Sunday, August 31, 2008

Shootout Preview: Phoenix Coyotes


When it comes to close games, a coach has to think ahead to the shootout that could be played. Wayne Gretzky and the Coyotes staff will have plenty of players willing to go on the shootout but which ones have the skill to get the tap on the shoulder every night? 
Starting in goal...Ilya Bryzgalov was a very good shoot out goalie. The Yotes were 5-6 in the shootout this past season. Of course, a coach like Gretzky would rather win on hard work and during regulation or overtime but to contend in the Western Conference, every point counts. Bryzgalov and the rest of the Coyotes goaltenders gave up 12 goals in the shootout this past year. With a full year of Bryzgalov, that number will certainly go down. 
On the scoring side of things, it will be different. Radim Vrbata was the go to guy for Gretzky as his quick forehand to backhander gave goalies nightmares as he went 5 for 8 during the season. But who will replace him? 
Certainly, American sniper Peter Mueller will get his chances after going 3 for 10. All 3 of those were decisive goals. Kyle Turris participated in the shootout once last year and used his unbelievable wrist shot to beat Jonas Hiller of the Ducks. He will get a shot in the shootout. Martin Hanzal is a skilled player and will have a couple of chances. The young guys will get shots like Mikkel Boedker, Enver Lisin, and Viktor Tikhonov. 
Of course, they have to make the team first. Veteran players like Shane Doan and Olli Jokinen will certainly be at the top of the list when Gretzky is choosing his shooters.
The Coyotes will have a decent shootout team this year but, in a tough conference, shootouts will definitely test this team. 

Image found here via Google image search

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Andrej Meszaros traded to Tampa Bay..Should the Rangers be Afraid?


The defenseman who has made contract talks difficult for Ottawa GM Bryan Murray is on his way out of the nation's capital of our northern friends. Andrej Meszaros has been traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning. In exchange, the Senators acquire Filip Kuba, Alexandre Picard, and a first round pick of San Jose's that Tampa had acquired in the Dan Boyle trade. 
Obviously, this was an effort by the Tampa Bay Lightning to improve a defense that has been ripped apart. This doesn't change anything except make it worse. Meszaros is a good defenseman and at only 22 years of age, has plenty of time to develop into a more complete player. But for the now, Tampa gave up a good veteran defenseman in Kuba and a decent defensive prospect in Picard not to mention the first round pick. For a team that has a farm system that is near non-existence and no prospect pool, this was a bad move. 
The Lightning should be more focuses on acquiring and keeping first round picks, especially in a very deep draft next summer. Yes they got Steven Stamkos but one prospect does not make your rebuilding process done. This team needs depth on the blueline which they do not have. Barry Melrose is not a coach that is going to singlehandedly lead them and get a Jack Adams trophy. 
So...should the Rangers be nervous about the first 2 games in Prague? Absolutely not. The Ranger organization knows how teams work that are just slapped together in an effort to have a good year. This is a little bit of a different situation but you get the idea. The Lightning are going to need alot more than Andrej Meszaros if they want their blueline to hold up against big offensive teams in the Eastern Conference. Ottawa was in the right to get rid of him and got a first round pick out of it and then some. 
See TSN for more information. 

Image found here via Google Image search. 

Friday, August 29, 2008

From the Blues to the Desert: Episode 4 today!

Episode 4 of From the Blues to the Desert will air today at Noon EST on Youcastr. Mike and I will be covering all the news for the past week and will be joined by Bleacher Report writer Greg Caggiano who will talk about his Gomez rumors from the past week and participate in our division previews of the Pacific and Atlantic divisions. Our rivalry segment will head back to the East as we look at Bruins and Canadiens. For the Rangers and Coyotes, we will be discussing the worst trades in their respective histories. All this and much much more on the show today.
Remember to email any questions or comments to bluestothedesert@yahoo.com where we will read them on the show. We will also be trying to get people to call into the show via Skype. If you would like to talk to us on the show, get Skype and register at Youcastr to participate in the chat where we will give you further instructions on how to talk to us. Follow the link at the right labeled From the Blues to the Desert to get to the show page. 

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Mad Hatters sign 2 more


The Danbury Mad Hatters continue filling their roster with two more signings:

The Danbury Mad Hatters of the Eastern Professional Hockey League (EPHL) have announced the signings of forwards Chris Seifert and Drew Madeiros. As per club policy, the terms of the deals were not disclosed.


