Bluelines: DP’s Relentlessness, Torts the Sports Star and the Doan and Luongo Sagas
Monday, August 6, 2012
By Stan Fischler
• The fact that Rick DiPietro is back on the Islanders roster may have drawn some yawns in Nassau but The Maven insists that there's a more positive way to interpret the club's recent announcement. Throughout a career bedeviled by injury DiPietro has never quit. He has proven tenacious and determined to find a way to justify management's faith in him when Garth Snow handed the New Englander one of the most generous contracts for a young goaltender in NHL history. Considering the number -- and constancy -- of his setbacks, DP could have been forgiven for just packing it in but he wants to play and certainly deserves yet another look-see at training camp. As the late, great pianist-composer Fats Waller once said, "One never knows, do one?"
• One of the most compelling tugs-of-war is developing between Barclays (Brooklyn) Center honchos and proponents of a "Nassau Hub." The latter, which would house a new Nassau Coliseum, is being pushed by Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano now has two "live ones" among Long Island developers with plans to re-create the valuable Uniondale land. If ever threats from the Flatbush Avenue arena have value for the Isles, it's that the Barclays people could finally push Mangano & Co. into concrete new-arena action that has been lacking for more than a decade.
• Little known fact about John Tortorella: when the Rangers coach attended Concord-Carlisle High School in Concord, Mass., his brother Jim and he were teammates for multiple sports. John played center on the hockey team while Jim was goaltender. On the baseball squad the pair comprised a double-play combo. Jim was at second and the man New Yorkers know as Torts was the shortstop. John captained both baseball and hockey teams. But for a neck injury, John also would have been on the football varsity.
• One of the more intriguing comparisons among young power forwards involves Buffalo's Patrick Kaleta and New Jersey's David Clarkson. Each has emerged from virtual obscurity as rookies to blossom into power forwards with the best still ahead in their careers. In Sabreland, g.m. Darcy Regier acknowledged that fact by extending Kaleta's contract with a three-year pact worth $3.825 million. The deal is based in part because the Buffalo native and fan favorite delivered 139 hits and collected 116 penalty minutes. Plus, he's become an effective penalty-killer. What Kaleta still lacks -- and Clarkson now has -- is a resume that states: big goal-scorer.
And, by the way, there once was a very popular Kaleta on the Rangers although no relation to Patrick. Alex Kaleta was a hero to the Madison Square Garden Gallery Gods from 1948 through 1952. An exceptionally clean player, Alex Kaleta had a nickname that didn't fit him at all -- "Killer!" Nevertheless, "Killer Kaleta" sounded good and Alex did star on the Blueshirts club which went to the 1950 Stanley Cup Finals; seven games against Detroit before losing in double-overtime.
• More than a week has elapsed since the so-called deadline was established by Shane Doan’s camp for Greg Jamison to complete his potential purchase of the Coyotes. Doan's agent Terry Bross' gambit was an understandable ploy but actually Shane has at least a month to decide between Phoenix and Wherever. More to the point will be Gary Bettman's strategy. If Jamison's group is $20 million short of the $170 million selling price -- and the league really wants to retain Glendale as a permanent NHL hub, there are ways to circumvent the impasse. What it comes down to is whether Jamison still can be considered a reliable partner.
• Expect the Roberto Luongo Saga to endure the Summer. The Panthers appear to be Louie's most likely destination but Dale Tallon's sextet can live without him since the Cats will have three solid goalies -- Scott Clemmensen, Jose Theodore, and Jacob Markstrom in camp.
• My favorite unsung signing belongs to the Blue Jackets of all teams and that would be the most underrated backliner of the decade, Adrian Aucoin.
• Credit Ken Holland with a nifty signing in Jordin Tootoo, who could be Detroit's latest version of Darren McCarty or, if you like, Kirk Maltby -- or both!
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