The Big Guy

By George Grimm

My father used to call me whenever the Rangers made a big trade, so on the night of November 2nd, 1979 the phone rang and I heard him say two words: Bar-ry Beck, stressing each syllable for emphasis. Pop was happy. So were a lot of other Ranger fans. The Blueshirts had finally gotten the big physical defenseman they needed and perhaps the player that would lead them to the Promised Land.

Beck had been the Rockies first round pick in the 1977 amateur draft. (Second overall behind Detroit’s Dale McCourt). He scored 22 goals in his rookie year and finished second to the Islanders Mike Bossy in the Calder Trophy voting that season. The next year his stature around the league grew and he was selected to play in the Challenge Cup series against the Soviets. It soon became apparent to all that at 6-3, 215 pounds the 22-year-old Beck had the size as well as the skill to be the big physical defenseman the Rangers needed after being manhandled by Montreal’s Larry Robinson in the Stanley Cup finals the previous spring. Beck became a highly sought after commodity since there were other teams looking to beef up their blueline as well. Luckily though for the Rangers, GM Fred Shero’s offer of Pat Hickey, Lucian Deblois, Mike McEwan, Dean Turner, Bobby Sheehan, cash and future considerations (Bobby Crawford) was enough to make Colorado GM Ray Miron pull the trigger on the deal. And so 10 games into the 1979-80 season Barry found himself headed to Broadway in one of the biggest deals in Ranger history.

“When I heard I was traded to the Rangers I was shocked,” Barry told me recently via email. “The previous week I had talked with Colorado GM Ray Miron about the rumors of me being traded. He assured me I would never be traded. There had been talk of our team moving to New Jersey. I guess this was the beginning of it. Since the Rangers were in town when the trade was announced I just moved from the home dressing room to the visitors and played two nights later. It wasn’t easy for me, plus Colorado won, I think 7 – 2.”

The pressure was on Barry from the moment he became a Ranger. He responded by scoring the game winner in his MSG debut, crashing into the crossbar in the process. In 61 games that first season Barry scored 14 goals, 45 assists with 98 PIM and led Ranger defensemen with four game winning goals. Barry welcomed the leadership role with the Rangers and was named captain on February 4th 1981, a position he held until his retirement in 1985. “There is pressure for everyone in New York to perform”, Barry said. “I personally love that part of the game. It means you have to be at your best every night. That’s what it is all about. Sure maybe there was a little more on me but that was fair. The Rangers traded five players for me so it was expected.”

Over the next few seasons Bubba established himself as one of the league’s dominant defensemen and was named to the NHL All-Star team in 1980, 1981 and 1982.

Bubba was among the most popular Rangers of his day. He shared the Frank Boucher Award (Most Popular Ranger) as voted by the Rangers Fan Club with Nick Fotiu in 1983-84. Beck was also honored for his work with children and charities with the “Crumb Bum” Award in 1982 and was given the Good Guy Award by the local media in 1981. He was also named the Rangers MVP as voted by the media in 1981-82 and 1983-84

Injuries however kept Beck from becoming the final piece of the Rangers Stanley Cup puzzle. Because of his bruising style of play, Barry’s body took a beating, especially his shoulders, which were a constant problem beginning in the 1981-82 season. In the 1984 playoffs he suffered a separated left shoulder that he never really recovered from when checked into the boards by Pat Flatley of the Islanders. He then reinjured the same shoulder in the first game of the 1984-85 season and again at the end of that same year. In 1985-86 he missed 45 regular season and 16 playoff games with a separated left shoulder. It was that injury and the way it was handled by coach Ted Sator that led to Beck announcing his retirement at the age of 29. Mark Pavelich and Reijo Ruotsalainen also left the team that season after disagreements with Sator.

“Ted Sator got the Rangers to the semi-finals before losing to Montreal…that’s pretty good I’d say,” Barry explained diplomatically.
“Myself, Mark and Reijo all left for different reasons. I was injured and had worked hard to try and get back in the lineup. My shoulder was not 100% but I thought I deserved a chance to try and play. We were down 2-0 to Montreal heading back to the Garden. I asked Ted about playing the third game at the Garden. I thought I could give the team a much needed boost of energy. Ted told me he would talk it over with our team doctor. I was pumped when I went to the game thinking about the possibility of playing.
When I got to the Garden the trainer told me I would not be playing. ‘God damn it!’ I thought. I was pissed. I thought okay Ted talked to the doctor and they agreed on what they thought was best. When the doctor came in to the dressing room I asked him ‘Did Ted talk to you about me playing’”. He answered no Ted did not talk to him at all. So that was it. I said bleep you, you rotten bastard. Not to anyone, just myself. I thought I deserved that chance. Ted did not talk with the doctor and obviously that did not go over well with me. Mark and Reijo left because they didn’t respect him and wouldn’t play anymore for him.”

Barry returned the next season after Sator was fired and replaced by Michel Bergeron. But he dressed for only 25 games and retired at the end of the season. He attempted a comeback in 1989-90 with the L.A. Kings but found that he couldn’t contribute the way he wanted and retired for good at the end of the season.

For the past eight years Barry has been the General Manager of the Hong Kong Academy of Hockey in China. “Friends of mine play in a men’s tournament here every year. They contacted me and told me someone was looking to start an academy here. I was looking for someone else for them…I was already busy running youth programs in Canada. When they invited me to Hong Kong and told me of their vision and strategy for hockey in China I wanted to be a part of it so here I am. All of our programs are on our web site hkaih.org. We really try and cater to local kids at the grass root level. We have a primary school league, High School league all while training up to 400 kids a week. It ain’t easy!”

