Captain Callahan: The identity of the Rangers


Here’s a column I wrote for The Journal News and yesterday:


The last time the Rangers played a hockey game with somebody other than Ryan Callahan as their captain, Callahan was on crutches.

He was on crutches because, in the biggest game of 2010-11, Game 80 of 82, with the Rangers barely clinging to a playoff spot, they came back from 3-0 down to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins, scoring three times in the final 3:48 to take a one-goal lead, when Boston captain Zdeno Chara wound up for a shot.

Chara, one of the biggest, meanest players in all of hockey, with the biggest, scariest shot, fired. And Callahan slid in front of the puck, fearlessly.

He blocked the shot, broke his ankle, played the rest of the shift, and limped around for the signature, post-victory stick salute on one of the loudest nights of the season.

“I knew it wasn’t going to feel good if it hit me,” Callahan said before playing the Bruins on Saturday in Boston. “(Chara) was walking into a slap shot, and you see who it is. But, at the time, we have a one-goal lead, and we’re fighting for a playoff spot — you’re going to do that 10 out of 10 times. As soon as it hit me, it stung, and I knew it was going to leave a mark, and I was hoping it wasn’t as bad as it was. Unfortunately, it was. And if it happened again, I’m sure anybody in this room would do it.”

Anybody in the room would do it, partially at least, because it’s Callahan’s room now. Callahan was named the team’s captain just prior to this season, at age 26, succeeding Chris Drury, because he embodies the way these Rangers play, because he is what they are about — blocking shots, hitting, scoring, killing penalties, playing defense, whatever it takes. He’s an exceptional skater, a devastating hitter, sort of a smaller version of Adam Graves.

“It’s how he plays, how he handles himself,” Rangers coach John Tortorella said this week. “It’s a huge part of what we want to be. And when you have your leadership group not just talking about it but putting it on the ice and doing it, I think your identity comes more quickly. Everybody joins in.

“Where you have a home-grown captain like Cally, that’s even better. That forces the issue as far as what we are. He plays the right way. And that’s the way we want to play. I think that helps us grow quicker with our identity.”

Last season, when Callahan missed 19 games with a broken hand, and then the final two games of the season plus the first-round playoff loss to Washington with the broken ankle, Tortorella lamented his absence. The coach rarely comments on an injury’s effect on the team, saying, “We’ll be fine,” and insisting there will be no excuses. But even Tortorella admitted that there were so many situations within games when he’d look down the bench and wished he had Callahan.

So it was a natural progression that the alternate captain’s “A” on Callahan’s sweater would become the “C” this season.

“I think it was a great choice,” said goalie Henrik Lundqvist, the team’s biggest star. “It reflects how we want to play. And he’s still young. So, down the road here, he’s going to grow into this role. It’s a big role. Being captain of the New York Rangers, it’s a big deal. But I think he’s going to get more and more comfortable with it. Obviously, with it comes some responsibilities, but so far he’s been handling everything really well.”

Callahan was honored. But if he had a concern, it was that he didn’t want to force himself to be anything other than what he’d been. He’d always been a guy who would say something that needed to be said, and the captaincy wouldn’t change that.

“You’ve got to step up and maybe say something where normally you wouldn’t, or you kind of have to gauge how the team’s feeling, how the guys are feeling,” Callahan said. “You’re more of the middle man between Torts and the room and how things are going. That’s probably the biggest difference off the ice.”

It’s tough enough for a young player to be a captain, but Callahan has had to do it in a circus-like first half of the season, which began with seven road games, including the first two in Sweden.

“It’s been a tough start, whether you’re a captain or not,” he said. “It’s been a whirl-wind of a season, staring with Europe, the Winter Classic, (HBO’s) ‘24/7’ (in which Callahan’s grandmother was a star), but we’ve made it through it. We’ve had some success. You hope that it gets easier from here. But, you know, the hockey’s not going to get easier.”

It won’t, and Tortorella and Callahan have made sure that message is loud and clear.

The HBO series, and the MSG biographical series “Beginnings” have taught us about Callahan’s blue-collar upbringing in Rochester.

He does the little, dirty jobs so well, yet Tortorella sees the skill within his captain.

“I think there’s more,” Tortorella said. “I think sometimes Cally gets put in a corner where he’s just a grinder. He’s a talented player, too. He’s a complete player. He has the skill to make plays, the skill to score goals, but he has that intangible off the ice in how he carries himself, and just plays hard every night. .”

Callahan accepts the responsibility and rigidly said the captaincy “is not something I take lightly.”

These Rangers had half a season for the ages, one they know will only matter if they can have a terrific second half, too, then take the next step in the playoffs.

