Welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. As always, previous blogs are in the archives, located on the right hand of the site. You can also check the most recent blogs on the homepage.
It’s been a while since I’ve done something here, mostly because of my crazy work schedule and because of my anger for this year’s Stanley Cup Champion. I live tweeted with many of you on my account @NYCTHEMIC and to sum it up, there is no question that the NHL, the referees and NBC had a clear bias for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Penguins are a good team and proved two of my statements/theories to be true. I’ve always said you can’t win with a top 5 paid goaltender. I said you could win with anyone as long as your lines are beefed up. Well, the Penguins just won the cup with 21 year old rookie, Matt Murray, making $600,000. Or in other words, $8 million less than the Cupless King, Henrik Lundqvist. Is Murray better than Lundqvist? Maybe. He certainly was in the Rangers/Penguins first round match-up. Even if Murray sucks the rest of his career (I don’t forsee that), he can always go to bed and wake up with a Stanley Cup ring. Lundqvist can’t say the same.
The other thing I said from the moment it happened was that trading Carl Hagelin was a huge mistake. Senile Sather didn’t even talk to Carl. Just traded him in the middle of the night, kinda like what Sather’s protege, Hand Puppet Gorton did to Keith Yandle on Monday. Of course these trades were made for cap reasons, because “WE HAVE TO WIN FOR HANK!” At least one Swede won a Cup this year. Congrats Hags. But on the bright side, – we got Emerson FUCKING Etem! Oh wait, we traded him not even half-way into the season because he was beyond awful!
I’m not going to rehash past blogs, because you can scroll down on the main page to see my thoughts on Senile Sather and the Rangers front office. Bottom line, our owner is someone who still pays Isiah Thomas to this day, despite Thomas costing Dolan 8 figures because of Thomas is a sex-crazed freak. There is no leadership from the owner position, so why expect anything better from our GM?
What also drove me nuts about the Penguins victory was that NBC made it all about them. The Sharks didn’t score, the Penguins let one in. The Sharks aren’t on a powerplay, the Penguins are on a penalty kill. You had freaking Pierre McGuire hugging Penguin coaches and trainers after games. It’s fucking disgusting.
The officiating, especially in that Tampa/PItt ECF series was one-sided too. What do you expect when the officials allow Letang to openly slash Stalberg in the face with no consequences? I know Syd is the golden boy and the NHL rigged a draft years ago to help the bankrupt Penguins, but when you take the purity of the rules out of the game, you’re just left with the NBA.
From the Rangers official website, NYRangers.com:
Rangers Acquire Sixth Round Pick in 2016 NHL Entry Draft
Blueshirts trade Keith Yandle to Florida; Rangers would also receive a fourth round pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft if Yandle signs with PanthersMonday, 06.20.2016 / 6:23 PM ET / NewsNew York Rangers
New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has acquired a sixth round pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft and a conditional fourth round pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft from the Florida Panthers in exchange for Keith Yandle. The Blueshirts would receive the fourth round pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft if Yandle signs with the Panthers.
The Rangers currently have six selections in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft: their own third round pick (81st overall), Arizona’s fourth round pick (98th overall), their own fifth round pick (141st overall), their own sixth round pick (171st overall), Florida’s sixth round pick (174th overall), and their own seventh round pick (201st overall).
Yandle registered 58 points (seven goals, 51 assists) in 103 games with the Rangers over parts of two seasons (2014-15 and 2015-16).
It seems that the official site of the NY Rangers were even too embarrassed to admit they traded Keith Yandle, opting to say the Rangers “Acquire a 6th Round pick.”
On March 1st, 2015, the Rangers traded the heavily hyped Anthony Duclair, a first round pick, a second round pick & John Moore for Keith Yandle & Chris Summers.
In a little over a year, the Rangers traded Keith Yandle, the star of the trade, for a sixth round draft pick.
With John Moore and Chris Summers essentially canceling each other out, the Rangers just traded Anthony Duclair, a first round pick and a second round pick for a 6th round pick.