In 415 regular season games with the Rangers, Bubba scored 44 goals (27 on the power play), with 173 assists for 239 points ranking him 12th among Ranger defensemen. His 775 PIM place him 10th on the Rangers all-time penalty list. In 49 playoff games Barry scored 10 goals placing him 10th on the list among Ranger defenseman. with 22 assists (6th) for a total of 32 points (4th) and 32 PIM.

Overall in 615 NHL games with the Rockies, Rangers and Kings, Barry scored 104 goals with 251 assists and 1,016 PIM. in 51 playoff games he scored 10 goals, 23 assists for 33 points with 77 PIM.

Barry enjoyed the best years of his career in New York. The fans loved him and he loved them right back. “I loved playing in New York.” Barry remembered. “There is nowhere else that has the adrenalin rush like the Garden has. NOWHERE!”

George Grimm is the former publisher of Sportstat, The Ranger Report and columnist for the Blueshirt Bulletin. He currently writes the Retro Rangers column for Insidehockey.com and his book about the Emile Francis Era Rangers “We Did Everything But Win” will be published in September 2017.

391 thoughts on “The Big Guy”

  1. As always, a tremendous job by George. Amazing. Buy his book in September!

    I thought a story on Beck was appropriate given the Shattenkirk trade from last night. BTW, it seems like I’m in the minority here, but I EASILY pay that asking price for him.

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  2. Thanks for the great read George!

    Doodie I’d rather Washington pay that price and we sign him July 1.
    I’m happy w Gorton not budging on the notion of not trading the 1st rounder for him. Depth deal coming as we thought.

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  3. And my gut feeling was right as I said this would be the scenario last night. Caps GM making the big move with the “now or never” philosophy for his group. Similar to Yandle deadline deal we made. His job may depend on his teams performance.

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  4. RR2,
    The Blues did what the Rangers should have done with Yandle. Trade him for assets at the deadline. If the Rangers had done that last year, chances are they would have assets they were willing to part with for Shatennkirk. As it stands now, I would not have paid that price for Shatennkirk, when in July he cost nothing but money.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. But why not go for the Cup with him this year? Systematically, he is the perfect player to fix what I perceive to be the biggest problem with our team with the puck: he can carry it himself. The gap between our forwards and defense is huge. Our defense throws long passes to the forwards that are too easily intercepted. He would change that. He is a great PP qb. He is a right handed shot. He can play a lot of minutes. Reading anyone in St. Louis discussing the team this year say that he’s been their second best defenseman behind Parayko.

    Anyone saying just sign him next year for nothing: We can’t afford him next season or long term.

    Honestly, whatever you think of this team’s championship window, it won’t be getting better during the Lundqvist era.

    Only one team wins. Why not us? Washington looks great, sure, but they have never put it together in the playoffs. We own them. Columbus has come back to Earth. Pittsburgh has injury troubles on defense and he HBK line basically has disappeared this season. Does anyone in the Atlantic scare you?

    Why not us?

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  6. I was BANJing all morning, that’s my take on the Shattenkirk trade:
    Washington is going all in. Not only they acquired the biggest name on the market, they also took him away from their biggest rivals. They are in cap hell this off season, and decided to give up a lot for a rental. Good for them. Also, kudos to Gorton for not caving in and giving up too much. I don’t think it was the 1st rounder, it sounds like he didn’t want to give up one of their young forwards. Also, it’s possible that conditional pick(s) was hanging on Shattenkirk re-signing in NY, which everyone knows is highly probable.
    I expect a couple of depth moves today/tomorrow, and nothing major.

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  7. Doodie, while I agree he would improve their back end tremendously, trouble is we don’t have Zach Sanford. But we do have Buchnevich, Vesey, Miller, and whoever else St. Louis was asking for.

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  8. The conditional pick for resigning was a 2019 second rounder. It was the same condition as making the conference final. That’s not worth holding up a trade.

    Zach Sanford isn’t a high level prospect like Buchnevich or Skjei.

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  9. Exactly, Doodie. Our prospects are much higher level than Sanford. Puempel or Clendenning aren’t prospects anymore. It sounds like St Louis was asking for top 9.

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  10. Let me ask you this- do you think Washington is now unbeatable? Shattenkirk was not what Washington needed, they have no problems scoring, PP including. They took him away from NY ( who, I agree, needed him more), and Pittsburgh.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ilb, Puempel is only a year older. And Sanford is decidedly NOT a top 9 forward.

    And no, I don’t think Caps are unbeatable. Although, I will say that while they didn’t specifically need Shattenkirk, if they sat Orpik as a result of this trade, it would improve them tremendously.

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  12. It’s funny how there was no way we should give up assets to acquire Shattenkirk because he’s a limited 3rd pairing powerplay specialist who wouldn’t really help us. But he goes to the Caps and suddenly he’s the stud who’s going to put them over the edge.

    Sanford was a B-level prospect. If we made that deal, it would’ve been Tambellini. Speaking of prospects, I’m glad we missed out of Alex Burrows. I would’ve taken him for a 4th. But the guy Ottawa gave up for him…Dahlen’s kid…he’s in line with Gropp. No way I’m trading Gropp for Alexandre Burrows. Good pass, if we were even in on him.

    Great article George!

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  13. Still not sure if I would have pulled the trigger on Shattenkirk. The big question is who did the Blues view as our “Zach Sanford”? Jeff Gorton was not going to move VC or Buch and I am not so sure any of the kids in Hartford (e.g. Boo Nieves) would have been enough. Would you have included Ryan Gropp, and would St. Louis have accepted him?

    George – Great story on Bubba. Beck was the first Ranger jersey I ever purchased. I still remember him dropping Rick Chartraw (albeit with a sucker punch) in the 1981 playoffs aginst the L.A. Kings.

