Let's clear up this media access issue. The Rangers have always been extremely good about granting me access to whatever I wanted. I have not asked for a season credential because I have no need for it for my work. I attend pre-season games and several games during the season. They have never turned me down. If we were going to cover the NHL, it would be different but we only cover "prospects" here at HF. Even my blog only covers young players. There is no need for full season access to do my job.
It is always the home team perogative to grant access to any reporter. The Devils do not know me, so given their policy, it was a long shot to get in.
That is the long and short of it. As far as I know there is nothing else to it. No conspiracy, no Rangers not liking what I said about McIlrath (which if you read my blog admits that I like what I have seen of him in camp and could be wrong about my initial reaction).
Let's not make this more than it is, which is that I am disappointed not to be able to report from or about the game. That's it.
One thing: Regarding the comments about Anisimov (his development in Hartford -- or lack thereof), where do you see his future with the team? 2nd line C behind Stepan (or whomever), or more of a 3rd line, two-way guy?
Maybe I zoned out a little but can you articulate what you think is wrong with Hartford?
Just that the coaches aren't doing a good job preparing the players for the NHL level? Are there any specific things that they don't seem to be doing? What do you feel Anisimov lacked that he should have gotten from the AHL?