Seifert is a 27 year old forward born in Fairfield, CT, and currently resides in Norwalk, CT. Over the last 5 seasons, Chris has played with Charlotte in the ECHL, Winston-Salem in the SEHL, Pee Dee in the SPHL, Adirondack and Elmira in the UHL, and most recently Valley Forge in the MAHL. Over those 5 seasons, Chris has amassed 40 goals, 46 assists, and 65 penalty minutes in 85 professional games. Prior to his professional career, he attended Manhattanville College. In 4 seasons at Manhattanville, Chris played in 97 games, scoring 44 goals and adding 72 assists with only 64 penalty minutes.


"With Chris, you know what you're getting in terms of putting the puck in the net," General Manager of Hockey Operations Brendan Tedstone said. "He's a natural goal scorer, and if not for an injury last year, he would've put up bigger numbers for Valley Forge. We'll be looking to him to put up those similar type numbers for us this year."


Also signed by the Mad Hatters is forward Drew Madeiros. Madeiros is a 26 year old from Tewksbury, MA. He spent the last two seasons with Pee Dee and Richmond of the SPHL. In 105 professional games, Drew has notched 29 goals, 17 assists, and 125 penalty minutes. He has also played in 5 playoff games, gaining one assist. Before the SPHL, Drew played 4 seasons at Salem State College where he appeared in 101 games, scored 44 goals, and added 64 assists with 147 penalty minutes.


"Drew fills our need for a right handed center, and his speed with create opportunities," Tedstone said. "He's a very unselfish player who only wants to win, even if that means dropping the mitts from time to time."


The Mad Hatters have bulked up their roster, but the team's lineup is far from being filled out. The team is holding their tryout camp beginning on Friday, September 12 with games scheduled for Saturday and Sunday September 13 and 14. The first tryout's game is scheduled for 8:00 am on Saturday the 13th. The other tryout games on the 13th begin at 9:45 am, 11:30 am, 2:30 pm, 4:15 pm, and 6:00 pm. Two more games will be played on Sunday the 14th: 8:00 am and 9:45 am.


All tryout games are free to the public, and all fans in the Danbury area who wish to get their first look at Mad Hatters hockey are encouraged to attend.


Seifert sounds like another good player that can be added to the front lines and has 86 points in 85 career professional hockey games. Adding a point per game player like him will certainly help the Hatters score by putting the puck in and maybe this guy could lead the team in goal scoring. Madeiros is an important player type considering he is a right handed center. Not really known for his offensive abilities, his defensive and checking qualities will certainly be just as important as Seifert scoring goals. 
Keep checking back here for Mad Hatters news!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Everyone...Chill


If anyone has been looking at the hockey rumors for the past few days, you are about to put your head through a wall. Yes it is Mats Sundin and the New York Rangers linked together again but much more than that. Reports have been around the internet of the Rangers possibly trading Scott Gomez to a few different places. Vancouver has been in the mix but so has the Minnesota Wild and Los Angeles Kings, as noted by Greg on Bleacher Report here
Before I go on, these are just rumors and are not absolute truths. Greg took something he found out and went out on a limb knowing full well the possible consequences. Don't bash him.
Now I am going to disagree with my friend Greg here on these rumors. Last year the Rangers signed Gomez to the big contract, along with Fairfield Prep, to be the centers of the future. Gomez has a limited no trade clause so trading him isn't as easy as most players. Not to mention the fact he loves being in New York and left a bitter rival to come here. 
That being said, every possible rumor has Mats Sundin and the New York Rangers in love so much that they are doing more than sitting in a tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G. Of course no one really knows what truth there is to these rumors except Glen Sather and Mr. Sundin. We fans would all love for Sundin to just pick his team and let us get on with our lives but I wouldn't count on it.
Sundin is a very patient man and I understand why he is taking so long. First, it is a major career choice. He has been playing hockey his whole life up to this point whether it was as a kid in Sweden or last year in Toronto. Making a choice like this is life altering and you have to be 110% sure you are done (See Brett Favre). 
The second reason that this will not happen anytime soon is because of September 15th. Why is that date important? That is when the CBA will be ratified for an extension by the NHLPA. At that point, bonuses can be put into contracts for guys age 35 years and older. These bonuses would not count against the cap for this year thereby helping teams like the Rangers who are kissing the cap ceiling. This may also be the reason why Teemu Selanne, Joe Sakic, and Brendan Shanahan are hanging out (All last names with an S...why did I notice that?). 
Do I think Gomez is going anywhere? No. I give Greg all the credit in the world for putting a rumor out like that but I am going to believe it won't happen. If anyone is going to be traded from the New York Rangers to allow Sundin on the team, Michal Rozsival should be the one to go, but that is a discussion for another time. Gomez is going no where whether or not Sundin decides to come to Manhattan. But then again, I have been wrong before. 

