Guest blogger: afrey94

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2011-12: The Year In Review

It’s hard to believe we’re in the middle of summer already and it’s been almost a full year since we were eagerly looking ahead to the 2011-12 season (my preview, which did predict an ECF berth and loss, can be found at http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/2011/08/22/guest-blogger-afrey94/).  I had titled that post “The Renaissance” to indicate the expectations that the season would see a significant change in how we viewed the Blueshirts.  Just as The Renaissance brought about widespread change and bridged the gap between the Middle Ages and the Modern Era, so too did last season serve as a watershed moment for the Rangers.  Going into the season fresh off of squeaking into the playoffs as an eighth seed and being summarily bounced in five games, the team was expected to improve with contributions from its evolving young core and one major free agent addition.  In that sense, the season can be viewed as nothing less than a complete success.  Now that we are somehow facing the possibility of yet another protracted lockout, let’s look back on the year that was; the successes, the failures, and what indications it offers on the future of our beloved Broadway Blueshirts.

2011-12 was going to be a memorable year no matter what, with the team being featured on HBOs 24/7, playing in the NHL’s Winter Classic, and adding to a strong and developing young core by landing the prize of the NHL’s annual free agent derby, Brad Richards.  The question was simply whether it would be memorable in a Landon Donovan scores to beat Algeria sort of way, or a Billy Cundiff misses a chip shot (and is subsequently murdered by Ray Lewis) sort of way.  Through a painful season opening roadtrip across Europe and North America while Garden renovations were taking place, the team struggled out of the gate. The North American opener in Uniondale, which I was supposed to go to but ended up watching at my brother’s place with pizza and margaritas (no complaints), was an embarrassing 4-2 loss which put me in a mild depression and raised some serious questions about their capabilities as a team. However, once they found themselves and started playing as we knew they could, they never looked back.  I am unfortunately too young to clearly remember the euphoric splendor that was the 1994 Cup year, so for me this was the first time I saw a team that was at the top of the standings for most of the year.  Most years, when we look at the upcoming schedule during the season we mentally peg certain games as likely wins, some as probable losses and a few toss-ups.

This was the first year I can remember where I truly expected the Blueshirts to win every single game I watched.  Now this is not to say I expected them to go 82-0 because the fickle bounces of fate march to the beat of their own drummer, but there was no reason to doubt their ability to win any game.  It was more than just having the ability, however, because there are plenty of teams with far more talent who couldn’t match the Rangers’ accomplishments this year (cut to bitter Penguins fans shaking their fists).  I hesitate to call it swagger, but it was obvious that they truly believed they could win any game, no matter the circumstances.  Down 2-0 to Philly in the second period of the Winter Classic?  No problem.  Playing a Boston juggernaut that, at the time, had scored the most goals in the league AND allowed the fewest?  Let’s win that one on a buzzer-beater just for fun.  And, down a goal to Washington with 25 seconds left on this handsome writer’s birthday?  Let’s give it to Brad Richards and send the Garden into a frenzy the likes of which I’ve never seen (I could’ve sworn, at one point, some guy in the section next to me was throwing a baby in the air while the crowd went wild).  This team started the season as a hardworking but ultimately middle of the pack team from whom not much was expected from the majority of the hockey world; in fact, some writers even predicted they’d miss the playoffs entirely.  That they will go into next season as a consensus top five Eastern team and with anything less than a berth in the Eastern Conference Finals being a mammoth disappointment is a testament to the progress that was made.

