And the winner is … (drumroll) … Sally!


And I didn’t even have to fix it.

Here are the final results for the bi-annual Paul Mara Playoff Beard Contest Extravaganza (picnic canceled):

1. Sally 80 votes (30.4 percent).
2. Nasty  71 (27.0).
3. Wicky 66 (25.1).
4. Buckaroo Club 20  (7.6).
5. Noah-Rangers 9 (3.4).
6. Tony from AZ 8 (3.0).
7. LW3H 5 (1.9).
8. MannyFried 4 (1.5).

Congratulations to all who participated, and even those who dropped out (CCCP). I knew Sally would win.

Sally, Nasty and Wicky, I need your home addresses so I can send out our modest prizes, including the good ones donated by our friend ilb. Please email those to me at No rush.


Is it just me, or did you guys see a lot of the Rangers in the Nashville Predators these last few weeks? I mean, their goalie was easily their best (and only) star. They really didn’t have an offensive superstar or a legit No. 1 line, even. They worked their abdelkaders off, and they even threw in an inexplicable stinker. And like the Rangers, they bounced back from that stinker admirably. They didn’t have anybody with more than 50 points during the season, they played a system and used a hard forecheck for their offense, and had a young team building toward something, and were physical and relentless and played to the end of every game.

What do you think?


As for your discussion yesterday about the Hall of Fame. My standard line when considering borderline guys like Roenick: Clark Gillies is in. Hence, anybody who was a very good player but not ever great should go into the Hall. The whole process is a joke, unlike baseball’s process.

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  1. And This One Will Last A Lifetime on

    I’m thinking Horace Clark or Chicken Stanley or Rafael Santana should all be in the HOF. They probably had similar numbers as Bill Mazeroski and Luis Aparicio who are both in.

  2. I think the Nashville Predators are boooooooooooooooooooooooooring to watch and when successful drag their opposition down to their booooooooooooooooooring level.

    It’s a good thing their boooooooooooooooooooring style will not take them any further.

    This isn’t to say that they shouldn’t be commended for working with what they have and that there aren’t some fine hockey players on that club (specifically Rinne, Weber and Suter).

    And for sure they resemble the Rangers and not just on ice – look at their drafting position: In the last 11 drafts, 12, 6, 7, 15, 18, no first, 23, 7, 11 and 18. Some decent sittings, but never at the bottom and an inexplicable penchant for using those picks to take a defenseman (5 of the 11).

    The Rangers, of course, I don’t find boooooooooooring to watch because they are my team and I’ll be entertained by my team provided they work hard. But from a pure hockey entertainment standpoint it’s zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

    Finally, it’s nice to see that skill ends up counting the most – all the skill challenged teams (Rangers, Preds, Canadiens, etc) are gone.

  3. CTBlueshirt on

    Agree Jim. I didn’t watch the 2nd round quite as much as the 1st round (which minus the Rangers had some of the best playoff action I’ve seen in a while), but the Preds-Nucks games I saw weren’t the most entertaining of the lot.

    The Preds do play a well played, defensively aggressive game and they have a great collection of players that a hardcore hockey fan could love like Weber, Suter, Rinne, Tootoo, Geoffrion, etc, but compared to most of their brethren in their own division they are very short on offensive talent. Yet they manage to stay competitive enough in the Bestern Conference so obviously they’re doing something right.

  4. billybleedsblue on

    fran, if you’re out there reading this, thanks for your posts on the previous thread. I would further comment about it, but being that the holiday is over, and considering the short attention spans around here, I’ll leave it be. Thanks for the heads up on the book, I hope I can find it at the library.

  5. the preds are boring to watch without a doubt. however i bet when you ask an outsider who doesnt root for the rangers and watches them they will say the same about our team.


    i do agree there is some nashville in the rangers or vice versa.

    one big difference though they have suter and weber who i would kill for on our team.

    can anyone see joel ward fitting in with the rangers. i could see sather targeting him in off season. knowing sather will think hes the missing skill guy which hes not. hardworker who plays a role the rangers play

  6. WOW! (sniff) I would like to thank Carp for all his hard work. Thank you to my mom, without her genes I never would have been able to grow such an incredible beard in just two weeks. (sniff) Shout out to my competition – Nasty and Wicky – you guys rock! And of course a big, hairy thank you to everyone who voted for me! I love youse boneheads!!!

