“The Top Ten “WHAT IF” Seasons of Rangers’ History;” Reliving & Detailing The Worst Blueshirt Moments as Part of the 2024 “Grieving Process,” BSU Releases ’24 Report Card, “The Feckless Finn” Re-Signs; Hopefully “Pizza Man” Drury Puts The Deep Dish Crust Bust In The Oven On D-Day, DQ Now An Ice Bird; Next H.C. of the Pens Not Far Off Either, CapFriendly Embraces Capitalism, New NYR Books & More

Once you get to the end of tonight’s manifesto, then hopefully, and like me, you will have hit the “acceptance stage” in your 2023-24 New York Rangers’ grieving process. That said, I must continue to vent and purge in order to get there – and what a better way to do so by comparing this most recent failure to the 94-years that preceded it? Say it with me – “UGH!”

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. Yes – and as a fellow diehard Blueshirt devotee – then I agree with all of you – this 2024 Stanley Cup Final is hard to watch.

As I presently write these words to you, and only a few mere hours removed from the ferocious Florida Panthers gaining a 3-0 series lead against the non-formidable Edmonton Oilers, then, and just like you, then all I can think about are these two words – and in the form of a question too:


Sadly, and don’t we all know it, then “WHAT IF?” and the New York Rangers go hand-in-hand, partners if you will, and similar to other legendary tandems in human history, such as peanut butter and jelly, beers and pretzels, Abbott & Costello, Laurel & Hardy, Batman & Robin, Mario & Luigi, this site and plugging the books written by this author – and Kaapo Kakko, aka “The Feckless Finn,” making sweet love to the boards – and where #24 is now topical today following the Finn’s one-year extension that was signed earlier on Thursday – and a re-signing that we’ll later talk about in-detail.

(Furthermore, and once getting through our main event tonight, “The Top Ten “WHAT IF” Seasons of Rangers’ History” – then I’ll get into all of the other news that I’ve yet to chime in on.)

But for now, and as I did last year when I wrote “The Top 100 Villains of New York Rangers History,” – and perhaps because I’m a glutton for punishment too – then I must revisit the past (including the “recent present”) in order to look ahead at the future.

As alluded to above, I’m now in stage five of the grieving process – and while there will always be scars – and not fully healed wounds without blemishes – as all of the denial, anger, bargaining and depression are now behind me; and quite frankly – your words/comments have helped me when reaching this final stage too – including these following remarks that I received from some of the readers of this website:

“Loved your blog, you had some different perspectives than others I have read, but definitely agree with a lot of the reasons why we lost, sadly and frustrating and anger even to some of their end of season comments were pathetic, oh well, next year, what kind of crap is that. Anyway, always love reading your blog, and have a good summer and we will be back, hopefully with changes. Thank you.”

– Barbara S. – and I must give her a big thank you too – as she’s been a long-time reader of this site – and she even Venmoed me some beer money for my June 13th birthday too.

Thanks again Barbara – and it’s my promise to you that I will drown my sorrows over this season into my Labatt Blue draft beer – and as served to me from my local watering hole!

“Yes Sean another frustrating season comes to an end. 6 wins short again! I run the gamut of emotions when they end like this. I found out that getting mad at the tv doesn’t help, only raises my blood pressure. The coach can’t hear me anyway. I agree with you on wasting the assets we have by not using them in the playoffs. Jones in particular was not used. Should have been. I thought he could have helped by giving some rest to injured defensemen. I didn’t understand my Lavy refused to break up PP1. You watch other teams make adjustments to their and we continued to through the spit-wad at the wall hoping it would stick. I thought when Gus was on point when Fox was hurt that it clicked good. Seams like the same old song and dance crept back in by looking for the perfect shot.

“I’m going to have a tough time watching the regular season next year unless we get some changes to the roster.

“Finally, I would like to add, your site is a fantastic read every time. Don’t hang it up. If you do anything just cut back on the frequency of it. Enjoy the summer. I’m retired and I know I will. Hockey will be far from my mind. Have mixed feelings about watching the finals though.

“Thanks again!”

– Dave B. – where in a response – I won’t be hanging it up – but where I may heed his suggestion by cutting back on the frequency of updates next season – because, and as noted a few times already – it’s all about what the Rangers do at the 2025 NHL Trade Deadline – and beyond.

Everything else before that?

Nothing of true significance.

“I live in a country outside the USA. I was on a (very expensive) holiday in 2012, and managed to see an NHL game between the Rangers and Panthers, ironically enough. (Feb 3, 2015, Rangers won 6-3).

“I’ll never forget that feeling of the fandom, the feeling of history, in that building, and decided I’d become a Rangers fan. Grabbed a Rick Nash jersey and that was that. (Also, because its unclear watching through a TV, being very confused if people were booing before realising they were chanting “Zuuuuuuc”).

“Being a newer, older, and non-local viewer of the sport, I could pick any franchise I wanted. The Blackhawks were very popular back home, but I enjoy teams with history. My brother is a Red Wings fan (“oh!” He laments, “we haven’t won in sooo long, another rebuild year I guess”). Perhaps I should’ve researched more the ‘curse’ that follows the team around!

“But it’s my choice to be a fan, not due to geography, or some storied rivalry, but because I enjoy what a team like the Rangers represented. It’s likely I’ll never come back to the USA in my lifetime, let alone get to see a Stanley Play-off game in person. But I’ll be a fan regardless.

“Perhaps time and distance give me a different perspective. Ultimately, I have no stake in the results. No city around me in mourning or celebration, no compatriots or friends based around NHL fandom, let alone Rangers specifically. Even my brother is a far more casual fan than I am, much more invested in NFL. Should the Rangers ever win the Cup, I’m the only person into my entire sphere of influence who would remotely care.

“My point is that I come here to engage with fandom. To see the raw emotions of a true fan, unbiased by making money, pushing a narrative, or simply uneducated. And so, I’ll remain here, reading and commiserating. Because this place is where I’ll enjoy the Rangers, just by myself, and rant and cheer alongside you. I’ll be back, because, simply put, there’s nowhere else I’d rather go.

“It’s been a hell of a season, and I can only hope that the Rangers finally push themselves above their limitations and fears in 2025. Thank you for all you do Sean.”

Chris from Australia – and where aside from his nice words – I now know who my Australian readership is!

Now, if I can only find out the readers who are visiting this website from Afghanistan, Japan, Ethiopia and yes (and gulp) – South Korea too!

(And while on this – at least I know who my Israeli and Bahamian readership are – Stan F. and Marc G.!)

Thanks for all of the birthday wishes sent my way from Thursday, June 13th – including from friend of the site, Al “SMD” D. – and where one day – I hope to be experiencing this Rangers’ parade route with him – and where no post-parade meal at “The Olive Garden” is required either! Photo Credit: Al D.

