The Mystery Linemate Returns


One other question that I failed to include from before:

*Q: Have you been drinking? — Valeri Kamensky, NHL All-Star 1997-98*

A: Granted, the soft-spoken Russian was more tactful than that. But after another outing together tonight, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Mystery Linemate’s on the phone with his agent, demanding a trade to another men’s skate anywhere else in the Western hemisphere.

At one point, he beat all five guys on the other team then calmly slid the puck over to me, where I faced a half-open net. I’m sure you can guess the rest. Let me give you a hint: What’s Russian for “You’re no Joe Sakic”?

Anyway, I can’t say for sure if I’m rubbing off on the Rangers or they’re rubbing off on me, but my penance is I can’t be critical of another hockey player for another 24 hours.

OK, at least not until morning…

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  1. Great story. If what Valeri said was a one-syllable exclamation then things aren’t looking up for you, Sam.

    So, what exactly did you do? Miss the net? Step on the puck?

  2. You can’t miss an open net. There are people who have never scored goals. Won’t you please think of the people starving for goals.

  3. Patrick Hoffman on


    You really need to follow Happy Gilmore’s advice on a play like this:

    “Just tap it in…Just tap it in…Give it alittle tap tap.”

    Your Friend,

    Pat Hoffman

  4. So we just learned Sam has stone hands. Just the perfect guy to be a beat writer for the Rangers. :)

    Both Sam and Valeri has songs named after them.


    “Sam…you made the pants too long….”

  5. Actually, in the interest of accuracy, my hands weren’t really the problem. I was sort of in an awkward spot and I couldn’t position my body where I could even get my stick down in time. That at least is what I’m telling the media..

  6. Hey Sam,

    One thing I’ve been thinking about you sports writers while your at the game sitting up in the pressbox…

    Now I know it’s an unwritten rule to not show your emotions,cheer for goals etc. up there with the other writers.

    But I assume (hope) you have formed at least some sort of connection – in lack of a better word – with the team by now. So my question is that do ever catch yourself thinking during a vital 3rd period powerplay that “come on boys, score!”, cursing a bad turnover or secretly pumping your fist on an OT goal?

  7. sam you sound like dom moore with that excuse. listen with hands like that you could center our second line!!!

  8. Sam, you gotta get Lowell back out there if you want to start scoring again.

    But regarding Val and some of Sam’s points earlier in the year. After the skate a couple guys were saying Val looked like he was tired and out of breath at times on the ice not always moving that fast. The skate was 8 on 7, so not a lot of rest, but the big problem with the comments like that is how quickly they had forgotten how handidly Val had beaten them many, many times earlier in the night (pretty much until he got off the ice). As bad as some of these guys might appear to be on TV or at the garden, they’re still amazingly good compared to the rest of us.

  9. EB —

    Who was saying he looked slow? No one in our locker room. I will say that Val didn’t have a whole lot of help (see the above post) especially with clowns like you hooking and grabbing every eight seconds. Naturally, he could handle it. I, on the other hand, need to start thinking seriously about steroids…

  10. I’ll keep them anonymous, but there was a couple of human turnstiles chirping in after Val left.

    Don’t think steroids are a good option for you given your already present rage problem.

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