Image found here via Google Image search

Friday, August 22, 2008

Mad Hatters Sign Prospect Igor Karlov


The Mad Hatters made another signing today.

The Danbury Mad Hatters of the Eastern Professional Hockey League (EPHL) have announced the signing of forward Igor Karlov, a top prospect from Ukraine. As per club policy, the terms of the deal were not disclosed.


Karlov is a 23 year old prospect born in Kiev, Ukraine. The 5'10", 175 lb forward played last season for Sokol Kiev Falcons in Vysshaya Liga, a Russian 2 League. In 12 games, he scored 2 goals and added an assist with only 4 penalty minutes. In 2003, he played in 5 games for Team Ukraine in the Division 1 Under 18 World Junior Championships, but did not record a point.


Some of the NHL prospects who have played for Sokol Kiev include former Washington Captials forward Dmitri Khristich, former Buffalo Sabres defenseman Alexei Zhitnik, and current Pittsburgh Penguins forward, and Stanley Cup Champion, Ruslan Fedotenko.


"There’s no doubt that he’ll be a star in this league," General Manager of Hockey Operations Brendan Tedstone said of Igor. "We’re already getting questions from NHL teams about him. He has been off the radar from most all US teams, which helps us tremendously. If we can hold on to him, he’ll be a star in the EPHL"


Mad Hatters Head Coach Dave MacIsaac said, "I’ve seen him play and can tell you that we are lucky to ink this guy. Let’s see how long we can hold on to him before the higher leagues call him up."

This kid has the skills to play in much higher leagues here in North America but it seems he will get his start in the EPHL with the Danbury Mad Hatters. Most teams haven't heard of him probably because he is from Ukraine where hockey players are not flooding out of. But the kid has skill and can score. The fact NHL teams are calling the Mad Hatters for information about the kid and what he is like shows how interested teams are and the kind of talent and potential that he has. If he has that much skill, I am sure his stay in Danbury won't be very long. 

Episode 3 at NOOOOOON!

Episode 3 of From the Blues to the Desert will be airing at Noon EST TODAY! Make sure you tune in and send us emails at bluestothedesert@yahoo.com to answer on the show. Don't forget if you register at Youcastr, a live chat will be available for you while the show is going on. You can also give us questions there. Follow the link at the right labeled "From the Blues to the Desert" to get to the show page and you can find episode 3 from there. 

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mad Hatters sign Eric Linkowski

The Danbury Mad Hatters have made another signing:

(DANBURY, CT) – The Danbury Mad Hatters of the Eastern Professional Hockey League (EPHL) have announced the signing of defenseman Eric Linkowski. As per club policy, the terms of the deal was not disclosed.


Linkowski is a 5'10" defenseman born in Mt. Vernon, NY, but currently resides in Danbury. In four professional seasons Eric has played for Chesapeake and South Carolina in the ECHL, Macon and Fayetteville in the CHL, and New Haven in the UHL. In 175 regular season games, he scored 21 goals and added 39 assists while recording only 97 penalty minutes. In 13 career playoff games, he has 4 assists and only 4 penalty minutes. After his last professional season, he coached a high school team in Cross River, NY.


Before his professional career, he was a four-year letter-man at the University of Connecticut. In his senior year, he was named a Division III, second team All-American. 


"Eric hasn’t played in a while because he's been coaching, but he got the itch to play again and is very anxious to get back in pro hockey," General Manager of Hockey Operations Brendan Tedstone said. "He's a defenseman that puts D first and stays out of the box. He will bring leadership and experience to the team."


"He brings a tremendous amount of experience to this team, and with his coaching experience he brings a tremendous amount of leadership as well," Mad Hatters Head Coach Dave MacIsaac said of Eric.


The Mad Hatters are scheduled to play 50 games this year and will open their inaugural season on November 1 at 7:30 pm at the Danbury Ice Arena against the Rome/Copper City Chiefs.

