Larry Brooks

Larry Brooks seems upset with the owners

3 Comments

If there’s one writer out there you can bank on for being very much on the players’ side of things in a labor battle, it’s Larry Brooks of the New York Post.

In his Sunday column, he lays into the owners and commissioner Gary Bettman and offers up his own help for the situation.

Brooks says the league should offer cap escrow on all current contracts at 3.2 percent and up to as much as 5 percent. He says doing that would help get a deal done for the season to start on time. But…

But no. The league not only hasn’t made that sort of an offer, its people have repeatedly indicated the NHL’s requirement of immediate and dramatic take-backs from the players, or else.

Or else they won’t allow the league to open for business. They’re quite something, these corporate entities lined up on the NHL’s side of the table, a group absent the intention of honoring their collective word.

Ouch. Safe to say Brooks won’t be getting invited to any parties by James Dolan or Ed Snider any time soon.

Report: Kreider playoff eligible, no deadline to sign with Rangers

2 Comments

Larry Brooks of the New York Post has broken some key news involving Rangers prospect and Boston College scoring sensation Chris Kreider.

Brooks reports that, since Kreider was on the Rangers’ reserve list at the Feb. 27 trade deadline, New York faces no deadline to sign him in order to secure his playoff eligibility.

This contrasts what CBC’s Elliott Friedman wrote in his most recent “30 Thoughts” column:

The timing of the NCAA’s Frozen Four final is a major headache for the Rangers. If Chris Kreider’s Boston College team makes it to the title game (the semis are Thursday), things will finish around 10 p.m. EDT Saturday night.

But, to have Kreider for the playoffs, he must be signed by the end of the regular season, which is the same evening. Usually, this process needs about 24 hours. You can bet teams are verrry interested to see if New York is given any latitude should BC get that far.

Brooks confirmed “with multiple sources” that, according to bylaw 28, players are eligible to play in the playoffs if they are on their respective team’s reserve list as of 3 p.m. the day of the deadline — which Kreider reportedly was.

The report also states that, back on the 28th, Rangers GM Glen Sather told The Post he “intends and expects” to sign Kreider at the conclusion of the Frozen Four.

This could be a big development for the Rangers. While some scoff at the idea of a 20-year-old with zero NHL experience making a playoff impact, Kreider has played with NHLers on a big stage (the 2011 World Hockey Championships), scoring 2G-1A-3PTS in seven games as Team USA advanced to the quarterfinal round.

PHT Related

NHL exec calls Rangers prospect Kreider “legitimate NHL player” — will he be this season?

Columnist: Tortorella has to stop dumping on Dubinsky

5 Comments

In Saturday’s 4-3 shootout win over Toronto, New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella took yet another “tough love” stance with forward Brandon Dubinsky.

Dubinsky was benched for seven minutes after gaffing on a read that allowed Toronto to score midway through the first period. Torts eventually sent him back out (Dubinsky responded by scoring), but then benched Dubinsky again in the third period, giving him just 43 seconds of ice time.

This isn’t the first time Tortorella’s admonished the 25-year-old. But according to the New York Post’s Larry Brooks, it should be the last.

From The Post:

Dubinsky has to answer for himself and his largely sour season. By no means is this nine-goal, 30-point year on the coach’s shoulders. But benching and demoting Dubinsky within the rotation (a tactic meant to punish, teach and motivate), which has been part of Tortorella’s approach since Thanksgiving, hasn’t yielded dividends.

The Rangers are going to need Dubinsky to be a reliable, hard-edged and productive player in the playoffs. He has been that. Last year Dubinsky was the team’s best forward in the five-game first-round defeat to the Capitals, even moving back to center when Derek Stepan struggled in his first best-of-7.

The most puzzling aspect of the Tortorella-Dubinsky relationship is that Torts seems to punish Dubi more severely than the other Rangers.

Brooks notes that on Feb. 24, Michael Del Zotto committed a “ridiculous” penalty that Tortorella publicly criticized…yet the young defenseman didn’t miss a shift.

