Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Betting favorites to win the NHL season

This season’s NHL is drawing towards its climax, with four teams now left in contention for the Stanley Cup, as they compete in the Conference Finals.

For fans of those teams that didn’t make it this far, the 2012/13 season is already finished, but for supporters of the Bruins, Penguins, Blackhawks and Kings – as well as sports betting fans – this is the most exciting stage of the season. There is not much time left for any punter who hasn’t already placed a bet to do so, but which teams are the hot favorites to win? At this stage it is the Blackhawks who have been rated the favorites with the bookies, and you will get odds on them of 10/11 at many sites to overcome the Kings in their Western Conference Final and go on to win the Cup.

They currently lead the Kings 2-1 in that series, and dominated the Western Conference during the regular season, finishing with the highest total of points in this season’s NHL. This looks like the form of Stanley Cup winners, but if you don’t fancy these odds, you might consider betting on the Bruins – who are favorites to beat the Penguins in the Eastern Conference final and have odds of 2/1 – or you might prefer to play the Break Away ice hockey slots game at Lucky Nugget instead. This five reel slots game boasts a total of 243 pay lines which, along with the presence of a wild symbol (the burning hockey puck) greatly boosts the odds of you winning a payout if you choose to play it.

However the great chance of a return is not the only reason why Break Away is a game that any ice hockey fan should love, because the outstanding video graphics and audio effects make this one of the most gripping and immersive video slots games you can find, plunging you right into the heart of a brutal NHL encounter. It lets you feel like you are out there on the ice rink, starring for your team in the Stanley Cup play-offs, while also allowing you to keep all of your teeth!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Rangers Expected To Make Alain Vigneault Next Head Coach

It looks like former Canucks' coach Alain Vigneault is set to take the Head Coach position for the Rangers, beating out Mark Messier who had also been in the running. This will be a great coup for Vigneault as Messier has described coaching the Rangers as a dream job. It’s almost better than winning a massive jackpot at your favourite iPhone casino and fans eagerly await the finalizing of a deal.

Although nothing has been signed yet, it seems that Vigneault is very close to making Broadway his new home as he has the strongest credentials to succeed outgoing head coach John Tortorella. Certainly Vigneault fits the classic coaching carousel criteria in that he has a very different temperament and demeanor to the previous coach and he will certainly shake things up if he is signed.

The concept of Vigneault becoming the next head Coach isn’t a surprising one, but the situation came to a head rather fast as the Rangers had been very quiet about a head coach vacancy. There may have been a few team meetings held out in California but there was no indication of the direction they were planning on going. Seems they like to keep the element of surprise both on the ice and off.

Vigneault had already been approached by the Dallas Stars but the Rangers got aggressive and ensured that they would snare him as their next bench boss. The Stars had already gone as far as putting an offer on the table and were simply waiting for him to sign, but James Dolan stepped in and made sure the Rangers would get their man.

The probable new Rangers coach is the right man for the job and although he has a very different personality to Tortorella this may be exactly what is needed. He has had success at NHL level and took the Canucks to the Stanley Cup Final, accumulated 313 wins in 540 games as the Canucks bench boss and has won a Jack Adams Award.

Although nothing has yet been made official, insiders say that the writing is on the wall and that Vigneault is a head coach in waiting. Now the pressure shifts to Glen Sather who will have to ensure that he can tailor his team to accommodate Vigneault’s style, so this could be an interesting summer.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Betting on an upcoming Ice Hockey event

Whilst many sports fans might have had a few disappointing cancellations due to the snow this year, we are lucky that the game we all know and love is able to carry on regardless. With more people joining the fan club everyday it's no surprise that people have started betting on the sport.

If you are looking to put some more excitement into your ice hockey experience, then like many others you could place an online bet on the result of an upcoming event and be in with the chance to win some big bucks. With the excitement that comes with the players’ potentially vicious mentality, and it on occasion spilling into fights , it is one of the most intense sports around. The addition of a bet can make watching the sport even more interesting; you can bet during the game with live odds and also before the game for pre-fixed odds. If you love the hockey but prefer to relax with a nice cup of tea and a few slots instead, make sure you try out some of the many hockey themed slots Gaming Club for one offers a brilliant range of themed slot and advanced slot games. Break Away is one of the many slots and features hockey icons such as the court, referees, penalties and even a classic Zamboni.

