'Fire Sather' rally falls flat


Although fans aren’t always particularly “eloquent” about their distaste, most express their disapproval by doing nothing worse than booing (or maybe mockingly chanting a goalies name, preferably in two syllables).

Every once in a while, though, a fan base will start to turn on a team’s management. Often times these displays seem to echo political protest or acts of “civil disobedience” even though the stakes are pretty low compared to, say, the civil rights movement (sorry sports fans). One great example is the disastrous run of former Detroit Lions GM Matt Millen. He incited rage in Lions fans with numerous ill-fated draft picks and free agent signings which eventually lead fans to start “Fire Millen” chants and bring insulting signs to games. Those fans were usually kicked out of Ford Field.

With a passionate (and often knowledgeable) group of fans like the New York Rangers have, it’s not too shocking that a “Fire (Glen) Sather” rally was organized. However, despite garnering plenty of attention and gaining more than a thousand “confirmed” guests on Facebook, The Hockey Independent wrote that the rally only drew a little bit more than 100 people.

And, that’s how the great Fire Sather Rally went down that fateful day. 100+ faithful stood closed together in barricaded pens outside the Fuse building as onlookers casually watched from across the street. Two very bored members of NY’s Finest held the peace and urged everyone to keep clear and stay within the barricade. Whoopity doo.

Sather has long been the target of derision among Rangers fans (not to mention hockey fans in general, myself included). He has given superstar contracts to solid but unspectacular players like Chris Drury and Bobby Holik, is responsible for draft blunders like Hugh Jessiman and just generally seems to have a knack for making the wrong move.

Unfortunately for anti-Sather advocates, Rangers ownership isn’t going to fire Sather unless fans hit them where it hurts: at the box office. The team still attracts plenty of fans and has been limping into the playoffs (therefore making even more money) lately. It took some of the worst moves in NBA history, several years of missing the playoffs and a sexual harassment suit for James Dolan to can Isaiah Thomas.

I wouldn’t expect “Fire Sather” to become anything more than a cute grassroots movement anytime soon.

Report: Islanders cut first-rounder Barzal from camp

Mathew Barzal
Getty Images
Leave a comment

It seems Mathew Barzal has played in his last game in a New York Islanders’ uniform for a little while.

Barzal took part in the Islanders’ preseason finale against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, but after that contest the Islanders decided to return him to WHL Seattle, per Newsday’s Arthur Staple.

He was taken with the 16th overall pick in 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That selection was well-traveled as it originally belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but was involved in the David Perron trade and then moved to the Islanders as part of Edmonton’s deal to get Griffin Reinhart.

Barzal is noteworthy for his skill and speed, but he may have slipped in the draft due to a knee injury he sustained during the 2014-15 campaign.

The Islanders also reassigned Kirill Petrov, Kevin Czuczman, Scott Mayfield, and Adam Pelech to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension

Torres hit

What will Raffi Torres get this time?

The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.

It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. While Torres is not considered a repeat offender as his last suspension came more than 18 months ago, the NHL still retains the right to consider his history when deciding on this matter.

Among other incidents, he was once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.

You can see the hit below:

And here it is slowed down:

Torres got a match penalty and Silfverberg left the game. Fortunately, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have returned, but was kept out for precautionary reasons.