Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. The dog days of summer are now upon us.
While there are some news items to discuss tonight; presently, the hockey world is akin to debris floating around on a desolate street devoid of any action – as there is not much going on.
That said, and with the NHL in their current and annual “state of cottage” – I’ve been busy myself.
After all, have I mentioned that my new book, “The Top 100 Villains of New York Rangers History,” is now available for purchase?
For all of the details about my latest title, including ordering information, what the book is all about and two sample (free!) chapters, check out: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/villains/
Yes – I’m woefully aware (but without shame) that the past few blogs posted on this site, including this one, have been a promotional machine for my new book.
But hey – if not me, then who else is going to hype the book?
Plus, I’m very proud of it – and the early feedback that I have received has been very overwhelming.
But don’t fret yet – as I do have other things to talk about tonight outside of the book – so bear with me!
In what’s funny to me, my first few books were written from a serious perspective and with a few anecdotes and humor injected into them in-between. My newest book is the complete opposite of my previous forays into the art of authoring, as I tried to write the most comedic Blueshirt book imaginable – while tackling a very sordid and sensitive topic – “Ranger Killers!”
Personally, my first book, “The New York Rangers Rink of Honor and the Rafters of Madison Square Garden,” is my favorite.
While not only is the subject matter more positive (in fact, it’s a complete 180 from “Ranger Killers”), but like losing your virginity on prom night – there’s always something special about your “first!”
And for another analogy, like a great new TV show, the head writer/creator is always jazzed about the first season, as that’s what brought the writer to the dance. That sums up how I feel about my first book too, where after it, it’s now about coming up with new ideas for future seasons, or in this case, future books.
Furthermore, my first book was written during the peak of the Covid-19 era – so it was rewarding to do something positive during a negative time of world history.
(Plus, there was only so much “Tiger King” that one could watch at the time too!)
Once complete with the first book, and after it sold well – it told me that I could do it again – and again and again and again – where today – I now have ten different books (four titles in all) available for sale.
This is just another way for yours truly to thank all of you readers who have purchased my books!
(And if you haven’t already figured it out, the reason why I don’t run ads on this site like everyone else is because I push my books instead – where I rather you get something for your money and time spent!)
That said, when it comes to “The Top 100 Villains of New York Rangers History” – I did have a blast writing it – especially following the Rangers’ 2023 playoff loss to the Devils.
If it makes sense, the whole process was therapeutic – and also a distraction from the Blueshirts’ latest malaise. (This is all fully explained in both the Author’s Note and Introduction chapters in the book.)
Before sharing with you the best review that I’ve seen of the book yet, the one written by Stan Fischler (who gave me a foreword for the book prior to reading it himself); I am now polling you guys and gals, the ones who have made this all possible by buying these books, for what you’d like to see next.
I currently have a few ideas rolling around my Blueshirts’ brain that I want to sink my whisky-soaked teeth into, projects, that hockey gods be willing, I’ll eventually bring to fruition. (If only my pesky “real-life” job didn’t eat ten-hours of my day! Heck, I might need another pandemic to bring these ideas across the finish line!)
Here’s what’s on my mind – and you tell me what future book you’d like to see next (and/or feel free to suggest a topic to me on your own):
— The Most Unusual Stories of Rangers’ History
This idea would cover all of the wackiest things that I haven’t covered in my previous books, including, but not limited to, the Rangers drinking a “good luck concoction” during the 1950-51 season, Muzz Patrick vs Eddie Shore, the club burning their MSG mortgage after their 1940 Stanley Cup win, hiring a hypnotist, the comedic styling of Ward Wilson, Emile Francis and the “over-the-glass” incident, Phil Watson almost becoming a movie star (and I’d love to do a biography on Watson – but I know that really only caters to an audience of one – me) and etc.
— Rangers’ FIGHT CLUB
This self-explanatory titled book would cover every fight in Rangers’ history. I’ve already somewhat written a skeleton outline for this idea, where readers would also be able to scan QR codes when reading the book and then the code would take you to a YouTube link of the fight that they are reading about. However, by doing so, I also run the risk of getting into copyright issues (and YouTube deletes links all the time too), so while a good idea in theory – I’m not sure if I’ll be able to do that.
— DRAFT DAY
This project would cover every Rangers’ draft, including who they selected, who they didn’t select, what happened afterwards, grading the drafts and so on and so forth.