The Olympics, Winter Olympics and Paralympics have caused a large increase in sports fans recently because of the sporting heroes created. Ice hockey has had one of the most dramatic booms, so with more and more people joining the sport there has never been a better time to place an online bet on one of the upcoming events this year.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Rangers Get Some Much Needed Size & Grit; Acquire Ryane Clowe

While last week this disgruntled Rangers fan wrote about the signing of Mats Zuccarello and how he didn't meet the needs of the Rangers, today it's the opposite story.

News broke late this afternoon that the Ryane Clowe sweepstakes was down to the Rangers and Canucks. Shortly thereafter it was confirmed that the Rangers and Sharks had agreed on a deal and the deal was to be finalized if Clowe agreed as he had a No Trade Clause.

According to TSN:
In return, the Sharks receive a second round selection in the 2013 NHL Draft, Florida's third round selection in the 2013 NHL Draft (previously acquired by New York) and a conditional second round selection in the 2014 NHL Draft.

If Clowe re-signs with the Rangers or the team wins two playoff rounds, the pick remains New York's 2014 second round selection. If neither occurs, the pick becomes New York's fifth round 2014 selection.
While much of the Rangers roster is made up of skilled players who aren't capable of using their body to  screen goalies, get to the opposing team's goal or grind it out along the boards - Clowe is more than capable. He plays like a bull in a China shop. He's a big man who is more than willing to pay the price to get the prime real estate on the ice. He's also not reluctant to drop the gloves when needed. He's your prototypical NHL power forward who is tough as nails, uses his body effectively and can play with the a nasty streak.

There are critics of course because Clowe has yet to score a goal this season and some wonder how a guy with zero goals is supposed to help the Rangers atrocious offense. It's my belief (and assuming Sather's) that Clowe brings intangibles that the Rangers so badly need. The goals will come. Until they do, Clowe will provide screens on the opposing goalie, get to rebounds and create space for whoever the Rangers put on his line.

He's certainly struggled offensively this season through 28 games - but he's had a decent career stats-wise for a player never shy to back down from a physical confrontation or throw his body around. In 423 NHL regular season games he has 271 points (101 goals, 170 assists). His playoff numbers have been even more impressive scoring 45 points (18 goals, 27 assists) in 68 games.

Clowe is exactly what the Rangers needed.  Time will tell how much more, if anything, the Rangers will do prior to tomorrow's 3pm NHL trade deadline.

Oh yeah, I've had a man crush on Ryane Clowe for a long time -- proposing that Sather inquire about him back in June 2009.

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Rangers Sign MZA; 1 Year Deal - $700k

The signing of Zuccarello was confirmed this morning by the Rangers.

If you missed my blog post on Monday about how this is the last thing the Rangers need, then have at it.

Based on the way the Rangers have played offensively through two periods tonight in Ottawa, I'd be surprised if Zuccarello didn't make his season debut against Montreal on Saturday night.

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Monday, March 25, 2013

Zuccarello Signing All But Confirmed; Last Thing Rangers Need

According to Steve Zipay of NewsDay:
Zuccarello and Rangers have agreed to $$$ number, but docs yet to be signed, and clearance finalized. Not 100 percent done, but expected
While conference rival Pittsburgh Penguins have been busy the past two days adding Brendan Morrow and Douglas Murray it looks like the Rangers are set to bring back Mats Zuccarello.

In my opinion this is a pretty awful attempt to fix the Rangers. The Rangers offense has been awful most of this season which is not something you'd expect from a team with Rick Nash, Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards. The truth is, the Rangers have way too many skilled players in their top nine who are not willing to or not capable of using their body to get to the net for rebounds. The Rangers are a perimeter team and unfortunately perimeter teams don't win shit.