Linkowski's coaching will certainly give him a leadership position on the ice and in the locker room as well. Seeing him as a veteran of minor league hockey, don't be surprised if he is the first captain in Mad Hatters history or, better yet, a player coach (Reggie Dunlop anyone?). He will be 33 years old when the season starts. In the press release, it mentions he was on the 2nd All American team in Division III hockey. That same year Chris Drury, Tom Poti, Dan Boyle, Brian Gionta, and Jason Blake were All Americans. Those guys were Division 1 but it shows the guy has been around for a while and his leadership on the blue line will certainly help some of the younger players the team is getting together. 
Remember, for any hockey players that are 20+, the Hatters are holding tryouts for the team. Click here for more information on how to get involved with that.

CHL Looking to Drop Import Draft



When it comes to the development of players for the NHL, the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) is right at the top. Most of the players in the CHL are North American playing in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), and the Western Hockey League (WHL). But the Import draft held every year allows junior teams to select foreign players, mostly European, to play on their teams in the CHL. Whether or not the Europeans decide to actually come over and sign with their junior team is a decision for the players but the option has always been there for them.
However, after reading an article from The Hockey News, I learned that the CHL is looking to abolish the import draft. They definitely should not do this.
Why do you not see a lot of Europeans on these teams? For one, each team is limited to 2 Europeans on the team. That is a league rule and an argument for another time but that is one way Europeans are limited in the CHL in terms of numbers. 
Second, there is a very big decision to make when a player gets drafted in the import draft. For arugment's sake, let us make up a player. His name is Gootz and he is from Sweden (I wish). He gets drafted in the import draft to the Plymouth Whalers of the OHL. Gootz has a decision to make. He can either leave his home, family, and everything he knows to move to Plymouth, Michigan, move in with a boarding family that he does not know. He will be in a very unfamiliar place and on a team where he may or may not have a very good shot at making the team. He will be playing junior players who have a shot to be NHLers someday.
On the other hand, he can stay in Sweden and play for Frolunda in the Elitserien. He will be home with his family and not have to worry about learning a new language. Life will be much easier for him. He will be playing in a professional league against high caliber players. 
Obviously from that, it sounds like Gootz should stay at home.
But when it comes down to the hockey aspect, Europeans are willing to take the chance of coming over to play in the CHL because the style of play is different than it is in Europe. Many players would be willing to come over if they knew the CHL would be a better place for them to get used to the North American game which is very influential on the NHL. 
So why does the CHL want to get rid of the Import draft? Their main reason for trying to get rid of it is because players usually don't come over. That is something that can be changed by the CHL teams. They have to convince these guys to come over and play on their team. At least give it a shot before giving up all hope on the player. 
The second, and dumbest reason, is that the CHL doesn't see many good European players coming over. Is this true? Absolutely not. 
Look at the Coyotes. Martin Hanzal came from the Red Deer Rebels of the WHL. Mikkel Boedker , a rookie Dane who came to the Kitchener Rangers and absolutely shined there and it was enough to be a top 10 pick. Before him, Nikita Filatov wants to come to North America. While he has the skill to probably join the Columbus Blue Jackets right now, the contingency plan is to let him play for the Sudbury Wolves of the OHL. New York Ranger draft picks Tomas Kundratek and Evgeny Grachev will be coming over to play in the CHL. Kundratek, the top Czech prospect at the draft, was picked by the Medicine Hat Tigers of the WHL while Grachev will go to the Brampton Batallion of the OHL. While it sounds crazy at this point, Kundratek believes he could make the NHL right now! Obviously no one knows yet but to have that kind of confidence is pretty good to have on a CHL team. Luca Cunti of the Lightning will be playing in the QMJHL with Rimouski Oceanic. 
Europeans in the NHL now who played in the CHL include Sergei Kostitsyn, Andrej Meszaros, and Alexander Radulov. Yes Radulov is now gone but that isn't the point.
The point is that Europeans can play in the CHL and they are good players there. Does it always work out? Of course not. While it is only 2 spots on the whole roster, it is a small gamble to bring a European over and put him in a game that may be different from what he is used to. But that is certainly not a reason to abolish the CHL Import Draft. 
Keep the Import Draft. Keep bringing Europeans over. The guys across the pond are some of the best players in the world. If they want to come over and play then let them. The foreign leagues have turned out great Europeans for a long time which may persuade players to stay home. But to get rid of the draft because of that is a bad reason and saying that Europeans who come over aren't good enough is ridiculous. 

Image found here via Google Image search. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tech Problems

Due to technical problems on Youcastr, we have pushed our show back to noon on Friday August 22nd. Hopefully by then they will have all their problems fixed up. Remember to send us emails at bluestothedesert@yahoo.com for the show! 

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Preview for Episode Number 3 on Youcastr!


