BCBS For 9/20: Rangers Developmental Camp Thoughts; NYR Prospects Split Series with the Flyers, Broadcast/Streaming Issues, Will Cuylle MVP of Camp (That’s My Story & I’m Sticking to It), Unrealistic Expectations Bestowed Upon Lundkvist, Panarin Says “Nyet” to Captaincy, RIP Lou Angotti, Michael J Fox, The Isles IBS Arena, Book Update & More

Just like the last blog entry on this site, we have a bunch of stuff to talk about tonight and topics all from the “Past, Present and Future” realm as well. I also have an update on my book too!

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. By the time you read these words, we are now less than a week away from the start of Rangers preseason games. And what perfect timing for the Rangers to make their grand return to the New York City sports scene too – especially if you’re a diehard fan of the Yankees, Mets, Giants or Jets.

Sadly, and as it seems to be the case ever since Tom Coughlin’s final season with the Giants; just two weeks into this current NFL season, the playoff hopes and championship dreams of both the Giants and Jets have already been flushed down the toilet. But hey, this is a Rangers fan site/blog, so the problems with the other teams are none of my concern. Let’s Go Rangers!

And I’ll say this too before moving on – it’s my belief that both the Rangers and the Islanders will instill life into a dormant NYC playoff scene; which once again, is becoming a reality between New York’s baseball and football franchises. As far as the NBA goes? Just like the NJ Devils coverage in the tri-state area – who cares?

Speaking of things that should happen by the time you read these words; I have another update on my new “The New York Rangers Rink of Honor and the Rafters of Madison Square Garden” book. And yes, I know – these updates can get tedious, but who else is going to promote this book better than me? (Of note: I thank everyone who has left a five-star review on Amazon too! It truly helps.)

When promoting and hyping up the book, many of you guys have asked me about a hardcover version. As I told you guys then, and as I’ll say again now, Amazon.com doesn’t allow authors using their publishing house to create hardcover copies due to costs and fear of low sales. However, what I didn’t know then (but just found out over the weekend), is that if you sell a certain number of paperback and kindle versions, Amazon will then allow you to publish hardcover copies of your books.

This is all kind of crazy and exciting for several reasons, and let me bullet-point them for you:

— I never expected to make real money off of this book. I thought I’d make beer money and if things worked out – enough money to buy a beer at MSG too!

In fact, prior to publishing my book, I talked to several other first-time authors who have written hockey books and they all said the same thing – “you’re lucky if you sell 100 books.” These people weren’t saying this disparagingly, as they were just pointing out how hard it is to sell books that are dedicated to a niche topic, especially as a first-time author. One author, who is a prominent author/writer/reporter (he’s written seven hockey books), told me that he has never cracked 100 sales for any of his books. I crushed that number just on my signed paperback copy presale alone! What those authors didn’t have but what I have is you guys, the loyal readers of this site; readers who really showed up and supported this book from day one. Once again, thank you all.

— Speaking of the signed copy presale, those numbers have no impact on my Amazon sale rankings. Amazon allows authors to purchase books for cost and the author can do whatever they want afterwards with those books. In other words, the 600 copies I ordered from Amazon’s publishing house, just so I could fulfill my presale orders, didn’t boost up my sale rankings on Amazon, a ranking which once hit #2 among all hockey books on Amazon. In other words, the book is selling well among both blog readers and non-blog readers. Again, thank you everyone.

— With the book coming out before the hockey season, and due to the length of the book (540 pages), the reviews are slowly starting to trickle in. I can tell you that a few major media outlets now have it, and once those reviews come out (fingers-crossed they are positive like the reviews I’ve been getting from you guys), it will only help sales. Not bad for a book that was solely done as a passion project, with anything extra coming out of it being gravy.

(While I’m happy about the sales, I also made many contacts with members and families of the NYR alumni, which will help keep these names alive to a future generation of fans – my number one goal when writing the book.)

A perfect gift or stocking stuffer for any Rangers fan!

This past Friday, I received an email from Amazon stating that due to the sales of the book doing well, that I have now qualified for their “Hardcover Beta” program. In other words, I can now make/create/sell hardcover versions of my book for those of you who are interested. Obviously, this is exciting for me, as it’s pretty cool to have a hardcover version of my book – even if it’s for my own collection.