But, as hoped, they have taken on the personality of their captain.


Additional Facts

Captain Callahan at a glance

Born: March 21, 1985, in Rochester
Height/weight: 5-11/190
Position: Right wing
Shoots: Right-handed
Drafted: Rangers’ 4th-round pick — 127th overall — in 2004 entry draft from Guelph (OHL)
2011-12 stats: 46 games, 16 goals, 18 assists, 53 penalty minutes
Etc. Set career highs last season with 23 goals, 25 assists, 48 points, 10 power-play goals in 60 games. … Named captain on Sept. 12, 2011.


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  1. First!

    Great article Carp! True comparison to Gravey in play and attitude, i think he is a future Ranger legend and i hope in the next year or two he will get to lift the big one (The Cup, not Chara).

  2. Love this article, Carp. Cally is such a great Ranger and great captain. Can’t wait to see what’s next with him!

  3. Great article! I read it yesterday and enjoyed it thoroughly.
    There aren’t many Ranger fans here Maine, so when my 9 year old son scored a hard working goal on an end to end rush, and the coach told him “that’s a Ryan Callahan goal!” I was both surprised and pleased. Even non ranger fans appreciate his effort and heart.

  4. Nice article Carp!

    Yesterday I threatened to shoot myself in both of my legs if the Phlyers/Bruins and Penguins/Caps games both went to OT. Well…that happened. I am going to decline shooting myself in the legs because, unfortunately, I don’t own a gun.


  5. Very good article Carp.

    An excellent quote is this one:

    “You’re more of the middle man between Torts and the room and how things are going. That’s probably the biggest difference off the ice.”

    This is a prime example of what makes a team successful. It starts with the GM having a vision, hiring the right coach who shares that vision and then having a captain who buys into the whole concept and as a result, leads by example and acts as a conduit for management to help ensure all are onboard.

    IMO, one of the reasons the Rangers have done so well to date that isn’t getting discussed is the change in captaincy. Dreary simply couldn’t deliver and Cally is. Bigtime….

  6. Carp, really enjoyed that, thanks! What a credit to the sport and the organization Cally is. A 4th round pick who ends up at 26 years of age as the captain of an original six franchise.

    You can’t make that Clarke up!

  7. Mister Delaware on

    “MichaelDelZotto Not leaving the couch all day. Playoff football. Rooting for giants tonight and @raylewis52com now. Love his passion! #warrior”

    MDZ was 9 years old at the time of the Ray Lewis Super Bowl incident.

  8. I think comparison to Gravy, err, Graves is definitely warranted. I loved the way Callahan played with Shanahan when he first came up, but I was skeptical about how much he would produce. I am happy to say that I was wrong.

  9. carp

    agree marek has some good insight. especially now around deadline time.

    rangers/caps feb 12th moved to 1230 start from 3 pm for nbc

  10. Cally put the pressure on with”anybody in this room would” block a Chara shot….I’m assuming EC was not in the room.

    Cally has great leadership skills, that will only get better. Nice read Carp

  11. Well done Carp. There isn’t a player in the league that I like more, than to have my son play like Cally. He always gives 110%, and that is what it takes to win.
    Great guy, great player, and he very well could be one of the great Captains… now go get that cup, and put your name on the list of Rangers Stanley Cup Captians.

    See you all in 10 Days!!!!

    Carp – as a HUGE fan, we need to have that Prime Rib Sandwich on Flyer Sunday!!! Rock/Paper/Scissors – I Buy?

  12. Nice write-up on Cally Carp.

    Been away all weekend so didn’t get to respond to my thoughts on the Ference penalty. The call on the ice was 100% correct, I think that added to giving him only 3 games. Clearly it was a stupid hit, I’m sure Ference knew it as soon as he hit him. I think he was figuring he’d keep skating and/or turn so when he made contact it would be a legal hit, but McD just kept going at the puck.

    Now this isn’t to blame Mack Truck at all, but he did put himself in a vulnerable position there. Doesn’t mean Ference should be taken off the hook since it was an unfortunate but dirty hit, but McD tries to slow himself down when he knows guys are on his back and he’s 5 feet away from the boards.

    I think Messier said it, he always assumed someone was going to hit him, so he wouldn’t slow down and bend over like that. He would push himself up against the glass so at the very least he just got the wind knocked out of him if someone were to hit him like that. I think they need to get that point across to the players too (especially since your d-man partner can hold up a player like he used to be able to so forecheckers have free reign to hit you).

    That all being said, I would’ve expected to see Ference get 3-5 games, 5 games if they were serious about stopping those hits, 3 games if they were staying consistent to the current standard set.