What was it that made this team so successful?  Quite simply, it was a combination of big steps up from key contributors coupled with one of the finest coaching performances I’ve ever seen in any sport.  To start, Torts had that team ready to play every single game of the season and instilled a workmanlike attitude which made them a terrible pain to play against.  For the first time, you would hear mentions of their fine team play and glowing comparisons from other teams broadcasters on Center Ice, and every ounce of it was deserve.  The departed Brandon Prust embodied the essence of this spirit with his motto of “It’s just pain.”  This begins and ends with the coaching staff laying out a vision for the players to follow, and it’s a testament to Tortorella.  In Tampa Bay, we’re all aware that his strategy was “safe is death,” an easy one to implement when you’re rolling Vincent Lecavalier, Brad Richards and Martin St Louis on the reg.  However, the mark of a good coach is knowing your team and catering your approach to best utilize the personnel you have at your disposal.  As much as I love the Rangers, it’s obvious that this team simply did not have the personnel to play that sort of firewagon hockey.  Tortorella realize that where the team was strongest was in a deep, developing defensive core and an all-world netminder between the pipes and, in a complete 180 from the Tampa days, he preached defensive responsibility and got the most out of his guys.  He gets a lot of heat for being testy with the media, but I don’t think anyone could argue that he wrung every win he could out of a young, raw team and provided us with some great HBO moments to boot (my personal favorite: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biZlEtaXbw8).

Coaching is an integral part of any successful team, but at the end of the day it comes down to the guys on the ice, and this team would not be close to where they ended without big years from several players.  A bounce-back year from Marian Gaborik gave the Rangers the bona fide scoring threat they were missing for the greater part of last season, and Henrik Lundqvist had arguably the best season of his already stellar career, culminating with a much deserved Vezina Trophy to take back to Sweden.  However, in my opinion, the single most important contribution to the team came from defensive horse Ryan McDonagh.  In addition to serving as a constant reminder to Rangers fans of one of the greatest trades in team history and rocking some fantastic facial hair during the playoff run, McD stepped up in Marc Staal’s absence and established himself as the premier defenseman on a team built from the blueline out, no easy task for a 22-year-old with less than one season under his belt coming in.  His offensive game began to come along while his defensive prowess was truly something to behold.  At this point, there are maybe five defensemen in the entire NHL for whom I would trade him straight up, and it’s a list of guys who aren’t going on the block anytime soon.

Now that’s not necessarily to say that I think, at this moment in time, he’s a better player than a guy like Zdeno Chara or Shea Weber.  However, when you factor in the age difference and the fact that McD is likely just scratching the surface of his potential, I wouldn’t trade him straight up for either and we should thank our lucky stars everyday for the temporary insanity that allowed Bob Gainey to send him our way.  Del Zotto’s return to form and surprisingly responsible play (most of the time) was absolutely vital after the losses of Marc Staal and Mike Sauer.  If you can believe it, he even got three Norris Trophy votes (not as many as McD or Girardi, but nonetheless a huge step up from last season’s AHL demotion).  The playoff addition of Kreider and his surprisingly effective play will hopefully continue to progress and give us the big power forward we’ve been looking for since the days of Adam Graves.  And finally, don’t underestimate the impact of a guy like Carl Hagelin.  First, let’s recall that the three games he missed in the playoffs yielded two losses (one an unacceptable shutout at home) and one 1-0 win made possible only by a generous contribution by the Henrik Lundqvist foundation.

Second, even if you (as I do) believe he’s a second liner at best, its unbelievably important to be able to develop those guys yourself as opposed to having to pluck them from other teams.  Think of it this way; if the Rangers were to acquire a player absolutely identical to Hagelin in every way save for his age and possibly his Swedish good looks, do you really think there’s any chance they could get away with paying him less than a million?  In the zero-sum game of the salary cap world, those saving add up to important pieces whose acquisition and implementation on the roster can be the difference between winning in six games or losing in seven.  If the Rangers can find one more such diamond in the rough, they can use him to create three solid scoring lines or package him for one more elite talent to put them over the top.  As this excellent piece (http://hockeyrodent.com/R2570.HTM)  from one of my favorite NYR writers delineates, they were ultimately done in by fatigue due to a combination of brutal scheduling and over-reliance on a few key players.  Adding one or two more pieces coupled with the upward trajectory we can reasonably expect most of the young guys to continue on gives us a chance to improve on a season where only two teams ended up doing better.