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  14. Bdl’s post @ 8:31am

    Right…AND on top of that they went ahead and gave up so much for Eric Staawhl when they were nowhere near a deep playoff run!

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  15. James just in case you missed it from the previous post! Here’s a few! The Oyster Bar in St Pete by Janis Landing, my wife and I Love The Acropolis Greek Tavern on central ave. The Parkshore Grill, 400 Beach, and Bellabrava for Italian and sea food on beach drive are all good. And just in case you are looking for a sports bar try Fergs on Central ave. I work in downtown St Pete 3 days a week Wed. Thurs. and Friday driving a Pedicab (electric taxi) from 11 am to 6 pm it’s my retirement gig!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. James G, if you are looking for something on the Gulf side try Dockside Dave’s on Treasure Island for Grouper Sandwich.

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  17. After watching the Kings-Rangers 1981 playoff brawl, I counted four future Rangers on the Kings and one former Ranger. Can you name them? Bonus – there was a second former Ranger on the Kings that year, but did not play in that game (Hint – he was the Kings captain).

    If you watch the whole video it is amazing how little the shoulder/arm/chest protectors are when you see Kings goalie Mario Lessard without his jersey.

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  18. ilb – if that’s what Burrows wanted, then yeah…I wouldn’t even give up a 4th rounder for him. No thanks.
    I guess Ottawa needs to start showing Erik Karlsson that they’re serious?

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  19. Great read, as always, George! Fabulous to see your stories here again!!! Good luck with the book. I’m buying.

    I doubt very much that STL wanted Puempel or Miracle Met, or anybody short of Buchnevich or Skjei.

    Anthony, what I also remember from that brawl — among many things — was how willing Dionne was. I think he fought Hospodar.

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  20. Zero issues with shatty going to caps. We aren’t beating them with or without him in a series. Best case scenario crossover get to conf finals take our shot then.

    Though wouldn’t shock me losing Montreal either.

    July 1 shatty be in play

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  21. George
    Wonderful job sir, thanks.

    Any bets on shattenkirk getting booed at msg with the caps?

    To me it’s always interesting to see which teams believe they are close to being a true contender and go for it and are all in and the teams that don’t do anything or sell because the organization thinks they are further away from being a contender.

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  22. July 1st will be Shatty day in New York. By then Gorton will have moved 2 of Klein, Holden and Staal. Clendening will be signing in the KHL and Tanner Glass will be the new coach of the Charlestown Chiefs. Book it!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Carp – Yeah Hospodar sure went after the “tough guys” on the Kings – Dionne and Lessard. Considering what Clark Gillies did to Boxcar, Eddie was smart to go after Marcel and Mario. Hmm, maybe it was THAT fight that got Gillies into the HOF 🙂

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  24. See, this is where I disagree, BDL. I think, systematically, our biggest need is somebody that can carry the puck. The gap between our forwards and defense is ridiculous. Our whole breakout is either 1) the forwards going back to the zone to carry the puck themselves; 2) long passes (I hate the term “stretch pass”) up the middle or off the boards to forwards that are hiding behind the first line of defense; or 3) throwing the puck into space for our forwards to skate onto it. There is no intermediate option and it makes it far too easy to defends against us when we have to carry the puck 200 feet.

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  25. Mark Hardy, Jay Wells and Marcel Dionne were all future Rangers. Can’t think of the 4th. Beck, and Duguay had cups of coffee with the Kings.

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  26. BDL – You got three of the four. Also, the former Rangers that I was talking about were playing for the Kings during that season (one was in the lineup and one wasn’t). Hint on both of the former Rangers – they were traded away by Emile Francis. Can’t wait to get George Grimm’s “We Did Everything But Win”. How’s that for a plug 🙂

    Another hint, both of the former Rangers have been involved in front office work for NHL teams.

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  27. Bdl
    I’m not sure that he is better than lindberg, but he has some size, is relatively young, and is a centre (admiringly, I don’t know how he is at the dot), but I could see the rangers adding him as a 2nd faceoff taker on the 4th line with machine and couch.

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  28. Give BDL a cigar – Chartraw is the fourth. I will hold off on the two former Rangers. Hint: One of the players has a son who works in the front office for an NHL team and the other worked for the Rangers in their front office and for the NHL.

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  29. We want Carey Price because every time he sees Kreider bearing down on him he’ll be “bricking it”….and i don’t mean building wall….

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  30. whoops.. missed the new post…

    @BDL was on board that train to sell Yandle last year too. But Corsi. Or something like that. As to Shatennkirk, I honestly do not want them to sign him at all. The coin he will want will be an albatross to whomever pays it – the guy is good, but not exceptional. Supply/demand may give him that great pay day, kudos to him but that doesn’t mean the money isn’t better spent elsewhere on the team.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Nice work George,Beck was a beast! The Rangers finally get a stud D-man and he can’t stay healthy! Something always seems to go wrong with the NYR! Even the 94 cup run sacrificed the future!

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  32. @RR2 – I disagree a bit with your assessment. First, both McD and Skjei are more than capable of skating the puck. If you are saying you want a third, ok but how many teams have multiple D that excel in that aspect of the game? I would also counter that it is not just the D who are using the long pass, you see the forwards doing the same out of the zone with a pretty high frequency. So your beef may be as much with the “system” they play as with the players they have.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Girardi out tonight, probably also Klein. Will be interesting to see who gets call up. I’d guess Kampfer or Summers because they both shoot right and both have played in the NHL before, but I would love to see Bodie get a shot.

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  34. Hmmm – Klein still out with his “back” injury, and now Girardi with an “ankle” issue. We’re totally trading both for Drew Doughty

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  35. “First, both McD and Skjei are more than capable of skating the puck.”

    McD has done it before, but not this year. I’ve never seen Skjei do it. The forwards making that long pass is again symptomatic of not having a defenseman who can carry the puck.

    Perhaps the system is the way it is because of the personnel.

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  36. Eli – Have you noticed that, in nine out of ten of your posts, your first sentence ends in an exclamation point? Please use your inside voice…we are all right next to you and we can hear you very easily

    Liked by 2 people

  37. NY Times writer, Dec ’16 – ‘Ex-NHL Enforcer Moves to Hong Kong…’
    Carp gets fired and goofs like this write hockey for the NY Times. Welcome to the new and growing world of bizarro.

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  38. Rangers next 4 games are the Caps, Bruins, Habs, and TB. If they play like they did against the BJ’s we could be looking at an 0-5 stretch not good. Does AV have it in him to light a fire under this cotton candy team and have them ready to play from the opening face-off?

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  39. The two former Rangers on the Kings were Don Luce (most known for his years in Buffalo) and Mike Murphy, who was the captain but I don’t think played in the brawl game. I had to check to see of the Murphy Jim and Bill mentioned was Mike or Larry – it was Larry.

    Murphy was one of the many Rangers involved in Emile Francis’s pipeline to St. Louis. originally a Rangers draft pick, Murphy was dealt to the Blues and eventually reacquired by The Cat. Jack Egers was another Rangers pick dealt to st. Louis and later reacquired. Unlike Murphy, Egers played for NY before his deal.

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  40. I wholeheartedly agree Doodie – we are a bit of a one-trick-pony at the moment, Shatty would give us another option if deployed properly.
    We are a bit of a Daniel-san with the Crane kick – “if do right, no can defense” – however we all saw Karate Kid II…..

    Liked by 3 people

  41. They can get Shatty in 4 months, why give up a #1 pick now?
    Do you think this team is a legit Cup contender?
    Still have Girardi, Staal and Holden to go with DeKlein

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  42. So when the Rangers were scoring too much, which would never hold up over time, that was no good. Now they are 8-1-1 in the last ten, winning closer, lower-scoring games, and that’s no good? So they needed Shatt to return to the previous model? Seems to me the Rangers have learned how to win games and needed tweaking, not a big name.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. In order to add a $6/7M player to back line, Gorton has to move Girardi and/or Staal. absent that happening, throwing a one dimensional 2nd/3rd pairing Offensive Dman to the 1st pair is not a recipe for near or long term success.
    Forget the shiny toys

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  44. Agreed w ILB @915. This doesn’t make me fear Washington in any way. It gives them something they haven’t had since they had a younger healthier Mike Green years back but my guess is they have no intention of signing him long term. They stand to lose Oshie and a Williams maybe more as it is without a huge contract offer to Shatty. This just takes an option away from two rivals hurting on D..

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  45. Pay ’em $100,000 per goal, $20,000 per assist, and force them to play an aggressive defense. After the game, they can sit around the room in towels adding up their money.

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  46. Let’s hope Gorton doesn’t get desperate and makes a move for a D-man while giving up something big because of that injury. They’re making the playoffs, and Klein is a game or two away.

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  47. So Girardi was hurt taking a shot off that ankle 9 games ago against Ducks, took 2 off and then played 7 games.
    What is it with this team’s medical staff and Dman’s injuries??

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  48. If Girardi is out for 2 weeks with an injury that will likely be recurring, my guess is that if they were even thinking about flipping Klein…that’s probably off the table.

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  49. Hopefully Darth Sather is staying away from Gorton and leaving him alone. I have faith in Gorton, if Sather was the GM he would have sold the farm to bring in Shattenkirk.

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  50. Miracle Met with right cross against BJs was highlight of game. Def some snarl to go with above average puck handling and decision making.
    .
    Smith is as good as here with DG injury. Hope price didn’t go up.
    .
    Franson would make the most sense from a price and talent standpoint

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  51. I guess now the Rangers D is hurting after all! I sure hope Kampfer is better, a LOT better, than when I used to watch him play for Providence.

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  52. Norm: Brooksie plus a couple of others quoting AV on Twitter

    Larry Brooks‏ @NYP_Brooksie 13 minutes ago
    More
    Girardi will be out for two weeks, per Vigneault with lingering ankle issue. Kampfer up tonight, Klein likely to resume skating tomorrow.

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  53. Seems we’re in the playoffs. Giving Girardi 2 weeks off for whatever reason probably helpful.

    This team puts uber mucho responsibility on McDonagh and plays him every night to exhaustion. They’ll have him old before his years.

    Liked by 1 person

  54. Hmmm- apparently we’re close on Brendan Smith, according to Bob McKenzie. R2 plus an additional pick (hopefully a lower one!)

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  55. I’d have rather seen the graves call up.

    Trading Klein is just dumb imo if you are trying to upgrade your right side. You trade a lefty (which you have more of) to upgrade the right.

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  56. Really Norm? G isnt 100% Klein can’t shake the back issues
    and over in Pitt Le Tang and Matta are both out with Schultz just back from a concussion. Explain how that’s two healthy blue lines lol

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  57. And now G is out two weeks?!
    Idk maybe a LEdue or a Josh Manson trade are in the works. But I can’t see AV playing either of those guys over Girardi or Klein come post season. Surprised there’s not more circulating about Sami Vatanen

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  58. Something tells me that the Shattenkirk conditions would’ve made it untenable for the Rangers. R1 is a R1 for sure, but the additional pick would’ve turned into an R1 in 2018 when he resigned. I wouldn’t have minded a mid-level prospect going the other way (Tambellini/Boo/Fogarty?) but giving up another 2 R1s? We just mortgaged way too much in prior years to be able to do it again. The expansion draft added another hurdle.

    If they knew they were close on Brendan Smith, and Kampfer was still recalled….don’t be surprised if Klein gets flipped. Maybe to recoup that R2? I could see him heading out to LA to get that Ladue fella.

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  59. Agree Doodie they just flat out shouldn’t have let another first rounder go for a rental. The deadline is still 24 hours away maybe there’s another move out there we aren’t aware of

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  60. Jagr’s old friend Aaron Ward just tweeted that he’s hearing Buch heading to the AHL. Conditioning assignment? Or making room for something that’s brewing?

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  61. It’s obvious that Gorton was looking to not ge up a first rounder. Now if he still deals one for a lesser dman than Shatty then we can debate him holding his ground

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  62. Saying it’s a 2017 R2 and R3 for Brendan Smith. Didn’t think we had a 2017 R2 because Eric Staal. But if we picked up another one…2 picks (neither an R1) in a terrible draft year for defensive help? And a guy who might be relatively cheap to resign if he seems worth it? Not terribly exciting, but not boneheaded. We’re on an asset budget.

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  63. So they add another lefty to the mix and give up two picks in a “depth” move. Is that about the Girardi and Klein injuries? Or is this the move?

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  64. We had gotten an extra 2018 R2 in the Brass/Zika deal. Was 99% certain the 2017 R2 belonged to Carolina from the Staal trade. Maybe they’re just reporting it wrong for now.

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  65. Doodie

    Enough think for a second. Don’t you realize the blues know he’s going to sign here. So on top of the 1st rounder they would want a top 9 forward knowing he’d sign an extension here. The Rangers weren’t trading say a buchnevich 1st rounder and a conditional pick for him. Besides do you really believe we are going to win a cup.
    Adding shatty we still lose to pens or caps.

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  66. Smith wouldn’t have been my first choice, but not because of the lefty shot playing the right side – which is common. I am more concerned that he has missed at least a dozen games in each of the last two years with “upper body Injuries” (i.e. shoulder injuries).

    However, with Girardi out two weeks and Klein’s back a concern, Gorton has got to bring in d-man. The Rangers have two second round picks in 2018 (none this year) so you gotta figure one of them is going. Not sure why we have to send another pick as well, unless it is a conditional pick in case we re-sign him.

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  67. Wings can still resign him in offseason after expansion draft.
    .
    2 picks is not ideal for the return if one is NOT conditional.
    .

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  68. Here is Smith’s Scouting report from Forecaster.ca:

    Scouting Report
    Assets: Skates extremely well and is adept at rushing up ice with the puck. Has offensive ability, an aggressive nature and excellent size. Has good puck skills and a bit of a mean streak.

    Flaws: Lacks consistency in all areas of the game of hockey. Also, he could stand to pick his spots better in the hitting department, as he can at times lose his positioning and focus.

    Career Potential: Inconsistent, solid all-around defenseman.

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  69. Color me cynical, but I always wonder what kind of all-out effort you get from a rental who risks serious injury with no long term contract in his pocket.

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  70. The two picks are a bit of a steep price, but the Rangers have two factors going against them. With Girardi and Klein banged up, teams know the Rangers have their backs against the wall – especially with a lack of options at Hartford. Rangers can’t gamble on Graves because if they are wrong and the deadline passes, oh well. The other factor is that the Rangers are probably not interested in acquiring a d-man whose contract extends beyond this year – unless it were a cheap deal or for Top 4 guy.

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  71. That’s also why Graves should have gotten a look at some point this season. I think his is their first call up on d all year

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  72. Nick Cotsonika‏Verified account @cotsonika

    One thing to remember: When you see players often, you tend to see their warts. When you don’t, you often see “size,” “experience,” etc.

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  73. I wouldn’t put too much stock in what Red Wings might say/write. If a fan from another team read this HAV they would all wonder how the Rangers weren’t leading the Nolan Patrick Sweepstakes. I think I will lean towards Jeff Gorton and his scouts for now.

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  74. If Smith doesn’t make a fool of himself and if he throws a mean check or two and bounces a few people from the crease, he’ll be a Garden favorite. That’s how pacific we’ve become.

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  75. Smith publicly announced that he wanted his agent to make a deal so he could stay in Detroit. The fact that they discarded him anyway tells a story for musing.

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  76. Doodie – The only thing is what if Shattenkirk then doesn’t re-sign with the Rangers? I know it is assumed he wants to play for the Rangers, but you know what happens when you assume. If the Rangers acquire him and don’t re-sign him then you are out a first rounder. Maybe even worse is that you do sign him and he doesn’t give the Rangers a hometown discount.

    It is a case of a lower risk for a lower reward in acquiring Smith as opposed to a higher risk for a higher reward in Shattenkirk.

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  77. So we have McDonagh, Holden, Smith, Skjei, Staal, Klein, Girardi, Gerund. Not that going 8D deep is bad for playoff depth or anything, but who sits? For now, Girardi because he’s 2 weeks out. But once he’s “healthy,” there’s no chance in hell AV doesn’t play him and play him hard. Is Klein healthy-scratch depth material? Has the sheen come off Holden so much that he’s a bubble guy now? Skjei?

    Gotta think something else is brewing. And if it’s true Buch has been sent down for seasoning…why does Patrick Sharp keep popping into my mind?

    Like

  78. I’m surprised one of those isnt conditional….or was our hand forced by injury….or is Gorton confident he can re-sign him beyond this season?

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  79. If Shattenkirk would’ve cost a hard R1 and R2 (plus a B or C level prospect) I’m all in for that. St Louis was going to hit us with some poison-pill conditions. I agree with Anthony in that just because everybody thinks Shattenkirk is a sure-fire Ranger next year via UFA, it doesn’t mean it’ll actually happen. But if they really see him in their plans as an UFA, we couldn’t afford him in a trade.

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  80. Doodie wrote (I didn’t see it before my last reply) “A second and a third for Smith is somehow better than a first and second for Shattenkirk?”

    The problem is the player going back to the Blues. Are you willing to send them VC or Buch? I know I am not. Would I have sent them a Tambellini (yes) or a Nieves (maybe)? Unless we have a better idea of exactly who the Blues wanted, we can’t judge which trade was better.

    Like

  81. Rangers must, as time goes on, take some pressure from #27 by jettisoning a couple downward trenders and signing some back-end talent.

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  82. I mean, if we are judging it off of the player they got, we are talking about a Matt Puempel level player. Maybe it could have even been an Oscar Lindberg or Jesper Fast since that’s an actual roster player and probably also would help draft pick cost. If you send them a Vesey or a Buch, then the draft picks obviously change tremendously, to the point where I would be asking them for a pick in addition to Shattenkirk.

    Here’s the other thing about the Shattenkirk trade: that 2nd rounder, which is in 2019, three drafts from now, is conditional on us either reaching conference final or resigning him. Neither of those things are a given. So it may have, ultimately, just cost a first rounder and a mediocre prospect for a player who would immediately become our RD1, compared to the definite 2nd and 3rd we just sent for a guy who will be our 7th, maybe 8th defenseman?

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  83. Who is Brendan Smith? Who he is, is a question for the ages. That’s one we are all searching for, to find out who I am, who’s in there, who wants to come out and say, hey, I’m hungry. Who I am is too deep and prof-, almost, you gotta go in deep and pull out the thing like with the movie with the thing came out of the stomach and up the people on the focking spaceship, may they rest in peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  84. I don’t think I noticed the guy when the Rangers played the Red Wings. So, if you’ve seen him play is he any better than the 7 d-men on the current roster?

    Like

  85. The only thing about a Puempel/Fast/Lindberg is that they are all free agents while Sanford is signed (I think for the next two years).

    I still LOVE me some Jokipakka (this time I remembered to love him :-))

    Like

  86. Eric Staal is signed through 2019 fr 3.5 mi per. AV and Gorton dropped the ball on this guy. Tough, competitive, a veteran leader. We don’t often see Staal, so out of sight, out of mind, but he is a factor at center.

    Liked by 1 person

  87. Nitpick, but I wish the 2018 R2 we sent was ours and not Ottawa’s. I think the Sens are terrible and take a huge step back next year.

    Like

  88. Norm, Holden has been pretty mediocre for a month and a half with a couple of good moments mixed in. He has turned back into the pumpkin that he is.

    Honestly, the best RD the Rangers have had over the past few months has been Clendening. He’s got warts, too, but less severe.

    Liked by 1 person

  89. So then which of the D (as it looks now) will make the requirements for the expansion draft? What is it 40 games (I assume in total and not with the same team?)

    Like

  90. http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/hockey/rangers/rangers-acquire-defenseman-brendan-smith-red-wings-article-1.2984673?utm_content=bufferc590c&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=JTasch+Twitter

    He’s only played in 33 games this season while dealing with knee issues. He missed most of December with an MCL sprain, came back for four games and re-aggravated the injury. He then missed another month before returning on Feb. 4. He is wearing a brace on his knee for the rest of the season.

    Like

  91. At end of the day were not cup worthy. So stop the whining.

    Buchnevich goes in shatty trade. Blues weren’t trading him here without a top 9 forward plus 1st rounder knowing he sign extension for sure with us. Use your heads people

    Like

  92. Eric, please explain how knowing that he signs with us for sure would have dissuaded the Blues trading him to us, provided they got the exact same conditional second as part of the deal that they did with the Caps. Wouldn’t that have made the Blues MORE likely to want to trade him here, since they are almost assured of getting that conditional 2nd?

    Like

  93. Yoosed to love it when Richards would sashay for a week across the ice to the bench when the opposition took over the puck, and he would stick his replacement with a -1.

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  94. Buchnevich and 1st rounder and additional picks would prob be the deal.

    Come on we weren’t getting the same type deal caps got when whole hockey world knows at this point he wants play here.

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  95. Eric, what the hell difference does that make? How does it not make it more likely that they send him here? IT’s a conditional 2nd they got from the Caps. They either have to go to ECF or resign Shattenkirk. Given how you think it’s so obvious to everyone that Shattenkirk signs in NY, the condition on the Caps 2nd is that they reach the ECF, which, given their past track history, is far from a given.

    As opposed to trading him to the Rangers with the same conditions, when, as you state, it’s obvious he will resign here, thereby essentially guaranteeing themselves of the 2nd rounder? You aren’t making any sense.

    Like

  96. For those of you who aren’t loving the Smith deal: would it make it more palatable if this resulted in us being able to trade Klein for a good young defenseman like Paul Ladue? That trade isn’t a given…it’s just conjecture at this point based on some educated guesses re: our scouting habits over the past month or so.
    First I have to look at the state of the team. We’re not exactly Cup favorites. I’m not sure if Shatty would’ve made us better than Washington or even Pitt. BUT – we’re not sellers by any means. If someone wanted to overpay us for Michael Grabner…it would have to be a HUGE overpayment, because I think Grabner leaving us sinks this team. Same with JT Miller. So sellers…that’s not who we are. But we aren’t exactly a team that should be sitting still either. We look like a team that can add on an asset budget where appropriate, and can sell some parts as long as we don’t disturb team chemistry.
    So lets say that LA comes calling about Kevin Klein. And they’re ponying up a young right-shot defenseman with some size and skill who could theoretically be a regular for us next season. And he’s a guy that doesn’t need to be protected. That’s a HUGE organizational hole that we might be able to fill by trading a 3rd pairing dman who hasn’t exactly had the best season. BUT – it would leave a hole in our d-corps, and we’d need to make a deal to get someone who could replace Klein’s minutes, play the right side.
    Now, maybe I’m completely wrong and this subsequent trade doesn’t happen. But if Brendan Smith for an R2 and R3 was a deal that needed to be made in order to make sure we could get a solid young righty defenseman without missing a beat…does that change things?
    I just have to think there’s more coming, and it’s not Buch and an R1 for the rights to Wendel Clark.

