King Cam Talbot & Team Canada Win the Gold, The Future of the Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers Failures Under Senile Sather & What Lies Ahead, Ex-Rangers Shining in the Playoffs, Shawn Michaels & The HBK Line and Much Love For Canada!

Cam Talbot posted another shutout, this time to win the Gold in the IIHF tournament on Sunday.

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In case you forgot or new to this blog, you can always check out past blogs in the archives, located on the right hand of the site. Any comments or concerns, you can hit me up on the tweet machine @NYCTHEMIC. There’s also a comment section at the end of this blog, but I’m not sure if it’s working right. One of these days I’ll look into that, but there’s more pressing things to do today, like gloating about Cam Talbot & Team Canada!

It’s been a while since I wrote a blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. It’s been about three weeks since I last chimed in on my beloved New York Rangers. I have been reading and following all the rumors and scuttlebutt about what the team may do, what they should do and all that same old crap. Bottom line, Glen Sather is in charge of this team. There’s nothing you can do about it, but just sit back and watch him come up Cupless for the 17th year in the row.

Listen, I’ll go to my 35+ games a year, take a few trips to Canada to watch the team play again (I’m planning on actually doing the West Coast California swing next season), buy some merch and all that crap, because as a fan, the abbreviated word for “fanatic”, I want to believe they have a shot.  However, deep down, the Rangers will never win a Cup with Sather in any position of power and with Lundqvist in goal.

Bottom line, Sather gambled the last few seasons and lost. He was chasing that straight, chasing a full house, but the house of cards is now just a messy pile, like the end result of “52 pick-up.” Sather first went for it all in 2014, when he foolishly gave away two first round draft picks in the Callahan for MSL swap. The Rangers almost won the Cup that year, but the guy Sather invested in the most, Henrik Lundqvist, blew every 2 goal lead in the SCF.

I thought last year was the Rangers best crack at the Cup. However, Lundqvist gave up back-to-back touchdowns in the ECF, even a game where the Rangers gave him 5 goals, and he was out-dueled in Game 7. Sather also gambled again, giving away not only another 1st round draft pick but giving up a promising young stud named Anthony Duclair in the Yandle deal. Duclair went off to Phoenix, where he won a Gold Medal with Team Canada in the World Junior Championships. Duclair finished with 44 points with the Arizona Coyotes. 44 points would’ve made him the fifth highest scorer on this years Rangers team.

Heading into this season, Sather looked at the guy who carried the team down the stretch in Cam Talbot and a guy who scored game winning goals in the playoffs, in Carl Hagelin. Sather got rid of Cam for next to nothing, perhaps a sweet-heart deal to his former stomping grounds in Edmonton. It’s funny how Sather is a GOD in Edmonton, but nothing but a dumb ass old man in New York. Sather then dealt Hagelin to the Ducks, without even talking to Hagelin. It was reported later Hagelin could’ve and would’ve stayed for less. Then again, this is the same dumbass that didn’t talk to Stralman after 2014 and gave Dan Boyle the same amount of money Stralman got.

Let’s just look at these Sather proclaimed “ALL-IN” trades worked out:

  • Carl Hagelin for Emerson Etem. Rangers lose this trade, big time. Hagelin is in the ECF & tallying points. Etem is toiling somewhere in Vancouver and will probably be on 5-6 NHL teams before his career is over.
  • Ryan Callahan & two number 1 draft picks for Martin St. Louis. Another failure for Sather. MSL retired a year later, while Callahan is a big helping hand in Tampa. Tampa came back to laugh in Sather’s cigar smelling face in last year’s ECF. Tampa is in the ECF again and will only get younger with two number 1 draft picks, courtesy of the NYR.
  • Anthony Duclair and a first round draft pick (John Moore was traded too, but who cares?) for Keith Yandle and an AHLer who will probably never see the light of day in the Rangers organization. Another whopping failure for Sather. Yandle has been good, but he’s now a free agent and can go anywhere. Rangers need to get young and lost another pick and a potential stud in Duclair.
  • Letting Stralman walk and signing Dan Boyle. LMAO, do I even need to explain this fucking boneheaded move by Senile Sather?
  • Cam Talbot to Edmonton for a pair of second rounders. Sather banked on Henrik Lundqvist and has nothing to show for it except for a few Lundqvist Crying Jordan memes. Sorry Ranger fans, it’s about the team winning the Cup, not one player. Lundqvist isn’t that guy. I get why people love him and he was a rock here for so long, but his time has passed. His contract and his regression is a burden on the team, just like the contracts of Staal, Girardi and Nash.

Speaking of Cam Talbot….

