The Maven's Haven

  • Tuesday, September 25, 2012

    Hockey in the Holy Land


    How bizarre is this -- I travelled 6,000 miles to see my first hockey game of the season. And, of all places, it was in The Holy Land. Not that I was in Israel just to see a bunch of puck-chasers but -- hard as it may be to imagine -- I did see hockey played -- although on a level considerably below the NHL. While visiting my younger son, Simon, who lives in The Golan Heights with his family, he tipped...
  • Thursday, September 20, 2012

    Disagreeing With the Hockey Bible

    Being the unofficial "Bible" of its sport, The Hockey News is to be taken seriously; which I do, believe me, I do.
    But that doesn't mean that The Maven and The Hockey Bible have to agree all the time; especially when the time is now.
    To be specific, I will now take issue with THN's listing of the National Hockey League's best players just released in its annual Yearbook.
    For starters, The Hockey...
  • Monday, September 17, 2012

    Captain Considerations & Goaltending Questions

    • Considering his super-positive impact on the Rangers, Ryan Callahan spent the early part of his career egregiously overlooked by just about everyone but his Rochester-based agent, Steve Bartlett. In a Hockey News Yearbook "Captains America" feature, author Ken Campbell points out that Callahan actually would have been bypassed in the 2001 Ontario Hockey League Draft were it not for Bartlett. The rep lobbied then...
  • Tuesday, September 11, 2012

    Rating the 'Delicious Dozen' Met-Area Players

    One of my personal all-time favorite books -- among the 100 or so that I've written since 1967 -- happens to be titled HOCKEY'S 100; otherwise known as the best hundred players ever.
    That was written before anyone else in our scribbling business got around to such a listing and, with that in mind, The Maven figures it's time to do an abridged, contemporary, listing of the BEST DOZEN among our local...
  • Monday, September 10, 2012

    Beefed Up Sabres, Nash's Dog Debut and Young Studs in Nassau and New Jersey

    • A key question that has Sabres fans wondering is: How the Sabres high command beefs up its muscle to balance with the satisfactory skill level? The acquisition of Steve Ott -- in exchange for Derek Roy -- appears to be the answer that only will be confirmed once Buffalo seeks playoff capability. "We want to be a tougher team against which to play," says general manager Darcy Regier. Ott already has made...
  • Wednesday, September 05, 2012

    The "Why-Because" Hour

    WHY...
    Will Josh Bailey finally blossom into the star anticipated by the Islanders when he was their high, 2008 Draft pick?

    BECAUSE...
    His late-season move to the wing from center -- remember, he totaled 18 points in his last 20 games last season -- means that Josh isn’t joshing anymore.

    WHY...
    Did Jim Rutherford sign Alexander Semin for his Hurricanes considering The Sad Russian's history as...
  • Monday, September 03, 2012

    The Hockey News 2012-13 Predictions: Slander, or Sure Thing?

    Ever since its inception in 1946 The Hockey News has been known as "The Bible Of The Sport." That said, its annual predictions hardly turn into Gospel nor do they achieve Biblical proportions -- except for mis-calls! Last year for example, The Hockey News made the following forecasts for MSG Network's four teams which it regularly televises. At a glance you can tell how poor the prognosticators'...
  • Friday, August 31, 2012

    The Darkhorse Sextet From Uniondale, and Rangers Who Should be in the Hall Of Fame

    If, exactly a year ago, you ventured that the New Jersey Devils would reach the Stanley Cup Final, your best friend likely would have suggested a sedative and a long rest somewhere on the Cocos Islands.   Egad! Did Peter DeBoer's sextet fool us or what? Hey, they made darn fools out of just about every prognosticator this side of Sunnyside's crystal ball factory.   At the very least Martin Brodeur & Company proved that one should never take a dark horse lightly; or a light...
  • Wednesday, August 29, 2012

    An Ode to Don Raleigh

    One of the outstanding Rangers playoff heroes of the post-WWII era has died at the age of 86. Don “Bones” Raleigh scored two of the most spectacular goals in Blueshirts playoff history during the 1950 Stanley Cup Final against the Detroit Red Wings. Raleigh's game resembled the smarts we see now in Brad Richards. Plus, "Bones" centered one of the NHL's best lines, doling smooth passes to left wing ...
  • Monday, August 27, 2012

    Optimism In the Face of a Lockout, Roasting Lou, and More Progress In Nassau

    • With labor-management negotiations resuming today (Tuesday) at the NHL’s Sixth Avenue offices, fans are eagerly seeking any optimistic tidbits. Ditto for Henrik Lundqvist. The Vezina Trophy-winner sees a silver lining amid the cloudy reports on talks up until now. At a charity event, Taste of Tennis, last week, The King observed, “I’m approaching it that it’s going to be good to go when it’s time to go....