Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. One of the craziest years in American history continued to wreak havoc this week and no one is safe, not even New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees – a model citizen & an extraordinary athlete who has donated millions upon millions of dollars to various philanthropic efforts during his career, including most recently, when he donated $5M of his own personal money to corona virus victims.
If you’re one of these people that want a separation from sports and politics, 2020 is the wrong year for you. While I’m not clamoring for the two worlds to collide, the truth is, there has never been a year where politics and the state of the world have engulfed the wide world of sports, as we’ve seen here in 2020. Some people are happy that the two worlds are now intertwined. For others, sports is their escape from this mad world. In 2020, it looks like there is no escape in sight.
Sure, there have been hot-button and much debated political topics throughout sports history, with Jackie Robinson playing in Major League Baseball as perhaps the biggest story of them all. However the Jackie Robinson dissenters of 1947 really didn’t have a leg to stand on. In time, those dissenters were all proven foolish. After all, if you’re a fan of a team, who cares about the skin color, the religion, the sexual orientation and other characteristics of a player, especially if that player can help your team win?
This is a point I’ve hammered repeatedly on these blogs, when it comes to DeAngelo and his politics, and most recently, when I defended & understood where K’Andre Miller was coming from, with his politics & beliefs. Again, as I’ve always said here – JUST WIN! I just don’t care about the political agendas of any of these players. Everyone, you included, is entitled to believe in whatever you believe in. Who am I to judge?
When Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball, it was a different world, and a world without social media. Can you imagine if Twitter existed in 1947? I’m 100% certain, that had those opinions had been published from some baseball fans back then, some of those opinions would’ve been 1000 times worse than any take you see about a major issue in sports today. In fact, you can read some of those opinions, from several newspaper columnists of that generation.
And let’s face it, prior to Robinson’s first MLB game with the Brooklyn Dodgers, it was commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis, that prevented this day from happening sooner. While Landis certainly made sure no black player played in the MLB, during his days as the head honcho of baseball, he didn’t find that much resistance, especially not from his peers, who also grew up in the post Civil War era.
While no one is defending Officer Derek Chauvin for the murder he committed, let’s face facts – George Floyd was no saint. The fact that some cities are considering giving him a monument or naming streets after him, well that is all pretty ridiculous to me. If you’re going to erase history by tearing down all these Confederate monuments, as Virginia announced this week, as they are tearing down a statue of Robert E. Lee, then why are we honoring someone who made worse choices in life than Lee ever did? (Do your research on Lee if you don’t know his whole full story.)
I talked about some of this stuff last blog, so perhaps this is time to get into the PLUGS section of this blog before continuing. In case you missed them, here are my most recent blogs:
BCBS For 6/2: 2020 Blows, The George Floyd Murder & Its Impact on Hockey, Statements vs No Statements, NYR Stands Tall with NYPD & Steve McDonald’s Legacy; Supporting NYPD & James Dolan, Lundqvist Continues To Flap His Gums, K’Andre Miller Supports BLM (And Why That’s Okay), DeAngelo Podcast, See Ya Sean Day, BTTF IV Screenplay & More
BCBS For 5/31: It’s Time For Ron Greschner To Get His Number Retired; Full Greschner Profile, Tony DeAngelo vs The Hypocrites, New Podcast & TDA’s Reputation, JD Speaks Out On DQ & Kakko, CZAR IGOR’s Chance To Make His NHL Playoff Debut, Fan Mask Rant, NHL Announces Return Date, Larry Brooks, Cam Talbot Wins Again & More
BCBS For 5/27: It’s Official: HOCKEY IS BACK! Full Rundown & Recap of Gary Bettman’s 15 Minute Announcement In Perhaps His Finest Moment; Regular Season Complete, Major League Babies & The National Felony League, Rangers vs Cowardly Canes Set in Stone, NYR & Playoffs, 2020 NHL Draft Thoughts, McDonald Award & WHY NOT THE RANGERS?!?!?
