In Case You Didn’t Tune In: Rangers v Bruins – Game 1

bruinsrangers-game1

 

Sometimes when you have kids that have their own sports activities, you don’t get to sit down and watch as many playoff hockey games as you would like but for Game 1 of the Rangers and Bruins, the kids were in bed, the wife was at a friend’s house putting the final touches on a school fair she’s helped organize, so that meant it was me, the TV and some playoff hockey.

This is the one series that I am just so unsure about. For this series, I expect low scoring games, huge hitting and grinding it out in the corners. Both the Rangers and Bruins play similar hockey so it should be a very entertaining series and one that expect to go long. Besides, its the Rangers, win or lose they don’t seem to know how to do that very quickly.

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Rangers win in Miracle fashion

NEW YORK – As far as predictable goes, these playoffs have been anything but. Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals between the Rangers and the Capitals topped that – this game was unpredictable moment to moment according to the sports betting sites.

The Rangers set the tone for the game immediately, establishing their strong presence and scoring halfway through the first period. Nevertheless, 49 minutes later, despite 33 shots on goal and 24 more shots that were blocked by the Washington Capitals, the New York Rangers were trailing by one goal. With 21.3 seconds left on the clock, Carl Hagelin drew a four-minute penalty for high-sticking, of which three and a half seemed wasteful. On the bench, Henrik Lundqvist was thinking about the next game. By the bench, Carl Hagelin wiped the blood off his face, and hurried back to where the action was. In the stands, the fans were on their feet, and while their hope was dwindling, they were determined to show their belief and support.

“It’s awesome,” captain Ryan Callahan said after the game. “They supported us all night. Twenty seconds left, they’re standing up chanting ‘Let’s go, Rangers!’ That fuels you. That makes you feel good. To be able to get that one for them and hear the Garden explode – I haven’t heard it that loud since I’ve been here.”

With 6.6 seconds left on the clock, the Rangers’ efforts throughout the game finally paid off, and the thirty sixth shot on goal was it.  “I think it’s fitting that Richie (Brad Richards) gets the one to tie it up there,” said Ryan Callahan. Brad Richards is no stranger to final seconds goals – on December 17th, he scored the game-winning goal against Coyotes’ Mike Smith in the final second of the game. So he really did have 6.5 seconds to spare here. “We’ve been talking about it all year,” said goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. “Not only on the ice but off the ice, to have a guy like that – he knows what it takes. You could tell when games are getting tighter, more important, he plays better. I think he likes the intensity in games like that. It just shows what type of player he really is.” Carl Hagelin was in agreement with Henrik Lundqvist’s assessment of Brad Richards: “I think he’s probably been that ‘go to’ guy his entire life. He knows what it takes to win, he IS a winner.”

“Would you take another high-stick to the face if it means two goals?” I ask Carl Hagelin, lip swollen, after the game, and I immediately know the answer, even before he has a chance to respond. His quick skate to the bench and back after being struck said it all. “I didn’t want to get off the ice there, it was a key part of the game. Just try to wipe some of the blood off, and then get going again.”

What seemed like a miraculous comeback was actually the result of the effort that had been there the whole game. “If you look at the blocked shots, we didn’t block many shots because we’ve had the puck,” said coach John Tortorella, pleased with both the outcome and his team’s performance. Henrik Lundqvist had similar thoughts: “The way we played tonight, we worked so hard. It was tough for us to get in front and create real good scoring chances, but we were shooting a lot and had a lot of energy. I definitely think we deserved this win. We worked so hard.”

They also never gave up. “We stuck with it,” said Ryan Callahan. They looked at a power play, an extra attacker, and 21.3 seconds on the clock as an opportunity, ignoring lack of success on the seven previous power plays.  “That’s just the result of working hard and creating chances this whole game. Sooner or later, it’s going to go in, and that’s why we play for sixty minutes. If it means scoring with 5 seconds to go, or 55 minutes to go – it doesn’t matter,” said Carl Hagelin.