Here was my initial reaction when I heard the trade and the reaction remains the same:
— BlueCollarBlueShirts (@NYCTheMiC) June 20, 2016
I don’t know what the Rangers master plan is. I’ll tell you what though, getting rid of Yandle is another mistake, just like getting rid of Stralman, Hagelin, Gaborik, Talbot, first round picks in every trade Sather has seemingly ever made, etc.
Very rarely do you find an offensive defensman. The Rangers haven’t had one since Leetch was traded by Senile Sather. When it comes to the Rangers poor blue-line this past season, Yandle is not the name mentioned. The names mention are Dan Boyle, Dan Girardi and Marc Staal.
Some people will say the Rangers can’t afford Yandle. Guess what? It’s the GM’s job to afford him. Maybe if they didn’t overpay a regressing goalie 13% of the cap, they wouldn’t have this problem. Maybe if they tried dealing Girardi, Staal or Nash before making this Yandle deal, they wouldn’t have this problem. Maybe if Senile Sather wasn’t trying to figure out if he has to go to the bathroom or not, the Rangers wouldn’t have this problem.
I was for the Yandle trade if it didn’t include Duclair. NYR could’ve given up something else. As I talked about with Duclair before, the kid would’ve been the fifth highest scorer on the Rangers this year and is young. The Rangers need to get young again. It wouldn’t shock me to hear that Senile Sather & Hand Puppet Gorton traded Zucc, Skjei and every draft pick they had for Chara.
It’s so frustrating to see time and time again, this team FAIL, tremendously. Two blogs ago, I recapped the Ranger trades I hated when they were made at the time and have been proven right every time. ALL TERRIBLE. This is no better.
When you have an owner that only cares about superstar names that sell jerseys and tickets to casual corporate fans, you get away from winning. I mean, the Knicks just gave up a lot to get often injured Derrick Rose. They are talking about “WHERE’S THE MONEY?” Dwight Howard. Dolan only wants superstars and money. If they can’t win a championship, who cares? It’s all about the $.
Mark my words – when Keith Yandle is hoisting a Cup in Florida next year, like Hagelin, like Richards, like Gaborik, we can all together say this was a bad trade.
Oh, and to be clear – Yandle has not signed with the Panthers just yet. In reality, he still could go back to the Rangers, but all reports are that NYR made this trade without giving Yandle the heads-up, just like they did with Hagelin last season and Stralman the season before that. It’s the Rangers MO to be scumbags like that under Senile Sather.
If you’re Yandle, Florida might not be a bad destination. There’s no state tax and it’s a young team on the rise coupled in with the living legend, Jaromir Jagr. You also got a hungry Luongo looking for his first Cup. I’ll tell ya what – as of 6/23/16 – I think the Panthers go further than the Rangers next season.
Steven Stamkos, who could fetch up to $10M a season in free agency, has had his name brandied about by many teams. Delusional Ranger fans think the Rangers will get him. Can I ask you this – why?
Stamkos has no roots with the Rangers. In this small world, where anyone can watch any team at any given time, playing in NY doesn’t mean shit. Especially since the team can’t win a Cup and is handcuffed by a goalie making too much money. The best shot the Rangers have at getting Stamkos is if Martin St. Louis gets on his knees and begs his protege to come here. Even then, I don’t see it happening.
If you’re Stamkos, why even leave Tampa? They are a team that is sniffing the Cup right now. Plus, no state tax in Florida! That’s a huge bonus.
I could see Stamkos winding up in Toronto, where he has roots and where his family is. Even so, the Canadian dollar is so weak right now, that the NHL won’t even put a team in Quebec because of the Canadian economy. Add in a 30% flat tax, is it really worth it for Stamkos?
I’ve seen talks of the Islanders, Sabres (Close to Toronto) and Detroit as potential suitors. However, I would be shocked if Stamkos isn’t wearing some sort of blue jersey next year, except for Ranger blue, of course.
This blog and my twitter account has thousands of views every day. Many of you appreciate my passion and opinions. Some of you hate my opinions, because you can’t come to terms that Lundqvist will never win a Cup with that contract. That’s ok, as long as you’re reading!