  13. billybleedsblue on

    Nice read on the Cally piece there Carp.

    Ditto on hoping for a McDonagh update soon.

    Saturday’s game was fun to watch. At the end there, I went from cursing the powerplay to saying, “I TOLD YOU THEY WOULD DO IT!” hahaha, it was funny, but what a relief that they scored with that kind of advantage…

    How ’bout them Giants? :D

  14. looks like Sauer may have had a setback….good news is Eminger is skating… has it really been 8-10 weeks already??

  15. Sauer not being on the ice again is a bit disheartening. Hopefully we’ll get more of an update on him later.

  16. Great news about Mac Truck – cant handle any more injuries to our D while Sauer is shutdown, Woywhatever, Eminger and Stralman are doing a decent job when they keep it to 15 mins or under a night and we don’t want to burn out MDZ, we need him for the playoffs when teams have upgraded their 2nd/3rd/4th lines with skill instead of fists.

    Slightly off subject – our powerplay still sucks, the winner only came about because Richie moved his feet forcing the defence to scramble and opened up Gaby for the rebound

  17. Wicky©"I think the NHL Network host was named Kathryn Tappen" on

    Morning ILB, kathryn tappen, and all!!

    great article on cally!!

    I know a guy who….

    yep, I agree guys need to be more responsible with the way they position themselves along the boards. It’s like not looking both ways before you cross the street and assuming the cars will always stop…bad idea!

    I’m glad mcdonut is practicing and great to see eminger back (boy some of you have done a 180 on him).

    I hope sauer gets healthy (before the trade deadline would be good)!

  18. Nice work, Carp. We are really spoiled here with his work, aren’t we, ‘heads?
    Marji linked the article early yesterday, and when I was reading it I realized that Torts probably would be hard pressed to find a better person to convey his messages to this team. That’s one of the reasons the team is where it is. And the reason I have 2 jerseys with his name.

  19. Wicky©"I think the NHL Network host was named Kathryn Tappen" on

    you have two jerseys with carp’s name? I only have one…crap!!!!

  20. CT, very amused by the second article.

    Especially enjoyed this:

    “1993: A fluke Cup win gives fans long-term hope when there is little.”

  21. stranger nation on

    McD needs to protect himself going for the puck? Upon further review, the play was extremely dangerous given the kicking motion which knocked McD off balance prior to shoving him in the lower back.

    Sorry Mess never played D and my guess, is he doesn’t make that play often. All hockey is situational and you cannot apply one standard to all plays. Should McD anticipate that play, I guess, but if Ference does not kick the back of his skate and cause McD to lose his edge, eh keeps his balance, even with the push, and the puck is most likely pushed up and around the boards by McD or they battle behind the goal for the puck.

    In the video, you may also notice the Ranger forward on McD’s side does not protect his teammate as Ference he skates in. Rather than try and force Ference to go wider around him, or even hit him as he had just chipped the puck, to reduce his speed and allow the D man more time to get back to play the puck, the Ranger forward swats at the puck and not the man. He misses the puck and the man and turns to watch his fellow Blueshirt get plastered face first into the boards.

    The forward who was completing yet another uninspired performance was none other than…Dubi

    Given Shanny’s comments – one could presume.

    A. If you have no priors, you can be very reckless

    B. If the player is not seriously injured, you can be very reckless.

    In the playoffs, this will come to a serious head as games missed will have more impact and the refs will let more go uncalled so Sherriff Shanny may to have to suspend players for uncalled infractions.

  22. I liked the Montreal article, really shows how spoiled the fans and eventually the team got with the 50 mile rule.

    So when I hear stuff like NY and MSG being the toughest stages for an NHL player to play on I don’t think they even compare to the pressure of being a star player in Montreal. In fact guys like Jagr and Naslund remarked how much easier it is to play in NY than other big hockey cities because the Rangers are at best the 5th or 6th most important teams here.

  23. What do you guys think about the Ovechkin hit on Michalek and the Michalek hit on Hendricks? If the NHL is serious about safety wouldn’t it send quite a message to suspend Ovechkin for a hit in which he left his feet before hitting Michalek and further drove Michalek’s head into the boards.

  24. I would hope so, Doodie but Michalek not only wasn’t injured he was OK enough to hit Hendricks in the head later!

  25. Doodie Machetto on

    stevezipay Lundqvist, who will choose his All-Star team w/Alfredsson, says he looks every AM 4 ‘gifts’ in locker from Girardi, Gaborik to sway decision

  26. Remember how Brent Johnson got so excited about knocking out DiPietro that he decided to get into another fight later in the season?

