Category Archives: New York Rangers

The Toronto Maple Leafs (How Can I Say It Politely), Will Smell Like Farm Animal Excretement

Hockey fans became completely sick of hearing Mats Sundin’s name about a month ago, and so I apologize for mentioning it now. But His Majesty is on the verge now of announcing whether he will retire or play, so I thought I’d get just a little head start on this.

 

If he plays, there’s always the chance he’ll rejoin his old club, the Toronto Maple Leafs. But I just had a look at the Leafs’ 2008-2009 roster, and maybe His Majesty should consider retiring. Wow! Harold Ballard and girlfriend Yolanda would’ve made this club. King Clancy would’ve made this team, when he was in his eighties.

Several of the hot dog vendors would make this team.  Prince Philip could make this team. Richard Simmons would be on the first line. My daughter’s baby would make this team, and the baby’s not even born yet.

 

The Leafs best player just may be ex-Hab Mikhail Grabovski. And they’ve added Rangers goon Ryan Hollweg, a guy who blows his mind way too often. There was no room for him anymore in New York, but of course there’s lots of room for him in Toronto.

 

Jason Blake will be their leader, like Jean Beliveau, the Rocket, Mark Messier, Joe Sakic, and Steve Yzerman were for their teams. You bet!

 

And I could mention the other Leaf players on the roster but you wouldn’t care anyway.

 

Toronto fans will pack the place every night to see one of the most inconsequential teams in Toronto ever.

 

Mats Sundin will make his choice soon. He can join the Leafs. He can join some good teams like the Habs. He can retire. Or he can help old pal Borje Salming with his underwear business. We’ll see shortly.

 

Sorry to mention his name. Also sorry to mention the Leafs.

Bring Back Hockey Coins

 This is a set of Sherriff/Salada hockey coins from 1961-62. I’ve had these since I was eleven years old. They came in Jello and potato chips, and I pressured my mom to buy handfuls of Jello instead of just one or two. So we had a kitchen cupboard with lots of open boxes of Jello in it. I also ate more potato chips than any one human should possibly eat.

 At school we would play closest to the wall, just like hockey cards, and I was devastated if my hoard of coins had dwindled. But on the other hand, if I went back to class after recess with dozens more than I had started out with, then all was right with the world. I think it was kind of like having sex before I really knew what sex was.

 You could send away to the company for the shields, which I did, but after putting them in their holes and trying to hang them on the wall, most would fall out because they didn’t fit well. So I added small amounts of glue to the backs. When you see these coins in their shields on ebay, which you don’t see very often, most have been glued like mine.

 These plastic hockey coins began the year before, in 1960-61 and I had a bunch of them years ago, but not anymore. They also came out as metal coins in 1962-63, and I still have the full set of these.  And there were no shields available for these other years.

 The coins made a comeback in 1967, but I don’t think they became all the rage like they were in the earlier years. These later coins have become quite rare and valuable because, I suppose, there just weren’t that many.

 Baseball and football also had their own coins, as did old cars and airplanes. But it’s the hockey coins that I cherished the most. 

 They should bring back hockey coins for the modern generation. Maybe they’d get kids away from computer games for awhile.

Days Off On The Road For The Montreal Canadiens.

Montreal players will get the odd day off on the road this season, and the key to all of this is where their odd day off will fall.

 

For instance, the team is in Tampa Bay on Dec. 30, and doesn’t have to be in New Jersey until Jan. 2, so they can have a New Year’s Eve party. And what better place to have a party than Tampa Bay? Although the last time they decided to do this, Ryan O’Byrne got his mug shot taken.

 

So maybe Tampa Bay isn’t a good place to have a day off.

 

In February, the team goes on a west coast swing, hitting Calgary on Feb. 9th, and they don’t have to play In Edmonton until two days later, and it’s only a half hour plane ride away. So they have lots of time to relax.

 

Is it better to relax in Calgary, or Edmonton? I’m going out on a limb here and saying it’s Calgary. Only because the alternative is Edmonton.