Game six of this back-and-forth nail-biting series is on Wednesday evening at the Verizon Center in Washington DC.  On the line is the time of the next Rangers game at Madison Square Garden.

Maybe? Maybe?

Shifting our butts here for a minute (see: the darn post below this one), we have a brief update on one of the few coveted players actually remaining in the free agent frenzy of ’09.

Yes, I am talking about none other than Josh’s favorite Finn Saku Koivu. We have word tonight courtesy of David Pagnotta over at The Forth Period that Mr. Koivu is now mulling over a decision between at least four teams, one of which includes New Jersey.

Unfortunately, another includes a team that starts with a New York and ends in dollar $ign$.

Drats.

Alas, Koivu is apparently looking for at least a three-to-four year contract.

Don’t get me wrong, I think Saku is a heckuva player, but that’s a bit steep for an aging center who isn’t exactly the toughest guy in the world.

Oh, sure, he’s battled tons of injuries and cancer,  so he’s surely a warrior ‘n all that fun stuff, but I’m talkin’ ’bout longevity here. He’s no Marian Gaborik (see: laugh at the New York Rangers for signing him to a $583903-bagillion contract), but he’s also no, uh, insert-iron man-player-here.

Hey, what do you want from me? I’m still recovering from yesterday’s insanity.

Anyway, should we sign Koivu? Hey, we did add Ilkka Pikachu today so I mean, yeah, Saku would have a fellow Finn to be chummy with, but let’s be reasonable here — he may be asking for too much. With the cap certainly going down next year, it might not be the best idea taking on a long, hefty contract.

A cheaper, shorter-term fit for Black ‘n Red could be  Brendan Morrison. Think about it. Dude already fits Louie Lams’ number one prerequisite of being a former Devil. Pluuus, if he comes cheap and ends up sucking with us, we could surely dump him at the deadline for our annual mediocre defenseman that will do New Jersey absolutely no good come post season.

Low risk, high reward potential here. It’s absolutely genius. Well, provided we don’t somehow end up with Hal Gill next spring.

Oh gosh, sorry. Didn’t mean to scare the kids there.

Happy visions of Scott Stevens folks.

I sure miss the glory days.

2 Man Advantage Free Agent Signing Day Happy Fun Time & Box Social 2009!

10:57 PM: Kay, this looks like a good place to end the night. Thanks for tuning in everyone, check back for any (or no?) Devils signings as they happen!  -Josh & Patricia

10:55 PM:
Aaand we have numbers for the Havlat deal. Looks to be six years at $5-million a year.

10:30 PM:
Apparently the Wild are also closing in on Saku Koivu.

10:26 PM:
TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that Havlat and the Wild do have a verbal agreement in place.

10:23 PM:
Unconfirmed report that Martin Havlat has signed with the Minnesota Wild. More to come.

9:58 PM:
Okay folks, we’re going to stay live until 11PM ET and then call it a night. Josh and Patricia are quite tired after a hectic July 1st. Naturally, if anything breaks, we’ll be sure to report it. Thanks for sticking with us tonight!

9:42 PM:
Report out of Montreal indicates Saku Koivu, Alex Tanguay, and Alexei Kovalev will not be re-signed. Lou, GET ON IT. KOIVU. NOW.

9:19 PM: I now dub thee John “Chicago Style” Mad Dog.

9:03 PM:
Confirmed, Madden to the Hawks. One year at $2.75-million.

9:02 PM:
We can confirm that Madden will NOT be returning with the Devils next season.

9:00 PM: John Madden
may have signed with the Chicago Blackhawks. Working on it.

8:57 PM:
The Phoenix Coyotes have signed Jason LaBarbera to a two-year contract. Financial terms undisclosed.

8:53 PM:
Rich Chere is reporting that prospect Jeff Frazee may very will be the backup to Martin Brodeur next season for the Devils. Looks like we might not get to use the Weekes Laser picture anymore…sad face.

8:51 PM:
The Calgary Flames have signed Frederik Sjostrom. Terms undisclosed.