As I turned 42-years-old on June 13th, and where I spent most of my day cursing out Sam Rosen and his literal curse of “This One Will Last a Lifetime” – then during my conversations with fellow members of our “Blueshirt Brethren” – not only was I reminded that June 13th is quite a big day in Rangers’ history (Game 5 of the 2014 SCF, Laviolette’s hiring, Ryan McDonagh shares a birthday and other key signings and trades – and where you can find all of it here: “Tricks of the Trade” ); but other such discourse circled around these 2023-24 Rangers – and where their disappointment ranks all-time in franchise history.

In a way, what you’re about to read below is a companion piece, an epilogue if you will, to my “Ranger Killers” book that I authored last year – and where “WHAT IF QUESTIONS” were peppered about throughout.

For me, and as noted above – reliving the pain is just how I handle grief – and once absorbing it – and then purging it – then this is how I can move on.

This is my process – and it might not necessarily be yours either.

Heck, I know that this isn’t the same process for others – as outside of the comments shared above, I also received a whole lot of “I’m done with this team,” “see you after the Summer,” and “wake me up when the playoffs start next year” –  and other such feedback and sentiment.

And I completely, and without a shadow of a doubt, understand all of that.

While “The Top 100 Villains of New York Rangers History”  dealt with the individuals, events (The Circus) and world history (World War II) that marred the Blueshirts during a near century’s worth of time; in this go-around, I now want to take a look at “The Top Ten “WHAT IF” Seasons of Rangers’ History.”

I do want to first mention, and before commencing the following, is that back in 2020 (and as mentioned in “Ranger Killers” too), that our good pals over at “The Blueshirt Underground Show” ran a 64-bracket tournament highlighting (or is it “low-lighting?) the worst moments in franchise history – and where let’s face it – the guys over at BSU could’ve added a few more zeros after that number of sixty-four too!

The “winner” of this 64-itemized field?

The 2015 Eastern Conference Final loss, Game 7 to be specific – and where yours truly – and like the two hosts from BSU (Jim S. & Eddie G.) – and more importantly – their audience too – completely agreed with.

(And kudos to “The Pony Express” for handling the BSU voting poll too!)

Of course, while you can’t ignore the “recency bias” factor either (and keep in mind, when this tournament was conducted, then the losses from 2022, 2023, and duh, 2024, hadn’t transpired yet), then you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more disappointing final result when compared to that 2014-15 season.

I’ll explain better once we get to it, but prior to 2015, then what other Ranger team had higher hopes – only to soon to be derailed – then this incarnation of Blueshirts?

For me, I don’t consider the 2013-14 season to be a “failed season” – because, and as meticulously detailed many times over on this site in the past – that was always a “Cinderella” team to me.

While the final result sucked – at the same time – then there was no way that you can say that the 2013-14 Rangers failed – and a complete 180 of a statement when compared to the the year/season that followed.

Prior to the height of “The Henrik Lundqvist Era” (and keep in mind – I’m only considering playoff runs here – because when you look at the non-playoff seasons – then you had no hopes or hearts broken – or at least not in the same fashion that you had during the postseason losses) – then perhaps the 1991-92 team was the “biggest failure” prior to 2015.

But of course, the bulk of that team, and where a few additions from Edmonton and Chicago didn’t hurt either, made things right two-years later – and where you may be familiar with the 1994 Rangers by now!

(As a result, “Ron Francis who?”)

In other words, had the 2016-17 Rangers been able to do what the 1993-94 Rangers did for the 1991-92 team – by using the failure from 2015 to propel them to a Stanley Cup – then there wouldn’t be any disdain or hard feelings for the 2014-15 failure.

(Am I losing you yet? Holy numbers Batman!)

But alas, that’s not what happened – and rather than 2015 being the catalyst, the motivation, for silver in 2017 – instead, that 2014-15 season will now forever be remembered as the peak of the Lundqvist Era of Rangers – and where in turn – the 2016-17 Rangers really became the end of that era too – as “The Letter” from February of 2018 ultimately ushered in a new age of Blueshirts.

At this time, and with another one of my tangents now set to the side, let’s get into it, as I present to you the following, “The Top Ten “WHAT IF” Seasons of Rangers’ History.”

The Rangers have won only four Stanley Cups during the past 98-years, where during that time, fans experienced a 54-year drought, and now today, a “Cupless Streak” now going on 31-years. Ugh!

“The Top Ten “WHAT IF?” Seasons of Rangers’ History.”

The 1978-79 Rangers are one of the most beloved Blueshirt teams of all-time – and would be even more fondly remembered today had they – and not the 1994 team – became the squad to win the club’s fourth Stanley Cup. Photo Credit: NYR

10. The 1978-79 New York Rangers

One more time – I’m keeping this list exclusively to only the years where the Rangers qualified for the playoffs – and where in addition – solely to the teams that had a real shot at winning the Stanley Cup.

(And yes, that about knocks out thirty-years of history, between the World War II era, the 1960s and “The Dark Ages” from 1998-2006 too).

Following both the Emile Francis Era (“We Did Everything But Win” – and a hell of a book too – and as authored by George Grimm), and a shorter (and more brutal) era that followed (The John Ferguson Years); Fred Shero, bench boss of the two-time Cup champions, “The Broad Street Bullies,” re-joined the Blueshirts, as long prior to his two dances with hockey’s holy chalice in Philadelphia (1974 and 1975), “The Fog,” a defenseman, was first a product of the Rangers’ farm system (1943-44 with the Rovers) and then made his NHL debut in New York too (1947-48).

(Holy parenthesis Batman!)

While much has been said and opined about Shero’s tenure in his dual-role as general manager and head coach (and check out “Thin Ice” by Ratso Sloman for all of it); but at the end of the day – one can’t deny how this team performed under him.

Led by Phil Esposito (and for everything on him – then check out all of my books which are plugged below), who was still a hated Boston Bruin in the eyes of many, and now nearly four-years removed from the biggest NHL trade of all-time; then Espo, already a no-doubt-about-it Hall of Famer prior to his eventual induction (1984), was surrounded by a youthful and hungry lot of Rangers, including the likes of Ron Duguay, Pat Hickey, Don Murdoch, John Davidson, The Maloney Brothers (Don and Dave), Nick Fotiu and others.

Along for the ride were a pair of former WHAers, imported from Sweden after their departures from Winnipeg – Anders Hedberg and Ulf Nilsson.

This eclectic group was also rounded out by elder statesmen such as Ron Greschner, Carol Vadnais, Steve Vickers and of course, the only holdover from the last Rangers’ squad to reach a Cup Final (1972), Walt Tkaczuk.

Today, these Rangers are largely remembered for their “Hockey Sock Rock” – and perhaps all of their time spent over at Studio 54 too!

