The NHL’s Latest PRIDE NIGHT “Controversy” – Now Starring Ivan Provorov! ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski Leads The “YOU MUST WEAR THE RIBBON” Mob, Green = Only Color of ROYGBIV That Matters, The Real Issue That’s Plaguing The League & Their Fans (As Presented by Caesars), NYR Updates and Trade Rumors & More

It’s everyone’s favorite time of the year again – when the tired “PRIDE NIGHT” debates are the featured discussion of the hockey world. And just like any other year, and as the great Abraham Lincoln once poignantly stated, “this too shall pass” – and as this current story, centered around the Flyers’ Ivan Provorov, will soon do. After all, these self-appointed social media heroes, also known as “accredited reporters,” all have short attention spans – and will soon find someone else to put in their cross-hairs – or they will just start talking about Alex Ovechkin’s relationship with Vladimir Putin for the thousandth time! (And yes – “HOLY DASHES BATMAN!”)

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on Yes, we will eventually talk about the New York Rangers tonight!

And for those of you who don’t want to read another “HOT TAKE” regarding the yearly “PRIDE NIGHT” talking points/debates (and I don’t blame, nor “hate” you, if you’re one of these people); then scroll down until you see the picture of Chris Kreider, as that is where the Ranger stuff begins.

Let’s roll.

Just like “The Sponge” episode of Seinfeld from 1995; when Cosmo Kramer was attacked for not wearing an AIDS ribbon, DESPITE HIS SUPPORT OF THE CAUSE – whenever an NHLer decides he doesn’t want to participate in “PRIDE NIGHT” – he too is viciously attacked. It’s a never-ending cycle. Photo Credit: Seinfeld

Since I believe that this site/blog makes more Seinfeld references than any other hockey-related medium out there; what’s one more?

Here’s a transcript from one of the more memorable episodes of Seinfeld, “The Sponge” – and another reminder of “what’s old is new again” too. Take a gander:

VOLUNTEER: You’re checked in. Here’s your AIDS ribbon.
KRAMER: Ah, no thanks.
VOLUNTEER: You don’t want to wear an AIDS ribbon?
KRAMER: No, no.
VOLUNTEER: But you have to wear an AIDS ribbon.
KRAMER: I have to?
KRAMER: Yeah, see, that’s why I don’t want to.
VOLUNTEER: But everyone wears the ribbon. You must wear the ribbon!
KRAMER: You know what you are? You’re a ribbon bully (walks away).
VOLUNTEER: Hey! Hey you! Come back here! Come back here and put this on!

The following scene went like this:

WALKER 1: Hey, where’s your ribbon?
KRAMER: I don’t wear one.
WALKER 2: You don’t wear the ribbon? Aren’t you against AIDS?
KRAMER: Yeah, I’m against AIDS. I’m walking, aren’t I? I just don’t wear the ribbon.
WALKER 3: Who do you think you are?
WALKER 4: Put the ribbon on!
WALKER 2: Hey, Cedric, Bob. This guy won’t wear a ribbon.
BOB: Who? Who will not wear the ribbon?

The scene then concluded with an angry lynch mob physically attacking one of “Monk’s” favorite customers, Mr. Kramer himself.

Sound familiar?

And no – I’m not talking about COVID masks either!

Instead, I’m talking about the daily wars waged on social media (where very often – the league’s reporters are the generals who are leading these boring battles), regarding the NHL’s annual “PRIDE NIGHT” – where if you don’t wear the rainbow, then much like Kramer – you’re attacked – where these verbal and online attacks can be more severe and jarring than the physical punishment that the character played by Michael Richards once received.

But we’ll talk about “tolerance” and “acceptance for all” soon enough!

I think this quote, as stated by Hollywood actor Morgan Freeman, sums up not only my feelings on “PRIDE NIGHT” – but about social media in general too! As mentioned many times before on this site, you can say “I like apples” on Twitter, and in turn, 99% of your replies will be of the “WHY NOT ORANGES – YOU’RE AN ORANGE-IST” variety! However, just don’t talk about #45, the former American President with the orange skin! You’ll receive much more damaging -ist and -ism accusations if you compliment him! Just ask Tony DeAngelo – who we’ll soon discuss.

Unlike other hockey bloggers, pundits and authors (and I wear all three hats); in case you’re new here, and also unlike ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski – who must think he is going to win a Pulitzer Prize for his non-stop online harassment of Philadelphia’s Ivan Provorov – let me be up front and transparent with you – before continuing my trek on this admittedly now tired rainbow road.

(I think it’s important that whenever you read something, you should at least know where it’s coming from.)

I am a straight white male – with this caveat attached – I’m also a “filthy heathen” – as <cue the eerie and dramatic music here> I’m an atheist. THE HORROR! (I bring this up because religion was part of Provorov’s “defense.”)

