“We Want Fish Sticks – The Bizarre and Infamous Rebranding of the New York Islanders” In-Depth Book Review: A Book That Is 100% Erotica For Ranger Fans & Pure Torture For Islander Fans, Growing Up In the 1990’s & More! Plus: Seattle & The Latest from Rangerstown

While author Nicholas Hirshon is an Islander fan and wrote a book on the Islanders, his new “We Want Fish Sticks” book comes off as non-fiction erotica for Ranger fans. Photo Credit: “We Want Fish Sticks”

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another book review, here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com.

In the event that you’re finding this book review because of your interest in “We Want Fish Sticks” or the Islanders in general, let me thank you for your time. If you’re not familiar with who I am & what this site is all about, I am a Rangers fan who opines on the Blueshirts. That said, I view the Rangers very realistically and for the Isle fans who are reading this, this site isn’t a “RAH-RAH RANGERS ARE DA BEST, ISLES SUCK 4 LIFE!” type of deal. I am very aware how some Ranger fans have a “Yankees fan mouth”, despite a NY Jets type of history. That is not me or what this site is about.

Outside of recapping Ranger games on this site, I also dive into the history of the Rangers and the NHL, look back at old games and as you see here, I review hockey books too.

While the Rangers are the meat & potatoes of this site/blog, I’m an avid reader, with both hockey and American history being my favorite subjects to read about. While I don’t recap the American history books that I read on this site, I do try to review as many hockey books, both Rangers & non-Rangers related, as possible. In fact, you can check out all my hockey book reviews here: http://doinow.com/book-reviews/

Furthermore, if you’re new here, here are my most recent blogs, to help give you a feel of what I’m all about:

NYR At The Break: Montreal Road-Trip, NYR’s Horrendous Loss to the Jets,”Tale of Two Lundqvist’s”, Vic Hadfield & NYR Fake News, “Triple S” Hurting Jeff Gorton, Rangerstown Loses An Institution, M$G Rafters & An NYR Rink of Honor, Emile Francis, Delta Airlines, Looking Ahead To Florida & More

NYR/OTT 11/29 Review: The Ottawa ROAD-TRIP Blog! Visiting The Grave of Frank Boucher, Plea to MSG Networks, Sitting Directly Behind David “OJ” Quinn, Zuccarello Rumors, Line-Up Issues, Jason York vs Millennial Lundqvist Fans, 99 Whisky & Much More w/Tons of Pictures

NYR/OTT 11/26 Review: The Rangers Pick Up an Ugly But Much Needed Win Over The Senators, Frank Boucher Update, Hockey Fights Cancer, NYR Fans Fight Micheletti’s Atrociousness, Villemure Ailing, Rangers Keep “Quinning” & More

NYR/WSH 11/24 Review: Rangers Drop Two Straight, A Tale of Two Halves, Dave Maloney On “Two-Face” Harvey Skjent, Rangers Goaltending, Defending Marc Staal From Creepy Micheletti, What To Take Out Of 9-3-1 & More

NYR/PHI 11/23 Review: Lundqvist Has One Of His Best Games of the Season; The Rest of the Rangers Do Not, A Complete Post-Thanksgiving Afternoon Snorefest, “One Of Those Games”, The Lias Andersson Question, Gritty & More on the NYRQuil

I don’t know how old Nick Hirshon, the author of “We Want Fish Sticks” is. Based on his appearance, he’s younger than me, which is why I was very impressed with his book. Photo Credit: Nick Hirshon

As mentioned on past blogs, while we all hate the algorithms that track our every move on the internet, I must admit, Amazon.com gets me. I hate to fold like a cheap suit whenever Amazon suggests something to me, but Amazon knows me and knows how to pry into my wallet like a well-seasoned pick-pocket.

Recently, while shopping for another hockey book on Amazon, Amazon recommended that I pre-order “WE WANT FISH STICKS”. When I saw the title of “WE WANT FISH STICKS”, I was intrigued. I didn’t know if this was a book written by a Rangers fan, in an attempt to bury the Isles. In the same vein, I didn’t know if this was an Isles fan embracing & trying to own a chant that is thought to be derisive to Islander fans.

