generation had to be knocked down and replaced with new ones.

At the time, Staal’s cap-hit of $5,700,000 was way too much, and is evident by the contracts that he’d later sign in Detroit (one-year, $2M) and Florida (one-year, $750K).

Combined, these two contracts are three million dollars less than what he was earning with the Rangers during his final season in New York.

Would have Staal been a great fit for the Rangers this year at $750K? Of course, but rarely, during the salary cap era, do you ever see players who made the bulk of their money with one team, only to go down the journey-man route at the end of their careers, then return to their original franchise.

It’s just a tough thing to do. Time changes everything, but in the moment, there are still hurt feelings and the parting of the ways is usually final – until a retirement ceremony takes place.

And for what it’s worth, are the Rangers really “missing” Marc Staal?

Sure, it would be nice to have him back on a veteran’s minimum salary, but that would’ve prevented the franchise from attaining their original goal – building a contender via young talent – where ironically, those days seemingly ended just one-year following Staal’s departure to the Motor City.

For the Rangers of today, Staal could’ve been used as a third-pair LD, which means that both Ryan Lindgren and K’Andre Miller would be safe.

It’s true that the Rangers have rotated third-pair LD ever since Staal’s removal, which was the basis of what Brooks had written; but even still, it’s not like guys such as Ben Harpur, Niko Mikkola and company are the reasons why the Rangers choked to the Devils this year.

Rather than focusing on third-pair defensemen and fourth-liners – I’d like to see everyone point their fingers at the two forwards who take up over 25% of the team’s salary cap space, Mika Zibanejad and Artemi Panarin.

And similar to my nonsense about Tkachuk and Eichel (but at least I’m looking at top-line/superstar players as if I were a 1975 Emile Francis); when you’re talking about how the Rangers miss Marc Staal, how they miss Jesper Fast, how they miss this cheap player, how they miss this plugger – then really – it’s a sad state of affairs – and nothing but excuses.

I’m looking forward to this Stanley Cup Final, but really, would you be caught dead wearing this shirt? Photo Credit: Bin Teez

As previously written, I’m on the Panthers’ bandwagon, and rooting for Marc Staal, and somewhat similar to Ryan McDonagh when he left (who was much younger), to win his first Stanley Cup.

I truly believe that both the Vegas Golden Knights and Florida Panthers are evenly matched, but I do wonder about the “rust vs rest” issue for the Cats.

It just feels like all of this time off will be good for their goaltender, Sergei Bobrovsky; but as someone rooting for the Sunrise squad, I do worry if they’ll be cooled down a bit to start.

I know that many people are worried about the television ratings this series would draw, as if it impacts their own personal income; but I’m not one of them.

In fact, I think this Stanley Cup Final will do well, as both teams have interesting storylines.

Furthermore, you’re guaranteed not only to see one franchise win their first Stanley Cup; but you’re also guaranteed to make a new superstar, a face of the league, too.

Of course, both Eichel and Tkachuk will benefit the most from this series, and no matter what happens next, both of their profiles have been boosted – and in a way – could overshadow Connor McDavid once winning the Stanley Cup.

(This most certainly applies to Eichel, due to the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, where McDavid went first-overall and Jumpin’ Jack went second-overall.)

One more reminder – I’m working on a book about Ranger Villians!

I say this one last time for tonight, because the Vegas Golden Knights just amuse me.

Go figure: The Knights, who debuted during the 2017-18 season, have reached the Stanley Cup Final twice during the past six years. In the past thirty years, the Rangers have reached the Stanley Cup Final twice.

But there is a silver lining!

The “expansion” Rangers debuted during the 1926-27 season. And much like the Knights that followed them 91-years later, the Blueshirts also reached the Stanley Cup Final twice in their first six years of existence.

And unlike the Knights – the Rangers won both of them (1928 and 1933).

So put that in your pipe and smoke it!

Another “more food for thought” item: During the past six years, the Rangers have had three different head coaches. So have the Knights, and where both teams once had Gallant manning their benches.

As far as my Stanley Cup Final pick, I’m going with the Panthers in six games.

As said before, they just feel like a team of destiny, akin to another underdog team, the 2012 LA Kings.

While Adin Hill has played remarkably well for Vegas; with the way Bobrovsky has been playing, I think the edge in net falls in favor to Florida – and that will be the difference since these two teams have a lot of firepower that could cancel each other out.

Let’s Go Marc Staal!

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

Podcast Programming Notes: Both “2 Guys, 1 Cup” and “The Blueshirt Underground Show” are scheduled to record live this week.

On May 31st, at 9:30PM, “2 Guys, 1 Cup” will be recording their new episode via their Facebook page. Once recorded, the show will be uploaded to i-Tunes and wherever else you go for podcasts.

On June 1st, at 7:00PM, “The Blueshirt Underground Show” will go live on their YouTube channel, and once recorded, they will also upload their show to all of the podcast servers.

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

My first 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:

Rangers’ “COACH-WATCH” Continues; Joel Quenneville’s Increasing Odds and the Confirmed Interviews, Vitali Kravtsov Runs Home Crying to Russia; Officially a Bust, The 2018 NHL Entry Draft Revisited; More “What If Questions,” Drury Curiously Cans Jim Ramsay; NYR Media Silenced, Marc Staal, TNT v ESPN & More

“The Hunt For The Rangers Head Coach of October!” Broadway’s Latest Play Based on The Real Life Story of The Blueshirts’ 2023 Search For a New Head Coach, Five New Actors to the Stage Featured, The 37th HC Revealed & More!

2023 Stanley Cup Playoff Thoughts; Blowouts and Upsets, Conference Finals Predictions, Desert Dogs Put to Sleep by Arizona Voters; Why New Orleans Would Make Sense for Relocation, Not Much Rangers News, But Plenty of Rumors & Speculation; Brooks’ Non-Stop Revolving Door of Coaches & 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 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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