Whether you enjoy this blog or hate-read this blog, one thing everyone can agree on is that I’m insane for this team, for better or for worse. Every year, my buddies and I all plan some road trips to see the boys in Blue do their thing. Since personally, myself and my friends all had good earning years at our jobs, we were able to visit Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal last season.
With the schedule coming out, it looks like I’ll be doing San Jose, LA, Anaheim, Ottawa and Montreal (Favorite Canadian night-life city, big shout out to the bartenders at CHARLIES!) Time and money permitting, it’s been a while since I’ve been to Beantown and Tampa.
I’m not gonna analyze the schedule like everyone else. It is what it is. A lot of games are jammed up together because of the late start due to the World Cup of Hockey tournament. Rangers have many home games early on. As a paying customer, I would like to see more Saturday night games, but I’ve come to expect those Saturday night games are rare.
From talking to friends in person and on the tweet tweet, it seems many people are giving up their Ranger season tickets this year. My good friend, the infamous JEFFREY, is one of them. It’s tough when the Rangers raise the prices again, for a product that will be lucky to make the playoffs. I’ll still go to my 40+ games a year, bitch and moan and cry about Lundqvist’s contract, but even so, expectations are low this season for the first time in 3 years.
Note about the first game of the season, against the Islanders: Lundqvist is 0-5 in his last 5 tries against NYI with a GAA above 4.00. KING! Cam Talbot, as a Ranger, was 2-0 against NYI, and is the last Rangers goalie to beat the Isles.
To get off the Rangers for a second, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the passing of Gordie Howe. When you talk about a Mount Rushmore of hockey, it’s Howe, Gretzky and Orr as the sure-fire 3. Whether you like Beliveau, Roy, Lemieux, Brodeur, Dryden, Messier, Richard, Talbot (making sure you’re paying attention) or anyone else as the fourth player, you can’t deny that 4, 9 and 99 are the first three names.
On an aside, I would put Conn Smythe up there as an honorable mention, or at least say he’s the best executive the league has ever had.
If you search the archives of this blog, I did a book review of Gordie Howe’s autobiography, “Mr. Hockey”. I’m so glad I read it. If you’re looking for another solid book on Howe, both “Rebel League” by Ed Willes and “Gordie Howe’s Son” by Mark Howe are also excellent reads, personally recommended by yours truly.
At 34 years old (Yes, no longer 33, turned 34 last week), I never saw Howe play a serious game live. I’ve seen the archives. I’ve read about it. Never got to see it. However, he was an all-time great.
I never met the man, saw him play live, but I respect his great career, in the same way I want Frank Boucher’s #7 to be retired at MSG. Howe was hockey royalty and a true ambassador for the game. I won’t eulogize him, because I’m not qualified enough, but all I want to say is RIP and thank you for your contributions to the game.
When the petition to retire “9” league wide comes up, forward it my way.
I don’t know if anyone saw the NY Post on Wednesday, but there is Larry Brooks, with more trade ideas. After suggesting Ryan McDonagh be trade-bait, Brooks goes on to mention Nash, Kreider, Klein and Stepan. Of course, who isn’t mentioned, is the highest paid player on the team Henrik Lundqvist.
You know my feelings and have read my diatribes on Lundqvist’s contract before. I’ll spare you. Still, how is not trading Lundqvist a sound option, especially after watching the Stanley Cup between a $600,000 goalie and a $3M goalie, both years younger than Lundqvist? I just don’t get it.
The only major NY writer to suggest moving Lundqvist is Pat Leonard of the Daily News. His article on the topic is here: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/hockey/rangers/leonard-paying-lundqvist-big-bucks-best-win-article-1.2671167
While he plagiarized me a bit (I kid, I know it’s a coincidence) at least he has the balls to call out a major problem. Of course he got attacked for suggesting sacrilege, by trading the almighty King No-Cup. However, who’s doing the attacking? Kids who live in their mothers basements who never even saw Mike Richter play.
I don’t care who you are – Mark Messier, Brian Leetch and Adam Graves were all better players and better Rangers than Henrik Lundqvist is today. All three of those men were traded. If those guys can get traded, then Lundqvist can be traded too.