  27. Miller by a mile, but I think it’s due to the Lucic hit and theres rampant rumors of his new wife not liking Buffalo. I think OV was tired of Bruce and seems to be more like himself with Hunter.

  28. billybleedsblue on

    It’s pretty funny how on hockeyfights that people actually voted a draw and that DP won that fight…

    Johnson — 98.5%
    Draw — 1.2%
    Rick DiPietro — 0.2%

    I guess somebody is a fan of the face-to-fist technique?

  29. Doodie Machetto on

    “Remember how Brent Johnson got so excited about knocking out DiPietro that he decided to get into another fight later in the season?”

    No, I remember him being challenged by that thug, Haley.

  30. I was pretty sure he got into another scrap or at least tried to. I do remember him being SO excited that he finally got to fight.

  31. Doodie Machetto on

    best Milbury comment I heard in a while was right after the recent incident when he allegedly assaulted that child was an Islanders fan who said that as an Islanders fan, Milbury assaulted his childhood too.

  32. Wicky©"I think the NHL Network host was named Kathryn Tappen" on

    i also remember goddard doing the right thing and leaving the bench!!!

  33. Hey NYR – did you notice that Weatherford was wearing his wedding ring when he was holding the snap on Tynes’ kick? Is that normal? What athlete plays with a wedding ring on?

  34. Hey Hey Manny – I didn’t notice that at the time. It seems odd, though…

    Maybe he just got married and can’t take it off? Or, maybe he physically can’t get it off?

  35. It’s a travesty that Gillies is still allowed to play hockey on this continent after that scene….

  36. After reading the article that CT posted, it’s evident that the Habs are no longer relevant in Canada today. But, hey, at least they’ve got that kid Justin Bieber…

  37. Manny

    i was thinking the same thing about the Weatherford’s wedding ring!

    anyone better than me at reading lips
    i’m horrible!!
    wondering what he sad.
    guessing on words such as “super bowl”
    and “byfuglien”
    but that’s about it

  38. Haha. I believe Mr. Weatherford was excited to finally be going to the Super Bowl after all those years playing for the New York Jets.

  39. Why is Haglen being snubbed for Rookie All Star
    Nick Johnson just got in with less goals same points in playing in 15 more games.

  40. Doodie Machetto on

    ronster: Minnesota needed a representative at the game. It was either add Johnson as a rookie or add Dany Heatley to the main game.

  41. duckBill PLA-t-pus on

    at the risk of being castigating and then potentially flagellated by our gracious host the indomitable Carpster aka bearer of the fedora of journalistic integrity, pomp & rigour duckbill will put his baby necj into the National Razor (gasps of Robespierre abound) and say that this short form interview was not a particularly strong piece. Felt to be more amalgamated, and not the superfluous dynamo that we have come to expect and enjoy. Like the Rangers after a tough loss, duckbill fully expects return ro aforementioned grandeur.

  42. Doodie Machetto on

    Basically, Edmonton’s Eberle took the spot of Minnesota’s Mikko Koivu in the main game, while Minnesota’s Johnson took the spot of Edmonton’s Nugent-Hopkins. That keeps the balance of every team having a representative.

    It looks like Toews and Jamie Benn will be missing the game as well. I figure Neal gets Toews’ spot, but outside contenders would be Hartnell and Moulson. Loui Eriksson almost certainly replaces Benn.

  43. Thomas skipped out because of his political beliefs. Seems to me that regardless of your beliefs, it is an honor to be invited to the White House and the refusal based on your beliefs is disrespectful to the office. Also, it puts you and your beliefs front and center, as you have to know that word will get out. Bush league, IMHO.

  44. Doodie Machetto on

    MD, I disagree. I think it’s perfectly fine to have this be his form of protest. He got permission from the team, so I have no beef with it.

    I could draw false comparisons, but I won’t. The truth is, it’s perfectly fine to decline an invitation to the White House. People do it all the time.

  45. Dean Martin did it when the White House wouldn’t let Sammy Davis, Jr. use the front door. Good for Dean.

  46. Doodie Machetto on

    Here’s a true comparison:

    Is this not one of the most iconic moments in sports history? And it was during the National Anthem, when they were actually representatives of the United States of America, not just a guy on a Boston hockey club. Yet these guys are considered heroes (as they should be).

    While I disagree with Thomas’ politics, I applaud his efforts to stand up for his beliefs.

  47. duckBill PLA-t-pus on

    manny? I just said Good Despues-noon to you, yet you didn’t volley the proper greeting in return. Do you not like egg bearing mammals??

  48. I have no problem with Tim Thomas doing that. I wouldn’t consider him skipping that to be disrespectful.

    It’s his right.