If you’re a regular reader of these blogs, you know that I’m always honest and upfront with you. While I know many of you have expressed interest in a hardcover version of the book and with no concern of whatever the price of it is; I want to share two things with you, before you purchase the hardcover version of the book.

One, since this is Amazon’s “Hardcover Beta” program for authors who have hit a nice sales quota with their paperback and kindle versions, rather than Amazon being a full-blown hardcover publishing house; Amazon doesn’t allow you to put anything inside of the dust jacket. So if you already have a paperback version, you aren’t missing out on any new content, outside of having a cool collector’s item. The front cover, spine and back cover are identical in both the paperback and hardcover versions.

Two, due to extremely high costs and when working with Amazon’s suggested price with a hardcover version, I am forced to sell the book for $29.96 – a price that I know may scare some people off. To be even more upfront with you, for every hardcover version that sells, I only get $5.00 per sale, due to the printing costs and the cut that Amazon takes for publishing the book. Yep, 1/6th the retail price-point of the book. I could bitch and moan and look elsewhere, but at the end of the day, I was never planning on selling hardcover versions anyway and Amazon is the world’s largest bookseller. In a roundabout way, I have to “pay to play” here.

I could lessen the price and costs incurred by decreasing the font size and the quality of the paper used in the hardcover version, but I didn’t want to do that. It’s my belief/theory that if you would pay $23 (the suggested sale price if I lessened the production quality of the book), then you wouldn’t mind paying an extra $7 for the best book possible.

I know this news isn’t exactly the best, but I don’t want to rip-off anyone either. However, if you have a paperback version or have seen the reviews so far, I can tell you that you’re getting a ton of information for your $30, even if you can get the paperback version for ten bucks cheaper.

With that all said, the hardcover version of the book should be available Monday afternoon the earliest and Tuesday night the latest. To purchase a copy, visit this link: The New York Rangers Rink of Honor and the Rafters of Madison Square Garden

For those still looking for signed paperback versions of the book, I have thirty copies left for sale for $25 (includes shipping price) through me directly. Here is all the information on that:

Pre-Order “The New York Rangers Rink of Honor and the Rafters of Madison Square Garden” Book Today

Lastly, as I get the book plug out of the way for tonight’s blog; once again, thank you to everyone who has purchased a copy. A few of you have even told me that you plan on writing and calling the Rangers yourselves, while asking them to do the right thing and to honor the men profiled in the book.

And for what it’s worth – I mailed a copy of the book to Chris Drury too. Whether he reads it or reacts to it or not I do not know, but hey – I gave it a shot. Perhaps one day, we’ll get one grand ceremony, similar to the one in Toronto from five years back, where the Rangers do the right thing and fix all of the current omissions from their rafters at Madison Square Garden.

Also worth mentioning here? As talked about in-depth on the most recent episode of the award-winning “3 Babies, 2 Guys and 1 Cup” podcast, as hosted by Shawn S. & Jon P.; maybe the Rangers could have a stand-alone Henrik Lundqvist retirement ceremony during the Olympic break and with no game involved. If the Rangers do that, maybe they could honor everyone that should be honored and then have Henrik Lundqvist “main event” the night. I think this is a great idea as first suggested by Shawn S., because one, it’s great for Rangers history and two, for the Rangers, it’s another free gate for MSG. And isn’t this what it all boils down to anyway – creating revenue? After all, 42 sold out houses are better than 41 sold out houses!

Moving on!

Adam Fox posing with the Norris Trophy. Photo Credit: Ryan Strome

When I last left you, I was talking about the upcoming games that the Rangers prospects were going to have with the Philadelphia Flyers. Those two games are now complete and with all focus now moving to the Rangers of the 2021-2022 season. During tonight’s blog, I’ll have comments on the Rangers developmental games and what lies ahead. And similar to last blog, unfortunately, we have another Ranger alumni death to talk about too.

However, before getting into everything tonight, as usual – the PLUGS segment.

