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I just received my weekly issue of “Sports Illustrated”: and see there’s a lengthy piece about Jim Dolan and the Knicks. At first glance, it doesn’t seem very flattering.


Unlike my poor misguided father, I have only a passing interest in the Garden’s other tenant. But seeing how Dolan’s fingerprints are all over your beloved hockey team, it will likely be a window into how the Rangers are run as well. And naturally, this is even more relevant given the “Mark Messier/Glen Sather saga”: that has taken shape in recent days.

In a related story, I remember when the story’s author, the gifted S.L. Price, was in town researching the piece, and that he even showed up for a Rangers-Islanders game. At the time, I had no idea why such a prominent national writer was at a midseason hockey game (and yes, I realize how poorly that sentiment reflects on hockey). Now I get it.

Anyway, I haven’t delved in yet. But I’ll pass along any nuggets once I do.


I failed to mention earlier that Petr Prucha missed practice after getting his bell rung last night on the non-elbow (note sarcasm) from Brad Lukowich. The left wing was just resting a stiff neck, and is expected back on the ice tomorrow.

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  1. Please God, when will Dolan sell the team and the MSG operations?

    That hit by Lukowich was ridiculous. Referee was standing right there too! If that was Gionta on the ice after a Hollweg hit, he would have been given a major + a suspension.

  2. Longtimerangerfan on

    Sam, I can’t believe that Renney thought the hit by Lukowich was clean and wouldn’t send a copy of the tape to the NHL. When it comes to Renney and Ranger’s management…arrrrrgh, just unbelieveable.

  3. I don’t get how they can call every minor hook but wont call headhunting. Its been happening all season.

  4. Longtimerangerfan on

    NJ Mark
    February 7th, 2007 at 5:48 pm
    Please God, when will Dolan sell the team and the MSG operations?

    I don’t live in the NY area any more so have to subscribe to Center Ice but next year it’s not gonna happen!!!!! I’m not going to PAY to get ulcers. I’ve watched the Ranger’s for over 30 years and I HATE HATE HATE the way Dolan, Sather, Maloney and Renney have run the team into the ground! I hope there is a hockey “HELL” ’cause they all belong there! Hockey Hell is where you have a perfect shot on goal and just before the puck crosses the goal line, the buzzer sounds…no goal, over and over and over.

  5. Simple question- do the refs hate the rangers? or do the other teams also have this problem where blatent hits that have high potential to injure(see Lukowich, hatcher) are let go, but the hooks are called?

    i have not been able to catch many other games aside from the rangers, so i really do not know- but would love to hear the input.

  6. I don’t know if it happens to other teams, but I would be more concerned with preventing career ending concussions than hooks.

  7. do you hear one word from Sather or Renney about the check? No, Renney said he reviewed the tape after the game and didn’t have a problem with it. So why should the refs if Renney doesn’t.

    just another reason that Teflon Tom is useless behind the bench.

    and there was NO reaction physically by the Rangers afterward. so, soft coach, soft team.

  8. I cannot stand basketball. While I understand the appeal of college basketball, I would rather watch my grandmother nod off in her rocker. But when it comes to pro basketball, I am completely at a loss to explain its popularity. The epitome of monotony, selfishness, and laughable false bravado. I would rather have a root canal than watch an NBA game.

  9. I dont like Basketball either. Majority of “B-Ball players” are thugs. Anoother thing I cant stand is when they call a time out, the ball can be inbounded by the other teams basket even though you called the TO under your own.

  10. hey Sam,

    any idea who we can likely see traded if we have another great purge? with so many teams looking for players, we should be able to get really good return on some players (i.e – nylander, etc)

  11. looking at the schedule, the Rangers will probably go 5-3 in those 8 games before the deadline, and that means, unfortunately, that they will be buyers, not sellers.

  12. AGggg, i really hoped that Hit on Prucha last night would of kept HIM OUTTTT of the line up for some time. When will everyone realize that he is not ready for the NHL and should either be shipped to another team or back to the minors. He keeps getting hit because he doesnt look up when he skates. You learn that in the basics.

  13. a casual observer on

    I don’t think Avery understands our system! You are not supposed to head TOWARDS the net with the puck. And for Gods sake never shoot the puck until you have exhausted all other avenues. If you can’t play East-West pattycake you have no business playing for Renney’s Rangers.

  14. That hit was NOT clean. The initial contact was with the Triceps area but he clearly followed through and finished with the point of his elbow

  15. there should be MORE hits like that, by BOTH teams, in ALL games.

    just like the hit by Aaron Ward, and many by Hollweg.

    who wants to watch a namby-pamby NHL with a bunch of fancy dans circling back all the time, with no hitting.