It's been a while since I've wrote something on here, considering there is not a lot of new news around the NHL right now, but tomorrow is our 3rd episode of the radio program From the Blues to the Desert! Gootz and I will be discussing Mats Sundin once again, Rangers retired numbers, we will preview the Central and Southeast Divisions, and take a look at the intense Red Wings- Avalanche rivalry. We hope to see you participating in our live chat during the broadcast and if you can't make it live, you can always listen at any time on youcastr. Also send us some emails and have your voice heard on the show. You can send your questions and opinions to Bluestothedesert@yahoo.com.

Image found here via Google Image Search

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Very Very Slow Days


If you haven't noticed the NHL has been very slow these days when it comes to news. But the one man keeping all hockey fans on their toes is Mats Sundin. Larry Brooks of the NY Post has cited unnamed sources saying that Sundin's first choice is still the New York Rangers and may be willing to take a pay cut to play in the Big Apple. The gentleman at Hockeybuzz has reported that Sundin may play for the Rangers for as little as $2 million. Of course these rumors have been floating around for a day or two now but if, and of course this if is bigger than any font size I could think of, Sundin is willing to play for the Rangers for $2 million on a one year deal and try to go for that Stanley Cup he has missed for his entire career, then why not? I am sure Ranger fans would prefer to see Sundin on this team rather than Petr Nedved. 
Keep an eye out for the announcement of episode 3 of From the Blues to the Desert here on the blog. We have noticed problems with trying to get the podcast on itunes and are trying to fix that. We appreciate everyone listening to the show and can't wait to do our next one. Remember to send us emails at bluestothedesert@yahoo.com to ask us questions about the show, hockey, or comments about the show. Improvements that could be made, what you like, what you don't like, whatever you feel like doing. With slow days such as these, we look forward to your emails on the show. 

Image found here via Google Image search. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ranger Prospect Report and Episode 2

NHL.com has a feature on the New York Rangers prospect pipeline that talks about the big names in the system. It is very comprehensive and is a nice who's who for the Ranger prospects so make sure you check it out at some point.
Brian Leetch and Mike Richter are going to be inducted into the US Hockey Hall of Fame this coming year, along with Brett Hull and Cammi Granato. Mike and I will share our thoughts on this topic and many others on our show today at NOON, which you can find at the right under "From the Blues to the Desert". Make sure you send your emails to bluestothedesert@yahoo.com for today's show. Remember, the emails don't have to be about what we are talking about. We will take any and all emails. 
One other thing that I noticed was that you can't find our podcast by simply searching for it on itunes. To get it, go to the show page on Youcastr and there is a little purple icon that says "Podcast". By clicking that, it will open your itunes and start downloading the episodes. Of course they are free.
Make sure you tune in! 

Monday, August 11, 2008

Episode Number 2 Information


The second episode of From the Blues to the Desert will be airing on WEDNESDAY AUGUST 13th and NOON est/ 9am Pacific. It will be on Youcastr which you can find through the link at the right labeled "From the Blues to the Desert". 
We will be discussing our point predictions for the Rangers and Coyotes, beginning our divisional previews for the National Hockey League and also our new rivalry segment. We will talk about the trade of Wayne Gretzky's career and break it down aling with any other news in the NHL along with your emails. Our divisional preview will start with the Northeast and Northwest divisions. Our rivalry segment will begin to talk about the best rivalries in hockey and we will be starting with the Rangers and Islanders. Please send us emails about those topics or anything else about the world of hockey and the show at bluestothedesert@yahoo.com and we will do our best to get to them throughout the show.
Also, a chat room will be open during the live broadcast of the show if you are a member of Youcastr and you can post your comments and questions there. Also, if you are a member of Facebook, we have a group "From the Blues to the Desert". Listeners can post comments and questions there as well. 
One other place to post comments and questions is here on the blog under this article. 
Remember that is NOON est/ 9 AM pacific for the radio podcast this week. We changed the date because of previously made commitments. Don't forget to send us emails! 

Image found here via Google image search. 

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Show gaining Momentum

Hey everyone. Our first show was today. You can find it at the link labeled "From the Blues to the Desert" on the right in the list of links. Alternatively, you can now go on itunes and look for the episode. We had the podcast put up on there and once the episodes are done they will be put up on itunes where you can listen to the episodes whenever you want. 

Mike and I are spreading the word but we need your help as well. Tell any hockey fans you know to check out our show. If you have questions/topics that you would like us to discuss or want to tell us what you liked or disliked about the show, please don't hesitate to shoot us an email at bluestothedesert@yahoo.com because we would love to hear from you. We want to make the show the best it can be and the listeners are the best way to figure out improvements that can be made. 