 

So if the boys want to hang out in bars and wear shorts and golf shirts, it’s good to have days off in southern states. If they love cold and snow and a short but dreary existance in the land that time forgot, then that would be Edmonton.

 

However, far and away, the best city to have days off in would be New York. By a country mile. It’s the most vibrant, most interesting, most colourful city on the planet.  It has something for every hockey player. Bars, steaks, women, music, sightseeing, street hip hop for the younger players to get down and boogie, and even serious window shopping.

 

I have a serious dislike for their hockey team, but the city’s great.

 

Ken Dryden said he loved New York because of all the museums he would spend time in. He soaked up the culture. He probably didn’t even go for a beer in Greenwich Village. So Ken Dryden doesn’t count.

 

Forget about Philadelphia, Ottawa, Denver, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, and all the rest. These places are just more stops in a long line of stops. The answer is New York. And after that, maybe Miami. And Phoenix if they want to golf and vegetate.  And of course, the notorious Tampa. And Nashville would be good if any of the Habs like country music.

 

And the silliest question of the day is: New York or Edmonton. Which is the better city to have a day off in?   

The Best Jobs In The World. Yes – Better Than Your Job.

1. Retired Famous Race Horse. You were Northern Dancer and Secretariat, and you were the toast of the town. You retired on top of the world and were given a fancy stable and told to get out into the field and make love to the finest fillies out there. Whenever you feel like it. Every day.

2. Guy Who Crashes Cymbals In A Symphony Orchestra. You’re in Carnegie Hall, and the horns and violins are working their way up to big crescendo. The crowd is enthralled, and then, at the precise moment, you crash your cymbals.
That’s it! And for this you get to wear an expensive tuxedo, make lots of money, and probably even sign a few programs!

3. Red Fisher. Play poker with the Rocket, Beliveau, Harvey, and Geoffrion on trains to Chicago, Boston, and the rest. Go for a cold one after the game with Lafleur, Savard, and Robinson, and talk shop. Cover the Montreal Canadiens and become just one of the boys for nearly fifty years. HE MAKES ME SICK.

4. George Martin. He’d put on his cardigan sweater, jump into a limo to take him to studios like Abbey Road, and help the Beatles weave their magic on their recordings. He was there almost from the start, and he also made zillions doing it.

5. Playboy photographer. Do I really need to explain this one?

6. Phil Pritchard. Phil’s job is to babysit the Stanley Cup, 12 months a year. He takes it all over North America and Europe so players from the winning team can show it off where they live. He brings it out onto the ice with his white gloves on when a team wins it in the final game. He’s practically married to it, and it never talks back.

Steve Buzinski and The Rocket

I tried to get in touch with someone from the Buzinski family. I tried Saskatoon and Swift Current. I tried Calgary, where Steve Buzinski’s son Peter was supposed to live. But I had no luck anywhere. It’s too bad. I would’ve liked to have learned more about the man.

Buzinski was a goalie for the New York Rangers on the night of November 8, 1942, when Maurice ‘Rocket’ Richard scored his first-ever goal in the NHL.

Of course, being scored on by the Rocket was nothing to be ashamed of. Richard scored on dozens of the poor, padded chaps. This Ranger rookie just happened to be the first, that’s all.

Rocket was 21 years old and wore number 15 at the time for the Habs. He had yet to change to number nine, and he was still a few broken bones away from becoming the icon he became.

Buzinski had been called up from the minors to replace the Rangers’ goalies Chuck Raynor and Sugar Jim Henry, who were both enlisted to fight in the war overseas. Buzinski’s career was only nine games, letting in 55 goals, and he had a not-too-good average of more than six goals a game.

The Rangers soon released Buzinski, and the youngster returned to Swift Current and worked for the federal government until his retirement.

I would have liked to have known what Buzinski thought about his Rocket connection. Was he proud of the fact? How was the goal scored? Did the Rocket scoop the puck up for a souvenir? And why did Buzinski not play in the minors after being released by the Rangers?

But I couldn’t find any of his family, so I have no idea.