As noted many times before in all of my writings; while Francis was fired for failing in January of 1976 – it were his moves, rebuilding ones – that led to the formation of this team.

Shero got the benefit of “The Cat’s” clawing of his previous core (Eddie Giacomin, Jean Ratelle, Brad Park, Gilles Villemure, Teddy Irvine, et al.) – but where at the same time – and while it may be painful to repeat – Francis did fail many times over – and with a much deeper roster than this one.

This team, which featured many “YOUTS,” attracted younger fans and where in a way – hockey celebrity in a city where the sport rarely reached the back pages not only reached these precious pages – but where this roster (mainly Duguay) was also a regular Page Six (New York Post) feature too.

Finishing third-overall in both the division and conference, this team made short work of their first two playoff opponents, as they swept the L.A. Kings in the preliminary round and then knocked off Shero’s former club in five-games in the quarterfinal round.

After being embarrassed by the Islanders in their last playoff meeting (1975) (which in turn, led Francis into rebuilding); the Blueshirts prevailed in the rematch, as they eliminated little brother in six-games during the semi-final round.

Up next?

The Stanley Cup Final – and where the Blueshirts would play visitor to the Montreal Canadiens – who at the time – were seeking their fourth consecutive Stanley Cup – and ugh – one that they’d eventually earn too.

The Rangers took Game 1 by a 4-1 final – and then it was all downhill from there.

As Esposito has said many times over throughout the years (and as backed-up by his teammates too); once taking a 1-0 series lead, and Espo, who had been through all of this before (and especially against Montreal, the Bruins’ biggest rival) – he wanted Shero to take the team to Lake Placid, NY – and really – anywhere else – rather than spending the off-day in party-happy Montreal – and especially with a young team around him.

Shero declined his best player’s request.

The Rangers then lost Game 2 by a 6-2 score – and where over the years, players from this team, including Duguay, admitted to having an off-night out in the Strip Club Capital of the World.

Despite their discretion, it’s not like the Rangers fared any better once returned home for Game 3 – a 4-1 loss.

Game 4 was much closer, but it was another win for the Habs, this time by an overtime abetted 4-3 final.

The Canadiens finished off the Rangers in Game 5 by a 4-1 final.

At the time, many thought that these upstart Rangers could end what was then a 39-year Cup drought – and while we all would’ve loved that – Montreal was just too experienced – too deep – and of course – had that guy Ken Dryden in net too.

And prior to 1994 – this was the last Rangers’ team to reach a Stanley Cup Final – which just ultimately tacked on fifteen extra years prior to the 54-year drought being snapped.

This was the height of the Shero era as well – and despite the trade for Barry Beck – what followed next was complete hell for the Rangers – but we’ll get into that below.

As noted to the point of ad-nauseam in all of my writings – then prior to both the institution of the NHL Draft (1963) and “The Great Expansion” (1967), then the Rangers were always at a disadvantage, as player rights were based on where they lived – and since New York was the league’s most southernmost city from 1926-1967 – then the Rangers were only left to sign the Canadian players that the Leafs, Canadiens and Red Wings (Detroit is a stone’s throw away from Windsor, ON) had no room for. Photo Credit: NYR

9. The 1931-1932 New York Rangers

Little known fact: The 1927-28 Rangers, and long before the Vegas Golden Knights, was one of the league’s best expansion stories of all-time, as just two-years into their existence – and Tex Rickard’s (https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/tex/ ) team, and one only founded because of the success of the New York Americans (and as only founded by bootlegger Big Bill Dwyer as a tax write-off/legitimacy), were Stanley Cup champions.

The first “CORE FOUR” of franchise history, Frank Boucher, Bill & Bun Cook and Ivan “Ching” Johnson, who led the way in 1928, remained with the club come the 1931-32 season.

While some faces changed (most notably Clarence “Taffy” Abel), this team, and as it would be from 1926-1940, was coached by “The Silver Fox,” Lester Patrick – and where perhaps the biggest difference between the ’28 Cup Champions and the team that followed four-years later – was in net itself.

In 1927-28, Lorne Chabot was the Rangers’ backstop, and in a story told about 9876786986986787 times before, and where in some cases, some romanticism and exaggeration is used too, Patrick filled in for Chabot during the ’28 Final, due to an eye injury sustained.

When the Rangers immediately moved on from Chabot following their first Stanley Cup win in franchise history (unlike today – and most trades from this era were predicated by real money –  not cap dollars – and as an upstart franchise, the Blueshirts were then more than happy to accept Toronto’s offer of $10,000 for their Cup-winning goalie), then goaltender John Ross Roach, who accompanied Conn Smythe’s $10K, became Chabot’s successor (1928-29 season).

And wouldn’t you know it?

The two goaltenders of the 1932 Stanley Cup Final?

Yep, you guessed it – the Rangers’ Roach vs the Leafs’ Chabot.

As the first-overall team of their division (The American Division), the Blueshirts made short work of the Canadiens in the semi-final round of a then two-round playoffs, as New York downed Montreal in four-games – and won the penultimate round by a three-one series score.

Up next, a Stanley Cup Final with the Toronto Maple Leafs – and where yes – that pesky Circus, which doomed the Rangers every April, reared in its ugly head once more.

But unlike other years (and most notably 1950) – then I don’t think that the elephants, trapeze artists and cotton candy made that much of a difference.

(It’s also why I’m not including the 1949-50 Rangers here – as I have previously discussed this 1950 Final loss in “Ranger Killers” – and I wanted to “spread the love” to different teams in this tome.)

In what ultimately became known as “The Tennis Series,” as the Leafs scored six-goals a piece in their three-game sweep of the Rangers; Chabot out-dueled Roach, 6-4, in Game 1 at M$G, then beat him again in Game 2, now at a neutral site in Boston (because of the circus), by a final of 6-2.

Game 3, the finale, now in Toronto, saw Chabot beat Roach once more by a 6-4 final.

And had the Rangers retained Chabot?

Then who knows?

What we do know is that Roach’s four-year tenure with the Rangers came to an end after this series – and where a year later, the new goalie in town, Andy Aitkenhead, “The Glasgow Gobbler” himself, helped the Rangers into winning their second Stanley Cup in franchise history.

Roach, and like Aitkenhead later would, had mental health issues – and like most goaltenders combat.

But since these two played in an era where the words “mental health” meant a permanent stay at a psych ward – then there was no professional help, in the form of either a sports psychologist or therapist, were available – and as they are today.

While it’s tough to consider this season as a “choke job,” and despite the Rangers’ first-place finish too – then taking the money – and Roach too – and over Chabot – was the ultimate difference.