Say it with me – here are my last few blogs in case you missed them:

BCBS For 9/16: The Rangers Past, Present and Future! Rangers Developmental Camp Thoughts; Evaluating Prospects & Draft Picks, NYR Beat Reporters, Kreider Captaincy, 2021-2022 Metropolitan Division Season Preview & Who Makes The Playoffs, “The Cat” Turns 95; NYR Ignores Francis, RIP Jack Egers & More


BCBS For 9/10: Chris Drury Speaks to the Media; Praises Ranger Young Guns & Tough Guys, Drury Talks Next Captain of NYR, Ranger Tix Go On Sale; Ticketmaster “Convenience Fees” Cripple Wallets, MSG vs The Pandemic, Stan Fischler to be Inducted into the U.S. HOF; Still Awaits Call From the HHOF, NYR Rookie Training Camp, Future Bets & More

BCBS For 9/8: Ranger Fans & The Family and Friends of Rod Gilbert Say Goodbye to a Legend; Recap of Rod Gilbert’s Public Memorial/Tribute Service, “New York Rangers Rink of Honor & The Rafters of Madison Square Garden” Update; Excerpt on Tex Rickard, Libor Hajek, Fan Expectations, All Eyes on Chris Drury & More

Nils Lundkvist, the much-heralded Rangers prospect, scored the game winning goal during Sunday’s 3-2 Rangers victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Photo Credit: Philadelphia Flyers

Where to begin, where to begin, where to begin? How about at the start of all of this?

As talked about last blog, and as mentioned repeatedly throughout the course of this site’s history – I am not a prospects guy. I broke that all down for you last blog on why I’m not. History, and not predicting the future, will always be my forte. I tell you this again, because if you’re looking for some sort of in-depth breakdown of these games, and with every piece of minutiae about these teenagers included, I’m not that guy.

There are plenty of fans out there with Ranger-themed endeavors who do a good job of covering these prospects, like Danny McG. and Steve K. At the same time, there are also very creepy people out there who cover these teenagers with a lot of detail, where sometimes it all comes off as very “Jared Fogleish” – especially when these guys are talking about these kids bodies and stuff of that ilk.

At the end of the day, I believe in “to each their own”. However, when I read stuff such as “he hasn’t fully hit puberty yet”, it just gives me the creeps. That’s me. Maybe that’s not you. That said, sometimes, by the way these people talk, you’d think they are measuring the pubic hairs of these players! (Measure from the base!)

When it comes to one Rangers fan whose tweets routinely pop up on my Twitter feed – well I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a Nils Lundkvist hair doll sitting on his mantle. (See the movie “Slackers” to get this reference! Great flick! And hey, not for nothing, I could see Fanatics selling officially licensed hair dolls one day! Imagine how much money a Henrik Lundqvist hair doll would bring in? We all know that the Rangers aren’t opposed to making a quick buck – except when it comes to producing prospect games!)

Back to Rangers developmental camp!

Again, I’m not a prospects guy, nor know what the Rangers front office or coaching staffs are looking for, but in my opinion, Will Cuylle was the MVP of these two games and of the camp. Some may say Nils Lundkvist and that’s fine too. Photo Credit: Philadelphia Flyers

On Saturday 9/18, the Rangers hosted the Philadelphia Flyers for the first of two games featuring each team’s respective prospects. I admit to you – I didn’t watch the game, but it wasn’t for a lack of effort. Let me explain.

This past Saturday, my friend/next door neighbor/road-trip buddy who I have mentioned on these blogs before, in TEN O’CLOCK TOMMY (his picture is in my new book too), celebrated his 39th birthday. As he always does for his birthday, he hosted a bunch of people at the horse track in Belmont. I wasn’t going to miss his party/day out at the track for a Rangers prospect game. (A regular season game, maybe!)

If you’ve gained anything about me from the personal stories that I share on this site (outside of my fandom of Rangers hockey), it’s that away from the Rangers and the NHL, I’m also a big fan of MMA and horse racing. I’m also a huge Islander hater too, and to the point of an obsession at that, so while at Belmont, I also wanted to check out the Islanders new digs, as the new IBS UBS arena is right next door to the track. More on that in a bit.

And for those wondering, I wound up walking away with $10 in profits after betting on horses all day. My uncle, who also enjoys a day out at the track, fared better than me, hitting $300 on one race and walking away with $200 at the end of the day – not too shabby!

The birthday boy himself, in TEN O’CLOCK TOMMY, barely made a dent, as despite standing at the finish line all day, wound up betting on only two races – an end result of everyone talking to him all day. (It was a well-attended outing, and an attendance that surpassed most Islander games at the Barclays Arena in Brooklyn!)

