Hollweg Heads Home


It was inevitable that the focus in L.A. today would turn to Ryan Hollweg, the rare (or is it the only?) NHL product from Southern California. A couple of my colleagues on the Rangers beat have compelling profiles of the Rangers resident fullback in skates, “as does the L.A. Times’ respected hockey writer, Helene Elliott”:http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-elliott30oct30,1,6141956.story?ctrack=1&cset=true


It’s funny, a couple of days ago I used this space to talk about my childhood devotion to Wayne Gretzky, and yet I’m also aware that a tenacious player like Hollweg may be even more an embodiment of the NHL ideal. Between this year and last, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the guy take a shift off. If he’s lucky, he’ll score maybe seven goals this season. But given the energy he provides in every game, his value to the Rangers is immeasurable.

It explains why, a week or so ago, when Tom Renney was asked if referees were targeting Hollweg unfairly, the coach was clearly getting emotional. Maybe the Rangers this year go only as far as the likes of Jagr and Lundqvist will take them. But if the early part of the season has proven anything, it’s that they don’t have enough players like No. 44.

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  1. “But there may well be a push to play certain players if the team is trying to move them. And that would make a lot more sense�

    Sam, I doubt you are serious about that :)

    Sam, wouldn´t you agree that it doesn´t make sense. I mean if you want to move them as a coach you are not convinced in the players and then you don´t let them play. You have to make sure that the teams has the most success as possible and then you don´t showcase them like that.

    Would you bring on Rachunek or Ozo in a very important game just to show the NHL that they are ready and than they loose ?????

  2. HockeybasedNYC on

    The reputation Hollweg has gained is not warranted. Yes, hes a tough player and yes last season he had a few non-fighting majors, which were good calls…

    But this year its out of control some of the penalties they are calling on him. I’m sure many have noticed Hollweg has smartly altered his game in a way to steer clear from situations by turning away from hits that might get calls and picking his antagonizing spots better and yet they are still calling garbage on him.

  3. I had the misfortunte of watching part of a Devil’s game last week (against Florida) and watched Cam Janssens play the role of one-man wrecking crew, throwing dangerous hits and often leaving his feet before making contact with his target. In fact, even Chico “the-homer” Resch admitted that on one hit (for which Janssens got a measely 2 minute charging call that was evened out with calls against the victim and a player who came to his defense) he was about 8 inches off the ice when he made contact. To me, those are the hits the league should be looking to get rid of. Yet Janssens gets away with that nightly, while Hollweg seems to get called for even looking at a player the wrong way. Not sure who Hollweg pissed off, but he’s definitely gotten his name on the short list of players the refs are after.

  4. well to be honest, the devils are so boring to watch, hence why not a lot of people know about him ;-)

  5. Hollweg is great, but he belongs on the wing where he can work the walls in deep and not have to worry that throwing a check is going to mess up his back checking. At center he has to be the defensive valve and that is taking away from his agressive forecheck.

  6. “It explains why, a week or so ago, when Tom Renney was asked if referees were targeting Hollweg unfairly, the coach was clearly getting emotional.”

    poor hyena, he must have been weeping when the cameras weren’t looking.

  7. “well to be honest, the devils are so boring to watch, hence why not a lot of people know about him ;-)”

    Under Jackal as the coach Rangers have been hands down the most boring team to watch–lack of energy, lack of physical play, lack of speed, predictable PP, no emotion, etc.

  8. Goofy, showcasing players you want to move is standard fare in pro sports. Perhaps depressing, but common.

    Let’s hope one of those guys has a good enough game to intrigue some short-sighted, poorly informed GM.

  9. Hollweg is being unfairly targeted by the refs. proof is the hit on Jason Ward from behind, injuring him, at the last game in MSG. No penalty was called. If that had been Ryan Hollweg throwing that hit, he would have gotten a major, as he did vs. the Flyers last year. But a Panther does the same thing, and he gets nothing.

    Also, I agree that Ryan is more effective on the wing, where he can bang and crash in the corners as the first man in.

  10. I would take a lineup filled with hollwegs over a lineup filled with “unlimited potential” of Hossas.

    Im just going to leave it at that :)

  11. Btw, a source of mine….if you want to call it that, has friends who are training camp refs (i guess thats what they are, i dont talk to this guy anymore), anyway, apparently the reason Hollweg has a big old bullseye on his sweater is not because of his playing style, but the way he mouths off at the refs from the box and on the ice. Apparently he is VERY vulgar and downright nasty to them. Insert Vinegar and Honey analogy here…

  12. Makes sense — he got that double minor the other night for mouthing off. I love how he plays, but he should shut the heck up.