Let me be clear for first timers reading me – Is Lundqvist a good goalie? Yes. Elite? No. Worth $8.5M and 13% of the cap – HELL FUCKING NO.
While you need a good defense to win a Superbowl, you need a great offense to win a Stanley Cup. That is the Rangers downfall. You can win with a lesser goalie as long as you have the offensive pieces in front of you. I truly believe the Rangers will never win a Cup unless that salary cap greatly increases. Speaking of the cap…
I’ve talked about this plenty of times, so I won’t go too nuts here, but the NHL PA has the weakest union in sports. They have the lowest salary cap, despite the NHL & Gary Bettman bragging about all the money they make and how things have never been better. The NHL just took in $500million from the new Vegas team. SPREAD THE FUCKING MONEY OUT TO THE PLAYERS.
As a fan of the Rangers and the league as a whole, why are good teams punished for drafting well? The NFL does this too. Where the NBA is expanding their cap by $24M next season, due to TV money, the NHL & NFL pinches pennies.
Why does the NBA destroy the NHL in ratings? One reason is because fans either love or hate dynasties. For as many fans who want to see KING LEBRON JAMES (A real king, unlike Lundqvist) win, many fans want to see him lose too. People love to witness greatness. That is why when there is a horse going for a triple crown, a baseball player trying to go for a record, an NFL team going 16-0, etc, PEOPLE CARE and TUNE IN. By encouraging parity, no one gets dominant and when you make all the right choices, you lose because of the cap. Look at any team that has won a Cup. The Chicago Blackhawks are the biggest victim of this procedure.
There is nothing wrong with a dynasty. Casual fan interest goes up and it brings more eyeballs and money to the league. It will bring in enough money that the assholes at the NHL wouldn’t have to ban fan parties at opposing arenas during away playoff games, like they did to the Tampa Bay Lightning, because they are scared of low ratings.
For a league that boasts about their cash, where is the NHL PA to increase the cap? I’m sure we’re headed to the fourth lockout in 20 years very shortly in a few seasons when the current CBA expires. I guess then, we’ll see the league and teams cry poverty again, despite bragging about the cash flow now.
Money in sports – a sad, ugly and unfortunate necessary evil. I mean, in any NHL thing I ever read, player contracts vs the Cap always comes up. It does take some enjoyment out of it.
From the impossible to navigate NHL.com:
LAS VEGAS — The NHL is coming to Vegas baby, Vegas.
Commissioner Gary Bettman announced Wednesday in the ballroom of Encore at Wynn Las Vegas that the League has granted an expansion franchise to Las Vegas that will start playing as its 31st team in the 2017-18 season. The Las Vegas franchise was approved in a unanimous vote conducted during the Board of Governors meeting here Wednesday.
The NHL becomes the first of the four major North American professional sports leagues to put a team in Las Vegas. This will be the NHL’s first expansion team since the Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild came into the League in the 2000-01 season.
The League will receive a $500 million expansion fee from Bill Foley, the billionaire businessman who spearheaded the Las Vegas expansion bid and will be the franchise’s principal owner. The $500 million will be distributed equally among the existing 30 teams.
The approval of the Las Vegas franchise comes two days prior to the one-year anniversary of the NHL announcing the Board of Governors authorized a formal expansion process.
“The name of Bill’s website was VegasWantsHockey.com,” Commissioner Bettman said. “Starting today, Vegas has hockey, NHL hockey.”
Foley said he hopes to have the name of the team and its logo in place by the start of the 2016-17 season so they can start selling merchandise. He said his preference is Black Knights, largely because of his ties to the U.S. Military Academy as a West Point graduate, but the plan is to work with the NHL to come up with the appropriate name for the franchise.
“Our great sports town now has a major league franchise, the NHL,” Foley said. “It’s the best of the leagues. It’s a legendary league. Las Vegas is my home along with 2.3 million other people. We want everyone to be a fan. We’re dedicated to it. We’ll leave no stone unturned in our dedication and our pursuit of hockey here in Las Vegas, not just for our team, but for the community.”
The Board of Governors also voted to defer the application for an expansion team from Quebecor Inc., which maintains the goal of bringing NHL hockey back to Quebec City.