  7. Eric: Isn’t Joel Ward what the Rangers have in abundance – 3rd and 4th liners? It’s top end forward skill that is holding the organization back.

    That’s where Sather must concentrate his efforts on, IMO. Chasing a guy like Ward without addressing the real issues is like changing the chairs on the deck of the Titanic….

  8. there problem is Nashville lacked that dynamic goal scorer and its impossible to win without one. That will soon be Boston’s demise

  9. The problem with some fans is that they want the Rangers to get an elite talent, but don’t want to pay for him. They want a guy like Richards, but don’t want to pay him or give him more than a 3 or 4 year contract. They want a Stastny, but don’t want to give up anybody for him.

    If they go after a free agent (which there aren’t really any worth getting) then they’ll have to give up a lot of money and a long-term contract. If they go after a guy on another team then they’ll have to give up somebody of value. You’re not going to get a #1 center by giving up a minor leaguer, a 3rd liner and a draft pick.

    What they need to do is to stop getting underachievers and hoping that they decide to play hard when they get on the Rangers. Enough of the Kotaliks, Frolovs and Wolskis.

  10. CCC: Yep, which is why I’m been musing about moving someone like Girardi. I like Girardi a lot, but the Rangers most depth appears to be on the backline and you gotta give to get.

    Girardi+ for Jeff Carter?

    Girardi for Paul Statsny?


  11. Oleo, I think Vancouver was an overall deeper team that had goal scorers *and* good defense.

    Remember the Preds knocked off the Ducks who have 3 or 4 premium offensive players (Perry, Getzlaf, Ryan and Selanne along with Visnovsky).

  12. Jim,

    Trading Carter for Girardi’s cap hit (plus whomever else would need to get included in that deal) doesn’t really clear up that much cap space for the Flyers.

  13. Cross Check Charlie

    I agre 100% although Wolski is different because of his age and his past success. The problem was that Wolski can only play well on a top line. If he is around next season he needs to be the top line LW and play with Gaborik.

    I do, however, believe the Rangers need to acquire an elite level scorer and we certainly have the players to do so. For a guy like Paul Stastny (a 25 yr old 3 time 70+ point player) i’m willing to give up any prospect we have except for Kreider, Thomas, McDonagh and Sauer. Anyone else is fair game…

  14. CTB: True, but acquiring Girardi makes the likes of Mesazos and/or Carle redundant – both make more than Girardi….

  15. Greg L. wrote:

    Did you see the joke that “fire Sather” rally was. That guy with the big mouth who had a camera walked around and showed us how stuiped it was. Thats when we first saw CCCP.


    Yes, i was there and most of you weren’t!

    And as far as i know, people who organized the rally had to work very hard to make it happen. It wasn’t just some sort of an overnight idea when one woke up and called some of his friends and went by the Garden that same day to “hang out” with other Rangers fans as some of you think.

    It took time, money and a lot of promotion to put it all together. There was a lot of support from local media and they were hoping for a lot more Rangers fans to show up (since Rangers fans claim to care for their team so much) and support the idea of getting rid of Sather. Unfortunately, many Rangers fans just like to blow a lot of wind out of their mouths (yes, including you Greg) and do nothing about the situation. At least we did something… at least we made some of our voices heard.

    I got to know some of those people who came and organized the rally and i see how much they care about this team. How much they want it to be better… saying that the rally was “stuiped” is very insulting to a real fan.

    And as far as i see it, ever since we had the rally, Sather has been making all the right decisions. So who’s to say that rally did nothing?! Definitely not you Greg.

  16. Oleo, the guys you don’t want to give up are exactly the ones (probably two) that the Avs would want for Stastny.

  17. Joekuh - Can I Get Another Question? Ptooey! on

    Carp, you’re absolutely right about Nashville = Rangers Midwest. Joel Ward is their Callahan. I thought that a lot too, while watching this series. BTW I think Shea Weber would win any beard contest he’s put in. My man looked like a werewolf after the 1st round was over!

  18. Stan

    you are most likely right, although Anisimov, Del Zotto, Zuccarello, Grachev and a 1st rounder is certainly a competitive offer. Del Zotto would be tough to lose but you’d have to make that move since top line talent is so hard to come by…

  19. Jim,

    I supposed Girardi makes one of them redundant. He doesn’t make that much less than Carle so then possibly it’s Meszaros they’d look to move, but then you have to wonder what they can take back in return in terms of salary. Pure salary dumps are rare in the cap era, particularly for a full season’s worth of cap relief (i.e. trades of that nature made during the offseason). Also, I think the Rangers would have to send over a cost prohibitive package to the Flyers in order to get them to deal with a division rival.

