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Bluelines: Intriguing Sabres Rumors, Rangers Questions & Coyotes Future

By Stan Fischler
February 20, 2012

• Of all the intriguing – somewhat preposterous -- pre-deadline exchanges thrown out by the rumor-hungry press has Buffalo-boy Patrick Kane going to the Sabres for Ryan Miller.

• No team has undergone more scrutiny than the Rangers as they maintain top slot in their division. Two of the most frequently asked questions about the Blueshirts are: 1. Have they peaked too soon? 2. What will be their biggest challenge from here to the finish line?

One insider puts it this way: “Their level of effort is so high on any given night that the key for them is to remain healthy. How the Rangers sustain themselves physically through the end of the regular schedule will hugely determine how they do in the playoffs. Physical well-being is the biggest factor and Henrik Lundqvist gives them their best chance to win The Stanley Cup.”

• Marty St. Louis may not admit this publically, but his game hasn’t been as successful as it was when he played under John Tortorella. At the moment, one can only imagine how superior his game would be or where the little guy would be as a Ranger. Then again, the same could be said of Vinny Lecavalier: No Torts = not as good.

• A recent story out of Pheonix clearly suggests that an owner may soon be found to purchase the Coyotes. We should know in a relatively short time whether this is fact or fiction.

• On the other hand – regarding the Yotes, sometimes the placing of a news story in a particular daily paper betrays behind-the-scenes wheeling and dealing. Thus, it seemed strange that the New York Times, which gives hockey minimal space, ran an article headlined: COYOTES TIME IN ARIZONA MAY BE NEARING AN END.

Ordinarily, such a story would be buried – or ignored – by the Times. That it appeared when it did suggests that it was “leaked” to the so-called “newspaper of record” for a purpose. That reason could very well be that Bettman, Inc. has not been able to find a Coyotes buyer. Furthermore, it suggests that whatever plans the NHL high command has for moving the Yotes have privately been decided. If that’s true – and it certainly may not be true – it could mean that Quebec City and Seattle loom as possible sites with the French-Canadian city in the lead.

• One of the bigger name un-signed free agents of the 2011-2012 season will not be signed. That’s because ex-Islanders captain Bryan McCabe has “unofficially” packed it in and now lives in Boca Raton. “I’m done,” says one of Mike Milbury’s early Islander prodigies. “The offers came in but I don’t want to leave Florida. I’m settled in with three kids; and that’s real work.”

Adam Henrique allows that he’s conscious of being a potential Calder Trophy-winner. But he didn’t know that MSG TV analyst Chico Resch says that the Devils center “doesn’t play like a rookie; he’s much smarter.” Henrique’s reply: One big grin.


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