Mark Messier’s first regular season as a Ranger was an excellent one – but for the then five-time champion – he’d have to wait two more years to win his sixth Stanley Cup. Photo Credit: NYR

8. The 1991-92 New York Rangers

In a story repeated so many times that you probably can recite it from both your brain and your heart, then on October 4th, 1991, the best trade in franchise history was made, as then general manager Neil Smith dealt Bernie Nicholls, Steven Rice and Louie DeBrusk to Edmonton – and in exchange for Mark Messier.

Also included in the trade?

A player to be named later – who later turned out to be Jeff Beukeboom.

Not too shabby!

The Rangers, with the Cup drought now approaching 52-years, went 50-25-5 that season, and in turn, finished with the Presidents’ Trophy as the best team in the league.

While most of the Blueshirts’ role-players delivered this season, so did their stars – and as evident by Messier’s Hart Trophy (league MVP) and Brian Leetch’s Norris Trophy (best defenseman).

Splitting the net in a timeshare fashion were two of the greatest Americans to ever do it, John Vanbiesbrouck and Mike Richter.

With imports such as Adam Graves, John Ogrodnick and Mike Gartner joining homegrown products such as James Patrick (who is often forgotten whenever speaking about Rangers’ history), Jan Erixon, Tony Amonte and others; the Blueshirts won a wild-and-high-scoring first-round series against the Devils – and where the Rangers scored a total of 21 goals in their four-wins during the seven-game set.

Up next for the Presidents’ Trophy winners?

A second-round series with the defending (1991) Stanley Cup champions, the Pittsburgh Penguins.

As the years have gone by, and this series is largely remembered for Mike Richter having the worst game of his life, Game 4, as he gave up a game-winner to Ron Francis – and on a shot that even Sieve Vagistat could have stopped.

What’s largely forgotten prior to the Penguins’ 5-4 overtime Game 4 victory, is that prior to the gift of all gifts that Richter afforded to Francis, was the fact that the Rangers failed on a five-minute power-play in regulation time.

Also largely glossed over?

Adam Graves receiving a four-game suspension after the events of Game 2 – for hurting poor old Mario Lemieux.

Had Graves slashed anyone else besides #66 – then no time would have been missed for #9.

Perhaps what’s most forgotten, is that even with Graves out and Richter having the worst game of his life, is that following the events of Game 4 and this series between the defending Cup champs and the Presidents’ Trophy winners was now tied at two-games a piece.

The Rangers lost a Game 5 at home by a one-goal difference (3-2), then had no answers in Game 6 in the Penguins’ 5-1 series finale – and where it was Beezer – and not Richter – who started in these two final games.

And as noted earlier – had 1994 not gone down in the way that it did – then this loss would’ve hurt even more today than it did back then.

It should also be mentioned that while the Penguins did repeat in 1992 – the Rangers followed up their Presidents’ Trophy season by not even reaching the playoffs in 1993.

Enter Mike Keenan and you know the rest.

Every kid my age in 1997 (and heck – everyone else too) had this trading card in their collection, following Gretzky’s New York arrival – and his reunited friendship with Messier – now on Broadway. Photo Credit: Upper Deck

7.  The 1996-97 New York Rangers

Three-years following the 1994 win, the fourth Cup in franchise history, and the team, ever-changing at the time (and ugh – that Sergei Zubov trade too), were swept by the Flyers in the second-round during the 1995 lockout-abbreviated playoffs and then bounced out by the Penguins, in another second-round series, in 1996.

The 1996-97 season would be different.

After being dealt from Los Angeles to St. Louis during the 1995-96 season, and the greatest hockey player to ever do it, Wayne Gretzky, didn’t share the same bond and relationship as his best friend, Mark Messier, once did with the now head coach of the Blues, Mike Keenan.

As a result, when the Blues looked to re-sign #99 in the Summer of ’97, Gretzky rejected their three-year deal worth $15M overall, as “The Great One” wanted nothing do with “Iron Mike” anymore.

Neil Smith could understand Gretzky’s sentiments, and perhaps bonded in their mutual disdain of Keenan – Gretzky soon accepted Smith’s two-year deal, worth $8M overall – and as he did on July 21st, 1996.

Having former Oilheads in the Big Apple, such as Messier, Graves and Beukeboom, helped sway Gretzky.

Ditto his former teammate in L.A., one that he once clashed heads with, but later mended fences with too, Luc Robitaille.

Despite a fifth-seed finish with a star-studded (and veteran) roster (but it should be mentioned that the Rangers’ power-play this season was first-overall, connecting at a success rate of 21.95%); perhaps it was never about the regular season anyway for this group – as similar today – it was always “CUP OR BUST.”

Led by another Oiler alumni, head coach Colin Campbell, and these Rangers just steamrolled themselves through the first two-rounds, as they defeated both the Panthers and the Devils (and in that order) in identical five-game series victories.

Ironically, and similar to the Panthers of today – and the Rangers, who just cake-walked their way to the Conference Final, found their match in the more physical Philadelphia Flyers – and an orange-and-black squad enjoying their “Legion of Doom” years.

While the scores were close – the series was not – as the tables were turned on the Rangers – as they fell in five-games.

Gretzky, who led the Rangers in scoring this season (97-points, Messier finished second-best with 84-points) had his finest moment as a Blueshirt in Game 2 of the series, the lone Rangers’ win, as he scored a hat trick in the 5-4 victory.

Gretzky also finished these playoffs with twenty-points. Second-best was the returning Esa Tikkanen (another Oiler mate of Gretzky’s) who scored twelve-points.

Leetch, who won another Norris Trophy in 1997, was reliable and finished with ten-points.

While three more wins would’ve returned the Rangers to the Final for the first time since 1994, they were just out-matched by the Flyers.

As they looked to retool for the 1997-98 season – well check out my books – as “Air Force One” (Joe Sakic) happened, Mark Messier was now in Vancouver – and for the rotten cherry on top – this 1997 loss wound up becoming the last time when the Rangers reached the playoffs during the non-salary cap era.

And the less said about Senile Sather, the better.

But for Neil Smith, who reunited #11 and #99 – such good times were short-lived – and it wasn’t until some Swedish unknown debuted, Henrik Lundqvist, where the Rangers regained prominence in the league again (2005-06).

Every detail, piece of minutiae, event and everything else from the Rangers’ 2021-22 season is covered in-detail in my “One Game at a Time” four-volume set.

6. The 2022-23 New York Rangers

We can breeze by this one a bit, as after all, I wrote a four-book series on the previous season (2021-22) which you can find here: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/onegamebook/

Plus – all of this is recent – and it was this season that inspired my “Top 100 Villains/Ranger Killers” book too.

As it goes so often in Rangers’ history, and even in recent years such as 2014, 2022 and 2024, then once a change is made at the head coach position – then the Blueshirts go on to have an unforgettable and memorable season.

In this case, and following the craziest season in franchise history (2021 – and for all of it – check the archives of this site), head coach David Quinn was out and new bench boss, Gerard Gallant, was in.

