And now for another brief programming note


As much as I’ve enjoyed the various theories about where I’ve been of late — that I’ve been shipped off to another paper, that I’m actually a CIA operative now stationed in Eastern Europe, that I’ve abandoned the blog altogether and am pursuing my real dreams of Hollywood stardom — it’s actually quite boring:

I’m on vacation.

I know, I know, not exactly ideal timing (although given how out of sorts the Rangers are of late, maybe it is). But one of the byproducts of this dual existence of hockey writer/golf writer is that I’ve got to sandwich in the vacation time at some point, otherwise my wife and son might no longer recognize me (speaking of which, feel free to give a big blog shout out to the wife, whose birthday we celebrate today. Trust me, among her countless other positive attributes, this site would be a shell of what it is without her).

What this means, of course, is that I’m not with the Rangers now, nor have I even been pestering the team for updates, as I have on other road trips when I’ve been absent. The good news is I’ll still chime in between Vermont ski runs and pond hockey games over the next few days if the spirit moves me; and after Christmas, we’re back full service with my man Josh Thomson carrying the torch for the Islanders game. Then I’m back a day or so after that, and we can all prepare for what promises to be an intriguing — if not always satisfying — second half of the season.

Anyway, I’m sure I’ll say it again, but just to be safe, Happy Holidays to everyone out there, and as always, thanks for making me feel like the time working on this site has been so worthwhile.

I look forward to plenty more debate about Marcel Hossa’s lack of scoring tough, Ryan Callahan’ lack of playing time, and every other worthy topic in Rangerland in the weeks and months to come…

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  1. Any news on the status of Sandis Ozolinsh?He has not reported to Hartford and by the sound of things he isn’t going to the insurance capital

  2. The way the weather is, I don’t think the ponds will ever freeze over here in NJ…ugh!
    Enjoy your vacation.

  3. you didn’t hear? boozeo was with dontrelle willis all week. sort of a guy britney/paris thing. he’s teaching him out to be a real pro’s pro.

  4. Happiest birthday to the Mrs. Enjoy the vacation.

    Many are asking that we bring up practically every one from Hartford. That team struggled at the beginning of the season and has just come around last 2-3 weeks. There was a huge change of personnel from last season. Some are younger and just getting their AHL legs. There are others, though, that shouldn’t be on the Hartford shuttle and should be in NYC – Dawes, Callaghan — and only return to the shuttle if Sather makes a great deal.

    Heard on radio last night that Tampa may have to move one of three players if they keep playing as they have been and need to move salary — Lecavalier, St. Louis or Richards. The first is the only one without a “no trade.” They need goaltending help – how does Weekes and Montoya or other player sound. Have Valiquette serve as backup.

  5. Have a wonderful holiday and vacation Sam. You deserve it.

    To repeat what many have said and been sincere about in the past – I think I speak for all visitors: This blog is the best source for the latest Ranger news. We appreciate and enjoy it tremendously.

  6. I’m sure the pond has better ice than the garden. And probably better talent, maybe do some scouting.

    Happy Holidays!!

  7. Sam,

    As a resident of Vermont, I’m wondering where you intend to play pond hockey? There is nothing frozen in the Burlington area! Enjoy your well-earned vacation.

  8. Yeah. I discovered this blog not so long ago and this is the BEST source for Rangers news. Keep up good work, guys!

  9. its the worst source for rangers news. sam gets info so quickly that we actually have to spend all day miserable from news like isbister brought up callahan sent down or weekes starting tonight instead of just an hour before the game starts. THANKS ALOT SAM ;)

  10. Vacation? What’s that?
    Hope you have a wonderful time off, Sam, and happy birthday to your other half.

  11. Happy Birthday Mrs. Sam, and happy holidays to all the Weinmans, other posters, and even that guy Josh Thompson.


    Rangers in ’07!

  12. Patrick Hoffman on

    I’d like to wish a happy holidays to you and your family as well as a happy birthday to Mrs. Weinman.

  13. Sam, have a great vacation. Relax and savor it.

    Back to hockey now…
    Mike V- i completly agree that Valiquette should be back up vs. tampa. yes, he’s no mike richter, but he’s been quite sharp between the pipes lately.

  14. Doodie Machetto on

    Happy Holidays Sam and Happy Birthday to the Mrs.

    Happy Holidays to everyone else here on the board. It’s been emotional.

  15. Happy holidays

    I am off to Australia for a couple of weeks !!!

    I may back in February..maybe

    European correspondent

  16. Thanks for all you do, Sam. You’ve done a terrific job here and we all appreciate the opportunity to get information as early as possible and then rage on with usually excellent debates about said information. Have a great vacation with your family, you’ve earned it.

    Mrs. Sam (although more likely he’s Mr. Whatever YOUR First Name Is) – Happy Birthday

  17. Mike V & Carolyn. Do you guys really think they’re willing to bring up Valiquette as a backup instead of Montoya?

  18. Until tonight, Montoya had been struggling a bit in Hartford over recent weeks.
    Tonight he allowed one goal and I was told he played well.