  13. Hi Chris !

    I heard about that you are from the Los Angeles Area and you are going to the game tonight at the Staples Center.
    Is that really true that the Rangers play usually only about every third year at Los Angeles or Anaheim ????

    Beeing from overseas I was in Los Angeles and Anaheim for my west coast trip in March 2000 to see them playing on a wednesday night in Anaheim (4-3 OT Winner by Brian Leetch !!) and a 3-1 loss the following night at the Staples Center after 1-0 lead due to a goal by Adam Graves !!)

    Maybe you can remember these specific games as well :)

  14. Sam !

    Maybe it´s wrong to post again here on your board, but I need to express my frustration over the NHL again !

    As I wrote before it is not an offense against you. You are doing a good job in promoting the NHL even as a hockey beat writer ;) and especially the Rangers in your area, where most of the people are not really interested in the game of hockey…So that is really my opinion !

    But today in the morning your time I discovered that my old friends from nhllive are on air live again so I took my burning question again about asking about live streams from NHL games. One of the hosts which I know from my previous appearances on the show ( and I definitely he knows me since I first appeared there from the 2002-2003 season because I emailed regularly and even making phone calls into the studio from overseas !! ) didn´t act like he totally misunderstand the reason for asking trying to explain to me that it is so easy to LISTEN on http://www.nhl.com... He still made jokes about the fact I didn´t know about the possibily to listen live when I asked to SEE it live and when the show ended at noon your time, my frustration was even higher than before….

    I don´t what it is but I got the feeling again that I was fooled again from someone of the NHL.
    What is it ????

    Is it Arrogance from someone of NY Media that they don´t take me serious !!!

    I mean it is so stupid on their part to promote the NHL. In the last couple of days I realize over here that live streaming becoming more and more popular over here, when I almost watched the full ATP Tournament in Bastel via the Internet. I simply don´t understand the reason the NHL or even their hosts are refusing to talk seriously about this fact…

    Anyway it is around 2.30 am in the morning here in Germany, 8.30 pm in New York, 5.30 pm in Los Angeles and it is still to hours to go until the puck drops at Staples Center and I have slept for three hours right now and can´t sleep again after thinking about that stuff again…

    If you are tired about this theme and want me to end with this, I will do that of course…:)


    ( if you want to give me an answer on this, you can do so using the email address I used for this post as it is my only one :)

  15. Matthias…

    I don’t know if I know the answer to your question about getting games live over the internet. i do know the only way most people seem to be able to do that in the states are through these boxes you can hook up to your computer. I believe there are companies in the country that will allow you to do this. Scotty Bowman’s son has a company, don’t ask me the name, who provides a service like this, specifically for hockey.

    I’m not sure if you can get this outside North America as it may somehow be tied into a DirecTV or Cable feed. You may want to look in those directions to see if it provides any leads. The big problem comes down to the TV contracts. The league is handcuffed by their deal with Versus, DirecTV, Time Warner, etc… I don’t believe they can provide a seperate system of streaming games live on the internet without it going through those companies in some way.

    I may be wrong here, but knowing the state of media consolidation in this country, I would bet you’d have to talk to those companies as the NHL is most likely beholden to them in this issue. Look into that box thing.

    FYI, I was in Puerto Rico of all places about a year ago and ran into Scotty, who was there on a cruise and he was using a box from his son’s company and was literally able to flip from game to game right there in the hotel lobby. It was pretty cool. So was he.

  16. Thank you very much, Neil !

    That is the kind of answer I am looking now for some quite time now….!!!

    I hope you can understand my frustration when I see it works great in other sports and it will not work in the NHL…I mean it was perfect in Basel and it was even for free but I would pay for it as you guys have to pay for Direct TV subscription….Okay I admit it is not the same tv quality but it is okay as I have the fastest possible connection in to the net to catch my friends from China to see the big soccer games around the world…

    Neil you saved my night and hopefully the Rangers will do the same at 4.30 am :):)

  17. Matthias —

    Great to hear from you. I unfortunately don’t have an answer.It turns out that tonight’s game, and Thursday’s are both being streamed live on Yahoo! Sports (that’s a plug for a site that I’ve actually done some work for), but it says U.S. users only. I don’t understand what the difference is, to be honest, but I’m going to look into seeing if that’s something that can be rectified.

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