BCBS For 5/25: The NHL is Returning! NHL & NHLPA Agree To 24 Team Playoff Format; Rangers Included, The Lundqvist vs CZAR IGOR Debate, NYR vs CAR & NYR Playoff Chances, Carey Price vs Sidney Crosby, TBL, Duguay/Kessel/Women’s Hockey, CK20, Breadman, The Corona & More
BCBS For 5/19: Drop The Puck! RIP Sabrina, Tex Rickard, The NHL Poising For a Major Return, No Asterisk’s Needed, Viva Las Vegas, Women’s Hockey, Canadian Reporters, Ron Duguay’s Best Interviews Yet, Gilbert, Stemmer, Crappy Carpy, NYR Podcast Wrap-Up, Crybabies Who Cry Just to Cry, Ryan Strome a Winner, NYR a Major Cup Threat & More
When I look at Jackie Robinson, while Drew Brees isn’t exactly his equivalent when it comes to breaking barriers, both of these players have brought the political realm into the sports world. In both of these cases, the topic of race is the most prevalent.
As I mentioned a few blogs ago, we now live in a world of qualifying statements, so I guess I have to preface what I’m about to say with one, before my words get twisted around. Jackie Robinson had to endure a much harder world than Drew Brees. NO DOUBT. I’m not debating that or saying these two situations are even remotely close. I’m just saying both players created political debate. That’s all.
I’m not going to rundown the history of Jackie Robinson here, because you probably know it already. If you don’t, Google is your friend. All I’ll say here is that Robinson had a rough ordeal, while opening doors for the black ball players who followed.
Not allowing black ball players to play ball at the highest level was wrong. It was a wrong that was eventually righted. As time has passed, the people who tried to prevent Robinson from playing don’t look great. In that moment of time, in the 1940’s, prior to Robinson’s inclusion, arguing against Robinson wasn’t the end of the world. Of course, again, time and the benefit of 20/20 (and the year 2020) hindsight, have made those people look foolish. That said, it should be be remembered, that every story in history, is a product of its time, for better or for worse. Think about it, Time Magazine once named Hitler their “Man of the Year”, back in 1938.
When it comes to Drew Brees, who is now being vilified and portrayed as a villain, just because he said he would never agree with kneeling during the National Anthem; well this all comes off as ridiculous fake outrage to me.
And if you’re not aware of the Drew Brees story circulating around the news this week, Google it or you can check out this link: https://www.nola.com/sports/saints/article_e279b606-a5be-11ea-8ee5-fbc0090fa50d.html
I know, I know, I know – this is a hockey blog. I promise I’ll be talking puck very shortly!
We are now entering a world where if you respect the American flag and stand during the National Anthem, you’re considered whatever “-ism” these demented liberals want to throw at you. Racist. Sexist. Whatever. The new thing now is that these self-righteous assholes may throw terms and phrases at these great Americans & people, such as “tone-deaf”, “unwoke”, and “xenophobic.” It’s only a matter of time before it’s considered WRONG to respect the National Anthem and American flag. This is disgusting to think about.
I know I got into a lot of this last blog, but when I look at the Brees story, I have to wonder, are people of 70+ years from now, going to continue to deride Brees and everyone else that respects America, in the same way that we, as a society in 2020, look at the people who wanted no part of Jackie Robinson in baseball?
Again, what Brees and Robinson did or said, are completely different. But the point remains the same. How will history view Brees?
Even sadder, after feeling the wrath from the party of peace, you know, the tolerant liberals, who promote free speech and the exchange of ideas as long as it aligns with theirs, Drew Brees actually APOLOGIZED for respecting the flag. He even apologized twice! Can you imagine that? APOLOGIZING FOR RESPECTING YOUR NATIONALITY, YOUR COUNTRY, YOUR ANTHEM AND YOUR FLAG! This is what liberalism has turned into – trying to tear down anyone for supporting their own country. Where else does this happen?
And I know I’m going way too deep into political talk for a NY Rangers fan blog, but really – George Floyd is no martyr. He’s not a Martin Luther King. He’s not a Jackie Robinson. His life didn’t even come close to sniffing all the good work Drew Brees has done in his. Floyd was a career criminal, who was part of one of the most heinous crimes you can be part of – putting a gun on a pregnant woman. It’s funny how Lebron James, the new king of the social justice warriors, ignores that little fact. What’s worse, is how James ignored David Dorn’s death. If it doesn’t fit the liberal agenda, it gets swept under the rug.