Man, oh man, I go off on way too many tangents on this blog! Let me say this again – back to the Rangers prospects!

I thought Brennan Othmann played decent enough this past weekend, with his biggest flaw being the amount of penalties he took. It felt like that whenever he took a penalty, the Flyers scored in each of the two games played. Photo Credit: NYR

Anyway, I missed Saturday’s game in real-time. After the track and a great meal at “Martino’s” in Elmont, I returned home, where it was my plan to dedicate two hours in front of my computer so I could watch the replay/link of Saturday’s 3PM game. You see, despite the Rangers and the MSG Networks being a billion dollar company, these games didn’t air on TV – they aired on a shitty YouTube link. This was so “Rangery” and another lost opportunity to connect with the fan base.

Put it this way, my 70 year old father wanted to watch these games. When I told them they were on YouTube, he pretty much said – “Father Fink that.” I wonder how many other old-time and elder fans that the Rangers turned off with a YouTube link, rather than airing these games on the MSG Networks? I mean really, what’s better for TV ratings – a live Rangers game, even if the final score is meaningless (the games aren’t meaningless to the players involved though), or a repeat of the “JB Smoove Show”? (Of note: I have no clue if the MSG Networks still airs reruns of the “JB Smoove Show” or not, but that’s always my go-to reference/joke/feeling of disdain!)

That said, my dad (and every other Rangers fan around who missed Saturday’s game), were better off, because trying to watch this game felt like some sort of viral “EPILEPTIC CHALLENGE”; where instead of walking on milk crates or dumping ice water on yourself – you had to try to watch this stream without suffering a full-blown seizure.

I hate to do the moan and groan thing, but yeah, this stream from Saturday’s game was god-awful. It’s basically what I predicted several blogs ago, when using past Traverse City Tournaments broadcasts as a reference. Rather than putting a little production, effort, time or energy into streaming this game, it felt like the Rangers gave Michael J. Fox an iPhone 4 and told him to film the game.

(And it’s okay to joke about Michael J. Fox and his shakes because he jokes about it himself, with his appearance on “Curb Your Enthusiasm” being an epic comedic performance. As the old adage goes – “laughter is the best medicine.” It’s an adage that I subscribe to myself.)

How about this quartet? Michael J. Fox has been a Rangers fan for some time, where he’s often spotted at M$G. Here’s Michael J. Fox at the turn of century with Pat LaFontaine, Dan Cloutier and Adam Graves. Photo Credit: NYR

Anyhoo, when I tried watching the stream, it was unbearable. No joke, I was getting a headache from watching the shaky and jerky camera work. Trying to watch this thing was like having a liter of tequila and then trying to sail from New York to England. I tried my best to watch it, but after two minutes and a feeling of dizziness, I had to tap out.

Let me reiterate this point one more time – a billion dollar organization, and once again, the Rangers put no effort into this thing. As I said two years back, when the Rangers hosted their Traverse City stream – it’s a shame and a slap in the face to the hardcore fan. Even the Minnesota Wild, a team that’s just a hair over twenty years old, not only put some money into producing these games – but also hired commentators/announcers too. When it comes to the Rangers, both during this prospects game and with previous Traverse City Tournaments, it was just a handheld camera and with no commentary at all. And to expand even more while doing this bitch-fest – you really need a commentator/announcer for these games, since many of these players are unknown (especially the opponents), and it’s hard to see everything without a camera at the goal and without the benefit of replays.

I think I’ve cried enough! Moving on!

As said, I didn’t watch Saturday’s game, but based on reports and from talking to fans who braved this stream (as if it were shot from someone riding a roller-coaster at that), the Flyers beat the Rangers 6-3. The Flyers raced out to a 3-0 lead in the first period, only for the Rangers to fight back in the second period.

Down 3-0, in the second period, the Rangers tied the game behind goals from Morgan Barron, Patrick Khoderenko and Lauri Pajuniemi. However, the Flyers, who received a ton of power-play work in the game, would regain the lead behind a power-play goal late into the second period, thus making the score 4-3. The Flyers would score another goal in the third period, pushing the score to 5-3, before finishing the game with an empty net goal enroute to their 6-3 victory.