  20. CTB: Pronger/Girardi and Timonen/Coburn are 2 solid defensive pairings – no need to pay your 5th and 6th d-men $7,500,000 collectively.

    Get rid of both for picks/prospects and use 1/3 of dough to pay for your 3rd pairing. Trade Carter to the Rangers for Giardi (and someone like Grachev) and now you have over $8,000,000 in cap room.

  21. Jim,

    Girardi and Grachev will not get them Carter. Grachev’s stock has fallen tremendously since he’s he’s spun his wheels in the AHL for 2 straight years. And Girardi is probably a 3rd pair D on the Flyers.

    Off the top of my head I can only think of one trade involving a 35-40 goal scorer that wasn’t due to become an unrestricted FA (so exclude Kovalchuk’s pre-deadline deal with the Devils) in the cap era. That was Heatley and he forced that trade, not to mention the Sens got hosed on that deal. Look at the package that was involved in moving a guy like Chris Stewart and he hasn’t even scored 30 goals yet.

    I’d say it takes one of Stepan or AA and McDonagh to keep Holmgren on the phone when discussing trading Carter.

  22. And This One Will Last A Lifetime on

    Cool comparison..Nashville and the Rangers
    Yes they are very similar…but Nashville is a bit better

    Suter/Weber is better than Staal/Girardi

    Legwand is better than any center we got

    Lundquist might be a bit better than Rinne

    Gabby might have a bit more star power than anyone they got

    Very even, very similar

  23. Doodie Machetto on

    Legwand isn’t that good actually. He had a big series, but has otherwise just never even remotely lived up to his potential.

  24. Looking at Legwand’s draft year (1998):

    Not really that good. As much as we can bust on the Rangers for not drafting well post-1994 (which about half of that time was under Neil Smith). The mid to late 90s drafts weren’t particularly good in general. Some up and down drafts late 90s/early 00s, but the 2003 draft was definitely once in a generation quality.

  25. Doodie Machetto on

    CTB, our performance in that once in a generation draft explains why we only win the Cup once in a generation.

  26. Congratulations Sally – You have bested me. Actually everybody bested me. I cannot believe i came in last place. I did my best and I played the game the way it was meant to be played. I, er my face hair, gave it the best it could.

    Mazel Tov Sally! Straight Soldier!

  27. Thanks Carp – if this were the NHL I would have squeaked into the playoffs.

    Thanks for being honest Doodie. I will break them now.

  28. Doodie Machetto on

    Manny, since you had a losing record, you should probably go for the NBA instead.

  29. Good point. I should try to come in last year after year in this competition so I can get some good picks for the next season.

  30. CTB- I’m not sure the package you proposed is worth giving up for Carter. His contract is atrocious. But I would certainly consider that package, plus some other prospects/picks for Stastny.

    So, Sally won? I’m shocked :-).

  31. Carp

    looking at the pictures, i bet i would’ve had had more than 20 votes because my beard was mean!! it was bigger than nasty’s… so i kind of regret dropping out

  32. Doodie Machetto on

    I voted for Nasty, but I was very tempted to vote for Wicky.

    Tony, was that a picture of you now vs. a picture of you when you were younger?

  33. Nashville is a lot like the Rangers, I agree with that, but the style both teams play is boring to watch. The reason the Rangers play this style is because they have to, and I don’t see it as some great achievement. They are professionals, and should be playing hard.
    The fact of the matter is that until the Rangers start drafting much, much better, and can sign some good under the radar free agent signings, they are always going to be a gritty, hard working, defensive team that will have a hard time scoring goals.
    It’s not even the fact that they don’t score enough; to me it’s more of a sense that you never know whose going to score for them and can’t count on certain guys getting good scoring chances each game like, for example, the Sedins, Kessler, Burrows, just to name one team, or Clowe, Pavelski, Setoguchi, and Marleau.
    The playoffs are always going to be more highly contested, and the Canucks have not scored like they have in the regular season. When you watched them play the Predators, you never got a sense that Nashville would get the goal they need, totally opposite from the Canucks, who can generate good scoring chances pretty much at will if they choose.