In addition to the NHL Amateur and Entry drafts, I’d also cover expansion drafts and all of the other drafts that the Rangers were involved in – and then explore the WHA threat too – as the second league was also drafting these same players during the 1970s.
Originally, it was my plan to write and release this book in 2023, but I feel like that I’ve covered a lot of the subject matter in my first two books, which is why I went down the “Ranger Killer” path instead – as I wanted to write something different – and write in a different style too.
Admittedly, this is a passion project of mine – and one where hockey wouldn’t be the main theme either.
Due to copyright laws, all of Rickard’s biographies that were written from 1930-1950 (including one by his daughter) are now available for free under public domain. Should I tackle this project (and I do have some stuff written for it, as I was trying to write a screenplay but there’s only so much time in a day) – perhaps I’d upload the best biography of the lot, “The Magnificent Rube: The Life and Gaudy Times of Tex Rickard” (published in 1956) – just so you can get an idea of what I’m going for.
I’ve written a lot about Rickard in my other books and on this site, but what I’d like to do for this book idea, is write a fictionalized version of his life from his perspective.
While the book would be based on fact; obviously, I’d take some creative liberty and freedoms when recalling his conversations with Teddy Roosevelt, W.C. Fields, Jack Johnson, Conn Smythe, Wyatt Earp, Jesse James and the many other celebrities and famous figures that he was friends with during his life.
I know I’ve said this many times before, but here’s one more time:
Rickard’s life is a perfect mini-series for one of these never-ending streaming services. Think “Boardwalk Empire” meets “Deadwood” meets “Yellowstone” meets any Clint Eastwood western picture that you’ve ever seen. That’s Tex Rickard, the founder of the Rangers.
In my last push for “The Top 100 Villains of New York Rangers History,” and prior to getting into all of the latest NHL and Rangers’ news – I wanted to share with you Stan Fischler’s review of the book – a review that originally ran on “The Hockey News.”
(Of note: Fischler is currently employed by THN as an Islander scribe, hence his Isles’ leaning slant in his review of the book.)
And as previously mentioned, Fischler wrote the foreword to the book without reading it first – as he trusted that I’d do a good job – and where not to toot my own horn too much (confidence, not cockiness) – I think that I accomplished that.
Here’s his review of the book, where if you’re currently sitting on the fence about purchasing it, then I think that “The Maven’s” words will give you all the incentive that you need.
ISLANDERS DOMINATE RANGERS BOOK
This you won’t believe.
But it’s true since I have it right in front of me.
A Rangers’ historian has written a book and — guess what? Our very own Islanders dominate it.
The intensive piece of work is called “The Top 100 Villains of New York Rangers History.”
Author Sean McCaffrey — a Long Island resident, no less — previously had written nine earlier Rangers books, but for my money, this tops his library.
How could it not when Denis Potvin tops the list of 100 and goalie Tommy Salo brings up the rear at Number 99.
The book is filled with facts that back up every Islanders claim to being a “number.” That said, McCaffrey’s work also is sprinkled with humor.
“I’m a great believer in the adage that ‘laughter is the best medicine,'” the author asserts with tongue well-ensconced in cheek.
Yet in virtually every Islanders’ chapter, the laugh is on the Blueshirts while the Isles go something like tee-hee.
As for why, Potvin, the Isles’ dynastic captain, ranks as king of all Rangers culprits, McCaffrey has the answer:
“When a player like Potvin — now 35 years removed from his last game — still has his name chanted by Rangers fans during every game played,” Sean explains, “and on the road, too, nobody can be any worse.
“Or, simply stated, no one stuck it up the five-holes of Rangers fans more than Potvin did. No picture creates more anger than Potvin, with a mean mugging grin on his face, flashing his four Stanley Cup rings.”
Now, let’s see if you can guess which wearer of the Blue and Orange ranks behind Potvin on the Blueshirts Hate List. And, no, it’s not Ken Morrow.
So, how about J.P. (The Jeep) Parise!!
“He was a Rangers-killer who ended an era of Rangers’ history,” McCaffrey asserts. “Parise’s goal was so impacted that it triggered a chain of events that forever changed the course of Rangers’ history.”
Third on the list is Bryan Trottier who faced the Rangers on seven occasions. Trots’ Isles won five of the seven games.
McCaffrey: “During the second round of the 1982 playoffs, Trots had his finest performance, picking up eight assists and ten points. He also scored two goals — including a game-winner — in the Isles six-game ousting of the Rangers.”
