BCBS For 6/25: NYR Optimism, Tony DeAngelo & The Boys Unite For a Podcast; Full Recap, Debunking The Idiots Trashing Mark Messier On Social Media, CZAR IGOR Returns, NYR Cliques, Chemistry & “Cafeteria Tables”, HHOF Class of 2020 Announced, Lundqvist, NJ Devils Looking to “Ruff-House”, Happy Birthday BSU & More

Can you believe in this day & age, that not only do some Ranger fans negatively speak out against Tony DeAngelo & Ryan Strome, they are now also negatively speaking out against Mark Messier too? This world today, I’ll tell ya! Maybe we’re lucky that the Rangers are the only Original 6 team without a statue!

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. After my last blog, which focused on a lot of the history concerning the New York Rangers, in tonight’s manifesto, we’ll be looking at all the latest news & notes from this week. In addition, I have a recap of the latest Tony DeAngelo “Watch Your Tone” podcast, where both Ryan Strome & Adam Fox were on the show. I will also take a look at the silly criticism surrounding Mark Messier right now, which seems to be all the rage on Twitter presently. (And truth be told, it’s all BS!)

However, as usual, before pressing forward with this particular blog, here are my last few blogs, in case you missed them:

BCBS For 6/23: The Bread Line vs GAG Line Great Debate, The Legacy of Gary Bettman & How He’s Been Perfect During This Pause, New Contract Update, Tony DeAngelo vs Davis Bertans, NHL vs NBA, NHL Draft Lotto, Georgiev & Kakko Ready For Action, Larry Brooks & More


BCBS For 6/20: Lias “The Bust” Andersson Craps Out on the New York Rangers Again, Larry Brooks & His Reporting, One Hour John Davidson Interview Highlights & Why You Gotta Love JD, CoronaMania Runnin’ Wild Again; COVID-19 Threatening The Return of Sports & More


BCBS For 6/18: NHL’s Return; Bettman Stands Tall, NYR Podcast In-Depth Recaps w/DeAngelo & Duguay, M$G’s Tax Exemption, 1994 NYR, Islanders Are a Mess; See Ya Nassau Coliseum, Sabres Make a Change; Eichel Isn’t Going Anywhere, Lundqvist Flexes on the Unemployed, Artemi Panarin/Diane Chambers, DQ, Rare NYR Memorabilia & More


BCBS For 6/13: CZAR IGOR’s Florida Location Revealed; Practicing with Alex Ovechkin (Video Included), Tony DeAngelo’s “Watch Your Tone” Podcast In-Depth Recap, Kakko, NHL Announces “Fan Choice Awards”; Slights Lundqvist Big Time, Top 16 Playoff Goalies, AV & Torts Lead Jack Adams’ Race & More


BCBS For 6/11: The Rangers & The NHL Get Back on the Ice, The Statement vs No Statement Saga Continues, Dolan Might Be an Idiot But He Isn’t a Racist, DeAngelo vs Adam Hermtrans, Ovi vs Hacknett of WFAN, Lundqvist Up For an Award, Duguay Talks “Thin Ice” with Ratso, BSU, Kato Kaelin & More


BCBS For 6/6: Political Issues Taking Over the Sports World, NHL Teams To Return to the Ice, Max Kellerman Isn’t Wrong & Why the NHL Is Its Own Worst Enemy, NHL TV Deal Expiring, Lias Andersson, Marc Staal, Tony DeAngelo, NYR Podcast Scene, Drew Brees, Jackie Robinson, Grant Napear, The Word “Racist”, George Floyd & Is Steve McDonald’s Legacy The Next Liberal Target?


CZAR IGOR is back in New York. Photo Credit: Aaron Davis

On Tuesday, June 23rd, Newsday reporter Colin Stephenson tweeted out the following:

Pavel Buchnevich and Igor Shesterkin are in New York. Both are observing RTP protocol and not currently skating with the small group working at the Rangers practice facility. Both are expected to be cleared to participate later this week.

After practicing with Alex Ovechkin last week (as I recapped on this site previously) CZAR IGOR is now back in New York. This is good news, as the Rangers start to get their team back together. (Check out my last blog, where I talked about the imminent North American returns of Alexandar Georgiev & Kaapo Kakko.)

Also of note here, with NY, NJ & CT recently issuing a two week quarantine on non-residents of these states, Igor was smart to leave Florida (a state with an increasing amount of positive COVID-19 cases) when he did.

If there has anything been truly interesting about the Rangers, during all of this corona virus bullshit, it is finding out who is friends with who, and who hangs out with who. Like any workplace, while you’re not going to be friends with everyone or form bonds with all of your co-employees, most of the time, you forge positive relationships with some of your co-workers, with some bonds being stronger than others. While the New York Rangers are a team that we support, for the players, the New York Rangers is their employer. Hockey is their job.

Based on what we’ve seen and heard throughout the course of this season and this “pause”, we know that the Rangers, while united as a whole, also have several “cliques”, for lack of a better word. To make another example here, if the New York Rangers were in high school, we know what players would be sitting together, at the various tables scattered across the cafeteria.