Furthermore, before entering the hockey world as a writer; I booked, promoted and ran wrestling shows for nearly a decade, where during the second half of my career in that field – I ran an all-women’s wrestling company. (Don’t believe me? Just Google my name!)

As the founder, promoter, and jack-of-all-trades of “Womens’ Superstars Uncensored,” many lesbians worked for me. Heck, my biggest star, who held our version of the “World’s Championship” for three consecutive years, was a lesbian herself. (I’ve mentioned this before on this site, but since she’s now come out in public, that wrestler was Mercedes Martinez, who currently works for the second-biggest promotion in the land today, All Elite Wrestling.)

In addition to lesbians (and straight females) working for me, I also employed a few transsexuals and transgenders.

Why am I bringing this up (again)? The following two reasons:

One – To let you know that I’m not against the NHL’s annual “PRIDE NIGHT/MONTH.” I just think it’s transparent, phony, not perfectly presented and like anything else from a sexual nature – shouldn’t be for the eyes of children. (More on this to come.)

Two – Despite the pro wrestling business having a “seedy reputation;” a lot can be learned from that world.

While of course, throughout the history of pro wrestling, and just like the four other major sports in America, they had their issues with race and sexual preferences too, but at the same time – pro wrestling was the first entertainment/sports entity to not care about what you are and what you do.

Instead, most from that world understood this principle – GREEN is the only color that matters – as in money.

In turn, pro wrestling featured race feuds, flamboyant homosexual characters, stereotypes and everything else imaginable under the sun – where all of this stuff – a working business – drew money.

And really, isn’t this what this PRIDE NIGHT debate truly boils down to anyway – money?

Even better – pro wrestling united everyone from all walks of life – and allowed others to understand people different from them too. I can tell you this from first-hand experience.

The Rangers, just like any other business, whether from the wide-world of sports or elsewhere – should let their gay, lesbian and transgender CUSTOMERS (aka “the fans”) know that their money is just as valuable to them as anyone else’s. However, and just like any other hot-button issue, the problem for many is the aggressive presentation. For many fans/customers of the non-rainbow community – they feel like this money-driven agenda is shoved down their throats. I also know many people from the rainbow community who feel they are made to be out as “woke puppets” for the NHL to parade around. Photo Credit: NYR

For an issue/cause that’s intended to create unity and understanding; instead, and more times than not – “PRIDE NIGHT/MONTH” divides.

It’s all about the NHL’s presentation (and their reporters too) – and not about the people and individuals from the rainbow community themselves.

And like most things in life – if a topic or situation doesn’t effect me – then I don’t care.

Similar to people at my job complaining about others, such as, “this person came in late,” “this person left early,” or “this person took an extended lunch” – if it doesn’t impact my paycheck – then I don’t care!

In other words, if Ivan Provorov, of the Philadelphia Flyers, doesn’t want to deck himself out head-to-toe in rainbow colors – then I don’t care!

After all, how does his religion and views on life impact me? Simply stated – they don’t!

But as an advocate of free-speech, and where I think cancel culture has forced a lot of people to self-censor themselves, and at the detriment of strong civil discussions – I will defend his right to feel however he wants – as long as he’s not promoting anything illegal!

By now, you’ve probably heard the story from this past Tuesday night (January 17th).

Provorov, a practicing member of the Russian Orthodox faith (too bad he’s not of the Latvian Orthodox faith – because we all know that I love my Seinfeld references!); the Flyers’ defenseman didn’t come out on the ice during the Flyers’ pregame warm-ups, prior to their eventual 5-2 victory over the Ducks.

According to him, his religion doesn’t view homosexuality in a high regard, so in turn, he opted to stay in the locker room – rather than just come out in the jersey that the rest of his team wore once the game began.

Despite the word “tolerance” frequently being echoed around the hockey world – it seems like that only applies if players agree with the people who often use that word – and worse than that – these players must agree with every single one of these political and social opinions that these people have!

But we know how that goes – if you’re not a devout subscriber to liberal politics, politics that ESPN, SportsNet and nearly every other publisher promote – then you’re every -ism, -ist and -phobe in the world – hypocrisy be damned.

(And yes – I hate talking politics on this site. You’re always bound to alienate half of your audience whenever you do so. That said – I don’t care if you disagree with me – nor should you care about my opinions on this topic either. However, we get more done and a better result when we can talk about these subjects in a civil manner – and hey – you may learn something new too!)

(In addition, so much for that #BELLLETSTALK mental health awareness hashtag that all of these pitchfork carriers post all over their Twitter timelines too! If you don’t agree with them, then you’re free game. Just ask Provorov’s girlfriend about this – an innocent woman who is now currently being online bullied by these people who claim to promote tolerance and acceptance for all!)