Friday, August 8, 2008

Episode number 1

Hey everyone. Episode 1 is today at 1 pm EST, 10 am Pacific time. Follow the link on the right side labeled "From the Blues to the Desert" and that will take you to the show page. From there you can click play on the episode. If you register with Youcastr, there is a chat room while the show is going on where you can talk while we talk. You can ask questions there, post comments, or whatever you would like to do. 
Also don't forget to email questions and comments to bluestothedesert@yahoo.com if you can't be in the chat room while the show is live. We want to hear from you guys and make this a successful show. 

Follow the link at the right labeled "From the Blues to the Desert"

 

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Introduction and the First Radio Show Preview!

Hey readers, as Gootz told you there are a few big changes coming to the blog. Let me introduce myself. I am Mike Zippo and like Chris, I sit in Section 420 for Rangers games at Madison Square Garden. I attend Sacred Heart University and I am originally from the Bronx, New York. I have been attending Ranger Games at the Garden for as long as I can remember and hockey is truly my passion. I hope you guys enjoy my writing and tune into our radio show either live or check it out after its done over at our website. The link to our profile where you can listen to the show is located on the right.

Our first show will be tomorrow at 1pm. Since we are getting a late start in the summer, we will touch on a variety of topics tomorrow. We will touch on the draft, free agency, Mats Sundin and Jaromir Jagr, the Winter Classic, the brand-new Danbury MadHatters and hopefully get to emails and suggestions from you, our loyal listeners and readers. If you listen to the show live, there is a live chat that the listeners can participate in to give us suggestions so please take a part in that. If you have any emails for the show, any questions, email us at bluestothedesert@yahoo.com or leave us a comment here. Thanks a lot!

Line Juggling Here on the Blog

Alot of things happening here on the blog as improvement is always something I am looking for and it certainly has happened. 
My good friend Mike Zippo has joined this blog under the name trueblue9441 and will be contributing his thoughts on everything. He is a Ranger fan first and foremost and will add a lot to this blog from his perch up in Section 420 of Madison Square Garden. Very happy to have him here. 
Also, the newest feature that will be added is a new radio/podcast show based off this blog called From the Blues to the Desert. Mike and I will be talking about the Rangers, Coyotes, Mad Hatters, and anything else hockey that we feel. We will be starting off doing a 1 hour show once a week until we get the hang of working the podcast and how we want it set up. 
We have set up an email with the address of bluestothedesert@yahoo.com to receive emails from the readers about comments on the show. You are also encouraged to send emails there with questions about the hockey world and what your opinion is on what we talk about. There will be a live chat that you can get into during the show on the site we will be broadcasting through. We will post the link here and on our Facebook group so that getting there will be easy. 
Send us emails for suggestions about the show, the blog, or anything else at the email address above. And keep checking back here for more news about the show and articles from Mike and I. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

All Time Lineup: New York Rangers


As promised, here is the all time lineup for the New York Rangers. There are alot of good players to choose from so this will be tough. This brings into account chemistry, overall career, and career with the Rangers.

Bun Cook - Frank Boucher - Bill Cook
Perhaps the greatest line to play with the Rangers. These guys lead the team in the very early years to 2 Stanley Cups. No other line in Ranger history has done that so these guys deserve the top spot.

Vic Hadfield - Jean Ratelle - Rod Gilbert
One of the most offensive lines in the history of the game, the GAG line led the Rangers for years during the 1960s and early 1970s. No doubt these guys deserve to be right here.

Mark Messier - Wayne Gretzky - Phil Esposito
Close to the perfect line in the history of hockey, these three guys were unbelievable players in their hey days. There is no way they can be left off this list. You would think this would be the first line right? 

Steve Vickers - Walt Tkaczuk - Andy Bathgate
These guys on the 4th line of any team means the team is stacked. Not to discredit these boys because they were great players but this team is absolutely stacked.

Defense

Brian Leetch - Ron Greschner
Two of the best defenseman in Ranger history. These two paired together would be an unbelievable pairing. 

Brad Park - Harry Howell
Two more defenseman that would certainly be in the top pairing for any team. Except for the Rangers. Two of the best defensemen in NHL history.

James Patrick - Jeff Beukeboom
Patrick is one of the most under rated defenseman in Ranger history and how can Jeff Beukeboom be left out? He can't.

