Tag Archives: New York Rangers

The Ego Of Larry Brooks

Love when the weather is guy is wrong the wrong way! 5-10 cm’s my butt!

Love Larry Brooks article today, it’s so self serving it’s actually funny.

“The marketing people are suggesting that the Jan. 1, 2010 extravaganza might be held in Las Vegas, or at the Rose Bowl, sexy sites that have absolutely nothing to do with the league or the sport.
Would the league get a one-day bump and terrific TV ratings for a neutral-site outdoor game between the Penguins and Caps? No doubt. But would the day advance the league’s interests beyond a one-and-done? Would the showcase improve the state of either franchise? The answers are no and no.”

I agree, an oudoor game in either place would be dumb.

” Now that it has a hit on its hands, the NHL should whenever possible use the Winter Classic as a vehicle to help needy markets and franchises.”

I totally agree.

“Which is why next season’s Winter Classic should be played in New York between the Islanders New York Islanders and Rangers New York Rangers , whether at this new rich mans’ palace masquerading as Yankee Stadium or at the Mets New York Mets ‘ new ballpark with the stigmatized name, or in Central Park. ”

Huh? Needy markets and franchises, got it. New York??? New York is as needy a market as Toronto is or Montreal for that matter!

“No franchise in the league needs more help than the Islanders, the team that time has forgotten. And no city could do more with the spotlight than New York. The biggest market could use some love once in a while, too.”

What???? the team that time has forgotten? What is Larry smoking. The Isles are owned by the one guy Larry bashes more then Bettman! New York is now the “biggest market?” by virtue of what? That there are three teams in the greater Manhattan area? Let’s see the Rangers do well, granted. Very well. The other 2 get pretty poor support. Before you go blaming the arena for the Isles trouble, look at the Devils, who are in a brand new arena. In terms of percentage of the building is full the Devils rank 22nd! Based on overall average which is a tad hard to judge because no 2 arenas have the same capacity, the Devils are 25th!

“A Jan. 1, 2010 outdoors Battle of New York would energize and elevate the Islanders. It would give this woebegone club a spotlight event. It would put hockey on the back page in New York, and not only for a day, but for a number of days. The event should feature a Legends Game modeled after the Heritage Classic the Oilers hosted on Nov. 22, 2003.”

And, what would an event like that be without Scroodge telling everyone how BAD all things related to the game are??? I mean can’t you just imagine, the game in New York and one guy booing loudly from the pressbox??? The game would be on the back page for sure, what would Larry’s headline be? NHL players party hard on Park Avenue?

“But a New York-New York Bowl would benefit the league’s most important American market. That in itself would benefit the league. And this game would benefit the Islanders New York Islanders , the team that time has not only forgotten, but the franchise that is running out of time.”

Excuse me, the most important market? What is that based on? What criteria other then the location of the games most vocal critic determines “the most important market?” What about Detroit, Chicago, Boston or Minnesota?

“The NHL has an opportunity here. It can sell out and chase ephemeral glory in Pasadena or Las Vegas or some other exotic location. Or it can celebrate New York while coming to the aid of one of its historically greatest franchises. Seems like it should be a relatively simple call.”

Here is the funny part. I have no objection with the game going to New York. I think the Rangers hosting a game would be fantastic. I do think though that these criteria as defined by the Ego are nuts. I wouldn’t have the Rangers play the Isles, I would sooner do the Capitals (I mean the best player in the league is on that team, why not display the best you have to offer?) then the Isles. The league is going to play an exhibition game in Kansas City to come to the aid of the Isles (and of course the LA Kings who manage the building in KC right!!?? That will certainly force the good folks of Nassau to build the Isles a new building so that sir Charles can hand out some more 15 year contracts. Oh wait, isn’t the Isles trainer about ready to take over as the next GM??? I am sorry Isles fan, our leafs have a longer drought then you do, I used to be a huge isles fan (I still have a Mike Bossy poster around somewhere)….but Brook’s arguments are nothing but self serving.

I mean wouldn’t this be the type of news the league would dream of if the big game where in New York?:

“You know, we feel very strongly that the situation in Phoenix and Tampa Bay -and affecting other cash-poor franchises – could be avoided if only the NHL had a salary cap.”

Again, to put the game in New York is fine. To do so for the reasons Brooks states would be as ludicrous as the personal agenda items veiled as stories in Brook’s articles.

You can read the ego here


Mike S- Brady Is Listening To You

Wow- Brady: “All other radio stations with a sports department are reporting that Mats Sundin will be suiting up for the Vancouver Canucks, except for the other station who has Sundin suiting up for the New York Rangers.”