When I visited the Amazon page for “We Want Fish Sticks”, I checked out the official preview right away. Here is the official preview/hype from the publisher:

“The NHL’s New York Islanders were struggling. After winning four straight Stanley Cups in the early 1980s, the Islanders had suffered an embarrassing sweep by their geographic rivals, the New York Rangers, in the first round of the 1994 playoffs. Hoping for a new start, the Islanders swapped out their distinctive logo, which featured the letters NY and a map of Long Island, for a cartoon fisherman wearing a rain slicker and gripping a hockey stick. The new logo immediately drew comparisons to the mascot for Gorton’s frozen seafood, and opposing fans taunted the team with chants of “We want fish sticks!”

During a rebranding process that lasted three torturous seasons, the Islanders unveiled a new mascot, new uniforms, new players, a new coach, and a new owner that were supposed to signal a return to championship glory. Instead, the team and its fans endured a twenty-eight-month span more humiliating than what most franchises witness over twenty-eight years. The Islanders thought they had traded for a star player to inaugurate the fisherman era, but he initially refused to report and sulked until the general manager banished him. Fans beat up the new mascot in the stands. The new coach shoved and spit at players. The Islanders were sold to a supposed billionaire who promised to buy elite players; he turned out to be a con artist and was sent to prison. We Want Fish Sticks examines this era through period sources and interviews with the people who lived it.”

After reading the preview, like a fish, I was hooked. I immediately pre-ordered the book.

Despite growing up as a die-hard Rangers fan, the Fish Stick period of Islanders was a big part of my teenage years, as the Coliseum was one of my go to spots when seeking autographs. This puck is now 20+ years old, but I think it’s signed by Bobby Nystrom. Maybe an Islander fan can let me know!

On my past blogs, I have talked about how I got into hockey. My father had Ranger season tickets. My father’s father had Ranger season tickets. Growing up, it was all Rangers for me:

This picture was taken before the Fish Stick era of Isles.

As elementary school turned into middle school and middle school turned into high school, my interest in hockey & the Rangers kept on growing. I hate to make this an “old man waving his fist on his lawn” type of thing, but for me, there was no better time (at least in my lifetime) for hockey in the New York market. You had three playoff teams all revving up at once, and two of the three teams would win Stanley Cups in consecutive years.

I’m currently 36 years old and was born in 1982. From my middle school days, which started in 1992, through my high school graduation, which occurred in 2000, hockey was on fire in New York.

As I’ll get into, as opposed to some of the history books that I’ve read on hockey, whether it was about the Rangers or another team or league, this book really hit home, as it was during this period of time where I was just a balls-out NHL fanatic. Not to say that I’m not now, but it’s different when you’re younger. You don’t have to worry about bills, going to work and oh yea – THERE WAS NO SALARY CAP!

And as I always say – how much longer before hockey trading cards replace the +/- stat with the annual cap hit stat?

During the Fish Stick era, my friends and I would be at the Coliseum regularly, looking to get autographs from both the home and road teams. Here’s one sheet of autographs, out of one of the many binders I have from this time.

Like anything else, our memories from our youth tend to be our most fondest, as that is where you can trace the roots to your likes and dislikes. While I was a hockey fan at a young age, it wasn’t until middle school when I could really understand and follow it all. My friends and I were into everything hockey – NHL 94 (obviously) collecting cards, going to games, seeking autographs, going to fan events, playing hockey after school, researching players, getting magazines, etc. If it was something hockey related, we were into it.

During the Fish Stick era, what worked out for me personally was that all of my friends in high school were a year or two older than me. Translation: they either all had their learner permits or driver licenses. Being a 15 minute car ride away from the Nassau Coliseum, we would spend many days and nights there, watching hockey and trying to get autographs.

What I should also remind you of, is that during this time, there were no cell phones, social media accounts, or any of the latest technology that you are used to today. All we had then were $15 disposable cameras, that usually could only hold 24-27 pictures per camera and an AOL 2.5 CD-ROM. Furthermore, with the internet in its infancy, newspapers & magazines were the only way to get sports news. There were no blogs, ESPN.com’s or people asking you to pay $10 to read their opinions on the Athletic. The print media was still King, even if they were soon to be exiled from their throne.