Talbot was a rock for Team Canada in the IIHF World Championships.

Cam Talbot, the goalie that worked his way through the Rangers organization and helped bring the Rangers to the President’s Trophy with Lundqvist out with injury, just won the Gold medal with Team Canada in the IIHF World Championships. He had the most shutouts in the tournament, with 4 and posted a 94.01 save percentage, with his name near the top of the list in that category.

If you know me, you know me as the Talbot guy. If you don’t here’s just some stuff in my collection:

Team signed game used Cam Talbot goalie stick, through a donation/auction held by the Edmonton Oilers.

Cam Talbot IIHF jersey.

An autographed 8×10 a friend got for me

I’m probably the only person not related to Talbot, that has a Ranger, Oiler and Team Canada Talbot jersey!

For two years, until I’ve been blue in the face, I’ve argued with many of you whether through twitter, facebook or email about the Talbot/Lundqvist scenario.  Most of you said Talbot can’t carry a team. When Talbot was doing well in Edmonton, you brought up how Edmonton sucks in one sentence, then defending Lundqvist for having no defense in NY with the next. I swear, most Ranger fans do not watch around the league, as Edmonton had the worst D in hockey this year. They were also missing their best player and future captain in Connor McDavid. Furthermore, despite all that, Talbot still won NHL.com player of the week awards. He really came into his groove after the new year.

I’ve been told that Talbot can’t win a big game. Well sorry folks, lose that excuse too, because Cam Talbot and Team Canada just won the Gold in the IIHF World Championships. It’s a tournament that I believe Alex Ovechkin is at every year. No wonder the Capitals choked this year. Ovi wanted to play in the tournament hosted by his mother land!

While younger guys around the league or coming into the league, play in this tournament, as Auston Matthews for America had a hell of a showing, (and trust me, the Maple Leafs were erect watching him play) you also have players in their NHL primes in this tournament. Like an Ovi. Like a Brassard. Like a Corey Perry. The list goes on and on. It’s a big deal to win this tournament. If Lundqvist can make money off of calling himself a King despite never winning a Cup, then Cam Talbot and every other goalie that has won this tournament can do the same.

There were two things that disappointed me about the IIHF Worlds this year. One, the Americans didn’t really take it serious. The roster, while finishing in fourth place, could’ve been stronger. Where was Ryan McDonagh? Derek Stepan? Patrick Kane? Henrik Lundqvist also opted not to play for Team Sweden. You would figure he would play because he was fucking terrible in the playoffs and could use the work. Instead, he was probably out galavanting around town, getting a mani-pedi and his anus bleached. Maybe he just needs the off-season to spend all his money.

The tournament was fun to watch. Of course me, being a Cam Talbot fan ever since he was on the Hartford Wolfpack/Connecticut Whale, had a vested rooting interest. That’s right, as an American, I pulled the hockey rooting equivalent of a Benedict Arnold and rooted & bet on Team Canada the whole way through! It’s not like Team USA was trying to field a true winner with the roster they put out there.

Yes this is a Talbot heavy blog, but you had to expect this. I TOLD YOU SO!

In this new world we live in, where we can talk to anyone with our fingertips in seconds, Team Canada & the Edmonton Oiler twitter accounts made this tournament fun. In fact, I gained something like 150 Oiler fans following me on twitter. If you’re discovering this blog now because of my tweets on Team Canada/Talbot/Oilers, let me be up front. This is a Rangers blog and I want nothing more than to see them win the Cup. However, if they can’t, the Oilers are my western conference team and I’m pulling for them to win it all. Again, I stress, I only want to see the Oilers win the Cup, if the Rangers are out. It’s very likely the Rangers will be out of Cup contention earlier than some fans are accustomed to these days.

If you just go through the archives of this site, you can read about my trip, with pictures, to Edmonton in December. I watched about 90% of the Oiler games this season and 100% of the Talbot starts. I’m not as invested in the Oilers as I am with the Rangers, but I’m rooting for them and watch them too.

One of the bonuses of having a second favorite team this season, was being able to watch Connor McDavid. With Talbot in net and McDavid centering the first line and more importantly, with contracts that allow the Oilers to get help, I believe the Oilers will be a playoff team next season. The Oilers, specifically McDavid, Hall and Talbot, DOMINATED the IIHF tournament. McDavid even had the game winning goal in the Gold Medal game, with Talbot pitching a shutout on the other side. Hall, McDavid and Talbot were simply phenomenal these last two weeks in Russia.