For all the talk about Officer Derek Chauvin being a bad cop, and he most certainly is, there is no denying that, George Floyd was a bad human being too. While no one is advocating for Floyd’s death or supporting Chauvin here, at least I’m not, all I’m saying here is that Floyd deserved a long prison stint for the cowardly crime he committed.
If you’re one of these people singing the praises of George Floyd, just picture a woman in your life, whether it’s your mother, sister, girlfriend, wife, aunt or whoever, and having some thug put a gun on their pregnant belly while robbing her. That’s the image that you don’t see in the media, an image that if seen, would be etched in your brain.
And lastly, while on the topic of politics, as I really want to get into the hockey stuff, with all of these anti-police protests, people going after James Dolan and his teams for not trying to weigh in with a statement of generic platitudes and common sense, how long before these Rachel Maddow NYR Twitter fans, go after the Rangers for HAVING THE AUDACITY, for having an award named after a deceased member of the NYPD? You think this is a crazy notion? I present to you the Drew Brees and Grant Napear stories.
While I hope this never happens, it wouldn’t shock me to hear some of these deranged drones call the Steve McDonald award racist and an award named after a racial oppressor. In fact, after talking about the award a bit on their social media accounts and website, the Rangers, despite the regular season now being officially over, have been “mum’s the word” on this topic.
Say what you want about the Rangers radio silence when it comes to the topic of statements, but let’s see if they remain silent on this award too.
I will be 38 years old next week. Due to my age group, I’m right on the border of that millennial/generation X category. While in no way would I consider myself a millennial or conform to their demented ideas, it’s amazing how ideas and beliefs, which were once normal and accepted in my lifetime, are now considered antique and blasphemous.
Supporting NYPD? Supporting America? Standing for the anthem? Being proud of your country? These are all ideas that I believed in, and still do believe in today; ideas that I now see being trounced all over on a daily basis. As I mentioned last blog, it’s amazing where America and NY were 19 years ago, after 9/11. Today, it’s like that unity message has been flushed down the toilet, a toilet that must be open to all genders. SAD.
Let’s get into the hockey talk.
The NHL was the first of the four major sports leagues, in America, to announce their return plans. (Of note, outside of the draft, the NFL season has not been effected by the corona virus.) I’ve recapped all of this stuff on past blogs, so check the links above.
On Thursday, June 4th, the NHL added more information about their return. You can get the full story at this link: https://www.nhl.com/news/return-to-play-stanley-cup-playoffs-format/c-317098722?tid=317064234
For those too lazy to click the link, here’s the story as it first appeared on NHL.com:
All series in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs will be best-of-7 and will be set based on seeding, the NHL announced Thursday.
When the NHL on May 26 announced its Return to Play Plan, which involves 24 teams in competition for the Stanley Cup, it said the length of the first-round and second-round series would be determined.
“Everybody is used to a best-of-7,” Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang told The Associated Press. “You know how it’s structured. You know how it feels if you lose the first two or you win the first two. You kind of know all the scenarios that can go through a best-of-7.”
The tournament will begin with a 16-team, eight-series Qualifying Round (best-of-5) and a Seeding Round Robin among the top four teams in each conference to determine seeds for the playoffs.
In each round of the playoffs, the highest remaining seed in each conference will play the lowest remaining seed in that conference, the second-highest remaining seed will play the second-lowest remaining seed, and so forth. It will not be predetermined by a set bracket, the format that had been used since 2013-14.
Ties during the round-robin will be broken by regular-season points percentage. The seeding order for these top four teams will remain the same throughout the playoffs.
In the qualifying round, the higher-seeded team will be designated as the home team in Games 1, 2 and 5. The lower-seeded team will be designated as the home team in Games 3 and 4.
During the first round, second round and conference finals, the higher-seeded team will be designated as the home team in Games 1, 2, 5 and 7. The lower-seeded team will be designated as the home team in Games 3, 4 and 6.
In the Stanley Cup Final, the team with the higher regular-season points percentage will be designated as the home team in Games 1, 2, 5 and 7. The team with the lower regular-season points percentage will be designated as the home team in Games 3, 4 and 6.
“Any team that is going to win five rounds, four rounds of best-of-7 … I think it will be a very worthy Stanley Cup champion and they’ll be as worthy as any team or players that won it before them,” Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares told the AP.