Here’s a lucky fan that did get to meet Patrick Roy and get his autograph. Photo Credit: New Haven Register

While taking this trip down memory lane, I would be remiss if I didn’t reprint my Patrick Roy/Nassau Coliseum story from this period of time. I know I’ve told this story before, but this blog is always reaching new eyes and hell, it’s funny and it bears repeating!

The following was originally written on 2/4/15:

One day, in the late 1990’s, the Avalanche were in town to take on the Islanders. This is when the Avalanche were dominant with Sakic, Foote, Forsberg, etc. Of course, the Av’s also had arguably the greatest goalie of all time, in Patrick Roy. My friend Justin, who was obsessed with getting autographs and got us (my friends & I)  into the hobby, decided we needed to cut school after fifth period and try to get Avalanche autographs after their morning skate.

I forgot where Justin got his autograph location tips, as some teams didn’t always stay at the Marriot and some teams skipped a morning skate, but I want to say he got info from a guy at this baseball card store near us. Justin was hellbent that day about getting to the Coliseum early. He never met Patrick Roy or Joe Sakic before and this was going to be the best opportunity.

After ditching the second half of the school day, we arrived at the Coliseum at 1PM. We set up camp by the ramp that led to the underground parking garage, since we got a tip about that being the entrance/exit that the Av’s would be using. I was 17 years old, while Justin was 18 and about to wrap up his senior year at high school. There weren’t that many autograph seeking degenerates that day, just a few old men, who we got to know. (Boy does that sentence sound fucked up, make your priest or Michael Jackson joke to yourself if you like!)

We knew these grown men due to our past exploits of chasing autographs. To this day, I have binders full of hockey cards signed by hundreds of players from the late 1990’s. While we collected them and boasted about our collections to each other, those older guys at that time would get autographs and sell them to the baseball card stores or at conventions.  As I was talking to one of the guys there, I noticed Justin was gone. Now I know what you’re thinking, old men and a fresh faced, legal teenager. Get your mind out of the gutter, this is a sports blog, not a NAMBLA blog!

I never got to meet Patrick Roy that day. I would eventually meet him later on during the season. Realizing I wasn’t going to see Roy that day, I started wondering where Justin went. I figured he went back to his car to get something or to take a leak. As the autograph seekers started dispersing and heading out for lunch, all I could think was, “where the fuck is my ride?”

While sorting out my autograph binder, I heard a large commotion from the ramp. When I looked, there was Justin, at a full sprint, with two large black guys chasing him. Justin had a hockey stick in his hand. I didn’t know it then, but it was Patrick Roy’s goalie stick! These security guards were a tad on the chunky side and Justin was a 3 sport athlete in high school. Justin booked it and was running towards the Marriot. The security guards were beat.

With no cell phones in that era, I had now lost Justin again. Eventually, I beeped him, he beeped back and we reconvened at the Marriot. Payphones were a thing back then, if you could remember. When we finally hooked back up, it turned out that Justin snuck down the ramp, into the building and weaseled his way into the visiting player’s locker room. He immediately saw Roy’s locker and grabbed his goalie stick. Listen, I don’t advocate stealing, but this was a teenager not thinking right and wanting a rare piece of memorabilia. Security got a glimpse of him, and the chase was on.

At the end of the day, Justin was in possession of Roy’s stick & had a great story to tell. Only at the Nassau Coliseum, could a kid sneak inside and steal player gear. You could never pull something like that off at MSG.

If only these new cell phones existed back then. I met Spano several times during this era. I even have a John Spano signed stick to this day! Anyone want to give me $5 for it? Photo Credit: Islanders

Despite the majority of my friends being Ranger fans at the time, during the Fish Stick era, we were in close proximity to the Nassau Coliseum. It was easier for our parents to allow us to go to an Islander game on a school night, than going to NYC for a Rangers game. In addition, there was no online ticket buying, so there was no StubHub sniping or getting seats off of Ticketmaster.com. Plus, it’s not like we had much money and could afford to buy many Ranger home game tickets in advance. If we wanted to see live hockey, for the price of a few recycled Coca-Cola cans, we could sit pretty good at the Coliseum. I can even remember going to Clark Gillies night for $8!