Over to you Mike…..

The Best Article You Will Read Today

Friends, if you only read one thing today, read Michael Farber on Sean Avery. This is the type of work we hunger for and should demand more of. For every time we hear “there must be more to the story” there should be an article like this. Brilliant work Michael!

Here is the gist and some highlights:

Avery is a team killer. A train wreck. In complete opposition to what his dad, the NHLPA and other supporters have tried to say before, he is not just a good boy… Farber, at the end of the 3 page must read comes to the realization that someone will one day take a flier on Avery….

” Avery was guilty of hockey’s deadliest sin: being a lousy teammate. There can be room for personal agendas in other sports—think Terrell Owens with the Cowboys—but hockey takes a dim view of square pegs in their perfectly rounded holes. The ethos is different. Unlike baseball clubhouses, where players sit facing their stalls, or football locker rooms, where players are segregated by position, a hockey dressing room is designed so all players face toward the center, gazing at one another. Avery did not look at his teammates in Dallas. Between periods he would often sit by himself in the hallway, headphones on, a citizen of Planet Sean. When Avery was in the dressing room, according to Stars veteran Mike Modano, he was often on his phone, discussing a potential book deal or his movie project, a romantic comedy based on the life of the only NHL player to spend his summer as an intern at Vogue.”

One word….WOW

“Avery wore shorts with his sport coats to preseason games because, Modano said, “he didn’t feel he could express himself if he dressed the same as everybody [else]…. He just seemed unwilling to do what we were all asked to do, on and off the ice. He wanted to march to his own beat.” Avery was the iconoclast clown, throwing spitballs at hockey’s ways.”

To quote LT, “OMG” (oh my god)

“After he signed, I told him that now that he’d gotten the big contract, he could take it down a notch and just go out and play hockey,” said Red Wings forward Kris Draper, Avery’s friend and former teammate. “Unfortunately that’s not what happened.”

We all know it hurts the most when friends go on the record with stuff like this….

“POLL YOUR average American, suggests an NHL veteran, and Avery will draw higher name recognition than any active player aside from Sidney Crosby. Avery, who declined to be interviewed for this story, retains the services of a Hollywood public relations firm, the only active NHL player known to have a nonsports publicist. For him this is a reasonable investment. According to a former teammate, Avery was at a house party in New York City last summer when an actress from a popular television show started chatting him up. She said she didn’t know much about hockey, but she was mightily impressed that the NHL had made a rule just for him.”

It’s true but soooo sad. The guy is better known the Alexander Ovechkin.

“Dave Siciliano, his coach in Owen Sound, had his own Avery Rule, which he refers to as the 80/20: Siciliano devoted 80% of his time to Avery, while the other 20% went to the rest of the team. “You seemed to be dealing with something every day,” says Siciliano. “He had an overzealousness and a lack of discipline that would cause rifts on the ice, at practice, on bus trips.” On one trip Curtis Sanford, now a Canucks goalie, heard a scuffle at the back of the bus and wheeled in time to see captain Dan Snyder, upset by an Avery comment, being pulled off his mouthy teammate. Siciliano wanted to dump Avery, but Owen Sound G.M. Ray McKelvie recalls, “A lot of people had already gotten the idea that he wasn’t a team player. It was hard to make a deal that made sense for us, until one night in Kingston he had three [goals] and three [assists]. A couple of days later [Kingston G.M. Larry Mavety] and I had a deal. Sean could get people riled up, but he was an excellent player.”

Sounds just like the guy you want on your team….Me thinks LT was right on this one….

“after being traded in March 2003 to the Kings, a team less secure in its identity, Avery ran amok, by hockey’s standards. Even with a serendipitous do-over—he was kicked off the team with three games left in 2005–06 for refusing to participate in a drill and arguing with assistant coach Mark Hardy at practice but was allowed back after ownership replaced G.M. Dave Taylor with Lombardi that summer—he continued to roil teammates as much as opponents. He cruelly ridiculed the speech of left wing Dustin Brown, who has a slight lisp. “He was really hard on Brown, a quiet guy who just shut down,” says Conroy, now with Calgary. “He didn’t come out of his shell until Sean was gone.”

He’s just a nice guy eh Glen???? Did the PA offer to step in and assist Brown with this issue????