If the goal of PRIDE NIGHT is to promote that “HOCKEY IS FOR EVERYONE,” then at the same time – isn’t hockey for Muslims, Christians and other people whose religions/faiths that believe in “Adam & Eve,” and not “Adam & Steve?”

Just ask ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski about this, who as he often does – made himself the center of the story – a huge no-no that you first learn in “Reporting 101.” Then again, he’s probably the worst person to ask!

And of course, when any entity, person or business gets involved in causes of a political nature – then it just opens up a whole new can of worms – a can that can’t be sealed once cracked.

As alluded to, while it’s nice that the NHL has this night/month around the league; you can’t say that “HOCKEY IS FOR EVERYONE” – especially whenever you make villains out of people who don’t agree with every cause promoted – where more times than not – religious freedoms are attacked. (And I say that as an atheist!)

Furthermore, just because a player doesn’t believe in whatever cause the league is currently trying to pat themselves on the back over – that doesn’t mean they are all of the -isms, -ists and -phobes either.

It’s not like these players are screaming, “BURN THEM AT THE STAKE.” They are just saying they don’t want to participate, where again, is their right – but just don’t tell Greg W. that!

Ivan Provorov is currently hockey’s version of Osama Bin Laden to some people; but as mentioned earlier – the people using his name to gain social media brownie points for themselves right now – will soon forget him – and then target somebody else. Photo Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

I don’t want to list every piece of minutiae and detail from this story, because I’m assuming you know what’s happened already – and if you don’t – there is a thing called Google for that. (Just be aware of the spin-jobs in most of these stories!)

Perhaps lost in all of this? Provorov, throughout his NHL career, has never worn the rainbow stuff associated with NHL Pride Nights.

However, since it must be a slow time of the year – many reporters and fans took Provorov’s latest absence as a way to drool, wag their fingers at you and then pontificate from their soap box – “YOU MUST WEAR THE RIBBON!”

And as brought up several times before, no reporter has taken this “nothing-burger” and devoured it faster than ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski – who not only made this story all about himself – but used this story to drag down Tony DeAngelo too – rather than promoting two Flyers who are major advocates of the rainbow community, James van Riemsdyk and Scott Laughton:

How many reporters do you think purchase jerseys and equipment from the players they cover? Wyshynski, who said he was bidding on a DeAngelo “Pride Night” jersey, was doing more “trolling” than promoting the cause that he allegedly believes in. He also tried to link DeAngelo, who has nothing to do with this story, to Provorov.

I’m not going to rehash “The Life & Times of Tony DeAngelo” tonight. You can read Volume IV of my book, “Tricks of the Trade,” or just check the archives of this site for all of that.

However, and as previously mentioned – for the people who believe in second chances, learning from your mistakes and who often preach anti-bullying rhetoric – DeAngelo, who has been a perfect solider since his NHL return, still remains as one of their favorite targets – all of his charity work (often unreported) be damned.

Heck, I’m surprised that Adam Herman, who was once called out by then Rangers’ Team President, John Davidson, for being a bold-faced liar (when Herman “reported”/wrote fan fiction stating that DeAngelo stole K’Andre Miller’s first goal puck – as Herman used Miller’s ethnicity to “color” his story and fit his own narrative); hasn’t written his latest Dr. Suess novel suggesting that Provorov stole a puck from Luke Prokop!

(If you don’t know, the now twenty year old Prokop, who the Nashville Predators selected 73rd overall during the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, is the first openly gay player under an NHL contract in league history.)

While I keep using Wyshynski’s name as an example here (there are many others like him out there, but by far, he’s held the biggest pitchfork and torch when covering this “story”); what I found both sad and amusing, is that while these people were making Provorov out to be the second coming of Satan himself, while also getting their shots in on DeAngelo; for the most part, the great work that James van Riemsdyk and Scott Laughton do, and on behalf of the rainbow community, was largely ignored.

In other words, rather than writing positive stories to boost a cause that these reporters allegedly support; instead, and because we know that negativity sells – Provorov is now “Public Enemy Number One” to these people – now temporarily taking over the title from his fellow peer of the Flyers’ blue line, Tony DeAngelo.

Somewhere under Canadian soil, Foster Hewitt is rolling in his grave.

As frequently mentioned on this site, the standards of journalism and reporting have never been lower – and this isn’t just exclusive to sports.

On most occasions, opinions are reported as facts – and no one does this better than Wyshynski and Herman.

Before you could bat an eye, this Tortorella quote from 2016, which he later rescinded due to public pressure, was brought up on Tuesday night. Photo Credit: Sports Center

While I wasn’t surprised to see these agenda-driven reporters make false accusations all over the place; what truly surprised me from Tuesday night was the way the Flyers had handled the whole situation.