Ironically, Trots torpedoed the very same Rangers in another astonishing way – as Blueshirts coach in the 2002-2003 season. He lasted 54 games and merely produced a 21-26-6-1 record.
All things considered it was only appropriate that McCaffrey inserted Mike Bossy after Trots on his black list. The author asserts that Boss was “arguably the greatest Islander that ever lived.”
More irony: The Rangers twice passed over Bossy in the 1977 Entry Draft. Bow-Tie Bill Torrey grabbed Boss at 15th overall and Montreal-born Mike immediately went out and won the Calder Trophy in 1978.
Among other reasons why author Sean inserted Bossy in a lofty position was Mike’s series high five goals and six points in a four-game sweep of the Blueshirts.
Yet, as consistently superb as Bossy had been over the years, if a grass roots poll of Isles fans were held, the chances are good that Bob Nystrom would collect as many — or even more — votes than Bossy.
McCaffrey: “During Ny’s heyday during the Islanders’ dynasty Bob was at the forefront of multiple Blueshirts disappointments. Plus, he was more known for his agitations, checks and defense against the Rangers. In his six postseason appearances against the Blueshirts, Nystrom and company went 5-1. And he also was part of the Islanders team that won their first playoff in franchise history.”
Another wearer of the Blue-and-Orange who many would have placed rather high is goalie Billy Smith, alias “Battlin’ Bill.” I hardly have to tell you why Sean’s book insists. “No other goalie provided more pain, anger, rage — and whatever other negative adjectives that you could conjure up — more than Smith.
“Only Martin Brodeur (28) started in more playoff games against the Blueshirts than Smith (25) but the Isles backstop recorded more playoff wins (18) and series wins (5) against the Rangers than anyone else.”
Other Islanders who achieved notoriety in McCaffrey’s book include Zdeno Chara, Al Arbour, Butch Goring, Clark Gillies, Jaroslav Halak, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, John Tonelli, Matt Martin, Duane and Brent Sutter; as well as Tommy Salo.
Whoops! Why Salo in 99th place?
“The Swede will be remembered,” McCaffrey concludes, “because he was (goalie) Dan Cloutier’s victim when the Rangers goalie pummeled him into submission during a battle between the two warring teams.
“For the Rangers it was a rare highlight during a trying season!”
P.S. I call it a gratuitous kick in Tommy’s goalie pants!
The book is now available for sale on Amazon.com by visiting this link: Ranger Killers
Two weeks back (https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/71723/ ), I brought up how I made a new friend at the “Stan Fischler Table Hockey Tournament” held at “The Canuck” in NYC.
Danny Farrell, who once received an ECHL try-out in his younger days, is now 41-years-old – and crazier than that – was once a roommate of “The Maven” too – despite their age difference of fifty years!
Today, Farrell, who also doubles-up as the lead singer and axe man of a band called “Sun Refracted,” goes to the canvas and paints hockey-related works of art – paintings that many of the NHL alumni and dignitaries have in their homes and offices, including Bill Daly, Bobby Orr, Steve Yzerman and others.
Here are a few of his Ranger-related paintings:
Farrell, who can be reached at email@example.com, also has a website of his work, one that you can view here: https://dannyrios.com
In addition, Instagram users can also find his work by visiting his page, @drf_the
Presently, Farrell is selling both reprints and his original work. He’s also available for custom work – and where painting hockey-related imagery is his bread-and-butter.
Farrell, who has an old-school style, and where he’s also painted non-hockey paintings (mainly music-related), is also a Rangers’ fan – so if you’re looking to spruce up your home – give him a shout.
And no – I’m not getting paid, nor receiving a commission either, to plug my friend’s work!
(And if you have a Ranger-related endeavor, then feel free to share it with me and I’ll plug it on this site too. The more the merrier.)
Let’s now talk about the Rangers of 2023 – and their alumni too.
It’s now “Two-Time Tony” in Raleigh, N.C. these days, as following the failed trade attempt between the Flyers and the Hurricanes (salary-cap/C.B.A. reasons), where originally, the Hurricanes were going to assume half of DeAngelo’s $5,000,000 cap-hit; Canes’ GM, Don Waddell, actually returned DeAngelo back into his fold for much less than that.
After being waived and bought out in Philly, and now as an unrestricted free agent; on Monday, July 24th, DeAngelo signed a one-year deal in Carolina worth $1,675,000 – nearly a million less dollars than what Waddell and company had originally agreed to a month prior.