With “The Turk” now calling the shots, then many Rangers went on to experience career-best seasons, including a 52-goal season for Chris Kreider, a near 100-point season for Artemi Panarin, and of course, a 2022 Vezina Trophy win for CZAR IGOR.

For management, both Gallant and GM Chris Drury finished third-overall in their respective Jack Adams and Jim Gregory races.

Following a Cinderella run to the 2022 Eastern Conference Final, where perhaps the Rangers gassed out at the end of it (a six-game series loss to Tampa – and where the Bolts won the final four games of the series); the Rangers, now with some experience under their belts, looked to take the next step in this 2022-23 campaign.

Rather than taking the next step – they fell – and they hit every rung on the ladder on their way down too.

In what can only be best described as either “inexcusable” or “shit show,” the Rangers, who prepared for the playoffs ever since their explosive trade deadline when they saved cap space and played the minimal requirement of players when bulking up for the likes of Vladimir Tarasenko and Patrick Kane; just imploded during the first-round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

After winning both games of their first-round set against the Devils by identical 5-1 scores, and on New Jersey ice no less – the Rangers then quickly found themselves in a 3-2 series hole following the events of Game 5.

A 5-2 Game 6 win on Garden ice extended the series – and in the end – only prolonged the pain too.

While the Devils (112-points) did fare better in the regular season than the Rangers (107-points) – it was always about the playoffs – and gearing up for them for the Blueshirts – and as a result – the Rangers sacrificed points in the regular season for the greater good.

So much for that.

In what felt like 2015 all over again, but albeit, as visitors; after being shut out in Game 5 (4-0) – come the pivotal “DO OR DIE,” “WIN OR GO HOME” Game 7 – and the Rangers were sent packing after another 4-0 loss – and where as it’s often been the case for this core – none of the stars showed up – that is – aside from Kreider (9-points) – but where most of his scoring took place during the two blowouts.

As one-and-done Rangers, Kane (1-5-6) and Tarasenko (3-1-4), a pair of former Stanley Cup champions – and where the former was playing injured to boot, showed up – while the two highest-paid players on the team, and as is often the case, did not – as Mika Zibanejad went 1-3-4, while Artemi Panarin went 0-2-2.

Somehow, this was all the coach’s fault (or at least according to Drury) – and where following this seven-game fiasco – Gallant, who still had two-years left on his contract at $3.5M-per – was shown the door.

You see, despite this core failing – it was all the head coach’s fault.

And as repeated about 40986754782854277348672864479826479836 times ever since then – the Rangers, now under Peter Laviolette – fared no better in his first season as bench boss of the Blueshirts – including an identical six-game ECF loss to the other Florida no state income tax team – and where the Ranger stars were eclipsed by another goaltender moon.

At least in 2024 it was Sergei Bobrovsky doing the heavy lifting – and not some AHL schlub as it was in 2023 – Akira Schmid.

Needless to say, and for as fun and as enjoyable that the Rangers were in the early 1980s under both Craig Patrick and Herb Brooks – then the playoffs were the complete opposite of that. Heck, dare I say that the early 1980s were “suicidal” for Blueshirt patrons? Photo Credit: NYR

5. The Early 1980s New York Rangers

Just to sandwich-in all of the misery together, then the start of the 1980s, and until the mid-way point of 1985, weren’t high times for the Rangers.

And it all started with John Ferguson, who decided that Mike Bossy wasn’t good enough (he said that he was too small) when he passed over #22 twice-over during the 1977 NHL Amateur Draft – and a story that I must’ve shared about 383883838383883 times on this site – and in my Villains book too.

During these years, the Rangers watched the Islanders win the Stanley Cup four times – and also fell victim to them for a fourth-and-final time in the Isles’ “Drive For Five” loss year to the Oilers.

I’m just glad that I was shitting in my diapers during these years – as I can’t imagine the all-out agony that adult Blueshirt Backers were experiencing during what will most likely hold up as the last NHL dynasty in league history – as the salary-cap prevents teams from having such dynasties today.

Let’s end it here – as I’m already dry heaving into my keyboard.

The 90th anniversary of the franchise, the 2016-17 season, was much like every other season sans four – PAIN. Photo Credit: NYR

4. The 2016-17 New York Rangers

Three words, albeit abbreviated: Jean-Gabriel Pageau – and yep – one of my “Ranger Killers” too – and a Blueshirt Betrayer that was so successful – that the Islanders, under the biggest Ranger hater of them all, Lou Lamoriello, immediately sought out the Senator’s services following this series.

Following the Cinderella run of 2014, the all-out failure in 2015 and a complete five-game embarrassment of a first-round series loss in 2016 (the Penguins); it was also noticeable at this time that the decline of Henrik Lundqvist was already upon us.

And if you were reading this site during this time – then you’re well aware about all of this – and his contract too.

As back-up after back-up routinely outplayed Lundqvist, and for one-eighth the money/cap-hit (and as Cam Talbot, prior to Antti Raanta, did in this season) and the Rangers finished this season with a middle-of-the-pack fourth in the division finish – and good for fifth-overall in the Eastern Conference.

And while the lights on Lundqvist’s prime were flickering – he did flashback to 2014 when he out-dueled Carey Price, and his Montreal Canadiens, in a first-round six-game set.

Over on the other side of the bracket, and the Ottawa Senators, who no one respected, upset the Boston Bruins in six-games – and where three overtime wins were required in the Beantown takedown.

Heading into the second-round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs – and despite the boys over in Canada’s capital having the higher-seed – and everyone and their mother expected the Rangers to impeach the Senators out of the playoffs.

If it wasn’t for the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs, then this second-round series, played one-year later, would have been the worst of Lundqvist’s career – as he gave up soft goal after soft goal – and where the defense in front of him wasn’t that hot either.

As JGP just owned the Rangers in this series (6 goals – and nearly all of them being game-winners too), the once thought to be inferior Senators held a 3-2 series lead following their 5-4 overtime win in Ottawa.

With the Rangers on the brink in Game 6, and with a chance to tie the series on home ice – JGP scored the final goal of the series, an empty-netter, in the Sens’ 4-2 victory.

While who knows what would’ve happened had it been the Rangers – and not the Senators – playing for a Stanley Cup Final berth in the 2017 ECF (the Pens beat the Sens in seven-games – and where it took a 3-2 double overtime Game 7 victory for the black-and-yellow to move on); what we do know is this:

This loss ended an era.

No less than a year later, and head coach Alain Vigneault, who had a ton of success in New York, was out.

And following “The Letter,” so were other Rangers from this 2016-17 team – and where come the end of it – only Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad remained – as fan favorites such as Ryan McDonagh, J.T. Miller, Kevin Hayes, Mats Zuccarello, Marc Staal, Brady Skjei, Jesper Fast, Rick Nash and others were soon parted with.