Maybe the Flyers didn’t think much would come out of this, because as mentioned, Provorov has skipped these pregame skates before.

However, with a hockey media that heavily skews liberal – the Flyers had to know some blow-back was coming – which is also why they had team-issued statements readily available within seconds.

From all accounts, including from the rainbow community, the organizations that represent them and everyone else; the Flyers do an excellent job in promoting “THE HOCKEY IS FOR EVERYONE” slogan.

Even Gritty, the team’s mascot, is an annual participant in the city’s annual Gay Pride Parade.

While the media will vilify DeAngelo whenever they can; at this rate, as #77 knows he will have to skate on egg shells for the rest of his career – he’ll wear anything.

For the Donald Trump supporter who lost a year of his career over his political beliefs – I wouldn’t be shocked to see him wear a JOE BIDEN/JEFF GORTON 2024 campaign shirt. He doesn’t want any more negative attention.

Simply stated – it may have taken a while, but for a player who grew up in a world where social media has always been around – he learned his lesson.

It’s better to stay unplugged than have an opinion at all – unless your opinion aligns with “tolerant” liberal politics – as all of these social media platforms were founded from the left side of the aisle.

And in the effort of fairness, because I don’t want this to sound as a non-stop barrage on liberal politics – the extreme reactions from both sides, including the radical right too, are all ridiculous.

For as much as I don’t like what amounts to “PROVOROV MUST BE CANCELED” stuff from the far-leaning left; I also despise the “GAYS SHOULDN’T BE IN HOCKEY” comments from the all-the-way to the right people either.

Like a good see-saw – I enjoy a balance – and that’s how I view all of this.

Prior to going off on this tangent, I brought up Tortorella, who said that he never considered benching Provorov on Tuesday night – the correct decision in my eyes.

However, what just befuddled me in the first place was this – why even put yourself in this position?

Rather than spark another league-wide debate, and in two countries too; instead of bringing up Provorov’s beliefs, beliefs that you knew would be shredded and dissected – why not just say he had a stomach bug during the pregame warm-ups – and after flushing the toilet – was good to go for the game?

And even for Provorov, if it was his intention to take a stance against PRIDE NIGHT (which I don’t think was his mission here – he just doesn’t want to wear the rainbow – again his right too); why do you want these headaches?

Didn’t he learn anything from his new teammate, DeAngelo?

Simply stated: Had it been said that Provorov was in the bathroom or being looked after by a trainer – then this story would have never come to the light – and it would’ve saved you from reading a diatribe like this one tonight!

Better than that – rather than Provorov taking up headlines and ink everywhere – instead, the work that Scott Laughton and James van Riemsdyk would be prominently featured – the ultimate goal of this night/month – no?

Here’s what the NHL said about this “international incident.” Photo Credit: NHL

As Wyshynski was trying to find anyone on the other side of a glory hole to quote for his numerous Provorov hit-pieces (he really interviewed about 789678678968976 different people and organizations, as he treats this story as if it were “Watergate”); the NHL released the statement above.

Of course, the following line didn’t sit well with Wyshynski, and others like him – a collection of “unbiased reporters” who want Provorov tarred-and-feathered, never to play hockey again:

“Clubs decide whom to celebrate, when and how — with League counsel/support. Players are free to decide which initiatives to support. We continue to encourage their voices and perspectives on social and cultural issues.”

And really, isn’t this the right statement for the NHL to make?

Players are INDIVIDUALS, not mindless robots, and who should be allowed to express their opinions without fear of eternal damnation from self-appointed judges – you know – people who are flawless and have never made a mistake before in their lives!

And isn’t it boring if we all agree on everything?

Maybe I’m in the minority – I like a good old fashioned debate where the end result is reaching common ground.

Instead, all debates forged on social media turn into a four-letter word cluster mess.

Perhaps also true about the NHL’s statement? There are religious right laws in America – meaning that when in comes to the art of “legalese” – which this statement was – the NHL, and in no way and in no how, can suggest that a player’s religious beliefs, no matter what they are, can be be diminished and/or scrutinized.

Here’s how Wyshynski, with tears in his eyes, handled this statement:

Anthony San Filippo, a reporter who covers the Flyers, said exactly what I was thinking when I first read Wyshynski’s junk:

San Filippo then hammered the nail, when he also added the following:

“I mean, if your reasoning is what you say, you could have chosen his Stand Up to Cancer jersey to make the same case. But, instead you went with the military one. Why? Because you knew it would be a far more incendiary tweet.”

And despite the self-serving nonsense that Wyshynski was polluting to his readers; does the following even have to be said?