8:47 PM: Chris Neil
has decided to stay in Ottawa after all, re-upping with the Senators for a four-year, $8-million contract.

8:35 PM:
Indeed. Gio has been reunited with Scott Gomez in Habs-land. Five years at $25-million. Uh…Saku, wanna play in Newark?

8:33 PM: Reports indicate Devils winger Brian Gionta has signed with the Montreal Canadiens. Working on confirmation.

8:23 PM: Marian Gaborik
has signed with the New York Rangers  for five years at $37.5-million total. Overpay much? So, let me get this straight. Rangers get rid of Gomez as a salary dump, then spend seven ba-gillion dollars on an oft-injured winger? Genius.

8:07 PM:
Good ol’ Tom Gulitti reports that we might hear within the next few hours where Mr. Brian Gionta will land.  Montreal has been the number one talked about team for the good part of the day.

7:28 PM:
The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed Mathieu Garon to a two-year, $2.4-million deal.

7:19 PM: Jason Strudwick
has re-signed with the Edmonton Oilers for $700,000 over one year.

6:54 PM:
Things seem to have quieted down a bit. We’re still here though, ready to report any free agent signings or trades!

6:24 PM: Samuel Pahlsson
has signed a three-year deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets worth a total of $7.95-million.

6:15 PM: Steve Sullivan
has re-signed with the Nashville Predators. The deal is worth $7.5-million over two years.

6:11 PM:
The Bruins have signed Steve Begin to a one-year, $850,00 contract.

6:01 PM:
Bob McKenzie is reporting the Komisarek deal to be worth five years at $4.5-million a season.

5:55 PM: Mike Komisarek
has signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Working on terms.

5:54 PM:
Little bit more info on the Kubina deal: Colin Stewart also goes to the Leafs in exchange for the rights to Tim Stapleton.

5:49 PM: Vernon Fiddler
has signed a two-year deal with the Phoenix Coyotes that will pay him $1.1-million a season. Byron Bitz has also re-signed with the Boston Bruins. Terms not disclosed. The Ottawa Senators have re-signed Mike Brodeur to a one-year, two-way contract.

5:46 PM:
The Minnesota Wild have signed Greg Zanon to a three-year deal worth a total of $5.2 million.

5:42 PM:
Still very quiet in New Jersey. I know one 2MAer who would love to see Saku Koivu inked by Black ‘n Red.

5:36 PM:
Cammalleri is confirmed per Darren Dreger. The Hurricanes have also re-signed Michael Ryan to a two-way deal.

5:28 PM:
We’re hearing five years at $30-million for Cammalleri, while Garnet Exelby is Toronto’s return for the Kubina deal.

5:26 PM:
Several outlets are reporting Mike Cammalleri has signed with the Montreal Canadiens while the Pavel Kubina-to-Atlanta deal has finally gone through. Working on terms for both deals.

5:25 PM:
The Carolina Hurricanes have re-signed Patrick Dwyer to a two year, two-way deal. Blockbuster.

5:11 PM: The San Jose Sharks have re-signed Kent Huskins to a two-year, $3.4-million contract while David Koci has gone to the Colorado Avalanche for a one-year, $575,000 deal.

4:46 PM:
Devils bruiser Mike Rupp has signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins, two years at $825,000 a year.

4:42 PM: Hal Gill
has signed with the Montreal Canadiens  for two years at $4.5-million total while the Florida Panthers have inked Ville Koistinen.

4:40 PM:
The Philadelphia Flyers have signed Ian Laperierre to a three-year deal at $3.5-million.

4:33 PM:
We’re hearing three years at just over a million per season for $3.6-mill total. Good for you, Mr. Clemmensen. Good for you.



4:27 PM:
Unverified reports indicate Devils netminder Scott Clemmensen will be signing with the Florida Panthers for a multi-year deal. Working on confirmation.

4:22 PM: Adam Pardy
re-signs with the Flames.  Meh.

4:12 PM: 2 years, $2.8 million and $3 million for Cole.

4:09 PM: 4 years, $15 million for the Bulin wall, according to TSN.  Cole’s looking at a 2 year deal from Carolina.