Night in and night out the Rangers throw lots of rubber at the opposing goalie. Night in and night out the Rangers make the opposing goalie look like a Vezina candidate. Even the biggest scrub in the NHL can pad his save percentage against the Rangers. Why? Because the Rangers take 30 shots a night from areas of the ice where an average AHL goalie would look like Patrick Roy. Shots from the blue line with no one screening the goalie, no second chance opportunities because no one is getting to rebounds.

The only New York Ranger on the top three lines who effectively uses his body to create scoring opportunities and play the grinding game is Ryan Callahan. The Rangers need size to create space for the skilled players. Instead, the Rangers continue to add more skill, more players with no ability to grind, another player who has no ability to make space for his teammates and another player who will have no ability to get to the high scoring areas.

This is a pathetic attempt by the Rangers to improve their hopes at getting into the playoffs let alone do anything if they do manage to grab a seventh or eighth seed somehow miraculously.

This team gets more and more awful to watch on a nightly basis. No offense ability with a team full of All-Stars. You'd think Rangers management was playing a video game, loading their team with stars. Is there no concept to acquiring players to play within a system or mixing players of different skills (grinders, power forwards, two-way forwards, super starts) to effectively play together? Not in the Rangers front office apparently. Here, the theory is get as much skill as possible and watch them suck. And when that doesn't work, keep doing it.

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Rangers Place Jeff Halpern On Waivers

Not the reason why the Rangers have been terrible for most of this season. But, at the same time he's not helping. Assuming this move is being made with Arron Asham ready to step back into the lineup on Sunday against the Capitals. Wonder if this is just a paper transaction or if Halpern is actually being sent to the Whale if he clears waivers.

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Video: This Is How You Handle That Punk Kaleta, Courtesy of Our Old Friend Mr. Orr

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Saturday, March 9, 2013

Some Lundqvist Art On This Fine Saturday Morning

 Ari Lankin has sent us over hockey art before and here's his latest creation featuring The King.

Over at his website he has other hockey art to view and details the steps in completing the drawing.

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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Staal Update - Good News!

According to the New York Rangers official facebook page:
Following an injury suffered in last night's game vs. Philadelphia, Marc Staal was examined today in New York by 2 doctors. The injury has improved significantly and both doctors are optimistic that Marc will make a full recovery. Staal will be sidelined indefinitely.
In case you missed it, earlier today the Rangers picked up Roman Hamrlik off waivers.

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Rangers Claim Hamrlik Off waivers From Capitals & Staal Update

Apparently the Rangers were already discussing picking up Roman Hamrlik off waivers prior to the injury to defenseman Marc Staal on Tuesday night in the game against the Flyers. The Rangers were rumored to be on the lookout for defensive depth for the past few weeks and with the injury to Marc Staal, a key part of their defense, the Rangers decided to grab Hamrlik off waivers with a low risk move that doesn't cost them anything in return other than a cap hit of $3.5M.

Hamrlik was waived by the Capitals on Tuesday and will be a UFA this summer.

Meanwhile, with little information available regarding the injury to Marc Staal there was this update from his brother Eric, of the Carolina Hurricanes on
Marc Staal is waiting for the swelling to go down in the area around his right eye before further determination can be made about the extent of his injury, according to his brother, Carolina Hurricanes center Eric Staal. 
I'd expect Hamrlik to be thrown right into the swing of things tomorrow night against the Islanders.

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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Video: Harry Zolnierczyk Destroys Mike Lundin With Huge Hit

Pretty sure Harry Zolnierczyk will be getting a suspension of at least a few games for that one as it looks like he jumped into Lundin to deliver the big hit in open ice. Lundin is rumored to have a concussion as a result of the hit. Zolnierczyk has been scheduled for a meeting with Brendan Shanahan tomorrow to hear his punishment, if any.

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Video: Tortorella Asks Media How High Pacioretty Jumped To Hit McDonagh & My Thoughts On Team Softness

Love that John Tortorella is willing to stand up for his players. But, not one New York Ranger reacted after that hit. How about players start standing up for your teammates so that your coach isn't the only one doing it in a post-game media wrap up.