For the soon-to-be 28-year-old right-handed power-play quarterback, and the only player in NHL history to have been bought out of his contract by two different teams; DeAngelo returns to Raleigh after a trying one-and-done season with his hometown Flyers.
Obviously, this news impacts the Rangers, as many project the Hurricanes to win the Metropolitan Division next season.
I found the aftermath of this deal/signing to be interesting, and for several reasons:
1) Check out the Hurricanes’ press release, which you can do by clicking this link: https://www.nhl.com/hurricanes/news/canes-sign-deangelo-to-one-year-contract/c-345424708
“Tony is an elite offensive defenseman who had a great season with us in 2021-22,” said Waddell. “We wanted to re-sign him last summer, and now we’re thrilled to bring him back to Raleigh.”
Listen, I was/am a fan of DeAngelo – but at no point in my life, would have I ever considered him as being “elite.”
As noted many times before on this site, people tend to throw that e-word around, “elite,” as if they were blowing farts after devouring a monstrous meal on an empty stomach at Taco Bell.
And I say this as someone who believes that DeAngelo has been misrepresented by many.
While some of his previous “incidents” have been self-inflicted, and as he’d tell you himself – at the same time, I also don’t think that he’s the NHL’s “Boogeyman” as many paint him out to be.
(But maybe DeAngelo as the NHL’s Numero Uno Villain could be a painting for our pal Mr. Farrell? I’m sure that will sell!)
2) I have to admit it – I was wrong. It happens every now-and-again!
As noted many times before in this space, I thought that DeAngelo and John Tortorella, two men seemingly cut from the same cloth, would be able to prove all of the doubters and naysayers wrong – and create a positive relationship.
While things started off smoothly for the two Americans, by the end of the season, #77 was sent to the press box, rather than skating out the season for a lowly Flyers’ squad. (And again – DeAngelo wasn’t the only one, as the same thing happened to Kevin Hayes and others too.)
In his first public words following his new deal (and with his $5M buyout in Philly, a total of $6,675,000 in his bank account for the 2023-24 season isn’t too shabby), DeAngelo admitted that he had a falling out with Coach Torts.
“Obviously the coach (John Tortorella) and I wound up not fitting together. I guess that would be the main reason behind leaving the team,” DeAngelo said of his one-year stint in Philadelphia on Tuesday, July 25th. “It didn’t work out and as soon as it wasn’t working out, we kind of had an idea that if I was going to go anywhere, it would be back to Carolina, if possible.”
Conversely, DeAngelo praised Rod Brind’Amour, his former coach and now current coach too:
“I’d probably say coaching, more than anything (was a big reason for returning). I got along with Rod (Brind’Amour) more than I got along with any other coach that I’ve played for in my career. That’s the kind of guy he is and I feel like we were a good match for one another. I actually thought the best defensively that I’ve played was in Carolina. Rod lets you play and he lets you be who you are. I think that’s important, especially for myself.”
3) With the addition of DeAngelo, this signing effectively takes Carolina out of the “Erik Karlsson Sweepstakes” – and where it looks like only the Penguins are the last suitor remaining.
For the 976786679th time – I have no clue why any team in the league would trade for Karlsson’s horrific contract, arguably the worst in the league – even if San Jose assumes half of it.
(For what it’s worth, Sharks’ GM, Mike Grier, has previously said that he’s not interested in doing so, but he has suggested that he’d be willing to eat 25% of Karlsson’s contract.)
Karlsson, on the books with an annual salary of $11,500,000 per-season (and for the next four seasons to boot), would’ve been a monstrous mistake for Carolina. Instead, the Canes get a similar player in DeAngelo – and for 1/11th of (Not My Norris Trophy Winner) the price/cap-hit.
4) DeAngelo, who set the points record for a Carolina defenseman during his 2021-22 season spent with the club, only to see it broken a year later by Brent Burns, will now play with Burns.
It will be interesting to see how the power-play time is divvied up between the two right-handed d-man shots, as both men have had success as a power-play quarterback and under Brind’Amour too.
5) Going into the 2023-24 season, and while I’ll have my annual Season Preview blog once we get closer to the commencement of the campaign; you have to think that Carolina and New Jersey are the top two teams of the Metro – and where I’d expect every hockey publication in the world (and the sports books in Vegas too) to think in that same vein.
