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Bits: In desperate times, Rangers turn to ex-Islanders for a win

What do you do when your $60 million man is already in decline? You bring in an ex-Isles fourth-liner, of course.

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"Punch some sense back into our team."
"Punch some sense back into our team."
Paul Bereswill

Perhaps you've heard: Those MSG darlings, the lovable Smurfs whose World's Most Famous Self-Congratulatory Slogan is keeping Penn Station from rising again, they have their backs against the wall.

Their red pants in a tizzy, the Rangers are down 3-0 in their series against the Boston Bruins with Game 4 tonight at home. All Dolan's millions and all Sather's men can't put Torts' mojo together again.

The latest in a turnstile of top-dollar free agents who come in, then go out, is Brad Richards, who is set to be a healthy scratch for Game 4. You know this decision wasn't taken lightly by John Tortorella, whose bond with Richards goes back to their 2004 Cup together with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The fun irony for Islanders fans is that Richards, who has been getting only fourth-line minutes plus power play duty, leaves the Rangers lineup (possibly for good, buyouts willing) while it appears former Islanders AHL/NHL cult hero Micheal Haley enters. Haley played in nine regular season games this season, and tonight would be his NHL playoff debut at age 27.

There were so many reasons to think the Rangers had overspent and over committed again when they signed Richards for nine years and $60 million two summers ago, but only the most cynical would have thought the 33-year-old's usefulness would fall this far, this fast.

Richard's cap hit is $6.67 million. Haley's is less than one-tenth of that.

But Haley can bring New York hockey fans of any stripes into agreement on at least one thing: Haley can take out the trash:

Roman Hamrlik is also expected in the lineup as an injury replacement.


Speaking of Dolans, the PR war between MSG and Bruce Ratner over their competing bids to redevelop Fort Neverlose continues. Here is Ratner appearing on Fox Business (the anchor is amusing), saying he doesn't think MSG can veto Ratner's plan which calls for six Islanders games a year at a new Nassau Coliseum.

You cannot leave it the way it looks on the outside. I think we are one of the only bidders who really uses high design to start with how to change it.

IPB: If the Penguins can shell Craig freaking Anderson, does that change your view of Evgeni Nabokov?

Montreal prospect Dalton Thrower has been suspended for the rest of the [YOUR CREDIT CARD HERE] Memorial Cup for this headshot.

The guy who does the HNIC intro videos has been getting some press lately, and deservedly so.

Brian Burke will not be Team USA GM this year.

The Hurricanes will join the Stars in changing their pajamas. RBK template RIP.

Manny Malhotra wants to play NHL hockey still.

What about Bob? The CBJ goalie is an RFA, but no progress on talks yet.

Great read from Copper n Blue's OKC correspondent on dealing with tornadoes.

As mentioned in comments yesterday: The 20 Types of Depressed Sports Fans - Grantland

Nice chirp from Brock Nelson on Colin McDonald in the Tavares EA cover campaign.

Finally, on that topic, what's better than one Mike Bossy? Two Mike Bossys, for Tavares. (Man, the dynasty would've never ended...)

That's a tough shoot for non-actor, but I bet he could nail it 50 times in 50 takes.