Feelings on the military, who protect our freedoms, and cancer fundraisers too – is not the same thing as elective sex-operation surgeries, nor these frequently promoted drag queen shows either.

The only thing that military, cancer and sexual conversations have in common?

These are tough conversations to have with your kids.

The one silver lining about this Provorov story? A break from discussing the daily struggles of Alexis Lafreniere!

I know I’m going way too long on this story for some, and perhaps not long enough for others.

Before going home on this topic, and talking about the subject that this site is truly dedicated to – the New York Rangers – just a few bullet points, followed by the grand finale:

— As I get older, and allegedly, wiser with age – you readers have opened my eyes and exposed me to new things.

When the NHL (and the Rangers) first started these PRIDE NIGHTS/MONTHS, I was against them for one reason – and one reason only – I just don’t think this is a subject for parents and their kids to discuss at hockey games.

I think it takes away from the game and from the fun of it.

After all, sports is entertainment and isn’t entertainment meant to be an escape from reality?

Yes, maybe I’m a “CAVEMAN” for thinking “stick to sports,” but as a kid growing up, and now as an uncle of three nieces that I see quite often – I was never exposed to sexual stuff at a young age – straight, gay, whatever.

Put it this way: if I ever take my young nieces to a hockey game, then I don’t want to be asked, “what’s a transgender Uncle Sean?” I rather be asked, “who is this CZAR IGOR SHESTYORKIN and why is he the best goalie in the league!?!”

In general, I guess I’m a devout believer in allowing a child to be a child as long as possible – and not robbing them of their innocence.

As we all know, yours truly most certainly included – once innocent children become jaded adults – it all goes downhill from there!

And while I have no other qualms about PRIDE NIGHT, I guess to be fair, as I want to present both sides of the coin – it’s also tough to be asked at a game from a young child, “what’s cancer?”

— When I first started writing about this subject a few years back, I said, “is the rainbow community excluded from the other 81 games on an NHL’s team schedule?”

And oh – I keep saying “rainbow community,” instead of LGBTQpi=3.14, because quite frankly, I can’t keep up with the other 458475847847587 genders and sexual preferences that this community claims.

Again, while I don’t care what anyone does – it feels like every day another letter or number is added.

Plus, I can’t remember what I had for lunch, much less remember a long string of random letters and numbers!

And as also stated before, while I do believe that homosexuality is a trait that you’re born with; I don’t think the same applies with the others that are lumped in with the gays and lesbians.

Somewhere along the line, gays and lesbians were perhaps forced together with people who don’t really live the same lives as the people now included in their “label.”

However, I guess I’ve made progress.

Through this site’s readership, I’ve been made aware that I have a few transgender readers, and from both ways – men-to-women, women-to-men. (Hi Becca!)

Unlike others who proclaim they have all the answers – I don’t.

No matter what, I will just never understand gender operations and the feeling of being trapped inside of the wrong body.

After all, how can I? I’ve never experienced this, nor have ever had these thoughts.

In the past on this site, I’ve opined that I thought these gender mutilation surgeries was the end result of mental illness.

However, when talking to several readers of this site who are transgender, I guess I have a little bit of a clearer understanding and I also go back to this – “if it doesn’t effect me, then I don’t care.”

End of the day: whatever makes you happy.

And as stated numerous times before – every fan should be welcomed at a hockey game – and without a cause or special night for them either. We all love the same sport and that’s all that matters.

— What makes this topic so hotly debated is in the fashion in which it is presented.

Again – what game aren’t the rainbow community, or anyone else from any other community, not allowed to attend?

As we’ll soon get into, the only color of the rainbow that the NHL, or any of these entities, care about, is green.

Gay, straight, transgender, black, white, Russian Orthodox, Scientologist – it doesn’t matter – as long as you have the money – the NHL will take it.

Heck, do you know what surprises me the most about PRIDE NIGHT/MONTH, or any other cause that the NHL promotes?

Haven’t we learned anything from Fred Durst and his once famous red New York Yankees hat?

In other words – I’m surprised that the NHL only sells rainbow merchandise for a short amount of time.

Seriously, whether it be rainbow colors, military colors, the Irish Fisherman Association colors, Proctologists Across America colors (although the Ranger logo may not look good on a brown hat) or whatever else; I’m shocked that the NHL, and their 32 teams, doesn’t sell this merchandise year-round – especially since they are in enamored with green – where yep – I’m surprised we don’t have St. Patrick’s Day garb sold 365/24/7 too!

While who knows what the exact percentages are; I’d reckon to guess that most NHL fans are straight males.

And while I don’t think the majority of these people are against PRIDE NIGHT/MONTH; they also don’t want it force-fed upon them either – just like how they don’t want any other social and/or political issue in their faces all game either.