If you’re an Oiler fan, you have to be excited. Yes, I know Talbot started off shaky there, and maybe it was just getting used to a new team and city. He turned it on big time after the new year, got his new contract and should be fixture in Edmonton for years to come. McDavid was hurt for a long stretch of this season and with McDavid ready for Year 2, he should be even better than what we saw this year. Hall has to remain an Oiler, while the Oilers will have to say goodbye to Yakupov. With tons of money in the coffers, the Oilers need to focus on building their defense. With the cap space they have, they could even add a scorer too. Perhaps the Oilers can even get some solid veterans on the cheap, if they can sell that McDavid will make this team a legitimate Cup Contender.

With a new building, a once-in-a-generation talent in McDavid, Cam Talbot and plenty of cap space, the people in Edmonton have something to look forward to next season.

I may have had 1 or 20 Labatt Blues in this place during my Edmonton trip.

Going back to live tweeting these games with Team Canada and Oiler fans, I really had a good time talking to new people. Last season alone, I visited Edmonton, Calgary, Montreal and Toronto. If you look at those blogs, I said it there and I’ll say it again, Canada is just a friendly country. Even when discussing hockey on twitter, a Canadian can argue an opinion and realize that you can think outside of the box. There’s not always one right answer. Sometimes there is not a right answer at all. However, most Americans it’s their way and everyone else is wrong. No wonder we have Clinton and Trump running for president!

I met a lot of cool people in Canada, some that I keep in contact with. I also talk to a bunch of Canadians on twitter. On an aside – I need someone to hook me up with these:

I bought a few of these bad boys over the border but a day later, I was out of stock!

I love the Canadian culture as a whole. It really is a great country. I don’t know if I could ever live there because of their economy, but it’s a beautiful place to visit with amazing people. Plus I love how every bar is packed, no matter where you go and hockey is always on.

For the Canadian fans reading this – how fucked up is America? While TSN (Canada’s ESPN) had the IIHF tournament on 867848488484 channels, the NBC network couldn’t be bothered to show any of the games, except for the first game between USA and Canada two weeks ago. None of the semi-finals or medal games were aired. Instead, NBC aired a show with car auctions, Preakness coverage (Because you need 6 hours of horse racing coverage for a 2 minute race) and other random bullshit. They didn’t even air the Team USA games.

So while Canadians and every other country were able to watch these games on their big tvs at home or at a bar, I had to watch everything on the ipad, through the NBC “sports extra” app. I know, I know, first world problems. However, I don’t get why NBC wants to be the hockey network but doesn’t do anything with it. They have the TV deal with the NHL, the Olympics, the IIHF, etc, so why not promote that brand? Instead, they bury this tournament on the app. I’m glad I was able to watch it, but NBC really shit the bed here.

In conclusion of this topic, I rooted for another country besides America to win this tournament. From all my experiences with Canadian culture, my trips to Canada, Canadian beer, talking to Canadians, all I have to say is this. If I had to be a turncoat,  I’m glad my fandom in this tournament defected to Canada. You guys are alright!

Again, I hate to say I told you so… oh wait who am I kidding – I TOLD YOU SO!

One last Talbot thing here before you guys go nuts at me, I had a friend ask me why do you care about Talbot so much? He was just one of those guys that I followed when he first started. Like a Derek Jeter. Like an Eli Manning. Granted, he hasn’t had the career of those guys, at least not yet (hey, you never know!) but he was a player I watched and heard about at the beginning.

As he rose through the ranks of the Rangers organization and proved me right when he had that remarkable stretch in the 2014-2015 Rangers season, I really thought the Rangers could win a Cup with him. I still think they could’ve won last season or even this season with him, providing the Rangers got rid of Hank & Hank’s contract. You don’t see Talbot, or many goalies really, having the diva fits that Lundqvist has. Lundqvist has been a rock for the Rangers, but if you don’t think he’s the Sidney Crosby of goalies, you don’t watch the whole league. He cries and blames his teammates more than any superstar in the league.

What it all boils down to is if I can see one more thing before I die, I want to see the Rangers win a Stanley Cup while I’m an adult. I was 12 when the Rangers won in 1994, so I couldn’t really appreciate it as much as I could today. As a Yankee and Giant fan, I’ve seen those teams win championships, multiple times, as an adult. I’m indifferent about basketball, so if I could see anything, I just want the Rangers to win the Cup. I think Talbot & his contract (He was $525,000 these last two seasons, $8M less than Lundqvist) would’ve gave the Rangers the best  chance at the Cup.