4:01 PM: TSN reporting Nikolai Khabibulin to the Oilers, no word on years or dollars.  Erik Cole also said to be re-signing with the Hurricanes.

3:50 PM: Jaroslav Spacek to the Canadiens, three years, $11.5 million according to the Boston Globe.  With every new Canadiens signing, I get a little more hopeful the Devils will wind up with Saku Koivu…

3:42 PM: Signings have dried up over the last half hour or so.  It’s getting kinda boring.

3:28 PM: Hello 2000! Brian Boucher has signed with the Philadelphia Flyers for two years at $925,000 a season.

3:16 PM: Joel Ward
re-signs with Nashville, 2 years, $1.5 million per.  Aaron Rome signs with Vancouver for $550,000.

3:12 PM: Why can’t anyone with an easy name do anything today?  Lukas Krajicek re-signs with the Lightning.  One year deal.  Financials undisclosed so far.

3:08 PM: Scott Niedermeyer re-ups with Anaheim, one year, $6 million + bonuses.  Drats.

3:05 PM: TG says that both Gionta and Shanahan are fielding offers.  Guess no one cares about poor John Madden.

2:54 PM: Donald Brashear to the Rangers.  Me no likey that. Two years, $2.8 million.

2:50 PM: Andy Strickland reports that Mike Knuble‘s signed with Washington, two years $2.8 million per season.  Nothing official on Gio yet.

2:46 PM: Steve Montador signs with Buffalo.  2 years, $1.55 million per.

2:41 PM: Get your height jokes in while you can, boys and girls, rumors are that Gio’s nearing a deal with a new team.

2:39 PM: TSN just listed the Devils in a laundry-list style rundown of teams that may be interested in Scott Niedermeyer.

2:32 PM: Forgive me for the pun I’m about to make, but…Twitter is all a-Twitter that Brian Gionta is apparently a hot commodity this afternoon.

Been nice knowin’ ya, shorty.

2:23 PM: Dwayne Roloson to the Islanders, 2 years, $2.5 million per according to NY Newsday.  Tomas Kopecky to Chicago for two years, financials not yet known.

2:15 PM: Final numbers on Andy Greene’s contract:  Two years, $1.475 million.  $725,000 in year one, $750,000 in year two for a cap hit of $737,500 per year.  All of this info via TG at Fire & Ice.

2:12 PM: 12 years, $62 million for Hossa from Chicago.  Hot diggity the ‘Hawks better hope he’s healthy and not cursed.

2:11 PM: Conkblock himself, Ty Conklin has signed with the Blues, two years, $1.3 million.  Prepare yourselves for an outdoor game, St. Louis.  Ty likes those games.

2:05 PM: Matt Walker to Tampa Bay, four years/$1.7 million per according to TSN.

2:04 PM: Apparently Chicago’s looking to deal Huet now.  I think they don’t have much of a choice.

2:02 PM: Hossa’s a done deal in Chicago, rumored to be TWELVE years at 5 million a year.

2:01 PM: Darren Dreger reports that the Lightning were in the running for Hossa too.  Which just proves that yes, the Lightning really were given cap immunity.

1:56 PM: Craig Anderson, goalie extraordinaire, to Colorado for two years, financial terms undisclosed.

1:47 PM: A big name!  Finally!  TSN is currently reporting that Marian Hossa will make it to the Stanley Cup Final and lose with the Chicago Blackhawks this year!  Terms undisclosed.  Also, David Booth re-signs with Florida for 6 years/$25.5 million.

1:46 PM: Pavel Kubina rumored to be being traded to Atlanta.

1:45 PM: Pierre LeBrun of ESPN says otherwise on the officialness of the Kovalev deal.  So, it’s still rumored.

1:40 PM: Kovalev deal is now official (or not…), he re-ups with Montreal for 2 years, $8.75 million.  Greene’s a two-year deal, still waiting on the dolla dollas.