The NHL paused the regular season March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus and said the remaining 189 games would not be completed. The 12 qualifying teams from the Eastern and Western conferences were determined by points percentage as of that date. Seven teams did not qualify.
The qualifying round and round-robin will be held at two hub cities to be identified, one for the 12 participating Eastern Conference teams and one for the 12 Western Conference teams, and begin at a date to be determined.
In the Eastern Conference, the Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers each will have a bye and play each other once in the round-robin to determine the order of the top four seeds for the first round of the playoffs.
The four Eastern Conference Qualifying Round series will be the Penguins against the Montreal Canadiens, the Carolina Hurricanes against the New York Rangers, the New York Islanders against the Florida Panthers, and the Maple Leafs against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
In the Western Conference, the St. Louis Blues, Colorado Avalanche, Vegas Golden Knights and Dallas Stars each will have a bye and play in the round-robin to determine their seeding order.
The four Western Conference Qualifying Round series will be the Edmonton Oilers against the Chicago Blackhawks, the Nashville Predators against the Arizona Coyotes, the Vancouver Canucks against the Minnesota Wild, and the Calgary Flames against the Winnipeg Jets.
Phase 2 of the Return to Play Plan, which allows for voluntary limited workouts at team facilities, will begin June 8. Full training camps, part of Phase 3, will not begin before July 10.
The NHL also tweeted out the following, after making the announcement above:
To me, all of these corona virus regulations and rules now come off silly to me, just because when I turn on the TV or look out my window, I see hundreds and hundreds (and in some places thousands and thousands) of people all looting and rioting together. In fact, it seems like the cure to COVID-19 is rioting, looting and/or protesting. If we don’t see a major spike of corona virus cases in the next week or two, knowing that we’ve seen large groups of people assemble together, should the NHL or any of these leagues, continue to operate with the mentality that the corona virus is the bubonic plague?
While I totally understand the NHL’s position in these times, and agree with them, it’s just hard to comprehend playing all these games in front of no fans/empty arenas, when we see all these people running around together in the streets of America right now. I just wonder, as I said a few blogs ago, should things get better, can the league pivot and allow fans to attend games?
I understand that a league like the NHL needs a plan and it’s a painstaking effort to keep everything together accordingly, but is there a back-up plan, in the event that everything is allowed to open up again? As it stands right now, the Conference Finals & Stanley Cup Final may not be played until after Labor Day passes. Are we going to close fans off from attending, while the NFL tries to pack their stadiums? Just something to think about.
And the reason why I included Marc Staal’s picture above? Check out this tweet that I posted on June 3rd:
— BlueCollarBlueShirts (@NYCTheMiC) June 3, 2020
I don’t know what it is, but whether it’s from the Rangers themselves or stuff posted by fans, you never see Marc Staal get any due. Listen, I get that Staal doesn’t play what you’d consider a “sexy” or “exciting” brand of hockey, but he’s a warrior type. It’s his style of play that has allowed Tony DeAngelo to run wild, in what became DeAngelo’s best season of his career. TDA will get a nice fat contract once the 2020 playoffs conclude, and he owes Marc Staal a nice steak dinner after receiving it.
It just feels like any other Rangers defenseman of the Lundqvist Era, guys like Ryan McDonagh, Dan Girardi and in this case, Marc Staal, are largely forgotten and aren’t appreciated. Part of this is because of how the NHL views their players too. After all, the Norris Trophy, awarded annually to the best defenseman in the league, honors offensive defensemen exclusively. Dan Girardi could block a million shots a year and prevent league stars from scoring, but because he wasn’t a scorer himself, his name would always fall to the wayside.
The 2020-2021 season, unless it’s just the 2021 season, is most likely Staal’s last season as a Ranger. While Lundqvist’s tenure and career is often most discussed, silently, Staal has become a perfect candidate for my Rangers Rink of Honor idea.
In case you haven’t seen the video already, on Wednesday, June 3rd, Max Kellerman, in one of the 956675676785678578 ESPN talking head shows that I don’t watch, spoke out against hockey. Here’s the clip:
Yikes. “nobody really cares about hockey… it’s not one of the 4 major team sports” 😬 pic.twitter.com/5rD89ebx8D
— NHL News (@puck_report2) June 3, 2020
Kellerman’s comments then led to hockey fans revolting against Kellerman. The players went off on Kellerman too. I even had this exchange with Tony DeAngelo:
They will grow because it’s a great sport! Everyone will see!