If you’re a Ranger fan and still believe this team can win a Cup next year, I respect that. However, it’s hard to think that in reality. The ship has sailed. Yes, the Rangers may trade Nash. Buchnevich and Nieves could help the team next year too. Skjei will take Boyle’s spot on the team. Who knows, maybe they get Stamkos, but even so, after this health scare, will it be the same Stamkos or will it be another big name bust in a Ranger sweater?  The Rangers pressed their bets and lost these last 3 seasons.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over again and expecting different results. With Sather at the helm and Lundqvist’s money in net, I just can’t fathom the Rangers winning a Cup next season. The Rangers were right there with Talbot and that lucrative management friendly contract. Granted he would’ve got a raise this upcoming season, like he got in Edmonton, but this was the closest the Rangers have gotten since 1994. It’s all gone now.

So like other athletes that have come and gone in my lifetime, I’ll continue to root for Talbot, as I’m currently doing with Duclair, Jagr & Hagelin. It’s not so crazy anymore to think that he will get a Cup before Lundqvist. It’s funny, recently I’ve read articles suggesting to trade Lundqvist, how the Rangers maybe should’ve kept Talbot and all these other ideas I said two years ago. Where were you motherfuckers then? Arguing with me and telling me I was insane! Told ya so!

This drives me nuts.

Another player I was rooting for, until he donned a Penguins jersey, is Carl Hagelin. What drives me even more nuts is this “HBK” line, of Hagelin, Bonino and Kessel. If you know me in real life or knew me from my wrestling days, I worked 10 years in independent wrestling, promoting shows, working on websites, booking events, amongst 737374734 other jobs I had. I’ve always been a huge wrestling fan. If you think my Talbot fandom was big, you should’ve seen me in the 1990’s with Shawn Michaels.

To this day, Shawn Michaels is my favorite wrestler of all time. I think he was the best of all time too. Not going to to get into a debate about this, but this is just how I feel.

I’m sure by now you heard about the HBK line in Pittsburgh which has now snowballed into Shawn Michaels becoming a Penguins fan and being the special guest of honor at Game 5 in Pittsburgh.

My good friend, who has written some articles here, Joe “Shoes” DiLeo, is a diehard Penguins fan. He knows how much of a Shawn Michaels fan I was/am, and has taken every opportunity to remind me of HBK supporting one of the teams I hate the most in the league – the Penguins.

With Hagelin and HBK rocking the black and gold, I just want to kick Lundqvist in the balls. It was his greedy contract in the first place which made Senile Sather foolishly deal Hagelin without talking to him first!

This is crushing!

All I can hope for is Shawn Michaels to do something that he did his whole career when he had a tag partner – turn on him! Maybe HBK will sweet chin music Crosby in the cunt, rip off his shirt and reveal a Tampa Bay Lightning shirt underneath! One can dream!

Oh and for Glen Sather – Brian Boyle, Ryan Callahan, Anton Stralman and Carl Hagelin are all key players and producing points in this years playoffs and Eastern Conference Finals. How’s Emerson Etem, Martin St. Louis and Dan Boyle doing?

Who’s going to the Cup this year? The fuck if I know!

So yea, that Capitals vs Blackhawks in the SCF prediction that I made at the beginning of the season and at the start of the playoffs? Yea, I was wrong! At least I’ll admit when I’m wrong, unlike Mike Francesa!

As of now, I like Tampa and the Blues going to the Cup, which naturally means I just mushed it and it will be an all fish series with the Penguins and Sharks. The one team I hope doesn’t win it is obviously the Penguins. If I had to pull for the other three teams, I hope the Bolts get it done. They have a great franchise and I have a lot of friends who are Bolts fans. Plus, Johnny Fontana, @Johnny_Fonts of RawCharge.com was really cool and helped with this site last year.

And there’s this too:

 

Congrats again to Team Canada, their fans and to the Oilers on the team! Even though you had a sweet goal yesterday Marchand, you’re still a dirty hook-nosed bastard!

That about wraps this up. As far as the next blog, I’ll chime in when motivated or if something big happens. Maybe a Stanley Cup wrap-up. As a diehard Rangers fan and a devout fan of the Oilers (alas, only for one season), I feel more confident about the Oilers future than the Rangers. We’ll see how it all plays out.

Just be thankful I didn’t really pour on Lundqvist on this blog and give you another “I told you so” about goalie contracts in the NHL. Goalies like Greiss, Murray and Vasilevskiy, all making peanuts, saw their teams go further than Lundqvist this year. Just proves my point, and it’s not just the Rangers, teams like Nashville, Boston and Carolina are struggling too, if you invest the majority of your money at the goalie position, you just won’t win a Cup. You should, at the most, give 6% of your cap money to the goalie, and work around that.

In closing, I leave you with this:

Congrats Talbot and Team Canada!

Sean McCaffrey

BULLSMC@aol.com

@NYCTHEMIC on twitter

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