Due to DeAngelo & Lemieux making their opinions on politics public, the duo is often associated together, as is evident by this tee shirt! Photo Credit: TeeLisst.com

From what we’ve seen during the season, and through social media, podcasts & interviews, during this unscheduled break, we know that Tony DeAngelo, Brendan Lemieux and Ryan Strome are all good friends. We also know that Adam Fox & Ryan Lindgren are buddies, and also hang around DeAngelo, Lemieux & Strome. Of course, while some fans may say “THEY ARE ALL TRUMP SUPPORTERS, WAAAAAAAA!”, truth be told, their bond is due to the facts that all of these players speak English as a first language, all grew up in similar environments and all have a love of all sports. To sum that up quick – they all have common interests, just like any other friendship in the world.

And let me stop you here, before people twist my words around, especially when I say “they all speak English.” It doesn’t matter what language is a player’s first language. In the majority of situations, all across the league, the Euros hang with the Euros, the Russians hang with the Russians and in this case, the American/Canadian players, who both speak the same language, all hang out together too.

I think this is obvious – you tend to hang around people with similar life experiences as you and people who think like you too. This most certainly applies for non-North American players, as it’s nice to find a buddy from the same country and same way as life as you. In addition, if you’re a non-North American player, it’s much easier to strike up a friendship, speaking your native tongue with a fellow co-worker.

Just like the aforementioned players, who all grew up under similar experiences, Pavel Buchnevich & Igor Shestyorkin have also formed a close-knit bond. Of course, both players are Russian. We also know that they’ve been close for some time, as the two got into a car accident together while hanging out, right before the trade deadline of this season. And this news shouldn’t shock you – the two hang out in the Russian sections of Brooklyn. Again, you tend to hang out with people of your own ilk and go to places that bring positive vibes.

In a bond that perhaps we didn’t really know of, prior to the corona virus, we now know that Alexandar Georgiev & Kaapo Kakko are buddies. What makes this friendship unique, as compared to the ones previously talked about, is that Georgiev is Russian (I know he was born in Bulgaria, but he moved to Russia as a baby) and Kakko is Finnish. Prior to their friendship becoming public, the only other player on the Rangers, that was associated with Kakko, was Brendan Smith, as Smith has helped acclimate Kakko to America. In fact, Smith is known as the “chauffeur” of Kakko, as Smith helps Kakko get around from place-to-place.

I’ve talked about Smith’s relationship with Kakko in the past. Between being a versatile player, willing to do whatever head coach David Quinn asks of him and because of his relationship to Kakko, I don’t envision the Rangers buying Smith out or trading him, as many other bloggers & fans suggest. Photo Credit: Getty Images

What we haven’t seen, and I don’t want to go down this rabbit hole again, is of any player hanging out with Henrik Lundqvist socially. Of course, the reason for this, is because he’s 15-20 years older than most of these players. He doesn’t have much in common with these guys, except that they work together. Lundqvist is also a family man and in a different stage of life than his co-workers. His two closest hockey friends during his Rangers career, were Sean Avery & Mats Zuccarello, two men who are no longer with the team.

(Also worth mentioning here? Kaapo Kakko has been practicing with Alexandar Georgiev. Igor Shestyorkin has been practicing with Pavel Buchnevich and Alex Ovechkin. Lundqvist? He’s been practicing with his brother & other players who couldn’t sniff the NHL in 2020, much like Lundqvist himself! I’ll also say here, even though I said last blog that I wish to never mention his name again, I’m surprised Lundqvist didn’t reach out to Lias Andersson during this time, as both resided in Sweden throughout this pandemic.)

Why do I bring all of this up, except for the reason of filling up white monitor space during a time of where no games are being played? Easy – TEAM CHEMISTRY IS A MUST, in regards to a hockey team winning a Stanley Cup. Aside from Lundqvist, who I don’t think will ever play again for the Rangers, barring injuries or a positive COVID 19 test, to both Igor & Georgiev this summer, Lundqvist is no longer part of the equation or the team chemistry. That’s been hinted at several times by John Davidson, Jeff Gorton and Henrik Lundqvist himself, here in 2020. It’s also been an assumption that David Quinn wants to move on, as is evident by making Lundqvist his third string goaltender.

When you look at this new core of the Rangers, and I know I’ve said this before, what’s so great about them getting these extra “playoff” games, is that this core will get to experience all of this together. (I know the first round against Carolina isn’t technically part of the Stanley Cup tournament, but for all intents & purposes, those games are. Those games are do-or-die and will have the same intensity as playoff games.)

We are seeing this new nucleus forge lifetime bonds. We’ve seen them defending each other and “pumping up each other’s tires”, as Adam Fox just said on DeAngelo’s new podcast. (I’ll have that entire recap on this blog shortly.) For a hockey team to succeed, it can’t be a bunch of individuals, all doing their own thing. They must all come together and flow as a single unit. We’re seeing that now.

Sometimes lost in the mix, when it comes to lauding praise on the Rangers of today is Filip Chytil, who just continues to improve game in and game out. Photo Credit: NHL

Call me optimistic here, but really, as I’ve been saying since the NHL announced their return plans – “WHY NOT THE RANGERS?” And really, even if the Rangers, who are heavy dogs to win the Stanley Cup in 2020, just by having these games, it’s a win-win deal.