“There were dressing-room fisticuffs. Thornton and Avery had a “play fight” in Edmonton in late December 2006—it started when Avery hit Thornton with an exercise ball—and Thornton wound up breaking his wrist and missing 23 games. Lombardi, who after succeeding Taylor had announced that Avery was on “double secret probation,” traded him to New York five weeks after the Thornton incident, but not before warning Rangers president Glen Sather that “you’ll have him in your office once a week.”

Double Secret Probation??? That can only mean one thing TOGA PARTY!

“”Brett Hull criticized us when we traded Sean, saying our team was bad for Sean and bad for the game,” Lombardi recalls. “Freedom of expression. How does [Hull, the Stars’ co-G.M. with Jackson,] like it today? They spent $15.5 million to protect the right of free speech. Adams and Jefferson would be proud.”

OUCH!!!! Seriously, can this be made into a tv show or a movie????

“I think the persona Sean took on”—the Vogue-interning, starlet-dating, crossover celebrity who feigned indifference to the game—”became more powerful than the real Sean,” Hull says. “You know the Green Goblin in the Spider-Man movie? Like that. It just overtook him. He decided to be Evil Sean.”

Ya think???????????

“We spend time psychoanalyzing Sean,” Lombardi muses. “Maybe we should be doing it to ourselves.”

Does anyone else get the impression that maybe, just maybe Lombardi is a tad bitter towards mister Avery or feeling a lot bit vilified?

Then, Farber ends with the conclusion that I and many others have drawn….

“Sometime, somewhere, there will be a comeback. Avery will do the requisite scraping and bowing because, as Calgary’s Michael Cammalleri, Avery’s friend and former Kings teammate, says, “Without hockey Sean would just be some guy doing some crazy stuff.” An e-mail message to SI from Nicole Chabot, Avery’s publicist, late last month read, in part, “We at this point are just trying to weather the storm as best we can. The comeback story will be amazing, but we are a ways away with all the details still to be sorted out.” Oprah, schedule some couch time.”

Pass this article along folks, when you read a Toronto daily today, remember it. This is sports journalism as we should demand. Thank you Michael.


The Sundin Saga Finally Ends- What A Mess Left Behind


It’s over… Really over. Even John Belushi’s Animal House Character John “Bluto” Blutarsky would admit It’s over. Really folks, we haven’t seen anything like this around here for a long time. The trading of Vince, the trading of Gilmour, the trading of Felix Potvin, all come to mind sort of. Never, and perhaps becuase of the digital age has a bigger mess of a situation ever been made. Personally, I think there are a lot of people out there who in retrospect look pretty foolish. This constant need to be first is just not journalism. The quality of reporting goes way down and the fans suffer. I think lots of folks should be embarrassed.

Let me start with the easiest target. Hanky is an easy target. To his credit he built a very solid audience. He is proof of the hunger there is for knowledge in the great game of hockey. Whether it is only in Canada and a select group of US markets and then a handful of die hards in other US markets, we are a dedicated bunch who live online looking for anything, literally anything to fill that hunger. However, (and for the record I am not calling Hanky a journalist) the Sundin Saga has also painted Hanky in the worst of light. I am not sure how many people out there read his column tonight after the signing but mannnnnnnnn. How can he say once “as I told you” with any degree of dignity. I mean come on. Yesterday he gave Sundin to NYC his highest rating E5:

“I was told it is done by three sources. Mats to the Rangers. Stay tuned much more to come including how the Rangers will make it work. Update: I am told that one of the teams involved in these sweeps has been informed of Mats decision…”

As the fine folks at hockeyanalysis.com pointed out, Hanky had him going to almost every team in the league at one point. It became an industry (hockey) joke. It takes a big man to admit when he is wrong….That clearly isn’t the case here. (and I don’t buy the my job is to only report what I hear crap…)

I hate to do this, as it is totally unfair, but the next guy who blew this one is McCown. When I say I hate to do this, I mean to jump from Hanky to McCown. There is no comparison between the two and they are so far apart, Hanky at the North Pole, McCown at the South. And too much in between to mention. For that reason alone, McCown has some splaning to do. He is the most listened to sports talk show in the city, hell maybe even in the country. He said on his show today that the syndication of the show on sportsnet may be the largest audience that network gets for non live sporting events. He is huge, he is entertaining and he is the measuring stick. Yes he has had a long head start, but I am sure that the fine folks at 640 have their eyes squarely on his show when the books come out. For McCown to be so bold, so confident and so wrong….. OH MY. The guy is clearly connected. I don’t doubt for one second that someone high up whispered in his ear. No one, and I mean no one opened his lips on the air. That prediction sat out there uncontested for 4 days until fact proved it fiction. The night after his prediction (or maybe 2 nights) Kypreos was on the air and McCown said (after Barry clearly disputed the accuracy of the report) “Oh, it’s happening. It’s like your dinner tonight, you may not know when or where, but it is happening.” Even the director of communication for the nhl twittered about McCown’s bold statement when he went it. In essence the league itself broadcast what McCown said. Does this hurt McCown? probably not. Do his rating go down? no. Do his sponsors care? no. Does he credability take a shot- you betcha. I am not in the media business. I just have to believe that when you are about to go on the microphone you have to pretty sure when are going to be this bold given whom you are..Bobcat blew this one big time.

