Long story in the Globe and Mail on Christian Dube [left], the Rangers' top pick in 1995. Unfortunately, it's a pay site and it hasn't been reprinted in any other location. Dube has played in Switzerland since leaving the Ranger organization and has done well there. He grew up in Switzerland, where his father, an alumnus of the WHA Quebec Nordiques, played professionally, and returned to Quebec as a teen to try to play his way into the NHL.
And play his way to the NHL he did. But it was his misfortune to play behind Gretzky, Messier, and Sergei Nemchinov at center. So he found himself with limited minutes on a fourth line between Shane Churla and Darren Langdon, under orders not to do too much with the puck. He lost a year putting on weight for the Rangers and then taking it off in Hartford, and then decided to leave. Player development, Ranger-style. With a bit of patience, Dube might've developed into a player and would now be in his early prime at age 26.
Someone suggested last week that a good topic for a Blueshirt Bulletin article would be, What are the regular beat writers and columnists doing during the lockout? We know from working with some of them that they've been put on the football or basketball beat in the interim, or have taken the time to attend to personal matters. The flip side of the question is, How are sports editors filling up the extra space? Both questions are answered in the Observer, with Daily News hockey columnist Sherry Ross the focal point. Thanks to reader Andrea Gallo for alerting us about this one.
Weekly Wolf Pack report is online, as is the latest prospect update -- Jakub Petruzalek, a late-round draft pick because of his diminutive size, continues to lead OHL rookies in points after posting a three-assist game.
Spector elucidates on Larry Brooks's Post report on the Union's potential last-ditch offer to the NHL. Spector says outright that "if the league rejects a new offer but refuses to make a counter-offer different from their last one, it would only reinforce the NHLPA's case before the NLRB."
Posturing for the NLRB may have also been behind Bill Daly's uncharacteristic open-mindedness to the PA's possible proposal, as reported by The Hockey News yesterday. In a TSN story today, Daly backs off that open-mindedness, though he continues to say the proposal could be a step in the right direction for the PA.
We wondered a week or so ago if the Rangers would take a shot at signing Sidney Crosby if indeed the 2005 entry draft could not be held without a new CBA in place. Today, speculation by Toronto GM John Ferguson on whether the Leafs would take that chance. Glen Sather was able to bring Gretzky into the NHL as an Oiler in 1979, bypassing the draft. Interestingly, had the NHL forced Gretzky into the draft, he would have been taken by the Colorado Rockies. That would've meant a) the Rockies would never have had to move to New Jersey, or b) Gretzky would've been a Devil for much of his career. Either way -- imagine that!
Islander announcer Howie Rose, writing a guest column for The Hockey News, makes the case that interest in hockey remains strong in New York despite the lockout. Judging by the level of interest we see here at Blueshirt Bulletin, we agree.
How tough is it to get hockey content during the lockout? ESPN.com has a review of U2's latest album headlining their home page. The hockey tie-in? The photo and its caption: "Last Monday in NYC: A U2 video instead of Isles at Rangers." Rock and roll is also the answer to what Darren McCarty is doing during the lockout.