    It would be a lot different if he called a press conference to explain why and made political comments. That would have been disrespectful and made him the story. That type of “me me me” crap is annoying and I don’t think that’s what’s going on here….

  49. duckBill PLA-t-pus on

    MD Ranger fan, your thoughts don’t sound very American. Maybe you AMericans should rebirth the Committee of Un-American Acts. Would seem you would have your first case!

  50. DuckBill – I apologize. Buenos Tardes to you as well!

    Para el pico de pato: Pido disculpas por no responder a su saludo. Buenas tardes, mi amigo.

  51. Doodie Machetto on

    NYR Fan, he is going to be releasing a statement on Facebook, so there is a bit of “me me me” in there.

    But the only way this would have bothered me is if he did something the Bruins told him not to do. They tried to persuade him to do otherwise, but they have given him no mandates to the contrary. So long as he is not violating any rules from his club, I have absolutely no problems with this.

  52. Oh shut up about it being disrespectful, he can do as he pleases. Especially if he got permission from the team, though I see no reason why he even had to ask. Im actually glad he stood by his beliefs.

  53. the only reason he is releasing the FB message is because of this outcry from people like MD who found it disrespectful and he’s trying to clear his name…

  54. Doodie, you hit on what gets me about this – it does seem to be me, me, my beliefs, my beliefs, given that he is going on Facebook to explain. I would have like to have seen the Stanley Cup champions honored at the White House without the possible mention of one individual not going because he does not agree with the President. No question I agree that he has a right to do so, just rubs me the wrong way.

  55. Doodie Machetto on

    Lev, no, it was announced several hours ago when it was clear that Thomas was not appearing. Honestly, I don’t mind that either. The team didn’t forbid him from doing it, they just made it clear that the views he expresses are his alone.

  56. Orr, if that were the standard, when would you have gone? Can’t remember a President that liked hockey.

  57. Doodie Machetto on

    MD, what about Tommie Smith and John Carlos? They are being honored by the ENTIRE WORLD at the Olympics, on behalf of the United States. Yet they took the podium and each expressed a silent protest in favor of their political beliefs about the rights of blacks in this country. What could be more “me me me” than that moment?

    Put people into a political situation and they have a right to express their politics. It would be a different story if the team had told Thomas either a) attendance was mandatory, or b) he was not to express his political sentiments on Facebook or any other platform. They didn’t. And good for them, by the way, for not limiting his right to speak his mind.

  58. duckBill PLA-t-pus on

    gracias, manny…sentia un poco abandonado pero yo no me siento asi porque tengo amigos lindos como ustedes! YIPPEE!

  59. Perhaps it is the context that makes me think this is different than Tommie Smith and John Carlos in which there was knowledge as to the belief being expressed at the time, whereas this seems to come out of the blue to make a personal statement to upstage (which may be overstating what it does, but can’t think of a better word) a team achievement.

    Or perhaps I am just looking for another reason to dislike a member of the Bruins.

  60. duckBill PLA-t-pus on

    Manny, la verdad eres muy amable y tan carinoso cuando me dices ‘pico de pato’. jajajaa…si no te hubiero dicho me dejas…mi propio corazon… se iba a reir!!!

  61. I just don’t like how Obama was going to all these sporting events, but when the Capitals, or even his hometown Hawks, “supposively” invited him to a game, he didn’t go.

    I’d visit Clinton though. He seemed to have a good time at the Rangers game this season.

  62. Ah, so I never chimed in on my question about Miller vs Ovechkin. As far as production goes, no doubt Miller has gone down hill faster than Ovechkin, can’t argue that.

    However, as far as overall “star power” I think Ovechkin has declined a little more simply because he had more of a fall to descend. Where he was once touted as the best player on the planet and an unstoppable force, nowadays analysts are wondering what happened to the indominitable Ovechkin. Throw in the Caps playoff failures and what looked like to be an ugly end to his relationship with Bourdreau’s during the end of the latter’s tenure in DC and you start to look at what Ovechkin hasn’t done with his career rather than what he has and/or still can do. I think he started to lose his luster after the Olympics where Crosby basically ended the conversation between who’s the better player. Since then Crosby gets looked at as “only the concussions are holding him back”. Of course if Ovechkin goes on a tear that carries the Caps through the playoffs then a lot of the disparagement will be forgotten.

    With Miller people can point to his concussion from the Lucic incident, a poor playing team in front of him and while he has the Vezina from a couple of years ago, I don’t know if he’s ever been viewed as the out and out best goalie in the league rather he was awarded for having a great single season.

  63. duckBill PLA-t-pus on

    where has Steve Vitamin C been? Has he run from the wordsmith that is the duckbill???