It's no coincidence that as this team has gotten more spineless the results have gotten more ugly. This is the softest New York Rangers team the franchise has dressed in years. Five years ago I was sadly at the Rangers/Flyers game where the Rangers scratched Colton Orr and Todd Fedoruk ran around all night long (video of Fedoruk destroying Jagr). Glen Sather vowed that the Rangers would never dress a team that was that soft again.The next time the two teams played Orr did this.

Maybe, just maybe this will send a wake up call. A wake up to the players to man up, a wake up to management to stop acquiring players who would do wonderful in an NHL All-Star game but not so great in a regular season game where you need some sandpaper. Outside of Ryan Callahan, there is not one other player on the top nine lines who is willing to pay the sacrifice with their body.

Perhaps the most sickening moment of last night's game was watching Derek Stepan laughing it up on the bench late in the third period of a 3-0 game. At least act like you give a damn!

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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Video: Orr One Punches Bourque, McLaren Laughs While Fighting Gorges

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Video: Did Mikhail Grabovski Bite Max Pacioretty?

Those are the allegations coming out tonight after the Leafs dismantled Montreal 6-0.

The video isn't very clear, but Pacioretty definitely had his hands near Grabovski's mouth in the scrum.

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

That Ain't No Miller Lite! Rangers Beat Islanders 4-1

Heck of an MSG debut for rookie J.T. Miller playing in just his second NHL game. He opened the scoring for the Rangers and added another as the Rangers beat the Islanders 4-1.

The other Rangers goals were scored by Marian Gaborik (6th of year) and an empty net goal by Ryan McDonagh.

The win gave the Rangers their fifth win of the season and was an all around good effort. It was only the second time this season the Rangers didn't allow a power play goal against and the first time all season they scored a power play goal and didn't allow a power play goal against.

With scoring like that, he might be a valuable addition to your fantasy hockey team if you are in a deep league.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Rupp Traded To Wild For Powe and Palmieri

 According to Blueshirts United:
Monday afternoon the Rangers swung a two-for-one trade with the Minnesota Wild, acquiring forwards Darroll Powe and Nick Palmieri in exchange for veteran forward Mike Rupp. Powe is expected to arrive in time for Tuesday's game against the Devils at the Prudential Center, while Palmieri will report to the Rangers minor league affiliate Connecticut Whale.
In addition to this, the Rangers called up J.T. Miller and Brandon Mashinter from the Connecticut Whale and sent Benn Ferriero down.

I definitely was not expecting to see Mashinter on Garden ice this year. I assumed when the Rangers acquired him from San Jose a few weeks back that he was added depth for the Whale. On Sunday The NY Rangers Blog had the Mashinter Watch going after Rupp and Bickel were reduced to less than five minutes of ice time each in the last Rangers game.

J.T. Miller was the Rangers' first round pick in 2011 and has this to say about him:
Miller is an excellent two-way player, with some offensive upside. A good face-off man, he plays well along the boards and in tight areas.
As for Powe, from what I've read he's a gritty bottom six guy who is a solid PKer.

TiqIQ has teamed up with RazorGator to bring you additional deals on Rangers Tickets

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Video: Callahan Injured In Rangers Win

The Rangers moved to 3-3 on the season with a 2-1 over the Flyers last night at MSG and are now third in the Atlantic Division. One huge negative coming out of the game is the potential loss of Captain Ryan Callahan who left the game in the third period with what looked like a shoulder injury.

Early in the third period, Callahan and Max Talbot started pushing and shoving and just as we were getting our popcorn ready for a  dosey doe Callahan and Talbot fell to the ice. It looked fairly innocent at the time. But, Callahan got up holding his left shoulder and skate right off the ice.

I hope I'm wrong but it definitely looked like it could be a dislocated shoulder. After the game the Rangers didn't have an update on Callahan's condition.

If you missed the game, or the third period, here's video of the incident [via SB nation].