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said there is no formal plan at this point for recycling back to the Quebec City application. Commissioner Bettman said relocation of another franchise to Quebec City is not being considered.
“There is no doubt as to the passion for hockey, particularly NHL hockey, in Quebec City,” Commissioner Bettman said. “There is no doubt as to the suitability of Videotron Centre as a home arena for a team. And there is no doubt regarding the ownership credentials or the eagerness to own an NHL team of Quebecor, which has been an outstanding league partner. These components, the ones within the control of the Quebec City applicant, are first-rate. The decision to defer, however, were based on elements over which Quebec City and the Quebec City group had no control whatsoever.”
Such factors include the League’s geographic imbalance within the conferences, the difficulty of bringing two new teams in at the same time, and the struggling Canadian dollar, which was trading at 78 cents on the U.S. dollar on Wednesday.
Las Vegas will be the eighth team in the Pacific Division and the 15th in the Western Conference. The NHL has 16 teams in the Eastern Conference. Commissioner Bettman and Daly each stressed the importance for balance within the conferences.
“What we have to understand from the words, or being on hold, is that we’ll keep a discussion with the NHL,” said Pierre Dion, Quebecor’s chief executive officer and president. “We’re very close to them, we have a great relationship with them, so we’ll keep talking. That’s how we have to interpret the ‘deferred’ and ‘on hold.'”
The Las Vegas team will play its home games at T-Mobile Arena, which is located just west of the famed Las Vegas Strip. The arena opened in April and can hold 17,368 for a hockey game.
“It is a great venue and it was built with hockey in mind,” Commissioner Bettman said.
Las Vegas has received more than 14,000 deposits for season tickets and has sold all of the luxury seats in T-Mobile Arena since Foley launched a season-ticket drive 16 months ago. Foley said they sold roughly 400 more season tickets in the past week.
Foley said he expects 85 percent to 90 percent of the crowds to be season-ticket holders.
“I’m convinced we’re going to be full every night, and particularly after a year or two when we’ve really demonstrated a real winning attitude and we are performing on behalf of the city of Las Vegas,” Foley said.
Foley said he will work quickly to establish a hockey operations department. He stressed that he will work with the NHL to understand the rules that are in place so the Las Vegas franchise is in compliance and not tampering.
“You’ll see a lot of action here over the next 30 days, 45 days, but we want to be careful on how we do it,” Foley said. “We don’t want to tamper. We want to work with the League and get a lot of advice.”
In addition, the NHL announced the rules for the expansion draft that will take place next summer to create the Las Vegas team. The goal for the expansion draft is to give the Las Vegas franchise the best chance to be successful immediately.
“The team coming into the most competitive league in sports will have a roster that will be competitive more quickly than prior expansions,” Commissioner Bettman said.
To get there, Las Vegas must select one player from each of the existing 30 teams, including at least 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goalies. It must select a minimum of 20 players who have existing contracts that carry through the 2017-18 season and the average annual value of the total contracts it takes on must be at least 60 percent of the 2016-17 season salary-cap limit, which is $73 million.
The earliest Las Vegas can buy out any of the contracts it takes on is the summer of 2018.
The existing 30 teams will have the option to protect seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie, or eight skaters regardless of position and one goalie, from the expansion draft.
Any player with a “no movement” clause in his contract at the time of the expansion draft must be protected and will count toward his team’s protection limits unless the player agrees to waive his no-movement clause.
Teams have to submit their protection lists by 5 p.m. ET on June 17, 2017. Las Vegas has to submit its selections for the expansion draft by 5 p.m. ET on June 20. The results of the expansion draft will be released publicly on June 21.
All forwards and defensemen exposed for the draft must be under contract for the 2017-18 season. Teams must expose a minimum of one defenseman and two forwards who played 40 or more games in the 2016-17 season, or 70 or more games in the previous two seasons.
Goalies exposed for the draft can either be under contract for the 2017-18 season or scheduled to become a restricted free agent in the summer of 2017. In order to expose a goalie entering RFA status, the team must extend him his qualifying offer before submitting its protection list.