In light of all the fantastic times this Rangers team gave us and the groundwork they laid for the coming years, it’s hard not to think of this year as a success.  Sure, we didn’t win the cup, but following a team sport is about more than that.  I stated as much in my season preview that following a team in such a passionate way cannot simply be about wins and losses; otherwise, everyone would be dejected right now save for our friends on the west coast. Sports truly is about the journey, not the destination, and this was one of the most satisfying seasons I’ve ever had the pleasure of witnessing.  People in general are unfortunately predisposed to remembering how something ended without reminiscing on the good times in between, the positive memories that were made and the growth that took place.  By way of example, it is impossible for every single relationship we enter into to run completely smoothly and go exactly the way we’d imagine it; the odds are stacked against us, things happen, life gets in the way, etc.  But, the hope is that you enjoy the ride and that it allows you to grow, develop, and learn something along the way that will make your next romantic endeavor, be it with someone different or the same person, all the more successful.

I’m reminded of a quote from one of my all-time favorite television shows, Lost, in which two characters are discussing the nature of humanity and, in response to a comment about how “it always ends the same,” Jacob remarks “it only ends once; everything that happens before that is just progress.”  The year may not have ended with a storybook wedding or with us getting off the island, but I think we can all agree it’s far better than being stuck in the dark ages.

 

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144 Comments

  1. Guest bloggers stink on

    Hard to tell. Guest blogger or guest novelist?? If this nonsense is going to continue then at least keep it short and painless.

  2. I like the rodent at times.

    Goalie for sure, but he sometimes makes excellent points

  3. Wicky© RUPP SMASH!!! on

    tomb
    enjoy that drive east into the sun!!

    afrey,
    thanks for the post, nice work!

    Morning ILB, manny, and all!!

    Off to work, later aasens!

  4. _The North American opener in Uniondale, which I was supposed to go to but ended up watching at my brother’s place with pizza and margaritas (no complaints), was an embarrassing 4-2 loss which put me in a mild depression and raised some serious questions about their capabilities as a team_

    Potential Ranger disaster? The difference between me and you, Carp…

  5. fun drive.

    my taxi friend is blowing in my interlock for me.

    two beers and I fail.

    thank God for human ingenuity

  6. A verbose piece, but I agree with all points made by its author.

    I have to admit I was really laughing about the fan who threw his baby up and down in the air after the Rangers scored with 25 seconds left against Washington…

    Why do these people bring infants and toddlers to loud arena sporting events?? Are these people not sick?.

  7. Matty"DepthisWhatisNeeded!!!"Boy on

    if you can believe puck daddy, detroit makes huge offer for Nash. No answer back from Howson. No bargaining. Nothing.

    Guess he’s not dealing with a team so close to Columbus.

    “the list” diminishes to 5 teams and we are one.

  8. bull dog line on

    so the reason the Rangers lost, was, that they were tired. during the playoffs! I don’t buy it.

  9. sun is up already

    already.

    now that is a funny word.

    Dubi will get 20 goals this year

  10. Those who find lengthy reviews of a particular situation, needn/t fear the printed word..they are not only enlightening but leave the unanswered question out there…..” so what’s the hurry?”

    I personally look forward to some of these lengthy posts.( being somewhat given to a certain wordiness myself), and find them an insight into the bonafides of the writer. I cannot recall being disappointed in any of them. And there is always the other option available………like Hagar the Horrible, etc., Just the flick of a newspaper away,and there are all kinds of less mentally taxing pieces of coverage.

    Point of consideration……….try and find a blog that has anywhere near not only the coverage, but the
    intensity of opinion, and the discrimination involved in keeping it all together. It’s a treasure…..I rest my case.

  11. Nice piece.

    I had no idea the monster that this team would become at the start of the year. Lets hope we can push on next season and that the extra scoring we need can be provided by Kreider and improvements from Dubi, Hags and Artie.

  12. Good points, Fran — in a world of sound bytes, tweets, texts, and twits, it is refreshing to read a Fulknerian account of last season. In fact, when will it ever become tiresome to read about last season?

