Hello my new (old) friends


The past is present. Or … you can go home again.

First I want to say a big “Hello!” to all the Blueshirts diehards, and I also want to tell you all that I will miss Sam as much as you guys do. Maybe more. He is (and always will be) a great friend and a great writer, and a person who did his job with the greatest of enthusiasm and skill (plus the prettiest practice swing in golf).

I can’t replace him.

But … this blog is one of the greatest places in sports. It has become sort of like the Garden itself, because while its players retire or are traded away, the place remains the same and it is the fans who make it so and make it go. A blog is only as good as its readers – or participants might be a better word. Sam made it great, no doubt. But you all made it better, and we certainly hope you will stay, just as you stay glued to your TVs or your MSG seats whether you’re watching Gilbert or Davidson or Pavelich or Patrick or Leetch or Messier or Lindros or Jagr or Lundqvist.

Because we know your passion, and that never changes, no matter who fills the blue shirts.

Some of you probably know me. I covered the Rangers for The Journal News to various degrees from the 1978-79 team that made an improbable run to the Stanley Cup finals (and should have won), through the only Rangers team in the last 68+ years to win the Cup, through all the mayhem of the non-playoff disaster, until the middle of the forgettable Bryan Trottier era. I have written a couple of books on the Rangers, and used to be a regular in The Hockey News and many other publications, as well as on MSG Network.

My all-time favorites are the same as your favorites – Graves, Leetch, Richter, Messier, going back to Davidson and the Maloney brothers and forward to King Henrik.

I covered the Rangers home and away, through sickness and in health, through the good, the bad and the awful.

But those were the days in which, if somebody said, “blog” you’d think they’d eaten some bad clams (or MSG hot dogs). I never had the chance to blog about “my” team when it was mine.

So the people here have entrusted me to be part of the team that tries to fill Sam’s skates (or his golf shoes). All I ask is that you stay with us, and here’s why. It is the banter among you that make this blog what it is. It is the sheer numbers of you guys and ladies who watch the game with your keyboards within reach, and who let the opinions and observations fly. Who live and die with every penalty call, every bad line change, every goal, every W-L-OT.

We’re going to continue to give you that forum. None of us personally will be able to be as involved as Sam was, but we will try to keep you informed, and to hear you. If there is ever anything in particular you want to discuss, just let us know.

An aside to Sam’s last post: Exactly like Sam, my first assignment for the newspaper was a football game in Northern Westchester, and the next day my girlfriend (who would become my wife) and I drove up there in a pouring rain to buy a stack of northern editions of the paper. Only this was quite a few years before Sam’s first story.

Fortunately for me, the Rangers subject I know best is the subject coming up in the next few days: No. 9, the most popular, beloved Ranger ever. So hopefully we’ll have time to tell some Adam Graves stories and to help celebrate the retirement of his number from this weekend through Tuesday’s ceremony.

So keep checking in, and keep your comments coming. Again, if there is ever anything you want to bring up, just let us know. Thanks.


Update, 2:09 p.m.: The Rangers “have traded Dan Fritsche to Minnesota for defenseman Eric Reitz”:http://wild.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=406780. Reitz, 26 (7/29/82), had two points (1-1=2) and 41 penalty minutes in 31 games with the Wild this season, and totaled two points (1-1=2) and 45 penalty minutes in 37 career games with Minnesota.

About Author


  1. all right Carp — glad we still have a place to go — now that hockeybird is down .. this is my only refuge!!

  2. Thanks :D

    I mathematically proved the legitimacy of the nickname. Zherdev is in his 4th NHL with .667 points per game. Kovalev had the same .667 in his first four seasons. Does everyone’s brain hurt yet? Muhahahaha

  3. onecupin67years on

    You always wrote a great sunday hockey pieces in TJN, I don’t why they ever took you off.

  4. Carp, if you could schedule a sit-down with Sather — or at least put in the request and report what response you get — I would be indebted.