Based on fan accounts, the Rangers top line of Will Cuylle/Morgan Barron/Lauri Pajuniemi stood out the most, with Zac Jones and Braden Schneider, the top pair of the defense, also playing well. The second defensive pair of Nils Lundkvist and Matthew Robertson played well enough too, but at the same time, Lundkvist, who is projected as the Rangers third pair RD for the 2021-2022 season, didn’t really stand out as a true NHLer either. I wouldn’t put too much into that, especially since all of these kids are playing together for the first time here. Bottom line – it’s tough to ascertain a true definitive opinion of any player based off of any one game.

Again, I’m not a prospects guy, you can’t make an opinion off of one game and blah blah blah; but for my money, Will Cuylle was the Rangers MVP of this two-game set against the Flyers. Photo Credit: New York Post

Come 5PM Sunday 9/19, the two rivals met again, this time at the Flyers training facility, which is located in (Jason) Voorhies, NJ. I watched this game, where admittedly, I was also watching the NFL Red Zone on my second TV, for fantasy football purposes.

And let me get this out of my system – if you’re a fantasy football player (I gained 10 pounds in the off-season), nothing, and I MEAN NOTHING, is more infuriating than having the second-most points in your league for the week, only to lose to the highest-scoring team of the week. It’s a straight 12 inches up your five-hole and it will leave you with a Japanese Flag Ass for days. And if you can’t tell, yes, I was the second-best scorer of my league for the week, only to lose to the top scorer. Father Fink!

And heck, with all the crying I have done tonight, maybe I should get Kleenex or Marcal to sponsor these blogs!

Again I say – back to the Rangers!

I hate the Flyers, you hate the Flyers, and heck, even Flyer fans hate the Flyers! That said, the Flyers treated these prospect games night-and-day when compared to the Rangers. Not only did the Flyers put some production into it, they also had an announcer calling the game too – an announcer that really helped someone like me who isn’t a prospects guy. While I know who the Rangers prospects are, I have no clue who the prospects of the Flyers are. Plus, with a camera that didn’t zoom in on scoring plays, it helped hearing from someone who was there when calling the action and penalties.

One of the disadvantages of the Rangers being the most profitable and financially successful franchises in all of the league, is that they don’t have to put much effort into anything. They can turn off many fans, but at the end of the day, based on their location, they will always make money.

While the Flyers play in a big market too, they also aren’t the Rangers, nor play in New York City.

When watching the stream of Sunday’s game, the stream had as little as 800 people watching and as many as 1260 people watching. During intermissions, the Flyers, who as mentioned, put some effort into airing this game, also ran commercials/ads for upcoming Flyer single-season games, including promotional games, such as Star Wars Night, St. Patrick’s Night and all that other jazz. Even if one Flyers fan bought a ticket to an upcoming game, this stream was worth it financially for them. I hate the Flyers, but I am also fair and keep my biases out of my writing when applicable – the Flyers did a bang-up job here and I tip my Rangers cap to them.

Let me get the good-feelings about the Flyers out of my system by sharing this picture – a reminder that the Rangers scored nine goals against the Flyers on 3/17/21!

Sunday’s game at the Flyers’ training rink started off eerily similar to the game from Saturday at the Rangers practice facility. The Flyers, who once again, got a ton of power-play time in both games, scored two goals within thirty seconds, after a 5×5 goal from Cam York, followed by a power-play goal scored by Matt Strome – a Matt Strome who is Ryan Strome’s brother. After the Flyers raced to a 2-0 lead, both teams would receive power-plays later on in the first period, with neither team cashing in.

While Saturday’s game had a few fights sprinkled in; during Sunday’s game, the only fights I saw were between Ranger and Flyer fans in the YouTube comments section. With the Rangers down 2-0 after twenty minutes, it was entertaining watching both fan bases argue online with each other. Keep in mind, this stream averaged about 1000 fans at any given moment throughout this game, so you had the most hardcore of the hardcores watching this and talking about the wild and plentiful sex they have with people’s mothers of the opposing fan base.

Again, just like Saturday’s game, the Rangers would quickly tie it up on Sunday. The Rangers would get an early second period power-play, where Othmann put two good shots on net, only for the Flyers goaltender to deny him on both chances. However, with Zac Jones quarterbacking the power-play, Will Cuylle was able to deflect/tip-in a puck, cutting the Rangers deficit in half. Thirty seconds after the score read as 2-1 Flyers, the Rangers received another power-play, a double-minor assessed to the Flyers, where Cuylle scored again. 2-2 game! And if you’re paying attention, that meant that 75% of the goals scored up to this point of the game were of the power-play variety.