And while it took a few years – ditto Henrik Lundqvist.

Hell, even Kevin Shattenkirk, the grand prize of the Summer Class of 2017 Free Agency, was soon bought out too.

At least Glen Sather retained his job – a disgusting fact that remains to this very day (6/14/2024) – and as Senile Slats approaches his 25th consecutive season as a James Dolan employee – and an all-out Cupless failure of a tenure that should garner him some consideration for his expungement from the Hall of Fame today.

Depending on how old you are – then the failure in 1972 may be your most painful moment as a Ranger fan. Photo Credit: NYR

3. The 1971-72 New York Rangers

For some fans, then only the 1971 Stanley Cup semi-final seven-game loss, which included Game 6 heroics from Pete Stemkowski, may have hurt worse than this one.

But when you look at the Emile Francis Era (1964-1976) as a whole – then this was the only year where the Rangers reached the Stanley Cup Final.

Prior to the Rangers losing Ulf Nilsson seven-years later in February of 1979, which was the genesis of the “POTVIN SUCKS” chant that should’ve been retired many years ago; then the Blueshirts lost their greatest player of this era on March 1st – just a month shy from the playoffs – and when Jean Ratelle broke his ankle on a freak play (a Dale Rolfe shot).

Making matters even uglier?

This “cursed accident,” one of many in franchise lore, took place against one of the worst franchises to ever play in the NHL – the California Seals – and where the Rangers won this meaningless game by a 4-1 final.

Come the end of the 1971-72 season, and the top two teams of the league, the Boston Bruins (119-points) and the Rangers (109-points), handled business throughout the playoffs, which as a result, then set-up their meeting in the 1972 Stanley Cup Final.

For the Rangers, they were able to defeat the almighty Canadiens in six-games in the first-round and then got their revenge from a year prior when they swept the Blackhawks in the second-round.

The Bruins, led by Esposito and Bobby Orr, had an even easier route to the Cup Final, as they continued their never-ending torment over the Leafs in five-games in the first-round and then swept what was pretty much still an expansion team at the time (although, and unlike the previous recent years – a Stanley Cup Final berth for one of the “Great Expansion” teams was no longer guaranteed – and as it was in 1968, 1969 and 1970) – the St. Louis Blues.

Ratelle, who went 46-63-109 in only 63 games-played (which needs to always be brought up whenever talking about Panarin’s 2023-24 season), tried to make a successful and valiant return for the 1972 Stanley Cup Final – and after missing the two previous rounds.

Willis Reed, Ratelle (one assist in the whole series), was not.

The Bruins, who had won the Stanley Cup two-years prior in 1970 (albeit, against an expansion Blues’ team), had all of their stars show up, as Bobby Orr, who absolutely destroyed the Rangers in this series, went 4-4-8. Esposito went 0-8-8 – and as often mentioned on this site – Phil always credited Tkaczuk from preventing him of scoring a goal – but as you can see – #7 did pick up eight assists – thus averaging over a point-per-game in this final series of ’72.

And in what was the biggest kick to the gonads – and especially with hindsight – it was Ken Hodge, who scored five goals, the most red-lights in the series, that went 5-3-8.

With Ratelle nowhere near 100%, Rod Gilbert went 4-3-7, while Brad Park went 2-4-6.

No other Ranger, besides Ted Irvine, part of the the greatest third line in franchise history (with Bruce MacGregor and Pete Stemkowski), scored more than five points, and as Chris Jericho’s dad finished with in this series (1-4-5).

While Boston’s goalies (Gerry Cheevers and Eddie Johnston) fared better than Giacomin and Villemure – this six-game series loss really comes down to the Ratelle injury.

Not to take anything away from the black-and-gold, but the Bruins won their first three games of this series by one-goal a piece (Game 1, 6-5, Game 2, 2-1 and Game 4, 3-2) – and where had #19 in blue been healthy – then you would have to think that at least one of these games, if not all, would’ve went down differently.

And down 3-2 come Game 6 – and the Rangers – and with Ratelle worsening – lost their fourth-and-final game of the series by a 3-0 final.

Bad events, injuries and that damn circus have always doomed the Rangers.

And had Ratelle been healthy –  then who knows what would’ve happened in 1972?

But injuries always happen in hockey – and sadly – to your best players too.

And when needing to shoulder the burden, Vic Hadfield, the left-wing of the GAG LINE, finished with a series low minus-five rating.

Sound familiar when thinking about today?

If I’ve said it once, then I’ve said it 33333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333 times – I wish that I had an alternate timeline, ala “Back to The Future,” where I could see what would’ve happened had the Rangers started Cam Talbot in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Photo Credit: NYR

2. The 2014-15 New York Rangers

Just check the archives of this site, or any of my books, about this one – as I can’t do all of it right now.

Simply put, after a Lundqvist throat injury sustained in a January 31st 4-1 win over Carolina – Cam “THE GOALBUSTER” Talbot took over – and by now – you should long be aware of my fandom of #33!

With Lundqvist out for a bit, Talbot went 17-4-3 as the new defacto starter – and come the end of the season, and following “THE GOALBUSTER’s” April 7th 4-2 win at “The Pebble” – the Rangers weren’t only that year’s Presidents’ Trophy winners – and not only was Talbot soon named as the winner of the 2015 Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award too – but all of Talbot’s stats, and for one-eighth the price to boot – all surpassed Lundqvist.

But when the playoffs began – the man who got them there – Talbot – was sent to the bench.


While not piss-poor, Lundqvist and the Rangers fell into a 3-1 series hole against an inferior Capitals’ squad in the second-round – and where it took three extra games, all decided by one goal (including two overtime wins), to get past Washington.

It should also be mentioned that this was the same playoff run where Zuccarello was lost early and where McDonagh & Dan Girardi, the team’s top-pair, were also playing while severely injured – aka “The Rangers’ Curse.”

The extra games required to get past Washington, and the injuries too, caught up to the Rangers in the 2015 ECF.

Following a 2-1 Game 1 win – and Lundqvist became touchdown city – as Tampa won Game 2 by a 6-2 final and where Lundqvist was absolutely brutal in a 6-5 overtime Game 3 loss.

But it wasn’t only about Lundqvist in and Talbot out either.

Following a Rangers’ 5-1 Game 4 victory – and the team decided to never show up in M$G again – and that includes Rick Nash – who paced all Rangers in scoring that season (42-27-69 – and where his goal and point totals were team-highs).

Sandwiched in-between identical 2-0 losses on home ice in Games 5 and 7 was a win in Game 6, by a 7-3 final.

And whether it was Lundqvist or Talbot (and even MacKenzie “THE BUFFALO KILLER” Skapski too) – then if you don’t score – then you don’t win.