Seriously, at this rate, it feels like the NHL, and people like Wyshynski, want their loyal audience to perform a homosexual act at center ice – or else forever be accused of being a bigot!


That’s where the real issue is – it’s not that these people are against the people who aren’t like them – it’s the constant perceived message that being straight is blasphemous – which again – doesn’t really suit the “HOCKEY IS FOR EVERYONE” campaign.

But this can be true too – for the media – they want the decisiveness between both sides. It leads to more clicks. It also allows them to suit up for battle in their favorite brand of social justice warrior armor.

For most fans, I think they are like me – I don’t care what you do, who you bang or who you pray to.

All I care about is dropping the puck – and not dropping your pants!

And let me be clear – I’m not saying that the NHL should hold a “STRAIGHT NIGHT” either.

After all, I’m against any topic of a sexual nature being exposed to kids.

While I don’t think there is a perfect solution that will satisfy everyone (and really, when it comes to topics of this nature – there rarely are) – I think a better alternative, is that rather than one PRIDE NIGHT game, where once concluded, all of the rainbows go back to collecting dust (just like a former Bruin after the month of February – another one of the NHL’s most cringe transparent public relations moves); is that instead, you hold monthly PRIDE gatherings featuring the players that want to support the cause – rather than admonishing the ones that don’t.

Of course, the counter to this suggestion is, “where does it end?”

If you’re going to do whatever you can to promote PRIDE, then what about everyone else – black hockey fans, white hockey fans, Hispanic hockey fans, female hockey fans, male hockey fans, and so on and so forth?

However, I think you can get more positive work done by hosting multiple PRIDE events – gatherings not promoted to kids – rather than just one game from an 82-game schedule.

Plus, in a more intimate environment, and where fans don’t need to spend $300 just to walk through the doors of M$G either – I think you can better connect the community, create a stronger personal connection and have your message heard louder.

Last but not least, and yes, it’s taken me way too long to get to my real point tonight – the real problem in the NHL today?

It’s not Pride Night – it’s gambling.

Sad to say – I first made this picture six years ago – where since that time – M$G, and Ranger broadcasts, have one hundred times as many gambling ads and commercials than as featured here in this graphic.

While the woke mob and radical right do battle over the rainbow – aka ROYGBIV – the real issue is ignored, as in the letter G – gambling.

And yes, and in an effort of full disclosure here – I gamble – but more fans around the league will be (if not already) personally effected and ruined by gambling – rather than who sleeps with who and who prays to what.

I’ve brought up the subject of these 806786789679678967896789689769 gambling commercials that are featured on every broadcast many times before. As you know – I abhor them.

Furthermore, and especially since this blog is going long – I won’t play my “GREATEST HITS” again tonight. Check the archives of this site for my previous rants on this topic.

That said, would it surprise you that come next Friday, when the Rangers host their PRIDE NIGHT, that you’ll hear some version of the following released from the gums of Sam Rosen:


Maybe this Provorov story is by the NHL’s design, and the media who buries their head in the sand over this new “sports gambling epidemic” too – the never-ending commercials and in-game crawlers that litter every broadcast of any game that you watch – all sports included.

I know I’ve said this before – but while people are fighting like cats-and-dogs over PRIDE; what’s being ignored is the NHL’s irresponsible promotion of gambling to children and young adults. Just ask my pal Al “SMD/Plan The Parade” D.

No joke, I 100% believe that in ten years from now – the young male suicide rate in America will be the highest it’s ever been – and much higher than the gay-bashing attacks that have taken place in this country in recent years.

As mentioned on this site before, I don’t blame Henrik Lundqvist for taking the money – although I do wonder if he tells his own kids, “WE’RE ALL CAESERS, BET EVERY PENNY YOU HAVE ON THE GAME!”

After all, he’s both the Rangers and M$G’s official ambassador – and I assume that as part of his responsibilities – he has to do spokesman work for their advertisers/sponsors.

Plus, when I see the brothers Manning, Eli and Peyton, doing the same thing, two footballers who earned much more money in their careers than “The King” himself – how can I fault Lundqvist for doing what all of these ex-jocks are doing – supplementing their income during their post-playing days?

Family comes first – and that’s what these guys are doing – providing bright financial futures for their families.

And if Provorov, or anyone else, wanted to make a true stand on a major issue – then they’d denounce playing on ice with gambling ads on them!

Fat chance.

Of course, the ugly side of all of this, especially for the recently retired athletes who have sold their soul to the ghost of Julius Caesar (and JB Smoove too!), is that you have an impressionable young audience, who all grew up watching these players.

So when Lundqvist is telling them to bet every cent that they have – what do you think is going to happen?

As they say, “the house never loses.”

