Predicting NHL awards, with a few New York headliners

The halfway mark is as good a time as any to assess what has taken place in this 2017-18 NHL season, and to start giving out our awards (that mean nothing right now). There have been surprises and disappointments alike, and, as Rangers coach Alain Vigneault says any

NHL enables repeat offenders with senseless discipline system

DETROIT — There is an understandable amount of gray area in every rule book. But what is absolutely confounding about the NHL’s discipline policy is that there is no standardization for supplemental punishment. So the definition of a slash can be left up to the interpretation of the officials.

Erik Karlsson represents a perfect Islanders opportunity

When Pierre Dorion walked into the press conference room in Ottawa on Wednesday evening before his team’s game against the Rangers, he said he had just got off the phone with another general manager and could have made a deal “three minutes ago.” Maybe it was hyperbole, but

A path to avoiding a fourth NHL lockout is available

Would the NHL actually lock the door on the Seattle Totems just as this 32nd franchise is ready to drop a $650 million puck on the 2020-21 season? Or is the league simply going to dare the NHLPA to go out on strike after either or both sides

Seattle team puts NHL in danger of falling into sports’ greed trap

The reason there is hesitation when hearing the NHL has agreed to allow Seattle to fill out an application for expansion is that unmitigated greed can undo something great. And greed is the first sentiment that comes to mind when commissioner Gary Bettman said Thursday that the Board

It’s time for the Islanders to go all-in with a big trade

It is premature to declare the end of the Pittsburgh-Washington axis that has been dominant in the Metro Division, but it appears as if we’re experiencing an ongoing redistribution of power in which a path to the conference finals is wide open. And though the road to the final

A near-term Rangers solution will have to come from within

Regarding the Rangers, working on a victorious muscle memory in advance of Monday’s match at the Garden against San Jose. 1. Since the inception of the salary cap in 2005-06, there has been one major pre-January trade in the NHL. That was the Islanders’ swap of Matt Moulson (and a first

A solution to the NHL’s advanced stats problem

During a recent casual conversation with someone who has been intimately involved in the NHL for decades, he jokingly said this: “You ever think that all of these off-ice officials are actually the same people in every arena?” It was a funny take on this gaggle of people in each city

Sports teams are ditching Trump hotels

Professional teams across four major sports leagues that sometimes stayed in Trump hotels are apparently now finding different lodging while on the road, according to a report Thursday. An investigation by the Washington Post found that none of the 105 teams that responded from the total of 123 franchises from the

The heart and soul of the Rangers deserves this honor

Mats Zuccarello was a natural-born leader even before anointed as one with an “A” on his sweater to symbolize his status as an alternate captain for the 2017-18 season that commences Thursday at the Garden against the Avalanche. He remembers the way it was for him when he first arrived

This is what the Rangers’ opening roster should look like

Regarding the Rangers, who will announce their final mass cutdown Thursday after sending Gabriel Fontaine and Trevor Halverson to AHL Hartford on Wednesday: 1. My opening roster up front by line combination: Chris Kreider – Mika Zibanejad – Mats Zuccarello Jimmy Vesey – Kevin Hayes – J.T. Miller Rick Nash – Filip Chytil –

There’s been a monumental breakthrough with CTE research

The next big breakthrough in CTE research has apparently arrived. Doctors at Boston University believe they have discovered a way to diagnose the brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy in living humans, TSN reported Tuesday. Researchers at BU studied the brains of 23 former football players, 50 non-athletes with Alzheimer’s and 18 non-athletes. “The

Bar was just set for Rangers’ Zibanejad deal — that will get tricky

Tampa Bay’s signings of Group II, salary arbitration-filers Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat have set a bar that should inform Mika Zibanejad’s negotiations with the Rangers in advance of No. 93’s scheduled hearing on July 25. Johnson, the center who will turn 27 before the end of the month, signed a

Why NHL’s communism works, just look at the alternative

Gary Bettman longs for parity and Adam Silver strives for excellence. This is the fundamental difference between the NHL and NBA and their respective commissioners, and that difference is never more clear than right now in the aftermath of each final and on the eve of free agency. But for all