I have a number of thoughts to share, just going to number them and go from there...
1) Growing up in the 90s, JD was the narrator to my Ranger experience. As someone who detests Michael Kay, I see JD as the anti-Kay/anti-Jihn Sterling...Kay/Sterling make everything about themselves; constantly cementing their call into 'Yankee history, true blowhards...JD bled/bleeds Ranger blue; you could sense his genuine enthusiasm within each game. Moreover, his insight was/is second to none; which leads me to my next point...
2) JD became the voice of the league. Rangers -> ABC -> NHL/Blues...I always saw JD slipping into the GM role at MSG. A dream job; an perfect fit. Could he be the successor to Sather? The timing could be right...is there any known animosity that exists?
3) His persona (on air at least) has clearly changed; less emotional ; far more corporate. I'm sure it comes with the Blues GM position - Agree/Disagree?
4) I really have a tough time listening to Joe Micheletti. When he came aboard, I was very open minded; and even tried to hold some positive memories of him from his work with the Islanders. Yet, after four seasons, he's nothing more than a C- announcer. In terms of chemistry, what he has with Sam Rosen is virtually, well...zero. The rolodex of cliches are painful. Any insight he brings stems from some story that is ultimately irrelevant. Micheletti brings nothing to the table. I'm increasingly angry as I type this. He's a small market announcer; cut the cord already. Give me Dave Maloney; and/or John Giannone....
I miss davidson but i actually do really like Micheletti. He knows the game well, is a bit of a homer at times, but he knows his stuff. At least we dont have to deal with someone like Chico. Then I'd have to mute the TV.
93-94 was my first year after college. I moved into an apartment on the upper west side with three other college buddies, none of whom were at all hockey fans. They made me buy my own TV and get my own cable to watch in my bedroom. As the season wore on, they were gradually exposed to that fantastic season, as called by Sam and JD. By year's end they were gathered around the big TV in the living room with me watching every game of the finals. A year later, we all went our separate ways, but one of my roommates continued to follow the Rangers as long as he lived in NYC. He told me it was all due to Sam and JD - they were bar none the best sports announcing team he had ever heard.
Hell yes, I miss JD. Having said that, I do feel that the team was slipping a bit towards the end - although how much that had to do with them getting stale and how much it had to do with the product on the ice getting VERY stale is debatable.
Also, I think you give Joe short shrift. He keeps it simple and he doesn't have the same insight (or connections) that JD had, but he gets it right for the most part and he does pick up on subtleties that the TV cameras don't always show. Could he offer more insight into the strategic angles and the dynamics behind the scenes the way that JD did? Sure. But compared to other announcers around the league - and who call NY sports teams (you are absolutely right about Kay & Sterling) - he's fine.
I started listening to JD in the mid 80's through his last game. I never realized how fortunate I was because it was all I ever knew. He was the best. Plain and simple. I'd love to thank him one day for all he did to make hockey and the Rangers such an important part of my life growing up... So yea, I miss him greatly!
The idiotic hate toward Joe continues to be ridiculous. He's easily a top 10 color guy in the league, if not better. Who doesn't miss JD? He's the best, but you gotta move on and face facts.
I've to go agree with this. Joe is better than most. Hating on him for not being as good a JD, who was among the very best color guys in recent memory. That's not even bringing in the emotions that are tied to him within our fanbase, because of his time as a player here and the fact that he was part of the broadcast team in '94.
JD was the man, he gave his heart and soul to both the Rangers and the NHL as an announcer and ambassador for over 20 years, and the fact that he waited until his kids were in college and stayed in the same home shows what kind of a person he truly is.
So it was sad when he left, but at the same time it was cool, like "go get 'em JD!" and I hope he ultimately succeeds and can win a Cup in St. Louis (just not vs. the Rangers in the Finals).
Joe is very good. I know sometimes he can seem a little overboard but he's a darn good commentator, definitely in the top 5.
Hearing Sam is like watching the game with an old friend. I hope he hangs around another 5-10 years.