  34. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    I keep thinking about the Werek trade and just realized something. I was one of many who was relieved and who, at this site, complimented Sather for not trading any talented young players at the trade deadline. So – the first move he makes in the off-season is to trade a talented kid who can score, for a plug who cannot score, when the greatest need for this team is SCORING! And I don’t buy into the “Werek has issues” garbage. All young kids are going through a maturing process, and do come around, over time, except for Lindros, of course, who is the exception to everything in Cosmic and universal law that makes sense.

    You know, Fat Slats, you could acquire 20 Avery’s who are good for about three goals per season, in the interest of winning faceoffs. That would surely put fear in the hearts of the rest of the teams in the league. Nice going, Slats, you have made yet another trade you would have been better not making, just for the sake of getting your name in the paper, again. The best trades are the ones you don’t make, not the ones you make that screw up the team’s future.

    This fathead will be still be here making crappy trades when he is 115 years old, I kid you not. He is proof that we, here, were given life and put on this earth to suffer.

  35. ….and no, I don’t want any part of Carter’s 11 year contract, no matter the goal scorer he is.
    I’m willing to see if the Rangers can build through the draft, because that’s the only way they are going to set themselves up for a long time to be really good and competitive. Enough of the high priced free agent signings from other teams including Brad Richards.

  36. CapeBretonRangerFan on

    Agree totally with the comparison to Nashville Carp. Both teams are very well coached, play a system designed to let them have a chance to win every game, have players that have bought into the tem first concept, and are being built correctly, from the goaltender on out. Excellent goaltenders, first rate defense cores, and hard working forwards with good potential. Both teams need to add some offensive gems and then they are set for serious runs at the cup.

  37. ilb,

    Stastny is a better choice in terms of the length of his deal. Annual cap hit is higher.

    But why would the Avs trade him? Right now on offense it’s basically him and Duchene.

    Plus, as I said, I think the Flyers would demand the Rangers overpay for dealing him within the division.

  38. Boom Boom, just because he could score in the OHL doesn’t mean he’ll be an instant NHL star. Who knows what kind of player Lindberg will turn into. Maybe he’ll be better, maybe not. Either way, lets not act like Werek was some superstar in the making.

    I’m sure they had a good reason to trade him, and I’m positive all Slats did was “okay” the trade, so I wouldn’t act like it’s all on him. I doubt he has anything to do with any of the prospects these days.

    You know Kris Newberry scored 40 goals/100 points in the OHL?? Prust sayin’ :P

    By the way, that agent who was bashing Avery over his pro-gay marriage comments is a complete bouchebag. Hopefully he gets fired by a few of his clients. Fugger!

  39. One of the only ways the Rangers can get top-end talent in the draft is if they finish as bottom feeders for a few years…finishing 7th or 9th won’t do it…and so long as Dolan is owner, the Rangers will never be that bad of a team…

    Then, and only then, can the Rangers have the opportunity to draft elite talent…It is unlikely to happen in the later rounds…

    If Slats and Co. are looking to trade for elite talent, you have to think Dubinsky’s name is being thrown around, as well as Girardi…You have to give up goods to get goods…

    Although I would be disspointed that it came to down to it, I would trade Dubi and Girardi (and possibly a prospect) for Stastny….

  40. NYR – that is painful at first but you know….it would be worth it I think.

  41. Doodie Machetto on

    Anyone else following the Avery/Uptown Sports Management story?

    I’m happy for Avery saying what he said and his continued advocacy for gay rights, but I have to wonder how many homophobic slurs he throws around on the ice.

  42. I mean, I look at Wash, Pitt, and Tampa…

    They each bottomed out for a few years, now they have some of the best players in the world playing for them…

    The Isles even have goal scoring talent that we don’t…

    Drafting is really the key to building a contender…

  43. For the record, I agree that building through the draft is the best route, but it requires a bunch of things, the first being having the ability to draft.

    Take a look at the Rangers roster from last year and you see but a single player taking a regular shift drafted in the first round (Marc Staal). A SINGLE PLAYER!

    Add that to the fact that the team never bottoms out (lowest selection since Sather came to NY was 6th and that was stupidly used to select Al Montoya) and has a history of rushing its kids and no wonder the team struggles to make the POs year after year after year.

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