    I will say this — it was interesting to read these points coming from someone too young to remember the 1994 Stanley Cup Team. Being 39 years old, I was 21 when the Rangers won the Cup, and it will forever be my all-time favorite sports memory. Greater than the Mets win in ’86 (that team was predestined to win), greater than the Giants’ Superbowls, greater than any Yankee World Series win, even greater for me than the Aaron Boone home run in 2003 as I was at that game. 1994 changed the Rangers from “cursed” to champs.

    Our young guest blogger never had to endure those shameful, horrid “1940” chants, which as a Rangers fans, we had no answer. This was all part of being a Ranger fan. When I was a kid, they had Bossy, Trottier, and Potvin. The Oilers had Gretzky, Messier, Coffey, and Fuhr, we had Ron Duguay, Pierre Larouche, and Esposito…

    We all thought if the Rangers would never win a Cup again after ’94, we would be just fine. We got the Cup. To see NYC transformed for the weeks following the Rangers win the way we’ve seen it celebrate the Giants and Yanks, was amazing and unforgettable.

    While no other Stanley Cup championship will ever compare to 1994 for me, I cannot wait to for younger Rangers fans (who’ve done their share of ‘suffering’ too) to see Captain Callahan hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup.

  13. mornign all..

    Nice job afrey. I agree, the journey and especially the run to the ECF made it one memorable season.

  14. Well written. When I take a step back and look at the 11-12 season as a whole body of work, it’s very hard to be bitter. Looking forward to another step forward next season.

    That said, what a golden opportunity missed out on. A 6 seed in the East and an 8 seed in the West were all that lied between the Rangers and Lord Stanley.

  15. I am on record too, bull dog, as one who thinks the fatigue excuse is a complete pile of bull carcillo. Not unusual for me to disagree with the Rodent, either.

    Good morning, Sally!

  16. “The List” for Rick Nash is just the Rangers. I doubt any of those other teams can or will take his contract.

  17. funny what the rodent is saying is pretty much the same stuff I posted on here over a week ago. Sather is playing his card correctly. There is no need to add more payroll at this time until the rangers organization knows what the new cap will look like and if Buttman gets his wish, it’s a possibilty teams at the cap cieling now will have to off load/buyout players. Than sather will have plenty of oppurtunity to pick up some good offensive players.

  18. While talking to my othopedist (street hockey injury) I found out that he was a Rangers fan. He mentioned how disappointed he was that the lost to the Devils.

    I asked him if at the beginning of the season I said they would make it to the Eastern Conference finals would he have taken it. He said, yeah, but…. they were the #1 seed and lost tothe #6 seed and to make matters worse, it was the Devils. There’s no excuse for losing to a #6 seed.

    So, I changed the conversation to the diagnosis of my injury and left it at that.

    The bottom line is this, some people’s expectations changed during the year. At the beginning of the year, they were probably just happy if the Rangers made the playoffs, but after getting the top seed in the East the expectations changed. No longer were they satisfied with the playoff spot. The Stanley Cup finals would have been the only thing to satisfy them and I’m not sure that would have if they didn’t win the Cup. For some of us, going to the Eastern Conference finals was more than we predicted at the beginning of the season and not only gave us more than we expected, but gave us hope for the future.

  19. Good morning all! And what a grand one indeed! Welcome to the world baby ilb!!!!!!!

  20. Yeah!!!!!!!! Do you believe in miracles?? YES!!!!!! Baby ilb!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Today on Puck and Gavel, I respond the accusations of another attorney that I have conflated jurisdiction with conflict of laws. J’accuse, anonymous California attorney! puckandgavel.blogspot.com

  22. Expectations were quickly raised after the Pens went out in the first round. That should have been tempered by the Rangers difficulties in their own first round matchup and maybe scaled back a little bit by the showing against the Caps.