In theory, DeAngelo should only bolster Brind’Amour’s brood – a team that somewhat similar to Tampa Bay before them – when the Bolts had their own Stanley Cup successes – are now ripe to win the Stanley Cup themselves.
However, and as fully discussed and explored in “The Top 100 Villains of New York Rangers History” – ever since DeAngelo’s exile from The Big Apple – he has been horrid in most of his games played against the Rangers – including the seven playoff contests played between the two rivals in the second-round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
And I don’t think that anyone can deny it – all of the boos and jeers – loud and vociferous cat-calls at that – get to him. This was woefully apparent when these heckles were also heard during DeAngelo’s home games in Philadelphia – by well-traveled Ranger fans.
I’d usually say “Good Luck” to a former member of the alumni here – but not when they sign with a Rangers’ rival.
And one more time – “The Life and Times of Tony DeAngelo,” an autobiography, will be a hell of a read one day.
Moving on – and while continuing to talk about the Rangers’ alum.
Vladimir Tarasenko, who was always going to be a playoff rental for the Rangers due to the team’s salary cap issues, signed with the Ottawa Senators this past Thursday.
As previously discussed on this site, Tarasenko, one of the biggest names of this year’s class of NHL unrestricted free agents, switched his own agent on July 5th, as he fired his former representative, Paul Theofanous, in favor of CAA’s Pat Brisson.
According to all reports, Tarasenko wasn’t happy about the offers that he received during the first five days of the NHL’s free agency period, which then led him into changing agents.
The Senators, who previously traded right-winger Alex Debrincat to the Detroit Red Wings on July 9th, have essentially filled their right-wing void with the signing of Tarasenko.
Prior to Tarasenko and the Senators agreeing to a one-year deal worth $5,000,000 (and with a NMC attached), it was also reported that #91 received offers from the Florida Panthers, the Carolina Hurricanes and the San Jose Sharks.
On Saturday, July 29th, reporter Andy Strickland, of Bally Sports Midwest, reported the offers that Tarasenko had previously declined from July 1st through July 5th.
According to Strickland, Carolina offered Tarasenko a one-year deal worth $5,250,000, while the Sharks offered the right-winger a one-year deal worth $6,000,000.
Strickland, while not reporting the exact figure that the Panthers offered Tarasenko, said that the offer wasn’t as competitive as the others.
Furthermore, at the start of free agency, Tarasenko’s former agent, Theofanous, presented his client with a four-year deal worth $22,000,000 overall ($5,500,000 per-season) – as submitted by the Senators.
After originally rejecting the Senators’ initial offer, Tarasenko took less money by signing this deal from this past Thursday. As a result, and in essence, Tarasenko is betting on himself a bit, as next summer, the NHL’s salary-cap is expected to significantly increase, thus in theory, allowing the former Blue and Blueshirt to receive better offers when compared to what he received this summer.
Long story short? Instead of being guaranteed $22,000,000 – Tarasenko is hoping to make more than that during the Summer of ’24.
While the idea of Tarasenko re-signing with the Rangers was always a pipe-dream, if not an all-out fantasy; at the same time, you also have to wonder what he was thinking when he turned down Carolina’s offer.
Not only did the Hurricanes offer Tarasenko the same one-year team that he agreed to with the Senators, but they also came in offering $250,000 more than the Senators.
Furthermore, for a player that has repeatedly said that he wants to win another Stanley Cup; it is baffling that Tarasenko went with the Senators over the Hurricanes, as on paper (and we all know how that goes), it’s the team from Raleigh that looks to have a better chance of winning the Stanley Cup in 2024 when compared to the team from Canada’s capital city.
Following the deal from Thursday, I saw many Ranger fans pitch the idea that perhaps GM Chris Drury could return Tarasenko to Broadway at the trade deadline, where in this hypothetical – fans are assuming that come March 2024, the Senators will sit in the cellar of the Atlantic Division – and that the Rangers will once again have a playoff spot sewn up in the late winter months.
I wouldn’t be so quick to assume any of that, but I am willing to assume that if the Senators have another trying season, then yes, Tarasenko will waive his NMC in order to sign with a Cup contending team.
It’s just a shame that the Rangers really never had a true chance of bringing back Tarasenko, as he is one of the rare “big names” of Blueshirts’ history to have success after enjoying his prime years elsewhere.