If you’re a Rangers fan, and I assume you are if you’re reading this, you have to be beaming from ear-to-ear about the future. The Rangers have the best Team President possible. They have a great general manager, a GM who deserves “Executive of the Year” attention, in Jeff Gorton. They also have an up-and-coming coach, who certainly gives a damn, in David Quinn.

When you look at the roster, the roster should instill hope into every Rangers fan. They should have their goalie of the next decade, in CZAR IGOR. They have two exciting offensive defensemen, in Fox & DeAngelo. They have the snarl, with Brendan Lemieux and Ryan Lindgren. They have their pillar, in Chris Kreider. And oh yeah, they also have those Mika Zibanejad & Artemi Panarin fellows!

Even away from the current Rangers, the Rangers have some exciting prospects in their system and still have a bunch of draft picks in their holster. These aren’t your Glen Sather Rangers anymore. The future is bright, and the Cup will return to New York. I guarantee it!

Let’s continue to roll with the news, before getting into the podcast & Messier stuff.


Lindy Ruff has been a target of Ranger fans ire over the past few seasons. However, he must be doing something right, as he still remains a head coaching candidate around the league. Photo Credit: M$GN

In unexpected news, on Tuesday June 23rd, Canadian reporter Elliotte Friedman tweeted out the following:

As shown above, Lindy Ruff is one of the candidates for the head coaching gig in New Jersey. This news has since been confirmed by other prominent NHL reporters.

In my opinion, while I see Ranger fans having fun with this, saying stuff like “PLEASE TAKE HIM, HAHAHAHA, I’LL DRIVE HIM OVER THE BRIDGE MYSELF HAHAHAHHAHAHA!” I don’t see Ruff getting the job.

When it comes to Ruff’s resume, he has a Stanley Cup appearance as a head coach (1999, with Buffalo) and a SCF appearance as an assistant coach. (1996, with Florida.) He also has a Jack Adams to his name, winning the coach of the year award in 2006, with Buffalo. Ruff is also an NHL lifer, as he’s been in the league since 1979, as a player, assistant coach and head coach. In other words, Ruff sure brings some experience and has been around the evolution of the game, from era-to-era.

When it comes to resumes, Peter Laviolette may have the best of the lot, depending on the criteria that you use. Photo Credit: NHL

While Ruff is certainly qualified to become a bench boss again, when I look at the list of candidates, the names of Peter Laviolette and Gerard Gallant shine the brightest. They have had the most recent success as head coaches.

As far as Alain Nasreddine goes, the current man behind the bench in Newark, who also took the role over after John Hynes was fired earlier in the season, the Devils did make a turnaround under his watch. In fact, had the Devils won one more game this season, it would be them, and not Montreal, playing Pittsburgh in the 2020 Stanley Cup play-in round.

What isn’t known right now, is how much money the Devils will pay for a new head coach. If they want to stay cheap, retaining Nasreddine makes sense. If they want to make a splash, especially with Jack Hughes on the roster, perhaps they will loosen the purse strings and sign a high profile coach, like Laviolette or Gallant.

What should also be stated here, is that the Devils are a project. They traded nearly every veteran off of their team, prior to the trade deadline of this season. Whoever takes this job, that person must be willing to go through a rebuild. Success won’t happen overnight in Newark. Will older coaches be willing to endure that process, or will they wait for a job where they can take over a team with decent parts? And let’s not also forget, that the Metropolitan division has been the toughest & strongest division in the NHL for some time now, and that trend is most likely to continue, as time moves along.

For what it’s worth, Lindy Ruff is 60 years old. Does he want to waste his twilight years rebuilding, especially with the Rangers light-years ahead of the Devils, with their respective rebuild?

I don’t know who is the Vegas odds-on favorite here. I think Laviolette is the best candidate, but I could see him holding out for something better. Truth be told, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Nasreddine retained. Time will tell.

And I guess I should mention this, when closing out on this story. Laviolette has a strong relationship with PK Subban, dating to their days of their Cup run of 2017. That said, in 2020, and moving forward, Subban may be more of an asset as a “name brand” player, rather than what he brings to the ice. In other words, Subban’s best days are behind him. Unfortunately, for defensemen, they tend to decline faster than forwards or goalies.

In a major news item from Wednesday, the NHL and the Hockey Hall of Fame announced the 2020 Hall of Fame class. Ex-Ranger Kevin Lowe made the cut.

While Lowe will always be remembered as an Oiler, he was a key asset to the Rangers 1994 Stanley Cup run. Photo Credit: HHOF

The NHL announced their 2020 Hall of Fame Class on Wednesday afternoon, issuing a press release over on NHL.com. You can read the story here: https://www.nhl.com/news/c-317250702

In addition, the Hockey Hall of Fame tweeted out their coverage of this announcement, which you can find below:

Off of puck drop on this topic – congratulations to everyone who made the cut this year. And for my Oiler fan friends save it – I’m aware you guys equate the 1994 Rangers as the “Oiler’s Sixth Stanley Cup”. And I won’t fight you on that, since you’re partially right and because I see your argument!