    Losing Gaborik for an undetermined amount of time and presumably questions about his effectiveness upon returning from his injury should put a damper on some expectations about the team going into next year. However his absence can be offset by a few rebound performances from some guys that had off years and another growth year for the younger guys. It’s not a stretch to put the Rangers in the conversation of teams that can seriously contend for the East. Out of their main competition in the conference no one got appreciably better and a few teams took steps backwards.

  23. Lucky girl! Born on the same date as the one and only Nelson Mandela.

    Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela!

  24. CTB, I could not agree more.

    When the Pens and Flyers bowed out in consecutive rounds, while the Rangers struggled through their “soft” matchups against the Sens and Caps, all I kept thinking to myself was “if Columbus had accepted Sather’s rumored offer and had Nash on this team, we probably would have made it to the Final.”

  25. czechthemout!!! on

    Ilb

    Congrats man! Your life will never be the same, but in a very good way! As a father of two girls, I can say, girls are cool!

  26. E3 (pimp's angel) stay thirsty my freinds on

    Congratulation to the Ilb family – next up – the doodies….

    Matty – thx for your kind words the other day

  27. Congrats ilb.
    From my experience (sister, nieces, cousins) girls make great, babies and toddlers but are trouble when they hit double-figures and into their teens (i’ve got 2 boys so i cant wait till they hit their teens and start laying in till 10am!).

  28. Good afternoon, Carp!

    MAZEL TOV to ilb & Mrs ilb and happy 26th birthday to LITTLE BABY HAMBONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  29. Ria(the silent bonehead) on

    “Finally the waiting is over” Congrats to Mr.&Mrs. ilb!!!!!!!!!!

  30. LMGO, Puck/Gavel.

    ANF, I was going to do a chat as soon as the Rangers did something significant. So still waiting. Maybe we’ll do one about the lack of something significant.

    Good afternoon, Hambone!

    Johnny, hope she doesn’t look like Lyndon Johnson.

  31. …and i have to agree with Spector – the price for Nash can only trend downwards given the expected drop in the cap in the next CBA and also i’d expect one or two more free agents to appear due to buyouts, plus while Doan, Semin and possibly Ryan have not found new homes there are 3 other options for teams who get turned down by Howson.
    The only thin in Howson’s favour is that he doesnt have to trade Nash for cap reasons, so could force the guy to play or holdout, which would not put him in a good light, but again could possibly drop his trade value further.

    I think we’d be more likely to see Howson sacked before Nash is traded

  32. Johnny LaRue on

    All I know is ilb better not steal Seven. I promised the widow Mantle I would name my baby Seven.

  33. better beans on

    Game five, Rangers-Devs. Second period, I think (old, occasionally faulty brain).
    Girardi-McDonagh coming off ice. Almost trip attempting to get over boards.
    Fatigue not a permissible explanation. The Generalissimo said so. The “Future-Ranger-Parisi”
    expert said so. Rest of hockey thinks fatigue is the William of Occam special of the day.
    Can’t be. Genaralissimo said so….

    “Massive disappointment” if Rangers don’t make ECF finals?

    That would be the same massive disappointment experienced by 29 of 34 of the previous
    ECF participants since 1994 in their next marathon?

  34. If any of you like Jazz, or just music in general, here is a link to a bunch of blindfolded music tests where Miles Davis was blindfolded and he just reacts and riffs on whatever they play for him. Makes for some fun in the off season.

    http://www.forghieri.net/jazz/blind/

  35. I just don’t believe fatigue is an acceptable excuse after just 16 or 17 games. If it is, then you had no chance to win anyway.

    if the Rangers had a few more goals, they sure wouldn’t have looked as fatigued.

  36. The Kings looked pretty *fatigued* for the first 4 months of the season….

    Look where that got them….

  37. Doctor Pepper on

    Speaking of fatigues, last Halloween at the hospital party, my girlfriend wore a long fatigues top and I wore fatigues bottoms. We went as an upper and lower GI series.