  64. Doodie Machetto on

    Nobody knew Smith and Carlos were going to do that until they did it. A lot of people, especially within the Bruins organization, knew Thomas wasn’t going to show. Everybody knows what Thomas’ message is.

    I think you’re just looking for a reason to dislike him.

    Let’s assume that a candidate that is against gay marriage wins the White House and Avery is on a Cup winning team. If Avery skips the visit to show solidarity in his political views, would he not be applauded for doing the same thing that Thomas did (ignoring the fact that since it’s Avery, anything he does is likely to draw criticism)?

  65. who do you guys think from the Rangers would be selected as the next replacement for an allstar that is injured….Callahan?

  66. Honestly, I couldn’t care less what these guys think about in their spare time. It makes no difference to me as long as the league has a neutral message with regard to religion/politically/culturally. I will applaud the guys in my own heart when they say things that I agree with and I will shrug when they disagree and maybe I will root harder for them to get hit during a game. But it’s really pointless.

  67. Manny,

    What will you think if the NHL has to take custody of the @Devils@ if they fail to resolve their debt issues. They’d be supporting Satanism.

  68. duckBill PLA-t-pus on

    are we all avoiding the N0-bama vs Newt/Romney question using the lovely timothy thomas as the vehicle? Is he just an extemporaneous excuse to sidestep and act as proxy for the ultimate battle of elephants vs jackwagons?

  69. duckBill PLA-t-pus on

    CTAzulshirt, the devils should be taken over by Bear Stearns and Leemens’ Bros…altho Mario bros an optino too.

  70. Well then, CT I would have to divulge my deep dark secrets with regard to the dark religions!

    They would also be supporting running your business into the ground.

  71. Doodie, I was joking about the reason to dislike him.
    I continue to think that it is an honor to be asked to go to the White House and that if you are invited to go, that you should. Even if my views were not the same, I would want to meet the person who is the President of our country as gratitude for the invitation and for that person’s great service to our country.
    I recognize that is a personal opinion, which are expressed here all the time, and may not be shared by others, and that’s all good.

  72. billybleedsblue on

    NYR, lol… how ’bout,


    2 for 1, plus the Avery… it’s like an idiot hat trick. :D

  73. Doodie Machetto on

    billy, how about we start insulting each other’s significant others or arguing over who has the best dog?

  74. I think its funny that on one hand Avery is lauded for supporting gay marriage, and standing on his principles, and some (not on this blog) are bashing Tim for not going to the WH, and standing on his principles…seems like a one way street to me.

  75. Doodie Machetto on

    Staal, I already said the exact same thing. Can’t have it both ways. And while I agree with Avery’s political position and disagree with Thomas’, I have nothing but support for their choices, since it’s clear that their respective franchises have signed off on their decisions.

  76. I am not the biggest but am easily the best Rangers fan. If you polled the team, they would pick me as their favorite fan to hang out with,

  77. Avery made himself the story by making those public comments. Is Thomas parading around voicing his opinion on political issues?

    I think this is very different, Staal.



  78. billybleedsblue on

    hahaha, nice animated GIF :)


    Man, they really made us sweat that game out yesterday…

    Over the weekend, I met a couple of Pats fans and boy did I have fun with that one. One of my more favorite ones was, “If you survive the Ravens you better pray the Giants lose, because if they win, you don’t have a prayer.”

    Boy did that light them up like a totally non-denominational, un-religious, and completely non-political holiday tree.

  79. NYR_FAN
    I understand your point but either way both players are standing up for what they believe. Regardless of how they get out the message, both players are standing up…
    Thomas just didn’t show up…made no scene, just calmly went about his business…
    Avery on the other hand…is a scene…
    A scene in Hartford…

  80. Yes, true Staal. They both are standing up for what they believe.

    Let’s just say Avery has a way of doing things a little differently… ;)

  81. Mister Delaware on

    I 100% support Thomas’ right to skip out on the White House visit due to his political beliefs. I 110% mock Thomas for being a devotee of Glenn Beck.

  82. Y\The old Whalers ( yep the Brass Bonanza crowd) used tio give marvelous renditions of the national anthem. That’s because they didn’t have the sool singers with their wailing, and the “stylists who made u o their own tunes, and got most of their singers from the nearby Hart school of music in Hartford, and male and female sang it straight, with no frills and they sang it promptly.

    the other day IO heard an old vet who stood up and sang the 2nd stanza of the national anthem, and it was stirring”

    ” ‘And thus be it ever,
    when free men shall stand,
    between their loved homes, and the war’s desolation. Blessed with Vict’ry and peace,may the Heaven rescued land,
    praise the power that has made, ,
    and preserved us a nation.

