Changes In NY, No Crosby for Canada, GMs New Year's Resolution,

Changes could soon come in New York. Which team? Both of them.

Sorry Canada, no Crosby for you. The Penguins must stay in the Pittsburgh, Penn. USA.

New Year’s resolution for all 30 general managers in the NHL.New York New York

That’s like the oldies song that is cool to have in your head for a whole day. Anyway, both New York teams in the NHL could be facing some changes soon.

The New York Islanders have been making some very odd trades as of late. This is a team that started well, is now five games above .500, and they weakened the roster. Why? Alexei Zhitnik was having a very good season as an Islander and he gets traded for some dude by the name of Freddy Meyer. Mike York is not having such a superb season, but as an all-round depth player, he is very good. Yet, is Randy Robitaille and a 5th rounder going to make the team better? And, why the Philadelphia Flyers? It’s not normal to see divisional rivals trade twice in a month with significant players. Zhitnik and York? They are not just regular players; they make an impact on any team.

So what do these moves mean for the Flyers, though? I honestly believe that Ed Snider refuses to miss the playoffs on such a disgraceful year, and so he is willing to allow his interim GM to make impact moves. And you know what? They could work. If not, then the Flyers still remain in a good position as they will have more to trade in February.

What do these moves mean for the New York Islanders? Well, either owner Mr. Wang is treasuring every penny saved, or he agreed with GM Garth Snow to pull a big deal sometime in January, or right after the roster freeze. Apparently a big trade could be on its way as the Islanders freed up a good amount of cap space to acquire a player carrying a hefty contract. Could it be Markus Naslund? Could it be Keith Tkachuk (and possibly Eric Brewer included)? I would expect a significant move to happen sometime soon for this team because it would make little sense to make such changes to just save money. Not when the team is in a good position to make the playoffs. And if that is the case, talk about a shameful act on Wang’s part to risk not making the playoffs. What kind of message does that send to the fans? And to the players? To a revitalized Alex Yashin? It would very much surprise me if that will be the case and the Islanders would not deserve a lack of respect. If you don’t respect someone it could be you are indifferent to that someone. You’d have to disrespect that someone and so if that is Wang’s intention (to save money), the Islanders deserve to be disrespected by the league and the NHL world.

That good winning pattern for the New York Rangers did not last long enough. Reason? Inconsistency, just like the start of the year, but also a bad case of flu going around the team. Last night the Rangers had a couple of players out with the flu, even Henrik Lundqvist did not attend the game. Matt Cullen injured his leg/knee just as he was starting to put up points. Nylander, flu. Shanahan ended up playing even though he has a flu. Tyutin, flu. Aaron Ward, sick as well. Malik is out with a groin injury. So, it is tough to expect the team to win and play a full 60 minute game with this kind of status. But, it was nice to see Tomas Pock (FINALLY) play. Ryan Callahan is a top goal scorer in the AHL, yet he was not played enough. Jaarko Immonen has been playing well too. Why not let Al Montoya get a start against the Florida Panthers on Thursday? I’ll be there to watch it.

But, the Rangers are not totally in sync and consistent enough to be a convincing playoff contender. I think they can make the playoffs, or rather they should, but something is not right. I do not believe it is Jaromir Jagr as a Captain. In fact, he has been good so far and last season he said the team was going to make the playoffs and he brought them there unexpectedly.

Is a trade coming? Hold that thought. Is there much truth to the waiver moves of Sanids Ozolinsh and Petr Nedved? The timing seemed right, and the purposes would feel right as well. Excellently thought out by the NY media. I would have also added that GM Glen Sather pulled a “deal” like this before as well. Back in the 1999-2000 season, the Chicago Blackhawks placed Michal Grosek on waivers as the Rangers placed Stephane Quintal on waivers as well. The Hawks claimed Quintal, Rangers claimed Grosek. It was such an odd occurance that the NHL was looking into it as well as far as “rules”. Could Slats do the same thing again? Yes. And you know what’s always coming everytime I say “yes”. BUT. Yes, but it may not happen with Petr Nedved. Twice the Rangers traded him, Slats is no fan of his either; yet, the Rangers could use someone on their second line and if Nedved plays with confidence and and motivated, he can put up 60 points quite easily. The potential is good and bad. What if Nedved is just NHL done? He could disrupt the lockerroom and the Rangers will be stuck with him or buy him out. I don’t think that is what Sather will risk doing, although anything is possible. And, to the Flyers really need Sandis Ozolinsh? Not when they just added Alexei Zhitnik, and not when they just added more salary with Mike York.

I have to give a lot of credit to the journalists that came up with this scenario. Everything made sense and it was well structured. Finally, the media put up a rumor that actually was well thought out and made sense. And hey, it could still happen.

So what are the New York Rangers going to do? They are underachieving and sometimes Head Coach Tom Renney gives me doubts with his decisions. We will soon head to mid-season and by then we will soon reach the trade deadline. Things happen after half a season passes by. The Rangers have the assets to make a trade, but who could they go for? The Phoenix Coyotes may be willing to sniff around the Rangers organization, and a deal involving Ladislav Nagy and/or possibly Derek Morris could happen. Petr Prucha in the deal? No doubt. I’d support such a trade 100% as I am a fan of Nagy’s style of play, and Morris? He is capable of becoming a top NHL d-man. Both are fairly young, so it would be perfect. The only problem is that Nagy is a Slovak and the Rangers are Czech influenced. These two may have some similarities in cultures, but they are not the best of friends. Not that anything bad should happen, but hey…you never know. Another possibility is St. Louis. With close ties to the Blues’ new Vice President John Davivdson, Glen Sather may acquire either the player he tried to get once before, or the player who played well for him in Edmonton. Keith Tkachuk and Doug Weight. Both fill the holes needed for either wing grit and scoring, or second line center and playmaking abilities. And possibly Eric Brewer could be involved.