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Rangers Rumored Interested In Subban, Should They Be?

via Flickr
Montreal and restricted free agent PK Subban are apparently still very far apart when it comes to signing a contract extension. Subban has yet to play a game this season and based on the way contracts talks are looking, it doesn't sound like he'll be playing in Montreal any time soon.

As you'd expect, this has got the rumor mill going. Several teams are rumored to be in the mix for Subban; including the Rangers and Flyers.

I don't think the Rangers should be in the mix here. There is one main reason why Sather shouldn't even be picking the phone up. Ignore the fact the Canadiens are going to want an arm and a leg for Subban. Ignore the fact that as the NY Rangers Blog points out, this could cause problems down the line for the Rangers attempts to sign their own restricted free agents.

The main reason the Rangers should not be inquiring about Subban is the fact he seems to be a problem in the locker room. Last season alone he got into physical confrontations with four of his own teammates (David Desharnais, Mathieu Darche, Louis Leblanc & Tomas Plekanec). The odd skirmish at practice is often seen as no big deal. But, when the same player is involved time and time again you have to think that maybe he is a problem.

Last year the Rangers seemed to have real good chemistry and a lot of the players seemed like they really were friends off the ice. To me, that's important. If you are friends with your teammate you will be willing to do anything for him and want to do your best not to let your team down. If you got a guy like Subban on your team, no matter how talented he is, there's a serious chance he's going to significantly screw up alter that chemistry.

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Arnott Fails Physical, Deal With Rangers Called Off

Well, that was short lived.

The one year deal the Rangers were apparently prepared to sign Jason Arnott to has been called off as Arnott apparently failed his physical today. 

This isn't something you hear about often. The last time I recall hearing a player fail a physical was in 2009 when Kyle McLaren was traded by the Sharks to the Flyers and the deal was called off when McLaren failed the physical.

According to ESPN:
Arnott reportedly underwent arthroscopic knee surgery this past summer after playing through both a knee and shoulder injury last season.
I wonder if any of these injuries were what led to Arnott's failed physical. Disappointed to be honest because I was a big advocate of the signing as it would give the Rangers more size up the middle and a veteran who knows how to win faceoffs.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Rangers Sign Jason Arnott

via Flickr
TSN reporting that the Rangers have signed the 38 year old veteran center, Jason Arnott, to a one year deal. According to the initial reports Arnott is on his way to New York to finalize the deal which is believed to be a cap hit of around $1.6M.

I actually was advocating for this signing prior to last season and now that it's happened a year later I'm very please. Obviously if the Rangers are going to rely on this guy heavily for offense they are in trouble. But, he's a big body who has been around and has a Cup.

Arnott is a good faceoff man and will likely see power play time, where he will hopefully stand in front of the net and screen the goalie and bang in a few rebounds.

If Arnott can come in, play in the bottom six, win more faceoffs than he loses and get anything more than 25 points this will be a huge help to the Rangers.

Video: The Bigger They Are, The Harder They Fall! Lucic Drops Carkner

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Video: Colton Orr Back In Style, Drops Big John Scott

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

When He's On, He's On!

That was a hell of a game last night for the New York Rangers and Marian Gaborik. In a game the Rangers desperately needed to get some points in after losing the first two games of the season, they showed up to play.

Marian Gaborik was the star of the show, ending the game less than thirty seconds into overtime with his third goal of the game. Gaborik had scored his first two goals in the first period to give the Rangers an early 2-0 lead.

Those who had New York Rangers tickets were not disappointed as the game was filled with seven goals, a fight, end to end action, hard hitting and some solid goaltending.

The Rangers are back on the ice tonight when they take on the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers are winless this season and will be without Braydon Schenn who was suspended one game for a charging call on the Devils Anton Volchenkov on Tuesday night. The Flyers will also be without Scott Fartsmell who is out indefinitely with a leg/foot injury.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Rangers Better Start Getting Points

The Bruins come into the Garden tonight with a start to the season that is the polar opposite of the Rangers. The Bruins beat the Jets in a shootout on Monday night after knocking off the Rangers in the season opener in Boston on Sunday.

