And now for a brief programming note


Let me start by saying this blog, however time-consuming, is actually a lot of fun.

When my boss first approached me about doing one this season, I was originally reluctant because I didn’t think readers would care about the insights of a first-year beat writer. Thousands of hits and hundreds of comments later, I apparently was wrong.

Better yet, because the appettite for constant information has forced me to pay attention to the team in such great detail, I feel like I’m a lot further along than I would be if I was just doing daily stories for the paper.


I mention this because we are “now embarking on a West Coast trip”: in which I’ll be following the team from……New York. I know, it’s hardly ideal, but for a variety of reasons, this is going to be the case with some road trips this year.

My advice? Stick with me. While there is no substitute for the musty smell of sweaty shin pads filling your nostrils, I am still going to be in constant contact with coaches, players, and team officials while they’re all out West, and I will continue to be providing updates throughout the day.

Furthermore, because there is such an interest in players in the system, I am going to use the opportunity next week to head to Hartford to check in with some Rangers prospects (and I don’t even have to clear waivers) and provide updates from there.

The point is that even if the Rangers have struggled through the early going, we’ve gotten off to a pretty good start here. As far as I can tell, there’s no reason we can’t keep it going.

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  1. Sam, I feel really sorry for you missing out the west. When you would have the opportunity to stay in one of these luxurious resorts at Scottsdale, or moving along Rodeo Drive at downtown Los Angeles, going to Hollywood or exploring Union Square, Fisherman´s wharf and the Golden Gate at nearby San Jose, you probably are very dissapointed….

    But as a kind of reinstatemont for you, I provide you with the best solution for an enforcer on the Rangers´team…:):)

    Baby Koala banged the Mark Messier bobble head on Wednesday night after the loss against the Panthers with such endurance and ferocity that the bobblehead got broken and I need another one :):)

    No one in the NHL would risk to attack No.68 any more :):)

    Big smile


  2. Sam –

    So just out of curiosity on how this works, will you still do game recaps for the paper or will they just carry the AP recap and you’ll provide columns on the team on off days? I guess the game recaps on the west coast don’t make the early editions anyway.

  3. Blog has been great for sure so glad to hear you will be still offering insight from the East coast as well as hittin up the ‘Pack.

  4. Sam – this is actually great news for some of us… I would love to get your take on the kids in Hartford and who you think is looking good, looking lost, etc. Keep up the great work

  5. El Sid —

    Other publications have used bylined stories for games where they’re not actually present, but that’s an ethically murky territory, so yes, we’ll just use the wire (perhaps even other Gannett papers). But when it comes to news stories in which I talk to players or coaches or whomever on the phone, I’ll still write, but obviously won’t have a west coast dateline.

    A blog, meanwhile, is a whole different other animal, so I can still offer insight.

    Hope this makes sense.

  6. Sam:

    Great blog. I will have the pleasure of seeing my favorite team in LA and Anaheim. Now that this only happens once every 3 years, it has become even more exciting. It is strange that you are not traveling with the team. We see more and more evidence of Rangers coverage being scaled back by the NYC press.

    What is your opinion about league attendance? Colorado’s sellout streak (12 years) is over this season, and there have been some small Anaheim-like crowds there lately. Ticket prices are too high. Also, have you seen evidence of the players and clubs collaborating to grow the revenues? I expected to see many more personal appearances, visits to youth hockey clubs, and so on. I have not seen any of that out here.

    Anyway, congrats on your great start on the beat.

  7. Anthony (Abev) on

    Sam, if you want you can get me credentials for the LA-ANA-SJ games. My first piece is going to be about Ryan Hollweg and his homecoming. And how he’s going to put Sean Avery in the 3rd row.

    Kidding of course. But the Hollweg angle could be interesting? I gotta think he’s going to have a little extra energy.

    It’s going to be nice to get away from MSG and watch a game from a different perspective. Of course I have a feeling that all fans follow the same script, just insert different names.

  8. Bob —

    Check out the Islander game last night: the best team in hockey comes to town and they had about 8,000 people there. It’s a bit depressing.

    As far as the league reaching out more I know they’re trying. With the Rangers the team is always making appearances or trying to do non-hockey media, and there is a constant stream of visitors to the Training Center.

    I think a lot of it is the time of year. Even my best friends, some of whom I thought were hockey fans, can’t get into it just yet. After the World Series will be one jump, and certainly after football there will be another.

  9. sounds good pal keep up the good work, i think i was the first one to ever post a comment on this blog from what i remember and i told you on day one to keep this up there is a huge audience for it. am i smart or what :)

  10. It’s a shame you’re not making out here. I’ll try to make it out to at least one of these games to give those at home a better sense of the team system on the ice.

  11. Sam,
    I think the reason this blog is so well liked is because not only does it give insight into the goings and comings being the scene which we are not privy to, but it also has a sarcastic and self flagellating undertone that is quite humorous. Keep it up!

  12. Sam,

    You are doing a great job. Your blog has become a must for me. Keep up the good work.

  13. Sam, when the AVS had a sell out streak for more than 10 years and now they have three games below 18 000, that says everything…

    8 000 last night at the mausoleum were probably around 3 or 4000 really in attendance…

    That is a joke for the NHL !!!!

  14. The webmaster of the Rangers Report Weblog site announced today, that poster Koala will be assigned to a weblog site of the Hartford Wolf Pack. He posted 16 times through the first nine Rangers regular season games but had only one good value points during the discussion of Rangers stuff…

    The Poster has to report immediately to Hartford…..!!!!!

  15. I hope fans stay away from the arenas. I love seeing it. Send the message to Bettman that he completely ruined the game.

  16. Jonathan Probber on

    Sam – Thanks for giving us your plan of coverage. Hockey coverage is being universally cut in this country it seems, so not surprising that reporters aren’t accompanying teams on expensive road trips. And yes, it is unethical to dateline a story locally when you’re not there. Cheers….

  17. Sam- Just want to say that I enjoy reading the blog and am glad you are doing it, I check it at least three times a day!! Keep up the great work!!!

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