And that’s what happened – as the best regular season team in all of franchise history prior to 2023-24 – failed – and where only the team that exceeded their regular season failed (and broke more hearts too) than them.

And last but not least, this brings us to today.

A lot of Rangers should be impeached after this 2024 ECF loss to the Panthers – but I’m not so sure if Chris Drury knows what the definition of the word “insanity” is. Photo Credit: NYR

1. The 2023-24 New York Rangers

I’ve said everything that I have needed to say about this team – and as I have done during these past few blogs:

If I have anything new to really add about this 2023-24 failure – and a failure that you now know that I consider to be the worst in all of franchise history – a time-span of 98-years, then it’s this:

With the 1994 nonsense long over, the real comparison for this current Rangers’ core is “The Lundqvist Era.”

Here’s the evidence:

2013: Embarrassed by Boston in the second-round, head coach John Tortorella fired afterwards.

2014: David/Cinderella season, lose in SCF.

2015: Goliath season, glass slipper shattered in ECF.

2016: Brutalized by Pittsburgh.

2017: Embarrassed by Ottawa.

Fast forward to today and it’s a 2020 embarrassment/sweep in the bubble (Carolina), have the craziest season in franchise history (but a bad one) in 2021, a Cinderella run in 2022, another embarrassment in 2023 (which led to another head coach firing and hiring) and now another Goliath season ruined in 2024.

My 2025 prediction you ask?

This one:

A heavy-favorited Rangers team lose in the second-round to a team that they have no business losing to – and since it’s on brand to lose to a former member of the alumni – then I’ll go with Torts’ Flyers.

Then again – it could be a loss to a David Quinn Penguins’ team, which now brings us to our “MOP-UP” segment!

(And I hope that you “enjoyed” reliving ten seasons of Blueshirts’ misery with me too! UGH!)

In another opinion repeated about 966769673646369 times on this site – I never had an issue with David “Rabbit Ears” Quinn – and like every other coach before and after him – and going all the way back to Bryan Trottier who I thought never should’ve been hired – and most certainly soon fired – as I thought that DQ deserved a shot to coach the Rangers prior to his 2021 firing. After all, that pandemic-plague season, and where in this “Murphy’s Law” 56-game truncated campaign – everything that could go wrong did go wrong – really had nothing to do with him – including his front office deciding to exile Tony DeAngelo with no return, the Panarin nonsense with Putin’s boys, never-ending injuries, etc. Photo Credit: M$GN


(And as I try to rapid-fire through every other topic that I haven’t hit yet!)

I don’t know – but maybe some of you are right – as perhaps I am a “simp” of David Quinn.

But either way, and much like his Rangers’ tenure – then I don’t see what he did in order to deserve getting fired by his good friend over in San Jose, current Sharks’ GM, Mike Grier.

After all, it’s not DQ who fielded an ECHL roster for his NHL club in 2023-24 – while also trading away every NHL player under his watch imaginable – as that was all Grier’s doing.

And for DQ, and I don’t know if that day will ever come – but for his sake – then I hope that one day – he gets a chance to coach a true contender – as that day hasn’t come yet.

But maybe that hypothetical day will come to be during the 2024-25 season – that is – if the Penguins’ open up the campaign with a a cold-as-ice start.

On Wednesday, June 12th, the black-and-yellow announced the following, courtesy of https://www.nhl.com/penguins/news/penguins-name-david-quinn-assistant-coach :

The Pittsburgh Penguins have added David Quinn to Head Coach Mike Sullivan’s coaching staff as an assistant coach, it was announced today by President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Kyle Dubas.

Quinn, 57, will join Assistant Coaches Mike Vellucci and Ty Hennes on Head Coach Sullivan’s staff, along with Goaltending Coach Andy Chiodo, Video Coach Madison Nikkel and Assistant Video Coach CJ D’Alimonte. Quinn will oversee the team’s defensive group. 

“David Quinn brings a wealth of coaching and developmental experience across the highest levels of professional and international hockey,” said Dubas. “Quinn has a long track record of helping elite defensemen reach their full potential, and we look forward to the impact he can make on our defensive group and our entire program. Coach Quinn’s experience, character, energy and enthusiasm make him a great fit for Coach Sullivan’s coaching staff.”

Quinn, who has over 30 years of coaching experience, has served as head coach of the San Jose Sharks (2022-24) and New York Rangers (2018-21). Under his reign as head coach with the Sharks and Rangers, two defensemen captured the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best defensemen, with Adam Fox and Erik Karlsson claiming the award in 2020-21 and ’22-23, respectively.

The Cranston, Rhode Island native has extensive experience at the international level with Team USA, most recently as the head coach of the 2022 and ’23 World Championship teams and the ‘22 Olympic Team. 

Quinn has also represented Team USA as an assistant coach at three World Championships (2007, ’12 & ’16) and the 2005 World Junior Championship. He spent two seasons (2002-04) as the head coach for USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program. Quinn also helped guide the U.S. Women’s National Team to a pair of silver medals (2000 & 1999) in the Women’s World Championship.

Quinn has 19 years of experience at the collegiate level as an assistant coach with Northeastern University (1993-96) and University of Nebraska-Omaha (1996-02), as well as an associate coach and head coach of Boston University from 2004-09 and 2013-18, respectively. As Boston University’s head coach, the team went 105-69-21 under his direction. As an associate coach, Quinn and Boston University won the National Championship in 2009. During his two stints with Boston University, Quinn coached the likes of defensemen Charlie McAvoy, Matt Grzelcyk, Dante Fabbro and Kevin Shattenkirk, as well as forwards Jack Eichel, Brady Tkachuk, Clayton Keller and Evan Rodrigues.

Quinn’s career also included stops as an assistant coach with the Colorado Avalanche (2012-13) and head coach of the Lake Erie Monsters (2009-12) of the American Hockey League.

Quinn was drafted 13th overall by the Minnesota North Stars in the 1984 NHL Draft prior to his three-year collegiate career with Boston University from 1984-87. Following his collegiate career, he played two seasons of professional hockey in the AHL and IHL in 1991-92 and ’92-93, respectively. Internationally, the defenseman won a bronze medal with Team USA at the 1986 World Junior Championship.

We’ve seen these moves before – when an NHL team hires a previous head coach to serve as their assistant – and where should the current bench boss not prove to be successful – then the recent assistant hire becomes the interim H.C.

Heck, it happens with the N.J. Devils all the time!

While I can’t root for DQ any longer, as he’s now an enemy over in Pittsburgh; I do think that there is something to this theory, that if current head coach, Mike Sullivan – who was not hand-picked by new GM Kyle Dubas – can’t get the Penguins out of the rut that they are in – then perhaps DQ will be given a chance.

I’d like to say “Best of Luck to you David Quinn” – but my Ranger fandom prevents me of saying such a thing at this moment in time!