I think my buddy, Shawn Stein, of the “2 Guys 1 Cup” podcast, said it best, when he said, I’ve said it since day one, when sports gambling was legalized, it should be treated like cigarettes – something that everyone who wants them knows how to get them – but cannot be advertised.

And as a RESPONSIBLE gambler (despite my daily $5 4-0 bets on future outcomes of Ranger games); I know I might sound hypocritical right now.

And yep – while “I don’t care if it doesn’t impact me;” at the same time – this much is true too – GAMBLING, and not PRIDE or any other themed night – is the real issue that’s plaguing the league and their fans.

Check back with me in ten years – where I also suspect that due to the horrifyingly low NHL salary cap, where many hockey players aren’t cracking seven-figures – there will be a major scandal involving a player throwing an NHL game too.

Heck – I think some NHL officials are currently doing this!

Don’t agree? Then place your wager on this NHL FUTURE on Caesars’ Sportsbook today! We’re all Caesars!

Thankfully, Chris Kreider is back and will be in the Rangers’ line-up on Thursday night when the team hosts the best team in the league, their Original Six rival, the Boston Bruins. Photo Credit: NYR

With that super-long rant out of the way; finally, the Rangers!

Following their 3-1 win over Columbus on Monday night; a day later, Tuesday, the team took the day off – and as mandated by the NHL’s CBA. (Teams are required to have an off-day after playing a back-to-back set.)

However, and despite the team being off; Blueshirt backers received some good news, when the team tweeted/announced the following on Tuesday:

All this tweet meant was that Chris Kreider was ready to return. Photo Credit: NYR

On Wednesday, and following their day of “recharging;” the team reconvened for practice at their training facility in Tarrytown, NY.

And as expected, Chris Kreider was back – and right where he belonged – on the first line with Zibanejad and Kakko.

Here were the lines that Gallant used during the practice:

FIRST LINE: Kreider/Mika/Kakko

SECOND LINE: Panarin/Trocheck/Kravtsov

THIRD LINE: Lafreniere/Chytil/Goodrow

FOURTH LINE: Vesey/Brodzinski/Leschysyhn

(It will be interesting to see who plays fourth line center on Thursday, as previously, “The Turk” had said that the newest Ranger was strictly a middle man.)

Defensively, everything stayed the same.

Furthermore, while Libor Hajek rotated in with the defense, while Sammy Blais skated with the fourth line too – it’s expected that both will be scratched on Thursday night, where for the former, it will be his “Sweet Sixteen” anniversary in the press box.

Following the practice, Gallant held his daily “TURK TALK.” Here it is:

To be honest, Gallant didn’t really say much, outside of confirming that Kreider was back.

Outside of that – more of the same – high praise for the opposition (and as he should – the head coach never gives the other team bulletin-board material), equal praise for his own team and other such platitudes.

A surprise?

The Ranger beat reporters, who are flat-out obsessed with Alexis Lafreniere (and I get it), didn’t pester the head coach with 45848484848822 questions about the now-returned-to-the-third-line first overall pick of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.

I’m adamant about this opinion: even if Lafreniere, who hasn’t scored a goal since 12/7/22, doesn’t score one more goal this season – I 100% believe that he will be a Ranger come October 2023. In other words – I don’t buy any of the trade rumors/speculation that’s currently swirling around him.

Since not much else really took place, I want to close tonight’s manifesto about all of the trade rumors currently being bantered around Rangerstown, USA – where truthfully – I don’t buy any of them – especially any trade speculation where the names of Alexis Lafreniere and Brennan Othmann are featured!

While everyone loves a good trade; let’s face it – rarely do we ever see pure “hockey trades” anymore – and as designed by Gary Bettman and the league’s hard-salary cap system – where the majority of the league is pressed up against the cap ceiling.

Rather than trades being made to better both teams involved; instead, all we see are salary cap dump and rental trades. (I heard there is a four-volume set of books about this too – but you can check the PLUGS segment for more!)

As opined on this site all season, if I see any two Rangers being traded prior to the deadline, then these two players are Vitali Kravtsov and Zac Jones – and not Lafreniere and Othmann.

Other pieces I can see the Rangers trading are one of their 2023 first-round draft picks, Matthew Robertson, Libor Hajek, Sammy Blais and lower-round draft picks.

And yep, YAWN, Patrick Kane will remain linked to the Rangers until something happens with #88 out in Chicago.

During the past 48-hours, there have been an uptick in these following trade rumors, where need I remind you – such talk always heightens at this time of the year, increases following the NHL All-Star Game and then hits its climax come the trade deadline date itself.

— The Rangers are interested in either Vladimir Tarasenko or Ryan O’Reilly (STL): If Kane isn’t the right-winger that the Rangers are seeking, then Tarasenko could make sense.

