1. I am taking some time away from the Mets-Cards Game 4 to publicize what I feel is a great injustice being done to two of the NHL's greatest all-time players. I will also footnote the point made a couple of weeks ago by our frequent viewer, OverDaRainbow. Mike Gartner and Pat LaFontaine have not yet had their sweater numbers retired by the Washington Capitals and the New York Islanders, respectively.
2. As a Cap, Gartner amassed 397 goals, 392 assists for 789 points in 758 games. His points per game make him the most prolific scorer in team history, yet his Number 11 remains available. Keep in mind, the Washington Capitals have three jerseys hanging in the Verizon Center rafters. Those being, Yvon Labre, Rod Langway, and Dale Hunter - all important players, but none has made more of an impact statistically than Gartner. What should be considered totally absurd, is the fact that for the last several years Jeff Halpern has enjoyed the privilege of wearing #11. From the greatest hands in team history to hands of stone. What an insult. It should not matter that Gartner left Washington on "bad" terms. C'mon Mr. Leonsis, retire this number in a Mike Gartner Night ceremony, with the present players clad in the classic red, white, and blue throwback uniforms.
3. Pat LaFontaine, the greatest Islander NOT to win a Stanley Cup, was apparently drafted too late and missed the glory years. Patty, as he was affectionately nicknamed, played 530 games for the New Yorkers. He netted a remarkable 287 goals and assisted on 279 others - that's 566 points. Certainly, #s 5, 9, 19, 22, 23, and 31 are worthy of immortality, but I feel there is no justification for Lafontaine's 16 to be omitted. Is Mike York, a guy who shows up to play every third game, deserving of this sweater? I think not.
4. I see the New York Metropolitans have taken a 5-2, so I am back to Fox. I close by noting that Gartner's and LaFontaine's snubs come from two, once glorious organizations that have become the NHL's biggest jokes. Halpern and York - it doesn't get any better than that!!!
10 years ago