  5. Rick,



    I can’t believe you are leaving me! I read this blog daily and rarely chime in, but your blog has brought great joy to my heart in those moments of the day when I cant think about work anymore and need some quick witted comment about how bad the Rangers power-play is to wake me up.

    Good luck in golf… Hockey for people who cant skate…

    Be blessed!


  6. wd40, I doubt Sather is going to be inviting me in for a sitdown any time soon. In fact, he will probably be the saddest of all in Ranger land to hear that I’m going to be spending more time around his team now. But I’ll give it a shot.

    Thanks, too, for the welcome, JayKnight and Ken.

  7. Reitz’s scouting report says he’s a potential 6th/7th stay-at-home. He’s good when he sticks to defense and physical play… but he’s not very fast (he’ll fit right in).

    He’s played 31 games with 2 points and is only a -2… not bad being from a very offensive team!

  8. Welcome Rick! Great to have someone with your experience manning the blog and the beat. I read the Faceoff Blog from time to time and I really respect your opinions and knowledge. I’m looking forward to hearing your take on what’s happening in Rangerland.

  9. “Putting on the Reitz”

    Welcome Carp, you are a capable man with a healthy dose of skepticism about the maroons who run this franchise from top to bottom.

  10. Welcome Back Rick!!

    And just to prepare you, not that you need preparing, we are pretty harsh in here to each other at times, on the Rangers, and DEFINITELY on Sather the Recluse and the coaching staff!

    So anything you read, you have to take with a “These are New York Ranger Fans” grain of salt.

    And does Eric Reitz join the team, or go to Hartford so one of our home-grown Dmne can come up? Any idea?

    Again Welcome back!

    Again welcome

  11. Mr. Glen doesn’t like Mr. Rick? Why? :) welcome by the way… good to know that we were handed over into experienced hands

  12. Welcome to the internets Carp.

    Is it true that Tom Renney is a lost cause, has “lost the locker room”, and is impeding the true nature of his roster?

    Many of us think so, what’s your take?

  13. So the Rangers traded Fritche a day after putting him on waivers, did they want to get rid of him that badly? Rick, are you a Prucha fan or nay?

  14. Todd in Colorado on

    Hi Rick – seems like a lot of games this year have been lost when the opposing team scores 4 goals or more. I know everyone on this blog views Lundqvist as “untouchable” when it comes to finger pointing, but come on! A lot of soft goals this year…am I the only one seeing this? Lundqvist doesn’t look focused this year…maybe a few games on the bench could remedy that problem. Great coaches always seem to use “benching” as a motivational tool. Perhaps the nickname “King” has backfired. Thoughts?

  15. “Im pretty sure if renney wanted shany he would have him on the team… same with Jagr and Avery”

    I’m pretty sure I’ll stick to my assessment that you don’t pay attention enough. If it’s a time constraint, I can understand that. If it’s reading just one source for your information, I can understand that too. But Zip wrote an article just days ago that spoke to this exact point. There are GM’s out there that will let their coaches call the “personel shots”, this isn’t one of them. (personel shots-who’s coming, who’s going)

  16. Carp, welcome back you did a great job during the playoffs when Sam was at the Masters so it should be all good.

  17. “There are GM’s out there that will let their coaches call the “personel shots”, this isn’t one of them. (personel shots-who’s coming, who’s going)”

    This is an opinion masquerading as a fact. And what evidence is it based on? Because from all accounts — and a preview of the 2008-09 Ranger season on MSG-TV — the signing of Redden was urged strongly not just by Renney but by Pearn.

    And if the point is that Sather does not cede control to Renney, well no kidding. No GM in any situation rolls over to the coach, or he wouldn’t have the position in the first place.

  18. beer me, name one GM out there who allows his coach to call the personnel shots. There isn’t one.

  19. Eric Reitz!? Open up a spot on your fantasy roster!

    DOB – 7/29/82
    Birthplace: Detroit, MI
    6’1″ 215lbs
    shoots: right
    Drafted by Minnesota in 2000 (6th rnd/170 overall)
    Assets: Has good size for the defense position. Likes to play a physical game. Is at his best when he plays a stay-at-home style.
    Flaws:Lacks mobility and coordination. Must adapt to the speed of the game at the highest level in order to finally make his mark in the NHL.
    Career Potential: No. 6 or 7 dman

  20. Welcome Carp. I’m a big fan, personally.

    What a stat line on the trade for this guy from Minn.