No one in the Toronto Papers really ran amok with this story. There were no bold predictions per se. They were more followers then leaders. There was a ton of useless fodder on whether he should come back here, whether he would come back here, whether he would be welcome back here….yadda yadda yadda. Larry Brooks was really the first one who publicly brought up the Rangers (Hanky aside, and he brought up the winnipeg jets at one point i think). He never said done deal that is for sure. He did say last night that Sundin would give them until the end of the month. That didn’t happen. Some egg on his face too I guess. Berger doesn’t watch TV so who knows what he was thinking. Not much was said, but man did this story eat up time, energy and kill a lot of trees.

In the end, Mat’s proved he is human. Kyreos said it perfectly tonight about the guy he got to interview over in Sweeden. “Mats was upset about giving the Leafs a discount last season and he wanted to make up for it.” Despite the money, I never really thought he would go to Vancouver. I just didn’t see it. I should have though, because like it or not, this came down to one issue; MONEY. Had the rangers gotten the MONEY up, he probably would be a Ranger. They couldn’t and he isn’t. I don’t begrudge Mats that. The guy is entitled to make what the highest bidder is willing to pay. I think a lot of people painted Mats with rose colored brushes. In the end, he isn’t so unlike the rest of us. He followed the buck. In fairness, he really hasn’t done it before. He never bolted the buds despite the fact he probably could have gotten more elsewhere. At 38, if someone is willing to pony up 10 million why the hell not. Give Gillis credit. He is a former agent and he knew the most important lesson. He set the bar. I don’t care who else was in the game. Their offer was being compared to 10m. Is whatever team offers the next highest amount worth taking less money? That answer is usually no. Gillis did what he as an agent would want a gm to do. Open the market high and wait. Keep the dialogue open and remain patient. Say all the right things, keep them interested and eventually it will come down to $. It almost always does.

I can’t believe how quiet the papers are all at 11:50pm. The story broke around 6pm and with the exception of Damien and the Hat, no one else of major consequence has anything posted. Damien is right in his column. After the obligatory shot at the leafs (at least he admitted he hates Toronto) he says that this should be good news for the buds”

“The signing of Sundin, you see, breaks the logjam. Everyone who didn’t get him can aggressively turn to Plan B, and a team like the Maple Leafs, who will most certainly be sellers between now and the March trade deadline, just saw their assets increase in value.Nik Antropov, for instance, is now worth more than he was yesterday. Unless Atlanta decides to trade Ilya Kovalchuk or Tampa tries to move Marty St. Louis or Minnesota opts to dump Marian Gaborik, Antropov might end up being the best forward available by the deadline. ”

I agree in principal. It takes two (or sometimes three) to tango though. I do find it curious how a guy is a proverbial stiff when he is HERE but has real marketability when it comes to the deadline. It smells a little of the setting of the table for the first Burke attack. Can’t you see it coming? I can’t believe that Burke couldn’t get more for __________? Take the positive spin fro Damien, at least he has an article up.

What is missing? The attack on the point that matters:

“I never believed in rent a player to start with, if you wanna be part of a team thats going to have a chance to win the stanley cup or a team that will go far in the playoffs, uh my opinion has always been that you be there from training camp at the start of the season to be part of the group and uh that’s another reason too”

That is what i am waiting for. It will be interesting to see who takes the time to really call him on it. Simmons did a little bit. The sun has such a brutal website that it isn’t up yet if it is going to be so I can’t tell you. Mat’s is entitled to change his mind. To say that he has never believed in something is as strong a statement as you get. Sundin used that as his main reason not to leave last year. He probably sold all the others on the same thing. He then turned his back and did just that. At the very least, had he signed over the summer you could say he would have been true to his word. Now, the guy who Cox told us has always been an honest guy is, ummmm, a liar?