    So conquer we must,
    when our cause it is just,
    and this be our motto,

    In God is our trust.

    And the Star Spangled Banner
    in triumph shall wave,

    O,er the land of the free – and the home of the brave.

    It was gripping.

  83. He is 100% playing. 100%. They have drugs that we don’t even know about and that they don’t test for that will help him play.

  84. tim thomas is a moron… going to the white house to celebrate the stanley cup is not a conservative or liberal issue.

    conservatives are mostly moron dopes.

    his stand is what? that he is ignorant and stupid? if that is his point he is right on……….

    conservative is another word for lack of brains………

  85. I love conservative views on the constitution…they act like they know what the founding fathers wanted. I know a couple of things those land owning white dudes wanted; non whites where 3/5th of a human, non land owners could not vote, instituted the electoral college because they really did not trust the people, and women could not vote but hey govt. is getting to big.

    tim thomas as stupid as most conservatives…..

  86. Staalwart. going to the white house to celebrate the stanley cup championship is not a political event. it is a tradition.

    it was not a campaign event for Obama.

    THomas is a dope… Another gun toting small govt. moron. I assume he has never used the govt for anything nor has any of his family members worked for the govt. The whole rationale for conservatism is good if the year was about 1865…

    freedom…Tim Thomas has no clue…….

  87. Czechthemout!!! on

    Good for Tim Thomas!

    Stuart A

    As opposed to you, a big government gun grabbing “tolerant”liberal buffoon. I have a question for . Does the A in your last name stand for A…h….e? If you lived in the big government socialist utopia called the USSR like me you would not say what you are saying. It’s amazing how all you liberals claim to be tolerant of free speech so long it’s liberal free speech.

  88. Czechthemout!!! on

    Stuart A

    Oh, and before you talk about the 3/5ths crap that was in the constitution and mislead people, why don’t you educate your self about the rationale for why it was put in before you talk out of your ass. May I suggest reading Thomas Sowell,and Walt Williams just to start.You may be snapped out of your ignorant slumber.

  89. Rumors has it that Christensen couldn’t crack the Mayan Astronomers squad, so he’s been traded back to Hartford in exchange for a refurbished, 2nd-generation iPod classic.

  90. LOL. Butch Goring just said Tavares was in the top 10 forwards in the NHL and perhaps the top 5.

  91. Oh DEAR lord. Politics? ABORT! ABORT!


    Tavares = Top 3 Forwards not currently suspended.

  92. LMAO! I think our favorite troll was “trolling”…

    LMAO! stuart, way to be apolitical on a hockey site!

    LMAO! Miami, that is hilarious! “refurbished, 2nd-generation iPod classic” can’t stop laughing at that!

  93. Thanks, all. It’s calmed down, here, so I’m back. But I can change that at a troll’s notice..

    I agree with you, ORR, but I don’t like Christ Stewart, so too bad on him!

  94. I was invited to White House once…once!


    Grat article! We’ve been waiting for a captain like Callhan for a long time and for a team like he is leading even longer! We are young and we are the best!

  95. iWicky (Leeloo Dallas mul-ti-pass) on


    I forfeit all of my lunch points if Latona stays around!

  96. Hey, billy!


    I wasn’t particularly sought after or attacked by any of the mongrels, but the blog atmosphere was just too negative for me. It’s more harmonious now, though, so I’m back!


    For that gesture, I’ll give you an extra one!

  97. There was just a two on two puck battle in the corner behind Jimmy Howard. At the precise moment Lidstrom vacates the front of the crease, the puck squirts loose right onto his stick and he calmly skates away. Unreal. He’s probably my favorite player.

  98. Latona- we need all the positive attitude we can get. Especially during the negative atmosphere times :-). And lunch points…

    SOPA, CCCP? I’d prefer a nice, old fashioned coat check on them.

  99. Wow! Klein is pretending to be Carp on Twitter? That’s just sad. Seriously, how can a person even enjoy doing that and not feel like a total loser with no life. I actually feel bad for him. It’s because of his parents. Maybe his mom did drugs while she was pregnant with him, or his parents dropped him on his head a lot. Either way, it was out of his hands. It’s a shame!

  100. Butch said before the third period started that the Islanders have to find a way to beat Toronto in order to keep their push for the playoffs. He ought to be a comedian.

    Oh, and they are down 2-0, lol

  101. BrandonPrust8 A good ol fashion Russian dumplin! This guys in heaven lol. Found a Russian restaurant near village

    LMAO @ the pic!!

  102. Oh, Prustie… That’s not a true Russian restaurant. Give us a notice on RR, we’ll take you to a real Russian restaurant.