Goalies

Mike Richter
Eddie Giacomin

Yes this contradicts my Top 10 list by putting Eddie ahead of Richter but Richter wins the top spot. He won a Cup which is really the only reason I put him ahead here. Either way, you could start either one and you have a chance to win every night. 

Coach/GM: Lester Patrick- Never know when you need a coach to step in at goaltender. He was a coach for 2 Stanley Cups and a GM for a third one. 

That is my all time Ranger line up. Any changes that you would make? Post a comment and let me know!

Image found here.


All Time Team: Federal League


When it come to all time teams, who can forget the Federal League? Yes the league of the Charlestown Chiefs, Syracuse Bulldogs and other notorious teams. But who are the best of the best? Lets take a look.

Jeff Hanson - Steve Hanson - Jack Hanson
-Dit Clapper? Toe Blake? Eddie Shore? Old Time Hockey! Put on the foil. 

Ned Braden - Reggie Dunlop - Guy "Frog Pussy" Drouin
- Another offensive line. Not that they are going to need it since the Hansons are gods. They won't go after old goalies. Except maybe Dunlop. He takes all he can get.

Ogie Oglethorpe - Tim "Dr. Hook" McCracken - Gilmore Tuttle
-Start racking up the penalty minutes boys. Don't forget to mention that Oglethorpe can score and Tim McCracken has stated he can perform "Major surgery. Open heart". Oh and the other guy owns a doughnut shop. 

Clarence "Screaming Buffalo Swamptown - Morris Wanchuk - Nick Brophy
- A man with war paint, a pervert, and a man who plays games drunk and wets himself when he gets hit. Any questions? 

Defense

Dave "Killer"Carlson - Johnny Upton
-The top 2 defensemen in the federal league. At least all around. The Swami Baha be with you.

Andre "Poodle" Lussier - Ross "Mad Dog" Madison
- The big hitters. One was involved with the Denny Pratt tragedy and decided to become a hermit. The other has his lawyer with him everywhere he goes. 

Billy Charlesbois - Jim Ahern
One is a chick magnet and obsessed with himself. A pretty boy. There is always one. Ahern is here to bust the balls of the starting goalie who can't speak English.

Goalies

Denis Lemieux
Tommy Hanrahan

Goaltending is no question here. Despite the fact Lemieux hates anyone who speaks English and demands a trade to Detroit he is a good goalie. He is also allergic to fans. Hanrahan on the other hand has a wife who cheats with everyone in the league. Dunlop knows. He will snap at every practice because Dunlop will be yelling at him all game about his cheating wife, who happens to be a lesbian as well. These guys are both psychos. But they are goalies, they should be. 


Coach: Reggie Dunlop- They are working on it.

General Manager- Joe McGrath- Fashion shows and radiothons. Johnny Upton tried to give him a heart attack by flashing the crowd at a fashion show. And apparently he dresses up in women's clothing. 

Hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did writing it. What a team this is. Would beat out any NHL in history. Hands down. Or I should say gloves down. 

Image found here

Phoenix Coyotes All Time line up


I did the top 10 players for the Rangers and Coyotes and this may seem a bit redundant but there is nothing else to write about at this and frankly, I know a few people rely on this blog for their daily entertainment. So here we go.

NOTE: THIS IS ONLY PHOENIX COYOTES. NO WINNIPEG JETS. 

Tkachuk-Roenick-Gartner
-Quite possibly the three best players to ever don the Coyotes jersey. Not necessarily the best Coyotes, but in terms of ability to play and their careers, these 3 guys lead the way. An unbelievable line that could rival any line when these guys were in their primes.

Drake-Ronning-Doan
- These three were/are gritty players who have offensive abilities that were very underrated. Cliff Ronning is one of the most under appreciated players. Dallas Drake just finished his career but he was the definition of a power forward when he was with Phoenix. Shane Doan is still playing and has plenty of time to become a great player.

Johnson-Janney-Tocchet
-All 3 of these guys were great checking forwards in their time and definitely had the skills to be offensive producers in the NHL. 

Carcillo-Langkow-WILSON!
-A good banger line at the bottom to round out the forwards. Why Landon Wilson? Lets just say college had something to do with it. 

Defense

Numminen-Ed Jovanovski
-The two big names in Coyotes history. Both of them are good defenseman with offensive skills that can really help any team. 

Mara-Morris
Both of these guys are very similar players and would have made a great pairing since they are very much same and would mesh well. Both have offense but are even better on the defensive side of the puck. Paul Mara's shot is one of, if not the, best in Coyotes history from the blue line.