Adding ROR would be interesting – and in the event that happens, it could mean Filip Chytil, the team’s worst center at the dots, to the wing – which wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world either.

Of course, both of these players are currently injured and are set to be unrestricted free agents this summer.

— The Rangers are interested in Timo Meier (SJS): This rumor has recently picked up steam, where even NHL scribe, Frank Servalli, has included Lafreniere and Othmann as potential pieces going to the SWAGGERLICIOUS David Quinn.

Again, while the Rangers need a top-six winger in the worst way – I can’t see that happening at the expense of Lafreniere and/or Othmann.

And like the two Blues – this would be a pure rental trade, as Meier is set to become an unrestricted free agent too.

— Mark Scheifele (WPG): It feels like the Jets’ center is always linked to the Rangers – but when opposed to the last two seasons when his name was bantered about – I just don’t see the Rangers making a deal for a center during this trade deadline.

And if they did – I think ROR, and his playoff experience, is the better option.

End of the day, the Rangers’ biggest need, and as everyone knows, is at the second RW position.

— Bo Horvat (VAN): The captain and first line center of the Canucks is not only linked to the Rangers – but to every other Stanley Cup contender too.

And just like another Canuck, J.T. Miller, who was linked to the Rangers all last season until he re-signed in Vancouver (and how much do you think the Canucks are regretting that contract now?) – I don’t see this Canuck traveling a country and 3,000 miles to New York either.

And yep – Horvat is a pending unrestricted free agent too.

— Kevin Hayes (PHI): It’s no secret around the league that the Flyers have expressed interest in trading their biggest scorer, the former Ranger himself, and a Hayes who carries a cap-hit of $7,142,857 – and through the 2025-26 season to boot.

Of all the rumors/players listed here – this is the biggest long shot – and I don’t see this happening at all.

After all, the time for the Rangers to pay Hayes was in February of 2019 – prior to trading him to the Jets.

Plus, with the Rangers having enough cap issues to contend with this summer (K’Andre Miller’s agent is beaming from ear-to-ear) – there’s no way that the club will add a $7M+ player, perhaps past his prime too, to their books.

Brad Marchand and the Bruins are most certainly aware of who Ryan Lindgren is these days!

The Rangers will play in another litmus test/gut check game Thursday night, when they host the supreme team of the league, the Bruins.

The Blueshirts will catch the Bruins under fortunate circumstances – or at least in theory.

While Gallant’s Gang had Tuesday and Wednesday off; conversely, the Bruins played on Wednesday night on Long Island, in their 4-1 victory over the piss-poor Islanders.

Thanks for sticking with me tonight, as I know this wasn’t a normal type of a blog!

Back at it Thursday night, with a Rangers/Bruins GAME REVIEW – and with no political or social commentary included!

Praise the hockey gods!


On Tuesday night, our pals over at “The Blueshirt Underground Show” returned with a new episode.

To check it out, click the play button below:

The hardcover version of my first book, available now at

My first 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:

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

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:

To purchase all four volumes on Amazon, visit: – “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 and are presented in three different formats – eBook, paperback and hardcover.

To purchase Volume I: Conn Smythe (1926) – Craig Patrick (1986), visit

To purchase Volume II: Phil Esposito (1986) – Neil Smith (2000), visit

To purchase Volume III: Glen Sather (2000-2015), visit

To purchase Volume IV: Jeff Gorton (2015) – Chris Drury (2022), visit

To purchase signed copies of all four volumes, visit

Here are my last few blogs, in case you missed them:

NYR/CBJ 1/16 Review: Barclay “Rodney Dangerfield” Goodrow Makes Elvis Leave The Building; Blueshirts Bounce Back, Miller Extends Historic Scoring Streak; Lafreniere Extends His Epic Schneid; Panarin Can’t Hit The Net; Kravtsov Not Done Yet, Halakness Monster Sighting, Turk’s Moves Work Again, M$GN & More

NYR/MTL 1/15 Review: Rangers Lose a Crap, Not Trap, Game to Lowly Canadiens; Struggling Special Teams & Powerless Play Doom Blueshirts, Every “Reverse Curse” Hits; Burn The Liberty Jerseys, Lafreniere First Line Experiment a Failure, “TURK TALKS,” Best & Worst NHL Broadcasters & More

Toilet-Bowl Ridden Rangers Prepare for the Crappy Canadiens; Injury & Illness Updates, Leschyshyn Set For Blueshirts’ Debut, “TURK TALK,” Mika Selke & More

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

Now on sale!

Don’t forget to order my new four-volume set of books, “Tricks of the Trade!”

If you don’t order through me, all four volumes are now available on

For more details, check out:

Thanks for reading.


Sean McCaffrey

@NYCTHEMIC on the Tweeter machine

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *