Anyone else feel that the season ended months ago? Or is it just us Ranger fans? Sure there is the draft and the opening of free agency in the next week but where they often bring joy and hope to so many, we have Glen Sather so they come with apprehension and a measure of dread. As Calvin at Rangerland wrote, it is tough being a Ranger fan.
*Maybe that is why they aren't having a draft party on Friday. Perhaps they don't want too many of us together to commiserate over how miserable we are, form some kind of boycott or something.
*I've dogged MSG quite a bit here on the blog and it is only fair that I highlight when they do something well. Well, they did something great. If you haven't seen the new MSG Vault, you have to tune in - if only to see the new set: MSG itself. They got rid of the cluttered attic look with the fossil in it (Stan Fischler) , they taped the new editions of Al Trautwig's show on the concrete floor of the Garden with the scoreboard and some banners lowered as backdrop. Add some dramatic lighting and good camerawork and you have one good looking show.
The Raucous Rangers edition is mediocre (missing some great fights) but the Brian Leetch episode is must-see tv for the True Blue. You get to see the U.S. National team take on the Rangers in a exhibition game that the Blueshirts actually stepped up and played hard. You get to see Leetchie's first ever game against the Blues - and hear the Potvin Sucks whistle ... some fantastic stuff. Al even manages to get some personality out of the humble, quiet Leetch as they set up and react to the archival footage.
*Speaking of Leetch, today he should get his ticket punched for the Hall of Fame. It is well deserved, just as his banner raising was. Leetch will join 10 other Ranger defensemen in the Hall: Art Coulter, Bill Gadsby, Doug Harvey, Tim Horton, Harry Howell, Ching Johnson, Brad Park, Babe Pratt, Earl Seibert and Allan Stanley.
*Several of those names are from the early era of Ranger hockey and for more info on that, I highly recommend folks find a copy of Frank Boucher's "When The Rangers Were Young." I just finished reading it and it was fantastic. Boucher was one of the original (and best) Rangers and went on to become coach and, later, GM. He spent nearly 30 years with the team and the book is his recollection of those years. Stellar stuff that gives a window into the birth of our franchise.
*Jess from Prospect Park will be over at Blueshirt Banter tonight at 8 edt to talk about the draft and the state of Future Blue. Perhaps he will explain why everyone is so high on Mike Del Zotto even though he can't crack Canada's lineup for the WJC. Maybe its that shirtless pic I found.
*Would you sacrifice Sanguinetti on the promise of DZ for a shot at Dany Heatley? Bobby's World may end up being north of the boarder as he is just the type of prospect the Sens need and we certainly need a player like Heater. Rozy and Z are not enough to pry him away so a blue chipper might be the answer. It would suck to see Bobby turn into a NHLer for someone else but at the very least, think of the black humour of watching Heatley skate on the Garden ice with all of the Geico advertising around ...