The New York Daily News then reported that Carl Hagelin, who struggled with defensive positioning throughout the Leafs game, got an earful from Tortorella for his lackluster play….but also didn’t miss a shift.

Larry Brooks tears the Islanders a new one

34 Comments

The Islanders are in the midst of another frustrating and failing season and after missing the playoffs again this season, the fifth straight time they’ve done that, the franchise is hurting all over again.

New York Post hockey guru Larry Brooks takes aim on the Islanders for being irrelevant to the hockey landscape, not just in New York but across the league.

Brooks hammers the team on how they’ve handled recent drafts (taking Josh Bailey over the likes of Tyler Myers and Erik Karlsson among others in 2008 as well as picking Nino Niederreiter over Jeff Skinner in 2010), coaching moves, and seeing players like Michael Grabner and Kyle Okposo regressing badly. Brooks saved his biggest shots for owner Charles Wang and GM Garth Snow.

The team has no identity beyond Wang and Snow’s shtick. There may have been a fair amount of chaos under Ted Nolan, but at least his teams always were in their opponents’ face, and the same for Scott Gordon’s teams until he lost the room.

Now there’s nothing.

They have taken the treadmill to obscurity. They are the team that doesn’t matter.

Ouch. Some Isles fans may want to get angry about how Brooks hammers on the team, but there’s too much truth to get upset with the messenger here. The Islanders are poised to have yet another top-five draft pick this summer and after so many similar picks in the past only John Tavares is showing he was worth it. That’s a dire way to look at things and doesn’t leave Isles fans feeling good about the future.

Rangers prepare for their close-up on HBO’s 24/7

5 Comments

Technically, the NHL still hasn’t officially announced this year’s Winter Classic on January 2nd between the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers at Citizen’s Bank Ballpark. Yet on Wednesday, the hockey world was given even more proof that the Rangers and Flyers will be participants in the league’s mid-season showcase as HBO’s cameras invaded Rangers practice. The network behind the critically acclaimed 24/7 series was on the scene to capture promotional footage for the mini-series that will air in the weeks leading up to the Winter Classic.

After learning all about the show last year, there are two major questions surrounding the series this season. First, from a competitive standpoint, how quickly will the players be able to ignore the omnipresent cameras. Newly acquired Rangers forward Mike Rupp experienced 24/7 with the Pittsburgh Penguins:

“It takes a couple of days to get used to it. They’re good guys. My experience is that they don’t have crews who are like, ‘We need our footage,’ and will do whatever it takes to get it. They’re easy-going guys who are sensitive to some of the different things we do.”

For both the Rangers and Flyers sake, they’ll hope to acclimate themselves to the cameras as quickly as possible and avoid any long losing streaks during the filming process. All they have to do is ask the Capitals to find out how brutal it can be to struggle on the ice—only to have the cameras around off the ice.

The second question surrounding the 24/7 series is much more interesting from an entertainment standpoint: who will be the breakout star? Last season Bruce Boudreau and his charming Haagen-Dazs eating ways endeared him to hockey fans all over North America. Or maybe it was his #$@*& language in the $#@#*&in’ locker room?

So who is the odds on favorite to replace Boudreau as the most entertaining hockey personality on HBO? Rangers forward Brandon Prust shares his thoughts on the important matter:

“We all have our No. 1 pick,” [Tortorella] He’ll definitely be No. 1. The man with the beard (coach John Tortorella), that will be interesting to see.”

Suddenly I have visions of John Tortorella and Larry Brooks dancing through my head. Forget the games, televising those two in postgame interviews could be more entertaining than following the 40 players on the ice. Then again, 24/7 promises to have the likes of Sean Avery, Chris Pronger, and Scott Hartnell mic’d up during games.

Either way, this should be good. And just as a reminder—as if Avery and Pronger aren’t enough, we could be treated to four weeks of the sheer genius of Ilya Bryzgalov.

Who are you looking forward seeing on 24/7 this season? Are you looking forward to the usual suspects we mentioned or is there another player who you think will steal the show? Let us know in the comments.