The Rangers on the other hand have had about as shitty a start to the season as you could imagine; losing Saturday to the Bruins and then were beaten fairly easily 6-3 on Sunday at the Garden by the Penguins.

I didn't see the Boston game on Saturday, so I can't pretend to compare what they did in that one to what they need to do tonight. But, I can tell you they sure as hell better show up willing to play better than they did on Sunday against the Pens. On Sunday for a good three-quarters of the game if you told me the Rangers thought it was the NHL All-Star game I would've believed you. The forecheck was weak most of the game and it seemed like the defense lacked any tenacity in their own zone. Penguins were allowed to skate freely through the center of the ice with and without the puck. Lundqvist wasn't terrible, but at the same time, he didn't do much to help his team prior to being pulled midway through the game.

Stu Bickel who was to blame for the second goal on Sunday against the Pens has gotten the wrath of most fans. But, let's be realistic the Rangers didn't lose because of Bickel's gaff on the second goal. The Rangers lost because they were pretty awful. Marian Gaborik was invisible as was Derek Stepan.

Rick Nash who scored a short-handed goal in the loss on Sunday was in my opinion the best Ranger on the ice. In the first period he threw a couple of big hits in one shift, he used his body down low on a few occasions and he looked like the only NYR forward with an ounce of creativity.

One team is going to start the season with a three game streak, the Rangers are hoping that it isn't them.

In a shortened NHL season, the old saying you can't make the playoffs in the first month of the season but you can certainly miss them because of the first month, is even more true than usual.

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Monday Morning Hockey Links

  • recap of last night's 6-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins
  • If you missed Brook Orpik's hit on Kreider at the end of last night's game, you can check that out over at The Pens Blog. Of course after the hit many on Twitter were complaining to which I responded "to the people yapping about Orpik please stop, it's hockey, you play till the buzzer. Nothing wrong with the hit."
  • Apparently, after the game, John Tortorella echoed my sentiments.
  • Rick Nash's first goal as a New York Ranger was a short handed goal at MSG. [Video]
  • Lundqvist's possible save of the year candidate on David Krecji on Saturday in Boston
  • Here are the Rangers fights from the weekend:
    • Mike Rupp vs Shawn Thornton (Bruins) [Video]
    • Stu Bickel vs Gregory Campbell [Video]
    • Arron Asham vs. Tanner Glass [Video]

Friday, January 18, 2013

NHL Season Starts Tomorrow, Anyone Else Having Hard Time Getting Excited?

Let me preface this post by saying I am a die hard hockey fan. My wife will be the first to tell you I am pissed off when the Rangers lose until the next time they win. I watch 82 regular season games per year plus every playoff game if my beloved New York Rangers make the playoffs. When I heard the news on January 6th that the players and owners had reached a deal and the lockout was over I was super happy.

As happy as I was (and still am) that the lockout is over, I'm having a hard time getting pumped for the 2012-13 NHL season. It starts tomorrow when 28 of the 30 NHL teams are in action. I'm hoping that the second the puck drops Saturday my juices start flowing and I pick up right where I left off when my Rangers were eliminated by those scumbags their rivals, the New Jersey Devils in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

But, despite the fact hockey starts again tomorrow, something just is not right. I can't put my finger on it. You see, I'm pretty much a one sport fan. I live, sleep, breathe, drink and eat hockey. I read everything I can about the NHL, listen to hockey talk radio and watch out of town games as often as I can. From the minute the Stanley Cup is hoisted in June until the minute NHL training camps open in September I miss hockey. Once NHL training camp opens up, I am super pumped for the season to start and watch every minute of pre-season hockey (you know the games we aren't supposed to care about).

This year, it's just not the same. Maybe it's the fact I'm getting old (now almost 30!). The fact I have important stuff going on in my life - a wife, a house, a career, a busy life. But, part of me knows it can't be that because I've always had other stuff going on that should've distracted me from hockey just as much and it never has.

Nope - sadly, I think a lot of the reason why I can't get pumped is because I'm pissed off. That's right - super pissed off. I don't even know who to direct my anger towards to be honest.