  38. Blogmama Go Tony! on

    Oh, sorry for delayed comment…afrey, a big thumbs up. Great post. I could have read more….:)

  39. Blogmama Go Tony! on

    I’ve seen a pic of baby ilb, and she is legitimately breathtaking. Ironically, I’m also going to have a (legal) lobster-fest next weekend in Maine. Go figure.

  40. Blogmama Go Tony! on

    Johnny, no candy, but I think the pigman may have been seen…I’ll have to check.

  41. Expectations are suppose to change as a season or second seasons unwinds. And that’s why the NJ loss hurts as much as any in long time watching….. We were the better team and the finals were right in front of us. Ouch. Btw dontbuy the fatigue either, everybody is tired, banged up and things broke for us in match ups..ugh. Plain and simple not enough goals, still proud, still hurts

  42. bull dog line on

    better beans,
    your right, they were tired. Torts should have played Stu Bickel more. of course if Bickel had played more, they would have been watching the ECF, instead of playing in it! being tired is an EXCUSE, not a reason as to why they lost.

  43. Kids are growing fast nowadays at this blogland anyway… Ilbiest just born and already is 26.
    The Name, ilb? Give us the Name, please. Besides inherited title of Fabulous Boneheadik…and Captain’s Daughter.

  44. Played the pelham bay course today. Split rock is hadder. Hooked up with this guy named Eddie. I kept calling him e3 and told everyone in the group to stay thirsty. Wicked thunderstorm on 14. We sat it out under a tree. Brought up he blog again as the rangers came up. The Eddie guy looked at me like he knew somehing? Was it you my brutha?

  45. JimboWoodside on

    *CONGRATULATIONS*, Mr and Mrs. ilb! Mazel Tov!! Now we have a “Little ilb” in addition to “Little CTB”!!

  46. LOL at Fabulous Boneheadik….!!! yes, the new baby is 26.

    I’m with Carp….tired + fatigued = no cup = not the boys’ problem.

  47. Johnny LaRue on

    Never mind pigmen Mama, you have to find the mohel and Carp has to hold the baby.

  48. Johnny, baby ilb is a girl….no mohel needed.

    PBR, he must have been eating pretzels.

    what about the poor fish…..

  49. Ilb’s daughter may be only a for runner of things to come. I had a son, and then a string of three straight girls, which since then spread into three daughters six granddaughters, and an additional lonely grandson..whom I see now and then. But I tell you, when my wife,daughters, and grand daughters all gather at a family center, I am often of the opinion that I’m amidst them all it becomes a delightful session of what I can only identify as acute estrogen attack,…..but often delightfully so.

    Another thoughtful old wives tale to the effect that, sons are with you a little while, but daughters are with you forever.

  50. Stanger Nation on

    ‘Baby naming’ double header – first the King and now Capt Ilb!!

    e3 went from St. Andrews to Split Rock – man, the guy can gets around

    the Heat has been broken, long live the Heat…can you say 84 and dry tomorrow – heck yeah!

  51. e3 (pimp's angel) stay thirsty my friends on

    My brutha PBR – it wasn’t me……I am at TPC sawgrass today…

  52. e3 (pimp's angel) stay thirsty my friends on

    s.nation my brutha….a lovely 68 F in my neck of tiger woods

  53. afrey94:

    Great post–some good read’n!

    ilb:
    Congrats on the new addition!

    Does the non-trade of Nash and Ryan mean that GM’s know/strongly believe there will be no 2012-2013 season? Man, I hope not.

  54. e3, dang you…..my dad lives right near there! Sweet…..and enjoy….next time let me know…..

  55. I hate summer in New York!
    “And why, in the summer, was the air beyond the turnstiles quite so fetid, a blooming composite reek of piss and sweat and enveloping garbage rot, borne on furious streaming gusts through the foul tunnels?”

  56. Although Camille Henry was one of the smallest players in the National Hockey League, he had a reputation for facing down anyone else in the league, no matter what size. He once tangled with one of the fiercest fighters in hockey. In the middle of the tussle, Henry shouted, “Watch out or I’ll bleed all over you!”