  103. duckbill Plat-y-pus on

    OMG!! OMSBJ! Czechthemout totally PWNED Stuart A!! TOTAL PWNAMENT!! OMSBJ!!! OMSBJ!! Stuart A got Phoneauf’d, Cooke’d, Carcillo’d and Tivo’d all at once! OMSBJ!

  104. >>>Oh, Prustie… That’s not a true Russian restaurant. Give us a notice on RR, we’ll take you to a real Russian restaurant.

    Captain, why don’t you “tweet” him to tell him about the “real” Russian restaurants? He’d probably appreciate it!

  105. “Playoff push”…hahahahaha!!!!! Butchie’s helmet must have been too tight during his playing years. Either that, or he took one too many pucks to the head back in the day…

  106. Staal Wart and the Overachievers on

    stuart did get phaneuffed.
    Czechthemout with a little asshat smack down.
    Troll alert…troll alert…
    Think some body is getting canned

  107. GySgt. Hartman on

    McD doesn’t get hurt on that play if the trapezoid is not there and Hank plays the puck.

  108. BTW, good to see McD at practice today. I thought he had an injured shoulder or worse after that hit. Kid’s pretty tough.

  109. I really need to stop watching marathons of Diners, Drivesins and Dives on the FOOD network, it always makes me hungry.

  110. MickeyM Diners, Driveins and Dives is one of my favorite shows, I could watch it and think back when I was younger and still not have sugar spikes

  111. Tim Thomas is an aasenhat. However, from his statement, it doesn’t seem like he skipped because of his political beliefs but because he doesn’t believe in this sort of politics with so much in-fighting. But that’s how the system usually works.

    NYR_FAN – That’s way old news. Have you seen the last time he tweeted? Carp should get it shut down, though. I do wonder whose phone number that is.

  112. OK, now that I have read into it a little more, most people are thinking that Thomas is just hiding behind his neutral words and not showing his true feelings of partisanship. That’s even worse. Just deal with it.

  113. so czechmeout any govt involvement is communism. I got it. sorry I was wrong.

    Are you really that stupid. we do not have a free market economy but have the freeist economy but if you want your ayn rand insanity we can do that also. the US will be a dump and people will suffer but hey you grew up in a socialist society so any govt. involvement is to much.

    seriously how friggin stupid are you???

    a few examples of socialism that you accept on a daily basis in the US moron are; charitable deduction on taxes, home mortgage deduction, child tax dedcution, tax breaks for certain businesses, subsidies for certain businesses, unemployment insurance, minimum wage, sales tax, gas tax, and about 500 other examples.

    I love these free market yahoo’s that have absolutely no idea of what they are talking about it is either stalins russia or ayn rand, nothing in between…

    i have no problem with gun ownership also. but if you want to own a tank, missle launcher, or mega gun I draw the line. Unless you need any of those items to hunt or just a normal gun is not enough for self defense. Yep that view is totally unreasonable after all a bunch of slave owning white guys, who owned land also said 225+ years ago owning a gun is fine that they must have been right. After all when they wrote our constitution they drove there car to the meeting and transcribed there thoughts on a computer. I forgot the constituion is not a living document and we need to know the foundes true INTENT 230 + years later…..

    give me a break.

  114. staalwart I forgot more about business and making money then you will ever know.

    if being a simpleton helps you sleep better at night so be it but do not pass along your drivel, foolish, uneducated nonsense and expect educated people to believe your crap.,

    you have no clue…..

  115. classic republican small govt teabag morons ala tim thomas.

    take your dirty hands off my social security and medicare. DUH… that is a govt program morons………

    newsflash the govt includes the military and bTW govt employees are not aliens or martians but actually are citizens of the US………

  116. thomas sowell and walt williams about the only 2 black republicans in the US. Never heard of them…

    Thanks for educating me. I heard those morons about 20 years ago and agree with about nothing they say…

  117. Seriously, who cares what Thomas thinks? It’s great that he denied going to the White House. How anybody could listen to the Tea Party, Sara Palin, Beck, et al. blows my mind and makes me throw up in my mouth. Their ideas seem dangerous, ill-informed and childish at best–but this just doesn’t seem like the best venue to get into it.

  118. It is no coincidence that the Rangers are having their best season in many years with Cally as the new captain. He is such a great leader by example for his team, and has been so for several years. he is so far superior to the dreary Drury, the debbie downer of the dressing room, that it is not even close.

    the best thing that happened in the offseason is the departure of dreary Drury, who was so depressing in his mumbled sourpuss attitude that the team was a downer just like him.

    And yes, I had to sound like a downer just to describe dreary Drury.

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