About: Jeff Zachowski


    Jeff Zachowski


    Though Hot Stove New York is no longer active, the blog stands as a record of the 2+ years that my staff and I dedicated to the site.

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

Rangers Re-Sign Rozsival | Rolston Returns to Jersey

Devils Rumors & NewsRangers Rumors & News

The Hudson River rivals agreed to a pair of four-year, $20 million deals today with defenseman Michal Rozsival returning to the Rangers and Brian Rolston returning to the team with which he began his career.

In the duel of duplicate deals, the Devils come out on top here, adding a player who has scored 30+ goals in each of the last three seasons to their anemic offensive, not to mention a player who they already know will thrive in their system.

Meanwhile, Michal Rozsival hits pay dirt with the Blueshirts.  Here’s what I had to say on the prospect of Rozsival returning back in early May:

One has to imagine that Rozsival will be seeking a sizable raise over the $2.3 M he earned this past season, especially given the fact that [Christian] Backman is pulling in $3.4 next year. Putting aside my personal feelings on Rozsie, the defenseman played first-pair minutes all season-long and appeared in at least 80 games for the Blueshirts for the third consecutive year. He’s scored …

Rangers Prepping For Post-Avery Era

Rangers Rumors & News

On the heels of signing rough and tumble winger Aaron Voros, the Blueshirts have agreed to terms with San Jose’s Patrick Rissmiller, another physical forward.  Neither player is going to make New York fans forget Sean Avery any time soon, but at least the diehards in the blue seats need not fear the team going soft in Avery’s absence.

The Rangers have also reportedly agreed to a deal with Andreas Jamtin of the Swedish Elite League, a diminutive but aggressive player described as “a pest on the ice.”  Hmmm, why does that sound familiar?

The writing’s on the wall, folks.  I just hope Avery didn’t overplay his hand here, for both sides’ sake.

Avery to Toronto? | Jagr to the Pens?

Rangers Rumors & News

The Rangers dove head first into free agency this afternoon, signing Aaron Voros from the Minnesota Wild. The 26-year-old forward scored seven goals and seven assists in 55 games as a rookie last season. Alright, so maybe it’s not so much a “dive” as an exploratory toe in the water, but hey, it’s something to talk about on what’s been a surprisingly quiet day. Voros adds size and depth to the forward corps, but perhaps little else. I wonder what this means, if anything, for fringe players like Ryan Hollweg, Colton Orr, and Petr Prucha.

Over the last several days the word through the grapevine seemed to suggest that Sean Avery is most likely ticketed out of town, possibly to the Toronto Maple Leafs, who have cut ties with agitator Darcy Tucker. Earlier this afternoon, the Journal News’ Sam Weinman reported that there were “rumblings” that Avery’s exit was imminent, but nothing official has been announced as of yet.

If true, this would be a …

A-Rod and Madonna???

Yankees Rumors & News

When the sports section and the gossip pages intersect, you can bet that Alex Rodriguez is involved.

According to the new issue of Us Weekly, baseball’s most infamous Material Boy might be embroiled in a love triangle with none other than Madonna, whose seven-year marriage to director Guy Ritchie is reportedly on the rocks. Writes Us:

Rodriguez, 32, has made numerous solo nighttime visits to Madonna, 49, at her spacious home and would sneak out “as late as midnight.” Says the source, “All the doormen are talking.”

Gotta say, she certainly seems like A-Rod’s type; the slugger allegedly as an affinity for “she-male, muscular” women, and post-1998 Madonna definitely falls under that category. She certainly has the guns for it…not to mention the man-hands.

On Your Mark, Get Set… | NHL Free Agency Begins

Rangers Rumors & News

As of 12 o’clock noon, the NHL free agency period officially began. Rangers’ unrestricted free agents include: Sean Avery, Mitch Fritz, Andrew Hutchinson, Jaromir Jagr, Darius Kasparaitis, Marek Malik, Paul Mara, Michal Rozsival, Brendan Shanahan, Martin Straka, Jason Strudwick, Steve Valiquette.

Despite the free agent splash that GM Glen Sather made last season when he signed both Scott Gomez and Chris Drury in one fell swoop, this year’s offseason is arguably much more interesting. There seem to be two schools of thought concerning the Rangers:
1) That last year’s team was only a player or two removed from being a legit Cup contender and that management should make another run at it with a roster built around Jaromir Jagr. Under this scenario, the Rangers would pursue free agent Mats Sundin to partner with Jagr while Drury would move to Gomez’s left wing on the second line.
2) That Jagr can no longer dominate games over an 82-game schedule and that his lack of a two-way game, not to mention …

Thursday, June 26th, 2008
Knicks Rumors & News

Stay classy, New York City.  Honestly, I couldn’t believe my ears when the Garden faithful loudly booed Danilo Gallinari whenever his face was flashed across ESPN’s cameras.  Hey, I still have nightmares of Frederic Weis just like the rest of you, so I understand where you’re coming from.  But this draft got a whole lot less interesting for the Knicks as soon as they lost out on the opportunity to move up to a top-3 selection.  Are Knicks fans so convinced that Gallinari is a bum compared to the likes of guys like Kevin Love, Eric Gordon, Russell Westbrook, etc.?  Better question: Are Knick fans that ignorant?