All first- and second-year pros and all unsigned draft picks are exempt from the expansion draft and will not have to be protected.
Las Vegas will be inserted into the 2017 NHL Draft Lottery with the same odds as the team that finishes with the third fewest points in the 2016-17 season. It will be guaranteed to have no lower than the No. 6 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft and will own the third pick in each subsequent round.
“This is Las Vegas’ team,” Foley said. “We have 2.2 or 2.3 million local residents and we sold 14,000 season tickets with season-ticket deposits when we didn’t have a team and we didn’t have an arena. That is the kind of level of dedication that the people of Las Vegas have shown in support of NHL hockey. It went a long way for us to making progress with the NHL.
“Las Vegas is hockey-ready. We’re convinced of it. We know it.”
TLDR; version: The NHL comes to Vegas in 2017. Quebec does not get a team because of “geography” and the economy.
Quick thoughts on Quebec first:
- Using “geography” is a fucking cop-out. Put Detroit back in the West where they belong, problem solved.
- The Canadian economy and dollar is weak. That said, I think the weak Canadian dollar will be spent a lot more in Quebec on hockey than the American dollar on Vegas hockey.
- Knowing people from Quebec, I feel bad for them. They deserved this.
- The NHL made a huge mistake not trying to push a new market in Canada. The province and city has wanted a team ever since the Avalanche started winning Cups the second they left.
- The NHL was hoping Seattle would bid for a team, but no one had the funds. Quebec did. Makes the whole process look unfair and turns off more fans onto the NHL league. In Quebec, they do have other options than the NHL for hockey.
On to Vegas:
- Selfishly, I love it. As someone who travels all over because I love seeing different places and seeing how other people live, I can’t wait to see a new city. I’ve never been to Vegas before, so I’m looking forward to checking Vegas off my bucket list. If I can see the Rangers and a big UFC card the same weekend in Vegas, it’s all gold for me.
- Realistically, I think you’re going to be looking at the quietest arena in the NHL. With casinos gobbling up the majority of tickets, you’re going to see many gamblers get free tickets with a none-to-casual interest in the game.
- The biggest noise may be from visiting fans, who like me, want to visit Vegas and make a vacation out of it.
- In the city where gambling is king, do people have the time to invest in an NHL franchise? Most people who live in Vegas are transplants.
- Do you have to worry about gamblers trying to affect the game or trying to prey on weak players to swing games? In hockey, I would say no, unlike basketball, where you have poor inner-city kids. It’s still a concern though.
- Do you have to worry about the nightlife for players? Perhaps if the team is made up of today’s JR Smith and the 1990’s Theo Fleury, you do. It is an issue, especially for younger players looking to live it up. The best thing for the new NHL franchise is to draft married and older players who aren’t looking for trouble.
I’m all for Vegas, just so I can visit. That said, all the articles condemning and against the new team, I understand. I hope it works out though.
Looking ahead, I’ll be back with a new blog as the Rangers make moves. The word on the street is that Nash, Kreider and Stepan will be moved. I’m pro Nash being traded. If they can get something good for Kreider I’m for that. I don’t like moving Stepan. The Rangers are also interested in Kevin Shattenkirk, which begs the question – why him and not Yandle?
Ryan Nugent Hopkins, Taylor Hall and Nail Yakupov are all rumored to be trade bait from Edmonton. I can’t see why the Oilers would deal RNH or Hall, but Yakupov is good as gone. Supposedly, PK Subban will be out of Montreal, but for the $, it’s really insane to pursue that option, if you’re the NYR.
One thing the Rangers should look at is the salary FLOOR. The Floor is $54M. The Coyotes are at $34M. Perhaps they can dump some bad contracts like Girardi, Staal and for my sake, Lundqvist, there. Arizona owes us one after robbing a senile man a year ago.
I know all the deals haven’t been done yet and we’ve got a long way to go, with the draft (Matthews will be a stud for Toronto, things will get better there) and Free Agency, but here’s my prediction right now:
The Cam Talbot Oilers will finish with a better record than the Lundqvist New York Rangers. Take it to the bank!
See you next time!
@NYCTHEMIC on the tweet tweet