I’m not here to argue who’s in or who’s out here. I know there are strong cases for guys/current snubs like Alex Mogilny, Jeremy Roenick, Curtis Joseph and others. All I’ll say here is congratulations to everyone who did make it, including ex-Ranger Kevin Lowe. I was also happy to see Jarome Iginla get the call as well. It’s a shame he never got a Cup to his name, despite chasing the Cup, by bouncing around, team-to-team, in the final few seasons of his career.

Also worth mentioning, and to follow up a blog I wrote in January, concerning the topic of Henrik Lundqvist and his HOF bid – CuJo, the closest comparable to Lundqvist today, still hasn’t made the cut, as despite a long and successful career, like Lundqvist, the Stanley Cup eluded him. Only 35 NHL goalies have been inducted into the HHOF, and only a few of those 35 men don’t have a Stanley Cup next to their name. (Eddie Giacomin being one of them, who was largely inducted because of the era he played in.) (And hell, Tim Thomas isn’t in either, and he has a better resume than both CuJo and Lundqvist.)

If there will ever be a true comparable to Lundqvist and his bid for the HHOF, it will be Roberto Luongo, who retired last season. Both men have had similar careers and numbers, with the main difference being Lundqvist played in one of the biggest markets in the league, while Luongo played in the smallest markets across the league.

If Luongo is to make the HHOF in his first year of eligibility, then Lundqvist is a slam-dunk shoo-in. If Luongo doesn’t make it, I think the 36th NHL goalie to make the HOF will be Marc-Andre Fleury; providing that Jonathan Quick doesn’t retire before him, or if Boston fans don’t start screaming from the roof-tops for Tim Thomas.

Then again, if Igor & the Rangers can win the Cup here in 2020, that’s a Cup on Lundqvist’s resume and that Cup would give him first ballot entry into the HOF.

Once again, congrats to the HOF Class of 2020.

And speaking of Kevin Lowe, how about Kevin Lowe’s teammate, who was there for all six of Lowe’s Stanley Cup victories? Of course I’m talking Mark Messier here.


These ANALytic guys need to get their heads out of their asses.

On Tuesday June 23rd, the Twitter world had to deal with a dose of mild retardation, as analytic blogger, CJ Turtoro, tweeted out the following horseshit depicted above. It’s like Steve Valiquette has a graduating class every month, with everyone getting their PHD in “Asshole”.

Obviously, Turtoro, on his @CJTDevil account, got a lot of negative responses, and it wasn’t all from Ranger fans either. After being torn to shreds over his opinion, Turtoro tried to spin things and self-proclaimed himself as a “NYR troll.”

I don’t want to get into another long-winded diatribe about ANALytics vs reality. I’ve done that rant so many times before on these blogs. Check the archives. I will say, if you’re looking to see what professional athletes think about ANALytics, check out these videos from two-time World Series champion, Aubrey Huff:

 

While baseball and hockey are two different sports, the point remains the same – these chart nerds will never understand the intangibles. Whether it’s the schedule, the travel, the hops, the luck, the heart, the emotion, the will to win and anything else you can think of, if any of these charts were worth a damn, someone would be cashing out in Vegas right now. Instead, all of these heat maps, rub charts and hieroglyphics are worth less than an empty 5 cent beer can.

This photo is pretty legendary to me. Photo Credit: NYR

Of course, when it comes to the near 100 year history of the NY Rangers, I would rank guys like Frank Boucher and Lester Patrick, as guys who made more of an impact on the Rangers than anyone else in franchise history. After all, both the names of Patrick and Boucher, appear on 75% of the Rangers Stanley Cup rings.

When it comes to Mark Messier, do I really have to spell it out here? He’s one of the greatest Rangers ever, he’s one of the greatest players ever and he’s arguably the greatest captain in the entire history of team sports.

I really don’t feel it’s worth my breath debunking the lunacy tweeted out by Mr. Turtoro here. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but this is the first time I’m ever saying this on this blog – SOMEONE ELSE’S OPINION IS 100% WRONG. It’s not worth my time running down Messier’s career on this blog – you know it already. That said, I wanted to share this with you, just because I want to give you an idea of the crap that you see on Twitter daily.

I also bring this Turtoro tweet up for another reason. I saw another Rangers blogger and the biggest Lias Andersson fan in the world, in Steve Voogel, respond to Turtoro, when Voogel tweeted out this:

I appreciate Voogel standing up for Messier here, but this line was just disgraceful: “I’m one of Messier’s biggest critics because his attitude sucks and he ruined the team’s future after 1994 with his diva behaviour.”

What a diva. Photo Credit: NYR

Voogel is off his rocker here. Maybe that’s because he’s young, doesn’t live in NY (or the USA for that matter, and I only bring that up to mean that he wasn’t here for the day-to-day stuff at the time, a time where there was no social media), didn’t go through the experiences here or what, but he couldn’t be more wrong with his statement on Messier.