In fact, in my sophomore and junior years, me and two of my buddies even had an 8 game pack with the Islanders, which included Ranger games in the pack. I think we spent something like $50-$60 for the plan. The seats were in the 300’s, but we didn’t care. There wasn’t a bad seat in the house and outside of Ranger games, no one was in the building so we could move downstairs with ease. It’s not as embarrassing to be asked by an usher, “where’s your ticket?” when you sneak downstairs when you’re a teenager, as it is when you’re asked the same question when you’re an adult!

As mentioned, right before this period of time, hockey was on fire in the NY market. The Isles made a deep playoff run in 1993. The Rangers landed Mark Messier and would go on to win the Cup in 1994. The Devils would go on to win the Cup the year after, in 1995. While the Yankees would eventually take over the town again in 1996, the football teams were struggling and the Knicks could never beat the Bulls.

John Spano never had an issue with making the front cover of Newsday. Photo Credit: Newsday

Unlike today, hockey received major coverage in the three daily tabloids – the NY Post, the Daily News and Newsday. Living on Long Island, my parents subscribed to Newsday. Newsday was much bigger in the 1990’s than it is today, and their sports section was aces.

As time went on, and the Isles went into their Fish Sticks era, a day didn’t go by where the Islanders weren’t featured in Newsday. When the John Spano stuff hit the fan, the Islanders were daily front page news. I know that’s insane to believe today, considering that in today’s world, the Daily News doesn’t have a hockey reporter, the Post covers the Islanders only when the Rangers have an off-night and Newsday only gives the Isles a few paragraphs, but back then, all three papers covered hockey and Newsday covered the Spano story like it was an OJ Simpson/Donald Trump/Kim Kardashian ménage à trois sex tape.

If Helen of Troy launched a thousand ships, then the Isles Fish Sticks logo launched a million jokes. Photo Credit: Islanders/Gorton’s

When the Isles first came up with their horrible fisherman logo, I can remember the outrage from Islander fans, as well as all the jokes Ranger fans had. To this day, nothing has changed. In “We Want Fish Sticks”, Hirshon says that some fans liked this new logo. At least Hirshon also says that those fans who liked the new logo, weren’t much of hockey fans to begin with!

Living through this period of time, and having a great recollection of this era, “We Want Fish Sticks” was not just a walk down memory lane for me, it also took me to pit stops that I didn’t previously visit. There were stories in this book that either I flat-out forgot or just weren’t aware of at the time. I think for other readers that lived through this period, you will have the same feeling when you read this book.

Being 36 years old, I never had to live through the Islander playoff thrashings of the Rangers or witness the Isles win the Cup in four consecutive years. If I was 46 years old, my hatred for the Islanders would be more deep-rooted.

This was a year after the Fish Stick & Spano era, but being at this game is still one of my favorite memories to this day. Cloutier 3:16! Photo Credit: HockeyFights.com

When it comes to the Islanders, while I obviously have no love for them, to me, at that time, the Devils & the Flyers were more important rivals to me. Think about it. At that period of time, you had those stacked Devils teams that would go on to win 3 Cups. You had those Legion of Doom Flyers, plus all the history from the 1970’s. While the early 1980’s was the Islanders time to shine, I never had to live through it. From the Fish Stick era to this very day, the Islanders have never been a Stanley Cup threat!

While I know to some Ranger fans, the Islander rivalry is the be-all/end-all of rivalries, to me, I always was more nervous about the Devils. It also didn’t help that I had a friend who was a die-hard Devils fan and who would not shut the fuck up about them during my high school years!