1:32 PM: It’s a very slow go of it so far.  Only three signings in the first hour and a half.  If I recall correctly, it picked up between 2 and 3PM last year.

1:18 PM: Kovalev re-signing with Montreal is still just a rumor.  Deal has yet to be signed, according to TSN.

1:13 PM: Tough guy Colton Orr has inked a four-year, $4-million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

1:07 PM: Okay Devils fans, we can all breathe easy.  The official Devils Twitter feed reports that the Devils have re-signed Andy Greene.  Thank God that’s taken care of.  Since it’s the Devils, terms are, naturally, undisclosed.

12:59 PM: Rumors flying that Alex Kovalev has re-signed with Les Habs for 2 years and about $8.8 million.  Not confirmed yet, though.

12:49 PM: Radek Dvorak re-ups in Florida.  Two years, $3.4 million. n Ohlund’s deal is indeed frontloaded, Darren Dreger tweets that Mattias will take home $22.5 million of the $24.5 million in the first five years of the deal.  Speaking of tweets, why not follow us?  @2MAblog

12:27 PM: Ohlund terms disclosed:  SEVEN YEARS, $3.75 million per.  Gotta be frontloaded.  Just has to be.

12:15 PM: First signing!  Perennial Devils trade rumor Mattias Ohlund has signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning.  Terms yet to be disclosed.

12:03 PM: No free agents have signed yet.  What’s taking them so long?!  Jerks.

12:00 PM: Let the festivities commence!  The floodgates, they are being opened.

CLICK TO READ MORE!!! —> [Read more…]

Correspondence with Gary Bettman, as inspired by the New York Rangers

Well that was a super way to spend three hours of our nights wasn’t it? Sweet Jesus was that painful.

But I’m not making my triumphant return to 2ma’s gilded board for just any reason.

I’d tried everything before this, but screaming at my television clearly hasn’t been working and my playoff beard has been growing in patchy (see fig. 1).

Clearly Steve is neither a master of growing a beard nor Adobe Illustrator

Then I was inspired.

I was trolling the internets searching for some kind of solace and it appeared before me. Glen Sather of the New York Rangers had the answer.

Sather, if you’ve been keeping tabs, fired off a letter to Gary Bettman this past weekend pleading with the commish to have the Capitals staff disciplined for not controlling their fans, who were evidently so rowdy they had to be cooled off by good ol’ John Tortorella.

And what could have prompted such correspondence? “Graphic” and “repeated homophobic” remarks being screamed at Torts and the rest of the Rags’ bench during the game. I found this especially interesting considering nary a year ago, MSG officials were rebuked for, you guessed it, the exact same thing.

Hypocrisy aside, I was inspired. Because clearly, it could not have been the Devils fault they were blasted out of Raleigh before their plane ever touched down. So I present to you my letter to Gary Bettman regarding the treachery bestowed upon the New Jersey Devils Sunday night.

Gary Bettman
NHL Headquarters
Hans’ Skateshop
394 Emilio Avenue
Anaheim, CA 92801

G-Betty,

I write to you regarding a matter of grave importance. As you may already be aware, on Sunday April 26 the New Jersey Devils faced off against the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at RBC Arena in Raleigh, NC — losing a lopsided game 4-0.

I’m writing because I believe the staff at RBC, the Carolina Hurricanes players, their fans and the mayor of Raleigh need to be disciplined by the NHL for the heinous behavior that occurred that night.

I’m speaking of course about giant magnets. If you watch footage of the game closely, you’ll clearly note that anytime a Devils skater had the puck during Sunday’s game, it became impossible for him to move his feet. They could stick handle just fine, but throughout the game anytime the puck graced their sticks, they became anchored where they were — leaving them as easy targets for the speedy Canes forwards.

This could only be the work of giant magnets, strategically operated underneath the ice by what I suspect are a pack of well trained penguins and used to put the Devils skaters at a distinct disadvantage.

I have surveyed the Devils operation and know the players did not come into the game with any fatigue. In fact, my reconnaissance showed that several of the Devils’ players are the only people under the age of 65 to engage in cribbage tournaments.