Unless the Rangers turn things around before Game 40, then nothing major will happen, but if the inconsistency continues, the Rangers always make headline moves every season and so expect one to happen after the roster freeze or in January.

Sorry Canada, No Sidney Crosby for You

Apparently, I got a feeling that Canadians got upset that Jim Balsillie pulled out. But, they are not upset at Jimbo, they are upset at Gary Bettman and the NHL (something new?). Why? Because the league would not allow Jim Balsillie to move the franchise in Canada. Now, I support moving a team to Canada, but not the Penguins. You see, I was not sold yet on Crosby up until this season (really), and I would not have cared if the Penguins were to be moved. But, I realized what Crosby, Malkin, Staal, Fleury, and Whitney could mean to this franchise and the NHL in the US. This team has the potential to be dominant in the near future and Crosby would be bringing back the Mario Lemieux era, which was big. Pittsburgh is a big sports city and I can’t blame the fans for losing the motivation since the team has been horrible in the past few season, with an old uncosey arena, and no money to improve it. That happens in sports.

So I feel that some Canadians got upset and say that Pittsburgh does not deserve to have such a team. Well, does Canada? I don’t blame Canadian fans, they are quite trustworthy and would show more appreciation than American hockey fans. The problem in Canada are the billionaires. Hockey teams in Canada? Not a good history. The Quebec Nordiques failed, and traded too much talent. The Winnipeg Jets were not successful enough, so they moved to Phoenix where it made the playoffs and were very competitive. The Vancouver Canucks should thank Brian Burke as he got the team to make profits. The Calgary Flames had to have a casino in order to survive. The Edmonton Oilers were also going into bankruptcy, which was why Glen Sather left. The Montreal Canadiens were sold to an American. The Ottawa Senators, before Melnyk, did not even pay the salaries to their players on New Year’s Eve.

Why should the NHL risk moving a franchise to Canada? It’s not like the low-markets in the USA are much better, but the American billionaires are more reliable. This is not to knock on Canadians, I am just going by NHL history. So, the NHL is looking to move up the ranks in the sports world in the USA. The Penguins are a key potential for that and so they ought to use the team, once it will be succeeding, to market.

Also, we are not talking about a team that has no history and it’s just a “who cares?” franchise. The Penguins put out a lot of good teams over the past two decades, and developed good NHL talent. Crosby is the one taking the torch from Lemieux and now starting to run with it. It would be a shame for the NHL to lose this franchise in such a bad way were a billionaire’s main interest in buying the team is to strip its history away and move it to his place of preference. I would not approve of such if it involved a team like the Calgary Flames. These teams are not original, but they carry such great moments and players that they don’t deserve to be dissolved. Now, if the Penguins lacked the young talent that it currently has, then I would say “yeah, they seem to be going nowhere so…time to move”. But, they have the talent now and any billionaire willing to commit to the team will get the franchise to thrive.

Some people say “who cares, Sidney Crosby will leave once he becomes a UFA”. Well, do not bet on it. If the billionaire is willing to give Crosby what he wants, he should be able to stay. If he wants to be a faggy nut and sign with his boyhood dream team, then that is his problem.

General Managers resolution for New Year’s? START MAKING TRADES FOR (BLEEP) SAKES! I’ll stick to what I said last time; they are a bunch of wimps who are afraid to pull the wrong deal or are afraid of the cap, and afraid and afraid and afraid. And some GMs are making pathetic requests of one’s inquiries of their players. “I am interested in Eric Brewer, what would you want?” “I want your 1st round pick, your top prospect and your solid #4 defenseman.” They are making this season quite boring, but I am positive that in January things will start to happen as GMs will start sweating with insecurity of their team’s playoff chances.

Personal message from mikster

Well, it’s Christmas time and it’s a time to be full of joy and be thankful for the fortunate things that you have in life that others don’t. For those of Jewish faith, Happy Hannukah. Sorry, I am not into this generalizing of “happy holidays” and those newly created “holiday trees” that look quite identical to Christmas trees. This is a religious period and we ought to respect everyone’s religious celebrations. But anyway, I wanted to tell you all to do something good.

It does not have to be a donation or anything involving money. That’s the mistake people make. Doing something good is even just a thought, or a good intention, or a prayer. For example. I heard some bad news during the Stars vs. Rangers game last week that Phillipe Boucher’s family is not quite healthy; his father may not even make it for Christmas and that is something that we should all look at. Be thankful to have you family close to you. But, say a prayer to Boucher’s family and the rough times they are going through. And if you are not religious, so what? A good intention/thought wishing him the best is good enough. Just do something good folks. It’s good for your own piece of mind as well. I say this to you because I felt disturbed that where I live here in South Florida, a lot of people are greedy; and, some kids are careless….spoiled, and don’t think about giving. I just cannot stand sitting in my Jeep, at a red light, and I see the voluntary guy collecting money for The Homeless Voice down here, and people driving a Lexus, BMW, Mercedes, even Bentleys and so on….they just look the other way, or….they are talking on the cell phone laughing and just give a slight wave with their hand as in “no, go away”. What is a dollar going to do for these people? Is it not sad? I wish they could live a week the way those guys are living every day of their lives.

So, this is a time to really think about the good and unfortunately many of us don’t carry it out for the rest of the year. But, once a year is better than none. Do something good folks. We’re good hockey fans and our players contribute a lot to charities and the communities. We should learn from them as well.

You all have a Merry and Blessed Christmas.

Thanks for reading as always,

Micki Peroni

Vice Administrator