It’s official. The NHL season has been cancelled until Nov. 30. You will need to find your fantasy hockey fix elsewhere. This will give you time to save up for the eventual official Rick Nash New York Rangers jersey. It will also give you time to square away a solid defense to your friends who think that hockey is the worst of the major sports because of the NHL and its business tactics.
This is going to hurt. Just like Hurricane Sandy barreling down on the Jersey Shore and New York City, it’s time to face facts. The wind is blowing your Blueshirt boys out of town and there’s no telling how much damage will remain when it’s over.
Michael Del Zotto has other things on his mind.
Please feel free to tweet Michael a few ideas before it’s too late. The talented defenseman now can make alternative plans to bide his time during Lockout 2012.
When the season resumes, the restricted free agent plans on an upgrade on last season’s entry level salary of $962,500, plus the additional $125, 000 in bonuses. As one of the more popular players, The Rangers want Del Zotto signed with a multi-year deal expected to be $2.2 to $2.5 million per year for the defensman. Talks will resume when the season is revived from the dead.
The options on the blueline are good, but not great. The presence of Del Zotto and Dan Girardi anchor a blueline that wants another haunt at the Garden. As Ryan McDonagh builds his game in the KHL, the remaining defensive crew is preparing to be unlocked.
Michael Sauer returned home to Minnesota for the summer to rest from a concussion suffered with his Dec. 5 clash with Toronto captain and hitman, Dion Phaneuf. He is not symptom-free and if he cannot play, he’ll sit a spell on the long-term injury list.
Steve Eminger was resigned and will be a steady player who knows the Rangers’ system. The 28-year-old defenseman grabbed a one-year contract worth $750,000, for a third straight season in New York. Maybe the lockout will reload his ability and prove to Rangers fans he can make a difference.
Stu Bickel signed a two-year deal worth $750,000 per season. While his performance during the playoffs was lackluster, Coach John Tortorella backs Bickel for his grit. The stalwart defender averaged 10:26 per game during the regular season, posted nine assists and had 12 fights. According to Blueshirt Banter, over half of Blueshirt fans favored Bickel’s return.
When the Rangers return to work, eventually this has to happen, the players will have their game and the skills to back up one of the best seasons in recent years. Rookies Chris Kreider and Carl Hagelin have become cornerstones of the Rangers’ momentum.
The Rangers’ AHL affiliate, Connecticut Whale suspended Chris Kreider one game for a boarding major, which is the type of hit hockey clubs wish to ban. Watch for the hit 1:46 into the action and the ensuing ruckus.
Meanwhile, back in Sweden, Carl Hagelin is making the most of his time hosting friends.
Henrik Lundqvist is relaxing and spreading joy wherever he goes.
Brad Richards continues his quest for a modeling career and has fellow fashionista Hank sporting slick attire.
The NHL owners are only hurting themselves and their bank accounts. The CBA has forced players to keep busy in other leagues, but it’s also given some the rest they need to return to full-strength. They are returning to their roots, having fun and keeping the endorsement machine going. Without the NHL, these players are finding alternative plans, and apparently, so should you.