Yes, there would be more brawling between fans during Ranger/Isle games at M$G than during a game against any other opponent (and even then, I can remember sitting with my teenage friends and laughing at grown men fighting over the jobs of other grown men) but at 12 years old in 1994, the Islanders were a joke to me. The Islanders would remain a joke all throughout the Milbury era. And really, and sorry/not sorry to the Isle fans who read this, the Isles recent success against the Rangers aside, the Islanders are still a joke!

Let’s face it – since 1993, and even using that year is a stretch, has anyone ever thought the Islanders had a shot at the Cup? I didn’t think so. The Isles are just in a 25 year stretch which has featured terrible owners and even worse GM’s. They also got screwed by Nassau County red-tape politics, which is a shame, as Charlie Wang really could’ve grew the team if given the chance.

Eric Fichaud also drew me to this book, as he was my friend’s favorite player at the time. Fans who weren’t around at this time probably don’t remember how hyped up Eric Fichaud and Brett Lindros were.

“We Want Fish Sticks” is a meticulously well researched book, as the author took a painstaking amount of time to pull quotes and interview many different sources from this time. In fact, the appendix alone is nearly 50 pages!

The book’s main theme is about “branding”, or in this case, “rebranding” and about making money. As the book goes along, it gets off the financial aspect a bit and recaps three seasons of Islander hockey. By the time the book concludes, the author goes back to the financial aspect of the game.

As mentioned, despite living through this time and being up-to-date on everything, what I didn’t know about the Islanders rebranding with this horrible logo, was that Billy Joel was a major factor. Well not Billy Joel himself. The idea of getting Billy Joel to get behind the Islanders! Talk about being sad and desperate for attention. What makes this even funnier in the present day, is that Joel, despite having several homes on LI, is more associated with MSG than he ever was, or ever will be, with the Nassau Coliseum.

The book starts off talking about professional sport leagues taking noticing of branding, logos and different jerseys. As we would see, the 1990’s was the start of all the new jerseys and brighter colors, and the business of branding would just continue to grow & grow, to where it is today.

One thing the author brings up, which is a strong argument, is the hypothetical of – would anyone care about the logo if the Islanders played well during this time? At the time, the Isles were a mess, Milbury was a bigger mess and John Spano pulled off the biggest scam in the history of sports. When you look back it it, the fisherman logo just brings you back to one of the darkest times in Islander history. If the Isles won, while there would’ve been a stink about the logo, no one would’ve harped on it. The fact that the Isles were an utter disaster, well the logo became the face of that.

Conversely, when the Kings changed up their logos, to their now more familiar silver & black, they did it with a superstar in Wayne Gretzky. The Kings would make a Stanley Cup appearance. Granted, the Kings jerseys looked a lot better than the Isle jerseys, but if the roles were reversed, and Gretzky led the Isles to a Cup, would people spend so much time and energy hating on a logo?

Hirshon brought up a point I often wondered. Photo Credit: DHGate.com

While this book is about the Islanders, this book is soft-core porn for Ranger fans. It’s the hockey equivalent of a long letter out of “Penthouse Forum” magazine.

As you can see how happy I was when recounting my high school days during this period of time, a big part of that was because the Rangers were fresh off a Cup and the Islanders were the biggest laughingstock in all of the NHL. This book is a textual viagra for Ranger fans, as it solely focuses on the worst era of time in Islander history. As a Ranger fan, what’s not to love about that?

And yes, before Islander fans chirp me about how the Rangers failed to win a Cup after 1994, at the time, the Rangers still just won a Cup, the team was investing big money and you went into every season thinking you had a shot to win. The Islanders couldn’t even afford to keep Ray freaking Ferraro under payroll! They even were forced to nickel & dime with Darius Kasperminus! Even with the Rangers failure to get another Cup, just knowing the Islanders were the biggest joke of the league made the Rangers failures easier to accept.

Two of the bigger Islander jokes, besides the new logo, and as I’ll talk about in the next section, were Mike Milbury and John Spano. However, this is where the author made a point that I always made at that time – why did the Islanders try to brand Milbury & Spano as stars, and never Ziggy Palffy?