Michalek-Tverdovsky
Two players who made impacts on the team as youngsters round out the defense. Michalek will certainly climb this depth chart as he gets older and more experienced. Tverdovsky was a good young defenseman who really showed promise and while in Phoenix, was one of the best offensive defenseman in their short existence. 

Goalies

Khabibulin
Bryzgalov

Khabibulin would be the starter for this team but Bryzgalov has a serious chance of becoming the best goalie in Coyotes history. Look for him to leap frog the Bulin Wall in the future but for now, Nikolai is holding down the fort. 

Look for my New York Rangers all time lineup tomorrow. Also check out the surprise one.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Tidying

If you haven't noticed I have made a few changes to the site.
First, I have added a bunch of new links to the side that are very helpful. Everything from a radio show on the NHL to some Coyotes and Ranger blogs. Make sure you check them out and they will help you get through these dog days of summer.
Also I have added the roster for the Rangers and Coyotes on the right side if you scroll down the page. I will update them as transactions happen. I will list the Mad Hatters when their roster is full and set for their inaugural season. I am going to keep adding things and may change the look of the site in the near future to make it look tip top for the season where every day will be interesting. 
Keep checking back. 

Also if you have any suggestions, by all means put them here in a comment, put the in the guestbook over on the links to the right or shoot me an email at gootzman@gmail.com to get in touch. Would love to hear from everyone. 

Dawes?

Nigel Dawes is missing from the roster on the official Ranger website...Something brewing? 

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Nedved granted try out by Rangers and Ranger rumblings?


As was reported a few days ago, Petr Nedved has contacted the New York Rangers and asked for a tryout in a last attempt to play in the NHL again and hopefully 3 times is a charm with the Rangers. Nedved knows that this try out has no guarantees and the possibility of him making this team may be small. But the 37 year old may have something to bring to this team of mostly young players. If he does happen to make the team, he will be the oldest player on the team (unless Shanahan re-signs). 
But of course, nothing is going to be certain on any NHL roster (whether they are interested or not) until Mats Sundin decides on if and where he will play this upcoming year. The Rangers have been reported as seriously interested in the veteran center despite the fact that they have almost no cap space, leading everyone to believe that at least 1 trade will have to be made to make room for Sundin. It won't be 3rd/4th liners since trading them won't yield enough cap space even if the entire bottom 6 was traded. You have to look at players with large contracts and those guys are Drury, Gomez, Rozsival, and Lundqvist. 
Lundqvist isn't going anywhere. Enough said. 
Drury and Gomez may seem like the biggest candidates because of their large contracts but they shouldn't be. They were both brought in last year and are going to be the foundation of this team (along with King Henrik) for years to come. Drury has a full no movement clause while Gomez has a limited no trade clause. Their contracts would be tough to swallow for any team in the NHL. But there is no way these guys are leaving.
That leaves Rozsival. He just re-signed last month to a 5 year deal. Obviously the impression this would put on the Rangers would be a negative one when trying to attract free agents in the future but is it really all that out of the realm of possibility? The Rangers could insert Paul Mara higher on the defensive pairings to fill the role that Rozsival performs and at a much cheaper price. To me, he seems like the likely candidate to be gone if Sundin decides he wants to make New York his home. 
One thing that I do want to mention, and it pains me to do this, is a "rumor" that Eklund posted yesterday. He mentioned that he hear from his "sources" (could be his dog) that the Rangers are setting up a "MEGA" deal with themselves, the Edmonton Oilers, and the Phoenix Coyotes.
Now before I bash Mr. Anonymous, here is why this will not work. CAP. CAP. CAP. CAP CAP. CAP. CAP.
Get it? The Rangers, if this deal is to clear space for Sundin, will be looking to dump salaries. Well Edmonton is about $2 million from the cap ceiling. Not much is going to happen there. The Phoenix Coyotes may have plenty of cap room according to the league but to them, they are at their self imposed cap which happens to be just above the NHL cap floor. Soooooooooooo Mr. Eklund. What are your "sources" smoking? It would have to be something pretty strong if it is making them imagine a deal between these 3 teams to dump salary. Now if the Kings were involved I may believe this a tiny bit more. But salary dumps to 2 teams that are at their cap limits without the Rangers getting back cap hits is absolutely ridiculous. Could there be a trade brewing with the Rangers? Absolutely if all this Sundin talk is true. But to the Oilers and Coyotes? Swing and a miss Ek.
More later. 
Image found here via Google Image search.