According to ESPN’s Chad Ford, despite the fact that new Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni played ball with Gallinari’s father in Italy, D’Antoni wasn’t initially a fan of the younger Gallinari’s game until Gallinari’s …

Nets Trade Jefferson to Bucks for Yi, Simmons

Nets Rumors & News

The New Jersey Nets didn’t wait around for tonight’s NBA draft to make a big splash.  The team pulled the trigger on a blockbuster trade today, acquiring forwards Yi Jianlian and Bobby Simmons from the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for Richard Jefferson.

In addition to acquiring the 6th overall pick in last year’s draft in Yi, the Nets save themselves a boatload of money in the swap by unloading the three years and more than $42 million owed Jefferson.

First Kidd, now R.J.  You know if Vince Carter’s contract was tradeable, he’d be on the next bus as well.  It’s pretty clear to me that – like the Knicks – the Nets are positioning themselves to get under the cap by the summer of 2010 when big ticket free agents like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh all hit the open market – just in time for the franchise’s move to Brooklyn.

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008
Mets Rumors & NewsYankees Rumors & News

The Mets have claimed ex-Yankee Andy Phillips off waivers from the Cincinnati Reds today, as first reported by Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.

Much like the acquisition of Trot Nixon, this isn’t an earth-shattering maneuver and certainly won’t change the culture of the Mets in one fell swoop, however, it’s a smart, low-risk pickup and could help fill a need on a roster full of holes.

Phillips, a 31-year-old journeyman first baseman, hit very little for the Reds this year in just 21 at-bats, however, in 40 games with Class AAA Louisville this season he batted .315 with five homers and 22 RBI. If the Mets decide to add Phillips to the major league roster, he’ll provide interim manager Jerry Manuel with a much-needed right-handed bat on the bench, not to mention a right-handed option at first base to rest or platoon the struggling Carlos Delgado.

According to Rosenthal, Phillips has also appeared in two games at second base this season and could see time there with …

Thursday, June 19th, 2008
Rangers Rumors & News

League commissioners are rarely popular figures amongst fans, however NHL commish Gary Bettman won himself a few fans in New York yesterday when the National Hockey League filed court papers seeking suspension or termination of Madison Square Garden, L.P.’s ownership of the New York Rangers.

The NHL is accusing the Garden (which is owned by Cablevision, of course) of breach of contract following a dispute last September over control of the team’s web site – a dispute that ultimately wound up in court when MSG sued the league for violating antitrust laws. A judge ruled in favor of the NHL, which holds full control over promotion of its product and subsidiaries, however, evidently the saga won’t end there.

Apparently, a provision in the league’s agreement with all its ownership groups bans owners from challenging the NHL’s constitution or its league rules or procedures in court, which is exactly what the Garden did last September. According to the league, such a violation can lead to disciplinary proceedings …

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

Wilpons Are a Gutless Disgrace

Mets Rumors & News

How ironic. In a move to throw a bone to an angry fan base, Mets ownership paints the bull’s eye squarely on their own classless and clueless faces. Fred, Jeff, congratulations: You are well on your way to cementing your legacy as the most beloved baseball executives in New York since Walter O’Malley.

After enduring weeks upon weeks of Willie Watch, which grew to a crescendo over the weekend when SI.com’s Jon Heyman reported on Friday that Willie and/or his coaching staff could be out of work as soon as that evening, Mets management allowed their manager a Father’s Day split and even paid his plane fare to Los Angeles – how generous – before dispatching GM Omar Minaya to finally mercifully (mercilessly) lower the ax…in a hotel room, at 3 a.m., following a 9-6 road victory over the AL West division-leading Angels. You can’t make it up. You can’t even wrap your mind around it. It’s mindless, it’s …

Monday, June 16th, 2008
Yankees Rumors & News

The Toronto Star is calling pitcher A.J. Burnett “classless” today. In other words, looks like the Yanks have found an available pitcher!

Actually, the news that Burnett – who can opt out of his contract at season’s end – is on the trade market is not exactly breaking news. A.J. is 26-22 in 2+ injury-plagued seasons after signing a five-year, $55 million contract with the Blue Jays in 2005. Clearly the mediocre Jays would like to move some of that money and/or acquire an asset in exchange for the pitcher before he leaves for free agency, and it’s equally clear that Burnett wouldn’t mind the move one bit.

“As of right now, I’m a Blue Jay, and I’m going to pitch to the best of my ability as long as I’m part of this club,” Burnett told the Chicago Sun Times. “If something were to happen and I’d have the opportunity to go to a place where baseball is breakfast, …

Wang Out Until September

Yankees Rumors & News

The Yankees have announced the MRI results on ace pitcher Chien-Ming Wang and they ain’t pretty.  Wang has been diagnosed with a mid-foot sprain of the Lisfranc ligament and a partial tear of the peroneal longus tendon and will be laid up for at least six weeks.

Remember, Wang won’t be doing any throwing during this span, so you can tack another 4 weeks onto that time table.  I wouldn’t expect the Wanginator back on the mound before September, which means the Bombers need an arm badly.

Or do they?  With the offense suddenly clicking, can the Yanks survive with a rotation of Andy Pettitte, Mike Mussina, Joba Chamberlain, Darrell Rasner and, say, Dan Giese?  Remember, Ian Kennedy, recovering from a strained lat, has begun throwing off the mound and could be back with the team after a rehab start or two.  Phil Hughes is still probably six weeks away from returning.

Meanwhile the injury to Wang raises two questions: A) Does interleague play put American …

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