Sean Hartnett

Henrik Lundqvist, center, celebrates with teammate Dan Girardi, left, and Ryan McDonagh after the Rangers defeated the Montreal Canadiens in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals at Madison Square Garden on May 29, 2014. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Hartnett: Vigneault On A Mission To Replicate Last Season’s Success

If the Rangers are to return to the Stanley Cup Final, head coach Alain Vigneault will have to work some more magic.

09/17/2014

Derick Brassard (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Hartnett: ‘Hockey Nerd’ Derick Brassard Is Bound To Do Big Things On Broadway

When Rangers center Derick Brassard isn’t working hard on the practice ice or pushing himself in the weight room, he’s constantly studying himself on tape.

09/16/2014

Ryan McDonagh (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

Hartnett: Ryan McDonagh Feels Ready To Lead Rangers; Praises Malone Signing

Following Thursday’s informal skate, Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh reiterated the belief that he’s ready to take on a key leadership role ahead of the upcoming season.

09/12/2014

J.T. Miller of the New York Rangers (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Hartnett: Highly-Motivated J.T. Miller Is Looking To Stick With Rangers

Last April, Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault sent a clear message to promising, yet inconsistent 21-year-old forward J.T. Miller.

09/10/2014

Carlos Beltran (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Hartnett: Where Are The Bombers? Yanks’ Offensive Struggles To Linger Beyond ’14

Mark Teixeira, Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann are in decline. It’s as simple as that.

09/04/2014

Brian Cashman (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Hartnett: Cashman’s Clever July Acquisitions Are Paying Off

Brandon McCarthy, Martin Prado and Chase Headley have given the Yankees a real shot in the arm at a time when they really needed it.

08/26/2014

U.S. forward Kevin Hayes plays against Switzerland during the International Ice Hockey World Championships in Minsk on May 10, 2014. (ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Hartnett: Newcomer Hayes Should Be Able To Crack Rangers’ Lineup Immediately

Kevin Hayes is big get for the Rangers, who have done a fine job of stockpiling highly coveted college free agents, including Union defenseman Mat Bodie, RPI winger Ryan Haggerty and University of Vermont forward Chris McCarthy.

08/20/2014

Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos looks downfield during a preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium on August 17, 2014 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Noah Graham/Getty Images)

Hartnett: Always One Step Ahead, Peyton Manning Is Showing No Signs Of Stopping

Peyton’s brain is always one step ahead of everyone on the gridiron. No. 18 keeps the chains moving like no one else in his profession.

08/18/2014

Derek Jeter (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Hartnett: Make No Mistake, The Yankees’ Once-Mighty Empire Is Crumbling

With 44 games remaining, the Yankees do not possess the fear-inducing aura of Bronx Bombers teams of recent vintage. And unless the front office changes its philosophy, it’s only going to get worse.

08/13/2014

Former New York Yankees OF Paul O'Neil waves to the fans before throwing out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Game Two of the 2009 MLB World Series at Yankee Stadium on October 29, 2009 in the Bronx. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Hartnett: ‘Warrior’ Paul O’Neill Injected Pride Back Into The Yankees

One-time AL batting champ, five-time All-Star, five-time World Series champion. Paul O’Neill was the ultimate warrior.

08/08/2014

Marc Staal (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Hartnett: Rangers Can’t Let Staal Slip Through Their Fingers

If the Rangers wish to make a return appearance — or two, or three — in the Stanley Cup Final, locking down Staal to a long-term extension is an absolute must.

08/06/2014

Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner connects for a home run in the sixth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on August 3, 2014. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Hartnett: Red-Hot Gardner Carrying Yankees In Improbable Playoff Chase

Brett Gardner, raking at the dish, has unquestionably been the Bombers’ MVP, especially considering Masahiro Tanaka’s recent absence. But a huge test awaits.

08/04/2014

Stephen Drew (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images), Martin Prado  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Hartnett: Yankees Asking An Awful Lot Of Newcomers Drew And Prado

The Yankees missed an opportunity to stock their farm system at last season’s trade deadline. One year later, the decision not to trade Robinson Cano is biting the Bombers hard.

08/01/2014

Derick Brassard, left, and Mats Zuccarello celebrate. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Hartnett: Rangers Put Their Long-Term Faith In Improving Center Brassard

Derick Brassard loves being a New York Ranger – and the Rangers organization thinks highly of this gifted center who appears to be on the track toward NHL stardom.

07/28/2014

Lee Stempniak, then of the Pittsburgh Penguins, controls the puck against the New York Rangers during Game 6 of the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs at Madison Square Garden on May 11, 2014. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Hartnett: Low-Cost Stempniak Could Provide High Return For Rangers

Aside from signing veteran defenseman Dan Boyle, Rangers general manager Glen Sather has spent much of the offseason perusing bargain bins for low-cost, potentially high-rewarding free agents.

07/21/2014

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