I am interested in seeing what Cliff has to say. So far I haven’t seen anything from him. Burke’s response was irrelevant. I am more interested in his reaction to the brutal exhibition in Boston then his opinion on Sundin that’s for sure.

Then there is the issue of course of what will this do to his legacy. Will he be Ray Bourque and win a championship? Will he mirror Borje and Cujo and curse the day he left? Only time will tell. You know my opinion, the odds are way against him. The good news is he has lots of dough to hedge those odds with right?

I am really glad this over. It will a nutty day tomorrow with all the press to talk about. I will try to post as best i can. I am taking the family south for 10 days and am going to try and beat out the storm so the trip to the airport begins at 445am. about 4 hours and 35 minutes from now. I don’t know how well I am going to be able to post from the ocean (assuming i make it down there) so LT has graciously accepted my begging to help out.

Let me say this however. I started this blog in May or June I believe. It has been a blast every minute. It hasn’t been a chore in my daily routine like others can be. To those of you who are kind enough to read what i have to say and especially those who feel compelled enough to comment or email I can’t thank you enough. I hope everyone out there and your families have a happy, healthy holiday season (Damien, Steve, Howard, bob, Brady, Wilbur you guys too).

well my bags are packed I’m ready to go………………….


Sorry- This is your daily laugh….

Sundin Decision By Friday

Sundin Decision By Friday

Insert your favorite Boy Who Cried Wolf Analogy or theme here….

I know what the problem is… A source in sweeden told me (TSM5) The conversation goes like this:

JP: Well Mats?
Mats: I have decided to retire
JP: No, No, No, take another day to think about it.
Mats: Ok, but tomorrow is really it JP…
JP: Of course Mats…


The Waiting Effect on Sundin’s Legacy

Interesting dialogue going on in one of the posts today.

Our good pal Nealio spoke out on the issue of the Sundin saga:


Nealio // December 18, 2008 at 12:13 pm (edit)

Why, why, why on Earth did this rediculous spectacle have to happen. I used to love Sundin, now I can’t stand to hear his name. I know I’m not the only one. Realizing of course this is as much the media’s fault as his own, the guy made his bed, preached his bullshit about the ‘right’ thing to do and has infamously now changed his mind. He’s goes to the Rangers and I have to believe now anytime he shows up in an Arena in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa and perhaps even Calgary or Edmonton, this guy is going to get booed mercilessly. Deserved or not, he made his bed and sure hopes he enjoys how it feels to have made some many enemies in the process.

The worst part is, I still have a Sundin jersey at home sitting in my closet that I paid top dollar for at the time I purchased it. Me and probably thousands of others. Hey sure, it happens all the time, people switch teams.

Boy, why couldn’t we have drafted Yzerman. Or Sakic. Or the few others who lived, breathed and retired with ‘their’ teams…

He sure knew how to fuck the organization and fans over in the process. He could have helped us get a 2yr-3yr head start on our rebuild process if he had to have agreed to be traded back at the deadline. Oh right, he doesn’t believe in joining a team unless it’s right from the start of training camp.

Ya ya, he doesn’t owe us anything at all, right. Well at the end of the day I don’t believe many of the fans are feeling much of anything for him anymore and we sure would have liked a much better ending than this….”

It is hard to disagree with a whole lot there…

Here is my reply to Nealio..

I truly believe, 100% without question that had he been left to his own devices he would have retired. I think a lot of outside factors pushed him to this….

That really is a shame because you have to ask yourself why? The best solution is he joins a team and wins the cup. Having not been there all year would have the same asterisk on it that the naysayers (Sundin included) had he moved last season at the deadline. Remember folks, there are no guarantees. The downside if he doesn’t win are huge (at least in my perspective). If he goes to a team and gets injured, or worse doesn’t, but doesn’t play all that great (hey he is 38) and the team fails…then what? What if the team gets bounced in the early rounds of the playoffs? What about his reputation then. What if he goes to the Rangers and they throw a few bodies overboard and that disrupts the chemistry and he is painted as the villain; the proverbial cause of the demise/failure?

I have voted against Mats coming back here. At least if he came back here (and I don’t want that) he wouldn’t have that added baggage. He would have come here to provide that veteran leadership. In that case there is nothing too lose. Easy for me to say from the sidelines. I just don’t know if I would do it this way.



No Sundin News Today!

AM640 is reporting “there will be no decision today from Mats Sundin regarding a possible free-agent signing with either the New York Rangers or Vancouver Canucks. Claes Elefalk, his agent in Sweden, has softened the Friday deadline when NHL rosters are frozen, to suggest Sundin will decide before December 25th.”