I can remember at that time, as a Ranger fan, the only Islander I didn’t want to see with the puck was Palffy. For whatever reason, the owner & the coach were featured in all the advertising. Even a guy who didn’t want to be there, in Kirk Muller, was featured. If you look up & down Islander advertising at that time, you would never see Palffy featured. I know even when I had those silly 8-game season packs, Palffy was never featured in those ads either.

I don’t know how Islander fans view Palffy in the present day, but as an outsider looking in, Palffy has to be one of the most, if not the most, underrated Islander players of all time.

The two worst GM’s in the history of NY hockey. And yes Isle fans, I would say Sather is worse, because he had unlimited funds to work with. Photo Credit (and this is a photoshop): LightHouseHockey.com

When the book gets off the financial aspect of sports, Hirshon dives into all the moves made by the organization. While Hirshon defends some Islanders, Islander media and past owners, one person who doesn’t get a pass is Mike Milbury.

Milbury gets destroyed in this book and really, despite there being 15+ different stories to paint Milbury in a bad light, the author probably could’ve included 100 more. Milbury was that bad. Then again, this was a book covering just the Fish Stick era of Islander hockey. If the author attempts another book, I would love to read a Milbury biography, or at least about his time with the Islanders. Talk about more stimulation for Ranger fans!

Also covered in this book, obviously, is the whole John Spano fiasco. I would’ve liked to see more substance about this topic, but the author did reference the ESPN 30/30 on Spano, which is a must-see for any hockey fan. I guess that’s why I was expecting more on Spano, because the ESPN documentary did such a tremendous job, that when reading this book, I felt some information was left out. To be fair, as Hirshon accurately points out, Spano is a career criminal and a multi-time loser, that whatever he would’ve told Hirshon for this book, would’ve had to been taken with a grain of salt.

Nyisles gets a lot of ink in this book and the man behind the mascot tells some never-told-before stories. Photo Credit: Sports Mascots Wikia

Without further ado, because I’m too lazy to type up excerpts, here are some pages from the book that popped out to me. The following pictures come from “We Want Fish Sticks” and are the property of Nick Hirshon & the University of Nebraska Press. I’m reproducing these images without expressed written consent, but hope the above parties realize I’m just trying to plug their book! And here they are:

During this period of time, Bobby Nystrom was always at the Coliseum. He would always sign autographs for us, even if I was wearing a Petr Nedved jersey!

When I got to the end of “We Are Fish Sticks”, I was disappointed. I wasn’t disappointed in the book, I was disappointed that I read it so fast. I think to Ranger fans like me, I associate the Fish Stick era with the Milbury era. When Hirshon was dropping bombs on Milbury, I was gearing up for more. However, the book ended, because the Fish Stick era had ended too. The logo wasn’t around long and eventually would be replaced with the old NY logo on the chest, while keeping the modern wave look.

As far as recommending this book, I would give this book my highest marks possible! I mean, what Ranger fan doesn’t want to read a book about Islander misery? For Islander fans, I don’t know if this book is truly for you unless you’re into depression & self-mutilation. In other words, this isn’t the beginning of a redemption story. This is the beginning of the snowball rolling down the hill.

In the present day, the Islanders are still paying for the Milbury era and have a whole new set of problems, between Tavares giving the franchise the finger, having the worst attendance in the league, (think about it, more fans go to Coyotes games!) being homeless and always being the subject of relocation. Shit, who knows, maybe the new owner of the Islanders will become a criminal like past Islander owners! (There have been three Islander owners that have done prison time.)

Overall, if you’re looking to find the roots of a team stuck in misery, this book is for you. It’s also for people looking for an inside track on branding in the world of sports.

To pick up this book, visit https://www.amazon.com/Want-Fish-Sticks-Rebranding-Islanders/dp/1496206533  You won’t regret it.

Come the 2021-2022 season, the NHL will have 32 teams. Photo Credit: NHL

By now, you must’ve heard about the NHL unanimously approving the city of Seattle in their quest to land an NHL franchise. For Seattle, they will join the league for the 2021-2022 season. There’s a ton of information about this news on NHL.com. In what’s important news to many, the Seattle expansion draft will be held under the same rules as the Vegas draft.