  57. Eddie – We have a tee time at 6 am at Royal Lytham & St Anne’s tomorrow…we’ll get out there early, before the duffers…bring your umbrella….

    I’ll bring the………umm….you know…

  58. Evening gang.

    Congrats to ilb and his family on the new addition!!

    Welcome back Tony!

  59. just have to say that the recent comments about Dolan’s vendetta against Jeremy Lin are why I still believe the Rangers won’t win anything while this trainwreck signs the checks.

  60. Just got back from trivia night … our team won!

    We were called “Pimps ‘n Hoes” … name courtesy of your very own.

    Good night, fellow clowns.

    Hope for another great guest blog tomorrow morning.

  61. e3 (pimp's angel) stay thirsty my friends on

    Utility pole 1
    jason kidd 0

    Mr. kidd to serve. First set.

    hello tony

    my brutha – know what i be sayin?

  62. PBR sits under trees during thunderstorms. As Woodie Guthrie sang: ‘So long, it’s been good to know ya.’

  63. Oh, he-e-ello Walther. No, my dear erudite. It is just Claire Messud, from “The Emperor’s Children”. (Quotation by association, so to speak). …and I’m to strait to turn for anything, if you know what I mean.

  64. I found, btw, that the most and maybe only, useful qoute from Charles Bukowski is “Sometimes you just have to pee in the sink.” That’s about it. But with all fairness – he *created* tons of it, while the rest of us just use it.

  65. Speaking of sinks, I was one night in a Washington Hotel and the bathroom faucet kept lightly running, but it was keeping me awake. I called the desk and said “I’m in room 406 and I got a leak in the sink,” and the clerk said, “Do whatever you want.”

  66. I have to admit – it was a good one, regardless of you made it up or real happening. Ata boy, Walter, I like it.

  67. Too late – my brain’s curves getting strait – means, it is bed time.
    Good night.

  68. leetchhalloffame on

    Shea Weber signs offer sheet with Flyers. 14 years over $100 million. How do the Snyders keep making huge splashes? Great sleeping on the job Slats.

  69. HT TSN.CA:
    The Philadelphia Flyers have signed defenceman Shea Weber to a 14-year offer sheet worth upwards of $100 million.

    The Nashville Predators’ have seven days to match the offer if they wish to retain Weber’s services.

    The restricted free agent was awarded a one-year, $7.5 million deal through arbitration prior to the 2011-12 season after failing to come to a long-term agreement with the Predators.

  70. Stay lucid, please, even though it’s late. No more guest bloggers, except those few who watched the heroic fight against the inevitable fatigue and can agree on this with Torts the coach. He now knows that 4D cannot defend against opposition 6D and 21/2 Fwds cannot last past 90 games with any success.
    But that is precisely why the past season was so mystifying to most of us. Just add up th minutes on the D and FWD per player, add up also the blocked shots, bring in Hank’ s numbers and consider your own inability to play real hockey the NHL rules…
    Then it suddenly all makes a better sense, doesn’t it? Or no???
    Well, as long as the elders of the tribe stay potent and fertile, we will have plenty of stuff to discuss during the lockout – please keep the baby girls coming.

  71. TSN.CA:
    The Philadelphia Flyers have signed defenceman Shea Weber to a 14-year offer sheet worth upwards of $100 million.

    The Nashville Predators’ have seven days to match the offer if they wish to retain Weber’s services.

    The restricted free agent was awarded a one-year, $7.5 million deal through arbitration prior to the 2011-12 season after failing to come to a long-term agreement with the Predators.

  72. whoever actually is responsible for personnel moves, and one would assume there’s got to be some sober dude with clout in the organization, he may want to start paying attention

  73. Wow that’s big deal! I hope the Preds match the offer. Or if the Flys get him i hope the new CBA screws the Flys royally

  74. I’m somewhere towards the back of the queue of people to defend Sather, but I still don’t get the “sleeping on the job” stuff every time another team does something.

    Are the Rangers the only team in the league? Maybe they lose out on deals for players once in a while?

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