— Tony DeAngelo (@TonyDee07) June 4, 2020
No joke, and as you’d expect, there has been a ton of response to Kellerman, from players, writers, alumni, fans and Kellerman’s contemporaries.
Die-hard Rangers fan and Kellerman’s peer on ESPN, in Linda Cohn, saw her response make the back pages of the NY Post:
— Linda Cohn (@lindacohn) June 5, 2020
I thought Mike Milbury, despite my Rangers fandom thus hatred of all things Mike Milbury, had a good response:
Hockey is alive and well @maxkellerman. The MLB only has a steady viewership because men over the age of 70 use it as a sleep remedy. I prefer vodka. People love this sport around the world, something neither the NFL nor the MLB can say. Just ask Charles Barkley about our playoff https://t.co/1ZCkJJsXwb
— Mike Milbury (@realmikemilbury) June 5, 2020
We live in a world where if you have an opinion on anything, you’re immediately attacked and argued with. You can say the sun is yellow, the sky is blue, grass is green and shit is brown, and you’ll have 7678967896896 people arguing with you otherwise. You can say you want Chinese food for lunch, and someone will argue with you that you’re racist, for not wanting soul food, Mexican food, Italian food, etc. In this social media world, everyone is combating each other 24/7. That’s the sad reality.
When it comes to Max Kellerman, I knew there would be mass outrage. However, did anyone really listen to what he said? As I mentioned above, I don’t watch these ESPN talking head shows, although I used to enjoy “Pardon The Interruption” and whatever that show Tony Reali did, before it became political. I don’t know if Kellerman explained his comments or doubled-down on them or what, but from the clip I saw that went viral, in my opinion, he isn’t wrong.
If you listen to Max Kellerman, he brought up hockey’s TV deal and ratings in America. He’s 100% right here.
Did you know, that annually, the following sports leagues generate the following money, from their national television deals:
— NFL: $6B
— NBA: $2.66B
— NCAA Football: $1.2B+ (and this doesn’t include all the minor national & regional TV station deals.)
— NCAA Basketball: $1.1B
— NASCAR: $580M
— WWE: $470M
— UFC: $150M (This number doesn’t include the ESPN PPV deal, just the free fights on ESPN only. $150M is the guaranteed number, with the real number generated dwarfing $150M depending on the year and big fights promoted.)
What does the NHL take in annually from their national TV deal in America? $200M.
Put it this way, prior to the corona virus ending the XFL, it was the XFL’s hope to generate a $350M-$400M annual deal within three years, a deal that may have doubled the current NHL deal. We’ll never know.
Furthermore, when compared to the NFL, NBA, MLB, NASCAR, NCAA sports, and the WWE, the NHL’s TV ratings don’t even come close to meeting the numbers those leagues generate, here in America.
So is Kellerman wrong when he discusses TV money and ratings, in regards to the NHL and the other sports in America? I don’t think so.
Before continuing into one of my “Greatest Hits” rant on NBC, one thing that I must include here, is the fact that the NHL’s national TV deal with NBC expires at the end of the 2020-2021 season. In a normal world, a pre-corona virus world, where everything didn’t get changed dramatically, it was thought that the NHL would get a much better TV deal, which in turn, would boost the salary cap number, which is what happened in the NBA after they received their mega TV deal.
What makes sports leagues so enticing, thus earning big bucks from television networks, is the fact that live sports are DVR proof and are pretty much appointment TV. In other words, viewers are sitting through commercials, rather than fast-forwarding through commercials, when watching a game days after it happened. This idea is exemplified ten-fold, when you talk playoffs. After all, who isn’t watching the Super Bowl in real-time, which is why Super Bowl commercials are the most expensive form of advertising in all of television today.
Truth be told, while the NHL is due for a significant raise with their TV rights in America, when the NHL first signed their deal nine years ago (a ten year deal with NBC) the number was still a paltry sum back then, when compared to the competition. However, in those ten years, other sports leagues saw their TV deals come to an end, which led to new contract talks, which then led to these leagues, like the NFL, NBA and MLB, making more money than could ever be dreamed of. That is why the NHL number of $200M annually, looks extremely third world nationish, when compared to the other TV deals of today. (Again, keep in mind of the DVR/fast-forwarding through commercials factor & the growth of streaming services now, as opposed to ten years ago. Sports being DVR proof is why these outfits are generating more money than ever before.)