Clearly, giant magnets are the only answer. In the name of sportsmanship, I implore you to act swiftly to rectify this situation lest it becomes common practice across the league.

Neither the Devils nor the well-behaved Hurricanes fans should be forced to endure the extraordinary level of  misconduct that Carolina failed to prevent in Game 6.

Thank you for your consideration.

Stephen Stirling

P.S. Additionally, I understand it was hot, but could you please ask the Carolina to issue a PSA regarding the waving of towels during games. We’ve spoken about this before, but Zach Parise is easily distracted by twirling objects. Thank you.

LIVE COVERAGE! :: DEADLINE DAY 2009

Here we go!! It’s a day that is always as hectic as it is fun, and we’ll be bringing all the coverage we can, right here — LIVE!

Late breaking reports this morning are that perhaps one of the biggest names being tossed around — Chris Pronger — has been taken off the market. That may put a damper on today’s festivities but hey, stranger things have happened.

Refresh this page often as we will be posting trade updates as they break as well as commentary, comment responses, and other tidbits throughout the day.

Enjoy!

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3:04PM EST


New York Rangers acquire D Derek Morris.

Phoenix acquires Dmitri Kalinin, Nigel Dawes, Petr Prucha.


JOSH SAYS: BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!


———-

2:49PM EST


Toronto acquires 2009 2nd Round Pick & Condition Pick.

New York Rangers acquires Nik Antropov.


———-

2:46PM EST


Phoenix acquires Scottie Upshall, 2009 2nd Round Draft Pick.

Philadelphia acquires Daniel Carcillo.


———-

2:10PM EST


Pittsburgh acquires F Bill Guerin

New York Islanders acquire 2009 5th Round Draft Pick. [The Pick will become a 4th Round Pick should PIT qualify for the Playoffs, and will improve to a 3rd Round Pick should PIT win a Playoff Round.]


———-

1:27PM EST


Boston acquires F Mark Recchi, 2010 2nd Round Draft Pick.

Tampa Bay acquires Matt Lashoff, Martins Karsums.


———-

12:43PM EST


Phoenix acquires Matt Lombardi, Brandon Prust, 2009 1st Round Draft Pick.

Calgary acquires Olli Jokinen, 2009 3rd Round Draft Pick.


Steve Says: I don’t like Jokinen, he looks like an angry baby. Nonetheless, I’m glad we won’t have to worry about Calgary til the Stanley Cup, ‘cos any team that gets the Flames in a playoff series ain’t getting out without a pile of bruises with the likes of Phaneuf, Bertuzzi and now Olli on their squad.

———-

12:41PM EST


Boston acquires D Steve Montador

Anaheim acquires F Petteri Nokelainen


———-

12:26PM EST

    ::: WAIVER ROUND-UP :::

Toronto claims G Martin Gerber, Eric Reitz off Waivers.

Dallas Claims C Brendan Morrison off Waivers.

Pittsburgh claims Craig Adams off Waivers. Miroslav Satan clears Waivers.

Aaron Voros has cleared Waivers.


———-

12:14PM EST


Buffalo acquires G Mikael Tellqvist

Phoenix acquires 2010 4th Round Draft Pick

———-

11:51AM EST


Pittsburgh acquires D Andy Wozniewski

St. Louis acquires D Danny Richmond

———-

11:44AM EST:


Colorado acquire Lawrence Nycholat, D Ryan Wilson, 2009 2nd Round Draft Pick

Calgary acquires Jordan Leopold

———-

10:48AM EST:

Buffalo has re-signed C Tim Connolly to a two-year extension worth $4.5 million per season.

———-
10:17AM EST:

Ottawa has re-signed D Filip Kuba to a 3-year contract worth $3.7 million per season.

———-
9:59AM EST:


Ottawa Senators acquire G Pascal Leclaire.

Columbus acquires Antoine Vermette, 2009 2nd Round Draft Pick.


———-

9:22AM EST:

LA Kings have signed D Sean O’Donnell to a contract extension. Terms were not disclosed.