And while the Rangers aren’t adverse to making players two-time Blueshirts at the trade deadline (See Motte, Tyler, both a former two-time Blueshirt and one-time Senator himself, and who as of this writing, is still currently unsigned) – should Blueshirt backers have their way – and Tarasenko does indeed return to the team at the deadline – then Tarasenko would be returning to a different Rangers’ club.
After all, and to state the obvious – the Rangers have a new sheriff behind their bench, following the firing of Gerard Gallant and the hiring of Peter Laviolette.
In other words, rather than starting fresh under a new head coach in October; instead, and under the parameters of this hypothetical – Tarasenko would have to endure another adjustment period.
With Tarasenko now off Broadway, I think his short-lived tenure will be remembered in a positive fashion – but of course, and just like everyone else from the 2022-23 team – the “what if question” will also always be brought up.
That covers the alumni. Let’s now talk about the current Rangers, where admittedly, there’s not much news to be had.
As of this writing, the Rangers, who have their 2023-24 roster 99.9% set, are still waiting for their final domino to drop, the first-overall pick of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, the .1% in this equation, Alexis Lafreniere.
While it is concerning that Lafreniere hasn’t been re-signed just yet, at the same time, I’d put the concern level at “mild” – as it’s not out of the ordinary for these types of restricted free agent deals to be struck in August rather than in July, when most of these accords are reached.
However, what Lafreniere is doing this off-season – that may present a higher level of concern – but only he knows what he’s truly doing in preparation for the 2023-24 campaign.
And all of the beat reporters know all about this (Lafreniere’s non-hockey related-endeavors this off-season)- as two of them have directly told me as much – but none of them won’t dare utter a word – as they don’t want to piss off Drury – a general manager that I’m to assume has these scribes shitting in their pantaloons.
(And as you may suspect – Ms. Walker isn’t one of the reporters that I have privately talked to either!)
Outside of awaiting the news of Lafreniere’s new contract; there’s really not much else going on in Rangerstown, USA – except for the usual junk at this time of year – “PROPOZED LINEZ” – where even the New York Post’s resident birdbrain, Mollie Walker, has thrown her hat into the ring – despite never seeing any of the senior-league players that “The Pizza Man,” Chris Drury, signed this summer.
But don’t worry – Mollie doesn’t give a shit if she’s never seen Erik Gustafsson play or not! She already knows what Laviolette is going to do with him!
She also doesn’t give a shit about Jim Ramsay either – but to be fair – everyone on the Rangers’ beat knows the story – but all of these cowards, even the ones that I talk to – are too scared to publicly say what happened.
(In their defense, beat writer jobs mean less than ever before and in turn, no one wants to upset Drury’s apple-cart.)
But ugh, RIP Hugh Delano, Walt McPeek, Foster Hewitt, et al.
As we get closer to the end of this blog; this past Saturday, I saw a humorous video clip on Twitter – or should I say “X” – featuring the popular YouTuber, “The Hockey Guy.”
Take a look:
— BlueCollarBlueShirts (@NYCTheMiC) July 29, 2023
According to “The Hockey Guy” (assuming that’s his real name), the Rangers can’t afford to have a slow start next season – a 2023-24 campaign that’s now only two plus months away.
Nothing against “The Hockey Guy,” and the many fans who follow and subscribe to his videos, but really – doesn’t that opinion apply to every Stanley Cup contending team?
In other words – what team in the league, with their eyes on the prize, can afford a slow start, much less enter training camp under a laissez-faire attitude?
That said, and this isn’t a knock on “The Hockey Guy,” as I do find him to be knowledgeable and entertaining – but what he’s saying about the Rangers isn’t necessarily 100% true either.
What is true is that if the Rangers have a poor start to the 2023-24 season – then yes, the GLOOM AND DOOM headlines will litter the streets of Rangerstown, USA – just like the fentanyl junkies sleeping on the streets outside of M$G.
After all, it’s New York – and that’s what both the media and the fans do whenever a local team isn’t doing well – they sell fear and imagine the worst possible outcomes.
But should that be the case for Peter Lateralette and company – it’s not like the Blueshirts can’t overcome such a scenario.
Need evidence? Just look at last season.
The Rangers, following their 2022 Eastern Conference Final appearance, kicked off the 2022-23 campaign in a poor fashion and where it even got so bad that some people abandoned all hope come Turkey Day.
(And you can read all of my blogs from last season in this site’s archives for the complete 411.)
As previously stated about 9786789678967867868 times last season, once Jordan Binnington imploded on that fateful night of December 5th, 2022 – a Rangers’ 6-4 comeback victory – a season that once looked lost was soon restored – as the Blueshirts then won eight of their next nine games and were also the hottest team in the NHL (not named the Bruins) by the Christmas break.
A week later, and with the calendar now flipped from 2022 to 2023 – the Rangers never looked back, as they maintained their playoff positioning throughout the remainder of the season.
In other words, for all of the talk about the “Thanksgiving Tent Pole” – an antiquated talking point at that and a theory that the 2019 St. Louis Blues officially dead-and-buried – the Rangers got off to a rough start, but come April, and prior to Game 1 of their first-round playoff series with the Devils – the Blueshirts were never in peril of not qualifying for the postseason – as they had pretty much secured their playoff standing in January.
While we all know what happened next – that’s a separate issue – and an issue that we’ve talked about many times before.
But for all of the talk about the Rangers (and really – any other of the league’s 31-teams) needing a good start?
It’s simply not true – and as the Blueshirts proved last season.
Also false? The following:
As I type word 7,000 here, I think this is a good place to conclude tonight’s manifesto – admittedly – a self-centered one with all of the book talk.
While I’ll continue to plug my latest release in the weeks ahead, I’ll try to limit the non-stop shilling – but hey – someone has to push this book!
As mentioned earlier, the only news left to be made is whatever deal the Rangers and Lafreniere agree to.
But hey, and before you know it, the Rangers’ will play their pair of rookie games against the Flyers and after that – training camp opens.
Finally, and before going home here, you guys and gals know how much I hate the lazy and pandering stuff, such as “PROPOZED LINEZ” and all of that ilk.
When I return next, I’ll do something different from the norm – playing the role of Rangers’ owner James Dolan.
Until then, enjoy the summer, as it does fly by.
PLUGS TIME! (Buy a book and support my Rangers’ induced therapy bills. After all, I don’t run ads on this site!)
“The Top 100 Villains of New York Rangers History,” is now available for preorder.
For complete information, please visit: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/rangerkillers/
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:
My four-volume set of books, “One Game at a Time – A Season to Remember,” is a game-by-game recount of the Rangers 2021-22 campaign.
My second title as an author, “One Game at a Time – A Season to Remember,” is now available in eBook, paperback and hardcover formats.
To obtain signed copies, visit: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/onegamebook/
To purchase all four volumes on Amazon, visit: Amazon.com – “One Game at a Time.”
The greatest volume-set of books on Rangers’ history today!
“Tricks of the Trade – A Century-Long Journey Through Every Trade Made In New York Rangers’ History,” a four-volume set of books that meticulously covers every trade made in franchise history, is now on sale.
All four volumes of the title can be purchased on Amazon.com and are presented in three different formats – eBook, paperback and hardcover.
To purchase Volume I: Conn Smythe (1926) – Craig Patrick (1986), visit Amazon.com
To purchase Volume II: Phil Esposito (1986) – Neil Smith (2000), visit Amazon.com
To purchase Volume III: Glen Sather (2000-2015), visit Amazon.com
To purchase Volume IV: Jeff Gorton (2015) – Chris Drury (2022), visit Amazon.com
To purchase signed copies of all four volumes, visit https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/tricksofthetrade/
Here are my last few blogs, in case you missed them:
A Summer Day Trip in NYC: The Stan Fischler SoHo Table Hockey Tournament at “The Canuck,” 99 Whisky, The New NHL Store; Reviews, Madison Stink Garden, Photo Gallery, The Tony DeAngelo Autobiography Gets a New Chapter & More
“The Top 100 Villains of New York Rangers History” Book Scheduled For 8/1 Release; How To Preorder Your Copy Today, Free Jonathan Quick & Mike Milbury Sample Chapters, Your Questions Answered & More
“The Top 100 Villains of New York Rangers History” Set for Release, Blueshirts Bring the Cincinnati Cyclones Into the Mix, NYR Alumni Update, Tarasenko Teetering & More
If you haven’t already, subscribe to this blog for the next update:
Don’t forget to order my recently released four-volume set of books, “Tricks of the Trade!”
If you don’t order through me, all four volumes are now available on Amazon.com
For more details, check out: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/tricksofthetrade/
Thanks for reading.
LET’S GO RANGERS!
@NYCTHEMIC on the Tweeter machine