Well, it’s been summer for over a month now and I finally found some time to slap together my annual Summer Survival Guide. Normally I try do this just after the Rangers get eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs. But I’ve been a busy boy this summer, so I had to keep you waiting.
Because this SSG was so late in coming a lot of things that have been dominating our summer discussions are already stale. Kevin Shattenkirk is the newest bald Ranger, Dan Girardi was bought out and Brendan Smith was re-signed. The Rangers are a better team than they were when the Ottawa Senators eliminated them from the 2017 Playoffs. Yippee.
The Bananarama oracles foretold of these cruel, humid days. Summer sucks. Sunscreen keeps us all from a dying a red, blistering death, but it also kills coral reefs and there are bugs. Bugs, you guys. Bugs. So now that the most exciting part of the offseason is already over, what can we do to pass the time until training camp begins and we get to freak out about Maxim Lapierre getting an invite? Well, as always, I’ve gots a few idears.
This Summer You Can...
Follow your favorite Rangers on social media
Social media is great! Sites and apps like Twitter, Friendster and Ravelry can help you get to really know your favorite charismatic celebrities and athletes. You can even engage with them, see what they think about the most recent Game of Thrones episode, ask them quest-
Spend all Summer on YouTube
Okay, so social media can get pretty weird. But there’s always YouTu-
On second thought, let’s not go to YouTube either, it is a silly place.
Believe in The Chrysalis
For years Alain Vigneault has been mashing gum between his molars while he struts behind the Rangers bench. But he hasn't been champing away at gum like so much cud to keep his breath minty fresh. No, he's been preparing for the next stage of his life.
In the labyrinthine bowels of the Garden, there is a room. A dark, clammy room filled with steam and sparks like a 1980s metal video. Somewhere inside that room is Vigneault's chrysalis.
After each and every game Vigneault skulks his way to his hidden sanctuary. His brow flecked with sweat and his eyes darting about for any who might be following him. Once inside his hideaway he drops to his knees as if in prayer. After a pregnant silence his mouth opens impossibly wide, his eyes roll back into his head and a glistening wad of that day's well-worked gum glides slowly past his lips the way a formless mound of dough would drop off of a conveyor belt that abruptly ends.
There, in steam and shadow, Vigneault has been forming a sugary cocoon.
He knows the will of the people. Vigneault knows he must grow; he must change. Hopefully his transformation will involve far fewer body parts in glass jars than what we saw in The Fly.
It's time that we all embrace Alain’s metamorphosis; his transformation. Believe in The Chrysalis this summer, dear friends. Believe in change. For what else do we have?
Consider Unleashing the Henrik
This team needs bold ideas. The kind of ideas that come from the fractured mind of a half-moth, half-man who spent all of August locked in a room, forced to sustain himself by consuming the husk of his own spent cocoon until finally, after wallowing in a stew of sweat and soggy cardboard boxes, he realizes that he can knock the handle off of the door with a pipe. You know, those kind of ideas.
One such idea is letting Henrik Lundqvist do whatever the hell he wants, including joining the team on the rush. Too bold you say? Well let’s step into Ms. Frizzle’s magic school bus and travel back in time. Back when John Davidson was MSG’s color commentator and Jeff Beukeboom prowled the Rangers blue line.
JD: “Look at Patrick (laughter)-”
Sam: “Look at this! What is this?”
JD: “He’s out of his mind. It’s a penalty now, he carried the puck over center ice. You can’t do that as a goalie. He doesn’t realize it.”
Sam: “That is incredib”
JD: “Patrick’s nuts (laughter), LOOK AT DEVORSKI (cackles)!”
Then again, this was attempted by a man who later became a coach and frequently pulled his own goalie with three minutes and change left in a game and once used words like “safe” and “dependable” to describe Nicholas Holden.
A big obstacle here is that Lundqvist is about as good at puckhandling as a harbor seal on mescaline is at open heart surgery. When Hank has the puck on his stick you can feel the tension in the Garden. It’s terrifying and palpable, much like that moment when the nurses see Dr. Flappyhands’ pupils dilate as he noisily fumbles for a scalpel on a sterilized metal tray.
Admittedly this idea has its flaws. So, I put much more stock in believing in The Chrysalis. Although The Chrysalis also presents the risk of Vigneault abducting us one by one, gluing our mostly naked bodies to antique wheelchairs and presenting us with a PowerPoint presentation of what he will call his “Great Becoming.”
**click** Do you see? **click** DO. YOU. SEE?
Am I the only one who wakes up in a cold sweat after having nightmares about Ralph Fiennes biting my mouth after putting in a set of dentures that look like they once belonged to a Street Shark? What? Just me? Kay.
Browse the various goods and sundries of the NHL store
You want a $250 set of New York Rangers cornhole boards? How about a $5 (on clearance) New York Rangers Zombie cheerleader figurine? What? Not grabbing you? Well shut your mouth and check out this 16”x20” Jarret Stoll signed photograph (few left!), it’ll cost ya 15 clams plus shipping. These things are flying off the shelves just like a player hitting the waiver wire.
My personal favorite items in the NHL online store are the team-branded fidget spinners. It took 222 years for someone to put wacky plastic shapes around a ball bearing, but boy howdy was it worth the wait. Heck, even Buch loves ‘em!
Pavel Buchnevich's offseason is going well... pic.twitter.com/rM1DRVLnk8— Alex Nunn (@aj_ranger) July 2, 2017
He’s too pure for this world filled with dead coral reefs, mothmen and nipple piercings.
But you know what, I’m here to save you guys some money. I think this whole fidget spinner thing is just a lame trend. Here’s a free #lifehack for you: buy some Eggo mini waffles, toast one of those sumbitches up... and boom. Fidget spinner.
You can thank me later.
Seriously, that zombie cheerleader figurine is an atrocity. Why is it a cheerleader? Why is it a Rangers fan? Why does it look like it was hand-painted by a pioneer being jostled around in an oxen-drawn wagon on the Oregon Trail? It’s nightmare fuel, just like Ralph Fiennes’ naked tattooed back.
Listen to Bantering the Blueshirts!
Joe said he’d hit me with a pillowcase full of frozen tilapia fillets if I didn’t include this.
In case you didn’t know we do a (nearly) weekly New York Rangers podcast. It even has its own Patreon page! If you haven’t already given it a listen, please check it out. You can find it on iTunes and most other places that podcasts are found. I would list them... but I spent all of my research time figuring out that there is a social media site for dedicated knitters called the Ravelry. You know how it goes.
Beth, Joe and I have a lot of fun doing the podcast and we frequently discuss things like which flightless birds are the most dangerous, why the fork is the best utensil and sometimes we even talk about the Ragnars. Maybe. But it’s summer... so lower your expectations. It’s a cruel, cruel summer.
Thank you for reading and making Blueshirt Banter the best Rangers hockey blog and community in the world. Be good to one another and be excellent to yourself. Always.