I Just Couldn’t Resist.

Clearly, I need not remind you that updates around here have been few and far between this off-season. So given the fact that I am suffering from a writer’s block that could easily be mistaken for the after-effects of a lobotomy, you could imagine how I reacted when I read this.

It was too good to be true… just the thing I needed to get myself going!

But where oh where do I begin?? Maybe I should compliment the author on his prodigious use of the English language and befitting grammar. Perhaps I could chalk his argument up to the rose-tinted glasses he so blatantly dons. Tempting? Yes. However, doing so is far too pellucid. That being the case, allow me to generalize my rebuttal: Michael M. Ramos, you are a cretin.

use it, don't abuse it!

I should have halted my eyes when I realized that the opening argument against New Jersey was the ol’ “Mickey Mouse” comment. (Although I can’t blame the poor chap, it was either that or the infamous attendance crack…). Granted that 1983-84 season was dismal… but since tallying 7 Division Titles, 4 Conference Championships, 3 Stanley Cups, and a four-year winning streak over the New York Rangers, I think it’s time to put that comment to bed, eh? If those credentials make the Devils a “Mickey Mouse” franchise, then the New York Rangers should be branded as the NHL equivalent of John Holmes with Erectile Dysfunction — nothing more than a marquee name that can’t live up to the glitz and glamor.

As if citing a 25-year-old Wayne Gretzky faux-pas wasn’t bad enough, now we have to deal with the Barry Melrose factor. First of all… the words “Barry” and “Melrose” are meant to be used solely in conjunction with “pompous ass” at all times. Yes, Mr. Melrose did make a comment to the effect of “Don’t carry your wallet with you when visiting Newark“. But how convenient of you, Michael, to conveniently forget to mention the part about Barry admitting, after the fact, that he had never even been to Prudential Center and thusly accepted a tour of the city from Mayor Corey Booker that he thoroughly enjoyed. I guess it’s fitting you find his words worthwhile.

On a somewhat related note, the “closing” of Prudential Center this summer that you refer to was merely due to technicalities because of documents not being turned in on time, not for “endangering the lives of all those who attend.”

Wow…all this, and we haven’t even hit the ice yet!

Now, I cannot sit here and say to you with a straight face that I am not disappointed by watching the likes of Scott Niedermayer, Brian Rafalski, and Scott Gomez leave the team after such memorable moments. What I can say to you, is that they (with the exception of Niedermayer) left for a big paycheck elsewhere. I would rather have a group of guys that are willing to compete fiercely every shift for a shot at glory than have a roster full of Scott Gomez’s that feel they deserve a $10 million paycheck for 13 goals. While I admit that Lou Lamoriello hasn’t exactly struck gold in the FA market since the lockout, and I won’t sit here and feed you some bullsh!t about me liking Vlad Malakhov, I will point out how you graciously opted to ignore the addition of Brian Rolston not even a month ago. Not a wise move. Not a wise move at all.

Others like Grant Marshall, Brad Lukowich, and Richard Matvichuk were victims of the new Salary-Cap era, not roster eviscerations. Speaking of the Salary Cap, I’d be a little worried if I were you, Mr. Ramos, as it seems that the Rangers have over $145 million combined tied up in 5 players until the 2013-2014 season. Not to mention The Rangers will be paying Bobby Holik even more than we are this season, and he’ll be playing for US! What were you saying about ludicrous signings? 2002 wasn’t that long ago.

It’s obvious that down in Lowell things haven’t been all roses, but saying that the team is filled with “old AHL players without any chance to make it to the NHL” is a little much… I mean, you did just sign Aaron Voros didn’t you?? Delving further into the minor leagues, I’d like to point out that the Trenton Devils of the ECHL will not be kicked out of their building… it is nothing more than a rumor. And a weak one at that.

Allow me to end this with some blogger-to-blogger advice… An article meant to ridicule a rival that is devoid of facts and supporting arguments is about as effective as a mesh condom. The next time you are going to write a whole bunch of smack, it might be a good idea to at least do your homework.