At the half-way mark of the period/game, each team subbed in new goaltenders. The Rangers would take another penalty late into the period, only to kill it at the start of the third period. Of note here, the Rangers, in all three periods, took a late penalty. Not good.

With 13:54 remaining in the third period, Nils Lundkvist scored, where not only did he erase the previous 2-0 Flyers lead, but he also gave the Rangers a 3-2 lead too. This goal would eventually hold up as the game winning goal. Despite giving the Flyers one more power-play at the end of the period, and with the Flyers net empty, the Rangers held on and won the game, thus splitting the two-game set at one win a piece.

Nils Lundkvist. Photo Credit: NYR

As mentioned, based on what I’ve seen and read, to me, Will Cuylle stood out head-and-shoulders among everyone. However, with the Rangers possessing a depth of wingers right now, Cuylle will most likely start his 2021-2022 season in Hartford.

When it comes to Nils Lundkvist, who will have a lot of pressure on him based on expectations and with some fans anointing him as the second coming of Bobby Orr; I thought he did alright. Of course, the game winning goal helped his stock, but at the end of the day, I still think the third RD position on NYR is his to lose – especially after what Chris Drury said recently. (Check the archives of this site for more on Drury’s interview.)

As I’ve been saying for a while here, for me, it’s tough to get a true grip/grasp of these players, especially since they are playing against prospects too. Case in point – some European Rangers told the media over the weekend that they were shocked about how different the game was in North America when compared to the Mickey Mouse leagues in Europe. Like anything, it’s going to take time, which is why I hate these expectations that some fans put on these guys. Even Lundkvist, the most talked about prospect at this camp, is going to have a learning curve. You just can’t expect him to walk right in and win the Norris – despite some ignorant reporters comparing him to Adam Fox – and without Lundkvist not even playing one minute in the NHL.

And let me be clear, I’m not hating or trying to denounce Lundkvist here. I’m just saying give it some time. The SHL is not a physical league. The NHL is a whole other ballgame. Let the guy breathe a bit before comparing him to Norris Trophy winning defensemen who have played the North American game their whole lives. That’s all.

Lundkvist, the last player who could somewhat salvage the McDonagh/Miller trade to Tampa, has had high expectations bestowed upon him for some time now. I hope it works out, but as someone who has heard similar hype before (see Brendl, Pavel or Lundmark, Jamie), I am hesitant to join the hype-train. I still have a wait-and-see approach and I hope for the best. Photo Credit: NYR

As far as any other impressions, I wasn’t really stoked about any of the goaltenders, but at the same time, despite the Flyers having a solid feed/stream, it was tough to really get a good look at the saves that were being made.

I also thought that Zac Jones looked good (especially on the power-play), but as talked about previously, I don’t know who he is bumping out of the current Rangers line-up. To me, I think the Rangers are set on defense with Lindgren/Fox, Miller/Trouba and Lundkvist/Nemeth; where it’s my belief that the Swedish Patrik Nemeth was primarily signed to help Lundkvist’s transition to North America. And if the Rangers need to get tough on defense against divisional rivals such as Washington or the Islanders, they have Jarred Tinordi for that.

If there was anything else to be ascertained here, it’s that the Rangers have options and perhaps some depth too, especially in the event that someone from the varsity roster goes down with an injury. Furthermore, these options and depth could help the team in the event of a trade too. Of note here: Jack Eichel is expected to report to Sabres camp when able. The drama never ends!

All in all, I enjoyed what I saw on Sunday, but I’m also not quick to generate any hot takes out of what I saw. I just enjoyed these games for what they were.

Next topic!

Kyle Hall, of “The Broadway Hat” podcast, jazzed up a recent Artemi Panarin quote with this picture. Photo Credit: Kyle Hall

In the never-ending discussion of who the next captain of the New York Rangers should be, Artemi Panarin has seemingly taken himself out of the running. As mentioned about 7678678967896789678967896 on this site already, I thought Chris Kreider should’ve got the “C” last year, but I’m now in favor of Adam Fox getting the “C” this season. For more on those opinions, check the archives of this site.