I'm mad at Gary Bettman. The tyrant who runs the National Hockey League, the man with all the power who despite helping grow the league and break records in all types of categories including growth and revenue has been in control now for three lockouts! Even New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie, who as we know blames labor unions for virtually all things wrong in the world today, placed the blame on league leadership. No other professional league does this. Despite the fact the NHL and NHLPA have a CBA that is good for the next eight years, fans know it's likely going to be another bitch-fest between the owners and players the second the next collective bargaining agreement is up for discussion.

I'm mad at the owners because it is they who caused the disaster to begin with! Giving players guaranteed contracts into their 40s (source), signing goalies who can't wipe their ass without pulling a hip flexor to 15 year deals (source), paying guys $6.5 million to play in the minors (source), giving a 31 year old goalie a 12 year deal and then making him your backup after two years (source) and signing two players for a total of 26 years and $196 million in one day! (source) And after all of that (and a whole lot more!) they bitch and moan that the system is broke, needs to be fixed and they aren't making enough money. Boof**kinhoo!

I'm mad at the players. I may blame them the least, but they are to blame, because they get paid a shit ton of money for the most part and in the end were fighting tooth and nail over petty crap just to say they didn't give in.

I'm mad at the fans because they let to the NHL do this to them. After all of the bitching and moaning about how no one cared about them and how the billionaires and millionaires were fighting and the little guy was the one getting screwed they come crawling running back. After their empty promises to boycott everything and anything NHL they do this, this, and this.

I'm mad at myself. Mad because I know that by the time the first whistle blows on Saturday night in Boston for an offside call I'll already have forgotten how mad I am. The passion will be back like it always is, I'll be screaming at my TV for the Rangers to shoot the puck on the Power Play and by the time a Ranger is being interviewed between periods I'll be on the internet  looking for New York Rangers tickets.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Rangers & Sharks Make Minor Trade

In a trade involving minor leaguers, the Rangers acquired forward Brandon Mashinter from San Jose. In return, the Sharks acquired Tommy Grant and a conditional pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.

According to Hockey's Future:
Mashinter plays with physicality and grit while working the boards well down low but has to drive the front of the opposition's net more often. The hulking winger needs improvement in his skating stride and defensive game to develop into a power forward but needs to get in the high traffic areas to score not trying to be a shooter or a sniper. He projects as a third or fourth line checking forward if he gets to the NHL.
Last season Mashinter played 65 games for Worcester (Sharks AHL affiliate) recording 33 points (16 goals, 17 assists).  In 2011-12 he recorded two Gordie Howe hat-tricks on Dec. 30 and Feb. 4. (source)

Something tells me you won't need New York Rangers tickets to see Mashinter play this season, he's added depth for the Whale.

Redden Waived, Next Step ... Buy Out

Just 48 hours ago this would not have been possible. But, thanks to the new agreement between the NHLPA and NHL that has gone into effect, the Rangers placed Wade Redden on waivers today.

If Redden clears waivers on Thursday afternoon (which he definitely will), the Rangers will exercise a compliance buyout.

When Redden clears tomorrow afternoon and is officially bought out he will become a UFA. The question isn't will Redden play in the NHL again, the question is which other NHL city will Redden play in this year and call his home. 

Similarly, as expected, Montreal also placed Scott Gomez on waivers. When he clears, he will be bought out like Redden and become a free agent.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Looks Like Redden Could Be Bought Out This Week

According to Pierre LeBrun of ESPN the NHLPA and NHL have come to an agreement on players who were being sat out this year in order to be bought out this summer.

News broke Sunday that Scott Gomez was told by Montreal not to bother showing up to the mini-training camp. Similarly, the New York Rangers planned on doing the same thing with Wade Redden. As Bob McKenzie wrote last week, the Rangers had three options as to what to do with Redden and the most obvious was sit him out the entire season and then buy him out this summer.

