Rangers sign K’Andre Miller, MSG to air memorable games, Coronavirus madness


Photo courtesy ELITESPORTSNY

Over the past day or so, the Rangers have been busy. Well, not literally and figuratively speaking. There are no team practices scheduled with the NHL shutting down along with other major sports leagues due to the Coronavirus. For now, we’ll have and see what happens regarding the COVID-19 pandemic that’s halted everything.

It’s definitely a strange time. Me. I’m gonna head back to the gym and stay active before it closes. I hope it’s open. One thing I can guarantee. They won’t be out of stock on hand sanitizer and toilet paper. I took a ride last night to the Shoprite that stays open 24 hours. I ran into traffic cones at both entrances. Closed due to the chaotic situation that’s caused panic everywhere.

I laughed it off and wound up at a 7/11. Some guy went in there looking for hand sanitizer in the first two aisles. No. He didn’t have to say anything. It was obvious. I thought it was ridiculous. Like he really thought he’d find any there. He walked out with one of those David Quinn death grins after a bad penalty or goal is allowed.

In terms of what the Rangers have done but didn’t even reveal on their official Twitter account. They signed former 2018 first round pick K’Andre Miller to an entry level contract. After spending two years at Wisconsin, the defenseman has decided to forego his last two years of eligibility and turn pro. I sure hope it’s the right decision.

Given the state of the left side of the blueline since the departure of easy target Brady Skjei, they sure could use someone to help out a defense that’s struggled since the trade deadline. It isn’t Skjei who’s been on the ice for all the goals and 10 power play goals against. That’s the new defense that includes veteran Brendan Smith and misplaced eight million dollar man Jacob Trouba, whose number 8 may as well stand for his cap hit. Kind of funny how things work out.

If they ever continue what’s left of the season, the Hurricanes are one of the teams the Rangers are battling for the wildcard. They are locked into the first WC while the Blue Jackets are still in the second spot despite playing more games than the Islanders. If you went by percentage points, the Isles would squeak in over the Jackets. Right now, none of that stuff matters.

It says the Blueshirts have 12 games left. The Islanders 13. The Hurricanes 14. And so on. But we don’t know how long there will be no hockey let alone normalcy. You have to be careful and stay clean. I’m not going to keep repeating the same message. We’re supposed to be grown adults. It gets redundant and annoying real quick.

So, is there any expectation for Miller? How can there be? He wasn’t even dominant in his two years at college. He’s a excellent skater with superb offensive instincts while his defense remains a question mark. Anyone who thinks he’s gonna come in and take the league by storm probably believes in the tooth fairy. You don’t rush young prospects like Miller, who’s never played professional hockey. Especially when there could be an adjustment period.

Ticket Miller for 2021. That’s a realistic view. I don’t act like like I am some prospect wannabe expert blogger. I’ve seen Miller play. But I also know there are areas he must improve. That’s why Vitali Kravtsov wasn’t rushed after returning to Hartford. If only Lias Andersson didn’t go home and complain about whatever he felt he earned in preseason. Anyone excited about what he’s doing with HV-71 is outta their mind. What does it mean? This is coming from a guy who supported Andersson. We don’t even know if he still has a future in the organization. I expect him to be traded this summer whenever the off-season is.

Realistically, I can’t see them playing games in July. That’s insane. The ice would be melted and even with the air conditioning pumping, it doesn’t make sense. Maybe if they’re lucky, they’ll be able to complete the regular season by halving the schedule. I don’t know what Gary Bettman and the NHL is thinking. He wants to continue and not end the season. That’s commendable, but how will it play out?

MSG Networks announced they plan to air some memorable games of both Rangers and Knicks. So, here’s the question. Will they actually show stuff that’s not recent? I don’t know. This also goes for the Devils and Islanders. They used to have The Vault, which was a great show where you had hockey maven Stan Fischler giving commentary along with Dave Maloney and other guests throwing cool insight. I would love for that to return.

They can go a lot of different ways with this. Even if we got classic games from ’05-06 where Jaromir Jagr chased down Adam Graves franchise record in goals and achieved a new single season mark in points by going right by Jean Ratelle, I’d be okay with it. Plus a chance to see a then young rookie named Henrik Lundqvist, whose future is up in the air. Has he played his last game as a Ranger? That’s a hard question to answer.

There’s not much else to add. We don’t have much excitement right now. But there’s still so much we can do. Like the Puddle of Mudd song I’m listening to on my five CD player which still works. May as well enjoy whatever it is that we love to do.

Well, I’m gonna head out now and see if I can do some stuff at the gym. Please don’t let it be closed like what’s happening to Modell’s. How freaking sad. I guess customers are okay with getting ripped off for everything they buy. What a joke.

Peace. Be good.

About Derek Felix

Derek Felix is sports blogger whose previous experience included separate stints at ESPN as a stat researcher for NHL and WNBA telecasts. The Staten Island native also interned for or hockey historian Stan Fischler and worked behind the scenes for MSG as a production assistant on New Jersey Devil telecasts. An avid New York sports fan who enjoys covering events, writing, concerts, movies and the outdoors, Derek has covered consecutive Staten Island Yankees NY Penn League championships in '05 and '06. He also scored Berkeley Carroll high school basketball games from '06-14 and provided an outlet for the Park Slope school's student athletes. Hitting Back gives them the publicity they deserve. In his free time, he also attends Ranger games and is a loyal St. John's alum with a sports management degree. The Battle Of New York administrator and chief editor can be followed below on Twitter and Facebook.
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2 Responses to Rangers sign K’Andre Miller, MSG to air memorable games, Coronavirus madness

  1. A shame the sports world’s taken a hit. So many industries are falling.

    Liked by 1 person

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