    I hope there are many more hits like that by Ranger players and all teams.

    look at the empty seats in NJ for a Ranger game. It is obvious that the rivalry is softening up.

  16. a casual observer February 7th, 2007 at 7:49 pm

    I don’t think Avery understands our system! You are not supposed to head TOWARDS the net with the puck. And for Gods sake never shoot the puck until you have exhausted all other avenues. If you can’t play East-West pattycake you have no business playing for Renney’s Rangers.

    amen. exactly right.

  17. lil midget : if his head was “up” the player still is NOT aloud to lead with the elbow…form the re-plays I saw it sure looked like his elbow was up BEFORE he made the hit. It was fast, I can understand the ref not seeing it maybe, right when it happened, especially if his angle was off. But you can elbow a player in the shoulder…its still an elbowing penalty…plain and simple.

  18. Go NYR : as far as I know… the triceps area is still considered “elbowing”…you cant hit with your arms up, not like that…and to the head is supposed to be a major as far as I know.

  19. wildcard, are you calling Tom Renney a liar? because he said that he reviewed the tape, and saw NOTHING WRONG with the hit.

  20. Casual Observer & Joe:

    Never fear — Avery’ll buy in right quick. Look at Shanny — he used to score but now he “gets it”.

  21. Joe : I don’t think he lied…in fact…perhaps he saw a different view…maybe he doesn’t think that the arm hit first, I don’t know…but I have re-watched the Devils feed that I have taped…and even when I stop the tape at the perfect time…you can see his arm/elbow make contact first. I think Renney just missed it….I don’t know why he didn’t see it…unless the angle that I have is bad….

  22. Clean hit, dirty hit… whatever. If Prucha played with his head up we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

    And as far as Dolan goes- and I know Im not the only one who sees the karma in this – as everyone knows, at some point in the season, Dolan actually opened his mouth in an interview and said that if the Rangers made the playoffs, ticket prices would increase by 10%. At the time, the Rangers were 18-10-4 and neck and neck with the Devils in the lead for the Atlantic Division. The playoffs seemed almost a foregone conclusion. Since that day the Rangers have gone 7-14-1, losing 7 straight, then winning 4 straight, then losing 4 of 5 and 4 of 6. 15 of a possible 44 points. Not only that, but after the third loss of the initial seven game losing streak – with the team at 18-13-4 – Renney reportedly went to Sather begging for a personnel change and was told not to worry everything would work out. Well, guess what?

  23. 20 Ranger players had no problem with the hit, the coach said the same thing, but Wildcard knows better than all of them?

    I don’t think so.

  24. I thought the hit on Prucha was clean. At least according to the rules. Shoulder to head. I believe those hits should be illegal, as with any blow to the head. But since it’s not illegal, that’s a clean hit.

  25. Joe-“look at the empty seats in NJ for a Ranger game. It is obvious that the rivalry is softening up”

    The Devils dont sellout PLAYOFF GAMES against the Rangers. They cant get anyone to go to a swamp in the middle of nowhere to see a hockey game. The Nets cant sell that place out either. The place is a dump.

  26. the less the refs call, the better NHL hockey is.

    remember when Dino Ciccarelli and many others used to battle tooth and nail in front of the net with big Dmen. that was exciting. that got the crowd revved up.

    now they can stand there untouched. that is ridiculous.

  27. I know all that. I didn’t say sellouts. I said there are thousands of empty seats, and there are MORE empty seats now than in the past.

  28. Two contradicting points: The hit on Prucha was an elbow, and should have been a penalty.

    That said, one of the reasons that game last night was so entertaining is the referees let more go toward the end. There was a flow to the play that has been largely missing all year.

  29. elbow to the noggin….concussion? what would rudderless renney say then?

    “oh, that is just prucha being prucha”

    How many more losses until he is farmed out?

  30. czechthemout!!!!! on

    watching the pack.down 1-0.look ok.dubinsky kicked the crap out of one guy in a fight

  31. Peter: Prucha isn’t afraid to take a hit…even if he head was lifted at far as he could have stretched his neck he would have taken a arm to the noggin…I keep watching the re-play…I don’t see shoulder until AFTER the arm and elbow hit, than his shoulder makes contact. If you can watch it frame by frame you should be able to see it. At full speed its hard to see…but even at full speed I thought I saw the arm up before the hit, than the replays on tv showed it as well…than frame by frame you can see it….im sorry…but the camera angle I saw and have recorded shows an elbow first shot…well kinda arm but elbow no less

  32. Joe: I agree that the NHL calls way to much…but even BEFORE the “look-down” on the rules you couldn’t hit a guy up high with your arms extended…it was at the least roughing. It seems this season they have taken away clean rough play, the battles along the boards, the battles in front of the net, that although nasty and most likely painful for some players, were close enough to the rules that guys could do it. But this year, they are letting dangerous hits go, its not just the Rangers games, there are a lot of high hits with arms and elbows this year that have gone uncalled. The Refs are entirely to pre occupied with the little crap and taking away the tough play in front…and they don’t seem to see the things that are going to cost players a career…or at least a game or two on the IR.