Let me say this first – not everyone is going to be liked by everyone. That’s life. As mentioned 786786969 times on these blogs, for whatever reason, I was a huge Petr Nedved fan growing up. I would find out later, as I got older, that Messier wasn’t a fan of Nedved, at least not in the beginning and Messier would needle Nedved to get the best out of him.  I’m sure other players have similar Messier stories, but that’s what a leader is going to do, ESPECIALLY A LEADER WITH SIX STANLEY CUPS UNDER HIS BELT! There is such a thing as “tough love”. People motivate others with different techniques.

I would love to know how Messier ruined the Rangers chances of winning a Cup after 1994. I mean, think about how ridiculous that statement is, knowing all the facts. ONE CUP IN 54 YEARS AND MARK MESSIER WAS THE CATALYST BEHIND IT! And this isn’t just about the guarantee game with the Devils – Messier also had to deal with Keenan and made suggestions to Smith too.

Without Mark Messier, we could’ve potentially been in Year 80 of waiting for a Stanley Cup as Ranger fans. Furthermore, your ears would still have “19-40” chants ringing all around too.

TO THIS VERY DAY, and as recapped recently on this site, the Rangers STILL profit off of the 1994 Stanley Cup victory!

A person who backed up Steve Voogel here, is friend of the blog, in Derek Felix, of the NewYorkPuck.com website. Felix brought up what Voogel was alluding to here, and that’s the topic of money. Can we please look at this rationally now?!?!?

HERE ARE THE FACTS ABOUT MESSIER LEAVING THE RANGERS IN 1997:

— MSG was selling out every night, charging the highest ticket prices in franchise history (at that time) and had a record number of season ticket subscribers. While the Rangers have always done well at MSG, Messier & the 1994 club allowed MSG to ride new financial highs.

— The 1994-1995 season was marred by a lock-out, with the season not even starting until 1995. Perhaps in a full season, the Rangers could have repeated. We’ll never know.

— Not only was MSG & NYR experiencing record profits, Messier was a cash cow and a major source of merchandising revenue.

— Messier said he would’ve settled for a one year/$6M contract at the end of the 1996-1997 season. Originally, he wanted a 3 year/$20M overall package. Again, three years, for under $7M per, FOR A GUY WHO JUST BOUGHT YOU A STANLEY CUP? What’s to thumb your nose at? And don’t get me started how this was in the non-salary cap era and how the Rangers have had the opposite approach with the Cupless Henrik Lundqvist, and his $8.5M AAV contract in the hard-cap era! SAD!

— I’ll also add this, as I’ve been defending James Dolan all corona virus season long – had Dolan had 100% of the decision making that year, he would’ve 100% retained Messier. Need an example here? He offered Gretzky an ungodly amount of money to not retire after his last game played in 1999. MONEY HAS NEVER BEEN AN ISSUE FOR DOLAN. While it doesn’t always work out, as we know; Dolan spares no expense in trying to better his teams.

— At the same time during Messier’s negotiations, where he ultimately wound up in Vancouver for a horrible stint, THE RANGERS MADE A 3 YEAR/$21 MILLION OFFER SHEET to Joe Sakic! Messier brought the Rangers their first Cup in fifty Father Finkin’ four years, and the Rangers were going to offer someone else, at the same position, more money. So much for loyalty! (Again, when I look at the exits of Graves, Messier and Leetch, this is why my blood boils with the way the Rangers coddle and caress Lundqvist in the modern day!)

All Messier wanted was to be fairly compensated. And let’s not forget, after failing without Messier, the Rangers brought him back three years later, where Messier played the last four years of his career. Also don’t forget, when the Rangers moved on from Messier in 1997, they thought he was “too old”. However, they brought him back three years later anyway!

The Rangers still reprint and sell 1994 Stanley Cup hats and shirts to this very day! That wouldn’t be happening right now if Messier wasn’t here in 1994! Photo Credit: NYR

Yes, the prime and highest moments of Messier’s career occurred in Edmonton. However, Messier will always be a large part of Rangers history. You can’t talk Rangers history without talking Mark Messier. He is legendary, whether it’s in Edmonton, NY or in the history of the NHL. To think of him as anything but a legend, well that would be as stupid as calling him a diva!

I can’t believe I had to waste my time with such tom-foolery! (And I guess I should say here, Voogel is a diehard fan, seems like a solid guy and is someone who travels all over the world to watch hockey, but I’ll never agree with him on this topic!) Up next, the podcast report!


Tony DeAngelo has been successful in his new podcasting venture. Photo Credit: Aaron Davis

On the morning of Wednesday, June 24th, Tony DeAngelo returned for episode 3 of his “Watch Your Tone” podcast. You can listen to the show by clicking the link below:

As it has been since its debut, this was another solid episode by TDA & the gang.

The great Ryan Strome is the first NHLer to make an appearance on TDA’s new show. Adam Fox is the second, as both men joined TDA in episode 3.

Episode three opened up with Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York”. How long before Sinatra is canceled? You know that’s coming sooner than later!

As predicted last week, when TDA was hyping up an NHL player interview for this episode I’m talking about now, I listed Brendan Lemieux & Ryan Strome as the favorites. Well, I was half-right, as Ryan Strome was the special guest co-host. However, Adam Fox was the special guest interview, as he did a 25 minute interview on the show.