Obviously, the corona virus has put the world in a state of pause, but the NHL will have to re-open talks for a TV partner in the future, whether it is with NBC or someone else. It should be interesting to see who tries to compete with NBC for the deal. It seems that ESPN, CBS and FOX have a lot of money and programming tied up already. However, it is known that FOX is desperate to get something interesting, to help their FOX 2 channel. Then again, if the NHL goes to FOX 2, it’s like being on Versus all over again and on a channel that many nationwide TV providers don’t carry in basic cable packages.
If there is anything that the NHL needs right now, in regards to this topic, it is that they need someone to create a bidding war. Staying on NBC is probably the NHL’s best bet, but the league needs a significant raise. For that to happen, another network needs to up the price.
The biggest problem with the NHL and NBC, and why I think Max Kellerman is right, is the fact that neither entity promotes their game in the way they should. I know I’ve said this stuff before, but I also know I have a ton of new readers here. Real quick, here is what the NHL & NBC should do, in order to create more interest and eyeballs:
— Promote, promote, promote your stars. While NBC does a great job of promoting Sidney Crosby, there are other stars in the league. Fans should see the Oilers and McDavid more.
— Be willing to flex games. This year featured one of the most intense and fiercest regular season games between the Battle of Alberta teams, in Edmonton and Calgary. However, after a game that featured many fights and big hits, the rematch, which took place several days later, couldn’t be found on NBC. Off the top of my head, I believe NBC aired a game between two non-playoff teams, in the Kings and the Sharks, rather than an intense rivalry game, with first place in the division implications.
— Build up rivalries better. This is more of an NHL problem than an NBC problem. With the rules on fighting severely hindered, you don’t get the insane wars you used to get.
— The majority of games air on NBCSN, a third tier channel, rather than on network TV, with regular NBC. It is my idea, that once Monday Night Football ends in December, with nothing else on TV and with sports fans conditioned to watching sports at 9PM on Monday nights, NBC should air a game of the week on prime-time network TV and in the same time slot as MNF.
— Do what Canada does with “Hockey Night in Canada” on Saturday night, and put a featured game on Saturday night, on NBC, rather than airing “Law & Order SVU” repeats. Whether its bars or for fans at home, the NHL could make Saturday night their night in America, as the NHL has done in Canada.
— More player profile packages. For many people, especially casual viewers, fans don’t know some of the stories behind these players. Show us the charity work PK Subban does. Tell us tales of players overcoming adversity. The NHL & NBC needs to create stars, and like pro wrestling, needs to generate baby faces. There are plenty of great stories to talk about and these stories need to be showcased.
These are just a few ideas I have. All I’ll say is this – the NHL needs to fire whoever is in charge of marketing, as they do a piss-poor job, which in turn, means a low money TV deal & low ratings.
When it comes to exclusive NY Rangers news for this blog, there isn’t much that I haven’t already recapped previously. In fact, there is only one story, and that concerns Lias Andersson.
As mentioned 786786789678967567 times on these blogs, when it comes to non-North American NHL players, they usually give better interviews and are more open to reporters of their native countries. Liberals would call this racist!
And one last political aside here, with these loony liberals calling everyone a racist or whatever other words they want to use, these liberals have devalued these words and the true definition of such words. In 2020, the word “racist” is as common as the word “asshole.” The word “racist” used to carry heavy implications and now, with everyone and their mother who is not a liberal being accused of being a racist, the word no longer has the value it once had.
While speaking about crybabies, let’s go back to Lias Andersson.
Earlier this week, the agent of Lias Andersson gave an interview to the Swedish sports site, GP.se. You can read the interview in its native Swedish here: https://www.gp.se/sport/ishockey/new-york-rangers-vill-ha-lias-andersson-tillbaka-till-slutspelet-1.28765477
In the interview, Andersson’s agent confirmed that both John Davidson and David Quinn have spoken personally with Andersson, with the hopes of bringing him back to the Rangers for this upcoming 2020 Stanley Cup playoff. What wasn’t talked about, is if Andersson is even interested.