After these two players made the news as casualties of the new CBA - not just being buried in a minor league hidden from the NHL, but prohibited from playing hockey to avoid injury - it was reported the NHLPA were discussing the issue with the league. Seems odd to me that this wasn't discussed during the lockout which cost us almost half a season. One would think that somewhere along the line someone had to think to themselves how the new amnesty buyout would effect players with atrocious contracts who would be bought out next season.

TSN is reporting the deal between the NHLPA and NHL means:
teams are now eligible to exercise an "accelerated compliance buyout" on one player with a salary cap hit of $3 million or more before the regular season begins on Saturday.
If a compliance buyout is used this week, a team will have only one left to use next summer.
To be fair, we all know that neither Gomez nor Redden lived up to their contracts. Both players were severely overpaid and never lived up to the contracts Sather signed them to you. It doesn't day the NHL director of scouting to see that. However, it seems extremely unfair to the players if they were forced to sit out a year to await a buyout this summer. Don't get me wrong, these guys are going to be laughing all the way to the bank (not that they haven't been doing that for the past few years), but sitting out an entire year basically would've forced these two veterans to the brink of retirement. Hard to recover from that much of a lay off from any competitive sport, nevermind a professional league where you are already reaching the last few years of your career.

I've said before that Wade Redden is still an NHL defenseman. When he was sent by the Rangers to Hartford it was my belief that Wade Redden would easily make any NHL roster as a top six defenseman. The problem is, he wasn't the number one or even top pairing defenseman that his contract signified he should be.

The Scott Gomez era in New York ended miraculously in the summer of 2009 when somehow Sather sent the overpaid Gomez to the Habs in a deal that landed blue chip prospect Ryan McDonagh - who is now arguably the team's best defenseman. Now, perhaps he and Redden will continue their NHL careers somewhere at a contract more in tune with what they can bring to a team.

In order for a player to be bought out this week, he still must clear waivers first. The Rangers and Montreal will take the full cap hit on each player for this season, less the $900,000 for not burying the player in the minors, but suffer no cap hit next season or beyond.

Do the Rangers and Canadiens owe these players anything? Probably not. But, I think that for the cap hit of $900k this year, both teams are likely to buy out their respective player and allow them to pursue their career elsewhere rather than forcing them into a likely early retirement.

Something tells me after they're bought out and re-signed elsewhere they still won't have any problems affording New York Rangers tickets!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Del Zotto Signs Two Year Deal With Rangers, Sign Gilroy

The Rangers also signed UFA Matt Gilroy, who played last season with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Gilroy played two seasons with the Rangers after signing as a free agent out of college in 2009.

The Del Zotto deal is reported to be $2.55 per year for two years.
Just hours ahead of the first day of the delayed 2012-13 NHL training camp the Rangers signed restricted free agent Michael Del Zotto to a new deal. The details of the contract haven't been released but it's reported to be a two year deal.

Based on the length of the deal, I think the Rangers are probably paying a little less for each of the two years than they would've had to pay had the deal been stretched out for another year. If I were to speculate about the salary, I'd expect it's for around $2.5M per year.

Getting Del Zotto re-signed was important for both sides because according to the NY Daily News "he would not have been allowed to participate until he signed, and without arbitration rights, he would have remained under the club’s control until he inked or the team sought a trade."
  • In other NHL news, the Montreal Canadiens told former New York Ranger, Scott Gomez, not to bother showing up for training camp. If you're a Habs fan you might want to not read this next part - the Rangers traded Gomez to the Canadiens in June 2009 in a deal that brought Ryan McDonagh to the Rangers. Since then, McDonagh has flourished on the Rangers blue line and Gomez struggled offensively in Hab land.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

NHL 48 Game Regular Season Scheduled To Begin January 19th

According to Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night In Canada:
NHL sends memo to clubs indicating no camps before Saturday (and may not open until Monday), 48-game season to begin Jan. 19
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Rangers' Sauer Won't Play This Season

According to Larry Brooks, when the NHL season finally gets underway in the next few weeks, all New York Rangers will be ready to go except Mike Sauer.

As you may recall, Sauer has been out with concussion symptoms since this massive hit by Dion Phaneuf early last season.

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