Kicking off the show, TDA, Strome & the boys talked about the sports world today, including talking about the recent UFC event. I don’t talk much about UFC on here, but I do talk about it on my social media accounts. What Dana White & the UFC has done during all of this, well it’s been nothing short of amazing. Every UFC show during this “Era of COVID”, has been lights out. In fact, the last UFC show had a fight of the year, as Josh Emmett & Shane Burgos had a classic all out war. No joke, the fight was a straight 15 minute slugfest, with Emmett winning by decision. The show then talks about what’s going on in the golf and baseball worlds too.

I also want to add this, because I’ve brought up baseball before on these blogs. From what I’m reading, MLB is returning with a 60 games in a 65 day season. Has anyone addressed the topic of rain-delays/cancellations? What are they going to do, have triple-headers? It’s also going to be interesting to see what happens on the final day of the season, as I’m sure there will be a bunch of different tie-breakers to determine playoff positioning.

Ryan Strome, like many people across North America during these times, has taken this negative and has turned it into a positive. He’s been spending his time off enjoying fatherhood, as he just celebrated his first “Father’s Day” as a father last weekend. (His newborn daughter is now five weeks old.) Strome then talked about “cleaning up” with gifts, as a result of his first Father’s Day.

As mentioned 7678967896896 times on these blogs, both Ryan Strome & Tony DeAngelo had career years this season. The two talk about Strome’s growth and development this season. Strome credits playing with Panarin this year and how great it is to play with him. Strome also brings up how he enjoys being a leader on the team too. DeAngelo also brings up the excitement around the team, and how the team was the only team in the NHL to not get shut out this season.

The conversation then moves to the NHL’s return and all the questions surrounding the return. Strome is looking forward to playing again, as I think all these guys are. (Check out my last blog for more on this.)

Despite playing the same position and fighting for the same minutes, TDA has welcomed Adam Fox to the team with open arms. In fact, TDA was the first player to reach out to Fox when the Rangers acquired him. Photo Credit: Aaron Davis

After Strome’s one-on-one interview, Tony DeAngelo reads off his ad for his sponsor “Manscaped”. Nothing like sandwiching in two interviews with a commercial, whose tag line is, “clean those balls up!”

Adam Fox then joins the show, where TDA immediately calls Fox a Calder candidate. While I don’t see Fox winning the Calder, he should finish no worse than third in that race.

TDA asks Fox about his first year in the NHL. Fox said it was an experience and how he got better & more comfortable as the season went along. I think everyone can agree on that! (Don’t forget, because I know it’s been a while, but once the calendar flipped to 2020, Fox & Ryan Lindgren wound up being the top defensive pair on the club.) TDA then brings this fact up, and the two talk about the chemistry & success between Fox & Lindgren.

Strome then asks Fox about the “coolest” thing off-the-ice. Fox brings up a topic I’ve brought up a million times on these blogs – the way the Rangers treat their players and how the team has the best amenities in the league. In a “DID YOU KNOW” type of thing, Fox calls Lemieux the worst card player on the team. DeAngelo says it’s Phil DiGiuseppe.

The conversation then turns into Fox’s fandom of the Rangers and the trade to NY. Fox called the whole experience exciting. TDA then brings up, how NYR Team President John Davidson, compared Fox to Sergei Zubov. Fox says while he would never say he’s like Zubov or Leetch, Fox said that he tries to incorporate what they did in his game. TDA also praises Fox, saying that Fox may have the best poise in the league, as he’s never seen Fox look overwhelmed when playing the puck in his own zone during hairy situations. Fox then credits his father for helping his game.

It’s been a hell of a season for Adam Fox.

As you’d expect, because we’ve seen this all season, these guys are all close with each other and complimentary of one another. Strome says he loves playing with Fox, because Fox isn’t a dump & chase/rimming the puck around the boards type of player & brings up the extreme amount of patience Fox has when playing/passing the puck. Fox brings up all the praise and says the next time he’s feeling down, he’ll have to come on the podcast again for a confidence boost!

Lou “Fredo” DeAngelo (check out my first episode review for the origination of that nickname!) brings up how he sits with Fox’s family during games. Lou brings up how his father helped mold Tony & Lou’s game. Fox reiterates how his father was a mentor on his career & how his mother would always be nervous & asking questions.

TDA then brings up his charity game from last year, and how Fox played in that game. The two bring up that the two barely knew each other then. The two then tell a funny story, about how TDA pulled Fox off the power-play in that game!

Fox said there was no significance behind him selecting the jersey number of #23. Interesting. I thought that decision may have been Jeff Beukeboom related.

The trio of Rangers then talk about the road a bit, but nothing crazy is discussed here, although there are some gambling stories discussed. In what was funny here, Strome, TDA & Fox talk about Ryan Lindgren “re-gifting” (a “Seinfeld” reference) a bottle of wine from Henrik Lundqvist.