In my opinion, I don’t want Andersson back. I also think that in the event that he does come back for the playoffs, it would be a shame if he took a roster spot from a Wolfpack player that has really given it his all during this past season. And I know you’ll accuse me about my fandom of Vinni Lettieri here, but I’m 100% talking about any player on the ‘Pack, who gave it their all and wanted to be here, during the entire 2019-2020 regular season.
That said, I can’t argue with the Rangers here either. They should be looking at every available asset for the 2020 playoffs. Furthermore, even with Andersson desiring a trade, it only benefits the Rangers if they showcase him. As it stands right now, Andersson has little to no worth right now, to a potential trade partner. Of course, in a best of five game opening series, now may not be the time to be fooling around with a mental headcase, in Andersson.
I know I sound like I’m talking out of both sides of my mouth here, but all I’m saying here is this – I don’t want Andersson back, but I understand if he does come back.
As mentioned numerous times on this site, I always like to plug other people’s endeavors. Anyone can click, read or listen to anything on the internet, and with this forum, why not plug the stuff that I enjoy?
Up first, Ron Duguay returned this week with his latest episode of “Up in the Blueseats”. He interviewed the iconic Stan Fischler, a man I’ve talked about 767896789567895 times on this site. Fischler is a true legend and it’s a shame the MSG Networks didn’t do more with him. I hate to sound morbid here, but Fischler is getting up there in age and when he goes, a ton of unheard stories will go with him. The idea of losing history is something I hate.
To listen to Duguay’s interview with Fischler, check out this link:
— Ron Duguay (@RonDuguay10) June 3, 2020
Again, as mentioned previously, Duguay has a new interest in Rangers history, something that he said on this episode that started when he first visited the grave of NY Rangers founder/first owner, Tex Rickard. I’m biased as hell and I don’t hide it – I’m a huge fan of Duguay & Fischler and I loved this episode. I hope Duguay brings Fischler back, as I can listen to Fischler talk hockey history forever.
Speaking of history and Ron Duguay, Duguay’s former teammate, in Cam Connor, returned this week with his “View from the Penalty” podcast. For the first time in 43 episodes (I’m a proud day one listener!) Cam Connor welcomed his first guest to the show, when he interviewed his old friend and pugilist peer, in ex-NHLer/WHAer, Kim Clackson.
While I don’t want to use the words “giddy” or “glee” here, when talking about two hockey tough guys, you could hear an extra pep in Connor’s step, when reconnecting with his old friend & nemesis on the ice.
To listen to the show, check out this link:
So excited I got to reunite with the toughest player I ever fought against, and in my opinion, one of the toughest players in the history of the game – Kim Clackson. Over 45 years has passed since we last chatted and it felt like we were 18 again. https://t.co/Wf72BGZkXR pic.twitter.com/bMTeoHmtJo
— Cam Connor (@CamConnorNHL) June 5, 2020
Last but not least, the returning champions, Jim & Eddie of Blueshirt Underground Radio, returned this week, as the duo debated & discussed several of their brackets in their “64 Moments of Rangers Misery” tournament. You can listen & watch the show, by clicking the video below:
One common theme from this BSU tournament? Crushing playoff losses trumps all.
In an update to the upcoming Tony DeAngelo podcast, which these DeAngelo haters are already deriding TDA for, despite not one episode being released yet, TDA hinted that his first topic will be Max Kellerman. Once that podcast is up, I’ll plug it here.
How about some levity and good stuff before going home here? Did you see the latest on Jaromir Jagr? Here it is:
With Rytiri Kladno relegated, 48-year old rookie Jaromir Jagr is in talks with HC Sparta Praha to take his talents to Prague next season. pic.twitter.com/W4HOeMBb7g
— Complete Hockey News (@CompleteHkyNews) June 4, 2020
I know I’ve talked a lot about Jagr on these blogs, but has there ever been a future Hall of Famer, that doesn’t get as much buzz as Jagr? Of course, with hockey being more of an international game than the other major sports in America, lots of Jagr’s accolades are easy to forget. If he played in the NHL his whole career, he could’ve challenged all of Gretzky’s all-time records.
Whatever the case, the day Jagr does retire, and I’m sure that day may never come soon, Jagr is a first-ballot Hockey Hall of Famer.
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