A site that only became a necessity due to Gary Bettman’s madness – and greed. Photo Credit: CapFriendly

In a story first reported by who else – Elliotte Friedman – it was announced that the Washington Capitals have bought the best salary-cap information site in the league, CapFriendly.com

For the full 411, then check out: https://www.sportsnet.ca/nhl/article/capitals-announce-agreement-to-acquire-capfriendly/

Unlike others – and I don’t blame the Caps for “capitalizing” – and using “capitalism” too – when acquiring CapFriendly.

And unlike the majority – I don’t blame CapFriendly for “selling out” either.

While this personal Rangers’ blog of mine isn’t much of a business, that is, outside of pushing my books to you – then CapFriendly.com is a business – and as their non-stop ads and pop-up players would suggest.

And with true-blue hockey fans running CapFriendly – then how can you blame them for selling their site to the Caps – as not only are they now on an NHL payroll – but they are now millionaires too.

Kudos to them.


Expect a ton of copy-cat sites to pop-up – and with these future cap proprietors all looking for an NHL team to – ahem – “buy them out” of their contracts!


Any fan crying about CapFriendly taking the money is an idiot.

All of these crocodile-tearers would have taken the money too!

My biggest takeaway about the Panthers being one game away from winning the Stanley Cup? I just wish that Marc Staal, who was there last season, was there for this run – as with the Rangers out – I always root for the alumni! Photo Credit: Panthers

As far as the 2024 Stanley Cup Final goes – I must say – I know that my good pal, “THE MAVEN,” Stan Fischler, must be smirking about “McDavid’s Men” falling down like dominoes!


I can’t hate – the Panthers do everything right – and I just wish that the Rangers, and maybe in my lifetime, can one day do the same!

As far as “unique take?”

This one, and as I first shared on Elon Musk’s app:

Last and least – the useless bust known as Kaapo Kakko.

While Kakko did ruin my birthday by re-signing with the Rangers on June 13th, 2024 – his spot in Lavy’s 2024-25 line-up isn’t secure just yet – and it is still is possible that he’s booted during the 2024 NHL Entry Draft – and a dream that I’m hoping to see the light of day!

The Rangers saddened anyone with a brain on Thursday, when they posted the following on https://www.nhl.com/rangers/news/rangers-agree-to-terms-with-kaapo-kakko :

New York Rangers President and General Manager Chris Drury announced today that the team has agreed to terms with forward Kaapo Kakko on a one-year contract extension.

Kakko, 23, recorded 13 goals and six assists for 19 points in 61 games during the 2023-24 regular season. His 13 goals were the second most of his career (18 in 2022-23).

In 300 NHL games across five seasons with the Blueshirts, the Turku, Finland native has collected 117 points (57G-60A). In 2022-23, he accumulated career-highs in goals (18), assists (22), points (40) and plus/minus (+12).

Kakko was originally selected by the Rangers in the first round, second overall, of the 2019 NHL Draft.

According to Larry “I won’t say anything negative in order to break all Rangers’ news” Brooks, the Rangers and the RFA Kakko agreed to a one-year deal worth $2.4M overall – which amounts to ten-times what he’s worth – and that’s being generous.

As noted before – while Kakko may go on to have a career like Manny Maholtra – to suggest that in Year 6, the scumbag and entitled Finn will go on to have a magical season worthy of his draft status – well such thinking is beyond ludicrous.

And let me reiterate this – maybe Kakko does go on to have a good career – but he’s just not a fit for New York – and if the mission still remains as “CUP OR BUST” – then he serves no purpose – and as is evident when Laviolette scratched him during the 2024 ECF – then only for such a healthy scratch decision to be rescinded following an injury sustained by Jimmy Vesey.

And if he’s not traded over the summer – then it just stonewalls the likes of Brennan Othmann, Adam Sykora and Gabe Perreault.

As Brooks is currently ejaculating about – yes – this is a good deal for the Rangers – as Kakko, and like a cheap useless whore – came cheap.

And hopefully, this priceless prostitute gets looks from the other 31-johns in the league.

It’s funny, I saw Brooks, and other Ranger fans, including readers of this website too, go on-and-on about what a great signing this was for Drury.

Everyone said, “what a great deal to retain a third line guy.”

The second-overall draft pick status?

Forgotten like a fart in a Kansas wind.

Ditto the “CUP OR BUST” mantra.

As you may have surmised and ascertained – I’m chekked outto on Kakko – and he can’t be traded away soon enough.

We know what he is by now – and I rather see younger players given a shot – and where aside from the previous three prospects listed above – I’d rather see both Matt Rempe and Adam Edstrom get a chance to prove themselves too.

And I will close with this open caveat:

As fans, there are just players that we just absolutely detest – and that’s why we are fans – and not GMs too!

And DUH – Kakko is one of mine.

One parting HOT CLOSING TAKE? If the Rangers don’t win the Stanley Cup in 2025 – then it’s toodles Drury for me! Make no bones about it – his 2024 deadline was an unequivocal FAILURE! Photo Credit: NYR

I’m now at word 13,600, which to me, tells me that I went on too long for one blog.

But hey – no ads, pop-up players or spyware for your one click!

Plus, I did take a two-week break!

Moving forward, I’m still working on my “RANGER ICONS: PHIL WATSON” book – and I’ll most likely return whenever Rangers’ news is next made – and if not – then after the draft.

In other words, if you skimmed and scrolled down a lot tonight – then you’ll have plenty of time to read all of my gibberish!


I’m currently reading two Ranger books right now – and should I get the time – I hope to have reviews of both of them on this site.

The two books, and two that you can purchase on Amazon?

These two:



One last plug as the GO HOME siren is blaring beyond belief?

Our friends over at BSU released their latest episode, a 2023-24 Rangers’ Report Card, on Thursday.

I haven’t had a chance to watch it yet – but I will over the weekend.

Should you not be working 80-hours weeks like yours truly – then get a jump on me and catch it by clicking the play button below:

One day (no promises) – we’ll see the Rangers win the Stanley Cup.

And if I’m dead whenever this unlikely event happens – then put a Rangers’ (Insert Year Here) Stanley Cup Champion hat on my tombstone!

And have Glen Sather carry my casket too – so he can let me down one last time!

Thanks for sticking with me.

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/

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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  1. Hey thanks for the shout out very much appreciated, feel like a celebrity, haha. Anyway, another great blog and I agree besides this year, ugg, 2014-2015 was another heartbreak and like this year, should havc made some changes. Well unless real changes are made for next year, like you said, insanity, doing the same thing and expecting different results, not going to happen. Again, hope you had a great birthday, and a great summer and look forward to more books and more blogs, like always, let’s go Rangers…..

    1. No problem Barbara!

      Sounds like a busy week ahead – but no matter what they do – I just think it’s so hard to make 3 ECFs in 4 years.

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