  19. Hey, great news!! According to Larry Brooks, the Rangers are considering bringing back Martin Rucinsky!!! Hooray, our problems are solved. Letting him walk actually may have opened up a slot for a young player in the top six forwards. Why do that when we can sign all old retreads and not make the playoffs again and continue this horrific nightnare that’s been foisted on us since 1997. Has there been a worse 10 year span in Ranger history? Lets go for the record!!

    I mean really. Rucinsky is over 35 and therefore guaranteed a roster spot into next year. And so our top six will all be over 35. It’s like we’re going for becoming the oldext team in the league. Hey Sather, if this is true, you are the stupidest man alive. Really. My dog learns more from her mistakes than you do.

  20. Montoya just isn’t NHL ready. He had an injury set back last year though it was a minor injury, has been yanked a couple of times this year and Valiquette has gotten the bulk of the playing time. He needs to play more in the AHL and not sit on the bench in the NHL. Valiquette, however, has had some good games in NHL over his long career and two years ago he and Jason LaBarbara were the dynamic goalie duo of the AHL. During the strike I followed Hartford closely, even attended a dozen games, and he was supurb. He is the better option to bring up if they move Weekes and don’t get a goalie in return. Certainly not any worse than what we have.

    Ah, Rucinsky. Yep, I saw the report. Sure, let’s do whatever makes our captian happy, and again let’s get older and slower while forgetting the kids. Hey Sather: where’s our Crosby, where’s our Ovechkin, where’s our Kuba?

  21. What would they do with Crosby, Oveckin and Kuba- they’re too young, no experience, mere rookies… To be on the Rangers you need the experience that comes with years in the league; 10-15 at least. It would also help if you suffered some career threatening event, like Lindros, Berard, Bure, Ozolinsh. Nothing like a comeback challenge, eh, boys?

    Besides we have had our own high draft prospects- Blackburn, Faldareau, Jessiman, Novak, Montoya, Korpikoski, Stall, Sanguinetti. The list is endless! (So is their development…)

    So quit your grumbling and get behind the Rangers! Extend a hearty welcome to Ruchinsky, Nedved, Leetch, and Forsberg with open arms and an open mind. Look at the NAMES man! Who wouldn’t want to see name players over those nobodies picked in the last seven draft years. Why, with this approach, the Garden will be sold out for years! And with the price increa$e$ we’ll $oon have more ca$h then we can $pend given that na$ty cap and all.

    So, Merry Xmas and look forward to a $uper New Year! and quit griping, Santa is watching you know….

  22. Bring back Rucinsky? Bring back Leetch?

    Hey, what is Bruce Driver up to these days? How about Dave Karpa? Or Rich Pilon? As long as we’re going backwards, why not go all-out and hire a bunch of players over 40 years old??? Then Rucinsky & Leetch won’t look so old in comparison.

    Isn’t this exactly why Neil Smith was fired? Isn’t this exactly what Glen Sather used to criticize from afar in Edmonton? That he could run this team on half the money by using young talent and getting rid of the overpaid, aging ex-stars?

    So he comes here and hires Don Maloney, who singlehandedly demolished a good Islander team while he was GM there. Great resume, Donny…

    Then he hires Tom Renney, who is nothing more than a video analyst. A guy who Messier forced out quickly when he went to Vancouver because he was a lightweight. Hey, let’s hire him for our head coach!

    Now he’s back to hiring aging ex-stars!!! I guess he was secretly admiring Smith’s methods.

    This franchise has turned into a laughing stock under Sather, Maloney and Renney. It’s going to take a decade to recover from Sather’s mismanagement after he’s fired.

    The worst part is that Dolan Jr. is clueless about hockey and he thinks that Sather is a hockey god, so Sather’s damage isn’t done yet.

    Most of us fans could evaluate talent better than the brain-fart trust that is in charge.

    Our only hope is for the team to be sold. Maybe Gutkowski can be lured back to run the team. He’s the last quality executive that we have had.

    Ranger fans, now is a good time to evaluate your loyalty to this forsaken team. If there are any other teams out there that you like to follow, think seriously about changing your allegiance.

    Carolina, Anaheim, San Jose, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Buffalo, Nashville… these are all good young teams that are being run the right way, and will be quality teams for the next decade… while we are doomed to wallow in mediocrity as long as this ownership and management are running things here.

    As a 35-year fan of the Rangers, this is a hard decision for me to make, but I just can’t go through this crap any longer. It’s like groundhog day over and over.

  23. baron – its in our blood – believe me during the even darker days of the early 80’s due to the success of the nyi I tried to give up hockey but could not.

    we also need to get rid of Dolan like you mentioned or the next gm will have the same mindset and the cycle will continue.

    it could be worse we could have never won the cup and still be hearing 1940 or we could be Cubs fans.

    unfortunately life is not always fair.

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