    1-1-2 (40+ PIM). Are you sure that isn’t a typo and it’s really Wade Redden’s line?

  21. Fritsche traded to Wild for D Erik Reitz. I live in houston and watched Reitz play for aeros. He is good and can help Hartford or NYR.

  22. Perhaps my wording of: “There are GM’s out there that will let their coaches call the “personel shots”, this isn’t one of them.”

    Should have read: “There are GM’s out there that will aquire players to their coaches specifications.” Maybe that’s better.

    Look, if you think Renney built this team, you’re out of your mind. Every scout, asst coach, coach has a say in SOME form of personel. That’s what they’re there for! You take the experience and knowledge that your staff has and (hopefully) use it to your advantage.

  23. beer me, you’re welcome. But would you care to name one “GM
    out there that will let their coaches call the “personel shots?” you cited. Just one?

  24. Welcome Carp.

    since we are talking history today, here is my contribution from Wikipedia.

    I’m sure Stan Fischler remembers it like it was yesterday.



    In 1925, the New York Americans joined the National Hockey League, playing in Madison Square Garden. The Amerks proved to be an even greater success than expected, leading Garden president Tex Rickard to go after a team for the Garden despite promising the Amerks that they would be the only hockey team to play there.

    Rickard was granted a franchise, which he originally planned to name the New York Giants. However, the New York press soon nicknamed his team “Tex’s Rangers”, and the new name stuck. Rickard managed to get future legendary Toronto Maple Leafs owner Conn Smythe to assemble the team. However, Smythe had a falling-out with Rickard’s hockey man, Col. John S. Hammond, and was fired as manager-coach on the eve of the first season — he was paid a then-hefty $2,500 to leave. Smythe was replaced by Pacific Coast Hockey Association co-founder Lester Patrick, but kept all of the players Smythe had assembled. The new team turned out to be a winner. The Rangers won the American Division title their first year but lost to the Boston Bruins in the playoffs. The team’s early success led to players becoming minor celebrities and fixtures in New York City’s Roaring 20’s nightlife. It was also during this time, playing at the Garden on 48th Street, blocks away from Times Square, that the Rangers obtained their now-famous nickname “The Broadway Blueshirts”.



    btw, I wonder if Tex Rickard is related to Rocket Richard?

    hope we don’t have to wait for the Roaring Twenties of this century to see another cup win.

  25. Welcome to the Web Rick!

    You and I are probably the only people here who can remember Eddie Johnstone’s toothless grin! I’m a contemporary of the Maloneys, Dougay amd Gresch. Shero was my hero. Tom Renney is the best coach since “the Fog”.

    I love all the boys but Staal, Mara, Dubi, Callahan, the King and Betts have a special place in my heart from the current team. I like the youngsters!

    Sam was “the” source of up to date and accurate Ranger info. You’ll be kept hopping by this crew. But, you’re a pro, so I know you’ll be in the swing in no time.

    Good Luck!


  26. Oh joy, Reitz looks, on paper, like he could be WORSE than Kalinin. Two points in 31 games – what a howitzer!

  27. To Tex Ricard:

    Until the St. Louis Blues joined the NHL in 1967, the Rangers were called The Blues or The Broadway Blues in the press, not “Blueshirts.” In fact, the Rangers lodged a protest with the NHL Commissioner’s office, over the St. Louis expansion franchise nickname, requesting that it be turned-over, which it obviously was not. It was typical of NY Post and other newspapers to print hockey lead stories on the back page like: ” Blues top Habs, 3-2; or Hawks tie Blues, Late,” stuff like that. The team was the Blues as much as it was the Rangers, in print.

  28. rick…welcome back…one of the most astute hockey writers in the city (sorry larry)..go get slats

Leave A Reply