Fox then talks about a charity he’s working with, a charity that is fighting the fight against ALS. You can find out more about the charity here: https://because.massgeneral.org/fundraiser/2790721

After the Fox interview, Ron the gambler and Tony run through another segment of “Mean Tweets”. Two of the tweets dealt with DeAngelo’s mother & human sacrifice. The rest of the tweets were blah & lame. TDA then brings up how people are now making parody accounts of him. Strome isn’t a fan of the tweets and says a lot of these people don’t know the real DeAngelo. TDA says that Strome better be prepared, and the two joke how Strome will now be trolled for going on the podcast & being friends with TDA.

In a podcast development, TDA & Ron bring up how the show will soon turn to video, so people can watch these guys talk. That’s a good thing, as it will help fans understand better who TDA’s co-hosts are.

In a funny bit, the hosts talk about the hypothetical of allowing Mike Tyson (who is teasing a return, whether it be a real fight or a charity fight) punch them in the face for a million bucks. Hell, I would do it for half of that!

In closing, the co-hosts pretty much talked about my Saturday – watching horse racing and UFC. I think everyone is pumped to see Emmett fight again. Strome also talks about stocks and what his hot tip is.

TDA brings up his three year anniversary with the Rangers and how he’s happy to be here. I really think it’s a done deal that he re-signs here.

All in all, another good episode and effort from TDA & his merry crew.

In other podcast news, the boys over at “The Blueshirt Underground Show” are now celebrating their 11th birthday. While not a true “anniversary” show, or anything like that, BSU released a new episode of their show on Wednesday evening. You can listen/watch the show, by clicking the video below:

Since I know that hosts Jim & Eddie (and special guest correspondent Joe C.) are all huge fans of “The Jerky Boys”, like yours truly, I leave them this on this blog:

Congrats to BSU on 11 years. That’s a long time. Even better, for fans of their show, the show continues to evolve and adapts to all the newest technological advances possible.

In their new episode, after talking a bit about their first 11 years, the duo talks about round two of their “64 Moments of Rangers Misery” tournament. As I’ve said on the past on this site, while it’s always great to listen to these guys, it’s worth going out of your way to follow the show live, where you can interact with a large group of Ranger fans in a chatroom, in addition to the hosts themselves. Like any good show, the show also has several on-going gags and bits, which always brings a familiar sense of community to the program.

And hell, due to our mutual fandom of BSU, this show allowed me and old nemesis/new friend, Mike Silvers, find common ground and engaging conversation with each other! (We’ll never agree on Lundqvist though, but we both understand we want the same thing – NYR hoisting the Cup! We also share an affinity for “Kenny & Ziggy’s!” That said, I will say, I get jealous whenever Silvers shares me pictures from his meals there! Bastard!)

If you can tell anything from this site or from me over the six years I’ve been doing this blog, it is that I try to listen, read and watch everything. I’m not bullshitting you here – BSU has the best Rangers show on the internet today. No one is doing what they are doing. If you like this blog, you will like them, as their sense of humor (and we all need one of those in these times) is also the same too.


Speaking of great podcasts, Ron Duguay’s “Up in the Blue Seats” has been a raving success since starting in late 2019. Photo Credit: Ron Duguay

Usually on this space on a late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning, I have a recap of Duguay’s “Up in the Blue Seats” podcast. However, producer Jake Brown announced that the show would be delayed by 24 hours, due to internet/technical issues. That said, Duguay tweeted out a quick preview of Thursday’s show:

Photo Credit: Ron Duguay

I’ll have a recap of that podcast on my next blog. As far as when that blog will be, maybe I’ll do something Friday night/Saturday morning, as the NHL Draft Lottery is on Friday night.

One last thing, and I’ll wrap it up here.

The Cook brothers, who are both in the HHOF. Photo Credit: HHOF

I got a ton of positive feedback about my last blog, with this comment perhaps being the best. I always like to share stories from old school fans, so I hope you enjoy this as much as I did:

Sean, I’m 64, saw my first NYR game at the old Garden in the spring of 1962 when I was six. So I was in my teens when the GAG line came into its own, and I admired all of them (especially Hadfield when he went into the stands in 1965 (I think?) to rescue the Cat from a belligerent fan or two. But I agree with you 100% that the Bread Line is far and away the greatest line ever assembled in the history of the Rangers. Yes it’s the Cups they won, and yes it’s the Cups the early 70’s NYR teams that didn’t win. And while I remember Ratelle’s ankle being broken in a very lopsided win vs. the Seals (March 1, 1972, a date that will live in infamy!), I am not at all sure they would have been able to beat the Bruins in May even if he were 100% healthy.

Now, while Ratelle and Gilbert are bona fide Hall of Famers (Ratelle especially, he was an incredible player), Bill Cook (whom my father saw play as a boy with his father) is an all-time great, as is Boucher. And I believe in their time they were more dominant than the GAG Line guys were. And it’s important to remember that the GAG Line’s time together was relatively brief: Jack Egers was often paired with #19 and #7 when he was with the team, and Steve Vickers as soon as his rookie season (’72-’73) had a lot of ice time with them in place of Hadfield.

Which brings me to my next point — Giacomin. I love him, I credit him, he helped to revive that team in ’66-’67 enough to get them into the playoffs …… but he never, and I mean never, stole a single series when the post-season was on and his teammates needed him to rise above the norm.