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  97. RR2

    we dodged a big bullet in not trading for Shattenkirk

    we made an equally bad deal for smith

    none of the above was a better option.

    Like

  98. Shatennkirk has by far the worst plus, minus of Blues Dmen over the last two seasons. Petriangello is the only other Dman who is minus over the same time. All others are plus.

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  99. RR2

    i disagree

    this is not a cup team and I am much more against Shattenkrk than you obviously are. He’s 3rd pair d and pp specialist. weak in his own zone.

    both deals were bad for us. the best thing to do would have been war games style don’t play.

    we can not keep trading 1st and 2nd rd picks.

    I pity us all if we sign Shattenkirk in off season.

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  100. IMO I think the blues wanted a lot more from the rangers than what the caps gave them because the blues management knows he wants to sign with the rangers, like in young players who are on the rangers roster beside the #1 pick and conditional pick. Nobody really knows for sure except for Gorton.

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  101. I’m assuming buchnevich is much better then Sanford long term. Forget the 2nd rd conditional pick. Maybe blues asked for Miller or Hayes along the thinking he would sign here. Your not doing that are you.

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  102. “He’s 3rd pair d and pp specialist.”

    Well that’s where our disagreement is. I think he’s much more than that. I think he’s much better in his own zone than he gets credit for, especially since he can get the puck out of his zone, successfully, on a very consistent basis.

    And you can’t just keep kicking the can down the road. Lundqvist is not going to get better as time goes on.

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  103. Eric, no, nor would the Rangers. But why wouldn’t St. Louis take the exact same deal from the Rangers that they took from the Capitals? If what they accepted was a 1st, a conditional 2nd, and a mediocre prospect, why would they not accept the same offering from the Rangers, especially when the condition on the 2nd is more likely to be met.

    This isn’t like when Vancouver dealt Schneider to the Devils for less than the Oilers were offering because the Canucks wanted to move him to a difference conference. We are in the exact same division as the Capitals. There was no benefit to the Blues of moving him to the Capitals instead of the Rangers if the return was equal. And, as I have explained, your argument about him being more likely to sign here makes the Rangers the more attractive destination since meeting the condition on the 2nd becomes more certain.

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  104. Eliminating all the white noise, the fact is that Washington is stronger, and we, as a result, are weaker than we might have been. Net Net.

    Like

  105. Yes because plus minus is a valuable and accurate stat. That’s why everyone remembers Rozsival and Malik so fondly and yearns for more defensemen like them on our roster.

    And I agree that singing him long term is going to be a problem for whoever does it, but that’s for like 90% of big ticket UFAs who get too much term, too many dollars, or both.

    Liked by 1 person

  106. I certainly agree with a defencive D man over an offencive one…I also can’t see them giving up those picks for smith to be a #7 D man, so either someone is far more injured than we are being told or there is some trade involving a D man out there that is not bringing a top 6 d man back (or is sending 2 current top 6 D men the other way)

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  107. Apparently burrows took the kesler route and did not want to play for former coach AV who can’t coach in big games effectively (S)

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  108. There a whole lot of Rangers players who are going to love it if Kevin Shattenkirk signs with the team as an UFA because he is going to prove to be such a lightning rod that the rest of the players might literally get away with murder.

    It should be interesting come the deadline tomorrow. I wonder how bust the Habs and Sens will be. I didn’t realize Ottawa is only four points behind Montreal and the Sens have two games in hand. Great, Carey Price or Craig Anderson – two goalies we can’t beat. At least TB traded Ben Bishop – although if we make it to the SCF how funny would it be to face the Kings with Quick and Bishop.

    On second thought, I’d gladly sign up for that 🙂

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  109. He’s only played in 33 games this season while dealing with knee issues.
    He missed most of December with an MCL sprain,
    came back for four games and re-aggravated the injury.
    He then missed another month before returning on Feb. 4.
    He is wearing a brace on his knee for the rest of the season.
    =============================
    Obviously he is ready for this defense!

    Like

  110. Why did we need Smith and give up a R2 & R3?
    Presume Klein condition is tenuous and Girardi probably a lingering thing esp given his lack of mobility
    Miracle Met could be the savior!

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  111. agree with tommyG and Carp before. Yandle did not work as planned and seeing Shattenkirk as just a more expensive version. If there were some other shiny available I think his price would drop a lot. Good for him that there is not but that doesn’t mean we have to be the team to take the bullet.

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  112. I’m looking at this from a practical point of view. The team was always going to trade draft picks to buy players. Instead of trading picks for not good players that don’t fill any holes on our roster, like Smith, why not use them for good players that fix problems, like Shattenkirk?

    Sure, you’d like to see them hold onto picks, but that was never going to happen.

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  113. I know it is on the Twit Widge, but this might be the funniest thing ever tweeted:

    Dumb Bozo
    ‏Verified account @davelozo

    After crapping themselves in the playoffs for years, the Capitals Shat themselves at the trade deadline:

    Like

  114. SN – You kind of answered your own question. With Girardi and Klein banged up, Clendening can step in for one but who steps in for the other? Kampfer? I’d rather play five d-men.

