Wednesday, August 27, 2008

We Interupt The Rumors With Some News

Sorry Folks if you were wanting more on the "Where in the World is Sundin Signing?" saga or maybe perhaps the "I am Center Dammit Not Salary Cap Clearance" nonsense AKA the foolish rumors about Scott Gomez then you can stop now and look elsewhere (actually we will reveal our credible source on this nonsense AFTER the news) as we have some news for you.

The Russians are really coming and they are not considering Victoria Cup game against the Rangers as a mere exhibition. Come October 1st the Russians will be looking to make a statement when they take on the Rangers in the very first Victoria Cup.

We have watched as the Rangers and NHL have gone out of their way to promote the Ranger's season opening games in Prague, the exhibition games that the NHL is sponsoring and the Tampa/Pittsburgh matchup in Sweden. The Victoria Cup is hardly getting any mention almost to the point where you have to dig deep to find anything from the North American side of the ice.

That we believe is a huge mistake on both the part of the NHL and the Rangers to act in such a manner because the Rangers will be handing a huge motivational tool to both SC Bern and Metallburg. In many ways no respect is the biggest weapon one can give an opponent.

Once upon a time a team from the Soviet Union made the same kind of mistake against a bunch of US college kids and paid dearly for it. Overconfidence can lead to playing not to lose which is a sure way to insure that you do lose and that is the road we think the Rangers are traveling.

Our friends at the IIHF were kind enough to let us know that the Metallburg Magnitogorsk General Manager Gennady Velichkin gave them an interview in which he made some rather bold statements worth repeating. The entire interview can be found here at the IIHF website.

From the interview, Velichkin said in response to these 2 questions something that the Rangers had best take seriously:

Describe your goals for the upcoming season.

We want to win everything! The KHL, the Champions Hockey League, the Victoria Cup. This task was given us from our president, Mr. Rashnikov. He’s a leader in steel products and wants to be number one everywhere. His slogan is to have everything or nothing.

At the inaugural Victoria Cup, Metallurg will also be the first Russian club to play against an NHL team since 1991. What do you think about this new event?

It’s difficult to comment now as there’s so much in the media about the relationship between Russia and the NHL, but it will be very historic for the world of hockey. We will not only play for us, but for Russia, and somehow for all of Europe. We must perform very well and do the best. We must show that there’s not only the NHL, there are also other strong leagues like ours, and also in countries like Sweden, the Czech Republic or Switzerland. We must show that hockey in Europe exists and it’s a big responsibility for us. We hope that we will be supported by the citizens in Europe and in Bern.

The Rangers are not going to be playing against a bunch of college kids come October 1st people. They are going up against the defending European Champions in Metallburg and the outcome could wind up being an embarrassment to the Rangers and the NHL if they continue to treat the Victoria Cup as just another exhibition game.

We hate sounding like worry warts but having grown up during the original USSR/NHL matchups we know from experience that just getting to play against the NHL is a major motivating tool on it's own. This is more than just another exhibition game to the folks in Europe from the IIHF to the Russians and even to the fans of SC Bern.

Ranger fans may take the mystique of the Rangers for granted but for those in Europe who root for the Rangers, this is very real to them. This is the best known NHL team in the world coming over to Europe for the very first time.

This lack of respect could very much come back to haunt both the Rangers and the NHL. If they continue to act like the Victoria's Cup does not mean all that much then they are asking to lose just like a team from the USSR once did on a Friday night in 1980.

Only it will not be a miracle of a win but a deserved one.


There is a big reason why you do not see any kind of discussion about supposed trade rumors involving the Rangers here. Rumors in 90% of the time are nothing more than someone's overactive imagination.

That is why we decided to bring out one of our deep cover top secret sources of information to help us debunk all the recent nonsense being passed off as "credible" news involving the Rangers.

We put a hat and weapon in his hand to help protect his identity as he works high up in either the Rangers/NHL/Madison Square Garden Management (sorry we have to try to protect him a little)

As PuckDaddy at wrote it best when his title said: How the Rangers trading Gomez went from 'imminent' to 'idiotic'. And in many ways as the original accidental source of Ranger rumors when writing for Ranger's Fan Central then we know the feeling firsthand.

When writing for Kara over at RFC, we can not count the number of times we would see simple speculation on our part show up at another site as a legit hockey trade rumor. People like a certain cretin like to take stuff and post it for the attention it generates (AKA advertising revenue hits).

Rumors flat out stink because they are messing with people's lives and before you say a word about that it is a part of the business then look at the bigger picture. It is more than a player wondering about his immediate future with a team as his own family can find themselves wondering if they are going to have to move.

Go ahead and tell a child that "Daddy is no longer wanted by his team", tell that same small child that and see how it feels to you. It is not a nice feeling but that is the kind of nonsense players have to put up with when trade rumors start.

We watch as we see people toss out those supposedly important words that are going to make a rumor look legit in "Credible Sources". Everyone who covers a team has their own "collection of sources" but the question is what makes a really good source?

We talk to players (including current Rangers), coaches, scouts, fellow reporters, fans in the stands and the ushers at arenas so of those we just listed which do you think are "Credible Sources?"

All of them as each in their own way provide some kind of information that help us tell the story of the prospects. However in our case, 90% of the information we get is never ever used to write a current story but rather to help us find a future story down the road. Key word is HELP not write.

Experience has taught us that it is what we do not write today is what helps us bring a bigger story tomorrow. It is not using what we are told by sources or observing that opens the door down the road.

Information is about trust and when people claim that they are reporting what someone deep somewhere told them then we wonder how deep that person truly is. A team like the Rangers does not like it when one of their employees talks to the media about things they do not wish made public.

An employee's first loyalty whether you like it or not should belong to the people he works for. They pay his/her salary and are entitled to certain loyalties so if someone is willing to leak something out then honestly they do not deserve to keep their job right or wrong.

The moment that we here use something that someone says is off the record then we lose something even more important than a source. We lose both credibility and trust from those who are willing to talk to us.

Not to mention that the information we learn from talking to "credible sources" goes a long way in helping us cover the Ranger prospects the way you want it to be covered and that is never worth risking.

After all this place prides itself on not being a cartoon, we care and value the opinions about those we cover just as much as we care and value those who read us.

By the Way is it Wabbit Season Yet?

(The picture that looks like Elmer Fudd appears courtesy of Warner Brothers)

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