Chicago in 1971 and 1973 (Tony Esposito was better). Boston in 1972 (Cheevers and Johnston were better, just ask Francis and Villemure). Philly in 1974 (Bernie Parent was better). As much as I agree with you about Hank overall (outplayed by Brodeur in 2012, Quick in 2014, Bishop in 2015), he did steal one or two series in the preliminary rounds over the years (I think of Washington in 2013 in particular). Eddie? Other than arguably Toronto in the first round of ’71 (when the Rangers won their first playoff series in 21 years!!), I can’t off the top of my head recall a series when Giacomin was THE key to a series win.

Anyway, all best to you and many many thanks for your blog. How you are able to punch out 10,000 words a night after enjoying as many “refreshments” as you recount is truly a wonder, and please know that a lot of NYR honks like me have come to depend on your honest and singular input.

Thanks for the email! I will say, there has been a lot of revisionist history when it comes to Eddie Giacomin, but it’s not my goal on this site to disparage his Hall of Fame career.

I’ll say this though and this is coming from me, someone who is not a Lundqvist fan – Giacomin had a much easier time at trying to win a Cup than Lundqvist ever did. Just look at the talent and Hall of Famers in front of Giacomin and behind the bench for the Rangers (Francis). Again, every era is different, but Lundqvist never had a team in front of him, that could match the talent of the GAG line, Brad Park and the best third line in NY history, in MacGregor/Stemkowski/Irvine.

Oh and of course, it’s worth repeating – Mike Richter is the greatest goalie in NY Rangers history! HANDS DOWN!

King! Photo Credit: NHL

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

As far as the next blog, if you subscribe by clicking the form above, you’ll get that bad boy delivered to your email box. For our next update, as mentioned earlier, I’m looking at late Friday night.

As always, thanks for reading and…

“WHY NOT THE RANGERS?!?!”

LET’S GO RANGERS!

Sean McCaffrey

BULLSMC@aol.com

@NYCTHEMIC on Tweeter and the new Parler app.

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3 thoughts on “BCBS For 6/25: NYR Optimism, Tony DeAngelo & The Boys Unite For a Podcast; Full Recap, Debunking The Idiots Trashing Mark Messier On Social Media, CZAR IGOR Returns, NYR Cliques, Chemistry & “Cafeteria Tables”, HHOF Class of 2020 Announced, Lundqvist, NJ Devils Looking to “Ruff-House”, Happy Birthday BSU & More

  1. Not long ago I heard an interview with a ‘94 Ranger (sorry I don’t remember the player) After Zelepukin’s goal in Game 7, when the entire Ranger universe was in utter despair, Messier addressed the team in between regulation and the first OT. He said something to the effect of “Man, is this gonna be fun or what?” I thought about that statement a lot. Here was a leader who everyone was counting on, who was 7.7.seconds away from taking his team to the Finals and just had it ripped away in the most cruel way telling his teammates “I’m not scared, why should you be?” Courageous and simply brilliant! And try to imagine how Edmonton fans (all of Canada for that matter) felt losing the greatest player in history. Who took the team on his back and rode it to a fifth Cup?

    1. Well said. Just goes to show you that these chart geeks don’t know much. Too busy having their heads buried and playing with their computer when the games are on. It’s funny, when Tommy & I went to Edmonton a few years back, many of those fans were referring to 1994 as “The Oilers 6th Cup”.

  2. Analytics are all about confirmation bias…..how many analytical hot takes do you see that go exactly like this, all of them maybe?
    Contrary to popular opinion, player A (your guy) who everyone thinks is so good actually really really sucks according to the advanced analytics.
    and
    Contrary to popular opinion, player B (my guy) who everyone thinks really sucks is actually really really good according to the advanced analytics….and in fact much better than player A.

    Its all just a circle jerk of finding whatever obscure metric needed to make ones case……”factoring in Henrik’s massive “work load” he is still in the top ten and maybe even a borderline top 5 goaltender in the league”……this in a season where Hank has played the least amount of games in his entire career!….but “work load” means they took 3 or 4 extra shots at him per game in those games……I think Herman was pushing this one……so now Hank who ranks about middle of the pack league wide by any of the usual hockey stats can suddenly be elevated back into the top 10 or even borderline top 5 based on one single BS metric….that frigging borderline to the top 5 must be 40 goaltenders deep!!….in the meantime of course Georgiev who has played just as much as Hank and has been even more successful does not get the benefit of the “work load” metric even though you would suspect they both face a similar number of shots playing goal for the exact same team and all!

    Although I don’t have too much against Ruff, I think its time for a change, he has had a couple of years with the Rangers and the defense is still sitting in the same spot at the bottom of the league. Give Zubov a shot of he wants it.

    Would someone drop a puck already because at this point I’d watch an OHL, QMJHL or even a high school game if one were on TV or hell I might even watch a Women’s Olympic Hockey Team game just out of sheer desperation……..heh just kidding about that last one…….uh oh here comes an angry cancel culture mob, I better run!!!
    : )

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