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  115. I have to admit it is going to be fun kibitzing (now that is a gerund) tomorrow as the deadline approaches. I’d like to keep going today but I get to go to the see (pun intended) the opthamologist and get a needle stuck in my eye.

    Like

  116. Doodie – I saw something online about Duchene, the Avs and Sens but I can’t remember where i saw it. Ottawa seems to be in go mode in terms of deals to overtake the Habs.

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  117. Steven Kampfer Scouting Report: 5’11”, 192 lbs
    .
    ASSETS:
    Is a solid puck mover with enough offensive acumen to produce solid point totals at lower levels. Also owns a pretty good shot from the point.
    .
    FLAWS:
    Lacks ideal size for a defensemane, so he must continue to add bulk and improve his work without the puck.
    .
    CAREER POTENTIAL:
    Depth defenseman.

    Like

  118. Daniel catenacci – Center – 5’9″/191 pounds. Pointless (fill in your own jokes) in 11 NHL games. Here is is Forecaster.ca Scouting Report:

    Scouting Report
    Assets: Has classic playmaking skills from the pivot position. Is feisty and competitive, even if not big or very strong. Also plays a sound two-way game.
    Flaws: Is somewhat undersized for the National Hockey League game, so he must continue to add strength in order to become an impact professional.
    Career Potential: Versatile depth forward.

    Like

  119. The Rangers might have something in the works with one of the Canadian Junior defensemen ir they might be close to signing an undrafted collegian/Junior d-man.

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  120. My God, how the Rangers suck! I had momentarily forgotten. Now Holden’s no good any more, especially during this recent streak that was, I suppose, obliterated by the Bluejackets loss?

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  121. I just don’t see why after an entire season of seemingly not wanting Shattenkirk doodie and others are now angry that the Rangers didn’t trade for him and brought in a depth player as most agreed would happen all along. Is it bc of the price? Or where he went? From now on when people are against a trade then instead of saying “I don’t want that guy” just say “it depends what he costs and what other teams are interested”..a bunch of clowns we are

    Liked by 2 people

  122. Speaking of Ron Hainsey – he was traded for an R2. And I think we can all agree that he’s kind of terrible. And slow. So the Rangers got a much better player for an additional R3.

    And as for Hainsey’s post season game total – Once that Pitt D gets healthy, Hainsey could find himself on the outside looking in. So while he’ll make the post-season, he might not get a game.

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  123. The Caps should win tonight what with the Rangers’ injuries and a newly purchased ability to bench Orpik. They’ll feel like idiots if they don’t win. But if the Rangers lose, don’t forget, two losses in a row, season over, trade everyone!

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  124. Would love to beat the caps but we’ll be lucky to pot 2 goals against Holtby. With Hanks in net I’m thinking 4-1 caps. Someone tell me I’m wrong. I hope I’m wrong exclamation point.

    Liked by 1 person

  125. Re: Catenacci – 23 yrs old, 5’9. 196 lbs. pro hockey player. Boggles my mind when I hear someone like this described as “not big or strong.” Boggles.

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  126. eddie, eddie, eddie – Is my memory working when I recall Espo promoting behind the scenes and hollering for that Middleton trade so he could get Hodge, his drinking buddy down here to NYC?

    Liked by 1 person

  127. SN who was the player years back that got hurt really bad with the penalty box door or the bench door? I want to say it was someone on the Avs or Wings..

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  128. Hank: “They crash the net and throw pucks from all over the place.” The new NHL? Maybe WE should try it instead of the fancy-dan pass parade.

    Liked by 1 person

  129. Nice, Carp.
    Was AV talking to you in French? He has a unique quality of producing long, winding thoughts and be as nebulous as it gets. Totally opposite to Hank.

    Like

  130. Smiles politely and says nothing most of the time, ilb. Called me “Sir” once but I’ve never heard him address a reporter by name.

    Quite the opposite: I saw Torts for a bit after the game the other night. He was pissed at TJN … LOL.

    And during his presser he was asked about the CBJs winning two in a row off their week off. He said, “We talked about wetting ourselves coming out of the break. …”

    God love him.

    Liked by 1 person

  131. Bombs away! Skills be damned, throw that rubber, law of averages, maximize possible deflections, run the goalie, interfere!! Woot, woot, grow that game!!!

    Like

  132. Just wanna give a big Thanks to all Blog Posters, well most, Guest Bloggers, Carp & RR2. It’s been a pleasure finding (re-finding) this place & reading here. Cheers, & LGR !!

    Liked by 1 person

  133. Love him or hate him – So nice to see a real character like Torts who speaks his mind, gives good off-the-cuff quotes and yet will never lower himself to wear a clown suit like other phony self-promoters. Can you hear me, Don Cherry?

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  134. Sometimes I wince at the occasional John Giannone question that arrives with a somewhat acerbic bite. He seems like such a nice man, but he can be caustic.

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  135. High priced Conformist with a high praise to high authority. What else is new in this world…You’re not expect him to tell what he REALLY thinks (my bet is – nothing at all) about his Master, do you?

    Like

  136. LMAO@ he was pissed at tjn. Carp, he along with others always seem like they have a tremendous amount of respect for you. Especially as compared to others in the business. I know things get said in the heat of the moment sometimes and maybe there are knee jerk reactions here and there after games but I’d guess there’s a tremendous amount of respect for you. Except when Muckler was alive. That guy hated you lol

    Like

  137. I HATED that Beck deal. That brillo-headed stiff cost McEwen (Cup winner) and Hickey, my 2 faves of the time, and he sucked. As for being a ‘fan favorite’? I vividly recall being in MSG many a night when he got booed every time he managed to touch the puck without getting injured. This was after it was apparent he was all press clippings and no game.

    Like

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