Real quick, while on Vegas, Vegas is exempt from the expansion draft and won’t have to protect any players. They also don’t get a piece of the $650M that Seattle had to pay to enter the league either. I know some fans are upset about this, but this doesn’t bother me. It’s the deal that was made, and through the eyes of a Ranger fan, is anyone missing Oscar Lindberg right now?

I don’t want to get too crazy on this Seattle news, as we’re still a while away from anything major happening. After all, we don’t even know the name of the team yet! However, I am seeing crack-riddled Ranger fans going bonkers over who the Rangers have to protect, who they can’t protect and in what’s becoming my favorite expression from the basement brethren, “WHAT THE RANGERS NEED TO DO!”

Here’s a hot take – shut the fuck up!

For starters, no one, not even GM Jeff Gorton, knows who will be on this Rangers team come the trade deadline of this season. Do you think that he, or anyone else, knows who will be on this roster 2 1/2 years from now, when the expansion draft will take place?

The time to worry about protection lists will be at the trade deadline of the 2020-2021 season. Until then, if anyone is trying to sell you any article or social media post telling you otherwise, they are feeding you a load of shit. NOBODY KNOWS WHO WILL BE ON THE ROSTER COME THE 2021 SEATTLE EXPANSION DRAFT! Worrying about this is insanity and people with the “THE RANGERS NEED TO…..” stuff are full of hogwash and bullshit.

And lastly on this, doesn’t anyone remember Vegas making backdoor and side deals with teams to not touch some players in the expansion draft? Seattle doesn’t even have a GM yet. Who knows if this person would be willing to wheel and deal like George McPhee did? I would imagine so and who knows if the Rangers would strike up a deal with him? In other words, RELAX YOU MOMOS!

And now, time for the Rangers REAL NEWS portion of this blog!

I mentioned the above news in my last blog. All these players are being sent down for work during the five days off. However, it’s now being reported that Zuccarello, Buchnevich, Namestnikov and McQuaid are all practicing. Of the injured Rangers, only McLeod isn’t skating.

David Quinn told the media that Zuccarello, Buchnevich and Namstnikov could all be ready for the two games in Florida. If that’s the case, that means Lettieri & Beleskey will remain in Hartford. It also means that Fogarty would most likely be returned to Hartford too.

When it comes to McQuaid, Quinn said he may not be ready for the Sunshine State games, but is close. McQuaid is interesting, because who are you bumping to play him? Very soon, the Rangers could be suiting two defensemen in the press box, bearing that there isn’t a trade to be made.

With the recent 1-4-1 streak since Thanksgiving, getting these three forwards back would be a huge step in the right direction. Obviously, most eyes will be on Zuccarello. Will these be his final games as a Ranger? Are these games an audition for a trade partner? Or will the Rangers go on a huge winning streak, where Zucc’s buddy Hank tells the team to leave Zucc alone, as the two try to make a go of it in the playoffs? Time will tell.

Speaking of Hank, he’s set to start the next two games, which are against the Panthers on Saturday, and the Lightning on Monday. With this five day break, I got no problem with that. However, this is the real news concerning the goalies, courtesy of the NY Post:

This makes sense, as if Georgiev isn’t going to play, you might as well have him play in Hartford. While Tokarski gets another NHL paycheck for a week, unless Lundqvist gets hurt or blown out in either of these games, I don’t think you’ll see him on the ice for the Rangers this season.

And for those of you doing the scoreboard watch, the three teams ahead of the Rangers in the Metro, the Caps, the Isles and the Blue Jackets, all lost on Tuesday night. In other words, they blew one of their games in hand over the Rangers.

As I’m going home on this blog, the NY Post used this picture to tell us that the Rangers could lose one of these guys in the 2021 expansion draft. I give up! After all, Lias Andersson could be in the freaking ECHL by then!

That about wraps up today’s latest installment. I’m currently sitting on a Cyclone Taylor book that I want to review. Maybe I’ll try to get that review up between now and the game on Saturday.

As always, thanks for reading and…


Sean McCaffrey


@NYCTHEMIC on twitter

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