In a story that even got full-blown coverage on NHL.com (you can read the story here: https://www.nhl.com/news/rangers-panarin-does-not-want-to-be-captain/c-326214680 ), while using Instagram as his medium, Panarin confirmed what I’ve been saying all along – he’s not Rangers captain material. And that’s not a slight on him, as we all know he’s a top player in this league, including a Hart Trophy nomination after the 2019-2020 season.

If you’ve been following this site/blog, since day one, I’ve said that Panarin’s lack of mastering the English language is a deterrent in his cause for becoming team captain. After all, in a league where all the referees speak English primarily (some speak French and other languages too), you have to speak English. This is not an -ism or -ist type of thing – it’s a truthful thing. If your captain can’t converse with the officials, you’re basically “Plaxico Burressing” yourself; which means shooting yourself in the foot.

I know some fans have been championing for Panarin as captain, but with Panarin taking himself out of the running here, that should end all of that talk. While I think Fox should become the next captain in franchise history, there are also cases to be made for Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad and Jacob Trouba.

I think in any event, we’ll get a captain this season, just based on what Drury has previously said. As far as who it is, as they say, “we’ll see”.

In sad news, following the death of Jack Egers, Rangers alumni Lou Angotti passed away on September 15th, 2021. Angotti was 83 years old at the time of his passing. Photo Credit: NYR

Lou Angotti, another member of the Emile Francis Era of Rangers, passed away last week after an illness. Originally from Toronto, Canada; Angotti was living in Pompano Beach, Florida prior to his passing. Angotti, who played parts of two seasons with the Rangers, played during a “Dark Age” transitional period with the Rangers, after the firing of General Manager Muzz Patrick and as Emile Francis was taking over the reigns.

Away from the Rangers, Angotti also played for the Blackhawks, Flyers, Penguins and Blues; with Angotti also serving as a head coach after retirement for both the Penguins and Blues.

To leave a message for the family, you can visit his obituary and guestbook here: https://www.dignitymemorial.com/en-ca/obituaries/fort-lauderdale-fl/louis-angotti-10360662

The Rangers open training camp this week and will play their first preseason game on 9/26. Photo Credit: NYR

Up next for the Rangers – getting ready for the 2021-2022 season. The Rangers will open camp this week and it’s a short one at that, as the first of six preseason games begin on 9/26, with game one taking place against the Islanders at MSG this upcoming Sunday.

Programming note: when it comes to preseason games, I don’t review them like I do with regular season or playoff games. Preseason games are all about seeing who gels with who, fiddling around with line combinations, taking a look at the pipeline and other stuff that doesn’t matter when it comes to a final score. As I usually do, I’ll share my thoughts about these games, but I’m not critiquing them or going nuts about what actually happens. These games are for the coaches, general managers and players looking to grab a 13th forward or 7th defenseman spot.

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While I was at the Belmont race track this past Saturday, I stopped over at the UBS Arena. The place stunk like horseshit – much like the Islanders themselves!

Up next: seeing if Zdeno Chara will be able to collect social security benefits while playing for the AARP Islanders. And oh yeah, I have a hardcover book to promote! Have I mentioned that book yet tonight? I kid, I kid!

I think I’m 75-25 about going to the Rangers preseason game on Sunday night. After all, what else am I going to do? Watch the Giants and Jets have their doors kicked in?

Until next time…

Stay FABULOUS my friends.

As always here, thanks for reading and…


Sean McCaffrey


@NYCTHEMIC on Tweeter

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2 thoughts on “BCBS For 9/20: Rangers Developmental Camp Thoughts; NYR Prospects Split Series with the Flyers, Broadcast/Streaming Issues, Will Cuylle MVP of Camp (That’s My Story & I’m Sticking to It), Unrealistic Expectations Bestowed Upon Lundkvist, Panarin Says “Nyet” to Captaincy, RIP Lou Angotti, Michael J Fox, The Isles IBS Arena, Book Update & More

  1. On a non-hockey note, I’ve never seen more than a few minutes of the JB Smoove show on MSG but his performance on “Curb” is nothing short of brilliant. Everything that comes out of the guy’s mouth just cracks me up. The perfect sidekick/advice giver for Larry. Talk about some solid secondary scoring ….

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