  33. czechthemout!!!!! on

    pack lost 4-2 onempty net goal.korpikoski,dubinsky on a buetifull breakaway goal.took too many stupid penalties wich cost them the game.the pack were dominant most of the game.corey potter played first game for pack tonite.looked like a good prospect,can skate well,good shot,can pass well,needs to work on his decision making with the puck.postion play needs some work though.not impressed with baranka,or lampman,or taylor.lifiton looked ok.schoenfeld for some reason broke up the kid line,tried to spread the offense around a player tonite was by far dubinsky.scored nice goal,handaly won a fight,dawes,was good.also callahan and korpikoski looked o.k.

  34. Empty seats in NJ. Empty seats in Long Island. Full house of Die hards in MSG.(including me)

    Islanders and Devils make it to the playoffs and Jagr-Shanny Rangers don’t…PRICELESS!


    Not that this is a surprise, but not only is everything we’ve (more specifically our friend Mark) ever said for the last 7 years about Dolan and the Ranger ownership – paranoid, conspiratorial and overly exaggerated though some of it may have sounded – is not only 1000% unequivocably true, but it’s far worse than you or any of us ever thought.

    It’s really not Sather. He has his orders. It is Dolan. This article is really making me think long and hard about continuing to support a team I’ve loved for 35 years. Not sure I can keep doing it.

  36. SykoraMooreRucinskyRucchinPotiStrudwick on

    No elbow, looked clean, but did he leave his feet? The replay we got on TV was inconclusive (aka didn’t show his feet).

  37. there is not one word about Dolan interfering in Ranger player personnel moves in that article.

    it is just a rehash of what everyone knows, that Dolan is a substance addled jerk who knows nothing about sports, and has ridden his dad’s coattails to wealth.

    there is not one word in that article absolving Sather from anything.

  38. hit looked clean from where i sat… right in front of my television. prucha set himself up for that shot. luko hit him square with the shoulder, and his momentum brought his elbow up. and there was A LOT of momentum. good no call.

  39. Paul –

    You’re right, to a degree, and I’m not willing to let Sather off the hook anyway. But it really does sound pretty oppressive, and while Im sure Dolan isnt telling Sather exactly what moves to make, I also seriously doubt there haven’t been times when the mandate was to get marquee names and get to the playoffs. And that is by no means a constructive, long term view.

  40. clean hit prucha skated through the entire neutral zone and 4 feet over the blueline with his head down. you can barely get away with that in midgets let alone the nhl. elbow came up on the follow through but it was all shoulder. no complaints, kid just needs to keep his head up.

  41. The hit was very similar to the one that Kasparaitis laid on Marshall I think it was last year. Both were shoulders/upper arms that ended with the arm coming up. Prucha’s biggest problem was skating with his head down.

    In terms of Dolan…there’s nothing that I can really say, other than it’s a very disturbing article.

  42. “I don’t think Avery understands our system! You are not supposed to head TOWARDS the net with the puck”

    LMAO but sadly it is right on, don’t worry he will catch on in few weeks

  43. ThisYearsModel on

    RE: Dolan………a loser shrimp with a Napoleon complex. This is your owner. Any success they have will be IN SPITE of this jerk.

  44. ThisYears… similar holds true for sather, malonney, renney, & the rest, it’s the corporate culture at MSG……. Is MESSIER GM yet?

  45. It will be alot tougher than 94 if Messier comes, if you can imagine that! It’s time to bring back”HEAVE HO”.

  46. Sam,

    Look at the hit by Lukowich again, it was 100% clean!

    Trust me I hate to say that, but I cannot twist reality to fit into my own agenda. I have it recorded and I’ve watched it numerous times. Prucha’s face clearly makes contact with the upper arm of Lukowich. The elbow was down, it was clean.

    People complain that they are trying to make the NHL too soft, but in this case they got it right and people are still complaining.

  47. Lukowich also did not leave his feet, he skated backwards and hunched over and Prucha ran into him. Prucha was bent over, Lukowich was bent over. There was no way he left his feet, if he did he would have missed Prucha’s head.

    It was a clean hit, move on! Renney would have certainly sent the tape in if he felt it was dirty, think about it.

  48. I’d say it was NOT 100% clean hit but I have no problem it was not called. I think refs were good at that point. Also, do you remember high stick by Straka that was not called either – so please do not complain. We lost that game simply because of 2 factors – we did not score on 4-3 in OT and secondly – we had wrong SO starters (Cullen… no comments).

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